And another brief bit of blog-tour commentary

As noted in last year’s blog tour post-mortem, I feel as if I spent way too much time on the “Homespun” blog tour writing guest posts — time I could have spent more usefully writing more novels! Not that guest posts aren’t useful — they’re vital to networking, really, and I deeply appreciate people giving me space on their blogs! – but I felt like I poured far too much energy into writing long, detailed guest posts compared to the amount of return that I got on it. Most people don’t do blog tours as in-depth as my first one. I can see why.

This year was MUCH more efficient. I did nearly all of my guest posts in one day … okay, largely because of time constraints, but I don’t feel like they suffered terribly for it. Not every guest post has to be a lovingly detailed work of art. I included more excerpts, which are fast and easy, but probably just as good an enticement (if not more so) than the photos, videos and so forth that I was doing last time. I also had a more streamlined blog tour with fewer stops, but spread out over just as many weeks.

… that said, my sales on Held For Ransom are definitely down from where Homespun sales were at this point (if I remember correctly). So maybe the extra promo actually made a difference? Except we aren’t deep enough into either blog tour this close to the release date for it to make that much difference, I don’t think. It’s so hard to say because every story is its own creature. Homespun was a little more unusual and maybe therefore it found readers more easily in the early days. (But HFR is more conventional so I would expect it to do better? DIFFICULT.)

On a small point of squee, Held For Ransom has a review on Amazon already, and the reviewer liked it. :>

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Release party post-mortem

Well, today was my first full-on Facebook/blog/Twitter release party, so now I’m writing up notes to help me in planning future events. (And perhaps other people will find this useful too! Learn from my mistakes.)

Overall I was pretty happy with it. A bigger turnout would’ve been nice, but given that I really didn’t advertise it AT ALL beforehand so it was basically just drop-in traffic from my various social media, it went well! I also got some people entering the contest and “liking” my FB blog that I didn’t know, which means I managed to expand my reach just a tiny bit outside my normal social circle, so that’s a success then. \o/ Read more ›

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The random number generator hath spoken

…. and I’ve selected the winners of the giveaway (Veleda and Christine; congrats!) via random number generator and contacted them. The virtual release party is now over — and the nice thing about virtual parties: no cleanup! I really appreciate the comments, likes, reblogs and retweets, and I’m looking forward to hanging out more with y’all in the future. Thank you for the support!

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Another excerpt

There is still time to enter the contest if you haven’t already! And here is another excerpt from Held For Ransom – Ransom and DJ’s first meeting, when DJ notices a stranger picking up trash. (I really should’ve led with this one, rather than the one from later on – well, live and learn. Did I mention I’m not that great at self-promotion? XD)

The stranger was wearing a hoodie with a logo for the Aldona Raiders—the high-school football team in the next town—so he was someone local. DJ was still pretty sure he’d never seen him before. He would have remembered that narrow face, the long dark lashes cast down as the stranger hunted for cigarette packs and plastic grocery bags in the weeds along the fence.

“You guys must lose a lot of balls in that river,” he said when DJ was close enough.

He was still just as good-looking close up. His hair was dark and floppy, and longer than anyone in Osmar, aside from the Hilsinger cousins, would tolerate. It was almost down to his collar. Read more ›

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Books?

Still hours to go on the contest – enter here by commenting/liking, or promote on Twitter/Tumblr/etc for TWO chances to win! (Though you may have to tell me you did it because I might not notice otherwise, and I’d hate to miss out!)

Okay – new discussion topic! Tell me about a good book you’ve read lately. :) I’d love to find out about some new authors to look for!

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Held For Ransom excerpt

How about a brief book excerpt? (You can also read part of the first chapter on Dreamspinner’s website.)  I’ve been looking for a section that stands on its own okay – here’s a little bit from the POV of motorcycle-riding title character Ransom.

 

Ransom killed the motorcycle engine outside 324 Elm Street and sat on the seat for a minute or two, gazing along the street at the neat rows of porch lights glimmering through the chill winter darkness. Idyllic. That’s a good word for this place. It looked to him like a set from a family sitcom, the sort where father knows best and no problem is too big to be resolved in twenty-two minutes. A part of him thought it should be possible to peek behind those house fronts to see the scaffolding propping them up and the hands scurrying around the dark backdrop of a soundstage.

He wondered what it would have been like to grow up here. Read more ›

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And now, a discussion topic – holiday preparedness!

My new book is set during the holidays, and while it’s still a little early to look forward to the end of December (it’s only early November!) I guess we all know we’ll get there eventually! Are you ready? Are you the sort of person who has your Christmas presents bought and wrapped by the end of October? Or do you wait until Dec. 24 and rush around desperately trying to find a store that’s still open? :D

I suppose I am sort of a mix between the two! Since I live in Alaska, most of my family is far away and the mail from here to the rest of the U.S., let alone anywhere else, can take forever. So I try to have my gifts mailed out by the first week in December. I always intend to be more organized than I am about it, though — I’ve been trying to get in the habit of buying presents throughout the year, whenever I spot something I know so&so would like, so that they’re all purchased and ready to go by November! That’s the theory, anyway. In actual practice, I usually end up with a ton of things for the easy-to-shop-for relatives, and nothing at all for the hard ones … so I may as well have waited ’til the last minute anyway. XD

What about you?

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Layla’s Writing
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Held for Ransom cover

Held for Ransom - released November 14

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