Promoting Book Series with Regional Flavor by C.T. Collier

  What’s a surefire way to promote a book? Every author deals with that question. Most authors I know don’t have a publicist advising or directing them, and their marketing budget comes from their pocket. Social Media? Facebook ads? Go for the reviews? Set up a stand on Main Street?

As a newbie author, I struggled to find the best promotion strategy for me and my books. Writing the best book I could write was the most important, of course. Participating in critique groups and contests insured that each book in my series improved on the last. However, while reviews were great, sales were low.

It wasn’t until I joined forces with local authors and tried a few different venues that I found what fit my audience, my personality, and my budget. To my surprise, face-to-face contact with my readers was the answer for me. I say surprise because I’m an introvert—you know the grade school “brain,” the high school “class nerd.” But put me around people who love to read heartwarming romance or a good mystery, and I glow with excitement! They forgive my stammering, and I’m all too happy to answer questions about my writing process, where the ideas come from, and how I get to know my characters. Soon we laugh together, they pick up a book, and there’s a sale.

I should say that I write two series, both set in the area where I live, the beautiful Finger Lakes of Upstate New York. Last year was my fourth year of book promotion, and it was the most successful yet. Three face-to-face events were stand outs, and I offer them as examples to get you thinking outside the box.

First was an arts festival on the shores of one of the lakes. Four of us shared a tent and took turns drawing in the passers-by. Over the two days of the festival, I sold out of my first mystery and had modest sales of my romance series. And I learned that having a presence is not just about sales. During the show the advertising director for a local winery approached the tent, looking for Finger Lakes authors for a fall harvest event at her winery to benefit the county animal shelter. Two of us held up our hands.

That fall winery event put us in the company of five authors who live in and set our books in the Finger Lakes, plus a fabulous best-selling author who penned a trilogy set at a fictional Finger Lakes winery. In the course of three hours, I sold out of romance books, sold one copy of my mystery, and enjoyed conversation with many readers from the area.

In between those events, I got up the courage to have a book party for my first mystery, as a pre-event for my high school reunion. My hometown library was excited to host and promote the event, and the reunion committee agreed to spread the word. We scheduled it for late Friday afternoon, hoping to catch classmates as they rolled into town, as well as community members looking for a good summer read. I’d been nervous about doing a solo event, but I wasn’t doing it alone. The librarian and my friends were eager to participate. Dozens of people came. And, yes, I sold books.

Bottom line, as a marketing strategy, face-to-face contact through local venues and libraries have worked best for me. I’ll continue using Facebook and making appearances on book blogs, because those are wonderful ways to stay in touch with readers and to meet new ones. And I’ll listen to what other authors are trying and what they recommend. We’re all learning from each other.

What’s next? Five of us have a “Meet Your Local Authors” event this Monday at our local library, hosted by our community writers group. Each of us is inviting the world. Three are coming early to set up. Another, a fabulous graphic artist, has made posters and table cards for us. The librarian is promoting up a storm. I’m organizing us and bringing the cookies. We’ll have a grand time and sell some books.

Do you enjoy local events for buying and selling books? Why? What suggestions do you have for authors at festivals, libraries, and business venues? Please leave a comment!

 

About the Author

C. T. Collier was born to solve logic puzzles, wear tweed, and drink Earl Grey tea. Her professional experience in cutthroat high tech and backstabbing higher education gave her endless opportunity to study intrigue. Add to that her longtime love of mysteries, and it’s no wonder she writes academic mysteries that draw inspiration from traditional whodunits. Her setting is entirely fictional: Tompkins College is no college and every college, and Tompkins Falls is a blend of several Finger Lakes towns, including her hometown, Seneca Falls, NY.

 

Book Summary for Stuck

Book Two in The Penningtons Investigate  

Murder never entered the picture until Fritz Van Derzee decided, at long last, to clear his name. Who stuck a jeweled stiletto into his desktop after stabbing him to death? Fritz’s daughter, Emma, recruits her former professor Lyssa Pennington to find the killer.

 

And where’s the ten million Fritz was falsely accused of embezzling? Tompkins College President, Justin Cushman, hires his old friend Kyle Pennington to trace the missing money.

 

While Lyssa uses charm and tenacity on the long list of suspects, Kyle reconstructs the college’s old homegrown finance system. As they converge on the killer, Lyssa and Kyle may be the next two casualties.

