Author shares secrets on selling books

“Today’s up and coming authors must act like an entrepreneur if they want anyone besides their mother to read their books.” That was the central message of author Mark Fadden’s recent “Get Your Book Read!” presentation at the Alvarado Public Library in Alvarado, Texas. With more writers going the self-publishing route, and with publishing houses slashing their marketing budgets to the bone, authors must not only write the book these days, but they must act as their own public relations and marketing managers as well. “The good news is that by using the Internet, there has never been an easier time to get our message out to the masses,” Fadden said. “The bad news is that we’re also competing with the millions of other marketing messages that are sent out every day and vying for people’s attention. There are many ways for authors to be seen and heard, we just have to remain diligent about communicating our message to the world.”

Not only is Fadden a freelance writer and he continues to work on new novels, he is also currently on a book tour promoting his latest award-winning thriller, The Brink. In the book, a fugitive cop helps a woman running for her life only to get sucked into a secret society’s plot for global financial Armageddon. Fadden uses many social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and his blog to spread the word about his books. However, he will be the first to say that when it comes to making fans, it’s still face to face meetings that work best.

“A recent study stated that 71 percent of all communication is still face to face. 21 percent is over the phone. Email, texting and participating in chat rooms and other online platforms like Facebook still account for less than six percent. While keeping an online presence is important, meeting people in the flesh is still key.” Fadden, who lives in Colleyville, Texas, also answered questions from the audience about his experience with publishing, what inspires him and how he got his start. The interaction with potential fans is something he truly enjoys. “I love talking to readers. It also allows me to thank them for taking the time to read my work, which is a huge investment when there are so many other forces tugging at people these days. It also gives me a chance to hear their feedback, which helps improve my writing.”

Fadden’s take-home message from his presentation was that while getting the book published is a huge accomplishment, it is only the beginning of the hard work. “I’ve been a writer for almost 10 years now, and many folks that come out to these presentations are writers themselves that have questions about how to get their work published. While I try to give them as much information as I can about getting published, I try to make sure they understand that the marketing aspect is even more critical, especially since they’ll be doing most of it themselves. While it can seem overwhelming, if you have a good marketing plan, that makes all the difference. It’s all about the three Ps – planning, patience and persistence.”

“This talk was amazingly interesting,” said Cheryl Chaplin of Alvarado, who took copious notes during Fadden’s presentation. “A friend of my son’s is a writer, he’s written a novella and hopes to turn it into a full-length novel. This is priceless information for him.”

The Brink has won its publisher’s Editor’s Choice Award and the Rising Star Award. Not only does Fadden have several signings scheduled at book stores in the Dallas/Fort-Worth, Texas area this fall, readers can preview the book and even get a signed copy at Fadden’s blog, The Campaign: dispatches from the literary trenches, can be viewed at Copies of Fadden’s “Get Your Book Read” PowerPoint presentation are available for free. Simply email him at for a copy.

Writing and marketing your novel: A glimpse from the trenches

July 28, 2010

Day 44 of 365

Books sold so far (as of the end of May 2010, which is my first official month – sales reports in this industry lag big time!): 157

In this issue:


  • OMG, I’ve gone viral! An example of what can happen when clever meets timely
  • Writing topic – they say “write what you know” but really it’s still who you know that counts
  • Marketing topic – The importance of keywords


OMG, I’ve gone viral! An example of what can happen when clever meets timely

 Earlier this week, I promised I’d show how the Old Spice video was linked to libraries. At a social media workshop given by Leanna Cowan of the Alvarado Public Library, Tina Hager of the Little Elm Public Library and Melissa Jeffrey of the Arlington Public Library, they showed the video below of the BYU library spoofing the Old Spice Super Bowl commercial:



Very clever, right? Now BYU obviously spent some bucks on the video, but I’m sure that if a writer were to put his or her mind to it, they could come up with something similar with low or no budget. I mean, just check out the parodies of the Beyonce video “All the Single Ladies” that I’m sure were produced on the cheap:



Writing topic – they say “write what you know” but really it’s still who you know that counts


This one’s for the mystery/thriller/detective writers. Most of the manuals out there say, “write what you know.” But I’m a firm believer in “know what you write.” For instance, I’m sure all the thriller and mystery writers are innocent of murder, yet they conjure up some of the goriest murder scenes humanly imaginable. How? While they didn’t kill someone, they imagine how to do it. They know what they write. But 9 times out of 10, they talked to someone who has seen grisly murder scenes to suspend their readers disbelief. So, how to do that? Simple. Talk to your friendly neighborhood police officer.

I was talking to a police officer today that knew I was a writer. He said he has always wanted to write a novel about what he’s seen over his 25 year career (It’s an item on his bucket list). Right there is a fountain of information for me and I am a resource for him about the writing process. Win-win, right? Every city and town has a police department. Chances are there’s a veteran there who has some great stories to inspire your writing. Go down to the department and see if you can do a “ride-along” with one of the officers. If they don’t offer that, see if you can join a civilian group that supports the police department. It will take a little time to network, but sooner or later you’ll be sharing war stories over a beer with one of your city’s finest that could be the plot to your next masterpiece.


Marketing topic – The importance of keywords


What’s a better keyword for people to find a novel in which America’s staggering national debt is used to produce global financial Armageddon: ‘national debt’ or ‘financial Armageddon’? (BTW, if you’re new to this blog, that’s the gist of the plot from my latest thriller, The Brink) Do you think more people are searching for the term ‘national debt’ or ‘financial Armageddon’ these days?  

Keywords continue to mystify me, as they do most people. There’s an art to picking them and timing seems to be the most important part of using keywords.

How do you use keywords? We’d all love to know in the comment section.  


The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…