Category Archives: The Books

Odd… but… whatever


I can’t recall how I came about it the other day, but ever since I did, I’ve been gazing at the open tab, scratching my head.

Someone — and it wasn’t me — tagged Demo Tapes: Year 3 over at Smashwords. Tags are good, right? This should be a good thing.

But… it’s the tag itself that’s a bit… odd…

The tag reads ewwww.

I have absolutely no ideas, especially since whoever did this didn’t bother to leave a few words of review. Yes, even if they had been negative words, at least I’d understand the motivation behind this odd tag. It’s also the only book over at Smashwords tagged like this.

Go look for yourself. It’s … odd.

Probably not worth thinking about except, to be honest… it kinda makes me giggle.


I don’t Know What Happened, but…


It was the damndest thing. Before heading to a luncheon on Friday, I checked my sales over at Amazon, figuring I was doing nothing more than wasting time. Sure enough, nothing had changed since the morning.

This is why I usually only check in once a week.

But it’s Rocktober, and all the books are on sale and if there’s one thing all these cats have taught me, it’s that hope springs eternal.

I had a great luncheon. Think I’ll put in an application to the program it was introducing us to.

Less than three hours later, I got home and … yeah, I know. I shouldn’t have. I checked my sales numbers.

They’d gone up by 11.

What? My numbers NEVER rise that much in such a short period of time.

I checked again. It was a mistake, some glitch. Maybe Amazon had been slow to report during the week, and were now catching up.


The day went like that, the numbers escalating wildly, until they’d increased by 50.

I never have days like this. Ever. Not even on release days. This is new territory.

Twenty more showed up overnight, before things slowed down. Like whatever promo I’d been an unwitting part of had ended. Yup, about 24 hours of dream come true…

If you know anything about this, fill me in on what happened, will you please?

And to all the people who’ve taken advantage of the Rocktober specials, thank you. A lot. Just remember… when you read something you like, be it my book or someone else’s, why not leave a few words in review?


Trevor’s Song Won an Award


Out of the blue came an e-mail.

“We had recently received
a nomination for your book, Trevor’s Song and have selected it as the
Indie Book of the Day Award winner for 24th of September 2012.”

I have no idea who nominated my book, two years after it came out. I’d like to know, only so I can say a huge thank you. While Trevor’s Song hasn’t sold more copies than Demo Tapes 1 (yet), it’s getting close, and it’s certainly my most consistent seller. As I type this, it’s once again my top seller of the month.

Best of all? Rocktober approaches, and you guys know that means I’ll be celebrating by putting the books on sale. All of ’em. Yes, even King Trevor — after all, don’t you NEED to know what happened to Trevor after he wound up in that heap on the stage? And, more importantly, what’s the secret Kerri’s been keeping from Mitchell????


Demo Tapes on Sale Again!


The lovely — and for once, I mean that and am not sneering as I type — folks at Amazon have decided to include The Demo Tapes triplets in their 4-for-3 promotion.

That means you can buy all three Demo Tapes anthologies in print (instead of the Kindle format) and get something thrown in for free!

Go on. What are you waiting for?

Oh, you already have Demo Tapes 1, 2, or 3?

Well, go browse around! Check out my list of other Rock Fiction you may have missed. See if any of THEM are on the sale. Maybe it’s Demo Tapes 3 that you’ll get for free…

Go find some new reads while supporting your favorite author.

Hey! What do you mean? *I* am your favorite author.




Smashwords July Sale Update


I know it’s not quite the middle of the month yet, but the Smashwords Summer Sale is turning up some interesting results. (Go visit my profile page, if you haven’t yet)

Not surprisingly, Trevor’s Song is my top seller. This reinforces the common belief that novels sell better than short story collections.

Demo Tapes 3 comes in second, having sold one fewer book than Trevor’s Song.

Demo Tapes 1 is next

then Demo Tapes 2

and finally, Mannequin.

I know what you’re saying: “Hey, Sooz, what about King Trevor???”

Yeah. Exactly.

I know we live in a world where free is the way of life. I noticed that in the early days of the sale, when Demo Tapes 3 and Trevor’s Song, both set to free for the first time since I published them, were outselling the other books, 2-1. It was like people had been waiting to get their Trevor fix until I did the inevitable and set them to free.

Okay. I get that.

But… I’ve got bills to pay, folks.

So here’s what I’m asking, and it’s really no different than what many others are currently asking: If you like what you read, why not leave a review someplace? Leave it on the sale page at Smashwords. Post it around wherever you have an account: B&N. Amazon. Powells. GoodReads. If you have a blog, send me the url and I’ll link to it from my reviews page for each book.

