Don’t Count Out the Underdog: Reality Show Mystery Novel Sailing Into the Spotlight on New Year’s Day

And the countdown begins. It’s less than four months to the release of my second mystery suspense novel Sink or Swim. The official date is January 1, 2011. Thankfully, I’ve almost finished one monumental task related to the marketing campaign – preparing the early review mailing for the major pre-publication reviewers, which generally have a 3-4 month lead time.

I dreaded this job all summer as it was sheer drudgery. Writing and printing out letters. Addressing envelopes. Collating materials. Finally, I have most of them mailed out with just a couple left to go. The recipients include Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, and USA Today. Some would say that this task was a waste of time, as these publications usually don’t devote much, if any, space to smaller press books. The strategy didn’t work for Twenty-Five Years Ago Today.

Without those key reviews, however, the majority of bookstores and libraries won’t order small press books. So, I’m going for it once again, hoping that the reality TV show angle for this book will help it to stand out.

The storyline follows Cassidy Novak, an ambitious personal trainer who is stalked after appearing on a hot reality TV show called Sink or Swim. I was fortunate to receive some terrific early endorsements for the book. Stephenie LaGrossa, owner of GiGI Restaurant & Lounge, Philadelphia PA, Television personality and fan favorite Survivor: Palau, Guatemala, Heroes vs. Villains, says: “This novel was so entertaining and suspenseful and had me so on the edge of my seat that I read it in one plane ride. It was an easy read and extremely well written… I would love to see it come out as a movie one day!”

Shawne Morgan, contestant CBS’s The Amazing Race 16 and entrepreneur, said, “I thought the author did a great job in giving the behind-the-scenes of the process, and various scenarios that reality TV stars may experience – during and after they’ve appeared on air.”

Michelle Costa, contestant Big Brother 10, said, “After being on a reality show, Big Brother 10 on CBS and Showtime, reading Sink or Swim made me feel like I was Cassidy. People don’t ever know what happens behind the scenes. I thought it was a great read and kept me in suspense.”

Thank you, Stephenie, Shawne and Michelle for taking the time to read the early copy and give an endorsement so that your words may add strength to my own. In the reality TV show world, my Sink or Swim novel would be considered an underdog – a small press book competing for attention in a market driven by publishing conglomerates.

Don’t count out the underdog.

Phase 1 of the plan is just about complete. For Phase 2, I’ll be holding tryouts for the reality game show Sink or Swim. I know what you’re thinking…that the drudgery of the mailing fried my brain cells. How can you hold tryouts for a show that doesn’t exist? I’ve got it covered…sort of…and will announce my “casting call” in October. In the meantime, how do you call for SOS when only the killer can hear you?

Find out New Year’s Day, 2011. When reality TV turns to murder.

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  1. Alex J Cavanaugh says

    That sounds like a lot of work! Glad I didn’t have to do review mailings. Hope New Year’s Day is the best one ever for you.

  2. Thanks, Alex! Yes, it was a lot of work! Luckily I had a lot of fun this summer also.

  3. Darcia Helle says

    Ugh! I’m tired just thinking about all that work. When, exactly, do you find time to breathe? 🙂

    That’s an interesting question you posed about calling for help when only the killer can hear you. Is the answer within the pages of Sink or Swim? I can’t wait to read it!

  4. I’m tired thinking of all that work, too. I haven’t written a word of fiction in over a year! Hopefully next year I will catch up a bit. Yes, all answers will be revealed in Sink or Swim!

Stacy Juba