Tag Archives: marketing

Size Matters – to Me

As a reader, I have a general book length that I prefer reading. As a writer, I found I did, too. When I wrote my first book, it just naturally came out to about 75,000 words which equals roughly between 250 and 310 pages of either a Mass Market Paperback or the larger Trade Paperback, and can vary even more with e-books.

I guess most of the books I read are classified as traditional mysteries, historical mysteries and cozies with an occasional fantasy or adventure thrown in, and these books are all in that general word length mentioned above.  I almost always read every day for at least an hour, sometimes more, so one could say I read a lot of books.

Keeping the price of reading under control is a challenge because I really enjoy keeping up with my favorite authors who have to be prolific in order to keep their publishers. And publishers seem to understand this, so they have encouraged authors, especially best-selling ones, to recommend their favorite books to the public through companies who promote current books (as if authors didn’t have enough to do in marketing their own books). Note: I seriously find it hard to believe that some of the authors listed as recommending some books actually have read them, much less have the time to recommend them. Okay, call me cynical. But, I don’t want to miss out if so-and-so says it’s really great… What to do? Opps, I got a little off track.

Lately more and more opportunities have become available for books to be offered at a discount, both in print and in e-book form and not all the books are current. Some are classics or books that were popular years ago, went out of print and have just become available again (largely due to Print-on-Demand).  Sometimes the books are free or $.99, or $1.99, sometimes more. These books help my budget, provide good PR for the authors and keep their name “out there.”

Maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention, but recently I noticed a trend where a favorite author has a new book out and in my rush to get it, I didn’t check the word-count or length of the file or page count, and after I’ve downloaded it to my Kindle, I find out the book is only 55 pages long. True, I may have only paid $.99, but I feel cheated when the book was not advertised as a novella. It’s easy to check when purchasing, but I’ve been excited and in a hurry and downloaded before checking a few times now. That won’t happen again!

When I read a book, it takes time for me to discern the plot of the book and get the characters straight and usually by 55 pages, I’m really getting interested, not ready to close the cover. Here I’ve invested my money, time and effort and (granted) senior memory in this book and it’s already over. That makes me very unhappy. Has anyone else noticed this trend, or is it just me? Makes me want to mumble, “Grrrrrrr!!!”

With some really favorite authors I’ll wait impatiently however long it takes for the next book in their series to come out and I’ll pay the full price at release date (or pre-order price), but I can’t afford to do that with all my reading material, so from now on, I’ll watch carefully to see how long the book is before I order, because I want to be a happy reader.

How about you?  Have you noticed this size thing? Does it matter to you?

 

Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Join her here each 11th of the month.

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What’s your Pitch? by Sheila Deeth

I think the world is trying to tell me something. I’ve just read two books that friends loaned to me. The first, the Story of With by Allen Arnold, explains how being creative is not about selling, not about becoming famous, or getting my books into bookstores, or making my fortune. It’s about sharing creativity with others and with God, and finding enjoyment in the sharing. But then came the second book, Daniel Pink’s to Sell is Human, which tells me all of us are salespeople like it or not, all of us selling, and many of us (presumably myself included) needing to learn how to do a better job of it. And now… well, on Sunday I’ll go to our local writers’ group at the library, where the speaker will teach us how to sell. So… yes… I think the world is trying to tell me something. All the best messages always come in threes, and this looks to me like three viewpoints on sales.

Daniel Pink’s book is interesting though. He offers some fascinating advice, and I’m trying to take it to heart. Like trying to find one word that describes my writing, target audience, or goals – a one-word pitch if you like. I came up with:

Outsiders

I’m certainly an outsider – English American, Catholic Protestant, mathematician writer. But everyone’s an outsider somewhere, and the characters in my stories try very hard to learn how to fit in. The man who left his wife because he was afraid of what he’d do if he stayed – he wanted to be a good husband and father, but he was an outsider to himself; the girl who wanted her parents to notice her – an outsider in her own home; the woman who’s hiding her past in childhood paintings – another outsider to herself; the boy trying to learn how to live with the knowledge of his grandfather’s crime; the teacher who ran away from his previous life; the child who runs away… I think outsiders might work as a one-word description, but what do you think?

And then there’s the Pixar Pitch:

Once upon a time... there was a place called Paradise that kind wished it was perfect. Every day… neighbors met and talked and made friends and enjoyed pretty close to perfect lives. One day… a crime changed everything. Because of that… a dear neighbor and friend must surely become a dangerous stranger. Because of that… her child becomes a stranger as well. Until finally… the child teaches a lesson in forgiveness that binds all Paradise together again.

