Happy New Year from Sarah Sundin in foggy California. Several years ago I had the joy of meeting Janet Perez Eckles at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and I was impressed by her humor, warmth, and strength. Today I have the honor of interviewing this accomplished author and speaker.
Years ago I wrote my story – for my kids and grandchildren – and self-published it. Quite raw in the writing and also in the marketing arena, I was stunned with reactions from readers. I learned two things: readers don’t care about beginning writing, and when you write about triumph and inspiration a vital need is met.
How many books do you have published? What’s your latest title?
How did you get your first book contract?
Through my agent, Les Stobbe.
What has helped you promote your books the most?
God’s grace and the participation of the John 3:16 marketing group.
What mistakes or wrong assumptions did you make with the marketing of your first book?
I trusted folks would get the word out and I’d be selling so many books that soon hubby and I would be heading to Hawaii. Huh! I stayed up nights sending press releases, pitching to media, and writing newsletters to promote the book. The results paid off. But sales didn’t climb as expected.
What’s the craziest promotional gimmick you tried?
Craziest: A book signing at a local bookstore with no previous publicity. Dumbest: Another book signing at my local grocery store. The effort was dumb because I hadn’t learned the need for publicity. Although the store carried my book, folks rushed to the frozen chicken on sale, passing me right by.
What’s the funniest thing that happened during a promotional activity?
Folks came up to the table, waiting for me to talk to them. I not-so-politely ignored them. My friend had gone to the bathroom, and being blind, I had no clue someone was there.
Is there something you did that really helped with marketing your books?
I held a contest with some nice prizes as part of a launch celebration.
Did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
Yes, the number of media interviews my publicist/marketing director was able to garner.
Now that you have been writing a while, what do you find works best for you in promoting your work?
Building relationships constantly and steadily. Folks will buy and help promote your work if they like and trust you.
What are your top tips for aspiring writers?
Accelerate marketing efforts pronto! Forget rejections; move on to the next effort. Be creative. Don’t copy others, instead, enhance what others have done.
Thank you, Janet!
Writing for Him,