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Monday, June 27, 2016


We continue with Maggie's Story this week. Using this picture as a prompt, I'm limited to only 300 words. I'll try to make each one count.


“I want to go there someday,” Maggie said, running the duster over the stunning oil painting.
She nodded. “The green reminds me of home. I didn’t grow up in London like you. I miss it in this city of concrete and brick.”
“I’ll take you there,” John said, pulling the implement from her hand and laying it down.
“You? On what? A chauffeur’s salary?”
“Put on your coat. The fur one the Missus gave you.”
“What for?”
“I’m taking you out. We’ve seven more days before they get home. I don’t plan to spend it rattlin’ around this ole place. Come on, girl. Let’s have an adventure.”
A soft snort escaped her throat.  “Adventure? On what? Two dimes and a nickel?”
“Not everything’s about money, young lady. Let’s go.”
He held the old beaver coat Maggie had received as a hand-me-down from Anne Roberts.
John laced his fingers with hers as they walked briskly through the park. The biting wind stung her face, but her body was warm.
“Here it is,” he said, turning left. They climbed the stairs. Inside, John paid for admission.
“Now, pretty lady, where do you want to go? France to see Van Gogh and Monet? Egypt to see the tombs? Japan, China or Mexico?”
Maggie turned around slowly, taking in the foyer of the Metropolitan Museum of art.
“All of ‘em, I think.”
“Good lord! Then we’d better get started.”
“What about lunch?”  She pushed in her belly a bit to hide a low rumble.
“They’ve a lovely restaurant here, milady. Will you be my guest?”
Maggie’s cheeks heated.
“Good. We’ll start there then,” John said, offering his arm.
“You’ll be spoiling me, John Eldridge. Best stop now.” But she took his arm and followed along.
“That’s the idea, Maggie. That’s the very idea.”


I spent 30 years in the corporate direct marketing world, working for large ad agencies. People think I'm a marketing guru. I don't see it that way. I'm more of a try-it-and-see-how-it-does type. While I don't have any quick fixes for selling more books, I absolutely have the real skinny on how not to. 

(With a nod to two of my dearest friends, Kathleen Ball and Vicki Locey, for contributing to this list.)


1) Gather a street team together and have them post phony one-star troll reviews on the books of all your competitors. Don't worry about being discovered. When someone figures it out --and they will -- you can simply blame it on your street team run amok.

2) Have a series comprised of 8 books? Make the first seven free. After all, you'll keep them reading and you'll make it up on book 8. If you believe this, I have a bridge you might want to buy. It connects Manhattan with Brooklyn.

3) Post all about your book in a comment on the Facebook thread of another author. Steal their thunder right from under them on their own turf. Authors love that. Raising the level of competition makes everyone try harder. Then again, when you get unfriended, blocked and blacklisted, don't blame me.

4) When you leave a review on a competitors book, be sure to put in a few words about how your book on the same topic is so much better. Don't forget to include a buy link to your book, too. Makes it easier for the reader to find. Be careful not to use your real name or there might be repercussions.

5) Post the same promo copy about your book in 250 Facebook groups --every day! Out of sight, out of mind. Right? You need exposure. Don't forget to post controversial opinions about religion and politics. You'll get some "lively" discussions going and attention on your Fb page. 

6) Offer ten bucks to anyone who will agree to give your book a good review. Everyone says how important good reviews are. And why shouldn't you offer the reviewer some compensation? Wait, make that twenty bucks. If  you're too cheap you might end up with only four stars.

7) Never support another author. If the author is famous or even moderately successful, post nasty, snarky comments on her Facebook page, send out critical tweets about her. Let the world know you are soooo much better than she is. Much classier, too. Don't forget to add links to your books in those comments. Why should the reader have to hunt for your precious tomes?

8) Never buy a book from another author who is competing with you in the same genre. Unless you intend to plagiarize it, of course. Otherwise, why should you spend money on her books? Do you think she'd ever become your friend and buy your book, too? Nah. Doubt it. Everyone knows it's a cut-throat business. 

9) Whatever you do, don't waste your time and money on a professional editor. Write that book and slap the sucker up for sale before the ink is even dry. Yep, editors and proofers are a total waste of time and money. The sooner you get your books out there, the sooner you can be fleecing readers who think you might have written something worth reading. Too bad for them. You know what they say -- the best marketing is writing another book! 

10)  Last, don't bother with a professional cover artist. Tell your nephew, Herman, you'll bake him a batch of brownies if he'll create a cover for you. And don't buy pictures. Steal them from the Internet. What are your chances of getting caught? One in a thousand, right? And if you do -- take down the cover, "borrow" another picture and do a new cover. Plenty of people will think it's a new book and your sales will soar. 


While these ideas may sound crazy to you, most of them are based on real actions my friends and I have observed.  

Don't be a low-class jerk. Take the high road. Support other authors, even those with competitive books. A little class can go a long way toward building a fan base and growing book sales.

Please feel free to leave a comment. Any comments with buy links to your books will be taken down. Lol!

Jean Joachim
Stories from the Heart
Contemporary Romance