What do you do if something is important to you? You dedicate resources to it. As an author, executive editor and brand strategist, where my roles intersect is that in each, I experiment, analyze the results and readjust our plan. As a leader in the Hive, it’s my job to help manage the swarm and that means making sure the workers are producing lots of honey. Sales, buzz, hitting deadlines. Encouraging the baby bees to fly into some new territory. Just this weekend, Swarm author Lucie Smoker and I were discussing her trying a podcast for the first time, reading her own chapter. Her official launch date is 10/30, but the paperback is already for sale on Amazon so be one of the first to read it! We’ll also be selling it and copies of our other books at Castle & Quill at Castle Falls in OKC 10/28. Her short story, Retribution, will be free on Kindle 10/26-28 so put it on your calendar to download it then. More soon on her book tour dates.
Also this week, I got to discuss promo with Dani Stone, whose novelette, NEXT LEFT is coming in December, and I’ve been working on the blog tour for my fourth novel, SOMETHING NEW, coming 11/5. We are also in the midst of promotion for SOMETHING WICKED: SHORT STORIES so if you’re in the mood for Halloween-y stories, go check it out.
And with all the flurry and excitement before and during a book’s launch, there is also the behind-the-scenes blood, sweat and tears that go with it. One project is on hold due to an issue out of our control, and we’re learning with each release how we need to tweak our practices and processes to better handle things the next time. And even the authors realize they simply can’t “do it all” and there is always one more thing that can be done. (You might check out THE DARK SIDE OF BEING A WRITER on my blog for more into the psychology of that, too.)
Besides the day-to-day operations, our Buzz team is responsible for planning ahead to the future – more books, more authors, more promotions – (see New Deals for our full list). Mari, our senior editor, is always working on projects that are six months to a year out (and sometimes a much shorter timeframe.) A huge thank you to her for all she does! Cyndy, the Buzz Books and my personal publicist, meet every other week in person to discuss future efforts and how the Buzz brand is shaping up.
But in all this, I knew something was missing, and that something was Kathy Wheeler and romance. Months ago we announced on our submissions page the Honey line and yet we haven’t done a big push for it because we needed a leader to take the line and run with it, and that leader is Kathy, who has not only been a chapter president at OKRWA (and continues to serve in a leadership capacity), but attends a minimum of two writing conferences a year and sometimes more. Even better, she writes and avidly reads romance. She’s been our Book End Babes romance blogger since 2010 and she knows how to identify a great story. She’s a rare breed that can work well alone, as a partner, in a critique group and leading a large group. I trust her instincts and ability to discover great romance writers. More on our line soon, but I will share that it will be ebook only, very community-centric and will favor multi-book deals. More on the types of books we are seeking soon. The romance genre does very well in the digital realm and with some savvy marketing and creative behind it, we believe we’ll have a true win-win that authors and romance readers will be very excited about. Our plan is to hone our guidelines and get them up within the next two weeks and start accepting submissions and announce our first six deals by Valentine’s Day, which is Buzz’ two year anniversary. Sweet.
Kathy L Wheeler (aka Kae Elle Wheeler) is an avid romance reader and writer. She is currently published through The Wild Rose Press, is an active member of Romance Writers of American, and has served several positions with the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America in Oklahoma City. She loves to travel, and has been fortunate enough to have been to Europe, Mexico, Canada, Grand Cayman and fun cities throughout the US. She grew up in Texas and Colorado, although she was born in Maine. Quite a stretch, by her estimation. Her degree in Management Information Systems has served her well in the corporate world while her minor in vocal music allows another side of artistic side to flourish by way of karaoke. She and her musically talented husband live in Edmond, Oklahoma, have one grown daughter and one bossy cat!
Please join me in welcoming Kathy as our Honey editor and celebrating stories.
Happy Fall Reading!