Friday, November 1, 2013

My First Professional Short Story Sale, A Contest and A Podcast Interview

First, Adventures in Sci/Fi Publishing has posted Part One and Part Two of an interview with Ron Malfi, conducted by myself and Tim Ward. Whether you're an aspiring horror writer, a lover of all things horror, or simply a lover of high quality fiction, you should read Ron's books. He's one of the best horror writers in the business today. Anyway, we spent several hours chatting over the phone and Skype, just rapping about horror and writing and books. It was a grand time, and we had fun.

Secondly, with the November 5th release of THINGS SLIP THROUGH imminent, I've got a contest brewing for the first month after the book's release. Now, we all know how these things go: experimenting with social media, marketing a book, who knows what will work, and why, and if it'll work a second time. I believe the best way to market yourself is to WRITE QUALITY STUFF, but I also believe that with the important role social media plays in the flow of information today, it's a deadly mistake to IGNORE social media.

Of course, the trick is utilizing social media to market your work without coming off as a shill, or a jerk, or a mindless billboard. There's a fine line to be danced. Anyway, I'm threshing out the details of my contest now, mostly because I'm concerned with just that: shoving my stuff in everyone's face too much, all the time. 

The goal? Entice folks  (with free stuff and Amazon gift cards) to reach out through THEIR "vines" of social influence and simply post pictures of folks reading TST, with the Amazon link and a blurb or two, only once a day on each social network, until they've exhausted all their networks. There'll be some crossover (impossible to avoid, with everyone sharing friends across networks), but my hope is to put the cover of THINGS SLIP THROUGH before folks NOT in my network. 

Will it work? Increase sales? Gain me new readers? Who knows? All I know is this: the cover of THINGS SLIP THROUGH is beautiful and I absolutely love it and I want to share that with as many folks as possible. After that, whatever happens happens.

Last - I reached a milestone the other day, one I've been struggling doggedly for over the past five years: my first professional short fiction sale (5 cents a word). I'm pleased and humbled and blown away to announce that my short story "Scavenging" has been accepted into Written Backwards' Chiral Mad 2, joining mentors Mort Castle and Tom Monteleone, and greats Ramsey Campbell, Jack Ketchum, John Shipp, David Morell, and contemporaries (though I don't believe myself worthy of that label, implying I'm equal to them), Gary McMahon, P. Gardner Goldsmith and others.

What does this mean to me?

Honestly, I can't even put it into words right now, at least not in this blog. I've finally hit a goal that I've been aiming for these past five years, I'm still sorta pinching myself, but what I need to say can't be fit into this space, so I'll blog exclusively about "Scavenging" and my first professional short story sale tomorrow.