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Okay, I'm not being sacrilegious here, just posing a question to be considered by both true believers and dedicated agnostics and atheists. There is no doubt, being a truly devoted pursuer of dreams, whether as an author or creative/artistic professional, requires a strong measure of belief in one's self, and perhaps even a 'higher power.'

For those who have taken to their knees, on occasion or regularly, in quest of Divine intervention (or assistance, if you will) the answers or actions one hopes for may not be instantly delivered. I have spoken to many in the clergy, and lay persons alike who often feel either the 'line' to the Creator was busy (too many dial-ins), or in a worst case: the call was screened—'Caller I.D.' employed to shunt aside the caller: you, me...any of us. There's another possibility: there is more we need to do in advance of making the plea for help.

Alright, this is all part tongue-in-cheek, part serious. The bottom line is we all have to assume first and last responsibility for doing all we can—free and paid—to further our goals and reach fulfillment of our dreams.

We are all here because we are devoted to exploring all legitimate opportunities to succeed. We recognize there is great benefit in associating with others of like mind and purpose.

Permit me to share some of my experiences regarding marketing and promoting books. I reiterate, what follows is only a brief, not a dissertation.

Regarding book promotion, there is no "one" thing that works for everyone. I have found that one has to be willing employ a range of tools. When my first novel, 'I Never Played Catch With My Father,' was published, more than ten years ago, I was fortunate to have a great publicist, whom I met on a train. She later booked me on Oprah, and represented me on a two-year book tour. Nancy Eddy remains my publicist and a great friend. (see my page here for more info). My fourth novel, 'The Widowmaker' (as Michael Manstar) was published in 2008.

Here are a few things I have found that work:

* Declare that you would write, even if there were no readers to buy (not what we want but...)

* Never stop reading and learning. Too many authors are lazy readers.

Now, to the tangible:

*Join serious writers groups that do more than meet and drink coffee. I belong to one, here in California, that features annual appearances, for all members, at the L.A. Time/U.C.L.A Festival of Books.

*Print glossy, 4x6 postcards that feature your book info (your web site, etc.) A great (and inexpensive) company I use is They ship anywhere. Keep some on your person, in your car, in your computer bag, etc.

* Frequent places where readers gather: bookstores, book fairs, book clubs, etc. and pass out your cards. Of course, always have copies of your book(s) with you.

* Take advantage of the many, very good sources for press releases:, FreePressRelease (, and others (PRweb). Post these on your web site...send their links in emails to friends and associates.

* I was so concerned about the need for authors (myself included) to promote, I founded ( I encourage all to take a look. Whether you are with a major house, a micro publisher, or are self-published, your success largely depends on you.

*By the way, be sure and see "" There, you can send e-cards of your book jacket.

There's more I could say, but I will end here by suggesting you be a shameless promoter of your work. You will find many "Free," opportunities to promote your book but do pass up great opportunities that may have a modest cost.

After all, your book is worth promoting, right?


Note: iFOGO Village (our social network for writers and readers) is now completely viewable by all visitors. Of course, membership is required to post comments, etc.

Gene's Novels:

A Family Gathering (Pulitzer Fiction Nominee 2007)
I Never Played Catch With My Father
Half Moon, Full Heart
The Widowmaker, 'Heat of the Night'

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Comment by Gene Cartwright on July 2, 2009 at 11:14am
Look for more thoughts and marketing ideas regarding the "bigness" of small things.

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