Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An Unexpected Surprise from Colorado Country Life Magazine

First I received an e-mail from a friend, telling me my first Sylvia and Willie mystery, The Prairie Grass Murders, was one of the mysteries featured in an article in the newest Colorado Country Life magazine, a publication of the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association.

That evening, a member of my critique group handed me a copy to see for myself. Not only was my book featured in the article, but the magazine's cover photo featured a bookshelf full of mysteries as the background, including mine.

The article is called Mad for Mysteries and was written by Julie Simmons. In a case like this, I like to check amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com to see if my sales ranks received a bump. I wasn't too hopeful in this case, because The Prairie Grass Murders hardcover has been remaindered and is no longer available new from booksellers. But here's the surprise: the sales rank on amazon.com includes sales of new and used books from the associate booksellers. My sales rank of The Prairie Grass Murders had jumped to about 80,000 (and that's a great number considering where it's been lately). Luckily, I still have new copies of the book to sell at my upcoming local booksignings.

This piece of accidental exposure points out something we often miss as we look for ways to promote our books. There are many publications across the country like Colorado Country Life that do book reviews, like to feature articles on local authors or books set in the region, or would be willing to publish your article on a subject of interest to their readers and include your own book, website, and blog information in your bio. Some listings might be in Writer's Market, others available through internet searches. It's an opportunity we can't afford to pass up.

14 comments:

Karen Walker said...

Congratulations, Patricia. How do you find out what your sales ratings are on Amazon?
Karen

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congratulations, Patricia! That's great exposure and you're reaching possibly a new audience with that story. You're right...we should explore the promotional possibilities in regional presses.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Paul D. Brazill said...

Congratulations!

Alan Orloff said...

Congrats, Patricia! Sometimes you never know where good fortune will come from.

Kay Theodoratus said...

I'll say congrats along with the others. Maybe you'll also get an increase in sales for the book in print. *hoping*

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I'll add my congratulations to everyone else's. Who knows where this new exposure could lead?

Elspeth

carolynyalin said...

Ditto they above - congrats!

carolynyalin said...

Oops, that should be *the* above :(

Stephen Tremp said...

Congrats! on your exposure and thanks for the inspiration. I'm going to explore such opportunities this weel.

Stephen Tremp

Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks, everyone. It really was a great surprise.

Karen, the sales rank on amazon.com shows up as the last item under Product Details. Amazon has a complicated formula that causes the rank to fluctuate wildly compared to the barnesandnoble.com more stable number. Even the sale of one or two books can send the amazon number rocketing up for a day or two. When I see a big movement on Amazon, I always tell my husband, "Yay, I sold a book!" I like to watch the numbers right after I have a signing event, attend a conference or convention, or do a flyer or postcard mailing.

The Old Silly said...

Good for you, Patricia! And yes, thanks for the reminder - authors have lots of available resources for exposure if we just take the time to seek them out and do a little self-promo.

Marvin D Wilson

Elizabeth Bradley said...

That's so cool.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Isn’t it fun, no, a thrill really, to find your work mentioned in a way or place you never considered. You just get the news one day, no planning or scheming to make it happen, just the publicity gods being kind. Nice job. Happy for you.
Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Congratulations, Patricia. That is indeed fantastic news.