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Archive for April, 2012

Lots to talk about today!

Ok, I may be jumping the gun a little bit here, but I’ve been grinning since Thursday and I’m going to go NUTS if I don’t say it.

“Daughter of Hauk” was sent to the printer on Friday.  I’ll be able to order my proof copy this week!  As long as nothing’s wonky with it, it’ll be available for purchase in the next few weeks!

It’s only been out for 5-6 weeks as an ebook, and both my hubby and I are very curious about the number of copies sold.  Could it be doing better than we dared hope?  After all, we only know of 20-25 copies that friends and family have purchased and told us about.  It’s exhilarating and frightening at the same time to think, wonder, about.

I’m going to be a complete wreck the first time I hold the paperback in my hands.  I know it, I admit it, and I earned the right.

For those interested, I’m setting up a blog tour for the week of May 1 -14.  If you’d like me to swing by your blog during that time, let me know.  Several dates are still open!

I had a long time friend (we met in grade school?) let me know the other day that, while my book wasn’t one she’d normally have read, she was loving it and looking forward to the sequel.  It’s a good feeling to know that you’ve gotten people outside their comfort genres to read and still entertained them.  Granted, the only reason she DID buy it was because I’d written it and we go way back.  There’s something to be said for the ‘I went to school with so and so and now they’re a published writer/paid actor/lead singer in a hot group” purchases.  But I also know she’d have said something if she hadn’t enjoyed it.  When you’ve been friends with someone for 20+ years, you sorta know they’re going to tell you the truth.

The summer is starting to fill up fast.  I’ve got the blog tour next month, an independent review to look forward to reading, my first reading and signing in June or July, plus an internet radio show to visit in July as well.  We’re taking a short vacation in August, and I think I’m looking forward to it already.  My writing goal is to get the first draft of the sequel to ‘Daughter of Hauk’ finished and off to my crit partners/beta readers by the end of May.  But, to do that, I’ve got to stop playing solitaire and write!

 

*The details got to me shortly after I posted this.  My order was placed this morning, and it should be on Amazon for order in 5 days :)*

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First off, everyone say hi to Gary!  He’s got a WordPress blog (honest indie book reviews) that’s worth checking out!  He’s also put “Daughter of Hauk” on his read and review list!  I’m super stoked to find out what he thinks of it, both the good and the bad.

Meeting Gary and Casey Ryan (internet radio show host) are the reasons why I firmly believe in ‘ghosting’ Twitter once a week if you have the time.  Both are very interesting folks in their own rights, and have been willing to not just answer questions from a new writer but give them a shot or two if they’re interested in the book.  I really appreciate Gary’s approach to reviewing!  Not only the idea that he doesn’t want you to provide a free copy (he’ll buy it!), but that he reads the sample before deciding if your work deserves a closer look.  I don’t like reading something I can’t get into after a few pages, so I appreciate his honesty on that.

I did something sneaky last week.  It should be hitting my publisher’s mailbox within the next day or two, if it’s not there already.  I wrote a good old fashioned thank you note.  Melissa and her team at Solstice have made this experience amazingly positive for me.  I’d heard horror stories (haven’t we all) about people getting locked into contracts only to have it blow up in their faces.  I can honestly say that I’ve never been treated with anything but respect, kind words, and help to make my book as successful as it can be.  And I had to say thank you.  In writing.  Yes, I could’ve done so in an email.  But a handwritten note can convey a level of gratitude that emails just can’t do.

On a different note, I finally started working on the sequel to “Daughter of Hauk” again!  It’s an amazing feeling to wake up and know that someone’s going to die, who it is, who does the deed, how and why!  By the time I got through all the normal stuff for the day (dishwasher just has not figured out how to unload/load itself!), the body count at the end of the book had risen substantially.  Sometimes, the cost of winning is very high indeed.

Laundry awaits, as do my motley cast of characters.  Now, where’d I put that wand of mine?

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More promo fun!

