Author as promoter — David Edmonds and his LILY OF PERU

lily-peruIn January of this year David Edmonds (Chile  1963-65) published his “romance thriller” Lily of Peru with the Peace Corps Writers imprint. David has written that since then the book has received a “good deal of love.” The attention that the book has received includes:

One of those reviews of Lily of Peru, written by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers’ Favorite, follows:

Sigh. That was my reaction when I finished David C. Edmonds’ new work, Lily of Peru. You know, the type of sigh you emit after you’ve finished a book that has left you with a deeply satisfying feeling of having read a really, really great book. Both a sigh of satisfaction and a sigh of regret that the book is done. This epic novel follows the story of university professor, Markus Thorsen, as he receives a message from his beloved Marissa that she is ready to leave her Peruvian husband and move to the United States. And to Markus. Dropping everything to rush to her side, Markus is ecstatic, and hopeful that what he has wished for, for so long, might actually be coming true. But once he reaches her, he finds that all may not be what he thought. Marissa has connections to an insurgent group called The Shining Path, and those connections lead the couple on a journey fraught with danger and intrigue. By seeking what he truly wants in life, will Markus end up losing it all?

Lily of Peru is a fantastic read. Romance, action, adventure, thrills and excitement are all wrapped up in this book. David C. Edmonds’ descriptive prose brings the whole of Peru, including Lima, the Andes and the jungle to life. The main characters, Markus and Marissa, as well as a whole host of minor characters, come to life on the page. Anyone who loves to read thrillers, political intrigue, or romance novels will enjoy this book. I was sad when I finished this book, and look very much forward to reading more by this author in the future.

On Amazon.com Lily of Peru currently has 46 — yes, forty-six! — reviews that average 41/2 stars.

When asked how he garnered all those reviews, David wrote:

Great question, and I’m glad you asked it. Good reviews sell books. No reviews or few reviews are never a good sign. It’s probably easier for me to get reviews (and book sales) because my wife and I are so well known in this area for our community involvement. Call it “platform.” And when people tell me how much they enjoyed Lily, I ask them, nicely, if they’d consider writing a review. Almost all say “yes,” but only about half go to the trouble. I’ve also gifted books to friends and associates and hinted for a review.

First-time authors without connections have a more difficult time. We discuss this issue in the writers’ group that I head. My advice is:

  1. Do what it takes to get yourself and your work known to the public.
  2. When you give talks or sell books to individuals, mention how important reviews are and put out the suggestion.
  3. Make a list of ten or twelve or more in your circles of friends and acquaintances who would probably write a review, and give them a copy in exchange for an impartial review.
  4. The Amazon.com practice of accepting reviews only from buyers can be skirted by asking interested parties to purchase the cheaper Kindle version in exchange for a signed hard copy.

Thus, the short answer to getting reviews is that it takes an effort on the part of the writer.

Lily of Peru has also kept David busy on the speakers’ circuit.

As for speaking engagements, when Lily first came out, I had the experience of most other first-time novelists — little interest other than in my immediate circles. All that changed after my library invited me as the featured speaker for their local authors’ day. I’m a pretty good speaker, being a former university professor, so others in the audience invited me to their events. Word got out. Lily won some awards, and pretty soon I was getting more invitations than I could handle from writers’ groups, book clubs, libraries, art galleries, radio shows, Rotary Clubs, church groups and many more.

Although I don’t give talks to sell books (my purpose is to build platform), I find that many in the audience want signed copies. My latest talk was at the Lafayette Museum Association in my hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana, where I’m well known for other books on Louisiana history. More than a hundred people attended, many with copies of my other books they wished to have signed. Tomorrow I’m doing a radio interview about Lily. Later this month I’m going to the awards ceremony of the Florida Writers Association in Orlando, where Lily is a finalist. I’ve also accepted an invitation to speak to the American Club in Lima, Peru, and will do so when the Spanish translation is available.

In short, Lily is doing well. My advice to other writers is simple. Don’t wait for opportunity to come knocking. Create your own opportunity. Get out the word on social media. Accept speaking engagements. Enter contests. Put on a good show.

I could go on, but won’t.

David also has a website — DEdmonds.com, and has  taken the opportunity to have an “Author Page” at Amazon.com both of which enable him to promote his book, and give readers a chance to know him.

And he has another book in the works
Add to all that David is already writing (98,000 words so far) — and promoting his next novel, The Girl in the Glyphs, (archaeological thriller/suspense)

Glyphs is the story of a young Smithsonian epigraphist who goes to Nicaragua in search of a mysterious “glyph” cave. If she can find the cave, she’ll make a name for herself in archaeology. If she can decipher the symbols inside the cave, she can use the results for her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University. But first she has to deal with a cheating husband, resolve her love interest with a man she meets at the US Embassy in Managua, and outwit a nasty band of tomb looters who are also searching for the cave–not for glyphs, but for pirate treasure.

Glyphs is already a finalist for the Royal Palms Literary Award of the Florida Writers Association in the unpublished category.

The moral of the story . . .
All you writers — read through this article again, and follow up on similar — or the same — opportunities that David has used for YOU to promote YOUR book.

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