Friday, August 27, 2010

Something To Talk About (and a giveaway)

Friday, August 27, 2010
Once upon a time writers wrote the best darn story they could and their publisher handled most, if not all, of the promotion and advertising.

That was before my time.

I've been published since 2001. Even then an author was expected to invest time and money into self-promotion. Today... let's just say expectations are pretty intense. The average author is responsible for arranging their own interviews, news features, blog tours, newsletters, and booksignings. To order and purchase promo items such as bookmarks, book trailers, excerpt booklets, and (if they so desire) giveaways such as pens, notepads, buttons, etc...

A website is a must and a blog is pretty standard. Presently there's a big push for the author to engage in social networking via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and readers' sites such as Good Reads, Shelfari, and Library Thing. Although I don't know the percentage, I'm pretty sure most of the ads you see in industry magazines and readers' websites are purchased by the author. And I'm here to tell you that can get really expensive.

Kudos to the authors who have the resources and time to cover and keep up with all, or even most, of the above. I truly envy and admire those marketing dynamos. Between working a full time job and writing two novels a year, I've had to learn to pick and choose. I've tried different things over the years. Some promo efforts work for me. Some don't. Presently, I'm convinced that the thing that lifts sales most is 'word of mouth'. I see this at work all the time at the library. One patron tells another about this great book they read and suddenly that person has to have it, reads it, loves it, and tells another person and so forth. Word spreads via blogs and social networks too. A personal recommendation is a powerful thing.

I want readers to talk about me, or rather my books, and especially just now my September release INTO THE WILD.  So this time around I'm focusing on stirring up talk by giving away my authors copies. So far I've done this in my personal blog, Twitter, and Facebook. I also have a couple of guest blogs and interviews lined up and I'll give books away there too. Mid September I'm attending an Independent Bookseller trade show and I'll give away probably 30 - 40 books there. It may sound a little crazy because I guess you could consider those lost sales. But I truly believe that giving away books will generate sales... that's if the story is good.

I had a blast writing INTO THE WILD and the fact that it was voted TOP PICK by RT Bookreviews gives me hope that the story will win many a reader's heart. Hopefully, they'll be so charmed by Spenser and River's romantic adventure that they'll say to a friend, "I just read this really great story!"

This is one call she can’t resist…

When River Kane's fiancĂ© abandons her at the altar for being too conventional, she's heartbroken. But everything changes when her estranged archaeologist father sends her his journal—filled with cryptic maps and a note indicating he's in mortal danger. Worried, River faces her greatest fears and flies to the Amazon to find him. But she needs a guide. Someone completely unlike danger-seeker Spenser McGraw.

A charismatic treasure hunter who thrives on risk, Spenser hosts the popular TV show Into the Wild, dedicated to locating lost treasures and mythical icons. But River's father's life depends on discretion, and too-sexy Spenser is all about publicity. Forced to team up, they embark on a jungle adventure ripe with temptation and danger…ultimately discovering a hidden treasure that could alter history—and a steamy love neither expected.
* * *

In an effort to 'get people talking' I'm giving away two signed copies of ITW here at SIS. For a chance to win, just comment and mention one of the last books you read that you think we just HAVE to read!

(winners chosen at random and announced Saturday morning)

SIS Beth


Edie Ramer said...

Great contest! Love the blurb for Into The Wild.

This last week I read two terrific books that I'll recommend to anyone. Killing Tide by P.J. Alderman and Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper.

Beth Ciotta said...

Edie, so glad you like the blurb! Thanks for entering and thank you for the recs. Love the title Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs. Sounds fun!

SIS Beth

Elle J Rossi said...


I'm certain everyone will be charmed by River and Spenser. I know I am!

I like Edie's rec. I'll definitely check out Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs.

I'm reading Demon From the Dark by Kresley Cole. Her writing is simply amazing. And for the first time in quite awhile, I'm actually thorough;y enjoying even as I'm ripping it apart so I can learn. This book is book 8 of her Immortals After Dark series. If you like a cast of unforgettable and fantastic characters, this is the series for you. Oh, did I mention that the steam factor is off the charts?!?!

