Huh. Hadn’t expected that.

Signed Edition (6)

Indie authors wear a lot of hats.  We are the CEOs of our own business, the captains of our own ship, the generals of our lone armies.  (How many metaphors can I mix??)  As such, we have to dabble in things we may be unfamiliar with.  Like marketing.

Currently, I am on a mission to understand Facebook advertising.  I am enrolled in two – not one, but two – Facebook advertising courses.  This is not for the faint hearted.

Sidebar: Apologies to those family and friends who keep getting hit with my ads.  I promise it is Facebook targeting you – not me!

As a result, and in an effort to expand my VIP readers group, I’ve set up an ad for a monthly giveaway where people can sign up to win a chance for the full Mac Ambrose starter library and get a FREE (you see my marketing skills there?) copy of Ghosts in Macau.  Sign up if you haven’t already!  (You can unsubscribe at any time.  Seriously, that easy.  Yes, that’s me marketing again.  Mad skills, I tell you.)

Facebook advertising allows you to target your ad to specific demographics and interests.  You simply go into your dashboard and identify which interests to target.

Easy, right?

Well, no.  This is where it gets fascinating.  My key target demographic should be those Facebook users who have expressed an interest in political/spy thriller authors.  Right?  So, let’s see…Richard North Paterson, Brad Meltzer, Vince Flynn, David Baldacci, Daniel Silva.  In fact, to help us indefatigable Indies, there is even a literature mapping site–you plug in a famous author’s name and it shows you similar genre writers.  So cool.

So I’m testing out various famous authors, and I’m thinking, yeah, but my books have a female point of view to them.  How can I tap into that audience?  So, I start searching the wider web (Goodreads, Amazon, etc.) for bestselling female political thriller writers.

You know what?

I came up with zero.

I expected fewer than the men.  I mean, sure, that would make sense.


There are plenty of crime, mystery and suspense female authors.  Plenty.  And let’s give a whoop whoop for their success!  The world needs all of us creative types killing it.  Seriously gals, kill it!

But no female political thriller writers who have hit bestselling status?



Not sure if I should be shocked, dismayed or somehow elated that the field is so wide open.

If you know of a bestselling political/spy thriller writer that I have missed, please do me a huge favor and drop me a note: – because I would love to read them and support them!!

In the meantime, as I told my best friend the other night, I’ll just keep doing my thang despite this very skewed reality.  Because surely someday, the publishing world will see the gap.  Or even better, readers will start to search us out.  Even better.




A ‘lil bump in spirit

woman back at ocean

I’m in the throes of editing Mac Ambrose novel #3.  It’s uplifting and exciting but can at times be hard.  The book’s plot is set, the twists lined up, and the ending pretty kick ass.  Now for filling in on description and character.  The later of which is my weak link, but we all have strengths and weaknesses.

So my head is down.  Weeds for the forest. 

When I’m in editing mode, my mind tends to focus on word choice even when I’m not in front of the computer.  During the editing phase I am mildly distracted on a continual basis.  I’ll be on the subway and I’ll see something that triggers a word that fits exactly in a particular scene and I’ll have to send myself a note.

I also have deadlines to my editor and my beta readers that I’m trying desperately to hit.  But I’m down with that.  This is all an amazing, inspiring ride.  At a dinner party on Sunday the host told me he gave up a literary tome because he wanted ‘a Mac Ambrose read.’  Uh, hello, best compliment evah.  This means 5 am coffee + computer dates for at least the next four weeks.  Let’s be clear: when the alarm goes off I feel my fingertips tingling for the keyboard.  No lie.

So during this ‘nose to the grindstone’ phase I try to stay off social media.  It ain’t easy.  As I’m sure you all know.

Today I peeked over at Amazon and saw a new (great) review on Deceits of Borneo.  The reviewer praised the fact that Mac was a ‘woman CIA operative.’  This gave me pause.  I realized I loved the fact that the reviewer made that a point.

I never intentionally decided to write from a woman’s point of view, it just seemed the right thing to do as a budding, wanna-be writer who had been cautioned to write ‘what you know.’  And, well, it came naturally.  But as I put word to screen over the last two years, I realized I wanted a broader audience.

I made the decision not to write for women, but to write of women.

In the spy genre there just aren’t that many authentic, smart, gritty women protagonists.  I suspect that’s probably a truism across many genres.

Here’s to today’s reviewer that recognized it and commented on it.  I’ll take that ‘lil boost to my spirit any day.