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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Welcome Karen Witemeyer and To Win Her Heart

Please interact with our guest authors by answering the question they provide. Your response will also enter you in the drawing for a free book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


KAREN WITEMEYER writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. Her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride, is a finalist in the Best First Book categories for both the prestigious RITA® award and the National Reader's Choice Award. She makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three kids.

TO WIN HER HEART
by Karen Witemeyer
Published by Bethany House

ABOUT THE BOOK

A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?

Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets. . . .

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Levi’s renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?

Readers, buy your copy of To Win Her Heart today!

AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR FEATURE AUTHOR

Introverted Marketing

In today's publishing climate, it is expected for authors to participate in the marketing of their books. But for those of us who fall heavily on the introverted end of the I-E continuum, the prospect of marketing our books feels a lot like stepping onto the gallows where a hooded executioner with marketing plan in hand waits to throw the lever that will release the trap door and send us plunging to our doom.

OK, that might be a bit melodramatic, but you get the point. Introverts and marketing don't mix well. So how do we deal with the reality that we need to be marketing our books?

The way I've chosen to go about it is to listen to conventional wisdom then tweak it to fit my personality.
  • Book Signings
I can put on my extroverted mask for short periods of time to conduct book signings or speaking events, but I wear down quickly, so I don't participate in these events with great frequency. However, I try to capitalize on the ones I do attend by inviting everyone I can and offering lots of freebies and chocolate to entice people to my table when my less than scintillating conversation fails to do so.
  • Blogging
I don't blog. There, I admitted it. Even though marketing experts are constantly saying that writers should have a blog, I've chosen another path—the path of the guest blogger. I am lousy at chit chat, whether it be in person or online, so the idea of finding something to say to the world on a regular basis is horrifying. I'd never get my next book written because I'd be stressing over what to write in my blog. So instead of hosting my own blog, I arrange blog tours with some lovely hostesses who allow me to make a guest appearance on their blog when I have a new release to promote. This scenario preserves my sanity and keeps my name in the blogosphere at release time.
  • Social Media
Similar to the blogging issue, social media is a scary world for me. I do have a Facebook page and love to interact with readers there, but I'm not one of those clever authors who can come up with fun gems to post every day. I post maybe twice a month. However, I still use it for relationship building because every time someone sends me a message or posts on my wall or tags me in a photo, I immediately respond with a personal comment. Twitter is beyond my range, though, so don't look for me there.
  • Website
This is where I splurge. I pay to have my site professionally designed and maintained and update it regularly. I try to remember the golden rule of marketing—give stuff away for free. I give away free content like an epilogue for my debut novel and character vignettes that delve into the hobbies and backgrounds of the characters from my novels. I give away a free download of a biblical fiction piece and Bible study based on the life of Rahab for everyone who signs up for my newsletter. I also enter everyone on my newsletter list for the drawings I host each month for free books by other Christian historical fiction authors. I invite readers to dialog with me through e-mail and respond immediately to their messages. This is my favorite marketing venue. It has the comfort of welcoming someone into your home instead of the anxiety of mingling at a party where you can't seem to find a familiar face.

My latest marketing attempt is a new fan fiction contest. I'm inviting any interested readers or writers to pen an epilogue for two of my secondary characters in my latest release, To Win Her Heart. The contest runs through June 30th, and the winner will receive a $40 Amazon gift card, the epilogue published on my website, and an autographed copy of any one of my three books. I'd love to have you enter. You can find the guidelines here: http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/contest.php.

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Thank you, Karen, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: Are you an introvert or extrovert? How do you feel about marketing? What ideas do you have to help a poor introverted author like me make the most of her marketing time?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of the book above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

13 comments:

Hayden said...

I guess it depends- I'm extroverted with friends...not so much with people I don't know. I think marketing is a lot more fun (and easier!) when you get a friend or two to help you start...not that I've actually done any marketing :)

hwand at yahoo

Karen Witemeyer said...

Excellent point, Hayden. Book signings in particular are much more fun with multiple authors. That way when the table is empty of people, you have someone to chat with. And it's fun to recommend each other's books instead of tooting your own horn.

Unfortunately for me, because I'm in a smaller town, I'm usually on my own, but when I get the chance to join with others, I'll definitely snatch it up.

Judy K said...

I'm an introvert but I do like talking to people...just not getting up in front of a crowd and speaking. I nearly have fainting spells when I do that!

Would there be a chance that you could join a group of other authors and plug each others books? FB is an excellent place to do a little marketing too. Maybe a few libraries would come in handy getting the word out.

