Am I Crazy or am I starting to like Marketing these books?

So if you’ve been following my posts, you already know that book 2 of the Legends of the Pale Series is in the hands of my editor. Yes, she is a friend, but more importantly, she’s been an editor for over thirty years and knows her stuff. She also hates to see me post anything without her giving it a passing glance. And though I trust her completely, there is no way she can pre-check every blog post or Medium story I put out there.

With that said, she hasn’t seen this.

Anyway…

Book 2’s cover has also been designed. New covers always make me happy! If you’ve missed it, here it is again.

Knowing that it takes April eight weeks to edit a full-length book, I can begin to look at a release date. For now, I’ve chosen November 1st. That should give me time to generate some hype, line up reviewers, and book a few signings. And of course, make a kick-ass poster! Which I did yesterday.

Ta-da! I’ve been wanting to use these claw marks ever since I saw them.

Really not this small, more like 24×36

And since The Fate of Wolves is getting its own poster, I worked up a poster for The Love of Gods based on the Facebook Group posts I’d been doing over the last several months.

Yep, this one is also 24×36

Okay, so what’s the point of this post? Well, I guess I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with the marketing aspect of self-publishing.

For those who don’t know my backstory, there was nearly a seven-year gap between the release of Surrendered Darkly and the final Darkly book. So much had changed and I discovered that I had to play catch up.

Indie authors as a whole had raised the bar. Most of the self-published books on the market were now as professionally produced as any traditionally published one. There were new publishing services available and promotional sites. Simply uploading your book to Amazon wouldn’t guarantee you sales anymore. There were advertising, web presence, and review services to consider.

But unlike when I released The Love of Gods and Resurrected Darkly, I am definitely more prepared this time. I’ve discovered review services I can trust and that are a good value for my limited dollars; Readers’ Favorites, Literary Titan, and Dog-Eared Reviews. I have a working list of Facebook Groups on which I can promote. You can find a sample of them on my marketing page. And, I’ve got Whizbuzz Books to help generate excitement.

There’s my twitter feed, a Facebook page just for the books, and I’m now writing on Medium so I can share a different side of me. Also, my website is awesome!

Take that Social Media! I have a presence again. Whoot-Woot!

Lastly, The Fate of Wolves is just a gosh-darn good book in a new series that I love and I’m truly excited to be able to offer it to readers.

Look for it November 1st!

The Latest News from inside the Darkly World.

July 2019 and August 2019

Literary Titan has bestowed four of the Darkly Series books with their Gold Book Award! This award is for books that were found to be “perfect in their delivery of original content, meticulous development of unique characters in an organic and striking setting, innovative plot that supports a fresh theme, and elegant prose that transforms words into beautifully written books.”

All five Darkly books can be purchased through Amazon. The Kindle ebooks are on sale this summer and all are free through Kindle Unlimited.

Bound Darkly
Kept Darkly
Surrendered Darkly
Resurrected Darkly

In other news

The Fate of Wolves, book 2 in the Legends of the Pale Series, is off to my editor. I’m looking at a release date of November 1st if all goes as smoothy as I hope. I’m very excited about this one and will keep posting updates.

Now Writing on Medium

For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon that is Medium, it is a place where writers share their creative work, writing experiences, and opinions with the world. Every day thousands of stories and articles are posted. For $5 a month membership you can read as much as you want. A free account will give you access to four stories a month.

Unlike other blog sites, Medium pays writers according to how many claps they receive on a story and readers can award a writer up to 50 claps per story.

For me, Medium provides a platform to explore topics that are separate from the books. All my post are personal in nature. Many are self-deprecating as well.

Drop-in on Medium and check out my latest offerings. Click Here

Tarrant Smith

Amazon Reviews:

The Love of Gods

I just wanted to highlight the customer reviews that are beginning to appear on Amazon. Each, no matter the number of starts given, is a gift to an author. It lets us know if our storytelling has touched you, entertained you, or where we need to work harder on perfecting our craft. Thank you for taking the time to tell other readers about the first book in the Legends of the Pale Series, The Love of Gods.

stephen r. huggins

5.0 out of 5 stars  A Welcome Surprise

May 27, 2019 Format: Paperback

“This was my first time reading a “paranormal romance” and I was delighted with the experience. The characters were distinct and well-rounded, the settings described with just enough detail to make the scenes snap, and the dialog both intriguing and believable. The pacing of the novel kept me moving right along wondering where the plot would take me next.
This has got to be a difficult genre to write for, yet Tarrant Smith carried it off with great flair. If you are ready to step out of the hum-drum of routine fiction, this is a great place to start. I now plan to tackle Smith’s other novels. I’m confident I won’t be disappointed.”

