Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cruising and Shameless Book Promoting

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

As most of you know, Aunty recently returned from a fabulous eleven day cruise to Mexico. Yes, I had a wonderful time, but I'm here to tell you that it wasn't all fun and games!

Okay, maybe it really was fun and games, but our lovely publicist Danielle has rubbed off on me, because I also found an opportunity to promote my newest release, The Treasures of Venice. In the midst of my cruise, no less!

In case you haven't been on a cruise before, you might not know that not every day is spent in a wonderful and exotic port. Some days you have to spend getting from place to place. On these 'at sea' days, the cruise director and his staff try to provide entertaining ways for passengers to occupy their time.

Since I am not a sun-worshipper, a card player, or an exercise fanatic (EEK!), I do appreciate the efforts to provide other ways to occupy ones time. After all, there are a limited number of times Aunty can force herself to watch "Star Trek," "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," and "My Life In Ruins," (5, 3, and 4 respectively) especially on that tiny 7 inch TV screen in my cabin! And the singers, dancers, and comedians perform only after dinner. So games like Movie Trivia and the Newly-Wed and Not so Newly-Weds are fun diversions and also offer audience participation.

On one of our later sea days, the game for the afternoon was "What's My Line." Suddenly, Danielle's admonisions about taking every opportunity to promote our books echoed inside my head. Here was a great opportunity because *I* had an unusual and interesting job! With my DH egging me on, I went up before the game started and put down my name, hometown, and my unusual occupation: Romance Novelist.

Turns out, the cruise director, who was in charge of the game, also thought my job was unique, and I was one of the 6 contestants selected to stump the panel (two comedians and a singer). While I nervously awaited my turn on stage, the two people who went on before me had really wild jobs. One owned an "adult entertainment" store and the other was a female SWAT cop. I was afraid I would be a little anti-climactic after those two. But when the assistant held up my occupation for the 100 or so people in the audience to see, a ripple of applause and positive laughter went through the crowd.

Once I heard that, my nerves disappeared! I even managed to give some funny answers to the panel's questions (Panelist: Does your job provide something everybody needs? Aunty: I think everyone needs it, but no, not really.) and I totally 'stumped' them as to my job. In short, I was a success, and the cruise director even asked me the title and release date of my latest book! HOORAY! I clearly and distinctly enunciated each syllable, knowing I would make Danielle proud.

Best of all, when I got back to my seat, dozens of people asked if I had a card. Did I?!?! (I was never a scout, but I know how to be prepared!) I grabbed my purse and started passing out bookmarks and post cards! My DH even helped. And after that, in the hallways and elevators, other passengers would look at me and ask, "Aren't you the writer?"

So now you all know what I did on my vacation. I promoted my book!

Do you remember the game show "What's My Line?" What about other old game shows from television? Which ones were your favorites? Do you like the newest ones like "Deal or No Deal?"

16 comments:

  1. That's so neat, Cindy! I'm proud of you. I would never have done that!!! I would have wanted to, but...I do get up and speak to audiences, but not sure I'd have had the nerve to do something like you did. A friend of mine is going on a cruise and they told her it was a book signing cruise (whoever was coordinating it)...only the cruise ship said no, that only members of their little group could sell to each other. So that's the end of her little promotional cruise. But maybe she can do something like you did! Way to go!

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  2. WOOT! Way to go, Cindy! Who knows how many copies of your book(s) you'll end up selling just by having the gumption to sign up for the game then being prepared with promotional materials afterward. Word of mouth is priceless and I guarantee you those people in the audience will be telling their friends at home (and maybe online) all about meeting a romance writer on their cruise. :)

    I grew up watching "What's My Line" every Sunday night. It was a favorite in our house. I've always enjoyed game shows and still do.

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  3. Good for you Aunty! I tend to keep quiet about my "other job" unless I'm with my buddies who promote me shamelessly! After our last trip to Nashville, they have decided that I should never travel without copies of my books to sell!

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  4. Morning Everyone!

    Aunty is crawling out the her Revision Cave to say hello.

    Hi Terry, I'm sure you could do the game show thing too! It's a bit more nerve wracking than giving a prepared talk, since you never know what the panelists are going to ask. But after a couple of questions, I got "in the groove" and really enjoyed it!

    AC

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  5. Hey PJ,
    I remember the old game shows too! Which one was Kitty Carlisle on? I only remember her because my mother and grandmother always commented about her fabulous evening gowns with the plunging necklines. :-)

    I'm hoping you are RIGHT about people telling their friends how they met a 'real live' romance writer! LOL!

    AC

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  6. Cheryl,
    Don't ya LOVE your buddies for hawking your books? I have a couple who do that too and they crack me up. ;-)

    What a good idea to have a supply of your books! Unfortunately, we were limited on the amount of luggage... how you seen the miniscule size of those cruise cabins?!?! And do not even get me started about the bathroom! But, I don't spend much time in my cabin, except when I'm sleeping.

    AC

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  7. What fun, Aunty Cindy! I love game shows of all sorts. I blame that on my grandma.

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  8. It was fun, Renee!

    I always wanted to be on a game show, preferably one where you win lots of $$$. A former co-worker was on The Price Is Right and WON the super showcase!

    AC

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  9. Well done Aunty Cindy

    I loved all the games that were played when we went on a cruise on the sea days although I never got involved in them I had lots of fun in the audience.

    There will probably be lots more copies sold now way to go

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  10. Does that mean you can now write some of it off as a business expense on your taxes? LOL! Get a clever accountant and I am sure it would be possible. And I shall remember your tactics next time I am on vacation!

    Glad you had a blast. We missed you, but knowing you were getting the rest and relaxation we all crave was a happy thought.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. Oh, and I am about 1/3 the way thru TTofV and I am LOVING IT!!! So wonderful, Cindy. Keep them coming!

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  11. Helen,
    What an ADORABLE new piccie of your grandbabies!

    I always like to watch the games but have never really been involved until now. I hope you're right about more copies being sold! I want to reach as many readers as possible.

    AC

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  12. Hey Sharon,
    So glad you're enjoying TToV! I've been stuck here in the revision cave since we got home. :-( But I'm almost done, and looking forward to your visit and our joint book signing!

    AC

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  13. I watch Price is right every day.When I was younger I love A show that had every body wearing costumes I think it was called lets make a Deal.It was one of my fav at that time.
    sasluvbooks@yahoo.com

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  14. Great post, Cindy!

    Way to go. I'm jealous of your vacation and your game show. I always liked watching Jeopardy and Cash Cab. Every time I'm in NY and flag a cab, I keep hoping I'll get the Cash Cab, so far, no luck. Maybe that'll change when I go up in a little over a week.

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  15. Cindy, Kitty Carlisle was on What's My Line! :)

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  16. What a fabulous way to promote your book! Now if we can just convince cruise ships to carry our romance novels in their shops...

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