Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Writing and Promotion, How I Do It? by F.M. Meredith

About a year ago I had a chance to meet our author F.M. Meredith at The Los Angeles Time Book Festival. She was at the festival promoting her books having driven half a day to get there. She is a great promoter of her books, something that is so valuable to authors today. So, in promoting her 6th book, An Axe to Grind I asked her how she balanced writing and promotion.

An Axe to Grind - Synopsis
Detective Doug Milligan and his partner question suspects in the murder of a stalker including the stalker's target, her boyfriend, father and brother, as well as the stalker’s step-father. The investigation leaves little time for Doug to see his fiancĂ©e and fellow officer, Stacey Wilbur.

Stacey handles a molestation case which involves the son of a friend. She and her mother talk wedding plans, though all must wait until Doug's renter, Officer Gordon Butler finds another place to live.

When Doug disappears while tailing a suspect, Stacey sets out to find him, hoping she can reach him time.

Balancing Writing and Promotion, How Do I Do It? By F.M. Meredith

The simple answer is—not easily.

I have a hunch nearly every writer will tell you that they’d much rather be writing than promoting. And there are even a few out there who absolutely detest the promoting part of being an author. From the well-known authors down to those of us who don’t have such recognizable names, promoting is something that we all have to do.

The difference with a big name author is that the publishing company will plan and pay for the promotion. A mid-list author will probably use her advance to pay for her promotion that she plans herself. Those of us with small presses who don’t give advances are on our own—paying and planning.

Because I write two series, which means writing two very different books each year, I really have to plan out my time.

On a daily basis, when I’m home, I tackle the most urgent tasks first. When I’m going on a virtual book tour, I have interviews and blogs to write that are due by a certain date, so they take priority over everything else. I do a lot of promoting on the web and I always post things on Facebook and Twitter everyday, sometimes more than once. I have my own blog which I post new content on every day, though sometimes I do write a few ahead of time.

While I’m promoting one book, I’m always writing another, usually in the other series. I try to write for two or three hours at least five days a week. Some days it’s impossible to do because life gets in the way. Mornings are the best time for me to write, though sometimes, when I’m at an exciting place in the story, I’ll keep right on going.

I do a lot of in-person promoting too. I’m in the midst of planning two book launches for my latest, An Axe to Grind, written as F.M. Meredith. One will be in my town at a new delicatessen and the other in a bigger town in a used book store. This month I’ll be attending Epicon in New Orleans. I’m going to have a booth at a beach community for the Celebration of the Whales, and I’m headed over to Morro Bay for a joint book signing. When I’m out of town, I take my computer so I can promote each of my stops on my blog tour.

I seldom manage to write when I’m not at home; while we’re driving or flying, my husband and I do a lot of brainstorming about scenes I’m in the process of developing in my head.

Frankly, I couldn’t manage my promotion without a calendar. I keep track of my schedule the old fashioned way, writing everything on the calendar. Oh, I have an iPhone, but for me I like to be able to glance at the calendar every morning and check the plan for the day.

I’m also a list maker. I write down all the things I want to accomplish each day and take great delight in crossing each one off when I’m through.

For me, balancing writing and promotion is a bit like juggling. I do one for awhile then switch to the other. To tell the truth, I enjoy both parts of the writing life. The writing itself is fulfilling to me because I can control the world I’m writing about—or at least a lot more than the one I’m living in. I enjoy the promotion too. I’ve met so many new and interesting people while promoting both online and in person. Some have become good friends and fans of my books.

About the Author:

F. M. Meredith who also writes under the name Marilyn Meredith is the author of nearly thirty published novels including the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, An Axe to Grind is the newest from Oak Tree Press. No Sanctuary was a finalist the mystery/suspense category of the Epic best in e-books contest .
She is a member of EPIC, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She was an instructor for Writer’s Digest School for ten years, served as an instructor at the Maui Writer’s Retreat and many other writer’s conferences. For over twenty years she lived in a beach community similar to Rocky Bluff.

You can visit the author online at and her blog at


  1. Hi, Becky!

    Thank you for hosting me again. I'm headed off to New Orleans this a.m. Will be checking back with you off and on through the day.

  2. Sometimes I wonder how Marilyn does it all too. Thanks for this great article.

    All my best,


  3. Interesting interview, I have always said on my radio shows that once the book is written then the hard work starts with the promotion.

    Thank you so much for sharing


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