Series Covers by Neil Plakcy

 

Neil Plakcy

Neil Plakcy

I am not an artist or a cover designer. But I am a reader, and for years, I’ve been using the information I decode from book covers to choose what to read.

The art and science of cover design are complex, and way too big a topic for a quick blog post. But I’ve found two things that help make different titles look like they are part of a series.

The first of those is a consistent font. For my M/M romance Mi Amor, the cover designer hired by my publisher, Loose Id, chose a font that looks like neon tubing.

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I liked it so much that I asked for the same font to be used in succeeding books with the same setting and similar themes.

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The feel of the covers is very different because of the images and the color palette, but I think the font links them. The curly neon font evokes a light-hearted romantic romp, along with the shirtless guys and the images that relate to the particular plot.

The most recent books in my “Have Body, Will Guard” series of M/M romances, also from Loose Id, also use the font to convey an impression as well as link the books. The sans-serif font on these covers is much more severe, however, and conveys that these books, while still sexy, have a more dangerous undercurrent. You still get the shirtless guys, but the letters are crunched together, giving an impression of strength and determination.

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For the covers I designed for my golden retriever mysteries, I picked a font called Vinnie Boombah, because I could use different colors for the interior of each letter and the outline around the letter.

 

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By using a white outline and black interior, the font really stands out against a photographic background. For Dog Bless You, I swapped the black and white so that my name and the tagline “a golden retriever mystery” would pop out better.

In all three series, I think that the consistent typeface helps readers recognize that the books are connected, and also conveys something about the book itself.

Another thing I believe helps a series achieve a consistent look is the use of a frame. When I rebooted the Mahu Investigations series with MLR, I had the opportunity to redesign a whole series, and my cover designer, Vicki Landis, came up with the idea of using a frame around different images. This would be a pretty simple cover to achieve in the future.

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Vicki designed the first cover, including the image of the gun and the footprints in the sand, and then I worked with my editor at MLR, Kris Jacen, to come up with images for the other books in the series.  The font is the same, as are the frame, the surfboard, the palm tree and the white plumeria.

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Once I stopped using the word “Mahu” in each title, I wanted to add a tagline that let readers further know that these books were in the same series, so we added “A Mahu Investigation” under the title. The font may change – from a serif font to a sans serif, and the tagline gets smaller on the second book, but the impression is the same.

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Neil Plakcy is the author of the Have Body, Will Guard adventure romance series:  Three Wrong Turns in the Desert, Dancing with the Tide, Teach Me Tonight, Olives for the Stranger, Under the Waterfall and The Noblest Vengeance, published by Loose Id.

 

His other M/M romances are Mi Amor, The Russian Boy, The Buchanan Letters and Love on Site, and the novella The Guardian Angel of South Beach.

 

He is an assistant professor of English at Broward College in South Florida, and has been a construction manager, a computer game producer, and a web developer – all experiences he uses in his fiction. He cannot sing and has only been a model once.

http://www.loose-id.com/authors/l-p/neil-plakcy.html

www.mahubooks.com

Marketing With Attitude (Practical Tips for Indie Authors) by Robert Walker

Rob and Pongo

Rob and Pongo

Marketing With Attitude

or

Practical Tips for Indie Authors

by Robert W. Walker, author of 56 Kindle titles, 33 audible.com titles

 

Trust me, Marketing Responsibly can be a barrel of fun, if one comes at it with the right attitude. It helps if you are, or have ever been, a closet Advertising Executive. It helps if you have a steady stream of creative and inventive ideas streaming through your skull or if ideas are being channeled through your fevered brain by the deceased creator of The Pillsbury Dough Boy or the Ajax Dutch girl.

You definitely want to approach selling of your book with a proper good emotional high that involves convincing yourself that it can be done, and then going about doing the job.

Indie authors are lucky today as never before. With the ease of a keystroke nowadays we can access our book on a site like Amazon.com/Kindle and place our book cover and description onto our Facebook wall or pin it to Pinterest or add it to our Twitter feed. This is tempting in and of itself, and historic in and of itself,  but don’t do it without flair.

How can one add flair to a post about one’s own book? First get into character—the one you conjured up to pitch your book; the one who wrote the book’s dynamic description. Own that character as the way to book sales. You wrote copy for your book when you did the book description. You put copy-writer hat on for that. Now it’s sales marketer hat.

It all begins with humor and insider information that only you have ready access to. Information about your book and a self-deprecating attitude toward your book. First off, do not be afraid to poke fun at your own title or your genre. People love an author who can make himself the butt of the joke.

In addition, everyone loves a clever SEGWAY and a good joke. Use humor. Especially self-deprecating humor. For example, I might call my Instinct serial killer series “palatable—raw yet crunchy and binding” followed by a hehehe or an LOL. Else post a line in the story that might get a laugh, or a bit of dialogue that might be humorous. I will also make jokes surrounding the genre. A specific example here:  Speaking of my title Werewolf’s Grief, I might easily joke thusly:  “And you thought only Charlie Brown experienced GRIEF. It’s not easy being hairy all over.” The fine line between humor and horror is as thin or as thick as blood. 50 Shades of Blood Read Orange. You get the picture. Utilize what is current, what is in the hopper. Read Orange not Red Orange. “Blood Red is the New Black.”

Another approach to getting a look-see at your opening pages via the peek inside the book on Amazon.com for Indie authors is to work with your platform or one of the issues raised in your book. If autism, for example, is a part of the storyline or child homelessness or the supernatural, or if said issue has a part in the list of characters, highlight and emphasize the issues close to your heart in your ads. These issues would not be in your book if not important to you, and if important to you, then they will be important to others.

Finally, the tried, the true, the clichéd are all wonderful boons to crafting clever commentary surrounding your gem of a book. A quick run through of a book of clichés could really help here, but I simply use print magazines. Pick up lines, I call them. “A book is a terrible thing to waste…”  or “Here is your book, here is your book on speed!”  Open any magazine and scan the advertisements for any and all products, be it cereal or soap or electronics. Clever advertisers utilize that which is familiar. Familiar comes from the collective unconsciousness ala family. Familiar is warm and cozy.

A familiar line such as “The Sky is Falling” actually fits in my Pure Instinct where the sky indeed is predicted to fall and it does. So I’ve utilized the phrase for that title. You see an ad for Campbell’s Soup that reads: “It warms you to the bone” but for my suspense novel it reads: “It WARNS you to the bone.” I often cite the “Surgeon General’s Warning” against reading my books while anywhere but below covers, and certainly to not listen to one of my audiobooks while driving.

A familiar turn of phrase or new twist on one is an immediate attention getter, and that is what all advertising is meant to do – get attention for your book.  So you find an ad in a magazine for a muscle car that reads – “Finally, a car with real muscle and torch.”  You rewrite it for your sales ad to:

Finally, a book with muscle, torch, and verve enough for the most jaded reader.” Almost any print ad can be helpful in posting thusly. I suspect you can find between 5 to 10 ads in a single magazine that you can apply to your book. With magic marker, mark out the word CAR and replace it with Book or your title or Novel.

Without a dime out of pocket, these three steps have helped sell many of my books. Set your timer. Go on social media for a set time, visit your book on Amazon, keystroke the link for other venues and ADD your AD. Remember keep a positive and humorous attitude. People respond to confident and positive and humorous and clever approaches to selling any product. Why not the same with a book?

