Finding Independent Bookstores

It recently dawned on me that I have mostly targeted individuals when selling my books at book launch parties, Facebook, and twitter. BUT if I were to target bookstores, then I might have repeat orders from the owners. With Amazon and Barnes and Noble taking up such a large portion of the book market, many independent bookstores have folded, but many still exist and serve specific niches.

My publisher The Wild Rose Press offers 30% discount to bookstores who order directly from them. They are a small press and cannot afford to work through a book distributor, but bookstores can order small quantities and see how sales pan out.

I conducted a search for independent books in our state and reached out to each with an explanatory letter and information on how to order my books. Many of these stores also allow authors to set up author signings and publicize them on their websites. Some cater specifically to children or YA or mystery or local authors. Read about each carefully. Some are even owned by authors.

Don’t just stop with bookstores. Many gift shops also carry books. University Bookstores carry fiction of interest to college age students and especially in colleges with strong teacher training programs, children’s books to be used by future teachers.  Get repeat business and develop a circuit to sign books at the stores that carry your novels.

 

stack-of-books

New Subscribers and Writer’s Conferences

So happy to have new subscribers! I want to let everyone know about the First Baptist Spartenburg Christian Writers Conference to take place March 9 and 10, 2017. I have attended the conference in the past and met agents, editors, and other writers who have helped me along. It is a very affordable conference with as early bird special (by February registration) of only $125.00. There will be all sorts of great classes for beginners as well as experienced authors.

There will also be a great conference in Black Mountain in May. This is the Blue Ridge Writers Conference held at Ridgecrest.

Animals as Secondary Characters

There is a short essay by George Orwell entitled “The Hanging” that I had my English 101 class read. Then they were to analyze a character. One student wanted to write about the dog because “he is the only descent character in the story.” The student was certainly correct, and I’m sure the irony did not escape Orwell in having the only “beast” in the story show compassion while the humans acted like “beasts.”
I’ve found that animals can make great characters in romance novels. In my book Abbey’s Tale, the black lab Bailey helps with sea rescues, amuses students at the school for the blind, and saves
Abbey from a purse snatcher. I put Bailey in the book on a whim, and he quickly grew into a likeable character. I can’t even imagine the book without him. When he gets stabbed, I’m sure the readers
long for his recovery.
Other writers have created similar roles for animals: horses,
cats, rabbits, etc. One romance writer in Dangerous Moonlight created a hero with a cat and a heroine with a large dog. The mayhem that resultswhen those two get together is both humorous and amusing.
Don’t hesitate to put animals in your stories but only ones that you know well or can research accurately for verisimilitude. Here’s to furry friends!

Peaceful Moments, Lasting Memories

Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? The precious seconds like looking out from the balcony at John Wesley UMC last night at all the children practicing  songs for the Christmas Eve service. Their innocent, cherubic faces, their sweet voices. Yes, I know I’m writing in fragments, but they are all small peices of the big picture, a baby in a simple stable, the patient eyes of animals, wonder on the expressions of the shepards. The love on your grandchild’s face and gratitude in an old, tried and true friend. Look for Christmas in the little things.

Lovable character – Bailey

Bailey started as just an “extra,” but he had a mind of his own and was soon playing a larger role than I, the author, ever imagined. My friends teased me, “Forget the hero. We’re crazy about the dog.” Plus, most people know I’m a cat person. Dogs are high maintenance. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like other people’s dogs though, and imaginary dogs like Bailey are the best, no mess, no vet bills, just warm, fuzzy adjectives!

I’m writing about Abbey’s Tale, the newly released historical romance from www.thewildrosepress.com

black_labrador_retriever_portrait

Hiding Review

Review of Hiding