Tag Archives: promotion

Short Fiction for Short Moments of Time


Broken but Undaunted: Collected StoriesMy Broken but Undaunted is part of a promotion via BookFunnel that’s featuring short works.

I think it’s the only collection in the group, but don’t quote me on that!

My mom was a big fan of short stories. She repeatedly took a class via our local Osher program (well, one of them, as both Pitt and Carnegie Mellon have their own) that was all about short stories. And she wasn’t wrong; short stories are an art form of their own. When you take creative writing classes at the university (or graduate) level, that’s one of the first things that becomes blatantly apparent.

Now, this promo features a lot of novellas which are, again, their own art form. More complex than short stories, less complex than a novel. They can have subplots or not; it’s all a matter of what the piece demands and the skill of the reader.

So I’m glad to be part of this promotion. I love that it’s about short work.

But there’s one other thing that has me excited to be part of this: It’s multi-genre. And that means exploration is imminent.

I went and explored what was on offer. I downloaded a bunch of books, and I hope they’re all good. Some are tie-ins to existing series. Some aren’t. It’s a wide, exciting grouping of short works — perfect for this time of year when we’re all so time crunched.

Go and find something for yourself.

And as always, if your book budget doesn’t allow for everything you want, you can take my book out of your local library via the Overdrive/Libby app. (It’s not on Hoopla yet and I don’t know why, especially because Maybe the Bird Will Rise is) OR you can hit me up for a review copy — just remember to follow my rules of review copies (You must post a review online — and let me know! — within one year. One-star reviews are fine; people are treasures too and that means your opinions are valid and respected, at least by me and my team. But you only get one book at a time, and if you don’t get a review up, don’t ask for another review copy.)

If you choose the library route, I’m more than a fan of that — I still get paid! It’s not a lot, but who cares? It all adds up.

Also, remember to check out my books for others you may like. With the Sheep Farm coming out relatively quickly (Populated releases on Tuesday! Are you ready?), I’m going to be asking you to do a lot of reading. Go ahead. Use those library apps.

But mostly, check out the books in this promo with Broken but Undaunted. Expand your horizons with a good short story or novella — or collection of short stories, like Broken but Undaunted!


Still In Need of Promotion?


Books do tell our stories! Not only should we support the NEA and NEH, but we should support each other, as well! Let me do that by sharing promotion opportunities with you.

Featured New Book.

Lines of Distinction.

Two easy promotion methods that I offer here at West of Mars — why aren’t more of you using them?

If you have, or if they are too hard for you (really? All you graphic teaser people?), here’s another promotional opportunity for you. It’s over at Wise Words Book Blogger, where Louise Wise is looking for current affairs articles written by your protagonist.


And seriously fun, no? Especially if you have a protag who doesn’t share your worldview. Stretching yourself to understand how your character would view something happening in the news right now is a great way to get to know not only your character, but to gain a better look at the world, as well.

We’re always told to write what we know, but sometimes, the demands of fiction don’t allow us to do that. This is a great opportunity to learn new things, stretch your writerly wings, explore a bit — and get some eyeballs on your project(s), too.

Go for it. Tell Louise I sent you — and be sure to drop me the link when it runs!


Another Promo Opportunity for Authors!


Seems like a good time to remind us all that many of our fellow authors rely on grants from the NEA and NEH to help pay the bills.

In addition to Lines of Distinction and the Featured New Book Spotlight, both of which always have openings for authors of all ilk, I’ve got news today of a site that loves to post author interviews. And they make it super easy!

The site is called The Book Squirrel. Know going in, my friends, that they consider themselves to be family-friendly, so that means:

I will not feature erotica, violence, or covers that are erotic/look like porn.

Got that? I expect you to honor that.


After that, though, things are pretty easy. There’s a choice of questions and you answer up to ten of them, then submit. Provide the buy links for your book and your social links and voila. Interview completed.

It’s easy, and I’m all about easy, so I encourage you guys to take the time and answer the questions.

As always, remember to tell your reader base where to go in order to visit the site and see your answers for themselves. And if you’re so inclined to add The Book Squirrel to your reader and discover new stuff, well, I highly encourage that, too! Remember that to be part of the community, you have to act like part of the community.


Susan’s Promo Tales: Where’d the Personal Touch Go?


As I was prepping for my workshop — on all things reviews — something dawned on me: book publicity has changed. I have lists here on the site of the guest blog posts I’ve written over the years and of the interviews I’ve given. They go back years and while some of these sites are no longer active, or even in existence, it’s still proof I once took time to promote myself as a writer.

Since I returned to editing and made it my full-time focus, I have faced the double-edged sword of time management. Thankfully busy with editing, the self-promotion has fallen by the wayside. And in the time since I made that shift, promotion has changed.

Guest blog posts and interviews aren’t happening nearly as often as they used to. Now, it’s the book blast. The cover reveal.

Promo has become impersonal once again.

And it probably dovetails with the dropoff in interest in the Featured New Book Spotlight and Lines of Distinction. I’ve actually had authors send me their canned blast information to post for these features.

Umm… yeah, thanks, but … no. I’m asking for the personal touch. As a reader, I like to get to know authors. As a reader and blogger, I don’t like to see the exact same thing posted all over the Internet. The folks who are coordinated enough to get their message out on the same day (and I don’t mean Thunderclap, which I think is one of man’s stupidest inventions) both amaze me with their organization and … well, it’s irritating to see the exact same thing again and again. Same post. Same headline. Same content.

Know what happens to an editor when her eyes glaze over? It ain’t pretty, folks. There might be stuttering and drool involved. There’s definitely the shutting of tabs and windows and marking items in my feedreader as read even though they aren’t. Well, they sort of are. I mean, there’s a first for everything…

It wasn’t that long ago we were talking about this new transparent age. Where authors could connect with readers, and readers could connect with authors.

Oh, I know. The stories of stalking and trolling have put the chilling effect on us all.

But why are we standing for it? Why are we not fighting back? It’s not that hard. Look at Lines of Distinction. As an author, you KNOW what your favorite lines in your book are. Highlight ’em here. The only personal information you’re giving away is a marked preference for your own words. I’m not asking you to go out on a limb. Not with Lines of Distinction. It’s about your book and only your book. It’s meant to be easy promo that doesn’t make people’s eyes glaze over (we won’t go near the drool).

I miss the personal touch. I miss when people used social media to be social.

Guess I’m old school, but I’m all for bringing it back. You with me? Use those links. Lines of Distinction. The Featured New Book Spotlight. Feature yourself.

And like I said to Stevie, I got your back.


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?