Wednesday, June 10, 2015

BSP - It's all About Buzz


Okay. First off, let me say I know zilch, nada, nothing about marketing - which is what self promoting is all about. What I've learned from online resources, such as Kristen Lamb's interesting and entertaining blog and others, just highlights how much more I have to learn. But when it comes to promoting, the first thing a writer must do is come out of the closet  - so to speak.

Back in 2009, I wrote a post here about Glenda Gibberish, who worked on her stories while hiding in the closet so nobody would find out that she was a writer. She didn't want any attention, and she didn't want to have to explain what she was doing if one should happen upon her writing at a desk. However, she finally reached a point where she had to tell someone, so she invited her best friend out to lunch. After hearing Glenda's tale of surreptitious writing, the friend assured Glenda that she would keep the secret, to which Glenda responded, “Actually, I wouldn't mind if you told a few people. My book comes out next month and I need the publicity."

When I wrote that, I swore that my middle name was not Glenda, and it really isn't, but Glenda is definitely a part of me. I am awful about promoting myself. I hate it. Maybe it's my Catholic upbringing: "the last shall be first" and all that. Or maybe it's because I would rather stand in the background and have the spotlight shine on someone else.

So let me tell you about my blog, where I point that light on other authors, and do my part to create some buzz. (I bet you were wondering if I was ever going to get back to the blog title. And don't you just love the little bee with the bullhorn?)

The blog is titled It's Not All Gravy, taken from the title of the weekly humor column I wrote for many years for a Dallas suburban newspaper, The Plano Star Courier. Making a transition from column writing to blogging was an easy step for me, and It's Not All Gravy has evolved into a blend of commentary, humor, book reviews, author interviews, and author guest posts.

By the way, if anyone would like me to review a book, here are my review guidelines.  To be a guest, you can either do an interview or submit a guest post. Here are those  guidelines.

And now, because that bee has done nothing but sit there and look cute, I'll have to start my own buzz. First I want to do a shout out for my son's book, Austin's First Cookbook. Mike Miller is the archivist for the City of Austin and Manager of The Austin History Center The project evolved from an exhibit about food in Austin through the years, and the book has wonderful old recipes and stories of the people who created those recipes. Anyone who loves history will enjoy this book.


My most recent publication is a short story in the Short and Happy (or not) anthology that was published by S & H Publishing last fall. The collection is comprised of stories written by authors across the globe and it is quite fun to read the offerings. My story, To Love Again, about a woman who finds new love in her golden years, starts on page 106. (smile)


Another short story, Escaping Raul, is part of the Thrills & Mystery Podcast series, which is free at Podiobooks and will soon be an ebook. The story is an adaptation of the prologue of Stalking Season, the second book in the critically acclaimed Seasons Mystery Series. That prologue introduces the first murder victim, and the reader gets just a glimpse of the killer. For the short story, I used most of the original prologue, adding a beginning and an ending that created a complete story. A young prostitute wants to get out of the business, but she doesn't dream of how she will accomplish that.


In addition to the wonderful STARRED review from Publisher's Weekly, that Stalking Season received,  readers have said such nice things about the series including this  "Look out Riggs and Murtaugh, Here comes Kingsley and Johnson!"

 So, what is your take on BSP? Are you more comfortable tooting someone else's horn? If so, the one thing that you can do to help any author struggling to get books noticed amongst the millions out there, is to add to the buzz. What have you read lately that you loved? Mention the title and author on social media and rate the book on Amazon.  And if that happens to include any of my books, I do thank you for your support.

Posted by Maryann Miller - novelist, editor and sometimes actress. Her most recent mystery, Doubletake, was named the 2015 Best Mystery by the Texas Association of Authors. She has a number of other books published, including the critically-acclaimed Season Series that debuted with Open Season. Information about her books and her editing rates is available on her website. When not working, Maryann likes to take her dog for a walk and work outside on her little ranch in East Texas.

12 comments :

  1. Thank you for helping all of the "Glendas" accept a little limelight. :) It is the hardest part for many of us.

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    1. Guest blogging is actually easier in some ways, Diana, at least it is for me. If I am someone's guest, they asked me to come and talk about my writing and my books so that is different from me putting myself in the spotlight. Does that make sense? I know a few authors who have been guests on my blog have said that they feel the same way. They write a guest post and I do all the rah, rah, rah, for their books.

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  2. My Achilles heel is showing big-time when it comes to BSP. However, it's past time to bandage it up, bid Glenda goodbye, and pull the writing desk out of the closet. After my first novel is re-released the end of this month (barring glitches in the schedule), I might even think about guest blogging. Great post, Maryann.

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    1. I'd love to have you as a guest, Linda.

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    2. I'd like that. Let's chat about it next month (after book is released). :-)

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    3. OK. Sounds like a good plan. Do contact me, as I may take one of Christopher's naps in the meantime and forget. LOL

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  3. Congrats on your stuff, Maryann ... and for getting up the courage to BSP it. My issue with BSP is not so much about fear as sloth ... in order to be good at it you have to be restless ... and the only thing I'm restless about is my afternoon nap.

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    1. LOL, Christopher. You always do manage to make us laugh. And those afternoon naps do interfere with a lot, don't they.

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  4. First, I need to get my darn book finished, before I go hunting for reviews! It's wonderful that you do take the time to do reviews of other authors' books.

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    1. I know what you mean about trying to get a book finished, Morgan. I have two that I am determined to get finished this year.

      And I do enjoy reading so much, that doing the reviews is a natural for me.

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  5. Oh, this post couldn't be more timely. Let me start by saying what my mother always said, "If you're good at something, you don't have to tell everyone. They'll know."

    Well, she didn't know about authors. This is the last day of a month of promos from hell. I entered my latest book in the Kindle Scout program, which is a monthlong endurance test to get readers to nominate your book. I've probably promoed more in the last 30 days than ever before. And I hated it. I felt like I was begging, which of course I was.

    So I know where you are coming from, Maryann, and good for you. Readers don't know about what you're doing unless you tell them. What I've done in the last month probably turned off more people than it did get them to nominate my book, but I'm going out "Hot and Trending," so I've done something right. I will now go back into my hole and take a breather. Do yard work and, yes, continue to write my Work in Progress. Great post.

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    1. So glad you found the post helpful, Polly. I shied away from the Kindle Scout program because of that intense month you have to spend begging, er, promoting. UGH!! You did a great job with yours and I hope it makes it all the way. I voted for you. :-)

      Nothing like digging in some dirt to relieve the stress. Then you are relaxed to dive into the writing. Enjoy!

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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