joanne Weck Author Page

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Promotion and Publicity, find what works!

I’m sharing a link to the community The Books Machine, a website where you can find good books to read from the comfort of your electronic devices. Membership for readers is free and will give you access to free Kindle books and quality deals, specially selected for you. This link will take you to the page:

Monday, September 28, 2015


The writing life is frustrating and rewarding in equal measure. I can find numerous ways to procrastinate and avoid actually writing. But once started, I wonder why I procrastinated. The story seems to appear magically. It’s like slipping into a stream or a river, an effortless flow, originating from a source somewhere beyond me.

Afterward there comes the hard work—editing, rewriting, submitting and even after publishing the most difficult work of all—promoting. Today all but the most famous, the most prolific, writers must promote their own work if they hope to be read. 

To quote from an article from Writers’ Relief:

Once upon a time, when a big, traditional house published a book, the author just sat back and relaxed while the publisher did all the marketing and sales promotion.
Those days are over.
Today’s authors, whether self-published or published through a traditional house, must do the bulk of their own marketing and promotion if they want their book to sell. While self-published authors know this all too well, many traditionally published authors are surprised to find that their publishers aren’t going to take care of everything when it comes to marketing their books.
Why Publishers Aren’t Promoting Books
Traditional publishing has changed in recent years. With the rise of self-publishing, there are many more new books competing for the same audience—more than a million new titles are released each year! Most publishing houses are now short on time, money, and staff. Their marketing personnel are often overworked, and they generally put the bulk of their resources into A-list authors. For the rest of their lesser-known authors, traditional publishers basically hope their books will find an audience simply by being available in a store.
Why You Must Market Your Own Book
If you’re a self-published author, marketing your own book is a given. You may be able to purchase some promotional help, but the brunt of the promotional work is your responsibility. If you’re traditionally published, you’ll find most publishing houses will prepare basic promotional materials and include your book in their catalogs, websites, and ads; they may send out review copies, show your book at conventions, and provide rudimentary information about your book to online bookstores and wholesalers. Many use social media and distribute press releases as well. If you’re lucky, they might schedule a book tour. But if your book isn’t an instant success, you may notice the marketing support dropping off fast.
No matter how you publish, the fact remains that no one knows your novel like you do. No one is as passionate about your work as you are, and it’s your reputation and career that are on the line. Ultimately, the success of your book is up to you.
Whether you’re self-published or traditionally published, lay the groundwork with a solid author platform and a plan for your own promotional goals and ideas. Cross-market using your social media to build your email list. Try to get local media coverage: TV, newspaper, and radio. And, of course, don’t overlook the importance of “word-of-mouth” and book reviews.
Writers (like me) feel overburdened by such requirements. Writers want to write, not spend time harassing friends, hunting the Amazon top reviewers and begging for reviews, going to book stores, libraries, and cafes to find an audience for their book. But it just won’t happen today unless you are incredibly lucky or well connected.
Nonetheless, as a writer, I keep writing and submitting. My latest novels have been accepted by a new publisher, Amber Quill Press and I’m looking forward to their launching.
Double Deception will be available as an ebook October 4th, and as a paperback by the end of the month (from Amber Quill Press and Amazon.)
 Rima and Chloe will be available by January 2016.

Double Deception is a mystery set in Manhattan and the Poconos with some overlap of characters from my previous mystery, Crimson Ice, a Pocono Mountain Mystery, also available from Amazon. (Copies have also been donated to the Med West library in the basement.)
Reviews are helpful in promotion, and I’m told they don’t have to be all 5 star reviews to move the book upward on the Amazon lists.This is the cover and the “teaser” from the opening page of Double Deception, a mystery involving twins who have been separated at birth and grow up unaware of one another—until they meet under the most dire of circumstances.

Fallon checked the mailbox, grabbed the magazines and forwarded bills before she took the elevator. Without even glancing at the envelopes in hand, she inserted the key. It wouldn’t turn. She jiggled it, pushing at the door, which slowly swung open. Somebody’s been here, broken the lock.
She glanced into the apartment. A kitchen stool was overturned. Sofa pillows were strewn on the floor. Better get the hell out of here. But what about Goliath?
“Goliath! Come, boy,” she called, poised for flight. She searched her handbag for her cell. No dog. A faint whine sounded from the inside hallway that led to the bathroom. Backing toward the elevator, she pressed 911.
Before Fallon could stab at the call button, she heard the elevator rising. That was quick. Gretchen must be on her way up. Fallon shut off the phone.
Another sound—the stairway door behind her creaked. She turned, caught a glimpse of someone leaping toward her. Black ski mask. Gloved hands reaching for her. She flailed, but powerful arms grasped, pressed a cloth over her face.

She kicked, struggled, knew she was being dragged into the stairwell. Oh my God. This can’t be happening. The hall door creaked shut just as she heard the elevator door slide open. She tried to draw in air, scream, but sweet fumes flooded her nostrils and she slipped into darkness

Thursday, September 17, 2015


I just received the cover for my new novel, DOUBLE DECEPTION-- ebook available October 4th, paperback later in the month, from AMBER QUILL PRESS.

