Reviving a Career

Sunny FrazierReturning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to inspire every writer to never give up even when it seems things aren’t going your way.

sunny69@comcast.net   //  http://www.sunnyfrazier.com

We’ve all been there: excited about writing that first book, thrilled to be published, nervous about sales, struggling to market. But now your career is solid. Things are falling into place.

Until they fall apart.

I’ve often said the publishing industry is a crapshoot. You place your bet on a publishing house and things happen that are out of your control. The house disbands. The publisher dies. A new editor isn’t thrilled with your work. Merges between houses leave you stranded.

You’ve done everything right. You’ve written a book filled with blood, sweat and emotional baggage. You even have a fan base waiting for the next book. The hard part was supposed to be over.

Some writers view this as a personal failure. They simply quit. A writing career wasn’t meant to be. Others dive into the waters of self-publishing. It takes a lot of fortitude, a new learning curve and excellent marketing skills to make that option work. Still others get back on the horse and start querying publishing houses.

Two things have impacted my career of late. First, it’s been awhile since I’ve had a new title out. Second, I need a kidney transplant. Both put me off my game. The forward traction hasn’t ground to a halt but it has made me feel invisible. I hang on by my fingernails and through people like Lelia giving me blog space.

To make up for lost time (and lost fans) I decided to go back to the beginning.

Before I had anything published in the mystery genre, I created a column called “Coming Attractions.” It was a simple concept: I announced new mysteries before they hit the market. I didn’t read them, it wasn’t a review. I read the synopsis and then wrote sassy blurbs. I made puns with the titles, sometimes pulled something interesting off the author’s website to add. It ran in my Sisters in Crime newsletter.

Where Angels FearSuch a little thing. Yet, this small gesture put me in touch with authors big and small. I gave equal time to bestselling names as I did to the unknowns. I made sure to inform them and send along a copy of the newsletter. I got letters from many and became good friends. When it came time for my book to come out, they returned the favor by giving me blurbs and hosting me on their blogs.

I’ve missed that column. Because I’m more housebound than before, I looked around for a venue to offer up the column. Coincidentally, I’m good friends with Lorie Ham, we started our writing careers together. She now puts out the Kings River Life Online Magazine. We get together for Chinese food and sometimes meet at Sisters in Crime. I pitched the idea and she loved it.

I decided that, since I couldn’t attend Left Coast Crime this year, I would spotlight the authors who could. In the interim since I first created “Coming Attractions,” we have the Internet, Face Book, a multitude of venues to promote. Authors still love free publicity, that hasn’t changed. Readers still look forward to new titles and authors only now they can immediately download them or order from Amazon.

Authors are now contacting me to let me know book release dates. The column practically writes itself.  It makes me feel like a thriving part of the mystery community once again.

If you have a book coming out, contact me at sunny69@comcast.net.

To take a gander at the column, go to http://kingsriverlife.com/02/08/coming-attractions-countdown-to-left-coast-crime/