Monday, August 31, 2015

Part The Second: This Is Not Your Mother's Publishing Career

Part of a three blog series today with my pal Josh Lanyon.

 Continuing our THIS IS NOT YOUR MOTHER’S PUBLISHING CAREER conversation over at LoveBytes….


To recap we were talking about the issue of Discoverability, which leads us to:

Promotion

Orange you glad it's a Lanyon?
L.B. - “I’m not good at promotion.” I haven’t met an author who doesn’t speak those words at some point. I, personally, am really not good at promotion. I leave this up to Lanyon, who has a freaking Etsy store where people actually buy the stuff! 

Left to my own devices, I would not have much of anything. Thank God for readers (and that’s an upcoming bullet point).

I actually disagree that you’re not great at promotion, because though you don’t post a lot, you’re always real. Which I believe to be key. You give real peeks into a real life and it’s a life with more going on than your books. Also you’re very good at real life networking—which is HELLO, how we got together.

And by “together,” I mean friends. But that leads me to some of the dubious things I see in promotion. Like authors talking mostly to other authors. Or depending too heavily on one’s gender or relationship status. Let’s be honest, being a guy in this genre can get you initial interest and attention. But that only takes you so far. Eventually, you gotta deliver the goods. Readers may adore you personally, but if the books aren’t all that, they just won’t keep buying them, however much they like your Facebook posts.

Here’s a fact. Six hundred likes on your FB posts does not automatically equal earning a living at writing fiction.

The hard truth is if you personally know all your readers, you’re in trouble. You need to be selling thousands of books on a consistent basis, your readership needs to expand way beyond the social media platforms you use. You need to be selling primarily to people who don’t know you from Adam. Or Eve. And don’t give a shit.

Exactly. Actually, I find that the more readers know about an author, the more likely they are to become disillusioned and not want to read/buy their books. That’s why I maintain the mystery. Not really. Also, promo is constant upkeep, and everyone is aiming to find the next hook to gain more readers. There are a few authors who do this exceptionally well (Tessa Dare comes to mind). Fresh, fun, inventive promo is a full time job. Authors could hire someone, but at that aforementioned 17-34K—who can afford it? This is where branding comes in handy. If you’re good at branding.

But if you’re spending all your time online, when do you find time to write? 

L.B. – Well, you just have to chain yourself to your chair. Love the chair. Be one with the chair.

Do as I say and not as I do? ;-)

L.B.— I decided years ago that I could not and would not chain myself to a chair. Which explains why I am not making a cushy living writing.

Reader interaction and involvement


This, I think, is one of the biggest differences from the old days. I think it’s both one of the very best developments in modern publishing—but also one of the most disconcerting.

Now days there is an expectation that authors will be accessible to readers. Even literary authors feel the pressure to get on social media and interact.

So we went from a profession with little or no contact with our audience, to a sometimes overwhelming amount of feedback. For example, look at Goodreads where readers can vote on books that haven’t even been written yet! That can be pretty intimidating. In fact, in some ways, the reader is increasingly close to being part of the creative process.

L.B. - Goodreads is the devil. I do not partake. I am a rock. I am an island. (As reflected in my sales.)

LB Gregg Wine Shop and Theme Park
On the plus side, holy moly! Readers will set up your author store.

L.B. - Okay, that would be nice. An L.B. Gregg store, which would look more like a wine shop than anything else.

 I want to shop at YOUR store.

Anyway, beyond offering the obvious support of regularly buying our books (which continues to be the single most important thing a reader can do to support an author), the contemporary reader also reviews. Sometimes casually on social media or sometimes more formally through blogs. This notion of the “citizen reviewer” is a sea change in itself. Readers “buzz” books they like through word of mouth, which is an informal equivalent of a bookstore hand-selling your work. It’s a huge development in the reader/author relationship.

But that’s only the first tier of modern reader engagement. In the second tier, we have readers serving as support staff, offering to “beta” read or do research, creating covers, helping with translations, formatting…you name it! We have readers who are so engaged, so invested that they become what is referred to in the business as a “street team.” At this level of engagement, readers will organize your launch parties, drive your social media, etc. They become partners in your success.

L.B.-- THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN TO ME. I am in awe of authors who cultivate a Street Team.

I don’t know how this happens either. I mean, it happened for me, yes. But I still don’t understand how or why. I know that I am very grateful, and that I can’t imagine my life—let alone my career—without these reader friends by my side.

And this doesn’t even take into account the readers who send gifts or contribute financially to various author-driven causes.

Ce and Dan Return!
Which leads us to…well, no, it doesn’t but it’s our next point which we will continue to discuss and debate over at my place!


