Faith Wilcox was referred to me by her editor Candace Johnson. I’ve enjoyed so much working with Faith on her social media marketing and now on her book publicity. We’re in the midst of a six-month long publicity campaign for her new book which will be released in June. Let’s have Faith tell us more.
Why Do I Write?
Throughout the past two decades, writing has saved me. I began writing when sitting by my thirteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth’s bedside while she was receiving treatments for a rare pediatric bone cancer. I was overwhelmed, devastated, and in a state of shock during the first months after her diagnosis. I started to write as a way to release the thoughts that I kept buried inside, process what my daughter and I were experiencing, and express both my fears and hopes.
Why Did I Write Books?
And after my daughter’s death, I wrote while in a maelstrom of grief. Writing created a passageway through my grief, and years later, as I was healing, I wrote about moments and ways that I found comfort and peace. Poetry emerged from my writing, and in time I wrote and self-published a book of poetry, Facing Into The Wind: A Mother’s Healing After the Death of Her Child, which is intended as a companion to those on the journey of grieving and healing.
Years later, I reread my earlier writings and from them wrote a memoir of my sorrows and joys, my despair and hope, my grieving and healing. My most recent book, Hope Is a Bright Star: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live Again, will be published by She Writes Press, an independent hybrid publisher, in June 2021. At turns both heartbreaking and heartwarming, Hope Is a Bright Star reveals how abiding love can heal a family.
Finding a Publisher
Finding a publisher was quite an expedition into a field with which I was unfamiliar. The publishing world had changed considerably since I first self-published my book of poetry. I dove in and learned from influencers about the publishing world and researched the benefits and drawbacks of self-publishing, hybrid publishing, and traditional publishing. I asked for advice from people who had recently published a book, and I listened to both cautionary tales and stories of success. I wrote to traditional publishers that required an agent and those that didn’t. I submitted my book proposal to publishers, agents, and one hybrid publisher. I was thrilled when She Writes Press, recently recognized as the number one indie hybrid publisher, accepted my manuscript for publishing.
Working During the Pandemic
The disruption of normal life and work during the pandemic has been limiting, but I discovered an ironic silver lining. A quieter life has meant that I’ve had more time to work on my book production with She Writes Press, expand my social media presence, and make plans for book publicity. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about the multitude of steps during the book publishing process as I’ve worked hand-in-hand with my publisher. And, having a quieter life has allowed me to meet every deadline in the process!
I’ve also dedicated time to growing my author platform, which includes writing frequent blogs about how, when one is undergoing stressful medical events, a daily practice of writing can improve physical and psychological outcomes. I frequently cite evidence-based research that confirms these findings. I’ve reached out to and connected with influencers who attest to the benefits of writing and have written numerous guest blogs for and been interviewed for several podcasts by these influencers. My followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and my connections on LinkedIn have increased significantly.
Increasing your author platform also includes creating book marketing strategy and executing it. As Hope Is a Bright Star will be published in June, I am setting the stage for my book publicity with Sue Canfield of Ausoma. In addition to promoting my memoir on social media platforms, Sue and I will submit my book’s Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) to reviewers searching for endorsements, to award contests, and to influencers. Sue will prepare press releases for local media, national magazines, my college alumni magazine, and more. Together we’ll arrange for in-person and Zoom interviews promoting Hope Is a Bright Star and for events at bookstores.
My Favorite Book Marketing Tip—How to Get Endorsements
To begin, create a list, including contact information, of all of the people who are in your immediate sphere of influence. Include your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, college alumni connections, book club members, trade association connections, and more. Reach out to these connections, explain that you are writing a book or have written a book, and ask if they have any connections with authors or influencers in the genre of your book. You may be surprised by the number of contacts they will generate! Simultaneously, broaden your reach to include your social media friends and followers. The goals are two-fold. You want the influencers to get to know you, and you want to contribute something of value to them.
Reach out to your “old” and new connections. Ask them to read your manuscript or ARC. Ask for endorsements. Plan months ahead of your publishing deadlines. Give everyone plenty of time to read your manuscript and to respond.
Goals for 2021
As I mentioned above, my plans for 2021 include writing on my social media platforms, expanding my sphere of influence, and promoting Hope Is a Bright Star. And, of course, visiting with family and friends after the pandemic is behind us!
Finding My Books
You can find Hope Is a Bright Star: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live Again on my website , on Amazon, on INDIEBOUND, or on Apple Books. Facing Into The Wind: A Mother’s Healing After the Death of Her Child is available on Amazon.
Faith Fuller Wilcox believes that self-expression through writing leads to healing. Her writing is reflective of a growing body of medical research about “narrative identity,” which highlights that how we make sense of what happens to us and the value we give to experiences beyond our control directly impact our physical and psychological outcomes. Faith learned these truths firsthand when her thirteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer that took her life. Faith’s journey from grief and despair to moments of comfort and peace taught her life-affirming lessons, which she shares today through her writing.
To learn more go to www.faithwilcoxnarratives.com.