Marketing: The Bane of Every Writer’s Existence

Guest post by Michelle Griep

I know a lot of authors. Big names. Small names. Those in-between. And you want to know what they all have in common? Well, besides loving coffee and geeking out at bookstores, that is. Every writer I know has a deep down fear that they all share …


That’s right. Authors big and small all break out in hives at the thought of marketing. There are lots of reasons why, of course. It’s time consuming. They’re not sure what to do, where to market. And most authors truly are starving artists without a big bankroll to fund a marketing budget. But I suspect those are just cover-up excuses. That there’s something more at play here with the deep angst about marketing.

I think the real reason authors hate marketing is because writers are generally very private little mammals. Tooting our own horn does not come naturally. I mean, think about it. What kind of person chooses to squirrel himself away alone in a room for hours upon hours on end?

An introvert, that’s what.

But the ugly truth is that in today’s world, like it or not, every author has to be a marketer. Writers must hold hands with the marketing realm if they want their books to be successful. And who doesn’t want that? There are a few tricks, though, even for the most timid of writers who need to get their book out there in front of readers’ faces, and one of my favorite ways is to team up with other authors.

Check out the other books on the market in your genre and then be bold—go ahead and send out an email to those writers and ask if they want to team up to do a giveaway. You’ll get more bang for your buck (so to speak) if you’re all promoting the same contest than if you were to try to go it on your own.

But that’s just one little idea. Recently I joined in with 9 other authors to put together a how-to book on writing, and one of the chapters is all about marketing. For more tips on how you can up your game in the marketing field, check out Writing From the Trenches: Tips & Techniques From Ten Award-Winning Authors. Here’s a blurb:

TEN-HUT! Gear up for your writing with tried-and-true tips from the trenches. Ten award-winning authors share invaluable tips and secrets they’ve gleaned the hard way, offering a broad range of insights and opinions on the best way to tackle subjects such as the following:

Plotting Techniques
Villains We Love to Hate
Dynamic Dialogue
Sigh-Worthy Heroes
The Right Heroine for the Job
Hooking Your Reader in the First Chapter
Scene Endings to Lead Your Readers On
Creating a Movie Set
Making your Readers Cry
Deep POV
Copyediting your Manuscript
Indie Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing
Marketing for Those Who Hate Marketing

At last … a writer’s tool that provides the experience and expertise of ten authors who’ve been on the front lines of publishing and lived to teach about it: Connie Almony, Lynnette Bonner, Hallee Bridgeman, Louise Gouge, Michelle Griep, Julie Lessman, Elizabeth Ludwig, Ane Mulligan, MaryLu Tyndall, and Erica Vetsch.

So, what about you? What’s one of your favorite ways to market? Share in the comments.

Click to Tweet: “…the ugly truth is that in today’s world, like it or not, every author has to be a marketer.”  Multi-published author, Michelle Griep, shares one of her ideas today via @InspiredPrompt. #MarketingStrategy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Griep

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Michelle Griep at Bleakly Manor

Michelle Griep is an author, blogger, and occasional super-hero when her cape is clean.

Dare I be so bold as to call myself an author? Being that I’m one of those freaks who attended poetry workshops instead of summer camp during my formative years, yes, I will. While other teens busied themselves throwing parties when their parents weren’t home, I was the nerd holed up in my room with pen and paper.

And a princess–No, I’m not currently on medication for delusions of grandeur. I am a daughter of a King. Seriously. I take the Bible as inspired truth and that’s what it says (Romans 8:16, 17). [from]

Michelle, welcome back to the Writing Prompts blog. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Michelle: I’m a reformed chocoholic who lives with my husband, psychotic dog, and the last of my birdie’s that hasn’t yet flown the nest. I teach at a local high school homeschool co-op once a week, three classes: civics, creative writing, and U.S. History & Literature. Way back when dinosaurs roamed the face of the earth and I worked full-time outside the home, I was a typesetter. Yeah. Those jobs pretty much don’t exist anymore. Good thing I took up writing, eh?

Right. I remember that one. But for those who are too young to remember–here’s the definition: “the process of setting material in type or into a form to be used in printing; also :  the process of producing graphic matter (as through a computer system).” [Webster’s Online Dictionary]

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Michelle: I write historical romance with a healthy dose of action and adventure tossed in. Why? Because those are my favorite sorts to read!

Mine too!

Do you work to an outline or prefer to see where an idea takes you?

Michelle: When I first started writing, I totally winged it, not knowing where the story would go or how it would end. That’s a great way to write . . . if you don’t have a deadline! Now that I have contracts lined up in a row, I need to create an outline for each story just to save time and keep on track.

That’s good advice, too, for those who may be working under the same time constraints.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Michelle: It depends on the day. Sometimes it’s hard to “feel” creative, but yet I still need to create words that will grab people by the throat. I wouldn’t call that writer’s block, per se, but more like sluggish writer syndrome. Hey, there’s a blog post, hmm?