BIOS:

L.B. GreggWhen not working from her home in the rolling hills of Northwestern Connecticut, author L.B. Gregg can be spotted in coffee shops from Berlin to Singapore to Panama -- sipping lattes and writing sweet, hot, often funny, stories about men who love men. Buy her books here: www.lbgregg.com

Josh Lanyon – A distinct voice in gay fiction, JOSH LANYON is the multi-award-winning author of nearly seventy stories of male/male mystery, adventure and romance. Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews award for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, and the first recipient of the Goodreads M/M Romance group's Hall of Fame award. Learn more at www.joshlanyon.com



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Cornwall Novellas

Back by popular demand and available as reprinted masterpieces--yes, I finally got my act together--it's Dudleytown and Simple Gifts--The Cornwall Novellas. These new covers are just gorgeous. Many thanks to the team of experts who made this happen, Keren, Janet, and L.C. Chase.

The plan is for new Cornwall novellas summer 2016 and winter 2017. Keeping my fingers crossed!



Simple Gifts~

A former ward of the state, Jason Ferris is fiercely protective of his carefully guarded private life. When he's felled by a rogue lawn ornament at a Christmas party, Jason finds himself in the care of his first and most devastating love-- dark, dangerous, and equally damaged Lt. Robb Sharpe. Newly returned from years away in the military, Robb's homecoming isn't exactly the stuff of fairytales. Now thrust together after a ten year hiatus, Jason and Robb discover that perhaps some things are worth waiting for. Amazon ARe Smashwords
Dudleytown~

College sophomore Alexander Strauss has one rule: no messing around with straight guys. Especially not his mouthwatering roommate, Shannon. When their ride share drives off the side of a mountain, the two young men find themselves deep in an uninhabited forest searching for their missing friend. Wandering the famously cursed grounds of Dudleytown, Alex figures something truly unholy must be at play, because only insanity could tempt him to break his cardinal rule. Amazon ARe Smashwords

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cover Reveal

Working. I swear.
Just wanted to give a shout out to Joyfully Jay--With This Bling has a cover and it's on display! Please go check it out and enter to win a Riptide gift certificate.

Sometimes I feel like the George Martin of gay romance in that there are years and years between book releases in this much loved series. But I promise no major characters get gruesomely slaughtered. There's no incest. No dragons. No zombies.  However, there IS plenty of sex, maybe a smidge of violence,  a few laughs, and 70K of Caesar Romano and Dan Albright doing what they do best: driving each other crazy.
Coming Dec 7.

PS I promise you won't have to wait so long for the next book.





Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hey. Remember these guys?


Of course you do! At long last, Caesar and Dan finally make their triumphant return to your favorite reading device or bookshelf this November!

 **cue musical flourish and confetti cannon**

Here's the OFFICIAL announcement from Riptide Publishing:

 Fans of L.B. Gregg's much loved Romano & Albright series will be thrilled to hear that Riptide will be releasing two more books in series: With This Bling in November 2015 and Gaydar Love in late 2016. These hilarious books follow Caesar Romano and his detective boyfriend Dan Albright as they navigate their way through life and love and relationships.

With This Bling!

Isn't that the most awesome title? Why haven't I used that one before?  I'm working on the storyline now--so no spoilers. Writing is complicated! And difficult! Also frightening. And, it's wicked time consuming. A full 60-70k book (which some authors write in a SNAP) will take half a year to complete--meaning this may be the only book I produce this year.

You know you want it.

 Pick up books one and two over at Amazon, just in case you'd like to refresh your memory!

Happy January--

LB






Friday, December 5, 2014

Guess The Author--Round 2


More fun for our fabulous Comfort and Joy anthology! One of the great things about being involved in a project with your bestie --is your bestie comes up with clever ideas! Yay for fun!

Harper Fox, Joanna Chambers, Josh Lanyon and I are each offering a freebie from out backlist. Take a peek at our contest, take a wild guess (or scope out our pre-sales and find the answers), and win a prize.

Good luck!


Match the correct Author to the following lines. The first four people to come up with the correct match win their choice of ebook from any one of our backlists BARRING the new stories in this anthology. ;-)

1 - It smelled like Christmas. Pine trees and woodsmoke and cold. I looked up at the sky, half expecting to see Santa’s sleigh silhouetted against the enormous silver moon that hung over the trees.

 2 - “Och, God. It’s like the bloody Titanic. Without the potential relief of being drowned.” 

3 - The wine worked magic and as I relaxed against the ugliest shit-brown couch in X, he yawned and put his arm around my shoulder. “Just stretching,” he said, and I rolled my eyes.

4 - X squinted at the sky. Already a clutch of sooty storm clouds was scudding across the horizon, bullying the last of the weak, winter daylight away and ushering in a violet-grey dusk.

Your possible choices are:
Josh Lanyon
Harper Fox
LB Gregg
Joanna Chambers 

Answer in the comment section below.


