In my earlier post here at The Blood-Red Pencil this month, BSP - It's All About Buzz, I mentioned how much I dislike this promotional part of the writing biz, and most of the comments on that post shared the same sentiment. So it was kind of ironic that in my research for this article I came across this bit of advice from Tony Levelle in a blog post on the Writers Store Ezine. He suggests that we change that negative to a positive.
Think of book promotion as storytelling. The story you are telling is why you wrote your book, how it can help others, and how the world will benefit from your book.
If you can develop a positive attitude about book promotion, people will pick up on it, and tune in immediately.That makes sense. If we are not excited about our books, who is going to be? The last few times I have had signing events, I've had some nice conversations with potential readers about the story as they checked out my book. Those conversations helped me remember why I wrote the book and rekindled the passion I had for the characters and the story. The more we talked, we generated a mutual enthusiasm for the subject of the story, and that often led to a sale.
Because I've always enjoyed these interactions with interested readers, I appreciated the following tips that I found on Seth Godin's Blog, Advice for Authors, He has other tips there that are worth a moment of your time.
If you've got the patience, bookstore signings and talking to book clubs by phone are the two lowest-paid but most guaranteed to work methods you have for promoting a really really good book. If you do it 200 times a year, it will pay.
If you want to reach people who don't normally buy books, show up in places where people who don't usually buy books are. Media places, virtual places and real places too.So now I want to share some excitement about Open Season, the first book in the Seasons Mystery Series, which is now available as an audiobook. One of the reasons I wrote the book was to process what still happens too often between police officers and the general public, and that is racism. When I first started developing the story about two homicide detectives in Dallas, there was a huge outcry in the city because of a young black boy being shot by a white cop.
Unfortunately, not a lot has changed between the years when the story idea came to me and the present day, and the flames of hatred and bigotry burn hotter than ever. I find that such a sad state of affairs.
There are no easy answers to the problem, and racism runs deep on both sides of color lines. That is what I explore in the series as Sarah and Angel face off on opposite sides. I interviewed a lot of police officers and civilians of all colors while developing the characters and the story lines, and that research gave me a much wider view of the problem from both sides. It is that view that I try to illustrate in the books. Consider this excerpt from Open Season as the detectives struggle with their partnership:
Thrusting her hands deep in her pockets to avoid acting on the urge to smack the defiance off Angel’s face, a sudden realization slammed into Sarah like a lead ball. She controlled the force of her words with an effort. “Do you really think I’ll treat Hammel any differently than a white suspect?”
“I suppose that’s a question you need to answer first.”
“Jesus H. Christ!” Sarah whirled and kicked the trash can, sending it clattering across the tile floor. Anger pulled her with the strength of a runaway horse, and Sarah desperately clawed at the reins to bring it under control. Then she turned and faced Angel again. “Why does everything have to come down to color?”
“Because that’s the difference. Black and white.” Angel took a step closer and pulled up her sleeve to hold her arm next to Sarah’s. “There’s a whole history written on this, and you’ll act on that history whether you realize it or not.”
“And what about you, huh? What history are you acting on? Or is it only us white folks who have to answer for what we do?”
The slap caught her off guard and Angel was out the door before Sarah even registered the stinging on her cheek. She reached up and touched the spot, feeling the radiating heat.
Production of the audio book for Open Season was just completed and the book is available now at Audible.com. If you sign up for an Audible membership you can get the book free. The audio version will be available for purchase at Amazon and iTunes within a few days.
|To maintain the same look, my cover artist adapted the art for the e-book for a new cover for the audio version.|
|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.|