Monday, May 23, 2016

Your Turning Point and Best Promotional Advice

The Thing That Turned Me anthology from Stay Classy Publications is set to release on June 30.

In celebration, I posed the following two questions to some of the anthology authors:

1 - What was your own personal turning point?

2 - What’s your best book promotion advice?

From Randi Lee, owner of Stay Classy:

1 - My own personal turning point came when I gave birth to my daughter; I knew it wasn't just about me anymore. Her birth inspired the birth of Stay Classy Publications, a venture designed to help fellow authors pursue their dreams of publication.

2 - The best promotional advice I can give is to be honest with your message. Don't be too forceful or pushy; rather, allow the writing to speak for itself.

From Christine Rains:

1 - My turning point was my first acceptance. A drabble with which I was paid one dollar in cash. I still have that dollar framed on my desk. It gives me the strength to not give up on my dreams.

2 - Offer one story for free to tempt readers to buy more of your books.

From Roland Yeomans:

1 - When I was dragging my unconscious 150 pound German Shepherd/Newfoundland across the blazing floor of my burning home. I didn't think I would make it. I did. Sadly, Hercules did not (overcome by smoke). Losing him and my home with all my possessions taught me how fragile and precious life is -- material things can be replaced.

2 - Never give up. Think outside the box. And make any promotional effort fun for the reader.

From Alex J. Cavanaugh:

1 - My biggest turning point was of course when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Other turning points include meeting my wife, receiving my first guitar, and my first published book.

2 - Best promotional advice - be willing to promote others.

From Harper Jameson:

1 - The death of my mother. It was the moment that forced me to stand on my own feet and make my life my own. She introduced me to the romance genre and taught me everything I needed, before I even knew I needed it.

2 - Be patient, be diligent and be kind. Make sure all your interactions are positive, whether they be with potential readers, bloggers and fellow authors. Making connections as an author is hard but, losing them is as easy as breathing.

From Imani Allen:

1 - My own personal turning point was realizing that if I wanted More in My Life, I would need to make the Efforts to Do & Give More.

2 - What’s your best book promotion advice? I would say Direct Promotions or at the very least one on one. I go further when I can spend that time with someone & make the most of it.

From Melissa Maygrove:

1 - I've had several in my life, but being pursued then betrayed by my first husband was definitely a big one.

2 - Create professional product, inside and out, and set some money aside for a few good book ads.

From Heather Gardner:

1 - Meeting the man who is now my husband. He changed everything about my life, for the better.

2 - Word of mouth is still the best. Ask your friends and family to talk about your books.

From Misha Gericke:

1 - One day, I realized I was going down a path that wasn't good for my emotional health, all for the sake of money. It made me re-evaluate my whole life, and now I measure everything I do according to whether or not I'll regret spending my life doing it later.

2 - Don't be afraid to do something different from the crowd.

From Crystal Collier

1 - I was 12. Because of my last name, I was teased relentlessly at school. At home, my older brother used me as his emotional punching bag, and at church, I was the youngest girl in my age group and therefore not good enough for the others. Then we moved. I started into a new school. Life changed entirely. Instead of being the victim of circumstances, I embraced my strange name and turned it into something cool. I found the clarity to understand my older brother who was also being bullied. We attended a new church, and the girls my age were welcoming and accepting of everyone. That’s the point at which the Crystal who is now emerged.

2 - Be yourself. Everywhere you go, everything you do—whether virtual or physical—be who you are. Make friends. Be genuine. Look for the good in others. All the good you put out in the world will come back your way eventually.

And from me:

1 - When we moved to NC over 20 years ago, I got involved with a business group that really focused on self-improvement. I’d struggled with a horrible self-image my whole life, but through countless seminars, tapes, books, and association with positive people, I grew more confident. I never could have become a speaker and an author otherwise.

2 - Be willing to go the extra mile - do more than anyone else.

What was your turning point? 
What’s your best promotional advice?


  1. Great questions and answers. I loved seeing what everyone had to say about their turning point. For me, meeting my husband and then going through the grief after he died have been big ones for me.

  2. What great questions! I loved reading all the answers, especially Harper's. I see a lot of authors on FB who over-share about personal beliefs (like politics) or whine about personal problems. Those are things that can put fans off.

  3. I loved reading all the answers and getting to know a little more about all my blog buddies. We all have our turning points in life, that point makes us what we are today.

  4. What an interesting read about what made a big difference in everyone's life. We all got a story to tell.

  5. Hi Diane - never give up ... and it is up to me: it is up to us - no excuses just get on with it ... and help others, never ignore others they may well promote you ...

    I too loved the questions and the answers you've shown us ... cheers Hilary

  6. Great advice here!

    Turning point...when I decided to write fiction and ditch journalism. Best book promo advice...create a newsletter for readers to sign up for.

  7. This post is filled with awesome! Fantastic advice from all the authors.

  8. Thank you to the authors for sharing such personal experiences. I don't know if I had a big turning point in my life. I've always been a bit driven. Looking forward to the anthology.

  9. These are great. A nice way to start the day.
    Congratulations to all on the anthology. Thanks for sharing your turning points.