That’s my Pixar Divide by Zero Pitch. But now I need a Twitter Pitch:

She’s hidden her past in her paintings, but why are they all red and black?

Which covers Infinite Sum. And for here’s a Rhyming Pitch for Subtraction:

How far would you go
to save an innocent runaway from the unknown?

I’m working on Imaginary Numbers now.  Pink suggests a Question Pitch, but I guess I covered that with my rhyme.  So all that’s left is the Subject-Line Pitch – something that would make my reader open an email: How about…

How to answer Mom’s phone call while reading her obituary.

What do you think? Would any of these entice you to read? Or buy? And what about pitches for other books… this could be fun, which I guess is what Allen Arnold’s book said–let’s enjoy our creativity together!

Sheila Deeth is the author of the Mathemafiction novels: Divide by zero, Infinite Sum and Subtraction, with Imaginary Numbers coming next year from Indigo Sea Press.

 

 

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To Offer it Free or Not – Marketing Your Work

Free BooksAs with everything to do with the art of writing, publishing and marketing books, there are different views on the worth of offering your books free.

Some will argue that you should not work for free.  And, in essence, that is what you are doing when you offer your books free.  You have spent countless hours writing, editing, perfecting, and polishing your writing.  You chose the perfect cover, formatted the book for eBook, and finally are rewarded with seeing your hard work available to the world.

Of course, you want some monetary gain from all that hard work.  Who wouldn’t?

But, unless you are already a well-known author, will the world even know you exist?  Will they (the readers) buy your book when you are an unknown quantity to them?  When there are so many badly written, badly edited, and just plain bad, stories out there, the reader needs to have a reason to want to invest their money in your book.

Possibly one of the more appealings ways to an author is the free sample chapters.  However you get that out there, through posting them on social media, allowing partial sample downloads on Smashwords, or ther means.  Free samples let the reader get sucked into the story, and just as they get hooked they are cut off with no option except to stop there or get your book.

I see offering books free as a marketing tool.  Companies do it with other types of products all the time, offering try me samples in the hope you will love it enought to buy it.  The buy one-get one free offer.  Buy that and we’ll toss this in with it.  Get one month free.  Even the grocery stores get in on the action with their free sample days.  These are all teasers to encourage you to buy or try their product.

If there is one thing everyone loves, it is getting something for free.

How many books have you passed over buying because you didn’t know if you would like the author?  The write up on the back cover looks good, the cover art is enticing, but you just don’t know.  So you decide instead to buy that new book by the author you love.

This does not mean you have to give it away free forever.  Offer it free for a limited time. With so many companies marketing other products by this method, it must work.  Otherwise, they would invest that marketing money in other ways to market their products.  You can always offer it free again if it suits your needs.

You can also offer limited time coupon codes so that those who get the code can read it free while others have to purchase it.  Coupon codes can be used in a targeted marketing campaign.  For example, let’s say you are publishing a humor book suitable for grade school kids about survival while camping with scout groups.  Offer the coupon code to your local scout groups, giving the kids the eBook free.  If they read it and love it, they’ll tell their friends about it.  Target book clubs for your genre.  If your book is about gardening, offer the coupon code for free limited time download of your book to a few garden clubs.

Knowing they got something free that others have to pay for makes people feel special.  They feel like they got a prize, they feel superior, they feel a small sense of empowerment.  They feel like they matter just a little bit more.  They feel like someone cares.  Each feels special in a different way, depending on their personality.  It doesn’t matter how they feel special, you made them feel that way and they like you more for it.

The hardest part of selling books is getting readers to know it exists. If free offers help, then it is worth it.  The first job of selling your book is getting someone to read it.  If you did your job right in writing the book, then they will do your second job for you – getting them to talk about it.

People talk about books and share information on them for three reasons:

(1) They loved it,

(2) They found it controversial and it got their blood boiling,

(3) They hated it.

Nobody talks about the book that isn’t noteworthy.  They also won’t talk about it if they haven’t read it or even heard of it.  If they loved it, they will talk about it, and they also will want to read more.

Another way to get free samples of your work into your potential readers’ hands is short stories.  Offer short stories for free eBook download.  Blog them, Facebook them, share them.

