As a fledgling romance author whose first book will debut on some yet undisclosed date in 2016, I pay attention to promotion opportunities for new authors. I’ve been studying other romance writer’s blogs and searching through their archives for the benchmarks that serve as a blueprint for success in this tough, capricious industry.
Some highlights of the blueprint might go something like this:
- Receive gushing cover quotes from NYT bestselling authors;
- starred reviews from Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly;
- and, if the stars truly align, force Sarah from Smart Bitches and Jane from Dear Author into a rare agreement on liking your book.
The blueprint might also include a nomination to RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards for First Historical Romance book. Illustrious past winners of this award include Maire Claremont’s THE DARK LADY (2013), Tessa Dare’s GODDESS OF THE HUNT (2009), Sherry Thomas’ PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS (2008) and Anna Campbell’s CLAIMING THE COURTESAN (2007).
This year’s nominees for First Historical Book are a talented bunch. I downloaded their debut books (one’s on pre-order) and spent the weekend feasting on rakes, dukes, lady pirates, lady smugglers, feisty heiresses, and delectable widows.
In Alison DeLaine‘s A GENTLEMAN ‘TIL MIDNIGHT the swashbuckling heroine is fond of pronouncements like, “One word, and you’ll meet the end of my cutlass.” Alyssa Alexander‘s heroine in THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK knows that “A lady can’t trust a rake and a wastrel.” Darcie Wilde‘s LORD OF THE RAKES heroine is warned that “Philip Montcalm is deep waters. You might not be able to get yourself out so quickly once you’re in.” Sally Orr‘s rake warns his widow target that in his RAKE’s HANDBOOK, “It’s rather shocking, but…widows [are listed] under the heading ‘Houses to Let.’”
There’s Corsair Kate, The Shadow, The Lord of the Rakes, and The Wandering Earl. A horse named Demon, a cat named Mr. Bogles, and a very prominently missing fig leaf. The books are full of humor and sizzling sensuality, the heroes are complex and sexy, and the heroines are my favorite kind — they ride astride, brandish cutlasses, and generally don’t let anyone push them around. I will definitely be following these debut authors as their careers progress and I develop my personal blueprint for success.
Have you read any of these debut books? What’s your idea of a blueprint for success in the romance industry?
Congrats to all the RT Award nominees!