Category Archives: Wild Wicked Weekend
It’s time to pull on my Big Writer Panties
Degree of Resistance has now been out for a shade over a week, and the bulk of my wonderful ARC readers have left reviews (thank you all, *mwah*). I have requests out to a slew of reviewers, advertising going on at various locations, and I’m in the process of getting my media pack out to various bloggers who are kind enough to host my stuff.
And so far … yeah, the sales are perhaps a touch disappointing. The folks who have read the book so far say it’s hella good (and these people have no reason to blow smoke up my ass. If I’d produced something crappy, they would’ve told me). So what that confirms is that my marketing plan is not optimal and I have to come up with a better method of getting Evie and Ben’s story out in front of readers who love smokin’ cyborg romance.
To that end, the lovely and talented Cecilia Tan (my first editor and now my cherished colleague) was kind enough to spend an hour on Skype with me on Thursday going over various battle plans and ways to promote DoR. Some of them, I must admit, had simply never occurred to me but seem obvious in retrospect (e.g. find ways to write blogs posts that will appeal to girl geek-slanted publications such as The Daily Dot and io9, since a significant proportion of my SFR-loving readers will be found there). Others will require careful use of SEO terms to boost exposure, creative use of graphics, or just plain throwing money at the problem. As I am a poor but honest writer who is still paying off the costs of Wild Wicked Weekend (Tl;dr I had a frigging ball and sold more books than last year) I’m hoping to keep this last method down to a minimum, at least until the end of the month. I still want to try submitting Empress of Storms to BookBub, but I need to save up for that as well, plus I have to wait until I’m past the 90 day limit on sales prices (since it was on sale along with Palace of Scoundrels in December, that should take effect later this month).
So goes the life of a modern hybrid author. Still the best job I’ve ever had, though.
Author swag, promo, and wine — oh, my!
So I’m running around like the proverbial headless chicken trying to get my gift basket and author swag for Wild Wicked Weekend put together, and I like how things are shaping up. The gift basket will have a tiara, three–count them, three–bottles of wine, both Two Thrones books and Degree of Resistance (CreateSpace worked a miracle and the print copies should arrive the morning I leave for San Antonio), some lovely chocolates from World Market, Belgian hazelnut cookies, a VISA gift card, a Burt’s Bees care package, and a purse-sized lint roller and bottle of hand sanitizer for purposes of practicality. If you’re coming to San Antonio next weekend, make sure you bid on my basket — it’s going to be awesome. Also, come find me at the group signing and get me to personalize your books.
I’m also busy doing promo on Facebook and Twitter for Degree of Resistance, (THREE MORE DAYS, PEOPLE! Get your copy at 99¢ while you still can!) and I came close to disaster a few times. See, in order to have the ad graphic appear instead of the graphic link to Amazon I have to upload the ad first, then paste in the text with the Amazon link. The link is still active, but that way I get to choose what graphic gets used in the post.
Under normal circumstances this little dance works splendidly, except that my graphic is only one of two graphics on my desktop at the moment and I almost posted a picture of Louis Herthum a couple of times. Which wouldn’t be bad, mind you, especially since he provided so much inspiration for this book. But it’s rude to involve people in your PR without their permission.
That being said — damn, he’s cute.
The State of the Writer
As of an hour ago I finished the Weasel Word edit on Degree of Resistance. I am going to do a final read through this morning (what I refer to as the gloss pass), then compile the file for Amazon and upload. As of tomorrow it’s pretty much locked in place, so all I have to do then generate the ARC copies for my advance readers and focus on advertising, whee! I have to admit I am very pumped about this book — all of my betas have been very positive about it, and one even said it’s the best thing I’ve written to date. I also realized that it’s my seventh full-length novel, which is kinda cool now that I think about it. I Are A Writer!
Getting the ebook locked in also means I can get this place clean before heading down to San Antonio next week for Wild Wicked Weekend. I’ll have print copies of Empress of Storms and Palace of Scoundrels available — I was hoping to have copies of Degree as well, but I don’t think I can get them shipped in time, boo!
By the by, we’re having a release day party on Facebook starting at 7:00 PM CST, and among other things I’ll be giving away a brand-new Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet with 32GB of memory, as well as Amazon and Starbucks GCs and custom jewelry, so make sure you stop by for the festivities.
Who Am I, And What Did I Do With Myself?
Because DAMN, I woke up productive today. Got the car safety inspection knocked out at the same time as the oil change, stopped off at Sprouts and got healthy stuff for lunch and dinner, came home and balanced my checkbook, filed all unfiled personal and business receipts in preparation for tax work this week, paid all the bills including the mortgage, filed THAT paperwork, and put away all the swag bag makings and cleaned off my design desk (granted, my office still needs to be cleaned, dusted, and vacuumed, but I figure I can do that tomorrow). I even have laundry from Wild Wicked Weekend churning through the machines and posted a thank you in the FB group for the awesome organizers and attendees.
