I’m cross promoting LIGHTBRINGER with other Paranormal Romance authors and that means you have the chance to win Free books! Just click on the graphic to enter.
Good Luck and Happy Reading!
The 9th Tucson Festival of Books is this weekend and I’m looking forward to attending. I’m only an author now because I started out as a book lover. If you’re near Tucson and love books as I do, you should think about spending at least part of the weekend on the U of A mall. It’s a fabulous event and it’s FREE!
Lord Dahleven is that kind of hero, so to celebrate, I’ve made DANGEROUS TALENTS Free for a limited time. This is your chance to discover where the lost Vinland colony disappeared to, meet their Viking descendants, and cheer on a modern woman who finds herself in a very different world. If you’ve already read it, thank you!
You can help out by telling your friends about this sale, and by leaving an honest review on Amazon. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few sentences will do. Customer reviews really do make a difference to authors and help other readers find books they’ll enjoy.
Thank you again for subscribing to my newsletter. And stay tuned for the announcement of a new book release very soon!
P.S. If you’d like to see a list of all of my books, check out my Amazon Author page.
Sending all of my fans a big Thank You! for reading. I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and that however and whatever you celebrate, it is filled with laughter and joy. May 2017 bring you more of what you want, less of what you don’t, and lots of time to relax with a good book.
November 10-12, 2017
That’s when TusCon 44 will be held with Kim Stanley Robinson as Author Guest of Honor.
TusCon 43 wrapped up Sunday night. George R. R. Martin, Peri Charlifu, William Malone, James Perry II, Edward Bryant, Geoff Notkin, and Elizabeth Gracen were the headliners, and over 100 other author and artist guests attended as well. This convention was larger than past TusCons, but thanks to hard work and planning it retained the relaxed atmosphere that this convention is known for. (Disclaimer: I’m on the committee as Guest Liaison, but the real heavy lifting is done by a slew of other talented and hardworking people who volunteer their time and effort.)
I spoke on three panels and had a fabulous time seeing old friends and making new ones. I shared one of those panels, “Strange Bedfellows: Do Angels and Demons make good heroes?” with long time friend and author, Roxy Rogers. (Be sure to check out her story, “Gabriel’s Release” a prequel to her forthcoming Angels Descending series.) Angels and demons are on my mind these days because after some delay, I’m finishing up GUARDIAN, the second book in my Celestial Affairs series which will be available in early 2017.
On the new friend front, I shared a panel and autograph session with actress, author, producer, and dog lover Elizabeth Gracen who is as charming as she is talented. I also got to meet Jeffe Kennedy, who writes romantic fantasy (and many other things), and traded books with her. I’m looking forward to reading her new books, THE PAGES OF THE MIND, and it’s sequel THE EDGE OF THE BLADE.
I could go on and on about the excellent programing, the full video and anime schedule, the outstanding art show, dealers, and gaming, not to mention the phenomenal hospitality suite, but I don’t have enough superlatives. Instead, I’ll exhort you to save the date and buy a membership to next year’s TusCon. (There will be a Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sale. Price will be $45.)
DANGEROUS TALENTS is FREE today. A lot of you have already read this book (Thank you!), but just in case you haven’t, or you have a friend you’d like to recommend it to, you can get it free through today. Tomorrow it will go back to its regular price.
If you haven’t already done so, I invite you to sign up for my new release newsletter and get a free fantasy short story. I’ll never, ever share your email, and you’ll be the first to learn about new books and special offers. To sign up just tap on GET A FREE STORY in the Navigation bar.
Thanks for reading!
Most readers want to like the protagonists of the books they read. Even if the main character has a long way to grow to become likable at the beginning of the book, they had better have something that makes them sympathetic or the reader is going to find someone else to spend time with. Most commercial fiction is populated with sympathetic characters, people we want to root for. But what about when your otherwise likable character makes a mistake?
There’s an old saying among writers, “Reality is no excuse for fiction.” That means that just because something happened in real life, if it’s weird or unlikely you probably shouldn’t have it happen in your book. (The only exception to this maxim is when it makes things worse for your hero, and even then you have to be careful.) We’ve all made boneheaded mistakes, done things that in hindsight we can’t believe we did, things we should have known better than to do. That doesn’t mean our characters get to be stupid, though. They can make mistakes, but you’d better give them a good reason to be blind to the right path or your readers will let you hear about it. And you’d better sell it.
You can hit all your marks, give your character the right emotional backstory that perfectly justifies her inability to trust, or commit, or stop being a workaholic, but if the reader doesn’t feel it, they won’t believe it.
So how do you do that?
That being said, even if you do everything right, you won’t sell it to every reader, every time.
Writing a novel or short story isn’t as much of a group effort as writing for Hollywood, where directors and actors interpret the writer’s work before the audience ever sees it, but it’s still collaborative. Obviously, your editor will have some input. Less obvious is what the reader brings to the story. Every reader has his or her own way of viewing the world. Sometimes that bias prevents them from understanding why a certain experience shaped the character a certain way. The character’s reaction is not what they would have done. If you do your job well, most readers will be able to experience the world through the mind and the heart of your character for that little time they’re inside your creation. But the magic doesn’t always work. Not every book is a good fit for every reader, every time. And that’s okay. If the author does her job, the rest of the story will be satisfying enough for the reader to keep turning the pages, even when the character makes a mistake.
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For the 28th and 29th of September, DANGEROUS TALENTS will be Free. This is the last time this year that the first Vinlanders’ Saga book will be on sale.
