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Marketing without Annoyance!

MARKETING MADNESS! For months–years even–I’ve been shoving anything I find about marketing into a folder (3 actually: email, hard copy, downloads). So now I’m reading through it all and making notes of what I need to do to achieve: PROMOTION SANS ANNOYANCE*! (I don’t want to annoy you or me. You’re welcome. 😉 )

So here’s something I came across today. You can download Guy Kawasaki’s book on self publishing (APE) for FREEEEE! from BookBaby today. He’s got a lot of interesting info on selling directly that I hadn’t come across before. Oh, and about 400 nicely laid out pages of other useful stuff.

I also purchased all the RWA 2013 workshops (audio) on self-publishing (you can purchased just that set for US$55.00) so I can listen to them as I get my Fitbit steps in. Today on the way to Weight Watchers (lost another .6 of a pound!) I listened to the first session:

Self-Publishing Roundtable: Marketing Speaker: S.R. Johannes. Is your mind spinning with marketing ideas, but you don’t know where to start? Join marketing pro and best-selling author S.R. Johannes in an interactive roundtable discussion that gets down to specifics.

Joannes has a strong background in marketing, and after 2 years of failing to sell to trad publishing, she spent 6 months bringing her book to market where she quickly rose to best-seller-dom. While listening to her lecture on my iPhone, I switched over to a little productivity ap called Paperless and dictated a few notes to myself. Here’s what I wanted to remember:

Pick your top 3 to 5 target markets. In her case, she’d written a teen thriller involving environmental themes, so she googled the hell out of “green teen” and related terms. For me, say, my B.O.O. series, I’d google m/m-GBLT, shapeshifters, funny. And variations thereof. Then I need to figure out where the people who like funny paranormal books featuring GBLT themes hang out. Go and post–give stuff–worthwhile content, free books, etc. NEVER JUST PUSH YOUR BOOK!

Figure out other authors who write like you. See if they want to do something cooperative, or just write: “If you liked Andrea Speed’s humorous books, you might like mine…” Something.
Set up a blog tour. Never say no. Sometimes blogs with a smaller following have a greater trust factor so are more likely to reach a receptive and engaged audience. Give away a free book on every stop. Create a series of blog posts with topics and offer themes: for example, ask the blog host: “do you want my post on marketing, or the one on Silly infographicGBLT, or my post on Jaguars, etc?

Since marketing is my background, I think I’ll make this a series. Is that a good idea? Yes? No? Something else you’ll tell me in the comments?

And since last week’s lecture I attended on blogging said you must include infographics, here’s the best one ever.
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I’m a tri-brid author!

So what’s up with me?

I’m about to be officially a tri-brid author. Yes, I did make up that word. It means I’m:
1) e-published,
2) traditionally published, and
3) about to go indie (self-published.)
I’ve got several backlist books returned to me as well as two brand spanking new books I’m editing.
Here’s a comprehensive list:

TITLE Word Count Genre Tagline Status Links
 

GBLT books by Storm Grant

1 Re-Inventing Love 60,000 Steampunk historical, new adult, gay romance with paranormal elements The road to love is paved with good inventions NEW–to be e-published Coming soon!
2 Lost Boys 2.0: Book #2 in The Chronicles of B.O.O. series 66,000 New adult, gay, contemporary, paranormal multicultural mystery with romantic elements A man trapped between life and death must partner with Secret Agent Peter Pan to save a new generation of Lost Boys. NEW–to be self-pubbed Summer 2014 Coming soon!
3 Shift Happens: Book #1 in The Chronicles of B.O.O. series 80,000 Contemporary Fantasy m/m–Won a Rainbow Award A change is as good as a quest. reprint–to be self-pubbed Summer 2014 Coming soon!
4 Tart & Soul 15,000 Humorous m/m contemporary It’s a business doing pleasure with you. reprint–to be self-pubbed Summer 2014 Coming soon!
5 Assume the Position (formerly “Lust in Translation”) 9,000 Sexy, humorous m/m contemporary Can false arrest lead to true love? reprint–to be self-pubbed Summer 2014 Coming soon!
6 Gym Dandy 56,000 Humorous m/m contemporary A gay tale of seduction and denial, humor and sweat. reprint–to be self-pubbed Summer 2014 Coming soon!
7 Dual Citizenship 1,000 Humorous m/m contemporary Putting the “B” in LGBT! Available in the Best Bi Anthology Available from Circlet Press Link
8 Sucks & Blows 4,500 wacky urban fantasy No greater love has a vampire than for his dentist. Available from Riptide Press Link
9 Few Are Chosen 13,000 urban fantasy, multicultural, YA–Won a Bookie Award Sparks fly between virgin teenage demon hunters when the Chosen One turns out to be… the Chosen Two? Available from Riptide Press Link
10 Be Prepared 1,100 m/m romance In the Coming Together with Pride anthology Available on Amazon Link
 