 

 

Important Links

 

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/k69wclb

Barnes&Noble: http://tinyurl.com/lep4smt

 

Author Website: https://drkatecollier.wordpress.com

Facebook: kate.collier.315

What’s An Author To Do? by John Lindermuth

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” W. Somerset Maugham

Maugham’s famous axiom might equally be applied to the task of selling that novel. We hear plenty of suggestions. but no one can say for certain what works for one will do the same for all. In the ‘old days’, which really weren’t that long ago, writers wrote books and publishers sold them.

With many more books being produced these days, things have drastically changed. Writers are now required to do much more in the way of marketing. In the past, the publisher set up an advertising budget and solicited bookstores (where most of the selling occurred) and reviews. A writer, especially one with a following (brand), might be called on to do signings at a selection of stores or do interviews.

Publishers still do advertise, solicit in certain venues and seek reviews. But they also expect the writer to publicize the product and seek sales and reviews. With all the competition, a writer must assume the extra hat of salesperson/promoter if the book is to be noticed.

How you undertake the task depends on your personality and situation. Probably a majority of sales today are made through on line promotion. But what I want to talk about today is in person promotion on your own stamping grounds.

For instance, on a personal basis, I live in an area where the closest bookstores are 60 miles away. I will, and have, traveled that distance to do a presentation/signing. But if you aren’t well known in that vicinity, results can be a crapshoot. For that reason, I prefer to seek audiences in other venues. Area libraries have been a good market for me. If you visit in person and talk to the librarian you’ll do better than by simply sending an email or a promo packet. I’ve found most libraries (particularly smaller ones) eager to help, some even taking on the task of advertising an event.  Another tip–it doesn’t hurt to ask friends and family to recommend or request your book at their local libraries.

I’m librarian of my county historical society and my books are displayed and offered for sale there, too. I’ve made friends/fans of many patrons who come in to do genealogy or research and become customers.

Libraries aren’t the only venues. Think big. Approach all kinds of small shops to see if they’ll consider carrying your books. Some will buy outright at a discounted price, others will take them for a trial period on consignment (offer a third of the retail price). My non-fiction regional history has been a steady seller in a specialty shop that’s only open for the Christmas period. I’ve also sold through a local restaurant and a used bookstore operated by a university.

Most writers are introverts and that can be trying. Many clubs and organizations will respond to offers of a speaking gig (some will even pay you). I’m not really comfortable getting up in front of a big audience, so I haven’t done as much of this as I should. It can pay big dividends, though.

Most important–get your name known in your area as a writer. I do a weekly history column for the local newspaper. I get paid for the column and the newspaper always publicizes my new books (Writing articles for magazines can also help make your name known to a wider audience).

Always carry books with you in the trunk of your vehicle. You never know where you might run into someone who will buy a book. And never go anywhere without business cards or other promotional material to hand out to people you come in contact with. Even people who aren’t readers seem to enjoy meeting a ‘real’ writer. They might not buy a book, but they might hand your card on to someone who will.

My latest novel is Geronimo Must Die, a Western and also a mystery. Here’s the blurb:

Geronimo and rascally half-breed Indian scout Mickey Free have never been friends.

Yet, Mickey has already saved Geronimo’s life twice (without acknowledgement) and is the only one who can keep the great Apache leader out of the sniper’s sights now. The sniper has already murdered several tribal leaders and Mickey believes it’s all a plot to prompt a great runaway from the hated San Carlos reservation.

Mickey’s efforts are stymied by Al Sieber, head of scouts, and John Clum, reservation agent, as well as suspicion of other Indians. Adding to his problems, Mickey is in love with a girl whose name he keeps forgetting to ask and who may be allied to the plot.

Only perseverance, risk to his life and, eventually, Geronimo’s help will enable Mickey to resolve this dangerous situation.

Buy links:

http://sundownpress.com/

 

A retired newspaper editor, J. R. Lindermuth lives and writes in a house built by a man who rode with Buffalo Bill–which may have helped inspire his interest in the West. His 15 published novels are a mix of mystery and historical fiction. Since retiring, he’s served as librarian for his county historical society, assisting patrons with genealogy and research. He is a member of International Thriller Writers and a past vice president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Webpage: http://www.jrlindermuth.net

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/jrlindermuth

Blog: http://jrlindermuth.blogspot.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/john.lindermuth

FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/John-Lindermuth-175253187537/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jrlindermuth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1005496.J_R_Lindermuth

———————————————————–

Shares The Darkness (September 2016), Torrid Books

Something So Divine (August 2015), Sunbury Press

http://www.jrlindermuth.net

http://www.amazon.com/author/jrlindermuth

 

PR that works for me by Maris Soule

maris2015Writers strive for name recognition (our brand). To achieve this goal, we give away items (swag) that range from small to humongous and from relatively cheap to very expensive.

