Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Tina Murray

Romance readers will recognize Southwest Florida resident Tina Murray from her published work Dead Palm Trees in Jackie Hofer’s anthology Tree Magic and from her essays in the USF literary journal Palm Prints.

A recluse at heart, Tina has ventured her way into the publishing world after years spent in a wide range of pursuits. Insight gained, especially as an actress and artist, subsequently enhanced by degrees in art education, education, art and drama from the Florida State University and the University of Miami, has fed her imagination for her debut romance novel, A Chance to Say Yes. Now she enjoys the sunny shores of paradise as she prepares the sequel in her movie‐star dynasty.

You can find Tina Murray at www.tinamurrayauthor.com

Purchase the book at Amazon in both hardcover and kindle edition.

Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz, Tina. Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?

A Chance to Say Yes, my first published novel, is listed as women’s fiction, but men have liked it and told me so. The cover certainly appeals to men. The novel was published in 2008 by ArcheBooks Publishing, Inc., which is a small publishing house now based in Florida. ArcheBooks will release the second edition of A Chance to Say Yes this summer, a fact I am delighted to share.

I like to use the sentence author Sara Williams wrote to describe A Chance to Say Yes: “Poppy Talbot is overwhelmed by her suppressed love of her high school flame, now a Hollywood heart throb returned to flaunt his wealth—and hide his empty life–in the their upscale hometown, Naples, Florida.” Art dealer Poppy’s old high-school flame is a drop-dead handsome, internationally famous movie star named Heston Demming. A Chance to Say Yes is the first book in my Heston Demming trilogy.

Currently, I am completing Book Two: A Wild Dream of Love. I am writing fast-paced romantic stories that offer a window onto the nature of celebrity in our society, from various points of view, both celeb and non-celeb. The stories contain celebrity gossip, but the stars and events are make-believe, and my thrust is, ultimately, spiritual.

What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?

I had a ton of expensive bookmarks and postcards made. After stamping addressing, and posting hundreds of cards, I decided there might be a better way.

If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?

Word of mouth is most effective, but I have no control over that. I believe that hiring a publicist helped me a lot because I had no platform and very little time. The publicists made valuable contacts for me. Also, my publisher provided basic tools and advice, for which I am grateful.

Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?

For me, book marketing, right now, is one giant experiment. You might even call it an adventure.

Do you use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your books and have you had any success with it?

I started out on Facebook and, eventually, Twitter, but I use them only occasionally, and I don’t strive towards network domination. I have author-friends who use both quite effectively, however. I’m sure my publisher wishes I used social networking more. Trouble is, I’m reclusive by nature. I don’t want to be socially connected all the time, just some of the time.

Probably, I will use them more because they are great tools. Finding a balance between writing and promoting actually has been the greatest professional challenge I’ve faced since the publication of A Chance to Say Yes.

Do you own a blog and how often do you update it? Did you set up your blog solely to promote your book and what is its effectiveness?

Blogs are like anything else. They work if you work them. I don’t blog often. In the future, I hope to take advantage of this venue, also, because blogs are a great tool, too. I have blog guilt because I know I should be blogging often. I know blogs are effective. That is one of the reasons I am doing a virtual book tour. To date, it has been a matter of energy conservation. I have chosen to pour my creative energy into my novels.

Do you recommend authors getting publicists to help them promote their books? Do you have one?

I recommend the practice to those who can afford it. I do not recommend it to those who cannot afford it. I used a publicist, Ascot Media Group, Inc., to launch A Chance to Say Yes. I hope to use Ascot again in the future, along with others. The publicists made valuable contacts for me, as I noted in a previous answer—so many, in fact, I was not able to take advantage of them all because of time constraints.

If an author prefers to do it alone rather than hire a publicist, where should they start?

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of The Frugal Book Promoter. She also sends out a newsletter. I would track down both book and newsletter. In addition, I would network with successful authors and ask their advice and observe their actions.

Thank you for coming, Tina Murray! We wish you much success!

Thank you very much. I appreciate your interest, Book Marketing Buzz, and that of your readers.

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