Heavenfire out Now

So I have had a crazy week last week and didn’t get a chance to post until now. But Heavenfire released on Thursday! We continue on the journey with Ginny and Aiden as they get a new mission that takes them half-way across the world. Here’s the blurb:

A divine sword, magic tomes, and uncontrolled power. Can 16-year-old Ginny Gracehurst keep them from an obsessed half-demon?

After retrieving the only thing that could set Jacob’s demon father free, half-angel Ginny has a new mission. She and Aiden are charged with collecting the Eternal Tomes, which teach how to use sigils in the Angelic Tongue.

They are in a race against Jacob and his minions, who can travel anywhere in a matter of seconds. Allowing demonkind to learn those sigils would spell disaster for them all. In order to get what he wants, Jacob needs one more thing besides the Tomes—Ginny herself.

I’m so excited to have this new release come out. It’s been a long time coming for me, as I wrote it a while before I published the first book in the series even. And it’s my first official new release through Three Furies Press. We are coming out of the gate running and doing exciting things, including having a full publishing schedule all the way to the end of the year! We also have a ton of great merchandise, including Angelborn, Heavenfire, Team Angelborn, and Team Demonkind gear you can snag at https://threefuriespress.com/collections/all/jk-allen#MainContent

Another thing that happened last week was a book signing I did downtown in my hometown at The Exquisite Corpse Coffee House. This is the cafe where I actually wrote the first book and some of Heavenfire at. I would go to the cafe everyday and work on a couple chapters. It’s a great local spot and I was happy they agreed to host me for my signing celebrating the release of this book. It was a special event for me. But it did make last week a bit hectic with both the release and the signing. I do struggle with anxiety, so events can take a lot out of me, and I just didn’t have it in me to blog about it until today.

I am a strong believer in celebrating each release, so I also made sure to make release day special. I had a small Facebook party with a few friends and then dinner out and cake with my family. I didn’t have to go too crazy, knowing I would be seeing more family and friends at the signing, but it is so important to celebrate each book on release day. It’s all about each victory. You’ve poured your heart and soul into creating a new book for the world, and it’s no small accomplishment. So do something to mark the occasion. I also really believe in real life events, which I’ve talked about a bit on this blog. I would recommend doing them, even in a small town. My city is pretty small, but it’s a good way to still get visibility in the writing community, and I already have my next signing and talk scheduled at a nearby library. Maybe I can do a blog post about that soon.

But if you are eagerly awaiting this release, grab your copy at https://threefuriespress.com/products/heavenfire or in paperback at https://threefuriespress.com/products/heavenfire-by-jk-allen-book

And start the adventure today with Angelborn available at https://threefuriespress.com/products/angelborn-ebook
Paperback: https://threefuriespress.com/products/angelborn-paperback-book

Thanks so much for joining me today as I talk about my new book. Happy writing!

Julia

Find me online for fun memes and weekly prompts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

In Real Life Events

In Real Life Events

Being an author is more than just writing our stories. We have to get ourselves and our books out there. A lot of that happens online, but you shouldn’t ignore events that you can do in real life. We talked about book signings last time, but let’s look at some other things you can do.

 

Talks

Now talks are great to do as a way to draw people to your event more so than just by your name or claim (or lack) to fame. I talked about book signings in my last post, so I won’t get too into this here.

Talks are great for advertising purposes. Instead of just saying, “Hey, come meet a local author you’ve never heard of and buy their book!” a talk says something more like, “Learn the different routes to publishing and why an ISBN is important.” Which one is going to appeal more to people? So advertise your event as a talk where they will receive valuable info from you to get them in the seats. And after you give your wonderful talk, they may just stick around to buy some books.

If you attract other writers with your talk, they may not buy your book if they are not your intended audience, but they will know your book’s name and tell others who are your audience. And they may recommend your book to those others they know who like your genre. 



Book Signings

Book signings can be a bit intimidating. They can be a lot like cold calling in sales. You set up your table and hunker down in the store, praying to snag the attention of those walking by. For any introvert, it can be nightmarish. But they can also be a great success. Let’s look at some tips.

If this is like cold calling, get your foot in the door with some help. Have someone introduce you. Whether this is an employee who works at the store you are signing in or your handler. Having someone say something like, “Still need a Christmas present? We’ve got a local author signing personalized copies of her book. They make great gifts,” will get people to come to your table and start asking about your book. Have your pitch ready to give, and you just may get some sales.

If this is a book signing you set up that is all about you, and not just you sitting in a store or cafe, then I really recommend doing a reading before you start signing. You want to hook the people there with a great excerpt so they are chomping at the bit to buy your book.

 

Release Parties

When your book comes out, it’s something to celebrate. Planning a release party is a great way to celebrate your accomplishment, but also get your book out to family and friends. Let’s face it, a lot of the people we know are lazy. They don’t want to actually go to a website and click on things to buy your book. And they would rather have it signed and personalized by you. So make it easy for them to support you by hosting a release party where they can buy your book and get it personalized. This will incur some costs, but you have to spend money to make money. Recruit help from friends and family to diy as much as possible when it comes to things like food and decorations. Rent a hall or do a backyard bbq. Set up a signing table and a pretty place to take pictures. And get help. This event is for you, so you don’t want to be stressed making sure everything is perfect and be unable to enjoy your own party. 

