Anna Brentwood launched her debut novel The Songbird with Sapphire Eyes at an opportune time. The novel takes place in the roaring 1920’s, as does the highly publicized Baz Luhrmann film The Great Gatsby. Capitalizing on the coincidence, Brentwood piggy-backed on the movie premiere with an author appearance, book deal, and costume party at Cinetopia Progress Ridge in May. “I wore a vintage flapper dress,” says Brentwood. This is just one of the many promotional ideas Brentwood has come up with since releasing her book last September. “For Valentine’s Day I ran the e-book version for free and had over 1,700 downloads,” says Brentwood. Using Amazon’s free promotion days can help build an author’s platform, increase online book reviews, and spread the word about a lesser-known work. The Songbird with Sapphire Eyes enjoys good reviews on Amazon, currently averaging 4.6 out of 5 stars. This is good news for Brentwood, who plans to work on the sequel this summer, although that means slowing down on the promotional work. “Fortunately there is much more cooperation amongst authors in recent years in promoting their work,” says Brentwood. “Plus small independent bookstores are willing to help local authors.” Jacobsen’s Books & More sponsored Brentwood at a recent Bards & Brews event. If you enjoy hearing local authors read and share their works while enjoying food and Oregon beer and wine, check out these events hosted by Primrose & Tumbleweeds on the last Friday of the month.
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