Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Marketing Books

A lot of discussion has been going on about how someone would go about marketing their book to help sales in these uncertain, economic times.  So when I trooped out to the mailbox today I wasn't expecting to find a sales gimmic that appealed to me. Avon publishers sent me a postcard advertising Carolyn Hart's new book, Laughed Till He Died. The picture side of the post card appears to be the front jacket pic and on the message side is a brief blurb describing the plot. At the bottom they inserted a smaller jacket pic of her book Dare To Die. They also included the author's website, the price of the book, and the date it goes on sale.

I'm not sure where Avon got my name for their mailing list, it could have come from book purchases on Amazon or my name as a subscriber to The Writer, but wherever they got it, the postcard is a really good advertising scheme. The "jacket" got my attention just like in a bookstore, and the blurb made me think: Hmmm, sounds good.

This is the first time I've received a postcard advertising a book, is this new or has anyone else received some?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Putting Work Away Before and During Revisions

Many writers suggest putting your WIP out of sight for a while. The work is sometimes put away for a week, sometimes for a month or two, depending on how close the writer is to it. When I first started writing, it didn't take too long to figure out that this is great advice. Today was a good example of why this has become standard practice for me.

I had put my Pockets contest entry away for a few days. Spring has sprung and I had been sprucing up the yard, cleaning the house, doing all those chores I do in early spring. This morning it's raining and a perfect day to write, so I pulled out my story.

I don't know if other writers do this but sometimes what I think is in the story is actually in my head and no longer in print. I found a paragraph I had revised for word count that sounded fine when I put it away. This morning I discovered that the conclusion I wanted the reader to draw from this paragraph could no longer be drawn. If I hadn't put it away for a while, I don't think I would have found it.

How do you handle revisions and being too close to your work?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Respect for Children's Authors?

For a long time, writers who published children's books were looked on as second class citizens in the public's eye as well as in the writing world. J K Rowling shook up the world's perception by writing a book both children and adults treasured. Now that James Patterson has written for the juvenile market and John Grisham is about to have his first children's book published by Dutton, maybe perception of children's writers will continue to change for the better. Even more amazing, the publisher will be running one million copies for the first printing! That's unheard of in children's literature.

On a personal note, I can't wait until, Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham is on the shelves! One of those million copies will be for me!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pockets Annual Fiction Contest is Back!

After cancelling the contest for reorganization last year, Pockets announced that the contest is again up and running. Submissions began March 1 and will end on August 15. I'm busily working on my entry!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Baby Skunk Time!

My neighbor told me that a skunk was living under her deck this spring. It was the first time because she always had a dog in the yard. Muffin had to be euthanized because of complications of old age so a rather large skunk took up residence a few months later. "It's March," I told her. "I bet you're going to have baby skunks in the yard this spring just like my sister had a couple of springs back."

My sister took this picture when the litter of five ventured forth from under the tool shed. Their mom had made a nice little nest at the bottom of a hole she dug under there. It's a fenced backyard and safe from preditors, as well as her dogs, who live in harmony with any critter that seeks refuge there. Mama Skunk chose a good place to raise her babies in the suburbs.

The doggy door is busy during the daytime, but at night, the dogs prefer sleeping inside while the critters are foraging. So far no curious critter has made use of the doggy door, but the minute one does...