C. Kevin Thompson - Author Photo

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.


Short Bio

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.


Website:           www.ckevinthompson.com

Blogs:               www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com


Facebook:          C. Kevin Thompson – Author Page

Twitter:            @CKevinThompson

Goodreads:        C. Kevin Thompson



fallwreathFall is upon us, complete with beautiful fall colors and raging thunderstorms. It’s a busy season for getting children back to school, football games, and preparing for the holidays. I love decorating for the fall season with pumpkins, gourds and the colorful mums that abound in the markets. It’s a busy time for speakers as well, and I am also booking retreats for the spring of 2015. As I was thinking about what to discuss in this month’s blog, I made a startling discovery. Read More →


Dianne Barker

CAN member, Dianne Barker, shares CAN member experiences with Munce’s Christian Product Expo:

(Murfreesboro, Tenn.) Independent Christian retailers from across the U.S. attended the Munce Christian Product Expo September 21-23 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Besides providing workshops, training sessions, and heartening messages and music from top artists and authors that ignited worship and vision, the tradeshow allowed retailers to interact with authors, publishing reps, and industry friends as they reviewed new products.

Christian Authors Network presentation by Karen Whiting (CAN treasurer) explained how CAN partners with CPE to support retailers and provide tools to help them engage customers. She traced the long journey to publication of her newest release, The One Year Devotions for Active Boys (with co-author Jesse Florea). Katrina Cassel read from her Promises for God’s Princesses. Dianne Barker related the backstory of her 1986 best-seller, Twice Pardoned, first book for Focus on the Family Publishing. Cec Murphey, author of 138 books, stressed the important role of Christian retailers and suggested strategies to strengthen business in challenging times.

Karen Whiting, Dianne Barker, and Kris Jodon

Karen Whiting, Dianne Barker, and Kris Jodon

Three retailers won book bundles by CAN authors with a total value of $3,300. Winners were Ellen Meece, owner of Handfuls on Purpose in Marion, Illinois; Deb Woodard, owner of Bethany Book and Gift in Baxter, Minnesota; and Kris Jodon, manager of The Bookstore at Chapelwood in Houston, Texas.

Ellen Meese and Katrina Cassel

Ellen Meese and Katrina Cassel


Cec Murphey and Deb Woodard

Ellen said, “I never win anything. For Pastor Appreciation Month, I plan to give copies of books I won to local pastors.”
“I was shocked! Thrilled!” Deb said. “The unexpected gift was a tremendous honor and a privilege. It was a blessing and a great boost to us. It will be fun to share some books with others.” She added, “It’s great connecting with CAN authors at CPE. I love hearing from the heart of authors and their behind-the-scene stories.”

CAN honored two retailers celebrating significant anniversaries this year. Dennis and Andrea Lovvorn of New Covenant Christian Bookstore in Shelbyville, Tennessee marked their twentieth year in business. Deb and Mike Woodard’s Bethany Book and Gift has been in business seventy-five years (under their ownership for eight years, and Deb worked at the store for eighteen years prior).

Retailers received gift bags containing bookmarks featuring books by CAN members 2015 releases.

CAN’s Cynthia Ruchti led a training session, “When Your Life’s Work Feels Like the Reason David Wrote the Psalms.”

Five CAN authors participated in the Personality Party signing free copies of their books: Cec Murphey, Stolen; Cynthia Ruchti, As Waters Gone By; Dianne Barker, I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore; Karen Whiting, Nature Girl and The One Year Devotions for Active Boys; Katrina Cassel, Promises for God’s Princesses.

The Munce Group hosts two annual retailer events. Founder Bob Munce said the CPE goal is “to encourage, equip, and engage.”

Kirk Blank, Munce group president, said, “I believe we accomplished that. Retailers were encouraged by authors as well as vendors as they prepared for Christmas. The authors and speakers and music artists provided a great source of encouragement for everyone.” Blank added, “We’re always thrilled when we can bring CAN in for fellowship and leadership as we interact with authors and retailers. CAN has done a fabulous job providing much-needed service and help for retailers throughout the year. Having them at CPE was an added blessing.”


GoldenKeyesParsonsIt's football season in Texas — Friday Nights Lights for real! And here in Waco, the big news has been Baylor University's new McLane Stadium, and the nationally ranked Baylor Bears. As Baylor alumnae, my husband and I are enthusiastically following our beloved Bears, even though the first game saw temperatures of over 100 degrees. But then the next Saturday we shivered in a brisk wind on a 58 degree Saturday morning watching our great-grandson make a touchdown in Little League Football. The result of hard workouts and practices.

It's also the season for booking retreats and speaking engagements, and the sticky issue of quoting fees for your speaking engagements. How do you make a touchdown, so to speak, in negotiating a fee for your speaking engagement?

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GoldenKeyesParsonsGolden Parsons here, writing from Central Texas where the weather is beginning to feel a bit like fall. Believe me, that is unusual for this part of the country. Football games begin this next week — from Little League to major college events. This is Friday Night Lights country, and there is excitement in the air. Fall is a popular time for retreats, so I thought we might spend a little time discussing that.

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