Saturday, October 19, 2013

More promo? Yes, more.

Someone to Cherish -- only 99 cents through October 22!
And this is cool. You can buy the book AND the recording for only $4.
actually I got that wrong. I finally checked the page and the combo is even cheaper than I thought:
 Kindle book price: 99¢
Audiobook price: $1.99
Total price: $2.98

I've been doing this for a while with other people's books--buying the cheaper (or free) Kindle copy and then heading over to audible to get the cheap audio version. It hadn't occurred to me that this cheap-o method was open to people who want my book until I found this link at addicted to thrift. 

If you hate the Zon, you can get it through Smashwords and use this coupon code RH67C  to lower the price to 99 cents at check out.  No cheap audio for you, though. Sorry.

Have we promo'd enough for the day? Yes.


Here's a picture of a pug in a costume, lifted from Funny or Die.

labeled pugkin spice latte.  

So yummy.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

promo-ho report

I'm sure you're all dying to find out how the big NEW BOOK (Love Between the Lines) campaign went.

* Here's what I did:
--gave away the book for 2 days on Amazon
--nabbed myself a spot on a few websites where I promo'ed until my fingers fell off**
Bev Kendall's place, bookbinge, Tina Donahue's place, and at least two other sites that I can't recall now. And it's time to point out that people like Bev, Holly and Tina are wicked generous, sharing their space and bandwidth with other writers. Yeah, I should do that again, but the two of you who show up here don't comment, I'm okay with it but I feel dumb when there are visiting authors.
--bought a couple of one day ads, like sponsoring Kindle Direct (why? I don't know)
let's not forget that I actually bought an RT ad long ago. (why? I don't know) And that the book got a pretty good review at RT and elsewhere...but that's in the past, so moving along to the three day blitz, let's take a look at some of the numbers.

* First, let's gloat about that give-away:


And what's nicer is that I can do screen capture in three seconds or less. Click and paste like my teenaged son.


Okay we can see that the give away of my books did well. There were two more of my books in the giveaway and all of them broke into the "hey, not bad!" territory at least once. Good old Mad Baron hung out near LBtL. I didn't even publicize the freebie nature of Mad Baron
(I did put LBtL at a couple of "my book is free!" sites. Note: I do not pay to advertize the fact that my book is free. I am not a schnook.)

* Now. Let's see what the two days of intense MY BOOK! MY BOOK! MY BOOK! stuff has done for actual sales of LBtL. How about an Official Looking Chart showing sales of My Book before and after the big promo campaign?

Two days after the give-away, one day after the promo-ho-tour:

As we can see from the OLC, nothing much happened.

But in the spirit of "who the hell can figure this stuff out," Mad Baron is at 14K (it had been languishing at about 75K)

Next up, writing another book. That seems to be the best way to distract oneself from the woes of previous titles -- other than that overrated activity called real life.

**they got better.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

last few hours the books will be free

and in other news, I showed my kid the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

and he introduced me to Lord Byron's prayer for poo:

O Cloacina, Goddess of this place,
Look on thy suppliants with a smiling face.
Soft, yet cohesive let their offerings flow,
Not rashly swift nor insolently slow.

This demonstrates why you want to raise nerds. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

oh oh uh oh

Oh. My. F. . .Gracious me.
So much win and lose in the same moment.
My book is #4 in the category!

Wonderful. . . but WAIT A SECOND.
The category should be "romance, victorian" Not this. Ugh!
This book is not a mystery.
There is a mystery in it, but I know my genres and this book is mostly a romance.

I'm hoping that if the Lady Georgie books are considered full-blown real mysteries then some readers might grant this the same status. But uh oh. I don't think so.

Who is the patron saint of authors? I'm lighting candles to him/her now. **


**I have the candles lying around because our power went out last night at about 9 p.m. A drunk driver ***** smashed into a utility pole around the corner.  Impressive accident.

*****In a couple of days, when the outraged reviews come in,### I plan on remembering this unfortunate driver. I will think "yes, I am having another bad author day, but at least I didn't slam into a utility pole after drinking too much." So thank you, poor driver.