  10. So many good stories from these questions with valuable advice to share. I think I'm going to consider these questions to use on some future blog posts. There's always so much inspiration for blog posts that I don't know how anyone can run out of ideas for posts. I might run out of time often, but I never run out of ideas, even if it's variations on ideas I've already used.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  11. Great questions and wonderful answers!
    These are so much fun to read!


  12. Kudos to each and everyone of you.

  13. AnonymousMay 23, 2016

    I enjoyed reading these. Very inspirational. In terms of my writing, my turning point was reaching age 50. It really hit me at that point how quickly time was flying. If I ever wanted to see my stories in print, now was the time to be doing it. And I did.

  14. Heather Gardner is right: word of mouth is still the best way to attract readers and is almost completely out of our hands. A hook of a title is sterling: I discovered THE DA VINCI CODE by its title alone as I strolled the aisles of BOOKSAMILLION.

    I am honored to be in such company. Diane, this is a great idea for a blog post. Thanks.

  15. Thank you to everyone who shared those turning point moments.

  16. These are some powerful turning points. I'm always amazed at how humans carry on through adversity or how they draw strength from people or events around them. I loved reading these and I'm sure I'll find more to love when I read the anthology.

  17. Powerful answers! That self-image is tough to build, especially in an area where I don't feel I have expertise. Working on it! :)

  18. This was great! I loved reading everyone's answers. It'd be neat to do something like this with the Parallel authors on the IWSG blog. :)

  19. Loved the questions and answers from all!!!

  20. Great post Diane and a good idea for a post. Loved the question and also the answers.

  21. Those are some powerful turning points. Some brought tears to my eyes.

  22. Alex is such a charmer! These answers were great to read and contain lots of excellent advice.

  23. These are wonderful, and I especially appreciated yours. Surrounding yourself with great people does make difference.

    My turning point was being thrown out first by my mother and then my father. I was determined to prove them wrong.

    As for promotional advice - put it out there and connect - really connect! Life is all about people!

  24. Wow! I loved reading these responses. And, I wanted to hug everyone!
    Thank you for sharing and for the tips!

  25. And, BTW - I was still in my family account - sorry about that - when I commeted

  26. Awesome insights here and so cool and amazing how we all find our point along the way that is individual to us.

  27. Awesome insights and advice :)

  28. Powerful words and perspectives from some of blogland's greatest.
    Thank you, Diane.

  29. Such inspiring words. Not just on the best book promotion advice, but especially on the turning points. Congrats on the upcoming release everyone!

  30. I'm glad everyone was touched by the stories.

  31. Those are great questions, Diane, especially the one about promotional advice. It's always helpful to read what has worked or not worked for other writers. In my case, learning to ease up on the face-to-face signings and promote more through Facebook, Goodreads, and other social media relieved a lot of promo stress.

  32. My senior year in high school I finally realized I didn't actually WANT to fit in. I was not a good fit for the one-sized fits all norm we all had been trying to reach. It was so liberating to just have opinions instead of trying to anticipate what my opinions should be--to say what I meant (kindly where possible). We are all the best us, and never better than a second class anybody else, so why not embrace it?

  33. A super post!! Thanks to all those who've contributed. All their words are inspirational and motivate the writer to soldier on. Great authors and wonderful people too!! Thank you!

  34. So interesting! Good luck with the anthology!

  35. I agree with the others. These are wonderful questions and fascinating and moving answers. This was a great post.

  36. I love it! You rock, Diane. Here's to an epic anthology and all the awesomeness to come!

  37. AnonymousMay 25, 2016

    I'm always looking for promo tips and it was interesting getting to know these authors by reading their turning points.

  38. Wow, great post. Enjoyed reading that. Congrats to everyone on the anthology.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  39. It just goes to show that everyone's life is an interesting story, even if no one think's they are special.

  40. Christine, good for you for never giving up. It's paid off:)

    Hi, Diane;)

  41. Hi human, Diane,

    What interesting and diverse answers to those questions. Turning points seem to have been quite the defining, changing moments in all of the fine human authors featured.

    My turning point was when I realised just how fragile my human, Gary's emotions were. He needed comfort and I have done my best to pawvide.

    My best pawmotional advice is to write from the heart and never write to an audience. Write in an intimate style that reaches out to the one reader.

    Pawsitive wishes,


  42. AnonymousMay 27, 2016

    Wow! These were all amazing! And all of them shared a common theme of humility and giving. I love it!! I would say that I've learned the same. Life hands us something we think we can't handle, and then we move through it and learn. It humbles us and makes learn just how important people are...not things.

  43. Daughters will definitely do that, Randi:)

    Enjoy the long weekend, Diane:)

  44. Wow. This was a great post. I loved reading everyone's turning points and promo advice!! :)

  45. These are some great bits of advice. I like the ones about being genuine and helping others.

  46. Roland, so sorry you lost your dog:( Kudos for doing your best to save him.

  47. This was a real treat to read. Turning point for me? Admitting to my husband that I would rather pursue writing than going back to work. Best promotional advice? I don't feel qualified for this one yet. Still learning.

  48. So.....does The Alien live in the ocean?

  49. Appreciate you sharing this great advice. Good inspiration for this week's projects. :)