The next economic crash subject of local author’s latest thriller

The Borders book store in Mesquite, Texas was the latest stop on local author Mark Fadden’s book tour. Fadden’s new novel, The Brink, uses the current financial crisis as the foundation of a lightening-fast thriller in which a fugitive Texas Ranger helps a woman running for her life, only to get sucked into a global financial conspiracy.

Although Fadden keeps a tight lip on the intricacies of the plot, he does shed light on the frightening, real-world numbers he uses in the story. “Over the many months I spent researching the international financial system, I discovered that it is a very fragile organism. Many experts predict that the next economic bubble waiting to burst is the federal government debt bubble. The US is $14 trillion in debt. We have a $1.5 trillion deficit. We need to borrow $2 billion each and every day from foreign countries like Japan and China just to keep the federal government running. For a writer, the basic question we ask ourselves is “What if?” So I asked, ‘What if China and Japan stopped their investments? The story just grew from there.”    

Borders Sales Manager Steve Schmidt was impressed with the turnout for the signing. “The event was a big success. Mr. Fadden was very engaging with our customers and talked with people the entire time he was here. It seemed people were very interested in the book’s timely topic.”

The Brink is Fadden’s third novel and is a continuation of his first novel, Five Days in Dallas. Published in 2003, Five Days in Dallas received critical acclaim and Fadden himself was even called a “masterful storyteller” by a Writer’s Digest reviewer. Fadden, who now lives in Colleyville, then began working on the follow-up in 2006, which eventually became The Brink.

The first 22 pages of The Brink can be read at  Fadden has also created a blog about writing novels and book marketing using social media entitled “The Nightstand Diaries,” which can be read at

Here’s your chance to rip apart a book marketing campaign and caress its beating heart

July 23, 2010

 Day 42 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:

  •  The library conference – making connections the old fashioned way
  • The Hastings Incident
  • Links to the most important blogs you’ll ever read

 The library conference – making connections the old fashioned way

 “Libraries will be extinct by 2020.” That’s what North Texas Regional Library System (NTRLS) Executive Director and self-proclaimed futurist Adam Wright said during his keynote speech at the NTRLS conference in Decatur, Texas this past Saturday. He was paraphrasing what fellow futurist Richard Watson had said regarding the future of libraries. There has to be some strong opinions on this one. So here’s your chance to sound off in the comments! And speaking of extinction of things, Watson’s extinction timeline is on fellow lover of libraries Christine Rooney-Browne blog.

 As far as the conference went, I suggest, fellow book-writers, run, don’t walk to your local library, do whatever it takes to get your librarian to contact their regional local library supporters group on your behalf and wrangle up a table at their conference. There was so much good information, from using social media to promote books, to promoting things on a shoestring budget. Here’s the link to the site where they have all the presentations posted. Most of it is for library staff, but those same ideas can be used for us writers as well.

While I was at the conference (I had a table there with a display of my books, bookmarks, and a flyer titled “Have a Local Author talk to your group! Here’s the flyer pic:),


I used that old fashioned, outdated, and “extinct” form of communication, you know, the actually holding of another person’s hand and shaking it while I hold their gaze with my own and engage in small talk and witty conversation to build a relationship. I know, sounds crazy these days doesn’t it? But I talked to 9 different representatives of libraries and Friends of Library groups that want to have me come and talk to them about my experience as a writer. That means that 9 meetings where I can sell books.

Don’t forget about your local library when you’re putting together your marketing plan. They are a valuable resource. And I think most of them will still be around after 2020.

The Hastings Incident

Book signings are like kids – no matter how hard you try to make them turn out right, sometimes, for reasons beyond your control, they just don’t turn out the way you want them to. Okay, so that’s a little bit on the “epic” side of things, but what I’m trying to say is that sometimes book signings go bad.

Case in point, my Hastings signing in Denton, Tx was not a success. I sold one book to a nice lady who wasn’t that much into political thrillers, but I told her how there were clues to the mystery in The Brink hidden in the front cover. Actually, they aren’t hidden in the cover, they are right there plain as day, but the important thing is that she thought that was cool.

 There are two take away’s from my failure:

  1. It wasn’t actually a failure because I must have passed out 30 bookmarks. That’s 30 people who may go online and preview it then decide to buy it, or by the ebook, or pass the bookmark to a friend who likes political thrillers.  
  2. Case the joint better than I did. Hastings is primarily a music store that sells some new books, but also buys used books and sells them as well. Customers going there in a college town (University of North Texas is in Denton, Tx) are primarily college-aged, and want to buy music or a used book, not a full priced book by an author they probably haven’t heard of. I should have done my research better and I will next time I do a signing at an independent store.

