Book signing

So the book signing in Hadley, MA took place on Sunday as per schedule.

First off, I must say a huge thank you to the Hadley Barnes & Noble folks.  They were very friendly, wonderful, and I feel did their best in the face of whatever is going on in B&N’s HQ these days.

Which brings me to the full detailed version.  Again:  local store awesome; corporate to blame.

  1. Is 1 week prior to Father’s Day a good date to have a Teen Fest thing?  I don’t know, maybe something closer to July or closer to Memorial Day or nearer to an approximation of Spring Break?  Suffice to say the teens that were there were shopping for Daddy, not for themselves.
  2. Advertisement.  You’re Barnes & Noble for crying out loud.  Did you leave all the promo up to the individual stores?  I hope not.  Especially for something you were doing across all your stores.  This is a good time to get maximum bang for your advertising dollars by running national ad campaigns to draw attention to this thing.  Sure, local stores do a little on their social media and in-store, maybe local papers to highlight just who is going to be this store’s guests, but … come on.  Then again, B&N doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp on marketing.  I mean, have you ever seen them advertise much?  Never mind their stores, how about the Nook?  Their stores are their primary POS for the thing, and their website, but how many B&N banner ads have you seen on websites, or radio/tv/billboard/newspaper adverts have you seen for the Nook, the B&N website, or the physical stores?  Sorry guys, but you’re second or lower to Amazon (who is an evil evil bunch of people whose downfall I shall cheer greatly) … follow Avis car rentals’ example “We’re number 2, but we try harder” philosophy!
  3. A clearer vision and communication of what the Teen Fest would be.  Looking around online at what other stores were doing, it was rather mixed methods and mixed thinking.  Some stores had workshops that … well … someone explaining how to write a long line description – you know the dreaded Twitter Blurb!  Okay, first off, that’s hard for a lot of writers to do.  Come on, for crying out loud, we just took 400 pages and 500 000 words to say “boy meets girl, girl falls in love with boy, they date and fall in love and get married and have 65 kids, 8000 grandkids, and 14 goats, and the kingdom was saved!” we really aren’t going to squeeze it all down with ease.  I mean, a writers’ panel with Q&A for geeky fannish teens to come to, certainly, but traditional writers’ workshop kind of stuff doesn’t tend to be a crowd draw for any age demographic, targeting it to teens is going to get you maybe 3 people.

Honestly, I rather expected something like this.  I mean B&N was virtually the only bookstore around in the part of Georgia I moved from so it was the place that got people like Steve Harvey … and few people showed up because few people knew about it.  I now know why Terry Brooks‘ appearance that same day in South Hadley, was at a little place called Odyssey Bookshop.  Big name authors often are very expressive about wanting to support the small mom & pop sort of stores.  Which, I believe, is definitely a big part of it.  But it’s also that I believe the smaller stores have a better means of reaching people and bringing folks in.

A small bookshop actually is more likely to have regulars engaged both in face-to-face conversations as well as social media interactions.  Your smaller bookshop is more likely to have the customer walk in for a copy of Wintersmith and wind up staying to chit chat for 3 hours while browsing around for 2.  Watch folks at a big chain store, they walk in, pause at the display of the latest from Stephen King, then make a beeline for what they’re there for, spend a few minutes finding it on the shelf, a couple more minutes looking around that same few feet to see if there’s anything else by that author they want to grab, then back to the cash register.  If they stay, it’s to drink coffee and use the free wifi.  The small shoppe is almost always in a location with a lot of passerby foot traffic and so puts out a chalkboard sign that is colourful and attention getting so all those window shoppers and bankers-off-to-lunch pass and see it.  B&N is starting to trend itself into malls, but there’s no chalkboard signs.  B&N isn’t likely to take out an ad in the paper.  Small shoppe knows that most subscriptions doesn’t equal most readers, they know the little (usually free, so ads cost a little more, but it’s worth it) local indie paper (i.e. The Metro Spirit in the CSRA) is the way to go and put in a good sized ad there.  The little shoppe also knows that an investment in a few minutes with a desktop publishing software, a printer, and a few dozen sheets of paper taken around to the local coffee shops and other places with a bulletin board … or adhered to a few strategic lampposts …

Really; never blame the local personification of the chain store.  They’re following corporate dictates which nearly never make the slightest sense and trying to run on a very restricted and controlled budget.  It’s the folks in HQ who deserve a great big “Are you one drugs?” response.

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#BNFestBuzz announcement!

I have an event!!!

I’ve been invited, like totally out of the blue, to be one of the authors at the Teen Festival thing at the Hadley, MA B&N!

What’s weirder?  I agreed!

Have I mentioned before I’m shy?  I’m going to be doing a book signing, and there was mention of something involving the words “reading” and “excerpt” …

What have I got myself into?