Even if you write, “I liked this because…” (and fill in the blank!) and that’s your entire review, it’s a help. No one said you had to be a professional reviewer. In fact, sometimes, it’s better that you’re not. Your reaction is going to be more honest, more real. There’s an authenticity that I lose when I write for the people who pay me. Take advantage of the power that gives you, friends.

It’s also a nice way to say thanks for the freebie.


July Summer Sale at Smashwords!


Yep, gang, it’s that time of year again — the time when Susan throws convention and royalties to the wind and makes most (well, all but King Trevor) of her books free as part of the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale.

The idea here is exposure, gang. I’m hoping to pick up new readers, maybe some who’ll be kind enough to leave reviews at all the various spots where one can leave reviews.

Yeah, I know. Giving that many books away — last year, I blew past my previous record — means fewer royalties. That means my bank account struggles and it’ll be that much longer before my web guy and I can work on even more site improvements, but … this is Trevor and over and over, the people who meet Trevor love Trevor, once they get past his crusty, asshole exterior. With the editing taking up so much of my time right now (which is both a blessing and a curse, no?), I need all the help that I can help with spreading the Trevor love.

So… I know most of you reading this already have the books. Why not buy a copy (or two) for a friend? Take a few minutes and write a review? (Not sure how? Start here: I liked this because ____. I didn’t like _____. I wish ______. Yes, reviews CAN be that easy!)

Your support now means more good stuff in the future. I promise.

ETA: The link! How did I forget the link?


Taking the Weekend Off


No Kerri’s Diary this weekend. I’m off to Boy Scout Leader Training, hoping I won’t be called home early; it looks like I can do Wood Badge in the autumn if I make it to the end.

So. That means you should go visiting. I have been — join me!

At Novel Publicity, I’ve dropped in with a guest blog to talk about the value of a paid review. Now that I’m getting paid by a big, well-established company to write reviews, I’ve got a different perspective on what you’ll get out of it. And I’m not talking about a soaking for the fees, either.

Necromancy Never Pays has a thought-provoking review of King Trevor.

Another King Trevor review can be found at Shayna Gier’s blog. It’s interesting to compare the two.


Shayna’s giving away e-copies of Trevor’s Song and King Trevor, so stop in and enter to win.

Want another contest? Laurie J at Laurie’s Non-paranormal Thoughts and Reviews is giving away an e-copy of Trevor’s Song. Since he’s gotta have a song before he can be crowned King, don’tcha know…


Trevor is Non-Paranormal — and a hero!


Yes, in case you missed it: ShapeShifter is a band name. It came from the desire of a young Trevor Wolff to shapeshift into his namesake and rip out the throat of the man who claimed to be his father.

That’s why I’ve stopped in at Laurie’s NON-paranormal Thoughts and Reviews today, for an interview and spotlight of Trevor’s Song. There’s an excerpt, too.

Why Trevor’s Song and not King Trevor? Because with the hullabaloo over here that I hope you’ve known nothing about (but if you’ve clicked through recently, you’ve seen it first-hand), I couldn’t get it together for King Trevor in time. Which means it’s been worse than crazy over here.

Stop in. See what’s going on. Click through to the give for Smashwords coupons for BOTH Trevor’s Song and King Trevor.

While you’re out and about, stop in at JC Cassels’ Gotta Name My Blog. I’m talking about heroes over there.


Long Live the King!


Since 2009, my first birthday after the publication of Demo Tapes: Year 1, I’ve been saying that all I want for my birthday is book royalties. Well, okay, I wanted iTunes gift cards as well.

It didn’t get off to a good start.

Then it dawned on me that I needed to make it easier. Give you an incentive. Last year, I released Mannequin. It’s still 99c, if you haven’t picked it up yet.

This year?

Well, I’ve been working hard on the follow-up to Trevor’s Song. So it made sense to, on my birthday, crown the king.

King Trevor. Available today at Smashwords, Kindle, CreateSpace, and Amazon. The other retailers, like B&N and Sony and Apple, are still pending.

And check out all the folk who are celebrating with me by posting about the release:
Mary at BookHounds
Me, over at the #Amwriting site
Nimrodiel at Confessions of a Literary Persuasion
JC Cassels is teasing everyone about my upcoming appearance.


Merry Christmas!


I’ll share the saga of a week mostly without Internet (and the 150 mail messages that got nuked. Not good. Very very not good) later, but for now,

to celebrate the holiday season and to entice all you e-reader users, new and old, I’ve dropped some prices around town.

