Monday, June 04, 2007

New York, New York

I just returned from the Book Expo in New York City, a giant convention for booksellers and others associated with the industry. I attended in order to get some marketing ideas for my soon-to-be-published novel, Desert Medicine.

My friend and freelance publicist, Sandra D. Brown from Paris, Arkansas, came to New York with me, which greatly helped me gather the courage to be a self-promoter. My security blanket was my camera, which I carried continually. For some reason, this automatically made me a bolder person than I otherwise would be.

I handed out postcards for my novel Desert Medicine while attendees waited in long lines to receive free, autographed book from a variety of authors. Fortunately most folks were really gracious, and a surprising number of them said “Congratulations” when they found out that this is my first publishing success.

The three key seminars I attended were Meet TV and Radio Producers, Christian Fiction, and Amazon 101.

Radio and TV producers are much more down-to-earth and accessible than I would have expected, and all members of the panel were female! Even though it’s difficult for fiction writers to get on TV or radio, I can see that it’s not impossible. In preparation, I’ve prepared a mock interview, with great help from friends Donovan Helminiak, Sandra D. Brown, and Kelly Harmon. Click here to view.

The Christian fiction panel was very encouraging. Apparently, “spiritual fiction” is a growth area with even mainstream publishers taking an interest in it. I handed out my postcards to fellow attendees, and I was surprised by the big names in the audience (the buyer spiritual fiction for Barnes & Noble, the spiritual fiction reviewer for Publishers Weekly).

At the Amazon 101 seminar, I learned about many ways that authors can work with to promote their books. I’ll have to look back through my notes and then begin implementing some of these strategies.

The next step: Get review copies into the hands for reviewers by July. If you’d like an electronic review copy of Desert Medicine (due for publication in November), simply send an email to

Photo: For the first time, I got to meet my New York agent (left), Michelle Andelman of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, in person.