Self-Pub Marketing Q&A with Nancy C. Johnson

Nancy C. Johnson

Nancy C. Johnson

What kind of marketing did you do to get the book out in front of readers?
I put up a website when I published my paperback a few years earlier, and a blog, and did some local book signings, so I already had a following of sorts. Once the ebook was available I did some blog interviews, yours being one of them, and signed up with Goodreads. I also spent time on Amazon’s Kindle Boards to let readers know about my book. I mentioned it frequently on the Amazon forums too, where many readers go to find new books. I also requested reviews from two professional review sites, Huntress Reviews and the Midwest Book Review early on, and believe me, that was scary! Fortunately, both Detra Fitch from Huntress Reviews and Shelley Glodowski, senior editor for the Midwest Book Review really liked my book.
Do you have an agent now?  The same one you had before?
I’ve signed with an agent, Erica Silverman at Trident Media Group in New York City, and I feel very lucky to have her and the entire agency behind me. I had another agent many years ago, and he was excellent also, and sold many books, but unfortunately was unable to sell mine.
Do you have a publishing contract for future books?
No, I do not, but possibly someday. I do eventually hope to sell a book or two to a major publisher, but I’m very happy on my own right now. I am a small publisher myself, though I only publish my own books. I do enjoy being in control and making all the decisions regarding editing, covers, and all facets of the publishing process. My daughter is an excellent graphic designer and helps me immensely.
About Nancy: (from her website http://www.nancy-cjohnson.com )

I LOVE EXCITEMENT! … in my life, in the books I read, in the books I write. I thrill to the idea of you, the reader, turning the pages of my books, experiencing the excitement I felt when I wrote them. If I could, I’d be there looking over your shoulder, asking … “did you like that part? Did you sense what was going to happen? What do you think she/he plans to do?”

I love the idea of readers stepping into my imaginary world, joining in as my characters go about solving the problems in their lives. I want it all to be as visual as if you were watching a movie, only now you can have the experience anywhere you choose, at home, at work (lunch hour, of course!) or outside on a lawn chair in the backyard. My hope is always to please, the best I know how, anyone who takes a chance on my books.

I began making up stories as a child, using my dolls to act them out. I remember stringing rope across the bed, up high, as one of my dolls crossed an imaginary and very scary river. My sister was familiar with my usual, “Let’s play that …” and off we’d go on another adventure. Sometimes, if we ran out of things to do, I’d stage a one-woman theater for my sister or cousins, which incredibly they watched until I finally said, “the end.”

Writers usually love reading, and I’m no exception. As a child I loved comic books (Superman and Donald Duck) and classics (Charlotte’s Web and Nancy Drew mysteries). And later, as my tastes matured, I read Dickens and Bronte and Orwell, along with my mother’s steamy “True Confessions” magazines. I first took pen to paper writing personal journals, lots of them, stacks and stacks. I still have a few of these, written during my teenage years, most of it about the usual, school and, of course, boys.

When I write, I like to know where I’m going. It may not be as fun as putting words on a page and seeing where it goes, but it works well for me. I’m less likely to suffer from writer’s block or wonder if I really have a story to tell after all. I like to start out with a general idea for a story, a few characters, and an idea of how it might end, then start fleshing it out. I may not have all the details, but I do have a solid plan.  I research as I go, enough that I avoid digging myself into a hole I can’t crawl out of, then do more research once the first draft is complete. The Internet helps a bunch, but in most cases I need to talk to the experts. Their input helps make the story! Thankfully, they are more than willing to take time from their busy schedules to help me out.

I do hope you enjoy my latest book, “Her Last Letter.”  My daughter Angie, a talented graphic artist, designed the beautiful cover. I just think it’s so perfect! Hope you love it too.

All the best, Nancy

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