Balancing the External Plot: Take the Lead

romance writers chat graphic what do they do besides kissThis week on #RWchat, we’re discussing the non-romance plots in our romance novels. In other words, what do the characters do other than kiss? Yesterday we heard from C.L. Polk about Witchmark. Today, Alexis Daria talks about the external plot in her upcoming debut, Take the Lead.

 

How did you come up with the non-romance plot?

I’m a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars, and I was originally inspired by some of the stories they tell through their dances. I made a list of routines like the one in the video below, with the intention of using them as writing prompts.

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Balancing the External Plot: Witchmark

romance writers chat graphic what do they do besides kissThis week on #RWchat, we’re discussing the non-romance plots in our romance novels. In other words, what do the characters do other than kiss? Author C.L. Polk talks about balancing a mystery plot, a fantasy world, and romance in her upcoming novel, Witchmark.

How did you come up with the non-romance plot?

I knew I wanted to write a romance plot, but I really wanted them to have an adventure while they fell in love even though Tristan and Miles are from very different worlds. It took a long time trying to put the pieces of the story together because it’s a mystery that reveals terrible secrets at the end. I had some images firmly in my mind, like Miles’ tiny office at work and Tristan’s townhouse full of mirrors. The story didn’t come together until I had a vision of Miles being horrified, watching his fellow soldiers marching in their victory parade. When I figured out why, all the pieces fell into place, and I was ready.

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Coming June 18th… The Non-Romance Plot

romance writer twitter chat june 18th the non romance plot

Graphic by Alexis Daria

It’s not only about the love story. We have to put other stuff in our plots and in our character’s lives besides romance. How do we round out their experiences and our stories? How do you come up with an external plot that’s both separate and complimentary to the romance driving the story?

Join us to chat about it next Sunday 4pm PT / 7 pm ET.

Coming June 11th… Author Responsibility

RWchat June 2017 author resp

Graphic by Alexis Daria

We romance writers have a responsibility to readers to get things right. There’s a lot of power in what we write – the power to educate, inspire and change lives. How we navigate subjects like representation, safe sex, healthy relationships and beyond is important.

Come chat about how we do this, the decisions we make and why, on the next #RWChat, Sunday 4pm PT / 7pm ET.

~Robin Lovett

Making the Library Your *Fan(girl)

arcs and reviews graphic

Graphic by Alexis Daria

Our guest today is romance specialist librarian, Frannie Strober Cassano. She’s a sought-after panelist for RWA and RT, a crusader of diverse books, and a presenter at RWA chapter meetings. She’s here to tell us the secrets about getting our books onto library shelves and into the hands of patrons. 

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If you are anything like me, you are spreading your love of Romance through professional discussion, hanging with friends, and on social media. Since I am a librarian, I also do this through Collection Development (purchasing guidelines). I handsell and do what’s called Readers’ Advisory at my Reference Desk, in the stacks, or elsewhere in Libraryland.

 

Like you, we librarians look for creative and unique ways to make your books stand out (by new-release and/or appeal, etc.). Marketing can be a huge part of what makes that successful.

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Coming June 4th . . . Romance Stereotypes

romance writer chat RWchat romance stereotypes june 4

Graphic by Alexis Daria

Let’s face it, romance, in our culture, has a lot of stereotypes around it. People think they know what our genre is about, but in reality, most of them don’t. People assume they know what being a writer involves, but yeah, no.

What kinds of judgments and assumptions have you encountered from others as a romance writer? How have you responded?

Join us to chat about the genre we love on Sunday at 4pm PST / 7pm EST!

~Robin Lovett

ICYMI: Marketing Month Storify Links

launch and release day graphic

In case you missed the live chats during Marketing Month, C.L. Polk (Witchmark, Tor 2018) made Storify links.

Our first chat was about newsletters and author websites. We talked about building your email list, creating newsletter content, and what info to include on an author site.
Check out the Storify recap on Newsletters and Author Websites.

Our third chat discussed ARCs and reviews. We were lucky to have a number of bloggers, reviewers, and librarians in attendance! The conversation covered building genuine relationships with bloggers, utilizing FB reader groups, and the role of publishers in handling ARCs — and how that differs if you’re indie.
Check out the Storify recap on ARCs and Reviews.

Our final chat covered book launch and release day. We asked participants to wear both their reader and author hats while answering. The chat addressed everything from cover reveals to release day buzz, from pre-orders to backlist, and everything in-between.
Check out the Storify recap on Book Launch and Release Day.

Did you make any changes to your marketing after these chats?

If you’re looking for more information, check out our other Marketing Month posts, including a guest post from Kristan Higgins!

Guest post from Kristan Higgins: Organic Marketing

 

We’re thrilled to have an article from Kristan Higgins, New York Times Bestselling author. It was originally published on Romance University, but she’s letting us share it with you here!

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Please no, you’re saying. Not another article on marketing! I know, I know. They’re such a drag (except THIS one, of course). And we authors do so much already. We’re tired!

 

Don’t worry, my lambs. Organic marketing is different and in some respects, easier, because all it requires is authenticity, an eye for why your readers reach for your books and a little time.

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Coming May 21st… ARCs and Reviews

RWchat 5-21-17

Graphic by Alexis Daria

ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and getting reviews is an integral part of promoting our books. The number at the bottom of our Amazon sale page is important, and working with review bloggers is a relationship full of etiquette. How do we get reviews? How do we encourage readers to share their opinions about our work? And then, once the reviews roll in, the good and the bad, how do we handle it?

Bring your strategies and your questions. There’s so much to learn from our fellow rom writers!

See you Sunday 4pm PST/ 7pm EST!

~Robin Lovett

Coming May 14th… Giveaways & Promo

RWchat 5-14-17

Graphic by Alexis Daria

Promotion… Promoting our books… Helping the readers who will love our writing find it… For many, it’s is a huge source of anxiety, mostly because we have so many questions about it. And because there’s no one answer.

Blogs, social media, tours, articles, giveaways, swag, and the ever elusive – word of mouth! The list is endless and really, fitting it into one chat is crazy, but it means everyone will have something to contribute. Not one of us will do it the same and have the same results. That’s why we can’t wait to hear from you about which strategies work, which strategies scare you the most, and which ones you want to learn about.

We have a survey, because we want to know what marketing and promotional stuff you’ve tried – both the successful and the… well, things that didn’t work out the way you’d hoped. Click here to fill out our questionnaire. We’ll be posting results on the blog over the following weeks of . . .

May Marketing Month!

See you next week for promo and giveaways! Sunday 4pm PST / 7pm EST.

~Robin Lovett