My countdown to the release of UNRIDDEN on May 26th continues with another replay of one of my blog posts from the Linden Bay Romance MySpace Blog that I wrote back when Rough Stock released. Enjoy! Cat
PROMOTION—the dirty little secret of being a writer that no one tells you until it is too late is that writing the book is not enough, getting it published is only the beginning. You can write the next Harry Potter, but if no one knows it exists, who’s going to buy it?
Just like little old me, even publishing powerhouses like Nora Roberts and Stephanie Meyers have to hit the marketing trail to promote their books, the only difference being, while they are appearing on network talk shows or are the keynote speakers at national conventions, I am sitting at a table in the back of the Borders in Middletown, New York. I don’t have a press person. I don’t have a huge NY publisher pushing me. So sometimes, I have to think out of the box when it comes to promo.
I’ve become known for my unique approach in promoting my military romances. At conventions and book signings you’ll see me wearing dog tags and high-heel camouflage footwear (I have selections for all seasons–boots for Fall/Winter, peep-toe pumps for Spring, wedge sandals for Summer). My most popular giveaway has been the US Marine-formulated “Gun Oil” Personal Lubricant as well as my camo-design pens. Yes I enjoy being creative for marketing. So what would I, a former Marketing Manager turned erotic romance writer, do to promote a new rodeo threesome book? I bought me a cowboy, that’s what!
You’ve seen racecar drivers covered head to toe in sponsors’ ads. In the pro bull riding circuit, you’ll see riders covered from cowboy hat to chaps in logos also. And so I started thinking, why couldn’t I, author Cat Johnson, sponsor my own cowboy? The answer was, why the hell not? I could barely contain myself on the 2 hour drive home from the Scranton PA Borders book signing. I ran into the house, logged into IM and asked Mike if he had a sponsor, and the even bigger question, would he accept an erotic romance writer as one? He did hesitantly ask what would be required of him. Fair question. After all, I could have had him walking around shirtless at the Mr. Romance Contest at the next RT Convention, or posing nude for my next book cover, for all he knew. I told him in exchange for my sponsorship of his entry fees and gas money he’d get a shirt to wear with my website embroidered on the arm when he rides, a magnet with my name and website for his car door, and he passes out at the rodeos bumper stickers with “Give Blood-Ride Bulls” and my website on them. And the most important condition, he texts me the minute he gets off the bull so I know he is alive and well, because he already has had more broken bones and metal plates put in him than anyone his age should.
Mike agreed and so the deal was struck and we haven’t looked back since. And as he so sweetly wrote in his comment on the last blog post, we are more than just sponsor and rider, this is more than just another of my marketing schemes. We are friends.