Winter Promotion After-Action Report

Hi, everyone. First, thanks to all who selected my titles during the Smashwords promotion that ended yesterday. Here is how it all went.

No one selected any titles that were discounted at 50 or 75 percent. Many selected titles that were free of charge. In order of popularity:

With 27 selections, Clytie’s Caller was the most popular title. In second place, with seven selections apiece, came Through the Opera Glass and It Happened in Memphis. Down on the Corner of Love and Brief Interludes had six selections each. Five people chose Flowers of Europe. Two Days in June, Hard-Boiled Blues, Yellowjack and The River Man, and Last Stop: Storyville, each garnered three new readers. Finally, 2010 Hindsight, Les Pensées Dangereuses, and His Beloved Infidel were each chosen once.

While it’s obvious that a lot of people enjoy the sweet, Regency romance of Clytie’s story, it looks like the most popular works were those in the Pocketful of Stories series. Thirty-four people added those titles to their libraries.

Thanks to all who chose my titles. I would love it if you were to review them and share your thoughts on your favorite site. Much appreciated.

Winter Promotion

sale with red shopping bags, vector background

Hi, everyone. As you know, I occasionally do sales and promotions of my eBooks. Through January 1, 2021, my eBooks are either free or heavily discounted on Smashwords. Sales links and prices:

Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes Series

In The Eye of The Beholder – 99 cents; Through the Opera Glass – Free; In The Eye of The Storm – 99 cents; Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes Omnibus – $2.99

Pocketful of Stories Series – All Free

Last Stop: Storyville; Yellowjack and the Riverman; A Light Across the Lake; Down on the Corner of Love; Two Days in June; Flowers of Europe; It Happened in Memphis; Hard-Boiled Blues

Full Length Fiction

Bayou Fire – 99 cents

Short Fiction

Around the World in 80 Pages – Free; The Rock Star in the Mirror (Or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life) – Free; His Beloved Infidel – Free; Brief Interludes – Free; Clytie’s Caller – Free

Non-fiction and Essays

Les Pensées Dangereuses – Free; Sui Generis – Free; 2010 Hindsight: A Year of Personal Growth In Spite of Myself – Free; Some Brief Advice for Indie Authors – Free; Hugs and Hisses (benefits Humane Society Silicon Valley) – $1.99; Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions – $1.49

If you enjoy my work; I would appreciate reviews wherever you prefer to leave them. Thank you!

Sample Saturday: “Clytie’s Caller”

Clyties_CallerHello, everyone. This week’s snippet is from my sweet Regency romance novella, Clytie’s Caller. Enjoy!

Bath, England

“Clytemnestra, you need to come out of that room. You cannot keep hiding like this.”

From the other side of the locked bedroom door came the tearful reply: “You don’t understand, Mama. I can’t.”

Mrs. Anne Preston threw her hands up in melodramatic disgust.

“Archimedes,” she sighed, “see if you can talk some sense into your sister.” She walked way, muttering to herself about ungrateful daughters.

“Clytie,” Archie pleaded, “Please. Half of Bath is going to be at the Assembly Rooms. You need to show yourself.”

“I can’t, Archie.”

“Can you have Susan unlock the door so that I might come in?”

A long pause. “All right.”

Once the tumblers turned, Archie let himself in. His sister was curled up in a ball on the pale green Aubusson carpet. He knelt beside her, his highly polished boots creaking.

“Don’t make me, Archie. Please don’t make me.”

Clytie was clearly terrified … and still in her night gown.

“I can’t get dressed,” she sobbed. “My clothes and shoes hurt all over. I can’t go among people.”

“But why, Clytie? You used to love Almack’s and the Assembly Rooms.”

What Archie said was true. Clytie had been very popular for two seasons, although no one suitor declared for her. And then something had changed.

First, she stopped going to Almack’s, although her voucher was still good. And then she stopped going riding in the park. Eventually, her world shrank to her bedroom, whether in Town or at Bath.

Archie’s fiancée, Isabel Browning, was beginning to express concerns about marrying into the family; Clytie’s reclusiveness carried hints of madness.

PrintWant to find out what happens next in Clytie’s Caller? Here are the back cover copy and purchase links.

Amazon (Geo-targeted link will take you to the site for your country); Apple BooksAudibleBarnes & Noble; BOL (Belgium & Netherlands); Booktopia (Australia); Chapters Indigo (Canada); Fnac (France); Gandhi (Mexico);  iTunes AudiobookKobobooks (also available for 2400 SuperPoints); La Feltrinelli (Italy); Livraria Cultura (Brazil); Mondadori (Italy); Porrua (Mexico); Rakuten JapanScribdSmashwordsWalmart.

Frequently Asked Question: Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

Hi, everyone. Here’s this month’s question from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

The short answer is that, for me, the story chooses its own shape and length. Now, sometimes I discover that I’ve gone down the wrong path. An idea that I thought would make a novel becomes a novella or a short story. Maybe that’s because I didn’t think it through far enough, but maybe that’s all it was ever meant to be from the start. In a few cases, I did a specific format and story line, but that was almost always for an anthology project and not my typical style.

Clyties_CallerOne example was my Regency novella, Clytie’s Caller. I had the nugget of the story, and I knew what things I wanted to happen. However, it wasn’t enough to carry a full-length novel, even though it made a complete story cycle in a shorter form.

ITEOTB Wrap Cover frtI’ve had the opposite experience as well, though. My debut novel, In The Eye of The Beholder, started out as a short story for my own amusement. However, the characters refused to be quiet, and I eventually had a full-length tale (and publishers in the UK and US).

The bottom line is that each author’s process is unique to them. Whether you decide in advance to write a steampunk novelette, or a full-length space opera just pops out of your pen, that’s okay. Do what works best for you.

“Authors Give Back” Metrics

Hi, everyone. The Authors Give Back promotion I did via Smashwords ended at midnight last night. From the mid-March to May 31, I did some form of giveaway. Honestly, it was the least I could do during this difficult time.

Because the promotion was so long, doing a complete breakdown would be boring. I mean, let’s be real. Instead, here are the top 5, in order of sales ranking.

  1. Clytie’s Caller. My sweet Regency romance novella remains popular with readers.
  2. Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes: The Omnibus Edition. Three books in one; the Phantom of the Opera fans have consistently given this book five stars. Two of the books in the omnibus have won awards, and this makes me happy.
  3. It Happened in Memphis. This is one of my Pocketful of Stories series, dealing with the earliest days of rock and roll. I had originally planned for it to be a full-length project of its own and did a ton of research, but the story had different plans.
  4. In The Eye of The Storm. My second Phantom novel, featuring one of my favorite characters ever: Clarice. It’s also garnered two awards, one of them for James Courtney’s eye-catching cover art.
  5. A two-way tie between Bayou Fire (recipient of four awards) and Around the World in 80 Pages. The first features my favorite hero to date, and the latter is a collection of short fiction.

If you selected one of my books via Smashwords during the promotion, I would be honored if you were to write a review at your favorite site or on your blog. Thank you!