Meeting and Greeting – A Marketing Plan

This is the first part of a two-part blog, the second part will follow on Writer’s Who Kill on Saturday, June 25th.  Tricky, huh.Who Dunnit

As a member of the Gulf Coast Chapters of Sisters in Crime I attended a marketing day at the Sarasota Barnes & Noble. I have to admit, initially I only did it because I thought I had to. Not for me, but for my publisher. First of all, Sarasota is 100 miles away from my home—and that’s a crow flies distance.  Second, I had to be there by 9:45 AM. Third, like most writers, I’d rather hunker down in my cave and write. Fourth, the Florida rainy season has been hitting with a vengeance most days this week and the thought of driving an hour and a half through gator gushers… Why then, did a reasonably sane woman get leave her house at 6:30 AM with thunder lighting the western sky? Did I mention about my publisher? And, oh yeah, bookstores are catnip to a writer.

About halfway there with the GPS and the Eagles competing for my attention, Desperado’s turn came on the CD.  It was raining. Not a gator gusher, but a steady rain that had followed me through and into the depths of the road construction. I glanced at the tree line on the western side of road and low and behold, there was a rainbow above me. Not just a rainbow, a perfect double rainbow. Talk about a sign!

With renewed hope, I arrived at my destination (yea GPS!) a mere hour early and discovered an IHOP across the parking lot. Fueled by a hearty breakfast, I managed to take my courage in both hands and move on into my first bookstore personal appearance.

My job was to be the first author for the intro/reading/q and a. Let me preface this by saying, public speaking never bothered me. A holdover from what we called forensics in my day (I was on the debate team—given my later profession, I WISH it had to do with forensics in the CSI sense of the word). In fact, give me a microphone, I’m good to go all day. That said, even in debate, I memorized my presentations. I am a lousy read alouder! My eyes go way faster than my mouth. The read aloud part had me flummoxed.At the signing table

The crowd, given that I was first up, was very, very small. I knew after I finished, I’d be up at the signing table in the front of the store. My goal became getting to the Q & A part of the presentation. I did my little intro – who I am, why I am, and how I got there, then I told them that reading out loud was not my strong suit, and I apologized in advance. I opened my book and began to read. I’d selected the first chapter of Death by Blue Water. I wanted to introduce this group to Hayden, and her world. Inside of seconds I was reading out loud with emotion, enjoying the story and the audience reaction. The 10 minutes passed all too fast.

The Q&A was fun. I’m always intrigued by what readers what to know. Sometimes it’s personal questions, sometimes book questions. At this presentation, no one had read the book so the questions were about the characters and the Florida Keys locations. The audience made me so comfortable and welcome, that I didn’t want to leave to go do my book signing. It was fun!IMG_0269

Special thanks to the Sarasota Barnes & Noble bookstore for making us feel so welcome and for tracking down not only my Henery Press books, but Zoned for Murder as well!

Kait loves to hear from fans, check out her website at; follow her on Facebook at, on twitter at @kaitcarson, or e-mail her at









15 thoughts on “Meeting and Greeting – A Marketing Plan

  1. Kait, sounds like you had fun! Thanks for sharing. I, on the other hand, will not describe what happened the last two times I tried to do an in-store or in-library book event. I’ll just say that the phrase minor humiliation is totally appropriate–as is the use of an adverb like totally.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Max, somehow, someway, we must be related. I can’t do public speaking at all. And no, not even imagining the audience sitting in their underwear would help. Heck, they could all be butt-naked and the results would be the same (well, I’d probably pick out some deserving lady in the audience and…nevermind). The problem with appearing in public has worsened as I’ve grown older. Boo hoo, poor me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL – so many people say that, Mike. I usually find someone in the audience to make eye contact with every time I look up. Makes it easy to talk to one person. That, and the pen name helps!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Can’t wait for that interview! I checked out her website. From what I read it seems she breeds amateur jockeys:

        “Author Sasscer Hill has been involved in horse racing as an amateur jockey and breeder for most of her life. Now that she has turned to writing, it is only natural that her mystery novels are about horse racing.”

        Hmm, maybe my few feeble brain cells got that mixed up somehow. (Just a little humor there, people! :-)) Anyhoo, I take meds for severe anxiety problems. I used to get “sick” while driving, or shopping in Wal-Mart, or being anywhere in crowds. Thought I was going to pass out or die of a stroke or heart attack. Not funny. Finally was diagnosed with the above and put on the above. Nowadays I can’t drive on any Interstate highways, and have a real problem if traffic is heavy in our small nearby adopted hometown. So, I’ve resigned myself to forever being a reclusive writer. I MIGHT be able to sit in a shared booth with other trusted writers I know, but alone?–NOT! I don’t think that little conflagration in S.E. Asia back in the late ’60s helped much either. Oh well, it is what it is. I’m so pleased for you and your “ease” behind a microphone. A wee bit envious too, truth be told. So, keep on keeping on, and I know we both hope that Max knocks it out of the ballpark at the Shamus Awards later this year!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I had some contact with Sasscer Hill on my facebook site that is devoted to race horses and horse people. She sent me some of her book cover pictures. I’ve been meaning to check out her books since I adore horses and she Is certainly a horse person. The other side of the fb site is blogs and posts regarding my book. I’ll have to get some of her books. I’ll be glad to hear about what she and Kait are up to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi MJ, Sasscer’s books are amazing. I’m a horse person from way back–most little girls are I think. Never did get that pony, but I rode from just about the time I could walk. My Dad fancied himself a handicapper (let’s just say he was a wonderful industrial engineer and leave it at that) so I grew up hearing about racing and the track. Then in college I did some early morning exercise riding at the training track that would later become Calder Race Track in FL. Sasscer’s books first appealed to me because she got it all right and she wove a wonderful mystery around those facts. Never hits a wrong note. You’ll enjoy the interview!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s