Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Guest Blog: Jeanette A.Fratto

Today I'm thrilled to be joined by Jeanette A. Fratto, author of the adult mystery novel, No Stone Unturned.  You can read my review of the book here and see why I was so interested in having Jeanette join us today.

I turn the time over to you for a great promotional tip, Jeanette.

* * *  

If your name on the book cover is larger than the title of your book, chances are you  have a publisher and/or publicist who sets up your book tours and handles promotional events.  For the rest of us, especially self-published authors, promotion is an endless creative exercise which we hope results in our work being seen by as many readers as possible.

Consider adapting your approach to what has worked for me.  When book signings weren’t forthcoming at the “bricks and mortar” stores, I decided to bring my book signing to an audience of readers who are not so mobile, those who reside in senior apartment complexes.  We have an abundance of those in southern California, where I live, and they all have an activities director looking for interesting events for their residents.   Many of the residents are writing memoirs and love to hear authors speak on their personal writing and publishing experiences.

My novel, NO STONE UNTURNED,  is a mystery/romance set in Orange County, California, which unfolds through the inner workings of the Orange County Probation Department, where I had a 26-year career.  Probation is an important aspect of law enforcement rarely mentioned by mystery writers.  In California, every county has its own probation department.   I learned while working that few outside the field knew what probation officers do.  NO STONE UNTURNED changes that.

When I send my proposal to each activities director, I expand on this information to show why my presentation would be of interest to their residents.  Facts such as, I’m a local author, my novel is set locally, and my probation career led me to write the book, and gives credibility to the subject matter.  Readers will learn about this segment of the criminal justice system, while following an engrossing story line.  I don’t charge for my presentation.  The only caveat is that I have the option to sell books at the end.  I always do.

Think about your book(s) and your background, and pull out the facts that would interest an audience of readers to want to listen to you and buy your book. Why did you write it, for example. Did you have personal experience for the subject matter or did you do research?  The area in which you live will determine how many senior developments exist, but there are probably more than you realize.  Using a directory of senior, independent living, apartments (available at senior centers or your local library), locate the activities director of the complexes you would like to visit, and send them a written proposal.  It should be a single page which clearly lays out your book’s subject matter, your motivation for writing the book, and brief background information, emphasizing your writing experience.  Lastly, compose it in such a way that the activities director will be anxious to schedule you, knowing the audience will find your presentation interesting.

If you don’t receive a response within a week or so, follow up with a telephone call.  I’ve found that activities directors are extremely busy people.  They may want to schedule you but haven’t had the time to contact you.  Most will thank you for checking back with them.   

So polish up your speaking and sell some books.  Readers will tell other readers and we all know how word-of-mouth helps to keep books selling.  Good luck!


I'm a graduate of California State University, Fullerton with a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Social Science.  I've written all my life, short stories, essays, and articles.  For the last two years I was one of the winners in the Writers Digest Annual Writing Competition in all of those categories.  One of my essays was featured in a recently published anthology entitled, SHE WRITES.   When I retired from my 26-year career in law enforcment, I decided to tackle a book.  The result is NO STONE UNTURNED, a mystery/romance set in Orange County, California.  I'm now doing a sequel, NO GOOD DEED.  I live in southern California with my husband Bernard.  When we're not traveling, I'm writing.  You can visit my blog here


Angie said...

That is a wonderful idea! I call activities directors to schedule performances for my womens choir. I had never thought about a book presentation. That's very creative.

Jeanettethewriter said...

Tristi, Thanks so much for featuring me. I hope your readers will try my suggestions. They do work!

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