Beth Ciotta said...

Okay Barb/Elle. You've sold me on the Kresley Cole series. I take it I should definitely start with book #1?

SIS Beth

Krys said...


Reading about everything that an author is responsible for makes me wonder the obvious: What does an agent/publishing company do? What is their investment in the scheme of things? I'm really in the dark about the whole thing, and I'm also ashamed to say that the book I'm currently 'reading' is Out of Eden...I read in fits and starts here and there and it takes me forever to finish a book, if I finish it in the first place!

Beth Ciotta said...

Krys, it depends on what level you're at in your career. Obviously it works a little differently for a NYT bestseller. Also the more successful authors probably hire publicists to handle the bulk of their promo.

An agent's main gig entails him/her shopping, pitching and selling your books. That means they have to be savvy to the industry and market and to have strong connections with editors at different houses. They also negotiate your contract. That's a big deal. My agent also reads my work and offers suggestions. She handles the 'business' aspects of my relationship with my editor and publisher. Talks me down when I'm in any crisis mode and is my fiercest champion overall. She also helos to guide my career.

The publisher is responsible for many things, including editing, printing, distributing, and marketing the product in all its many forms (print, audio, e-book, foreign language). They It's complicated and lengthy and I'm not really qualified to list details. Also the hows, whats, and whys of publishing are rapidly changing due to the explosion of digital publishing.

As for what you are reading... Woo-hoo! I'm honored. I don't care how long it takes... as long as you get to the end. I promise it'll be worth it. :)

SIS Beth

Krys said...


Thanks for the info, now I think I have it! I'll finish the book, I promise.

Tura Lura said...

Into the wild sounds really cool. I'm looking forward to reading it. ^_^

I've recently read the first six books in the Artemis Fowl series for kids/young adults. I can not recommend it enough. It was incredible. I don't know why I waited so long to read it! (I'm on the waiting list at the library for the seventh and final book.)

Also Night Myst by Yasmine Galenorn is mind-blowing. Yeah. I would call it a must-read, especially if you like urban fantasy/paranormal romance. ^_^

mariska said...

i've been wanting to read this book, after reading the blurb !

my last great reading was back to back of The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost. i just couldn't go to sleep before i finish each book in a day :) this series is awesome.

uniquas at ymail dot com

Roni denholtz said...

Can't wait to read Into the Wild! I love your books...ever since the early ones! I think my all-time favorites are CHARMED and ALL ABOUT EVIE. As far as books I've read recently...I just read "Catch of a Lifetime" the third of Judi Fennell's Mer trilogy. I've loved all of them. Like you Beth she has a lot of humor in the books but also like you, her books are very romantic. I think your novels have a lot in common because of this. I also read Heather Graham's "Nightwalker" last week and enjoyed that a lot too.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Beth! It's been far too long since I've come by to visit you SiSers! Congrats on your latest--can't wait to add that to the TBR!

As for recent reads I recommend--Susan Sey's debut Money, Honey; Ava Gray's Skin Tight... I know there are more--my mind's gone a bit blotto at the moment ;)

Beth Ciotta said...

Hi, Tura, and welcome to SIS. Join us anytime!
I haven't read the Artemis Fowl seriesyet. I do know hat it's very popular at my local library. Sounds like I'm missing the fun. Thanks for the rec!

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

Mariska, I've heard the Night Huntress series is fantastic. It's been on my list, but I've fallen behind. So many great books, so little time. Thanks for the reminder!

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

Hi, Roni! You always say the sweetest things! Thank you. :)

As for Catch of a Liftime, I have GOT to read that. Have heard so many wonderful things. And of course, you know, I love Heather's books. Great recs!

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

Fedora!!!!!!!!!!! Long time, no see. Thanks for chiming in and giving us more great books to talk about. Hope all is well in your world!

SIS Beth

billybob said...

You know I love your books since I've written to you on Facebook. You are one of the BEST.

Could not find even ONE of your books at the library the other day. Good for you, bad for me. So I picked up "Candy Apple Red" by Nancy Bush & I'm loving it.

Phyllis Coppolino

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