Jenna Black's Blog Experiment

Wherein romance author Jenna Black plunges into the terrifying new territory of blogging . . .


Friday, May 25, 2007

Supporting a couple of first-time print authors

One of the things that tends to happen when you're a writer is that you meet other writers. If you get out and about a lot, you can meet a lot of other writers. This can wreak havoc on your TBR pile, because when you meet and like someone, you end up wanting to read their books (at least I do). I keep saying my TBR pile needs its own apartment.

Anyway, I met a couple of authors at RT whose first print books are coming out on June 1st. I haven't had a chance to read either book (yet!), but I fully intend to read them as soon as they come out.

The first is Rachel Vincent, whose first book, Stray, I'm just dying to read. If you read her first chapter on her website, you'll know why! She's having a fun contest on her blog today (though it's already too late to enter, I think). We've got a bit of a rivalry going as to which of our urban fantasy heroines has the shapelier posterior on our book covers. I'm afraid the last time I looked, Morgan was behind (pun intended), but I figure Faythe's got home field advantage.

The other is Eden Bradley, whose erotic novel, Dark Garden, is coming out from Bantam. It sounds really steamy, and Eden is running a contest of her own. When Dark Garden comes out, take a picture of it in your local bookstore. There's a prize for the most creative photo, and one for the photo with the most people in it--click on the link to her blog to see the details in her own words. I'm going to attempt to paste in her countdown timer, but with my nonexistent HTML skills, this may be a challenge!

Countdown until release:

Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm Home

After my week-long sojourn into the wilds of South Carolina, I'm now home from my first ever signing tour. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. There were some logistical problems (the Myrtle Beach store canceled the signing because it's closing; one of the stores did not receive all the copies of Watchers in the Night it ordered; one of the stores didn't receive the poster it was supposed to have; and one of the stores did not receive its copies of Secrets in the Shadows). Practically every store said they weren't getting as much traffic as usual, both because of the lovely weather and because of some other local events. But I did sell at least one book at every venue, which is great--I've heard plenty of horror stories about authors sitting around for hours without selling any books.

I had always heard that authors are more successful at these book signings if they do more than just sit at the table and hope people come to them, but for my first couple of signings I couldn't get over my native shyness enough to do it. In the end, I managed to force myself to talk to anyone who came in the store who didn't give off too strong a leave-me-alone vibe. It was great, because all except the first Waldenbooks I signed at positioned me directly in the doorway, so customers had to pass by me to get into the store. If they made any eye contact, I introduced myself and handed them a bookmark. That was something I found myself able to do without feeling like a used car salesman! And I definitely sold more books--and had more fun--once I started doing it.

In addition to the sit-down signings, I also went by as many Books-a-Millions and Barnes & Nobles I could find, signing their stock. There aren't very many Books-a-Millions around where I live, so I'd never actually been in one before. I was very impressed with them. (Mainly because they all seemed to have ordered a good number of my books and had them facing out on the New Releases shelf! But also because almost everyone I met was very friendly and enthusiastic.)

All in all, it was a great--though exhausting--trip. Now I have to deal with the aftermath of all those neglected emails and other chores. And going back to my day job and the backlog that will have built up since I was gone. So happy Monday to me!

Monday, May 14, 2007

The best-laid plans . . .

Well, the signing tour hasn't started out quite like I had planned. My Friday signing at the RDU airport was canceled when the store manager had to have surgery (ouch!) Hopefully, we'll be able to reschedule that one when she gets better. And on the off chance you're reading this, Jackie, I'm sending warm, fuzzy thoughts your way.

This morning, my husband and I set out for Myrtle Beach, the site of my first South Carolina signing. It was a pleasantly uneventful drive. I even got some writing in on the way. But when we checked in at the hotel, I decided to give Waldenbooks a call to check in--and found out that they're closing next week! Someone was supposed to have called me to cancel the signing, because as soon as the store closing was announced, they were no longer allowed to order books, so they didn't have any copies of Secrets in the Shadows. Needless to say, no one contacted me. Bummer.

You might think that being in Myrtle Beach and not having any scheduled activities might be kind of fun. Yeah, it's a beach, and it can be great fun. But this week is what they call Biker Week. Which means there are about one million bikers zooming around town. The noise level on the streets is amazing. I'm glad our hotel isn't right on a main street or I have a feeling I wouldn't be getting much sleep tonight.

The day wasn't a total loss, however. I stopped by a couple of Books-a-Million stores and a Barnes & Noble to sign the books they had in stock. I also signed the copies of Watchers in the Night the Waldenbooks ordered before they found out they were closing.

Tomorrow, it's on to Charleston for a couple days of R&R. (Though with a June 1 deadline for my next Morgan Kingsley book, there's still going to be some writing mixed in with that R&R. Oh, and I'm going to be stopping by as many other Books-a-Millions and Barnes & Nobles as possible. So, maybe not that much R&R after all.)

I did check in with the Charleston Waldenbooks, just to make sure they weren't closing or anything. They aren't, so I'm on for Thursday, May 17 from 11-3.

Friday, May 04, 2007

South Carolina signing tour

Well, Secrets in the Shadows is now officially out. Whoo-hoo!! And I'm doing my very first signing tour, visiting six Waldenbooks stores in South Carolina, starting in a couple of weeks. I'll also be signing at Borders in the Raleigh-Durham NC airport on May 11, starting at 11:00 AM and going to whenever, in case any of you happen to be passing through at the time. Here is the schedule of signings. I'd love to meet as many readers as possible, so come say hello! (And if you know anyone who you think might like to come, please point them my way. The more, the merrier.)

May 14, 6:00-8:00, Waldenbooks, 10177 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach
May 17, 11:00-3:00, Waldenbooks, 120 Market Street, Charleston
May 18, 4:00-7:00, Waldenbooks, 2390 Chestnut Street, Orangeburg
May 19, 12:00-3:00, Waldenbooks, 100 Columbiana Circle, Columbia
May 19, 4:00-6:00 or 7:00, Waldenbooks, 7201/Cl/324 Two Notch Road, Columbia
May 20, 2:00-whenever (store closes at 6:00), Waldenbooks, Broad St. & Bultman Dr, Sumpter



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