Weekly Update – November 28, 2017

All right, Nook owners, time to head on over to Barnes & Noble’s website and start spending!

The entire Action Figures series and Cheap Thrills Digest are now available on B&N, and December 9 is when the Nook editions of the entire Strongarm & Lightfoot series will drop.

Why December 10? Because the first book, Scratching a Lich, is still in the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program. December 9 is its last day of enrollment so I have to wait for that to expire to avoid getting in trouble with Amazon.

I’ll continue to add all my books to other platforms in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Chipping away at the first draft of book two.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress. I’m jumping back and forth between this and WBW as the mood strikes me.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • UPDATED! Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels — detailed below!
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

All right, folks, here’s where you’ll find me at Arisia in January…

We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Saturday, 10:30 PM)

After a Kickstarter campaign that wound up becoming the most successful media-related effort in its history, Joel Hodgson brought his creation back to an audience starved for the opportunity to see puppets snark at bad movies. With new host Jonah Ray, the return of MST3K was an immediate success story for Netflix and precipitated a live tour. Join the discussion as we go over the new episodes, argue about the new cast, and speculate what a twelfth season might bring!

Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (Sunday, 11:30 AM)

A minute can seem so short when trying to put together a masquerade presentation, but it can feel like an eternity on stage. How do you use the time allowed to both entertain the audience and wow the judges? Can it be done in less than 30 seconds?

Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (Sunday, 4 PM)

Have you ever wondered how your fight scene would look acted out in real life? Here’s your chance to play with some toy soldiers, see your fight scene acted out with authentic weapons, and listen to our panel of martial artists and authors SHOW you what works vs. doesn’t work in your or other writer’s fiction. Submit your 800 word fight scene to fights@arisia.org for a chance to have your scene incorporated into the discussion, or just come watch.

Next, a reminder that the New England Speculative Writers group is still holding its open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. Go here to get the full details.

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – November 14, 2017

The process of bringing my e-books to the Nook continues. The first two Action Figures novels, Secret Origins and Black Magic Women are now available at Barnes & Noble. I hope to have the entire series available by Black Friday.

Speaking of which, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich will be available for the Kindle for 99 cents from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. I expect this will be the last time the e-book version will be on sale through Amazon (read this if you don’t already know why).

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Time to get back to work on this. It’s sat untouched a little too long.

The Going Rate for Penance: I’ve done three drafts of my short for the New England Speculative Writers anthology (more on that below) so it’s time to send it out to test readers.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels.
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group is holding an open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. Go here to get the full details.

 

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Thanksgiving Sale Ahoy!

As I’ve mentioned a few times recently, I am moving away from exclusivity on Amazon and making my e-book formats available on other platforms. I’ve already begun moving Action Figures over to Barnes & Noble, and once that’s done I’ll do the same with The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot.

One of the significant points here is that by removing my books from Kindle Direct Press Select, I won’t have the ability to put the books on sale or do free giveaways, so I am doing one last sales hurrah for Scratching a Lich during the post-Thanksgiving orgy of commercialism.

From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, Scratching a Lich will be available for the Kindle for just 99 cents on Amazon. If you haven’t given this series a try, now’s the time to do it. And if you are a fan, this is your opportunity to grab a copy as a holiday gift for a friend or family member. Spread the word!

Weekly Update – November 7, 2017

I want to put this right up front because this might be of interest to some people — especially those who are still trying to figure out your NaNoWriMo project.

The New England Speculative Writers group is holding an open call for its first anthology! Go here to get the details, but the short form is this: if you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story.

I’m already working on mine, so maybe we’ll appear in the pages of this cool new project together.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I wrapped up a second draft of book one and am trying to focus on book two, but I have some plot work yet to do before this will really get rolling. In the meantime, I’m continuing to lay out the groundwork for a cool cover photo shoot early next year. I’ll share details as they come.

The Going Rate for Penance: This is the working title of my NESW anthology submission. I am about 1,400 words in, so it’s off to a strong start.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels.
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

I’m in the process of making some changes to how my books are distributed. This isn’t a big deal for you folks but it could be for me.

If you need more details, you can go read this post from Friday, but the TL;DR version is that I have pulled Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins from the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program and will be doing the same with The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich after the post-Thanksgiving weekend orgy of commercialism. The pros of being part of KDP Select no longer outweigh the drawbacks, so I am changing strategies that will, hopefully, benefit me in the long run.

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Changes Are Coming

Happy Friday, everyone!

Now, I know the headline might sound a little ominous, but it’s really not that big a deal — at least not to you, but it could mean some good things for me.

