Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Librarians--Authors' best friends

Often authors are curious to learn which marketing and publicity ideas work for other writers and which do not. I, too, am curious about the very same thing. We blog and post interviews on various websites. We email newsletters to established fans and snail-mail publicity postcards to announce upcoming books. We Facebook and Twitter and network and then wonder if it does any good. Speaking engagements at local libraries were something I tried after my first release of Amish fiction. While writing about the Amish, I often spoke on steps to simplify life or ways my life changed after getting to know those God-fearing, passionate Christians. For the first time, I felt connected to readers, up-close and personal. I listened to their feedback and answered questions about upcoming books in a series. Wait a minute, you might be thinking. Authors want to interact with people who go out and buy books. I’m here to say libraries buy books too—plenty of them. Many readers who find your work in the stacks—or even on the twenty-five-cent clearance table—will buy in the future if they like your style. Readers need to watch their finances, same as other consumers. But I have made fans-for-life who originally found me in the library, but then purchased my next book as a keeper. Plus librarians are some of the nicest people on earth. They love to read and love authors who visit their community room, usually allowing you to sell and sign books afterward.
Since I switched to writing mysteries and romantic suspense, readers frequently ask how I get my story ideas and how I research the various locations. But what I’m asked about most often is my personal path to publication. Fledgling writers tend to haunt libraries and would appreciate any advice you can give. After answering questions, I also take the time to plug ACFW about what our wonderful organization can do to further writing careers. Over the years, I’ve discovered libraries aren’t just great places to read, research, and hide from the world. The librarians who work inside can often be a writer’s best friend.


Mary Ellis has written twelve best-selling novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances. Her latest, Magnolia Moonlight, is third of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, from Harvest House Publishers. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. She enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog, and cat. Sunset in Old Savannah will release in early 2017. She can be found on the web at: www.maryellis.net or www.facebook.com/Mary-Ellis/Author

Please leave me a comment for a chance to win a free copy of my latest book, Magnolia Moonlight. 

27 comments:

  1. Libraries and librarians are the best!

    debsbunch777(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. Love libraries.
    betsylu2@msn.com

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  3. Just a note. I've already read the book and loved it. The characters are the best!!!

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  4. I treasure libraries and I applaud librarians.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  5. I was a librarian for 22 1/2 years but I have been an avid reader since age 5. My school librarian helped me choose books if I was uncertain and my public librarian suggested authors she thought I would enjoy. After I began working with the public I also offered suggestions to our patrons and I often helped in deciding what to purchase. Many books by unknown authors were bought because of good reviews and they in turn became requested authors. Library budgets have been limited in recent years but I believe there is no better place to invest public funds!
    Thanks for a great post.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com







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  6. I agree that Librarians are some of the nicest people and I'm a little prejudice because my daughter-in-law is a school librarian. All the kids just love her and rightly so. My mother started me out early taking me to our public library. I loved being there and just browsing. I've never had them turn down my request for a book I'd like for them to purchase so I can read it. That is also true for my church library. I donate most of my books to them after I read and review them.

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    1. Forgot my email: tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. I enjoy our librarians an interacting with them. They do enjoy talking to authors, bloggers and reviewers for books. I donate books to our local library, as well as support their used book sale. marilynridgway78(at)gmail[dot]com

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  8. Only book of mary's have not read yet. cheetahthecat1986(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I love your "Secrets of the South" series! Sitting on pins and needles waiting for the next to come out! Can't wait for it!

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  10. I also love this series, have not read this one yet. looking forward to it! Thanks, Kristie tklovenestataoldotcom

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  11. This is a new series to me and I'm looking forward to reading "Magnolia Moonlight". I really enjoy reading books set in the South and your book sounds amazing.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. This is a new series to me and I'm looking forward to reading "Magnolia Moonlight". I really enjoy reading books set in the South and your book sounds amazing.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  13. I love the cover! I enjoy mysteries too! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Magnolia Moonlight! rw620 AT aol DOT com

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  14. Mary ELis, you are right... Libraries and Librarians rule! :) (buierocks2002@yahoo.com) Thanks for the chance to win your book!

    --Diane B in SC

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  15. I love libraries and librarians. I trust neither will fall away since ebooks are readily available. I still prefer a book in my hands and find them much easier to read than electronic media.
    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. I began my reading journey at a very early age in the public library. I love the librarians! My absolute favorite children's librarian retired a few years ago and I miss her. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  17. I know for myself I have found books in the library and then purchased.


    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  18. While I enjoy seeing posts on FB by the authors I enjoy, it becomes a burden after awhile - for the author and the reader! Especially since, to continue getting the posts, one has to respond in some way to each preferred author, etc. I'd rather spend a little more time reading, and the authors I enjoy would probably enjoy more time writing or researching...Anyway, I do enjoy Christian suspense & romance novels, and would certainly like to read yours! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

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  19. I've lived in quite a few different cities. One of the first things my kids and I'd do was find the local library. They are excellent places not only for books but helped us get acquainted with our community. This mystery series of yours looks really good. I'd love to win Magnolia Moonlight; thanks for the chance.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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  20. I'm sure this will be another wonderful Southern book by you, Mary Ellis. I always enjoy your books. I agree that libraries and libarians are wonderful. When raising my family, there was no money to buy books, but we were frequent fliers in the library. We lived in a collegiate town and there was not much in the line of Christian fiction in that public library. I found out I could request books (one they went online with a computer system) for the library to acquire. I started requested Christian authors I liked to read. Wow! They started buying the books and putting them on the shelves.

    So librarian buy what the readers want - often times. So request, request, request.

    I'd love to win a copy of your book, Mary Ellis

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    1. Oops - you may need some info if I win :)
      godleyv [at] yahoo {dot} com

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  21. I enjoy visiting with our local librarians. Librarians enjoy hearing about books I'm reviewing or blogs I subscribe to. I have donated books to our library, as well as purchase used books from their sales. marilynridgway78[at]gmail[dot]com

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  22. Hi Mary! Libraries are the BEST places and I must have been born in one for my love of them (not really, but you get the picture!). It's where I've discovered many new-to-me authors or checked out books by some of my favorite ones. In high school, I could often be found hanging out in the library when I had free time. And yes, the book sales are awesome!! I love perusing the titles to find some great reads. I often make purchase requests for both physical and ebooks and have found my library quite open to them. What's not to love about them, it's where authors live...or at lease their books :-)

    Fun post, thanks for the book giveaway! I'm excited for this one as I have many of yours on my shelf :-)

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. I should add, I met my high school sweetheart in the library...lol!

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  23. Hello Mary! Thank you for the fun post! I live a block from my local library! My librarians are SO helpful! My library has purchased many of the books that I have suggested for which I am very grateful.

    They also have a great summer program for the kids. I've been wanting to go with my neighbor and her kids for Move Day....

    Thank you for the giveaway.

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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  24. I am looking forward to reading Magnolia Moonlight. libraries are a wonderful place to find books to read. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

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