by Guest Columnist, John Foxjohn Copyright © 2013 John FoxjohnOriginally Published by 1st Turning Point, 2009
I fully admit that if I see someone doing something and it works, and I think it will work for me, as long as no one has copyrighted it, I’ll use it.
When that happened, I knew what I had to do. These people were promoting wherever they went and parked-I had to do the same.
I started out with two 12×12 magnets on the back of my mini-van. However, someone stole them. Before they did, I’d gotten some great feedback on those magnets. People saw them and liked them.
Besides having the ability for someone to steal them off the vehicle, a car would need to be close behind me to see them. I liked the effect they were getting, but realized that it would get too expensive if people kept stealing them. I wasn’t about to trash the idea. I just needed to do it better, and then a friend suggested I go talk to someone in a print shop.
Here’s a picture of what I came up with.
Both of these cost me a total of 30 tax-deducting dollars. That’s right. You tell me where you can get this kind of exposure for $30.00. Besides that, I even sold a book to the people at the print shop.
I want to tell you a story about my van and the signs. My wife, son, and I were headed home from the Texas Book Festival in Austin. I drove with my wife in the front seat, son in the back. As I talked to my wife, I didn’t pay attention to the vehicles around me.
My son yelled, “Look, Dad,” and pointed to the right lane. We glanced over and a truck pulling a small trailer came up beside us with several males in it. One held up a handmade sign that said, “Color of Murder.”
This may not mean anything to you, but it is the title of my novel that scheduled to come out. No one knew this title but my family, publisher, and the people who read my web site.
You talk about getting me excited. I got home and checked my e-mail and I had one from the guy in the truck. They were a band on the way back from Austin, too. They looked up my web site on their phone.
Since that time, every member of the band has purchased all my novels. But they didn’t stop there. They sent me a friend’s request on MySpace. I am listed on their page as one of the people who has most influenced them.
They also put the covers of my books on their MySpace page, and I am listed as their favorite author.
They even wrote a song called Color of Murder on the open highway.
Everyone who goes to their site sees this. They are helping me promote and brand my name.
One last story about the effectiveness of these signs-after I put them on, I had a book signing in Dallas at a book festival. I loaded my stuff up and headed out. I stopped In Jacksonville to gas up and get coffee.
When I went in to get the coffee, the woman who worked there could see my van. She asked me about my books. I told her, and she asked if I had any on me.
As it happened, I had a van full of them because I was on my way to a signing. I told her I did, and she asked to see them. Of course, I am not about to tell her no. I paid, and went and got them. She decided to purchase two of them. While she was getting her money, the customer behind me asked to see them.
To make a long story short, I sold seventeen at the store on my way to a signing.
This is not the only times that things like this have happened. I have sold books in places some may consider strange-the drive-through of Kentucky Fried Chicken, for instance.
But I am able to do this for three reasons, and the first has to be the signs that let’s everyone know who I am.
Of course, the other two reasons is I am not shy at all, and I always keep books in all of my vehicles for this very reason.
Prior planning prevents poor performance.
John Foxjohn, the author of the best-selling true crime, Killer Nurse, epitomizes the phrase "been there--done that." Born and raised in the rural East Texas town of Nacogdoches, he quit high school
and joined the Army at seventeen: Viet Nam veteran, Army Airborne Ranger, policeman and homicide detective, retired teacher and coach, now he is a multi-published author.
However, when he was twelve, Foxjohn read a book about Crazy Horse, and decided right then he would also write one about the famous Lakota leader. After many "yondering" years as L'Amour called them, he spent ten years researching his historical fiction, Journey of the Spirit, now titled The People's Warrior.
Maybe because of his eclectic reading habits John has not limited himself to publishing in one genre. In fact, he has published mysteries, romantic suspenses, historical fiction, legal thrillers, and nonfiction Killer Nurse.
When he's not writing, teaching writing classes, or speaking to different writing groups and conferences, Foxjohn loves to spend time square dancing, working in his rose garden, or in his garage doing woodwork. However, his passion outside of family and writing is without a doubt, anything to do with the Dallas Cowboys.
Killer Nurse by John FoxjohnShe was hired to nurse them back to health...instead, she took their lives.
For months, the DaVita Dialysis Center in Lufkin, Texas had been baffled by the rising number of deaths and injuries occurring in their clinic. In April alone, they’d rushed thirty-four patients to the hospital. But no one expected such a horrific cause to be behind it all.
Kimberly Clark Saenz was a well-liked licensed vocational nurse at the center. The East Texas nurse was a mother of two, and known for her smiles and the stories she told to help patients pass the time. But on April 28, 2008, witnesses came forward to say that instead of lifesaving medication, they’d seen Saenz adding toxic bleach to IV ports. Turns out, it wasn’t the first time. Once caught, the shocking story of Saenz’s murderous practices began to unravel…
The Castelane blog will feature guest authors, artists and publishers, writing about marketing, publishing and the joys and angsts of the writing life. If you’d like to contribute to either the Castelane blog or the Knowledge Base, please contact us at email@example.com.
I’d also love to hear your experiences about your favorite books or interesting teachers. Feel free to post them here.