Tag Archive | signings

What They Don’t Tell You About Being an Author

“Wow, you wrote a book? Cool! I could never do that!”

You get the rock star moments of people asking for your autograph and posing for pictures with you. And getting a glowing review online is an ego boost. (You want to frame them) the pans are not as much fun, but you hope there’s a nugget of wisdom i there to help you become a better write rather than just, “This book sucked balls” or “Why is a fat woman writing about skinny people? She should stick to what she knows.”  (So help me God, this is a paraphrase of an actual review that another author got. Kind of makes me want to slap the reviewer into a PET scan machine and see what’s in her brain pan, if anything)

You get to do things like this:


Or you get a moment like this:

(I don’t know if Mrs. Obama read them, but I sent copies to the White House)

Cool, right?

Listen, I wrote my book(s. I took one and divided it) back in 2001. Zuckerberg hadn’t dropped out of Harvard. Or even been accepted. Twitter hadn’t hatched. E books were not a thing. At that point, you got an agent and/or a publisher. Self publishing was through companies like Xlibris and pretty expensive. Books coming through vanity presses like Xlibris got no respect. Reviews were only available through newspapers and magazines by established critics.

The world has changed. One can self-publish for free through Createspace (Amazon. Jeff Bezos doesn’t miss a trick). Self-published authors are making New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon best seller lists. Readers, rather than a small group of critics, post reviews through Amazon, Goodreads, the online sites for Barnes & Noble and other booksellers.

Sounds like one just pushes a button and sits back, sort of like the Jetsons, right?


The ease of publication has made it possible for anyone to publish. And they do. Millions of titles, including dinosaur bestiality porn (I kid you not).

Getting your works noticed is like. Horton Hears a Who.”

You’ve got to make yourself heard.

So far, I’ve done signing events, a blog tour (you pay someone to line up book review blogs to feature you and your babies for a day), sales, learning how to make teasers to post on Twitter, like this:


Yeah,  I’ve got a sale going on. Go buy e books. And leave a review.

I’ve even learned how to make shortened links on bit.ly so they’ll fit on Twitter.

There is Authorgraph?, where you can get a personalized message from me on your Kindle! (Or Nook! Kobo! You get the idea) (go make a request)

I have learned terms like “ARC (Advanced Reading Copy)”, “street team,” “beta reader,” and “fucking pirate sites.” (Now we have algorithms pulling titles and books from Amazon to offer for free or just as a tease to download malware onto greedy and unsuspecting computers). I’ve also heard of software like Scrivenr (it’s writing software. If you let it, it posts your word count on Facebook) and promotional items are called swag.

I don’t have any of those things (except the swag. I have some swag). I have a beta reader in my editor, who’s a friend from college. I am my street team. As for ARCs, given the Facebook posts about getting watermarks and trying to secure the copies to prevent them being up,order to pirate sites (or getting the watermark so one can identify the fucker who uploads it), ain’t nobody getting advanced copies except the editor. It’s her job.

The fact that writing the book isn’t the end of the process has been a huge wake up call. Is writing novels (and other material for publication) how I want to support myself? Absolutely.

It’s still a learning process.

And just a reminder: WE ARE HERE! An author’s an author, no matter how small (the sales).

Going Mobile…

I have a friend, Dan Corey, who is  behind some outstanding comic book series: “Prophet,” “Moriarty,” and now “Red City.”

Link to Danger Katt

Buy their stuff. It’s excellent.

Anyway, Dan has been making the rounds of conventions and comic book stores. He’s  been on comics  podcasts (Fandom Planet. Great show if you geek out over sci fi, comic books, super heros, etc. On iTunes), talked to the Sherlock Holmes fanbase on THEIR podcasts. He’s been getting around. The idea is not just to sell comic books, but also to connect to fans and industry pros who may be able to further his career.

“Well, hell’s bells,” I thought. “Maybe that’s what I should be doing.”

So, I will be taking Liz Gardner and Ty Hadley on the road.

February 7, 2015

Deep In the Heart

Deep In the Heart

Make your plans, buy your copies, and I will sign IN GOLD SHARPIE!!!

Then in July, continuing the southern swing:

sweet southern

Venue to be determined, but it WILL be Atlanta (How many times have I read/seen “Gone With the Wind?”)

And I will not be hiding behind my table. I will be mingling, meeting, and greeting.

Let’s face it, the mountain hasn’t been coming to Mohammed (although Mohammed would appreciate it since she is extremely low on gas).  So, time to dig out my slip on shoes for traveling (Lucchese cowboy boots, among others) and hit the road.

I’m waiting to hear on a couple of other venues, but I’m getting my act together and taking it on the road.

So This Happened…

imageJune 21, 2014, Long Beach Public Library saw a gathering of writers and readers (including the writers reading their stuff OUT LOUD. Gulp)

And since my motto lately is “Do what you can with what you have,” until I figure out how to pry photos from my ailing computer (Really, Mario, your timing sucks), WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get).

As  far as sales, I sold 4 books, which is a new personal best for a signing event (including the solos at the Green Door Gallerie – NOW CLOSED).

We were required to donate a copy of our books to the library’s collection, which I did happily.  I like the idea of people discovering Liz and Ty (and Millie, Joey, Angie, and Beanie) through the library.

We also had to read excerpts from our books. I was in one of the first panels with Kimi Flores  of “It All Started With a Lima Bean”

2014-06-21 12.28.12-1

Also my tablemate. Nobody elbowed anybody else.

 Lorenz Font (Tormented), and Jessica Gibson (The Harder I Fall). Did I get pictures? I don’t know – the computer won’t share. The ones above? Thank God for smartphones (also useful for taking payments)

We had a good time, about 20 authors, including Wade Lefevre (whose “Snipe Hunt” is gripping and scary), and 80 some readers.

You get to feel like a real rock start at these things: you’re signing copies of books, people want you to autograph Kindle covers, and pose for a photo with you (incentive to get some Nerium from a friend of mine and drop some gross tonnage).

As always, I had my trusty assistant/sidekick, Sandy Esparza, with me. No, I didn’t get any good pictures. Selfies are not my thing.

I’ll work on it. Or make Sandy do it.

So,  emboldened, I have signed up for other signings. In other parts of the country. Definitely in Austin, come Feb 7, for Deep In the Heart, and Wilmington, NC October 24, 2015 for Life’s a Beach. Sadly nowhere near the Sanitary Fish Market (What? Okay, I’m allergic to fish, but they turn out mean hush puppies and chicken).

I’ll keep you posted.