Archive for the 'Shameless Plugs' Category

01
Oct
10

Contest winners!!

I think any writer will agree that there is no better feeling in the world than people wanting to read your book. I got way more entries than I was expecting! I am so humbled and happy at all the excitement going on about Eli and his crew. Thank you all SO MUCH for entering. I wish I had books for all of you! T__T!

Sadly, though, there could be only 20 winners. The magic number picker ate all the entries, and these are the people it coughed up:

  1. Tegan
  2. Susan
  3. Greg
  4. Ashley
  5. Laurel
  6. Jennifer
  7. Jason Bull
  8. Atsiko
  9. Karen Senoo
  10. Minamostaza
  11. Amanda Jones
  12. Melissa (Books and Things)
  13. Maggie Lloyd
  14. April X
  15. Judy Adler
  16. Deb Salisbury
  17. Emmad
  18. Arkib
  19. Elizabeth Briggs
  20. ab

I will be sending emails to all the winners asking for mailing addresses today. If your name is on the list and you don’t get an email by tomorrow morning, please contact me and we’ll get things straightened out. For everyone who didn’t get books, I am so bummed I couldn’t give you all copies. I still greatly value your input and reviews, and I sincerely hope you’ll still give The Spirit Thief a try. Thank you again for participating!

Eli officially launches today! Catch him wherever new books are sold.

– Rachel

ETA: I’ve sent emails to everyone except Jason Bull, Karen Senoo, Amanda Jones, Maggie Lloyd, Judy Adler, Deb Salisbury, Emmad, and Arkib. Guys, I could not find your emails, so now it’s up to you! Send me a message and I’ll get your book off! Thanks!

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11
May
10

supporting your writers!

So this post is way late and not at all what I meant to write about, but it keeps coming up, so I thought I’d put it here!

So my first book, The Spirit Thief, comes out in October. So far away! But considering I’ve been a published author for nigh on 2 years now, that’s relatively quite close! Now that this whole publishing gig is worming its way towards reality, people keep asking me how they can support my blinking, blind, newborn career.

Now, I have lovely friends and family and am honored and flattered beyond all telling that they would want to stick their necks and hard earned dollars out for me. But I don’t want them to waste their time or their money, so when they ask me “Rachel, what can I do to support your novel?”, this is how I answer, condensed in useful list form!

How to Support Your Favorite Novelist Without Spending More Than 15 Minutes or the Price of the Book You Were Hopefully Going to Buy Anyway

  1. Wait until 2 weeks before the book’s launch before doing anything – This is the most vital time for support. Any sooner and people might forget, any later and you miss those vital initial numbers that mean so much to publishers. You can of course talk it up earlier, but save anything big, and the actual purchase, until this crucial time.
  2. Preorder the book – Since you were (hopefully!) going to buy the book anyway, this is the best way to do it. Preorders boost an otherwise unknown book up the Amazon or B&N or whatever seller you prefer’s list. Strong preorder numbers lead to more and bigger book orders from retailers, which make your author look really good!
  3. Leave an honest, informative review – Of course, we all love good reviews, but honesty is the most important. A page full of glowing reviews that ultimately say nothing won’t draw readers, but even a 3 star review highlighting the book’s pros and cons can lead sometimes lead to sales. After all, one person’s gripe can be another person’s love. Hopefully, your author has written a book that earns your giddy fandom, but even if you didn’t like it as much as you’d hoped, write about it.
  4. Mention the book on your social media – Twitter shoutouts, facebook links, blog posts, they all help to raise a book’s profile. Even if the only people who follow you are your family and that guy from high school who kind of creeped you out but you don’t want to unfriend because you don’t want to be rude. You don’t have to spam or be particularly verbose, you even copy/paste the review you wrote for the book’s sales page, just say something and get the title out there. Every little bit helps.

As Cory Doctorow says, an SF writer’s biggest problem is obscurity. Anything you do, even if it’s just one post, can be a big help thanks to the ripple effect of the internet, and your author will love you forever.

(Also, when I was typing the above I misspelled Cory Doctorow’s name and Google’s (I use Chrome) spellcheck corrected me. Folks, that is fame right there, when your name is in Google’s spellcheck. )

Anyway, that’s my list. You tell me, did I leave anything out? Mess anything up? Let me know!

25
Feb
10

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms are GO!

It’s Launch Day! Launchy Launchy Launchy Launchy Launch!!!

