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Monday, January 26, 2015

Tuesday’s Tips and Tweaks


This week author Susan Ann Wall joins us with her tip. Susan writes racy, rule-breaking romance and women’s fiction.

Susan’s Tip

The best marketing advice I’ve ever received and that I like to share is to write your next book. We are writers, after all, and writing comes a lot easier than marketing. But what can you do to keep attention on your published books while you are writing the next book?

One thing I like to do is what I call celebratory promotions. These can be anything from the anniversary of your book’s publication date, to a character’s birthday, to an existing holiday, to a national day of recognition that somehow relates to your book. You can even do Throwback Thursdays and Flashback Fridays!

Last year I did my first celebratory promotion on one of my heroine’s birthday. Stacie Nightingale is the heroine in two of my published novels (and in an upcoming novel to be published in late spring) in my Puget Sound ~ Alive With Love series, but she is also a secondary character in other novels in the series. Her birthday is March 12, so last year I put the latest release in the series for free on her birthday. Thousands of units were downloaded as a result.

Since this series features two military veterans, in November I did another promotion to celebrate Veteran’s Day and raise money and awareness for the Rebuilding Warriors (www.rebuildingwarriors.com) program. With this promotion, I set one of the books to free and one of the books to $.99 while leaving the other two at normal price. Again, this resulted in thousands of units being downloaded and some residual sales that followed in the weeks following the promotion.

My current promotion for the Puget Sound ~ Alive With Love series celebrates the first anniversary of the release of The Sound of Suspicion. The book will be free at Amazon January 30 – February 3 and you’ll see more promotions on the other books in the weeks following.

I’m also planning a promotion for the two books in my Fighting Back for Love series around World Cancer Day on February 4. I wrote these books to not just raise money for Relay For Life (60% of royalties benefit the American Cancer Society) but also to raise awareness about cancer prevention, resources, and treatment. From February 3 – 5, these books will be on sale at a special price at all e-book retailers.

Promotion takes time and planning. Sit down with a calendar and identify days that have some sort of relevance to your books. If you have control over the price of your book, plan to adjust the price and contact as many book promotion sites as you can to get the word out about your promotion. If you don’t have control over the price, you can still celebrate with games, contests, and giveaways. Make it fun and engaging for your readers so that it feels less like promotion and more like connection.

Excerpt from The Sound of Suspicion

“Baby, there’s room in the closet.”

