Introducing Fierce New Member Carly Carson

Here at Fierce Romance, we're happy to be adding another new member to our group, Carly Carson!
Welcome, Carly!! Please tell us about yourself and your story.

Carly: “Writing is like dancing. You’re never really ready, but at some point, it’s just your turn.”

I am paraphrasing a guy from Dancing with the Stars. But his words express a truth that has made a difference in my writing career. I don’t mean if you just sit around and wait, your turn will come. But if you’ve worked hard, and written a story that you think represents your best work, then you must get up on the stage. You must send it out – to a contest, an agent or editor, send it somewhere! That’s how you get in the game. That’s how I got my first story published. It’s called Scarlet and the Sheriff and here’s the blurb:

Fleeing a cheating fiancĂ©, Scarlet breaks down on the Fourth of July in a sultry Southern town where the Sheriff is even hotter than the firecrackers. With no car and no money, she finds teasing the Sheriff a fun way to pass the time. Unfortunately, the Sheriff holds all the cards when he receives the warrants for her arrest issued by her ex. Now Scarlet has to dance to his tune – and the only song he wants to sing is about hot sex.

Click here for an excerpt and reviews!

Carly's advice to unpublished authors: Once you’ve sent your query or story out and gotten a contract for publishing, is it time to climb off the stage and relax? Nope, no way. It’s time to get on another stage. Now you have to think about promoting your work. This brings me to what I wish I had known before publication, and what is my most important piece of advice for writers. Get your domain name now. Not very sexy advice, I know. But if you want to be successful, recognize that this is a business. Enjoy the creative writing part. But don’t lose sight of the mundane business part.

Decide what name you wish to be published under. Do a bit of research. Make sure your name is not already in use by someone else, it’s not a serial killer, etc. Establish it wherever you think you might need it (with an email account, on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc.) Domain names cost $10/year and are available at GoDaddy, Register.com and other places. A word of warning, however: Do not google your intended name all over the place. There are firms who will scoop up a name that appears frequently on the major search engines and then offer to sell it to you – even if it’s your own legal name - for money that you don’t want to spend. (This is their business! Don’t build your own trap.) Doing this work to establish a name early on will save aggravation later. Then start thinking about your website.

What am I working on now? I have an offer on a completed futuristic. I’m working on another contemporary that’s been requested. Finally, I’m pitching a romantic suspense at a writing conference this weekend. All I need are more hours in the day!

You may have noticed there’s more than one romance genre hiding in that list. I don’t recommend doing it that way, because it seems better to build a name in one genre before maybe moving on to another. My hopscotching is partly a result of contest wins and partly because I like different genres. At least they are all romances and I try to be grateful for that! I will always write romances because I love building that relationship between the hero and the heroine.

If you feel like responding to a mini-survey, please tell me this: What forms of promotion entice you to buy a book? Recommendation of friend, cover, blurb on back of book, a review, have read and liked the author previously, read about it online. Something else? Those who comment will be entered to win an ebook download of Scarlet and the Sheriff.

Thanks so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be joining the group!
Nicole: And we're thrilled to have you join us, Carly! Congratulations on your latest sale!
12 Responses
  1. Thanks, Nicole, for the intro to Carly.

    Carly, your advice has been noted, especially the part about researching your name first to make sure it's not in use by a serial killer. Love your humor :-)

    Seriously, you have some really good advice for this unpublished author and I will be printing out this post to my "Author advice" booklet that is in a perpetual state of updating. Your paraphrased quote is going down in my journal as my inspirational quote of the day.

    Julie


  2. Now for your mini-survey:

    As I do not Twitter and very rarely check my Facebook, authors who invest time in this are, to me, taking time away from writing good stories which I want to read. I use MySpace every now and then (I'll post your quote there), but if you have a blog on your website, I'm much more likely to check your home site out for any new promotions.

