Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California, where I’m giving thanks for a lovely weekend with family. Today I have the honor of interviewing Carolyn Warren, a financial expert with two nonfiction books for consumers about mortgages—and she’s also co-authored two books on prayer and parenting.
In the ninth grade, I had an exceptional creative writing teacher who fueled my fire to write. I have four books published. The two in the Christian marketplace are Praying Through Your Pregnancy and Praying Through Your Child’s Early Years.
I met my agent at a writers’ conference in New York. He knew the right publisher for my book, and sure enough, they made an offer that was too good to pass up.
What has helped you promote your books the most?
Timing is everything. I tied my books to events in the national news, and this in turn, provided a lot of publicity.
What mistakes or wrong assumptions did you make with the marketing of your first book? Did those mistakes cause you to change?
My biggest mistake was not keeping a list of all my publicity right from the beginning. I’ve never been a natural record-keeper, so I had to learn to keep files of all the sources that mentioned or promoted my books.
What’s the craziest promotional gimmick you tried?
When my local newspaper did an article about me as an author, I went door-to-door and showed my neighbors. I was just so excited, I couldn’t hold in the news!
Is there something you did that really helped with marketing your books?
Yes. I read online articles for major newspapers and then posted intelligent comments. This caused reporters to contact me for interviews.
Did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
I was honored to be on Bob Brinker’s Money Talk radio show with my mortgage books.
Now that you have been writing a while, what do you find works best for you in promoting your work?
Enthusiasm sells. When a topic comes up that relates to one of my books, I speak up and let the person knows there is valuable information available via my title. I do this on Facebook as well. If someone posts that they are expecting a child – or a grandchild – I tell them about Praying Through Your Pregnancy and link to the Amazon page.
What are your top tips for writers with their first book contract?
Get reviews on Amazon fast! People will buy a book with good reviews. Without reviews, potential readers will pass up your title and look for others. One way to get promotion is to submit your book to Book Pleasures. The website receives over 700 unique visitors each and every week, and they also post to Twitter and Facebook, so the potential is there. Instructions on how to do this are on the website.
Thank you for the great tips, Carolyn!
Writing for Him,