 

Conventions

Conventions are a great place to sell your books. That’s a major point of them in the first place. And they are full of readers looking to pick up their next new favorite. So you can do extremely well at the right cons. Make sure you write in the genre that is represented at the con, and that you have your handler. They will help you with sales and also manning the table so you can do things like go to the bathroom. Most cons will have an estimate of how many attendees they will have, so you can get a good gauge of how many books you should carry. Have bookmarks and business cards for people to take even if they don’t buy a book. Put important links on there, like your website or where they can buy your book.

 

Workshops/Writing Groups

Instead of a talk, you may choose to do something like run a workshop or writing group. This requires some effort on your part as you have a lot of planning and prep and you have to lead the event. But these can be great fun and really rewarding as you help other authors out.

First, plan what your event will look like. Will you start with a talk? Then move onto writing prompts? Using writing prompts is the best way to get your participants writing. But you will also need to talk about what good critique looks like and how to take critiques like staying silent and not defending yourself. Set up rules before you begin.

Keep track of time. Give them 15 to 20 minutes to write from the prompt and then allot time from there depending on how much time you have for the workshop. Provide plenty of pens and paper for participants, and if you can make the prompts on handouts they can take with them, even better.

And remember, these events are not about you. Yes, you can talk about your books after the workshop, but make the workshop valuable for the participants and not just you talking about you.

 

Next week we have an interview, but after that we will talk about the nitty gritty details of what you’ll need to set up for these events, so stay tuned.

 

All about Book Signings

Hello, I sort of promised I would write about the local book signings I have been doing, so this is me trying to keep that promise. I did a couple of small book signings in a nearby business that wanted to support me as a local author and had my big book signing and talk at the library this last Saturday. So let’s talk about what worked and what didn’t.

The signings at the local business were a lot like cold calling. The people there weren’t there to see me, and they didn’t know I would be there when they came in to do business. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it was more nerve wracking for me. It was a little hit and miss. One day I did really well, but the second day I was there, I had no traffic coming my way. What really made a difference was the owner of the business introducing me to their customers that first day. It got people to come over and see me and got my foot in the door with them. They asked about my book and several picked up a copy as a Christmas present. The second day I didn’t get as many introductions from the owner and it made a big difference. I also had a different setup. I was more in the corner and I also didn’t have as much set up to catch people’s attention. I think that also made a difference.

I really enjoyed the library signing, because the people who attended were there to see me and hear me talk about writing and publishing. I specifically wanted to help local authors and not just do a regular signing. I am just me, and maybe not so great of a draw all by my lonesome, but I do work for a small publisher and have been through the process, so I can impart knowledge to others. And that’s how we advertised it. As a talk about writing and publishing and a way for writers to get their questions answered. We scheduled the signing for two hours, the first 45 minutes to an hour for the talk and Q and A, then the remaining time to sign and talk to anyone who came up to my table.

The library helped a lot with promoting the event. They even set me up with a short radio interview on a local station. They also made flyers and advertised it in their building. I made a Facebook event and promoted it on my social media as well as in the Facebook group for my city. We got a lot of interest, but the day of the event we had a nasty snow storm, so not everyone was able to make it.

But the ones who did come had great questions and paid a lot of attention to what I had to say. It was really a rewarding experience, because I did feel like they were getting a lot of good information out of the talk. And I worked hard to make it a talk and not a lecture, which I have a tendency to do. I was so happy with how the talk went.

Not everyone who came was a reader of my genre, but I did make some sales. And to me, making one sale at an event is a success. It’s an unknown reader you reached that you didn’t even know existed. Also, these people were now familiar with my book, and may talk about it to people who do read my genre. Signings aren’t about sales, they are about making connections and getting your book name out there in the world.

I would really recommend people do local events like signings or talks. They are a great way to connect to people in your community. And people do like supporting locals in their endeavors. It’s nice to be able to say someone from your area did something great, because that means you can too. Think about whether you want to just do a signing or if you want to do an Ask Me Anything or talk on a topic you know a lot about. If there are other local authors in your area, see if they want to team up with you. The more people promoting the event and drawing people in, the better.

And you will have to promote if you want people in the seats. Use social media and local news outlets, like radio or the paper to get the word out. A lot of cities have an events paper that comes out weekly. See what you have to do to get your event listed.

And have fun. What made my talk so successful was that I was just trying to be friendly and genuine. That translated well. If I had been worried only about sales and the number of attendees, people wouldn’t have connected to my talk and they wouldn’t be interested in future events. And yes, I got invited back to do another talk and signing after the sequel comes out.

One big lesson I learned from this is to be careful about winter events. You can’t predict the weather, but it can affect your attendance in a big way. So keep that in mind when you plan ahead. Maybe January and February aren’t the best months to ask people to travel to see you. But don’t give up if that does happen. My next events will be in April and May, and I’m very much looking forward to them. I am not discouraged.

My last bit of advice is to be prepared. But that may be a post for another day. Feeling prepared and ready for your event will really cut back on anxiety, and it will help you to look more professional. So plan ahead what you will need and bring, how you will set up your table, and what you will say. And most importantly, enjoy yourself!

Happy signings!

Julia

Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for inspirational quotes, funny memes, and weekly prompts.