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Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone

Act 5, Scene 1: Irene’s Twilight Zone See whole poem, "The Main Show," and index of scenes.  (Spotlight opens on the lobby of the theater.  Characters who remain in the lobby enter the theater, which remains dark.  Joan the nurse tells the tour guide to also go in, and the narrator hangs back awhile.) Joan: Go ahead in. I’ll stay with my patient.Anyway, this is a family…See More
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Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
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Promoting Writers

We are in the glad business of promoting books and writers, and can benefit from sharing ways to do that--for the field is open to doing a lot more, so that literature gains prominence.

Members: 39
Latest Activity: Jan 12, 2015

Discussion Forum

Raising Pastured Pigs Ebook Published

Started by Samantha Ann Biggers Jun 19, 2012.

Author/Bookstore Relations 7 Replies

Started by Spellbound. Last reply by Kathryn Magendie Apr 22, 2009.

Ideas: Getting The Word Out! 2 Replies

Started by Dot Jackson. Last reply by Suzan Tanner McCoury Apr 14, 2009.

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Comment by Charleen Bertolini on April 14, 2009 at 11:30am
Kathryn, A group of us have started a book festival in Hendersonville, which we hope to have as a yearly event. ( We're booked for this year, but it might be something you consider next year to promote your books locally. Having been involved this year, I have to say I am reading many more local authors, both to support the authors and to learn more about the writing of those that live in this beautiful area.
Comment by Kathryn Magendie on April 14, 2009 at 11:08am
Hey Dot! -- believe me, I'd much rather be writing. I feel as if I am pulled in so many directions -- I am going to have to learn to start saying NO and mean it. I get requests for book reviews (with my Rose & THorn work), and requests to read things (I've pretty much stopped doing that), and requests for this and ask for that - and ...lawd! The blogging can get to me sometimes if I don't tell myself "I give it this much time and that is all!" Because otherwise it will suck up too much time I could spend writing. But, still, there are days, like today, when my obligations are getting on my nerves and I have the 2nd novel to work on and I'm staring at stuff I have to take care of - ugh.

I dream of a time when I don't have the need or want to worry about whether the novel(s) sell, but rather the idea that I accomplished something: I published. Why can't we think this is enough? The world expects us to strive for more more's exhausting at times!
Comment by Dot Jackson on April 14, 2009 at 10:46am
Kathryn, what a wonderful look at the Other Side of blogging -- Goodness yes, it seems to be working for you and don't you change a thing! Part of the difference in viewpoint here I am sure is age -- I am right up there with the bristlecone pine, as the oldest living thing, and the technology of the blogosphere both confounds and annoys me. If you can comfortably (and profitably) make it work for you, thank heaven! With that many hits, I think you ought to be teaching the rest of us how it's done. As you say, they don't ALL have to buy books to make it worth your while. Over and over, it comes home that word-of-mouth is the ultimate, and most lasting, way a book succeeds. How that word gets spread is -- it appears -- whatever works for the writer -- who IS going to be responsible for just about every speck of promotion.
Comment by Kathryn Magendie on April 14, 2009 at 7:48am
Hi Dot - Blogs are time-slurper uppers, but I can say that I've had a pretty good success with mine, with near 10,000 visitors since I started the blog in January or February. There is no way to know how that affects my sales, but if I can go by comments, I've made some sales that way - and if a few bloggers tell a few more and a few more, then that's a good way to promote your book by word of mouth: it costs time, yes -- but, remember this --- going around to bookstores is TIME too! You have to be there, travel there - you have to convince the bookstore owner that your book will sell, you have to drive there, wait there -- all time -- which I would not complain, because I think face to face meetings of readers and bookstore owners and libraries is wonderful and to be cherished...but, it still takes time away from writing. Anything you do to promote your book takes time away from writing.

Oh, I wish I could just write! The publisher is interested in my second book by summer's end -- have I had much time to work on it? Not as I'd wish to - and all because I am marketing/promoting TG. The writer, no matter who they are published with (small press or large press) is expected to do most of this on their own. WIth my blog, it takes me just moments to post something and if you already have a following, they understand if you can't be around all the time...thing is -you have to have some kind of internet presence before your book comes out - or at least it helps to -- so that people get to "know you" and your process and progress from writing to finally becoming published. If an author publishes a book and suddenly starts a blog and website asking people to buy their book, well, I think that doesn't work as well as the writer who has been talking about their angst, their rejections, their journey to publication - so that when it finally does happen, they are supported and surrounded by people all over the world -- some buy books, some do not, but the support is there all the same.

