Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Mark Oetjens

Mark Oetjens 2 Mark Oetjens was born in 1971. He grew up in suburban Chicago. As a child he was diagnosed with Dystonia, a debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Though there is no cure for Dystonia, surgeries and rehabilitation allowed him to walk with only a slight limp by the time he started high school. He received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Anthropology, both from Northern Illinois University. As an adult a brain tumor, completely unrelated to his Dystonia, threatened to disable him a second time. Thanks to radiation therapy the tumor has disappeared. Mark currently lives in Phoenix, AZ.

Mark’s latest book is the science fiction novel, The Staff of Rahgorra.

You can visit his website at

Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz, Mark.  Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?

The Staff of Rahgorra is a science fiction action-adventure. Thrull, a crime lord, wants to rule the galaxy. He knows the key to his plan is to find the mythical weapon known as the Staff of Rahgorra. Cam and his apprentice Kayo, agents of the Galactic Security Bureau, are determined to find the Staff first and avoid the war that Thrull threatens. Along the way Cam seeks the help of some interesting and questionable characters.

What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?

I think I set up a Facebook page and opened a Twitter account for The Staff of Rahgorra.

What did your publisher do to promote your book?

I started Conquer Publishing to publish The Staff of Rahgorra. I guess the first thing I did as a publisher was to list the book on the Conquer Publishing website.

What’s your opinion on blogging?  Do you see that it is helping sell your book or is it not making much difference in terms of sales?

I think blogging is an incredible tool for authors. I currently have my personal blog plus I’m blogging as Doina Sandu, a character in the book. So far I’m not seeing a lot of sales from the blogs, but I’m hoping this Virtual Book Tour will change that.

I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool.  Do you find it is or isn’t?

I think social media is a very effective marketing tool, if you’re in it for the long haul. Don’t count on an instant sales increase, but over time I think it can and will be extremely effective.

Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you doing it?

I’ve listed The Staff of Rahgorra on every book website I can think of and put out press releases on all the major PR sites.

If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?

I would have to say social networks have been most effective, specifically Facebook. I’m not sure if that’s because Facebook is inherently better or because I pretty much live on Facebook when I’m online.

Your key search words are important to help the thousands of Internet users find you.  What are your key search words and have you noticed more hits to your blog or website because of them?

My key words are Mark Oetjens, self-publishing, staff, rahgorra, science fiction, action, adventure, space ship, space battle, space aliens and a few others. Unfortunately, I haven’t notice any more hits because of them.

What are your experiences with offline promotions such as booksignings?  Do you feel they were cost effective?

Because of the cost of offline promotion, all of my marketing and promotion has been online.

Thank you for this interview, Mark!  We wish you much success!

Thank you for having me.

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