The Demo Tapes triplets are now 99c each.

Mannequin is now FREE (at Smashwords only for the time being).

If they sell well, I’ll leave ’em low, especially if they stimulate sales of Trevor’s Song. This is a good time for you already familiar with the Trevolution to gift some e-books to your friends, as well. King Trevor is still slated to be released on April 12, 2012.

Because Smashwords is my favorite retailer, here’s the link to my page there.

You Kindle users can use this link. Or the Smashwords one; you CAN get Kindle format from Smashwords, you know.

Here’s hoping you all had a great day today, regardless of what or how you celebrate.


Rocktober! Go!


So WHAT if today’s the last day of September. Rocktober begins in less than 24 hours, and I am EXCITED. I’ve got posts scheduled to go here and over at Rocks ‘n Reads.

Come join the fun, will ya? Celebrate the collision of music and books however you see fit. Come on back here or over to the West of Mars Fans page over at Facebook and share what you’re up to. If you’ve got a link, leave it and I’ll add it to this post. No link? Who cares, so long as you’re rockin’ with me!

Oh, and since I’m nice and kind and stuff, check out the price discounts on my books, at Smashwords and Amazon. All month long — just to make sure YOUR Rocktober rocks along with mine.

Friends Rocking with me:
Misty at The Top Shelf hosts Jeremy Wagner for a guest blog post.
Jill Elizabeth at All Things Jill Elizabeth is giving away a copy of Voice.
Mary at BookHounds found a book called Metal Rules the Globe. I think these authors are smart.
Not out yet, this is one to covet. A graphic novel about the Sex Pistols. Mary at Bookhounds brings us this goodness, too.
My friend Maria Savva is joining the fun.
Necromancy Never Pays reviewed Trevor’s Song. And what a review it is!
More from Mary at Bookhounds — a mystery box giveaway!
Misty at The Top Shelf has decided to interview musicians about their favorite books. Check out the first in this new series, featuring Derek Martinez.
Julia Smith at A Piece of My Mind does a Five for Friday with a shoutout to me and Wylie Kinson.


Need an autograph?


I’ve gotten notes from a few of you about autographed copies of Demo Tapes 3. I’ve dragged my heels about it long enough, no? I mean, heck, I put the book out last June already.

I made a smallish order of copies, and I now have two left. They are up for grabs. (If no one takes them, at least one will be offered in a GoodReads give. Why not?)

Holler if you want one. You know how to reach me…


The Smashwords Summer Sale Wrap-Up


On the one hand, I want to say the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale was a huge success. I sold WAY more books than I had dared to dream of. New sales record? Dude. And then some.

I don’t think many of those books went to you guys, either, but to people who were encountering me via the site. As I am typing — although it’ll probably have changed by the time you read this — I am the #11 Most Viewed author on Smashwords. That’s pretty incredible, especially when you consider how many authors are using Smashwords. That means people are looking. They were buying during the sale. I hope it’ll continue.

I doubt it will, though. Know why? Because the two books — Trevor’s Song and The Demo Tapes: Year 3 — that weren’t free sold a whopping three copies each. At $1.50 per book.

I won’t try to figure out the percentage. It’s single-digit. It’s sad.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t mind that it was the free books that moved. I like that people find themselves drawn to my fictional worlds and like most authors, I am pleased to see the books moving.

The problem is that people are picking up the free stuff. I hope they’re reading it, but that’s the one thing we authors rarely know, unless you readers post reviews or drop us authors a note. Let’s assume they’re reading it.

I doubt they don’t like it enough to spend money on the rest of my books. I don’t think it’s that at all. Rather, I think what’s going on is that there’s so much out there that’s free, people are snapping up the free stuff first, and waiting for the paid stuff to get to the point where the authors are willing to make them free. Then readers can repeat the cycle: picking up only the free stuff.

That’s still fine, especially because the pattern has been that when people pick up one of Trevor’s books, they tend to love the guy. How can you not? He’s a wounded soul, a bad boy whose persona has more holes than Swiss cheese, but of course, Trevor can’t see those holes in his armor. And he’s a rock star. Baby, we all love our rock stars.

So why does it sound like I’m about to whine? Well, because I am, of course.

I get the free thing. I do. I am all about free books, myself. That’s because money’s tight. Know why money’s tight?

Yep. Because I’m not earning any. Smashwords doesn’t pay royalties on free books, folks. There’s no portion of sales to hand back to us authors. Which means it doesn’t matter how many books I do sell during these promotions — and don’t get me wrong. They are awesome promotions — because unless that royalty rate ticks upward, I’m still a broke, struggling writer.

