Novel Writing, Book Marketing, Event Planning… Oh My!

Gayle_Cheyenne bookstoreThis post by Gayle M. Irwin

November began with a BANG, and I was JAZZED! I had completed my magazine writing assignments for the year (or nearly so), book events were falling into place, and I had new marketing strategies to employ. Last Friday I secured radio and TV interviews for upcoming events and sent out additional press releases in hopes of setting up another radio interview and getting some newspaper publicity. It’s exhausting work, but I’m feeling optimistic and energized as the holiday book season approaches.

National Novel Writing Month/NaNo

Pets are my passion; should make a great romance story, right? Two years ago I started such an endeavor because of taking a college writing class. I was surrounded by several romance writers. However, I wanted my work to reflect my concern for the welfare of animals, therefore, I created my primary female character as a writer who rescues pets (write what you know, right?!). I received positive feedback from the students, the teacher, and other writers with whom I shared the idea. However, the romance genre is out of my comfort zone, and therefore, I put the story away. But, I a niggling persisted the past few months, and since I had completed nearly 17,000 words with NaNo 2014, I decided to dust the manuscript off and use this year’s NaNo as a catalyst to finish the book. I’m progressing, not as well as I’d hoped, but progressing nonetheless.

computerBook Marketing

In October, I began a subscription to ThriveHive, a DYI marketing venture of Propel Marketing. Cost is about $50 per month, and through it I receive ability to schedule Facebook and Twitter posts, have a website (although I already have one), create an email list (which I’m in the process of doing now), and have other marketing tools to promote myself and my books. I haven’t done as much with this as I’d hoped by now, but I believe it will be a positive benefit as I learn and apply in the future. Additionally, I joined TribeWriters, a course and community by writer-guru Jeff Goins; writers grow through learning, applying, and engaging. It too costs about $50/month. Between the two new opportunities, I hope to increase my book sales and develop as a writer (author and freelancer). I also became a member of several Facebook groups through which I recently promoted my Kindle books during free and discounted price days. I’ve been hoping to guest blog on pet blog sites, but haven’t managed to make those connections yet. I’ll save that endeavor for next spring when I can plug into special times, like Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, Be Kind to Animals Week, and Children’s Book Week. There are SO MANY PLACES AND WAYS for a writer to promote books and articles, to engage with other writers and with readers or potential readers – sometimes the possibilities are overwhelming! I wish I had more time to research and apply the various techniques and opportunities; having a day-job can be confining to a writer, but until the writing pays all (or at least most of) the bills, this is the road I must travel.

Event Planning

‘Tis the season for booksignings! Every Saturday through Christmas I have at least one event, and for that, I’m thankful! From Casper and Douglas, Wyoming to locations in Montana, weather-permitting I’ll be out and about reading from and (hopefully) selling books. I had my first reading of my newest children’s story, BobCat Goes to School, on Saturday; another is scheduled at an out-of-town library on December 3 (praying for good travel weather!). I’m blessed to be able to share some of these events with my friend Chris who illustrated the book; this is her first illustrated-book endeavor and her first experiences at promotion events. I enjoy reading, signing, and selling events, but they are a lot of work, including creating press releases and emailing newspapers and radio stations, developing flyers and sending to store owners, and making sure I have enough books to sell at each location. I’m thankful for the additional money holiday sales generates, but I’d like to find new and steady ways to produce more online sales (hence, the book marketing activities above).

These various endeavors help the month of November pass quickly. I can’t believe the middle of the month has arrived! What writing-related undertakings are keeping you occupied in the weeks leading up to the holiday season?


Gayle_BozemanFamilyChristian_smallGayle M. Irwin is the author of several inspirational pet stories for children and adults, including a Kindle e-book for owners of blind dogs. She is also a contributing writer to six Chicken Soup for the Soul books as well as the summer pet anthology by Sundown Press titled Memories from Maple Street: Pawprints on My Heart. She is currently working on additional manuscripts and short stories, with hopes of new book releases in spring 2017. Learn more at

bobcat-front-cover   bookcover_tail-tales_front-cover   irwin_pawprints-on-my-heart-book-cover   cody-cabin-cover2   Blind Dog Ebook Cover_updatedMay2014


16 thoughts on “Novel Writing, Book Marketing, Event Planning… Oh My!

    1. Thank you, Mike. Yep, busy is a very different way (although I wrote some more articles this week!). I had a wonderful experience with the sorority ladies on Tuesday — I felt my presentation went over well and I sold a few books as well. Feeling very blessed this week!


    1. Thank you, Linda — I appreciate your kind, encouraging words. There are certainly times when I don’t think I can juggle life anymore, but then, when the opportunities continue to rise, I can’t quite say no. And, since I’m trying to be a fulltime freelancer, it’s hard to turn down work … and potential book sales! 🙂


  1. Gayle – I’m sure November will be over in a flash! Best wishes for all of those planned and intended activities, and even more wishes to have the energy to do them. I imagine going back to a wip of a few years ago will see it with a ‘sort of fresh’ eye.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nancy — I think you and I have many similar venues and events this holiday season! Yes, the work in progress is certainly that, but I’m hoping it will come together thanks to my writers’ group and my writing class at the college. It likely won’t get done in November, but maybe by the end of the year. Wishing you well, too!


  2. Wow and congratulations! I’m so happy for you and thrilled you’ve dusted off the ‘romance’ manuscript. What a great November you’ve on your schedule.

    Here’s to a great nanowrimo and 2017! Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just finished putting together a manuscript that I plan to send to the National Federation of State Poetry Societies for its annual contest. Then, I need to submit some poems for WyoPoets annual contest. Of course I’m still promoting My Ideal Partner whenever I can. I hope to sell books somewhere during our town’s anual Christmas stroll. Good luck, Gayle, with all your endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Abbie, you’re a busy lady, too! Can’t wait to see what creations you develop in the coming months. I should look into the Christmas Stroll in Sheridan, if not for this year then next. I wish you well in your many endeavors as well!


  4. You go girl! I have always been a very busy person, but you have me topped. I would not want to be your scheduling calendar, it appears filled to the max. Lol Thanks for sharing your marketing techniques. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least this is a season, not an entire year; I can hardly keep up with myself for the two months at the end of the year. I hope to do more of this type of stuff online, but I admit I enjoy traveling and meeting people in-person. Marketing isn’t easy, especially when you can’t devote as much time to it as you’d like. I’m happy to have found some new avenues; I’ll see how well they work.


  5. I, too, don’t know how you accomplish all that you do. Plus you are always willing to share how you do it with others. And you are certainly enjoying more success. So happy for you! And your romance will be great. You have a great start and I can tell you understand the formula!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I don’t know about understanding the formula, Neva, but thank you for thinking so! I’ve made changes to the story this week based on our CC class the past few weeks. I look forward to sharing it with you and the others in our group and getting your feedback again. Trial and error, feedback, and new techniques all work hand-in-hand — we will see what falls in to place. Thanks for your kind words, my friend!


  6. Good luck, Gayle, with all your creative and not-so-creative (business) endeavors. It sounds like you have a great plan for getting your books and name out there. Can’t wait to hear about the results and your thoughts. I hope NaNoWriMo works out for you. I tried it one year but never finished. As for me, I hope to finish a short story that has an end of the year deadline. I haven’t started it yet. With the holidays, that’s my only goal for 2016 for writing. Pales in comparison to you!


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