Some bloggers do book reviews or have book review sites --- they may not be "professional and polished" - but a good review by a reader of books never hurts. I've had a couple of those and it warms the heart to read them - will it make sales? Who knows....but if I sell one or two books because of a good blogger review, well, that's one or two I wouldn't have!

Just as you say, the "old days" of writing and publishing are gone....Dang, I wish I could just write and write and let someone else handle everything else -- I am prolific - I have a lot of stuff I could just hand off to someone to bind up and send out and do my promotion....but, more and more people go to the internet to not only look for authors/businesses, etc but also to purchase books and products.

I love the libraries - and I am donating some books to libraries - especially those with small budgets. The Louisiana Library Network gave my book a wonderful review - so some of the EBR libraries are now carrying's priceless to me to have my books in libraries. And donating my books feels good - libraries are wonderful places.

Indie booksellers are places I want to support, but frankly, they have to make money too and not all of them will take bunches of your books without knowing whether they will sell -- so, sending review copies to them and assuring them you will do a signing or reading is a good idea. But, not all small indie sellers do booksignings.

Festivals are good. I've been invited to the Louisiana Festival of the Book -- I am curious to see how this works ...but thousands of people attend this, so it can't be a bad thing. It will take TIME of course - I have to drive to Louisiana; I will be away from home several days. I hope to look to see what other book fairs and festivals are out there - ones in my area would be nice to know about!

Whatever we do as writers, it's hard dang work and it takes us from what we love to do: write. Whether it is blogging, or traveling for signings, or talking to libraries and bookstores, or speaking at events, ---whatever it is we do to promote our books takes us away from our writing. All of it can be enjoyable and fun if we put our mind to it --that this is a culmination of our dream: that our words will be read and hope to be enjoyed, that we have at last become a "Part of the Club" of published authors. In all of this we have to remember that we are writers first -- but there is also the "be careful what you wish for, you might get it" phenomena of the publishing world: you must get out and get the word out if you want to sell books. The writing suffers at first, but I know that I will soon shut myself up in my little log house in my cove and tell everyone I am writing and that's that! *smiling*

