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I’ve been sitting on a comment to one of my posts for about two months now, wondering whether I should approve it or send it to the spam queue or just delete it.  The person who wrote it wasn’t very happy with me or my post about a new e-publisher that I’d had some warnings about.

Here’s the comment:

wow, you are ignorant AND boring. good luck with your publications jerkwad.

Okay, first, thanks for the good wishes–even if you did blow it with the “jerkwad” thing.  As for the “boring” part, I can’t really argue with that because I am essentially a very boring person.  The “ignorant” part though, that’s a matter of opinion and I have to say, it doesn’t really bother me.

Anyway, the real reason I’ve hesitated to approve the comment is the author signature:

 Vicious
casualhomicide@gmail.com

“Casualhomicide”, huh?  A little creepy, not to mention slightly loony, so I just left it in the comments and had pretty much forgotten about it until a couple of days ago when I realized I might just be, as this anonymous person said, ignorant.

No, seriously, I have proof.  Read on and see if you don’t agree with me.

Okay, so, I had an e-book come out this past Thursday, Unwilling Angel, a sweet paranormal romance that takes place at Christmas.  Perfect timing on the release date, right?  Well, yeah, it would’ve been, except me in my awe-inspiring stupidity, included a free copy of the book as part of the prize I’m offering in two holiday contests.

See?  Stupid!  Stupid!  Stupid!

*warning: run-on sentence ahead!*  Beyond the fact that I’ve read several reports on how useless contests are for generating sales for authors–but they are a good way to get some name recognition!–and the countless times I’ve been warned not to ever give away a free e-book–too many authors have done that only to have the copy of the ebook that was the prize shared with the countless other people.  I even know of one author who recently came across the book she’d given as a prize listed as a free give-away on the winner’s web site where the winner said something like, “It’s yours to read, pass on to someone else, or just trash”–beyond all that, I know that most people when they have the chance to win something for free, are not going to waste their money puchasing it until after the contest is over–if then.  And by the time both of the contests I’m in have ended, the Christmas season for this year will be over.

Which means, in my incredible stupidity, I’ve pretty much put the kabosh on sales for this book during the season when a Christmas book can expect the best sales.

See, told ya’, stupid!  Stupid!  Stupid!  I can’t say it enough!

So, I’m trying to think of a plan to offset my idiocy and so far, the only thing I can come up with is another contest.  Yikes!  Problem is, I don’t know if I can do what I want, which would be to run a contest where the prize is a free copy of my print book, Snow Shadows, to one person who buys Unwilling Angel.  I mean, you’d have to purchase something to win–is that even allowed any more?  Plus, what effect would that have on the sales of Snow Shadows?

*sigh*  I’ll say it again, stupid!  Which leads me to believe that anonymous person who commented and said I was ignorant just might be right.  At least in this case and hopefully, it’s only a passing affliction!

Yeah, I know, I know, I’ve been neglecting this blog.  I’ve been busy writing and in my spare time, I’ve been researching ways for authors to promote their books, ’cause, you know, mine’s coming out in a little over two months.  I figure it’s about time I quit screwing around and get busy…doing something.  And if not doing, at least planning what I’m going to do.

So, I went on the Internet and wow!  Jackpot!  I found a slew of articles, several very informative sites, and quite a few blogs, all pertaining to the best ways to promote your book.  Too many to mention here, but I’ve bookmarked them all and hopefully, I’ll be able to figure out what to do before Snow Shadows is released.

And a big hat tip to Lisa Alber for finding my blog and leaving a comment, thereby enabling me to find her blog, Lisa’s Words at Play, where I found a wonderful, hilarious YouTube video that reminded me I’m not the only one struggling with promotions.  Here’s the link to Lisa’s post and oh yeah, the video came to Lisa’s attention by way of Patricia Wood’s blog.  Go ahead and check it out, I promise you’ll laugh out loud–especially if you’re an author–and you’ll also get a good lesson in what not to do when your book comes out. 

Okay, so when I wasn’t researching, I was writing and reading.  Got about five thousand words written on Storm Shadows–not as much as I’d hoped–but I also started the third book in the series.  No title for that one yet, but I think it might be the easiest one to write because I’ve already fallen hard for Luke, the brother who’s the main character in that one.  On top of all that, I found the legend I want to use for the fourth and final book–again, no title, but for me, finding the legend is a big step forward because it’s been giving me a bit of trouble.  As for reading, I read The Tall Woman by Wilma Dykeman, the story of a southern woman during the late 18th century.  My dad used to work with Ms. Dykeman at the Knoxville News-Sentinel and he loaned me his autographed copy.  Great book! 

Other than that, not much going on in my world, well, except, squee!  Manny Ramirez hit his 500th homerun, but 500 apparently wasn’t enough for him, because he went on to hit numbers 501 and 502 in the next two games and number 503 last night.  Yay, Manny!  Oh, and the Red Sox are back in first place in the AL East after sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway.  Woo-hoo!  Way to go, guys!

Okay, back to my writing world…I happened to catch a post by Jane at Dear Author the other day; “Hello, I’m Jane.  I have a lot of reader baggage.”  Interesting and as most of the posts on DA are, entertaining.  Quite a few people commented, both readers and writers, and had some interesting points of their own to make.  But the one that really caught my attention was from Emily.  It included a link to Sharon Lee’s blog, Eagles Over the Kennebec, and a post where Ms. Lee writes about The Contract Between Reader and Writer.  A lot of food for thought in that one and I encourage every writer/reader to take a look at it.

The thing is…I’m both a writer and a reader, so I need to really study that thing.  I’m thinking of printing off a copy and hanging it on the wall of my office where I can read it every day.  Oh heck, who am I kidding, I need to memorize it, or maybe make a chart and stitch a sampler of it!

Then again, a better plan might be to pull out my Aretha Franklin CD and play it every morning, because essentially, Aretha got it right with only one word; RESPECT.

So, I as a writer, promise to do my best to remember you as a reader deserve my respect…and I hope you’ll extend the same courtesy to me.   

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams