Sunday, July 08, 2012

Best Summer Reading Blog Tour - Week 7 - Tracy Ann Marr

Into Week 7 of this blog that allows you to scan an assortment of different reading material for your summer holiday.  This week I'm proud to introduce Tracy Ann Marr.

Thanks, Sue, for allowing me to occupy your blog this week. I want to tell your readers what I would have done before I became published, if hindsight were twenty-twenty.
The girl two seats over on the plane was editing her book. The man sitting between us was enthralled with the budding author. They enthusiastically discussed the convoluted plot (enough going on to support a trilogy) and characterization (wow, one of the heroes burst forth as Superman. But where was his growth?) She sounded like Shakespeare, Hemingway and Faulkner rolled into one. The number of major characters exceeded the limits of my aunt’s dining table – the one that sat 24 at the peak of our Thanksgiving celebrations. My guess is the girl was seduced by the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, with a little Star Wars thrown in. She was the right age for those epics. 

Man and girl moved on to ways of evaluating word count (no kidding, she was around 290,000 words), and her status as a grad student. I forget what the degree was, but it was something to do with writing. The professor was delighted with her manuscript.

I, a published author, kept my clap trapped. The girl was going to get a shock when she got into the real world. How was she going to sell her masterpiece to an agent who knows what the industry will take? How would she convince an editor that he could make money on one book when it should be a trilogy? How would she entice readers to slog through the mud?
Take a class in marketing. 
Good writing or bad, to sustain a writing career you have to sell your work to multiple people in multiple ways. You have to know how to pull a catchy jingle out of your plot. You have to know where to go to reach the right audience. You have to know how to budget an advertising campaign and how to make it effective. If it doesn’t work, you have to tweak it to make it work. You have to sell your baby to everyone, including doubting Thomases. Especially doubting Thomases. You have to do it again and again, for each and every book you want to publish. 

I have picked up books at Barnes & Noble which must have been marketing miracles. That’s the only way they could have made it to the shelves. I have also read thoroughly enjoyable books that never made a splash. Were they victims of marketing mistakes?
I wish someone had taught me about marketing before I started writing. 
Cheers, Ann Tracy Marr 

Where can you find me?


Purchase books (e-book or trade paperback) on

The Best Summer Reading Blog Tour continues for a few more weeks with eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks. Corinne Davies is giving away a prize this week; visit her at for a chance to win.

At the end of the tour, someone will win the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to get Amazon rich. One entry ticket per comment.

Want to wander the tour route? Here’s a list of the blogs: 

Ann Tracy Marr - On FaceBook
Sharon Poppen -
Regan Taylor -
Angie Dobson, Reviewer - 
Corinne Davies - 
Regina Andrews -
Christine London -
Lynn Hones -


  1. Ann, So true about how nice it would have been to more insight into the editing and marketing aspect of this trade before we writers dipped our pens into the inkwell of imagination! Lots of good into in this blog. Nicely done both Ann and Susan. Sharon

  2. Ann, what a wonderful post. Marketing is tough work and writers need to go into this business with their eyes open. Nice blog, Susan! Have a great week.

    1. Hi Gina, thank you. Have a great week too

  3. Marketing is essential for understanding people and their motivations for purchasing your novel. Great advice :)

    1. Hi Charmaine
      Yes I wish I could get into the head of readers :-) - but then I have difficulty getting into my own sometimes
      Lovely to meet you

  4. Great story Tracy. Now if that girl had just joined a professionally minded writing group or had a decent critique group or partner, they would have counseled her down a more sale-able path. divide that sucker into three novel woman!

    Awe..I wanted to hear more gems about promo! How do you find your niche audience? Now if the elusive "they" knew that all authors would be famous and 'they' would be gazillionaires! It never ceases to amaze me the kind of stuff that populates best sellerdom. It is so often not the best written, best plotted or most riveting work. Now we live in times when the New York publishing world is no longer the gatekeeper to everything read by the public. Self publishing and small pubs are nipping at their heels. Interesting times indeed.

    1. I know which one you're talking about when you mention best sellerdom. It is interesting times. I suppose the answer to success is luck!

  5. Chaos is more freedom; in fact, total freedom. But no meaning. I want to be free to act, and I also want my actions to mean something.
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