###  I'm thinking along the lines of: "two stars! If this is a mystery then I'm William Goddamn Shakespeare."

FREE BOOKS through tomorrow

In celebration of Love Between the Lines release, I'm giving away books--including Love Between the Lines. (Hey, promo makes no sense to me either) These three are free through October 15.

Here are the freebies....

Thank You, Mrs. M
4.5 stars!
This is a sweet, funny and emotional tale. This modern take on Daddy-Long-Legs, by Jean Webster, has wonderful, fully developed characters... This incredible story will appeal to adult as well as young readers. --RT Bookreviews Magazine

Thank You, Mrs. M. is a wonderful read...This is a poignant and enjoyable read. --Night Owl Reviews

This is not just Daddy Long Legs gender-reversed and updated for shock value, but a thoughtful and really interesting re-imagining of how the story might play out in today's world.

There are light homages to the original, which add a bit of extra glow to the romance if you're a fan, but what really made the story for me were the differences. It turns out the unknown philanthropist, here dubbed by our narrator Ben as "Mrs. Moneybags," has private, very unexpected motivations for helping orphaned Ben through college. And it was appropriate that Ben, who's described as very smart and thinking outside the box, catches on to what those are. --willaful
no sex here, but watch out if you dislike bad language. 

Nathaniel, the new Baron Felston, awakes from a fever to discover he's a prisoner on his own estate. At first, certain he's gone insane, Nathaniel learns potent opiates are the cause of his strange vision. But, barricaded in a small room, he can't outwit his mysterious jailer.

Determined to steal back one of her father's swords, Florrie Cadero gets more than she bargained for when she breaks into the baron's mansion. The dashing, drugged man in the locked room soon sweeps her into his story--and his bed. When she discovers they're trapped together, she devises a clever escape. Addicted to his captor's drugs and bent on revenge, Nathaniel seeks out the feisty thief who freed him. Florrie, now a shopgirl, has foresworn her life of adventure. But Nathaniel's offer of employment intrigues her. Together they must break his addiction and expose the villain who would destroy his life.
Watch out, there's sex in this title.

and the guest of honor, a new release...(sort of)
Love Between the Lines 
 4.5 Stars!
"Rothwell's historical romance is pleasing from every angle!"
--RT Bookreviews Magazine

Danger won't deter this intrepid reporter--even when life and love are on the line.

Sir Gideon Langham wants the best for his flagship newspaper. Hiring daring female reporter Lizzie Drury, aka "Trudy Tildon," seems like a smart decision--until he finds himself falling for her. He knows she'll risk everything to get a story which is perfect for an employee, but not for the sort of woman he plans to marry.

Lizzie longs to write real, in-depth articles. When handsome Sir Gideon offers her a job as more than a stringer, she reluctantly leaves her New York beat for unfamiliar London. But as she pursues a murder investigation, ghosts from her past become all too real.

Digging up dirt sometimes unearths danger. Now someone is after Gideon's reputation--and Lizzie's life. In a race to find a killer, Lizzie and Gideon must learn to trust each other...before it's too late.
some sex in here, but not as much as other Kate Rothwell titles.

Free (as always) Victorian novella.
Seducing Miss Dunaway 
Strong-willed Miss Mary Dunaway had a plan for her future and she would stop at nothing to reach her goal of working with the poor in London. She was even willing to ask a gentleman, a stranger, to help her.

Twelve years later, the same gentleman reappears in her life. Although he doesn't seem to recall her, she remembers every detail of the kisses they shared. The attractive Lord Fellington apparently sees her as the saintly, nun-like matron of the foundling asylum. Very well, she made her bed and now she lies in it, alone.

warning: this story contains graphic sex...but only a few pages of it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

let's start this partaaaaaaaaay

Apparently when I launched my latest self-pity party, other attendees showed up. Authors who have had horrible reviews wrote to me to complain. They're staying private--not revealing their identities because they're professionals, unlike some people** .

I wasn't going to mention this issue again, because who wants to be known as the continuously whiny windbag?

But I'm not stopping yet just because it's finally turning fun. I'm working on the details of a new author support group.

There first order of business, of course, is the monthly prize for the worst review. I'm thinking chocolate or whine. An old group I used to belong to handed out a cowbell for the annual absolutely worst review, but the competition grew too fierce. We also had teeny tiny little buckets with the word "always something new to throw up about."  on the side.

What else could this new support group do? I'll bet there are other authors banding together out there to do things like sneak attacks on reviewers (ewwwww) or unhelpful votes on reviews (huh) writing each other positive reviews (hmmm).  But that seems too proactive for my group. This is all about Immediate Support and Recovery. Not a slap-back and revenge thing.

Obviously the name has to be an appropriate acronym WHINE or KVETCH.
suggestions included:
WAHH - We Authors Have Hearts!
ARGH - Author Recovering from Goodreads Hatred (I have no problem with goodreads, but apparently lots of authors do. It's hard to ignore the whole kerfuffle about the reviews being removed)  
BARF  Beaten Authors Raging Futilely

One of my correspondents is from California, so she's good at establishing Rituals. She suggests including the group moan and wail followed by the cleansing ceremony. Hard to do over the internet but maybe you can skype a good smudging? Less smokey and perhaps just as purifying. 

Just because I'm a facilitator doesn't mean I'm going to hang around for the show and tell portion of the monthly meeting. For one thing, I'm over the need for this -- at the moment. I say we all slip out after the ceremonial quaffing of the wine***** and go watch a movie, and maybe write a really scathing review of it later. 


**specifically me.  
*****but not before my newest innovation: the ritual popping of balloons, which signifies sudden violent deflation of authorial egos.  Best to use real balloons for this because otherwise it's not as much fun. Still, many of us can sneak out before the slide show of author calming visualizations.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

I'm reading a mystery

and an ancient wodehouse and a historical from the 80s and I have absolutely nothing to say about any of them. Usually I'd have an opinion. . . ok, wait, I do. The mystery, by Julia Spencer-Fleming, is the sixth in a series and I haven't read any of the others. I'm getting back story in a perfectly natural way, no big info dumps. People who can write series like that -- series in which readers can pick up any book and not feel lost -- those writers deserve some kind of prize. It's too early to wake up and I'd like to fall back asleep...and the best way for that might be to mentally design this prize. Maybe a stretch of road would work.

I've gotten a couple of letters about my bad reviews and I want to buy those note-writing people lunch or at least a cuppa. (One reader pointed out that the book seems to promise some hot bro on bro sex, or at least tension, and those guys barely hug.) I also want to beg the note-writers to leave reviews, but I have some dignity.

No, not dignity--let's call it cowardice. It is possible to keep getting bad reviews after all. Whimper.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

there's a reason

I am absolutely not sitting around fretting about this stuff, y'all. Other people are just talking to me.
Anyway. Quite a few people have come out with this statement (or variations of it):

Book reviews are more negative across the board.

Do you believe it? As for me -- I have no idea. I haven't seen any kind of proof, but okay. For this blog entry, I guess I'll take it as some kind of truth.

There's the whole ad hominem issue, authors and their strong/dumb opinions are too easily accessible by readers, conversations take place. And readers aren't going to be quiet about their own responses.  But leaving out the personality factor..........If reviews are more prone to negativity, then I say the reasons are perfectly reasonable, as in this makes some sense. 

1. There are many more books out there and many more are self-published. That's the most obvious drrrp reason.

2. But there's also the removal of the reverence. Back in the day, people would pick up a book and know that PROFESSIONALS put the thing together. If these pros thought this story was worth bringing to market, then the reader--and we'll just assume this reader likes books in general--already has faith in this system. The pros have credentials the reader doesn't know about. . This is like the difference between listening to a college professor versus encountering some schmoe off the street. With one, you have your notebook and pencil in hand, ready to take notes. The other, you'll give him a few seconds and if he isn't amazing, you are out of there, perhaps even muttering about nutters.

And then there's the other factor: if everyone's an author then there are a gazillion more of them out there..
3. When you read a book as a would-be author, you're looking for issues. You're not just reading; you're editing as you go, looking for holes. There are a bunch more wannabe authors out there than there used to be. That means there are a bunch more readers with editing eyes.

4. The audience has changed in other ways. Other people are watching movies or playing internet game so that means the people who are reading read a lot have very strong, specific ideas about what they like and want. I made this up, of course, but it sounds pretty good. Right?It's true in other areas of entertainment.

5. And of course the standard internet factor -- that's the other obvious one. Anonymous means no need to worry about anyone's opinion of you. Behind the computer it's easy to release the inner kraken to rip apart imaginary objects. That's where we'd get the attack the author issue, but it also carries over to other parts of reviewing.

So okay. I wonder if anyone can possibly figure out the proportion of pissy vs. pleasant reviews now versus, say, ten years ago.

It won't be me.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Look y'all...just shut up. Did I mention PW liked it

but apparently other people don't. I was afraid of that.*

You have to wonder how people who get huge numbers of stinky reviews for their first book ever manage to keep going. I’m fairly demoralized with two bad reviews and I can’t imagine how it would feel if this was my only book.

We authors tell each other not to check Amazon or Goodreads, and that's good advice -- just because it’s too much work to get back to normal operating speed after being slapped in the face with a bad review. Yes, yes, such an overdramatic response, but any author can tell you--that's how it feels.

Really. It's the feeling, the internal authorial response, that contains the greatest quantity of suckage. The fact of a bad review is out in the world hardly matters. Much. Anyone is allowed to leave bad reviews, for Pete’s sake. I resent my own inability to ignore it. I hate how it entirely unfloats my boat. I get swamped and there are no life vests onboard. (“May day! May day!”) Authors with bad reviews have to spend at least a few minutes running in circles whining and howling -- instead of getting on with life.** 

So okay, maybe there is a teeny tiny bit of resentment sent out in the world and not just swallowed. Last night, for instance, I actually took the time to check out a reviewer's past reviews. I must say that was a smart move. That person hands out enormous numbers of bad reviews, including for Junk, one of my faves, and a K Higgins that I loved. Nothing better than finding yourself in company you admire.

I grew entirely indignant when I saw that huge numbers of one and two star reviews and for books I love--funny that I didn't get that mad about my own. I fantasized about doing dumb internetty mean-girl things****. But wait--no need to administer punishment. That the reviewer spends so much on books she hates, she is already miserable.

Time to retreat back to my own neurotic life and leave the reviewer to hers. Speaking of mine: I'm thinking that responding internally (never externally! never! no lashing out!) to bad reviews needs to have a program. Not 12-steps. More like 2 or 3. This is mostly to stop the author from taking steps that will land her in trouble.

 First you do the visualization of the reviewer as something hideous

Here is an article I wrote about this technique.Visualization plus imaginary responses.

I'm already onto the next step, the "fake it until it’s real" Pretend it doesn’t matter until it doesn’t. In fact writing this out makes me realize that for fuck’s sake, it’s just a couple of reviews, not someone LITERALLY punching me in the gut. 

Hey, I've been published for ten years and don't have a lot of practice with this. Ha! That says something, right?  Right? Right? 



* I worried before it was published. See? 

** Some reviews are easy to ignore. I mean if someone says "too much sex!" or "I hate the gays" or "this is a short story!" I don't even spend a minute fretting. There's a warning about these facts in the description, ya idiot. Others, like the ones I'm currently shaking off? Uh oh. Ugh. Oh, jeez. Oh no. What if they're right? AAaaaaaaaiiiiii.

**** that I would never in a million years do -- and not just because I'm not technically proficient enough to track basically anonymous people on the internet.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

NEW BOOK! Out today!

"The plot is rich in detail and subtle in message, and Peter’s relationship with Colin is thoroughly and playfully sexy, joyfully leading readers through a truly romantic journey toward happiness." --STARRED review, Publisher's Weekly

Happy release day to me!