26 April 2011

Contest Winner!

Our first Contest Winner is... drum roll:

~ LADYDI6497 ~

Please email me (upper right corner of the blog page here) and I'll send you your prize: a $20 gift certificate from Champagne Books.

Thank you, everyone for your excellent list of Welsh actors. There is an incredible wealth of talent in such a small nation: singer/songwriters, actors, artists, and of course, authors.

We'll have another special contest in June to herald the July release of Within The Mists, my short fantasy about an officer of His Majesty's Navy of the Napoleonic War and a mysterious selchie...

12 April 2011

Sping is Bustin' Out All Over...

I'm guest blogging at Long and Short Reviews (LASR) on FRIDAY, April 15th - tax day!

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/promo.htm


This is a great opportunity for readers to win prizes just by posting comments. You can check out the details on LASR.  The author who gets a ton of comments is eligible for a prize as well, so this could be a mutually supportive enterprise!

My post is titled "Long Before the Equinox" about springtime in the Sonoran Desert - and how my characters from Wales come to appreciate it.

So stop by on FRIDAY,  APRIL 15th, read my composition, and post a comment. You just might win a fab prize!

09 April 2011

I'm No Guru, But...

I've been asked a number of times to speak about marketing. I'm happy to share what works for me, but I always tell folks I'm not a marketing expert or guru.


Then I read this blog post about marketing your books:

The key is patience.  You might sell one book in the first month. Two in the second.  But if you’re good, and you publish a lot, more and more readers will find you as they scroll through all the options.  Don’t artificially jack up your sales with overzealous promotion.  Just write the next book.

Maybe I do know that of which I speak... I've been saying this for years. Books don't spoil. That box in the back bedroom isn't going to stink up your house. (Unless you're a hoarder and there's something like a dead cat in there... but I digress.) So what if it takes a few months to sell a few hundred books? There may be a point when someone finds a copy and is moved enough to tell their friends and their friends tell their friends...and suddenly, you're "an overnight sensation." (Cue "One"...)

As the article says, "Keep writing."  Short stories are in big demand these days by e-publishers. Try your hand at a different genre. Set a goal of writing and submitting a story every so often, say every three months. The more little bites of savory tidbits you put out there, the hungrier readers will be for the multi-course feast of a novel. 

But as the blog post also advises, be a storyteller: 

Storytellers sell better than writers who craft lovely prose.  Storytellers keep you up all night.  Stylists make you admire them.  Storytellers force you to read the next chapter—or buy the entire book from the free sample.

As always, my friends, it's all about the writing. Craft a story well, something you would want to read, something you love, something that grabs your heart (or other body part) and squeezes. Those visceral reactions - tears, gasps, anger, fright - those are what great storytellers aim to elicit from their listeners. I had the honor and great privilege to hear the late Apache storyteller Michael Lacapa weave magic over a crowd of people more than once, and the rapt attention he commanded was more than impressive. You could have heard a wren fart in his pauses.

That is what every writer should aim for. Do that - spellbind your audience - and you won't have to worry about utilizing aggressive marketing ploys. Just keep writing and give people more to anticipate.

Happy wordsmithing, 

~Jude

05 April 2011

Dragon & Hawk is Released!

Dragon & Hawk is now available for purchase through Champagne Books.

 As a writer, that's a wondrous sentence I wasn't sure I'd ever have an opportunity to compose.


And my first review has come in from AmeriCymru, the Welsh social networking site: Five Stars. Whoa. You can read it here:

http://americymru.blogspot.com/2011/04/dragon-hawk-by-jude-johnson.html

I'm so excited, I'm at a loss for words.  So don't forget to check out my contest here on The Words That Remain to possibly win a gift certificate at Champagne Books, and tell your friends to do the same. 

This is just all too way cool. 


Diolch!
Jude