"SundinGreetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, what better way to celebrate than with Pam Farrel, the author of Red-Hot Romance Tips for Women! With dozens of non-fiction titles to her credit, Pam has much to share with us, including a real-life romance story which started at a book promotion event!

"CANPam, how did you get into writing? How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

I wrote my first book in second grade, a fictional work about “Princess Pamela” and it was complete with crayon drawings! We now are working on book number 39! This past eighteen months has been a busy one with releases {all from Harvest House}:

  • The Before You Marry Book of Questions
  • 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex
  • The Secret Language of Successful Couples
  • Red-Hot Romance Tips for Women 

"CANHow did you get your first book contract?

My husband was a pastor of a small but growing church. At age 28, he felt he needed a mentor so he called Jim Conway, a professor he had at Talbot Seminary (at Biola University). At the time, Jim had 13 published books including bestselling Men in MidLife Crisis. After a year meeting with Jim, Jim and his wife, Sally, offered us a golden opportunity—co-author a book with them! They wanted to pass the relationship ministry baton to a couple they could trust. Shortly after the book was released, Sally lost a battle with cancer and God ushered into heaven. We will always be grateful that Jim and Sally not only trained us as writers, speakers and in media, they were like a second mom and dad to us.

What has helped you promote your books the most?

We have been in publishing long enough to see changes in “what works.” Early on, it was primarily radio and TV, along with personal speaking that made people aware of our books. Now things like social media accompanied with blog tours, along with radio and TV and speaking creates a snowball effect. However, more than anything, it is the trust we have developed with leaders, who in turn recommend our books that keep our books selling. Nothing is as powerful as a word of mouth recommendation.

What mistakes or wrong assumptions did you make with the marketing of your first book? Did those mistakes cause you to change?

As new authors, we thought once we wrote the book the publisher would just “take it from there.” Soon we were reminded, publishing, like all ministry is about partnership, teamwork, and trusted relationships.

What’s the craziest promotional gimmick you tried?

ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) was in Atlanta and it was HOT! My book Fantastic After 40 had released, so I got Chinese folding fans and wrote a note to the book buyers telling them I was in their FAN club, and they were FANtastic. The fans were a hit with the few hundred that got them as they stood in line, but I soon realized my efforts were a small drop in the bucket in reaching book buyers and readers. (This is a Harvest House release now known as 10 Secrets to Living Smart, Savvy and Strong)

What’s the funniest thing that happened during a promotional activity?

I am not sure it is the funniest, but it is definitely the coolest: I did a book signing in Phoenix AZ on my book 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and it included a ten-minute talk for those in the store. I shared a story about my son who was then a quarterback at Liberty University. After my talk, the bookstore owner said, “My daughter goes to Liberty!” so we exchanged photos and phone numbers of our kids—and this year those two kids celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary! I didn’t sell many books that day but I got an awesome daughter-in-law! Best book signing I have ever done!

Is there something you did that really helped with marketing your books?

I believe the best decision with the most impact on sales is walking faithfully with Jesus in life and ministry. Publishing is a trust, and when a radio host, a pastor, a person of influence knows you walk your talk, then it is easier for them to place you on the show, on the shelf, or in the hands of their audiences. Honestly, I want God to be pleased with me. I care most about having His hand of favor on my writing. Psalms 84:11 says, “No good thing does God withhold from those who walk uprightly.” I try to do my best to walk in integrity, and then leave the results to God to decide what “good things,” what blessings, He thinks best to bless me—and more vitally, those who might be helped by the words I or my husband and I have written.

Did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?

Yes, our books have been translated into more than fourteen languages! The Government of Singapore has invited us over to their national relationship conferences and they contracted with us to create a pre-marital DVD! When they emailed, I had to look them up on a globe to double-check where the island was located!

Now that you have been writing a while, what do you find works best for you in promoting your work and why?

I think the big buys of books have come when a person of influence has us on his/her show, features our writing in his/her blog, or invites us to speak at his/her church. It is one thing to sell one book at a time, it is much better to sell cases of books at a time!

What are your top tips for writers with their first book contract?

Get a trusted agent who knows how to watch out for your interests and future. I like to spend my time writing and speaking rather than reading contracts and trying to decipher legal jargon! We have always felt a good agent is worth his/her percentage because he or she increases our royalty or advance, or opportunities to be marketed well.

I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for sharing with us, Pam!

To learn more about Pam and her books, please visit Pam’s website and Pam’s blog.

Writing for Him,

Sarah Sundin

Sarah’s website

2 thoughts on “Tips from the Pros: Pam Farrel

Bonnie Traher

February 13, 2014 - 12 : 06 : 56

Would so love to win.


Sarah Sundin

February 13, 2014 - 20 : 11 : 38

Hi Bonnie! I’m afraid there isn’t a giveaway or contest. I apologize for any confusion.


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