Sunday, November 27, 2011

Author Renea Winchester Proves "Stress-Free Marketing" Is Not An Oxymoron

Shortly after Renea Winchester released her award winning book, In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes, she realized that publication was just the first rung on the ladder of writing success. Whether a book was traditionally or self-published, in the end the author's job was for that book to reach its target market. Winchester realized that though there were books ranging from landing a literary agent to hammering through writer’s block, no books gave marketing advice for newly published authors. Thus, the idea for her book, Stress-Free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author was born.

Saddened by numerous writers whose basements were flooded with unsold, self-published books, Winchester wanted to write a book that not only answered the questions facing inexperienced authors, but to answer these questions in a way that was informative yet easy to understand. Stress-Free Marketing accomplishes just that. With marketing advice so practical it should be commonsense such as, “The first step is to get out from behind the computer, unplug from Facebook and get into [book]stores,” to a precise breakdown of publishing acronyms like LCCN (Library of Congress Catalog Number), which allows libraries to identify books in their systems, Stress-Free Marketing is an entertaining instruction manual that places the power of book sales back into hardworking authors’ hands.

“Every author has a choice when faced with rejection: give up, or continue pressing forward," Stress-Free Marketing says. "Only those who continue to press are rewarded with publication.” Winchester does not hold back when sharing her own struggle to break into the strongbox of the publishing industry. After sending independent booksellers e-mails including blurbs for her book, a synopsis, website links, and a PDF of the book’s cover, Winchester believed that her professional stance would incite their response.

Rather than being setback when nothing happened, Winchester surged forward and -- while armed with business attire and a warm smile -- personally visited each buyer of these local bookstores. It only took two minutes for Winchester to convey her determination to make her book a success, and after following up this face-to-face interaction with a “snail mail” thank you note that included pertinent book information including the ISBN number and retail price, each bookseller eventually responded and now keeps her book in stock.

Renea Winchester's candid suggestion when faced with a bad book review, “Don’t call your mother in search of sympathy. What’s done is done. Instead, grab a container of double chocolate chip ice cream and a large spoon. Enter the closet and lock yourself inside,” is just the kind of kick-in-the-pants advice a fledgling author needs, yet the closing chapter of the book asks the reader to repeat:

I am ready.

I am ready to invest time developing a marketing plan.

I am ready to incorporate ideas and create a niche market and platform.

I am ready to introduce myself to strangers then cultivate and nurture these newfound friendships.

I am ready to step into the unknown with courage and confidence.

I am ready to be the next fresh new voice of the publishing world.

I am ready.

Through the suggestions and encouragement provided in Winchester's Stress-Free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author, I feel like I am ready to climb another rung on the ladder of writing success.

Now, writer, the question is: Are you?

To learn more about Renea Winchester or to order her book, click here.


  1. I'm very interested in Renea's book and I'm looking forward to meeting her this Wednesday!
    Deborah Malone
    "Death in Dahlonega"

  2. Lucky you, Deborah! I have never actually met Renea in person, but I already consider her a dear friend and kindred spirit. :)

  3. Oh, Jolina, thank you for the introduction to this book. It sounds priceless and like the perfect 'get your feet wet' kind of advice I love. Thank you!

    On an unrelated note: so you only spend Mondays doing Twitter/blog work and devote the rest of the week to WIP? I like that idea as well!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed the review, Melissa. I was amazed how full of practical advice Renea's book was--it really is a gem!

    About the unrelated note, Mondays until noon are devoted to catching up on other blogs, loading tweets, and replying to emails. Sometimes I can get everything finished for the week in just a few hours, but with holidays and fighting a cold, I'm running a little behind! It really is a nice setup, though--I feel like I am still in touch with the social media world while also staying in tune with my characters.

    I'm so excited for you and your WIP! :)

  5. This sounds like a book every writer needs to read, Jolina. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  6. This sounds like a great book-- for those seeking traditional or self-publication! While I'm on the former track, I'm so thankful to be writing in a time when we all have options. xo

  7. I agree, Cynthia; it would be the perfect addition to any writing workshop--especially in Arizonian. ;)

  8. It is an exciting publishing time, Stephanie. Slightly unsettling in its unpredictability, but that's how creative people roll, right?

  9. Great post and it really helped reaffirm some of the thing I've been considering with my writing and career. I am ready to step into the unknown with courage and confidence. Amen!

  10. Gooooood, Leah! That's what I like to hear! :) Renea's book really makes you feel like you've discovered a writing mentor and a friend. I hope it helps; it's certainly helped me! XX

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