Friday, March 23, 2012


I'm honored today to have Willa Edwards in my crib presenting her latest release as well as offering her opinion on the pros and cons of promoting our "babies". Thanks everyone for stopping by. Take it away Willa....

To promote or not to promote?

I’m not one of those authors that bemoans promotion, I actually kind of like it. Some of the aspects of promotion are rather fun to me, and allow me to be creative in whole different way than I am during the rest of my boring number focused life. 

Designing a website to me was lots of fun, investigating what other authors had on their websites, what I liked, what I didn’t. It took time, definitely, but I enjoyed it. The same is true for creating a book trailer. I watched others, searched for just the right photos and music.  Now I’m working on learning Photoshop so I can create some graphics for my website and covers for some upcoming free reads I’ll be putting out.

I’ve always loved trying and learning new things, and my writing allows me to do that. Both in the writing itself, and research I have to do to create those stories. Promoting my writing gives me just as much opportunity to try new things.

I also like how promotion offers me the opportunity to take my destiny and career into my own hands. This desire might be due to my history in sales. But in the real world, where I’m often at the mercy of timing and luck, not to mention the sways of the economy and corporate America, it’s nice to have the ability to do something, run a contest, make a blog post, to have the control over your life and career.

That’s not to say that I don’t get frustrated by promotion, just like everyone else. It’s a lot of work, and sometimes it really can get in the way of my writing time, which is really what I want to be doing most of the time (at least when real life will let me). And of course I have that same devastation as other authors when I write a blog post and see that no one stops by or leaves a comment, but I understand everyone’s busy and can’t read every blog post out there.

Over the course of my last few releases, I’ve developed a few rules on how to promote that work for me. Promotion is a very personal thing, and everyone has to make their own decisions on what they want to do, how they want to do it, and where they want to take their career, but this is what I’ve decided works well for me.

·   I love twitter. I’m a new follower but I’ve grown to really enjoy it. I love the short quality of the messages. I can mention more about my day and my life, and get them off quick while I’m standing in front of the microwave at work watching my lunch spin or while I’m watching Law and Order. Plus I love how easily it can be uploaded on my website, facebook page, amazon author page and goodread’s author page (I love anything that can that easily be uploaded to multiple sites in one push of a button, saves me time and headache).

·   I only promote one work, once a week. I don’t want to over saturate everyone with my promotions. I know as a reader it drives me crazy when people send out four or five promos in a day, or the same one every day for months. I don’t want to do that to my readers, so I pick one work I want to emphasis during that time and just send out information on that book. (The only exception is publisher’s days, when I do promote all the works with publisher).

·   I try to be as interactive on these sites as possible, respond to emails, respond to comments. I’d like people to see me as much as a person as possible, not just a faceless name putting out books or responding to emails.

·   Sometimes it okay to not promote. There’s nothing wrong with having a break, for me or for the readers.

·   I like to take a break between releases (it has been happening a lot for me lately, with a new release every month, but I’m not complaining). I make a big push and hit a lot of blogs when I have a new work come out, but after that I like to ease back and rest, both for me and my readers. I still post on my own blog, talking about my life and my writing, but I don’t do massive promotion. It gives me time to recoup, write and time for readers to have a break and be interested in the next thing I have to say.

·   I try to blog about interesting topics that inspire discussion. Whether you agree with me or not, I hope you want to jump into the conversation and give your opinion.

·   I try to hit most of my friends’ blogs as much as I can and leave a comment if I stop by. I also like to hit other people’s blogs that have interesting subject matters. I try to always leave comments because I know how it feels to get no comments on a blog, and I’d hate for other authors to think no one was reading what they worked so hard on. 

There’s no tried and true way to promote your work, or time to be silent. But this is what I found works best for me, though it’s a continued work in progress. As my career evolves and technology evolves, I’ll have to change or adapt these rules to a new world.

If you’re curious about what you should do for promotion, I would start by figuring out what you like as a reader and what you enjoy doing. If you like long excerpts and having conversations on facebook, than that’s probably the best way to go. Play to your strengths. If you’re most convinced to buy a book by a short exciting blog post and excerpt, that’s what you should put out into the world. And don’t be afraid to change things up if they stop working, or you’re not getting the return you want. Remember, it’s your destiny, take all the control you want.

And speaking of promotion, here’s a little snippet of my latest release, Snow Day. I hope you enjoy it.


Michaela is thrilled to get home after the tense drive from work on the snow covered highway. And she may be just a little bitter that her boyfriend and teacher, Ben, spent all day in bed, on a snow day from school. 

But she's relieved to be let out of work at least a few hours early. That is until she hears noises from her bedroom, that in no way resemble monster trucks or football announcements, and sound way too close another woman's moan. 

Michaela can't help but investigate. She never could have guessed what she finds in her bedroom would be just as stimulating to her as it is for Ben. With a little bit of sexy help, Michaela plans to show Ben exactly who he belongs too, and make him wish every day could be a snow day.


Michaela dropped her purse on the small cherry entranceway table. Slamming the door shut behind her to keep out the fierce chilly winds, she let out an exasperated sigh, enveloped by the warm heat.

“God, it’s good to be home,” she whispered into the empty mudroom.

She shucked off her jacket and scarf, thick with the moisture of melted snow. Her nerves still jangled from the slow, slick drive home from the plant. Everyone moved at a crawl, each one increasingly afraid of what could be under the thick, fluffy, white layer. Could it be black ice? Or slush? Anything could send their cars careening off the side of the road into the imposing bank. It was enough to set anyone on edge.

