Friday, February 29, 2008

Making a Literary Life Friday: Marketing

And we thought writing was hard work. Phew! This marketing and networking part of the business is crazy. You need to continually make avenues like a blog interesting and useful to read, you need a great photo, you need to get out there and participate in literary conferences and classes, and it doesn't hurt to have a fabulous reporter track you down and write a story every now and again! What are some great ideas you've used or noted of late when it comes to spreading the word? We've spotted ideas from the likes of Scott Heim...

Lisa Marnell
This Monday I will post my interview with Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why. In a recent e-mail with Jay, he insisted I come to the SCBWI conference where he will be a speaker on a panel of success stories through SCBWI contests. He won the Work-In-Progress grant when Thirteen Reasons Why was in its infancy. He was sending work out back then, and is out and about now!

Amy MacKinnon
My youngest is a natural born publicist. Recently we stopped by Borders (it's soothes the blood pressure when out at the mall), and I asked a sales associate where I could find Eileen Cook's UNPREDICTABLE. The saleswoman went to the row of computers, typed in the title, and then a little voice said from beside me, "Mommy, look, it's your book!" She'd typed my name into the adjacent computer and brought up TETHERED. "What's that?" asked the saleswoman. When I told her my debut novel would be out in September, she said, "Fantastic! You'll have to come back and do a reading." I plan on bringing my baby-girl to every bookstore on the eastern seaboard.

As for marketing, read the description of TETHERED on Amazon UK. Thank you, Sara!

Hannah Roveto
Not only did Scott Heim create his own trailer for his upcoming release, We Disappear, and post it on YouTube, but the Wall Street Journal flagged it as worth checking out. If you haven't seen it yet, you are going to be amazed.

Lynne Griffin
Ah, publicity. I've been promoting NEGOTIATION GENERATION for one year and it only came out six months ago. It's never ending--telling the world about your book. Two days ago, I did an interview on the best age for children to begin using cell phones. And just last night, I spoke to an eager group of parents at a library book event. Like the little engine that could, you have to believe in your book, and trust your readers will find you.


janerhealey said...

Speaking of publicity, I was talking your blog up to several people at Grub Street's Lock-In on Sunday. So hopefully that helps your efforts!

Best -


Lisa said...

You know you've got a whole bunch of publici-bloggers across the country and around the world too! I'm always acting like a crazy woman in bookstores pointing at books by people I "know" and asking the booksellers where they are (even when I already know). Carleen Brice can attest that I can be an absolute embarrassment with random strangers. I'm like the proud virtual mother you never knew you had :)

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Junga, thanks for chatting us up. I really wanted to do that lockdown. It's a great concept. How did it work out? Will we see you at the Muse?

Lisa, you can be my drama mama any day! I'll pay you even. You're such a good friend.


Larramie said...

My thanks to Sara for finding the Amazon UK synopsis because the daisy connection to Tethered has finally been clarified and not just imagined. Talk about suspense! ;)

JaneU said...


The lock-in was great! They're going to plan more of them. I have two daughters, ages 1 and 4, so having a quiet space to write for an entire Sunday was a treat!

I will be at Muse - my first Muse, my first Manuscript Mart (eek!).

Best -


Anonymous said...

Hi Girls,
I'm new here and am loving this blog! I'm not sure how, but I came across a link to Patry's blog about her Waitress Shoes, through your archives and found it really inspiring! (I blogged on it myself last week.)

I'm interested in knowing more about how other mothers of young children find time to work on their writing. I noticed you said you have a 1 and a 4 year old, which is also what I have. I found it so much easier to sneak in an hour here or there each day for fiction writing when I had just one, and even managed to finish my first novel. With two I am really struggling. Would love to hear what other mom writers of young children do to keep their projects alive! Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggested resources.


Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Welcome, Tara! It's hard with young children, isn't it? But somehow you manage. Read Pauline Chen's interview (see the link on the right under Author Spotlight Series) to see how she did it while a mother of infant twins and a doctor. It also links to an interview with one of my favorite writers, Julia Glass, who explains hos she wrote NBA winner Three Junes with her young family. Bottom line is to just do it. Hope you stay around and keep us updated on your writing.


Sustenance Scout said...

You're all so gracious and welcoming; no wonder you're all so busy! I'm with Lisa, another proud virtual mom very gleeful in bookstores these days. I'm looking foward to visiting the Brookline Booksmith when I'm in Boston next weekend for a family get-together, where I hope to see various titles by MA authors-who-blog. Amy, love your story about your daughter; I'm sure she loved every minute of that! Karen

JaneU said...


It's 5:30 AM and I'm sitting on the couch next to my one-year-old eating fruit loops, so I thought I'd take a moment to respond (at least I won't eat all her fruit loops if I'm typing).

I agree, it's so, so hard to carve out time to write with two small children. It's hard to take a shower with two small children!

In my case, I've been freelancing for magazines for awhile, but I decided to take a hiatus from doing that to finally finish this novel (my first). It's become a bit of an obsession for me, and now I realize it had to become one, or I never would have completed it!

Thankfully, my husband's been incredibly supportive, that helps! I've still got my babysitter for a few hours, two mornings a week. I also try to squeeze in time on the weekends and at night. My mom will sometimes take my one-year-old for one day a week too (when my other daughter's in Pre-K).

I'm very fortunate to have the support, but I still have weeks where I get very little done b/c someone came down with croup or whatever.

So I don't know if that helps, but that's how I've managed with two thus far. I relate so much to what you're going through and what you're feeling. I've been racking my brain as to resources, one I can recommend is Sitter City ( I found a wonderful babysitter on there! Hang in there and good luck Tara!



Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for your kind words at such an early hour! It's great to hear of another mom taking time off from freelancing to finish a novel. I took three months off last year to concentrate on some novel revisions. It was after that break from work that I found an agent. It was a financial risk at the time, but I'm so thankful that I did it.
A good babysitter is exactly what this family is lacking. I'm in a small town in Canada too far away from precious Grandparents. Just today I was wishing my parents had warned me how hard it is to raise a family without the support of extended family. Anyway, thank you for reinforcing the importance of having a good support system!