To Promote Or Not To Promote

To Promote or not to promote

I’ve just celebrated the release of, Just Friends and I’m once again stuck with this dilemma. Should I promote my release or let it fall by the way side and do nothing? These are always tricky questions I face. I promote by putting my release out there on Facebook, Twitter and here. I also use the yahoo groups but I wonder if I should leave it.

Are readers fed up of authors promoting their work? What should I do?

I’m not one of these people who expect their work to be picked up just because it is out there. This may not sound very confident but my work is my baby. It is part of me. I’ve sat with the characters as they’ve made their choices. I don’t always agree with their choices but I have to follow the way they want the story to go. This is crazy. I’m the writer; I’m the one in charge. I have to say that is not always the case. I have to let my characters be in charge. It is there story and I follow what is right for them.

Anyway, going back to my post about promoting.

I’m first and foremost a reader. I love books and finding new authors is a real passion of mine. There is nothing like finding a book from an author and being so taken that you have to have everything they ever wrote. I’ve had this many times and I could have lists going on for most of this blog.

Okay, I’ll write a few lol.

Heather Rainier

Stacey Espino

Delilah Hunt

Jayne Rylon

Lorelei James

Jenika Snow

Raine Miller

These are just a few authors. I have many more,

Anyway, when I see them post anything about a new release I’m on it. I don’t see it as promoting because they’re the books I want to read. They are the authors I adore.

But, does that mean I should promote or not?

During promotion I ask questions and that means I’m open to all questions. I love talking with other readers and finding out what they’re reading and to a point this is all kind of promotion, it just doesn’t come directly from the author.

What do you think? Do you like authors promoting? Would you rather we stop?

I really would love to know your thoughts from authors and readers alike.

Sam 🙂

 

