The old adage, “Hindsight is 20/20,” is so right. For anyone who is considering self-publishing, it’s best to start marketing your book before it’s published. Tech savvy, I’m not. So, my learning curve is high. If Amazon is your publisher, they have a host of aids one might find helpful. I have not taken advantage of these, but do plan to do so.
Juggling everyday obligations, writing my next book and marketing the published book can be daunting. However, in order to be successful, a writer must build a platform of readers, and marketing is the gateway. One way of doing that is to start a website. I found this to be a difficult task and employed the expertise of a friend. Sales were pretty good after I launched my book. Now, after nearly a year, I need to boost my sales and marketing is the only way.
To be consistent, I’ve decided to designate certain days for certain tasks. Monday is for Marketing. I started by writing a list of marketing ideas. Each week, I will choose one or two to pursue. To increase my visibility, I’ve decided to publish more articles in my local community paper to attract more readers. Once I find out when the article will be published, I send emails to my immediate friends and family. My next step is to post it on Facebook and Twitter. This past October, I wrote an article for Front Porch, titled “Suffragists Pursue Right to Vote.” https://issuu.com/frontporchfredericksburg/docs/fpfoct2020/s/11084807
I have received feedback from those I had contacted. A few said they will purchase my book. Another gave a short but very effective review, praising my writing skills and the books ingenuity.
There’s a website called Indibound.org which list independent bookstores. It’s also a book distributor through it’s partnership with Ingram and AddLibra. Getting my book listed with Indibound.org is one of my next marketing goals.
An excellent book on marketing a book is one by Joanna Penn, the indie writer and marketing guru, “How to Market a Book.”
Fellow indie writers good luck and if you have any marketing ideas, please share.
“On the Wings of Freedom” by Malanna Carey Henderson, is a very informative and intriguing historical novel. It is very well written. The characters and places in the book are written with such details you feel that you are actually there and know the people. You will not want to put the book down. I can not wait for her next book!” – Wanda Snyder, September 11, 2020
“On the Wings of Freedom” by Malanna Carey Henderson is not a good read, it is a great read and a must read! I read this intriguing, can’t-put-down historical novel before the COVID pandemic and social justice pandemic hit. The well-written, well-researched historical novel brings alive the horrid conditions of slavery and the heroic acts by fictional people and real people (eg Harriett Tubman) to save people and to seek justice. These actions relate today to the Black Lives Matter and Justice now movements. Only by understanding the past, can one see the great needs still unanswered today. Ms Henderson’s heroine, Carrie Bennett, captured my admiration, interest and fondness. I cared what happened to her and would love to see a sequel to this novel. Again, please read this remarkable, intriguing book! You will be enlightened, entertained, humbled. – Jane Hunsucker, Aug 6, 2020
Reviewed in the United States on August 21, 2020 “I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I enjoyed reading On the Wings of Freedom. It was very well crafted -you advanced the story in such a seamless and engaging way. WHAT an accomplishment! It left such an impression on me for several weeks. I think it would be great literature for young adults as well! It inspired me to pick up a book I’ve meant to read for years-Toni Morrison’s Beloved. – Jonna Catron
Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2020 “Wonderful research that braided an awful time in history into romance.” – Denise Crawford
Here is a review by Jane Hunsucker from Goodreads that I’d like to share.
“On the Wings of Freedom” by Malanna Carey Henderson is not a good read, it is a great read and a must read! I read this intriguing, can’t-put-down historical novel before the COVID pandemic and social justice pandemic hit. The well-written, well-researched historical novel brings alive the horrid conditions of slavery and the heroic acts by fictional people and real people (eg Harriett Tubman) to save people and to seek justice. These actions relate today to the Black Lives Matter and Justice now movements. Only by understanding the past, can one see the great needs still unanswered today. Ms. Henderson’s heroine, Carrie Bennett, captured my admiration, interest, and fondness. I cared what happened to her and would love to see a sequel to this novel. Again, please read this remarkable, intriguing book! You will be enlightened, entertained, humbled.”
