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Using Tech for Book Marketing

Kate Gingold from Sprocket WebsitesKate has been building websites with her husband Don since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Kate is an author herself. She writes books on local history, including the award-winning "Ruth by Lake and Prairie," a fictionalized account of the true story of Great Lake pioneering to the shores of Chicago and beyond to found Naperville, Illinois. 

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Ruth By Lake and Prairie

Author Tips and Tales

Naperville 1920 Flashback: Big Fires Start the Year

Kate Gingold Host 0 604 Article rating: No rating

Fire activity doubled in 1920 with three big fires occurring in the first three months. While the city normally faced maybe 10-12 fire events a year, there were 20 fires in this start to the new decade.  

At the time, fire department boasted one motorized chemical engine and the “Joe Naper” hand pumper in addition to the traditional bucket brigades. Naperville’s fire department was established in 1874 when there was no city-wide electricity or water and sewer system and not even a street numbering system for addresses.

These improvements, however, were in place by the early 1900s. The city also purchased a 1916 International Chemical Engine, the first that wasn’t powered by a team of horses. The chemicals in the Chemical Engine were a soda-acid combination that helped propel water onto a fire.

According to records, most of the fires that year were related to chimneys, perhaps due to an exceptionally cold winter, but of note were three major fires. The main infirmary at the Edward Tuberculosis Sanitarium burned in February, which was listed in the log as due to crossed wires. Personnel tried to save the recently-installed x-ray machine, but unfortunately they couldn’t drag it far enough away from the falling debris. In early March, there was a fire in a factory on the Hunt Estate and a second fire mid-month at the Judge Goodwin mansion known as Heatherton.

While these three fires caused a total of $1.75 million worth of damages, no lives were lost – at least not in the fires. Judge Goodwin died in Chicago on the same night that his home burned down and there has been plenty of speculation about that coincidence.  A Fire and Water Engineering book from that year says the fire is “believed to be incendiary.” One rumor suggests that the Judge’s servant was instructed to destroy Mrs. Goodwin’s inheritance once she was widowed. The Heatherton property was eventually purchased by North Central College with financial assistance from Peter Kroehler and is currently home to the fieldhouse.

Book Tours for Indie Authors

Kate Gingold Host 0 692 Article rating: 3.0

Even if your book is traditionally published, the chances that you will be sent on a book tour are probably slim. Let’s face it: Travel isn’t cheap. So unless your publisher is pretty sure you will be selling a whole lot of books, you won’t need to pack a suitcase. Still, we all have that fantasy of jet-setting from city to city, being wined and dined and reading a few paragraphs from our latest novel to an admiring crowd


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Full disclosure:  Writing for Sprocket Websites is my day job, so if you have questions about digital marketing, I'm happy to help!


Marketing Author Interview

Following a presentation for In Print Professional Writers Group, Kate's husband (and publisher!) Don was interviewed by author Louise Brass for WBOM Radio. During the conversation, Don shared many of the marketing tips from his presentation. You can listen to it online here.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.



Get a Book Siging Checklist and our Sprocket Report

Kate will be happy to send you her brief Book Signing Checklist. Treat your book promotion like a business - because it is!

AND, since much of your efforts will be online, she'll also enroll you in her Sprocket Report, an email newsletter sent every other Tuesday, that includes 2 Internet Marketing tips and a post from a guest blogger on related business.

No worries! She won't use your email address for anything else, and you can unsubscribe from the newsletter anytime, but the checklist is yours to keep.

Any questions of Kate? Leave them in the message field and she'll get back to you ASAP.

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