Instagrammatical

Reaching readers is hard. Mainly because my arms only extend about two and a half feet from my body. (I know because I just measured them. Well, one of them. I mean, they’re pretty much the same length. Or are they? Hold on…. Yup, the same.) Where was I? Right, so once you’ve authored a novel or written a book and you’ve heard that it’s great from intelligent, tasteful people you don’t even know, your job is to get it into the hands of readers. I’ve already talked about various ways I did this when Silent Symmetry came out, and now that the sequel, Starley’s Rust, is less than three months from its release date, I’m loading up my giant virtual slingshot again.

So with that in mind, I’ve decided to tease the cover reveal of Starley’s Rust on Instagram, starting with this image:

Starley's eye.

Starley’s eye.

Pretty cool, right? I’m also working on a series of ads for the ongoing Silent Symmetry Goodreads giveaway and the lead-up to the release of Starley’s Rust. Because when you’re an indie author, you have to be your own marketing department. Actually, to a certain extent, even traditionally published authors need to put time and effort into marketing. I’ll be showcasing the ads on this blog over the coming weeks and all comments are welcome, as always.

Snuggling up to a Neanderthal

I’ve been posting a lot about my Embodied trilogy of Young Adult books lately, but today here’s a quick throwback to a major element in my Adult Contemporary psychological mystery, The New Sense. Research by scientists in Germany has more accurately pinpointed the date when humans and Neanderthals first, you know, dated. One of the two main characters in The New Sense, a mysterious out-of-towner known only as B―, has a theory that he possesses a new physical sense. He attributes it to having inherited a higher than normal incidence of Neanderthal DNA in his genes.

Hey, baby! Is that a Neanderthal bone, or are you just happy to see me?

Hey, is that a Neanderthal bone, or are you just happy to see me?

Just like the evidence of dark matter announced last week, it’s great as an author to see a book’s subject matter appear in the mainstream news. I mean, fiction is made up, but there’s a palpable tinge of excitement that surges in my breast when one of my stories brushes up against the latest scientific discoveries. Or is that feeling just my Neanderthal side, itching to go hunt a mammoth? Wait, it’s lunchtime – maybe I’m just hungry!

 

Photo credit: e_monk / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Pubslush’s suggestions for seeking reviews

One of the keys to getting your book noticed (hopefully in a good way!) is reviews from independent readers. Publishing crowdfunding site Pubslush has put together this short, yet informative list of what indie authors need to do to get those reviews rolling in.

A big, stripy giveaway.

A big, stripy giveaway.

Seeking out reviews can be very, very time-consuming for a busy writer, with a very low success rate, so every bit of advice helps. One extra tip I received last week from my publicist was to include a note in each of the 25 signed copies of Silent Symmetry I’ll be giving away in my Goodreads giveaway contest, asking each reader to (pretty please) write a review on Goodreads and Amazon. Every little bit helps, and each one of those Goodreads members has a whole bunch of friends who will see their review.

If you’re an author who’s had success requesting reviews, please share any other tips you have.

Also, try saying this post’s title five times quickly and let me know if you did it!

Dark matter gets a little more real…

If you’ve read my Young Adult novel Silent Symmetry, you’ll know that that main sci-fi element is dark matter, a mysterious substance that scientists believe may account for around 85% of the matter in the universe. And until now it was completely undetectable, hence the name. Here’s a report on the first detection of what might turn out to be dark matter, made by scientists at Leicester University. Coincidentally, the word “Leicester” is also composed of around 85% dark matter.

Some dark matter smiling for the camera earlier.

Some dark matter smiling for the camera earlier.

 

 

Silent Symmetry Goodreads giveaway

Here’s the answer to Tuesday’s mystery video featuring the lovely Lily! You could win a signed copy of Silent Symmetry, book 1 in the sci-fi fantasy Embodied trilogy (contest open to residents of USA and Canada only from now until November 10).

Just click on this link ‒ entry is free and easy. Good luck! Now here’s a further example of the best and brightest in child labor:

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