Monday, January 7, 2013

My Trading Card Adventure

Even though I took a break from writing over the holidays, I kept up with promo.

Before I went to RomantiCon last October, I'd never heard of a trading card. Browsing the promo tables, I spotted the nifty little cards and picked some up. When I got home, I looked up the official web site and said, "I've gotta try this."

I happily designed a card for Plucking the Pearl, my interracial historical erotic romance novel -- putting my blurb on the back and my book cover on the front.

The book cover is very explicit, which I believe helped sales. However, it didn't help when I tried to get my trading cards printed. Vendor A had reasonable prices but declined to fulfill the order due to the cover. Okay... So I contacted the publisher who suggested some other vendors. Turned out those didn't do trading cards but one thought it was a great idea, so that could change.

Next I went to Vendor B, one that had printed bookmarks for my first book. Their price was higher, but something was better than nothing. However, they couldn't handle the cover either.

At that point I was pretty frustrated. Then I got on iStockPhoto and found a bunch of images of the same couple that appeared in my cover. I happened to find a very nice one that is suggestive but not nearly as explicit. I bought it. To make sure it would pass the vendor's censors, I even cloned part of her nightie to remove any hint of shaded nipples showing through! I also put a moustache on my hero because he has one. Vendor A printed it, no questions asked. Hooray!

The result is above. What do you think? I can't wait to distribute them at shows.

Afton Locke
Unlock your fantasies...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My New Year's Resolutions

The holidays were a whirlwind this year between shopping, cleaning, family, parties, and cooking. That's right, cleaning. Something I usually avoid. Next year I'm hiring a professional. Scouring a dirty kitchen doesn't exactly put me in the holiday spirit. To keep things interesting, the car broke down on Christmas Day away from home. I'm glad to say there are good folks out there and the Christmas spirit is still alive and well.

While 2010 and 2011 were not good years for me, 2012 was. At the end of every year, I like to look back and find things to be thankful for. Here's to 2013 and hoping it's a good one.

So what are my New Year's resolutions?
1) put out more books per year
2) exercise more (Doesn't everyone say that after pigging out during the holidays?)
3) clean more? (Nah, takes too much time from writing.)
4) blog more

So why is #4 so hard for me?
-It's hard to see a direct connection to benefitting my career. Does anyone actually read this?
-It takes time away from writing.
-I can never think of what to say.
-Everyone else's blog pictures always look so much better than mine.

Even though it's hard, I'll try to do it more. I want to be accessible to readers and share my life, boring as it sometimes may be!

So if you're out there and you're reading, give a shout-out.
By the way, what's your New Year's resolution?

Afton Locke