Multi-passionate writer, author and solo-preneur

Month: September 2012

Robin Waldrop Interview and Book Giveaway!

This week we’re joined by author Robin Waldrop, who is busy making the blog circuit to promote the latest novel in her Blood Moon series, Shadow of the Blood Moon. Robin tells us about her favorite legends and how they inspire her writing and also talks a bit about the best way to market your books. And keep reading after the interview for details on how to enter and win e-book copies of not ONE, but BOTH books in this series!

Hi Robin! Thanks for joining us this week. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, business owner, and author of YA/Urban Fantasy paranormal novels. TIES TO THE BLOOD MOON is book 1 in my series and is available on all digital sites, and also print and audio as well. SHADOW OF THE BLOOD MOON is my current release and the second book in the BLOOD MOON series. 

Your Ties to the Blood Moon series explores a world of fairy tales, myths and legends. Tell us about your top five favorite fairy tales or legends.

I have such a twisted mind, my top five are as follows from least to most favorite: The Legend of Spooky Hollow, The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs, Bloody Mary, The Hook, The Killer in the Back Seat. These are all legends I grew up with, and I am sure most of us did. I can remember growing up in Ohio, a bunch of us kids would load up in four or five cars and cruise out to Spooky Hollow road where we would go ghost hunting…lol.

How much did you draw on these tales for your novels? How did you spin them to make them fit into your own world?

I didn’t per se use them in my novels, but it just goes to show you how twisted my mind can be. Needless to say, I am extremely afraid of the dark.

Do you have any advice for authors stepping into the self-publishing arena regarding marketing? What’s worked best for you, and what has proven to be a waste of time?

All I can say is SOCIAL NETWORKS! I never paid much attention to Twitter until releasing this series. I could see a major hike in sales after tweeting just a few times. Facebook is also a valuable tool. I have about 3500 friends, which comes in handy when you’re trying to spread the word. It is a lot of work, though. Don’t just use these and other social sites for your benefit. You’ve got to help out fellow authors by spreading the word for them, too. Also, if you book is free or bellow three dollars, make use of sites such as Pixel of Ink, Kindle Daily Nation, and others. Most are free and have submission forms. Just remember, it’s best to seek out these sites as soon as you have a solid release date for your novel.

How much time and energy would you suggest new authors spend on marketing versus simply writing and getting the next book out there?

I don’t know if I have the right answer or not. I do know volume sells, but you also have to let readers know you are there. I would say 75/25, writing/marketing. It’s also extremely important to start the next novel soon after you finish whatever you are currently writing. Always keep writing.

To learn more about Robin Waldrop and check out more of her work, visit her at these links:


Genevieve Labreck is back with a score to settle. Her mom has been kidnapped by Zane, hybrid and all-around monster. Rumors fly that Gen’s mom is holed away in Prague, a city recognized by humans for its serene beauty and intense culture, but Gen and Will know something humans don’t. Prague is haunted by dark, evil forces.

Can Gen and Will save her mom, or will they be too late?

Some will live, others will fall. At what price do you walk away from those you love?

Buy Shadow of the Blood Moon on Amazon or get it on Smashwords.

OR! Get it AND its predecessor, Ties to the Blood Moon, right here for FREE! To enter to win both books, just leave a comment here telling us about YOUR favorite fairytale or legend. You can also earn additional entries by 1) linking to this post from your blog or website (just leave a link here in the comments to the page you linked from); 2) sharing this post on Facebook (again, leave a link here to your Facebook timeline to show us that you shared it); and/or 3) tweeting a link to this post on Twitter (include #BloodMoonGiveaway in your tweet to be sure it gets tracked). You can earn up to four entries!

You have until midnight on September 28th to enter. One winner will be randomly chosen from the entries and announced here on Saturday, September 29th, at which time Robin will also be notified that we have a winner. The timing and method of prize delivery is up to her.


Dominion is creeping ever closer to being done and ready. Earlier this week, my job extended my lunch break to a full hour, which gives me time for writing and editing during the week. So I’ve been spending my lunch hours taking my Kindle and my notebook down to the park and camping out on a bench to work on edits while I nibble on my sandwich. On weekends, I’m typing up the edits, and formatting it for publication as I go. It’s kind of a slow way to do it, but at least it’s getting done. I think I’m still on track for a mid-October release, although I want to get a lot closer to done before I announce an official release date.

The new short story is also coming along, one scene at a time, one Sunday at a time.

