Lisa Teasley is the author of the novels HEAT SIGNATURE in 2006 and Dive in 2004, as well as the short-story collection GLOW IN THE DARK, which earned the 2002 Gold Pen Award and the 2002 Pacificus Literary Foundation Best Short Story Writer award for fiction. Her writing has been called “fiercely intelligent” in Elle magazine and “poignant, affecting and true” in the Los Angeles Times. She is a native of
What single marketing strategy best helped you spread the word about your book to people who would be interested in buying/reading it?
Seven months before the release of my first book, Glow in the Dark, my partner and I put together packages for bookstore buyers consisting of my bio, the little bits of press I already had, a copy of the book jacket, blurbs, and a sample story from the collection. We then drove up the
What surprised you or was most unexpected when you first set out to help promote your book?
I thought it might all be a drag—after all, most of us are used to and probably prefer the solitary life at the computer. But I'd fallen in love around that time, so because my partner made my book promotion part of our adventure—the bookstore visits were all his idea—I had fun with it, and because of that spirit of fun I believe it opened that many more doors.
What challenges did you face during the first months of your book's release?
I didn't realize that the amount of books ordered by the stores for book events were so important—for example, my first L.A. reading where my friends showed up, there weren't enough books and they sold out quickly, then at another, they had ordered too many, so all of those were eventually returned to the distributor. So, as a small example, the 20 or 30 more that may have been sold in L.A. might have made up for those that were sent back from the Santa Cruz store. This is the way you begin to think when the book event coordinators sum up the success of the event by how many books are left on the table. And eventually you see the big picture on the royalty statements from your publisher. I've been using examples from the
I don't really know what I'd have done differently since I was lucky enough with Glow in the Dark to get great reviews and a couple of awards, which encouraged me to meet the next challenge in promoting the second book, my novel Dive. I do advise, however, not to worry yourself sick over what store is not carrying your book, or what kind of real estate you have in whatever stores are thankfully carrying your books. Let yourself be pleasantly surprised, rather than terminally disappointed. When my third book, Heat Signature, came out, I never ever went out of my way to see if a store was carrying it as I did with Glow in the Dark and Dive.
Any other advice for newly published authors?
We all know that the life of a writer can be full of rejections, discouragement, that's why it's important to celebrate every triumph. If you can somehow hold onto the excitement you had when you got that book deal in the first place, this will feed you during the long road ahead of promotion. If you were happy with the process of writing the book, then try to be happy during the process of your book making its way out into the world.
If you’d like to know more about Lisa Teasley or her books, visit her Web site at http://www.lisateasley.com.
(Author photo credit goes to Ibarionex Perello)