Meg’s blog is below, but I have an important message to share first! Operation Auction, in support of Fatin and her family, is still ongoing, but the chance to win my offerings ends later today. I have two things you might be interested in bidding for! ~DD
For Readers: A tote back with the reader’s choice of three signed print books, an Amazon gift card for $25.00, and various promo gifts from Delilah Devlin. Delilah does ship internationally! Bid Here
For Writers: Co-founder of RosesColoredGlasses.com and multi-published author, Delilah Devlin offers a one-on-one plotting bootcamp, with critique of the partial, when written, plus a second critique after revisions. The writer may work at his or her own pace. Bid Here
Next month I’m traveling to Los Angeles to attend my first Romantic Times convention. This is, frankly, a Very Big Deal. RT draws both writers and readers, unlike some other writing conferences that are mainly devoted to writers. At RT you can expect to meet and talk to people who might actually buy your books instead of trying to find out how to meet your editor or your agent. And because I’m going to be meeting readers, I needed to pick up some promotional materials, “promo” for short.
This was a hot topic among the Nine Naughty Novelists, seven of whom are attending the convention. What would we bring? The possibilities were endless: pens, magnets, Post-its, keychains, bubble blowers, chocolates, etc., etc., etc. At first I didn’t even want to think about it, but one morning I came across the only piece of promo I’d ever hung onto for any length of time: a bar of sandalwood-scented soap.
Soap became my first promo item. I found a site online where I could buy small bars for not a whole lot of money. I found another site that sold organza bags for ditto. I chose a scent (cherry almond) that seemed unlikely to make people think it was edible (as opposed to, say, chocolate mint). I printed up cards to go in each bag with my name, Web site, and last two book titles. And I spent a couple of evenings in front of the television stuffing soap into bags (at least my hands smelled great).
Okay, all well and good. And then somebody on one of my discussion loops mentioned book thongs. Book thongs? When I Googled them, I found directions for making what amounted to a beaded bookmark using waxed linen thread. Seemed easy enough, so I hied myself off to Michaels and bought a few supplies. Little did I know. It turns out I have a great affinity for bright shiny things (sort of like a magpie) and a hitherto unknown fascination with stringing beads. The book thongs took over my life. I bought a large jar of miscellaneous beads at an antique mall. I started checking the Sunday ads for bead specials at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. I bought a stamp with my name so that I could attach a label to each thong to identify me. To date I’ve made about a hundred of these suckers, and I may reach over a hundred by the time I head to LA. If nobody wants them, I’m going to have enough stocking stuffers for the rest of my life.
If you’re a good businesswoman, you’re supposed to keep careful track of how much you spend on promo each year so that you don’t exceed a particular percentage of your profits. One of these days, I’ll probably sit down and add everything up. But to tell you the truth, I’m a little afraid of doing that—I have a sneaking suspicion that the total is going to be really depressing. Still, I found a new hobby and my house will probably smell like cherry almond for a while.
In the meantime, anybody want a book thong?