I’m sorry. Here I am popping up after two months of silence, only to babble incoherently because HOLY CRAP MY BOOK IS OFFICIALLY OUT! I tried to think of something intelligent to post here, but my brain is pretty much full of WOO HOO WOO HOO right now.

So. Rather than try and rein in the Loony Tunes in my head, I will direct you toward a couple of posts over on my author blog that I think Magic Districtians might find interesting. The first is from a couple of days ago at the start of my Launch Week countdown, wherein I mention a few things that readers can do to help me out this week, if they feel so inclined:

  1. Buy the book.* (Please. Mama’s got student loans to pay.)
  2. Read the book. (This is kind of necessary for the next step.)
  3. If you like the book, tell everyone you know. This includes everyone on Goodreads, Library Thing, and all the retail bookseller sites, especially if they let you post reviews. (The Amazon “post your own review” feature is active now, BTW.)
  4. Under the category of “tell everyone you know”, blog about the book. You’d be surprised at how useful word-of-mouth is to authors.
  5. *If you cannot afford the book, that’s OK. Put in a request for it at your local library. Readers often think this won’t help authors, but it does! The more requests a library receives for a given book, the more likely that library is to order more copies of the book. More copies = sales for me, and you get to read it for free. Everyone wins! (Then please tell everyone about the book, blog about it, etc.)

To this I’ll add one more suggestion. I live in New York, as many of you know — and while I’m not doing a schmancy Big Name Author book tour or anything like that, I am willing to travel to places within a 2-3 hour drive to do readings, signings, etc. So if you’d like me to do a reading/signing in your town and you’re relatively close by, and you make the arrangements — no private homes, please; public places only — and you can promise me a crowd of 20 or more, then holla, and let’s see if we can work something out. (In fact I’m doing just such an event next week, at Flights of Fantasy up in Albany. If you’re in upstate NY or western MA, come by for a visit!)

The other post I’ll point you at is a thinky one on what constitutes epic fantasy — i.e., how should we define it? Some interesting answers there already.

Anyway, I’m off — got a launch party to prepare for, guests in town, guest blog posts to write, and miles to go before I sleep. But since you guys have been with me pretty much since we started this blog, I just wanted to pop in and share a little of the WOO HOO WOO HOO with you. WOO HOO!!

20
Nov
09

RWA-MWA Drama, Contest Winner!

No post today, folks. Since I spent a good chunk of yesterday in jury duty, I lost a day of writing, and as I’m already behind on Book 3, today was catch-up. I did, however, post a little rant on my own blog about the “Harlequin Horizons” drama and how it impacts me as a fantasy writer. Check it out.

And I haven’t forgotten that today is the end of my ARC giveaway contest! I got a lot of great entries by email and in the comments of the post, for a total of sixteen magnificently made-up gods. Thanks to all who participated!

The choice was tough. Frankly I wish I had more ARCs, because some of the entries were hilarious or just beautifully-written; our own Rachel Aaron’s was a case in the latter point. In the end, though, I was seduced by Jackie M’s entry:

Elena Niobe is the goddess of Falling Things. She has no home, and no homeland, and is most often found in the company of caravaners, nomads and transients. She has control over waterfalls and rain storms, market prices and dominoes, meteors and stars tumbling into black holes. She is a perfect savant with numbers, and can speak any language, but she is completely illiterate.

The color of her skin and shape of her face changes to blend in with her current company, but her eyes are always black, and her dark hair is always streaked with gray. To discover Elena Niobe in human form brings immense fortune; to break her trust by revealing her to others brings the worst of calamities. And she cannot stay for too long in one place–for while she always has the power to make things fall down, the longer she makes a home for herself, the less able she is to stop things from falling. Her favorite lovers have all a bad habit of dying abruptly and tragically.

The best way of winning her favor is to do something truly kind for someone who has either lost their home, or who has never had one. Conversely, she does not look well on those who exploit the vulnerable.

Lovely. So, Jackie, please send me your mailing address and I’ll drop the ARC in the mail to you ASAP!

12
Nov
09

ARC Giveaway Contest!

OK! In just over 3 months now, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms will launch. (February 25, 2010, to be specific; you can preorder now at most of the major online booksellers.) So I’m getting ready to go into hardcore promotional mode. Keep an eye on my own website for lots of changes in the coming weeks — a new look for the site, more giveaways, sample chapters, and more, all up to the big day.

