Say You Don’t Know Me

I’m constantly told that Amazon (the mighty, mighty online retailer that can sell you books for crazy low prices as long as they’re not throwing a fit against the publishers of said books) is a bad company and I shouldn’t buy from them because they contribute to the fall of the brick&mortar stores. It’s hard to resist, though, when you can shop and buy without ever putting on your shoes, right? The trouble is that Amazon likes to institute policies that make us less interested in using their services. The latest involves reviews.

Originally, Amazon would not allow family members or very close friends of authors to post reviews. I suppose I can understand that – a review from my mom or my bestie would automatically be a five-star because they love me and want me to succeed, and goodness knows, we don’t want that to happen, right? But now […]

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New Literate Liquors & John’s Going Straight to Hell

I’m going straight to hell,

just like my mama said,

I’m going straight to hell

– Drivin’ n’ Cryin’

Anyone who was in college in the early 90s in the Carolinas probably had Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ and Hootie & the Blowfish playing the bars around their campus. It was a good time to be young, and an almost perfect time to be stupid. I was both, and I was really good at being stupid. I flash back a little to my college years in Straight to Hell, the new Quincy Harker novella that’s available for pre-order now.

And that’s what this week’s Literate Liquors is all about, the new Harker novella. I chat a little about upcoming events, but then I give you a free recording of Chapter 1. If you’re interested in checking it out, download the podcast here.

I’m also trying something new with this release. It’s […]

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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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Peering Into 2014

Following up on John’s post from yesterday…

Anyone who has read my posts here knows that I’m very interested in the business aspects of writing, including the care and feeding of a strategic plan. My strategic plan helps me to know when I’m on track for the career that I desire. When I try to decide whether I have resources (time, money, energy) to devote to a new idea, I can check it against my strategic plan. If the activity in question doesn’t advance the plan, then I’m much less likely to make the investment of resources. When I question whether I’m making progress and whether my career is where I want it to be, I can measure with my plan.

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m hard at work on my 2014 strategic plan. As always, there are personal goals I want to achieve. I won’t bore you […]

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On Publishing: What I’ve Learned Doing THIEFTAKER Promotion

I’m on pins and needles.

If my breath was any more bated I would be fish bait.

The creatures in my stomach feel more like bats than butterflies.

Thieftaker is to be released tomorrow. If you haven’t already ordered a copy, I hope you’ll buy one. If you read it and enjoy it, please leave a review at Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble. If there is a library in your town or at your school, please ask them to carry the book. Tell a friend about it. Tell two. Tell ten. Many thanks.

In the months leading up to this moment, I have been almost completely focused on promoting the book and finding new ways to get people interested in my work. And I’ve learned a few things along the way.

1. Using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media as promotion tools is incredibly time-consuming, but also incredibly effective. I […]

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Social Media: Some tips on the when, why, and how

Did some of you cringe at the title of this post? Social media is something that seems to come naturally to some people and sends others running in the other direction. Most of you probably know what I mean when I say social media, but if you don’t, this is a group all term for blogging, twitter, websites, facebook, myspace (well, maybe not anymore–lol), google+, youtube, flicker, etc. Basically anything that puts you out there on the internet for other people to find. You might have noticed, that was a big long list. Let’s face it, we can’t do all of it–keeping up with every possible (and ever changing) social media outlet on the web would be a full time job.

So as novelists, which of these do we really need and how can we use them to our best advantage? **As always, the common disclaimer here–this is just my […]

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