Guest: Heaven Liegh Eldeen

Hello and welcome Heaven Liegh Eldeen to my site. She has so graciously agreed to be interviewed.
So lets begin…
1) First, tell us a little about yourself so the readers know who you are? 
Thank you for having me, Sam. I currently live in California, where I grew up, with my husband and prince of darkness and Legos, a.k.a my son. I enjoy moonlit walks on the beach…oh, wait, wrong questionnaire. As you can see, I am a serious goofball. Yeah, figure that oxymoron out. Aside from writing, I spend my days doing dishes, kissing owies, obsessing over my Facebook page, and pretending I’m listening when my husband talk about his work.
SC: It is a pleasure having you here. 
2) What made you decide to write? Was it something you accidentally began? Or what you wanted to do? Or annoying character who refused to leave until their story was told?  
My writing career began with a rivalry between my sister in law Echo and myself. For years we would go fist to cuffs until finally we took a survey of the collateral damages our feuds caused. In an effort to put an end to the squabbling, she gave me a vampire book for my birthday. It was far from the genre I enjoyed reading, but I had to give it a chance, in an effort for peace. A few months and fifteen vampire books later, I expressed to her I wanted something new. She responded with a snippy “Oh, you think you can do better?” Her reply was intended to be a shot at me but I took it as a challenge. Four months later, my first novel was complete and the love for writing had made its home deep within me.
SC: Everyone who knows me knows how much I love and adore vampires lol
3) I love hearing about first acceptances as an aspiring writer and now that I am e-published, I still love hearing about them. So tell us about that first acceptance. 
Before I received my first acceptance letter, I was really questioning my abilities as a writer. Rejection letter, after rejection letter filled my inbox. No company I sent my pitch to would even read my manuscript due to my lack of credentials and education. I couldn’t really blame them to be honest. I knew being a high school drop out with no writing experience would be a tough sale. And though the rejection letters took a toll on me every now and then, I wasn’t going to give up so easily. 
 Then the big day finally came. No joke, when I read The Demon Side’s acceptance letter from Decadent Publishing I cried like a baby for a good hour. I called my husband at work, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe, which totally scared him. Fearing an emergency my husband came zooming home. He didn’t even clear his motorcycle in the garage when I flung myself into his arms balling my eyes out. He squeezes me and says “Okay baby, tell me why I’m about to go to prison for killing someone.” The man still hadn’t figured out I was crying because I was happy. 
Finally gathering my composure I told him that my novel was going to be published. Before I could let go of him he began jumping up and down, still holding onto me. We stood there hugging for a good thirty minutes. It is one of my most precious moments ever!  
SC: I know exactly what you mean, the rejections suck but when the acceptances appear it is still the most amazing thing in the world. 
4) Tell us about your current release? Where can readers buy it from? 
The Demon Side centers around Rahovart, a Demon banished to Earth over five hundred years ago. For centuries, he spends his free time feeding himself on the fear he creates by scaring Quantico, Virginia locals. A master of his craft, Rahovart doesn’t think twice when a new family, the Divad’s, move into the Victorian home he dwells in. 
With a workaholic father, an alcoholic step-mother and a schizophrenic eighteen year old girl, the dysfunctional family unknowingly offers the perfect arsenal for Rahovart to plan his tricks. That is until he learns their daughter; Etta can not only see Demons but is already being tormented by Alastor, an incubus. What starts as a turf war between him, Alastor and the Arch Angels, soon becomes a battle deep within Rahovart of good versus evil and more importantly love versus hate. 
The Demon Side will be available through decadentpublishing.com October 21st, 2011.
SC: Sounds fantastic and good luck with many wonderful sales. 
5) What are you currently writing?
I am currently putting the finishing touches on The Human Side, sequel to The Demon Side as well as four other novels. I have written another novel, Vineyard House, which is currently in the revision process, so hopefully here soon it will be in editing!
SC: It is one long list and honey it will only get longer lol. 
6) What inspires you most when you write?
Apart from personal life experiences, my family definitely inspires me, without a doubt, to move up and forward. Of course, I must give credit to music as well. A ton of songs on my IPod have given me the courage to push myself farther than I ever imagined I could.
7) What experiences have you had working with your publisher/s?
Everyone at Decadent Publishing has been fabulous from day one. Not once have I felt out of my league. They have been great, walking me through every process step by step and answering my million and one questions about the process as a whole. A special thanks has to go to my editor, Terry MacFarland, since she caught the brunt of most of my newbie questions.
SC: Being new everything is daunting and that feeling still hasn’t changed for me. 
8) What are you reading now?
I am currently reading What Tangled Webs by Dan Dillard. Filled with incredibly scary and yet hilarious short stories, I can’t put it down. Next on my “to read” list is ‘Steamside Chronicles’ by Ciar Cullen. I absolutely love her work.
9) What are your guilty pleasures?
Besides hiding the bacon from my husband? I enjoy so much in the world, but none you could say is a guilty pleasure. I do have pleasures that may end up in me having to plead guilty, such as taste testing grapes at the super market. Yes I am that lady!
10) What would be your advice, if any, for other aspiring authors?
It sounds corny and I am sure you have all heard it all too often, but no advices rings truer than never…ever…never give up. Every rejection letter is one step closer to an acceptance letter. And remember, your success can only be measured by what you put in the scales.
Thank you for being on my blog today. 
This is for you to talk more about yourself, leave your blogging details, site details and generally promote yourself.
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of working with twelve other outstanding authors on a short horror story, which you can read at http://www.scareitforward.com. Also, you can always find me posting excerpts, character interviews and bios, along with a few other snippets, on my blog at http://heavenliegheldeen.blogspot.com. Want to know more? Check out The Demon Side on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter!
BLURB:
When worlds collide…
Every kid has problems. Every kid has even more problems when they move to a new home. But when a kid with problems moves to a new home that has a Demon living inside it—look out!
Etta’s world is about to spin out of control when she encounters her new roommate—and Rahovart, that ancient trickster, is in for a few surprises too. So don’t mind all the crashing and rumbling; that’s just the normal noise Angels and Demons make when they’re fighting an epic war in the attic.
One thing’s for sure: Etta and Rahovart will have to go through Hell to Heaven and back again before that old Victorian home in Quantico Town finally quiets down…

Excerpt:

