Friday, May 29, 2015

#Fridayreads: Happy Release Day to @beloveddust! #amreading #poetry

Look at this beauty!

Congratulations to Stephanie Bryant Anderson for the release of her debut poetry collection, Monoxygotic/Codependent. 

What the critics are saying:
In Monozygotic | Codependent, Stephanie Bryant Anderson’s poems are concerned with splitting the self and uncovering the woman beneath the familial myths. Yet the essential paradox for Bryant Anderson: when the self has a twin—a ‘shadow,’ a ‘dark-haired mirror girl’—what then of the split? These poems ache; in the style of Southern gothic, these poems are ‘filled [with] piano ribs, a slow blues loaded with heavy bees and suicide ghosts.’ Bryant Anderson’s are poems of survival, built in fragile and beautiful shell casings, stanzas deceptively elegant and delicate, for what pinions each graceful couplet is a fierceness of spirit, a deep-seated desire for life, always life, even in the midst of pain and memory, ‘shaped as an open field plagued by black irises.’ I am broken and remade by these poems. 

—Jennifer Givhan, 2015 Winner National Endowment for the Arts fellowship 

From the collection:

"The Hanging Field"

Though we never stopped, we stared
from the backseat of our car—
our flat-bottom boat—at the body darting
from the end of a rope. I remember the road,
its lines, yellow and broken, the crowd
and a cloud shaped like a hare.
Now the field comes back into view:
I’ve dreamt a horse into the field, or the horse
in my dream came to save me—not
some knight—but the horse,
and I climbed onto his back to keep from
suffocating. But it was more than that—
I was trying to suffocate myself & this crazy
beautiful horse came running into the field
and his wild body kept me from hanging.
In the sky the scent of tobacco paraded,
and the magpies flew their black kites.

You can snag your copy here. (Already got mine, we can discuss soon!)

She is the founder of Red Paint Hill Publishing. She has worked also as editor with
 Up the Staircase Quarterly, Inkception Books, and she served on the Editorial Board for The Manatee, Southern New Hampshire University’s literary journal. Nominated for Best of the Net, storySouth Million Writers Award, and twice for the Pushcart Prize, Stephanie is the mother to two amazing boys. Besides poetry she enjoys kickboxing and math.

You can find her on Twitter, Facebook or her website.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Have You Seen The Indie Author Manifesto? #amwriting #IndiesBeSeen

Have you seen this?

You may also want to read the full blog post about the Indie Author Manifesto, found here.

I'm sharing it here to get your thoughts on the manifesto. Is there anything you would add to it? Take away from it? Or elaborate on? Do you think it is important to have a manifesto when approaching goals in life? What purpose might a manifesto (either this one, or one of your own creation) serve you as an indie writer?

These are just thoughts and I'd love to hear yours. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Best Practices for Bestselling Authors #Indiesbeseen #amwriting

I spent some time listening Mark Coker, found of Smashwords, sage advice a couple of weeks ago at the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas. It’s hard to miss Mark considering how many presentations he hosts in the short span of a week! I’ll break down a couple of his presentations and share the information here on the blog in the coming weeks, but I thought we could start with a recap of his “Best Practices for Success: Secrets of the Bestselling Ebook Authors”

Best Practice #1: Write a good book.
     The best marketing tool available is a good book.
     The seems like a no-brainer, but as I’m sure you know, maybe people cut corners on covers, content, editing and length. Your first “best practice” is creating a  quality book worth promoting. (What is the best length? 84-96K words)

Best Practice #2: Have a great cover.
     It should “make a promise”, providing a dynamic and interesting image that draws readers in.

Best Practice #3: Write another book.
     There is no “one and done” in publishing. The bestselling authors have deep backlists. They’ve built a career and a brand.

Best Practice #4: Make it free.
Coker: “If you have a deep backlist, make at least one full-length book free.” This works best if you make the first book in a series free.  Readers are willing to read a book by someone they’ve never heard of if it’s a low-cost/low-risk. Furthermore, freebooks get an average of 41K more downloads (Coker). If your readers love the book, they are much more likely to commit to the remainder books in the series. And you’re already writing book 6 or 7 right? ;)

Best Practice #5: Maximize availability
Making your book available in more places makes it easier for you to be discovered. Furthermore, iBooks is beginning to gain a little ground on Amazon, so it is good for you to be able to distribute to them as well. For example, in the last 90 days, I personally had 11,338 downloads for iBooks, and 9523 for Barnes and Noble compared to roughly 60K for Amazon’s kindle for my book Dying for a Living. And while the majority DID come from kindle, over 20K downloads from other distributors is hardly something to scoff at!

Best Practice #6: Pricing Strategy
According to Coker, books sell best that are priced at 2.99-3.99.

