dhfHi everyone! This is Darlene Franklin (http://darlenefranklinwrites.com/) in my first ever Marketing post for CAN.

Do you ever wonder how to inspire interest in an older title? One that I’ve used with some success is finding unusual holidays. Of course we can use major, federal or Hallmark holidays, but for almost every book you can find a matching holiday. Consider the holidays between now and Christmas:

  • MacIntosh Apple Day (Oct 3): Perfect for An Apple for Christmas, since the hero owns an apple orchard and is named “Mac”Intosh Cortland
  • German American Day (Oct 6): Works for my three books featuring German American heroes: Lone Star Trail, A Ranger’s Trail, Love’s Glory
  • Clergy Appreciation Day (October 12): Great for my stories with pastors as heroes: Miss Bliss and the Bear and Jacob’s Christmas Dream
  • Chocolate-covered Anything Day (Dec 12) and National Chocolate Day (Dec 24) both fit my story about a chocolatier, My Candy Valentine

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books-cowell_Marketing Tips From Cheri Cowell

In this fiercely competitive book world where readers are overwhelmed with choices, a book with an award immediately stands out from the crowd. Before you jump on the contest bandwagon, here are a few things to consider.

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Pieper1

Marti Pieper

Happy end-of-August from lovely little Mount Dora, Florida, where the dwindling days of summer yield temperatures in the lower rather than the higher 90’s. Today, I’m delighted to introduce to you my friend, author Christine Lindsay, who lives a few thousand miles north of me in beautiful Canada. I say “friend” because, although we have yet to meet in person, she and  I have interacted quite often via the Christian Authors Network. I’ve come to appreciate Christine a great deal, and I know you will, too. Let’s get right to our time of Q & A.

Christine Lindsay

Christine Lindsay

Welcome, Christine! How many books do you have published, and what are a few of your latest titles?

I’m totally floored with praise—for God—that at this time I have seven titles published. One of these seven is only a short story, but the rest are full-length historical novels, of which my British Raj Trilogy has won some nice critical acclaim, and also the most recent historical romance Sofi’s Bridge. But the true-life story that inspired all of my fiction and speaking is the most recent release (this month) of my nonfiction book Finding Sarah, Finding Me. 

Small size Finding Sarah Finding Me girl (1)Congratulations on that special new release. You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2013. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?

That my career is in God’s hands, and no amount of fretting or pushing on my part will make it happen. The Lord has timed my career to fit my personal life. There have been times when my own life has made writing impossible, such as these past six months. They have been the craziest busy I’ve ever been with selling a house, moving, my youngest son’s wedding, a new granddaughter, and in the middle of all that I’ve tried to promote the two books that came out this year. Read More →

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This is a hard to swallow quote for those of us who write and sell words. But it was someone just like us who, allegedly,  first uttered this

now timeless catchy phrase. In 1927, newspaper journalist Fred R. Barnard, shared this quote to express the need for a photo to accompany important articles and ads. And the principle has never been more vital than in today’s digitally cluttered cyberspace.

I asked one friend of mine, author, Linda Goldfarb, if I could share a few of her personality-packed photos to give all of us authors, speakers, bookstore owners, a fresh way to reframe our mission, our platform, our brand and perhaps even the way we present the gospel.

As you plan your own photo shoot, ask three simple questions:

Who is my audience? Be as specific as you can, then go in search of examples of images that this audience has responded to. What has gone viral? Whose Instagram images are the most followed? Linda is popular with those who value a balance of the Biblical wisdom mixed with authentic transparency, humor and the hope of overcoming whatever obstacle life might send their way. This series of photos capture all these priorities .  (On her website these images rotate automatically!)

Who am I? What do I want conveyed to my audience? Do my images match

who I am in person? Do they match my personality? Do they represent my calling?  Am I approachable  and easy to relate to in this image?  This image of Linda and her husband captures the wide variety of who they are as a couple.  Linda explains, “Sam and I are known as the Trans-Parent-Farbs!”

 

 

In our ministry, this image of Bill kissing me has had huge emotional impact, especially when linked to our Red Hot Monogamy or Red Hot Romance Tips for Women books. This photo captures that more than success in writing or speaking, it is success in our marriage that really matters to us. (And is is what we hope and pray our Love-Wise ministry helps as many couples as possible achieve.

What is my mission? Ask yourself, “How can I get others to feel about my calling, passion and mission, the same way I feel about it?” Or “List images you have seen that helped you feel called into the ministry you have today. For example, Bill and I are “marriage missionaries”, much in part to the chaotic, and anger-filled homes we grew up in. So images of couples in conflict will always catch my eye—and cause me to want to take action to give those in the photo a better, happier life!That is why when I saw this photo of Linda and her husband, it caught my heart, and my eye, and inspired this blog!

 

Take some time and think through then talk through your ideas for images that will best represent you, your mission and reach your audience. It will be worth the time to create the image that will be “picture perfect!”

(photo of Pam and Bill  and signature photo of the Farrels are by Rebecca Friedlander)

Pam and Bill on beach

Pam and Bill on beach

Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship experts, authors of 45 books, including Men Are Like Waffle, Women Are Like Spaghetti , and co-directors of Love-Wise.com

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by Sarah Hamaker, reluctant marketer

Last month, we talked about basic query don’ts. This month, we’ll tackle basic query dos. We’ll wrap up in September with the anatomy of a query letter. Read More →

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