Friday, October 7, 2011

I Can Sleep When I'm Dead

I've been crazy busy (as you might be able to tell from my title), between handling cases for my "job-job", writing articles for my second "job-job," working on the third in my series, Chocolate City Justice, doing what I need to as president of my youngest daughter's school Co-Op (similar to PTA or PTO), and trying to squeeze in a little promotion around helping with homework, making sure everyone has clean underwear, and scooping out the litter box. I do lead a glamorous life, don't I?

With the limited time I have had for promotion I was excited to get an email from Morgen Bailey this morning reminding me that an interview on her blog was up today. I did the interview a few months back, when things were a tad slower, and am glad I did. At the time, it seemed October as such a long way off, but now it seems as if it flew by. Her interview can be found at

In the interview, I also have an excerpt from Chocolate City Justice.

My contest winner from Ebay's First Amendment Project auction finally came to the Big Easy and enjoyed a few drinks with us at our bar. I was a little nervous, hoping she and her husband wouldn't think we were all crazy, but we got along famously and had a great time, despite the fact that we have rival football teams. I now consider her a new friend. She ended up naming a stripper in Jambalaya Justice, Pamela "Bubbles LaRue" Briggs. Pam was a hoot and I couldn't believe how much we all ended up having in common. I'm getting ready to send her a copy of Jambalaya Justice as part of her auction winning, and hope she comes back down when Chocolate City Justice is out.

I also have three things coming up on my agenda. First, I'm going to plan my book launch for Jambalaya Justice at the bar now that I have copies of Jambalaya Justice with the edited cover showing the seal from the PSWA fiction award. I think I'll stick with what worked already and let the attendees compete in a jambalaya cook off, with the winner getting to name a character in Chocolate City. (Last year's gumbo cook off winner for the book launch party for Gumbo Justice named a punk rock internet cafe clerk in Jambalaya Justice, "Christi Bouvier.")

I also am going to be revamping my blog. I think I am going to have one day a week to do post interviews, and one day a week see if I can get someone to guest blog, and one day a week post a review of a recent read. The other days will have to be downtime, maybe a thought of the day or let someone post a writing sample for others to critique, I'm not quite sure yet. I will let everyone know when it is up and running the way I want it to be, because I am hoping some of you will want to participate and get a little free publicity.

And speaking of publicity, I also want to do a virtual book tour, but am torn between paying for one or setting up one myself. Without having the time to do the research, I am thinking it would be better to pay to have one set up for me. There are also other free promotional opportunities, as well as inexpensive pay ones, but I have to make time to fit them into the schedule.

If anyone has a particularly good or bad experience with any particular virtual tours or promotion sites, I would appreciate the information. I previously did an inexpensive package with Apex for Gumbo Justice and my book sales went up, but it is difficult to know if that was an anomaly, or actually related to what the company did. The price did include a book trailer and a few other things. If anyone else has had experience with them that differed from mine, please post. I think everyone wouldn't mind knowing if there are inexpensive promotional pay sites that are worth it, or more expensive sites worth their price.

Holli Castillo
Jambalaya Justice


Monti said...

Interesting to read what you're going to do for promo, Holly. I'd also like to know who/what's good for virtual tours. Will look forward to learning more about them from other folks.

Hope more people start commenting here. I had no comments on my post yesterday.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hey, Holli, I read and commented on your interview with Morgen. Great interview, by the way.

Always glad to hear what people are doing for promotion. I'm now on a blog tour for Bears With Us (different publisher) and I paid for it, I've done quite a few blog tours with them and have been satisfied.


williamdoonan said...

Thanks for telling it like it is! Some days I'm so busy with work and kids that it's hard to find time to get into my writing hinterland. But I'm always glad when I do.

William Doonan

John said...

It's tough to do promotion, but I hope you're having fun with it too. Such a great way to spend a day, bringing your own brand of genius to other people. What could be better!

--John Brantingham

Holli said...

Monti, I'm always trying to learn from other writers' successes and failures- why reinvent the wheel if you don't have to?

Marilyn, thanks for the recommendation. I have been looking at, and wondered if the price was worth it, but I notice when you do a book blog you are EVERYWHERE, so at least as far as getting your name out there, I can tell without knowing your numbers that the blog tour works for name recognition, at the very least.

William, it is difficult to remember that writing is just as much a part of real life as all the other stuff we do. Scheduling and routine is just something I've yet to master.