 Links to the most important blogs you’ll ever read

 I’ve already linked my blog to some blogs I think share some valuable info among us writers. Here’s a few more that I’ll link to:

  1.  John Scalzi’s Utterly Useless Writing Advice
  2. The Rejectionist – today’s post is all warm and fuzzy
  3. Next Day blog – good info on using social media. This is the company I used for my bookmarks (5,000 for somewhere around $160 – a hell of a deal)

 Ahead this week – a library parody of the Old Spice Guy (the power of viral) – and what does Amazon now selling more ebooks than regular books mean for us writers?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  

So what does it take for a virtually unknown author to sell books? Get an insider’s look at a book marketing campaign using social media.

July 22, 2010

Day 38 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:

  • FB ad round-up – the numbers look like our 401ks, new book signing ad  
  • Another fantastic literary blog (really, it’s won awards!)

FB ad round-up – the numbers look like our 401ks, new book signing ad

I won’t even bother with a fancy chart this time for the “economics” ad. It’s another goose egg today. I can’t wait to yank it tomorrow.

The other ad’s numbers are also taking a dive. I would use the term “market oversaturation” if I really knew what it meant. But I will guess that my target audience have already seen it, (it has been posted over 250,000 in 3 days to the dame group.) Here’s the ad:

Electrifying new author

Tired of the same plots & the same characters? Read the intro to this award winning thriller and never see the world the same again.

 And here are the numbers as of 10:45pm tonight:

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
07/22/2010 14,413 3 0.02 0.62 0.13 1.86
07/21/2010 148,407 16 0.01 0.60 0.06 9.54
07/20/2010 87,886 36 0.04 0.56 0.23 20.00
Lifetime 250,706 55 0.02 0.57 0.13 31.40

36 to 16 to 3 clicks today. I still think the verbiage in the ad works, and I’m still trying to figure out how to make it work in later ads.

I’ve also got a signing in Denton, Texas this Saturday at Hastings from 6-8pm, so if you’re in Denton, swing by and we’ll have a beer before or after. I also have a booth at the North Texas Regional Library System conference that day, so Monday’s post should be filled to the brim with all kinds of interesting tidbits and networking hints that I pick up that day. I’m working on a flyer for conference attendees that I’ll post tomorrow night.

Back to the signing. I did a FB ad for the signing targeted to people who like “reading” within a 10 mile radius of Denton, TX. That’s a whopping 600 people. You might think that’s a small #, but if even 10% of those folks show up, Hastings would be way sold out and I would have to revert to the signed bookplates (large mailing stickers with an open book pic watermark and my website address on it) that I take to signings, just in case the store does run out or if someone that I talk to wants to buy a book, but doesn’t have enough scratch at the time. I sign the bookplate and hand it to them, hoping they will in fact buy the book online later and slap the bookplate inside it.

 Here’s the ad:

Local author book signing

Like thrillers? Need a unique gift? Visit Hastings in Denton this Saturday, July 24, 6-8 pm and get the year’s best thriller signed!

 It links to my appearances & reviews page. $20 daily budget on this bad boy and FB is charging my $.50 per click, so I’ll get about 10 clicks per day out of it. I know you’ll be waiting with baited breath for the results tomorrow night.

 Another fantastic literary blog (really, it’s won several awards!)

 I know last night I talked about researching search engine optimization (SEO), but the clock was against me today. I promise I’ll look at the Inc. magazine SEO article over the weekend and we’ll discuss next week.

In the meantime, I found a new blog that is a tremendous source of info to us writers. It’s by a literary agent, it’s won some industry awards, and it truly rocks. Check it out at I also linked my blog to it, as well as the Pimp My Novel blog, which is where I found a link to Nathan’s blog. So if I did it right, you should see those links in the right hand column on this screen. Just keep scrolling past the sales pitch ads and you’ll see them. 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  


The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the madness continue…

 Day 11 of 365

 In this issue:

  • Working the phones with Borders turns to working the email, and time ain’t on my side

 Working the phones with Borders turns to working the email, and time ain’t on my side