Oh yes, I’m a little too familiar with sluggish writer syndrome.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Michelle: I’ll still be writing stories. I can’t stop. I love it too much. And if my dreams come true, I’d be doing that writing while living in England.manorhouse, English, countryside

What a wonderful dream! Well, I love the cover of this book (see below). And I’m very curious about Bleakly Manor. I have to confess, I picked up a copy of your book, Captive Heart in our local Lifeway, and I had to be dragged out of the store. The story captured me from the start. Big fan, here! So, I’m definitely going to take a look at this one.

Readers, you can find Michelle’s books on Amazon for easy purchase, or you can find them in stores. Here’s the link to her Amazon author page: Michelle Griep on Amazon

Thanks so much for being our guest for a Saturday Interview. I hope you’ll stop back in next year, or any time you have a new book out.

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

When CLARA CHAPMAN receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, BENJAMIN LANE.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Click to Tweet: Getting to know #histfic #author Michelle Griep #romance 12 Days At Bleakly Manor

Want to know more about Michelle’s books? Check out these reviews!

Trisha Robertson’s Joy of Reading
Amanda Geaney’s Christian Shelf Esteem
Beth Erin’s Faithfully Bookish

Where to find Michelle:

Writer Off The Leash (blog)

Michelle Griep (Website)







3 Questions Wednesday with Michelle Griep

Author, Michelle Griep

Welcome back to 3 Questions Wednesday, Michelle!

According to Michelle Griep’s website, she’s an author, blogger, and occasional super-hero (when her cape is clean). She does own a sense of humor. 🙂

She goes on to say, “Dare I be so bold as to call myself an author? Being that I’m one of those freaks who attended poetry workshops instead of summer camp during my formative years, yes, I will. While other teens busied themselves throwing parties when their parents weren’t home, I was the nerd holed up in my room with pen and paper.”

So, let’s see how she answers our latest 3 Questions–

Question: What inspires you?

Michelle:  Music. I make a playlist for each new book that I write. While I’m writing, I play that music. I use Spotify for those playlists. Great ideas for inspiring music are movie soundtracks, ethnic music, and classical.

Great idea–especially the movie soundtracks.

Next question–You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Michelle:  If I were a crayon, I’d be Wisteria for two reasons . . . first off, purple is my favorite color, so it’s a no-brainer that I’d choose something in that palette family. Secondly, Wisteria is one of my favorite flowers. I’ve actually got one just about to bloom climbing up my back porch.

“Lavender” people are witty, charming, and creative, according to my “favorite colors” site. I’m a big fan of Wisteria. It’s very nostalgic, and calming to me.

Final Question–As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Michelle: I wanted to be an astronaut when I was young. That didn’t pan out so well, though. I found out you needed to be good at math and science. Yuck and yuck. So I gave that up and thought I might be a pirate instead. Yeah . . . that didn’t work out either. So, I found the best of both worlds by becoming a writer.

Funny! I think you’re our first wannabe astronaut. Yes, a writer can be all those things–no math or science required. Just a little research so you can fake your way through.

Thanks, Michelle, for visiting 3 Questions Wednesday.

Click to tweet: Michelle Griep,  author, blogger, and occasional super-hero. #romance #amreading

Readers, Michelle is offering Out of the Frying Pan, a book she wrote with Kelly Klepfer, to one of our commenters. [Winner’s choice! Paperback, or e-book] So let us know you want to be included by leaving a comment below.*

*Ends at midnight 7/23/2017

Out of the Frying Pan

When the chef of Sunset Paradise Retirement Village ends up dead, life for sisters Fern and Zula Hopkins is whipped into a froth. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective Jared Flynn. Should he be concerned about their safety or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts–especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Before the snooping pair gain any headway with the case, it becomes crystal clear that the sisters share a mysterious secret that takes life from the frying pan and into the line of fire.

One Reviewer says…

“This novel couples over-the-top hilarity with Jessica Fletcher wannabes as murder occurs at a retirement community. I enjoyed the quirky older sisters-in-law and their niece, who all get involved with the detective assigned to the case. At times bizarre and also dangerous, this story keeps you flipping pages to see how it concludes—satisfactorily, of course. I don’t know if such people really populate the earth, but the authors make them believable and unique. The original plot is intriguing too.”

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Her latest release is OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, but historical romance is her usual haunt. THE CAPTIVE HEART releases in October. Follow her escapades at or or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.









The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep

michelle-griep-headshotToday we welcome historical and contemporary romance author, Michelle Griep, to discuss her latest release, The Captive Heart.

Hi Michelle! How long have you been writing?

Michelle: Since I first discovered Crayolas and blank wall space. Professionally, though, for the past fifteen years.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

Michelle: I adore history. Not that I’d want to go back and live when outhouses were your only choice, mind you. So in lieu of that, I decided to write about it instead.