Look, if you’re in New England and want to have a copy of my book signed by me in person like face-to-face and all that, I’ll be on Sunday 12 June at 3PM EDT.

This, by the way, would be some of that other 10% stressful stuff from my previous post.

Happy Mothers’ Day!!

Česky: Matka a dítě. עברית: אם ובנה, 2007. Sve...

I know it’s not Mothers’ Day all over the world.  Sue me, I’m in the U.S. and I didn’t even realise it was this weekend here until Friday leaving work, okay?

Anyway, Love or Lust is 100% off anywhere I could set it.  Ready or Not is 50% off in all the same places.  Oh, did I mention this sale is going to run all week?

As usual I’ve too little practical control over Nook and Kindle pricing.  Amazon will probably eventually price match me, but I can’t say when.  Kindles and Nooks can read the files you’d get from All Romance eBooks, so I recommend users of those devices consider that source.

I know, a Lesbian Teen Romance, what kind of Mother’s Day gift is that?

I don’t know.  I suppose I was thinking about all of those lesbian mothers out there who in the past year have seen their lives validated and vindicated somewhat in … is it 38 states, plus DC and Puerto Rico now?  Some people prefer YA/Teen fiction; I mean some of the best new books I’ve read in the past decade was the Harry Potter series.  Maybe it could be a way for some of my lesbian/bi female readers to prime their mother(s) for letting her/them know about the new fiancée and future daughter-in-law they’ll be meeting today?  Give me a break, it makes more sense than some of the places out there having a sale this weekend.

And, whether you’re a mother of human kids or furry/feathered/scaly ones have a happy Mothers’ Day whether you grab a copy of my books or not.

Happy holidays

81KX3TFsgwL._SL1500_I should have posted this sooner, but I’ve had a distracting week.  Some of it good, too much of it bad.

Regardless, Now & Forever is on sale for the entire month of December wherever it’s possible (which pretty much just means Not Nook, though some Amazon stores might not have marked it down properly either).71jhJo-DxUL._SL1500_

Regardless:  Where I could do so Love or Lust is FREE!  And Ready or Not is half off!

As always, this exclusively applies to the eBooks.  The way the print books are done gives me almost no promotional capacity myself.  Also, the books are sold at very little profit so promotions on the print edition would not go well.

 

Ready or Not on sale now

Ready or Not (concept only)Ready or Not is now on sale!

This does not include the print edition, sadly.  I’m having arguments with the layout for no reason that makes logical sense.  It should only be another few hours to couple of days.

Too the various ebook retailers take their own variable time-frames to put the book on their virtual shelves.  If your favourite doesn’t have it yet — give it a few more hours.  If it isn’t there by 6pm US/Eastern then please contact me.  Odds are I already know about it, but can’t hurt to make sure.

 

Available now for us$3.99 (and various proportionate prices in various other countries and currencies) from:

smashwordsibooks-button-graphicallromanceebooksdt-fiction3dwebnookkindle-logo

 

 

 

Dropping Kobo support

Kobo eReader

Kobo eReader (Photo credit: ndh)

I like supporting various e-readers and their associated services.  It’s, frankly, not usually very difficult.

Sadly, Kobo has decided to make it so.  For no reason I can fathom they do not accept ePub files that even the most exacting alternatives accept without question and that work on their App (I don’t have one of their devices so have no idea), won’t accept a MOBI file that Amazon took no issue with, and does very strange things when fed a raw .doc/.docx file.  Therefore, while Love or Lust will continue to be sold there for the foreseeable future, Ready or Not will not be carried there nor will any future books.

I’m sorry.

If you’re a Kobo user you can get ePub copies from Apple, DriveThru Fiction, and Smashwords.  Nook is also an ePub version, but it can be awkward to get at the file, though not impossible — so Barnes & Noble is another source of the file.  I do not use DRM so the file you get from any of those sources will play happily with your device so long as Kobo continues to support standard ePub format.  My personal recommendation is not-Smashwords as the formatting gets a little weird after the trip through their “meat grinder” which is as horrible as it sounds.

I am actually very sad to be leaving Kobo, and I may return some day if their service to the publisher/author improves.  They are almost as respectful to their content providers as Apple and offer many of the same services.  Only DriveThru Fiction can remotely say the same.  Still I have no intention to spend hours or even days pulling my hair out trying to track down its various imagined code errors.

Nominate your favourite indie author(s)

I hope, maybe, some of you will nominate Love or Lust certainly I do hope that some indie author or other has put a book out in the past year that has inspired or impressed you enough to nominate he or she.  You can also, by the by, nominate multiple books/authors.

Indie Author Land rgb-01

The 50 Self-Published Novels Worth Reading (2013/14)

Nominations Now Open!!!

