Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Promotional Guide
Writers Can't Hide Behind the Books, Part I

When I got my contract for Choices Meant for Gods, I attended a seminar hosted by my new publisher, ArcheBooks Publishing. Bob Gelinas stood in front of a room full of writers telling us something that should have occurred to us before: no one's going to love your work and work to promote your work as much as you will.

So get out there and shout about it from the rooftops.

You can't hide behind the typewriter, computer keyboard, notepad and pencil/pen, etc., while your book languishes in some warehouse or, if it's POD (print-on-demand), waits for an order to magically come in. One way to "get out there" is to attend conventions.

Are you a romance writer? Find places where romance readers gather and get thee on panels to speak to them. Now, you're not necessarily speaking about your book when you're on said panels, but you're speaking, as an expert, on a topic related to romance. That puts you in the limelight and gives you a chance to get your name out in front of an audience. And, once in a while, a carefully placed (read: not overbearing) mention of "and in my new novel *insert name of novel here*, I exemplify this by having *character name here* do this this and this." It's not difficult to use concrete examples from your own novel to illustrate a point without nauseating your audience with the plug.

Fantasy writers like myself, thriller writers like my friend Raven Bower, romance writers like my friend Tina Murray, speculative fiction and memoir writers like my friend Jamieson Wolf, young adult fiction writers like my friend M.B. Weston know and can use these tactics easily by getting on panels at conventions where fans gather. I'm already slated to participate at ConQuest 39 in Kansas City this Memorial Day and it looks like I've just been invited back to Context in Ohio this fall. I've got a booth at a local book festival and at DragonCon. A local writer's group has invited me to speak about blogging. It's not a lot (given my work schedule, it feels like a lot), but these are examples of opportunities that authors can take to get out from behind the computer and in front of audiences of potential readers.

Tomorrow, we'll take a look at how to build an audience for pre-promotion.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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