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TEXAS WRITERS' LEAGUE-Marketing, Schmoozing, and Building Connections as a Writer

Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 7:00pm



Thursday, July 19 at 7PM


Marketing, Schmoozing, and Building Connections as a Writer

On the Third Floor of BookPeople




It's tempting to think that book marketing consists entirely of sending out review copies, emailing with bookstore reps, and shameless plugging your work on social media. In reality, marketing often does not resemble targeted outreach for specific projects. Instead, it takes the form of informal conversations and the discovery and creation of a community of writers and readers. This panel will feature four authors talking about specific strategies and general practices that have worked for them:


Dixie Evatt is the author, with Sue Meredith Cleveland, of the Crispin Leads Mysteries Series, written under the pen name Meredith Lee. The first two installments, Shrouded and Digging Up the Dead, were back-to-back finalists in the 2017 and 2018 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest. Dixie is a former political reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. She later taught writing and public relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. While there she published a book, along with colleagues, on the communication practices of small organizations, Thinking Big. Staying Small. When she teamed up with Cleveland to write fiction, they sold a screenplay treatment to a Hollywood producer. Although the movie was never made, they used the seed money to found ThirtyNineStars, their Austin-based publishing company. They also wrote a screenplay based on the life of a Waco schoolteacher who was imprisoned without trial in World War I. That screenplay, Wireless, was a semi-finalist for the Chesterfield Writer’s Film Project in 2003. In 2017, IngramSpark recognized ThirtyNineStars with their Ignite Rising Star Award, which recognizes authors “who have already demonstrated a savvy approach to their self-publishing journeys.”


Walt Gragg lives in the Austin area with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He is a retired attorney and former Texas State Prosecutor. Prior to law school, he spent a number of years in the military.  Penguin Random House released his debut novel The Red Line in May 2017.The Red Line received a high coveted "boxed" "starred" review from Publishers Weekly and was named the 2017 Best Book Award Winner for best thriller at the 14th Annual American BookFest. Walt is presently one of five finalists for the prestigious 2018 International Thriller Writers Best First Novel, winner to be announced in New York on July 14th.


Alyssa Harad is the author of the memoir Coming to My Senses: A  Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride. Her work has appeared in O: The Oprah MagazineMarie ClaireThe Chronicle Review, and the award-winning perfume blog Now Smell This. Alyssa grew up in Boise, Idaho. After completing her undergraduate degree in English at Harvard, she returned to her hometown where she worked (simultaneously) as a cook, a journalist, and a creative arts facilitator at a private psychiatric hospital. When the hospital drastically cut back its creative arts program she left to pursue her doctorate in English at the University of Texas. Throughout graduate school, she collaborated with therapists and others to work with girls and women, particularly survivors of sexual abuse and trauma.


Christina Soontornvat grew up behind the counter of her parents' Thai restaurant with her nose stuck in a book. She is the author of the children's fantasy series, The Changelings, and has more books coming out soon, from subversive picture books to princess-power chapter books, to even more epic middle grade. When she isn't locked in her office trying to meet deadlines, Christina is also a Science Education consultant.