I think I like it. It captures the idea of twins, doubles, and mystery. It's interesting how the people who've seen the picture interpret it differently. One friend saw the faces as cracked like ancient statues. Another saw spider webs. I see the delicate pattern covering the faces as lace, suggestive of the hats women used to wear with a veil, creating an aura of mystery.

The following is a scene from the book when the sisters (identical twins) raised apart, unaware of the other's existence, confront one another for the first time:

“Oh, you’re awake!” The woman’s voice seemed eerily familiar, and when she approached, Fallon blinked. It seemed at first a mirage, a hallucination—a woman with her own face, her own figure loomed above her in the dim light. She realized, with a start, her identical twin was staring down at her.
Still lightheaded, Fallon struggled to a sitting position, feeling as if she were gazing into a slightly distorted mirror. Charlotte stared back with the same intensity, their eyes locked on one another. Charlotte spoke first. “Who are you? Where did you come from?”
Since learning of her twin’s existence, Fallon had been obsessed with finding her, yet the reality was overwhelming. Her reaction was visceral—blood pulsing at her temples, a rush of adrenaline. Despite the pain in her head and the vertigo that made the room spin, she reached a hand toward the figure. She tried and failed to say her name.
Charlotte’s face, at once strange and familiar, swam before her—pale, paler than her own. A slight crease between her eyebrows and a certain tightness about the mouth hinted at stress. She was slimmer, too. Her sister was staring at her, demanding to know who she was.
Fallon finally managed a croak. “Oh my God! Charlotte! Charlotte, you’re alive!”
“Who are you?” Charlotte repeated. “How do you know my name? Why do you look like me?”
Fighting the fog in her brain, Fallon tried to explain. “I’m your twin. Your sister, Fallon Jamison.”
“You’re my twin? My twin?” Charlotte drew in a deep breath. “This is crazy!”
“I only found out a few days ago.” It was still difficult to get the words out. “I saw your picture in the park on a poster—”
“My picture?” Charlotte’s voice faltered. “They’re looking for me?”
“You didn’t know?”
“I don’t know anything. I don’t know what’s going on, where I am, why I’m here. Then you show up. I thought I was losing my mind!

HERE'S MY OFFER: The first five people who respond by sending me their name and address at my email with the promise of posting an honest review will get a free copy of DOUBLE DECEPTION as soon as it is available in paperback.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Like most writers, what I most want to do is WRITE. I want to sit at my desk in my secluded alcove and spin stories like a spider spinning a web, like Penelope weaving Laertes' shroud. Not that it's always effortless--far from it. Sometimes the writing is difficult, painful, gut wrenching.

But here's the rub. No matter how difficult it is, it's never as difficult as the task of promoting. Today writers, even the most successful according to what I'm reading, have to do much of their own promoting. They have to get out there and shout from the rooftops, or from the radio interview,  from the blog, from the utube video, and also arrange their own reading venues, appearances--promote, promote, promote!

I've had invitations from book clubs, from educators, from libraries to discuss my writing and read from one of my books, and I've enjoyed the experience. I'm not shy. I'm happy to show up. It's just that the research, the going out there and finding opportunities takes away from my writing time.

I dream of being one of those reclusive writers who can sell thousands of books without leaving my  desk, of having fans write me letters begging me to explain my secrets, to have name recognition and my books displayed in airports. But I'm afraid if it's all up to me, it may never happen.

My new publisher, AMBER QUILL, offers a marketing plan. They send out emails announcing new books available every day and give advice on other promotions. I'm hoping this advice will make me a better, more enthusiastic promoter. I'm breathlessly waiting for the publication of my mystery DOUBLE DECEPTION, sometime next month or early November to test it out.

Friday, September 4, 2015


       Writing scenes that portray or even suggest a sexual encounter can be difficult.  Just show? Just tell?  Show and tell?

      My characters are driven by many forces.  That's what makes for a story that people want to read. Sex and sexual attraction is a vital part of the life of any well-rounded character. A prime motivator that drives mystery and suspense. Lust. Jealousy. Suspicion. Theft.  Manipulation. Betrayal. Greed. Murder. Some of the qualities that contribute to a page-turner.

       I don't write erotica or porn. I don't write "romances". I try to write realistically, to present sex as a part of normal life but also as one of the natural, human drives that leads to irrational behavior, to situations that create or increase the conflicts for a novel that makes a reader ask "What happens next?"

        I've been faulted for creating characters that aren't "likable" or like, Hillary, "likable enough." It is my belief that certain characters, and not just villains, are more interesting if they have minor (and sometimes not so minor) flaws.

         My characters in my latest novel, RIMA AND CHLOE, the major characters are guilty of various sins and offenses--adultery, selfishness, greed, rage, betrayal.  A supporting character is revealed as a pedophile and murderer. But until the denouement, he appears more sympathetically than some of the major characters.

         In Rima and Chloe the adulterous love affair jumpstarts and drives the plot. Lovers betray spouses and sometimes deceive one another. But, I do believe, it is in the cause of a deeper understanding of human nature, and the ultimate redemption of the characters.