 

~~~

UnnaturalACX Bio: Robert W. Walker is a graduate of Chicago’s Wells High School, Northwestern University, and the NU’s Graduate Masters in English Education program.  Rob has taught writing TitanticCover2[1]in all its permutations (“All writing is creative writing but not all writing sings,” he says.) from composition and developmental to a study of the literary masters to creative and advanced creative writing.  His first novel was one only an arrogant youth could have conceived — a sequel to Huckleberry Finn (now published as Daniel & The Wrongway Railway, Royal Fireworks Press, NY), but his first suspense-techno-thriller-sf-mystery came in 1979, after college, a novel that won no awards entitled SUB-ZERO.

 

Why You Promote With a Long Tail by C. Hope Clark

2014-06-1316.56.56            A common reason authors use for not going with New York is how these publishers throw a book out in hopes fans will break down doors and stand in lines to buy the title. If such activity hasn’t happened in, say, two months, the title is forgotten as New York moves on to the next. They operate via a long-tail marketing approach that emphasizes big sales up front then a residual decline over time. It looks like this:

 

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Picture by Hay Kranen / PD

 

As a new novelist of a new release for a new series, I entered the publishing world afraid if I did not perform, my publisher would drop me like a hot coal. So I toured the country, hitting 26 events in nine states in nine months. Luckily I sold enough books to receive another contract. Rinse and repeat.

As I contacted the office yet again to insure books would arrive where I’d be, my publisher asked what the heck I was doing. Heart in my throat, I point blank confessed I fought to remain keep-able. As I almost cried in relief, I learned that most publishers these days, especially since smaller presses have gained such power and reach, prefer a long-tail approach to marketing their authors. I was familiar with the above method, but my publisher soon explained to me that this is the long-tail they prefer.

 

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Picture by Hay Kranen / PD

 

I could deal with this. As a matter of fact, I was more than familiar with this concept via my freelance brand FundsforWriters. As a freelancer, I’d entered the writing world with the goal to increase my image and notoriety over a period of time, one step at a time on a daily basis until people remembered who I was and told somebody else about me. In FundsforWriters’ 15 years of existence, my readership grew from a dozen to over forty thousand with that mindset, garnering ten thousand in five years. Writer’s Digest chose the site for its 101 Best Websites for Writers 14 times. Why couldn’t this day-to-day ritual work for my fiction?

I’d made a novice’s mistake thinking that mid- and small-sized presses functioned much the same as New York. Turns out they understand there’s more money to be made in continually putting an author out there one book at a time, one right after the other, until the name recognition catches on.

Word-of-mouth is a simple long-tail example. Blogging is another. Frankly, anything you can do promo-wise in this profession aids your long-tail advancement. So why do so many authors fail at becoming known and selling books?

 

They do not promote daily.

 

Why don’t writers keep their noses to the grindstone when it comes to promotion? Through conversations with my peers, I’ve learned the thoughts are:

  1. A big event (i.e., conference, signing, blog tour) goes a long way and warrants a reprieve.
  2. A couple of hard promo months allows time to coast.
  3. A peak in success means those fans are solid.
  4. If a reader buys one book, he’ll always buy the others.
  5. Hard promo should create immediate success or it’s not worth the trouble.
  6. Having been famous means you remain famous.

 

Promotion takes consistent drive to work and take you up that graph. Those who stop promoting, or do so only after a new book, or perform hit and miss efforts every few weeks, never gain serious ground. The gaps kill the momentum.

HopeOKsigning3Authors never reach a point they don’t have to market. Too many others never stop. The authors making daily splashes, over time, becomes the authors that pop up in a search or find themselves on a recommended reading list.

In my first mystery series, I struggled sliding my foot in the door of bookstores and libraries because I was a novice fiction writer. However, I continued on as if I had a strong HopeEdistoBookstoreSignanchor in this profession. I spoke in front of groups as small as two and blogged on many a site with no resulting comments. I spoke on radio shows where nobody called in. I ate lunch with potential readers, media people, librarians, and other authors every chance I could.  I handed out postcards and hung six foot banners where I appeared. I did not see immediate results from any of these efforts, but I kept telling myself that one day I might.

Today I can’t count the numerous situations where something I did, someplace I appeared, or someone I spoke to led me to a bigger opportunity from a meeting that occurred, weeks, months, even years earlier. A radio show led to a book club invitation which resulted in two banquet keynote addresses. A panel appearance led to a reporter taking my picture which triggered a women’s club asking me to be their keynote for a major event. An obscure book reviewer in an online magazine asked for a review copy, showed the review to a film agent who fell in love with the books and signed to represent them. A reporter saw me at a local country festival and asked for a feature interview in the newspaper. The same event landed Palmetto Poison as a book club selection of the month. A twitter announcement landed me another television interview. Never underestimate a connection, and never forget to put yourself out there somewhere on a daily basis.

To keep readers, feed them. Sure you wrote a great book five years ago, but what have you written lately? The long-tail approach works only if you keep pushing it forward, which means not only the daily promo but also producing new material to maintain your fans. You have to feed these hungry people. Otherwise they’ll starve and hate you for it, or find other source of food.

The point is, no matter how small the venue or effort, put yourself out there each and every day. No matter how big you once were or how hard you worked on one book, continue to produce works. This is a path that never ends, but the rewards of putting one foot in front of the other are joyous, rewarding, and satisfying beyond belief. Because you can’t see success on the horizon doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

 

BIO – Hope Clark is author of two mystery series published by Bell Bridge Books, The Carolina Slade Mysteries and the newest Edisto Island Mysteries. The first release in the new series is Murder on Edisto due out in September 2014. Hope is also editor of FundsforWriters.com, renowned throughout the industry for its resource information for writers, from crowdfunding to grants, contests to freelance markets, agents to publishers. She is frequently asked to appear at conferences and events, but lives on the banks of Lake Murray or visits Edisto Beach, both in beautiful South Carolina. www.chopeclark.com / www.fundsforwriters.com

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HOW TO: Throw a Successful Facebook Book Launch (even when you have the flu)

HOW TO:

 

Throw a Successful Facebook Book Launch (even when you have the flu.)

 

By

 

Pamela DuMond

 Dumond

 

I’m an Indie author and I don’t plan these events months in advance. I also do not schedule a book launch event for 12 hours or two days. The reason? Every time I receive one of these sorts of invites—I cringe.

 

‘But, Pamela,” you say. ‘There are 20 authors supporting this book launch and we all get to take an hour and explain how our books are important, the lead author’s new book is super important and then we field questions about our books etc. Why would you not want to click the ‘Yes-I’m-attending Button’ and support our auspicious event?”

 

Because a 12 to 24 hour book launch sounds… DAUNTING. I have a life. My readers have a life. Then guilt creeps in and I wonder if I should hit the ‘Maybe’ button, which basically translates to  ‘No— but I don’t want to hurt your feelings.’  Ack!

 

So, instead I pick a date and block out two to three hours and create a Facebook Event Page. I named it something festive like a — Cocktail Party.

 

I write a fun description based on my book.

 

Part-time Princess: Hold tight to your tiara! Stop by and have some fun with other readers, writers, artists, musicians and wacky folks. There’s plenty of royal bling to be given away. Enter a photo of Who-Looks-Best in the Tiara Contest (You can enter ahead of time.) Issue your Royal edict. Virtual snackies, cocktails, champagne will be served.

 

I invited people on my regular FB page when suddenly Facebook schooled me. I discovered that as of August, 2014, FB has capped the number of folks you can invite. So DON’T invite everyone. Only those you think might actually be interested.

 

I ask my author friends to participate and post links and descriptions of their new books. The more the merrier. It’s a ‘cocktail party.’ It’s not a mandatory college lecture. I start posting links and comments, images, etc. to my Event Page ahead of time. I included my book’s description and a link to my book on Amazon.

 

Consider the ‘THEME’ of your book and fashion a party around that. Part-time Princess has a ‘royal’ theme so I wrote up a couple of royal quizzes for folks to answer via multiple choice. These included questions about the movie The Princess Bride, notorious female royals in history and even trivia about Princess Grace of Monaco. I bought inexpensive princessy bling to award the winners of the various contests.

 

Michael James Canales of http://www.mjcimageworks.com created a Part-time Princess Royal name Generator for me.

 

Crossing the SPAM line

PJ Nunn

PJ Nunn

I read yet another announcement on Facebook this morning that said, essentially, I don’t care if your book is an Amazon bestseller, or if it’s been selected for reading by some book group I may or may not have ever known, if you keep posting advertising in this group I will NEVER read your book and I suspect I’m not alone in feeling like this.

We’ve all seen similar posts and maybe have posted similar posts. I hadn’t had coffee yet, but it set my mind whirling. Most marketing experts tell authors to be more active in social media, to tweet their hearts out and make sure they’re posting regularly. And honestly, what is advertising but putting your product information out in venues where it’s likely to be seen by potential buyers?

If I subscribe to a cooking magazine and sit down to read it when it arrives, I shouldn’t be surprised to find advertising in it that is somehow related to food. It’s expected, actually. I may not know the company that’s doing the advertising. In fact, I probably will come across quite a few products that I never knew anything about until I saw it there. I think that’s the point. Whether I like it or not, or will buy it or not, that’s a different story.

If you ask some people what crosses the line from discussing or introducing a book to spamville, the consensus is often whether the poster is known to the group in which he or she is posting. At first thought, that seems logical to most and heads will nod. But can you give me a comparison from general marketing guidelines? Where are the rules?

If you’re talking about groups to join on Facebook or LinkedIn or wherever, maybe that could be compared to those rare occasions when you get to watch a television movie with “no commercial interruptions”. I’m not saying spam is ok. I can get annoyed as anyone when that typical BUY MY BOOK tweet interrupts my feed for the umpteenth time and, no, I probably will not go buy the book.

Society is bereft of the manners with which I was raised oh so long ago, so I shouldn’t be surprised when some trample over any semblance of etiquette in social media situations. But I admit as a publicist I do feel a twinge of regret that this person wants very badly to see his or her book succeed and it’s too bad that he or she is going about it in the wrong way. I’d like to think that if we ranted less and offered well placed advice more, there might slowly be change. But then few take unsolicited advice to heart and I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to stick their necks out. Pearls before swine, as it were.

What are your thoughts? When does ill-advised attempts at advertising cross the line to spam?

Off to find that missing coffee…

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Marketing Panel

 

M.E. Kemp

M.E. Kemp

M.E.Kemp was born in 1636, Salem, MA – no, that’s not quite right.  The first baby in the family was born then.  Kemp’s ancestors settled in Oxford, MA in 1713, the founding of the town by the English after a Huguenot community evacuated following an Indian attack.  Her roots, her Grandmother’s family tales about the Civil War and her father’s love of American history influenced her to set her mysteries in the Boston area, rather than the myriad books set in medieval Britain.  American history is just as bloody and colorful, she believes.  Her detectives are two nosy Puritans, since Puritans were supposed to keep track of their neighbor’s doings.  Nosy makes a good detective. She has five books out and is at work on #6.  Check her out on her website: mekempmysteries.com; or on facebook under Marilyn Rothstein.

 

Marketing Panel – Hudson Valley Writers Guild

A panel consisting of poet Dan Wilcox, self-publisher Barbara Traynor, mystery writer M.E.Kemp and newpaper critic/reviewer Elizabeth Floyd Mair addressed the issue of marketing in “Selling Your Words,” held at a local library.  Moderator M.E. Kemp started off by recalling her first writers conference where a mid-list publisher stressed in no uncertain terms that writers must sell their work themselves, not to depend upon the publisher.  “Shy people need not apply,” she stressed – although today’s technologies allow more marketing efforts behind a screen.

Poet Dan Wilcox said he’d had some early success by joining with two other poets in readings as “Three Guys From Albany.”  Giving readings is the main way for poets to market their work.  Wilcox arranged with the local Social Justice Center to give a series of readings by local poets once a month, with open mic to follow.  My granddaughter Betty Rothstein recently read her own translations of contemporary Russian poets, including some of her poetry in Russian and in English.  (Betty majored in Russian studies.)  Wilcox said there is a strong audience for poetry in the upstate New York area.

Barbara Traynor’s book on self-publishing has gone through two editions.  One of the ways she markets herself is to contract with newspapers for articles as she travels across the country in search of warmer weather during the winters in upstate.  Traynor plans well ahead of time for this trip for her marketing campaigns.  She gave the audience a sample of her time-lines.

M. E. Kemp stood up to reveal one of her marketing tools – a black tee with the cover of her latest book in bright colors on the front.  She suggested that writers find a special niche market for their books.  Since she writes historical mysteries set in and around the Boston area, she speaks to historical societies, book clubs and libraries with a special talk offered on the Salem Witch Trials – always a selling topic.  She is also a member of the Sisters in Crime/New England speakers bureau, as well as setting up writing conferences for the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

Elizabeth Floyd Mair gave some practical advice on how to approach newspapers for a review.  Writers should always include a press release in their packet, making it clear with personal info who you are, a local connection to the paper and a good summary of the book in the release so the reviewer can judge whether it’s a book they might like to review.