You can only win once, but you can enter all four rounds. The next round is over at Harper Fox’s Blog. Shhh! It’s midnight over there and she’s cutting the mistletoe.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Exciting First Look at Waiting for Winter

Coming December 7th in the Comfort and Joy Anthology 



“Ritchie and Lila didn’t arrive from Tahoe.”
Not a question, just the facts. What could I say? “Bingo. Flights cancelled everywhere. I’m to be your driver.”
“They didn’t call, which means they’re either dead—”
“Or they wish they were?” Winter’s cool eyes met mine. “Just kidding. Relax. They’re stuck in Minneapolis with a pair of hopped-up preschoolers. Ritchie and your sister are trying to figure out how Santa can find them without a proper chimney or a suitcase full of presents. He’s fine. She’s fine. This is fine. We’re fine.” Maybe if I said fine enough times, we’d both believe it. “I don’t mind. Buckle up.”
He did with a click. “You sure you’re up for this? It might be better if I catch a cab and stay in town.”
“Look around. There are no cabs.” I put the truck in reverse, but waited as another car rolled by. “Are you asking if I can stay awake past my bedtime? Or if I can handle the drive? Because I put the snow tires on in November.”
 “No,” he said in the take-no-shit tone I both loved and detested. Frown lines marred his forehead as he contemplated the weather. The snow had gained significant ground outside the truck’s windows. “I’m asking if you want to share the same space with me, alone. You haven’t been keen on that in the past.”
And bang, we touched on the one subject I wanted to avoid. He’d laid us bare within seconds of being together. Well, I wasn’t keen on a rehash, either.
“Meh. You’re fine in small doses. Just keep your pants on.” His frown deepened. Pale under his five o’clock shadow, with smudges of fatigue under his eyes. Winter looked beat, actually, so I waved a peace offering in the form of a thermos. “There’s hot coffee if you want it. You look like you could use some.”
“Black?”
“Like your heart.”
Winter hadn’t taken his gaze off me the entire time. He didn’t crack, just took the thermos without further comment, and the Vermonter pulled out of the station—last stop St. Albans. It slithered into the blurry night, picturesque as the Polar Express, and I backed onto the flat roadway, which was total shit.
“What, Win. Spit it out.”
“You look different.”
“Different how?” I quick checked myself in the rearview mirror. Lit by the dashboard lights, I looked as good as could be expected. “I’ve literally done nothing.”
 I hadn’t had a haircut since summer so the ends brushed my collar. Laziness and depression ranked high on the short list of why I hadn’t cut my hair, so with my new shaggy look, he probably thought I’ blended in with Burlington’s thriving homeless community. My wannabe corporate spouse days were over so I’d look like a hippie if I wanted to. The only thing keeping me from going total Appalachian was my aversion to facial hair. Living in Vermont had its perks. “I’m going for a new look.”
“I’d say you hit on an old one.” He offered me a stingy smile, tight as a virgin. “You look good,” he added reluctantly. “Like when we met.”
I knew from looking in the mirror every morning that I didn’t possess an ounce of the eager excitement I’d had at twenty-one, when he’d swooped me off my feet. Tired, thin, sad. That’s who I’d become at the advanced age of twenty-nine and truthfully, he didn’t look much better. “Is that a good thing? Or bad?”
Winter scrutinized me a moment longer. “Good. It suits you, Lu.”
Lu. Damn him. I should set him straight, then cut my hair just to spite him, but the fleeting smile faded and he looked so worn, I just smoothed my hair and let the nickname slide. It was motherfucking Christmas. I could play nice. I was calling him Win, so who was I to object?




I'll have more information on where and how to purchase the anthology, and the individual stories, later this week. 

~LB


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sweet Release

It's the 10th of November! (It is here in Asia!)

Happy Release Day Buck and Ari!

Five Questions About There's Something About Ari

Is this book part of a series?

Yes it is. Ari is book two in the Bluewater Bay Series from Riptide.

 Can I read this book without reading the others?

Yes you can. Ari is completely stand alone, but you should still pick up the others. I'm in great company!

How is Bluewater Bay a series?

Imagine a Pacific Northwest town, sort of like Smithfield, but filled with townies and Hollywood types. Each stand alone book is a snapshot of life and love in Bluewater Bay, written by many authors instead of just little ole me.

 Why should I buy this book?

 Because I'm super proud of this novella, and if you're a fan of my work, I think you'll love it, too.

I'm in! Where can I buy There's Something About Ari, LB?

You can purchase it at Riptide, and at midnight tonight, Ari will be available at all your usual vendors.

All Romance eBooks 


 Pop by and visit the Virtual Book Tour and comment on any LB Gregg blog stop to be entered into the drawing for an LB Gregg Swag Bag.


 I'll collect all those comments, and on Friday random number generator will select two lucky commenters to receive my LB Gregg swag bag!

 **Contest ends at noon EST November 15th and is open to anyone over 18 years of age, anywhere. Swag bag will be produced at the authors discretion (i.e. when she gets back to the US and can rattle through her GIANT SWAG COLLECTION) and will include one signed print copy from the LB Gregg backlist.**

See you on the internet, and spread the word!

LB