Her books have finaled in national contests: National Readers' Choice Award, Georgia Romance Writers Maggie, and several others. During her 25-year writing career, she's mentored a half-dozen or more writers who have gone on to publication. And she worked for local newspapers for several years writing a by-lined column "It Ain't Necessarily So."
Learn more about Joyce at http://www.joycehendersonauthor.com/
Promotion: It sucks. Words of wisdom (?) from Joyce Henderson
Thanks for having me, Anna Kathryn. Although, you may rue the day.
I'm here to discuss promotion. What does that have to do with writing novels?
Precisely. I'm so glad you asked! It's the conundrum most published authors find themselves dealing with when we'd rather be left alone to write our stories.
Some of us are sorting through all the promotion avenues open to today's writers. This blog venue is one platform many writers believe works for them. Other online promotions are: a website, newsletter, teaching online classes, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, book trailers, interviews, both online and live―on TV or radio.
Then there's the in-your-face promotion. I along with about 2000 other Romance writers recently attended Romance Writers of America National Conference in Orlando, FL. I didn't count the workshops published authors or wannabies could attend, but I'd wager there were 150 or more. Live individuals (versus dead?), or several, stationed themselves at microphones and delivered "words of wisdom," to which authors avidly listened. Publishing professionals: agents, editors, web designers, booksellers, publishers gave of their time, and so did many published authors. A few individual "chats with," or panels of three or more discussed a subject they'd either experienced themselves or taken the time to research.
Authors might do live presentations for readers groups and at libraries. In the case of those writers, like me, who belong to RWA, we travel to different chapter meetings and do workshops for beginning writers and the seasoned as well.
One of the worst types of promotion, for me, anyway, is book-signings―alone. Ack! The heart-in-the-throat, wobbly-kneed, worst deer-in-the-headlights situation I can think of! Writers are all so different. I'm a private person, though most people wouldn't know that because I put on a "great" show!
Most all of us have been in that situation and invariably when we are approached it's to be asked where the shopper can find such 'n' such type of book. Or the classic: "Can you tell me where the restroom is?" Do me a favor. The next time you see a person in a bookstore with a pile of books in front of her/him, engage that person. If nothing else, just stop and ask, "How's it goin'?" You don't have to buy the book, but you'll give that author a moment of respite from "loneliness."
There are undoubtedly other promotion ideas that I know nothing about. But hey, these that I've mentioned work for many authors; and I'll mention one more: reviews. Not my favorite, since reading tastes are sooo subjective. One review may be a sucker punch, but the next might send you into joyful celebration. Alas, there are readers who heed these opinions. It's a throw of the dice.
Time is the nirvana all writers seek. Time to network, time to promote, and most of all time to write their stories. I mean, really, how does one balance all the promotion time and still have time to write those stories lurking within? I don't have the answer to my own question, but I'm here, aren't I, blathering? Hopefully I'm engaging readers and other writers to look for my books. The latest, Capture an Eagle may be found at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.com, both print and digital.
Before I insert an excerpt from Capture an Eagle, I'll explain another promotion many authors do. We giveaway bookmarks and/or copies of our books. This instance right here is no exception. For those who comment, you will be in a drawing for a free print copy of Capture an Eagle. If you win I'll ask you to contact me privately, firstname.lastname@example.org for your snail-mail address so that I may send a signed copy. Thanks for stopping by…
Mount your horses and ride with me into Silver Eagle and Mariah Kelly's world…
Central Texas, 1865
Drawing Nutmeg in, Silver Eagle murmured in Comanche, "Work well for Mariah."
The horse nodded as if she understood. Dark eyes watching him, her ears twitched. He scratched her pole. "You have not felt a body's weight for many suns. Do not shy when she mounts."
Still rubbing the mare's fine coat, he looked to where the sun would rise. His favorite time of day. So still, he often wondered if the Great Spirit held His breath awaiting the sun's first peek over the horizon. A cock crowed. He smiled.