Have some book marks made up with your name and the list of your books.

I'm just rambling but hey maybe some thing sounded interesting to you!

God Bless!
judyjohn2004@yahoo.com

Karen Witemeyer said...

Thanks, Judy. Good ideas! I actually am a member of an online marketing group, and that has been a blessing. My publisher is good about giving me bookmarks and other promotional goodies for me to hand out, too.

You know it's funny. You and I are exact opposites. It is much easier for me to stand in front of a crowd and present than to make small talk one on one. Crazy, isn't it?

Have a great week!

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Ahhh yes well I am DEFINITELY an introvert so for me blogging is the way to go. I can understand where you are coming from when you say you'd never get anything done if you blogged. I know the feeling! A lot of times I get blogger block and a week will go by when I only have one or two posts and then some weeks the juices start flowing and I'll post twice everyday! I do admit to stressing out more than once per week when it comes to my blog but I do love to do it and I've met so many people that an introvert like me would never otherwise get to know. :-)

Please don't enter me I already have this wonderful book.

XOXO~ Renee C.

Karen Witemeyer said...

I know what you mean, Renee. It is so much easier to interact online than in person. For me, I think it's the fact that I can think about what I'm typing and can actually EDIT.

There's nothing worse than the pressure to say something while someone is staring expectantly at you then blurting out something stupid that you wish you could delete. So much easier to type. Although, I have been known to click send too fast, too. Oh well. Live and learn.

Martha A. said...

I am an introvert, and struggle with marketing. I feel like I am trying to push myself on them!!! Being a doula is a little difficult, when you are like "Hello, I would like to come to help you when you have your baby and this is why you need me!!"
martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Karen Witemeyer said...

Hi, Martha.

I so understand what you are saying. I would never make it as a salesman. I hate pushing myself on people, and I hate it when others push themselves on me. I always try to be very sensative to the people I'm talking with and never pressure them to buy something. I'll even go so far as to tell them we carry the books in our local library.

My philosphy is that if you are genuinely kind, they will remember you fondly and maybe someday down the line will buy a book. If not, that's fine, too. We're representing not only ourselves, but our publisher and our God. There is a much more important bottom line than money.

squiresj said...

Not sure which I am - introvert or extrovert - depends probably on situation
Marketing is a lot of work for authors.
So I do what I can by reading, reviewing and sharing all my books with others to help authors get know.
enter me to win - I've not read any of your books
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

candidkerry said...

Hi Karen,

Great to see you here! I'm an introvert but wear that extrovert hat as needed, too. It can be tiring though. :)

Your comments about blogging (or not blogging!) are spot-on. I started a blog last summer and although I really enjoy writing posts, it tends to be counter-productive. Too often my WIP gathers dust while I'm working on a new blog post. It can be difficult to balance that precious writing time.

I'm new to the writing and publishing world so I can't really offer marketing advice. But, I enjoyed each of your books so much, and I'd imagine quality sells itself. :) I hope so!

I'm finally getting started on your fan fiction contest. Very excited to write about Chloe and Duncan! (Also please don't enter me in this contest - I have tWHH.) :)

God Bless,
Kerry

Charity U said...

I too am an extrovert with friends and more of an introvert with strangers or people I don't know as well.

I'd say, practice makes perfect! Get out of your comfort zone with fans and keep up the guest posting. :) That's a great way to get your name out and about.

A more personal note: I've read "Head in the Clouds" recently and LOVED it. Absolutely terrific. It's a new favorite book. :)

Any chance I could interview you when your next book comes out? Here's my blog: http://austenitis.blogspot.com/

Or you could email:

photographer4ever832[at]gmail[dot]com

And of course, if you'd rather not, I understand. :)

Karen Witemeyer said...

squiresj - We authors can't thank you enough for all you do to help promote our books. Word-of-mouth, posting reviews, blogging - all of that makes such an impact. Thank you for supporting the authors you love!

Kerry - I'm so excited that you are entering the fan fiction contest. Hooray! I can't wait to see what you come up with for Duncan and Chloe.

Charity - Practice certainly does help build confidence. I'll keep working on my extrovert skills. :-) I'm so glad you enjoyed Adelaide and Gideon's story. I had fun putting that Texas fairy tale together. And yes, I'd be happy to do an interview with you any time. Just let me know what works for you.

Anne Payne said...

I'm an extrovert with friends, as well. Email, blogging online and FB are excellent for communicating to larger audiences. Like you said, you can edit!!! I just recently got into blogging for books, so I suppose nowadays the blog tours might be a good promotion technique.

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net