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Sue Harrison’s “Writing the Third Dimension”, part 34: A Fairy Tale for Writers

Welcome back! For the rest of this year we invite you to return here, specifically on the fourth Thursday of each month for the newest installment of Sue Harrison’s teaching: Writing The Third Dimension. You can read and learn from all the fabulous segments from 2013-2015 by clicking on the page title WRITING THE THIRD DIMENSION, found under Writers’ Helps & Workshops on my drop-down menu. Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments for Sue. Now for the topic for month thirty-four:


“Writing the Third Dimension” – part 34: A Fairy Tale for Writers

Once upon a time in a deep dark woods, lived a girl named Write-arella. More than anything in the world, Write-arella wanted to write novels, but publishers told her that her books were too long, or they were too short. They were too silly, or they were too serious. And by the way, why was every book set in a deep dark woods?


Finally after writing and writing and writing some more, Write-arella finished a book that publishers liked, and they published it. Then Write-arella and her handsome prince lived happily ever, eating chocolate-covered strawberries and going on book tours.

The End

Yeah right. The truth is…

The deep dark woods are real. The book tours are real, and sometimes even the chocolate-covered strawberries are real. Write-arella did marry a prince of a guy, but he told her that if she really wanted success as an author, she couldn’t just sit around eating chocolate-covered strawberries and watching football games. (Actually, the Prince was the one who watched the football games.)

The prince said Write-arella needed to do more than write a book and get it published. She had to work for her success.

So after Write-arella’s book was published, she begged libraries, churches, and schools for speaking opportunities. She asked friends and family members to set up book signings in their local bookstores. She judged chili contests, hawked books at boat shows, and attended blueberry festivals. She spoke at writers’ conferences.  She gave commencement addresses at high schools and colleges.  She dropped in for reading week at local elementary schools.

The Prince decided they should also travel all over the country and visit every little bookstore they could find.  At each store, they introduced themselves, talked to the manager, signed stock, chatted with customers, and then went on to the next town and the next bookstore.

After they arrived back home at the castle, Write-arella mailed notes to the bookstores they’d visited and added them to her Christmas card list.

She and the Prince bought copies of her books from her publishers, and they sold them at craft fairs and community gatherings and at local gas stations and restaurants and curio stores. She started her own blog and her own Facebook page. She met a wonderful writer who allowed Write-arella to post how-to columns on the writer’s blog, Polilla Writes.

And every day — or almost every day — Write-arella wrote.

The moral of the story? A writer’s work is not finished just because the book is. If you self-publish or if you sign a contract with a publisher, you need to be ready to celebrate – not only with chocolate-covered strawberries, but also with a lot of hard (and fun!) work.

What out-of-the-box ideas do you use (or plan to use) to sell your books?  What out-of-the-box ideas have enticed you to buy a book?

Strength to your Pen!


*Writing the Third Dimension, copyright, 2010 Sue Harrison*

Sue HarrisonBestselling author, Sue Harrison, has written two bestselling Alaska trilogies: The Ivory Carver Trilogy and The Storyteller Trilogy – all of which went digital in May 2013. She also wrote a middle readers’ book SISU. Prior to the publication of her novels, Harrison was employed at Lake Superior State University as a writer and acting director of the Public Relations Department and as an adjunct instructor in creative writing and advanced creative writing. For more information, click here. To inquire about booking Sue for workshops or speaking engagements this year, click here.

Thanks for joining us! Please feel free to leave your questions and comments. We invite you to come back December 24, 2015, for part 35, which is the FINAL installment of this fabulous series.