SHOW YOUR WORK: It is Who You Know

This month leading up to the book release is all about promoting, so it is a good thing that promoting is so fun.


In fact, I find a million distractions to keep me off task.

Today I took a walk with my friend Gina, had a strenuous discussion regarding the current news with my daughter, and tonight I’m knocking off early to go start training my dog, Fanny Wiggles, to dock dive.


We’re going to her best friend’s house who is a lab and has a pool. I’m hoping that Fanny will follow Edith into the water, if not this training could prove more challenging than I thought. Fanny already has the obsessive leap-after-the-ball/toy skill necessary for the sport. Now she just has to do it into water. (I say that like it’s no big thing.)

See? Right there. Just now. I took you with me off task. This is supposed to be a post where in I show my work for today. My work that is moving my career forward and making my next book the biggest success yet. (cue the fantasy soundtrack…)

Not a post about my dreams of a world-champion dock-diving dog who is socially awkward and barks at everyone except 3/5s of our family.

Actually, today I do have some work to show, though….

I spent almost all my morning mining the directory of the Dog Writers Association of America (of which I am a member, so this was totally legal). If you, dear writer friend, are a member of a professional writing association and you PAY DUES, you can work that network to help you. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we writers can be a jealous bunch, but not all of us, and maybe not dog-people quite so much (at least imho).

I searched for members whose blogs or books I already knew and members who are rescue-hearted, and then I wrote to them explaining about my book, offering a galley, and asking for their help either in the form of a review or a blog post or a social media plug or as the subject of an article for one of the publications they write for. Paws crossed. So far, no one has responded, but it’s only been a few hours.

Also today, a writer and no-kill advocate friend of mine published a blog post about my upcoming book that includes a video of the zoom interview we did a week ago. I thanked her profusely and then shared that post on my Facebook page and tagged my publisher and agent so that they can share it. Then I made a little schedule to share it on my other social media pages.

magic mushroomsOnce upon a time, most writers were given publicists by their publisher. And that person’s job was to promote the book.


Those days are long gone and just about every author, even the biggies, have to be their own publicist or hire a publicist themselves. Since, as I’ve alluded to before, I’m not making the tall cash at this point, I’m my own publicist. It’s a hat that doesn’t fit comfortably, but that I’m learning to wear.

And it is serious work. I spent hours today reading other people websites, crafting personal notes, and trying to hit the right note between begging and assuming their support.

Which means I deserve an ice cream, which my youngest son just arrived to bring me. After that, Fanny and I will hit the pool (I hope!). First, I have to find her life preserver….

Hey, thanks for reading. I know you’ve got lots of options, so thanks for sharing a few of your minutes with me.



If you’re curious about what I’m up to, check out my website,

If you’d like to subscribe to my (sometimes) monthly e-newsletter, click here.

And If you’re a dog lover, check out my other blog, Another Good Dog. And if you want to know what is really happening in the animal shelters in this county, visit, Who Will Let the Dogs Out.

I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram, and I’m thrilled to get email from readers (and writers), you can reach me at

COMING JULY 2020 from Pegasus books (available for preorder):

100 dogs cover

Available now:

Another Good Dog cover

Find out more about fostering dogs at!

Author: Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and dog rescuer. I live in the darling town of Woodstock, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley with my husband and three rescue dogs (who rescue me on a daily basis). Find more information about my books, my dogs, and all my writing adventures at

3 thoughts on “SHOW YOUR WORK: It is Who You Know”

  1. My post about your book is magically reappearing either the day the book comes out or the day before. That’s a little something.

    Publicizing is really difficult and it’s a crapshoot. I hired a blog tour for The Brothers Path ($$$), set the book up to sell in a bookstore in Denver ($$$), press releases and various other things. I did all this because the publisher who initially picked it up went out of business and the other publisher who had wanted it changed their mind. I thought it deserved more. My China book got a lot of publicity and attention, but not a lot of sales. 100 Dogs and Counting will take off. I’m 100% sure. You’ll have to go on the radio and everything. :O ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Martha! I think you are right that it can be a crap shoot – at least it has been in the past for me with other books. This book is too important to me, so I’m working my butt off to get it out there and give it every chance I can within my admittedly limited abilities. I’m learning as I go but gosh do I appreciate help from other bloggers and strong voices like you!

      Liked by 1 person

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