Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I liked this post – I think it is of use to so many writers. Part one of this is just one step back from here. Check it….

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk Creative Commons

Last week, in Understanding Author Platform–Part One we talked about how platform has changed in the digital age, why tools of yester-year won’t work and how an outdated approach can do little to eventually drive book sales (and also leave a writer too worn out to create). We also talked about why some experts may make us break out in hives when they try to give us tools to build our author platform. If sales or marketing isn’t our art, then the tools can feel awkward and clumsy and can do more harm than good.

Yes, I am giving you guys permission to hate sales, marketing and PR, but I am not offering permission to avoid building a platform. I have been saying for years that all authors—traditional and nontraditional—needed to have a strong platform.

A strong social media platform takes a lot…

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In Uncategorized on March 22, 2012 at 10:28 am

Ain’t dat the truth. Amen, sister.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image from Street Art Utopia.

One of the words writers hear a lot of is “platform.” What is it? How do we get one? How much time do we need to put in on social media for it to count? Do we get time off for good behavior? All good questions, but before I address them, I’d like you guys to understand something very important:

Author platforms are not the same as they used to be.

If we fail to understand how author platforms have changed, we will look as ridiculous as the guy trying to hitch horses to the front of an automobile. Not only will we look silly, but it will only be a matter of time before we give up in frustration, because nothing we do seems to work.

Platforms Once Were Easy to Control, Thus Easy to Measure

Back in the day, platforms were generally only…

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Really? The FIRST Steampunk Picture book?

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm

First – I’m crafting this post just so I can say WHOOT! Janet K. Lee blurbed my book! Who’s Janet Lee?

This is the art of Janet Lee:

Sweet, no? If you know Steampunk or comics or graphic novels – then you know Return of the Dapper Men. Her art. Is FINE!

So here’s what she had to say about Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story:

 The color pallet and style called to mind several books I liked to read as a child–enjoyably retro-and the verse carried the stories along beautifully.  One of the things I always look for when buying a book for my own children is how easy it would be to read the book multiple times each night, and this absolutely passes the test!
I love it! No, wait – SHE loves it.
The other interesting thing that HME has in common with Return of the Dapper Men, is that when you go to amazon and search for children’s books and Steampunk – at least at the time – these two books were the only ones that came up. At least that was true when I started. As Dapper is more of a graphic novel – I totally feel justified in saying this is the FIRST Steampunk picture book.

Working through the stoopidest rhyme scheme ever….

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm

As a writer, especially one who deals in fanciful worlds, one has to make rules for their universe and then STICK WITH THEM.

I find, most of the time, that it works out better that way, you have to get more creative than usual to keep up with the limitations of your world. Chenda’s world has no radios – so communication is often slow and a bitch. My rule and I had to live inside them.

Children’s books go the same way. Kevin and I have a bit of a loose rule for stories that no one can solve the hero’s problem for him. He’s got to save himself – more or less. It’s a good rule; kids can connect to that. It’s better if the hero grows and learns that he had it in him all along to do what must be done. And then I was stoopid, STOOPID, StOoPid and added a CRAZY rhyme scheme with the latest one I am writing.

14 line stanzas: the internal rhyming for lines 1 and 2, double internal rhyming in the first half of lines 3-14 with rhyming end couplets.

For example:

Opening lines –

What the world knows of mechanical ducks is they paddle through streams and in lakes.

And the waddling tales of mechanical ducks are for splashing while trailing through wakes.

Pattern for other lines:

First they inspected  through parts disconnected until they found just the right things:

flaps and a motor, two skids and a rotor, a scoop of cogs, sprockets and rings.

Uh, huh. That’s rough, but since I’m 3/4ths done, I guess I am stuck with it.

She sat all alone as her brains turned to stone and the rhymes dribbled out of her ears.

Hope Kevin can sketch, as my marbles I fetch, Oh, these rhymes are a pain in the rear.

The calm after the story.

In Uncategorized on March 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I love a good graph

Well, we are exhausted. Kevin and I have worked pretty hard getting Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story, up and out. Last night – I just hit the wall, and then the floor. It’s been a long, LONG journey.

But, as you can see by the chart yonder, a good one! that’s our sales report from Amazon for the book. Me likey. In a nutshell, it shows us doing well and I like doing well. Doing well beats stinking up the joint any day.

BUT, this doesn’t mean we can take it easy. Kevin and I are still working – we have plans for more books this year, individually and together. Well – paintings for him and some other book things for me.  I’m finishing up the text for the next Coal City Stories book project this week, and while Kevin draws, I will work on editing my two manuscripts that are pining away for my attentions. I’ll keep you posted here with stuff about each. BUT, again, we are both a little tired, so don’t worry if you hear nothing but snores from this quarter for a short time. We’re working. And resting.

Thanks again for all your support!

Emilie and Kevin – spreading across the web like FIRE today.

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2012 at 3:11 am

Our little book was featured on one of my favorite blogs – CNN Geekout! Check it! Thank you, Miss Ashley!

Also, Kev and I sat down with Sean Peck at AnachroCon to chat about the new book. Here is a look at that video:

It’s us… Thanks, Sean.


Sunday Morning Coming Down

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm

It was a blast to launch and see the book go from over 100,000th in the sales rankings on AMAZON to it’s highest point of #471. That was awesome. That was better than I thought it would do. But… we’re coming down. It’s natural. It is what it is. Kev prefers not to watch the slide. He  told me not to do the reverse play by play, and that’s probably wise. But I still look at the rankings every day. It’s in the 10-20K range now – still very respectable for the kind of publishing we are.

Kevin and I shrug and say – this is a marathon, not a sprint, and in the long run, our books – yes bookS, as we have already started working on the next two – will become a body of work that will stand for some time. A good launch is nice, now we need to keep moving, keep working every day and creating more wonderful titles for our little imprint, Coal City Stories.

In other book news – had a long interview with Geekout at CNN this week. There will likely be a story about the book on CNN’s blog on Monday – will be watching for that.

Space Gypsies reviewed the book, and here’s what they said: “Whether you are a fan of Steampunk or not. Whether or not you are a Parent or Child. Even if you are a non-geek adult. Don’t miss out on reading this little charmer!” OK! I’ll take that.

Also – the price rolled back to list for the book on AMAZON – so – Sorry to the people who were waiting, you now will have to pay 21% more for the book.  AND the promotion of 4-for-3 is also over – we did VERY well with that one. We hit #3 on the best seller list in that category – OVER ALL!  Amazing how that worked. The other caveat of changing the price is that I activated the expanded distribution for H.M.E. – hopefully – this will get the book IN PAPER in Canada and UK and Europe. We will see.

Speaking of UK – Chenda is VERY cheap there right now… In fact, Chenda and the Airship Brofman is on sale for the month of MARCH! 99-cents in the US – 0.77 in the UK

BUT – more on that tomorrow….