 

When I started writing, I was published by Harlequin, who promoted their brand name not the author’s. Harlequin would send us bookmarks to give out, but those bookmarks featured Harlequin’s logo, how to contact Harlequin, and what lines Harlequin published. They also put inserts in our books, removable pages that showed the cover(s) of upcoming releases, but neither the bookmarks nor the inserts, nor the ads they ran in magazines promoted individual authors. Harlequin’s swag promoted the publisher and how to sign up for their book club. We writers were simply a part of a “stable” of writers. They even tried to (or did) control the writer’s name.

 

Finally writers realized they needed to promote themselves; now we are the brand, not the publisher. Readers follow writers, not publishing houses. This is great, but it also means achieving name recognition has become extremely important. The “How to” is the hard part.

 

I’m the first to admit I suck at promotion. I have enough trouble finding time to write. I don’t want to waste time running contests, giving weekly perks to keep a fan club (street gang) active, sending out 4 to 10 tweets a day, adding to my Pinterest boards, or explaining “What’s on my mind?” on Facebook. I do blog (my focus is on writing) on Wednesdays (http://marissoule.com/blog/). I try to remember to send out an occasional Tweet, do try to say something on Facebook and respond to others, and have posted some things on Pinterest. About 4 times a year I try to get a newsletter out and anytime I give a talk, I try to pick up more email addresses for my mailing list.

 

Mostly I do face-to-face promotion. I meet someone, we start talking, and along the way the topic of “What do you do?” comes up and I tell the person that I’m a writer…and I hand that person a bookmark or business card.

 

On my bookmarks, I include a book cover and a short blurb. I have both sides printed, on high quality paper, and I include as much info as I can: Name (fairly large), email, and web address. Where to find/buy my books. A list of books (at least ones available). And, for new releases, an ISBN number to help a bookseller order the book.

 

bookmarkfront

Bookmarks, I’ve discovered, fit nicely into a side pocket of my purse and can be pulled out with ease. If I’m in a doctor’s waiting room, I can leave a few on the table with the magazines. I can slip a bookmark into a business size envelope when paying a bill. The bookmark may never be used in a book, but it’s a concise, and relatively inexpensive advertising tool.

bookmarkback

I do not put my address on my business cards, but I do list my name, phone number, email address, and web address. Under my name, in fairly large letters, I have WRITER. That often starts a conversation. I usually have the cover of one of my recent books on the front. So far I haven’t put anything on the backs of my cards, but I know others do, and I plan on doing that. It might be a short rave review, or maybe a list of places to buy my books.

businesscard

 

Whenever I’m asked to spell my name or give my name and phone number, I quickly pull out a card. If necessary, I can tell them my street address (it switches between our winter and summer locations), but nowadays most want phone and email along with your name, so it’s right there and can be attached to a file or put near the phone.

 

I find the bookmark and business card work as a personal introduction to the fact that I’m a writer, they usually start a conversation about books and/or writing, and create a long term impression…and that’s what branding is all about.

 

****

 

ECHOES OF TERROR: In Skagway, Alaska, a billionaire’s teenager daughter is missing and Officer Katherine Ward is assigned the case. When Katherine realizes the girl and another have been taken by the same man who kidnapped and raped her seventeen years before, the terror of those months in captivity resurfaces. She knows he’s a man who won’t hesitate to kill…and that she’s the real reason he’s in Alaska.

Release date: March 22, 2017

 

echoesofterrorfront

 

 

 

 

 

Maris Soule started her career writing romances for Harlequin, Silhouette, and Bantam Loveswept before switching to mysteries and thrillers. (The Crows, As the Crow Flies, Eat Crow and Die, were published by Five Star Mysteries/Gale/Cengage and A Killer Past, was published by Robert Hale, Ltd.) Echoes of Terror, her 30th book and one of the last released by Five Star Mystery will be available March 22, 2017.

 

Originally from California, Soule was attending U.C. Santa Barbara when she met and married her husband. He somehow talked her into moving to Michigan, where they raised two children that they’re very proud of. Although Soule taught art and math for 8 years, reading and writing have always been her passion. She does do some painting when she and her husband are in Florida during the winter months.

