Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Guest Paranormal Author Tabitha Shay

Katie: I'm pleased to have as my guest today multi-published author, Tabitha Shay. Tabitha writes in several genres. She has 12 books planned for the paranormal "Winslow Witches of Salem" series. Her third book and latest in the series of "Witch's Moon."

WIN A PRIZE: For every reader who leaves a comment, your name will be dropped in the witch's hat and at 9:00 p.m. CST a drawing will take place & the winner will receive a signed copy of book one. Be sure and check back for the winner's name. Then email her at to give Tabs your snail mail address.

Tabitha, would you please share with us a short synopsis of "Witch's Moon?"

Tabitha: Hi, Katie, and thank you for having me as your guest today. In "Witch's Moon," excited about her first Beltane, the fiesty and strong-willed Princess of Ru-Noc makes plans to find her ideal mate. But Princess Kali's world is turned upside down when she is kidnapped by the handsome Captian Koran T and finds herself whisked away and trapped in the mortal realm of vampires.

Katie: What brought you to the genre of paranormal fiction?

Tabitha: I fell into paranormal romance by accident. I was listening to a CD by the Eagles and singing along to Witchy Woman. The idea suddenly hit me that I could write a book about a witch. At the time, as I developed the plot, I only intended to write a single book, but as I wrote about the characters, I quickly realized it was going to take more than one book to tell their tale.

Katie: You've also written contemporary western romances under pen name, Jaydyn Chelcee. Do you prefer one genre over another?

Tabitha: I'd always preferred the western romances, but now, after becoming so involved in both genres, I'm hooked on paranormal, too.

Katie: Did you publish with a traditional publisher, or go the self-published route?

Tabitha: My first book, "Witch's Brew," was released in e-format by Eternal Press. I was very lucky at the time because I was already acquainted with Julie D'Arcy, who was the first owner of Eternal Press. She'd made the video for me of "Witch's Brew" and when she launched Eternal Press, she invited me to submit "Witch's Brew." I did and was stunned when it was accepted for publication. Nearly two years later, I'm still with Eternal Press.

Katie: As an author with several books under your belt, I assume you've had to do your own promoting and marketing. What has been the hardest part of marketing for you?

Tabitha: The hardest part has been convincing people that the witch series is a romance series and I'm not a Satan worshiper. Marketing is a lot of hard work. It's just as hard and just as important as writing that novel. After you've written the book, you gotta sell it. I've had post cards of my book covers and business cards printed. When I mail out my bills each month, I stuff a business card inside and a post card. I've even sneaked post cards inside famous author's books at Wal-Mart. There's no end to the ways one can market their books. I blog and have a website. I hold contests, accept interviews and I chat with readers on the group sites. I post copies of my book covers in every store that will let me in every town I'm in. I've chatted on Blog Talk Radio. I do anything and everything I can think of to hep sell my books.

Katie: Increasing internet presence is a must for any author these days. What avenues have you pursued to gain this presence? Which has worked the best/least for you?

Tabitha: It seems these days I'm at the computer 24/7, but I send out tons of emails to readers and fans, and I'm constantly on chats at the Yahoo group sites promoting. I post a lot of information on my website and blog. I'm in the process of posting the bios of my witch characters on my website. It gives my readers more information on the witches. I'm waiting to add more information as each book is released. I do some blogging, but I tend to spend more time adding things to my website than blogging, so I guess that works best for me. Contests online have worked very well. Those are usually posted at my blog site or during chats at the group sites. For every book I give away, I gain a new fan who wants the entire series. That's great!

Katie: What aspect of marketing and promotional work is your favorite/least favorite and why?

Tabitha: I love the online chats at the group sites. I get to visit with the fans and make new fans. I enjoy passing out post cards, magnet book covers, etc. It's all fun. It was a blast being reviewed at Blog Talk Radio. I'm not much of a blogger, so that's probably my least favorite part of promo work.

Katie: Please share the three most important things you have learned about marketing.

Tabitha: First, don't be afraid to give away your books. You'll gain new fans. Yes, it can get expensive; you have to learn to budget them into your expenses. Second, accept every request for an interview. I never turn anyone down. And third, take time to chat with the readers. They love it. They might not ask you questions, but they love learning about you, the author.

Katie: What advice would you give to a new author about publishing and marketing?

Tabitha: Listen to your editors. If they tell me to cut a scene, I cut it. Oh, gosh, yes, it hurts, and it always seems they want your favorite scene cut, but I've learned they're better at knowing what to chop than I am. I don't argue, unless it's going to change my next book in the series. Promotion is hard work and time consuming. Be prepared to stay busy. Attend conferences. There's lots of valuable information there. Arrange signings at local libraries and visit your local schools. Offer free copies of your book to your local libraries Get the word out there any way you can.

Katie: Thanks, Tabitha, for being my guest today. Be sure and visit Tabitha's blog and website, or her publisher. Please feel free to contact Tabitha via email at DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO WIN A PRIZE.



Laura @ Caninedesign said...

I love the fact you slip promos into books at Walmart. Go Tabs!

Tabitha Shay said...

Hi Laura,
Thanks for dropping by...I was so nervous the first time I did that...I just knew every camera in the store was focused on what I was

Sally_Odgers said...

Fascinating! I'm one of Tab's editors (it's my pleasure and honour to edit the Witch series) but I learned things in this interview I didn't know before.

Tabitha Shay said...

Hi Sally,
How nice of you to drop by, considering you're on the other side of the world...TY for the nice compliments...and it's my honour to have you for my editor....Tabs

Andrew Richardson said...

Thank you; that was an interesting and entertaining read. I've just been published by Eternal Press, and I've never had to market anything before, so thanks for the tips.

I'm not sure I'm brave enough to go into a bookshop and put inserts into their books, though!

Rhonda Parrish said...

Great interview Tabs :) I enjoyed reading about all your marketing and promotions suggestions, especially.

Tabitha Shay said...

Hi Andrew,
Welcome to a new author, in the beginning I was pretty timid about promotions too. It's a lot easier to tuck a business card inside a payment than inside a book at

Tabitha Shay said...

Hey Rhonda,
Nice to hear from you. I bet you know a lot of ways to promote your have some cool book covers, too....Tabs

cxncvgas said...

It is exciting to hear about and from authors of the paranormal or metaphysical. That is my subject matter, too, in illustrations and childrens books. Barbara W. Barber

She said...

I have to chuckle about you putting inserts about your books in other books. It's an interesting idea. It would definitely make me look for the book.

Tabitha Shay said...

Hi Barbara,
Paranormal is such a wonderful, exciting genre, an author can simply let his/her imagination soar...Thank you for stopping by...Tabs

Tabitha Shay said...

Hi There, She said...any way to promote my course, I've always wondered what a shopper thought or a checker when the book is scanned and the insert possibly drops out of the book...with no price on the insert, I imagine all sorts of puzzled

Morgan Mandel said...

Amazing to have 12 books ready to go!


Morgan Mandel

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

Hi Tabitha,
Katie, I'm probably too late to qualify for the free book, but I really enjoyed reading the interview. We got into a big discussion on the Avon Books group board about what kind of hero we liked. Tabitha you have chosen my kind of hero. Unfortunately he's a vampire.:) I'm intrigued to read the book.

My question is how were you able to keep the characters believable when writing a paranormal romance?