Friday, December 1, 2023

FALL BACK TO READING SERIES – Featuring Joni M. Fisher

This year, as the seasons change and we enjoy fall, I’ve launched my FALL BACK TO READING SERIES. The series will feature two dozen leadership and marketing experts, who will share their inspiration in both fiction and nonfiction, and hopefully, provide the impetus to read more. To quote New York Times Bestselling author Kristin Harmel, “If you give a person a book, you give him the world.” For today’s post, I’d like to introduce Joni M. Fisher.

Joni M. Fisher writes suspenseful crime stories about heroines who don't wait to be rescued. Her Compass Crimes series has been recognized in the N.I.E.A., Clue Book Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Kindle Book Awards, Royal Palm Literary Awards, and others. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and a lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She’s also an instrument-rated private pilot.

QUESTION: Which three business books have made the biggest impact on your career?
JONI M. FISHER: As a journalist beginning to write fiction, I needed to understand the world of publishing from a different perspective. As a freelance journalist, I could earn ten cents a word for a feature article and reprints.

Fiction, though, is like perfume. How does one market a product chosen by personal preference instead of interest in the topic alone? I knew nothing about marketing and promotion and could not (at first) hire someone who did.

The three books that had the most significant impact on the business side of my fiction writing career are Create Your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino (Writer’s Digest Books), Publicize Your Book: An Insider’s Guide to Getting Your Book the Attention It Deserves (Perigree/Penguin Group), and Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Jay Larsen (Writer’s Digest Books).

Sambuchino’s book taught me how to find my people. Having thousands of followers is possible, but it is vital to have relevant, loyal, enthusiastic followers. Like people who read the kinds of books I write and read. A platform shows who I am and what I have to offer. Developing a platform should happen at least a year before that first book comes out.

The other two books helped me expand my approach to reaching readers and defining my target readership.

QUESTION: Who is your favorite author, and why?
JONI M. FISHER: When asked to name a favorite author, my answers arrive alphabetically. Richard Adams, Aesop, Mitch Albom, Louisa May Alcott, Isabel Allende, Poul Anderson, Piers Anthony, Aristotle, Isaac Asimov, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austin, David Baldacci, J. M. Barrie, Dave Barry, L. Frank Baum, Samuel Beckett, Peter Benchley, Steve Berry, Maeve Binchy, William Peter Blatty, Judy Blume, Ben Bova, Ray Bradbury, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Charlotte Bronte, Geraldine Brooks, Dan Brown, Sandra Brown, Edna Buchanan, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

People stop me before I reach the Cs. I have been reading for too many decades to have only one favorite.

Call me a book addict. Call me a bookworm. Call me when there’s a book sale.

SHARE THIS: Call me a book addict. Call me a bookworm. Call me when there’s a book sale. ~@JoniMFisher #Reading #DebbieLaskeysBlog

QUESTION: What book did you read in high school or college that, to this day, you still remember vividly, and why?
JONI M. FISHER: Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain blew my mind. His “what-if?” science fiction thriller weaved fact and fiction so seamlessly that reading it felt like experiencing a genuine catastrophe with the potential to eliminate life on earth. He translated the scientific elements clearly and then gave them meaning in direct, plain language.

The other book that had the most profound emotional impact on me was Algebra 1. It made me cry every week for an entire semester!

QUESTION: Do you intersperse fiction with your business reading? If yes, what was the last work of fiction that you read, and what caught your attention about it?
JONI M. FISHER: The most recent novel I read was Charles Martin’s The Last Exchange. I received an advance reader copy through NetGalley in return for a review. It is an inspirational story told in a literary narrative voice. Martin’s smooth style draws the reader deep into the story, compelling the reader to finish just one more chapter. It was published in October 2023. I hope this book, like his book entitled The Mountain Between Us, is made into a movie.

QUESTION: If you created a nonprofit organization to promote reading to children and young adults, what would you name it, and why?
JONI M. FISHER: I would NOT set up a new nonprofit organization when Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is so successful in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. I’d support hers! She has distributed 200 million books to children. The books are free to the kids, thanks to generous donors and Dolly’s fundraising. Why compete when I can contribute?

Check it out at:

Also, I have taught adult literacy classes, and that’s incredibly rewarding.

My gratitude to Joni for participating in this year’s fall back to reading series and for sharing her inspiring recommendations!

Image Credit: Pixabay.

Connect with Joni at these links:

Check out Joni's previous appearance here on this blog:

Take Flight and Lead! (October 2022)

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