Author Update

Author Update

Author Update

Posted on 04/30/2014 Evan Swensen
Author Update

Book Signing Alert–Follow Up
We have been in communication with ReaderLink, and although they haven’t a firm procedure for book signings in Alaska, things are progressing. We’re confident that book signings and author events will be to our liking in Alaska and elsewhere. The ReaderLink connection should open the door to a host of possible venues hereto before not available to our authors.

Costco Book Signings
We have met with Anchorage Costco store management and they have been disappointed that there have not been author signings in their stores for nearly six months. They want author signings, so we worked out a way to meet Costco corporate requirements and local needs and desires. Therefore, we announce that authors are free and encouraged to schedule Costco signings in either or both Anchorage Costco stores. When you go to our website and request a store and date, please schedule your signing time for 11 AM to 1 PM. In the event all available books have not sold in the two hour period, store management encourages you to stay until all books are sold. So, when you schedule your signing kindly arrange your time so you can remain in the store until your books have all sold. If you have questions kindly contact me or Mary Ann Poll. There is an eight week advance notice requirement. We recommend that you schedule your signings now. You’re free to schedule multiple signings at the same store. Your signings just needs to be three months apart. Mary Ann is eager to schedule your Costco signing.

Publication Consultants Weekly Blog
SELL LIKE MARK TWAIN [Would you sell your book door-to-door?]

Samuel Clemens, who wrote as Mark Twain, became one of America’s most famous authors. He also sold a lot of books, and they’re still selling well.

Just exactly how did he do this?

He used the social media marketing of his day: He became a journalist. One of his California stories [think: blogs], “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” became an international hit. This led to a newspaper asking him to go to Europe and the Holy Land and send back stories [blogs] from that part of the world.

All expenses were paid for the 163-day tour, and the ever more famous correspondent [blogger]. He delivered his stories by the revolutionary telegraph, which took only minutes to send. This was the Internet of its day, linking all parts of the world.

But even Mark Twain, best-selling author, couldn’t support himself from book sales alone. In that day and age, most authors couldn’t.

So Twain did something different from the usual bookstore sales. A little daring, but well-targeted. The middle class, becoming affluent after the Civil War, was his best audience.

twainWhen he published those overseas blogs as the book The Innocents Abroad, it would become a hit. But you couldn’t find it in bookstores.

In November of 1867, publisher Elisha Bliss contacted Samuel Clemens about writing a book based on his travel correspondence from his 163-day tour of Europe and the Holy Land. That book, The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrim’s Progress, would be both a critical and a popular success, selling more than 70,000 copies in its first year of publication. It would also be Mark Twain’s best-selling work during his lifetime.

The subscription publication industry blossomed in post-Civil War America. Tens of thousands of sales agents, many of them veterans and war widows, canvassed small towns and rural areas armed with a sales prospectus and a “book” containing sample pages and illustrations, and offering multiple binding options to fit every décor and price range. Prospective buyers selected a binding and signed an agreement to pay for the book when it was delivered to their door.

. . . but [Twain] had to contend with the lower status that subscription authors were accorded. Disguised as popular entertainment, his books were bought by the masses—“who never knew what good literature they were.”—

Twain’s other strategy was to do speaking tours, which of course made his book sales spike.

Ben Taroff in his book The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature says “ . . . And Twain and other authors of his day were rarely able to make a living just from writing books. In fact, he made most of his money from the lecture circuit, booking the largest lecture hall in a city and then boisterously promoting and selling tickets to his lecture.”

Would you sell your books door-to-door? Would you arrange speaking events to drive your sales higher?

It worked for Mark Twain.

Bonnye Mathews Radio Interview
Bonnye recorded an interview with the talk show host on Radio Free Palmer. The show will air on KVRF 89.5 FM on May 5 at 5:30 PM and May 7 at 8:30 AM. You can also hear the interview after May 7 on

Bonnye also was interviewed at her signing at Fireside books in Palmer. You can see and here this interview by going to

Young Writers Conference
We express our appreciation to the following authors: Valerie Boever, Ken Bottcher, Lavon Bridges, Anne Canterbury, Mike Dillingham, Rebecca Goodrich, Cil Gregoire, Heather Johnson, Chris Kiana SR, Steve Levi, Bonnye Matthews, Tom Myers, Lizzie Newell, Lori Oswald, Krista Petersen, Julie Rahm, and Alice Wright. We enjoyed a wonderful morning with young writers in Palmer and then lunch with the authors at the Turkey Red Cafe. Thanks again for giving up your morning to lift a youth. We’ve heard from many of these authors talking about the conference. Here’s the response from Valerie Boever who’s note is representative of all the author’s offerings.

Thank you and Lois for a lovely day.

I enjoy the Conference and already look forward to another. To interact with young minds who desire the information is a rewarding experience. After having taught Jr. High English, with those who did not want to be there, the Conference reminds why I chose teaching as a career.

Lunch was delicious. It is nice to meet other authors in our group. I appreciate the opportunity.

Cheers! Valerie Boever

Marianne Schlegelmilch received a number of reviews for her new novel, Feather for Hoonah Joe. Here’s the latest one:
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Full Text: Feather for Hoonah Joe is the fourth in Ms. Schlegelmilch’s Feather series and, to my way of thinking, each one has been better than the last, making this one the best yet. The books make no pretense of being serious literature. They are fun mystery/adventures in an Alaskan setting, and anyone who appreciates a light read with interesting characters and plenty of plot twists and surprises—and especially any Alaskaphiles out there—should enjoy them. This latest one displays Ms. Schlegelmilch’s talent at its peak. She writes about Alaska with the authority of one who knows it well, even delving into the salvage of Japanese tsunami debris. She has obviously lived with these characters for a long time, knows who they are as people, and feels a good deal of affection for them. That affection shines through on the page and made this reader love them too (except for Elzianne, who is despicable but interesting like a good villain should be). I very much enjoyed the warmth that the main characters shared among themselves. I look forward to more from this author.

smallbreakpointcoverMore NetGalley

If you’d like to review Break Point Down by Marthy Johnson, just click on the link. Feel free to pass the link on to others who may want to review the book.




John and Mary Ann Poll
Yes, it is true, John and Mary Ann are moving to Texas. No, they are abandoning us–they’re only moving their office.

Keep in touch,

Evan Swensen

Publication Consultants
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