We need your help in putting together a list of some of the best self-published books from the past year. Read something great? Nominate it. Written something great? Urge a fan to nominate it.

The interest our list has already generated has been phenomenal; in the three days since we opened up nominations it has already become our most popular post ever. That’s great for our ego, but more importantly, it means that whichever books make the list will get the exposure they deserve.

The Rules

1. The book must be self-published or published by a small, “indie-minded” house.
2. The book must have been published on or after 1 January, 2013.
3. The book must be available for purchase, in paperback or ebook format, from a large store – Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
4. Only nominations received on or before 21 April, 2014 will be considered.

Haven’t read a self-published book yet? Here are some we think might be worth your consideration.

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New availability

English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egid...

English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egidio Forcellini: Totius Latinitatis Lexicon, 1858–87) in a table in the main reading room of the University Library of Graz. Picture taken and uploaded on 15 Dec 2005 by Dr. Marcus Gossler. Español: Diccionario de latín (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have expanded my print distribution channels, as a result Love or Lust should be showing up for all booksellers.

This does not, of course, automatically put me on a Barnes & Noble store shelf. It does, however, mean the book should eventually show up on their website, as available through their in store ordering system, and it should be available for you to request at your friendly local bookshop (for those of us still so fortunate as to have one). Enough requests come to the stores and the stores might carry me, which would be lovely.

I didn’t do this for my chequebook, though. God, no. At my list price that’s very much not the case. I did it first and foremost to be in libraries. Just as I shan’t be, automatically, on and B&N store shelf, I won’t be getting immediately shipped to any library. But those of you who like the book might suggest your library carry it.

I owe a great debt to libraries: they’re how I read as a child. I had never been in a bookstore, except a used one once, until I was a teenager. Were it not for my elementary school library and the public library I could never have discovered my love of imaginative prose. I could not have explored Saturn (or Jupiter, in the later books) with HAL, Poole, Bowman, et al; I could not have crossed the Misty Mountains to face a dragon with Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End; I could not have sought the Kammerling with Elyn and Thork; saved Ruwenda with its triplet princesses; solved mysteries with Bernie Rhodenbarr nor with Mrs Murphy & Tee Tucker … and so many more if it weren’t for libraries.

It’s rather secondary, but still important, that I may now be bought by and from a local Mom & Pop store. My conscience was a bit squirmy over the Amazon only thing. True, Ii think this now means I am able to be carried by Wal-Mart, a store that makes my conscience scream bloody murder, but I take comfort that they’re quite unlikely to approve of my book “sullying” their shelves.

I shall link back, as I discover them, to major retail sources for the story online. I shan’t scour the web for every little eStore that carries it now since some of those carried it already because they aggregate Amazon’s catalogue. I will simply keep an eye on the online big boys, like B&N, to let those who prefer know I’m there.

What book sales teach us

Well, the up side: Love or Lust is selling; yay for me.

In fact, this is the first lesson: contrary to logic, it is easier to sell a $3.99/£2.62 book than it is to give it away. DriveThru and Smashwords report no one has taken a free copy. According to Amazon the paid copies are just traipsing along at a steady clip. I won’t ask. I mean, really folks, I appreciate that people are paying for it but I’m not starving – my day job pays terribly, but it does pay.

Next lesson: approximately 1/3 of Americans don’t know what a sample is for. How do I come to this statistic? Well, it’s the best guess I can make when a full 1/3 of my US sales were very quickly returned, if the person started reading and changed their mind … you know, like in the span that the sample would have covered.

Corollary lesson: Brits don’t have that problem. The sales there are coming slower, but are catching the Americans up and they seem happy with the purchase.

Kobo can’t tell time. 36hrs is, last I checked, greater than 24hr. Greater in this context means more, large. It does not mean better. I’m still pending there, but I don’t know why.

This has been an … educational experience.

A free copy, as promised

smashwordsFor the Smashworders theres this code:  GG53A
That will be valid until 8am PDT 1 July 2013

dt-fiction3dwebFor those with a special place in their hearts for DriveThru Fiction simply click the cute little logo to the left.

Sorry folks, but until I’m in iBookstore that’s it for places I can do any kind of promotions.  Amazon’s program for such things are just a free give away and only if I agree to exclusivity with them.  I can’t, in good conscience, do that to my readers who don’t use Kindle.

When will I be in iBooks?  I don’t know.  Apple, admirably, reviews the books submitted to them by hand.  This means the number of other books on their plate will determine when I’m accepted and released for sale.  Why is this admirable in this day of computers?  Simple:  a computer can’t see if someone puts an erotica up as a children’s book, a human can.  I’m willing to wait for them to protect the customers from incompetents and pranksters.