Last night the New England Speculative Writers group met to discuss ongoing and upcoming projects, and one of the subjects that came up was increasing one’s exposure. One of the specific points of discussion centered on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Select program, and whether the benefits outweighed the drawbacks.

For those unfamiliar with KPD Select, the gist is that authors give Amazon exclusivity rights on e-books, i.e., I can’t sell e-books enrolled in the program through other retailers such as Barnes & Noble. In exchange, I get to periodically set up sales on Amazon that let me lower the price of my books without affecting how much I earn off each sale, and the e-books are included in the Kindle Unlimited program. Readers get to read unlimited e-books and I make my money there off each page read.

For a while this approach worked pretty well. I kept Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins and The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich in KDP Select as feeder titles, figuring people would check them out and then go get the other books in the series, and I’d still make a decent payday off the KU reads.

For reasons far too complex to go into here, the amount authors make per KU page read has gone down a LOT over the past few years. That, coupled with other, better ways I’ve found to entice readers into giving my books a try, had me on the fence whether it was worth continuing on with KDP Select, and last night’s discussion helped me make up my mind that it was time to leave it behind and try other things.

As of today, Secret Origins is no longer a KDP Select title and is not available through KU. Scratching a Lich, however, will have one last hurrah and will go on sale for 99 cents from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. After that, it’s coming off KDP Select.

Aside from the fact these books will no longer be available as KU titles, what this means is they, along with all my other books, will soon start popping up through other retail venues. This will be a bit of a process as I will have to set up the books for delivery via these other means, but it will expand my books’ availability and give consumers an option other than Amazon.

Now, I know in some circles it’s fashionable to bash Amazon, and I won’t deny the company is in ways problematic — especially when it comes to indie authors — but it has in the big picture sense been perhaps the single greatest boon to independent and small press authors who would otherwise struggle to make a dent in the marketplace. Nevertheless, there are readers who absolutely do not want to spend their money with Amazon, and this step will help me reach some of them.

So keep an eye out here and in my newsletter as I announce new retailers for my books, and please spread the word of the Thanksgiving sale. Thanks!

Weekly Update – October 3, 2017

Copyright 2017 Patricia Lupien

Woo-hoo! It’s Halloween season! Time to start my annual tradition of marathoning all my favorite horror movies! It’ll be a nice capper to what was a busy September — a month that culminated in the release of the third book in the Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot series: Blades of Glory!

The Kindle edition is available on Amazon today for just $3.99. The print edition will be coming later this month, as will direct sales of the print and e-book editions on this site.

Now that this is in the can, I can really focus on other projects and maybe get the first draft of my new urban fantasy trilogy, Well Behaved Women, done.

Also of note this week…

I’ve teamed up (ha) with more than 20 other superhero fiction writers for a special month-long giveaway promotion. Jump over to our group page on Instafreebie and choose from several titles for all ages and tastes. Sign up for their newsletters and get a free e-book as a thank-you. Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get a copy of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I inched past the 72,000 word mark last week but didn’t get much done due to a busy work schedule. This will be my main focus through the rest of the year.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, ready for editing.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels.

MISC

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – March 14, 2017

Secret Origins coverFirst, your brief reminder that the Kindle edition of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins  is available for free this week. If you haven’t given it a try yet, now’s the time to check it out.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: I passed the 34,000 word mark over the weekend and I’m now into the second act.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

I want to send out a thank-you to Patrick Hodges of Young Adult Authors Rendezvous for including me via remote in the Tucson Festival of Books in Arizona over the weekend. Patrick asked if I’d send a couple copies of Secret Origins out to sell at the YAAR booth, so I did, and if you look closely at the photo on the right, you can see it sitting amidst the many other excellent titles that were available on that nice, bright, warm, sunny, snow-free weekend (he said without any bitterness as he watches the blizzard happening outside).

I end this week with a quick word of advice to indie writers as they set out to promote their work: be honest with yourself and, by extension, your readers.

I’ve seen a recent rash in indie authors presenting their achievements rather disingenuously lately, claiming “number one best-seller” status for topping an Amazon chart during a free giveaway campaign, employing such vague accolades as “acclaimed author,” or overstating their bibliography, as if their sheer quantity of their writing is somehow testament to the quality of their writing.

Granted, a lot of readers aren’t going to look too deeply into self-aggrandizing claims and take them at face value, but if you can’t back up the hype with a quality product, it’s going to backfire on you, so don’t spend so much energy on Barnum-esque self-promotion. Put that effort into writing the best story you can and let your work speak for itself.

 

Giveaway Week Begins!

Happy Monday, everyone. If there is such a thing.

