I started writing when I was nine-years-old. I used to write short stories on my dad’s notepads. One day he read one and he said to me, “You are a writer.” It stuck. My dad is still my biggest supporter and he is also my mentor in many ways. I went to college at The University of Southern California. My parents though didn’t think that “creative writing” at USC was a major that would likely be lucrative in the long run, so I figured I would be logical and look at writing in the journalistic field. God (the Universe), etc. had a different plan for me. Soon after I graduated from USC I gave birth to my first son. He was six weeks premature and he had some health issues, which caused me to decide that going into a career at that time would not benefit my son. So, I stayed home with him and I wrote my first book. That first book is tucked away in a box somewhere because it’s pretty darn bad, but it gave me the confidence I needed to know that I could start, write, and finish a book. From that point on, it took me twelve years to become a published author and several manuscripts. It has been a wonderful and amazing process, and although many challenges have presented themselves along the way, I have never quit writing. It is my passion!
My other passion is Horses. These amazing animals are very dear to my heart and I have been known to take in “strays.” My daughter and I are very active in the horse world. My daughter is involved in pony club and three day eventing.
I enjoy work with other writers when I can , especially kids. I designed a program for young writers to help them learn how to write short stories and picture books to writing complete novellas for older kids. I have mentored several students now and it’s a joyful experience to see young writers and their creative minds at work. It is something I am working on expanding with some local teachers in my area.
Family and friends are extremely important to me. I am the proud mother of three amazing kids who have always supported me and are just great, awesome human beings (yes, I know I sound like every mother in the world about their kids, but I really mean it). My husband is my best friend and a very patient man, which is a real positive—he is married to a writer after all. We also have three dogs, a kitty, and eight horses.
When not writing, riding, or being a taxi-cab driver for my youngest, I try to find time to do a little yoga, meditate or cooking. I love cookbooks and cooking!
A.K.’s recent release is Daddy’s Home.
You can visit her website at www.michelescott.com/books/ak-alexander.
Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz, A.K. Alexander (Michele Scott). Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?
The book is about a killer who is seeking his “perfect family,” by stalking single moms and their kids. When things don’t work out so perfectly he kills them. Holly Jennings is the investigator on the case and being a single mom herself the case becomes personal. She is also working on her own inner demons as she finds herself determined to catch the bastard.
What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?
I was traditionally published by one of the big 6 for several years. I now do everything myself, which has worked out very well. The first thing I do to promote any book is send out my newsletter to my readers. Once they are engaged, they tend to spread the word.
After that, what happened?
I have a list of things that I do with each book and I am not sure what works the best, but I do them all and the combination seems to be the key. I create a book trailer, I blog, I social network, I do virtual blog tours, and I work with other authors to cross-promote. The most important thing I have found is having a relationship with the reader. I answer e-mail I receive and I am truly interested in that person. I tend to cultivate friendships with my readers and have ongoing dialogue with them. The readers are truly what makes the writing so great to do.
What did your publisher do to promote your book?
Back in the day when I was traditionally published, I still did all of the marketing myself. Unless you are one of the stars in the publishing house you can’t expect a lot from them. I did get some book marks few times.
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 blog when I have something I think may matter to the readers. I think blogging creates a loyalty from readers. I don’t know if it sells books all that much but it does allow the communication between the readers and yourself. It is those readers that then turn around and tweet, etc about your books. It’s word of mouth multiplied by the masses.
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 it is very effective but you can’t always be shoving books in people’s faces. You have to also be open and willing to share bits and pieces of your life.
Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?
Book trailers, advanced reads go out, Bookrooster.com, BookDaily.com, Pump Up Your Book tours, and working together with a network of other authors.
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?
Write a great book, then put it out there. I can’t choose one thing. I really can’t. It is a culmination of things and it is a lot of hard work. However, I do think a great website is still your primary marketing piece. The other would be excellent covers!
What are your experiences with offline promotions such as booksignings?
Booksignings have never been huge for me. I have done some promotional contests, and release parties and they tend to generate some sales, but not tons.
Thank you for this interview, A.K. Alexander! We wish you much success!
- Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Thriller Author Allan Leverone
- Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Medical Thriller Author Frank J. Edwards
- Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on YA Paranormal Author Emlyn Chand
- Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Women’s Fiction Author Susan Wingate
- Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Lynda Simmons