What are some of the references you used while researching your book?

Michelle: My best reference is a man named Hugh Lambert. He’s one of the curators at the Cherokee Museum in South Carolina. It’s a small museum, but he’s a huge wealth of information.

As for book references, The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of Revolution: The Journal and Writings of Charles Woodmason, was so valuable to me because it was written by a fellow at the time who was an itinerant reverend. He traveled the back country and wrote details in his journal, noting not only the flora and fauna but the people as well.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Michelle: Traveling to South Carolina and hiking the same area that my hero would’ve trekked. It’s gorgeous country, all lush and green.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Michelle: Currently I’m working on a 3 book Victorian Christmas series called Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. Here’s a blurb for the first book, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. . .

Imprisoned unjustly, BENJAMIN LANE wants nothing more than freedom and a second chance to claim the woman he loves—but how can CLARA CHAPMAN possibly believe in the man who stole her family’s fortune and abandoned her at the altar? Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, each discovers that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters . . . and what matters most is love.

Thanks for taking time to drop by, Michelle!

The Captive Heart

captive-heart-cover-jpeg-copyThe wild American wilderness is no place for an elegant English governess.

 On the run from a cruel British aristocratic employer, Eleanor Morgan escapes to America, the land of the free, for the opportunity to serve an upstanding Charles Town family. But freedom is hard to come by as an indentured servant, and downright impossible when she’s forced to agree to an even harsher contract—marriage to a man she’s never met.

 Backwoodsman Samuel Heath doesn’t care what others think of him—but his young daughter’s upbringing matters very much. The life of a trapper in the Carolina back country is no life for a small girl, but neither is abandoning his child to another family. He decides it’s time to marry again, but that proves to be an impossible task. Who wants to wed a murderer?

 Both Samuel and Eleanor are survivors, facing down the threat of war, betrayal, and divided loyalties that could cost them everything, but this time they must face their biggest challenge ever . . . Love.

michelle-griep-headshotMichelle Griep
’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: THE CAPTIVE HEART, BRENTWOOD’S WARD, A HEART DECEIVED, UNDERCURRENT and GALLIMORE, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery OUT OF THE FRYING PAN. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or or stalk her onFacebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

What’s for Dinner? Fine Dining in the Regency Era

Michelle Griep HeadshotGuest post by Michelle Griep

Frozen pizza is a great go-to meal when you’ve endured a frazzled day of work, errands and carpooling—but not if you lived in early nineteenth century England. Dinner wasn’t just a meal. It was an event, especially when combined with a ball.

The punch table would sustain you for a while as you swirled through dance after dance, but eventually everyone’s tummy would start growling. It wasn’t uncommon for “dinner” to be served around midnight, when you’d enter a sparkling dining room, candlelight glinting off silver and crystal. But your contemporary appetite might be a little squelched when you find out what might be served . . .

Meat Pies

Who doesn’t like a good chicken potpie? That depends upon your definition of good. Meat pies served in the 1800’s didn’t just have a crust slapped on top. They had an entire bird head and wings sticking out.

Baby Eel Gelatin

What kind of cartoon bubble does that bring up in your mind? If it makes you go, “Eew!” then you’re right on track. Baby eels look like big worms, and you’d see their little eyes staring at you because I’m not talking cherry Jell-O—they’d be served in a clear gelatin. Add a little jiggle to that when the dish was spooned out and you might not be as hungry as you thought.

Golden Sweetmeats

No actual meat involved in this one, but as for the gold, 24 karat baby. Picture a delicious, chocolaty truffle, just the right size to pop into your mouth. Now add in a golden coating—of real gold. I don’t know about you, but personally, I like to wear my jewelry, not eat it.

Oysters on the Half Shell

Okay, so this one isn’t so strange, and is still considered somewhat of a delicacy even today. But it wasn’t for the hero in my new release, BRENTWOOD’S WARD. When Nicholas Brentwood, a street-wise lawman, is faced with a plate of raw oysters in a dining room, surrounded by those who are used to such fare, he’s forced to man-up and let them slide down his throat. It’s a dinner scene he—and the reader—is not likely to forget.

And that’s only one of his adventures . . .Brentwood's Ward Cover Peek

There’s none better than NICHOLAS BRENTWOOD at catching the felons who ravage London’s streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice carried out—but this time he’s met his match. Beautiful and beguiling EMILY PAYNE is more treacherous than a city full of miscreants and thugs, for she’s a thief of the highest order…she’s stolen his heart.

As for me, I’m pretty thankful that some of yesteryear’s dishes are no longer in vogue, because I’d much rather sit down to a meal that doesn’t include feathers, heads, or precious metals.

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager.

She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones.

Follow her adventures at her blog WRITER OFF THE LEASH or visit, and don’t forget the usual haunts of Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.