Today is the release day for Disenchanted & Co., the print edition bindup of my Her Ladyship's Curse and His Lordship Possessed e-books, aka the first novel in my Disenchanted & Co. steampunk urban fantasy series for Pocket Star.
This is also when I usually natter on about how my published novels are my only source of income, and buying a copy shows your support for me, and that keeps PBW funded and ad-free etc. etc. This is still true, but let's skip all that so I can tell you a story.
This past weekend I took a box of author copies of Disenchanted & Co. to a steampunk show, where I handed them out for free to people at random. Everyone was surprised to be offered a book for nothing (a few were suspicious that by doing so I was somehow trying to dupe them) and most were quite willing to talk a bit with me.
While doing so I chatted with these folks about the series and my work, and asked them if they enjoyed the story to let other readers know about it. I didn't just talk book, either; I discussed steampunk art and Lovecraft with an older gentlemen, jewelry-making with a wonderful artist, and the glories of vintage clothing with a trio of seamstresses. One of the vendors talked about a friend who is self-publishing; another offered to vote for my book at WorldCon (I advised him of my doubts at being nominated -- with a straight face!)
I had to go back and forth to the truck four times to refill my tote and made a circuit of the entire show twice in three hours, but I handed out every single book I'd brought with me. It was a lot of fun and while I probably wasn't perfect -- I need to practice pitching faster -- I think I did okay.
Before the show, on the other hand, I was a mess. I didn't sleep a minute the night before, and then I nearly blinded myself trying to put on mascara that morning. I've decided that hair straightener irons are evil and I'm never again borrowing my daughter's; people will just have to put up with my waves. I also forgot that no matter how carefully you plan something like this you will always leave something (!my business cards!) behind on the kitchen table.
And why was I such a mess, you ask? Because handing out books at this show was the first time I've made a public appearance as an author since 2003. I'm pretty sure the people at the show didn't pick up on how nervous I was (or that while I was talking to them I could barely see out of my right eye.)
Yes, after eleven years I finally left the BatCave; that is how much I love this series.
So: I hope you'll help me keep writing it by investing today in a copy of Disenchanted & Co. or (if you've already read the e-books) buying a copy for a loved one or friend. I'll sweeten the deal, too: if sales of this book are brisk, I promise to make another public appearance -- one I'll actually announce ahead of time -- at the Disenchanted & Co. booth at MegaCon Orlando in March.
Not enough? Okay. If Disenchanted & Co. debuts on the New York Times mass market bestseller list in February, I'll make a public appearance at one of the big/national writer or reader cons in 2014 (something I haven't done in 12 years.)
Online places where you can buy my book:
Barnes & Noble
As always, thanks for your support of my books, PBW and me.