for the Bookworms

Stories of an author encountering readers

As an introvert, I was surprised to find one of my favorite things about being an author is in-person events. Because y’all are seriously so fun to meet and connect with. Here are just a few encounters I’ve had in my year of being published:


I don’t know what it is, but kids are always interested in my table. I need kids books.

A girl around 6 years old wanted my psychopathic murderer book. Her mom told her when she got older she’d be able to read a book that big. Skipped right over the whole scary murderous part, just said she needed to work her way up to bigger books. #parentinggoals, am I right?

I told the girl she could take a collectors card instead, and she picked up Cami’s BFF, a real safe choice.

She looked disappointed and said “I want something scary.” Sooooo, I grabbed Villains 1&2 instead for her, and her face lit up.

Like I said, I need kids book lol. Maybe with a little scary.


Another kid, this time a young teen, marched straight up to my booth and quickly spilled out: “I like writing stories and I wanna know what my options are, and my teachers say a journalist, but what are my options?”

It was so cool to tell him that yes, he can be an author if he wants. He can be a journalist if he wants. And besides that, every company in the world pretty much needs writers, for every website and social media post and brochure and email you see. If there’s a company you love, they’re probably in need of a writer.

Related: If you’re wondering what your options are for being a grownup professional writer – Lots!


This summer at an event, a lady was looking for someone to room with to save money. Probably not looking for a murder author, but it didn’t occur to me at the time. So, we coordinated plans and met there, and everything went well. Until…. she volunteered to work at the event’s bookstore…

Later that day, she confronted me: “You wrote a book from the perspective of a MURDERER?! I’m sharing a room with you, and you didn’t tell me?!” Haha, she was totally joking – or she played it off that way so she wouldn’t anger a suspected murderous author I suppose – and we had a grand time.

But now I know, I should probably disclose that info in every interaction. “Hi, my name is Amy, and I wrote a book from the perspective of a psychopathic murderer.” Feel safer now, don’t you? 😉


And finally, best quotes from encounters with readers:


I love murder… mystery! I should finish that sentence!

a person at my booth

We’re a family of murder.

a whole family checking out my book together
(I’m not sure what that means, but mostly, I’m not sure I wanna find out, for plausible deniability and all)

Hmm, this one’s Cami’s BFF. I don’t know, Cami sounds sketchy. I’m gonna keep my eye out for her.

A person picking up a collector’s card of Cami’s BFF from my book

Now I know who not to make mad. You know how to kill and get rid of the body.

A person walking past my booth, upon seeing my book title

How about you? Have you had any intriguing or humorous encounters with authors or with readers? Share below 🙂

And next year, it’s time for us to meet at an event, mmk?

for the Creatives

The one thing that makes or breaks my marketing

Almost a year of selling “I Know You Like a Murder”. I’m no marketing expert by any means. But I googled and read books & articles and experimented. And thought I’d share the results so you can learn from them.

In my last post for patrons I gave my most successful marketing tactic. But there’s another strategy that makes those tactics possible in the first place, a strategy that I first learned from Ksenia Anske.

But first, let me tell you what marketing I tried, and I’ll also speculate as to why it helped or didn’t (although I could be off in my guesses):

  • Facebook/Twitter ads: I think for these to be successful, you have to actually know how to use them. Take a class or something. I tried a bit of money in both without learning how to use them first, so I got 0 sales.
  • Blog Tour: I hired a recommended successful blog tour company. Got hundreds of posts from book bloggers across the web. And got few sales. I think because my book was too niche, and it may have been more successful if it was a more widely read genre.
  • Book reviewers: I love book reviewers. Their service to the book community – readers and authors alike – is so appreciated and so valued. I sent books out (upon request, don’t just send them haphazardly) and received positive & negative reviews. Both positive and negative reviews are so important, because honest reviews are important. While I did not see tangible results, reviews in general are a book’s lifeline, so indirectly I am sure these pushed interested readers into buying readers (and let’s be honest, into non-buying readers if the book wasn’t for them, that’s important too. No one wants to waste time reading a book that isn’t for them.)
  • Book booths at area events: This has been one of my more successful, when I’m at the right place with the right people.
  • Preorders: Lots of posts about launch and lots of hype about finally publishing. This was very successful for a first-time author learning the ropes.
  • Book launch party: This was my most successful event so far. I sold in one day the same I’d sold through the entire preorder season.

But these aren’t strategies. These are just tools.

Can you spot the difference? What’s the difference between the items in that list that made the first half less successful than the last half?

You. Readers. Fans. Fans of my writing, or even just fans of my existence (I think they’d rather be called friends, but ya know…)

The book launch party was a success because of you. The crime scene tape idea came from one of you. Your fanart inspired and brought about the collectors cards.

Online preorders were a success because of you. Seriously, I calculated and most strangers’ purchases have come from your excitement. So what if the author is excited about their own work, I want to know if somebody else is, right? (I exaggerate, because an author’s excitement also sells btw.) Your attendance, your facebook likes, comments, shares, posts, your purchases – those drove sales more than any work I put in.

Your voice makes a difference to my creative career. So thank you. Thank you for celebrating with me and being with me in this journey.

In your creative pursuits, don’t discount the excitement of those around you. Count it a privilege and an honor, because not every artist gets that. And count it more valuable than anything you can purchase, because you can’t purchase enthusiasm and that’s what sells.

Sure, I learned a lot from studying Lady Gaga’s marketing (become a patron to read more about Lady Gaga marketing). But no matter what, remember it still all starts with you.