Marvelous Mechanical... tea and kittens?



Today I get to welcome author Rie Sheridan Rose to my blog, with her Marvelous Mechanical Man! But she's not just telling about the book, she's also offered to let me (and you) in on some secrets of book promotion. So Thank you Rie, and I'm delighted to welcome you here!

Promoting The Marvelous Mechanical Man, and The Conn-Mann Chronicles in general has been an interesting learning curve. When I realized several years (and three books) ago that my small press publisher didn’t have the resources to dedicate to one author alone, I made the decision to take back the control of the series and do everything myself.

 It’s been a fairly steep curve, but I’ve learned a lot about marketing and publicity. Though, Heaven knows, there is a world more to learn!

 One of the things I’ve realized is that it helps to have a consolidated presence online. My Twitter banner relates to the series; I have a Facebook page for the books; and they have their own website. Of course, none of these things get updated as often as they should, but that is the subject of a whole different post.

 I have learned through the years—and much trial and error—that certain things work, and other marketing items are a waste for me. For example, I have boxes of pens in my marketing cabinet that have long ago dried up. No problem. Since the Conn-Mann series is set in the 1870s, I have invested in pencils this time. They don’t dry up and never go out of style. Plus, kids love them, and that might get parents to give a second look.

 I met the lovely siblings behind Teapunk Teas at a convention, and together we have created three tea blends based on characters in the series: Jo’s Morning Jolt; Alistair’s Afternoon Delight; and Leonora’s Illuminating Libation. Each one is tied to their character in taste and text on the tin. Another interesting and effective marketing tool. We have cross-pollination this way too, so see who you can partner with to create something different and unique for your brand.

 Postcards can be highly effective marketing tools. Particularly when the image is consistent with my convention banner and other items. The back currently lists the first four books with a blurb about each.

 One of my biggest hits marketing-wise was a real surprise. Always trying to think outside the box of table lures, I came across some tiny plastic cats. As cats feature prominently in the series, I bought several bags and found a wooden box shaped like a trunk to put them in. I have a sign on the box that we have to get rid of some of the kittens and asking people to adopt one for fifty cents. I sell more kittens at conventions...again, drawing in the kids. Though I have some customers who return year after year to get more kittens.

 My main point here is that thinking of what is unusual about your book or series and finding a way to market that can lead to unexpected sales in the long run.

 Oh wow! Tea blends! That's a really cool idea, and it also makes me even more keen to read the book. And kittens? Well, you'd have my fifty cents! Thank you so much for sharing these ideas. And now I'll let my readers learn a little more about you and your book... and I'll pour some tea.



THE MARVELOUS MECHANICAL MAN
By Rie Sheridan Rose
Steampunk/Adventure/Romance

The Marvelous Mechanical Man is the first book in a Steampunk series featuring the adventures of Josephine Mann, an independent woman in need of a way to pay her rent. She meets Professor Alistair Conn, in need of a lab assistant, and a partnership is created that proves exciting adventure for both of them.

Alistair’s prize invention is an automaton standing nine feet tall. There’s a bit of a problem though…he can’t quite figure out how to make it move. Jo just might be of help there. Then again, they might not get a chance to find out, as the marvelous mechanical man goes missing.

Jo and Alistair find themselves in the middle of a whirlwind of kidnapping, catnapping, and cross-country chases that involve airships, trains, and a prototype steam car. With a little help from their friends, Herbert Lattimer and Winifred Bond, plots are foiled, inventions are perfected, and a good time is had by all.

FIND IT HERE

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3bfoz55









I was debating just what I should do next when I heard the sound of a key in the front lock. Hurrying back to the laboratory, I was just in time to see Alistair Conn step inside.
            “Professor Conn! Am I glad to see you.”
            He set the bundles he was carrying down on the counter.
            “What is it, Miss Mann?”
            “Your mechanical man...can it walk on its own?”
            He frowned, glancing quickly at the rear door and back.
            “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
            I rolled my eyes.
            “We don’t have time for shilly-shallying. Yes, I know I didn’t have your leave to look in the back rooms, but I did. I saw the automaton, or statue, or whatever he was, but when I opened the door to the hallway this morning, the door to the storage room was ajar and the man was gone.”
            “Gone?” All the color fled his face, and he pushed me aside, practically running down the lab to the rear door. He threw it open and darted to the storage room. “No...no! This is impossible! How could he be gone?”
            “That’s what I was asking you.”
            “He can’t move on his own, Miss Mann. He has no power source. He’s just a big metal doll without his heart—and that doesn’t work yet.” He wiped his hand across his lips then turned and ran back to the lab, searching furiously amid the items I had so carefully arranged—apparently to no avail—on the counter. “It’s gone!” he cried. “They got that, too? Oh, this is disastrous, indeed.”
            “Got what?” I asked, following him back to the lab, where he seemed determined to destroy all my neatening efforts of the day before.
            “The heart, Miss Mann, the heart! I showed it to you yesterday morning—it’s an oblong machine, about so big….” He held up his hands about six inches apart. “You asked me what it did.”
            I stepped over to the counter and opened the drawer beneath it. Rummaging in the back, I withdrew the silk-wrapped package I had placed within it the night before.
            “Is this what you’re looking for?”
            He practically snatched it from my hand.
            “Thank God! Oh, that was most clever, Miss Mann. Most clever.”
            I decided there was no need to tell the man it was only chance that had protected his precious...whatever it was. Let him think it had been foresight.
            “You say that’s the statue’s heart?”
            “Well, it will be, if it ever starts working. This little object will provide the power necessary to move the automaton’s limbs, to let him think. He will be a true mechanical man.”
            “But it doesn’t work.”
            He sighed.
            “Not yet.” He set the oblong down on the counter. “I’ve done everything I can think of, but I just can’t make it do anything.”
            I looked down at the funny little machine. I couldn’t tell him I had played with it and added things. He would never forgive me.
            Something looked odd about the assembly. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what, so I put my finger on the machine instead. There was a tiny lever half-hidden by the new gear assembly. It shifted under my fingertip, and suddenly, the heart began to beat.











Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2, and Killing It Softly Vols. 1 and 2. She has authored twelve novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. These were mostly written in conjunction with Marc Gunn, and can be found on “Don’t Go Drinking with Hobbits” and “Pirates vs. Dragons” for the most part–with a few scattered exceptions.

Her favorite work to date is The Conn-Mann Chronicles Steampunk series with five books released so far: The Marvelous Mechanical Man, The Nearly Notorious Nun, The Incredibly Irritating Irishman, The Fiercely Formidable Fugitive, and The Elderly Earl’s Estate.

Rie lives in Texas with her wonderful husband and several spoiled cat-children.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: https://riewriter.com/  and https://theconnmannchronicles.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RieSheridanRose
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheConnMannChronicles/

 



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Comments

Thank you so much for the chance to muse, Sheila. I appreciate the opportunity! :)
Sheila Deeth said…
You are very welcome. Thank you for visiting my blog.
Jean Harkin said…
Fun to read. I like the excerpt from the book.

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