That part sucks. I hate it. Even more, I worry that one day, I’ll wake up and the only option will be to hang up my purple pen that writes in red ink, and get a job. Even minimum wage will pay me more than I’m earning right now.

There are a lot of ways to support your favorite authors. One is to write reviews of their books. Another is to buy copies to share with your friends and family. (Books make great gifts, especially when they come with a personal recommendation!)

But the best way is to spend your money and BUY those books.

So… to those couple hundred people who picked up my books during July, thank you. I hope you’ll love Trevor and the rest of the band as much as those of us who hang out here regularly do. Heck, I hope you’ll come join us here. And then, I hope you’ll go back to Smashwords, or over to Amazon, or B&N, or Powells, or wherever you buy your books and spend some green stuff.

Your new favorite author will thank you. I promise.


Finally in print!


Need yourself some Trevor that you can hold, turn, fondle, and caress? Something more tree-based than a mere computer screen of one sort or another can provide?

You’re in luck.

I’ve FINALLY gotten all the bugs out of The Demo Tapes: Year 3 print version. Right now, it’s only for sale via CreateSpace’s online store, but it should be up at Amazon in a few days. You’ll also be able to order it through B&N, Powells, and any other independent bookstore you may think to order it from.

If you’d like an autographed copy, drop me a note before the end of July. The usual rules will apply: I’ll charge you the full $9.99 plus I think it’s $3 for shipping, unless you want priority, and then it’ll be $6 for the shipping. Uhh… those are US rates only, though. If you’re out of the US, holler and I’ll have my awesome postmaster look it all up for you.

Please note: the end of July! I’d like to get one batch of just enough copies, maybe have one or two others on hand, but since I don’t have to place a bulk order, I’d prefer to just get what I need.

(That said, I still have copies of Year 1 and Year 2 here, along with a TON of Trevor’s Song. Okay, maybe a metric ton. Whatever. More than I’d like.)

Remember: autographed books make great Christmas gifts! Get your shopping done now!


So my timing sucks. Sue me.


You know how when you upload a digital book to a service like Smashwords or Kindle, it takes a few days for it to get approvals and for the book to go live. That means if you’d like your book to come out on, oh, say the 15th of the month, you may want to upload it on … oh, say the 12th.

And because you have never lost blind faith that it’ll all work out, you announce this date of the 15th and don’t waver, even when it becomes obvious that the print copy won’t be ready in time.

So… when you upload the book to Smashwords on a Sunday night and less than five minutes later, it goes live, what do you do?

Announce it at Twitter, of course. And on Facebook. And THEN come over here to the blog and tell folks to head over to Smashwords to get their hands on Demo Tapes 3.

Or wait a day or two, and it’ll be up on Kindle. But why wait? I get better royalties over at Smashwords, after a. ll. And it’s already selling over there — that took maybe five minutes from my Tweeting about it. (You guys are amazingly devoted and I am amazingly lucky to have you.)

I’ll let you know when the print copy is available. In the meantime, go pick up the ebook versions, will you? And help spread the word, too!


Susan’s Promo Tales! Read an E-book Week


Read an e-book Week 2011

Yep, it’s that time of year again.

Last year, I did pretty well. The end of the week was pre-empted by my leaving for the famed Writer’s Retreat at Confluence, PA. You guys may remember… we were flooded INTO a very lovely bed and breakfast, from which we watched the water rise. And then retreat again. What a way to watch a flood… it was phenomenal.

Last year, also, I only had two books out. I made both the Demo Tapes books free last year; I’m sure that made a difference in sales.

This year, they will be free again, if you’re looking to pick them up and add them to your e-book library.

However, Trevor’s Song, that novel of mine… I’m only discounting it 50%, to $1.50. I’ve got bills to pay, folks, and a website to support. I think spending $1.50 for up to three books is MORE than fair…

The only potential downer is that you’ll have to buy through Smashwords. If you don’t have an account there, what are you waiting for? There’s a TON of free stuff (most of which I can’t vouch for). I’ll be adding links to my friends as they report in with their links… be sure to check them out first. They are, after all, my friends. Which means that, due to the Commutative Property of Friends, any friend of mine is a friend of yours, too.

Susan’s Friends you should check out:
Thea Atkinson
KM Humphreys
Bitsy Bling Books
Sharon Cathcart
Darcia Helle
Libby Fischer Hillmann

Tania Tirraoro — Sweet Seduction
Allen Schatz — Game 7: Dead Ball

Al Boudreau decided to lower his price at Amazon, for you Kindle folk.

