Monday, January 20, 2014

One Monday, Two Blogfests, A Marketing Symposium and Love

Love is in the Air: It's a celebration of that little thing called love. 

Of Oak and Dragons.
Lee, truly inexperienced, is making conversation with Ruen, a dragon in human form. To add to her misery, her preternatural rapier keeps injecting itself into the embarrassing conversation.

“Truly, I do not understand what emotions are so I cannot say what I am experiencing,” Ruen said.

I remained silent. The rapier rumbled but quieted into vague mutters

A ghost of a smile played on Ruen’s mouth. “The actual, physical mechanics are basic. The function to continue the species, procreation that is, seems unduly enjoyed by humans. Is it better than kissing?” 

My cheeks were on fire and I had to turn away trying to find anything that needed my attention. “Uh, I wouldn’t know.”

“What, what? You’ve never done the dirty deed?”

 “You have?” I shot back.

He shrugged and stepped next to me. Before I could stop, he took my hand again, holding it between his two large warm hands. 

“No.” His eyes came up to mine. “Never. I have not experienced that particular human act.” He pursed his lips. “Why haven’t you?”

I tried to pull my hand away but instead he enfolded me in his arms. I felt his cheek in my hair, rubbing, his breath saturating the crown of my hair to the roots.

“I haven’t found the right person to share it with, I suppose,” I said into his chest. Oh, the smell, of oak leaves and dragon. “And I didn’t want it to be a casual incident. I wanted it to be special, with someone who I loved.”

 “You wanted your first time to be special or you wanted it with someone special?” 

“Both,” I said with a cut in my voice. “What movie are you imitating now? Love Potion No. 9 or Jerry Maguire?”

He whispered, “I saw The Little Mermaid.” 

I pushed him away. He was laughing in earnest now.

Overheated minks, the rapier growled in my ear.  

He was still laughing as he followed me to the patio. 
What Works – Online Marketing Symposium: 
you tell us about a marketing idea that you've used and what worked or didn't work.

Worked: handing out large-sized rack cards (8 ¼ x 3 3/4 ) at catered meals, walk-a-thons, banks, festivals, etc. My sales shot up and it was highly rewarding.

What didn’t work was taking out ads on GoodReads. Probably that was a waste of money.

Thanks to the blogger-ifics who volunteered to put on this super get-together.

Hosts –
Arlee Bird -
Yolanda Renee -
Jeremy Hawkins -
Alex J. Cavanaugh -


  1. Handing out cards works? Wish I was brave enough to do that.
    Thanks for participating in our symposium!

    1. I have a niece who slipped the cards into her employees pay checks. Did I say highly rewarding? Try an Amazon ranking of 611 after she did that for her 1000 employees.

  2. "The Little Mermaid." Funny line! Interesting tip about the cards. I'll pass it along to my friends who live in the English-reading parts of the world. Thanks!

  3. LOL, I get the feeling Ruen is a rake, in the best sort of way. His teasing feels so NOT innocent even when his words are...well, sort of? Don't know how to say what I mean, other than he would be a handful to have around full time.

    Handing out bookmarks seems to work the best for me too. Good to know I shouldn't waste money on Goodreads!

  4. That's a great scene, I felt bad for poor Lee.

  5. I have thought of that... really I do art/design books. Thought to do a numbered hand out card that features art within my books. That would lead them to maybe wanting more, great advice.

    Jeremy H.

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

  6. Think of it this way: handing out the rack cards is equivalent to creating the same kind of buzz you want to achieve when you set yourself up at a book fair. You get a chance to create that personal link. The best thing about this is you're generally handing these out on your own turf, which is HUGE selling point. I still meet people all the time who are "wow'd" by the idea that I have a book on Amazon. Any self-published author can tell you "its not all that" to get a book on Amazon, but your Average Joe doesn't know that. Take that into account when you're handing out rack cards and make sure somewhere on there it says "Local Author" and any reader's curiosity will be piqued because you've established a link right off the bat by telling them you live in the same area. To them, it's like they now know a celebrity... silly and ridiculous as that may seem to most of us. You've created a reason for them to be a loyal reader.

    I've never passed out cards like that, but I am absolutely, positively going to do it at every festival we have from now on... and we have quite a few. Great, GREAT idea.

    And Alex... if the face-to-face is something you don't enjoy--ask friends/family or even people who already have a booth at the festival to hand them out. Me? I'm going to do it personally, but I'm also going to invite my two cute nieces to help and bring along my son. Kids sell :-)

    1. Spot-on, Matthew! Go ahead and enjoy people being impressed, and keep handing out the cards.

  7. I've got tons of bookmarks made up, but I always forget to hand them out. Guess I need to start remembering they're in my purse!!!


    Terri @ Scribbler's Sojourn

  8. LOVE that excerpt.

    Hm. I have had hand outs really pay for themselves. Could be we were just hitting the wrong venues, but maybe I'll have to revisit that one.

  9. Oh, thanks for the marketing tip! I'll be needing those soon! And great excerpt :)

  10. I have to do the handout thing. I have a thingy coming up that I'm going to try that with.

  11. Thanks for sharing that excerpt! And I loved the line about "The Little Mermaid"!

  12. Hmmm, handing out cards? I'll have to try that one day.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

  13. I definitely have to start handing out cards! ;)

  14. Loved your scene, especially the innocent, yet suggestive undertone. Fabulous! I will have to keep in mind about handing out cards/bookmarks if I ever get to that point in my writing career. Thanks for the info!

  15. Cute scene. I was hoping they'd experience it together.

  16. Handing out cards works? Really? Good to know.

  17. I didn't know handing out cards really worked!

  18. Interesting marketing tips - thanks for sharing!

  19. Handing out cards sounds really interesting. It's good to know you've been successful with that. I would love to try that one. Thanks!
    The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

  20. Awesome success with cards - I do the same but have never tackled a large crowd. Now I will, love it! So simple and yet so effective!

    Thanks for participating!

  21. I know for a fact that those Goodreads ads don't work. Well, not for me anyhow.
    Love the playfulness that comes out between your character.

  22. Your blogfest blog was just YUMMY. I felt that embrace right down to my toes.

  23. It never hurts to meet and greet the people, especially with fliers.

  24. I never thought about just handing out cards like that. Good to know that it worked!

  25. Interesting outcome for the marketing efforts. I guess you're up against so much competition on Goodreads that the ads get lost. The cards would be more targeted. I especially like the one about putting the cards in with the paychecks. Very interesting strategy.

    Tossing It Out

  26. I was asked if I meant to say "minks" as opposed to "minx":

    Answer...Yes. Minks is the correct word.

    I've heard they are quite, er, noisy when courting. Hence the rapier's comment.

  27. Ah, the more excerpt I read of this story, the more I want the whole book. The exchange between them is wonderful.
    Now stop teasing me.

    ...I'm kidding, don't stop. ^_^

  28. Hahaha that was deliciously embarrassing. I'd love to read more. ;-)

    One niggle, though. It's "minx", not "minks". Minks are weasel-like animals.

  29. Aloha,

    Good tip about the cards that worked... and a cute story about love and a dragon....

    ... but you know I'm here to give you a hard time over the comment you made on Alex's post Monday.

    You had me cackling like the bleedin' wicked witch of West Honolulu and I take offense.. it wouldn't be a like a train wreck to see me in a grass skirt... more like an interstate pile up :)

    Go on!

  30. Really, really liked your critique via Maine Words! New follower here. Nice to meet you.


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