Promo Tip: Planning ahead

Have you ever spent more than a few hours at a time working on your author brand?

As a full time writer – I like to do just that. Write. But with the summer school holidays upon us I’ve had to take an unplanned break from my stories. Quite frankly, having my whole family at home became to large a distraction. I was actually getting snarky about my percieved level of underachievement. So, out of desperation not to spend all my time watching endless DVD’s while I escaped the heat, I switched to thinking about how I’d like to promote my next book release (when that day eventually rolls around).

Honestly, I found the process quite interesting. Looking for blogs to request guest spots, finding copious sites that focus on review only that I might send my story too. Working out where I really don’t belong.  There are so many places to choose from that it’s easy to waste a huge chunk of time. Luckily, after a few days of following links via my twitter and facebook friends, I’ve found the perfect places to promote my next regency romance. But then I started to think about what exactly my blog would say.

When One Wicked Night came out I did very little conscious marketing. I’ll admit it – I procrastinated like hell over what to do and never did enough. I promoted here on this blog, and over at Lady Scribes as well as facebook, twitter. But I couldn’t really say there was any structured plan for it. LOL. This time will be a lot different I hope. This time I have a plan:

First off – I’m writing the promotion blogs now, well before the book comes out. I have rough drafts right now that will be polished over the next couple of weeks and then I’ll tuck them aside to wait for the release date. Without the stress of a looming deadline before me, its been fun to hunt through the mss and pull out exerpts I’d like to share. And I will also add to the blog material over the coming months as new ideas strike.

Second – I know where I want to guest blog, but I’ll be keeping my eyes open for new opportunities. Thanks to that first point – writing promotion blogs in advance – I won’t have to scramble for material if they are last minute arrangements, and that means my writing time should not be seriously interrupted.

Third – I’ll keep writing. When my last book released I did what probably everyone else has done. I sat on my hands and waited for my world to change overnight. Of course, nothing felt different from pre-release to post-release. LOL. Looking back on it now, I could have done so much more, but the excitement you understand is very, very distracting. I hope not to waffle around the way I did.

I know that for some I might be counting my chickens before they hatch, but I can see an enormous benefit in not just planning the promotion now but actually writing it now. So my question, if you’re an author is how do you approach brand promotion? If you’re a reader how much attention do you pay to author guest posts versus book reviews?

Week 7: Wishful Thinking Tour of Britain

Portsmouth is a place I’ve long wanted to visit. Aside from London, it’s probably the first town name in England that I remember from my childhood. Why? Because all the ships of the First Fleet that sailed for Van Diemen’s Land (Australia) in May 1787 sailed from Portsmouth.

That First Fleet consisted of:
* Naval escorts – HMS Sirius and HMS Supply
* Convict ships – Alexander, Charlotte, Friendship, Lady Penrhyn, Prince of Wales, Scarborough
* Food and Supply Transports – Golden Grove, Fishburn, Borrowdale

HMS Sirius

HMS Supply


The journey took 252 days in total and I don’t know about you but realizing the food and supply ships hadn’t arrived with the fleet would have made me one nervous convict, if the trip hadn’t worried me enough. (They arrived 6 days behind the convict ships). I don’t know for certain if any of my ancestors came here as convicts, my older relatives all exclaimed we were free settlers in shocked tones. But one day I will get back to tracing the family tree – when I have a year or two to spare. Tracing your genealogy is more time consuming than writing. LOL.

 So, we’re in Portsmouth this week for the Wishful Thinking tour of Britain
~ Hampshire
~ 17 miles—25 minutes from our last stop at Fishbourne Roman Palace. 

Portsmouth Historic Dockyards

Must see:

* Step on the HMS Victory, the memorial to Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, Britain’s greatest Naval hero. Launched 1765 it is the oldest ship in commission now in dry dock). Visit the Great cabin and the spot where Lord Nelson died

 * Come aboard the HMS Warrior, the first iron hulled, armored warship powered by steam as well as sail. Launched in 1860 it is the only surviving member of Queen Victoria’s Black Battle Fleet.

* Walk through the multi-media Trafalgar Experience, part of the Royal Naval Museum’s Victory Gallery, and hear the very latest research on the famous battle.


Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle, a well-preserved example of a mainly Roman fortification, lies on the northern shore of Portsmouth Harbour, approximately 6 miles north west of Portsmouth city itself. The fortification is the oldest building in the region, and formed the traditional hub around which the village of Portchester and surrounding area were built.

The castle in its most recent form consists of an outer bailey with gates and bastions, and an inner bailey with a moat and gatehouse, palace, tower and keep. The site was originally a simple Roman fortification, though the castle was added to during the Saxon and Medieval periods, and also in the seventeenth century. The original buildings have been extended many times to provide the castle that we see today.

The castle was initially constructed for defence, however it has been used for many different purposes in its 1700-year history. The Thistlethwaite family privately owned the castle from the mid 1600’s until 1984. Today the castle is run by English Heritage and is open as a tourist attraction.

Despite our best efforts to capture that winning lottery ticket for our own, luck seems to be eluding us. Oh well, at least I’m enoying using my imagination for the tour. I’ve found some great inspiration while reseaching these posts. More to come.  

Note: copied from the original post at so I can keep the whole tour and travel plans together.