But that doesn’t mean the Magic District will get short shrift. Ergo, I’m kicking things off here with the first of two Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) giveaways (the other will be at my site in a few weeks). Details below the cut.
Continue reading ‘ARC Giveaway Contest!’

28
Oct
09

Aural stories

The aliens are invading, and they’re coming for your parking space.

Okay, so that’s a silly way of looking at this weekend’s upcoming radio play in Somerville.  I’m not even tangentially involved with the production, but I’ve watched some parts of it come together, and it’s got me thinking about storytelling that doesn’t touch either the screen or the printed page.  (Incidentally, if you’re in the area, come see the show.  Aliens!  Coffee syrup!  A stationary marching band!)

Radio plays and audio fiction are media I know very little about.  I’ve seen a couple of radio plays performed — and that I say I’ve seen them tells you something about how my perception of them is a little skewed — but I don’t often listen to them, nor do I often listen to podcast fiction, despite the many good sources for it.  And that’s a shame, because stories told this way play on the audience’s attention in entirely different ways.

Audio fiction isn’t quite the same, but there are some shared elements — you have only the description as it’s read, and to follow the story you have to be willing to concentrate.  I can almost fall more easily into an author’s world when I’m listening than when I’m reading, simply because I have to stop and pay attention.  I can’t just scan the page, looking for the next clue to the plot or the clue that I missed on my first read.  Done well, it can be enchanting: one of my favorite Christmas traditions is to listen to Christopher Plummer reading E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker (the whole, trippy thing, not the chopped-up version in most retellings).

I have mixed reactions depending on how the reader voices different characters; I got sick of one audio novel because all of the villains had the same nasty nasal tone.  (One friend of mine says that she’s never heard any author read their own work well.  I have to admit I take that as a challenge.)  And like radio plays, there’s the possibility that the intensity of emotion won’t carry over well, becoming laughable or just strange.  I always feel a little silly when reading big dramatic scenes aloud, just because I’m skittish about whether they sound as good outside my head.

So this is, again, my way of asking the great wide internet for recommendations: What podcasts or radio plays would you recommend? Are there certain stories that just work better when read aloud?  What doesn’t work so well in this medium — either through poor performance or the source itself?  And does putting a folding chair out really keep the aliens from your parking space, or does it just draw the wrath of public works?

15
Sep
09

Exhaust

I’m solo parenting this week while my wife Heather Shaw is off at the beautiful Blue Heaven writers’ workshop in Kelleys Island, Ohio, getting her fill of both critiques and beer (she’s there along with Magic District contributor Greg “The Keg” van Eeekhout, among others). My wife and I usually take turns getting up when the baby wakes, so we only have to risk a pre-dawn waking every other day. But with her out of town, I’ve been on my own, and the baby’s been getting up on the early side of his range, so after three days of rising before the sun I’m feeling pretty sleep-deprived. (Perhaps if I went to bed earlier… nah, it’d never work.) So I’m just going to drop in a couple of links here, in lieu of any original content:

Jon Armstrong (author of the weird and wonderful fashionpunk novel Grey) has a podcast called “If You’re Just Joining Us” (he interviewed me there once), and the latest installment features the wit and wisdom of literary agent Ginger Clark, who represents me (and Jon, for that matter). Much of the interview is given over to confirming or denying various myths about agents, and it’s a funny, fun interview.

I have a new story online today, written when I was less sleep-deprived and overall more lucid, so maybe go read that, it’s pretty short: “Silver Linings”, which is my first (but I hope not my last) publication at Tor.com. Great illustration by Thom Tenery, too; I can see why SF authors like writing about airships so much, when you get pictures like that! There’s also audio of me reading the story, which (let’s put this politely) privileges authenticity over polish.

Also, my online serial novella Bone Shop, um, accidentally became a novel this week, crossing the magical threshold of 40,000 words that (according to SFWA) separates very long stories from very short books. It’ll be another 15 or 20 thousand words before I’m finished, too, firmly in novel territory, which means I’ve still never written a novella, damn it. I thought I’d finally accomplish that. Sigh. Apparently if you let me get longer than a novelette I just can’t rein myself in, though in my defense the story turned out to be bigger than I originally expected.

Well, get going. Nothing more for you here, unless you like seeing a grown man fall asleep in his chair while a baby throws chunks of watermelon at him.