“Straight” books by Gina X. Grant / Storm Grant

11 The Reluctant Reaper: Book 1 in The Reluctant Reaper Series 62,000 wacky urban fantasy Death is what happens while you’re making other plans. Available from Simon & Schuster Link
12 Scythe Does Matter: Book 2 in The Reluctant Reaper Series 46,000 wacky urban fantasy Be careful what you wish for, it just might get you! Available from Simon & Schuster Link
13 Esprit de Corpse: Book 3 in The Reluctant Reaper Series 50,000 wacky urban fantasy Hell is where the heart is. Available from Simon & Schuster Link
14 One Scythe Fits All: Book 4 in The Reluctant Reaper Series 30,000 wacky urban fantasy So a Grim Reaper, an insane murderer and a 700-year-old poet walk through a portal. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. WIP Coming soon!
15 Creep 6,000 m/f erotic romance, horror Typical folk tale—only the narrator remains to tell the tale. Available from Excessica Publishing Link
 

Freeeeee! Stories by Gina & Storm

16 A Wolf in Cheap Clothing 700 Contemporary Fantasy A naked werewolf story Free! Link
17 Click Click 300 Autobiography An alarmingly abridged autobiography Free! Link
18 Continental Divide 1,200 Future History A future history of sorts Free! Link
19 Grapes 300 Contemporary Crime A dark tale of murder by inaction Free! Link
20 Lost and Found 750 Contemporary paranormal A spooky dog story Free! Link
21 Sea Monsters 750 Contemporary paranormal horror A horrific tale of seduction and body-snatching Free! Link
22 Wheels 175 Contemporary m/m not romance A sad tale of insecurity Free! Link
  PSSST. Stormy Stormheller’s fanfiction is available here: Sentinel, Due South, Stargate Atlantis, etc. Free! Link

 

Kindle Daily Deal for you!

7

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Great reviews: “Esprit de Corpse” & “Few Are Chosen”

First up, a review of ESPRIT DE CORPSE, BOOK #3 in THE RELUCTANT REAPER series:

This third book in the series has all the fun Kirsty action that I loved about the first two. The humor and heart is still in the story as the reapers take on a new challenge. I love these books to itty bitty bits, and eagerly tear through each one. They are like little treats filled with oodles of wordplay goodness.

Having set herself up for trouble by not following one of the key reaper rules (don’t touch someone else’s scythe), Kirsty is forced to head back to the “coil” to hunt down the seemingly unstoppable Conrad. Sadly, Kirsty and Dante are still trying to figure out their working relationship and this leads to a lot of jealousy and arguments. On the upside, we get to learn a lot more about Kirsty’s one true friend, Shannon, and how they all ended up in this crazy mixed-up situation.

These short reads are such a joy. They are fun and witty, while also filled with a ton of heart. If you’re looking for a read that will make you smile — this is the series to check out.

Thank you, Carrie Reads A Lot!

Next is a review of FEW ARE CHOSEN, Storm Grant’s m/m story that recently won the Bookie Award for Best YA short of 2012:

Few Are Chosen by Storm Grant is a short story about apprentice warrior Blake St. Blake and apprentice wizard Shadow. Both are Chosen One’s raised by two different ancient orders to defend the world against evil. When a reflux demon is sighted in a local cemetery, Blake is sent off to his very first battle, armed with his sword, his super-senses and a few well-rehearsed one-liners. Yet Shadow gets in Blake’s way. While the boys argue about who’s the more chosen of the two, the demon escapes. While Blake wanted to be angry with Shadow, they realize they both have a lot in common. Furthermore, Blake can’t help but think how Shadow’s cute and that the wizard’s skills as well as other aspects of the male might make the perfect complement to his. Blake and Shadow are brave enough to challenge the reflux demon in a second battle but will they have the courage to tell the other how they feel?

I enjoyed this short story quite a bit…this was a very good story that left me wanting more and hoping that Storm Grant creates a much longer book that involves these two characters. If so, I would definitely buy the full length novel to read.

Thank you, Terri of Night Owl Reviews!

Have you got your copies yet?

