Monday, October 26, 2009


Been following some of the blogging and messaging regarding promotion for signings. All good advice from knowledgeable professionals. However, (you knew that was coming, right?) I take note of a few things that seem to have been left out. It’s not surprising when you consider that most of us deal most of the time with the printed work on a page, whether on paper or via electronics.

Do consider the electronic media. Radio, television and cable. If you are bouncing about the country doing bookstore signings, and you ignore the other media you may be missing a big opportunity. While you are collecting names and addresses for print news outlets that service the areas you’ll visit, be sure to include the news directors of radio and TV stations. For cable it’s a little trickier since many cable providers don’t offer anything like local news/information programs. But some do. And almost every community in the country offers some kind of local cable access program that fits your need. Libraries produce regular cable programs, as do schools and even some bookstores. You have to dig up the information, but it is there.

One very important aspect of promotion for your travels has been largely missed in the current spate of advice. Get advice from the bookstore!

Let’s say you are scheduled for a local independent bookstore in Somewheresville, USA. You have prepared a release to send to area news outlets. That’s good, but have you checked with the bookstore? When I’m touring, the first thing I do, once an event date is set, is contact the bookstore to find out if they have a PR list. Many don’t but many do. Some will even be able to guide you with approach tips. After all, the bookstore owners have been there a while and you haven’t. Apart from the basic courtesy, if you ask, you may find interesting and productive outlets you never thought of. A few years ago I was traveling to a city near the top of the map and I emailed the bookstore for their thoughts on where I should send a press release. They provided me with a list of their contacts, one of which was something called “The Automotive Fan.” A local monthly. My mysteries have nothing to do with automobiles, but they not only ran my release, they interviewed the bookstore folks after the event for a followup. No surprise to the bookstore, but I would never have sent them a release on my own.

In another posting I’ll have a good deal to say about preparing for radio and television interviews.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bouchercon pictures-2009-7

Bouchercon pictures-2009-6

Bouchercon 2009 again


By Debbi Mack
ISBN: 978-0-557-08325-1
241 pages, 2009,
available in print and downloadable

The novel rides squarely on the protagonists capable shoulders. She’s a bright and upright independent lawyer with her own practice. Stephanie Ann McRae can be a potty mouth at times, but her infrequent tirades are self-directed. Does she make mistakes? You bet. Does she fault herself when it happens. You bet. Does she occasionally skate a little close to the legal of not the ethical line? For her client, sure she does. Maybe her emotions are a little close to the surface, for a lawyer, but it all works and somehow, by page 10 you’re saying, “I’m on board. I wanna see this through to the end. Go Sam!” Because “Sam” McRae has grabbed you for the ride.

Sam is smart, but not infallible, doesn’t leap even low bushes at a single bound, so she’s easy to relate to. Early on she discovers that the FBI and her local cops are interested in her client, Melanie, because of a murder. Melanie isn’t exactly a suspect she’s a person of interest. The problem is, Melanie has gone missing.

The next thing you know Sam, who isn’t what you’d call well-off, learns that she—or someone using her name—is applying for a substantial line of credit. Mild panic insues and another layer is added to the mix. Is Sam’s client involved in the identity theft? And what’s that black limo doing, the one that appears to be shadowing her at times?

There are a lot of characters in this novel, most of whom are interesting, some of whom might has been more fruitfully developed. Sam’s love interest is at times al most an afterthought. Occasionally the writing meanders, but mostly the story maintains a high level of interest and forceful pace. The author has a keen eye for character and her writing is usually smooth and interesting. I enjoyed the novel all the way to its satisfying conclusion.

Bouchercon pictures-2009-4

Bouchercon pictures-2009-3