Starting today and running through Friday, the Kindle edition of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins is free!

Now, chances are if you’re reading this post, you’re already a fan of the book and own it, but I’m hoping to bring in a lot of new readers, so this is what I’m asking of my fans: go buy a copy of the book (or several) and send it as a gift to a friend or family member who might enjoy it. Thanks!

Weekly Update – March 7, 2017

Secret Origins coverI open this week with a reminder that the Kindle edition of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins will be available for free next week beginning Monday, but more importantly, I’m asking fans of the series to grab a copy for a friend or family member and send it to them as a gift. And remember, if they don’t own a Kindle, they can download a free app that allows them to read the e-book on any device.

 

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: I hit the 32,000 work mark over the weekend, so I’m creeping up on the halfway point in the story. While I’m happy with the way the story’s developed so far, I know I’m going to need to massage it a bit in the second draft to really punch up its personality. The series stands out because of its irreverent tone and that’s a bit lacking in draft one.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

I’m going to make the most of my March writing-wise, because next month my weekends go bye-bye because of the Connecticut Renaissance Faire’s Robin Hood Springtime Festival. Rehearsals begin in April and the show runs into May, so don’t be surprised if I don’t have much to say for several weeks.

That said, I’m always happy to hear from readers with questions about any of my books or about writing in general, so feel free to post a comment here on the blog.

Finally, I am working on a fun little side-project with my cover artist, Tricia, that will be of interest to Action Figures fans. More on that as it develops!

Weekly Update – February 28, 2017

Welcome to the “Happy Birthday to Me” edition of the blog.

In two days I turn 47, and this is what I’d like you — yes, you — to get me for my birthday. Don’t worry, these gifts won’t cost you anything except a few minutes of your time.

Your first option: if you’re a fan of my work and you have yet to leave a review for one (or more) of my books on Amazon or Goodreads, go do so. Reviews help entice new readers to try out books they’ve never heard of by authors they never heard of, and positive word-of-mouth is always the best publicity.

Your second option: if you’re a fan of the Action Figures series and you know someone who might enjoy the books, take advantage of the free giveaway for Secret Origins, which begins next Monday and runs all week, by buying a copy and gifting it to a friend. If they don’t own a Kindle, they can download a free app that allows them to read the e-book on any device.

af6-cover-ebook-editionNow that I’ve gotten all that out of the way: Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play is now officially available! The product pages for the Kindle and print editions might not be merged yet — chalk that up to idiosyncrasies within Amazon’s system — so for now go here for the Kindle version and here for the print version.

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered the book and pushed it onto a couple of Amazon Top Ten lists during its pre-sale period.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Got a little more work in, and I’m taking a long weekend for my birthday this week so I’ll have a couple of extra writing days this week.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • NEW! Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23, 11 AM to 4 PM: New Bedford Book Festival. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I probably would not be able to do the spring New Bedford Book Festival due to a scheduling conflict, but I will have a presence there after all. My wife has graciously volunteered to represent me at the event, so she’ll be there to push paper on my behalf. I’ll miss chatting with readers, but I’ll make sure there are plenty of signed copies of my books ready for patrons to buy.
  • Saturday, September 16: The Connecticut Renaissance Faire at the Lebanon Fairgrounds, Lebanon, CT.

MISC.

This last bit is aimed primarily at fellow indie authors, so feel free to skip this.

While my CTRF book signing is several months off, I’m spending the lead-in trying to think of ways to motivate the other invitees to talk up the event, because if the last two years are any indication, they don’t do much to promote it on their own. They simply showed up, set up, and tried to sell books, but they never put any effort into drawing attention to the faire in the days and weeks leading up to it.

When my wife was vending at faires, I saw that attitude a lot from her fellow merchants. Veronica talked up the show constantly on her blog and her social media outlets, as did a few diligent others, but so many vendors put no effort into spreading the word, and it’s no coincidence that they were usually the first to gripe when they had a crappy run.

I’ve seen that doing shows as an author as well. The authors think that by paying their fee, they’ve done their part and now it’s all on the host to promote the event.

No. No no no.

Why wouldn’t you talk up a public appearance? You have skin in this game, after all. The point is to connect to potential readers and make sales, right? Well, higher attendance equals greater potential for sales, so it is directly in your best interests to do whatever you can to increase an event’s exposure and entice people to come. Post about it online. Mention it in your newsletters. Mention it to people who talk to in your day-to-day life. Don’t just assume your host is going to magically reach every prospective guest, because they won’t. Even with an aggressive, far-reaching promotional campaign, they’ll miss people — people you could capture through your own modest efforts.

The work doesn’t end when you’re finished writing.