Stacy Juba decided to do it on her own terms:

Stacy Juba is offering a 99 cent special for her mystery/romantic suspense novel Twenty-Five Years Ago Today on Smashwords, where you can download the book into the format of your choice.Visit the book’s Smashwords page at and then type in this coupon code at checkout: BU97L.

Jason McIntyre is following my lead. Shed is free. On the Gathering Storm is half off. Two books for a buck fifty. NEW books, not used. Can’t beat that!

**You’ll notice that links to profile pages, not to the books themselves do not have the super-special affiliate code attached. The links to individual books, however, do. This means I may or may not make any money if you guys buy. Of course, I’d prefer to make a few cents…


Sale on print copies!


Need a quick birthday present for a friend? Time to get a copy of one of my books for your shelves? Head over to Lulu, where they’re running another quickie sale.

Through March 7 (that’s next Monday), you can get 20% off your order (do read the fine print!) with code GIANT305.

Enter that at checkout and you’re good to go.

As always, if you’ve got a book with Lulu, leave your link in the comments. Readers, check ’em out. At 20% off, why NOT try someone new to you?

Check out my friends:
Maria Savva’s Lulu page


Susan’s Promo Tales: Trevor on Sale!


ETA: I forgot to mention this one! I’m over at Quackers and Tease today, giving away a free download of Trevor’s Song. Even if you’ve already got a copy, why not help spread the word? My royalty statements will thank you!

To celebrate Groundhog Day and Punxy Phil not seeing his shadow (guess those vibes I sent as we drove home from our sledding weekend took hold), Lulu is offering a 20% off sale today (the second) and tomorrow (the third) only.

Here’s the link to my Lulu page. If you’re an author with a Lulu page, link it up in the comments and I’ll include it here.

If you’re a reader who still loves the print (versus the e-book), go! Buy! Have at it!

Use coupon code NOSHADOW305.

Check out these authors and add ’em to your shopping cart:
Paul Mansfield Keefe
My good friend Maria Savva


Susan’s Promo Tales: Merry Christmas!


How is a Merry Christmas post considered a promo tale?

Well… I’m the one bearing gifts. For you, for your friends, for your family, for anyone who woke up this Christmas morning (even in a metaphorical sense) and found a new e-book reader under your Christmas tree.

From now until January 1, all three of my books are 50% off at Smashwords. And yes, at least 50% of my royalties will be donated to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

Here’s the link: Susan’s Page at Smashwords

And here are the codes:
Demo Tapes: Year 1 — UN55K
Demo Tapes: Year 2 — UC87W
Trevor’s Song — zk52R

And yes, the coupon codes are NOT case sensitive. Why do you ask?

Merry Christmas, gang. If you got anything good, talk about it in the comments. And stay tuned for YOUR chance to Meet and Greet, coming in January.


Giving you some Gratitude


As the blog world continues to evolve and change underneath my feet, I’m doing my best to adapt and grow and change with it. It’s not always easy — after all, when I first started blogging, posting fiction was a rarity. Now there are multiple prompts and Twitter hashtags devoted to it.

Many of you guys have stuck with me from the first. With your support, I’ve been able to put out three books, with more on the way.

And now it’s time for me to give back.

As part of the Gratitude Giveaway over at I am a Reader, Not a Writer, I’m offering one print copy of each of my books: The Demo Tapes: Year 1, The Demo Tapes: Year 2, and Trevor’s Song. Each book will be autographed to the winner (or whoever the winner specifies).

I’m going to have to limit my shipping to the US and Canada only; right now, at least half my reported royalties until the end of the year are headed to charity. That means I’m only recouping half of what I’m spending!

Entry is easy. Tell me which book you want to be entered to win. Join the Google Followers (this is really important, as there are some future events that say I have to have x-number of followers before I’ll be allowed to join in!). And sit back and wait for me to announce the winners on November 29.

And if you’re an International friend and are willing to read an e-book and post a review online, let me know. I’ll hook you up with a coupon code for a freebie of any of my books at Smashwords (heck, any of you who’re willing to read an e-book and post a review can ask for this, in addition to winning an autographed print copy for your shelves!)

Go visit more of the 180 or so blogs joining in. See what else they are giving away. Have some fun, meet some new folk.

And remember, if you want to support me AND a charity all at once, at least 50% of my reported royalties between now and the end of the calendar year are headed to help kids make music. If you make a direct donation to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, you will be entered to win some pretty nice books.

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