 

For more information, visit her at:

http://www.marissoule.com

http://marissoule.com/blog/

http://facebook.com/marissoule

https://www.facebook.com/MarisSouleAuthor/

http://twitter.com/marisSouthHaven

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/305476.Maris_Soule

https://www.pinterest.com/marissoule/

The Good and the Bad News About Marketing by Catherine Dilts

When it comes to selling fiction, here is what I’ve learned about current marketing wisdom:

The Bad news – no one knows what works.

The Good news – no one knows what works.

There is no right or wrong way to market your book. It’s all about what works for you. If you’re already making satisfactory income from your fiction writing, this article is not for you. My advice is geared toward the author with low to modest sales. You might be with a small press, or Indy published.

You’ve written your book, gotten it published, and now you’re ready for the next step. Getting your story into the hands of readers. Some experts might say the marketing phase begins before you’ve even finished your book. There is no lack of advice.

I can’t tell you how to make fistfuls of money. I haven’t figured that one out for myself yet. Publishing can be brutal. Good stories are overlooked. Anticipated sales don’t happen. Authors may be frustrated and disappointed. People offer every bit of advice you can imagine. Some of it is free, and some costs big bucks. I can condense most of it down to this:

  • Social media – helps get your name out there to readers, but doesn’t guarantee sales. Choose a venue you enjoy (blogging, Facebook, Twitter) and make judicial use of it. Hammering away endlessly on social media doesn’t equate with more book sales, and takes time away from writing your next story. It sometimes annoys people, too.
  • Conferences – help get your name noticed, mostly by other people there for the same reason – to sell their book. If you go to network, meet editors and agents, socialize, and learn more about your craft, it is time and money well spent. Selling books – not so much.
  • Advertisements – unless you have a book suited to a niche market, and have access to advertise in a specific newsletter or website, paid advertising probably won’t pay off. The chatter I hear on writing loops is that ads online rarely pay back their cost.
  • Blog tours – if free, and if on sites viewed by readers, you might reach potential customers with brief, witty posts. Limit yourself to what you can reasonably generate without robbing yourself of writing time.
  • Book signings – if free, and you can publicize to your readers, friends, and family, book signings are the ultimate reward for writing a book. I’ve heard some bookstores charge authors for signings. Only do this if it’s your heart’s desire to sign books at that store. You most likely won’t make your money back.

Most of all, know yourself. Are you a one book author, or are you in it for the long haul? If you’re planning a career, earning name recognition may be more important than earning money, at the beginning.

What are you comfortable with? It’s tempting to spend a lot of time, and maybe money too, on marketing, but not all of us can afford to take big risks. Experiment, as much as your time and finance budgets allow. Test the waters to discover what works.

There is no one-size-fits-all for marketing. I hope you’re able to kiss the day job goodbye, as you make your first million. It happens. When it comes to marketing, what works is what works for you.

Biography:

Photo by Kari L. Vollaire, Artsy Phartsy Design – http://artsyphartsydesign.com/

Catherine Dilts is the author of the Rock Shop Mystery series, set in the Colorado mountains, while her short stories appear in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Catherine’s day job deals with environmental regulatory issues, and for fun she fishes, hikes, and runs. You can learn more about Catherine at http://www.catherinedilts.com/

Stone Cold Blooded – A Rock Shop Mystery, published by Encircle Publications LLC, is available in paperback, and in e-book for Kindle http://amzn.to/2d0uMDB and Nook http://bit.ly/2dHtm4G

Lessons I’ve learned along the way and a Pet Peeve by Nancy Boyarsky

nancyboyarskyNancy Boyarsky was born in Oakland, California. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley, her first job was as an assistant editor in a tiny, long-gone publishing company in San Francisco. She has worked as a writer and editor all of her life.

She is married to the journalist Bill Boyarsky and lives in Los Angeles. She devotes herself to writing, editing, and reading and has added painting to her list of hobbies. She loves the theater, films and travel, especially to the UK, where her first mystery, The Swap, takes place.

elechi-pen

It’s tough to get your novel noticed among the 60,000 some odd fiction titles published each year. Here are some of the tricks I learned along the way. With some, I could see a direct correlation with sales or online reviews. With others, I couldn’t find that connection. But, I figured, the more times my book was mentioned anywhere, the better. So here goes.

