As you can see from the pretties below, there is more involved in producing a novel than just creating a Word document and having an editor track down stray quote marks and make a few suggestions.
You have to have an intriguing cover. That means finding the right photo to start with. Not as easy as it sounds, but not a bad way to lose an hour or two, looking over tight abs and fuzzy faces. I found this guy and gal then wrote the story from the image. If you’ve read any of my books, you know that many of the same folks are in several of the stories. That’s what happens with a saga. Luke is totally new to the Fairies Saga scene, but you may remember his co-worker, Benji (The Great Big Fairy). He plays a big part in Luke The Unexpected, although he’s not the hero.
If the author hasn’t already done so, she might want to align her works with those who write in the same genre. It’s hard to launch a single title, but if an author chooses well, she may get in a box set with an author who has a passionate and loyal following. After her readers have devoured her work, they may pop over to your story (since it’s in the set and already downloaded). Hope! Hope!
Whether the novel is a single title or in a set, promotions are a necessity and that means creating enticing cards or memes. And then there’s tweeting and posting to Facebook groups and sending out newsletters, updating website(s)… Hours every day are spent on these unless you have a PA who can read your mind and knows exactly what you want.
I remember when I first started writing. That’s all I did. Write. I had three books (two of them rather lengthy) before I published one. I didn’t know the second thing about promoting (the first was a web page; I knew that). Now, I spend more time either promoting OR learning the latest tools needed to promote. And if there’s a shortcut, I’m on it!
That being said, I borrowed and modified Jacquie Biggar’s blog about our box set. Thanks for the platform, Jacquie! I’ll be there when you need me, too. (Follow her at @JacqBiggar)
Sweet Heat – Where Romance and Suspense Meet (box set of six romances)
And my contribution is… Luke The Unexpected
He’d to anything to get this hot motorcycle mama’s attention ~ (scroll to the bottom for an excerpt, but read about the other books in the set, too!)
6 NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors come together to bring you romances guaranteed to make your blood run hot! Only 99 cents. Passion, suspense, mystery. Something to suit every reader’s taste. Grab your Kindle reader and curl up with us for an unforgettable escape. Get yours today before it goes away. LIMITED TIME ONLY.
~ Roll the Dice by Mimi Barbour How can she love the guy who shoots her rather than the criminal? This powerful romantic suspense about two detectives with differing agendas, yet after the same rapist, will grab your attention and keep you riveted.
~ Two Hearts Surrendered by Tamara Ferguson After years of fighting their feelings, Luke Bryant and Kelly Callahan share an enchanting night of passion at her sister’s magical wedding. So when Luke returns home from Iraq as a disheartened wounded warrior, Kelly refuses to give up on him. But will that past night of enchantment be strong enough magic for a military hero to finally surrender his heart to the woman he loves?
~ Slow Dancing by Suzanne Jenkins After a wrong turn in Mobile, Margaret Fisher and her toddler, Ellen are lost. Then, their car breaks down in a small town in front of the garage owned by eligible bachelor, Frank McPherson. Twelve years later, the peaceful life fifteen-year old Ellen has with her stepfather is threatened when after midnight, a stranger appears at the edge of the woods. Jealousy, intrigue, and murder strive to tear them apart in this tale of unrequited love.
~ Luke, the Unexpected by Dani Haviland Brought together by their love of vintage motorcycles, Luke and Holly have more than just an out of tune Indian Chief to deal with. The spurned Tanya wants revenge, and will stop at nothing to hurt Luke and all those he cares about.
~ Missing: The Lady Said No by Jacquie Biggar The Race is on to find a Killer in the heart of Kentucky horse country Detective Augustus Grant is faced with his most baffling case to date. Well-respected race horse breeder, John Jorgenson, is murdered in his den days before the Kentucky Derby and the list of suspects is growing. Complicating matters, Gus’ ex-girlfriend is the last person to have seen the victim alive. With all the evidence pointing in Becky’s direction, will Gus do his duty? Or follow his heart?
~ Turning Up the Heat by Susan Jean Ricci Malibu O’Hare and Mark Bouchard are headed towards matrimony, until an old adversary sabotages their plans with a devious scheme. Will the sinister plots continue to succeed, or will love, commitment, and justice prevail?
Excerpt from Luke The Unexpected by Dani Haviland
The unexpected hero in threadbare jeans and a white tee shirt turned away, ignoring the oversized teenager with the bad attitude, and offered the sobbing girl his hand. “Are you all right?” he asked.
“Who are you?” Tanya replied, wide-eyed at seeing anyone else on this deserted property. She had made sure she and Tubby would be alone. And, although she was new in this small town, she would have remembered seeing a man this good-looking and broad-shouldered— here or anywhere!
“Hey!” Robbie stepped over and wedged himself in between the blonde damsel in distress and her dark-haired knight.
Luke’s eyes narrowed as he assessed the cad, noted his unsteady stance, then gave him a well-placed hip bump, knocking him to the ground.
“That’s twice you’ve knocked me for a loop,” Robbie said. “You’re a marked man now, Asshole!”
“Marked? Nope.” Luke rolled up the short sleeves on his cotton tee shirt to the top of his shoulders, flexing his muscles slightly to antagonize the chunky man-child even more. “Not marked. No tats on me anywhere. At least, that are visible,” he added with a wink to the stunned femme. “And you got my name wrong, too. It’s Luke. It’s a simple mono-syllabic moniker. It should be easy for you to remember.”
“You won’t be around long enough for…”
Luke had turned his attention back to the young, stunned woman, once again deliberately ignoring the boor.
All bullies were alike. They talked big, yelled loud, pushed and shoved those smaller than themselves, and somehow—without any specialized schooling—managed to excel in the science of intimidation.
“Hey, I’m talking to you…” Robbie tried again to get the newcomer’s attention, this time gripping Luke’s shoulder from behind.
Luke grabbed the grimy paw, squeezed fingers together until he heard a whimper, then spun away, twisting the sweaty arm up and behind the youth until he looked as if he had a duck wing, not an arm.
“Hmm. I’ll bet this is your favorite position. At least, for your victims. I’d call you by your given name, but I really don’t care enough about you to ask for it. And, since I believe you were planning on visiting some distant relative in a neighboring town — or better yet, a distant state — I’ll not bother. Now, the lady and I were just getting acquainted, so skedaddle and take your broken knife with you.”
Luke held out the knife he had surreptitiously filched during the arm-twisting do-si-do.
“But it’s not broke,” Robbie said, reaching for it.
“Well, I’ll be.” Luke flicked opened the switchblade, dropped it to the ground, then used his boot to nudge it on top of a half-buried stone. He stomped down with his size 13 Wellington, separating the six-inch blade from its plastic faux-bone hilt.
“Oh, and don’t even think about complaining to the cops or anyone else. That type of ‘shaving razor’ is illegal. I doubt you’d want to admit to any of your so-called friends that the new guy in town bested you, either.”
“No, dude, it’s bye, bye. Can you repeat after me? Bye.” Luke paused and sucked in his lips in exaggeration, then exhaled as he enunciated, “Bye,” and walked away, the young blonde clinging to his arm.
(Was this the right girl for Luke? Download the box set and find out! Oh, and thanks if you do!)