There’s a writer I met via Facebook, in the “Crime, Thriller, and Mystery Readers Group” named Jenny Milchman.* I don’t know her personally, have never met her, never emailed back and forth, never instant messaged, nothing. I haven’t even read any of her three books. Yet.
I do see her Facebook posts, though, and that’s how I found out about one of her unique methods at promoting her writing: Road Trips. Now, understand, she is a general market author and published through Ballantine (Random House). Random House has a publicist who helps her (as most bigger houses do), and she uses a literary publicity firm, too. And for having only three books out, her sales are pretty good.
However, what intrigued me about this author were the road trips she takes. For each book launch, she hits the road. For her first novel, Cover of Snow, she writes on her website, “On February 1st, 2013, we hit the road, going to over four hundred bookstores, libraries, book clubs, schools, and other locations across the country. For seven months, we car-schooled the kids and worked remotely-and said hello to you.” Four hundred?! In seven months?! You do the math.
Now, she’s on her third book tour, Bring On The Night 2015 (She has done one each year, so far). As a matter of fact, last night, July 21, she was in Overland, Kansas, speaking to a local Borders Crime chapter of the Sisters in Crime (Did you know such a group even existed? They only support women who write crime fiction, so I feel a little slighted, even mildly discriminated against, but maybe you who are of the female persuasion and write mysteries can contact them if you’re ever out that way). Today, Jenny’s in Lawrence, Kansas, having lunch with local authors near a bookstore (probably will do a signing, I’ll bet), and tomorrow night, she’ll be in Denver, Colorado, having a book discussion and signing at a bookstore called The Tattered Cover. The point is, the calendar is full, and groups seem to abound out there. We just have to find them.
Needless to say, that’s a huge commitment. One very few people could do. The point is, road trips and going out into the masses to meet people seems to work for her. One added bonus, I’m sure, is getting to see and hear so many sights and sounds along the way, too. I’m sure a book tour as massive as these could be arranged with a little “free time” in a place like Myrtle Beach or Yellowstone National Park.
What this author has done for me is get me to thinking. Her marketing isn’t all that different from what you see others do on a regular basis. She blogs. She is active on social media. She even has a blog radio program and interviews authors regularly. I listened to her interview Lincoln Child about a month ago.
Marketing is marketing. It’s hard work. Writers love it about as much as having a root canal because it takes our introverted nature and exposes it for all to see. But it’s necessary.
In addition, each of us has limitations on time and resources. However, it’s what you do with those resources that can make a difference, it appears.
Hope this helps.
You can read about the road trips at jennymilchman.com. Her website, as a whole, might prove to be helpful as well.
*I’m not endorsing this author by any means, especially not having read any of her works, but I always feel we can learn from others, even if they’re not in the CBA market.
C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister, and his published works include two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge – A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1.
Facebook: C. Kevin Thompson – Author Page
Goodreads: C. Kevin Thompson