Greetings from sunny–and short–springtime in central Florida! Marti Pieper here, lifting my head from my current manuscript long enough to share an insightful interview with author Lynda T. Young. Lynda not only has an interesting journey to publication but some unusual elements to her marketing strategy as well. Welcome, Lynda! Let's forge ahead with the interview.
How did you get into writing? How many books do you have published?
What are a few of your latest titles?
I co-founded a ministry, Kindred
Spirits International, in 1999 and we
sent out a newsletter. My articles mainly dealt with children’s hospitals and
an African refugee mission. I was also volunteering at Egleston Children’s
Hospital here in Atlanta, and God laid it on my heart to write a book for
families of children with cancer. My husband had been in cancer research since
Hope for Families of Children with Cancer, 2011
Hope for Families of Children with Congenital Heart Defects, 2010
Hope for Families of Children on the Autistic Spectrum, 2011
How did you get your first book contract?
I became a small publisher,
Kindred Press, and published my first two books. I now have an agent, Larry
Carpenter, whom I met through many people at Christian writers’ conferences and
other networking. He introduced me to Leafwood Publishing in Abilene, TX who
republished my cancer book with a new cover and published my autism book.
You’ve had a different route than many people, and I appreciate your
sharing with us. What has helped you promote your books the most?
I hired a life/business coach for
several years who kept me focused and gently pushed me to contact organizations
and venues for my books. Since they are a smaller niche, it is more difficult.
I then hired someone to help me with Twitter and social media.
What mistakes or wrong assumptions did you make with the marketing of
your first book? Did those mistakes cause you to change? If so, how?
I had heard all the stories about
how difficult it is to market your book, so I attempted to research and contact
those I needed to, but I didn’t follow up on children’s hospital gift shops
where the books would best be sold. I left that up to other people when I
should have done it myself. I have such a full plate with working part-time,
speaking, etc, that I haven’t followed up on that yet.
I haven’t had funny things to
happen with books, but have with speaking.
Maybe you can share those stories in a future post. Is there something you did that really helped with marketing your books?
I have prayed through many
steps, hired professionals who each bring new ideas, and keep on keeping on!
Did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of
Actually, when I first published
my cancer book, I contacted an insurance company who funded the oncology floor
here at our children’s hospital. Since they were so well-known, I didn’t expect
anything to happen; however, they loved the book and bought many for our two
That’s wonderful. Now that you’ve been writing a while, what do you
find works best for you in promoting your work and why?
I speak at conferences dealing
with these issues and write articles.
What are your top tips for writers with
their first book contract?
Have someone read over it to be
sure you are represented fairly.
Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom, Lynda. I'm sure our readers will want to visit you at your website, www.hopeforfamiliesonline.com. Blessings to you and your continued ministry to hurting families.
Marti Pieper's website: www.martipieper.com