I’m very pleased to welcome author Artemis Milchon today as she introduces The Last Dragon and her approach to social media and marketing.
As soon as I saw this meme, everything “clicked” into place for me. Social media and marketing your book may be a terrifying proposition for most writers, but this one image could be the key. For the first time I understood that if I wanted to succeed, I needed to change my tactics. I can’t change my book, but I could and had to change the delivery device I chose when talking about it.
For The Last Dragon, a shape-shifter romance with heavy fantasy and world-building elements, I would adopt this new philosophy.
On Pinterest, I pin pictures of hot men, romantic embraces, and recipes of the food my heroine, Sally, likes to cook for her men. The recipes will specifically be embedded in the body of the pin, so I can link the image to The Last Dragon’s publisher website or any bookselling website of my choosing.
On Instagram, I would use those shots of hot men and romantic embraces and just the photos of the food. I’m focusing on photos of guys, romance and great food because I know my target market for the book are women.
Twitter seems perfect for some one-liners from the book, with other sporadic pics or progress updates on the book’s sales.
Since The Last Dragon is a paranormal romance, it’s hard to align any marketing for LinkedIn, which is geared toward professionals so I’ll most likely skip it.
Tumblr is one of my favorites and is easy to use with my Pinterest and Instagram posts. It does well with both word- and image-heavy updates. I appreciate the easy interface on Tumblr as well as the versatility of both text and image heavy posts. You don’t have to technically “mingle” here, something my shy personality prefers.
Google+ has a small following, but they are loyal. I’ll post book-sale updates and pretty pictures (mostly because I love gmail!).
Then there’s Facebook. The problem with the king of social media is it is massive. How do I market there? Simple. I can’t. I can be myself and post things I find entertaining. I can occasionally present the book’s progress, but I refuse to be one of those authors who hits you with nothing but one “buy my book” plea after the other. I’m thinking posts like this will help create some buzz for Sally and The Last Dragon:
The best thing to do when marketing any product is to remember everyone wants to be invited to the exciting, cool party. They’ll buy a ticket if they think they’re going to have a good time, and I’m determined to make The Last Dragon the most epic adventure ever.
Now here’s taste of The Last Dragon, when my hero and heroine meet for the first time. I hope you enjoy it …
Sally woke up feeling as if a small truck had run over her, and backed up a few times as well. She had heard hangovers were brutal but this was ridiculous. What did she have to drink? The bottle of Jack Daniels she had ordered for the table must have been dumped in her coffee. Either that, or someone slipped her a date rape drug, but that seemed equally improbable.
A roar filled the room, making the floor she lay on start to shake like an earthquake. Not good. They lived in Pennsylvania, not many earthquakes here.
Not good at all.
Her eyes opened and she looked into a barrier of solid steel. Her body informed her the floor was more of the same. A slight turn of her head told her brain there was steel above her head as well. She was locked up. Just what did she do last night, or get involved in? Her mind remained as blank as the structure around her.
Another roar echoed around the chamber and she swallowed her squeak of terror.
So not good.
Turning her head some more she saw a man. Or at least, what was left of a man. His clothing had been ripped into shreds. He must have done it to himself; she could see the scratches marring the golden expanse of his body. The tattered cloth did not contain the movement of his skin. It was as if millions of worms moved under there. He arched off the floor where he lay, groaning in torment.
Sally used her heels to sit up into a corner of the room. Another squeak of terror slipped past her lips before she could stop it. The last thing she wanted was to attract the attention of whatever was making that man scream.
A rumble of awareness ripped through the male body, and she looked up in open-mouthed astonishment as the form bowing in painful throes across the long and narrow cell leapt up and landed at her feet, crouched on all four limbs. The noises coming from deep within his chest were more animal than human. The long, shaggy midnight hair fell in his face, making it impossible for her to see any of his features. His movements belonged to a mighty predator, his muscles and joints rolling with the power of the deadliest creature. She panted in fear as her mind took stock of the thick limbs and heavy planks of muscle covering every inch of this man. He sniffed her feet, then slowly moved up each of her legs, torso, and paused at her neck. Sally shivered at the sensation of his beard-roughened skin rubbing against hers, something she could feel with ease, even through her clothes.
His face nestled closer to her skin as he took slow, deep breaths of her scent.
Sally was torn between being turned on and insulted.
She felt the caress of a tongue lick at her jugular, and she shuddered. She assured herself there were no such things as vampires – no matter how much she liked reading about them. Her entire library was romance and fantasy books, with a heavy emphasis on dragons. The only thing that could be better was a fantasy book about vampires and dragons. Ok, Sally… let’s try to focus on the wild man now. Another long slow lick at her neck, a burning hot tongue that felt rough like a cat’s, and she almost had an orgasm. She was not so desperate that some crazy wild man was going to send her heart racing and body heating, she tried to assure herself. Okay, she was that desperate, but she didn’t have to admit that right now, did she?
A slight press of teeth made her shake, “Please,” she whispered. “Please don’t hurt me.”
The roar that ripped through the man was more about his own affront over her plea than pain. He did another one of those jaw-dropping leaps across the cell and huddled in the farthest corner from her. “Not. An. Animal.”