Etta plopped back onto her bed and stared at the ceiling for a few moments. I wished I could hear her thoughts. Her father had just admitted to being a murderer for all practical purposes, though that was not how I viewed him. I truly believed John only tried to save the village, but his fervour and some help from a desperate Alastor, turned what should have been a heroic act into a bloodbath. Many men have unknowingly fallen from grace in the name of the greater good. Now, hopefully Etta would see that her father was just the victim of blurred lines between good and evil.
“What are you thinking?” I asked as I lay down next to her on the bed.
“Can a person still go to Heaven even if they’ve killed someone?”
“Well, I’m not in the business of getting people to Heaven, Etta. That’s the last place I want them to go,” I reluctantly replied.
“Even if it were me?” Etta stared hard at me with watery eyes, looking right into my blackened soul. I never gave much thought to where her soul would go, except to stop her from mistakenly giving it to me.
“That is a choice for you to make. I can’t force you to choose a side. I can only put the temptations in front of you.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“What do you want me to say? I want to see you burn in the depths of Hell? You’ll never hear that from me. Only you and your actions can decide where you go when you leave this world.”
“I would go if it meant I could be with you, you know.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” As much as I would have loved for that to be the case, her comment angered me. I couldn’t imagine a person like her becoming something like me.
“I know that when you’re around I feel safe nothing could ever hurt me. I get butterflies in my stomach when you touch me. I know your soul, Ra. I don’t know how, but I know. I knew it the second I saw you. You weren’t meant for this existence. You fought for good once, and I’m certain you will again.” Etta was strong in words. She spoke with solid confidence. She described what I felt. Heaven Liegh Eldeen will be giving away one free e-copy of the Demon Side so please don’t forget to leave a comment. 