In other news, the weather here in northeastern Oklahoma has finally broken and turned a bit more fall-like, although it’s supposed to creep up into the nineties this week. But at least that’s not triple digits. I sort of played hooky yesterday to get some rest and celebrate my wedding anniversary, and spent a while outside in the gorgeous weather with a book (A Dance With Dragons, YES, STILL and I’ve got about a hundred and fifty pages left to go) and a bottle of pumpkin beer, and it was sheer bliss. Between all things pumpkin starting to pop up and the Halloween candy on display at Target and the awesome weather, I think we’re officially into my favorite time of year, and it’s giving me a bit of a second wind.

And having money in the bank for a change is certainly lowering the stress levels, which doesn’t hurt.

Coming up this month, I’ve got two guest authors scheduled to do interviews and guest posts (although one of them is still tentative), one off whom (not the tentative one) will be giving away BOTH of the books in her series to my readers. And if I know my readers, her books are right up y’all’s alley. Also toward the end of the month, I’m scheduled to do an interview over at author J.A. Beard’s blog. I haven’t gotten the questions yet, but I’m excited about it. I love doing interviews.

Right, then. Back to the grind.

How To Market Your Novel (Or How Not To)

So, remember last spring, before I became way too busy to blog, how I had begun a series on self-publishing how tos and wherefores? How’s about we pick that back up with a look into my marketing plan. This isn’t so much an expert How To on marketing your book, so much as it is me thinking “out loud” about building a marketing plan for Dominion of the Damned. Let’s all learn together, shall we?

Yes, let’s.

You may recall, if you’ve been hanging out with me a while, that I didn’t really have any kind of marketing plan when I published Restless Spirits. That book was all about the learning process, and everything I did, I did by the seat of my pants (including writing it, actually; I’m normally much more of a plotter, but I totally “pansted” that one), and the majority of my efforts to publicize it happened after it was already published.

So I’m trying to be more organized with Dominion, partly for SCIENCE — let’s do a comparative study to see if pre-publication marketing, and an actual marketing plan, make a difference to book sales. Of course, it’s also partly–mostly, I’d say–motivated by the hope that indeed it will make a difference and I’ll sell a lot of books.

So let’s look at what I’ve got planned, and some of the ideas I’m still kicking around, to publicize Dominion.

  • Build a website. I’ve already done this, actually, although, as usual, I have plans to spruce it up with a custom layout if I ever find the time. For now it’s just a basic WordPress site with basic customizations. Right now it’s on a subdomain on this site. I’m on the fence about whether I should register a proper domain for it, mainly because I’m still at a place where I need to watch my spending. If money weren’t an issue, I’d go ahead and register the domain.
  • Build a mailing list. I’ve set one up already, but I still need to come up with something to entice people to take the trouble to sign up.  I also need to figure out exactly what to do with it once people do sign up. It will probably involve exclusive previews, giveaways and discounts. Maybe even the occasional flash fiction or something you can only read — or get to read first — by signing up.
  • Post an excerpt — also done. I’m also planning to include it in the back of the short story I’m currently working on, which I’ll make free for the first month or so. I might also put it at the back of Restless Spirits and do another sale or giveaway of that title. And a lengthier preview might be part of what I offer my newsletter subscribers.
  • Do a Kickstarter campaign to pre-sell copies? I’ve been kicking this idea around for a while now. I fear I don’t have enough fans just yet to make this worthwhile, but it is another avenue of publicity and raising awareness. Also, I only need to pre-sell about ten copies to raise the funds to buy the stock images I want to use on the cover, plus a few extra for the next item on my list…
  • A book trailer. I’m currently unconvinced about the effectiveness of book trailers to actually sell books, but I am convinced about the effectiveness of a good YouTube video to drive website traffic and boost SEO, so it’s worth the efffort, I think.
  • Goodreads giveaways – something else a Kickstarter could help finance. If I can’t afford to give away paperback copies, though, I can still do some sort of e-book giveaway here on the blog. And if I DO do Kickstarter, that campaign will involve various giveaways and prizes, too.
  • A blog tour — I don’t know if I’ll actually have time to organize a formal blog book tour, but I did sign back up to the IWU Blog Tour, which I think was responsible for generating the majority of my sales on the last book. Oh, and that also means that you guys have more guest posts and interviews from other Indie authors to look forward to in the near future.
  • And of course the social networking. In lieu of going into detail about that here, I’ll break down the individual networks in future posts.

So that’s the gist of my marketing plan this time around. What do you think? See any flaws in my logic, or any opportunities I’m missing? Don’t be shy about telling me so in the comments.

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