Posts Tagged ‘promotion’

I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet here on the blog.  Last weekend we were off for some family time — a wonderful wedding, followed by the NY Renaissance Fair with friends and family…and then two strokes for my grandmother the day we came back.  Yesterday was the first day I felt like the sky might not be falling.  (My amazing grandmother, who brings us all together with her heart and humor, is 96 and right now eating through a tube and unable to speak, but she’s still here and finding ways to express herself. She’s still thinking of others and her eyes are lighting up at the sight of her family, so…)

Anyway, I’m popping in quickly to post an article I thought you all might find useful, one that Nupur Tustin put together for Sisters in Crime’s Guppies group on Marketing your way to Success: September 2015 First Draft_ AgentInsight.


Statement the First: Agenting is a way more than full time job, and I’m far more than a full time agent.

Statement the Second: Writing is not something for which you find time, it’s something for which you make time.

The math: As an agent, I work with over forty authors of fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery and young adult fiction (full list here). As an author, I work with one person: me. (Okay, and all the voices in my head, but they don’t eat much and they never call, they never write.)

Impetus for this post: I get asked all the time, “What do you do more of these days, agent or author?” So, you know that math above…

Conundrum: I’m a hyper-responsible workaholic. Just ask my poor, long-suffering family. This means that I attack everything full-on. As an agent, I work 9:30-5:30 at my desk—providing editorial and other feedback to my writers, sending out submissions, working on subsidiary rights, reaching out to editors, negotiating contracts, chasing down payments, reviewing royalty statements, putting out fires, which can cover such a wide range of issues it would take another entire blog post to cover, doing promo work, etc. In the evenings and on weekends, I’m reading partials by queriers or by clients to prep them for submission, or reading full manuscripts that have been turned in, or doing market research… I’d say that all told, my agenting takes at least a sixty hour week.

Finding time to write? Not going to happen. I make myself write every single morning, before my agenting day starts, before my critical self has woken up—which helps me get out of my own way and not second guess myself all the way down the line. It lets the words flow. I only get an hour for it, which helps me fight dithering and writer’s block. When I only have an hour, I use it. It doesn’t mean I’ll keep what I’ve written, but it means that I don’t dare stare at a blank page. Those few hours I have are too precious. On weekends, if I’m not traveling like crazy, usually as an agent, networking and promoting my authors’ works, I might find two whole hours on Saturday or Sunday to write. Maybe. But I’m also a mom and a wife, and I take those jobs pretty seriously as well.

So I get a little frustrated when I get that question over and over. I want to think that if I’m being asked whether I’m doing more agenting or writing, that means I’m doing both so aggressively that people can’t tell. But I hear it as, “So, you’re writing. Does that mean you’re less committed to agenting.”

The answer is such a resounding “no” that I think I’ve just set off all the dogs in the neighborhood. I love agenting. I love writing. If I could choose one over the other, well, I would have. There are so many amazing highs as an agent—when you read something that just blows you away and you feel amazing by association, when an offer comes in (even better if there are multiple offers and the book goes to auction), great reviews, bestseller lists, award recognition for those books you love… As an author there are huge highs as well—offers, foreign rights sales, the first time you see your new cover art, hearing from readers, great reviews… There’s also, certainly in my case, neuroses. I can promote my authors all day long and tell you how fabulous they are. As an author, I feel a little like Oliver Twist asking the Beadle, “Please, sir, can I have some more?” Only it goes, “Please, good people, won’t you buy my books? And maybe love them just a little, flaws and all. Oh, I know they’re not perfect. By the time they hit the proof stage, I kind of hate them myself, but I thought there was something good there once, so just maybe…” (Ahem, sorry about that. I got carried away. You can read all about my neuroses in my article Self-Doubt and Perspective for Magical Words.)

You can probably guess which I’d rather be full time—calm, cool and collected vs. a bundle of nerves.

