Monday, February 23, 2015

When a Small Press Closes its Doors

...or how checking your email is better than caffeine or an alarm clock at waking you up.

I woke last Friday to the news of another small publisher closing down. What made it unique is that it was MY publisher.

On March 1st, 2015, Musa Publishing will be no more.

Over two years ago, Musa took a chance on this dream-laden writer. The small press showed me the ropes, how to publish, download, edit. I learned what a line-editor does, the meaning of the term Galley Proof, and how to format. When I stressed over nothing, they gave virtual pats on the back and laughed with me when goofy things happened.

In other words, the Musa was family, friends, and colleagues. They shoved me down the right path and gave me the chance to succeed.

So what happened?      
Don’t know and I’m not going to speculate in public. That only feeds the rumor mill. What I do know is how we were treated at Musa.

Paid on time. Every paycheck was there for us. Other publishers aren’t so quick, withholding funds especially after they go belly-up.

Contract for everyone to see. Their website had a link to their contract, out there, in the open, in front of God and everyone. No hidden legalese to muck things up.

Rights revert to authors. If you’ve done your research, you know the stories about defunct small presses selling the rights to others, withholding paychecks to fund themselves, splitting without informing authors. Musa is doing none of that. On the same day we received the email, Musa sent the letter to revert our books rights back to us on March 1st.

This is Closing-the-Doors done right.

Musa Publishing might be leaving town, but from start to finish, they are a class act.

“May God grant you always...a sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.” – Irish Blessing.
“May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.” – Another Irish Blessing

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Plucking Nose Hairs

Or, ain't marketing fun.

I am not good at this stuff called marketing. Grandstanding is as foreign to me as sailing a boat on the ocean. And since I’ve never been on the ocean, that’s like saying vacationing on Mars is my next goal.

But here I am, writing books and waving my arms and yelling, hey! Look at me.


Today Wilder Mage goes on-sale for $1.99 at all markets, including Amazon. Out of Magic, the prequel to The Magic Withheld series is free. And if you like all of the above, Mage Revealed is beckoning you on with a decent price of $4.99.

So have at it. Check out my series, and I’ll blow out my cheeks knowing this round of tooting my own horn is done. For now.

 Oh, the agony an introvert goes through.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

One Good Author - Heather M. Gardner

Mark your calendars. This is one book release that makes waiting so very difficult.

One Good Catch
A Maguire’s Corner novel


Title: One Good Catch
Author: Heather M. Gardner
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Release Date: March 13, 2015

Ignoring a recent trauma that is affecting her everyday life, ER Doctor Kate Maguire engages in some high risk activities, but putting herself in these dangerous situations isn’t enough to feed her edginess. She needs something more. When her brother’s high school best friend comes back to town, it’s her chance for a ‘no strings attached’ fling with the man who still headlines in all her best dreams.

Rhys MacGrath’s days of one-night-stands are long over. The pro-football player might be side-lined at rehab for a shoulder injury, but that doesn’t mean he can’t admire and desire the all-grown-up, so-damn-hot, version of the tomboy he once knew. His sudden interest in Kate might be aggravating his best friend, who doesn’t approve, but it’s her indifference that’s driving Rhys crazy.

Everything heats up when Kate’s nosy nature sets her in the line of fire of an arsonist forcing them to deal with more than just the sparks igniting between them.


Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips. As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit.

Heather resides in New York with her best friend who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats. Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Twitter: @hmgardner

Goodreads: HMGardner 

Facebook: HeatherWritesRomance Bottom of Form

Friday, February 13, 2015

Advertising, Reviews, and Introverts

To summarize this post: I had no idea.

Yelling at the top of my voice like a crazy woman, “Hey, look at me,” was about the furthest thing from my mind when I started writing six years ago. I knew it wouldn’t be easy becoming a published author, but holy cannoli, marketing was one heck of a surprise.

Thank Goodness, I’ve had help.

My first book, Wilder Mage, is going on sale at $1.99, for three days starting February 19 thru the 21st. Not its first sale but the first I've initiated.  

So how to get the information out there?

I hit a few places, bought a couple ads on Amazon. At the same time, the lead-in, Out of Magic, is free. As the prequel to the series, it was my foray into the world of self-pub.

My first stop on the road of Advertisement was to SciFiFantasyFreak also known as BettyBookFreak. (say that three times fast)

Run by a close friend of mine, this was my numero uno choice. Try this FREE site for cool books. I’ve bought and downloaded more than, ahem, I should have from Betty’s recommendations.

Other places like Bookbub and Fussy Librarian provide good but limit their services. Try 'em though. 

For a personal view of advertising, go to Matt Keith’s site, part I and II.

Review sites.

Yeah, I’ve pretty much given up on reviews for Wilder and for the sequel Mage Revealed. I’ve shipped it off to various sites and heard nothing back. 

Here are a selection for the brave or merely persistent.
Manic Readers
All Things Urban Fantasy

Begging is not one of my personality traits. Not that I don’t do it on occasion, but it doesn’t come naturally. Also, reminding readers to leave a review is a two-edged sword. Those one- and two-star reviews cause (sing along with me) gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep dark depression excessive misery. 

Talk about the Pit of Despair. Especially the really mean ones filled with vitriol. My policy when reading a less-than-super book, aka three stars and up, is to remain quiet and not give reviews. I can’t help but think the nasty ones are not authors but wannabe literary experts.

Paying for reviews is not in my playbook, btw. I can’t do it. But dang, it sure is tempting. When I buy a book on the merits of the reviews and it turns into an excruciating journey, I am appalled.  I don’t see how they acquire the large number of reviews except by monetary means.

So what did you get from this post? That Wilder Mage is on sale? Gee whiz, I hope so.

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