The whole ride she’d been petrified of the same thing, sliding off the road, getting stuck in any of the number of ditches and sloped banks beside the twenty-three miles of highway she drove each day home from work. Most days, the long stretch of highway appeared benign, lulling her into a hypnotic state till she reached her door, but today it had been ugly, angry, hungry, and malcontent.

Lucky Ben got to stay home today. He didn’t have to brave the roads at all, or worry about the possible risk of property, life, or limb. She should’ve listened to her mother and become a teacher. She could’ve been a good math teacher, found a school where Ben and she could both work, and spend their snow days at home, together.

They could have stood by the radio this morning, like kids, anxiously awaiting the name of their school to be called. Instead, she’d quickly slurped down her coffee, with no solid food to accompany it, and ran out the door, already late. They could’ve returned to bed together, as Ben no doubt had done after she left, instead of racing down the slick roads to arrive at her desk, before her boss noticed she’d appeared twenty minutes late.

“Ben, I’m home,” she called up the stairs, only to be met by silence.

No, she had to rebel against her mother’s advice. She’d gotten her engineering degree instead, and spent most of her days fighting the arrogant male chauvinists working next to her at the electricity company, instead of helping teenagers learn the quadratic equation.

She placed her thick winter jacket and scarf on the coat tree next to Ben’s unused one, her lips turning up in a slight snarl. Even though she’d gone to work, and put in almost a full day, leaving two hours early due to the road conditions, Michaela knew Ben had spent his day sleeping and watching TV.

From the corner of her eye, she spied a used cereal bowl sitting on the living room coffee table, the spoon lying ajar across the lip. “At least he managed to get himself a bowl of Cocoa Peebles,” she whispered sarcastically.

She slipped her snow-caked boots off her feet, placing them on the rubber, winter mat to prevent a large puddle from forming in her newly tiled entryway. She paused, debating throwing the snow she’d tracked in with her boots back outside to prevent too much from melting on the tiles. She should, to maintain her brand new slate floors, but she loathed opening the door and braving the harsh winds or whipping flakes again for a few snowballs.

Amidst her quandary, a soft foreign noise prickled her attention, emanating from up the stairs. A muted, feminine moan appeared to come from the region of her bedroom. Her entire body froze, colder with fear than the temperature outside. Her mind swirled, the possible reasons for the noise coming from her bedroom coiling in her stomach, tightening every nerve in her body.

Was there another woman in her house? In her bed? With her boyfriend? Michaela's body clamped down with rage, her hands balled in tight fists, all thoughts of slate tiles and snowballs vanished from her mind, and far scarier images took their place.

Ben and Michaela had been together for seven years, since their freshman year of college, and they’d never had any problems in the bedroom. Both of their creative and open attitudes led to many satisfying nights. But like all relationships, over the years those explosive crazy nights drifted further apart, a pleasing consistency taking its place.

She still enjoyed every moment with him, their lovemaking fulfilled Michaela to heart-pounding, earth-shattering pleasure, but what if Ben wasn’t as satisfied? What if he’d grown tired of fucking the same woman every night?

Ben never seemed the type of guy to cheat. Steadfast and constant, Ben preferred the same routine, rather than the excitement of something new. Surely a guy who ordered the same turkey sandwich at work every day, couldn’t be searching and desperate for something new?

Even if he wanted to leave her, which Michaela hadn’t noticed, she was sure he’d tell her. He’d face the conflict with the same respect he did every aspect of his life, from the cable guy to the kids failing his class, and tell her the truth, instead of screwing around behind her back.

Except for the complication of this monstrous house they’d bought together, a house neither of them could afford on their own, especially with all the upgrades and renovations they’d done since buying it. With the housing market crash, they’d never get the same money out of it they’d put in. They’d never discussed what to do if their relationship ended when they’d started looking for a home or picked this house. At the time, it hadn’t occurred to Michaela to have an exit strategy. She never thought she’d need one.

She hadn’t been upset by the downturn, she’d planned on being here a long time, but she did remember Ben being bothered by it. Was it possible he’d been thinking of leaving her then? That he’d only stayed because they couldn’t sell the house without ending up with a mountain of debt? Would Ben stay with her because he didn’t have the money to start over?

In her stocking feet, Michaela slowly made her way up the stairs, trying not to step too hard on any tread and give away her presence. Her approach undetected, the soft moans and groans of another woman in her bedroom continued, uninterrupted.

She’d always wondered why women walked in on their lovers in the throes with another, why they seemed so intent to catch their man red-handed, or inside a redhead, whichever maybe the case. Now, actually in the situation, she understood. She had to witness it, had to see the evidence right in front of her face, to truly believe it.

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Thanks for honoring me by being a guest today, Willa! Please give her some love and leave a comment.


  1. Thanks so much for having me by Cynthia.

  2. Intriguing! Surely he isn't in there with another woman! Definitely need to find out!

    As for promos, I love engaging with readers on Facebook and my blog, but Twitter frustrates me. (I'm too wordy!) I hear having TweetDeck or HootSuite helps, but just haven't explored that yet. Just spent the week ordering swag for Romantic Times Booklovers--talk about killing your writing time! But I can't wait to stalk my favorite authors as a fangirl--and get to meet some of my own readers. Promo of the best kind!

    All the best with Snow Day!



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