Somehting to think about . . .

Hunger and the fear of failure . . . when you hit the wall, the only way left is up.

~Lorelei Bell

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's Been A While

Spring is trying to spring around here. But it has been windy, rainy and cooler than normal in my neck of the woods.

I'm not looking forward to summer, but I'd sure like a little bit of spring before the heat comes in.

Every once in a while I get a wonderful surprise. I'll get a nice review in a local paper, I'll go to Amazon and see that someone has bought a book or an eBook. That's always a wonderful thing to see.

This week was a new one that I didn't even expect. It came from my publisher, Copperhill Media, who made a special web page for my book Vampire Ascending. I've changed the link that anyone can reach when they click on the book's cover over on my side bar. I was staggered by this, when my publisher sent me the email and said I should go look this over. Wow! I thought it was fabulous.

I then learned that my publisher would take my second book, because the first one was doing so well. That's a load off my mind. He told me it wouldn't be available until summer. I said I didn't care, as long as those who read the first one and have been hounding me for the second one I can now tell them for sure that it will be out some time this summer.

Presently I'm nearly done tweaking the second book. The title is Vampire's Trill, and I have some teasing posts from this book over at Lorelei's Archives, if you'd like to check those out.

I've also been working on the third one, and as if that weren't enough I've got some dialogue for the 4th one but undecided as to where this one will go, but that will come to me in time.

In the mean time, however, I am still promoting my first book. Next month I will be having another give away and will be hosted on Patricia's Vampire Notes blog. This is on May 9th.

So, those of you who missed the opportunity to either buy or win a book, here you go. Be sure to keep posted over on Lorelei's Muse for when it is up. I will be home that day to bring you the actual link when I know it.

Now I must go back to work. Tah!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

More Thoughts on Popularity ~ In The Real World

Once your book is out there, it becomes very apparent that you have to work just as hard, maybe even harder, to get people to notice and buy it. Being shy, or not being aggressive will not help sales at all. Plus, you need to become a little creative in the finding places to get the word out.

In my case my job almost gives me the best of both worlds. I work driving a bus for a college campus. Thus I've got a lot of riders who get to know me (or they see me) 5 days a week and 7 hours a day. Every college has a paper, and NIU is no different. The Northern Star is sent all over the country, and has won several awards over the years. Thus, getting myself in this paper has taken both savvy, and guts to approach people who I know will get a story about my book into this paper.

Tony Martin is a columnist for Northern Star, and he rides my bus. Can you believe I could have such a deal? It's like kismet! His column is featured more than once a week. He reviews bands, music, and such mainly. But when I approached him about my vampire book, he was a bit hesitant. I knew he was. He probably thought it was another copy-cat of the Twilight series. So, when I told him about it, and I sort of pressed him into reading it, I felt I'd done everything I could in the name of getting the book noticed. I have no idea how many vampire fans there could be in a campus this size, but I figured it might be one in maybe 50. I don't really know.

This week Tony's review on my book came out. He gave it a 4 1/2 out of 5 rating. That's pretty good. It's good, considering that he is an English major. He was happy to see that my book, Vampire Ascending is not anything like Twilight. He said it was "a breath of fresh air in a genre that will, at its apex, be remembered for birthing some sparkly British super model vampires who wants to save it for marriage . . ." He called my work more of a "gritty, violent, dark and sexual world of Anne Rice's vampires. . . " He liked that I was able to create a female protag that caught him by surprise when he decided he liked her. Sabrina Strong had real problems, and tried to deal with them, and only got in deeper and deeper. He also like that my story had vampires existing in "our reality, instead of some hypothetical alternate universe".

There was a good reason for this. I didn't want to do a lot of back story. You get bogged down in that, as a reader, as well as a writer. But, it's a tough sell, as I told a young lady who had seen the article and started up a conversation about it while riding my bus the day the article came out.

Today, a day after the article came out, another young lady came on my bus saying "You've been keeping a secret!" she said, her cute dimples showing. I knew she meant that I'd kept it hidden that I was a writer. Well, you don't stop the bus and make the announcement, do you? But it's difficult to get the word out. I should wear a sign saying I have a book out there, maybe, as someone else suggested. One of those bill board things you wear. Yeah, that's a great idea. I also thought of chalking sidewalks, but my knees aren't what they used to be in my twenties.

Back to the lady with dimples. "I knew you were different, I just didn't know in what way." I had to laugh. I'm not sure if she meant the way I tried not to "look" like a bus driver, I try to wear suit coats once in a while, and just look nice. Author-ly, you might say.

Her name was Nicole, I found out, and she had been riding my bus for a few years, but I hadn't seen her in months. She is what I want to call an "absolute fan". She came up to me, began the conversation, and said she was interested in the book, and everything about it, so I gave her a book mark which gave places where to find the book, and I even jotted down my main blog. When I get people like this who don't have to be convinced to buy the book, that's what I call a fan. I want to hug them all.

Popularity with fans is more what I'm after. If I'm able to convince an English major who is more into zombies than vampires, that my book was worth his while, then, yeah. This is the fruit of my labor of throwing myself out there, getting the book noticed, and taking a chance that people will eventually find out about it. This is where my time and effort must go toward more now than trying to see how many new followers I can grab. My main blog, Lorelei's Muse is seen all over the world. Russia, Germany, Israel, Australia, Canada, Japan, Denmark. . .51 countries--some which I don't even know where they are. And when I begin seeing sales on Amazon--as I can track them--I know that somehow people are coming to find a new vampire book with grit, spice and things that some of those YA versions just don't have.