Sunday, January 20, 2013

Glendale Chocolate Affaire

Once again the Valley of the Sun Romance Authors will be hosting one of the largest romance author booksignings in the Southwest at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire. You can find our booth on the east side of Murphy Park which is located at 58th and Glendale Avenues.  Event hours are Friday 5 - 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

While strolling through the park, you'll find vendors selling chocolate-covered strawberries, bananas, ice cream, etc. Activities for children include face-painting and rock-wall climbing, plus couples can take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Whatever you do, don't forget to drop by and say hello to the romance writers. We often give out bookmarks and other freebies. This year we will have a  mock romance novel cover cut-out for photo opportunities. Don't forget to bring your camera or cell phone to take that memorable picture.

Romance authors love to meet readers and discuss their books or even their writing process. And if you find books you would like to purchase, not only will the author sign them for you, but our cashier will place your books inside of the red tote bag shown above, which lists the names of some of our authors. (Bags are limited to the first 250 customers.)

If you are interested in becoming a writer, we will also be giving free writing workshops on Saturday.

For more information on the Chocolate Affaire go to

Sunday, January 13, 2013


This month we are discussing promotion. It might as well be a four letter word for some writers. Trying to decide what works and doesn't work in promoting your books can be frustrating. Although we write because we enjoy creating stories, most of us would enjoy making more money selling our books. Many writers have grand dreams of quitting their day jobs, or retiring one day, to write full time. Some writers are fortunate, their book catches on by word-of-mouth and book sales take off. That is more the exception than the rule.

Writers are left searching for ways to promote their book without breaking the bank. Bookmarks are popular. Unfortunately, many writers give them out at conferences to other writers and they usually get tossed. I make beaded ones hoping they are less likely to be tossed. Pens with your logo are useful and less likely to be thrown away, but I don't know how many of them result in sales. I do remember seeing Linda Style's name on Emory boards year-after-year and I did buy a couple of her books. The idea is to get name recognition so when a reader sees your name on a book, she'll know she's hear of you.

Social media is another way to get your name out there. I have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and two blogs. Facebook and Twitter seems to be mainly writers friending writers. Pinterest allows access to a wide variety of people who may or may not be readers. Your best best may be blog tours and blog hops. You want to focus on blogs that attract readers and readers will come for the prizes on blog hops.

There are two things to remember when promoting your books:
1. You want to focus on reaching readers.
2. You don't want to use up all of your writing time to promote.

Until next time,
happy writing and reading!
Tina Swayzee McCright