Tag Archives: promotional items

Pick A Card

I have to say I adore being in the RWA. Sure, there are tons of awesome workshops and stuff to do, but the people are the ones that make this organization the very best. Case in point, I met my fabulous critique partners through the RWA and they’re beyond awesome.

As many of you know, Daisy Harris (she of the Ocean Shifters series and hot, naughty stories fame) is one of my critique partners. Not only is she great at helping me see beyond my creative stubbornness, but she’s also a great marketer. A few weeks ago, she showed me this site called www.romancetradingcards.com and suggested I give it a try.

I was scared. I’m not a technical person. I don’t know how to do all those photoshop thingies and okay, I also don’t have the patience for it. However, I saw the benefit in romance trading cards. So I pulled up my big girl panties and decided to give it a shot. If they came out horribly, I could always keep them to myself as a sign of my failure and I could weep copious amounts of tears as I munched on a Snickers and drown my sorrows with a 40oz beer. I’ve done that before.

Anyway, I followed the very in-depth how-to steps on the site and with the help of my mom (who loves that technical stuff), figured out how to do it. I made two cards for each of the books in my Veil series and I’m quite proud of them. As a writer with a limited budget for marketing, these cards are great. I’m not going to RT this year, but Daisy is and she was sweet enough to take some of my cards with her to hand out.

So these are the cards I made. They’re not as nice as the ones I’ve seen, but as a complete noob in the world of photoshop and stuff, I think they came out well. If you’re looking for something to give out to readers as a way to entice them to read your books, I don’t think you could go wrong with a few of these.

  

  

  

Okay, so I had a lot of fun making these things, more than I thought I would, that’s for sure. Once I figured out how to make them, it didn’t take long to make and the cost, while more than I’d like to spend on anything (can you say cheap?), wasn’t terrible.

For those of you banging your heads on the wall trying to think of some cool little favors to hand out for giveaways, you might want to look into these. For anyone who has won in the past, if you’d like a set, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll send a set to you.

Happy Tuesday y’all. Tomorrow’s release day, so expect craziness on the blog (and a giveaway)!

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Weekend Wrap-Up

As I mentioned on Friday, I spent this weekend working on promotional items for the release of my upcoming books. My aunt came up with the idea. You see, the problem with my stories (which I’m still kicking myself over) is that there is no central theme or symbol that appears throughout each book except for one thing: South Louisiana.

How do you summarize South Louisiana and tie in characteristics of each book? I spent weeks trying to work out the problem and finally turned it over to my mom, sister-in-law, and aunt. They each had wonderful ideas, but it was my aunt’s idea that made me go “Well, duh!”

She suggested that since Mardi Gras is such an integral part of the culture here, that we make Mardi Gras masks, but with a twist unique to each book. So that’s what we did. This weekend we sat down to work on the masks and I had my nephew take a few pictures while I put the women in the family to work.

On the left, Lynn (cousin) and on the right my mom. They were such hard workers!

This was at the start of the day. We invaded my sister’s house and set up shop. Really, it did feel a bit like a sweatshop because I wouldn’t let anyone just sit there and watch (although my sister tried). I’ve mentioned before that my mom is an artist and she did such wonderful work I was tempted to make her paint all the masks. Fortunately for her, everyone else wanted in on the fun (with the exception of my sister, but I made her work too).

Front row: Megan (nephew's girlfriend), Melody (sister), Lynn, (cousin). Back row: Me, mom

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not crafty and I’m so not. The entire time I worked on the masks, my hands were shaking. I can’t draw and my designs are so uninspired, but I did my best. The entire time, I had to encourage my sister explaining that I’ve told everyone many times already how she and I are the two non-artists in the family. She grumbled, but she finally accepted it and just went with the flow. I think she may have even had fun!

Have I mentioned I don't like feathers?

Once all the painting was done, we tore open the bags of feathers…I hate feathers. I really do. They were…horrible. Truly horrible. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not a bird or anything because then I’d have to deal with the little beasts all the time! This was one part of the craft party that everyone was an equal. My mom was frustrated with them. My sister-in-law seemed to be okay with them (and I think I’m suspicious of that fact and don’t want to know where she got so much experience working with them). In the end, we only did a few of the masks on Saturday, but I finished them up on Sunday.

Overall, it took us about five or six hours to complete fifty masks. That seems a little excessive, I know, but I bought extra in case we had terrible mess ups. Luckily, we didn’t and in the end, we used the spare masks as lagniappe. Yup, I’ll have masks to give away that are simply pretty extras.

Here’s a peek at some of the finished work:

So that’s what I did this weekend. I can’t wait to start the guest blogs and author interviews coming up soon! I hope the people who win these masks truly enjoy them (although…I don’t think they’ll want to actually wear them).

I couldn’t have done this without my family. So, thank you Melody for the use of your house and for allowing me to force you to stretch your artistic limits. Thank you, Megan for your beautiful silver masks. They’re so elegant, I know whoever wins them will adore them. Thank you, Marsha for your beautiful marsh scenes and the tattooed masks you did. Do you have to be so good at everything you do?? Thank you, Lynn, for the tigers and others you did. They look amazing (and no, I’m not trying to make you feel better). Thanks, Adene, for the great idea and the fantastic masks you painted. Who knew you were so artistic? And thank you Mom for the gorgeous work you did. I really was tempted to make you paint all of them 😉

And now all I can think is: Thank God that part’s over!! LOL

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