So I might have undershot my budget on how long it would take to schedule up these signings at all the area Borders stores. In last night’s blog, I figured it would “probably take me another hour to customize those packages for each store and then another 30 minutes to call the other stores back and schedule signings so let’s call it 4 hours worth of work to hopefully schedule signings at every Borders store in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.” Oh how frickin’ wrong I was. I wanted to follow up with Kenny Green, the nice man at the Lewisville Borders who agreed on the spot to have me, and email him a marketing plan including a news release, flyer and poster examples. That took an hour. Then I’ve spent the last two hours working on two other marketing packets for two other Borders stores. So that’s 3 hours so far, and I’m not even halfway through the 10 Borders stores within the 50 mile radius of mi casa. But the Borders people are awesome and I want to give them an informative marketing plan so that both sides can benefit from the signing. (I’ve included the intro and marketing plan I emailed to the Borders store in Dallas on Preston & Royal, which is one of their Big Daddy stores, below)

So, the blog tonight is short and sweet. And the weekend is packed, so I’ll just tell you now that I hope to get some more marketing kits out tomorrow and finish up over the weekend and I’ll talk to y’all again on Sunday night with the Weekend Edition. Who knows, I might even get in a thought or two about the next book…Just kidding. The next one is already in the can and ready to go. 

Email intro and marketing plan for Borders Dallas-Preston & Royal store


I spoke to one of your associates yesterday and he mentioned that you manage the events for the Dallas-Preston & Royal Borders store. I did a signing this past Saturday at the Colleyville Borders store and it was the most successful signing they’ve had all year. I would love to do a signing at your store as well. I’ve included a marketing plan for a book signing event as well as the news release from my signing at the Colleyville Borders below. I’ve also attached examples of a press release, flyer, and poster that could be used to publicize the signing. I have several available weekend and weeknight times in the coming weeks that would hopefully work for you.

If you have any questions about the marketing plan or attached documents or would like to discuss the best time to do a signing, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime at the number below.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you soon about this exciting event!




 The Brink


Mark Fadden

“This story has everything – it hits the ground running with an ingenious and timely plot, the sharp dialogue produces megawatt size tension between the characters and the superb pacing and breakneck twists deliver a knockout ending.” – author Mark Graham

“Mark Fadden’s novel is a gripping tale filled with mystery, romance, and suspense. The story literally grabs the reader by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final page. The Brink is a page turner that even a seasoned reader will have trouble putting down.” – film producer Don Phillips 

“A masterful storyteller.”  – Writer’s Digest

“Action and heroism keep readers turning pages. A nicely crafted thriller.” – ForeWord Clarion Review

Marketing Plan for Dallas-Preston &Royal Borders Book Signing

  • Press release sent to local media including Dallas Morning News, Dallas Observer, Fox4, NBC5, ABC, CBS, CW 33, UPN 21, D Magazine,,, and Dallas Chamber of Commerce two weeks prior to the event (example attached)
  • Posters to be hung in store before and during event (example attached)
  • Flyers available before and during event (example attached)
  • 100 bookmarks available before event (Posters, flyers and bookmarks to be delivered to store one week before event)
  • “Evite” sent to subscribers of Dallas-Preston & Royal Borders email mailing list (to be done by Borders staff – if possible)  
  • All local friends, colleagues, and acquaintances will be invited – 200+ people 


The Brink is the winner of its publisher’s Editor’s Choice Award.

Mark has also been awarded his publisher’s Rising Star Award.


ISBN13: 9781450210478

ISBN: 1450210473

BINC: 3186840

Colleyville author breaks record at Borders bookstore

Many local fathers got Mark Fadden’s latest political thriller for Father’s Day this year. Fadden signed copies of The Brink, which takes readers on a perilous race from northern Mexico to Washington, D.C. as the hero and heroine try to thwart a global financial conspiracy, this past Saturday afternoon at the Colleyville Borders book store. “Being a local author, Mark generated a lot of pre-signing interest,” said Lori Lortscher of Borders. “He also interacted well with our customers during the signing, which boosted the sale of his book. It was our most successful book signing of the year. I hope we are lucky enough to have him back again.”

Mark Fadden, author of "The Brink", signs a book


Fadden is also chronicling his effort to sell 5,000 copies of The Brink over the next year in a blog. “Whenever I talk to people about my books, many of them know someone or they themselves have either toyed with the idea of writing a book, or are in the process of writing one. I wanted to keep track of what I’m doing on a daily basis to market the book so I could offer some inside information about what works and what doesn’t.” Fadden’s blog, titled The Nightstand Diaries: 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to marketing, can be read at