Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April #IWSG: Taking Advantage of the A to Z Challenge

First Wed of Every MonthCome join Alex J. Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We discuss our fears, insecurities, ups and downs of the writing process and post the first Wednesday of every month! http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html


April IWSG Day Question: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book?

Several years ago, I participated in two consecutive A to Z Challenges. Last year, I had prior commitments. This year, my swamped life threatens to drown me, so I am unable to join in the fun blogging experience. I did not do any marketing or networking to my knowledge, but my sales from my first book increased during those times.

During the second year of the challenge, my theme was my town of Hannibal, Missouri, located on the Mississippi River. Our town features the boyhood home of Mark Twain. Each day I highlighted a historic site with a photograph and a snippet of our town's history. And believe me, this place is chocked full of fun, ghostly legends. Don't forget all the many establishments celebrating the life of Mark Twain. My oldest son and I ran around town, snapping photos of everything from the Old Jail House, to the new Wax Museum, to the famous Mark Twain Cave and the lighthouse. All of these adventurous places stirred to life a fresh, new contemporary mystery.


As I was standing on Main Street yesterday, the clouds rolled in (as did the rain) and the tourists. Haunted Wagon rides are now departing daily, taking sight-seers to all the deliciously spooky spots in town, including the old Baptist Cemetery (featured in Tom Sawyer) and the vacant lot where the famous Amos J. Stillwell murder took place. The house was so haunted that eventually the city tore it down. A story has been sitting right in front of me for many years. Of course, I've changed the name of the town to protect the innocent.

You never know where an A to Z blogging challenge may lead, but take full advantage of the opportunity to gather story ideas for later and inspiration for your next book!