It's a maddening profession sometimes, but I still wouldn't trade it for nuttin! Years of working in an office agonizing because i couldn't pursue my dream -and now, well, now it's coming true! I lose sleep, my face breaks out, I worry I'll let someone down, I wish I were writing instead of promoting, but through it all, I have something I've always wanted: my published book will soon be in my hands and I'll feel the weight of my words! Wow!
Comment by Dot Jackson on April 13, 2009 at 11:42pm
Please forgive what's maybe a wet blanket opinion from a really old rat in this barn --
All we hear out of the "experts" these days is Blog, Blog, Blog. I have a weird feeling that these "experts" have -- by and large -- not done a lot of book-promoting -- or book-selling -- unless they've written a fanciful book on "How To Sell Your Book" and are hawking it to others like themselves who are trying to sell a book --
Among my writing friends -- I mean, those whose bread and light bills depend on whether they sell their books -- are several who heard this call to "blog," and went through the process. Which is far from simple, to set up and maintain. Plus like any other beast it must be fed. With Writing. And Responses -- which are often agonizing to come by.
The assessment by some of the best of these is that it takes an AWFUL lot of time and energy and ideas away from serious, productive Writing. And the returns, if we don't count the fun of getting a few (very few!) clever responses, are kind of, well, not much.
What about the claim that agents and editors are constantly scanning jillions of author-blogs in search of that one great talent? Sure! And the Blue Fairy is out there too, swooping down to turn our wares to dazzling sparklers, in the bookstore window, fill our wallets and make us famous. The agents and editors that most of us know are laboring under tons of submissions -- they don't have time to go scouting for more. The days of Margaret Mitchell and her visitation from the MacMillan angel, wanting that trunk of raw manuscript, are about as gone with the wind as it gets.
Most surely there are ways to promote one's book. Most of them take getting out among people.
First, before anything else, getting something published is never easy unless we rename ourselves Paris Hilton or Levi Whatzisface. (It DOES in fact seem easier when we have nothing to say.But that's an illusion -- ) Selling a book once it's published is more of the same. MUCH more.
One way is to do one's own tour. Not many houses pay for this the way they used to. Make contact with several book stores in groups of towns where you can afford to go. (Independents are usually easiest to work with.) Ask (first!) if they have your book. If no, go and take them one. Ask your publisher for some extras, to prime the pump, and if he doesn't come through, buy extras yourself, and hand them out with some care. If a bookstore has already ordered, ask if you can come and just sign books for the shelves. It's good to spend a day or so going around pressing bookstore flesh and making friends. Some of them are going to (eventually) ask you to come for a formal signing. Then, whether anyone shows up to buy books or not, this is good. Be willing, and booksellers will work for you. Often, if you go and sit and smile, there will be a mysterious run on your books later.
Begin (way long ago!) making friends in the media. A radio interview is great. A nice review or feature in a paper is a treasure. A TV appearance is golden.
And do this: go to libraries in the poorer parts of town, speak to the librarian, and Give Her A Book! Yes, giving away books costs something, but sometimes the gains are far more. Consider the cost of advertising, and this personal approach is cheaper and far more endearing.
Once you get a little publicity, book clubs will invite you. Put on your happiest face and GO. Talk to -- and WITH -- the people you meet. Appreciate them. Send a thank-you.
All this may seem tedious, but it can get a book moving -- and it can keep one alive.
Without doubt, there are innovative ways to market, and we ALL want to hear them. Meanwhile, we have the tried and true.
Comment by Kathryn Magendie on April 13, 2009 at 8:21pm
I'd be interested in anything written on the subject as well! I know there are "blog tours" - I'd like to know more about that. Suzan, do you have a blog? Word of mouth on a successful blog is a great way to get the word out about your book(s). Guest blogging, and having guests is another way.
Comment by Suzan Tanner McCoury on April 13, 2009 at 7:49pm
I am new to this, but if anyone has tips on marketing books please let me know. I need to learn and thanks very much.
Comment by Dot Jackson on April 5, 2009 at 11:05am
When we get into the business of promoting, these hometown gals are a gold mine -- I have seen writers shoot themselves in the foot by overlooking what they consider the "little people" -- the rooms where a dozen REAL readers are gathered together. Believe me, their talk is not confined to that room or their club. We NEVER know who we are talking to, or what our genuine interest in the opinions of these people will lead to. I will tell the world, they have kept my own book alive. There were so many of them at a reading I did in a woman's home last Thursday in Greenville that the police blocked off one lane of the street so they could park. (And a lot of them bought second books.) We don't get that at most bookstore signings -- though Lord knows we DO appreciate the bookstores -- and need to tell the management so!. But the point is, when we are promoting we can't afford to overlook ANYBODY'S invitation. Every one is an honor, no matter how small we THINK it is. In the name of all "authors" famous and otherwise,
Just let me say first thing up front is that appreciation and humility go one hell of a long way -- and insensitivity goes around the world faster than a stale forward on the internet.
Comment by Rob Neufeld on April 5, 2009 at 9:59am
Dot, you are right. And it is amazing how much pressure a publisher can put on even a highly decorated author.

Now, about the book discussion, first, take it to the Book Discussers group, where I hope a bunch of people will go, maybe even some of your club people, Dot. The two reviews, Gary's and mine, are linked in the feature article on the front page.

Once we get started, there are any number of books we can discuss, maybe even book drafts and sample chapters...!
Comment by Gary Carden on April 4, 2009 at 9:41am
Well, Tim Gautreaux has avoided that fate since this is his third novel and he also has two short story collections. I was so pleased with the energy in The Missing, I tended to ignore what I consider "minor flaws" in a big, complex, rollicking novel. I mean, just because a bright little sports car has a ding in a fender and a broken tail light doesn't detract from the wild ride. Some other critics have taken Gautreaux to task for plot developments that they found improbable (the likelihood that the identity of the kidnappers would be revealed if Lucky took a job on the riverboat, or the plausibility of Lucky's reasons for not rescuing the child when he first discovered her), but I decided to accept these "questionable" aspects simply for the sheer joy of the uninterrupted ride. I've found that in books before...even in classics... and decided not to haggle so I could keep "going with the story's flow." Maybe that makes me a more gullible and easily placated reader.

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