Accidental Book Marketing

28 May
Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

Last weekend one of my stops at the annual Toronto Doors Open was the MZTV Museum of Television & Archive in the Zoomer radio complex.

So what does all this have to do with book marketing? Especially as it wasn’t even in the actual radio studio.

It was the accidental run-ins with someone I know and someone I don’t (but quickly did). I looked up from the exhibit and saw a familiar face from my gardening club. We looked at each other and started talking. She asked how I was and what I was doing. And so I said I write mystery books and have two in the Beyond series out now. I might have mentioned then about doing readings with other Crime Writers of Canada authors or maybe that came later.

Immediately she launched into a possible speaking engagement for me – not with the gardening club, although one story in Beyond the Tripping Point is set in a garden centre. My gardening friend also sometimes goes to a local Toronto Heritage Club, which meets once a week and is looking for speakers. It may be a bit of a stretch for mystery writing with novels set just north of Toronto (I did tell her where they were set) but there are possibilities for heritage to connect with mystery and maybe even my Beyond series. One is the location (which is fictitious but based on what’s there – I used to live there), so might be able to do a comparison fiction and reality heritage of the area. There is also the topic of the history of mystery fiction set in Toronto and written by Toronto authors, which could lead into my Beyond books. At her request, I gave her my business card which has photos of the two Beyond books on one side with the publisher’s name, and the flip side my headshot, contact info and my mission statement for all my writing and editing – “We make words sparkle.”

And with speaking engagements comes the possibility of selling books.

The other one was a chance encounter outside the Zoomer Complex with a lady who asked me if I knew who was in the photo in the window. Although I could name only two people, we started talking. She seemed fascinated and very respectful to be talking to a writer – something we writers often forget as we take our writing as second nature. We talked about mystery writing, my books, the radio personalities and shows on 96.3 classical radio and the tour we had both been on inside there. We continued our conversation on the bus. She is interested in buying my book at a bookstore and possibly going to one of the library readings I’m doing with CWC in June and July. I gave her my business card and we said the usual “nice to meet you” when I had to get off the bus at the subway station.

So, sometimes by keeping your mind open and attuned to marketing your books, but not pushing it, opportunities can pop up in unusual and unexpected places.

And for some excellent author etiquette for book promotion, read my friend and colleague Rosemary McCracken’s post on her blog Moving Target

Meantime, I’m preparing for those future readings and presentations. Check my website under Beyond Blood for my upcoming gigs.



Sharon A. Crawford

Sharon A. Crawford is the author of the Beyond book series. More info at and – my publisher – you can also purchase e-books – both Kindle and Kobo from Blue Denim Press. Click on the Beyond Blood Book cover at the top of this post.


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