To Market… To Market… To Sell…#Free

I suck at marketing.  Let me rephrase that. I used to suck at marketing. I am learning about marketing. Marketing sucks.

Think about it from my end of the pen. I spend hours that turn into days, that turn into weeks, then months then in some cases years to create and publish an artisinal book. But the story is not complete, because a story that is not read is like a song that is not heard… is like the tree that falls in the forest and no one hears. Unless it gets out “there,” it may as well not exist.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the lectures about patience and about how over time one’s books get noticed. The theory is that eventually their niche market discovers them. Hmmmm. I suppose to some degree that’s true. But with the increasing number of books being published, at some point a whole lot of them will never surface. And that is a sad thought.

I’ve tried to understand marketing in this new publishing world, and the only truth I have found is that no one knows wtf they’re talking about. Excuse my acronym. But it’s frustrating. Everyone talks with great authority, but what works for one book, does not work for the next. Yesterday’s hot genre is tomorrow’s trash. Publishing houses big and small are collapsing and brick and mortar book stores are selling stuffed toys. It’s not easy to navigate in these waters. It’s like throwing a dart at a moving target while standing on quicksand.

And yet, I would also argue it is the best of times to be a writer, because I can self-publish. The only gatekeeper is the reader. And everyone on the planet is in need of a good story.

This rant was meant to be a preamble to explain why I so appreciate people who do marketing well. My friend, Jacqui Nelson made the following graphic for me. It is simple and I think powerful.

shutterstock_104723360 (1)What do you think?


Here is another of her other ads:

Biggar graphic

Buy Links for Snippets of Suspense


3 Steps to Create an #Anthology and not go Crazy #RSSOS


  1. Work with great writers.
  2. Choose a good theme.
  3. Talk a lot.

Blend the above ingredients until the magic happens.

Well… something like that. My list makes putting together an anthology sound easy, and it’s not. But it is worthwhile.

A couple months ago four of us decided to form a group of like-minded suspense writers to write a blog and cross-promote one another. Four grew to eighteen over night, the blog is extremely successful with a loyal and growing following and now we have our first anthology, Snippets of Suspense Anthology, #1. We’re planning a launch part on December 10th, but I’ll tell you more about that another time.

Back to the “How” of it all. Ten of our writers wanted to be in the book and as it turned out ten was a perfect number. Each writer sent me the first five thousand words of the book they wanted to promote, a bio with a picture of themselves, a cover picture and a the back blurb for the book. I formatted each writer’s work in a separate part using Pressbooks.

The theme? That was easy for us, because we were connected by the theme of suspense. So our anthology is all about suspense. Mind you, we have wild west suspense, small town suspense, international spy suspense… and the list goes on. The idea of the book is to give readers a chance to sample new stories and introduce them to writers they may not have met.

And we talk a lot. It amazes me how much talking is required to create a book, but all the chatter has been rewarding in many ways. We’ve gotten to know each other better and we have an awesome product.


Check it out: Free on Kobo and B and N

Ninety-nine cents and soon to be Free on Kindle