Stacie Nightingale’s stomach twisted into a knot. It wasn’t the words, but the intent behind them. She feigned her most innocent smile and turned toward the sexy Cajun drawl. Fortunately, she found a big hunk of heaven that transformed her lips into something far from fake innocence.
Quivering at the sight of the man she loved in only a towel, her eyes traveled up his body, taking in every glistening flex and pull of firm muscle as he crossed the bedroom in long strides. Holy Shakespeare, the man looked good dripping wet. When he reached her, she landed on dark green eyes that glinted with desire.
Owen Landry graced her t-shirt clad body with the same seductive perusal, causing Stacie’s naked legs to prickle with anticipation. Maybe, just maybe she’d be lucky enough to distract him from the conversation he started.
His timing couldn’t be worse and even though the topic didn’t surprise her, she wasn’t ready to deal with it. She’d rather they pursue the desire that sizzled between them. When his gaze fell back on hers, he smiled with approval, but raised one eyebrow in question and Stacie knew luck wasn’t on her side.
Shaking off the arousal his god-like body sparked, she plastered on the innocence again, hoping it would deter him. “Room in the closet? For what?”
“For your clothes.”
Of their own free will, Stacie’s fingers trailed up the sinewy arms that had held her all night long. “Don’t be silly, Owen, I live across the hall.” Which is where she’d go to grab a shower and put on some business clothes, even though she’d rather lounge around in his shirt all day. Or in his sheets. With him and those strong arms that twitched under her caress.
Good Gatsby, if he didn’t stop looking at her like she was his next meal and making her blood flow like hot lava in the process, she was going to have to step onto the balcony and shower in the cold December drizzle. Actually, she’d rather tear off the shirt she’d stolen from him, along with Owen’s little towel, and do an instant replay of the lovemaking that had kept them in bed all morning. Oh, how she loved Thursdays. It was the start of Owen’s weekend and after three long shifts at the naval yard, all of his attention was focused on her.
But Owen gave his head a quick shake as though he were trying to fend off the desire too. A shadow replaced the spark and Stacie’s stomach knotted again, recognizing Owen’s quick shift from sexy to serious. “You don’t have to.”
Instinctively, Stacie stepped back to gain some space and imagined her to-do list rather than the things she wanted him to do to her between the sheets. Maybe if she put some distance between them, she could stall even longer and Owen would forget he’d brought the topic up.
She was also trying to keep that knot from turning to something even more unpleasant, which it was threatening to do as the bile rose in her throat. She wished she had nerves of steel and could face her insecurities head-on, but that was a skill she had yet to learn. “It seems silly to keep clothes here when I can walk forty feet to my own closet.” And wear a shirt that smelled like him while making the short trek.
“I wasn’t talking about the closet.” Owen grabbed her hand and pulled her back, thwarting her attempted escape. “I meant you don’t have to live across the hall.”
And there it was, the words she’d hoped to avoid. Terror kept her body frozen in time despite the fact this wasn’t sudden. Her reaction was completely ridiculous and unfair to the man she loved. Recognizing that was half the battle and maybe her therapist would be proud, but it was the other half of the battle which was the problem. She was terrified of what Owen wanted.
He’d been hinting at it for weeks but Stacie had done what she always did in uncomfortable situations – she’d chosen to ignore the hints, hoping he would let it rest. Any excuse she gave Owen for not moving in with him was going to hurt him.
No, not hurt. Devastate.
Her fingers tapped his chest, desperate for some miracle to swoop in and rescue them both from this moment. A quick glance at Owen might lead someone to believe he was a muscle-head. He worked hard in the gym to maintain his god-like physique, every muscle perfectly sculpted. It was easy to be distracted by his physical appearance, but to know the man was to know there was more to him than just raw muscle. Behind the forest green eyes was a man who wore his heart on his sleeve. He was kind and generous, romantic and thoughtful, and also very sensitive. Stacie knew the betrayals of his two ex-wives still weighed heavily on him. She didn’t take his trust for granted, but was also sensitive to her own past and mistakes.
Maybe if he’d waited a month, let her jump the next hurdle in leaving her past behind, she would have reacted differently. Stacie hoped anyway, because she couldn’t imagine her life without Owen and she wanted moving in together to feel right. Unfortunately, his timing couldn’t have been more off.
“Don’t you think it’s a little soon for us to be moving in together?” If she could just infuse a smidgen of the self-doubt she’d been dancing with lately, maybe Owen would back off.
“Baby, we haven’t done anything slow.” Owen clutched Stacie’s shoulders with those strong hands that had a tendency to ward off her insecurities. Today, they didn’t seem to have that power.
Even so, as if she were a moth drawn to a flame, Stacie eased against Owen’s body, his warmth stoking the fire that always burned for him. She removed his towel and let it drop to their feet as she stroked his velvet skin with slow purpose. “Some things we’ve done slow.”
Owen groaned and Stacie smiled. She’d perfected the sex as a distraction technique over the last six months. She breathed in his scent, clean soap and musky aftershave suffused over his smooth skin and mixed with his natural scent. Her lips caressed the spot under his jaw that she knew drove him wild, but was disappointed when his hands dropped from her shoulders to remove her firm grasp from that most intimate part of him. Owen stepped back, his dark eyes locking on her. “You’re avoiding the subject, which means you don’t want to move in with me.” 

The Sound of Suspicion is free on Amazon January 30 – February 3.
http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Suspicion-Puget-Alive-Love-ebook/dp/B00I56PSLW

Relay for Love will be featured at a special sale price February 3 – 5 at Amazon (link included) and other ebook retailers. http://www.amazon.com/Relay-Love-Fighting-Back-Book-ebook/dp/B00ICVK7JS


A Flame Burns Inside will be featured at a special sale price February 3 – 5 at Amazon (link included) and other ebook retailers. http://www.amazon.com/Flame-Burns-Inside-Fighting-Back-ebook/dp/B00ID7XNC4

You can find Susan at:
www.susanannwall.com
www.facebook.com/susanannwall.author
twitter.com/susanannwall

Thanks Susan, for dropping by and sharing that great marketing tip.

Don’t forget to check out Susan’s free and special priced books during the next week. And come back next Tuesday for more Tips.

14 comments:

  1. Thanks, Christina. And thanks for hosting me, Beverley!

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  2. I like the idea of celebratory things for your book and haven't really thought of doing this. Shall bookmark! You book looks really fab too.

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  3. Great Tips! I didn't think about celebrating a character's birthday! What fun!

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  4. I really loved that you support our veterans! Best of luck with your books!

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    1. Thanks! I'm a veteran of the U.S. Army. My time in service was quiet compared to what troops have to endure these days. I'm happy there's something I can do from the sidelines.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your neat ideas for promotion.I can really use these to come up with celebratory promotions for my books.

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  6. Proof is in the numbers!! The Sound of Suspicion is currently #29 for free military romance and #47 for contemporary fiction > romance. All thanks to this anniversary promotion!!

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