RaneylaptopshotC copyDEBORAH RANEY’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched Deb’s writing career. Twenty years and thirty books later, she’s still writing. She and her husband recently traded small-town life in Kansas––the setting of many of Deb’s novels––for life in the city of Wichita. They love traveling to visit four grown children and seven grandchildren who all live much too far away.


A Vow to Cherish Hollywood Premiere!

Click on photo for a slideshow presentation.
Academy Plaza Theater in North Hollywood

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How can you help promote a new book?

I’m often asked by my faithful readers and friends who’ve received promotional copies of my book or who’ve enjoyed my books and just want to get the word out to others, “How can I help promote your book?”

Oh, thank you for offering! There are so many ways to help spread the word and start a “buzz” about a new book and you’ll never know how much the author appreciates readers who do that!

Not everyone will feel comfortable or have the means to drop leaflets while parachuting from an airplane, but on the list below, you’ll find at least one thing that will be a perfect fit with the ways God has gifted you.

•Write a review for the book on online bookstores such as:

•Write a review at one of the many online book review sites, including:

•At http://www.christianbook.com you can recommend books via an e-mail link that will take your friends right to the page of the book you’re promoting.

•Recommend the book as a featured title for an area book discussion group. This is especially appropriate if the book has discussion questions in the back.

•Start a discussion about the book on your blog or on e-mail loops you’re a part of.

•If you have a website or write a newsletter, consider featuring novels you’ve read and enjoyed.

•Add the book to your list of favorites on myspace, facebook, or other online communities.

•After reading and reviewing the book, give it away as a prize in a drawing on your website or blog.

•If you have a unique perspective—for instance, personal experience with the book’s topic, a man offering a male perspective for a women’s fiction book, etc.—offer your insights in venues that might not ordinarily hear about the book.

•Donate your influencer copy to your public library or church library when you’re finished reading it. Better yet, share your copy in other ways and buy a second copy for the library.

•Print out a review you’ve written, or other reviews of the book and give them to your public or church librarians for consideration.

•Offer to distribute bookmarks and/or postcards for the author or publisher. Public libraries, church libraries, bookstores and gift shops are usually happy to have giveaways on their counters.

•Ask your church if you could tuck postcards or bookmarks in the morning service bulletin some Sunday.

•Place bookmarks or postcards about the book at each place setting as favors for a luncheon or banquet.

•Hang out in your local bookstore and “hand sell” the book by talking it up to customers shopping in the fiction department.

•Talk to the clerks in any bookstores and libraries you visit and ask if they carry the book. If not give them a short book report and recommend they order a few copies.

•When visiting bookstores, do a little creative rearranging to turn the book face out on the shelves. Use good judgment and don’t hide one book to promote another. Also keep in mind that in some stores front-table space is paid for by the publisher, so don’t “steal.”

•Offer to write a book review for your church newsletter, neighborhood newspaper or any other printed source that might reach readers.

•At your next women’s retreat, volunteer to organize a book table, where you will feature the book.

•Offer to organize a blog tour for the author, setting up a week when numerous blogs will feature the book and interviews with the author.

•When you’re finished with the book, tuck it into a gift basket for someone who is ill or in the hospital; or take it to your next dinner party as a hostess gift.

•Leave the book in a waiting room where someone with a few extra minutes might start reading it.

•Prison ministries are always looking for wholesome books to distribute. Check out groups like Prison Book Project.

•Word-of-mouth is still probably the number one way books hit bestseller lists, so simply start conversations about the book. Tell your friends and family what you’ve been reading and why you enjoyed it so much.

•Drop leaflets as you parachute out of a plane. (Thanks to Karen Wevick for this MOST creative idea! Even though, come to find out, Karen is a member in good standing of the Big Honkin’ Chicken Club and wouldn’t agree to actually follow through on her suggestion. LOL!)


The joy of having sisters
I spent a wonderful day with my two “little” sisters at the home my sister Vicky and her husband just moved into. It was such a fun day with these women who know me like no one else, who share my history, and who have become so much more than “just” sisters to me.

We have nine children between us, and we talked about how different each of our children are for being siblings raised in the same family. But it struck me how true that is of my sisters and me, too. We have very different lives. Our homes are all decorated differently. We went shopping and couldn’t agree on clothes and colors. And yet we agree on all the truly important things – loving our husbands, parents and children, the importance of family and faith. And chocolate brownies with ice cream.

While shopping, we saw a little sign that said “Fate made us sisters; Prozac made us friends.” Well, thankfully, we don’t need Prozac to be friends, but it was just one more reason to laugh together. I’m thanking the Lord today for my sisters. And for our lone brother who won’t go shopping with us, but who survived growing up with four sisters just fine, thank you. And I’m thinking, too, how much I still – after almost 28 years – miss our sister Kim who died in a car accident at 21. So grateful there’s a joyful reunion ahead in Heaven for us all!

ACFW Central get-together in Kansas

The Central Zone of American Christian Fiction Writers had a fun meeting at Starbucks in Emporia, Kansas the afternoon of January 27. Over great coffee, six writers from Kansas and Missouri gathered to chat (for three hours!) about the craft and business of writing. It’s such an encouragement to visit with other writers and was just the break I needed from a heavy deadline. A bonus was the ride up and back with fellow author Kim Vogel Sawyer, who is always a joy to spend time with.


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. . .
Kansas finally got a snow worth talking about! Somewhere between 6-8 inches of the fluffy stuff fell Saturday and it was perfect for packing. Our son and his girlfriend were home for a visit and we spent a fun Sunday making snow angels, building a snowman, and tromping in the meadow east of our house – a winter wonderland! Now I’m looking forward to a productive week of writing with God’s beautiful handiwork – and a pretty cute snowman! – right outside my window.


Midwest Authors Retreat in Kansas City

I spent a wonderful weekend with some author friends in Kansas City. We spent hours brainstorming our works in progress, talking shop and just having fun hanging out together – oh, and lots of great food! I don’t know how I ever wrote before I had my wonderful authors groups to encourage and challenge me!

ACFW Annual Conference in Dallas
The fifth annual American Christian Fiction Writers conference was held in Dallas September 20-24. What a wonderful conference! Our highest attendance yet, with over 400, and the incomparable Liz Curtis Higgs as our keynote speaker. If you desire to write fiction, ACFW is the place to be. To find out more About ACFW click here.

To see a slide show of photos from the conference click here .

The Raneys in Rainy Seattle
My husband and I and our teenage daughter recently spent a few days in Seattle visiting our oldest son. We had a fantastic time, in spite of the fact that Seattle had record amounts of rain the week we were there. We stayed in a little inn with tons of character (read not a 4-star hotel) and as I often do when I travel, I came home with a great idea for a new book. This one happened to be our son’s idea, sparked by some interesting photos we saw in an antique store in Pike Place Market. Our son thinks I need to turn my royalties over to him if this book sells. I’m thinking one little idea is a small price to pay for giving birth to him—all 9 lbs. 13 ozs. of him—thirty years ago!

We had such fun spending time with our oldest and our youngest—fourteen years between them! Our son lives downtown with a view of the Space Needle and he was a great tour guide as we did all the touristy things in Seattle—Pike Place market, Pioneer Square, Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle Underground, rode the Ducks… But I think one of our favorite discoveries was Top Pot Doughnuts! Yummy! All I can say is it’s a good thing we walked several miles each day.

To see a slide show of photos from our trip click here.

A Journey to Journey in Colorado

I spent a recent October weekend in Greeley, Colorado with my dear friend and critique partner, author Tamera Alexander. Tammy invited me to speak at a women’s retreat at Journey Christian Church where she and her family attend. What a warm, welcoming group! The whole retreat was a real blessing to me and it was a wonderful bonus to be a guest in Tammy’s home and spend time with her and her family.

A highlight of the weekend was getting to meet Bill and Darla Moxon, and their three beautiful daughters, as well as Darla’s mother. The Moxon family spent eight years as missionaries to Haiti and came to my rescue when I was writing Over the Waters. After two cancelled research trips due to unrest in Haiti, I was desperate for some firsthand information for my novel.

Darla not only read the manuscript and shared Haiti’s culture with me, she also translated many lines of dialogue into Creole. I truly could not have completed my book without her! It was a joy to finally be able to thank her in person.

Another highlight was the gift of a warm quilt for my writing studio. Suzi Buggeln made the gorgeous quilt that the women of Journey presented to me at the conference. I’m looking forward to a cozy fall and winter at my desk, wrapped in Suzi’s unique quilt as I work on my next book, Leaving November, due January 1.

2006 Christian Bookseller Events in Denver

Early in July, I flew to Denver to attend a writers retreat, along with the Christy Awards (given for excellence in Christian fiction) and the Golden Scroll Awards, which honor editors and publishers in the Christian publishing industry. These events occur annually prior to the International Christian Retail Show. This year was the first time in seven years that I didn’t stay for the convention following our retreat.

I’ve traveled too much this year and have too many projects on my desk, so decided it was a good year to come home early. I’m glad I did. As much as I enjoy these events, it seems I miss my family more each year and it’s always a joy to be home again.


Just Talk About Ellsworth, Kansas 1948

Most of the novels I write are set in small towns in Kansas or elsewhere in the Midwest. My all-time favorite country group, Rascal Flatts, has written some poignant songs that have become my own personal soundtracks while I write. Rascal Flatts has a new CD, and one of the songs on the CD is about Ellsworth, Kansas, the small town my husband was born and raised in. As newlyweds, Ken and I lived in Ellsworth for eight years in the house he grew up in. Three of our four children were born in the old Ellsworth hospital. Ken’s mom and his grandparents (who celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary in May!) still live there, so that little town has a very special place in our hearts.

Ellsworth, along with many other little towns here in the heartland, inspired the warm, friendly fictional small towns of my novels – Coyote, Clayburn, Bristol. Ellsworth is a great place to live and this song is a wonderful tribute to the town and its people. You can hear Rascal Flatts’ Ellsworth by clicking here.

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September 2018
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