NaNoWriMo Prep and Promoting Books

This is the last day before NaNoWriMo 2018. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, although it’s gone international now, and encourages adult writers to produce 50,000 words on a new story in the 30 days of November. This will be my 10th year participating.

Personally, November is a horrible month to choose for pounding out 50K raw words (rough draft). There are holidays and family visits and company coming for 1/4 of the time and dear hubby’s birthday and, of course, one less day than half of the months of the year. Yet! What a writing challenge.

I used to cheat to get in my 50K, or about 17,000 words per day, and counted any writing, including letters and journaling pages. I don’t do that now. At least I try to focus on the one and only story I’m working on. O, discipline. It is so hard for me!

For my NaNoWriMo preparation, I have the characters already known to me (from three previous books in the series), but I’ve written out plot scenes on 3″ x 5″ cards and rubberbanded them into three acts. I’m all set to TAM (Type Away Madly). O, discipline. I feel the most prepared this year for NaNoWriMo than I have any previous year.

Besides focusing on NaNoWriMo, I had professional author photos taken for the first time yesterday. After ten books, I thought it was time for this. I normally hate being on “that side” of the camera, but it was so much fun–all outdoors, naturally. And my photographer, Dena Haas, is amazing. I can’t wait to see the results, and to share them.

I also have ongoing book promotion and marketing to keep on top of. SCBWI is featuring kids’ books published in 2018. I’m supposed to promote not only mine, but help others out as well by promoting theirs. It started last week and goes through November. I figured I’d let the wave of enthusiasm flow over me, and then in a week or so, when people fade out of promoting, I’ll get in there to market and promote some, all while writing 1,700 words a day and loving spending time with my family.

You writers: write. You readers: support your authors and buy their books, and review them, too. Come on, November. I’m ready for you.


Marketing and Promoting Your New Book

War Unicorn has been published with Books We Love Publishing, LLC.


So how do you go about marketing and promoting, especially if you (like me) had surgery immediately after it was published? There are several sit-down ways to start your promoting. Here are a few to consider with your own new release:

  1. Update your website to include cover photo, short synopsis, and links to buy the book.
  2. Tweet it, post the cover on Instagram, shout your hurray on Facebook, or any and every other social media platform on which you are involved.
  3. Consider doing a book launch, a blog tour, and/or a physical book-signing tour. (Requires about thirty times more contacts for every one interested party, as well as much planning.)
  4. Seek reviewers. (Reviews are an author’s golden treasure.)
  5. Start contacting libraries, schools, bookstores, etc. for signings or speaking engagements.
  6. Do giveaways on Amazon and Goodreads (or others) to stir interest in your book.
  7. Enter your book in contests – however, only those which you’ve researched and know are ligit.

And while you’re at it, why don’t you go check out this new and fabulous MG fantasy by S.L. Carlson:



And if you are so inclined, please leave a golden token (review on Amazon or Goodreads). Happy reading!

Summer Festival — An Opportunity to Promote and Grow

I just came off of two days of May’d in Michigan, an event held near my hometown where I promoted my middle grade historical fiction, THE TOWN THAT DISAPPEARED. When I first read of the event, I thought, “What a clever title.” And since my book is about a Michigan town, it was written in Michigan, and I was made (born) in Michigan, why not try for it? I applied as a vender and was accepted. I sent in my vender fee, and then the panic set in. What in the world did I know about being a vender? I’d attended many fairs and festivals, of course, but only as an attendee. This was entirely different. In fact, the first morning, my nervous stomach was trying to convince me, “Phooey with the fee. Stay home and be safe.” But as I’m not really one who backs out of commitments, I ignored my innards and trudged warily onward.

My first thought of setting up at the event was to keep it simple. I’ve found that simple always a good plan. So I planned on a card table with copies of my book on it. With a chair and pen, I’d be all set. Of course, I’d be wearing my Victorian outfit with hat, so would physically be a potential draw. I knew I needed water so I wouldn’t dehydrate, and bug spray… so I wouldn’t dehydrate. By the time of set up, my “booth” was a bit more elaborate, including a newly purchased canopy, for which I was very thankful; not because it rained, because it hadn’t, but because we were in the woods. The canopy top, not my table top, was littered with fallen pine needles and bugs.

Financially during the two days, I pretty much broke even with the sale of my books, if you don’t count the fire extinguisher each booth was to have. I’m also thinking I was the only one with a fire extinguisher. It was tucked away under my little card table. Still, the weather was lovely and I was in the woods. (I love the woods.) By doing this, I stretched out and tried something new, and even sold a few books.

But the best of the time was that I got to meet new people. My husband bought me a t-shirt which reads across the front: “Careful, or you’ll end up in one of my novels.” Okay. I’ll change the gender or age or size or the person, but there are interesting characters all around us, just waiting to be written down. So go out and do some personal stretching. Try something new and meet new characters, I mean, new people. You may just find someone you put in your next story.