Me: Super Lazy. Giveaways: Super Cool.

As you may have heard, May is Marketing month here at #RWChat. We made it marketing month because none of us chat hosts are putting in the effort we ought to be with marketing, so it was time to group think this shit out and get motivated.

(There are a lot of chat topics that make the list because we personally need a push or some inspiration. #sorrynotsorry)

Of all of us, I have the most shame around my lack of book marketing. I have broken some serious records (and banked some serious dollars) in a previous career in e-commerce. I have been a social media consultant to some pretty big brands. And I currently work as the operations manager for an email marketing company.

My shame run so very, very deep.

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Bragging, Bullshit, & Lies

Our final publishing origin story is Kimberly Bell’s. For stories with less profanity and hubris, check out Alexis Daria, Robin Lovett, and C.L. Polk.

Everyone’s journey to getting published is unique, but I’ve been told mine is particularly atypical. I don’t like to tell it because I think it is unrealistic, and thus unhelpful. It also kind of makes me sound like I’m bragging. (…sometimes, I kind of am, but I don’t like to sound that way.)

The very first book I ever tried to write was the first book I published. I had dabbled in single scenes of fiction, but I’d primarily written personal journal entries before I decided to sit down and write a romance novel. It took a year, almost to the day. I edited the first couple chapters, but then I became impatient and started querying.

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The First Rule of Pubclub

Publishing is a lot like fight club—especially traditional publishing.

A lot of the mystery swirling around getting any questions answered in publishing are chalked up to the fact that the experience is different for everyone. Timelines are different, deals are different, everything is different. And that’s not a lie.

But it’s also not the whole truth.

There are also things, as an author, that you’re just straight up not allowed* to talk about. So in lieu of talking about the forbidden subjects, we wanted to do the next best thing and at least talk about what the forbidden subjects are, so you know why we’re not talking about it.

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Mining Your Past

Content Warning: Domestic Violence

I had a whole thing I was going to write about. About how the hosts of #RWChat used to be graphic designers, opera singers, butterfly pinners (we know it’s entomology, but it’s more fun this way), and summer camp directors. The list of things we used to be, before we became romance authors, goes on and on and we’ve all taken pieces of those things forward to make us better at being what we are now—whether it be surviving critique, setting schedules, or designing covers.

That’s the basic idea of mining your past, but it’s not the only one—and apparently I want to talk about the other one, because I sat down to write a funny post about jobs and skills and this is what you’re getting instead. (I’m sorry. We’ll let Robin go back to doing the blogs any minute.)

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Core Story—Wtf is that?

The first time I heard about core story, it was at RWA 15 in New York. I got to hear about it from my romance writer hero, Jayne Ann Krentz. (She’s pretty much the author and the person I want to be when I grow up, but we can fangirl about it another time, because Robin and Alexis will probably shank me if I don’t put a blog up soon.)

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Jayne Krentz is my hero. She can be your hero too, if you want. I’m willing to share.

If you follow Jayne at all, you know she has a boatload of pen names. Seven in total, although three are currently active. I found her through Amanda Quick, firmly solidifying my love of historical romance. She pioneered the futuristic/paranormal genre as Jayne Castle, and she freaking kills it under her own name writing contemporary suspense.

Hearing about core story from Jayne Ann Krentz was amazing because…homegirl knows. When you write that many genres under that many names, you find out who you are as a writer. You find out what the heart of the story you’re trying to tell is. I can’t remember what she said her core story was—she said it, I just can’t remember—and I’m not willing to tell you what I think it is. But I know what mine is, so I’ll tell you about that.

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Perfect Protagonists—Why Ursula Should Have Her Own Movie

I blame Disney for the mess that is my early romantic relationships. Also 90’s era romance novels, but I think they can blame Disney too so they get a pass.  I don’t blame Disney 100%—and I think they’re trying to fix it (yay, Tangled!)—but I blame them a lot. And, in the interest of snowballing the change I think they’re trying to implement, I’m going to tell you why.

Let’s start with the Little Mermaid. Probably my favorite Disney movie growing up. It came out when I was five. This is a very formative time in a girl’s life. You’re finally almost a person with thoughts and words, but you’re still an idiot and super impressionable.

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