Publishers Spotlight: Mike Brogan, The Bookmark
Publisher Spotlight on Writers Digest Award Winning Author Mike Brogan
Mike Brogan of Lighthouse Publishing Speaks

Some companies cut costs. Others cut throats.

Just ask the 9,000 former Enron employees who were tossed out overnight, and the 17,000 former Worldcom employees, and the 22,000 ex-Kmart workers, and the 43,000 former Wall Street employees. It's ruthless out there. And I tried to capture that ruthlessness in Business to Kill For.

But I had concerns. Could an advertising creative director like me, go from writing 30-second television commercials for Chevrolet to writing a 350-page novel? Yes, but boy did it take time.

I had to adjust from being confined to 100 words of copy to filling all those empty white pages. But I learned that seducing viewers into believing in new Chevrolets was not much different than seducing readers into believing your characters ... and that writing short dialog in commercials helped me write crisp dialogue in fiction ... and that paring words down to fit an ad helped me lop off gobs of fat in fiction.

So, after a few years of making ads by day and fiction by night, Business To Kill For was ready to be published. But there was a problem. Or rather two. One agent died and another waffled. So we formed a small publisher and self-published. Working with a publicist, we sent out over fifty review copies to national reviewers. And the reviews began to roll in, over twenty-five of them. Fortunately, they were very positive:

Writer's Digest- "the prose is tense and compelling." Detroit Free Press- "A breathless adventure." Midwest Book Review- "simply won't let you stop turning the pages." Rowes Reviews- "...the author displays a style and mastery of his genre."

And we shared the good reviews with the media. And the timing couldn't have been better. My novel about a ruthless CEO hit the shelves at the same time that CEOs like Ken Lay and Bernie Ebbers and Dennis Kozlowski were hit with charges of corruption. As a result, I did over thirty radio and television interviews across the country and received numerous articles in newspapers.

Which explains why our first printing sold out in just four months. And the second printing is selling quickly. Thanks in part to more favorable reviews, booksignings, ongoing promotion, and the fact that Business To Kill For recently won a coveted award from Writers Digest, who called it "a thriller to equal any read in years."

So I guess my message is simple: write a good book, get good reviews, and then promote your book as though your life as an author depends on it. Because it does.