She folded her legs underneath the drape of her skirt as she kept her eyes glued to him. “What’s wrong with you?”
He fell forward as he clasped his arms around his knees. She swallowed with empathy as his misery tugged at her heart as little else could. The brief flashes Sally could see of his face, she could tell he was now clenching his jaw to keep his cries within. All to keep from scaring her. “Why isn’t anyone here helping you?”
“No help.” His cut off sob wrenched whatever fear she felt out of her soul. “No hope.”
She inched her way closer to him, her heart thundering in her ears like an oncoming train. “There’s always hope.”
“Please,” his voice broke as he tried to take in a deep breath, “stay away.”
“You’re hurting,” she cocked her head to the side as she took her courage in hand. “I can’t just sit back and watch.”
“I could kill you.”
“Believe me,” her laugh was a harsh sound that was a contrast to the kindness of her smile. “There are worse things than death.”
“Not to me,” he backed away from the woman.
His continued attempts to protect her tugged at her heart as nothing else could, sending an open wave of emotion to him. She never could resist someone or something in pain. “What happened to you?”
He eyed her through the strands of his hair. “I am holding on for now, but can’t for much longer.”
“Let me help you.”
“You are either very stupid or disturbingly brave.”
Sally laughed low and gently, a sound she didn’t know she could make. “I’ve heard the first one most of my life, but never the second.” Reaching his side she could not resist extending her palm to smooth the wayward locks from his forehead. His face was on fire, and he was covered with sweat. The beads on his skin felt like oil against her fingertips. “Don’t you have family?”
“My brothers,” he said, as a low pained moan escaped his lips. “They are nearby.”
“They should be here. By your side. Healing you.”
He turned his head away as if her words wounded him. “Can’t.”
“Bull,” she swallowed back any more of the words she considered spitting out at his relatives. It wasn’t her business. It just hurt because their abandonment reminded her of her own siblings.
“So fierce,” he mumbled.
“I guess I should apologize,” she offered begrudgingly.
“I like fierce.” His body writhed and he was thrown onto his back as if an attacker had flipped him. As he danced across the floor, locked in the pain of the disease gripping him, Sally tried to understand what she could do. When the episode seemed to subside, he turned onto his stomach and moaned softly.
It was then she saw the wound.
There was a deep puncture on the back of his neck. It looked fresh, almost raw. The red streaks shooting out from the hole told her this had to be the source of a serious infection. Green and yellow puss oozed out of the mark whenever he moved. A trace of sulfur burned her nose.
“Okay, here’s the deal.” Her voice was husky with a combination of terror and hope. “I’m about to try to help you, but I would really appreciate it if you wouldn’t kill me. The truth is that I haven’t managed to do much in my life, and would like more of a shot at some excitement before I’m dead.”
Hell, even some happiness would be a nice change, she thought.
When there was no answer she made a quick prayer. As she brushed her fingers across the injury she could feel a hard substance underneath the skin. “Please be like the lion in that kid’s story,” she muttered.
“I. Am. No. Lion.”
Her eyebrows rose at the affront in his voice. “Okay,” she patted his shoulder, “no need to get all pissy.” The growl at this statement made her smile. “I’m going to have to lean against this and it’s going to hurt. So I am going to repeat my prayer that you not kill me.”
She received another growl for her efforts. As Sally tried to press against the sides of the mark, she hoped getting out whatever was stuck in there was like removing a splinter. In her work she’d had plenty of experience with that.
When she felt the thorn start to move Sally let out the breath she’d been holding. He flinched at the feeling of her soft burst of air brushing against his skin.
More pressure wasn’t making much difference, so she crawled over him to get better leverage. Sally ignored the rush of adrenalin she felt at the male body she could barely straddle between her knees. There was so much heat coming off him, and she was always cold. It was as if she had found a living-breathing heater that wouldn’t singe her. She could feel his muscles spasm as she continued to work at the wound. Sally tried humming to soothe him, hoping he’d continue to control his response, and not kill her in a seizure of pain or confusion.
When the head of a dark object appeared in the hole, Sally leaned her elbows against his skin to grasp it with her fingers. Her nails were groomed into perfect square tips, the only sign of vanity she usually allowed herself.
Pulling out the thorn, she winced as she saw the five inches of razor sharp plant matter. There was a flood of pus when the object was removed. Pushing on the skin around it again she kept up the pressure until the viscous fluid turned into a healthy bright red blood. Tearing off her slip, she wadded it up to cover the wound. The cotton was at least clean, and that was the best she could offer. “Now let’s hope you didn’t just save the life of some serial killer, Sally.”
“You talk too much,” he gritted through his teeth.
Sally put the object next to the man’s head. “That’s what was wrong,” she chided him. “This thing is so huge it was probably stuck in your spinal column.” A single golden eye popped open to stare at the thorn lying near him.
In a sudden surge of outrage and betrayal, the man roared as he leapt to his feet. She could not have foretold his reaction to the display of the dart, so she never had a chance to get off his body. Her head made a loud cracking sound that echoed through the cell as she was catapulted into the steel wall. Sally slipped into the encompassing darkness to escape the pain she knew was coming.
For more information about The Last Dragon or to reach Artemis, please connect:
Through her publisher:
You can also find her on Google+, Pinterest and twitter.