Chip MacGregor

February 10, 2012

Come One, Come All (a marketing guest blog)


Janice Thompson is the author of numerous novels — most in the "romantic comedy" genre. When she read some of the discussion we've been having about book marketing, she sent this in…

 When one is known for her comedic writing, she thinks twice about taking on a story about the sinking of the Titanic. Imagine my surprise when the team at Summerside/Guideposts Publishing fell head-over (pun intended) for my story idea involving the great ship. Queen of the Waves is a twisted tale, loaded with all the elements—romance, intrigue, and a cast of characters with more luggage than the kind one can carry aboard. Writing is done, and the story is set to release later this year.

So how does one go about promoting a story like this when one is known for comedy? My answer came from a Facebook friend who suggested I take an anniversary cruise. On the morning of April 10, exactly 100 years to the day after the Titanic set sail from Southampton, the Balmoral will set sail carrying 1309 passengers. She will follow the path of the Titanic, pausing in the spot where the great ship struck the now-infamous iceberg on April 15th. 

My response to my friend’s suggestion? No thanks! However, the wheels started turning in my brain as I thought the idea through. I might not be interested in boarding a real ship, but what about a “Virtual Titanic” cruise to commemorate the 100-year anniversary? Now, that sounded like fun. I put my feelers out, and within minutes had a response from several readers: “Yes! We want to board your cruise!” With their enthusiasm building, I quickly created a “Queen of the Waves” group on Facebook and put out the following invitation to all interested parties:

Please join me for a "Virtual Titanic" cruise of the Atlantic, leaving April 1st and ending on April 15th. Meet with me in my "Queen of the Waves" Facebook group where we'll spend the first nine days of April learning how/where the Titanic was built, who boarded, and what was at stake. We will also share tidbits about life in 1912 in England and New York. Early on the morning of April 10th (exactly 100 years to the date after the real Titanic set sail from Southampton) we will begin our virtual cruise. You can choose to travel in first, second or third class. Your choice. I think it would be fun to mix it up a little, so don't everyone opt for first, okay? And we'll need crew members, too, so some of you can sign on as workers. More on this later. To join the virtual cruise, just ask to join the Queen of the Waves group: Starting April 1st I will post several times a day and you are invited to post, as well. We'll chronicle our days aboard the great ship and experience the journey together. Feel free to spread the word. Come one, come all — but watch out for those icebergs!

And come, they did. The ship is filling with all sorts of folks who are already requesting specific classes and cabins. Back in 1912 you could get a third-class ticket for $36, but a first class ticket would run you up to $4700. My cruise will cost you nothing at all. Well, nothing but a wee bit of time, anyway. My Virtual Titanic guests are already sharing photos of the dresses they plan to wear to dinner the first night and chatting about who they plan to hobnob with while aboard the ship. We can hardly wait to set sail.

I sent a quick note to my editors to bring them up to speed (pun also intended) and they jumped onboard at once. So my editors will be sailing with me. And, as if I didn’t have enough to celebrate, one of my Facebook friends is the great-great niece of Edward Smith, the captain of the Titanic. She has agreed to serve as our captain while aboard the ship. I’ll serve at the cruise director, of course, offering entertainment all along the way.

So, that’s it, folks. That's how I'm promoting my next novel. You are welcome to join me for the cruise of a lifetime. Pack your trunks. Bring your warmest clothes. Prepare yourself for several days at sea. Get your tickets by asking to join “Queen of the Waves” at If you have any questions, feel free to contact me —

Janice Thompson

Facebook: JaniceHannaThompson

Twitter: booksbyjanice


SPECIAL NOTE FOR TEACHERS AND HOMESCHOOL PARENTS: I’m particularly interested in having students join us. Perhaps you would consider giving your student an assignment to travel the high seas with us. They can choose their clothing, decide their daily activities, meet friends on the ship and much more. Along the way, they will get a thorough teaching about the Titanic (albeit in a fun, entertaining way). They will also learn a lot about turn-of-the-century customs, manners, and the like. 


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