Deb Linda Sells Herself!

No, not that way. Get your mind out of the gutter. I mean, honestly, who needs a middle-aged hooker? Especially one who won’t wear spike heels. Trust me, you’d have a lot more fun with my book.

But you know what? Authors do have to sell themselves. From the time you decide you want to be published (and, really, what’s the point of writing a book if you don’t want to share it with readers?), you have to put yourself out there and show agents, editors, and future readers that you’re someone they want to invest both time and money in.

I know! And here you thought it was all about your book.

You can imagine how difficult it’s been for a shy, retiring soul like myself (stop laughingβ€”it’s true! well, sort of) to pull herself out of the shadows and connect with people she (gasp!) doesn’t even know in person.

The first thing I did when I set out to find an agent was start a blog. I wanted it to reflect the humor and general smartassery of my books, so I, yannoh, went with being myself as much as possible. *grin* Fortunately, the whole smartass thing isn’t *cough* much of a stretch for me.

After I found my wonderful agent and she sold my book to my fantastic editor (um…that may not accurately reflect the time involved for this step of the publishing process, but that’s a whole ‘nother post), I shared the news with my blog readers in what I hoped was an eye-catching wayβ€”by following the precedent set by my agent’s previous clients when their books sold: I dyed a colored stripe in my hair.

I chose fuchsia*, because it showed up really well against my light hair:

When strangers started commenting on the stripe, I took the opportunity to tell them it was in honor of selling my book. I even had some business cards made with the book cover on the front, and book info on the back, so I could hand one to anyone who asked about my hair.


See? The whole hair stripe thing turned out to be kind of a “stealth marketing” campaign. Plus, it was just plain fun.

Eventually, I had some bookmarks designed (by the very talented Jeff Fielder), and started handing them out to anyone who expressed an interest in my writing.

No, I do not not force them on people. Much. But if you tell me you’ve pre-ordered In a Fix, and email me your address at linda(dot)grimes(at)gmail(dot)com, I’ll send you a signed one.

(Oops. There I go with that sneaky marketing again.) (What? I’m just trying to be nice.)

Of course, it’s not all me doing the selling. Tor is doing their part for marketing In a Fix, too. They’ve sent out tons of advance reader copies to reviewers and book bloggers, they’re giving away ten copies for FREE on GoodReads (oops! did I do it again? sorry!), have set up blog interviews and guest spots for me, and a real live in-person book-signing event at Barnes & Noble (um *cough* yeah, apparently I have no shame). They’re even doing a book trailer.

Will all of this translate into book sales? Who knows? But what the heck. I figure it can’t hurt.


*It took me three times to spell “fuchsia” correctly. Seriously, I should have just said “pink.” But I’m stubborn.


So, what color stripe should I put in my hair when Michelle sells my next book? (Please go with something easier to spell.)


43 Replies to “Deb Linda Sells Herself!”

  1. I can never spell fuchsia right the first time either…

    I think your marketing strategies have been great! It intimidates the stew out of me to think of it, so I like seeing your approach.

    Next time I’d definitely go for vermillion… πŸ˜‰

    1. Honestly? I think you can make marketing as simple or as complex as you choose. Every writer needs to find his/her comfort zone.

      And vermillion? I LIKE it! I might even have to bump it up a notch to verBILLION! *grin*

  2. selling yourself is the part of the business that you don’t realize is part of the business until it’s upon you and you’re in charge of the word of mouth campaign. i think a colored stripe in the hair is a fantastic way to get that conversation started!

    1. It’s definitely an icebreaker for conversations with strangers. But I don’t have to tell you about conversations with strangers–you’re the expert there! πŸ™‚

  3. Linda, you’ve wrapped up this week perfectly! And you’ve been holding out on the goodies! You have bookmarks too?! They’re gorgeous and I love the business card layout–did you get those made locally? (Look at me–MORE MARKETING! Are we sneaky or what? πŸ˜‰ )

    As for what color should be next, I’ll consult the true fashionistas in this house and see what they recommend πŸ˜‰

    1. I had the bookmarks printed at and the business cards at Both are really reasonable (so important to starving writers), and the quality is good, too. (No, I’m not getting any special consideration for plugging them. *grin* Just passing along my opinion.)

  4. Love the bookmarks, Linda! (Isn’t Jeff great?) Your marketing is very stealthy, but effective – let’s not forget that you’re fun to follow, that counts for a lot!

    And I can’t wait to see another streak in your hair! How about…uh…red. Can’t miss with that. πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks, Joanne!

      I did misspell “red” once. I typed “read,” and didn’t catch it until my cheeks were thoroughly red, making my embarrassment easily read.

        1. Yeah, I’ll catch myself typing “know” when I mean “no” sometimes. I can spell, but my fingers often operate like malfunctioning voice recognition software.

    1. D’oh! I did forget to mention the ARC tour. I’ve been loving hearing back from everyone who’s read along the way. Of course, now my book is officially more well-traveled than I am. But that’s okay. I can stomp down my jealousy in the name of promotion. πŸ˜‰

      But, come on. Chartreuse? It might clash with my complexion when I have a hangover. πŸ˜‰

  5. Good Morning

    Nice post Linda, my suggestion is going with BLACK STRIPE (not hard to spell, and will definetly start a conversation) what do you think.

    Okay here is the Deb Mom in me, Linda you forgot a word in the first part of writing “time and money” you forgot the money. (Your right forgetting the money would not be good “if your mind is in the gutter, just saying”).

