Author Feature

Marcee Corn: My Book Marketing Journey

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Marcee Corn;  who along with her sister, Susan McCulloch, co-authored “Unclaimed Baggage,” shares the lessons she learned from their book marketing tour through the southeastern United States. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

You’ve written a book. It was hard work, but you are done – you should be proud. You have also self-published your book – better still. So, what’s next?  The really, really hard work is next. You want to sell that book that you worked so hard on, don’t you? Of course you do. Your hardest step of all is about to start….BOOK MARKETING.

It took us six years to write our book, “Unclaimed Baggage.” We know, that is a long time. We wrote about our Mother’s journey through

Marcee Corn utlizes vintage props to add color to her speaking engagements.

As part of her book marketing strategy, Marcee Corn utilizes vintage props to add color to her speaking engagements.

Alzheimer’s Disease, mainly for our children. We were elated when it was finally done. We self published our book through Archway Publishing and ordered the smallest amount of books that we could to give to our children and family for Christmas presents.

Archway shared their advice with us on promoting our work.  We weren’t even sure that we were interested in active book marketing since our goal was to write our story, our mother’s story, for our children. With their encouragement, we decided to go forward. Little did we know what we were about to embark on.  Archway was very supportive and generous with their advice as we listened closely. In the end, we decided to do our own promotions and book marketing and ordered more books and business cards.

Archway’s first book marketing suggestion was the easiest part, our book website. Then, we added a book page and an author page on Facebook. Finally, we added a Twitter account. We also began blogging. All of these book marketing strategies take a lot of time. We have found social media to be very important for promotion as well as a great place to interact with other authors and readers.

But book marketing doesn’t end there.

A few months after our book was released we set out on our first book marketing promotional tour. We loaded up the trunk of our car with boxes of books and hit the road. We covered much of the southeastern US, zigzagging across each state from North Carolina to Texas and back to Florida. It was exhausting.

"We feel strongly that these unique stories should be written down, if not for anyone else, for their children and grandchildren." - Marcee Corn

“We feel strongly that these unique stories should be written down, if not for anyone else, for their children and grandchildren.” – Marcee Corn

We made calls beforehand and set up several meetings and book signings in advance, but, we also visited many places, on a whim, trying not to wear our feelings on our sleeves as we stepped out of our comfort zone. We visited many small bookstores, hospital gift shops, church bookstores, Alzheimer’s organizations and gift shops telling our story and giving away many books in hopes of getting orders. Over the course of two weeks, we consigned some books and sold some. We left our business cards every place we went and hoped for the best!

We funded the entire trip ourselves, which can get expensive, but found, as most authors find, in the end we were very good at promoting our own work.

When we returned home two weeks later, we had book orders waiting for us and were delighted with the positive interest in our book. We received calls for several speaking engagements and book signings for the weeks to come. We were delighted and ordered more books. We are lucky because our book has a platform, Alzheimer’s disease. Many families are being affected by this terrible disease across the country.

This summer we came up with a theme for our summer speaking events. We call them, “Your Story Matters.” We had a sign made and took photos of our stage set up to help in promotions, and use vintage steamer trunks and suitcases (baggage) for our display. This summer we are promoting our book – our story; but we are also reminding our audience that each of them has a unique story to tell as well.

Susan McCulloch, co-author of "Unclaimed Baggage."

Susan McCulloch, co-author of “Unclaimed Baggage.”

We feel strongly that these unique stories should be written down, if not for anyone else, for their children andgrandchildren. We have four events scheduled for the next few months. We are thrilled.

Telling our story is our favorite thing we do. Meeting the readers at our events is delightful and they always have lots of questions for us. I can’t believe I am saying this, but promoting our book is quickly coming in as a strong second priority.

We still have lots to learn about promotions and marketing, and we have lots of ideas of things we still want to try in the future. But most importantly, we are having fun!  AND we are selling books. What more could any author want; except perhaps, to write a second book?

For more information visit www.UnclaimedBaggageTheBook.com and Like Unclaimed Baggage on Facebook. Follow Marcee Corn on Twitter @MarceeCorn.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Author Feature

Arlen Schumer and The Silver Age of Comic Book Art

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Arlen Schumer, author of The Silver Age of Comic Book Art. In the near future, this blog will feature a pictorial of selected images from this unique collection.
Check out the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

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Back in 2003 when the original edition of The Silver Age of Comic Book Art came out, Facebook wasn’t around, and the Marvel movies had just kicked off the decade (The X-Men and the first Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man film). My book, published by a mom-and-pop publisher in Oregon, came and went, with no major promotion or publicity. Though it received great reviews, and was blurbed by the likes of Will Eisner and Alan Moore—and won the Independent Publishers Award for Best Popular Culture Book of 2003—the general comic book audience, nor the larger pop culture audience, never even heard of it.

So when the publisher went belly up in ’05, and rights to reprint reverted back to me, I was determined to bring my book back into print ever since. Though I was without an agent, and therefore had difficulty getting to a lot of publishers, the many rejections I did get over the past 8 years was offset by my belief that there was a brand NEW audience interested in comics history (and specifically The Silver Age) because of specific developments in the past decade: the boffo box office of the Marvel movies, all based on characters from The Silver Age; the growth of Facebook, creating many comic-centric groups; and the proliferation of hardcover, archival collections of comic book & comic strip history, like the IDW Artist Editions—enough to warrant a double-page spread in The New York Times a couple of years ago!

schumer coverWhen I decided to fully participate in Facebook as my social media of choice a couple of years ago, I was able to begin two comics history groups of my own—one based around my Silver Age book and the era, the other devoted to the career of Neal Adams (whose art graces the title page of my book as well as its final, concluding chapter), both with over 2500 members each—and found out that I had a following that I never had before, and a community I could get my work directly to. So along with the growth in self-publishing at the same time as Facebook’s rise, it made me realize last year that I don’t have to wait for a “real” publisher to come along and pat me on the head. I could do it myself!

After some research, I decided to go with Archway Publishing, the “assisted publishing” division of Simon & Schuster; they’ve done a BEAUTIFUL job on the printing of the book—it truly is “new, improved”! My original edition was beautifully printed, but Archway went above and beyond it: they gave me a truly-silver dust jacket this time (vs. a four-color approximation of silver on my original), as well as a matte-finish case wrap illustration (under the dust jacket) that is worth the price of admission (if I do say so myself!) I was also able to revise ALL the typography in the book, because I was only happy with about 60% of it the first time around, as well as throwing in a few new graphics throughout the book for sharp-eyed owners of my original edition!

Like The Silver Age of Comic Book Art by Arlen Schumer Facebook Page and read his nine-part series on the silver age of comic book art.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page. 

– AWP –

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