Behind him a voice shattered his peace. Hot desire seared through him.
"Do you always talk to horses, Silver Eagle?"
Surprised she had arrived without his knowledge, his body tightened. He had thought to have this one last morning workout with no one the wiser. Still not prepared to face her, he now
had no choice.
Giving himself time, he removed the lariat and coiled it with callused hands. After a deep breath, he turned to the woman who had filled his thoughts for so many suns and dark nights. Unwise of him but truth.
"Welcome back to Broken Spur, Miss Mariah." Thank the Spirits his voice did not betray his thudding heart.
"Miss? Sounds strange coming from you." When he failed to respond to her taunt, she said, "You could have welcomed me yesterday."
Did he hear hurt in her voice? Surely not. He had chosen not to greet her. Cowardly, perhaps, but he had needed, still needed, more time to mask his desire. Somehow he must find a way to go about his business on this ranch while staying as far from Mariah Kelly as possible.
Long ago he had known she would be a beautiful woman. Her glorious hair was caught at the nape with a rawhide strip similar to those his sister coiled through two braids.
As Mariah's spring-grass eyes inspected him from dark hair to booted-feet, his member threatened to betray him. A muscle ticked in his jaw as he clenched his teeth in an effort to suppress the wayward flesh.
"You and Tanner have grown to manhood in my absence."
"Boys grow." Could she not speak of something else? He was a man, all right, one who would gladly throw her to the ground and take her right now.
She lifted the gate latch and stepped inside the corral. Nutmeg backed away and trotted to the other side, then turned to watch her.
Mariah smiled. "She's forgotten me. Will I have to repeat the get-acquainted process you taught me, Silver Eagle?"
He shrugged. While he did not think so, he could not be sure. The horse was intelligent and would surely remember her scent. That scent that teased him now.
"Where Tanner is?"
"Finishing breakfast. I was anxious to see Nutmeg. I plan to ride with you and Tanner today."
His heart clenched. Not a good idea.
Before he could object aloud, she continued, "Ma says it's okay. Pa won't be back until this evening about suppertime." She smiled self-deprecatingly. "I still don't do house chores very
Unconventional to a fault, Mariah had donned attire similar to that she had worn as a young girl: a boy's shirt, jeans, and boots. Her long legs, encased in tight denim, did nothing to cool his blood. She carried a broad-brimmed hat in gloved hands, and a canteen hung from a shoulder strap.
Stalling as best he could, he asked, "What Tanner think?"
She laughed, a pleasant sound that rippled over him like water spilling over rocks.
"I don't know. He has nothing to say about where I go, what I do."
"Gone two day, maybe. Round up stray take time. Sleep on ground, eat hardtack."
"Oh, I think I can manage." She grinned. "I've been sleeping on little better than a cot for a couple years at school. The ground might be a welcome change."
"Ground hard." Like my body! Before his thoughts ran away with him, he said, "Horse no seasoned. Most day she penned, no long ride."
"But Tanner says you've exercised her every single day since I left."
Thank you, my friend. She did not need to know that. He shook his head. "No same."
"Maybe, but I'm going to get my saddle and test her while you're here. If she doesn't buck me off, I'll ride along." She shrugged. "Maybe not all day. I'll see how she goes."
"She no buck. Better see she let you near, Miss Mariah."
The Spirits knew the mare would respond to Mariah. So did he, but it had not stopped him from voicing the lame excuse. Having her along did not fit his plan of distancing himself from her.
She turned on her heel and headed for the barn, her hips swaying enticingly. As the sun broke over the horizon, her hair lit to a fiery hue before she disappeared through the open double doors.
What would it be like to release those curls, feel them spill through my fingers?
That thought snapped shut when the screened door slammed.
At the same time that Tanner loped toward the corral, Max Stoddard stepped out of the bunkhouse on the barn's far side. Samuel and two other hands followed. The workday on the Silver Spur would now begin in earnest.