Saturday, December 29, 2012

Keep 'Em Guessing

People in the know say none of us like change.  I beg to differ.

Blogspot obviously digs it.  I know this because it still  changes the photo on Slowreadtoasunburn's template willy-nilly, a.k.a., for no apparent reason.

You know the beach photo that normally graces the blog?  Yeah, well, Blogspot like to change it out with miscellaneous photos from the blog. Yep, it peeved me at first.  Now I'm kind of liking it.  It's the middle of winter, for gawd's sake, and Spokane is a picture of white on grey.  I look out the window and thank the lord for red cars.  Their color is stunningly beautiful these days.  Sad.

Okay so, do I work on making Blogspot keep the beach shot or not?

Let me know,


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We Just Wanna Be Liked

Like, please.

We aren't talking groups hugs or a plethora of platitudes, just a simple "Like."

Amazon, through which Hot Cross Buns is being sold (for now, anyway), is a crazy big machine -- a by the numbers kind of machine.  It's the kind of corporate machine that makes people do things they would never do.

So here goes...

Please "Like" us.

OUCH!  That was frigging painful.  Unabashed self-promotion! 

Here goes again -- rephrased a bit.

We don't want you to lie or do anything you aren't comfortable doing, but if you liked reading Hot Cross Buns or even remotely like Judy and me, could you go to Amazon, search Hot Cross Buns, open the book's link, scroll down the page and "Like" HCB?  You don't even have to make a comment, just "Like" us.

Curse you Amazon for making me do this!  Thank you Amazon for opening the gates to self-publishing.

HCB and Amazon = love/hate relationship.

Here are the dance steps:  Amazon has some sort of mambo-jumbo formula it uses to move books up the ratings ladder.  A book's place on the ladder, oddly, isn't based only on the number of books sold. No, no, no, the number of hits on the "Like" button and/or comments is equally important.

Try this on.  Say, Gone With The Wind sold one billion copies, but only got three "Likes."  Yeah, well, from what I can tell, there is a good chance GWTW may not have made it too far up the Amazon ladder.  Odd, I know, and  Margie Mitchel would have been one peeved authorette!

So, please dance with us.  "Like" Hot Cross Buns.

I can't believe I'm doing this!  But, I am not alone.

Not long ago, successful Spokane author Jess Walter was explaining to me how even the big publishing houses expect their authors to do a lot of their own marketing.  He didn't have a big grin on his face as he was telling me this.

So, ouch.  And thank you.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Augh! The Rumors!

That is not Judy.

The woman on the left?  That's not Judy.  It's sweet, funny and well-read Linda from Auntie's Bookstore.  She's introducing Judy and me at our Hot Cross Buns reading what feels like ten years ago but was really just over a week past.  That is me on the right.  Judy is further to my left behind a honking piece of sound equipment.
There, that takes care of that.  And, boy-o-boy, am I starting to have empathy for Julia, Jessica, the little Spears girl and host of other famous people constantly managing rumor control!
Since this photo went public -- public being my brother-in-law's facebook friends -- we've been bombarded with left-field questions.  Yikes!  How one photo can speak a thousand rumors!  Judy shrank. Judy boycotted the reading.  Our friendship endured six years of writing Hot Cross Buns only to become riddle with strife after the book was completed.
Dare I suggest we need a press agent?  Yeah, well for now -- actually, forever -- that is me. So, if you have any questions about Judy and me, please post them in the comment box on this site.  We will respond with as much honesty as we feel is merited.
So here goes...
Let me dispel two additional, widely held rumors among my brother-in-law's facebook friends.  First, despite the look on my face, I am not bored out of my mind.  I am trying to look casual -- like I know what they hey I'm doing up there. Second, and something I'd like you to share with as many people as possible  (A quick mention in your Christmas cards would be great.).  I do not have kankles.  I am wearing boots.  (But aside from the kankles, don't you think I look great considering I was sick as a dog? Judy looked REALLY snappy that night.  Too bad she was behind the sound equipment. Oh, and my hair looks better now that the bad hair cut has grown a bit.)
Yes, this publicity portion of authoring is a mixed bag.  And to think during all those years of writing we looked forward to this part. Whoa mama! 
Really though, some of it is fun.  Visiting book groups is a blast.  We've even got our exaggerations down pat, but still glad they don't take minutes at those things.  I'm keeping mental notes comparing book groups... more on that later. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

These Guys Made My Night!

The Coffee Boys

Meet the "Coffee Boys!" They helped make our reading at Auntie's Bookstore Thursday night over-the-top fun!
To a man, they are very sweet. 
The gentlemen make an appearance in Hot Cross Buns as a group of regulars who visit the heroine's bakery. In real life, you can find them at their window-side table at the Rockwood Bakery on Spokane's South Hill every weekday morning.  Oh yeah, much of the heroine's bakery is fashioned after the Rockwood Bakery and you can't fashion anything around the Rockwood Bakery without including Pat, Tom, Bernie and Chuck... and a few others.
Bernie's daughter in California engineered the idea that was finely executed by these guys. They arranged to have a table set up in front of the area at Auntie's where the reading takes place.  Call it a venue.  And there they were -- Rockwood Bakery mugs in hand -- seated as well-planned props!
For more information about them, well, you'll just need to read the book.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oh, Oh.

If I were a dog.

Yeah, well, tonight's the big not-reading-at-the-book-reading event. 

I  have slight problem,  however.  See the pup above.  Not only do I feel like him I sound like him.

Yep, the Center for Disease Control got my memo confirming this year's flu season is starting early and hard.  I'm on day seven and my voice sounds a little like a howling pooch.  More accurately, I sound like a pooch stuck in a culvert.

Judy and I got together last night to "plan" a bit about our pending Hot Cross Buns reading at Spokane's infamously favorite bookstore, Auntie's.  We did what we usually do, which is why it took six years to write the book, and proceeded to laugh ourselves sick -- or in my case sicker -- over lots of things besides the book. 

We did decide not to read at our reading.  We also agreed on a critical format issue, like not speaking at the same time.  I'm not much worried about that because if I speak more than 20 words consecutively at a tone louder than a whisper, I head into a snot-flowing, eye-tearing coughing fit.

I got a feeling it ain't going to be pretty.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pick Your Poison

Option #1: Master gardeners

Option #2 The Little Drummer Boy

Option # 3: Us

Yippers, it's that time of year -- so many choices, so little time.

Our reading at Aunties this coming Thursday was wedged between big competitors in the calendar section of The Spokesman Review this morning.  If I didn't feel somewhat obligated to attend the Hot Cross Buns reading, I might be tempted to take in the Master Gardeners New Volunteer Information Session or The Little Drummer Boy.

Not really, I lie.

On an informational note, my worry about not being able to read aloud?  Solved.  Yep, my investigative work about readings suggest the last thing an author should do at a reading is actually read.  It makes sense, doesn't it?  Why would Judy and I read the dang book when 1. people have already read it or 2. they haven't read it?

If you plan on attending, be very thankful reading has been cut from the agenda. Now, if Judy and I can refrain from talking over each other and I can avoid the errant eff bomb, we should be in good shape.