Not-so-sunny (because of Tropical Storm Andrea) salutations from Florida! Today, I'm please to present an interview with multi-published author Debby Mayne. I know you'll enjoy what she has to share with us today.
Welcome, Debby. How did you get into writing?
I started writing articles for regional parenting magazines when my children were small. My husband challenged me to write a novel, so I did. It took about 5 years to sell, but I sold my first book to Avalon on October 6, 1999, and a novella to Barbour 10 days later.
That's great. What are a few of your latest titles?
Sweet Baklava – Abingdon Press (2011)
Love Finds You on Christmas Morning – Summerside/Guideposts – with Trish Perry (2011)
Waiting for a View – B&H (2012)
Bless Her Heart – Book #2 in Class Reunion series – Abingdon Press (August 2013)
Tickled Pink – Book #3 in Class Reunion series – Abingdon Press (September 2013)
That's lots of books in a short amount of time. Congratulations! Will you please share how you got your first book contract?
After the Avalon assistant editor requested my complete, I sent it to him. Three weeks later, the new senior editor, Erin Cartwright, called and made an offer. I had to leave to pick up my daughter at her bus stop a couple of miles from home, so I had to tell Erin I’d call her back. That was the longest half hour of my life.
I can only imagine! What would you say has helped you promote your books the most?
Word of mouth seems to be my best promotion. I also send quite a few postcards, post messages on Facebook, and tweet.
The personal touch is important. What mistakes or wrong assumptions did you make with the marketing of your first book? Did those mistakes cause you to change? If so, how?
I didn’t have to do much when I first started out because my Avalon books were mostly found in libraries, and my Heartsong Presents books were direct to consumer.
So I guess you have more marketing to do now than you did back then. What's the craziest promotional gimmick you tried?
I’ve sent baklava to book club groups. Most of the recipients have enjoyed it, but it’s very sticky and messy.
Again, I can only imagine! What's the funniest thing that happened during a promotional activity?
Back to the baklava: I’ve brought platters of it to book signings. I learned to bring wet wipes because store managers don’t appreciate their customers browsing with sticky hands.
I can see where that might present a problem. But is there something you did that really helped with marketing your books?
I think having quite a few mega-churches close by has helped. I generally deliver one of each of my releases to each church office. Word spreads pretty quickly.
With or without baklava, did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
God is always opening doors I never expected, from bringing me speaking engagements to having readers approach me at book signings, letting me know that they’ve experienced the same things as my characters.
And now that you've been writing a while, what do you find works best for you in promoting your work and why?
I think that the more organic the marketing is the better the results. I particularly enjoy chatting with readers in libraries and bookstores.
I love the organic approach, too. What are your top tips for writers with their first book contract?
Take your time and enjoy the process. Make sure you keep your editor, marketing rep, and agent in the loop with everything.
Thanks for all these words of wisdom. I know our readers will appreciate the great advice!
For His glory,