Best Practice #7: Release Your Book as Preorder
While this won’t help you with amazon’s ranking system, it will help you with iBooks, Barnes and Noble and all other Smashwords distributors. By having your book set up as preorder, all sales are accumulative. Therefore, they have the potential of boosting you to the bestseller’s lists on your book launch day, and making your title more visible to others. Mark is super excited about this actually, so I’m sure if you emailed him for more information on how to make preorders work for you, he’d love to chat.

Best Practice #8: Add three sections to your back matter
About, Other Books, and Connect With. This will help circulate traffic and your fans so they have better access to you and your work.

So please note that this is a truncated list of Mark’s presentation (he had 16 best practices). I simply distilled it down and shared what I could given space (and what I suspect attention span) on the blog.

If you have questions or concerns, fire away in the comments below. Otherwise, I hope this helped! :)


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

#RT15 #Booklovers Convention Recap (with pictures!)


I've been gone for a minute (about 2.5 weeks to be exact). Sorry about that! I went to the lovely RT Booklovers convention in Dallas from May 12-17 and I've basically been recuperating since. Who knew that book-loving introverts could party so hard!

It was an (absolutely exhausting) fabulous week in Texas and I learned a lot! Both as a writer and as a reader, there was so much to take in. I'll be sharing what I learned really soon (like how to write good tension in your stories, the trends that are shaping publishing now, how to ground your fantasy stories in reality) and soooo much more.

I've also given the blog a new look (did you notice?) and I added an index, so that as I write new posts I can organize the content better.

In the meantime, I will leave you with a few pictures from my week in Dallas
Steampunk Party

We gave away ALL THE THINGS in Club RT 

Met the charming Charlaine Harris

Rockin' my Buffy the Vampire Slayer Shirt at the Fantastic Day Party
"Girls Will Save the World"

Fangs out for Heather Graham's Vampire Ball

Yes, I rode a mechanical bull...

...and that's all for now!

Friday, May 8, 2015

#FreebieFriday: #Freebooks and all the #Giveaways

Happy Friday! As you know we are celebrating the release of our anthology this week.

If you missed these great posts about the stories within or the awesome cause we are supporting, follow the links:

Day 1: Kory M. Shrum
Day 2: Angela Roquet
Day 3: Kathrine Pendleton
Day 4  Monica La Porta
Day 5: Mikel Andrews

Day 6: Shelly M. Burrows
Day 7: Jason T. Graves
Day 8: Liz Schulte
Day 9: Jasie Gale

If you're just here for the free stuff, I don't blame you! You can enter the giveaway below for your chance to win signed books, a $50 Amazon giftcard and lots of cool swag (like badass beer glasses).

There also giveaways happening for this book on Goodreads, Booklikes and LibraryThing.
Please check it out! :) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Badass and the Beast Anthology: Ten Authors. One Cause #Support #Animals


I'm excited to have the priviledge of jump starting a blog tour for a very special project. 10 writers (including myself) have donated stories to one awesome collection--and for good reason. 

Badass and the Beast: 10 "Tails" about Kickass Heroines and the Beasts Who Love Them

All proceeds for this collection will go to the Animal Welfare Institute. This institute has a long and respected history in promoting the welfare of animals and improving their lives all over the world. For those of you who are worried about your money being put to good use (like me!) rest assured that this charity has an A+ rating by Charity Watch, a watchdog organization that rates charities on strigent criteria (such as the way they spend their money, how effectively, CEO salaries, transparency, practices, etc).  You can learn more about that here.

About my story "Life's a Gas":

The last story in this anthology is from the Jesse Sullivan universe. It takes place about two years before the first book and follows Jesse and Ally through their first replacement together. And also, in the spirit of the anthology, reveals how Jesse came to find her lovable pug, Winston.

I hope you love the story and feel really good about the cause you're supporting while reading it. :) 

Also, don't forget to interact with the rafflecopter below, where you have a chance to win signed books, (including the anthology) from the contributing authors, a $50 Amazon giftcard, assorted swag and more.

Check Angela Roquet's blog tomorrow for the next tour stop and where you'll learn all about Lana Harvey and two adorable hellhounds, Coreen and Saul.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#Free for a Limited Time #KindleDailyDeal #freebooks

Just a heads up that my sci-fi short "Blind" is free for a limited time on Kindle. Enjoy! :)

Amazon Kindle link

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Recap, (Still) #free #book and Thank You

April was a great month for me. So I just want to say thank you to everyone who participated in the blog tour. Congratulations to all the winners and special thanks to those who hosted me on their own pages.

Jesse topped the paranormal chart (Woo!) And Dying for a Living is still free if you haven't snagged your copy yet. 

And for those of you who missed any or all of the blog tour, here is the recap.

Jesse's YouTube playlist
Zombie Happy Hour: Recipes
I Read Chapter 1 of Dying for a Living

Brinkley's YouTube playlist
The Night I Spent in the Trunk of a Car
Sticky Buns Recipe
Three Stiffs with Picks
How Would You Like to Die Poll?
Signing eBooks
See You at RT?
Q&A--What's Next?

Here's to a bright and beautiful May! :)