Fun along the way

A few weeks ago, I came across a post from Joel Friedlander, a well-known author who writes articles on self-publishing. He encourages writers to think about who is going to buy their book before they even write it.

Well, I can’t do that. That’s not how my mind works. I just want to tell my stories. But his comment did get me thinking. What demographic would buy Bone Girl? If you are one of the 15 people or so who has bought and read my book, you know that the main character is an 11-year-old girl who yearns for her mother, a meth addict. Okay. Well, that demographic is a pretty narrow one.

What else is there about this book that would call out to readers? One of my beta readers, Aarene Storms, gave me the answer. She wrote to me and told me to let her know when a printed version would be available because she wants to buy one for her dad. He plays the trombone, just as the main character does.

Got it! That’s one of the groups of people I could market my book to – trombone players, especially women. Because believe it or not, gender bias does exist in the music world. Just like the main character’s mother, some folks think a woman shouldn’t play the trombone.

So, I went online and stumbled upon a trombone forum. No, I’m not kidding. There is a website dedicated to trombone players. Here’s the link:

I created an account and have been asking questions of these experts ever since.

One woman, Sarah, wrote to me and said she played the trombone because it’s the instrument her family could afford for her. This is just like my main character. Sarah also told me she would be delighted to buy a copy of my book, but only in printed form. She said she’s old school. Because of her comments and my Aunt Mary Rose’s prodding, I tackled the task of formatting Bone Girl for CreateSpace, the company who prints my book. The proof copies are on their way to me.

Musing through the posts on the trombone forum is fun for me. And that’s part of the joy of this journey.

For instance, yesterday, one of the members responded to my query about choosing music for the book trailer. Yes, with the help of my husband, Chris, we are making a book trailer. My husband will play his trombone for the background music. He and I were talking and I asked him, what music should he play? What would be haunting and melodic for this 20-second movie? Chris suggested the William Tell Overture. No, I said. How about Camptown Races? No. He was kidding, of course. I think…

I posted the same question on the trombone forum. I received a bevy of suggestions, along with information that the trombone has a few names I didn’t know: slushpump, sliphorns, sackbutts and posaunes.

And that contributor, known as SilverBone from Portland, Oregon, ended his post with this limerick, which I share now with you:

“The nastiest fellow I’ve known

Smashed his trombone and ruined its tone.

There’s a simple excuse

For his slushpump abuse;

He was born to be bad to the bone.”

Love it! Thank you.

Hands and arms inside the cart. Next: Superfans!


6 thoughts on “Fun along the way

  1. We gotta be so careful, here. A book trailer is a public performance and commercial use. Just purchasing a piece of sheet music doesn’t grant the right to play and record it for that purpose. Even if the composer’s been dead for 200 years, that piece of music may be a copyrighted arrangement. If you want something with a contemporary feel, you’ll have to search for composers who are giving away their own royalty-free sheet music (there are a few out there). The safest thing would be for Hubby to compose his own piece. Try this site for old public domain sheet music:
    Good luck!


  2. On music for your trailer, my favorite source is called “Free Music Archive,” where musicians upload short and long pieces they are willing to have used “royalty free.” Their library is huge, and searchable, too. I’m sure you can find a trombonist on there.

    As for your audience, not every child may have a meth-addicted parent, but there are plenty of kids with an addicted parent — meth, alcohol, cocaine/crack, pain killers — and there are kids with similar issues — hoarding parents, gambling parents, severely depressed or schizophrenic parents. It sounds like your book is already finished, but take a read through the darker side of your library or book store to get an idea of comparative titles.


  3. It’s nice to see you quoting my limerick about the trombone. How about giving me a credit by name (Howard Spindel) instead of the handle SilverBone?



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