Wednesday, February 22, 2017
By Catherine Brakefield
A well-written book should inspire your imagination.
I shall never forget when I read about Helen Keller. I remember thinking, “I want to write so descriptively that a woman like Helen Keller who has never seen the sunset, heard the laughter of a child, or smelled the lusty scents of horses, will have no problem experiencing it through my words.”
I use descriptive scenes in my novels because I want my readers to be immersed into my settings, swept away into that time period, and to enjoy stepping into the role of my hero or heroine. This is so important to me that in my recent novel, Wilted Dandelions, I took a road trip out west just to make sure my scenes accurately depicted the landscape of my story.
But I often get too caught up in my characters and settings and forget that writing is a business. In “How Much Do you Know About your Target Audience,” author and writing coach Debra Butterfield writes “People read to meet a need in their life.” Butterfield does a great job in describing how the author must be very familiar with their target audience and how this steers their writing.
I steer my writing toward saved and unsaved women between mid-twenties to seventy years old. In the past, I wrote editorial articles for local newspapers and magazines. I have also written some history books, and I find that most of my readers are historically curious and romantically inspired by my novels. But men and young adults have expressed their appreciation for my novels as well.
Here comes the hard work. How do you get that great book of yours into your unknowing readers’ hands and into their hearts?
In Emma Siemasko’s article dated February 17, 2011, “15 Ways to Let the World Know About Your Awesome Business,” she says “When our founders started Grasshopper, they were intent on using natural and transparent ways to get the word out. Their goal was (and still is) to get people gabbing about what we do. If they’re happy with our product, they’ll tell their friends, who tell their friends, and so on and so forth.”
Research shows that your time has become more valuable than money. I agree. Monetary pleasures will fall by the way side. Watching my parents I realized that the older we become, the more our memories become cherished commodities. Not that couch or bookcase you bought ten years ago. Ah, but your family, good songs and good books that memory remains with you…
That is why when your novel is complete, your real work begins. Fine tune the essence of your book into one sentence and be ready to stimulate your potential reader into the imagination of words. Once you get your book out there, the next step is, as Siemasko says, “To get people gabbing” about your book.
One of the best ways to get the word out about a product and about your book is through positive reviews. Siemasko says her research shows that an army of fans can out do anything a fancy PR firm can do for a favorite author. If you like a book you need to say so to your friends and social media. The best advertising is word of mouth.
Get your book in front of the right people. If you have written a children’s book, visit day cares, parent’s groups, elementary schools, and other places where your target market is likely to be. Faith-based historical romances often find their niche in libraries and women’s and church groups. Self-help and inspirational books do well with self-help church groups, YWCA groups, and adult educational groups.
Love, life, and the legacy of words, whether you expertise is intrigue, history, romance, insight, or inspiration, a thought provoking story should encourage, up-lift the heart, and carry the reader through their trials, providing biblical wisdom for life’s decisions.
Writing is a business, and no one can sell your product better than you. Be friendly, be assessable, and be excited. You’ve created a great book, now go out and tell the world!
Catherine says, “My readers inspire my writing! Catherine Brakefield is the author of three faith-based historical romances; The Wind of Destiny, Wilted Dandelions, and the first of a four book Destiny series, Swept into Destiny scheduled for release in May 2017. She has also written two Pictorial history books: Images of America: The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County. Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books True Stories of Extraordinary Answers to Prayer Unexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker Books, Revell, The Dog Next Door and Horse of my Heart; CrossRiver Media Publishers, The Benefit Package and Abba’s Promise; Bethany House Publishers, Jesus Talked to me Today. She enjoys swimming and horseback riding and lives in Addison Township with her husband, Edward, and their Arabian horses. Now that her children are grown and married, she and Edward are the blessed recipients of two handsome grandsons and a lovely granddaughter! See www.CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com for more information