Tag Archives: Libraries

A New Focus for a New Year


I’ve been thinking long and hard about how I’d like to move forward in 2016 with all my blogs, not just this one. I now write and publish three others – Reading Recommendations, reading recommendations reviewed, and The View From My Trailer and Verandah. Each is very specific as to what gets posted there, leaving this main blog to become the mish-mash/catch-all for my ideas, promotions, book and author news, and information. In looking through past posts for the purpose of reblogging whatever still seems relevant, I’ve also discovered a lot of outdated information, links, and thoughts that I’m now archiving.

My personal interests have also moved from the specifics of writing, getting published, and surviving-as-a-writer-aspects of the business to effective promotion and finding Readers for what we write. I’m still very interested in libraries, public and personal, but not much at all in bookstores and bookselling per se. In fact, my loyal readers will realize that I’m not interested at all in the numbers – whether they be sales figures, or numbers of followers on social media, number of reviews and ratings or even the number of subscribers here on my blogs. My intent with my own writing, blog posts and stories, is to find more Readers who enjoy reading what I and other authors write. Period.

I am, and always will be, interested primarily in reading – both what I read and the way and reasons and types of books that other Readers read.

So I won’t be writing any new blog posts about how to write a book, or how to find a publisher or on self-publishing what you’ve written. I’ll talk a bit more about marketing and promotion, but that will mainly be posted as guest posts first for my blogging friends. (I’ve already collected many of these posts I wrote previously in a dedicated page above.) There are a few draft posts on writing and publishing that I’ve had queued up forever and I may still publish these, but for the most part I’ll be narrowing my topics and subjects of interest beginning now.

For those of you who require direction because you are still struggling with your writing or deciding how to publish or trying to figure out how to sell more copies of your books, there are many, many more bloggers out there who cover these topics far better than I ever have. And you can find links to a lot of these bloggers by checking out Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Resources Page. In fact, Chris’s blog is a great place to subscribe to as Chris really does keep on top of whatever is being published on other blogs by reblogging the very best of those posts himself.

I’ll also increase blogging about food and eating, because I’ve kind of strayed away from that other activity in my life that has always been important to me.

And cats! Although you’ll more likely find posts about my cats in my other blog, The View From My Trailer and Verandah.

So here’s to a New Year, a more focused blog, and lots more news and information about books and reading and Readers and all those people out there who love books and great writing!

And remember, if you are a Writer then you must also be a Reader!


A message to all bookstores and libraries … Everywhere!

Hello Booksellers and Librarians,

I am currently on the beautiful island of Bequia in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, a country in the Caribbean. It is no coincidence that this is the setting of my novel, Island in the Clouds, and where the next three novels in the Bequia Perspectives series will be set. Here’s the cover:

island clouds front june 11l

See that hammock? I just hauled myself out of there to come inside to the laptop to write this blog post to all of you. That’s the harbour and the jetty in Port Elizabeth in the background, as seen from our verandah.

And the reason I’m writing to you specifically is because I have had a thought (and I can hear bjH groaning: Oh, no, Susan! Not another idea! Can’t you just relax???) … Why should we allow distance to stop us from promoting books and their authors? I am quite capable of giving a reading or talking about my book, about Bequia as a travel destination, writing, publishing – really, whatever topic that interests you – while I sit on my verandah and sip a fruity drink or, maybe not as exciting a backdrop, at the desk inside this house.

If anyone out there is willing to give it a whirl, I’d be more than happy to organize a Skype chat with your store/library for the benefit of your customers/patrons, anywhere you happen to be. As long as it’s somewhere English is the first language, since I’m not proficient in any other language.

All you need on your end is a dependable internet connection, Skype (free to download and use if calling between computers), and a monitor and speakers, as well as a group of people interested in what I have to say. These can be book club members, anyone interested in travel, or beginning writers. I have a slide show of Bequia photos that I’ve prepared. These could run on your screen while I read from my novel. I also have some interesting videos to show so your audience gets some “local flavour” of this place … And, speaking of which, if you’re really ambitious, I can even recommend a few “local” treats you can prepare and serve the audience you do round up.

Please give this some thought. It’s a new method of promotion that has not yet been explored enough, as far as I’m concerned, but it does have a great deal of potential to open up international possibilities, both in presenting interesting reading materials and information/ideas, to the people you serve – your customers and patrons.

And, here’s the best part – it’s free! At least, I’m offering to speak or read from my book for free right now, just to test this as a viable means of promotion. All I ask is that you stock print copies of my novel in your store for sale prior to the event, or add a print copy to your library collection for circulation. And promote the event to your local community well in advance! (Also, this novel is available as a eBook and I have a way for bookstores to sell that, too, so mentioning the eBook availability to your customers is in your best interest!)

So, if you are interested in pursuing this idea with me – whether you’re back in my home country of Canada, in the United States, England, Australia, or anywhere else there’s an audience that speaks and understands English – please send me an email: susanmtoy (at) gmail.com

Let’s discuss!

(I’d also like to organize a few long-distance literary salons and invite a group of authors to participate with me, but that’s an idea for another blog post.)