Consider this:  work together with another author who writes similar stories in the same genre.  You both offer a free short story written by the other with the purchase of your book.  Both authors have a vested interest in promoting the books, one to earn the royalties and the other to get their reader audience to grow through the free short story.

Always remember to plug your other work.  Whether a book or a short story, free or for a price, always remember to include a plug for other published work that is available.

Every piece has to be your best.  Whether free or not, a 100 word flash fiction or 150,000 novel; every bit of writing you put out there needs to be good.  Advertising yourself with mediocre short stories will not increase your readership.

However you choose to market your work, the goal is the same – getting potential readers and buyers to notice you in a sea of possible authors.

L. V. where the bodies areGaudet is the author of Where the Bodies Are

What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?

Watch for book 2 of the McAllister series coming soon at Second Wind Publishing, LLC:  The McAllister Farm.  The secret behind the bodies is revealed.

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Other links to purchase L.V. Gaudet’s books

Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary

https://angiesdiary.com/bookoftheweek-web/081-botwoct262014.html

Follow L. V. Gaudet:

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Summer Writing Conferences – by Deborah J Ledford

Okay, six full months have passed in this new year…have you kept your promise to focus and finish that manuscript you’ve been working on for far too long? If you need a little nudge, here are a few conferences certain to motivate.

The Book Passage Mystery Conference is a highly respected, small and intense conference July 19-22, 2012 – Corte Madera, CA. Two of my favorite authors will be featured during this four-day event: Cara Black, author of the Paris-based Aimee Leduc mystery series, and my all time favorite female thriller author, Karin Slaughter.  Also stoked that my critique group colleague, Arthur Kerns, will be appearing on the Law Enforcement panel where he’ll discuss his time as an FBI Special Agent and a CIA agent.

The Taos Summer Writer’s Conference, July 15-22, 2012 looks to be an intriguing conference. Touted as one of the top 10 writer’s conferences in the US by USA Today, is held in stunning northern New   Mexico. Taos is one of my favorite areas in the nation, which is why I selected the Taos Pueblo Indian Reservation for one of the main locations of my latest thriller, SNARE, book two of the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. If anyone out there has attended this conference, please leave us a comment about your experience.

As current President of the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter, I would be remiss not to mention our annual mystery writers conference, “Criminal Minds: Investigating Today’s Writing Scene” August 11, 2012 at the Millennium Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. We have a fantastic lineup this year, including licensed psychotherapist and author Dennis Palumbo, publicity guru Dana Kaye, multi-award-winning author Sean Chercover, and an FBI Special Agent. In addition, acquisitions editor for the East Coast-based Five Star Publishing (an imprint of the internationally renowned Gale Publishing), Denise Dietz, will be accepting 15-minute pitches.

I’m most excited about learning more about marketing and PR from Dana Kaye, owner of Kaye Publicity. She has created innovative media campaigns for award-winning, bestselling authors such as Jaime Freveletti, Jesse Kellerman and one of my all-time favorite thriller authors, Gregg Hurwitz—methods that have proven successful.

I’d love to see you if you’ll be in the Phoenix, AZ area in August. Please visit the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter website for complete conference and registration details.

Wishing you a fantastic summer of writing!

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense novel SNARE, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about Deborah, receive a Free Download of the first chapters of her novels, and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her homepage at the Second Wind Publishing website and her personal website.

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Cross-pollination Marketing by Christine Husom

The Twin Cities Sisters in Crime put together an Internet marketing workshop for crime writers, which I attended last Saturday. We were able to list ahead of time the various topics we were interested in, ie., websites, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads.

We discussed the value of an effective website, and whether or not to have a blog feature on it. Some authors have a  blogsite, but don’t have an official website. I had read some time ago that the important thing about a blog is to be regular with it–whether it is once a day, or week, or month–something I have failed to do on my own website.

One of the participants said having a particular theme, or subject matter, is a way to bring readers in. Another way is to read others’ blogs and to leave comments. I mentioned the importance of attaching tags to your blog, containing keywords that will be appear on a search of a variety of topics. If you are quoting Charles Dickens, add him as a tag, and someone doing a search on him may visit your blog.

All of us were familiar with Facebook. Of course. Some of us were more active than others. One woman said it was important to change your privacy settings about every six weeks because Facebook is constantly upgrading. The question was, how do we connect with readers? I suggested joining groups of people with common interests. Another way is holding a give-away contest for your books. And share the link to your blog when you have a new post.

