Tag Archives: publishing

Learning the Hard Way

Nov 14 RWRI received my issue of the latest Romance Writers Report yesterday (the November issue), and was thrilled to find inside its hallowed covers not only an article featuring our very own Kerri Carpenter, but a mention of the Waterworld Mermaids blog as well…WOOHOO!

The article, by Laura Kaye, is called “Getting the Call, Despite Ourselves.” Kerri, along with other seasoned romance authors such as Mindy Klasky and Jill Shalvis, volunteer some of the mistakes they made on their road to publication.

It is never easy, this thing that we do…even when it seems like we’re getting cake, we know that we’ll be running marathons to work those calories off somewhere down the line. Some of us get lucky on that first break, but even those of us who did still pay our dues at some point.

Kerri explains in the article that her path to publication took seven manuscripts and thirteen years…and that she wished she had known more about the writing community and what it could offer her before she tried doing it all on her own.

But that’s not every writer’s tale. Your mileage WILL vary.

My first publication was a Cinderella story–the manuscript that someone else submitted for me on my behalf, without me really knowing, the call I almost didn’t get because I had included zero contact information on the document. Thanks to years of being Teacher’s Pet in school I had at least been intelligent enough to put my name in a byline.

But it’s been an uphill battle ever since, one that includes economic collapse, government shutdowns, lost orders, unrenewed contracts, publisher bankruptcy, and Maurice Sendak dying on the day my first novel was released.

Oh, yeah…and then there was that time I accidentally responded to a forwarded email instead of the person who *sent* the email, and I accidentally told an editor exactly what I thought of her editing style. (It was not kind. It was, thankfully, brief, and fences were carefully mended after an overseas delivery of very expensive chocolates.)


Writers, if you haven’t screwed up yet in publishing…don’t worry. You will. One of the most poignant–and to me, the most meaningful–quotes I took away from the RWA conference this year in San Antonio was Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ comment: “You WILL embarrass yourself at least once, at every conference.”

And WOW is that so true. I’m here to tell you that right now. Nobody is perfect. It’s what you do after the gaffe that defines who you are.

Like all the other mistakes, you just have to own it, embrace it, forgive the person you may have injured in the process…and above all, forgive yourself. Then move on, because if we don’t keep moving, we die. Like sharks. It’s just the Way of the Lagoon.

So, I’d love to hear if you’d like to share…what are some of the publishing mistakes YOU’VE made?

Kerri Carpenter, RWR Nov. 2014

Congrats, Kerri!


2014 Social Media Marketing (Yeah, for Books!) – What’s Your Plan?

Denny (PortRoyale)This post has a bit of snark in it so be warned…

And yeah, another title for this post could be: How to Overwhelm and Entertain in 1000 words or less…anyway…:)

I hang out online an average of 90 minutes a day. And no, it’s not 90 minutes that I could have spent writing, or cleaning or doing something else. I am deliberately ‘hanging’ out because the source of information that is most readily attainable is online. It is NOT on TV (well, to me, I hate television news, cable o r network), it is not on the printed page (although, I do miss when back in the day, I’d spend an entire Sunday at a ¬†cool brunch spot on the north side of Chicago, reading the Sunday New York Times and Chicago Tribute – it was so relaxing and so Zen of us:) – and its not only on Facebook (Internet, yes, but not the only source of information left on the planet).

So let me get to the point of this post. I’ve gathered a list of articles from the Internet you should read or at least skim if you intend to have a ghost’s chance in hell (watching way too much Supernatural) of effectively, consistently, and painlessly (or less painfully) using social media tools to sell/market your books and/or your brand.

And yes, if you write books to sell them, you must know and participate in the marketing of your books.

And oh, in case you stumble upon this article, and wonder who in the heck is spouting all of this information as if she knows something? Well, for the sake of credibility, in my other life, I have been a marketing professional for 25+ years – if that doesn’t work for you (I spend 90 minutes a day on the Internet, I’ve got to know something about something, right?)

Authors often look at other authors to get their perspective on what’s going on in the social media marketing arena – which is absolutely fine. We all know romance writers who are doing an exceptional job of marketing and using social media in a smart, straightforward, fresh way. And then there are those like me, marketing professionals who are writing popular fiction, romance or whatever and will be publishing or published by someone at some point, if they aren’t already off and running.social-media-marketing1

But in addition to gaining insights from authors who have great savvy about social media marketing or marketing pros who specialize in the publishing industry, I like to take a look at what the big boys in corporate marketing are doing as well.

Below are a few links. You don’t need to study every word of these articles (as if you would:), but take a moment, see what is being forecast and compare to your current social media marketing plan (and yes, you should have a plan, you don’t have time–hours in a day–to be haphazard). See if there’s something out there that’s new, or can be used differently, or more consistently, to deliver on your bottom line – which is (say it with me) – selling MORE books by finding new readers, and keeping the ones you have HAPPY. (And yes, the best way to do this is to write the best books you can write…but even that doesn’t always guarantee SALES, and/or readers, unfortunately.)

So here goes:

Social Media Marketing (Some links to take a peek at…)





Okay, to recap…what’s going to be hot IMHO (or at least worth exploring):

  1. Google +
  2. Content continues to be KING (no joking)
  3. Content should include video or at least images (the eye likes a quick fix)

Big News in Publishing (or at least the most recent) and other Kick Ass Stories you May Have Missed!

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/page.aspx/LYRICALPRESS¬†(Why is it Big News? It marks a trend you will see repeated. It’s all about where the readers – and book buyers are – putting all of your eggs in one print basket isn’t the way publishing works anymore, and you’ll see this trend duplicated, again and again. That’s my predication:)…





That’s it friends…some food for thought:)!

Happy New Year!

Also, feel free to ask questions, or complain below:)…or let me know if you have a social media marketing plan, and whether you are published or pre-published, are you thinking about your brand, or if you don’t care about marketing, let me know, I’m just curious…:)