You Just Have to Do It

I had a great time at the Geek Fest down at Main Library Saturday.  I sat on an author’s panel, and we had a really good talk, “Can Science Fiction inspire change in the real world?” (Spoiler: Yes.)

Geekpanel
Left to right, authors Claudia Gray, Brandon Black, Maurice Ruffin, myself, Zach Bartlett, moderator.

 

I met bestselling author Maurice Ruffin, author of WE CAST A SHADOW:

 

GeekMaurice

 

Alys Arden was running the Tubby & Coo’s table, and she hand-sold my book! (Or tried to anyway.)

 

GeelAlys

 

Alys was a real team player Saturday, helping out and supporting other authors, like having an impromptu panel with Bryan Camp:

 

GeekPanel2

 

Big shout out to Alys, whose third book in the Casquette Girls series, The Cities of Dead, just came out.  I appreciated her support Saturday.

Bryan’s second book, Gather the Fortunes, sequel to The City of Lost Fortunes, comes out later this month!

So I did have a really great time.  But the thing is, I had to force myself to do it.  Represent myself as an author allied with the library, who deserved to be there.

I have real issues with marketing my work.  I’m so introverted and socially avoidant, I quail at the thought of putting myself or my work out there, even if it’s just online. God forbid actually in public in front of real people.

But you have to do it.  No one’s going to read your books if they don’t know they’re there.

When my book was first published, I asked Alys, “How do you make yourself market your book?”

And she said, “You just have to do it.  You just have to put yourself out there.  It’s hard. But you just do it, and it gets easier.”

Well, I struggled and avoided it for a long time, but when I learned of Geek Fest, I thought, I have to be involved in this.  I thought, Hey, why aren’t I on that panel?

So I talked to the organizers, some of my colleagues at Main Library, and said, “Hey, I want to be on that panel at Geek Fest.”  And they said okay.

And it went well.  And there are rewards too:

 

GeekBethany

 

This is Bethany.  She came up to me after the panel.  I thought she was going to give me grief for trash-talking Laurel K. Hamilton.  (An unpopular opinion.)

But no. She said, “I’m Bethany. I work with your husband.  He gave me your book to read, and I loved it!”

Wow! My first time hearing from a fan out in the field. What an incredible moment.  Isn’t this why we write at all? To reach people, to be heard? Thank you, Bethany!

“She said, “I just wanted you to know.”  I offered her one of my cards with this website on it, and she said, “I have one, Sam gave it to me.”  So, hi Bethany! Great to meet you!  We talked about my follow-on book to Daughter of Atlas, which isn’t a straight sequel, but shows what happens elsewhere when Atlantis falls.  Which Bethany said was what she was curious about in a sequel. So that was wildly encouraging.

They say that’s the way indie authors build their fan base, one reader at a time.  The only way you can do that is by reaching out to them, both on and off-line.

So, if you are struggling with marketing your books, don’t be afraid.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.  Go ahead and shoulder yourself onto a panel at your local sci-fi con.  You never know who you might meet.

 

See You at Geek Fest

Tomorrow is both Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you) and Free Comic Book Day.  And to celebrate, New Orleans Public Library with have its third (I think) annual Geek Fest, a one-day mini-con of all things geek.  There will be vendors, a cosplay fashion show and workshop, gaming, snacks, and more. The Best Buy Teen Center makerspace will be open for everyone to play.

I’ll be on the Science Fiction Writers panel at 11:00 AM with other local authors.  The topic is , “Can sci-fi affect change in the real world?” What do you think?

Here is the schedule. There’s a lot going on!

GF Program Guide

Hope to see you there if you are in town!

SPFBO 4 Begins!

Several of the authors, myself included, are running a 99c price promo. Check it out:

 

 

Author Ann Woodley created this video. Thanks, Ann!

Participating author Andrea Domanski put together this list of the participating authors.

M. D. Presley put together a tournament bracket for the blog-off, so readers can follow along, here.  Hah, that should be fun!

The SPFBO has a Facebook page, which seems like a good place to stay up on the action.

I only learned about SPFBO in the final rounds of the last contest, so I’m really not sure how all this is going to play out.  We will experience it together.  Fingers crossed!

DoA in SPFBO 4

I’ve decided to do something fun with my book Daughter of Atlas. I hope you’ll follow along.

I’ve entered into the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 4, a big book review tournament for, as noted, indie-published fantasy novels.  It was created by indie author Mark Lawrence.  Eight bloggers or teams of bloggers will review 300 books. Each team will choose one semi-finalist to be read and reviewed by all the blog teams.  The final winner wins, well, the title of SPFBO 4 winner, fame and hopefully fortune.

My book was assigned to Team Weatherwax, and Tome & Tankard is the actual blog that will review my book.  Wish me luck!

You can follow SPFBO 4 on Facebook if you’d like to stay apprised of the contest.

And here’s a Goodreads list of all the competing books. And a list of the books for Team Weatherwax here.

I’m very happy and excited to be a part of this, and I’d like to thank Mark Lawrence, all the bloggers, and also all the authors for taking part in this wonderful opportunity for the indie book community.

The contest will begin in August.  I’ll keep you apprised.

Book Update, July 2

I got back the final draft of my paper book cover from Selfpubbookcovers.com, and uploaded it to CreateSpace.  So I am waiting now of the proof copy of the book to arrive from CreateSpace, which should take about a week.  Once I approve the proof, the book will be for sale.

I’m probably going to lose my mind when that proof comes in.  My book!  Made real! Something I’ve been waiting my whole life to see.

I should have done this ages ago. It was surprisingly easy, and I feel really good about it. As my friend Rob Cerio said, the only difference these days between a published author and an unpublished author is clicking that Amazon button.  So click it!  You’ll be glad you did.

Daughter of Atlas Update

 

An update on the status of my brand new, shiny book!

I got my first Amazon, review, check it out! Thank you, James Butler!

I’m working on producing a paper version of the book at CreateSpace.  I bought an ISBN and everything!  The PDF manuscript was designed by my dear friend and editor, Charlie Brown, and my book cover creator, selfpubbookcovers.com, is creating a full, wraparound cover for the paper version. It should take about a week, and then about a week to get the proof from CreateSpace.

In the meantime, my dad mentioned my book to one of his pals, and she recommended it to her book club!  Isn’t that amazing?  You never know by who or how your book may reach someone.  I’m grateful for the positive response I’ve received. Makes me want to keep writing.

 

My First Lesson

 

So here is my first lesson as an indie author:

Check your title on Amazon first to make sure it is unique enough!  There are at least five other things on Amazon with some variant of the title “Daughter (or Daughters) of Atlas.”  Who knew?

Check it out, here are the search results:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Adaughter+of+atlas&keywords=daughter+of+atlas&ie=UTF8&qid=1497884544

At least mine is first, for now. That’s something.