Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Er... Tweet?

So I looked into opening a Twitter account because social media, right? And somebody I respect said that I had to make these tweet-things in order to sell books. During my research I discovered that there are all these Rules and Etiquette Things about how you can't even mention your book, not even casually, else it's Spam, which I thought was a canned meat product. Apparently not. Who knew?

Important Discovery Number One: In your marketing strategy, do not mention your book. Ever.

So how does one market if one isn't allowed to mention one's product? Further research revealed that you're supposed to send your minions followers something called Valuable Content, and somehow, through a Mysterious Process which I have yet to identify, this will translate into book sales.

Except? This Valuable Content can't have anything to do with your book because otherwise it's more Spam. Which... I still think of as lunch meat in a can, so go figure.

Important Discovery Number Two: Tweet Valuable Content, which has nothing, whatsoever, to do with your book.

Unfortunately, my research did not unearth any information regarding whose definition of Valuable Content I am supposed to be adhering to. And I'm pretty sure my idea of Valuable Content isn't even in the same universe as, say, my mother-in-law's idea of Valuable Content. (Although to be fair, I'm basing this supposition entirely on the not-even-remotely-amusing penis enlargement advertisements she keeps forwarding to me.)

Anyway, with all of these restrictions, and the lack of a working definition of the term "Valuable Content", I have come to the conclusion that the people who are using Twitter to successfully market their books must be using some kind of code.

Important Discovery Number Three: Any Tweeting that contains marketing should be done in code.

This code shouldn't be too easy to crack, otherwise people would immediately understand the message and as soon as they realized I was trying to market to them, they would Unfollow me, which is a Bad Thing. Near as I can figure, Unfollowing is the Twitter version of being sent off the playground for Not Playing Well With Others (story of my life, but that's a rant for another day).

Important Discovery Number Four: Your code should not be too easily broken.

On the other hand, the code shouldn't be too complicated, either. A quantum encryption algorithm, for example, might prove problematic because by the time anyone got it figured, most of my electrons would be entangled with electrons in some other galaxy, and I just can't see being too concerned about book sales at that point.

Important Discovery Number Five: Quantum encryption is probably not a good choice.

A nice, middle-of-the-road code, which obfuscates things just a bit beyond casual recognition, would probably be best. I decided to try a code based on a technique I remembered doing in a poetry class, where you take each letter of your name and come up with a descriptive phrase beginning with that letter. Except, instead of my name, I would use my very simple and clever marketing phrase, "Buy My Book", and instead of a list of descriptive phrases, I would use a list of some Valuable Content. A quick search of what passes for News on several internet news sites (which shall remain nameless) yielded a number of interesting pieces of Valuable Content that could be used:

B = Black Friday Deals on Canned Lunch Meat!
U = Underwear Mogul Decapitated in Freak Accident with Pink Thong!
Y = Yak Poo Removal Hints: Your Thanksgiving Rescue Headquarters!
M = Myopic Guinea Pigs Save Drowning Man!
Y = Yorkshire Terrier Attacks Bus -- 12 Dead!
B = Black Friday Fashion Hints!
O = Orange is the New Black!
O = Octopus Gives Birth to Kittens!
K = Kelp Brownies: A Holiday Tradition!

See what I did there? Clever and subtle, eh?

Before trotting this out for real, I decided it would be prudent to conduct a trial run. After all, if no one could figure out the code, what was the point? I prepared and sent a series of emails with the above titles to everyone on my contact list. Then I sat back and waited for the money to roll in.

Unfortunately, all I got was a whole lot of replies, most of which started with WTF, Jaye? Apparently, my code was a bit too clever. *Sigh*.

Frankly, I'm not convinced that Tweeting about yak poo is going to do anything for book sales.

Important Discovery Number Six: Tweeting is for the birds.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Sexy Saturday Roadtrip

So I took a very small, virtual road trip over to Cameron James' Blog of Writerly Things. I'm over there today for his Sexy Saturdays series, in which he features authors of glbt erotica and erotic romance. I get to talk about writing and publishing and my recent M/M fantasy release, Human Frailties, Human Strengths. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say hi!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Facing the Mirror is Live!

Facing the Mirror, the free novella which is meant to sort of kick off Guardians of the Pattern (my forthcoming M/M science fiction series), is now live on Smashwords. While this story is not a romance, it introduces some of the characters who appear in the Guardians of the Pattern series. Facing the Mirror tells the story of a pivotal moment in the life of Cameron Asada. The events this story describes are summarized and mentioned several times throughout the series, but never really explained in detail.

Facing the Mirror will be going live on Amazon later today or tomorrow, but unfortunately, it won't be free over there until it's price-matched. It should also trickle through to all the Smashwords retail partners by Christmas. I'll add download links to this post and to the book page as they become available.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stalking the Muse

Next Saturday, November 23, I've been invited to leave the Swamp and travel out into the wilds to visit Cameron D. James' Blog of Writerly Things. I'm a bit nervous about this, as I have no idea what to wear, and I wouldn't want to show up all formal and frilly if this is a casual affair... nor do I want to appear in my tatty old footy pajamas if some modicum of decorum is expected.

And what about headgear? I'm pretty sure my lovely straw hat with the big plastic daisies is a bit out of fashion... ditto for the carpet bag into which I have stuffed most of my worldly possessions, including a map, a compass (perfectly bloody useless, since I can't tell left from right anyway) and my lovely chrome giraffe. As I am both directionally and spatially challenged, I'm quite certain I'll get lost along the way, which will probably necessitate an Embarrassing Rescue of some sort.

Ah, well. I've packed plenty of iron rations and a tent, so it should be all right. I shall just have to gird my loins and do what we all do when faced with uncertainty: keep calm and don't forget to wear clean knickers. Or... something like that. See you guys next Saturday! (Er... and if I don't show up? Could somebody send out a search party? I'll be the pathetic, whimpering heap shivering under the pink tarp...)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Facing the Mirror: Teaser

With a muttered curse, Cam rolled out of bed and turned on the light. He dressed quickly and headed out to the main room of his suite. The needlepaks lay on the bar where he’d left them, and he walked woodenly forward and stared down at them.

One hit was all it would take.

One hit would be enough to shut out Miko’s pain, allowing Cam to drift off into dreams and get the sleep he so desperately needed.

He hated himself for even thinking about it, but at the same time, his mouth watered in anticipation. Twenty years he’d been clean… would one hit be enough to send him spiraling back down into the darkness of addiction?

He reached for the packet and then stopped.

Any peace the drug could bring him would only be an illusion. Miko would still be alone and in pain. Cam just wouldn’t be able to feel his screams anymore.

But if he interfered with whatever was going on in the suite down the hall, he’d be throwing away the four years it had taken to build his reputation and earn the trust of the Guild. DeMira wouldn’t thank him for interrupting his new business partner, and God only knew what Draven would do.

He drew in a shaking breath. His fingers closed around the packet, trembling as he removed one of the needlepaks.

Two seconds to inject himself. Five minutes for the drug to start working on his psi-centers.

He only had to endure Miko’s pain for five minutes more…

And how the hell long does Miko have to endure it?