I had been at a training session two weeks before and the facilitator said you can post something on Facebook once or twice a day before people start ignoring you, but you can post on Twitter every fifteen minutes because it is so dynamic. People tweet for different reasons, business and personal. As authors, we want to build a readership for our books. So tweet and  retweet others’ tweets that you like.

WordPress is a wonderful place to read and post blogs, and Goodreads is a great site to connect with writers and readers alike. Many authors are active on Gather and/or Crimespace. Pinterest is being used by libraries more and more.

Somewhere in the middle of the workshop, as my head was spinning with information, I searched for a word to describe how authors could connect with readers. It turned out to be two words joined to make one: Cross-pollination. Be active on as many sites, and with as many people, as your schedule allows.

One man (yes, we have brothers in our group, too) came to the workshop later in the day, after he finished teaching a morning class. We summarized the topics we had discussed and he said, “Cross-pollination.” Maybe there was a spirit in that library meeting room who had whispered the word in both our ears that day.

When I got home, I looked up cross-pollination. The basic definition, according to the on-line Free Dictionary is, “Cross-pollination is the fertilization by transfer of pollen from the anthers of one flower to the stigma of another.” The antonym is self-pollination. Hmm. That got me thinking. As authors and readers, it’s a win-win situation to promote the works of other authors along with our own–we want people to continue to read books. We do this when we write reviews, add books and ratings to our bookshelves, or interview others on our blogs. This is certainly not a new concept in marketing, but one that bears repeating. Let’s all practice some cross-pollination.

Christine Husom is the author of the Winnebago County Mystery Thriller Series, Murder in Winnebago County, Buried in Wolf Lake, and An Altar by the River. 

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What’s Up?

  I’m getting ready to make a few personal appearances to promote the release of my latest thriller novel SNARE, released by Second Wind Publishing. To date, SNARE has received four extremely favorable reviews and I couldn’t be more proud of the reception readers are giving the work. I’ve nearly run out of the first box of books from the publisher and am awaiting more for me to have available at the Left Coast Crime 2011 Convention in Santa Fe later this month.

I’m having a bit of trouble making contact with bookstores that will be represented at the conference—only one vendor seems to want to commit to handling books before the conference so it looks like I’ll be lugging a lot of copies with me.

A bookstore owner in Taos wants to meet with me while I’m in New Mexico, so that’s exciting. I sent a preview copy of SNARE and hopefully they will want me to make a personal appearance there this summer as well.

I also need to get to Winston-Salem and make an appearance at Barnhill’s Bookstore and say hello to the folks there. Since they’re affiliated with Second Wind and my books’ locations are set in North Carolina I hope there will be a warm reception and that we can sell a lot of SNARE and STACCATO.

Several fan letters have even come my way. I love to receive these–and to know that readers are enjoying the continuation of Steven Hawk’s journey, even though SNARE does feature a completely different theme and female lead.

Unfortunately due to working hard on promotion, I haven’t had the opportunity to actually write much of anything the past few months. I did finish the first draft of a short story for the upcoming Desert Sleuths Chapter Sisters in Crime anthology, but haven’t had the opportunity to work on my traditional mystery . . . which looks to be turning out to be more of a YA novel.

Deborah J Ledford’s latest novel SNARE is a nominee for The Hillerman Sky Award at Left Coast Crime 2011. STACCATO is book one of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about Deborah, receive a Free Download of the first chapters of her novels, and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her website.

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With Gratitude – by Deborah J Ledford

I’ve been thinking for days what I should present for this book launch blog promoting my debut thriller Staccato, and my thoughts kept returning to how grateful I am, not only to have this novel in print, but to all of those tireless and committed souls who made this book release a possibility.

Staccato is being featured on the Second Wind Publishing blog along with three other equally intriguing novels. I am thrilled to be in the company of Mickey Hoffman and Amy DeTremp for their first novels from Second Wind, and the very talented writer Christine Husom for her second book. I know they share my excitement in being members of this unique and cutting edge publishing company.

Because the entire Second Wind team is first-rate I shouldn’t play favorites, however Pat Bertram is as instrumental in seeing Staccato to fruition as anyone else involved in the process. Pat is not only a gifted novelist, she is a tireless promoter of Second Wind authors, often putting herself in the backseat when it comes to touting her own exquisitely crafted novels. I wish her the best with the upcoming release of Daughter Am I.

