Tag Archives: marketing your book

Going to Sri Lanka for our new look

One of the goals mom and I have had for our series is to redo the covers to make them easier to view online and more attractive and modern in their looks. Design for a cover can be very expensive so we searched for, and found an affordable way to do this through a web company: Fiverr, which allows creative individuals from around the world to bid on projects in their field. When Architect of Fate, book five, was released last fall, we tested the international system by asking for bids on that cover with a hint that if we were happy with the results of this new book cover, we wanted the rest of the covers done with a similar look.

We received quite a few bids and picked Harshani Fernando, a designer in Sri Lanka whose work we thought was eye catching. We loved the drama she put into Architect of Fate’s look enough to offer the other covers to her as we could afford them.

I won’t say the process didn’t have its ups and downs: dealing with someone so far away who speaks a different language is bound to have some challenges. We also had some scheduling problems as well as difficulty trying to figure out Fiverr’s web site, which requires you to correspond with your chosen vendor only through their own system. We also were doing all this during the busiest season we have: the holiday craft fair season.

But we kept with it, kept the faith in Harshani’s creativity, and now have five appealing covers.

What this experience affirmed to me personally is that, as authors, our instincts are our greatest tool. We have to be our own champions—researching, writing, editing, marketing, selling—we have to spare a little of our creative juices to accomplish all that in a way we can afford. In this case, we needed to find a less expensive way to tap into the world of creative designers. Six years ago, when we started writing, this international bidding channel would not have been available to us. I found out about it at several writer’s conferences.

I’m not the most sophisticated internet user and the Fiverr site confused me almost from the get-go. But we liked what we were seeing from the designers there; we liked what we saw in Harshani’s portfolio. The result is that we’re happy we reached across the world to snatch up the talents of someone in a country we’ll probably never get to visit.

And now we present the works of Harshani Fernando. We’d love to hear from readers what you think.–Genilee Swope Parente




Posted by on January 8, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Fulfilling our dream

Mom and I have had an incredible fall of book events; We’ve come home from almost every one amazed at how many books we sold. This weekend’s event (Gar-field High School) was no exception, but it was special for a reason not based on numbers sold: It showed us The Fate Series has fans.



One woman rushed up to our table exclaiming that she’d come to the fair only because she’d seen we were going to be there, then bought three of Treasured Fate, the latest in the series, so she could complete the sets she’d bought for friends as gifts last year. She and her friends had eaten those books up.

If you think I’m flat out bragging you’d be exactly right. There is no better feeling for an author than to find out a reader loved your books and can’t wait for the next one. This woman was the highlight of the day, but she was only one example. We had more repeat business than any other book event probably because we sold more books at the same fair in 2015 than almost any other event that year. I started to see a common expression on shoppers’ faces: recognition. The minute fair attendees realized we were the “author ladies” from the 2015 fair, they’d walk up to the table, pull out their billfolds and say, “well, I’ve got to get another of your books.”

You do not write books hoping for fortune and fame—it’s very hard to make any money as an author. You DO write books, however, hoping for that kind of enthusiasm. Our goal is to get people to read—we don’t claim to be the creators of the kinds of books that change people’s lives or make them question their existence. We write books for people who love to curl up on the couch, open the cover, and lose themselves for a few minutes in a story. When we accomplish that, we have given the world a badly needed gift: a way for people to live outside their own lives and forget their worries for a while.

When I arrived to pick Mom up that morning, I could see that she was in pain and wondering whether she could even make it through the day. She’s had some lingering problems with one of her legs and she’d had a bad night. In typical fashion, my trooper co-author took a couple of baby aspirins and dragged herself there.

She was still in pain at the end of the day, but the smile on her face was a gift God gave both of us. I am so happy we had this day together, celebrating the joy of having something we love to do rewarded by appreciation.

To everyone who has bought one of our books this season and to the many people who have stopped by to let us know they like what we do: thank you. You helped us fulfill our dream.– Genilee Swope Parente

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Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Taking a bow

Mom and I had another book signing this week, and as with most of these events, it was nothing like the previous ones. However, we walked away with smiles on our face, and it was not because of the books we sold. Here’s why:

In July, we spoke at two senior communities in Fredericksburg – The Crossings and the Chancellor–both great meetings because the residents were truly interested in how two older women (a mother/daughter team no less!) finally got around to fulfilling a dream. We didn’t sell many books at those meetings and didn’t expect to—we were there to pump ourselves up and remember how great being an author can be.

This week, however, we tried our first book store event. We’ve been hesitant to jump into that circuit because the store has to take a cut so we’re lucky to break even. I think we also both visualized a situation similar to the library book signings we’ve done: sitting at a table with just a sign and a smile and watching people go by without looking our way. People at the library do not expect or want to see someone trying to sell them a product—even if it’s a book!

Last Saturday, we set up a table at 2nd and Charles, a huge used book (as well as used movies, instruments, albums) store, put on those smiles and put up the sign. But instead of being ignored, people stopped; people talked; some people bought—shoppers of all ages and types kept pouring through that front door and walking by the table.2nd and charles

It was delightful so many people paused to meet the authors and exclaim over our fortune and fortitude in getting our books into print. The staff at 2nd and Charles bent over backwards to make us feel comfortable and appreciated. And we sold more books than we’ve sold at any recent event.

However, what made us smile as we packed our materials away was something entirely different: we realized that the constant stream of traffic meant there are many many readers out there. Despite the 3D Imax glitter of movies, the 100-plus channels most people have on their televisions, the graphic fantasy worlds of computer and Xbox games, those who shop at 2nd and Charles choose to hold a book in their hands and let their minds do the work. Of course it made us smile: they are our audience and this is our curtain call.

Genilee Swope Parente


Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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