Wednesday, November 24, 2010

As Kathleen Y’Barbo grew up, she learned that her love of story could carry her off to places far beyond her small Texas Gulf Coast town. Soon she hit the road for real, earning a degree in Marketing from Texas A&M before setting off to such exotic destinations as Jakarta, Tokyo, Bali, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. Eventually, the road led back to Texas and a career in writing. Within a decade, Kathleen became a best-selling author of more than thirty award-winning novels, novellas, and young adult books. A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has a daughter and three sons.

How High Do You Bounce?

“Success is not how high you reach; success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.” General Patton

Have you had to bounce yet? If you’re writing for publication, you’re somewhere on the cycle of getting, being, or staying published. Either you’re on the hunt for that contract, working toward a deadline, or, as in the case of seasoned authors, both.

What does this have to do with publicity and marketing? Plenty! Where you are in this cycle will determine the direction of your publicity plan. For the author seeking to be published, publicity should concentrate on name recognition and developing a platform. Authors with a contract in hand will want to develop a plan that sends readers flocking to bookstores for your book.

But what if you’re an author who has made it to the third category? Perhaps you’re flying high with sales numbers that are going nowhere but up. Fabulous! May we all be in that situation! Unfortunately, not all authors experience such a trajectory. Sometimes a writer’s journey zigzags instead. I’ve heard it said that an author is only as good as the last book sales. While I’m not sure I agree with that, I do think all who put pen to paper should be mindful that someday he or she may see the cellar rather than the penthouse.

So what’s an author to do?


Yes, bounce. When headed down–be it book sales, name recognition, or some other writing-related woe– turn things around and aim upward. Sounds simple, right? But how?

Start by looking back on what you’ve done, make a list, and eliminate any marketing efforts that flopped. Make note of what worked and add that to a separate list.

When you’ve exhausted your brain cells remembering what has and hasn’t worked, brainstorm what’s to come. Start by setting goals for bouncing back from this adversity. Are you looking to drive sales up? Then craft a publicity plan that will elevate your book in the public eye. Perhaps a blog tour (see last week’s column for ideas) or a few well-placed press releases will make a difference in this book. Have a bent for being interviewed? Start hunting places where you can get on-air conversations going about your topic. Not so connected? Find a good publicist and have him or her make the arrangements for you.

It’s all about the bounce. How high? That’s up to you.

When an aspiring reporter and a Pinkerton detective get tangled in Doc Holliday’s story—and each other—sparks can’t help but fly.

Despite her father’s attempts to marry her off, Anna Finch dreams of becoming a reporter. A chance encounter with legendary gunslinger Doc Holliday gives her the opportunity of a lifetime, but Pinkerton agent Jeb Sanders is about to ruin everything.

Though her father hired Jeb to keep her out of mischief, Anna’s inconvenient attraction to her hired gun only multiplies her troubles. She doesn’t realize Jeb has a score to settle with Doc Holliday, or that her association with the famous outlaw will affect more than just her marriage prospects. Between her father’s desperation to see her wed and Jeb shadowing her every move, getting the story and fulfilling her journalistic ambition just got far more complicated than she ever imagined.


Lynette Sowell said...

Good tips! We definitely need to know how to bounce.