Category Archives: Release

Book Signing: Tips I Learned

Hey Dark Dreamers,

Recently I had my first book signing for my debut new adult dark urban fantasy, OF SCIONS AND MEN. It’s a huge milestone in any writer’s lifetime, but it also came with its own set of nerves, concerns and worries. I did some research, talked to fellow authors and prepared. This helped make my special day the success and fun event it was. So here are the top twelve tips I learned on how to have a successful book signing.

  1. A scratch pad is your friend. I can’t express this strongly enough. Riley, Rily, Reily, Reilly, Ryli. Susie, Susi, Suzy, Suzi. Yep, people are pretty particular about their names. Who can blame them? Especially when you are putting this permanently on an object they have paid for and you want them to treasure. Nothing will make your reader squint and frown at your book faster than seeing their name misspelled every time they open it. When I signed, I had paper beside me and no matter who it was, how common their name was or whether I knew them or not, I would write their name first on the scratch paper and okay it. Even if I knew them, I would recheck because your nerves will create mistakes as fast as anything else. Bastardizing an old adage, check twice, sign once.
  2. pen-1215436_1920Your new best friend
  3. Writing tools to last a lifetime. Choosing what to write with is important. These wonderful patrons have come to see you, bought your manifesto, and care enough to want your chicken scratch signature on it, so time to make sure your pen choice doesn’t mess everything up. I ended up choosing a fine tipped Sharpie as others told me ball point pens tend to fade with time and no one wants that. Whatever you decide, make sure it will last the test of time and will not bleed through.
  4. pens-520013_1920And back ups upon back ups
  5. Colorize your theme. This is such a little thing that got so much attention and made the night feel well thought out. I picked a colored theme for the evening based on your material if you can. For me it was red. It holds a special meaning in my book and series, so I put little touches everywhere. It was in my outfit, my pen (red fine tipped Sharpie), my swag, the flyers and marketing materials, the food for the evening (Strawberries and grapes), etc. It doesn’t take much effort, but it does require some forethought. People commented on it repeatedly and enjoyed it.
  6. tomatoes-1220774_1920Which tomato goes with post-apocalypse?
  7. Pick your message and be consistent. I decided what I was going to use as my standard message beforehand, and that let me start off with confidence from the very first one. I chose to use “For” instead of “To” as it felt less like a Christmas gift to me that way and more personal, but you need to fit your style. This is especially important if there are two or more friends or family members who are getting books signed together. You can personalize for the individual, but make that personalization very different from your standard message, which should be decided on before the event, so you can write quickly. But you don’t want two friends looking at your John Hancock and wondering, “Well, why does she get, ‘Very best wishes’, and I only got, ‘Best Wishes’? We don’t need any golden apples thrown into the middle of your signing.
  8. robot-707219_1280Cause that worked out for everyone.
  9. Practice, practice, practice. Yep, even for this pinnacle moment, you need to do prep and practice. Make sure your signature and messages are legible. On top of that, make sure you know where in your book you want to sign and that it will all fit there.
  10. writing-1055085_1920Well, no one can read that one.
  11. Swag extras. We all love handing out our personalized swag, but keep some paper swag around for extras. Not everyone may buy your book immediately, but still want to be a part of the fun. I signed bookmarks and posters for students who weren’t getting the book, and they were so excited. Also, it means they keep your info for potential later sales.
  12. Proof2My actual pens/badges- people loved them
  13. A day that will live in infamy. Okay, I’m going to be honest. I had every intention of doing this one, but failed utterly in the moment, but it is still a good idea. Somewhere around your signature put the date. Having multiple signings, people can get a real kick from this one. Next time I will remember as people asked about it later. Not a requirement, but a good thought.
  14. calendar-159098_1280A time to remember…next time
  15. Get into the trenches of marketing. You want your event to be a success, so stay active and make it so. Work with your publisher to release a press kit or create one on your own, especially for self-pub authors. Work with the signing location to work with their marketing. Don’t skimp on flyers or pictures for these kits and make sure you have both hard and electronic formats to use all available resources. Go out and press the flesh of people around the area to hang up and get the word out personally. Use social media event pages and stay active on them. Also remember most of these marketing teams are very busy, you may need to take the reins a bit to make sure everything is set and done. I had many meetings with coordinators and marketers to make this event the success it was. If you sit back and just hope they will come, they probably won’t.
  16. PosterWho could pass that up?
  17. Introductions and conclusions. Figure out and discuss with the people involved how the event is going to kick off. Is someone going to make an announcement? Is someone going to introduce you? Are you doing a reading to gather people and interest? Will you be answering questions? Who’s going to tell people how to buy the book in the space and where to line up? Don’t stumbled into the start of your event, kick it off and people will get more excited and want to be a part of it.
  18. trumpeters-921709_1280My announcers…next time
  19. Smile! Make sure you have a way for this day to be recorded. Sometimes the event or marketing will send someone to take pictures and record. If not, get someone to do it for you. You will want to remember this and it is great to show people afterward to make them want to be a part of the fun next time.
  20. 20160222_184757If you look closely, you can see a photographer has caught the videographer in the wild.
  21. Remember those who helped make this event a reality! All this work and prep is worth it. But when it’s done, be sure to send thank you notes to everyone who helped make it so.
  22. banner-1186625_1920So many people to thank…the music is definitely going to play me off.
  23. Have fun! Relax and enjoy all it has to offer. You’ve earned it.
20160222_210353

