Sunday, November 25, 2012

Promotions by Joyce Lavene

Joyce Lavene writes bestselling mysteries with her husband/partner Jim. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. She lives in rural North Carolina with her family, her cat, Quincy, and her rescue dog, Rudi. 

Welcome to Mysterious Writers, Joyce, non this first day of the Mystery We Write blog tour. Please tell us how you promote your books.

I love promotion! I know many authors don’t feel that way, but I LOVE it.

I love talking on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, spending time with readers in chat rooms, and blogging. I don’t like it as much as I do writing – I can’t think of many things I like THAT much!

I really enjoy meeting my readers face-to-face in bookstores, at festivals and library events. The feedback is awesome. No one can talk about your characters, good or bad, as a reader can. Many of them know things about your characters that YOU didn’t even know!

I recently took a book club from Raleigh, North Carolina to Duck, NC where my Missing Pieces Mysteries are set. What a time! These readers wanted to look in every dark hole. They wanted to see every place mentioned in the books and they came up with ideas for future books in this series.

One good thing about writing a mystery series set in a real place, like Duck, is the participation you receive from people who live there. Duck has only around 500 people, off-season. The bookstore there was thrilled to see me and so was the town staff. They took me and my group of readers on a tour of all the sites. They were totally into sharing their town with my fictional characters, Mayor Dae O’Donnell, ex-FBI agent, Kevin Brickman and Horace O’Donnell, Dae’s grandfather.

Of course, I signed books with my husband/writing partner, Jim. We gave away bookmarks so that everyone would remember the occasion. We ate lunch at one of the restaurants in the books. They even printed up menus to welcome us!

I guess what I’m trying to say about promotion is that word of mouth is still the best you can get. A friend reads your book and passes it to her sister or another friend with a glowing recommendation – this is something you can’t buy with ads or anything else.

Think about promotion when you’re working on a new book. How are you going to promote it when you’re finished? What is your strategy for the finished product?

If you don’t have a market plan in place, you’d better re-think what you’re doing. For most authors, the only way writing works is if they can make a little money and begin to realize their dream of putting books (ebooks or print) into as many other hands as they can.

Blurb: The mayor of Duck, North Carolina, Dae O’Donnell, is a woman with a gift for finding lost things. When her boyfriend Kevin’s ex-fiancĂ©e Ann arrives in Duck looking for a second chance, Dae suddenly finds herself facing certain heartache. And while her romantic life is in shambles, she’s even more concerned by the sudden change in her gift. After touching a medallion owned by a local named Chuck Sparks, Dae is shocked when her vision reveals his murder—and a cry for help. Dae doesn’t know what to make of the dead man’s plea to “Help her,” until she has another vision about a kidnapped girl—Chuck’s daughter, Betsy. With a child missing, the FBI steps in to take over the case. But Dae can’t ignore her visions of Betsy, or the fact that Kevin’s psychic ex-fiancĂ© might be the only person who can help find her.

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Joyce Lavene said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Jean!

M.M. Gornell said...

WOW, Joyce, great hearing from an author who loves promotions! Great post.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I loved reading about how you promote. I like it too, most of the time.

Anne K Albert said...

Great ideas on promoting and connecting with readers, Joyce. So glad you took time from your busy schedule to join the Mystery We Write Blog Tour!

Joyce Lavene said...

Thanks, Madeline! I guess I just like meeting people!

Joyce Lavene said...

Thanks Marilyn! I appreciate you coming by!

Joyce Lavene said...

Thank YOU, Anne, for setting up the blog tour!

Rionna Morgan said...


I just love your story! I can't wait to read it.

Best of luck to you!!

Collin Kelley said...

Good advice, Joyce!

Evelyn Cullet said...

Joyce, promotion can be difficult for some authors, but you make it sound so easy to connect with readers. I'll have to work on acquiring your outlook.