Month: March 2013

Today Is Tolkien Reading Day! … #MadMarchness … #TolkienReadingDay

But what if you’ve already read Tolkien a zillion times?

(Um … “more than five but fewer than ten” doesn’t count as “a zillion,” right? Okay, good. Just checking.)

As I was saying, what if you’ve already read Tolkien a zillion times? Well, read a different book with Tolkien in mind. Or read Tolkien today and buy something written by one of Tolkien’s hopeless-nerd groupies another perfectly respectable author for another day.

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A bunch of fantasy writers have gathered to offer their books at the bargain-basement price of $.99 in a Tolkien Reading Day promotion. Nolander is $.99, and so are more than twenty other books. Stock up and enjoy!

Spring Fantasy Book Sale!

SpringSale2013Thirty magical fantasy ebooks will be on sale March 20 through 22, and my book is one of them! The graphic may say “under $5,” but more than half of these books are $.99 or free — super deals. The promotion includes a multi-paperback giveaway for U.S. readers and a multi-ebook giveaway for anyone anywhere in the world. There are more than thirty-five free prizes in the offing. So, please check out the Spectacular Spring Equinox Fantasy Sale, and pass on word to your friends, as well.

Here are just a couple of the featured books:

Vaetra Unveiled (Vaetra Chronicles, vol. 1)LFLS8

Bored with his life as an innkeeper, Jaylan Forester takes a promising mercenary contract. The adventure goes out of control when he discovers that his client is being pursued by Sulana Delano, an intriguing Sword Sorceress from an enclave of sorcerers known as The Archives. Taught from birth to shun sorcerers, Jaylan must overcome his distrust of magic when an unexpected turn of events embroils Jaylan in Sulana’s mission to recover a stolen mysterious artifact. Along the way, Jaylan learns that he too has the capacity to become a sorcerer. He must decide if he wants to explore his newfound abilities or resume the comfortable life he has always known. Fate has its own ideas about the path he should take.

LFLS166The Partners (Dire Calls, vol. 1-4)

Dire…
Griffon Dire is a former Army Spec-Ops Lieutenant with a tragic past and an uncertain future. The ex-soldier is a lost soul left searching for meaning in the wake of his summary discharge. Yet Dire is also an orphaned prodigy, the scion of a powerful legacy he’s kept hidden for decades.

Thief…
Hargold Thief is a veteran New Dagonia Police Department detective. A lowborn fighter who has clawed his way up through the ranks, Thief is stuck riding herd on an overworked squad of Social Crimes Division detectives.

Fate…
Dire stumbles onto an undercover operation gone horribly wrong. As he steels himself for battle, Thief races to the scene. Violence erupts, and the bloody confrontation brings the two men together. It is this chance encounter which will lead them down the road as The Partners.

Pretty cool, huh? I going to hit the promo site first thing tomorrow and stock up on future reads. — Becca

Being “Fair” to Your Characters

The longer I spend with my characters, the more I feel like a parent. I mean I am a parent: I have twins who are about to turn three. What I mean is that I’m beginning to feel like my characters’ parent as well. That is to say, I feel responsible for them in a particular way that reminds me of how I feel about my kids.

When I’m parenting, I try to give my kids opportunities to succeed. I mean, I’d much rather not put them in situations where they’re very likely to fail. I’d rather try to create situations in which they’re likely to succeed. For instance, I’m trying to teach my kids to share with each other. Perhaps with twins, especially, that’s an ongoing battle. I’ve found there are moments when the suggestion to share is more likely to be accepted, and I try to jump on those, so that I can praise good behavior. Of course, that’s not always possible. Kids don’t always succeed. But I want to give them opportunities to do so — as many as possible.

I’ve realized I feel the same way about my characters. I feel responsible for giving them opportunities to be their better selves, to reveal positive traits that might not necessarily be apparent, at first. As with my kids, it’s not always possible. After all, most of my characters are adults, and real life sadly doesn’t construct itself so as to encourage any particular person’s success. Events seem far more random than that. And, even when given the opportunity, not everyone steps up and does the right thing. A fictional world in which they did would ring false. But still, if I don’t at least create opportunities for showing a better side … well, I sort feel like a heel!

Indie Authors and the “Rule of Seven”

Why market your books? It takes time away from writing, after all.

I’ve been thinking for the last few months about the so-called “rule of seven” — the old advertising saw that people need to see or hear your marketing message seven times before they’ll follow through with a purchase. Maybe it’s true, in at least a general way, that potential buyers are more likely to pull the trigger if they’ve built a sense of familiarity with a book through repeated exposure. (I’m a little doubtful about the power of seven in particular.)

So I’ve been trying to get Nolander out there a bit more in low-key, low-stakes ways. I have an ad running on Goodreads (23,309 views and thirteen clicks — about an average rate, believe it or not). Occasionally I promote a post on Facebook. And for the time being, I’m keeping Nolander discounted to try to keep it prominent in Amazon’s “also-bought” recommendations and to try to gain exposure on the other sites (the latter is not easy, that’s for sure). In a few days, Nolander‘s cover will be part of a genre-guessing game on The Cheap Ebook. Later this month, I’ll be joining with other authors on the Magic Appreciation Tour for a Spring Equinox promotion. In April I’ll be promoting the book through Kindle Boards Blog.

And sometimes a little bit of exposure just falls in your lap: today Victorine Lieske‘s terrific book-discovery site, Addicted to Ebooks, chose to feature Nolander on its front page. Isn’t that nice? Thank you, Vicki! :)

At the same time, I’m trying not to let my promotional activities eat into my writing time too much. After all, if you think of the author herself as the “product,” then each new book presents that product to the public all over again.