Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Guest Blogger: Author Marian Allen shares her thoughts on the long road to publicity

As part of her blog tour for her novel Eel's Reverence, author Marian Allen is visiting "The suspense is killing me" and I know she has some valuable advice to share. Welcome, Marian.

The Long Road To Publicity

I think of EEL'S REVERENCE as my first real novel. I decided to write a novel when I was in junior high--or maybe high school. At any rate, let's just say I wasn't a child prodigy. The world should give me a medal for not saving a copy of that monstrosity.

After that thing, I wrote a gothic romance with a male lead character who didn't have a romance. I've rewritten that book multiple times and now like it very much, and I think (fingers crossed) it's found a publisher.

Meanwhile, after the gothic, I took the time to go to some workshops and I joined a writers group (I still belong to it--the Southern Indiana Writers Group).

In the early 1990s, I wrote three books which I placed with electronic publishers. Back then, "electronic publishing" meant that people ordered the books through the mail and received 5 1/4 floppy disks with the books on them.

My first electronic publisher quit the business. My second one did well for me at first, but sales dwindled. A couple of years ago, I retrieved my rights to the three books and submitted them to Echelon Press, which accepted all three for re-issue.

I'm currently on a blog book tour for EEL'S REVERENCE and previewing FORCE OF HABIT, which is due out in November--and thank you for hosting me!

So what was the difference between my first two publishers and Echelon?

Echelon is a good publisher, but those two were also good publishers. All three houses had/have close working relationships with their authors, all three did/do everything they could/can to make noise for their authors. So what's the difference?

I would like to say that the only difference is that the other two were way ahead of their time. I would like to say that the other two had some flaws that Echelon doesn't have, or that Echelon has some attitude or clout that the other two didn't have.

But here's what I think is really the difference: Echelon has a different author.

Since the time I retrieved my rights, I've done quite a bit of research on the ebook market. I've joined marketing email lists. I've read marketing blogs and books. I've taken a blog book tour class and I've studied other writers' blogs and techniques. I've learned how to build a professional blog and, I hope, use it effectively. I've put up inexpensive or free short stories on Kindle and Smashwords to use as promotional items. I've sold short stories to anthologies and taken those to signings, and have volunteered to sit on panels at conventions and workshops.

I expected my previous publishers to do most of my publicity for me, and thought all I had to do was notify my hometown newspaper and all my friends and relations, "Here I am! Come and buy!" Echelon benefits from my having done a little wising up.

Takeaway advice: If you want a good publisher, don't just be a good writer; be a good author.


Anyone who leaves a comment at one of my blog tour stops AND mentions EEL'S REVERENCE will be entered. Anyone who buys the book and posts a review anywhere and includes the link to the review as a comment to any of those posts will be entered five times. All entries will be numbered and the winning numbers will be chosen by random number generator. Only one prize per entrant. First winner gets first choice of prize.


  • Free copy of EEL'S REVERENCE or FORCE OF HABIT, my upcoming sf/farce. (2 separate prizes-1 of each)
  • Free softback copy of SWORD AND SORCERESS XXIII, with my story "Undivided" in it.
  • Free softback copy of DYING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND, with my story "Team Player" in it.
  • Your name in the story I'm going to write to promote FORCE OF HABIT.


When elderly priest of Micah, "Aunt" Libby, goes on a Final Wandering, she's accosted and then befriended by an amphibious mugger. The area known as The Eel is infested with worse than minor criminals--it's under the thumbs of a coalition of greedy, brutal priests. Aunt Libby is a frail barrier to stand between peace and violence, and the worst violence may not come from her enemies...but from her friends.

EEL'S REVERENCE is available from OmniLit and Amazon's Kindle Store.

For as long as Marian Allen can remember, she's loved telling and being told stories. She enjoys connecting and reconnecting with people, meeting new friends and keeping in touch with the friends she already has.