Guest: Tessa Wanton

Hello and welcome Tessa Wanton to my site. She/He has so graciously agreed to be interviewed. 
So lets begin…
1) First, tell us a little about yourself so the readers know who you are? 
Hi Sam, thanks for speaking to me – so a little about myself? Well, I am a new writer, I’ve had lots of ideas and a burning urge to write for a very long time, but only took the plunge very recently. In my early years, I trained at University to be a composer, and creating art has always been the biggest part of who I am. In recent years I went back to singing in small groups. For me, picking up a piece of music, working with the other members of the choir to produce something exquisite in the shortest time possible is just so alluring for me. You know when it’s right when your audience just completely get sucked in to the moment you’ve created. In a nutshell, I live for music, writing, reading and keeping in touch with good friends, old and new, and living life for every second I’m given. SC: It is lovely to know a bit more about you. 
2) What made you decide to write? Was it something you accidentally began? Or what you wanted to do? Or annoying character who refused to leave until their story was told?
I’ve always loved to day dream and constantly have stories running through my head, and when earlier this year I was made redundant, I had lots of time on my hands when I wasn’t applying or interviewing for jobs. I started to research into different topics that I’d always been fascinated with, and stories started to shout at me that they needed to be written. Tess began her journey, and my next WIP also commenced in parallel.  
SC: At least you are having an opportunity to work with your craft
3) I love hearing about first acceptances as an aspiring writer and now that I am e-published, I still love hearing about them. So tell us about that first acceptance.  
My first experience is very recent so I can remember exactly how it happened! I had a ghost account on a lifestyle website, and I started to post snippets of ‘The Training of Tess’ testing out my ideas and just enjoying the process, thinking nothing more of it. I garnered a number of positive comments and Gina from Naughty Nights Press commented on a few of my instalments and suggested I finish up the story and submit it to them for consideration. Completely knocked off my feet by the thought, I couldn’t believe that anyone might want to read my stories, let alone think about parting with money for it however little that might be. I almost chickened out, but in a moment of madness I polished the story, added some more depth to the characters and flung it out to it’s fate. I had never been so terrified, I waited for the ‘thanks but no thanks’ or ‘hmmmmmm nice try, have you thought about keeping your day job?’, but much to my delight, the acceptance and contract came through quickly. What’s more the release date was also quick, so for the past few months I’ve been a ridiculously over excited nightmare!
SC: You have made me chuckle. This was a wonderful acceptance. Gina is a lovely woman. 
4) Tell us about your current release? Where can readers buy it from? 
My current release is ‘The Training of Tess’ and it can be purchased from 30th September 2011 from Amazon and Smashwords. The book is an exploration of a young woman who has always been fascinated with the world of BDSM, needing, craving, yearning to know more about what it means to be submissive. I wanted the book to connect with the readers on an emotional level, to identify with Tess and her Master and to feel like they are there with them. The BDSM lifestyle is not just about bruising and beating and degradation, there is such a deep connection which is made between a Master and their submissive. Care and love forms strongly in many partnerships because of the trust that is essential to fully immerse oneself in the training and experiences shared. It’s quite funny though, because so many who have read it have asked me if it is autobiographical. I’m still undecided whether to tell the truth, or just leave the reader guessing! Now – is that cruel? *laughs*
SC: Sounds fantastic. 
5) What are you currently writing? 
Currently I’m writing the second instalment of Tessa’s adventures, and also finishing off the WIP that I mentioned earlier. It’s still BDSM but definitely with a different twist to which I’m hoping my readers will enjoy. 
6) What inspires you most when you write? 
Inspiration for me comes from turning an idea which has attracted me over and over in my head, looking at it from all different perspectives, trying to spot something which might not be obvious at first. Trying to figure out what it was that caught my attention in the first place. I like to make people think – there really is nothing better than that moment when a revelation pops into your head and there’s that ‘OMG’ moment that you’ve figured out the answer for yourself. I live for that moment, that questioning, that ‘what if?’, and I hope I can do that for my readers too.
SC: Love it when that happens. 
7) What experiences have you had working with your publisher/s?
Well, I can honestly say that I’ve had a fantastic experience with my publishers Naughty Nights Press, and although I’ve not experienced any other publishers, if they’ll keep taking my work I see no reason to move on. They’ve been fantastically supportive, and seem to have the same level of ridiculously fizzy enthusiasm about the whole process that I have! The community they’ve introduced me to has opened a whole new world of fantastic writers to me, and so many wonderful new friends who now form part of my every day life. I think I’ve been incredibly lucky as I’ve heard some horror stories, but in my case, it’s like a dream come true.
8) What are you reading now? 
My current read is ‘Consider Phlebas’ by Iain M Banks. I love sci-fi, always have, and I’d always meant to read Iain M Banks but for some reason hadn’t. My Dad recommended it, so as I had been bought a Kindle for my birthday, I downloaded it and read it on my daily commute. I’m glad it’s a long series as I tend to devour books at a rate of knots.
9) What are your guilty pleasures? 
Oooh now you’re asking. I’m not sure there’s enough space for me to describe all of them, but I love mint choc chip ice cream, Chill DAB radio when I’m relaxing, hot baths with so much scented bath oil it takes extreme care to exit the bath for fear of slipping, incense sticks, Mathmos Lamps (I have rather a lot…) and shoes. Of all types and styles. I cannot get enough of shoes. And nail varnish. Hmm the more I think the more I could state, but I love life, so guilty pleasures? Why save them for special occasions, spoil yourself now! That sounds terribly indulgent doesn’t it?
SC: You’re a writer, you could always call it research lol 
10) What would be your advice, if any, for other aspiring authors? 
I would say that although it is easy to doubt yourself, you have to keep plugging away. Even with comments which seem nasty and negative, look for the positive and realise that there is always something that could be used for good, and prove them wrong. Life is one huge learning experience and as long as you’re learning then there will be improvement and progress. Just keep going, make sure that your voice is heard and reaches the audience that’s waiting patiently to hear what you have to say. 
This is for you to talk more about yourself, leave your blogging details, site details and generally promote yourself.
I am quite active in the social media scene because I love to keep in touch with people – the best resource that is out there for researching real life experiences. Please look me up and say hi, although the time differences around the world sometimes mean I can’t talk in real time, I’ll always reply eventually if you’re patient!
Twitter:- @DesireDarkly
FetLife:- Tessa_W

