Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Using Pinterest and Instagram for Book Promotion

Check out this article on social media book promotion. Always something new to do to plug your books!

Every day when I check my current social feeds, I notice an author friend has joined the next new thing. I couldn't tell you how often a brand new social platform with a funny name picks up interest, but I don't doubt that with each launch there's an author trying to figure out how to use it for book promotion. As an author, I like to think outside the box where selling books is concerned, though I recognize the importance of reading terms of service policies to make sure I don't step on any toes. Nonetheless, if you're still trying to wrap your head around Twitter and become overwhelmed by new gadgets and sites, don't worry. They're here to help with word of mouth, and some are quite simple to use.

Let's take a look at some up and comers in the social realm. Some may prove more useful than others in terms of self-promotion, and if you can find something creative to do with these sites go for it.

Pinterest

Everybody I know is "pinning" things to virtual boards. I see notifications pushed through Twitter that somebody has found some kicky new boots, while other friends have set up entire sections of their account to categorize recipes and home decor ideas. I once saw a joke that Pinterest is typically used for the wedding you wish you'd planned years ago, but as I've come to know the social site I realize one can use it to draw attention to books.

While the site's TOS has changed recently and may again to reflect rules of blatant promotion, you can use Pinterest in a number of ways:

  • Create a board for each book you have written, and "pin" items associated with the story or things that inspired you while writing. If you've written a romance set in Paris, pin images of landmarks that featured in the story. If your book is an account of history, find items relevant to the topic. Check out this one for the Lerxst Johnston mystery series.
  • Create a "dream cast" board. It's not unusual for readers to imagine certain actors in the role of a book character. You can have a little fun with a board featuring images of people you'd cast in the movie version of your book.
  • Connect with other authors to create a group board on a specific genre. By pinning books by various authors, you can create a library of recommended reads to share with readers. This board is dedicated to books readers may wish to check out after reading Fifty Shades of Grey.
Instagram

Instagram is fast turning amateur photographers into enthusiasts. It's interesting, too, to see retro-style renderings of photos taken by friends, and with the network's recent acquisition by Facebook one has to wonder where it will go. Also, the marketer in me wonders how one can use Instagram for promotion. Naturally, you'd use it as you would a regular camera, and post appropriate pictures to your account.
  • People holding/reading your book.
  • Booksigning events as you meet readers.
  • Visiting landmarks that feature in your stories.
  • Unique author portraits to feature on sites and other social media.
It's important, too, that as you join new social networks that you use them socially. Don't be content to simply post information and hope it sticks. See what others are doing with their accounts - like and comment where appropriate. The more active you more, the more likely somebody will notice you, and your books.

Also, be mindful of TOS. You never know when they'll change.

Kathryn Lively is a mystery novelist and freelance writer specializing in articles on social media writing and Virginia web design. Clients include Fairfax personal injury lawyers, book publishers, Virginia health care services, Norfolk real estate agents, global trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sex Scene Saturday

Welcome to another exciting edition of Sex Scene Saturday! I have F/F romance on the brain today, mainly because I recently had a discussion with another author about writing more, so I will showcase on of those stories. South of Sundance is available by itself or as part of my award-nominated anthology, She Loves Me. Hope you enjoy!

When you're done with this story, be sure to visit these authors participating in Sex Scene Saturday:


About the book: Days before her sexy documentary debuts at a popular lesbian film festival, director Bebe Yasbeck is confronted by an old flame and conflicting feelings about the direction of her career and her assistant, Debra. Will her experience at South of Sundance provide her with the happy Hollywood ending she desires?

We begin this scene with Bebe and Debra about to "rehearse" for one of Bebe's provocative documentaries.

Debra relaxed upright on the comforter, idly toying with her nipples while Bebe soaked the dildo with a generous amount of slick lubricant. “Nice,” she remarked. “Have you mastered walking with that thing in you?”

Bebe straightened and eased her shoulders up and back. Her breasts rose with the movement, and Bebe loved how they still carried high and buoyant with no help from the knife after these thirty-plus years. “I just might surprise you today,” she teased, then slowly eased the thick base bulb into her core. Her pussy walls clamped down on the dildo while Bebe adjusted the rigid shaft to hover symmetrically. Satisfied, she stood in place for a few seconds to let Debra appreciate the new look.

Debra licked her lips. “Never thought I’d want a cock so badly,” she said.

“Is the camera running?”