 

*Do hire a publicist for your first novel. There are many books out on how to do this yourself, but I tried with my first theswapmystery, The Swap, when I self-published it several years ago. I found the job overwhelming. I wrote to a number of book review blogs with little result. I gave up and hired someone to handle it for me. The publicist got my book reviewed in an influential on-line and print publication. This attracted a publisher who signed me on and agreed to reissue my first two novels with new covers. That, in itself, was worth what I paid the publicist.

 

*If you self-publish on CreateSpace (Amazon’s self-publishing service), be sure to read the fine print that goes with the different type of ISBN (book identifying number) you use. At least one prohibits sales to libraries. Another ISBN option seems to close the door to sales other than through Amazon.

 

*Don’t bother advertising on Facebook or other social media. Just a few years ago, these ads really boosted sales if you were willing to pay for enough ads to reach a lot of people. We’re talking about $100 or more a day. Now, even for those willing to part with that, the ads don’t seem to do much. There are so many ads, so many elements on each webpage, that people tend to ignore book ads.

 

*Do have your book read and corrected for typos and plot glitches by professionals. I’ve noticed complaints in a number of reader reviews about typos. These don’t bother everyone, but they do detract from your story for people who notice such things.

 

*Don’t let bad reviews get you down. I have a friend who’s written a number of books and has a solid fan base. Her books have a solid four-plus rating. But she refuses to read her reviews on Amazon because the negative ones upset her. I can understand that. These don’t bother me (as long as the majority of reviews are positive). Some authors actually consider reader complaints as a learning opportunity.

 

*Do take advantage of Goodreads giveaways. During these giveaways, my book appeared on hundreds of Goodreads members’ “to-read” lists, although I can’t say for sure if these people ever actually bought the book. But the giveaway did attract reader’s attention. This said, I’d advise you to limit your giveaways to three books and restrict it to the U.S. The U.S.P.S. has recently raised its rules and rates. The last book I sent to a blogger in the UK cost me $23. It’s been nearly a month, and it still hasn’t arrived.

 

Pet peeve of publishing and promoting:

*Amazon’s new policy of showing only reviews of “verified purchase” customers unless you can find the link that lets you see all the reviews. This devalues reviews contributed by those who bought their books elsewhere or received a free advance copy for a review on a site like NetGalley.

 

When The Best Laid Plan goes a ‘Stray’ by: Lynn Chandler Willis

a1l6y-9iaol-_ux250_I have a dog. I have a very pretty dog. She’s a border collie so she’s super smart, too. She’s also a ham. The dog loves belly rubs and any attention anyone will pay her. Trust me, she is not lacking in that department.

 

Her name is Finn. Nothing fancy. No registered name for the AKC or other dog organizations where stuff like that matters. She’s a shelter dog, picked up as a stray, wandering the streets with a puppy that looked just like her. A rescue group took the puppy and sent Finn to the shelter. That’s where our stories merge.

 

Just one look was all it took and she was mine. That was almost a year ago. Since then, she’s been my constant companion, my hiking buddy, my dog park goof ball, my writing muse, and now my marketing gimmick.

 

From her early days with me, I’ve posted her antics on social media and she’s developed a bit of a fan base. So when I was recently confirming a book signing and launch at my local Barnes & Noble, the manager asked if I was bringing Finn. I replied with something along the line of “seriously?”

 

When she came back with “Sure!” I jumped at the opportunity. Afterall, Finn is featured in my newest book, Tell Me No Lies. 12931060_10206190394900729_3351691464145447843_nThe family dog in the book is a — wait for it — border collie named Finn. And so a star was born, and a marketing plan re-routed to seize the moment.

 

I have a stack of bookmarks and postcards to hand out, tote bags for give-aways—all with the book cover and catchy blurb. All of that was planned for and budgeted for in my “marketing plan.” And guess what I’m doing the weekend before my book’s release and launch party? I had planned on, oh, maybe a manicure. Instead I’ll be spreading ink on Finn’s front paw then holding it to a piece of paper. I’ll take a picture of the paw print, upload it to my computer, add a cute little signature-looking font then print four to a piece of cardstock. Then I’ll cut them out with some fancy, scalloped little scissors and BAM—Finn now has a “signed” card to give out at her first book signing.

 

My readers, whether returning or new, are who they are because they like mysteries and maybe they like my writing. Dog lovers, on the other hand, may not have bought my book otherwise, but can’t say no to those sweet, amber eyes.

