Me and others at Book BArn.This observation is strictly from my perspective—others may have had a totally different experience. Plus the fact that I’m getting older, has changed some of the things I do.

When my first book came out there was no Internet to help with promotion. The only promotion I had a clue about (and not a very big one at that) was that I should have a book signing. I planned one at the only bookstore anywhere near. The bookstore owner advertised in the newspaper and we had a great turnout. And yes, that’s all I did.

Since that time I’ve had many bookstore signings in many different places—some turned out great with lots of people attending, and others not so much. I learned that the signings were better attended if I gave a talk of some sort.

Though many still do lots of bookstore signings, I seldom do any. There are other things that seem to work better for me.

I love appearing at libraries, because I’m fond of libraries. If it’s just me, I like to make a presentation of some sort. Sometimes book sales are great, and sometimes not.

Though you never know how they’ll turn out, I like to do book launches in all different places. I’ve had them in art galleries, a local inn, recreation spots, used book stores, and gift shops.

Book fairs are fun and I enjoy doing them because the people who attend are usually book lovers. I’ve done many over the years. I used to do craft fairs where you set up your own table and tent and I’ve done well at them, but nowadays I only do fairs of any kind where the set-up is done for you.

I’ve attended and been a participant at many writing conferences and mystery conventions and loved every minute of them. Sometimes they’re like going to a friends’ reunion and they are great places to meet readers. I’m no longer traveling around the country as I used to, now only going places that are driveable.

Years ago I sent out postcards with information about my latest book. Now I have an email newsletter that goes out once a month to let everyone know what I’m doing and about any new book that I might have. Let me know if you’d like to be on my newsletter mailing list.

I’ve been doing blog book tours like the one I’m on now for a long, long time—and I still love doing them. And yes, I do think they sell books.

And of course this brings the subject of promotion around to the Internet—one of the greatest boons to promotion. I have my own blog where I promote other authors and once in a while write something on my own—especially when I have a new book out. I love Facebook, to me it’s like chatting with friends. I use Twitter minimally, usually to promote a new blog or book.

Nothing stays the same, so I expect much will change over the next few years.

If you’re an author, let me know what works best for you—one of the older methods, or something more modern.

If you’re a reader, let me know what kind of promotion attracts you the most (or the other way around.)



Seldom Traveled Blurb:

The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a raging forest fire. Deputy Seldom Traveled Front CoverTempe Crabtree is threatened by all three.

Marilyn Meredith’s Bio:

Marilyn has had so many books published, she’s lost track of the count, but it’s getting near 40. She lives in a community similar to the fictional mountain town of Bear Creek, the big difference being that Bear Creek is a thousand feet higher in the mountains. She is a member of Mystery Writers of American, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, and is a board member of Public Safety Writers of America.


New Contest:

Winners will be randomly picked from those leaving the most comments on the blog posts. Each winner can choose one of the earlier books in the series as either a print book or e-book.

Tomorrow I’m headed to M. M. Gornell’s blog

Buy links:


23 thoughts on “PROMOTION THROUGH THE YEARS by Marilyn Meredith

  1. marilynm says:

    Thank you so much for hosting me today. i love stopping by and enjoying your hospitality.

  2. Theresa de Valence says:

    Interesting post, Marilyn.

  3. Marilynn, I met you at a Sisters In Crime meeting once but haven’t written a blog to you, In fact, I haven’t written a blog before. Concerning book promoting, I tried a book signing at a large grocery store in the Fresno area, and it worked very well. Tha manager of the store got permission from the corporate headquarters. The store furnished a table, cover, space poster stands and was most helpful. I tried this because I looked at places where lots of people go each day and grocery stores seemed to place to try. Just thought I’d share this with you and your writing friends. Garner Scott Odell, author of The Gemstone Series soon to be published by Oak Tree Press.

  4. Hi, Marilyn, great post. I think, for me, doing guest posts for writer/reader blogs in my genre are the most fun. Not sure how much they promote sales, but it’s a wonderful feeling to connect with readers in a more personal way. I love chatting with them. Hugs your way as always. Paul

    • marilynm says:

      You’re such a sweetie, Paul. And I do think we each have to find what works for us best. And of course, I love coming over to the Central Coast to do any kind of promotion so I can connect with my friends, like you!

  5. sunnyfrazier says:

    Well, you know I’m all about promotion and we have promoted together many times. What has worked well for me is indirect promotion. I have my column in Kings River Life with book give-aways and I add to my fan base every month. I also personally contact every person individually in the fan base when my column comes out. When my own series is out, I will then promote to the fans who are familiar with me. Locally, I have groups I’ve joined in my small town that will buy all my books when they come out. This includes the local women’s club, the American Legion Auxillary, the retired Sheriff’s Ladies, Sisters-in-Crime and the library. With few bookstores, I count on Amazon for sales. Plus, I have two blogs I contribute to with a high readership. And, I head up the Posse with very loyal writers who also buy my books. Love the Internet!

    So, I’d say cultivating local groups and using social media effectively are my strategies. Conferences are not very good for selling books.

    • marilynm says:

      Sunny, if you’ll notice you’re in the group photo at the top of this post. We’ve had some great successes doing appearances together. We’ll have to do it again sometime.

  6. I’ve promoted with Marilyn, trading guest posts and reviewing one another. I blog and do guest blogs (especially when a new book is coming out). With no bookstores nearby, the local libraries have been very helpful to me, stocking books and hosting signings. As a member of the Posse, Sunny and other members constantly provide new ideas for promotion. You never know what will work for you until you try it.

  7. Marja McGraw says:

    I haven’t done a Book Launch, but other than that you and I are pretty much on the same track. I particularly enjoy library presentations because I can do a one-on-one with readers, usually. I’m now living in a new area and I’ve got to start making new connections. It’s been slow going, but it will happen. Thank you for a wonderful post, Marilyn!

  8. amreade says:

    I do love the internet for promotion, but in my opinion there’s nothing like getting out there and meeting people, whether it’s at a library, a conference (more about conferences below), writing groups, community groups, or bookstores. For me, the personal connection and the word-of-mouth buzz it begets is the best way to get readers.

    In terms of conferences, I like the small ones far better than the big ones. Big ones are a great place to network, but the small ones are where an author can meet, talk to, and get to know people who are going to be faithful readers.

  9. maggie8king says:

    Blogs and Facebook groups work best for me, as well as panels, speaking to groups, and being a guest author at book groups (in person and by Skype). I agree with Amy that small conferences/conventions are best. Bookstore signings don’t generally work well for me, but I always do them with my local SinC group, so at least it’s not lonely. My FB author page doesn’t reach many, but I’m going to take out an ad when my book comes out. My local library will host my launch for Murder at the Moonshine Inn in November.

  10. marilynm says:

    Hi, Maggie. I’d like to hear how your Facebook ad works out when the time comes.

  11. marilynm says:

    I’d like to try it sometime but really haven’t a clue how to do it.

  12. lindamthorne says:

    You are one amazing person. I could never dream of living long enough to put out so many books. I’ll see you on my blog next week.

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