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Making Your Short Stories Sparkle and Sell

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford's mystery short story collection. Click on it for publisher's website

If you want to lift your short stories above the mediocre there are many things you can do. One of these is to be original in your story and in your characters. Readers like something different in their plot and eccentric characters can be a big draw whether you are writing commercial or literary fiction.

Three of us commercial fiction authors – Rosemary McCracken, Madeleine Harris-Callway and Sharon A. Crawford – who write both crime novels and short stories will be discussing why and how we do it. We will cover how we get story ideas and how much is from real life and how much from imagination. A couple of us have series characters in some of our short stories and in our novels, so we will discuss how we deal with time lines. Is it difficult going back and forth from writing novels and short stories and what the heck is the difference in how you write each?

Then there is marketing your short stories. Each of us has unusual ways we market our books (both the short stories and the novels).

And this panel will not be just the three of us talking. We are open to lots of  q and a.We want to get a real conversation going on short story writing. Here are the details about this upcoming panel being held by the East End Writers’ Group Wednesday, June 29, 2016.

Making Your Short Stories Sparkle and Sell

Do short stories come from real life, imagination, or both? How do you market short stories? For June’s East End Writers’ Group meeting join fiction authors Rosemary McCracken (shortlisted for the 2014 Derringer Award), Madeleine Harris-Callway (finalist for 2015 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel), and Sharon A. Crawford (author of the “Beyond” mystery series) for a discussion on writing and marketing short stories.  Copies of authors’ books available and there will be  networking and food at 9 p.m.

Time and Date: 7 p.m. to 9.30 p.m., Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Location: S. Walter Stewart library branch, 170 Memorial Park Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I am doing a guest blog post on Rosemary McCracken’s blog Moving Target about libraries and how they were and are important to me in my writing career, then seguing into this upcoming panel which is held at a library. There is a serendipity for me about this library branch. You’ll find this and more when my post is up on Monday, June 27 at Moving Target.

Meantime you can check out the panelists:

Rosemary McCracken http://www.rosemarymccracken.com/

Madeleine Harris-Callway http://mhcallway.com/

Sharon A. Crawford http://www.samcraw.com

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

That’s my short story collection – Beyond the Tripping Point – book cover at the top of this post. If you click on the book cover, it will take you to my author profile on amazon.com

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Promoting your published novel with a twist – Part 3

Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

There I was giving my 1.50 minute pitch about Beyond Blood in front of 50 plus librarians. The scene was the Metro Convention Centre in downtown Toronto, Canada last Friday afternoon. The event was the Ontario Library Association’s annual conference. Twenty-two of us crime writers from Crime Writers of Canada were individually doing our version of crime speed dating/pitching.

It was interesting to see and hear the various pitches, especially if like me you were about two-thirds down in the presentation list. We huddled together behind and to the side of the small stage, waiting and watching and hoping.

One author used a reminder call from his wife as his pitch. Another one a glass of champagne to tally with something in her novel. A few got a little bogged down in their writing background. Some, like me, stuck to the book – its plot and characters. I began with “What happens when a young mother finds her personal and professional life colliding, especially if she is a PI? I’m Sharon A. Crawford and In Beyond Blood that is what happens.”

The idea was to interest these librarians from various Ontario library branches to order our books for their libraries. Although it could be a blur of 22 authors, the librarians did have loot bags with our book and author info. Mine was the book mark for Beyond Blood.

Afterwards I decided to tour around the exhibitors’ booths. Surprisingly there were no library branches with booths – just services that libraries could use –digital and otherwise. On a whim I started talking to a few of the exhibitors, asking them questions about what their business does and mentioning the pitch we crime writers were doing. And got a big surprise.

Some of these exhibitors are big crime and mystery readers, including one from Scott’s Directories who loads her e-reader with mystery fiction books. So, I did a pitch for Beyond Blood and handed out my business card.

A bit later, over a cup of tea, I chatted with another fiction crime writer, Madeleine Harris-Callway, author of Windigo Fire and one of the featured authors in the Mesdames of Mayhem Thirteen anthology http://mesdamesofmayhem.com/about/madeleine-harris-callway/. Madeleine and I bemoaned the difficulty of getting book reviews. But that is a subject for another post.

All in a half-day’s book promo, but it had a twist on the usual for attending trade shows and conventions.

I’ll leave you with this link to get more tips on book promotion.

http://hell4heather.com/2015/02/05/book-marketing-tactics-you-may-not-have-considered/

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Author of the Beyond book series. See www.samcraw.com and www.bluedenimpress.com for more info. Book at top of post links to my amazon author profile.

 

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