Publicity … More Like Dud-licity!

by | Sep 1, 2017

I knew going into this part of my writing career that publicity was a whole different beast from researching and writing and even finding a publisher. For one you have much, much less control. For another you’ve got to compete with everything else out there clamoring for people’s attention. I was determined to just be a good sport about it, try as hard as I could, but not feel bad if it didn’t go smoothly. But six months out from my publication date, I’m not sure I did such a good job with that….

For one, despite everything I knew intellectually, I was surprised at how hard and discouraging it was to generate any interest from bookstores about my book. It’s a true story! It’s a cool girl-power story! It’s a great story for readers who like sports! Meh, was generally the response. I also targeted some unusual outlets, mainly gift shops at racetracks. That seemed like a no-brainer and every gift shop manager I talked to agreed, but as far as I can tell not one has yet stocked the book at their racetrack giftshop…Okay… I’ll pour my energy into social media, I decided. I joined Twitter. Look at me! 57 followers, 36 tweets. That’s something…well, that seemed like something until I started noticing how many followers other writers had!! I post a little on Facebook. I created a site just for the book ( and try to post there regularly. But it all feels like shouting into the abyss, with no one on the other side hearing me. Still, to my surprise, Twitter ends up being surprisingly gratifying compared to my blog at or even (sorry to those handful of people reading this) this blog (

The best thing I’ve done so far is enter a raffle for a one-hour consult on social media sponsored by KidLit and benefiting scholarships for SCBWI-Illinois’s annual Prairie Writers and Illustrators Day. I’ll meet with Lisa Katzenberger mid-September and I know that will be so very, very helpful.

And I need to keep an eye on my successes. Lots of really great reviews, which are on my website but not anywhere else… I loved my school visits and hope to do more. I was invited go an event at the Lone Star racetrack in Dallas. Plus my friend Kathleen drove up from Oklahoma and we had a great weekend together. I loved being part of Chicago’s Printers’ Row Literary Festival panel. Big shout out to Esther Hershenhorn for arranging that. It looks like I’ll be able to do a bookstore visit at the Frugal Frigate in Redlands, CA, in October. I will combine that with a visit to family and friends. So excited about that! And it’s got me thinking of focusing more purposefully on children’s bookstores. So I have some more things to try and Rachel’s story never gets old, so I’ll keep promoting it, to the best of my abilities.

shouting into a bullhorn

Alexandra the Great book cover

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