Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spreading the Word

A flurry of activity kicks off the day a new book is released.  Especially when that new book is a Harlequin American Romance, like my June release, Rodeo Daughter.  By the time the book is available, I’ve spent more than a year writing and revising it with the help of my fabulous editor, Laura Barth, and  keeping my fingers crossed that the Art Department comes through with another terrific cover (for my first three books, they’ve hit three home runs).  Despite the efforts of so many people who come together to make each book perfect for our readers, Harlequin American Romances are only available in book stores for a short time.  So, I try to make the most of it. 

Long before the actual release date, I send out review copies and start bending the arms of my good friends, hoping they’ll let me kidnap their blog for a day.  But the fun really gets under way at the first book signing.  Here, I’m very lucky because Kaori Suzuki-Fischer, RWA’s 2011 Bookseller of the Year, is the New Business Manager at “my” Barnes & Noble, and she loves nothing better than filling the store with romance authors and their readers.  This time, the phenomenal Roxanne St. Claire (Barefoot in the Sand), Rachel Hauk (The Wedding Dress) and I teamed up to do exactly that. 

That’s me.

That’s Roxanne on the left, Rachel on the right.

Did you notice the bags of caramel corn I gave away to anyone who stopped at my table?

A family reunion in St. Augustine meant a chance to share Rodeo Daughter with some of my cousins and the only aunt I have left on my dad’s side of the family.  That’s Aunt Doris, off to the left.  She’s a great fan of the Oakridge Boys, and there are stories I could tell you about that, but they’ll have to wait for another day. 
From St. Augustine, hubby and I trekked up to Tallahassee where our son and his lovely bride make their home.  This time the trip, which normally takes about three hours, took quite a bit longer because I insisted we stop at every Wal-Mart and Target along the way so I could drop in and sign books.   Another book signing, this time at Books A Million, closed out the trip before we headed for home. 
Once we were back, I spent several days dropping in at book stores, Wal-Mart and Target department stores (pretty much wherever Rodeo Daughter was on sale in Central Florida).  But since I was on my home turf, so to speak, I found these drive-by book signings a tad on the expensive side. 

One problem with writing full time is that, strange as it might seem, I don’t get out much.  When I do, I tend to take advantage of it.  A blue ray player, a new phone system, books by authors I’d been wanting to read, fishing gear and several full shopping carts later, I decided that drive-by book signings, as much fun as they are to do, might not be the healthiest choice I can make for my pocket book. 

Now that July is upon us and four more terrific Harlequin American Romances are available, my promotional efforts for Rodeo Daughter are winding down.  As with all Harlequin releases, Rodeo Daughter will always be available as an e-book.  If you’d like an autographed book mark, just email me at, and I’ll drop one in the mail to you (N. America addresses only, please).  In the meantime, I’ll be hard at work on my next book for Harlequin American Romance and looking forward to the release of Rancher’s Son in November. 


Anonymous said...

I've read Rodeo Daughter and loved it. I sure wish I had that carmel corn though. lol

Leigh said...

Hey, Cathy!

Yes, the caramel corn disappeared in a flash. We bought it from because they yummy offer peanut-free products. I'm sooo glad you enjoyed Rodeo Daughter. Hope you'll watch for news of Rancher's Son (November) in upcoming blogs.

Pat D said...

I got my autographed copy at the book signing Leigh mentioned above. It was great to chat with her and Rocki St Claire and Rachel Hauck - two more of my favorite authors. I understand your problem with the drive by signings, and would like to offer my services to ride shotgun and help keep your wallet in your purse. How soon can I expect to see your next book on the shelves? I'm already looking forward to another Florida romance.

Leigh said...

What a good idea! Pat, I'd love to have you ride shotgun with me. Not only would you keep me from spending too much money, we'd have fun!!

Amanda Renée said...

I loved Rodeo Daughter. And now I have a craving for carmel corn. GRRR. With my first release due out in March, I am glad to hear Wal Mart allows book signings. How far in advance do you schedule all your signings? I'm a promotional newbie and any advice is welcome.

Leigh said...


Congratulations on your first sale to Harlequin American!!! I'll definitely put it on my to-buy list.

I haven't had any luck scheduling actual book signings at Wal-mart or Target, but the staff has always welcomed me to stop by and sign stock. Thus the term drive-by book signings. LOL

As for Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million, I'd recommend getting in touch with the manager at least 3 months in advance. That'll give the manager plenty of time to list your event on their website and to make sure your books are on hand. (I always recommend having a stash in the car "just in case" something goes wrong.)

Congrats again! So glad you enjoyed Rodeo Daughter.

Brenda Sparks said...

I love the term drive-by book signing. How funny! Thank you for the honest look at the release process. I loved Rodeo Daughter and The Daddy Catch.

Leigh said...

Thanks for stopping by, Brenda! I'm so glad you liked Rodeo Daughter and The Daddy Catch. Watch for Rancher's Son, coming this November. It takes place on a cattle drive through Florida.

Brenda Sparks said...

Rancher's Son on my pre-order list, Leigh. I'm counting the days. Can't wait! :)

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

July has been a great month for Harlequin American Romances. I really love this line.

linda s said...

Rodeo Daughter is somewhere in the mail right now. I know I'll love it. Drive by signings sound like a lot of fun.

Leigh said...


July IS a great month for Harlequin American! Thanks for stopping by.

Leigh said...


Enjoy the ride with Rodeo Daughter!