Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Daily Cheap Reads

If you own an e-reader and haven't checked out Daily Cheap Reads ( you really should look into it. Lots of books priced at ninety-nine cents and a little higher. Tonight, my novel based on the life of a pioneer woman physician in Nebraska is the featured read (with appropriately a link where you can buy it). Mattie won a Spur Award from Western Writers of America the year it was published, and I'm still pleased with it. A neighbor told me the other day that while her husband was in the hospital she sat up untilol 4:00 a.m. reading it. No higher praise. I have two other pieces of my western writing on Smashwords and Kindle--Sue Ellen Learns to Dance and Other Stories, my collection of short stories, and "The Art of Dipping Candles," which is free on Smashwords. My brilliant (?) marketing strategy there was to get people to read a free short story and entice them to buy the collection. I'm not like a lot of writers who I know check their sales figures three times a day. I remember to check every week or so, but I don't think my strategy is working.
Having posted these three pieces of my backlist, or what I have come to think of as "my older works," illustrates a dilemma I face as I plan to market my forthcoming mystery, Skeleton in a Dead Space. For my whole writing life, I've been too much of a generalist--if I had any specialty I'd say it was fiction, both adult and young adult, about women in the American West, but I've written literary criticism, done food cooking, written on assignment for school children about everything from ships and surgery to the continents of the world. So now I want to present myself to the reading public as a mystery writer.
The world of mysteries, I've discovered, is a place unto itself. Mystery writers are, for the most part, a close-knit, supportive group, very knowledgeable and very ready to help each other and offer cheers when appropriate, condolences when needed. The best thing I ever did was join Sisters in Crime and the Guppies (Going to Be Published) subgroup. Lots of people stay in Guppies after they're published, so I fit well. I feel like I'm published--but in mystery terms, I'm unpublished.
Mystery readers are real groupies too. I'm not sure but I suspect it's hard to get them to move away from their favorites, although some devour so many books a week they have to branch out. I would read that voraciously if I had the time.Mostly in Sisters-in-Crime and on Twitter it seems to me we're preaching to the choir. So I'm looking for new, subtle ways to market my new book and get away from that pigeon-hole of a young-adult western writer. Then again, I must be grateful--that pigeon-hole has brought me a lot of rewards, just not fame or fortune.
Anyway, the point of all this was check out

No comments: