No, not your face. We’ll talk about THAT later.
I mean AUTHOR appearances–cons, festivals, and the like. On the eve of the Unbound Book Festival independent author fair (starring yours truly), I am ruminating about tips and tricks for personal appearances. These are things I didn’t know the first, second, or even third time around.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I’m going to hit some high points. Ready? Too bad.
- Power Banks! What happens if your phone dies? Or your laptop or tablet (if you bring one)? Power banks are crucial for those situations where there is no place to plug in–and there often isn’t. Make sure they’re charged up the night before!
- Card Reader! Not everyone pays with cash. Sometimes, they have cash but prefer to pay with a card. You can usually get a basic, FREE card reader from PayPal Here or Square, but you might want to kick in the extra $$ to get a better model–one with a chip reader.
- Cash! If you need to make change for someone, you’ll need some 1s, 5s, and maybe even 10s just in case. Also, this cash is useful for when you’re exploring the con and want to buy other books! (this is dangerous)
- Book Transportation System! How on Earth do you expect to transport your books from your car to the table? A rolling suitcase is PERFECT for this! And this was something I never thought of until I saw someone doing it…while I was lugging a heavy-ass box of books around–It was great exercise, but also ridiculous.
- Business Cards! This was also something I hadn’t thought about until I saw someone suggest it. You can get a bajillion business cards online for really cheap, and they’re handy to include with each book purchase as well as to display on your table.
- Table Decor! I’m talking maybe character art, a tablecloth, book stands, maybe a candy dish of some kind–whatever. Make your space unabashedly yours. If it catches the eye, then potential readers will be drawn to it. Even if your books aren’t their thing, they’ll look anyway, wondering “what’s up with all this?”
- Snacks! If you’re going to be putting in a lot of time at an author table, it’s a good idea to have some snacks on hand. Some venues will provide snacks and drinks, but it’s best not to rely on them. You want to be at your table for as much time as you can be. If you have someone to tag-team with you, that works really well (I never do).
- Your Elevator Pitch! Be prepared to answer when people ask “what’s your book about?” or casually look your way. However you do this is up to you, but it’s a good idea to get used to the idea.
- Books! Of course, if you’re going to sell your books, you need to have your books. This should be self-explanatory.
By no means is this everything–every author is different. But these are a great start. Remember, you want to catch the interest of passersby and get them interested in what you’ve written. How that goes down depends solely on you.
Descent Into Madness is available for Kindle preorder TODAY!!! It will become available on April 20th when the paperback goes live. Available here: mybook.to/DiM
If you’re at the Unbound Book Festival on April 20th, I will have signed paperback copies available. The only shipping is from my hand to yours!
Cor’il comes of age, embracing the power he has been gifted. But power comes with a price The Realm may not be willing to pay.
Kendra discovers secrets about her past, her family, and herself that challenge everything she ever knew.
Madness floods into Cygil while even the hordes struggle to survive. But Dalinil has his eyes set on something that could be just as bad.
Descent Into Madness will not disappoint!
It’s out there.
It constantly murmurs, trying to communicate a susuruss of thoughts, ideas, and sinister wishes. What does it want?
No, it already has escaped. It wants to stretch itself–to spread itself like a putrid disease, polluting the Realm and the lands beyond. It desires to corrupt until everything is a festering, rotting shadow of the paradise it once was.
Man and elf alike are consumed by it. The mighty, savage orcs flee from it, but meet the same fate as all else.
These are dark times, but there is hope. But will the Threadweaver be powerful enough to drive back the darkness, or will he succumb to fomenting evil and become our worst enemy?
It’s out there. Madness is out there.
It’s already here.
Descent Into Madness is the penultimate book in the Forgotten Years series. Up until now, the story has expanded and revealed elements of a world being torn in many directions by creatures right out of children’s stories. The Red Swords are advancing, and the Reaver’s orcish armies still rampage across the land, completely unchecked.
But a new enemy has entered the fray and Cor’il Silvermoon has gone missing–presumed dead. Elston is infested with horrific monsters, contained for now within the center of the city once called The Jewel of Cygil.
But there is hope! In Cor’il’s absence, Kendra hatches a plan to to pull the Realm out of the darkness and take back what has been lost!
This third book represents a climactic turning point in the overall story where the stakes are raised as everything falls into chaos.
In short, things got serious.
I feel this cover directly represents the content of the book, and I hope you enjoy it! If all goes according to plan, Descent Into Madness will be available this spring.
If you need to catch up, The Call of Chaos and The Coming Storm are available in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited here:
AND HERE’S THE COVER!!!
FAQ about Descent Into Madness:
When Can We See The Cover?:
The Cover reveal is on Friday, January 25th! Check here, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!
Where Are You On The Book?:
Currently, I am in round 2 of edits. Then the manuscript goes back to my proofreader, then I make final (hopefully) edits. Then I usually read it aloud once or twice to catch anything else. After that, it’s done.
So When Are You Releasing Descent Into Madness?:
Hopefully early April. I’m trying to have it available in time for the Unbound Book Festival
How Many Books Will There Be In The Forgotten Years?:
Four. Not three, and five is right out.
Why Did You Make A FAQ?:
Because I was bored. This is as much for my benefit as it is for the 2 1/2 readers out there.
What Should We Read While We’re Waiting?:
Try out the first two chapters of The Last Available on Wattpad, here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/152509354-the-last-available
What Is Orvaril’s Favorite Color?:
The only other thing I have to say is, if you’ve come this far, you won’t be disappointed. Descent Into Madness goes pretty far off the rails, and I think you’ll really enjoy it.
I’m not ready to reveal the complete cover, because Descent Into Madness’ release date is still a few months away–early April, probably.
But I do so hate keeping everything to myself, so here is a small cover tease.
I think the cover, just like the book’s contents, is not going to disappoint. This third Forgotten Years book really opens up the world and, more importantly, all the characters.
Keep your eyes peeled because, sometime soon, things will move pretty quickly!
The people of Cygil have more to worry about than orcs and goblins. What came after was pure Madness. It threatens to overrun the Realm and consume everything and everyone. It cannot be reasoned with. It cannot be bargained with. It may not even be able to be fought.
You published your book and you’re ready to share it with the world! Hop on social media and let everyone know and it’ll be easy, right?
Here are the proper steps:
- Get on social media
- Gain lots of followers
- Let those followers know about your book. Do it again. Keep doing it.
- Wonder why it’s not working.
I see this constantly–more so on Twitter than anywhere else–and it’s possibly one of the worst strategies you can use. You can’t build readership by simply yelling about your book into the social media void over and over again.
I mean, the bots may totally love you and they might flock to you, but actual readers will drop you like a hot potato… covered in fresh cat poop. You know, the stuff that peels the paint off the walls and you wonder just what on Earth that cat ate.
So, please, stop using people as collectibles. They are not commodities to be scooped up and fed advertisements. It’s okay to market yourself and your boo, every now and then–we all do it, and it can be effective. We are not your unthinking masses who love to see how awesome your book is every other post. Connect and have fun and learn and grow from social media.
If you use social media the wrong way, you will fail and will probably find that your book is even harder to sell because you’ve alienated so many people.
I’ve been quiet here for a while. As I’ve said before, I only talk when there is something worth saying.
However, I also know that periodic updates are good. So here is one!
Descent Into Madness is nearing the halfway point of first-round edits. I’m telling you, this is probably my favorite book in The Forgotten Years series. There is a lot going on and the character development is monumental. Also, if you were missing Dalinil, I think you’ll be happy. I am thoroughly enjoying going back through this book and am even getting distracted reading it for fun when I should be editing!
The Last Available is getting some love when I can spare it. I may focus it down before starting The Forgotten Years, Book 4 [name redacted] because I am enjoying it so much! And, if I’m being honest, I think it might possibly become my most popular book when it’s released. But I’m getting ahead of myself, because I still have every chapter but six yet to write!
It’s been difficult to focus on writing and editing due to several things, but I so badly want to see these books finished, so my motivation is still really high!