Lazarus Barnhill, novelist extraordinaire, is also an influential force in my decision to see Staccato through to publication. Laz, Pat and I made it to the semi-final round of the TruTV (formerly CourtTV) Crime Writer Contest sponsored by Gather.com in 2007. I am grateful that none of us actually won this contest because now we all reside in the same Second Wind Publishing home.

Second Wind executive assistants Tracy Beltran and Stacy Findley really pulled out the stops as well. From providing and submitting formatted proofs, configuring a killer back cover, to making sure my author and book pages on the Website were exactly as I wished. I could not be more happy with what you ladies have accomplished in order to make Staccato as professional and aesthetically pleasing as I could ever have envisioned.

My gratitude would not be complete without the heartfelt thanks to Second Wind publisher, Mike Simpson. Mike expressed confidence in Staccato when all others had turned their backs. This kind and generous gentleman is a dream maker who put me at ease so many times with his assurances that we would make the September 15th release date. Somehow he pulled off this monumental and sometimes daunting effort. Kudos to you, Mike, Staccato is every bit yours as it is mine.

For those of you who visit this exceptional blog often, I thank you as well. We all look forward to your comments and appreciate your support of Second Wind Publishing.

 

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel Staccato, now available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Kindle and independent book stores.

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Got Your Book Published? Don’t Panic

     Shortly after my first book, Murder in Winnebago County, was published, I read a list of suggestions to follow before your book is released. One of the must-dos was to advertise it for six months prior. The writer so much as said if you didn’t do that, you could forget about sales and success. Oops. Didn’t do that. Six months before my book was published, the release date was still pending.
      I admit I had some moments of panic, believing my book sales were doomed because I had not followed the proper marketing steps. My angst was for naught. I discovered that as more people read my book, sales increased.
     Last week I had a book signing for my second novel in the Winnebago County mystery thriller series, Buried in Wolf Lake. I was fortunate not only to sell all the copies I had of that book, I also sold a number of the first book. Each generated excitement for the other.
     I have done a mediocre job of marketing, at best. There are too many things competing for my time and when I concentrate on one task or project, I neglect others. But now that I have two books in print, and another in the works, my confidence is increasing. I feel like a legitimate author. The majority of my sales have been local. My plan is to push to get a regional, then state, then national following.
     Sounds ambitious, I know. But, as all you authors know, it takes effort to research and write a book, and a miracle to get it published. I hope my books give a lot of people reading pleasure. That’s my deepest hope, and greatest ambition in my writing career.
     If you are a published author, don’t be discouraged if you haven’t done much pre-advertising. There is still time. I have donated a number of books to libraries and bookstores. When I start visiting bookstores outside my own community, I am prepared to give out as many books as I need to. Twenty books cost me a fair amount of money, but it is still pretty reasonable advertising, especially if it increases interest and sales.
     I’d love to hear about your marketing experiences and pointers you have.

Christine Husom is the Second Wind Publishing author of Murder in Winnebago County and Buried in Wolf Lake

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Don’t Sell Yourself Short

When I was 10 or 11, my parents decided to sell the tent-top camper we’d had for a number of years and buy a bigger one. They put an ad in the paper and had a few responses, but no buyer. Then, one Saturday, while the ad was still running, they had to go somewhere. I was the oldest child in our family, so before they left, they said, “If anyone calls about the camper, tell them we want $500 for it.”

I was in awe. That was  a lot of money back in 1967.

Well, wouldn’t you know, an hour after they left, the phone rang – someone had seen the ad and was interested in the camper. I told them the price, answered some questions, and told them where we lived so they could come and see it. A short time later, the phone rang again – someone else wanted to come and see the camper. I gave them directions to get to our house (which was 6 miles from town, on a gravel road) and went back to my other job, which was to make sure my younger brothers and sisters weren’t wrecking the house.

An hour later, I was standing in the yard, showing the camper to both couples, who had coincidentally arrived within minutes of each other.  After looking the camper over and asking a few questions, the first couple offered me $450. The other couple jumped in and offered $500, the asking price set by my dad. The first couple was still hanging around, so instead of saying yes, I told a little story about one of our camping trips and how much our family had enjoyed the state park where we’d camped.

The first couple countered with an offer of $550.

I mentioned how easy the camper was to put up and tear down. Working together, my dad, my sister and I could do it in 10 minutes flat.

The second couple offered $600.

