Wednesday, May 18, 2011


by C.H. Admirand

I’ve been happily writing for the library and small press market for the last decade. It was a routine that I embraced. I wrote the partials, sold the books, and wrote the stories. There was not a lot of editing to my stories, and I thought it was because I had reached a place where a lot of input wasn’t necessary (I’ll get back to that erroneous thought later). I loved working with my editors, had input on the covers, and worked very hard to market my books through my publicist, promotional material, book trailers, conferences, conventions, signings, etc.

Vistaprint is one of my favorite sources for creating professional quality promotional material, and my publicist has a wonderful contact who creates excerpt booklets. I’m also a huge fan of the book trailer. When ScrapFairy Designs stopped creating trailers, I found COS Productions who has been a lifesaver for me.

Now here is where change arrived big time. For my first book with Sourcebooks, I had to do my first ever virtual tour. At first I thought…ok…virtual—does that mean that I pretend to go places and don’t, and if so, how the heck will anyone know I was there if it’s pretend? (Remember I don’t get out much and have traveled to some truly amazing locations in my mind.) Sourcebooks is fabulously supportive and has an in-house publicist, the lovely Danielle, who arranges the virtual tour stops and acts as the liaison between the blogs visited and the Sourcebooks authors who send her their blogs.

So this should be easy, shouldn’t it? Now add in a day job and two or three blogs to visit per week (and on one crazy day—two blogs) to babysit and comment to—for the entire month the book is released in—and it gets just a bit dicey! During the month of March—Stress was my first and middle name!

Fortunately, the learning curve was a bit easier because Danielle was so accessible during the virtual tour. What makes her so special is that she does all this for all of the Sourcebooks authors, and while doing her job, Danielle is unfailingly professional, polite, and encouraging to those of us who’ve never navigated this particular area before. Alas, I understand that it’s the “new” way to promote books—who would have thought it would be possible.

All in all, this old writer can be taught new tricks, but not without a few scars along the way.

I’ve learned that mass market means you have a lot more exposure, and therefore the potential for more fabulous reviews increases proportionately with the possibility of more negative reviews. I’m a firm believer in freedom of speech, however, I’m also a firm believer that making the negativity personal is not professional…but that dear reader is another conversation entirely and not to be put down in print where it might come back to haunt me. Meet me at Kennedy’s Pub the next time you’re in NYC and after a pint or two may divulge all!

Now back to my earlier comment about reaching the point in my writing career, where I needed less editing, I am pleased to say that I was wrong. Pleased because I’ve never worked so hard in my life to revise and re-create one of my books, but the end result is a deeper clarity and deeper connection with my characters. Simply put, Deb Werksman is a genius. She understands my characters and is beyond encouraging. I’ve never worked with an editor like her before and am so excited that I have this opportunity to grow as a writer and continue to hone my craft with her guidance. I’ve just turned DYLAN in (he’s on his way to the copyeditor) and I’m going to get back to JESSE’s story. But with a slightly different perspective, thanks to working with Deb, I have an insight into my work that I lacked before.

All in all, I’m still amazed that I’ve had the good fortune to stretch my wings and embrace this new direction in my writing career. For those of you who know me, it’s been a long time coming and a goal I have been working toward for years.

Another aspect of my career that recently changed is signing with the fabulous literary agent, Eric Ruben. I would not be able to make the following announcement without his guidance and input in my career—while I was at RT, TFER (The Fabulous Eric Ruben) called with the news that Sourcebooks offered another three book deal—this time for a Small Town America trilogy! While this is a slightly different direction for me, I’ve always loved writing about small towns and the closely knit communities that revolve around my characters and their story. I cannot wait to get started on the first one…but I have to finish JESSE’s story first.

With eight short stories and ten novels to her credit, this award-winning, multi-published author’s books are available in hardcover, e-book, trade paperback, magazine, and audio. DYLAN, book two in The Secret Life of Cowboys trilogy, will be released in January 2012 from Sourcebooks. To read an excerpt, stop by her website at


  1. I am proud to say, I've followed C.H. for many years in her path to mass market. Congratulations on another 3 book deal!!!! WTG!
    I have to admit my favorite C.H. character is still Pearl from Pearl's Redemption. Love her. Shoot first. Fall in love later.
    Tyler was a phenomenal read. Looking forward to books 2 and 3 in the Secret Lives of Cowboys series.
    Tara Nina

  2. Colleen,
    I'm so thrilled for you. I too have followed your career as we have been with the same publisher. This was a wonderful perspective on growing your career and how sometimes it doesn't happen over night!
    Tracey Lyons