And if you haven’t already done so, you can get a Free fantasy story by signing up for my VIP Newsletter. Just click on Get a Free Story in the Nav bar above. (I won’t spam your inbox or share your email. The only time you’ll hear from me is when I have a new book or when a book goes on sale.)
For just a few days, DANGEROUS TALENTS is available here for Free:
If you haven’t yet read the first book in the Vinlanders’ Saga series, now is your chance! (This is the first time in two years that this title has been available for free.)
Why am I giving it away now? I want you to fall in love with my world and my characters, and what’s better than finding something you love for a great price? And what price could be better than free?
If you’ve already read DANGEROUS TALENTS, THANK YOU! I hope you enjoyed it, and that you’ll tell a friend or two about this opportunity to get a great read for free– or maybe even give it as a gift. (I discovered two of my favorite “must read” authors when I was given one of their books.)
I also want to say thanks if you’ve written a review. Your opinion is hugely helpful, both to other readers and to authors like me. And if you haven’t already left a review, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to let other readers know what you think. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few sentences will do.
You can leave a review near the bottom of this page: http://smile.amazon.com/DANGEROUS-TALENTS-Vinlanders-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B007QQ1CDK
A WORLD OF MAGIC, LOVE, AND BETRAYAL
Celia Montrose has been trained to deal with any emergency–except being thrust into another world. Crisis management training hasn’t prepared her for meeting the Viking descendants of the lost Vinland colony, or coping with kidnapping, murder, and magic.
Lord Dahleven is preparing for war when he rescues a strange and beautiful woman in the drylands. Though he fears Celia may be Fey-marked, Dahleven can’t resist the powerful attraction he feels for her. But is Celia in league with the enemy, or will she provide the key to saving his people?
Alone and off-balance, Celia finds herself falling for Lord Dahleven. But dangerous forces are at work, and one of them is offering Celia a way home–for a price.
I’m still here, even though I’ve been pretty quiet lately.
I haven’t posted much in the last year, especially about self-publishing, because I didn’t feel as though I had much to contribute. I’d pretty much shared what I had to say in my post about that first year, and all the decisions that a newbie had to make. But now that I’ve been on this path for a little over three years, I feel like I have a new set of choices. One of the big ones is: how much and what kind of publicity is enough?
This is actually an old decision revisited. Within a few months of starting out, I’d taken to heart the advice that the best promotion is getting the next book out. The corollary to that is to wait until you have five or six books out (some sources even say ten) preferably in a series, before you start trying to do any serious promotion. I wasn’t that hardcore, nor was I that patient. I ran quite a few free promotions and .99 sales on several different books. Some worked better than others, and they all worked better when I paid for an ad to advertise the promotion. But over the months I noticed that the sales became less effective, not only for selling books, but also for generating reader reviews. (Thank you, every single one of you, who has bought and reviewed one of my books!) And over time I found that the additional revenues were eaten up by the cost of the ads.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to Indie publishing, this isn’t news to you.
One of the immutable laws of business is: adapt or die. So I tried a few things like writing a newsletter, updating my metadata, and my product descriptions, both of which helped sales a little, though not much. About five months ago I decided to give advertising a rest and focus on writing. I was pleased to note that even without “goosing” sales with promotions, my sales held steady and even improved a teensy bit.
Teensy isn’t good enough, though. Now that I have six novels out (three of which are in a series), I think it’s time to get more serious about getting eyeballs on my books. I’ve been researching what has works and I decided to experiment with some of the techniques that Nick Stephenson recommends in his book, READER MAGNETS: Get Readers to Come to You. While not over promising, the results he reports sound pretty impressive, so it’s worth my time to give it a go, I think. It also seems to be a good fit with the 80/20 rule. (Getting that 80% of results from the most effective 20% of effort.)
I’ll let you know how it goes. And if you don’t want to wait, go buy Stephenson’s book for yourself. I’d love to hear how it works for you. I’d also love to hear from the other authors out there what you’ve done to get the word out. What do you think REALLY works?
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I you live in the Tucson area, be sure to check out the TUCSON FESTIVAL OF BOOKS this coming weekend, March 14-15. Over 300 authors will be speaking, along with many food vendors and live music. I’ll be speaking Saturday afternoon at 4:00 on a panel with several other authors about the differences between Indie and traditional publishing. I hope to see you there
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I’m planning something special for the wonderful people who subscribe to my newsletter, so make sure you sign up!
I don’t go to the mall much anymore. Mostly I go to meet a friend for lunch and then take a walk in blessed air-conditioned comfort. (Hey, when it’s 100 degrees outside, that means something!)
So, when I was at Tucson Mall the other day, I was surprised to see the Halloween decorations up already. I shouldn’t have been. Labor Day weekend is not only the last hurrah of summer, but the unofficial beginning of the dreaded Holiday Season when retailers exhort you ever more forcefully to part with the cash your labors have earned.
Some people really love shopping, and are good at it. I’m not one of them. So in case you’re like me, and would rather curl up with a good book this weekend, I’ve put BETRAYED BY TRUST on sale for only 99 cents though Sunday. It’s a fast-paced thriller with paranormal elements, a love story, and you don’t even have to brave the mall to get it!
If you do decide to pick up a copy of BETRAYED BY TRUST (or any of my other books), I encourage you to leave a review. Your honest opinions help other readers find books they’ll like.
Would you like to be the first to know about sales like this, or when I release a new book? Sign up for my occasional newsletter. (I won’t choke your inbox. I’ll only be sending you emails when I actually have something to announce.)