Her writing reflects this love of network. No one exists in total isolation, but in a web of connections to family, friends, colleagues, self at former stages of maturity, perceptions and self-images. Most of her work is fantasy, science fiction and/or mystery, though she writes horror, humor, romance, mainstream or anything else that suits the story and character.

Professionally, she's a member of Southern Indiana Writers, Writing and Promotion (WRaP), and Green River Writers.

Her web site is


Marian Allen said...

Thanks for hosting me, Cheryl. This is a gorgeous blog!

Marian Allen

Unknown said...

Go you! :) You do more marketing stuff than anyone else I know personally. It's inspiring.

Robin Spano said...

I love your narrative voice here! Sorry the junior high project didn't work out! But it sounds like you've found your stride now. Funny how the smallest shift in perception can make a world of difference.

Cheryl Tardif said...

You're very welcome, Marian! I'm always happy to host authors who really know how to add value with their posts, and you've done that with yours.

Your book cover really "pops" on this black background. Eye-catching!

Sarai, thanks for dropping by and supporting Marian. :-)

Robin, so nice to "see" you here. Your last sentence is bang on. :-)


Heidiwriter said...

The wonderful thing about writing is that we continue to learn. What fun!

Hey, everybody, stop over at my blog tomorrow, where Marian shares her thoughts on writing fantasy.

Eileen Schuh: said...

Good luck with the launch of "Eel's Reverence", Marian Allen. Thanks for sharing your experience and offering your advice.

Please enter me in your contest. [I like winning stuff.]
http://www.eileenschuh Canadian Author "Schrodinger's Cat"

Patricia Stoltey said...

Your story and your blog posts have made an impression on me, Marian. I've signed up for a local three-hour course on digital publishing to add to what I've learned so far online. Should be interesting.

I'm still loving your book cover. The green is so striking (and a bit eerie). Good luck with the tour. I catch up with you here and there (and on the 16th).


Marian Allen said...

Heidi, I love what you did with the post!

Patricia, best of luck with digital publishing--it's a blast!

Eileen, you're entered! I'm hooked on your book from the title alone. I once wrote a poem called "Schroedinger's Cat Meets Doctor Seuss"

You put a cat into a box
And then a hat, and then some sox.
Although the cat says, "Stop, now! Stop!"
You firmly fasten down the top.
Now, does that cat that's in that box
Put on the hat or wear the sox?
He might do neither. Maybe both.
You couldn't really take your oath
On whether he's in sox or hat,
That unobserved but well-dressed (?) cat.

Marian Allen

Eileen Schuh: said...

I so love your Cat poem, Marian! Thanks for sharing! Made me smile.

Jim and Karen Overturf said...

Cheryl, This is a lovely blog... You've taught me some things! Marian, thanks for inviting me along on your blog book tour... I am enjoying every minute! Talk about doing it right! EEL'S REVERENCE sounds like a fantastic book, and I am going to go to Amazon's Kindle and read it right after I catch up with all the daily blogs you've written on your tour (wow...another customer). I'm choosing the character naming - and our character, Kurt Maxxon, is entered...
I know, I know... I need to wait and see!

Cheryl Tardif said...

Thank you, Jim and Karen. I'm so glad you like my blog. And if you learned something then that's a bonus! :-)

I have great guests!

Marian, I loved your cat poem. It takes me back to my earliest writing days when I was a toddler scribbling wavy lines under every line of Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat. I told my Mom I was writing the story. lol

All the best on your tour, Marian. And I hope you are stalked by many, many fans.

My online book tour starts Sept. 27 and runs til Oct. 10. I hope you'll all join me. I'll be on Marian Allen's blog. :-)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Marian Allen said...

Thanks, Eileen, Karen and Cheryl! Cheryl, I'm looking forward to your visits. Talk about a dynamo--Cheryl is visiting me three times: at my blog, at Fatal Foodies and at GoodReads. Great posts, too. :)

Marian Allen

Other Lisa said...

Great post, Marian. Looking forward to reading Eel's Reverence!