Podcast-Thingie: The Buzz About Hannibal

After last week’s episode of NBC’s “Hannibal” I realized I hadn’t really discussed the show anywhere. Honestly, if I had the extra time, it’d be on my review shortlist. But seeing as I hardly have time to shower lately, taking a few minutes to talk about it on the podcast will suffice.

Podcast-Thingie: The Buzz About Hannibal

 

(No, I still can’t embed the code for the podcast player. Apologies. That’s a WordPress issue.)

Podcast-Thingie: Reality Television

Stupid me clicked on a clip for “Hoarders” earlier this week. After I stopped gagging, I recorded a podcast episode. Yes, a second one this week.

Warning: Adult Language

Podcast-Thingie: Reality Television Ain’t for Me

Podcast-Thingie: Bullying

Things have been quiet. I apologize. To make up for it, here’s some of my personal experiences with bullying. There’s some adult language.

Podcast-Thingie: Bullying

Reach for the Stars

Usually when one thinks of a convention with celebrity guests in California, their mind heads south to San Diego Comic-Con. For 2014, there’s a new kid on the California block that’s drawing a lot of attention–positive attention for an awesome concept that’ll morph the way people see conventions for years.

Email_Map (marquee) FINAL Evolution Expo caught my eye a few months ago. Why? They’re keen to erase the line between science fact and science fiction, by bringing planetary scientists, astronauts, a neuroscientist–who also happens to be an actress on an extremely popular network show–and a biomedical engineer into the type of event typically reserved for actors, artists, and writers. On top of that, the social media chatter I’m hearing from the Expo’s representatives encourages giddiness as they continue to tease new guests and after-hour additions to the event.

This morning Evolution Expo’s Facebook page announced that Jefferson Starship would headline their Friday night concert during the event held June 27-29th in Oakland, CA. The concert will be opened by Spock’s Beard.10001379_694628160560120_2125409633_n

If the Expo has anymore cool surprises up their sleeves, I’m not sure attendees will be able to contain their excitement. Which is the point, right? Purchase your Evolution Expo tickets now.

Bah Humbug!

It’s Valentine’s Day. Again.

Typically I’m not an overly-bitter person when it comes to the day. I’m all for showing your loved ones a little extra attention. It shouldn’t be a once-a-year thing, though. And for someone like me, who has been single for going on four years, it sticks in my craw to see anyone slighted by their loves at any point in the year. More so on Valentine’s. It doesn’t take a friggen rocket scientist to purchase something unique for your heart’s keeper, guys. The date for this holiday never, ever changes. There’s no excuse not to save a little cash after Christmas for a gift. I’m not talking a bouquet of dying flowers and awful, over-processed chocolate. Get something that’ll speak to your dear heart. What quirky fandoms do they follow? Is there a hobby they’ve been flirting with, but haven’t had the money to commit to? Buy them the basics to get started.

I have to say, I’ve never had a pleasant Valentine’s Day. My ex-fiancé’s idea of romance was poorly cooked steak, wrestling video games, and a blow job. And while I’m a girl that respects non-traditional ways to celebrate any holiday, it was never my cup of tea. Red meat is okay, though I can’t eat it due to current health issues. I loathe video games, except for the Lego games. And let’s be perfectly honest, as fun as it is to give a blow job, if it’s going to take the guy half a friggen hour to come–despite the skill of the blow job provider–it isn’t worth the jaw ache. Imagine six years of this stellar, romantic treatment. There’s a reason I chose to be single for four years.

What I’m trying to say is, plan your celebration to please both parties involved. My mother and I made a pact to do this for each other, since we’re both proud members of the “Men Fucking Suck” movement. (Me to a lesser degree, but Mom’s the friggen club president.) That’s why I just hauled flat screen TVs into each of our rooms. 32 inches of ogling cute people in high definition from the comfort of bed. See? It isn’t about giving presents to get laid. Valentine’s Day, and any day you celebrate loved ones, is about doing something to make the other person smile.

Now I have to figure out how to set the TVs up before Mom gets home from work. That’s my part of the gift, since I’m still on the “Poor Starving Artist” portion of the tax bracket.

No Damn Rum Here

Blanket warning: If you are a friend—or even someone I just know well—and I hear you brag about pirating ebooks, we’re done. No second chances. No fucks given. There are numerous ways to legally get free books from authors. No Fucks

Here’s a helpful list:
Promo days – Amazon gives Kindle-exclusive books five days over the span of three months in which to give away ebooks for free. Tons of small-press, independent, and self publishers use this tool to gain exposure. Does it work? A little. If a reader likes the freebie, they’re typically inclined to look at what else an author has written. Or so we hope.
Giveaways – Like an author? Follow their Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. At some point, the author is likely to host a giveaway. All you have to do is participate for a chance to win. Takes two seconds, in most cases, to enter.
Contests – Or the author/publisher will make you work for it by entering a contest of some sort. Still, most are easy and in the end *gasp* a free book if you win.
Become a book reviewer – You won’t always get free books just by saying you’re a reviewer. However, I personally send out at least ten to fifteen review requests for each new book release. My publisher does some, as well. Make a site. Start reviewing. The requests and books will come in if you do your job right. Everyone needs exposure in today’s book market. There’s a flood of new writers and not nearly enough people who are reading them. Why? Reading isn’t cool. I call bullshit. Reading is sexy. Show me someone reading a good book and I’m ready to jump them and stroke their . . . mind. Get your head out of the gutter. But you get the point, reviewers get books in trade for time and exposure on their blog. Don’t know where to start? Look on a publisher’s site. Just Ink Press, my publisher, has a contact page to request review copies of their books. John Waters

How not to get free ebooks: Pirate sites. These dickdrips buy books, or grab them on free promo days, rip the file apart, and throw it into the world–usually in a garbled mess that’d make the book formatting gods cry into their morning latte. Then they RETURN THE EBOOK.

So by the time all is said and done, God knows how many people will read the book for free, and the author hasn’t even really sold ONE copy. Depending on the way royalties are set up, authors generally only make 30-50% in royalties on each book sold (up to 70% if they self-pub via Amazon). That’s literally pocket change. But it adds up. Sure, most of us can’t pay our bills when the quarterly payout comes in, but it helps. When you’re staring at an empty pantry, the $.75 made from a book seems like a lot. That’s two meals for my dog, guys.

I’m not doing this to call anyone out or shame anyone. A lot of authors have touched on this very subject, with a lot more information to back it up, surely. I don’t have numbers for my rant. I have people and animals relying on me to get my shit together as an author. That’s my backup. That’s my motivation. But I can’t do my job for you, dear readers, if my efforts to take care of my family are undermined quicker than I can make sales. I’m not signed with one oft he Big 5 publishing houses. I do not get a nice hearty advance to pay the bills while I sit for twelve hours a day pouring my soul onto the page. I live hand-to-mouth on what comes in from sales—with more help than I care to admit from my mother. Because, let’s face it, I’d be dead in an alley somewhere if I had to rely on book sales to keep myself alive. But that help has limits.

And I’m not the only author struggling to make ends meet and still do what they love.

Artists are unappreciated, mocked, expected to live on table scraps. Would you pay an accountant what equates to less than a penny an hour? No. Of course not. So why would you balk at spending $3 on a book that took an author months or years to write, and nearly as long for their publisher to release it—fully polished just for you—into the world?

Art is not free. The mentality that we have to give away a year-plus of hard work sickens me. But that’s the way it is done now. I have to learn to adapt. The least I ask is that if you want to skip paying someone for their art, do it in a way that helps them. Write reviews. Tell your friends and family. Email the author and tell them nice, shiny things about the book. My first (and only, so far) fan email made me cry tears of joy. I understood at last that I’m not shouting into the void. There is someone out there listening. The hard work, sleepless nights, tears of frustrated rage . . . it was all worth it for that one email comprised of a single, thoughtful paragraph.

Don’t take artists for granted. Without art, the world would be a dreadfully boring place.

Booooook!

Who's a pretty book?

Anytime I talk about my books, I say is Winifred-style in my head. No judging.

Okay, that should actually be books, plural. Then again, it is Black Friday and I’m pretty sure I’m still suffering the effects of too much food and surviving the Toys R Us doorbuster deal madness from last night.

Anyway, that’s not why I’m here. Though I do hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving surrounded by people you love.

This weekend, my publisher Just Ink Press decided to have a sale. Today, Black Friday, the entire bookshelf for JIP is 50% off on Amazon and All Romance eBooks. The sale extends through tomorrow on ARe.

So not only can you pick up Enslaved, and In Too Deep for cheapies, but also pick up Into the Darkness, an anthology including my short story, “The Tattoo.” But wait, there’s more. (I know, shut up already, Renee.)

Mayhem in Mexico: Zombie Infestation by Leona Bushman is included in the sale, which I had the pleasure to edit. Along with The Dracove, and Gods & Vampyres by N.L. Gervasio, a series I also helped out with.

In short, go forth and buy books. They’re good. JIP has a great bunch of authors, with a few new folks on the way in the coming months.

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