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Thursday, March 29, 2007

An Interview and (Gasp) News

Hey there -- I'm sticking my head up from HOTTER THAN HELL writing to say that the lovely folks at Midnight Moon Cafe interviewed me today--please come check it out! And you'll have a chance to win a copy of HELL'S BELLES!

And now, some news. More than seven months before launch, THE ROAD TO HELL is available for pre-order on Amazon! And...dude, some people have already pre-ordered copies! Whoever you are who ordered...thank you!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Battle-frakking-star Galactica!

Nine months?

I have to wait NINE FRAKKING MONTHS for the next (and, cough, maybe final) season of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA?



Seriously. Unfair.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fine, I'm Really Not Checking Anymore

I know, Bad Jackie. Ignoring your blogging responsibilities. No cookie for you.

Allison Winn Scotch, fellow Backspacer and author of the upcoming The Department of Lost and Found (Morrow, May 2007), posted about a very interesting article in The Wall Street Journal. Here's the gist:
  • Many authors obsess about their online book-sales rankings. (Well, duh.)
  • Web stores rank millions of book -- why not, when there's no shelf space to contend with?
  • These rankings, updated hourly, are featured on the book's individual page and on the online store's bestseller lists.
  • An email sales campaign can inflate a book's online ranking--temporarily--from the hundreds of thousands to single digits.
  • On Amazon, new and used book sales are counted equally.
  • Chances are, your book isn't getting multiple sales per day (unless you're in the 1% or so of sales) -- and a day without a sale can plummet a book from being ranked 10,000 to 50,000.
Okay. So this means exactly what other authors have been trying to get through my thick head for months: stop obsessing over Amazon sales. (And let's not even discuss Ingram's numbers.) So no more checking (compulsively) for me. It doesn't matter that as of this moment, Hell's Belles on Amazon is ranked #5,609. It could be that more than one person is buying the book every day...or it could mean that the same book or two are getting sold used and resold every day. It's all hocus pocus. The only thing that matters is my royalty statement. (Whenever I get it, that is. Note to self: check contract.)

But, that being said, the article also offered this nugget:

  • Publishers consider rankings from Nielsen BookScan, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal...and Amazon (among others) as "an indicator of future sales potential for authors."
:: headdesk ::

Back to checking obsessively...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Holy Expenses, Batman...

If it's tax season, does that mean we can shoot an accountant?

Official Tally, 2006 Writing Expenses

Postage/supplies: $583.55
Promotion (Hell's Belles): $1,588.02
Books bought (not Hell's Belles): $706.16
Publications/subscriptions: $701.60
Memberships/Conferences/Travel: $2,357.26

Total Writing Expenses, * 2006:

* That is, from the receipts I could actually find...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sleepless in Seattle!

This weekend, I was in Seattle for Richelle's launch party for Succubus Blues. I had a terrific time with her and Caitlin. I loved being a tourist and checking out a city I knew nothing about (barring some movies and television shows, of course...), and Richelle and Caitlin were terrific guides.

We went all over the place (apparently, the Cool Part of Seattle, according to Richelle), spent a lot of time at a terrific market, saw flying fish (no, really), bought stuff (ooh, earrings...comic books...dragons for my Tax Deductions...)

(See, look, it says "Farmers Market" -- that's proof we were there.)

And we walked by the Original Starbucks, complete with Naked Mermaid Boobies and a split tail and about a zillion people who were lined up to get coffee there (as opposed to the other coffee joints that were a block away...must be the Naked Mermaid Boobies...)

We saw the Space Needle...

...and a possessed fountain...

...and robots fighting each other in a blaze of gears and sparks. Dang, people got REALLY worked up over this. Loving Husband says there's a show about this event. News to me. (Then again, I don't get out much.)

And then, there was Richelle's party! Lots of fun -- met many cool people, schmoozed, drank (both booze and coffee; but DANG, I was tired -- I'd gotten up at 3:30 that morning (12:30 am, Seattle time) to hop on a flight to get to Seattle by 11:30 am), and we spent all afternoon hiking around Seattle, including walking some blocks that would have given San Fransisco a run for its money on steep streets. (Freaking West Coast cities...) I had to turn into a pumpkin by 1 am -- I'd been up for about 25 hours straight by that point, and I was a zombie. (And no, the Evil Green Chopped Up Girl Scouts drink that Richelle had given me had NOTHING to do with it...)

Got up at 9:30 the next morning to pack and catch my flight back to Albany. And promptly got booted off the flight, due to overselling. So United put me on a plane to Chicago -- first class, y'all -- and then a plane to Albany -- again with the I'm So Special First Class -- and gave me a voucher for a free economy-class round-trip ticket to anywhere in the continental USA. Let's hear it for overbooking flights! Granted, I got home at 1:30 this morning. But hey...it was worth it!

(That's me, Richelle, and Caitlin, the morning after, sans makeup, contacts, etcetera...)

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Funniest Freaking Cartoon. Ever.

Especially if you're a writer, you're going to love The Adventures of Comma Boy. Brought to you by the sick puppy who'd once penned Hell Toupee.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Shaking Things Up

I've got to shake things up. Yes, I'm taking a spontaneous trip to Seattle to visit Richelle and Caitlin on Saturday (I'll be at the airport at 5 am, and I'll arrive On The Other Side around 11:30 am after traveling for something like 12 hours-- it's a whole new math), and I'll be visiting Heather in August -- and I'm thrilled about both trips. But I've got to shake things up.

