This is the face of someone who wants you to find the right book.
Here’s a wild tidbit for you, there are more libraries in the United States than there are world-wide McDonald’s restaurants. (The American Library Association says that there are 119,487 of them, and there are 35,000 Micky Ds in the world.) Here’s an even wilder fact for your face: library book sales don’t count towards your book’s ranking in those ever important Best Seller lists. Isn’t that… weird? I think it’s weird, but then, the NYT didn’t ask me, so there you go.
So you have an author wanting to build and maintain a career, and that means selling books, and anyone buying a book is a saint. This also means building a reputation as someone who produces an excellent product–that’s how you make your money, on the come back.
Which brings us back to the library. Let’s say your local library is super awesome and buys four–four!!–copies of your latest book. They’re going to keep that on the shelf for years, and hundreds (I’m being optimistic) of people are going to read it!
…those originally purchased four books. Welp, that’s a loss.
NO. IT ISN’T. And this is why we’re here: libraries are amazing sources for authors. You should love and thank every dang library that buys your book, and I’ll tell you why: Continue reading
The original post I made about this has gotten a lot of wonderful attention on Tumblr, so I wanted to put it here, as well. It’s a good insight into the world of publishing, how you get paid as an author, and how you can build a career. I received the following question a while back:
“I want to buy your books, but wanted to ask how you preferred them purchased because I think I’ve read that Amazon shorts its authors on e-book sales and I want you to be fully paid for your work. I can buy e-books or physical copies.”
First off, let me inform you that you have jumped past my kids in my Last Will & Testament, because not a one of them have tried to buy my book. 😉
Second, I’m traditionally published, which means I have a publishing contract, and my publisher is contractually obligated to pay me x% of each book sale based off net proceeds for the price THEY set the book to be, be that a physical book or an eBook. (When Amazon temporarily slashes book prices, they still have to pay publishers the agreed upon price.)
NOW. Whether this is true for self-publishers, I have no idea. But I do know this: Continue reading
A side project I’ve been working on is finally going live! My terrific friend (with dulcet tones to her voice) and I have created a podcast where we essentially talk through television shows and movies we wish to see with the actors and celebrities we love. Have a thing for those great ’80s shows like Hart to Hart, Remington Steele and Moonlighting? Oh, we’re your gals. Love Lifetime movies where they’re titled “An Angel and The Carpenter” where the newly arrived journalist in the small town of Beaver Valley falls for the widowed carpenter who can’t seem to get a handle on raising his plucky seven-year-old daughter, Charlie (star of the town softball pee wee league)? WE GOT YOU.
Every week is a new pair of actors we wish would work together, and the stories we’ve created for them. It’s like fantasy football, but with STORIES. How fun is that? A LOT. And every week ends with us populating the make-believe town of Beaver Valley, where you’ll get to know all the locals and THEIR stories. First up we have Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson matched up with his admitted Real Life crush, Hayley Atwell.
Our first episode is available on iTunes, and each week–on Mondays–we’ll have the next installment. Go ahead and subscribe to make sure that you don’t miss anything. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s safe to listen to on your commute to and from work, so give us a try!
(And on our sister site, you can find extras and transcripts. We have hearing impaired friends, so we don’t want to exclude anyone!)
Dialogue tags. Super important, can be controversial, and can be used in ways that invoke madness. (In me.)
We could talk about how you need to cut out using adverbs and how that’s tell, not show, but if you ever want to really get why you shouldn’t use so many dang adverbs with dialogue tags, go on a road trip with nothing but the (truly delightful) audiobooks to Harry Potter. I prefer the ones voiced by Stephen Fry. But every single bit of dialogue is:
“What is it, Harry?” Hermione shrieked quite panickedly.
“Professor Umbridge’s hairy ankles,” Harry groaned vomitously.
“Merlin’s pants!” Ron moaned decidedly.
It’s, uh, it’s a lot. Lot of adverb abuse there. (Please know I love the HP-verse something fierce.)
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. No, what really chaps my hide and makes me tear out my hair is when I can’t figure out who the heck is talking. Let’s look at a few examples. Continue reading
Personally, I love working with editors. I’ve learned more about myself as a writer–and more importantly, how to improve as a writer–through the editing of my two novels than in any other capacity. I’ve heard of writers bursting into tears, of feelings being hurt, and some writers up and quitting the whole shebang from frustrations regarding the editing process, and it leaves me baffled.
