Sunday, March 1, 2009

WHAT’S THE HOOK? by Austin S. Camacho

Not all holidays were invented by Hallmark. You should seek them out to promote your work.

Hi. I’m Austin Camacho, an infrequent guest here (my own fault) but when I do appear I’m invited to discuss one of my areas of concentration: mystery writing and marketing. Today I have an excuse to talk both.

When you have a new book about to hit the shelves writing the news release is easy. The news is that you have a new book. But after your book’s been out a while it’s a bit harder to scrape up interest. You need news to attach your book to, to make it feel fresh and relevant to the happenings of the day.

If no REAL news is happening that’s related to your book, you can always hook onto a holiday. There are tons of the out there, and several will fit your book. I like the listing at because it’s light and fun. There I learned that March is, among other things, Irish American Heritage Month, Ethics Awareness Month, Women’s History Month and Poison Prevention Awareness Month.

If your detective is female, it should be relatively easy to set up a reading and the news release almost writes itself. If the victim in your book is poisoned, you may have to work a little harder. “March is National Poison Prevention Awareness Month and Jane Doe knows all about poison, having used it to kill off the victim in her latest novel...” But you should still be able to set up a presentation in which you share some of that research you just couldn’t work into the book.

I walked into an opportunity when the manager of a store I signed at mentioned that March is Mystery Month at Borders. I quickly proposed a presentation on the popularity of crime fiction, even as I was wondering “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

So if your book’s been out a while, find a holiday news hook for a fresh news release and a timely reading or signing event. And if you happen to be a mystery author, wander into your nearest Borders, let them know you know their secret, and offer your services.
Until next time -
Austin S. Camacho


Morgan Mandel said...

Very true, Austin. Hooks are something to be aware of. They are great reasons to get people over to buy your book.

Morgan Mandel

June said...

Excellent idea! Thanks for sharing your tips with us.


Deb Larson said...

Great idea, Austin!
Thanks for sharing.
DL Larson

Anonymous said...

Austin, my friend! Great to have you aboard at Acme, and I loved your post on hooks!

Agree completely!


Anonymous said...

Austin -- man if we could get up the sponsors, we oughta start our own writers conference -- get a barn, get Liza Minnelli to do some songs, do some panels, call it WRITERS and READERS EXTRAVAGANZA and set it someplace like Laurel, MD. We could call it SUSPENSE-FEST, so whataya say?