A new entry in the world of book promotion

I did not realize, in my dreams about getting a book published, that promotion would be such a big part of the process. Then I started attending conferences for writers and learning about the need to pitch to agents and “have a platform.” With my first book finally out, I felt overwhelmed with all the social media I was supposed to be using to talk about my book. Who has time for all that? I asked a friend in the business which social media platform is best. “All of them,” she replied. I vowed I would not pester my friends and family on Facebook. And yet I did. And here I am, talking about my book on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, this website. I’ve made cringey Tiktoks. I’ve tried to make a podcast and learned that it’s hard to sound off-the-cuff interesting, especially when you can’t resist reading from a script. “Don’t read from a script,” my kids told me. But I’m all about scripts – I’m a writer!

I’ve also learned that I’m not alone in trying to figure out the world of book promotion. There are some bad ideas out there – like the guys who message me on Instagram offering to review my book for $20 bucks. But there are also interesting innovations – like Bookshop.org, which supports local, independent bookstores, and now a brand new experiment, Shepherd.com.

Photo above: My list on the new platform for books, Shepherd.com
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My son, my book cover artist

Structuring a novel is a murky process, but one moment stands out in my mind as key to both my novel, The Lacquered Talisman, and its cover, which was created by my son.

I was sitting on the floor of a bookstore in Boston, flipping through art books about China, when suddenly it hit me: What I needed for my main character was a talisman. And this talisman would be a seal chop. The Lacquered Talisman is about the Zhu family, whose youngest son founded the Ming Dynasty in 1368. I needed a tangible item that could symbolize family for my protagonist. Thus the talisman. Continue reading

Five-star review of THE LACQUERED TALISMAN

Here’s a five-star review of my debut novel published August 12, 2020 on IndieReader.com, a website devoted to hybrid, small press, and self-published authors:

THE LACQUERED TALISMAN leads readers from the marriage of the first Ming Emperor’s parents, through his young life, and his years of devotion as a Buddhist monk, to the beginnings of the rebellion that would overturn a dynasty and set him on the throne of one of the greatest empires the world has ever known.

Source: THE LACQUERED TALISMAN