One lucky commenter will receive a free e-copy of, The Training of Tess

The Training of Tess by Tessa Wanton

Excerpt

Tessa fidgeted nervously as she smoothed the wrinkles from her figure-hugging pencil skirt. Shifting her gaze from the countryside rushing by, she glanced impatiently at her phone again; nothing. The last words she had read that morning from Him had been today is the day Tessa. She had scrolled up and down the list of messages she had received from Him countless times as she had sat there, double-checking and triple-checking to ensure that she would fulfill His instructions exactly. You will catch the 10:13 train to London, Victoria and alight when I tell you. You will then go to the front of the station and take the nearest taxi. Tell him to take you to Court Road. When you arrive there you will see two post boxes. Get out of the car, pay him and await instructions.
An involuntary shiver ran the full length of her spine as she sat on the train, waiting, anxious for that message. She perched on the edge of the seat, waiting for each stop, knowing she might have to dash for the door to make sure she didn’t miss the stop. Suddenly, her phone vibrated in her trembling hand. Now it said and with that Tessa stood and moved to the door. She appraised her reflection in the glass of the door – green satin blouse, black cardigan, black pencil skirt, sheer black nylons and her comfortable black slip on patent heels. He had requested she wear her turquoise underwear for their meeting, so Tessa had thought that accessorizing her flame red hair with a forest green blouse would also please Him. She had an insatiable need to please this man like nothing she had ever felt before.
He had crashed headlong into her life some three weeks earlier. Tessa had always been fascinated with the Dominant/submissive lifestyle, and she was – she felt, a very submissive person. In her real life people knew her as a feisty, headstrong and passionate woman; no one would ever have described her as submissive. But then she had learned over time, that being submissive didn’t mean she had to be a doormat, it meant to her that she wanted to hand over her control, her welfare, her safety, to someone else. Throughout her life she had maintained an iron grip on her personal control, organized to the extreme in her work and home life, highly respected in her profession as a Personal Assistant, so used to controlling others to ensure success. But what she truly wanted deep down inside, was a man who could take her to that special place of freedom she had heard and read so much about. To experience true freedom within her mind.
She had signed up to a BDSM lifestyle website to learn more about what it was to attain this ‘sub-space’ she had heard about. Peppering her profile with photographs she felt were ‘artistic’, and writing a personal passage about who she was had attracted plenty of admirers, but no one she had particularly connected with. She wasn’t looking to find a soul mate, or even a playmate, just someone to discuss her thoughts and passions and desires with. It was out of the blue that a message had dropped into her inbox. He handled each conversation they had with courtesy and interest, drawing more and more information out of her without her even realizing. Or maybe she did and she was already walking towards this man instinctively, already feeling the urge to please Him in any way He desired. She couldn’t place when her thoughts turned to Him entirely- it wasn’t long after they had started talking. He had even managed to find out where she worked, and after a few days of messaging back and forth, He called her anonymously at her desk. He had used a fake name to convince reception to pass Him through to her, and when He spoke, He had teased her with His low voice pressed to her ear. “Imagine this voice Tessa, speaking in your ear in person, knowing that whatever I say next, you must submit without question…” At that point Tessa felt the intense pangs of fear and panic that she had been hunted down so easily, what else did this man know about her in but a few days? She did not even know His name.
Two days later she met Him for the first time. She had just had a difficult meeting in the city and had been dropped off at the local car pool to collect her car when she had been pressed firmly against her door from behind.
“Hello Tessa” He had breathed in her ear, “I suggest you get in my car.” Near paralyzed with fear she turned slowly and looked straight into intense sparkling brown eyes, flecked with green, there was no way she would deny Him, all of her life-long fantasies were coming true. They had gone to a local park, where He had run His hands over her shaking body, entwined His fingers in her hair and pulled her to His lips where they kissed deeply and passionately, her body melting further with each kiss and caress. His hands were so gentle, but firm enough to know that there really was no escape. He worked over her clothed body, gradually relaxing her until He slipped His hand under her top and slid His fingers inside the lacy material of her bra, slowly releasing her right breast. Her heaving chest betrayed her fear and lust, a deep red flush creeping across her as He leaned in and sucked her nipple deep into His mouth. She moaned loudly, eyes closing and arching her back to push into Him, taking her so close to the edge of climax then instinctively stopping His exploration of her body. Pulling away from her, He held her gaze, fingers once more tightly wrapped in her hair.
“I am going to enjoy you,” He uttered as she gasped to regain her composure. Every word He spoke to her was like a lightning bolt straight to her sex. Deep and powerful, she had to know more about Him whatever the cost.