Saturday, March 31, 2007

An Interview and a Review

On a variation of the "four weddings and a funeral" theme, the editor of Spinetingler Magazine sent me a notice that the spring issue is online, and it contains an interview with me and a review of my mystery, A REAL BASKET CASE. Go to to read them both.

This leads to the topic of ezine promotion. When you're trying to find places to review your book or run an interview with you, check out online magazines and the popular blogs. I've been able to get reviews in four ezines so far and have been interviewed in two ezines and a blog. All I had to do was ask--politely, of course, then respond quickly with ARCs or answers to interview questions when the editors responded.

Locally, the Thursday "Your Hub" section of the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper included an article written by me about how an author promotes her book. And I was interviewed by a reporter of the local monthly newspaper, Life After 50, for an article about writing as a
second career that will appear in the April issue. The promotion engine is chugging along...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Books in Hand!

After a lovely, physically exhausting, fun week of skiing in Breckenridge with my family, we came home today to a pile of boxes nicely hidden on our back porch by our friendly UPS man. Three of the boxes contained my own copies of A REAL BASKET CASE. It was such a thrill to smell, touch, and see my own books. To flip the pages and read my words in print. To see the photo of the author - Me! - on the inside flap. To re-read my acknowledgements to fellow writers who helped me along the way. Wow!

And to add to the excitement was a box holding my "I'm a Real Basket Case" buttons that will go to people who buy the book from me. Also there was a box holding my Book Launch invitations that I'll be passing out and mailing to neighbors and friends. A red-letter mail day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Official Release Date

Well, this is it. Today is the official release date of A REAL BASKET CASE. When I signed my book contract, I expected this to be a big day, that the earth would move or some such, but it's been a pretty ordinary day so far, filled with promotion and writing activities--and laundry. :) The release date just turns out to be a "line in the sand" when the publisher starts shipping the book to people and places who preordered it. Like me. I don't have my author copies yet.

When the box(es) of my books actually arrive, and I can hold them in my hands and smell them and turn the pages, THAT'S when I'll feel the excitement. So, I sit at my computer with my ear tuned for the USPS/UPS/FedEx trucks. (I don't know how Five Star is shipping the books to me.) It's a competition between the dog and me as to who gets more excited when the trucks come up the street. ;)

Today, my hubby and I have been working on my email newsletter and my "I'm A Real Basket Case" buttons (idea courtesy of Diane Mott Davidson). I also made an appointment for a luncheon interview tomorrow with a reporter for the local "Life After 50" monthly newspaper, sent information about my book for the Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave newsletter, and sent a blog update to the Mystery Lovers Corner blog.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Congratulations to my Tenth Gift Basket Winner!

I'm very pleased to announce that my March gift basket winner is Valerie Holst from Schenectady, New York. She chose the relax-a-bath theme, the second winner to do so. The basket is on the way to her now, and given the rate of new subscribers to my email newsletter, I should be able to award another gift basket in March. If you aren't a subscriber yet, check out the Newsletter page of my website:

The next issue should be going out shortly. It will announce an extension of my preorder promotion through the end of March.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Work in Progress

I haven't talked lately about the current novel manuscript that I'm working on. Titled Wicked Whitewater it's a mystery where the protagonist is a female whitewater river ranger in her late 20's. My planned schedule is to finish editing it and send it to my agent for review before I hit the promotion road for A Real Basket Case. With that aim, I've been pushing two chapters through my critique group every two weeks. Out of a total of 21 chapters, they have chapters 13 and 14 now, and I'll submit 15 and 16 next week. So, the end is in sight. Between chapter edits, I'm making passes through the whole text for character consistency, use of senses, passive voice, and other general edits.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Two Weeks to Release Date!

I've ordered my own first 50 copies of A REAL BASKET CASE and am anxiously awaiting the boxes. I can't wait to hold that final hardcover in my hands. These copies will be used for signing at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference the weekend of April 20-22, since that bookstore wants consignment copies. They'll also be backup copies for my Colorado bookstore signings in case a bookstore runs out. I'll be shipping another set of books to Virginia for my tour back east for the same purpose.

My first interview is out in this month's "Mouth Full of Bullets" ezine at:

Also, Kevin Tipple has posted his complimentary review of A REAL BASKET CASE both there and in the "Mysterical-E" ezine:

More to come in Spinetingler, Crime Spree, Mystery Scene and other fine mystery-related publications...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Promotion: Five-Seven Steps to Purchase

I've always heard that someone needs to hear about you and your book five-seven different times, on average, before they make the decision to buy it. Thus the need for many different kinds of promotion. This week I submitted an interview and guest blog to mystery bloggers as yet another way to make those five contacts. My hope is that the process will go something like this:

A mystery fan reads a few of my emails on DorothyL or cozymysterykorner and says to herself, "that new author seems like a nice person." Then she reads a complimentary review of my book in a publication she trusts, like Booklist or Kirkus Review, and says "oh, I've heard of her, and her book sounds interesting." Then she visits a favorite blog site and reads my interview or guest blog and thinks, "so-and-so blogger likes this author,too." Then she reads my upcoming article in the April Mystery Scene and says, "wow, this author's getting a lot of press." She goes to my website to read a couple of excerpts from my book and check out my appearances list. There, she finds out I'll be appearing a mystery conference she's attending, like Malice Domestic, Mayhem in the Midlands, or Murder in the Grove. Finally, at the conference, she listens to a panel I'm speaking on, and says to herself, "I think I may buy her book." At the conference signing, she visits my table, we chat, she gets a good vibe, and she makes the decision to have me sign a book for her.

The process may happen differently for different readers. For instance, the last step may be my appearance at a local bookstore or with her book club or she remembers my book when she's putting together $25 worth of Amazon buys to get free shipping. :) Whatever the process, the important thing is to get my name out there in many different media. Now, if only I could book some radio interviews...