Sandy DeLisle's Blog

Getting Noticed

Posted on: April 24, 2012

Wow! Has it really been 10 weeks since I last posted here?  Well, it’s not that I haven’t been writing. I actually finished two books in the time period since I last blogged .

Currently, I am shopping both of those books, hoping that a traditional publisher will pick up one–or better yet, both–of the books. You see, I self-published one of my young adult books, Pure Enough last October, and what I have learned from that experience is that I am not a very effective book marketer. Without a publishing house behind my book, all the publicity is left up to me. And, as it turns out, I am not the best at promoting myself. Give me a cause, a charity or an animal in need of a home, and I can rally the troops like nobody’s business. Let me demonstrate this point: This is Gunner.


Not only is he adorable, as you can clearly see from his photo, he is  brilliant.  As a stray, he hung out at the park, watching for the perfect person to help him find a home. When he saw Jorja Fox–yes, that would be THE Jorja Fox from the hit show C.S.I. Las Vegas– he followed her home. Now Jorja is a huge animal lover (I know this because she came to Chicago and helped me promote the End Dogfighting program I used to run); however, with her travel schedule, it makes it difficult for her to keep Gunner. She is fostering this beautiful boy until she can find him a suitable forever home.  If you know of anyone who is looking for a wonderful canine companion, please let me know. Jorja had Gunner temperament tested and he passed with flying colors. And you can’t beat his cool backstory: wayward pooch follows home dog-loving celebrity.

However, when it comes to promoting me, myself, and I, I get tongue-tied. I just hope that people will, oh, I don’t know, stumble across my writing and like it?  I know, not an effective strategy. As I try to develop a better marketing plan, I continue to write. That is, after all, one of things that makes me most happy.

Now wait a minute! I was just about to end this post, and I didn’t even tell you about my two new books! See my marketing skills are already improving…

“Defending the Underdog: My Journey from Violence Interrupter to Animal Advocate” is a book Tio Hardiman hired me to write for him. If you don’t know Tio, you should. He is the creator of the Violence Interrupters, an antiviolence program of CeaseFire that utilizes ex-offenders and former gang member to diffuse violence in the city of Chicago. Tio’s tale of overcoming drug addiction and street hustling to become an international authority on street violence is an inspiring one. Throw in his current work to help protect some of the most helpless victims in underserved communities–pit bull dogs–and you have a true heroe’s story. Tio was able to get Alex Kotlowitz, the  bestselling author of “There Are No Children Here,” to contribute the forward to the book, which has already helped to draw some interest in the book from agents. Tio can teach me a lot about marketing myself, that’s for sure.

The second book is a picture book called “Hens for Friends.” I have never written a picture book before, and let me tell you, it is not as easy as it looks. I submitted my original idea for the book to an incredible humane-themed picture book publisher called Gryphon Press. I love their books and have used them for years to promote humane education. I put together my book, along with what I thought was a decent pitch for the project, and emailed it off to the publisher. It turns out my pitch and concept were spot-on, but the publisher told me I needed to really focus on making the main hen more lovable. She also advised me that each word needs to be chosen with the utmost of care, since there are so few  of them in a picture book. I took her words to heart, revised the book, and resubmitted.

So now I wait for one or more of my eggs to hatch…

In the meantime, if anyone knows of a good home for Gunner, please let me know!


2 Responses to "Getting Noticed"

Good luck on finding a publisher I love reading your stories and I am sure you wrote two excellent books. I will ask about Gunner. I did not know about Tios story. I have spoken with him trying to coordinate a meeting between him and Stone Park. You have great marketing skills. Just remember never give up. Eventually things will come.


The fact that Gunner followed Jorja home just shows how smart he is… the fact that she emailed you just shows how smart she is. 🙂

I’ve heard of Tio, didn’t know much about him. Was he involved with the HSUS ‘End Dogfighting’ campaign that was the centerpiece of Spotlight Humane in 2010?

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