I showed them how the table could be folded down and made into a bed. The first couple upped their bid to $650. That was more money than the second couple had, or was willing to offer. I pronounced the camper SOLD, got $650 cash from the winning bidders, wrote them a receipt, and waved goodbye as they drove down the road, pulling the camper behind.

You can imagine my parent’s shock and glee when they came home and I handed them $650.

It was at that moment that I first experienced the joy and exhilaration of selling something.

As writers, pitching, or trying to sell our books may or may not be part of our comfort zone. But like it or not, published or unpublished, if you’re a writer, you have something to sell, and you need to pitch your book, not just once, but over and over again.

Selling yourself, and your book, is an important part of being an author… the difference between being published or unpublished… the difference between success and failure.

When I made the decision to go with a small, independent press (Second Wind Publishing) for my book, Night and Day, it was in part because I own a bed and breakfast and tea house and knew that I had a built-in venue for selling my book. Each day, 4 – 40 people walk in the door – all potential buyers. Still, a stack of nice, new books sitting on a table with a cute little sign rarely sell themselves. Neither will a bump on a log at a book signing.

What does sell my books is me. I pitch my book once or twice every day – sometimes ten or twelve – to each and every guest who walks in the door.  As you might guess – I’ve got my pitch down – and I have sold about 300 books in the last 3 1/2 months.  I sold 8 over the lunch hour just yesterday.

That doesn’t mean everyone who walks in the door buys a book.

Some are not interested. I can see their eyes glazing over 10 seconds into my pitch. Some look excited until I mention the words “internet romance”. Perhaps they’ve been burned by an online lover – perhaps their spouse has had an online dalliance – maybe they think computers are for the birds. Whatever the case, when you try to sell something, you have to be ready for rejection – and then, you have to pick yourself up and keep trying.

“It’s midnight in Minnesota and daybreak in Denmark…” I regularly vary my pitch depending on who I’m talking to – young, old, someone I know, a stranger. The important thing is that I believe in my book. I love my characters and am convinced people will enjoy reading Night and Day.

I live for those moments when I connect with a reader, when we strike common ground, when their faces light up.  Sometimes it’s when they see the log-cabin quilt on the cover of Night and Day, sometimes it’s when they hear the words Danish, “junk in the attic”, or bonfire.  And when I take their $15 and autograph their book, it’s just as exciting as selling that camper for my parents when I was 11 years old.

Selling is hard. Whether you’re pitching your book or telling someone about your story at a writing conference, talking to guests at a book signing, or asking the manager of your local grocery store if they would consider stocking your book, you will feel naked at times. Intimidated. Daunted. Unsure.

But there comes a moment, when someone wants to buys your book, when you find a common chord with an editor, the owner of a shop, a librarian, or a potential reader, and make the sale, that you will know it was all worth it.

Find the courage to try, and keep trying. Don’t ever sell yourself short.

Sell yourself and you will sell your book!

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Social Networking: the theory of Six Degrees of Separation

The theory that everyone separated from everyone else through six degrees of separation is repeated as though it is part of the sacred dogma of job search.  As a member of LinkedIn (under the name on my birth certificate rather than my pen name) I have found that my “network” –once you include the contacts of my contacts – is getting pretty big, and I know someone who knows someone or knows someone who knows someone else at almost every company I have an interest in working for.  Has this network helped me land a job?  Not really, but it has led to some great information gathering. I still hold out hope that it will pay off at some point in helping me land my dream job. There is no question that in today’s job market who you know is the difference between getting an interview and winding up in the “slush-pile” of resumes.

Which brings me to the question of how the six degrees of separation works with respect to book sales?

From what I can tell, most of my early book sales were to close friends and family members, but capturing data on whether or not my social networking is resulting in sales is harder. I’ve gotten some contact information for local independent book store owners and book clubs who may be interested in my novel, and I have enriched or expanded my circle of friends and acquaintances. Regardless of how social networking has affected my book sales, it has been work the effort.  Coming from a business background, I can’t help but wonder if any of my book sales have resulted from social networking.

Do you track any metrics on how your social networking has helped your book sales?

Mairead Walpole is the pen name for a somewhat introverted project manager who has 20+ years of business and technical writing under her belt. In her spare time, Mairead reviews books for Crystal Reviews (www.crystalreviews.com) and writes paranormal romance. Her first novel, “A Love Out of Time” is available through Second Wind Publishing (www.secondwindpublishing.com) or Amazon.com.

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