Debra nodded, and Bebe oh so carefully stepped around the mattress corner to the side where Debra lay, legs apart and knees bent up. The camera’s vantage point would only show them from the torsos up, and as Bebe took in the scene she imagined how viewers might react to seeing Debra’s hand disappear from view as it snaked down to rub her pussy.

She looked as if she wanted to speak. Bebe bit her lip. Speak, she urged silently. Bebe wanted the film to capture their spontaneity—she hated to see anybody censor herself for the sake of perfection.

“What is it?” she asked, perched just out of camera shot, and stroking Debra’s inner thigh.

“Oh.” Debra sank down to get into position. “Was just wondering about oral.”

“I see. You think it will help? Get you in the mood?”

“Oh, no worries about that.” Debra laughed, and her forefingers pried her cleft apart to give Bebe a good view of her arousal.

“Okay.” Bebe slipped two fingers into Debra, noting the slickness of her channel. The woman felt tight and ready for her. “Maybe for the next movie, then? I’ll call that one Lick.”

This earned a louder chuckle. “Better than Jaws,” Debra shot back. She turned suddenly serious when Bebe moved to kneel before her.

“You’re so beautiful. I don’t know why you don’t want to spend more time in front of the camera,” Bebe murmured.

“I want to be a famous director when I grow up.” Debra winked. Bebe appreciated that Debra didn’t refer to her as this film’s director with the live camera before them. She encouraged spontaneity in her documentaries, yes, but any references to her as a direct participant could be decided later.

Gripping the woman’s knees, she helped spread Debra’s legs apart a bit wider, then dipped low to kiss the inside of one thigh. “I want to make this good for you. How long’s it been for you?”

“Since when? Playing with a sex toy?”

“Anything, anybody. Man, woman…both?”

Debra breathed slowly and deeply. Bebe paid attention to the rise and fall of her full, bare breasts, and decided to time her early thrusts to that rhythm.

“I had a threesome not long ago.” Debra looked away for a moment, her lips curling up softly in a smile, as though recalling that bliss to use for the camera.

The dildo bobbed under Bebe’s tight nether grip, and she steadied it by grasping the head, which resembled a circumcised crown. She traced Debra’s inner pussy lips, preparing for entry. “Really?” Bebe asked, her tone light and teasing. “And where was I?”

“That was your Toronto trip. You leave me alone for a weekend, I’m going to fill up the time.” Debra sucked the air through her teeth, clearing enjoying how Bebe taunted her with the fake cock.

“True, though I’m more curious about who filled you up that weekend. Spill.” Bebe hit the goldmine with Debra—as much as she adored the frankness of her subjects in Buzz, she wondered if she’d achieve that same level of comfort in this new movie. If every participant offered an open sexual nature as Debra, she’d truly surpass her sophomore expectations with this second movie. Of course, she wouldn’t fuck everybody featured—she’d seek out couples, people familiar and comfortable with each other.

“I had two other women, and it was heaven. Ooh. Yeah.”

Bebe braced the heels of her hands of either side of Debra’s pillow, and looked down at the young woman as she carefully guided the dildo into Debra’s pussy using only her hips to thrust. In this moment she wished she’d invested in some kind of helmet camera to capture her assistant’s immediate reaction to this new sensation. Of course, Bebe couldn’t count on the picture quality of a glorified webcam, and she refused to produce an end product that resembled a blurry, modern-day stag film.

To her delight, Debra turned toward the camera, her face contorted with pleasure. Bebe’s breasts hung low over the woman, barely grazing Debra’s own nipples. When the dildo reached the hilt Bebe lowered slightly and their skin connected, setting off a million nerve endings.

“Is heaven like this, too?” Bebe barely whispered.

~

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Choose My Next Audio Book, Enter to Win

Hello, everybody! I am happy to announce that I have recently signed with Celeritas Audio, who will release audio book versions of Dare Me, Daring Young Man, and Dare to Dream. Presently, Truth or Dare and Daringly Delicious are available through AudioMinx. I look forward to one day having all of my books available in audio at Audible and iTunes.

Right now, I plan to produce one of my shorter works through DLP Books. That’s where you come in: I want readers to vote for the first DLP audio book. All you have to do is fill out this voting form and I’ll reveal the on June 1. Everybody who votes will be entered to win a $20 electronic gift card for Teavana.com! Will the winner be a hot shapeshifting romance, a collection of manlove, or a sexy Sapphic short? Vote now.

