Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's Marilyn Meredith's Day on My Blog!


By Marilyn Meredith

If you’ve been following this tour of mystery writers, then you know that we’ve gotten together to allow each other the spotlight on our individual blogs. I’ve had folks who know nothing about the writing business wonder why on earth I would help a competitor.
To be honest, I’ve never considered another mystery writer to be in competition with me.

The writing business is like no other. The New York Publishers have been a more or less closed club, with a writer having to go through an agent to even get an editor to look at a query, much less a manuscript. When a book is accepted for publication, the author may get an advance—but before he or she sees another penny, that book must pay back the amount of the advance and any other costs connected to the publication. Only the authors who received huge advances get any kind of help with promotion.

Things are changing a bit with the small presses and the of course the ease of self-publishing. I’m not going to go into all these changes because my topic is authors promoting authors. One thing I will mention though is publishers large or small want to know what the writer’s market plan is before they are offered a contract.

Those of us using the Internet for promotion have come to learn that other authors can be a partner in the business of marketing a book. Never before has there been a way for authors to learn about one another and to lend a helping hand.

For this particular tour, we have Anne K. Albert for thinking up the tour and figuring out the logistics of who would blog where and when—no simple task. Others of us went out and sought other mystery writers we knew who might be interested in joining us. There’s a lot of writing connected with this tour as each author must come up with original ideas so each post will be different even though it is promoting the same book or books.

While we’re on this tour we have to promote the guest on our own blog each day and promote the blog that we’re a guest on, letting people know on lists we belong to, Facebook and Twitter about each new blog.

Other things we do for one another is read each other’s books and write reviews for places like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and of course the wonderful listserve DorothyL.

In the physical world, we let our fellow writers know about book and craft fairs that are being held in nearby places; sometimes we might share a table. If we’re planning a library event, we ask other authors to be on a panel with us.

Writing a book is lonely work; spending some time with other writers is fun even if it is only on the Internet. Besides, other authors are the only ones who really understand what this crazy business is all about and why we continue to do it.

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Bears With Us from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Angel Lost, the third from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at and her blog at

In Marilyn’s latest book, Bears With Us, Deputy Tempe Crabtree has her hands full when bears turn up in and around Bear Creek, a young teen commits suicide and his parents’ actions are suspicious, a prominent woman files a complaint against Tempe and her preacher husband Hutch, a love affair from long ago comes to light, and a woman suffering from dementia disappears.


WS Gager said...

Marilyn really lives what she writes about in this blog. She was one of the first mystery writers I met when my book was first published and has helped me whenever I've asked and even when I didn't. She is a true friend to the mystery writer community!
W.S. Gager on Writing

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi, Wendy, I'm so glad we've become friends, and thank you for your lovely comment.


Alice Duncan said...

Thanks for appearing on my blog today, Marilyn!

M.M. Gornell said...

Couldn't be better said, Marilyn. And you "walk the talk" as they say (or used to say!) And I (and many others) second Wendy's comment that you are a true friend to the mystery writer community!


Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed reading the blog, thank you

Beth Anderson said...

I have to agree with every word Marilyn said. The comaradarie of writers is second to none, and any writer who thinks they can do it all by themselves is fooling her/himself. Passing the word along about all of any author's writing friends is a gift to them that will come back to the author tenfold.

Timothy Hallinan said...

One of the unexpected benefits of having written books is getting to hang around with writers. And I have to say that (with one or two glaring exceptions) mystery and thriller writers are the nicest and most generous people in the world. Thanks for the reminder, Marilyn.

And LONG overdue thanks to Anne for shepherding this group along in the first place. I still don't know how she came up with that schedule.

Holli Castillo said...

I particularly agree that writers from small presses and even self-published have to work to build relationships with each other because we don't have the same opportunities that some of the writers with big houses may have as far as promotion.

That being said, it sometimes becomes a trick bag, as I'm sure Marilyn can attest, if you're doing things to help others promote and they don't reciprocate. Not that it's about keeping score, but I think people don't always remember to return the favor.

Holli Castillo
Jambalaya Justice now available

Anonymous said...


You are so right. Anyone who is in this for the money is chasing soap bubbles, but getting to know other writers, like the ones on this blog tour as just one example, is worth it all.

Thanks for being you --

Pat Browning

Helen Ginger said...

The Internet as definitely been a great source for writers, all the way around from researching to promoting. Congrats on your latest book, Marilyn

Suzanne said...

Excellent post, Meredith.

At the beginning of this year, I started a blog feature called "Relevant History" in which my guest authors of historicals talk about the sleazy, horrific history elements that don't make it into our high school history texts. I had several motives for getting this feature rolling. Relevant History gives me the opportunity to showcase other authors, especially those from small presses or indies who might be struggling to gain visibility.

But even more crucial, the feature gives my readers what they want. Summer of 2010, I asked my readers what they'd like to see on my blog, what would keep them coming back. They said the steamy underbelly of history from all eras. There was no way I could provide that without cloning myself :-), so I launched Relevant History.

The feature has resurrected my blog and made it a vibrant part of my marketing mix. It's also grown my readership and that of my guest authors. What's not to like?

If you believe that we're all in this together, and you act accordingly to maximize that relationship, sales happen. Check out the promotion I just finished on my blog to see what I mean. For eleven days, I provided visitors (readers) with Relevant History posts that had a seasonal theme of giving thanks, in conjunction with a huge blog hop. My blog traffic went into orbit, and my guest authors and I all found new readers.

Suzanne Adair

Jean Henry Mead said...

Marilyn is a true friend to other writers and I want to take this opportutnity to thank her. Great post, Marilyn.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post! --BrendaW.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks for having me today, Alice, it was fun getting to share my opinion with so many people.

Thank you, Ingeborg, for commenting.

And, Madeline, you are such a booster and a promoter of others too.

Thanks, Tim, I really feel like I've made new friends while on this tour.

Beth, you such a peach for all your kind words on this tour.

Holli, as Tim said, except for the glaring exceptions, most of the mystery writers are great people--but there are those one or two.

And Pat, you and I agree on so many levels.

Hi, Helen, thanks for stopping by.

What a great tip, Suzanne. I'll be sure and check out your blog.

Thanks for you kind words, Jean and Brenda.

Earl Staggs said...

Marilyn, you said so very well what the writing community is like. It's not at all like competing with each other, but like being on the same team and everyone wins.

Alice Duncan said...

I've found that to be true, too, Marilyn. It's funny. Before I began writing books, I didn't know any authors. Now the only people I know write books! And they're almost all supportive and wonderful folks.