On October 19th my long-awaited (at least by me) Egyptian-themed time travel, Eye of the Pharaoh, will become a reality thanks to the wonderful people at Soul Mate Publishing.
This book has been a number of years in the making, an idea first conceived waaayyy back in 2002 on a chance trip to the beautiful Field Museum. Their Inside Ancient Egypt exhibit was breathtaking. It fueled an interest in me I hadn’t experienced since my tenth grade social studies teacher showed us slides of his vacation to the pyramids!
On my way out of the museum a made the required detour to the gift shop and spent far more than my budget could stand. I came home with three research books and a lovely, although possibly unnecessary, pair of Ankh earrings and gold-lettered t-shirt. While the books were tax deductible, I wasn’t as sure about the clothing and jewelry.
As geared up as I was to create a romance among the ancient ruins, my plans were put on hold due to those pesky life interruptions. The project was put on the back burner and all but forgotten when other stories and other opportunities came to the forefront. Then, in 2010, I received a bequest from a great-aunt. In her will she left me a gift and a note: “I don’t know why but this necklace reminded me of you.” Inside the box was a beautiful, jewel-adorned Egyptian collar. She had no way of knowing of my earlier interest in ancient Egypt. I hadn’t mentioned it, or my original intention to write a romance set there. I took this gift as a sign. I was destined to write this book. The very next day, I began again.
Over the next few years, this book consumed a huge portion of my writing time. Because I knew I couldn’t do it justice without every historical reference being perfect, I spent the first three months reading, the next three plotting, and then the next nine writing. I had other commitments I’d made prior to beginning Eye of the Pharaoh and they all had to be honored. At times, I was working on two, sometimes three, books at the same time.
Here we are. All this reading, planning, writing, editing, and more editing will come to its ultimate conclusion in a mere two weeks. Talk about excited!
I knew, after all that hard work, I needed to be just as focused and diligent about promotion. Social media is not my strong suit … I admit it, I own it. However, in this instance, I really needed all avenues of promotion to work for me. With that in mind, I’ve planned my most aggressive strategy yet.
Here are some of the highlights:
On release day, October 19th, I’ll be guesting with the fabulous Joyce Lamb over at USA Today for her HEA column. Rather than the usual questionnaire or Top 10 list of favorites, I’ve put together a post that plays on my rather “silly” personality … my Top Ten Tips For Maintaining Your Home When You’d Rather Be Reading Romance.
I also have a two week blog tour scheduled through Goddess Fish Promotions with a total of 14 stops. As well, I’ve booked six blog stops on my own and written a dozen guest posts and completed a half-dozen questionnaires.
I did a twelve-stop cover reveal in mid-September and have also glutted my Facebook page/groups and Twitter with memes I’ve created specifically to advertise the book. I’ve shared results of a recent survey conducted by myself and a handful of cross-genre authors regarding readers’ reactions to too much advertising. I was surprised to hear how turned off they can be by too many peeks at your cover!
Last, but definitely not least, I decided to drum up some business (by business, I mean reviews) by giving away copies of Eye of the Pharaoh. While the recipients aren’t required to post a review, I’ve added an incentive. I’ll be drawing a name from those who do post their review to Amazon within 15 days and giving away a $25 gift card. You might think giving away (e.g., buying) copies of your own book is counterproductive but actually it isn’t. You not only get your royalties but you also get to write off the expense on your income tax as promotion. And, if you’re lucky, the release-day jump in stats will boost your standing and result in more sales. I will keep everyone posted as to how this extreme effort pays off.
In the meantime, I have about a dozen copies left, if you’re interested you can sign up HERE.
As all authors do, I put an enormous amount of time and effort into promoting my work. Sometimes I feel like that’s all I’m doing. I also do my best to support my fellow authors, whether it’s featuring them on my blog or just sharing their posts and tweets. The romance author/reader community is a wonderful group of people and I hope to spend a lot more time among them in the coming years.
Until it’s my turn again, stay happy, stay healthy, stay well-read.