Friday, September 23, 2011

Ummm, There Are PEOPLE Reading My Books

Opening up an epic can of "Duh!"
You know what's funny?  A writer who never considered the realities of getting their work published.  

Seriously, you'd think it would have occurred to me at some point that people would be reading my work, right?  But no.  Never once did that thought seriously cross my mind.  I was so busy studying the craft of HOW to write, which publishing company I should send my stuff to, and learning the basic ropes of the publishing world, that I forgot to imagine what it'd be like once I GOT there.

Then ZERO FACTOR came out, and a funny thing happened.  I began running into people who'd read it, and that's when it hit me like a bowling ball between the eyes -- I was unprepared.

Example:  The first-ever encounter of someone who read my work (who wasn't a relative:P) was a lovely woman whom I've known my entire adult life.  She's fifty-something and a lady in every sense of the word, so imagine my slack-jawed surprise when she let me know right off the bat that ZF had gotten her "motor going" in a way that it hadn't "in years."  My face got hot in what I fear was a mortified blush, but I laughed, told her how pleased I was to hear it, and how glad I was that she enjoyed it.

Though honestly, I'm still unsure if she ENJOYED it.  I hope she did.

Then came the inevitable questions.  How did I know so much (about sex)?  How did I do my research (about sex)?  Where did my ideas (about sex) come from?  Eep.  Overnight I went from mild-mannered skater-gurl to hyper nymphomaniac.  It's kind of eyeroll-worthy, but mainly it's just hilarious.  Yup, there's definitely sex in most of my works, but then there's also psychometry, airship-building and in one of the latest works I just completed, flying (like, with wings ^_^).  Does this mean I've done all these things and am now an expert?  Heh.  Only in my mind, folks.  Only in my mind.

I'm prepared now.  My next release, BEST MAN, WORST MAN, from Samhain Publishing is coming out next month.  Yay!  This particular novella has no actual sex in it, since it was written for a "sweet" anthology ("sweet" being a romance work without graphic sex or language).  Long story short, I didn't make the anthology.  Come to find out, it was way too hot to be categorized as "sweet".  But it was good enough to be offered a stand-alone contract.  And when it comes out, I'll gladly welcome the inevitable questions with now-standard answers, like:

1.  Where do you get your ideas?/Oh, here and there.
2.  How do you do your research?/The same way everyone does it.
3.  Why don't you write about me?/It might be a good idea for you to write your story yourself.  You could be a writer and not even know it. :)

Ultimately, if you're a writer who's either trying to get published or your first work is about to debut -- GET READY.  There are people out there who are about to read your work.  That is a wonderful and glorious thing, so be grateful for any interest they show in what you do.  Hopefully you'll be smarter than me, and have those answers ready to go, without suffering from a nuclear blush and a bad case of the stutters.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My First Release Day Ever -- Introducing ZERO FACTOR!

Locke is just so yummy <3
Wow.  August 30th finally came.  From the time I received an acceptance email from Sasha Knight at Samhain Publishing, Ltd. waaaaaaaay back in late February, I've been looking forward to this day.  My first-ever release day.

I've had YEARS to think about how I'd celebrate this event.  Since scantily clad, frolicking cabana boys are expensive, I decided I'd better go the practical route -- if only for this time around -- and focus my attention on promoting the book (see, if I can make enough on ZERO FACTOR, I can afford to get the frolicking cabana boys later). 

I did TONS of blog-hopping, tweeting, Facebooking and chat-rooming.  I met a ton of wonderful, supportive people, and I introduced the exciting subgenre of cyberpunk romance to the lexicon of everyone I met.  I was surprised that many people didn't know what it was, so when I explained that cyberpunk (for me, at least) is an urban, gritty glimpse of a possible dystopian future -- sci-fi without going off-world -- most people seemed to get it.  And if they didn't, I tried to cajole them into picking up ZERO FACTOR to get a clearer picture.  I hope they did. :)

Uh, I have NO tolerance for this stuff. Sad, but true.
But as for the actual CELEBRATING part...  As of August 30th, I kicked off several new traditions.  As soon as the clock struck midnight on the East Coast (eleven o'clock for me), I was on the phone with my sister, and together we watched Samhain's website page for ZERO FACTOR click over from "Pre-Order" to "Add To Cart".  She and I whooped and cried and babbled for what seemed like forever.  Then it was time for the champagne and caviar with my family, until it was time to tipsily head to bed. 

As I said, throughout the day I introduced my novella to everyone I could think of, but I did take enough time to order a charm to commemorate the release of this book.  Since it's a cyberpunk story, the charm is a little computer with keyboard.  With every new release, I'm going to get a charm depicting something about that particular book.  Since I'm rabid for jewelry, this is an excellent motivator to get more books out to share with the rest of the world. =D

See the #72 & #82? Those are sub-category lists - cool!
I also took screenshots throughout the day of my numbers on Amazon slowly changing, until I was below 4,000 on the Amazon booklist.  Since I had been used to seeing ZERO FACTOR at around 150,000, I was pretty excited.  At one point, I was ranked on a couple "Top 100" sub-category lists, above the likes of Gena Showalter and Nora Roberts (they're still there though, while I've already vanished :P). 

 In the sub-catagory of sci-fi/fantasy/ghost romance, I was #84
I even got my first 5-star rating on Amazon, a moment I will NEVER forget.  The most unbelievable thing that happened that first twenty-four hours, though, was seeing ZERO FACTOR climb its way onto Samhain's Best-Seller list.  This finally convinced me that it wasn't just my family buying my book.  Erm, at least, I THINK that's what it means. :D

I'm so grateful to everyone who's put up with me this week.  Thanks to everyone who let me visit their blogs and chatrooms (Hart Johnson, The Galaxy Express, Samhain Cafe), and thanks to everyone who gave me so many fabulous ideas on how to commemorate the release of my first book, ZERO FACTOR.  And, just in case you didn't hear me the first time...


There I am -- 10th on the Best Sellers list @ Samhain!
(I'm currently 6th. Heh.)