Marketing.  It is the bane of my existence.  I’ve been in writing mode – write, edit, production.  With ten books published, I need to work on marketing.  The problem – I’m not good at promoting myself.
This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it.  It means it is a chore.  It is one of the aspects of writing I am not comfortable with.  I do my blog (see I’m blogging) and my website.  I tweet (though does this make any sense?) and I facebook.  It would be nice if my magic genie would come out and take care of all the marketing issues – like convincing people to read my books or having a famous director like Steven Spielberg or Joss Whedon or Ron Howard to pick up my books and say wow this would make a great movie or series. 
Unfortunately, that isn’t likely to happen.  The genie is on strike with the brownies who are supposed to clean my house.  This means I grind through researching and promoting and hope that somewhere along the line something clicks and it creates sales.
I’ve researched romance newsletters and sent off information to them in the hopes it will get my name out there and get Secret Past noticed.  I’ve done the same with science fiction / fantasy newsletters to try to get the Wayfarer and Defender series noticed as well.  I don’t know how successful either will be. 
I’ve tried emailing bookstores announcements on my books.  They haven’t been very responsive – either locally or nationally.  This is probably going to be an ongoing thing which I need to spend some time working on. 
If you have any ideas you want to share on marketing, let me know.  I’m open to most things and will beat up my introverted self to work outside my comfy quiet little hermit cave.  

New Reviews!

Moon Affirmations has its first review on Amazon!  Barbara Ardinger read and reviewed it.  She is a wonderful writer and the author of Pagan Every Day and Secret Lives of Crones.  Her website is 

Secret Past has two wonderful reviews on Amazon!  Both people gave it a five stars!  I’m very excited about that. 

Marketing is my most time consuming task right now.  I spend a lot of time sending out press releases saying my books have come out.  I send out review copies.  It is a lot but I try to do some each day.  At this point I’ve had small successes – Barbara’s review being one of them. 

I don’t have a huge budget so I can’t afford an ad in national magazines to advertise my books.  These are costly in the realm of hundreds of dollars per issue.  As I was looking for places to put my ads, I discovered one publication wanted $300.  Since I don’t make a lot on any of the books, I’d have to sell a heck of a lot of books to break even on that type of expense.

This is where I put on my business hat and have to weigh the cost vs the benefit of the expense.  Now a national magazine or publication can bring my books to the attention of thousands of people but how many of them would actually buy?  If it brought hundreds of sales then it would be worth it.  If it didn’t, I would have wasted my money. 

Part of it is targeting the right audience.  With Moon Affirmations that isn’t too difficult as it has a specific niche and a broader market but the other two books is more difficult.  It isn’t like there are romance novel bookstores only.  I could target women’s magazines but not all women read romance novels. 

As for the poetry book, it is even harder to find target specific places to send my marketing material to.  I keep researching and looking for ideas. 

This is why when I get accomplishments – like the reviews – it is wonderful news to me. 

Check out my books.  They are available:

Secret Past

Available on Barnes and Nobles:
Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:

Moon Affirmations  Daily Meditations Using the Moon Phase to Focus Your Energy

Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:
Available on Barnes and Nobles:

Moments in Nature

Available at Barnes & Nobles:
Available at:
Available on Amazon:

New Posting for Moon Affirmations

I’ve been working on marketing my books.  One of the things I did was a google search on New Age book stores.  This has been slightly successful in that I got two hits with one person requesting a review copy and one person offering to post it on her web site.

It may not seem like a lot but a posting on a web site could offer more traffic to my book.  If the web site has a lot of traffic, then the new item may show up to interest people.  If they like the one book I have, it could lead to them purchasing another of my books.

There are a lot of ifs in there but it is a beginning.  I have to start somewhere with getting my book out there for people to see.  To that end… has added Moon Affirmations to its website.

Thank you, Tara for adding me to your web site!

Weekend Looms

With it being a non-pay week, I have absolutely NO plans for the weekend.  This may sound like an abysmal weekend but for me, it is heaven.  It means that I can work on writing, crocheting, or whatever else comes to mind. 

The difficulty will be in narrowing down what I do from all my options.  I’m working on production of another poetry book, editing a fantasy novel, and looking at short stories for submission to a contest.  In addition, I’m also working on the third book in the fantasy series.  I’d like to finish writing the story. 

On the marketing end, I’ve been sending emails announcing my book coming out.  I’ve hit several local papers, bookstores across the country, and sent out review copies.  Now all I have to do is hope that someone pays attention and purchases or the newspapers do an article.  Marketing is not my strong suit though I do know about it as I worked in it for a small amount of time for one of my jobs.  I do know I can send out hundreds or even thousands of emails and only get a few hits on it. 

This is also one of my more difficult things to do because marketing tends to be over the top for claims and I don’t believe in doing that.  However, it doesn’t grab people’s attention if I just say – hey here are three good books try them out.  This makes marketing difficult for me. 

On the crocheting side of my life, I’m working on Vicki’s afghan.  It is slow going because it is octagonal and each row takes a long time to finish.  I started a different project with some of my new yarn as a short project but I have a logger jam of afghan requests right now.  I have four in my queue. 

It is time for me to start thinking about what I want to do for gifts for winter so I have them done in time.  I have an idea of what I’d like to do but it is a matter of time. 

This means the weekend is an open book.  It will be nice to have a quiet and hopefully productive weekend at home. 

Secret Past

My book is now available on Amazon.  You can find it by searching out my name or here is a link:
Sunday I published on Smashwords.  Monday I worked on improving the files so the document and cover picture would be accepted into their premium catalog.  Tuesday I redid the file.  Wednesday it was accepted into the premium catalog.  Now today I’ve got it set up on Amazon and it can sell around the world. 
My story – something concocted out of my brain – is available to people all over the world.  It is astonishing.  The process was daunting to start and even to finish the prep work.  Part of me kept trying to make everything perfect before I could “finish” the book and publishing process.  I made excuses – I have to finish organizing the office, bills, craft room, and so on…
I don’t know what hit me on Sunday but I sat down to my computer and went through the last few steps and then just got it done.  I was surprised at how simple it was to get it out there.  I’ve had anxiety – in a good way – about making sure it is accepted and then getting it out for publication on Amazon. 
Now I wait to see how it is received.  But I can’t just sit around and wait.  If I want to make sales then I have to figure out how to market my book. 
I’ve worked in marketing and it is not as glamorous as people think it is.  It is a lot of grinding to get people to take notice.  My little romance novel is sitting on the shelf amongst the hundreds, thousands and maybe even millions of other novels out there it is bouncing up and down saying “Pick me, pick me.”  But then so are all those other novels.  The question now is how do I get my novel to be noticed? 
Suggestions?  I’d love them.  Additionally if you want to write a review – I would love that too.  It is easy with Amazon, you can post it right on the page.  Do you know someone who likes to read romance novels?  Let them know mine is there waving its hand just waiting to be picked.  Meanwhile, I’ll be doing research on marketing… 


My assignment for Book Editing class is to go to a book store and search online to find out how books are marketed, to search out a niche for a book, and gather market information on that niche.  It will be a hardship but I will be going to a bookstore today.  Since it is such a stressful assignment Vicki and Beth have volunteered to accompany me to make sure I don’t become overwhelmed.   J
In all seriousness, I’m excited to do this as I think it will be a good way for me to consider market research as part of the books I am writing and hopefully promoting.  Going to a bookstore is never a bad thing and seeking out how I might promote one of my books and where it might get placed in a bookstore is a good thing.
I’m going to focus on marketing my Moon Affirmations book.  I will be self-publishing this soon I think.  It will be good to make sure the market research I’ve already done hasn’t changed much.  It will also be good for me to develop some sales tools for when it is published.  It might work nicely for developing a web site or other avenues of promotion.

Creative vs Business

And now for a slight break from the drama and stress of politics…

Writing is a dual process.  You have to be creative to create the product but you also have to be business minded to market your work.  The creative side sort of takes care of itself in my mind.  There are times I sit down and say – let’s try something new.  I’ll pull out my poetry book and try a new type of poem.  Or I’ll go to a publication I don’t normally write for and try their style.  Flash writing for me is quite the challenge.  I LOVE words so I’m not likely to tell you there is a blue sky.  I’m going to tell you about the clear cerulean endless expanse dotted with puffy billowy white clouds.  Flash writing is typically a very small number of words – 500 or less is very common.
Marketing and the business side of writing is a bit more difficult.  You have to find the places that publish the work you produce.  Then you have to follow their guidelines (don’t bother sending if you aren’t following them).  After an interminable amount of time you find out whether they accept your work or not. 
You also have to put your creative self away when you get the notice because most of the time it is NO.  They don’t tell you why – they just say no.  You have to have a thick skin here because I’ve had rejections from sweet and kind to completely bitchy.  One of the things you have to realize is that in a magazine there is a limited number of spaces they fill.  If it is a big publication maybe ten, for these ten slots, they get hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of submissions.  You are one very small submission.  Your article, story, poem – whatever – may have been perfectly lovely but there were a lot of other ones that were just as lovely.  The lesson here is “do not take it personally”.  It is just a business decision.  Move to the next publication that fits the item.  Keep trying – even if it seems hopeless. 
The problem here is there are only a finite number of hours in the day.  If you are like me – you have a day job, family and other obligations.  Sleep is important… I guess.  You have to find a balance between your writing tasks.  For me this is one of the hardest things to do.  Sometimes I’m just in the mood to write and to hell with everything else.  I just want to work on what I want to work on.  I don’t want to deal with the editing, marketing, etc. 
This means time management is a key skill to employ.  It is one I’m still working on.  One thing I do is when I have very limited time, rather than start writing when I’m not going to want to stop, I’ll work on those marketing tasks, editing tasks and so on.  If I’ve only got an hour, I’ll look at my submission guidelines and try to find a piece that will fit without me having to write.  If there is one then I work to make it fit the guidelines.  If there isn’t one – I put it in my to do pile (which is WAY too big). 
I have a day job so my breaks / lunch time activities sometimes include editing and other writing activities.  Because it is a shared break room I often end up doing more of the business side of the writing during this time.  I try to make the most of my time but really there are just times I want to be a veggie and hit my recliner…