 

Two 5-Star Reviews for THE RELUCTANT REAPER *\ 0 /*

From Amazon.com:

5.0 out of 5 stars What a journey through hell!, October 10, 2013

By Hulk 

I started reading this book, curious what it might have in store for me. What happened to Kirsty d’Arc, the main character, is so unique, I couldn’t stop reading! Her journey through hell was written vividly, and I felt for the naïve young woman who was accidentally reaped and wants her life back. I liked Dante, her reaper, from the beginning, and loved them growing closer step by step. On her way through hell, Kirsty meets mythical characters, and I recognized some of them. I chuckled my way through this book, enjoyed the puns and wordgames. Now I’m looking forward to reading SCYTHE DOES MATTER, the next book in the series.
THE RELUCTANT REAPER has an unusual storyline and is worth reading!

5.0 out of 5 stars Bring on Hell, September 12, 2013

This series sounded like a new interesting concept. It didn’t disappoint. I’ve always wondered what being a reaper was like. Dante is a hot guy! Kirsty has real spunk. As soon as I finished, I had to go get Scythe Does Matter!

Thank you so much, Hulk & Missilou!
Three final

50 Shades of Making Someone Feel Special

Gina's GameI had my family over for a BBQ yesterday. It’s always great to get together, especially with Meredith is home from London across the pond.

My middle niece, Gillian, (mother of 1.75 grandnieces) surprised me with this amazing gift to celebrate my recent writing success. She’d made me a game—a trivia game about me!

It contained 25 hand-written recipe cards (or as we writers like to call them, scene cards) with trivia questions on them. About me.

Now I talk all the time—if you’ve ever met me in person, you’ll know that. I’m a “think out loud” kind of person and sometimes don’t even need to have anyone there. I’ve solved several problems by writing emails to friends and by the time I get to the part where I’d hit send to solicit their advice, I had achieved my answer so I hit delete instead. 😉

But I never figured anyone was really listening. Even if we talked about something, I never thought they’d add it to long term storage. I was blown away by the amount Gillian knew about me to create these questions, and how much my family knew about my writing.

The family was divided into two teams, based on generation. My husband and sister and her partner as one team, while my other two nieces, Meredith and Gwendolyn, comprised the second team. Every time a team got a question right, grandniece Audrey toddled over and presented the winner with the penny (after being promised she’d get them back.)

It was close: 19 to 16 (Audrey might have been a bit generous with the pennies.) The younger generation won!

And here was me, thinking nobody really listened. In future, I’d better be more careful what I say!

Sample questions:
Name two books Gina has written.
Name one writer’s group Gina’s a member of.
Finish the name of this sub-genre: “Steam_ _ _ _”

I have the best family ever!

This is a great idea. If you ever want someone to feel special, for the price of a package of recipe cards and a little imagination, you can win someone’s heart forever.

THE RELUCTANT REAPER a top 10 summer read! W00t!

Big, huge cable and entertainment corporation, Rogers Digital Media, has an online magazine.

In it, THE RELUCTANT REAPER has been listed as a Top 10 Summer Read! OMG!!!

Look at the company I’m in! RogersTop10SummereReads

I’m blown away. Thank you, Rogers.

 

 

 

5 stars for SCYTHE DOES MATTER!

5.0 out of 5 starsLeaves me wanting more” July 24, 2013

This review is from: Scythe Does Matter (Kindle Edition)

I read the first 50 pages the day it came out and then I got distracted.
Today I finished the last 127 pages in a little over two hours.
It was a quick and fun read with characters I’ve grown attached to.
In the first book the main character Kristy was just getting into the grove when the book ended. In the sequel she is all in and ready to do.
I highly recommend this book as well as the previous one. My only complaint is that it isn’t long enough. I would have gladly slogged through another hundred pages or more.
The third book can’t get here fast enough.

From Amazon.com

Thank you, Scott M!
 
Beware the stapler of dooooom!!!

Beware the stapler of dooooom!!!

Chuck Wendig let me play in his sandbox!

Ten Questions About The Reluctant Reaper by Gina X. Grant

CHUCK WRITES: I dig this cover. I love the idea. Super-fun-sounding digital-only release. So it was an easy “yes” when it came time to decide whether or not to lend Gina and her book a slot here at the blog. Here she is talking up her Reaper trilogy:

Tell Us About Yourself: Who The Hell Are You?

I was born very young… and I’ve been writing ever since.Three final

Not true. (Why do author bios say they’ve been writing since they were kids? No other profession does this. If my gynecologist said he’d been… but I digress.)

Truth is, I’ve been writing since we accessed the internet via stone tablets, about 1999, beginning with fanfiction for a TV show called The Sentinel. Anybody even remember that show? At first my stories were pretty awful, but like the John Cleese character in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “I got better.” In 2009, my first full-length novel, a gay romance titled Gym Dandy, was published. But not before being contracted and uncontracted and contracted again… It was ever thus in publishing, eh?

Now I write funny urban fantasy under my (mostly) real name, Gina X. Grant.

READ THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW HERE.

 

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