Wednesday, July 9, 2014

You Don’t Like My Baby? by Christina Tarabochia

I read a comment author and publisher Christina Tarabochia wrote that I found inspiring when it comes to turning marketing on its ear. -- Sandy 

Christina: A few weeks ago, my mother (Sherrie Ashcraft) and I sat down for over an hour with a reporter from a newspaper based a few towns away. We talked, she wrote, she left.

A few days later I got a call. “Christina, this is Starla, the reporter with The News Register. I’m reading On the Threshold but … I’m having a real problem with it.”

I gulped. “Really?” Had the article already been flushed down the book review toilet into the sewage of literary waste? “What is the problem?”

“Well,” –and she paused very wickedly— “it keeps making me cry and I love it."

I don’t think I need to explain to other writers what the tsunami of relief did to the knots in my stomach. Or course I instantly called my mother and played the same lines on her. To equally effective results of devastation-turned-to-joy in her voice.

A week later the article released. It was on the front page of the second section AND continued on, covering the second page completely, with an additional sidebar purely about the time we spent in Nigeria when my parents were missionaries with the Southern Baptist Convention. 

The phone call could have been a huge negative, but it turned positive. And since the book is a finalist in theOCW Cascade Awards, I'm turning this heart-stopping fear of an author into a marketing ploy and asking readers if they, too, would like to have a problem with the book. We’ve posted this question on Facebook, Twitter, and in our Ashberry Lane Publishing newsletter. Shortly after we posted, we got a “negative” comment. A reader share our post and said she had a bad experience with On the Threshold as well: It had stolen a night’s worth of sleep from her because she couldn’t put it down! More “negative” good marketing.

I’ve heard of an author who took all his negative book reviews and had his mother read them in a promotional video.

Have you ever taken an experience that didn't start out the as the most pleasant moment of your writing life and turned it into a positive?


Mother/daughter writing team Sherrie Ashcraft and Christina Berry Tarabochia bring a voice of authenticity to
this novel as they have experienced some of the same issues faced by these characters. They like to say they were separated at birth but share one brain, which allows them to write in a seamless stream. Both live in NW Oregon, love spending time together, and were on a winning Family Feud team.

Sherrie is the Women's Ministry Director at her church, and loves being the grandma of eight and great-grandma of one. Christina is also the author of The Familiar Stranger, a Christy finalist and Carol Award winner, and runs a thriving editing business.