There is no purchase necessary to enter, entrants must be 18 years or older.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sex Scene Saturday

Happy Mother's Day Eve! I'm happy to be participating in Sex Scene Saturday with a number of other romance authors. If you're interested in this particular story, I hope you'll check out some of the writers involved, too.

Also, to kick off these four Saturdays of sex scenes, I'm offering the story excerpted here free for a limited time. You can download Handle With Dare (contemporary, cougar) from SMASHWORDS for free using the code VZ35L. This offer is good through the 22nd, so don't wait too long to get your free story!

Right now, here's a preview, and click the links below for more!

Handle With Dare

Score one for Blondie, the young man did possess an impressive collection of books, and shelves that lined one short wall of the open layout. Of course, he did own the flatscreen and game console, but once he’d completed the brief tour his face took on a predatory glare that told Marlene they hadn’t come up to try out two-man tennis.

She managed to drift away from him to stand by the row of windows looking out onto the main avenue through the historic district. Sure enough, from this third story the loft afforded a great view of Jake’s Organic and the adjacent lot. With the store’s window lit and revealing a still-active party, Marlene caught sight of a number of familiar faces. Kate, her arm looped around boyfriend Devon’s, chatted animatedly with another couple, while Jake’s young wife wove through a throng of well-wishers.

Despite her heavy heart, she smiled. So much happiness there…surely they didn’t miss her. Nor she them.
Hands touched down on her neck, brushing her hair to one side. She’d detected Jeff’s reflection in the windows, and therefore kept her cool. She remained still as he explored, first lifting her unbuttoned sweater away, then slipping his hands under the hem of the knit tank. A trail of heat slithered up her spine, but what caused her to jump was the sudden sensation of skin against rayon when she realized Jeff had unhooked her bra.

He quickly curled his fingers under the straps and pulled them down her arms, then slipped underneath the front of her shirt to ease the cups rom her breasts. Taking each nipple between thumbs and forefingers, he rolled and pinched them, all the while pressing against her backside and rocking into her. Marlene’s arms felt leaden at her sides—the combined heat of his body and throbbing in her pussy as dictated by his attentions put her in a temporary stupor. Breathing seemed a chore now, and she fought for control of her thoughts before Jeff turned them into mud.

Unbidden, an image flashed in her mind of her in her underwear. She hadn’t anticipated seduction tonight, giving or receiving, so how would this gorgeous man react to a blah beige bra and granny panties? The man probably owned a drawer full of bikini cut animal prints, assuming he wore underwear.

He ground into her. She couldn’t mistake that erection rolling over her slacks. If she were able to judge the size correctly…would a bikini cut fit him at all?

Would he fit me?

“I-I should tell you something,” she said, her voice cracking.

“Mm.” He nuzzled her neck, planting kisses along the curve.

“I’ve only been with my husband, ever.” She didn’t know why she needed to confess this, but the air came back once she did. She waited, expecting everything to pause and for the bra to magically right itself. Jeff, however, continued as though he hadn’t heard her.

“Mm,” he repeated, then released his lips with a sucking kiss. “S’okay,” he whispered in her ear. “I know enough for the both of us.”

“But—”

She looked back at the store. The party carried merrily on, with all guests unaware of the activity across the street in the lighted windows of the third floor of the old Buxton Building. Jeff slipped her shirt over her head and onto the floor, then undid her slacks and maneuvered them over her hips until they pooled to the floor without further aid. Marlene felt powerless to stop the inevitable, but certainly didn’t wish to discourage him.

Standing in front of him in age-appropriate underwear, her bra loose and slipping down her arms, she partly wanted to blush and hide. With her limited view of herself, she knew she couldn’t compare to a woman closer to Jeff’s age. True, she’d lost the weight and toned up quite a bit thanks to regular exercise, but one could only erase so much age. She wondered briefly if she should ask Jeff to dim the lights.

“You are so beautiful, Marlene.”

The words caused her to reconsider, and slowly she looked down at herself and inhaled. Sucking in a breath, she watched her bared breasts rise. Thank goodness for small favors, and good genes. While smallish, her breasts suited her frame well and didn’t sag. In fact, they perked up more when Jeff cupped one in hand and dipped low to pop the nipple into this mouth.

“Oh!” The sudden zing bolting from that erogenous zone spread over her chest and shot down her legs. The warmth in her pussy that first tingled now erupted into an ache that she desperately needed to soothe.

~

More Sex Scene Saturday


Tina Folsom ~ Stacey Kennedy ~ Tilly Greene ~ Sandy Sullivan ~ Stella Price