Coiled Blog Tour

Book marketing is an art, and few understand it or bring more creative energy and imagination to the enterprise than fantasy author, H. L Burke. So when she offered to do a guest a post, I jumped at the chance for her to share a few words on the subject. H. L. is on the Coiled blog tour: a collection of posts celebrating the release of her new YA Mythological Romance from Uncommon Universe Press. Via the links below you will find interviews, informational and entertaining posts about the story behind the story, and of course, sneks. Seven stops on this blog tour contain special Scavenger Hunt Clues, presented by #TheodoretheDragon and #PistachioSnek. More about that below. First, here’s H. L. on book marketing!

Book Marketing


H. L Burke

Honestly, if you asked me the secret to promoting books online I’d say, “Don’t do it.”

Don’t go onto social media to promote. Go and interact, go and be you, but you need to earn your right to sell. Too many writers have a social media presence consisting purely of buy links, reviews, and cover reveals. You’ll find out a lot about where to buy their books, but not necessarily why you should, and definitely not why you should follow them on social media.

If you want to approach social media as an author (to #BeSeen to borrow a theme from Coiled) I suggest three Be’s.


Be Interesting, Be Authentic, and Be Realistic.


Be interesting hits a lot of authors hard because they may not necessarily believe they are interesting. This leads to them parroting links and imitating others just because they don’t know what else to do. After all, there’s nothing shiny about you. People don’t care about you. You aren’t interesting.


Seriously, though, did you write a book?

Is the book interesting? It was interesting enough for you to spend months if not years of your life working on it. Where did that interesting book come from? From you! You produced something interesting. How did you do that if you aren’t at least a little bit interesting?

The thing is, authors are mysterious beings who somehow form coherent novels, when a lot of readers struggle to write emails. Do you do research for your books? Do you keep inspirational images? Do your characters have conversations in your heads?

That’s interesting.


I often suggest writers treat social media like the bonus features on a DVD. Include “making of” and “behind the scenes” content, cut scenes, “cast” interviews. Give sneak peeks of upcoming projects (previews), and let them in on your process.


If you’re shy, let your characters take over. Allow your hero to interact on your Facebook. Have your villain “hijack” your Twitter feed. Have your heroine share images of her favorite weapons on Instagram. My instagram is mostly run by #TheodoretheDragon, a toy dragon who goes on many wonderful adventures which I just photograph and post online.


Another thing to remember is often if it is interesting to you, it will be interesting to your reader. In between projects, talk about things that you find entertaining: books, TV shows, and music that suit the genre, themes, or mood of your book. Share artwork (honestly sourced, of course) related to your books. I’m forever sharing dragon pictures because my readers like dragons. What do your readers like?


Be authentic. Don’t put on a false face for social media. A lot of times this is a defense mechanism, but if you are very uncomfortable doing something or interacting in some ways, stop and find a different approach. Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t (exception, obviously, if you are openly doing the “post as your characters” thing I talked about in the last section).

Also, don’t humble brag (the internet knows about this), and don’t worry about presenting a glistening, perfect facade … or a highbrow literary facade. People hate fake, and it takes a lot less energy in the long run just to be you.

Figure out the tone you feel best represents you. Is it playful? Serious? Snarky? That’s a good place to start.


Be realistic. Consider the hours in a day, your own personality (extroverted or introverted? Better online or in person? Playful or serious?), your honest limitations. Don’t try to do it all. Rather than being spread thin over all the sties, pick ones you feel you can do well—or better yet, enjoy, and just focus on those. Give yourself permission to take time off, save some of your creative energy for writing your next novel.


I’m a big believer in the best marketing being to write books people want to read, so never do anything that stops you from writing. If people read and love your books, they’ll tell other people about them.


Speaking of books people like to read, if you like romantic fantasies, mythological retelling, or books with really big snakes, I think you’ll like Coiled, a fantasy retelling of Eros and Psyche, one of my favorite myths, be sure to check it out and tell your friends!


Thanks so much for sharing your ideas, H. L. You’re truly in an inspiration. Now, about that Scavenger Hunt. Seven stops on this blog tour contain special Scavenger Hunt Clues, presented by #TheodoretheDragon and #PistachioSnek. Look for a photo of either or both of those little guys holding up a note. Each note is part of our secret phrase. When you have all seven pieces of our secret phrase click here and tell us. All correct entries will be put into a random drawing for a signed paperback of Coiled. The winner will be drawn at our Facebook party on June 23rd.

Blog Tour Dates:

June 5 – Liz Delton, Author Interview (scavenger hunt)
June 7 – Monsters, Misfits, Mushy Stuff Guest Blog (scavenger hunt)
June 8 – Brianna Merritt, Book Spotlight
June 10 – Rebekah Gyger, Greek Gods Guest Blog (scavenger hunt)
June 12 – A. R. Silverberry, Guest Blog (scavenger hunt)
June 13 – Heather Hayden, Author Interview (scavenger hunt)
June 14 – Lea Doue, Author Interview
June 15 – Alyson, Author Interview (scavenger hunt)
June 20 – Jebraun Clifford, Guest Blog
June 22 – Laura Pol, Author Interview (scavenger hunt)
June 23 – Olivia Fisher, Book Spotlight

Coiled, by H. L. Burke

Coiled, by H. L. Burke

About Coiled

A healing touch. A hideous face. A looming curse.

As the ugly twin to a perfect sister, Princess Laidra lives her life in the shadows—until her parents offer her as bait for a giant serpent.

Her escape attempt leaves her shipwrecked on a secluded island with only one inhabitant: Prince Calen, who lives under a curse. If anyone looks upon him, he turns into a giant serpent. Speaking to him in the darkness, Laidra sees past the monster to Calen’s lonely soul, and she determines to free him from the magic’s hold.

But if Laidra can’t break the curse in time, Calen will become a mindless creature of scales and fangs forever.

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About H. L. Burke:

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

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