Listen to me: everyone needs an editor. Everyone. And if you’re smart, you’ll get to a point where editors want to work with you–and you’ll be eager to work with them. God knows I get excited each time I hear who I’ve nabbed as an editor on my books.
Here’s how it works (and YMMV, depending on your publishing company, etc, but this is pretty standard): Continue reading
Not Ark, even though I would love 40 days and nights of rain. ARC, or Advanced Reader’s Copy, is the mostly-edited-but-there-still-might-be-a-few-tweaks-left version of a book that is sent out to review houses, book bloggers, and so forth so they have enough time to read and write a review by the time the book is released.
If you think about it, if you’re, say, USA Today or Foreward Reviews‘ book reviewer, you’ve got a lot of material coming at you. To have the time to read critically and write up your thoughts requires some breathing room. So these copies get sent out a few months in advance. (I’ll say this though: there aren’t going to be many tweaks between this and the Final Copy, maybe two or three typesetter issues. I have amazing editors with eagle eyes.)
I got an early morning call that my ARCs went out and a surprise knock at the door was a copy for me to hold, too! (I cannot stress enough that I have literally rolled out of bed here. I’m in my Oak Cliff Film Festival sleepshirt, for crying out loud.)
I am so proud of this book, of all the research I did while writing it, the eye-opening experiences from researching a time that has been Anglicized to the point of absolutely washing away important people in our nation’s history. And beyond that, I really, really love these characters.
I hope that come December 3 (release day!) you will, too.
From my Publisher: “In 1870s Texas, Renaldo Valle Santos, the youngest son of a large and traditional family, has been sent to train with Henry “Hank” Burnett, a freed slave and talented mesteñero—or horse-catcher—so he may continue the family horse trade.”
Meet Henry Burnett.
“Bitter Springs is a sweeping epic that takes themes from traditional Mexican literature and Old Westerns to tell the story of a man coming into his own and realizing his destiny lies in the wild open spaces with the man who loves him, far from expectations of society.”
I’m happy to announce that Bitter Springs will be available on December 3rd.
My publisher, Interlude Press, is officially a year old today, and to celebrate, they’re offering 20% off of ALL BOOKS, past published, eBooks, and pre-sales, through the month of July!
Just for examples, the eBook of The Bones Of You is currently 7.99, USD, but with the discount, that… carry the one… radican of X, A LOT LESS. Like, 5 bucks. A cup of over-priced coffee, is what i’m saying. PRACTICALLY BOOK THEFT, except not because of that whole five dollars thing. There are some terrific books in the store, so check them out, load up, and be sure to use code ONEYEAR to get your discount.
My dad’s side of the family is filled with bona fide cowboys, ranchers and farmers, their established lives out west going back to the late 1840s when my great-great-grandfather converted to Mormonism and took his young bride to the Promised Land. He became a High Priest in Salt Lake City, was a choir master, landed more than one wife–several were his sopranos–a whole lot of land for sheep, and established our family’s Western roots.
One of my uncles was the President of the National Rodeo Association and hermits his days out on his sprawling Wyoming ranch. Another uncle and his wife (goat roping and barrel racing queen, I thank you) have their quiet ranch with all of their animals out in the Unitas. Their lives have been anything but easy–managing land and animals never is–but they’ll be the first to tell you how those moments of solitude astride a horse who trusts you is one of the great things in life.
I say all of this because when I told my dad–who grew up on a farm/ranch in the middle of nowhere, Utah and remembers watching his dad get double back-hoofed right in the chest by a pissed off bull–that I was writing about gay cowboys (well, mesteñeros) who lived back in the 1800s, he laughed and said there weren’t any.
Welp. That’s not true.
RTCon is a business convention and fan convention rolled into one, and I was fortunate enough to have it happening in my backyard, as it was held in Dallas this year. I’m still processing all of the great stuff I learned (and more importantly, trying to track down all of the amazing people I met and spoke with–say hi if it’s you!) but I’ll leave you with a shot of their giant yet shockingly well organized Book Fair held on Saturday.
For the thousands of readers who came, this whole schmole ran like clockwork. Other cons could learn a lot from them re: wristbands and organizing signings for heavy hitters like Sandra Brown and Meg Cabot. I had the two best table mates possible, and more on them later! Photo Courtesy of RT Convention.