And if you’re like me, this will include margaritas.

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Happy Birthday, OF SCIONS AND MEN!

Oh happy day, Dark Dreamers,

It’s release day for OF SCIONS AND MEN, my debut novel! OF SCIONS AND MEN is the first book in the American Scions Series and it’s being published by Curiosity Quills Press. And, most importantly, you can get it now!

If you can’t wait for the rest of this post, here’s where you can order it: Get one in your hands

Now, for the deets:

OF SCIONS AND MEN by Courtney Sloan

Book One of the American Scions series

New Adult, dark urban fantasy

Fantasy elements: Vampires, Shifters, Scions, Mediums

EBOOK STORE COPY

Synopsis:

Geopolitical babysitting while arresting preternatural killers, it’s just the daily grind for Scion Rowan Brady. Brash and sarcastic, Rowan has sold her life, her career and her very blood to the controlling paranormal ruling class of America, all to make sure her kid brother can eat. Now she uses her powers as a scion to kick the ass of any preternatural creature idiotic enough to break the rules and prey upon humanity without a license. All it costs her is her freedom and a pint or two per week to her new Master.

But juggling her job and duties becomes even tougher when she is tasked with keeping a contingency of diplomats from Canada from getting gnawed on. However, negotiations for an International Blood Exchange are interrupted when bodies start showing up.

Now Rowan must rely on her talent and wit to defend the society she despises to save the lives she’s sworn to protect. But as she stumbles into the truth, she chances becoming a target of not only these killers, but of her own government. With shifters, ghosts, vampires and psychics all watching her, can she stop the killings before she is silenced?

Purchase OF SCIONS AND MEN: Amazon / Barnes and Noble


GYRE is Released to the World!

Hey Dark Dreamers!

The day has arrived and Jessica Gunn’s Atlantian New Ault urban fantasy book GYRE is out there for you to hold in your hot little hands. To give you an idea, here’s my review of it:

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Romance , oh my. Normally if someone told me they were going to combine all of the above, I’d have been very worried. But this book does it not only handily, but also with a slow burn steam that keeps you rooting for more. The mix of science and powers is intriguing and makes me want to learn more and more about Atlantis and their long time adversaries.

This book not only adds so much new to a very old myth, but also to the NA genre. Beyond NA, I believe many YA readers would like this book if they can handle a bit of strong language.”

Out today!

Seriously, you need to check this one out. The two POVs are handled so well and each so distinct. Can’t wait for the next one from Ms. Gunn. And with that in mind, I recently had the opportunity to interview the lady of the hour.

Me: Sum up your book Twitter style. 140 characters or less.

Gunn: Here’s the pitch I used that eventually led me to signing with Curiosity Quills!
When an archaeology job aboard a Navy sub uncovers Atlantis, 21yo Chelsea must protect
artifacts from time-traveling hijackers.

Me: Atlantis is such a dichotomy: something so old and yet works about it are so few. What drew you to write about Atlantis and add your own twist to it?

Gunn: I think I’ve been intrigued by Atlantis all my life—that’s what it feels like even though I know child-Jess didn’t know what Atlantis was. I’ve also always wanted to write a story about Atlantis. The few fictional books I’ve read that involved Atlantis (and there haven’t been that many, honestly) always involved mermaids and aliens and things like the end of the world—and while I love those things, I wanted Gyre’s use of Atlantis to be different. So I picked time travel and art!

Me: And different it is. Love who much you weave into one story and not let it go off the rails. Brava!

Me:   Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? How does that affect your
writing?

Gunn: I’m definitely an introvert unless I’m around people who have known me for a long time. I’m not sure how that affects my writing, though, because I write characters who are both introverts and extroverts lol.