This means one thing.

No, not dyeing my hair.

I need me a new blog skin.

Meanwhile, as I ponder a whole new look without having to diet, a couple people asked what on Earth I've spent my tax-dollars on in terms of promotion. In no particular order...

Author Buzz. This got the word out on Hell's Belles to 330,000 readers, 10,000 librarians, and 3,000 book sellers. Did it work? Do I know?

Phone thongs. I blame Brian for this. :-)

Business cards. In case I forget who I am.

Red pens. My spiffy Hell's Belles pens. To, you know, sign things.

Post-It notes. With a big ol' "The Hell you say!" on the top. Heh.

More phone thongs. Hey, they were popular...

Other stuff too, like my web design, Internet cost, etc., which I haven't included.

Oh, and more than $500 on postage and supplies. (Mailing out ARCs and free copies of Hell's Belles? Not cheap!)

Money may flow to the author, but dang it all if it doesn't flow right the hell back out again...

Off to find a new look for my blog...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Go, Go, Succubus Diva!

Three cheers for RICHELLE MEAD! Today's officially Launch Day for SUCCUBUS BLUES! This is a wonderful book -- funny and bittersweet, fiendishly clever, and very well-written -- and I strongly recommend it to everyone. Ever.

I'll be visiting Richelle this weekend (Seattle, baby!) and I can't wait to finally meet her!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Huzzah, Martha O'Connor!

Martha is not only a fellow Backspace poster; she's the author of one of my favorite novels, The Bitch Posse. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous -- should be required reading. Truly magnificent.

So I'm thrilled to post the following deal, which appeared in Publisher's Marketplace:

Martha O'Connor's TINK, a reimagining of Tinkerbell from Peter Pan as a fierce Gaelic faerie born as a changeling to a band of 19th-century gypsies, to Peternelle van Arsdale at Putnam, in a pre-empt, for publication in late 2008 or early 2009, by Mary Evans at Mary Evans (NA).


I Spent How Much?

Tax time, kids. Going over all my expenses from 2006. So far...


BOOKS (not mine, sheesh):$706.16

PROMOTION FOR HELL'S BELLES (not including conferences): $1,588.02

Sigh, the life of a struggling debut author... :-)

Friday, March 02, 2007

He's Evil.

I'm referring to my Loving Husband. He's evil. Truly.

Okay, you have to understand that the only thing I hate worse than unloading a dishwasher is putting away my clothes. (Well, and doing my taxes.) So I've had four piles of clean clothes in baskets next to my bed for oh, um, a while.

Tomorrow, we're going to The City (come on, I'm originally from Brooklyn; there's only one City in the whole world) to visit relatives. So we need to pack. And based on what's in my drawer, I'm out of socks. I know the Tax Deductions need to have their pants washed, so I pull together a load of laundry -- mostly kid stuff, plus two days' worth of socks for me. Loving Husband brings down the pile of clothing and loads the washer. (Isn't he wonderful? He does dishes, too. But he doesn't do Windows.)

An hour later, I go downstairs to load the drier. And don't you know, LH had taken my socks out to put them in the whites pile. The Dirty Whites Pile. So my socks? Not clean. And it's too late to run another load, because no way will I be up at midnight to get stuff out of the drier. (And never mind that my clock right now says 12:02 am.)

Moping, I go upstairs to see if I can scare up a pair of socks (or two) for the weekend. And I see the four piles of clothing. With a heavy sigh, I go through everything -- holy crap, THAT'S where all my sweatshirts were hiding -- and put EVERYTHING away.

Of course, I now have tons of socks. Clean socks. In my sock drawer.

So I'm convinced my Loving Husband didn't put the socks in the wash ON PURPOSE. He wanted me to put my clothes away.


One of these years, he'll be my Cabin Boy proper. And then HE'LL put my stuff away, dammit...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

Yes, I'm making progress with HOTTER THAN HELL. Daun's a sweet talker, and the word count is going up. Hoping to make major headway, even before I officially go insane with Michelle's Write-Ons. Eek...

But there's even more hotness. I read Gena Showalter's sizzling book, The Nymph King. And oh my God, the woman can write sexual tension...not to mention sexual payoff. Terrific read. I'm pretty sure that many women have secret kidnap fantasies--where a very sexual, even dangerous, man simply takes her in a burst of alpha-male testosterone (and no, I don't mean sexually; get your mind out of the gutter). Who wouldn't want to be taken to a magical land and wooed, then seduced, by one of the most potent sexual males of all time? ::hot flash:: And I'm sure that most men secretly yearn to be superheroes or spies, to have powers or skills that no one knows about as they wander around in their secret identity lives. Superhero and spy flicks are popular for a reason, and not just with kids. (Even that rip-my-eyeballs-from my sockets POS X-Men 3 did well at the box office. But I digress.) Ain't nothing wrong with a little fantasizing. And yum, fantasizing to The Nymph King? Delicious.

Jezebel interviewed the king himself, over at Cat and Muse. Come on over, check it out.