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  • Susan Stoderl

Writer’s Life | Self-Promotion—Only One Word For It

YIKES! (That’s the nicest word I could think of.)

Are you telling me I have to get out there and talk to people and collaborate with others? I can’t just sit here at my desk and write and my books will make a fortune? So how did I finally learn what I now know—the steps I should have taken a year and a half ago?

I attended a four-day intense seminar hosted by Jess Kotzer entitled Selling Books with Collabs. I met so many talented people there—authors of many genres, marketing specialists, PR people, social media experts, and many more. We learned how to promote a book efficiently and without breaking the bank so that we have time to write the next one.

One presentation was on software called StoryOrigin, which I did sign up for with a discount. It is a great program to help streamline getting out an email newsletter, attracting readers and reviewers, book launches, and giveaways. The first piece of advice given—dash off a prequel to my first book in the series, to be used as a giveaway to help build my mailing list. “What list,” I asked. The answer was to write a prequel novella to the first book to entice people to follow the series. “A ten thousand word novella? Sure, no problem.” So now I’m busier than I was, but at least I’m writing.

It was actually a brilliant suggestion because it provides an opportunity to fill in some background information. In the opening scene of Mission 1: All in a Day’s Work, Sophia has just returned from her grandmother’s memorial service. Sophia's solution for grief is to ignore it as much as possible. She is being a ten-year-old adult, but little bits of kid sneak through. The story takes off from there, so we don’t know how Sophia and Pedro met, or how they ended up in an eighth-grade honors class. There is a mystery involved in the prequel (untitled as yet) and through the story of the mystery, Sophia learns about grief and Pedro meets Sophia to ease his loneliness, all while they explore NYC history.

So now all I have to do is get it written.


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