Friday, October 28, 2011

Talk About Marketing

I recently received an envelope in my snail mail containing a booklet with a short mystery written by a writer in New Jersey. Inside the front cover and on the back cover was a promotion for his novels, with brief recommendations by several bloggers. I was directed to his website and given links to where his e-books could be purchased.
I received this gift was because I belong to the Mystery Readers sponsored by the library in Visalia. I registered out group with Mystery Readers of America and ended up on a mailing list.
I was impressed by this man’s ingenuity for promotion. He felt that if I liked his short mystery, I might take a look at his other work. From a business point of view, this would be an expensive way to promote a writer’s work. I don’t know how many mystery reader groups he sent his story to, but it cost him 65 cents to mail his story to me. Since his e-books sell for $2.99 & $4.99, maybe he got enough hits to make it worthwhile. What do you think? Is it a method you would consider?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Harvest Your Dreams

Do other people have story characters sprout in their dreams? Of course I have to get up in the middle of the night and scribble down my dream. Sometimes in the morning I can’t read my own scribbles. About a year ago, just before waking a little voice said, “She back.” And another voice said, “Who back.” The answer was Claudia. That little snippet became Larceny’s Reward, a short story about a guy who’s always looking stolen something and is trying to cover his tracks.
Then there was the morning I woke up early and remembered that I’d forgotten to put out the trash barrels. I scrabbled to get dressed, thinking the neighbors wouldn’t appreciate seeing me dash out to the street in my shortie nightgown. As I dragged the cans out, I thought, I wonder what it would be like to discover a dead body in your trash can. And that’s how Trash Day in Tulare County came to be written. It wasn’t exactly from a dream, but who cares. The main character is Iyla Zindorm. Poor Iyla is crazier than a pet coon and what that discovery does to her psyche is a crime.
If you happen to want to find out about these stories, they are both featured in Leaves from the Valley Oak, an anthology created by Visalia-Exeter Writers that will be coming out sometime in October through
Where do your story ideas come from?