Next in a series of posts featuring the winners of the 2023 Christian Authors Network (CAN) Excellence in Marketing Awards. Judy DuCharme won first place in the fiction Broadcast Media category and describes her activities here.

The 2024 marketing awards will open in November 2023. CAN members, please be thinking of how you can enter the awards. See the guidelines at

Creating Outstanding Broadcast Media

by Judy DuCharme

When my children started school, I went back to school to obtain my teaching certificate. I then taught fifth grade for 22 years and loved it. As I neared retirement, I felt a stirring inside to write again. That new journey of writing began in 2007. My first book was published in 2012. I honed my craft at several writing conferences. I’ve had nine books published as of May 2022, all of which have received awards and some have won several awards.

It was the marketing award that surprised and stunned me the most. The Excellence in Marketing Award was in the category of Broadcast Media.

Anyone that knows me and has discussed writing with me knows that I continually lamented my inability to be a good marketer. “It’s a different skill than writing. I’m good at sales face-to-face, but online . . .” and I would sigh.

At the one Blue Ridge conference I was able to attend, I got to know Susan Neal. She heard my lament at breakfast one day. She then started giving me pointers and ideas for marketing to increase sales. I wrote them down in my notebook as did everyone else at our table. Susan then decided she should teach a class on this. I later downloaded her class.

Addy of the Door Islands Lainey of the Door Islands One idea of making short videos about my book clicked with me. I believe the Lord just tweaked it for me, because very soon I found myself going to different places the book took place. Lainey of the Door Islands is a historical young adult novel set in the area where I live, Door County and the islands around the peninsula. In each 30-50 second video I told where I was and briefly shared a portion of what happened in that location in the book. I found that the videos promoted Door County as well as the book.

When Addy of the Door Islands, a sequel to Lainey, came out I also did a few videos.

For all my books I made memes and ad-type videos with the amazing assistance of the Book Brush website. My publishers made a few trailers, and I hired a young talented friend to create two trailers. I posted all of these on social media, but I was never sure how far the reach of those went as I felt Facebook limited their spread. For awards and personal items, I had many responses (still not the numbers many authors did), but many of the memes and videos didn’t have the same coverage. It was disappointing, but I still posted them. I placed the videos and memes on my website, but again, I was not sure how many people looked at it. This was my discouragement about my ability to market.

I was always comfortable selling face-to-face over the years. Specifically, in 2022, I sold books in person at 3 art fairs lasting one to three days, 10 farmers markets, 8 book signings, including one at the National Library Association National Conference in Washington D.C., and a Christkindlmarkt which entailed 3 weekends (Fri-Sun) in association with several local authors. I gave 3 book talks, 3 podcast interviews, and placed my books in 13 local businesses.

I think my favorite aspect of all this is the engagement with people. I easily strike up conversations with people attending events, whether sports, weather, tourist spots, local events, or their favorite genre. Book sales are often the result of these conversations.

I also visited the grocery stores, restaurants, and gift shops that carry my books once or twice a week to make sure they have enough books on hand. As a result of all these ventures, I’m well-known in the area for my books.

I’ve also been a contributing author to two books, the Guideposts book, Miracles Do Happen, and a book for Special Needs families, Room at the Table. In October, 2021, I had the privilege to teach a small writing conference. Since my children’s book, I Want a Water Buffalo for Christmas, released November 2021, and my historical fiction novel, Addy of the Door Islands, released May 2022, I determined to focus on marketing, more than writing, for the year 2022.

I realized I should have a brand or theme, but my books cover a wide range of genres (nonfiction devotionals, suspense, historical with a bit of romance, short story inspirational, and children’s), so my theme/brand became “Books that Satisfy and Bless.” I turned this into a banner I used at all my events and made it a car magnet that I place on my car. I’ve actually sold a few books as a result of people seeing my car magnet.

I made my business card a bookmark with a photo of the cover of each book, a few of the awards, and all my contact info and social media sites. A theme I placed on my bookmarks was “Writing that others may be strong in the Lord.” Many love my bookmarks because the book covers are vivid and inviting.

Most of these skills evolved over time, many by trial and error. Conferences, fellow writers, critique groups, Book Brush, online courses, and definitely prayer and trust in the Lord, have all assisted me in my learning. My advice to any in the writing field is to attend conferences. These events are where I met publishers, editors, and agents, and attended workshops that taught me so much.

To determine my return on investment was simply to subtract all my costs to participate in events, enter contests, and purchase my books, from the amount of income I gained from sales.

Judy DuCharme

Judy DuCharme

To learn more about my writing, go to my social media, website, You Tube, and Amazon:

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