At times it seemed like all I did for those 4 days at the Dolphin was eat and talk. No doubt I did an incredible amount of both, but I did have time to absorb information at the workshops and glean from conversations. Some served to cement ideas/thoughts already known, but other information was new. All of it needs to be assimilated and applied, which is an ongoing process as I advance in this business.
Let me start with what is most exciting: I already announced that my editor wants Georgiana’s love story (scroll down if you missed that news). I am SO excited and happy about that, as you can imagine, and have been writing like crazy. However, I remained a bit unsure of my future beyond that due to what I perceived as hesitation on my editor’s part for stories about secondary characters. With a bit more clarification during a face-to-face conversation I now comprehend that Deb’s hesitation was only so I would not have high expectations. It had nothing to do with Sourcebooks fearing poor sales or believing it too risky. In fact, I was assured that sales for the Saga continue to be fabulous – thanks to all of YOU! – and that they are extremely pleased. Furthermore, they support me as a valued author and Deb encouraged me to write whatever is in my heart. She assured me that they do not want me to go anywhere and she trusts me to give them stories they will love.
Whew! I know some of you will laugh and say, “I told you so, Sharon!” That’s OK. Deb laughed at me too, said my anxiety was “cute,” and praised my humility. LOL! Nevertheless, I will remain diligent when it comes to this business and my career. Nothing is certain, trust me! What I will write after I finish this novel is unclear to me, but I feel a huge weight lifted. Maybe Dr. Darcy’s story will be told after all!
My focus as far as the workshops was a mixture of craft and career. The Beau Monde workshops were enlightening for the Era and terrific food-for-thought. If I ever decide to write a heroine who is a courtesan, I know to ask Delilah for references! Ha! I attended several talks giving tips to improve my writing and a number on book sales, financial aspects, marketing, and promotion.
The latter brings me to the next topic—
I am fortunate that Sourcebooks has an amazing publicist, Danielle Jackson, and a crew of marketing folks who exclusively concentrate on the romance fiction line. However, an author in this competitive business needs to always be proactive and self-promoting. Strategies are myriad and print advertisement has a place, but everything points to online being most important in getting your name heard. I learned of different avenues to delve into and will gradually advance as time and finances allow, always, of course, announcing new developments here on the blog. This is what resonated loudest for me: There is no longer any debate that Facebook has soared ahead as THE leader in social networking sites. For a long while I have realized that creating my FB Fanpage under “The Darcy Saga Novels” was a mistake. At the risk of sounding egocentric, in the business of publishing it is all about the author’s name. The name is what people remember and correctly branding your name is #1. I could go on and bore you all to tears, but trust me on this.
SO, I am finally taking the plunge and creating a new Fanpage on Facebook as Sharon Lathan, Novelist. Unfortunately FB does not allow a page name to just be changed, nor can the data be transferred, so my current Darcy Saga Novels page will become obsolete. That is a bummer, but the longer I wait the harder it will be.
In order to make it fun and worthwhile, I AM MAKING IT INTO A CONTEST! That’s right – everyone who clicks the “like” button for my new fanpage will be entered into a drawing. At the end of August I will select 2 names who will each win a signed copy of In The Arms of Mr. Darcy once it is released. How awesome is that?
The new fanpage – Sharon Lathan, Novelist – can be easily subscribed to by clicking the “Like” button on the sidebar to the right. Or you can go to the page itself. Bear with me as I make the switch and get the photos added, etc. The Darcy Saga Novels page will remain for a month or so, but I will not be adding updates there, and I do plan to completely deactivate it. So do not wait!!
Remember that this is a contest! And there’s MORE—
IF you also sign up for my Mailing List as a new contact I will add your name twice, increasing your chance to win. Coolness!!
Those already on my mailing list, don’t worry about signing up again. I am not deleting or changing the mailing list and newsletter. But, to be fair for those who have been on the list, I already submitted each of the 583 names to random.org and picked a winner for a signed copy of In The Arms of Mr. Darcy.
The lucky lady is Jennifer Pearson of Tennessee!!
In case you are scratching your head over any of this, feel free to email me. And if you are hesitant to join Facebook, I understand. But it is terrific fun and a great way to keep in touch with friends. As for my Fan Page, I really encourage everyone to be a part. It is so much easier for me to add quick updates there than here on the blog and so much easier to comment in response. All news gets posted there instantly when I know of it with links and so on. Other authors, music bands, TV shows, and public figures you may be interested in keeping track of are on FB. That is the reality of where it is at nowadays!Still not convinced? No problem! My newsletter is another way to be kept informed. I am vowing to send a newsletter each month at least. Benefits to being on my mailing list include: 1) Information delivered right to you, 2) Extra novel excerpts, 3) Occasional giveaways/contests exclusive to newsletter readers, 4) Privacy since I will never share your name or email.
Alrighty then, I think that is enough! Excited? I sure am!! I will be back to share more of my adventures in the South. Keep watching!