I am currently writing my second book. It’s totally different from my first, which was historical fiction. This story is set in the mid-1990s. The best way to describe it is to say it’s a Christmas fantasy. Writing this one is pure fun. I can also call it a fairy tale for adults. As with the first book, I’ve infused social justice, imagine that, in this fantasy.
The quote from Baldwin is said by the protagonist to his love interest. She needs a pep talk before she faces some pretty intimidating characters. Her fear can be traced to incidents that occurred in her childhood and she’s afraid history is about to repeat itself. What helps her face her fear is the hero’s reassurance. All the necessary resources to overcome her obstacles are within her grasp. However, she must first have faith in herself. This will enable her to recognize and seek those persons who have the ability to assist her.
The quote from Baldwin is a very powerful statement. How many times have I avoided pointing out something to a person because it was about a hard subject? In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, a lot of us are having hard and uncomfortable discussions about race. Many times in the past, I’ve found myself holding back when someone’s view was different, or expressed a bias unintentionally that hurt me. I said nothing. I didn’t want to take the risk of making them uncomfortable or fearing the outcome of the conversation. Will we still be friends, afterward? Now, I feel if I don’t say something I am missing a moment to be better understood. It’s a teaching moment for both of us that was missed. Once we’ve both expressed our feelings and why we feel the way we do, most likely we’ll be closer. If we are true friends we should be able to express our true feelings. If I love you I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see, so you can see them; and likewise, I’l like you to do the same for me.
For the third year in a row, I have been tasked with writing vignettes to celebrate history. Sponsored by the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield, downtown area churches have presented vignettes on little-known facts in Black History. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, we’re celebrating Women’s History Month with three vignettes. Entitled: “Untold Stories of Women in History: Love, Liberty, Equality,” the vignette Give Us the Vote! depicts women’s struggle to win the vote; Going Home highlights the dedication of nurses who helped the wounded at St. George’s Episcopal Church while waiting for transportation to field hospitals after the Battle of the Wilderness during the Civil War; and Love on Trial focuses on the Supreme Court decision in the case of Mildred and Richard Loving’s right to live as husband and wife, as an interracial couple, in Virginia. This event will be open to the public. If you’ll be in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area go to fowb.org for details. We usually present the productions in February, but the ongoing crisis of COVID-19 has caused us to postpone the event. We anticipate a fall production schedule.
Women have come a long way to quote a cigarette ad for Virginia Slims in the 60s. In Give Us the Vote, we see the conflict between the women who desire the vote and those who have embraced the finite description of what a woman is and what a woman should do in society. Women were defined by how useful they were to men. Personal pursuits which ran counter to society’s expectations were frowned upon and discouraged. A friend in Zumba class once confided that she told her father she was considering running track when she was in junior high. Her father told her pretty girls shouldn’t pursue such things. She didn’t pursue this desire. That exchange wasn’t too long ago. Gender bias is still a factor in society.
The Wilderness Battle was one of the first times many women served as nurses. If they weren’t part of Clara Barton’s nurses, they came with the U.S. Sanitation Commission or the U.S. Christian Commission. They provided food, medicine, and Christian instruction to the wounded soldiers. St. George’s Episcopal Church was used as a hospital in 1862 and as an evacuation station to transport the wounded to field hospitals at Belle Plain in 1864. It is during this time that the vignette Going Home is set.
Interracial sex, whether consensual or forced, has always occurred worldwide. Legislating a ban on interracial relationships didn’t prevent the occurrence in modern times or in the ante-bellum period. In a speech, Lincoln combated the opposite parties’ argument that freeing the slaves would promote sex between the races. He compared the number of mixed-race persons in the north to the south. He concluded that in the south the number of mulattos was more than 300,000. His conclusion was slavery led to race-mixing far more frequently than it did in the free states. In Love on Trial, we see an interracial couple challenge the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, passed by the Virginia General Assembly to enforce segregation.
The female characters in the vignettes: Abby and Bette, Kate Barrett, Adele Clark and Janie Porter, and Mildred Loving dared to stand up for what they believed in, and challenge the status quo. They took a step toward equality to claim their place at the table. A woman is a person, after all.