    Your post today is great, I agree,whether it is a book, (your body oops didn’t mean to say that boy those fingers just do their own thing sometimes bad Marcia)you always need to be promoting your book the not enough should never be in a writers thoughts.

    Love the cover and the book marks (I want one please) and I am looking so forward to reading your book.

    Have a great weekend and keep up the promotion. See you all Monday.

    1. p.s. Mom, I have preordered a paperback copy of this for me, but I’ve now pre-ordered a Kindle version for you, so you can now officially ask Linda for a signed bookmark.

    2. Thanks, Marcia! You have good eyes. I fixed it. πŸ™‚

      Black, huh? That would certainly be dramatic. And of course I’ll send you a bookmark. I’ll get your address from Joanne. She knows where you live, right? πŸ˜‰

  6. Love the pink stripe! See, I didn’t even try to spell the f-word. (Not THAT f-word. I can spell that one just fine. I meant the colour.)

    Yeah, that whole marketing thing kinda sneaks up on you. The first time I mentioned my books and somebody said, “What are they about?”, I went, “Uh… Well, um, they’re about this woman and um…” *winces*

    Very shortly after that, I developed my one-sentence “elevator pitch”: “It’s a spicy suspense series called “Never Say Spy” about a kickass middle-aged bookkeeper who gets sucked into a spy’s life.” You’d think that’d be pretty easy to spit out, but I manage to deliver the entire sentence flawlessly about one time in ten, and then only if I’m expecting the question.

    Love your bookmarks, and I can hardly wait to get my grubby paws on your book (of course I pre-ordered). How about a nice brilliant purple stripe next time? πŸ™‚

    1. Ha! Yeah, I rarely misspell THAT word, either. πŸ˜‰

      Having a one-line description available on the tip of my tongue would probably be a good idea. Though, knowing me, I’d still trip over it.

      *adding another vote for purple*

      1. Hey Grim & the rest of New Jersey, I know this is a real estate blog but enerythivg about housing sucks. We could really use some happy news, Any good fall festivals going on in North Jersey, Where can I get some great apple cider. Any recommendations as to the best farms to go apple picking in Morris, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon Counties, Any recommended haunted houses to visit. I know there is a garlic festival in Lafayette village this weekend, any other recommendations????

  7. You’ve put enough of your personality into everything you’ve done so far, it’s bound to translate to success. You’re having fun, and everybody can feel it. Maybe you oughta have two stripes in your hair next time … one for each book. Keep the pink, (I’m not too proud to call it, and spell it, “pink”) and add a new color for each subsequent book you sell. You’ll look like a parrot in no time.

  8. All the basic colors have been covered so I’m going to suggest goluboy – I mean blau – sorry azul – that is to say nila – forgot where I was for a minute – I mean BLUE.
    And I love my signed IN A Fix bookmark. Thank you.

    1. Another mystery is home path homes. I have one near my house right by a very busy steert. But would make a good rental as right next to diner/wild by nature and great restaurant. When I called I was told there is a 3.5% rebate at closing if it is owner occupied and the person takes a mortgage. I then say how much for cash? Do I get a discount. Told Homepath not looking for cash buyers and no discount. Meanwhile house is sitting empty now for 10 m2000onths. Days of RTC no financing they just sold them quick. House is so cheap I could sell a few stocks and pay for it. Don’t even care much about inspection etc. Houses can’t sell quick cause of short sales and banks dragging it out.

    2. JJ [41];right next to diner/wild by nature and great retanurast.The comfort food place closed. I liked it, spouse didn’t. Is the Italian place any good? I haven’t been in there. I think the diner is OK, but overpriced. Like the Greek and the Chinese; didn’t like the sushi place. We should grab a smoke up the road some time I’ll buy.How about the interior paint job on that house? Think they were running an illegal day care? That price is what ALL of the middle class, 60 year old capes in Nassau should be selling for if they were in livable condition, not just the repo’d fixers. And I think that they will be, soon enough.

    1. MUAH! Thanks, K-pop! That would be super. Can you email me your address again? I’m sure I have it around here someplace, but since “Disorganization” is my middle name… *grin*

  9. Awesome idea – I LOVE the stealth marketing aspect of this – and mostly, I love it because it’s such fun!

    Since you already went with one popular Anime color, I’d say Turquoise next time out of the box!

  10. Another one for nomToo Much of a Good ThingWhy we need less democracy. Peter Orszag September 14, 2011 2000| 9:46 pmIn an 1814 lteter to John Taylor, John Adams wrote that e2809cthere never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.e2809d That may read today like an overstatement, but it is certainly true that our democracy finds itself facing a deep challenge: During my recent stint in the Obama administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget, it was clear to me that the countrye28099s political polarization was growing worsee28094harming Washingtone28099s ability to do the basic, necessary work of governing. If you need confirmation of this, look no further than the recent debt-limit debacle, which clearly showed that we are becoming two nations governed by a single Congresse28094and that paralyzing gridlock is the result.So what to do? To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.

  11. 15 gary Does anyone know if the inter-continental rarlioad from New York to London is non-stop? Given that it was built by Lincoln , I think it goes directly to London. Perhaps one stop in Colorado.This intercontitental rarlioad has been touted 5 times by the smartest president/greatest orator in history. But hey, maybe they didn’t teach the difference between inter and trans in Accidental college so can’t blame him.

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