It’s not that simple of course. I couldn’t stop writing if I tried. I’ll never forget in Robert Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walked Through Walls his hero, who’s a writer, trying to explain it to the heroine. She asks, “If it hurts so much, why do you do it?” To which he responds, “It hurts more not to.” And that’s exactly it.

I’ve been writing since I was eleven years old.  Any day that I don’t write feels like a day without the warmth of the sun. It feels pointless. I feel pointless. No matter what else I do that day, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. I need to write. These characters and stories that pile up…if I don’t get them out of my system, I sometimes think I might explode. Sound crazy? Well, you have talked to writers before, haven’t you?

But that’s not the problem. I need to write, so I make the time.

The problem comes from people’s perceptions, which is why when my first short stories and novel came out, I used a pseudonym. I didn’t want anyone to question my commitment. But it didn’t feel right. It felt a little cagey. I didn’t want to be on an author loop as “Kit Daniels” and have someone find out that I was an agent and feel I’d been lurking or there under false pretenses or anything of the sort. And so, largely, I wasn’t very present. It’s a terrible way to promote. With the Vamped and Latter-Day Olympians series, I went to using my own name. So now whenever I promote, people think I’ve gone over to the authorial side of the force.

You see my conundrum. As mentioned, I’m hyper-responsible. Even if radio silence wasn’t a piss poor way to sell books, I couldn’t do it because a) that’s not who I am, and b) I’d be falling down on my responsibility to my publisher, who showed faith and put resources into my work, and to myself. Do I sometimes tweet my books during the day when there’s the most volume on social media. You bet. Do I even more often tweet about my authors at odd hours of the day and night, on weekends, holidays, etc. Absolutely.

I understand the question coming, particularly right now when I’ve had two new books out within the last couple of months and one special price promotion to crow about. (New books: RISE OF THE BLOOD in print, BATTLE FOR THE BLOOD in digital; promotion: BAD BLOOD, the first in the series, for only 99¢.) But rest assured, I’m still a more than full time agent and a part time writer, though I’m good if it comes across as though I can do it all.

For the record, I have looked into cloning, but it’s not really an option just yet and, anyway, I know me. I’d be all competitive with myself and I’d end up more crazy rather than less.

We’ll start with a contest that’s free to enter and might win you a membership to the brand new (and totally amazing) Olde City, New Blood conference in beautiful St. Augustine, FL in February 2013.  Details below:

Dearly Beloved, 
We are gathered here today, to join two awesome things in a state of increased awesomeness.
Today, we’re bringing together an author/reader mini-con, and the chance to WIN YOUR WAY IN FOR FREE!
       That’s right, ladies and gentlemen… starting today, you will all have 7 days to hop around from author to author, blogger to blogger, and enter at every stop to win one of 3 FREE REGISTRATIONS to Olde City, New Blood, the upcoming urban fantasy/paranormal romance mini-con in St. Augustine, FL next February.
       You can check out the official website for the complete list of Featured Authors (I’ll give you a hint… one of them is ME!!) and Featured Bloggers. There’s also a main contest post with all the participating authors, bloggers, and dates for the contest. It’s super easy. Visit each of the spotlight blog posts and author websites listed, fill out the Rafflecopter link on each one (one entry PER POST, not per day… and yes, they will be checking), and POOF, multiple entries to WIN!!
       The prize is one of 3 FREE REGISTRATIONS to see me and about 49 other authors on the sunny beaches of St. Augustine, Florida, from Feb 8th-10, 2013. We’re going to be doing panels, readings, meet & greets, and just generally having a fun weekend with our incredible fans!! Please keep in mind, if you win, you’ll have to cover your own travel and hotel expenses, but your ticket into the party will be on Olde City, New Blood!!!
       The contest runs from September 30th – October 6th, and the 3 winners will be announced on October 7th. Don’t forget to click the Rafflecopter link below before you hop off to check out the rest of the contest posts!! Good Luck, everyone!! I hope to see you ALL in Florida this February!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now, for your reading pleasure, two fabulous new releases and one extra special pricing promotion.  Just released: DEATH’S RIVAL by Faith Hunter, the latest novel in her New York Times bestselling series featuring Cherokee skinwalker Jane Yellowrock and the trade paperback of Rachel Caine’s BLACK DAWN, also part of a NYT bestselling series (The Morganville Vampires).  And you know why I love them both?  They just keep getting better and better.  I don’t know how it’s possible, but there it is.  The special pricing?  To celebrate Orbit US’s 5 year anniversary, they’re discounting five of their bestselling titles, including N.K. Jemisin’s THE KILLING MOON to $1.99 for the Nook, Kobo and Kindle.  A little about these series:

