Tuesday, September 18, 2012


You’ve finally accepted the fact you’re an introvert, oftentimes writing in confined spaces.  Even with your laptop set up at Barnes & Noble, you are still alone, creating boundless characters that leap off the pages and into the readers’ next water cooler conversation. 

So, how does a quiet, “chilled out” person suddenly become a gregarious salesman when it comes to marketing his/her book?

Start a blog.

This allows your potential readers to sample your writing style.  Showcase a chapter from your manuscript. Give an estimated release date.  If it’s already in print, give the website with the purchasing information.

Write a press release.

Let local newspapers know about your presence through your newly released book.


Create a “like” page on Facebook.

Showcase your published work on this page with excerpts, calendar-of-events and testimonials.

Forward your book to book club members.

The buzz about your work will give you a jumpstart when reviews are written.  Just make sure they don’t giveaway the plot or ending!

Sign up for book fairs and festivals.

It’s a win-win situation when you surround yourself with other authors and book lovers.

Setup book events/signings.

This undertaking usually gets you mentioned in the local newspapers, especially if it’s at a community center or library. Use it to your advantage. Make your book events engaging by being creative.  For example, you can give a quiz on relationships, or handout interesting fun-facts on the topic.

Enlist fellow writers to help support your book.

Staying connected with well-established writers will catapult your book sales just from a plug. Use social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, online writers’ groups) to join up with others.

Take advantage of the media.

Reach out to acquaintances in the news, radio, (blog radio) and local TV stations.  What better way to showcase your work and increase your readership.

Advertise your book through freebies.

Give potential customers bookmarks or magnets that briefly tell what your book is about and offer a website.

All of these tools are useless if the product is less than stellar.  Put out a great book and let potential buyers know why they need to read it.  Will it help them become more empathetic concerning their fellow man?  Make them more romantic lovers? Shape their ideas about organic foods and home cooked meals? Whatever topic you choose to write about, your pitch should convince buyers why they need your book in their lives.

What marketing strategies do you use?





Monday, September 3, 2012


Trying to find the right career for your character can be as challenging as finding the right plot.  Is the career choice right for your character? Is this career something you are familiar with, or will research be necessary?  Here are a few pointers:

       1.      Talk to someone you know.

This is simple research.  If the person is ecstatic about what he or she does, great!  If they moan through the teeth every other word, even better!  You want to hear the ins and outs of their daily 9-to-5.  Specific situations are advantageous because they provide you with scenarios in support of your own story.

2.       Call the company and set up interviews.

If you’re writing about a Meteorologist, you’ll need to know basic information about the career in order to ask pertinent questions.  Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. Understanding what to ask helps.

3.       Surf the Net.

There are various websites, including Occupational Outlook Handbook, Indeed, Monster and Wikipedia, which charts in detail, information regarding specific careers.  These sites will likely give the salary/salary range, job functions and qualifications necessary for the position.

4.       Chatrooms/forums

This is the next-best-thing to talking with someone in person.  Participants in chatrooms and forums provide the day-to-day routine and questions, they themselves, may have. You get the true grit-of-emotions from those who choose to vent or boast about what it is they do.

5.       Books on Careers for Characters. 

Careers for your Characters, by Raymond Obstfeld and Franz Neumann, is an ideal book which lists examples of careers and necessary educational experience needed for each job.

Just the smallest details involving what your characters do can add depth and believability to your story!

 How do you research career paths for your characters?