Sunday, September 7, 2014

Guest Post: Reissuing Mary

Mary Blayney has been writing both contemporary and regency romances since 1986, though her writing began in earnest at age fourteen when she drafted a script for her favorite TV show. While her attempt never made it to the small screen, she eventually pursued writing as a career, first with contemporary romances for Silhouette and later with historicals set in the Regency period.

That's from her official bio.

Off the record, I can tell you that Mary Blayney is a Lifesaver. And one of my critique partners. And that makes me lucky because she's also one of my favorite authors. so I am very happy to have her as a guest here on the Rockville 8!


This past year with the essential and knowledgeable support of my writing group I dipped my toes into the world of epub. The five of us each wrote a novella and published them in an anthology (Paper AND ebook) titled ONCE AND FOREVER. You may have heard about it here one or five times since the remarkable writer Evie Owens is a member of the Rockville8 and our writing group. Her novella in ONCE AND FOREVER is a stand out. It alone is worth the price of the book. [Note from Evie: *blush*]

So my next big step is to reissue the five stories I wrote for Kensington in the early part of this century. (I recall I was just sitting down to work on the second book in the series when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Needless to say, with a son working in New York, it was a few days before I got back to work.)

The first of the series, HIS HEART’S DELIGHT will be out some time this week – I promise that as soon as the date is firm it will be announced loud and clear – a promise I make to all the marketing mavens who have been so helpful.

These stories are what I would class as “comfort” reads – a subject discussed recently in a blog post by Mackenzie Lucas. Comfort Reads (my term) are stories you turn to when your world is stress filled and you want to escape, not to someone else’s pain and torment but to a world that is a little kinder and more gentle than your own. The Braedon Series books are romantic, but not erotic. They are short but not novellas. The characters are real but far from perfect. And, praise heaven, they live happily ever after.

So I have three questions for you. Feel free to answer one, two or all:

  1. Do you have any suggestions on how to find the market for my comfort reads?
  2. Do you have any suggestions on the best places to get the word out that there is a new player in the game?
  3. And did any one else think Louise Penny’s second mystery was awful after a terrific first, prize-winning effort? 

Comment here for a chance to win the kindle edition of Mary's lovely story, Father Christmas.


  1. I'd like to make a suggestion that you try to market to an older population in some way. I have a few friends with their elderly moms still with them, and they enjoy "cozies" -- for example, one has poor eyesight and enjoys cozy mysteries on audiobook. Another reads in print and likes romances. If your writing is in the "gentle romance" line, it might be very well-received. Not to say that all of the older set shies away from erotic romance; just those in my experience :) So... placement in senior centers? Ads in AARP magazine? Drop-offs at dr's offices?

  2. Will do! My mom was like that too -- she was the one who intro'd me to romance fifty years ago. In those days it was all Harlequin and "gentle" but there were some unique reads then. I agree completely that the older market is a prime target but was amazed when a barely 30 year old said she liked my books because they were "comfort reads." Thanks Marceline.

  3. Mary!! Welcome back to the R8! We've missed you.

    I love Marcelline's suggestions for marketing. With erotica and spicy contemporary receiving so much attention these days, it can be easy to forget there are folks who also like (or even prefer) a more comforting, cozy read.

    One thought might be to do one of those FB book launches with authors who write in the same vein. It can get your name out there, especially with new-to-you readers.

  4. Oh, and I forgot to add: Awesome cover!!!

  5. Greetings, Mary. Marceline's ideas are about the same as mine. In addition to those placement areas like the senior center, I was going to suggest any place where people go to take a break. I have no idea how you do this of course other than simply taking your book to these places and leaving a copy yourself, but what about Bread and Breakfast places? I've also been in and out of the hospital visitors' waiting area with a family member and if I'd have seen a romance novel sitting on one of the tables, I'd have picked it up in a heartbeat. Also a great suggestion by Keely. Well, good luck with your relaunch! She's entirely too cute, the beauty on your cover. :)

  6. Thanks for the suggestions. This is all predicated on the paper copy concept to complement the ebook option. paper version seems to be more and more essential.

    Glad the cover appeals. My question: does she intrigue you enough to make you want to click on the title and find out what HIS HEARTS DELIGHT is about?

  7. Here I am in England on the Duke of Wellington tour and one of our group just told me she searches for traditional regencies for comfort reads.

    All of us on the tour, bar one, are over 40 and all of us have e readers. I'd promote on the internet. I'll ask how our group member finds her regencies and get back to you

    I, of course, LOVED His Hearts Delight!!

    You know I'm opinionated about covers. This one is lovely but it doesn't signal to me that it is a regency or even an historical.

  8. Hi Diane! So fun to be in touch when you are so far away. Thanks for mentioning that the cover says nothing about historical or regency. That was my effort to try to attract the attention of non Regency readers who will click on the cover and read the blurb and think "I might like that"

    I would love to know where your fellow travelers find their comfort reads...I'll be there.

  9. Beautiful cover, Mary. It might make me click buy ... but I hardly ever go on cover alone. Shock, surprise, I know. The blurb is what sells me every time.

    I have yet to figure out the whys and wherefores of getting the word out to the masses. But I'll be watching to learn from you!

    Good luck with the sales of your books. Love the Father Christmas cover too. Looks very Parent Trap(ish) to me--without seeing the blurb, of course. Just the look of it makes me smile and feel warm & fuzzy. ;0)

  10. Warm and fuzzy works for me Mackenize! A fun detail re Father Christmas is that the 8 year old twins who are the focal point of the story are all grown up now and my novella in ONCE AND FOREVER is Kendall's love story.

    I don't expect the cover to sell the book but hope it intrigues a potential reader enough to have them click on it for the blurb.

  11. Mary-

    I think the "comfort reads" idea is a wonderful concept. As you know, my friend Kathy, in California, LOVES your books, many of which you have been kind enough to send her. She also loves many other "small" regencies, which I think, for this discussion, we could say "comfort reads." Sounds like a niche to be explored. I will contact you about some ideas which might be useful in getting the word out.

    Binnie Syril Braunstein

  12. I asked my co-traveler. She looks on blogs and searches through Amazon.

    Plus she said she loves your books!

  13. Forgot to say that I'll be interested to see if the cover works as you hope!

  14. As you know, Mary, I LOVE that cover! And like Diane, I'm very interested to see what kind of reactions the cover gets once it goes "live."

    Thank you so much for guesting here on the R8!! I'll wait until Sunday to pick a winner from the commenters...

  15. Welcome back to the R8, Mary!

    I've been to some workshops where they said that offering your ebook on sale or for free for a few days can boost sales. Also, perhaps you could tweet about it if you aren't already. Could you also do a reading at an event like Lady Jane's Salon? You could advertise it by FB and twitter. Perhaps those who attend could get a discount card to purchase the book.

    Hope this helps. Love the covers! XO

  16. Thanks for the input. The book is out in eBook format Thursday. Will remind you at least one more time!

  17. Hi Mary,

    So good to have you here with the R8 again. And congrats on stepping out there, e-book style!

    I'm sure your covers will get second and third looks, and some clicks as well. Personally, I love to learn about ebooks from guest posts on blogs, so hopefully that works for you. And Lisa McQuay has a good point about Twitter. Folks are so good about spreading the word on Twitter, and if you can embed links in those tweets, that's even better.

    Well, good luck on this new endeavor and come back and see us soon!