Monday, November 25, 2013


First there was Black Friday and then Cyber Monday. In 2010, American Express started publicizing #Small Business Saturday.

Independent bookstores need your business. They exist in most towns. Some are musty-smelling used-bookstores; others are combinations of bookstores and neighborhood cafés; still more are morphs of old-fashioned magazine stands. From my experience, many of these stores are hurting and need more paying customers, not just browsers or those trading in old books.

Books make wonderful holiday presents for everyone. Some of the most personal gifts I’ve received over the years have been books that were carefully selected. I like to give books because I can shop for a wide variety of people at one stop, and books are easy to wrap.

Here are three great independent bookstores in the Albuquerque area. All frequently sponsor book signings by local authors. There are many more wonderful independent bookstores in the Albuquerque area.

Under Charlie’s Covers (120 US 555 [next to Walgreens], Bernalillo, NM) is a used bookstore with a fresh atmosphere, maybe it’s because of the energetic owner Lara. She stocks books that appeal to children and teens, as well as adults.

Treasure House Books & Gifts (2012 S Plaza Street NW, Albuquerque, NM) focuses on books related to New Mexico and is in the heart of old town Albuquerque. It’s a great place to take friends visiting New Mexico and the owner John can advise you on the history of the state and its writers as you shop.

Menaul Book Exchange (9409 Menaul NE, Albuquerque, NM) is a neighborhood, used bookstore that is lovingly tended by its owner Dorothy. She keeps a rack of new books by local authors near the front door.

I bet there are great independent bookstores in your community too. So why not do your holiday shopping at them?

Unfortunately, Ignore the Pain, my new thriller won’t have reached stores yet on November 30, but the first two books in this medical mystery/thriller series (ComingFlu and Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight) are available. Ignore the Pain is available on Amazon as of November 26.
In Ignore the Pain, Sara Almquist couldn’t say no when invited to be the epidemiologist on a public health mission to assess children’s health in Bolivia. Soon someone from her past is chasing her through the Witches’ Market and churches of La Paz. Unfortunately, she can’t decide which of her new colleagues to trust as she learns more about coca production and the god Tío of the silver mines of Potosí than she ever wanted to know.

The cover stripes of red, yellow, and green mimic the stripes on the Bolivian  flag.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Talk about competition: Facts on blogging

Many of us find the readership of our blogs to be disappointing. Maybe we should look at the statistics on blogging.

According to WordPress (
* Bloggers produced >36 million new blog posts each month and >63 million comments each month in 2013.
* Over 391 million people viewed more than 14 billion pages of blogs each month in 2013.
* 60% of blogs are in English.

According to my math that means (if everything is even), each of my or your blogs should get about 2 (i.e. 73/36) comments and about 10 (i.e. 391/36) views. Of course, everything isn’t even; the readership of blogs is skewed. My calculations are nonsense, but they make me feel better. Do they make you feel better?

Jeff Bullas published some interesting statistics on blogging in 2012 (
* 81% of bloggers never make more than $100 from blogging.
* 2% spend 1-2 hours blogging per day and make >$150,00 from their blogging from exotic locations.

My only comment is: How do the 2% do it? I really should be studying those elite bloggers.

Maybe it's time to get back to serious writing. My next medical thriller will be published in the next two weeks.  

In Ignore the Pain, epidemiologist Sara Almquist couldn’t say no when invited to participate in a survey of children’s health in Bolivia. Soon someone from her past is chasing her through the Witches’ Market of La Paz, and she fears her new colleagues are controlled by the coca industry of Bolivia.


Friday, November 1, 2013

How Evelyn Cullet publicizes her books

I asked Evelyn to write about how she publicizes her books. She has real chuzpah. I think you'll be impressed. Here's what Evelyn had to say.

I’m in constant marketing mode. Starting close to home, I send out notices and bookmarks to all my friends and relatives and ask them to spread the word to everyone they know. And then there are the announcements on my social networks. I try to book local library and woman's book club talks when I can. And if I can't give a talk, I'll attend a writers event or a craft or food event where I'll hand out bookmarks to anyone who'll take one. I even pass out bookmarks when I'm at the supermarket or at the drug store. I always keep copies of my novels in my car, and have even sold my novels to store customers. I'm one of those authors with absolutely no shame when it comes to promotion.

Last year, as I was waiting at the Little Rock airport for a plane home from Arkansas, I asked the proprietor of a small bookstore at the airport if he would hand out some my bookmarks to his customers, and to my surprise he agreed. How's that for blatant self-promotion?

I was recently featured in a local newspaper column and got a lot of phone calls and emails about that. And a few people have actually stopped me in stores to say that they saw the column about me the newspaper. So the word is spreading.

My daughter talked the owner of a coffee shop into putting my bookmarks on her counter. And I may even be invited to do a book signing there. I don't know how that will work out, but anything's worth a try. Stay tuned. 

I created a decorative pin out of a small photo of one of my book covers and I wear it everywhere. It's a great conversation starter, and then I usually go into my explanation about what my novels are about and hand out a bookmark. Needless to say, I carry bookmarks wherever I go.

I tried doing paid advertising with an online mystery magazine. That lasted seven months, which resulted in zero book sales, so it was a complete waste of my meager marketing budget. But I always enjoy doing blog tours and being a guest author on blogs like this one. Thanks for having me on your blog, Janet.

Evelyn Cullet enjoys playing the piano, is an amateur Lapidary, and an organic gardener. She and her husband live in a suburb of Chicago. Love, Lies and Murder, the prequel to Masterpiece of Murder, is her latest novel.

Love, Lies and Murder
In this prequel to Masterpiece of Murder, Charlotte Ross's world is about to crumble. The man she loves has announced his engagement to another woman. Charlotte’s friend, dubious globe-trotter and mystery author, Jane Marshall, is back in town; but when she stumbles upon the gruesome body of the town’s millionaire industrialist, Jane becomes too wrapped up in the murder to help Charlotte in her embarrassing attempts to stop her ex-lover’s wedding. Charlotte is endearingly impractical as her impulsive choices lead her into and out of peril with only the wry and often misguided Jane to advise her as she discovers that people are not always who they seem--and a single error in judgment can prove fatal. 

Love, Lies and Murder - Amazon -
Masterpiece of Murder - Amazon -
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