Making Money Mondays – Fans v. True Fans

Modern Magic Front Cover 2

Good Morning, world! I have a little bit of news from Casa de Hartness, and that is that Man in Black, The Black Knight Chronicles #6, is finished! We pushed through the last round of copy edits last week, and it looks like the book will be out mid-August, which means I’ll have a few copies on hand at Dragon*Con, and hopefully Soda City Comic Con the weekend before. I’m really proud of this book; I think it ties up a lot of the initial story arc of the Black Knight boys well, and gives us someplace to go for the final three books of the series. I’ll have a cover reveal and ordering information next time I’m here.

Now on to our main topic – fans. Now I’m not ever going to bash fans, because I love my fans. Hell, I love everybody’s fans, because I’m a fan myself. […]

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Friday Fundamentals: Post Con Wrap Up

Hello and happy Friday!

Today I’m going to ramble a bit, I think, talking about some of the things I picked up at ConCarolinas this year.

I was on a bunch of panels this year, covering topics from mental health to marketing. Tamsin already talked about the mental health panel, which was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but I’m really glad I did. So I wanted to talk about the other things I learned this past weekend.

Newsletters / Marketing

Many of the panels I sat on had something to do with social media, eCommerce, or marketing. One thing was consistent throughout. Newsletters are vital. You should start compiling a mailing list as soon as you plan to publish something. That doesn’t mean that you should flood their inbox every time you finish a chapter, but having those contacts early help ensure a good launch.


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A Small Press Talk

In General:

On paper, the money from a small press looks just as good as the money as from a bigger press. Better even. Percentages on ebooks from big houses usually runs 25% of net. In small houses, it’s usually 50% of net. Paper copies at big houses will start your payment 8% on mass market and start at 10% of hardback cover price. Small presses (almost) universally use POD (print on demand) for books and the percentage usually starts at 10%, so no loss or gain on percentage there.

Most larger presses are beginning to ease away from printing mass market books. The MMs never made any money for the companies. Trade paperbacks have meant higher profit margins meaning more money in their pockets. Ebooks ensure fewer returns. POD trade paperbacks can be issued per order, so no losses on returns there either. Therefore, all these changes in formats […]

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The Beginning of The End, Part 2

Last month, I talked a bit about the changes present and coming to the publishing industry: the way that mass market paperbacks (the small paperbacks) are slipping away; the way that publishing houses are moving to Trade (the large paperbacks), Hard cover, and E-books; the way that bookstores are going to buy and stock fewer books altogether. A LOT less books; the way that the decreasing amount of shelf space for new books in stores will change the publishing marketplace. Worse – the way that, with fewer large pubs, there will be fewer numbers of writers published. Worst — the way that those fewer numbers of books in houses and on bookshelves means fewer editorial staff kept on hand, fewer PR staff, and all this means more adjustments for unpublished and midlist writers.

These changes have already resulted in a huge transformation in the way readers shop for books, and […]

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Making the Most of Your Launch Day

Hooray! Your book is coming out! Launch day is your book’s birthday, and no one will be prouder than you. Enjoy that feeling of pride, because you’ve worked hard to create this book and bring it to readers.

Now step back and realize that the world is a very busy place, and it won’t automatically notice your book’s launch without a lot of activity on your part. (No, the hard part isn’t writing the book. The hardest part is gaining visibility in a very busy, crowded marketplace.)

Book launches are on my mind since Vendetta, the second book in the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series, just launched yesterday. So I thought it might be fun to pull the curtain back on what can go into a book launch, and let you pick and choose the elements you feel best suit your own circumstances.

Social media is is your biggest bullhorn […]

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The Daily Deal – big deal?


The Black Knight Chronicles Omnibus is the Kindle Daily Deal for Science Fiction & Fantasy today. That means that you can pick up the first three complete volumes of my Black Knight Chronicles for just $1.99 on Kindle, which will likely be price-matched across other formats. If you don’t already own the book, please take a moment to click the link below and go buy it.

Thanks. So why is the Kindle Daily Deal a big deal? There are several reasons, some of which are general and one is very specific to me and my world at this point in time.

Specifically, this is very important to me because I have a new book coming out June 30th. Even more specifically, I have the fifth book in this series coming out June 30th. So my sincere hope is that the visibility of the entire series will get a boost […]

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On images and social media

I’m by no means a graphic designer. When my first book came out in 2009 I relied on a friend to design my bookmarks, and while she’s wonderful and did a fantastic job, I was always frustrated that I had to rely on someone else. I felt like being able to do this sort of thing myself would be a useful skill. So I downloaded a trial of Photoshop thinking that maybe I could figure it out, and was immediately overwhelmed. I looked into actually taking a Photoshop class but it was absurdly expensive (and I knew that if I didn’t use what I learned regularly, I would just forget it all).

Then about two years ago, another friend told me about GIMP, a free program similar to Photoshop, and she gave me a brief overview of the basics. For a while I used it to play around, Googling for […]

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