Me: Pantser or Plotter? What’s your writing

Gunn: I’m a weird hybrid of both. I pants the first 30% of a project with only the beginning and end in mind, then somewhere around the 30% mark I tend to plot out the rest of the book in chunks of 3-5 chapters. So I’ll plot a few chapters, write those chapters, then plot again, just to keep my mind on track. But things change all the time!

Me: I’m a plotting pantzer, or plotzer, as well. The mix is fun and keeps us on our toes. Half the time I think our characters run the asylum anyway 😉 .

Me: What book meant the most to you?

Gunn: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I never liked reading or writing science fiction or realized how human sci-fi stories could be until reading it. That book really changed my perspective on a ton of things, and I don’t think I’d have pursued writing the same way without having read it.

Me: Absolutely, before that, I thought sci-fi had to be all unreachable and only halfway understandable.

Me: What would be Chelsea’s favorite book?

Gunn: I honestly don’t know that Chelsea reads enough to have a favorite book. Most of her free time is spent playing shows with her band, Phoenix and Lobster. But her favorite bands are Good Charlotte and Green Day!

Me: What would be Trevor’s guilty pleasure movie?

Gunn: Jurassic Park. He never quite grew out of his love for dinosaurs, and despite some of the bad science, he loves it anyway.

Me: How would you describe the steam between Chelsea and Trevor?

Gunn: It’s a quick starburst followed by a slow burn. They’re immediately attracted to each other in ways they barely understand, but nothing—nothing—ever goes smoothly for them. If it’s not the world they’re trying to navigate, it’s their own communication issues standing in the way. But I think that’s what makes the wins in their relationship that much more satisfying.

Me: What song would be the main track of GYRE’s soundtrack? Why?

Gunn: Gifts and Curses by Yellowcard 🙂

Me: Good choice!

Me: What do we have to look forward to next?

Gunn: The sequel to GYRE should be out in September 2016! I’ve also got a short story coming out in Curiosity Quills’s next steampunk anthology sometime next year 🙂

Can’t wait for either of those. And no one has to wait for GYRE now. Here’s all the info you need!

vortex in a column of water

Purchase GYRE: Amazon

Synopsis:

Chelsea didn’t try to teleport. All she wanted was to play the Battle of the Bands show. But after accidentally teleporting onto classified Navy vessel SeaSatellite5, all she’s rocking is the boat. Once it’s sorted out that Chelsea’s not a threat, SeaSat5’s top scientist offers Chelsea a position on the crew as an archaeology intern. Dr. Saint studies people with powers, believing them to be descendants of Atlantean refugees, except Chelsea’s powers are beyond anything on previous record.

While great for everyone else onboard, the miracle of Chelsea is Trevor’s worst nightmare. The same girl who’d given him a brief lifeline to sanity three months ago literally fell from the sky, under a mile of ocean, and onto the very station where he’s employed. Making matters worse, Trevor’s family are Lemurians, Atlantis’s enemy, and Chelsea’s presence is unpredicted—a wrench in an already unstable situation. But Trevor wants no part of his family’s war. The only thing he wants is Chelsea, Atlantean or not.

Days into Chelsea’s sudden appearance, SeaSatellite5 uncovers Atlantean ruins and a massive artifact cache, placing its entire, hundred-man crew in the crosshairs of an ancient war. There are those who want the Atlantean relics inside the ruins destroyed, and only Trevor knows the treasures for what they really are: Link Pieces, tools used by the ancient civilizations for their time-travel war.

With lies and shifting alliances abound, Chelsea and Trevor will have to think fast in order to save the station. If they don’t, the Lemurians will seize the artifacts and Atlantis will be destroyed forever.


About the Author:

Jessica Gunn

Jessica Gunn is a New Adult author and avid science-fiction and fantasy fan. Her favorite stories are those that transport the reader to other, more exciting worlds. When not working or writing, she can be found binge-watching Firefly and Stargate, or feeding her fascination of the ancient world’s many mysteries. Jessica also holds a degree in Anthropology.

To catch up with Jessica, follow her on Twitter (@JessGunnAuthor) or on her website, www.jessicagunn.com.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads |Website | Blog | Pinterest

Also check out her giveaway for free stuff!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Holiday Presents: Reviews and Interviews

Happy Holidays, Dark Dreamers!

I hope everyone is having a happy and safe holiday season. Mine has been magical (even without vampires), but I’ll tell you more about that in a different post. In the mean time, I have exciting updates to share.

February 22, 2016 is getting closer and closer and with it the official release of my debut new adult dark urban fantasy, OF SCIONS AND MEN. So the marketing holiday fairy has been zipping around sending out eARCs to people. The first reviews have been coming in, and I’m happy to say they make me very excited. So I’d like to share a bit with you.

First, the most recent response to someone reading OF SCIONS AND MEN:

“This book was beyond words amazing. It held me from the first page. Sadly, I did have to put down my tablet to wrap presents. The idea of scions for vampires is great. The characters were so well written that they were beyond imagination . I Loved Rowan, Devon, Carson, Nadia, Will, I hope that their story will continue.”

Couldn’t be happier! The best present ever and pushing me to get the second one out even faster!

gift

Next, the wonderfully talented Jodie Anderfski recently interviewed me. It was a whole lot of fun. Take a look at the interview and sign up to win books at the #HolidayBookBash.

With all that, I hope this season of giving and humanity helping and relying on one another treats you well. I wish you smiles and to those of you who are journeying, safe travels.


Here’s Today’s Daily Double

CR Banner

Celebration time, Dark Dreamers,

Today’s the day for a dual cover reveal: OF SCIONS AND MEN by Courtney Sloan and GYRE by Jessica Gunn! Both books are in the new adult category and published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Here’s a bit about each book:

OF SCIONS AND MEN by Courtney Sloan (February 22nd, 2016)

Dark Urban Fantasy

Geopolitical babysitting while arresting preternatural killers, it’s just the daily grind for Scion Rowan Brady. Brash and sarcastic, Rowan has sold her life, her career and her very blood to the controlling paranormal ruling class of America, all to make sure her kid brother can eat. Now she uses her powers as a scion to kick the ass of any preternatural creature idiotic enough to break the rules and prey upon humanity without a license. All it costs her is her freedom and a pint or two per week to her new Master.

But juggling her job and duties becomes even tougher when she is tasked with keeping a contingency of diplomats from Canada from getting gnawed on. However, negotiations for an International Blood Exchange are interrupted when bodies start showing up.

Now Rowan must rely on her talent and wit to defend the society she despises to save the lives she’s sworn to protect. But as she stumbles into the truth, she chances becoming a target of not only these killers, but of her own government. With shifters, ghosts, vampires and psychics all watching her, can she stop the killings before she is silenced?

ADD OF SCIONS AND MEN TO GOODREADS HERE

You can pre-order either book:

Gyre : https://curiosityquills.com/kindle/gyre/

Of Scions and Men: https://curiosityquills.com/kindle/scions/

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GYRE by Jessica Gunn (February 1st, 2016)

Trevor couldn’t believe his eyes when Chelsea teleported onto SeaSatellite5. The miracle is Trevor’s absolute worst nightmare. Chelsea is Atlantean, which would be fine if Trevor’s family weren’t Lemurian—enemies of Atlantis.

Then SeaSatellite5 uncovers Atlantean ruins and stumbles into the crosshairs of an ancient war. The Lemurians want the artifacts inside the ruins, and Trevor’s the only one onboard who recognizes the relics for what they really are: Link Pieces, tools used by ancient civilizations to wage their time-travel war.

Chelsea and Trevor must brave the gyre of lies surrounding them. If they can’t, Atlantis will be destroyed forever.

ADD GYRE TO GOODREADS HERE

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Are you ready to see the covers?

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Here we go!

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GYRE & OSAM

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ABOUT COURTNEY SLOAN

Courtney SloanA New Orleans native, Courtney Sloan relocated to the hills of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina. There she lives with her husband and fellow author, J.P. Sloan, their son and their crazy German Shepherd pup. Adding to her writing life, Courtney is also a professor at the local college and enjoys learning a world of new ideas from her students as she teaches them about writing and communicating. Courtney’s New Orleans upbringing has left her with a love for the macabre and a flare for the next to normal. She writes speculative fiction with a variety of horror and sass mixed in for flavor.

She loves taking the world of politics that haunts us now, and adding the supernatural to create a gumbo of thrills to keep you up at night. A self-proclaimed lover of way too many fandoms, Courtney also loves crafting. From blankets to jams to stories, it’s always better homemade.

Author Links: Twitter | Website

ABOUT JESSICA GUNN

1951de5Jessica Gunn is a New Adult author and avid science-fiction and fantasy fan. Her favorite stories are those that transport the reader to other, more exciting worlds. When not working or writing, she can be found binge-watching Firefly and Stargate, or feeding her fascination of the ancient world’s many mysteries. Jessica also holds a degree in Anthropology.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Website

Here they are, one more time

Gyre & OSAM CR