Monday, July 20, 2015

The Best Book Sales

*This is my table buddy, Rick, and Beastie 2 with me
at the Christmas in July Craft Fair.
No, I'm not giving advice on where to get bargains on books. I'm talking about this from the perspective of an author who is trying to sell her own books, and what makes a sale "good" for me.

As an indie author, I admit that a lot of my sales are to people I know personally. Friends and family, fellow homeschoolers, former coworkers...other things that start with F ;). (Sorry, alliteration is amusing!) These types of sales are great. Indie authors need these for lots of reasons, from sheer numbers to emotional validation for our hard work.

But there are other sales that are so much better.

This past January I participated in an author event. A teen girl and her mom walked over to my table and began looking at my books. The girl and I immediately connected because she was wearing a Doctor Who t-shirt. I commented, we talked a bit, and she picked up Finding Angel and decided to buy a copy.

That was cool right? Well, that's just the intro, because it could be construed as kinda sales-y, right? I mean, maybe she felt obligated to buy because we'd talked or whatever. But things changed when she and her mom walked away from the table and went to go check out the other authors. She had a chance to sit and read the first chapter of Finding Angel while her mom looked at books for herself. And a little while later, they were back at my table to buy Seeking Unseen.

THAT is the cool part. Because it wasn't me, it wasn't the fellow Whovian who is a local author looking for support that made the sale--it was the first book. It was the story.

A similar thing happened a couple of months ago, when I ran a Goodreads giveaway of Finding Angel. The girl who won the book was excited and agreed to write a review. Well, sure, she was getting a free book. But the story got her even more excited about wanting to read Seeking Unseen. I don't know if she's officially bought it yet, but just the idea that she wants to because she loved the first book, and she's someone who before entering the contest had never even heard of me or the series--that means something,

The most recent incident was just a few days ago. My church has started an annual craft fair and I have participated all three years so far. This past Saturday, I sold several books at the event, some of them to fellow church members--but one sale had me walking on air.

A young boy, about middle school age, came over to my table. He had a grin that would light up a room, and a well-worn copy of a Harry Potter novel in his hand. He told me he loves to read, and to write as well, and someone at the craft fair had shown him my table. I handed him a copy of Finding Angel and said he was free to take a look at it.

He did, and handed me back the book with a grin even bigger and light-ier than before, all the while nodding and saying, "Yes, yes." He left to go tell his dad.

A while later, as I walked back from buying myself a burger for lunch, I noticed him and his dad at the table again, but by the time I got there they'd left. My table buddy* said the boy had told his dad all about the book, and then his dad moved him along. I was disappointed--not because of the money,  but because I had been excited about seeing a kid--a boy in particular--so enthusiastic about reading.

But my disappointment only lasted a few moments, because I noticed him walking--grin bright and wide--back to my table with money in hand. His dad joined him and watched as I signed the boy's book. I could have just burst--because I was, and am, so thrilled by the idea of that boy I'd never met before that day and who had never heard of me or my writing until that moment finding joy reading my novel, reading something I dearly love and put my heart and soul into.

Yes, dear friends, family, and other loved ones, I appreciate you buying my books very much. But when someone with nothing invested in me comes along and buys my books, those are the best sales of all.

*My table buddy, Rick Christensen, writes really cool devotionals. Check him out at www.discoveringandsharinggrace.com.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Join Me on Medieval Mars, and then Escape...

Well, it seems that after a long, quite stretch on this blog, I've suddenly got all these things to post about--mostly releases of very cool stuff. First there was Darkness Brutal by Rachel Marks, then my short story in The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow. Yesterday, I did a cover reveal for H.A. Titus's Forged Steel.

And today....

Two more bits of news on short stories of mine!

First, I have a short story in the new Medieval Mars anthology, the brainchild of Travis Perry. First, the cover:




Here's the description as found on Amazon:

A future terraformed Mars, where civilization crashed back into a Medieval Era. Christian Knights called “riders” patrol the Pilgrim Road from Olympus to New San Diego, on the Chryse Sea. The technological past is known as the “Age of Magic” and only a handful of people understand how the remaining ancient devices really work. Lighter gravity in dense air makes flying dragons and bird riders a reality; alloys of the past make “magic” swords; and masters of ancient knowledge wield wizard-like power. 

Nine authors spin tales in this unique story world, one which combines elements of science fiction and high fantasy.

The Kindle version is only $1.99 on Amazon, and the print version is coming soon.

The second bit of short story news is....


Voting has opened for the Readers Choice short story contest on the Realm Makers website. I've got a horse in this race, although I'm not allowed to tell you which one. So, go, read the beginnings of the stories, and vote on your favorite! 


Monday, July 13, 2015

Cover Reveal: Forged Steel by H.A. Titus

I don't normally do things like this, but when you've gotten to know someone's writing through multiple venues and found it skilled and creative, then you break your own rules.

So, today I'm participating in the cover reveal for H.A. Titus's soon-to-release urban fantasy, Forged Steel.

Without further ado....


Is that not so cool??

And more info about the book and author:

Downton. Coffee shop. 2 AM.
One minute, Josh is firing off sarcastic remarks at his best friend Marc – the next, they’re running from shape-shifters. Apparently, even best friends don’t share all their secrets.
Now Josh is in danger. He can see the monsters among the humans.
When Marc is kidnapped, Josh finds himself pulled into the schemes of the fae courts, and throws in his lot with Marc’s allies: the lovely Larae, a human named David, and the fighter, Eliaster. But what began as a rescue mission becomes something much more involved…
And all Josh wants to do is get out before it’s too late.

Forged Steel is a new adult urban fantasy by H. A. Titus, releasing on July 17th. It will be available in print (Amazon) and ebook (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Scribd) If you'd like a chance to win free books, ask questions, and hear trivia about the writing/publishing of Forged Steel, there will be a Facebook event party on July 17th from 7-9 pm eastern time on the author's page, H. A. Titus Author.

The first five chapters are vailable for preview on Wattpad.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

New Published Short Story at Common Oddities!

So, yeah, this story actually came out a few weeks ago. I think. I'm telling you, I've completely lost my concept of time lately. Things are finally slowing down a bit, though, so it's time to catch up and share the news.

My short story "Different" is featured in Issue #4 of The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow.

First, check out this awesome cover image:


And now, GO READ THE STORY.

And then, READ THE OTHER STORIES. (This link is to the homepage for the issue, and there is a button at the bottom of the cover image there that will let you download a pdf of the whole magazine.)

OK, that's my news for today, but I've got more coming this weekend...