I was honored to be given a shout out on this internet radio show earlier this week.  The host has scheduled me for a guest slot on July 8th at 9 am pacific/12 noon eastern.  Take a look at his site!

http://cuttingroomfloorpodcast.blogspot.ca/2012/04/green-light-this-promoted-projects.html

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I have been very fortunate, in that several people from my online writing group have asked to interview me since my book released.  I’ve had two already go live, and here’s a link to the third:

http://strandsofpattern.blogspot.com/2012/04/interview-with-daughter-of-hauk-author.html?showComment=1333813240686#c2357312959712821548

 

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There’s been entire books written on the ‘rules’ of writing.  I tend to ignore them.  As my ‘big brother’ in writing once told me:  Did the book sell?  Then it’s good. 

I’m not a technically perfect writer.  I don’t care if you’re supposed to use -ly adverbs sparingly or all that stuff.  I write the best story I know how to write.  Hopefully, a publisher and then a reader will think it’s worthwile.

There is one rule, however, that should NEVER be broken.

Be polite, appreciative, and above all remember that your publisher has more on his/her plate than just your book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They may be diluged by emails from other authors, all equally eager to hear about progress with THEIR story.  These people are juggling dozens of tasks at once.  Treat them with respect, dignity, and give them time to respond.

Don’t nag them.

Don’t get snarky on them.

Don’t make unreasonable demands on them (ie no demanding your book becomes a priority just because you want it to be).

You talk with them as you would want to be spoken to.  They’re wanting the same thing you are, a successful run with your title. 

While you wait, work on the next book.  Do some publicity for the one under contract.  It’s not out yet?  Create a buzz so there’s a sense of anticipation for it.  Start talking with bloggers and podcasters about interviews, small bookstores and libraries about their requirements for book signings. 

Now, I’ll admit I contracted a serious case of what I call OEC (Obsessive Email Checking) several years ago.  We all want to get that email that tells you what you’ve been waiting for.  But hounding and badgering the people in charge aren’t going to move you up the list faster.

You’ll be remembered, but not in a positive light.  And is that really the impression you want to give?

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So, you’ve been working like mad for months, years, decades to get your book polished up and published.  The day has finally come.  You’re in print.   And then it starts.

The family members or friends who think they should get a free copy of your book just because they are friends or family start asking.

Where were they, when you spent three days trying to decide to kill off that one character you loved, even though they weren’t central to the plot?  Did they spend all day on your release day ghosting your publisher’s website, wanting to be among the first to purchase your book?

The point I’m making is that you worked hard to get here.  Don’t give your work away just because someone thinks they deserve a free copy.  That’s your choice to make.  Promotional give aways are a great way to put your book into the hands of someone who may not have gotten a copy otherwise.  But don’t let someone guilt you into giving them one. 

A friend or family member who wants you to succeed and supports you will buy their own copy, because they know that’s how you’ll make money from the book.  They’ll come to a signing.  Not necessarily to get you to sign their copy, but to support you as you promote your work. 

The ‘fan in the pan’ is going to complain that you didn’t give them what they wanted (a free copy), and are only there to try and share in your moment.  They’re the people who are going to mention they have a cousin/friend who wrote a book, but won’t help you sell any.  They want to be connected to any fame you gain.  And have done nothing to support you on the way.

I say ignore the ‘fan in the pan’.  They’re not worth your time.  You were strong enough to work on your novel, painstakingly revising it time and time again, enduring rejections over and over until this time arrived.  And the sooner you start saying ‘no’ to those who want you to give your work away, the better it will be in the long run.

Now, I’m not advocating never giving your books away.  Promotional give aways are a wonderful tool.  And, there may be a few people who you feel really did support you along the way who deserve a free copy.  That’s completely understandable. 

Think of it as winning the lottery.  Many people out there think that a book contract is guaranteed riches.  It’s not.  But, like so many lotto winners, you just might have a lot of relatives you hardly speak to suddenly wanting to come visit because they (mistakenly) think you’ve struck it rich. 

You want me to be successful with my book?  Go buy a copy.

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