In other words, it’s amazing what happens when your perimenopausal uterus eventually gets its shit in gear and generates a period, which means that all the excess water you’ve been storing like a good little camel finally, FINALLY begins to drain away. And yes, that’s TMI, but I’ve had serious-ass cankles going on since the 21st, look like Ms. Michelin Man in all the pics from the weekend, and had to keep taking naps so that I didn’t wind up snoozing on one of the ballroom tables. The human uterus is proof positive that there is no Divine Engineer because no tech worth their salt would come up with an organ that wreaks this much havoc on the rest of the body.
Anyway, yeah, feeling better and am working up a plan of attack for the rest of the week which will include much writing, getting the taxes ready for our lovely accountant, and as much cleaning as I can handle without falling over and crying. Onward to March!
(Oh, and yes, I watched the Oscars last night. Stunning wins by Mark Rylance and Brie Larson, mystifying win by Sam Smith, and I absolutely loved all the snarking going on.)
Wild Wicked Weekend (aka THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!)
You may remember earlier in the week that I was rather nervous about attending Wild Wicked Weekend here in San Antonio. Yes, I’d attended RT last year but I wasn’t signing and could thus skulk about the periphery and not worry about being “on.” For WWW, however, I was one of the signing authors and would be visible, which made me somewhat nervous.
Yeah, I know how ridiculous that sounds. Thing is, I know how to be chatty as hell in my SF writer identity but doing the same thing as Nicola would be new, and I wasn’t sure how well my personality would go over at a romance convention.
As it turned out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. First off, the trip down here took a half hour less than I’d expected (and by taking the 130 toll road I got to drive through some astoundingly picturesque countryside). The con was booked at the Menger Hotel, which is this gorgeous blended Victorian hotel with adorable rooms, a stunning lobby, and is right smack next to the Rivercenter Mall and across from the Riverwalk (which would become very important later). I checked in, was shown to my corner room with decor I kinda want to steal and bring home with me, then went down to the ballroom to register, drop off my raffle gift basket, and say hello to Sidney Bristol.
Somehow, I’m not sure how, I wound up staying and watching the introduction of the gorgeous male hosts for the con, most of whom are professional erotic dancers and put on, um, quite the show for us (I understood then why we were encouraged to bring lots and lots of singles). Evernight Publishing had sponsored a host named Kelii, so I made sure to grab a picture with him which I will not post here because I really should know better than to wear that shirt in public. Instead, here’s Kelii’s publicity photo. You’re welcome.
Friday was a bit more low-key, however, which turned out to be a good thing for me. WWW is designed to be more of a relaxacon than something where you’re scheduled every moment of the day. With that in mind, I had breakfast with Sidney and some new friends, ambled back to the ballroom for more chatting and a 40’s themed lunch and costume contest, then went up to the room to take a nap.
I wound up sleeping until 7:30 PM, mainly because my knees and Achilles bursae had been killing me due to doing a fair amount of walking around the hotel (lovely corner room? Yeah, situated diametrically opposite the ballroom in the hotel layout). Realizing that I simply couldn’t wear the slip-ons I’d brought, I decided to skip the trip to the local BDSM venue (ironically because I was in too much pain) and hobbled over to the Rivercenter, where I found a Footlocker and made a salesman very happy by purchasing an outrageously expensive pair of Asics that had arch support sent directly from heaven. A final stop at Johnny Rockets earned me dinner, then I hobbled back to the room to write and sleep.
An aside — do not fuck with your footwear if you know you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. If you wear something that provides good arch support, it fixes a lot of knock-on problems such as swollen Achilles bursae (the liquid-filled pads at the back of your heels) and aching knees. Granted, it then puts the burden on your muscles, but those are supposed to be working anyway so it’s good for them.
As a result, I woke up full of beans and with feet that felt (and looked) like feet and not like bastionadoed body parts. I made it to the ballroom in time for the lecture on the BDSM lifestyle by practitioners, followed by lunch and chatting with Sidney, Kelii (who is as charming as he is sexy), Blake (another one of the male hosts) and one of the lecturers. After that, it was time to head back to the room and grab books for the signing in a room just off the gorgeous hotel pool.
The signing? Went astoundingly well. I would like to state right now that I was hugely impressed by all the people who stopped by this newbie’s table to chat and buy books. It was a totally positive experience and makes me want to come back next year.
Also, my Square card reader still works, so points to me.
Which bring us up to now. I’m sitting next to an open window listening to people walk in and out of the Rivercenter and letting my phone recharge, and around six or so I’ll head back downstairs for dinner and the awesome female illusionist show scheduled for eight. More later when I get back!