 

When it comes to marketing, sometimes the answer is outside the box. You may not think of it at the beginning of developing your marketing plan, but recognize it when it presents itself. And seize it. Then scratch its furry head and give it a belly rub.

elechi-pen

Lynn Chandler Willis has worked in the corporate world, the television industry, and owned a small-town newspaper. Her novel, Shamus-Award finalist, Wink of an Eye, (Minotaur, 2014) won the SMP/PWA Best 1st P.I. Novel, making her the first woman in a decade to win the national contest. Tell Me No Lies is the first title in the Ava Logan Mystery Series with Henery Press. She lives in North Carolina with a border collie named Finn.

Back Copy:

tellmenoliesfrontAva Logan, single mother and small business owner, lives deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, where poverty and pride reign. As publisher of the town newspaper, she’s busy balancing election season stories and a rash of ginseng thieves. And then the story gets personal. After her friend is murdered, Ava digs for the truth all the while juggling her two teenage children, her friend’s orphaned toddler, and her own muddied past. Faced with threats against those closest to her, Ava must find the killer before she, or someone she loves, ends up dead.

http://lynnchandlerwillis.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Tell-Lies-Logan-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B01N3PXOVZ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Pay Attention to Your Blurb! By Karen McCullough

karen_mccullough_2015_200I was casting around for a topic for this blog post when just this morning something arrived in my email box that said “perfect topic for blog post.”

 

I’m on the lists for several of those email newsletters that give you daily selections of free and low-cost ebooks. I read a lot and I’m always on the lookout for new authors and series that I can get into.  Those newsletters have introduced me to several authors whose works I’ve really enjoyed and whose backlist I’ve bought at full price after reading their sample.

 

But today as I was scrolling through one of the newsletters (all names and titles will be omitted here), I came across a boxed set that had an intriguing premise. It’s a series of romantic suspense stories connected by a group of investigators. That’s my catnip. Reading the initial blurb for the set, I was pretty sure this was going to sell me.

 

Then I read the description for the first book and tripped over a misspelled word, the kind that wasn’t likely to be either a typo or a possible homonym. But I forgive the occasional error and went on to the blurb for the next book. It contained a badly used word. Not a totally wrong one, but it made the sentence read oddly to anyone with an ear for language. It was the kind of usage that suggested the author didn’t have a good grasp on the nuances of word meanings. The blurb for the third book had another of those—not as egregious as the previous one, but it was the third strike. To cement my decision, a series wrap-up description included another badly used word. Done.

 

As interesting as that set of books sounded, I wouldn’t buy it based on the problems in the blurbs. I’m an author and former magazine editor myself so I’m super-sensitive to language mechanics and usage. I’ll forgive the occasional error in a story. I know all too well how easy it is to miss things. My own books all go through multiple rounds of editing and still the occasional mistake sneaks through. But I can’t forgive multiple errors in a short space like four paragraphs. It completely kills my confidence that the author can deliver a story I’ll enjoy.

 

Perhaps the books themselves are better, but I doubt it. Based on a badly written blurb, I don’t trust that this author realized she had problems and took steps to fix them. I don’t believe she hired an editor and copy editor to help her iron out her problems with language mechanics and usage. My time is too limited and the possibilities of other books too enticing to take a chance on something that shows every evidence of serious flaws.

 

The lesson here? Authors, pay attention to your blurbs. If you don’t have a good grasp on grammar and/or usage, hire an editor. Even if you do, you should still hire an editor. It’s tough to see all of your own mistakes. I spent ten years as an editor for two multi-national trade publications, and I still hire someone else to review my self-published books before they go out. The editor should review your blurb as well.

 

Get it right the first time. You may not get another chance.

 

Karen McCullough is the author of a dozen published novels and novellas in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres as well. She has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy, and has also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Daphne, Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She has three children, an increasing horde of grandchildren, and lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.

 

Website: http://www.kmccullough.com

Blog: http://www.kmccullough/kblog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenMcCulloughAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kgmccullough

 

A Gift for Murder Blurb:agfm_v2_200

The Gifts and Decorative Accessories Show is a long week for the event location’s staff, and particularly for Heather McNeil. As assistant to the director of Washington, D.C.’s, Market and Commerce center, she’s point person for complaining exhibitors, missing shipments, and miscellaneous other disasters. It’s a job she takes in stride—until murder crashes the event.

Buy links: