Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Signing Essentials - Attitude

I did a book signing at the Tucson (Grant) Bookmans this last Saturday and I had a blast. I was there in February promoting the first book in my Black Earth series and I was amazed at how much fun a book signing could be. I was not disappointed this time when I came in to promote, sign and sell copies of my second novel, Black Earth: The Broken Daisy.

Travis, the event coordinator, made me feel right at home as usual. The store was having Sci Fi Saturday, so a welded sculpture of an alien was put by my table. A great touch! I managed to sell a dozen copies of the book, and some of those were put on the shelf of the book store. Travis even let me prolong my signing a bit since I had driven all the way to Tucson to do it. Instead of a two hour signing, we managed to stick around for about five hours. I met some great people and just had a great time.

One thing that Travis said to me really stuck out. He said I had one of the best attitudes he has seen from an author in a while. We got to talking about how difficult a signing can sometimes be, especially to try and get people to purchase books from an unknown author, and Travis commented on how positive my attitude was even if I wasn't selling tons of copies.

And that's really the key, isn't it? Attitude. Yes, I am an unknown author. Yes, it's difficult convincing people to take a chance on me and purchase copies of my book - that goes for in person and online.But if I get too discouraged, if I let myself get too depressed about how the odds aren't all in my favor, it shows. It shows to the person who has allowed me to come in and do an event in their book store, it shows to my family and friends, and it shows the most to those who are approaching me, asking me about my book, teetering on the edge of purchasing a copy of what I've poured my blood, sweat and tears into.

Travis' comments really helped to open my eyes to how important it is to keep a chin up and keep a positive attitude about what I'm doing. I believe that God has a purpose in everything, in every book that someone purchases, in every discussion I have with a fellow reader. And whether or not you believe in God, each person that does end up getting a copy of your book has agreed to enter your world, has agreed to take a trip that you've guaranteed to some extent they will enjoy. That's trust that they are putting in you. And even if only a few dozen people put their trust in you in your lifetime, would it mean your writing is insignificant? Of course not.

Han Solo once said, "Never tell me the odds." I think the Star Wars quote really embodies the very attitude writers - and everyone else out there who is following their dreams - need to have. Forget the odds, forget the numbers, and just go for it. Go for it with everything you've got!

I'll be in the Tucson area again this coming Saturday doing a signing at the Speedway Bookmans, so if you're in the area, come drop on in and say hi. I plan on it being a successful one. ;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday, Black Earth

With this Friday being known as Black Friday and Monday being dubbed Cyber Monday, I figured I'd jump into the fray and add my own bargains to the mix of ridiculous deals out there in the retail stores and on the internet.

If you head to my website - www.davidnalderman.com - any time between Black Friday (November 26th) and Cyber Monday (November 29th), you can order a set of both paperback books in my Black Earth series for only $24 - and that includes free shipping to anywhere in the United States.

You can also order the ebook edition (in Nook, Kindle, Sony Reader, etc formats) of the first novel in my series - Black Earth: End of the Innocence - for only 99¢, and the second book - Black Earth: The Broken Daisy - for $1.99.

Enjoy the holidays everyone, and stock your book shelf and e-readers with some great fiction!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Signing Essentials - Gift Wrapping

With a score of book signings occurring for me between Nov 27th and Dec 18th, I decided to add a bit of seasonal flare to my author toolkit - free gift wrapping.

I got to thinking that since most malls, retail outlets, and even some book stores off free gift wrapping during the holidays as a courtesy to their customers, why couldn't I offer the same? I've had many people at my book signings approach me and say that sci-fi/fantasy isn't really their thing but that they know someone who really loves the genre. They usually end up buying my books as gifts. So, why not make it a bit more convenient for them, especially during the holidays?

I need the gift wrapping to be as cost effective as possible, seeing how I'm on a limited budget, so I went and scoped out Dollar Tree and found exactly what I needed: two gift bags for $1. I purchased five sets of two different colors, giving me twenty bags. I figure I can always return to the Dollar Tree to grab more if I need to, which would be a good thing to have to do.

With the bags, I throw in some tissue paper which can be found at Dollar Tree as well - $1 for 40 sheets if I remember right.

So for $11 I have a nice treat I can offer those who purchase my books. Sometimes, it's these little touches that will make all the difference when someone is debating on purchasing one of my novels at a book signing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Resurrection Of An Email Newsletter

About a year ago I attempted to do an email newsletter. After fishing through dozens of email newsletter services online, I found one and went with it for a bit. Eventually, my very limited budget didn't allow for me to pay the $10 a month minimum to keep the service, and I ended up dropping my email newsletter to the wayside, transforming it into a marketing orphan.

I'm proud to say I'll be resurrecting that free email newsletter, The Lysallis Times. Only this time I'm running it completely from scratch instead of using a paid service. I will use Art Explosion Publisher Pro or Microsoft Publisher to create the newsletter and then I'll convert it to PDF, attach it to email, and send it to those that are subscribed. Pretty simple really.

A subscription form has already been added to the front page of my website, www.davidnalderman.com, so if you get a chance please sign up. I plan to jam pack each newsletter with news about my upcoming writing projects, writing tips, self-publishing help, fiction goodies - like free stories, and sometimes special guests.

And for those of you who are curious where I got the name Lysallis - it's the name of the major city in my upcoming young adult series. It's pronounced Lie - Sal - Iss. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Closing In On The NanoWrimo Victory Line

Well, It's only the 18th of November and I'm 37,499 words into National Novel Writing Month. I'm on the downhill slide to 50,000 words, which the Nano site tells me I'll reach by the 24th if I keep up with my daily average of about 2,000+ words.

Not sure why, but this year has actually been a tough one for me in Nanoland. This is my sixth year doing this and each of the last five I had no real issues with staying interested in my novel. This year though, I've already lost some interest in the storyline and the characters. I debated before I started Nano if I should switch to a different novel idea, but decided not to. I should have.

Eternal Midnight, the rough draft I'm writing for NanoWrimo, is the first standalone book I've written that isn't part of a series. It bridges the gap between two series and has new characters that don't have anything to do with my Black Earth series or my upcoming Expired Reality series. The struggle has come from out of nowhere. The storyline is pretty good, the characters are decent. Maybe it's just because of how busy this month is for me. At many points this month, I've found myself rather wanting to devote the Nano time to other projects and maybe that's why I feel so detached from this story.

I'm determined to win Nano though. There have been years past I've won it in eight days. Some tricks I use when I'm desperate to cross that finish line? I'll spell out contractions, such as 'is not' instead of writing 'isn't'. Gives me two words for the price of one. I'll also skip around the book and write random dialogue encounters between characters. Dialogue usually gives me a great chunk of word count for the day. Sometimes I'll also go really lengthy on the description of certain objects or places just to milk the wordiness for all it's worth. And finally, I'll simply start writing random scenes with my characters in them. Might end up in the book during the final drafts or might not, but either way it's part of the Nano novel.

I'll pass that victory line and score me another year of Nano winnings. I have to. Nano is in my blood.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Signing Essentials - Postcards and Bookmarks

I figured I'd start blogging on the finer points of this self-publishing journey I've been on for a while now, starting with book signings. Now, if there's one thing I don't like doing, it's going out making public appearances. I can be quite shy and introverted, especially in regards to my writing. But book signings are essential to a self-published (and published) writer's life, if just to get you out into the general community and spread word about your latest work.

This is definitely an area that I am working on in my life and my career. Having face time with readers, with your community, with a book store, is essential and can be fun and help to progress your career as a writer. The tools of a book signing are many, and if you know what they are ahead of time then you can prepare yourself for a fun and successful time.

The first tool I want to go over is bookmarks and postcards. For my printed needs, I use PSPrint. They do a great job, have fast shipping times, and their prices are affordable. *At the writing of this post, they are having another one of their sales on postcards - 60% off.

Now, for my postcards, I usually use the front cover image of my latest book for the front and then I put the back cover copy of the book on the back. On the back, I include where my book is available (my website and Amazon.com), my website address, and the ISBN # of my book so your readers can find it anywhere online or in their local book store. This is personal preference, but I choose to keep my book's price off most of my printed promo materials. Sometimes if they find my book on Barnes and Noble or Amazon, my book will be on sale, so I'd rather that be the price they see.

I then hand these postcards out to everyone that walks in the door of the book store. I ask them to check out my book as I hand them one. Usually they keep walking because they are usually at the book store for a specific reason. I tell them the reason for the postcard is so they can wander the store and check out my book while they're at it.

I know some will say that I should be handing copies of my book to people to wander through the store with, but since I'm self-published and my book is not on the shelf of most of these book stores yet, I don't want to risk my book getting lost somewhere in the store, shelved somewhere I'll never find, or possibly walked out with. If they come back to my table and ask me about the book, then I hand them a copy to flip through.

Bookmarks are created somewhat the same way. I use a section of the book's front cover for the front of the bookmark and include my website somewhere on there. I don't have anything on the back of my bookmark just because it saves me money on printing not to have it double sided, although if you have the funds, a double sided bookmark gives you more space to include more info about your book or you as an author.

The bookmarks are one of the promotional materials I send to the store ahead of my signing so they can put them at their registers for customers to grab. I usually mail the store the bookmarks, and fliers announcing my arrival, at the same time. * I'll be covering fliers in another blog post. I stick a bookmark in each book as they are sold, and I also keep a stack of bookmarks out on my table so people can grab them and stick them in whatever book they're reading other than mine.

Bookmarks and postcards are relatively cheap, especially if you take advantage of discounts, and if each piece is printed with your website and book info, you're good to go in spreading word about your book. Think of them as business cards but for your book. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

On The Horizon

Black Earth: The Broken Daisy is now published and out there for the world to love or hate. And aside from promoting the book with book signings, advertising, reviews and other things to bring attention to it, I have a line up of projects I'll be working on in the next couple of months.

First of all of them is the release (or re-release, depending on how you look at it) of a novel series I birthed years ago. Expired Reality, a young adult sci-fi/fantasy series, will be re-edited and released Summer/Fall of 2011. The first two novels, Expired Reality: Endangered Memories and Expired Reality: Lost Birth, were released a couple years ago and I had planned to follow them up with a third, Expired Reality: Crystal City. After growing into my writing style and voice with Black Earth though, I decided to have these books re-edited, polished, and re-released with new covers and extended editions. I plan to have a month or so between the release of each novel.

Second, I am having a novella that I briefly released months ago, Drather's Story, re-edited and re-released under the title Picture Perfect. It is the back story of a character from the Expired Reality series and will be released in ebook, audiobook (my first ever) and paperback. Ebook and audiobook editions will be free and paperback will be sold at a nominal price. I plan to release this in the next few months, before the debut of the Expired Reality series.

Third, I am resurrecting my email newsletter, The Lysallis Times. I have found a cost effective way to do email newsletters and will be debuting The Lysallis Times (again) this December. Stay tuned because I will announce when I will have an email subscription form up on the website.

Lots of goodies are coming down the line and I'm excited each time I have something new to offer to all of you who are fans of my writing. I appreciate all of you and your support, and if there's any characters or plot lines you might like to see some side stories on in the near future, let me know and I'll see what I can do. ;)

Photo Credit - ~H. Crimson

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Broken Daisy's First Signing

Saturday I had my first book signing for my latest sci-fi/fantasy novel, Black Earth: The Broken Daisy. My signing was held at the Phoenix Bookmans.

I sold five books in the two hours I was there and my book will also be appearing on their bookshelves in the very near future! O_O! I cannot contain my excitement!

I of course want to extend my thanks to the event coordinator of that store, Yvette, and say that I have a great time each signing that I do at her store.

For those of you who are published (either by traditional means or like me, self-published) I'm going to be doing a series of blogs soon that break down my process for doing book signings. I know when I first started doing signings about a year ago, I had so much to learn. And I'm still learning. But there's no harm in passing on what little knowledge I have garnered to those who are just stepping up to the plate.

Stay tuned! I have more book signings coming up. Five more between now and January to be exact. And I plan to blog on all of them. :) Check out my event list - www.davidnalderman.com.

Photos by Michal C. Alderman

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blog Winner

John Williamson won the blog giveaway. Congrats Scott!
And thanks to everyone who became a follower of A Broken Reality. :) There will be more giveaways in the near future, so stay tuned.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Introducing - Black Earth: The Broken Daisy

And now, it is with great pride that I release my latest creation to the world.

The next installment in my apocalyptic sci-fi/fantasy series - Black Earth: The Broken Daisy - is now available in paperback and digital editions. You can get your copy by clicking here.

For those of you new to my Black Earth series, you can grab free downloads of the first five chapters of each of the two novels in my series.Just head over to my website - www.davidnalderman.com - to get your hands on them. While you're there, you can check out the string of book signings I have coming in the very near future. The first one is this Saturday, November 5th at the Phoenix Bookmans from 2:30pm-4:30pm.

For those who entered the two giveaways I ran earlier in the week, I'll be announcing the winners first thing tomorrow morning. And thanks to all who entered. :)

Thank you all for the tremendous support in my writing endeavors. It is an honor to have one read my work, to get lost in the world I built with my own hands. I hope you all enjoy The Broken Daisy as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Photo Credit - laap mx

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Facebook Giveaway

Continuing the celebration for the upcoming release of my latest sci-fi/fantasy novel, Black Earth: The Broken Daisy, I am giving away a set of digital editions of both Black Earth: End of the Innocence and Black Earth: The Broken Daisy. Just head over to my Facebook Author Page, become a fan (click on LIKE), and I'll pick one random winner on Friday, November 5th to win the set of ebooks. The digital editions can be read on almost every ebook reader, including the Nook, the Kindle, and the Sony Reader.

And if you're already a fan, then you're already entered. :)

Photo Credit - MarcinMoga / Lolek

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reviews Wanted

I'll be honest. I've never really worked hard to seek out reviews for the books I self-publish. I think it's just been an oversight of mine in the past. I tend to get tunnel vision and hyper-focus on writing or marketing or this or that. So once I finish a book and self-publish it, I wind up slowing the marketing train down to focus more on writing my next big novel.

Well, I've learned from my past mistakes. This time around, I know I need as much exposure as I can get with the release of my upcoming novel, Black Earth: The Broken DaisyThe Broken Daisy is the second book in my sci-fi/fantasy series, Black Earth, and will be released publicly this coming Friday, November 5th. I'd be honored to speak with those of you who would like to read it and write an honest review on it.

The type of reviews I'm looking for are blog reviews, Amazon.com reviews, Smashwords reviews, Goodreads reviews, and any other website based sites that allow you to post book reviews.I am looking for positive, but honest reviews. This means I don't want reviews that will tear me down as an author or reviews that will simply fluff me up. Write what you found positive about the book and then balance it with what you feel could maybe have used more work. This isn't just for my benefit, but for the benefit of other readers out there who are scanning the web looking for a great book to read and want honest reviews to help them make a decision.

For those who are interested in reviewing my novel, please shoot me an email and we can get things set up. I can even throw in a copy of the first book in my series, End of the Innocence, so my series as a whole can be reviewed if that's something you're interested in. Write me at - dna@davidnalderman(dot)com.

Photo Credit - Daehyun Park

Monday, November 1, 2010

Black Earth: The Broken Daisy - Release Week

Black Earth: The Broken Daisy

Nathan Pierce's sister, Daisy, has been arrested and sentenced to death for treason.

Nathan's only ally is Cynthia Ruin - the daughter of the woman who betrayed Daisy. Now Nathan and Cynthia must join forces, escape the president's grasp in Tucson, and find out where Nathan's sister was taken before it's too late.

While the world waits for the death of an innocent girl, the stars that have crashed into our planet are found not to be stars at all, but vessels of some kind that are transporting a strange entity to Earth - an entity that has plans to consume the world in darkness.

Black Earth: The Broken Daisy is the latest installment in my scifi/fantasy novel series and will be released this coming Friday, November 5th. In preparation for this occasion, I'll be doing giveaways all week, both of The Broken Daisy, and also of the first book in the series, End of the Innocence.

The first giveaway is a set of both books in paperback format to one lucky follower of my blog - http://abrokenreality.blogspot.com. You can follow via email through the Subscribe Via Email box, or you can follow by clicking the Follow button on the Google Friend Connect (the box to the right side of my blog with everyone's face in it). I'll pick one random winner from the list of followers this coming Friday. The contest is open to anyone, but the address the book set is shipped to has to be within the United States.

Stay tuned because there are more giveaways to come this week and by all means, please spread the word to your friends and family about the release this coming Friday. The Broken Daisy will be available in paperback and ebook editions so everyone can get their hands on it. I've even posted a free sample of the novel on my website - www.davidnalderman.com. If you preorder the paperback edition through my website before the end of the week, you'll receive a special discount. You can even order both books in the series in a discounted set and get up to speed on the series.

Photo Credit - josephpetepickle