Key speaker for the conference was Frankie Y. Bailey, Professor of Criminal Justice at the local university and author of two series of mysteries, including a new police procedural set in the future in Albany, NY.  Bailey gave a very funny anecdote about how she came up with the subject off the top of her head while speaking to her publisher. Bailey brought a pile of books on marketing but she recommended only one, the old stand-by WRITERS DIGEST.  She advised writers to find their “purple cow,” the one that stands out in the field.

Selling Your Novel to Readers – A Malice Domestic Report by Catherine Dilts

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When I attended the traditional mystery convention Malice Domestic this May, I had to overcome my reluctance to push my book. I’m an introvert, with a wide streak of shy. Schmoozing with strangers is my idea of torture.

Many authors seem to thrive on social media and self-promotion. Not me. My career path never even veered close to sales. That alien territory is fraught with rejection. I will admit I have sold quite a few Girl Scout cookies in my day, but seriously, those Thin Mints sell themselves.

Before my book came out, I did some research on book promotion. I hoped to discover a magic formula for what worked and what didn’t. There is no formula. Whether your novel is traditionally published, like mine, or indie, the correct approach to selling that book is as individual as the author. All promotion involves time, effort, and a bit of luck.

 

Here are some helpful hints I picked up on my journey:

  1. Don’t wear heels if you’re a sneakers kind of person. Find what you’re comfortable with, and don’t force yourself to spend time on promotional 05-01-14_sign-blogefforts you really hate. In my case, with a demanding day job, time is very limited. I focus my energy on my website and blog, Goodreads, and a few carefully selected in-person events.
  2. Not everyone likes Thin Mints. Don’t take rejection of your book personally. Focus on selling to your audience. At a book event, a woman glanced at the cover of my murder mystery, and declared she never read anything negative. Ouch! I smiled and nodded as I considered creative ways to do away with rude people. In a fictional manner, of course. I’ve had plenty more people tell me they love mysteries. There’s a market!
  3. Readers want you to succeed. The most important thing I learned at Malice Domestic is that readers have voracious appetites for fiction, and are excited to make new discoveries.
  4. Can you make a career off one novel? Harper Lee did it with To Kill A Mockingbird. But I’ve seen more success among authors, in any genre, who keep the good stories coming.
  5. Don’t stop writing because you’re promoting your new release. Keep working on your next story!

Conferences are good places to gain exposure to potential readers. I went to Malice Domestic because the focus is on the traditional mystery, cozies, and amateur sleuth novels. The conference offered authors multiple opportunities to pitch their novels to readers of murder mysteries.

The first morning, I sat in on Malice-Go-Round, an intense session where authors circulate around the room giving two-minute pitches at dozens of tables. I congratulated myself for not signing up for the frenetic event. I would have been in a straight jacket by the end.

Then the woman sitting next to me leaned over and said, “I can go home now.”

I needed clarification. She explained that this was what she came for every year. She was kidding about leaving. She would stay the entire weekend, but Malice-Go-Round was the highlight. I noticed readers scribbling notes as authors gave their two-minute pitches. People were making purchasing decisions, some for libraries.

I did sign up for the New Author Breakfast. Dozens of authors gave timed pitches to the entire room. I was still a nervous wreck, but at least it was over quickly. A hint to new authors – try to sit near an exit for that last minute dash to the facilities for cases of nervous tummy. Just sayin’.

The panel was where I really hit my stride. The focus was on my novel and my writing process, not me. I wasn’t alone. Three other authors participated in a panel on the topic of regional settings. The audience was lively, and seemed eager to find a new series or author.

Lessons learned?

  • Find the promotional methods that work for you.
  • Focus on your audience.
  • Feed your readers’ appetites with new stories.

 

You might have to step out of your comfort zone to reach your readers. That doesn’t mean you need to tackle all forms of social media, public speaking, or other means of publicity. Genre-specific conventions like Malice Domestic are a great way to promote your novel to a receptive audience.

 

Links:

1)      Malice Domestic – http://www.malicedomestic.org/

2)      Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/

3)      For more one hit novel wonders – http://listverse.com/2008/02/07/top-10-literary-one-hit-wonders/

4)      Stone Cold Dead – A Rock Shop Mystery : Amazon – http://amzn.to/18R60gQ

Tattered Cover independent bookstore – http://bit.ly/IC97SG Barnes and Noble – http://bit.ly/1bFVaQz

 

 

Biography:StoneColdDeadFront_blog

Catherine Dilts writes amateur sleuth mysteries set in the Colorado mountains. In her debut novel Stone Cold Dead – A Rock Shop Mystery, business is as dead as a dinosaur, but when Morgan Iverson finds the body of a Goth teen on a hiking trail, more than just the family rock shop could become extinct. Catherine works as an environmental scientist, and plays at heirloom vegetable gardening, camping, and fishing. Her short fiction appears in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Visit her at http://www.catherinedilts.com/