    I've had several friends recommend books to me. Upon looking at these books, though, most times I will see that it is not a book I want to read, mainly because they are in first person. But, at least I do check them out to see.

    I belong to the Romance Junkies chat loop, and recently, we have been posting mini-reviews of books we've read. I've seen a few I want that way.
    When I read an author and like her work, I will be back for more. But the way I first decide on reading a book is by reading the back cover. If it's a story line that catches my attention, then I'll usually get it, but only after first checking out the inside front cover and glancing through the book to see if it's written in 3rd person.

    Excerpts on-line are a great selling point. Incidentally, I loved your excerpt of the skinny dipping scene! And, of course, being a guest author on a blog I visit is a great way to promote yourself and your work.

    Julie


  3. Carly,

    Looove the silhouette cover image for this book. I'm a big fan of silhouette images for some reason.

    Great looking book. I guess the cover combined with the title combined with the blurb are all huge selling points for me. I know how tough it can be to come up with an eye catching blurb/hook. So, this is big with me when in the market for a new book.

    I also trust reader reviews more than "review sites" reviews. I want to read what someone who bought it and read it thinks about their purchase. Huge importance for me as a book consumer.

    Great to see you at The Fierce Blog! I just discovered it about a week ago and so many awesome authors are here.

    Have a great weekend,
    Kerri


  4. Anonymous Says:

    Glad to find information about a new author. Your book sounds so good I have added it to my TBR list.
    Who doen't like a strong character and those seem to be the firefighters, sherrifs, and militay guys
    JOYE
    JWIsleyATaol.com


  5. Amy S. Says:

    Great post! Scarlet and the Sheriff sounds great!

    What forms of promotion entice you to buy a book? friend's recommendation, reviews, blog contests, and promoting it on the groups.


  6. Mia Varano Says:

    Fourth of July in a sultry Southern town with a hot sheriff - what could be better? Welcome to FR, Carly!


  7. Caffey Says:

    So nice to meet you Carly!! Yum a sheriff! I so love those characters! One of my favorites along with cowboy when it comes to the contemp and historical genre! Its hard for me to resist them :) Is this one where we can maybe expect more books set in this town? I'm already hooked from the peek into it! Thanks!

    I love getting recommendations from other readers so I to often either post about others I recommend on the blog, loops, in chats, etc. I check out some review sites, not necessary to find the rating because I feel its different for people who have different tastes in reading so for me its there to find out info like the genre, theme, plot, sensuality, etc. I love getting newsletter that have a big variety of authors on there so I can get even more recommendations and know where to go to find them!

    Again, great to meet you here!


  8. ShawnaMoore Says:

    Cyber cheers and a big welcome, Carly! It's wonderful having you on our author blogging team here at FR :)

    Happy week wishes,

    Shawna


  9. Carly Carson Says:

    Thanks to all for the welcome and the things that get you to consider a book.

    All of my heroes will always be alpha. You can count on that, lol.

    I don't have plans right now for another book in that town, but I never say never. I know how much readers like series.

    I was at the NECRWA conference this weekend where there were tons of promo items - book marks, candy, pens etc. and no one mentioned any of that as something that prompted you to buy a book. Of course we're not a scientific sample here. Those things may be more useful for building name recognition.

    Be sure to check back later tonight after we choose a winner for the book.

    Carly


  10. Carly Carson Says:

    Hi again,

    The winner of our book draw is - Julie Robinson!

    Congratulations, Julie. Please contact me at carlycarson@ymail.com so I can arrange to send you the book.

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by.

    Carly


  11. Yaaaaaayyyyyyy!! Thank you! I'll be emailing you shortly :-)
    Julie


  12. Nicole North Says:

    I wanted to chime in and say a great cover will entice me to read a blurb or excerpt. (Find out more.) But, for me, the only thing that compels me to buy a book is reading an excerpt that hooks me. I've noticed this happening to me several times.

    Thanks everyone for making Carly feel welcome! :)


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