C. Jackson

5.0 out of 5 stars  A Page-Turning Supernatural Mystery/Romance

May 29, 2019 Format: Kindle Edition

“Smith manages to combine mystery, romance, and the paranormal in this riveting tale. I read The Love of Gods over two days, eager to learn more of the world of gods, shifters, witches, and demons. Well-developed characters and a tight plot left me turning pages until the very end. While I’m waiting for the next book in the series, I’m going to read her other work. I highly recommend this read if you love romance, mystery, or paranormal stories!”

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars  For the Love of This Book!

May 5, 2019 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

“The Love of Gods (The Legends of the Pale Series) by Tarrant Smith features a pantheon of gods and goddess, witches, demons, shape shifters, fae, werewolfs and demigods all trying to eek out a somewhat normal existence in the modern world…”

“…The cast of characters—gods witches, et. al—really work in this novel. Smith does an amazing job of explaining to the reader the character’s backstory. Mythology can be so confusing, but in this series it isn’t. Trying to tell a story with a murder mystery coupled with a love story and mythology seems impossible, but Tarrant Smith does it with elegance and grace!”

Author Interview: A Proven Warrior (Bound Darkly)

JUL 20 Posted by Literary Titan: Tarrant Smith Author Interview

Tarrant Smith

Bound Darkly is an exciting paranormal fantasy novel. What was the initial idea behind this story and how did that transform as you were writing the story?

After I finished writing Enchanted Darkly, the question of Hueil’s backstory wouldn’t leave me alone. Why was he exiled by King Melwas and how was he going to step back into a life and a world he’d been forced away from after so many years? I knew his exile and Jennifer had changed him on a fundamental level and I wanted to explore that dilemma. Sinnie’s character and the close connection to Jennifer was a secret that I also wanted to explain. Why did Jennifer, a light court halfling, make such an impression on Hueil? And how was Hueil’s courtship of Sinnie, a seelie, going to play out? All these characters were so well defined for me that Bound Darkly was one of the easiest books for me to write. For the most part, all I had to do was stand back and let the characters tell me what happened next.

What was one of the hardest parts in Bound Darkly for you to write?

The hardest parts of Bound Darkly to write were the scenes where Hueil’s self-destructive nature gets in the way of his and Sinnie’s budding romance. His doubts and inability to trust all things seelie were reoccurring obstacles for him. There were times I, like Sinnie, just wanted to slap him when his stubborn nature kicked in. But next to Crank, whose story is told in the fifth book, Hueil is my favorite Darkly Series character. His story arc is the longest in the series. He goes from being the villain in Enchanted to redeemed hero in Bound. And then in Kept Darkly, he rises to become the Unseelie king.

How did you create Sinnie and Hueil’s characters in a way that contrasted yet still supported the characters development?

Since Hueil’s character was fully formed by the time I started Bound, it was Sinnie’s character that I spent the most effort in creating. She needed to be as unusual a seelie as Hueil’s unseelie character. She also needed to be a challenge to win, on both a social and personal level. I wanted her strong enough to stand up to Hueil and a proven warrior in her own right. Someone whose skills he could learn to respect. They needed to meet as equals. I knew that a damsel in distress would never appeal to Hueil. I also wanted Sinnie’s backstory to contrast sharply with the struggles of Hueil’s unseelie life. In the end, Hueil has to learn to trust while Sinnie has to find a way to see beyond the crimes of his past, past her right and wrong thinking to a place of understanding and acceptance.

This is book two in the Darkly series. What can readers expect in book three?

Book three, Kept Darkly, is where I explore Sel’s story. From the first two books, readers know that Sel is the Seelie Queen’s captain and Sinnie’s father. But what they will discover is that the captain has secrets and suppressed longings that have been pushed aside in the name of duty to queen and the Seelie Court. I will also take the reader into one of the many god realms in book three, delve deeper into the conflicts of the fey courts, and reveal the final fate of the fabled Absent King.

