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Advertisers know the best way to promote a product is through word of mouth, so it becomes their--our challenge as authors to find ways to foster that word of mouth process. Since my first novel, MISSING, was released in October, I've learned one of the best ways to do this is to establish connections with people. When I say "connections," I don't mean we need to try to rub shoulders--or brown noses--with the rich and famous or even our bosses. We simply need to emotionally/mentally/physically connect with people. Gather friends. Care about others and let them know you care about them.
Creating and visiting/commenting on blogs are two of the cyber ways we connect with people. So are joining and participating in online groups whose members have interests similar to our own. But the way everyone can begin to foster word of mouth is to begin with their friends. In fact, it's initially because of the face to face connections I've made over the years that MISSING has spread through my community and is now the #1 Best Seller in my local bookstore. This is what I did:

1. I wrote the best book I could.

2. I met and set up with my local bookstore owner an opening night party.

3. I sent invitation postcards to 100 friends. About 40 of them showed up and bought books. Some even brought people I'd never met before. We sold out that night.

After that, my friends took over. They liked my book well enough that they told their friends about it. Their friends began to buy books, which made my bookstore owner happy through increased sales. He also read and liked MISSING and began to recommend it to his customers. After that, "word of mouth" snowballed.

And I am grateful.

--To read an excerpt of MISSING, click here.

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