BLACK DAWN by Rachel Caine

Berkley JAM | Young Adult

Other series titles:  GLASS HOUSES (2006), DEAD GIRLS’ DANCE (2007), MIDNIGHT ALLEY (2007), FEAST OF FOOLS (2008), LORD OF MISRULE (2009), CARPE CORPUS (2009), FADE OUT (2009), KISS OF DEATH (2010), GHOST TOWN (2011), BITE CLUB (2011), LAST BREATH (2011)

“Rachel Caine is a first-class storyteller who can deal out amazing plot twists as though she was dealing cards.” —Charlaine Harris

“Heartbreaking drama mixed with heart-stopping action.” —Romance Reviews Today

Ever since the draug—mysterious creatures that prey on vampires—took over Morganville in LAST BREATH, the lives of student Claire Danvers and her friends have been thrown into turmoil. Most of the town’s residents have evacuated, but Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael have chosen to stay and fight.

Using the city’s water system to spread, the draug have rapidly multiplied. Things in Morganville look grim, especially since vampire Amelie—the town founder—has been infected by the master draug’s bite.

Now, if Claire and her friends don’t figure out how to cure Amelie and defeat the draug, it looks like Morganville will become little more than a ghost town…

DEATH’S RIVAL by Faith Hunter

Roc | Urban Fantasy

Other series titles: SKINWALKER (July 2009), BLOOD CROSS (Jan 2010), MERCY BLADE (Jan 2011), RAVEN CURSED (Jan 2012)

“Jane Yellowrock is one of the most intriguing heroines in urban fantasy, and Hunter skillfully doles out tiny pieces of Jane’s backstory to keep readers coming back for more. Mystery and action are at the forefront here, but the romance from the first book continues to build slowly. Readers eager for the next book in Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series may want to give Faith Hunter a try.”    —Library Journal, Starred Review

Jane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker you don’t want to cross—especially if you’re one of the undead…

For a vampire killer like Jane, having Leo Pellisier as a boss took some getting used to. But now, someone is out to take his place as Master Vampire of the city of New Orleans, and is not afraid to go through Jane to do it. After an attack that’s tantamount to a war declaration, Leo knows his rival is both powerful and vicious, but Leo’s not about to run scared. After all, he has Jane. But then, a plague strikes, one that takes down vampires and makes their masters easy prey.

Now, to uncover the identity of the vamp who wants Leo’s territory, and to find the cause of the vamp-plague, Jane will have to go to extremes…and maybe even to war.


Orbit | Fantasy

Other series titles: sequel – THE SHADOWED SUN

“Jemisin’s talent as a storyteller should make her one of the fantasy authors to watch in the coming years.” —Library Journal

An exciting new series from award-winning author N.K. Jemisin…

In the desert city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law.  Priests of the dream-goddess maintain order by harnessing the power of the sleeping mind to soothe, heal… and kill.

Yet Gujaareh has enemies both within and without, and those enemies have no peaceful intent.  A soul-devouring monster called the Reaper stalks the land, and an insidious, deadly plague of nightmares has been unleashed.  Two of Gujaareh’s priests, a holy assassin and a healer, must use all their magic and cunning to save the city of dreams.  But can even the purest priest dabble in corruption without becoming corrupt too?”