5 Stars for the last two Darkly Books!

The reviewers at Literary Titan must have jumped straight into book 4 and 5 after reading Kept Darkly because their reviews for Surrendered and Resurrected are in! Each book received 5 stars. You can read the full review on the book’s webpage. Or Click Here to see the reviews on Literary Titan.

Surrendered Darkly:

“From the first page, this romantic fantasy engages readers with the lives of colorful characters and explores realms via two headstrong main characters, Neb and Cora. Theirs is a story fans of romance won’t want to miss.”

“Readers who are fond of deep-seated romances will enjoy this fourth book in the series.”

Resurrected Darkly:

“I found Resurrected Darkly to be the most engaging of the books in the series. The dynamic between Ena and Crank is simply enchanting.”

“Tarrant Smith jumps right into the action with Resurrected Darkly. From the first pages, the reader is swept into Ena’s world and given a myriad of clues as to her origins.”

Amazon

More Good News for the Darkly Series!

Reviewer: Literary Titan; Kept Darkly

Hiding far from her father, Riona never believed her life of isolation could change, much less change so drastically. For years, she has remained under the protection of the Seelie Queen and existed as a blemish on the face of her people. Riona knows her place and understands that she, for many reasons, must remain in hiding. When Riona, also known as Molly, is snatched from her home and finds herself assigned as the mate of the queen’s captain, Sel, she is more than baffled at her new station in life. Riona can’t help but wonder, and worry, what this actually means for her future.

Kept Darkly, the third book in the Darkly series by Tarrant Smith follows the unlikely pairing of Riona and Sel. Riona, by all rights, is far below Sel’s station in life and is painfully aware of the love he is said to have for the Seelie Queen. Smith’s decision to match Riona and Sel makes for an interesting plot that keeps the reader guessing as to the ultimate outcome–and hoping for a happy ending for the oppressed Riona.

I am always amazed at Smith’s character descriptions. Gloric is a prime example. An unseelie and questionable character all on his own, he is capable of metamorphosis. Smith draws a detailed picture of Gloric’s complete transformation in front of Riona. These types of scenes are definitely worth a reread and one of the hallmarks of Smith’s installments in the Darkly series. In addition, I was quite intrigued at the way in which Smith incorporates shapeshifting as one of Riona’s characteristics.

In the previous Darkly book, Smith provides readers with moments of comic relief, and Kept Darkly delivers the same. These brief scenes are welcome as the overall theme of the book is primarily thoughtful and brooding. With this installment, it’s not so much the dialogue that makes for the moments of comic relief but the images conjured by Smith’s narrative. I was particularly drawn to the levity created during the interactions between Sel and the sprite, Urias.

Smith’s characters are fascinating on many levels. Crank is easily my favorite of all Smith’s characters–I am partial to the unseelie. He is a no-holds-barred type of guy who says exactly what he means and has no problem making himself clear to anyone fortunate enough to listen to his tales. As with the metamorphosis of Gloric, I was impressed with the transfer of energy that takes place between Riona and Sel. What appears as a hopeless situation for Riona is suddenly turned around with minimal effort on Sel’s part.

Smith’s writing is beautifully descriptive and rich with character development. Readers following the series will enjoy getting to know Sel and watching his relationship with Riona bloom. The better part of book 3 feels dedicated to developing character relationships and describing the unique struggle between the seelie and unseelie groups, and fans of fantasy romance will find Smith’s work particularly fascinating.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is a book review website which consists of mostly fiction books, but we do enjoy non-fiction works that we’re excited about. All reviews are the reviewer’s honest opinion. We love books and read constantly (seriously, it’s an addiction). We’re always open to book review requests and have aspirations of one day being sucked into the Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith where all he wants to do is read, but can’t until the world ends; you know what I mean? www.LiteraryTitan.com

New Review from Literary Titan

I’m happy to share with you that Bound Darkly is receiving some much needed love. The Darkly Series itself is one of the best-kept secrets on Amazon. It was nice to find a fresh and enthusiastic review for book two among my emails. I’ve posted the review for Bound Darkly in full on Bound’s book page. Here are a few snippets.

“Like many a mortal woman, Sinnie is attracted to the rebel–the bad boy–and Hueil is, without a doubt, one of the worst. Their story more than makes the book a worthwhile read. The chemistry between the two and the true feelings of love experienced by Hueil are raw and relatable.”

“It is clearly a beautifully crafted work of fantasy…”

“Smith has succeeded in offering readers a sequel to Book 1 that is easy to follow for those new to the series. I highly recommend Smith’s second book in the Darkly series to any reader who seeks books with a combination of fantasy and romance.”

To check out Literary Titan or read the review on their site just follow this link.

Interview:

JUN 8 Posted by Literary Titan

Tarrant Smith Author Interview

Tarrant Smith Author Interview

The Love of Gods is a genre-crossing novel with elements of romance, supernatural, and mystery as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?

Actually, I initially was trying to write a mystery with a hint of a simmering romance which I hoped would span several books, but I discovered pretty early on that I am a romance writer and not a mystery writer. So, I tossed my first draft and started over.

Lugos and Keely are interesting and well defined characters. What were some ideas that were important for you to capture in their characters?

Lugos is based on two different Celtic gods which gave me a place to start. I immediately understood who he was, what would be important to him, and a good portion of his backstory from the very beginning. And so from that jumping off point, he became a vivid character in my mind. I wanted him to value his intellect over his brawn. I also him to value humanity over his own kin. As for Keely, her southern sass is based on a waitress I know, and the awful taste in men is a nod to a dear friend of mine. Because Lugos is an immortal, I wanted Keely to have a resilient and courageous nature so that Lugos’s god-ness didn’t overpower the relationship. Even though she’s a mortal, Keely had to be his equal in many ways otherwise the relationship wouldn’t work.

I loved the backstory and world building in this novel. What were some sources of inspiration for you while creating this story?

I spend a lot of my time researching various myths and much of the characters’ backstories are tied to my understanding of those myths. The various gods in The Love of Gods all have their own histories in Celtic mythology and I drew from these. The shifter and witch communities have rich literary traditions that gave me a direction, a roadmap, of how they might respond if the world of the Pale truly existed.

This is book one in The Legends of Pale series. Where will book two take readers and when will it be available?

I’m happy to say that I am hard at work on several books in this series. The Fate of Wolves is the next book and will be out near Christmas this year. I have already finished book three, The Dreams of Demons, and if all goes to plan I’ll release it in spring 2020. I’m currently writing the fourth book, The Souls of Witches and I’m absolutely in love with the main characters. But then, that’s how it is with each book I write.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The Love of Gods (The Legends of the Pale Series Book 1) by [Smith, Tarrant]

Lugos had given his word when the world was still young, before he’d endured the wrenching pain of her soul being torn from his. Lifetime after lifetime she’d returned when he’d needed her most, when the apathy of his kind had eaten away at his resolve and his heartfelt vow seemed pointless. One would think he’d be able to protect a single mortal, after all, he was a god. But two long centuries had passed since he’d held her, since he’d been whole. Now, she was back and Lugos had a decision to make; claim the only woman he’d ever loved, or deny his soul’s deepest craving and grant Keely a chance at a peaceful life without the dangers that populated his world. For five years, Lugos had chosen the latter with the hope that the fates might overlook them this time. That was still his plan when the goddess Rhiannon called seeking his help. Lugos should have known better.

The Literary Titan is a book review website which consists of mostly fiction books, but we do enjoy nonfiction works that we’re excited about. All reviews are the reviewer’s honest opinion. We love books and read constantly (seriously, it’s an addiction). We’re always open to book review requests and have aspirations of one day being sucked into the Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith where all he wants to do is read, but can’t until the world ends; you know what I mean? www.LiteraryTitan.com

Making those Ads Count!

It’s all about getting noticed. Rising above the noise. There are thousands of books being released every day. How do you get seen? Why do readers click on one ad and not another? Does your indie ad look professional? Is everything spelled correctly? Did you forget important information?

I always get a kick out of creating ads for my series. Actually, I adore it. This morning I knocked out three new ones. Same catchphrases, but different images. I run so many of these now on Facebook that I don’t want my band to get boring. All the images are purchased stock photos from istockphoto.com. As for the details of price and links, I always place that outside the basic ad. That way it can be changed often. Sometimes it’s a description of the book or an excerpt to tease the reader. And of course, prices go up and down.

As a romance author I have to be careful not to show too much otherwise a reader will think the books are more erotica than romance. And there is a difference between the two. An image that is too suggestive is often times banned from some Facebook group, so it’s a fine line for most romance authors.

How did I do compare to other Romance Book advertising you’ve seen? Leave a comment below.