Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Launch Party for THE BODY ELECTRIC!

Ermahgerd, it's almost time for The Body Electric's release! O.O How can it possibly be that time already?! It feels like just yesterday I was still pouring over the book, tweaking commas and cutting semicolons.

But the calendar tells me it's almost October.

And October 6th is the day The Body Electric is released.

And October 7th is the day Malaprop's is hosting a launch party for the book! I have been told that there will be cupcakes, and I know there will be books, and I shall attempt to be witty and informative and answer any questions you may have about the book or publishing, and I would love to see you there! While the Limited Editions are all sold out, I'll have copies of the Special Edition for sale there (all the same content, minus the special signed/number page), and I'll be giving out as much swag as I can while I still have supplies of it. Did I mention the cupcakes?

So if you're in the area--come see me! This is the first event I'll be doing for The Body Electric, and one of the few events I'm doing solo, so I'm super nervous about it. But no matter what happens, in the end there will be books and cupcakes, so that seems to indicate a good party to me :)

Edited to add: Since this book is a self published book, you may start seeing it available for sale a little earlier than October 6. It doesn't have a hard release date, so once bookstores get it, they can put it on sale.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Reviewers Wanted

So, there was a mistake at the printers I was using for copies of THE BODY ELECTRIC, and I have about seven defective copies of the book. They look perfectly fine on the outside, and the book itself is totally readable. The only problem is that the art on the title page was blacked out, so it's basically a blank black page rather than an image.

Obviously, I can't sell these copies, but I could give them away... I'm planning some major giveaways for readers soon, but nothing reviewer-specific. So I thought...why not give these defective copies to some earlier reviewers?

If you run a book blog or otherwise do reviews of books (i.e. for your newspaper, on GoodReads, whatever), then sign up below! I'll just do a random giveaway for this, and it'll be super short, as I'd like to get these in the mail ASAP. This giveaway will end 11:59pm, EST, on Sunday.

So! If you do any kind of book reviews, just sign up with your email address below. I'll select 5 or more random people from the sign-up form and send them copies of the book--just be advised that these are defective copies with the title page messed up. Open internationally; if you're younger than 19, get your parent/guardian's permission to enter.

Note: If you are one of the reviewers I have contacted directly to request a review, you do NOT need to sign up here. The delay in your copy is because of this printing error--you'll get the copies I promised you as soon as clean copies come back from the printer! 

The giveaway is now over!
Thanks to everyone for participating.
Books are being mailed to the randomly chosen entrants: 
--Liz G.
--Kimberly D.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Only 50 Copies Left!! Order THE BODY ELECTRIC now!

Just a friendly reminder that once the Limited Edition books are sold out, they're gone forever! Only 350 will ever be made*, and they are very special indeed, chock full of features, swag, and art.

You can read all about the Limited Edition and everything it includes here--and all of that for just $14.99! 

Some of you have mentioned that it's a lot of swag and extras for such a low price. And you're right. This is my gift to you. This is my way of thanking you for supporting me and my work. And this is my way of thanking local indie bookstores--in particular Malaprops, which has supported me from the start.

Every sale of this book directly benefits Malaprops, a beautiful local indie bookstore in the heart of Asheville. All the sales are going through them and only through them--and they told me today some very important news:


Soooo...if you want a Limited Edition copy of the book, complete with swag and signatures and all kinds of goodies--ORDER NOW!

Of course, you will still be able to order a copy of the book regardless after this--it just won't have all the goodies.

Pre-order Ebooks:

Print books will be on sale on October 6. There will be two versions available: a special edition (with all the extra goodies in the back--short story, interview, history, etc.) and a regular edition that's just the book. They'll be on sale at Amazon, BN, IndieBound, and anywhere else you request it.

AND DON'T FORGET! You can enter to win a copy of the book from GoodReads here!

BUT IF YOU WANT A LIMITED EDITION--ORDER NOW! You get all the goodies, you support an indie bookstore, and while you're there, you could order some more signed books from author friends! Such as...Stephanie Perkins, Alexandra Duncan, Megan Shepherd, Meagan Spooner, Alan Gratz, and more! BUY ALL THE BOOKS!!!

*350 copies of the Limited Edition are being made, but only 300 will be sold. The other 50 I am reserving for giveaways, reviews, and things like that.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Enter to Win a Copy of THE BODY ELECTRIC!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Body Electric by Beth Revis

The Body Electric

by Beth Revis

Giveaway ends October 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Sneak Peek at the Extra Features in THE BODY ELECTRIC Limited Edition!

There's about 100 copies left of the Limited Edition of THE BODY ELECTRIC available from my local indie bookstore, Malaprops, and to help convince you to buy one of these awesome limited editions, I thought I'd show you guys some of the awesome that's going to be included :)

Designed by the brilliant Hafsah at IceyDesigns, the Limited Edition cover is matte--it has a smooth, velvet finish that makes me want to pet it. That's weird. I shouldn't say that. AND YET.

Notice also the special ribbon there at the bottom--this book is definitely a Limited Edition.

And while we're speaking of Hafsah's design--take a look at the beautiful interior design of the book!

This book also has a special signing page, that's just for this edition, and every book will be signed and numbered. Of course, you can still get it personalized--just let Malaprops know when you order it!

 And I want to take a moment and say that this really, truly is a limited edition. Only 350 books are going to be made in this edition, and only 300 will be for sale. Of course, you can get the regular book--but it won't have all the content, and it won't be signed and numbered.

So get yours now while it's still available!

There are about twenty extra pages of content in this book, including a map and lots of extra features. I've reprinted my story, "The Turing Test," in this edition, along with a page explaining how this short story (which I thought of after a conversation in Subway of all places) sparked the idea that eventually turned into a whole novel.

But I definitely wanted more content for you guys--you deserve it! So, in addition to the short story, I also have...

An article about how the book came to be, and...

...and exclusive interview about writing, sci fi, and more, plus...

...A brief history of the future of the world, which was a trip to write!

The Limited Edition includes a special packet full of swag and exclusive things! The boring stuff first: every limited edition will include a coupon code for a free copy of the e-book; I believe e-books should be included with print books, so I'm putting my money where my mouth is and including a free copy with each limited edition. It will be available in multiple formats, and will work with Kindles, Nooks, Kobos, and most other e-reading devices.

Swag will include a beautiful bookmark, a fun sticker, an extra print copy of the map of the world, and a series of amazing, stunning, and beautiful art cards--featuring art not just from The Body Electric, but also from Across the Universe!

You've seen some of them before:

The Mucha-style illustrations are by Christine Tyler, and every Limited Edition comes with a set. BUT THERE'S MORE! You'll also get a set of cards designed by the extremely artist Hizome, an extraordinarily talented design student.

Her first illustration features Elder watching over a sleeping Amy underneath a tree on Centauri-Earth. I love the look in Elder's eyes, and the cute way Amy's sleeping!

And here's Hizome's illustration of Jack and Ella, the main characters of The Body Electric. She's chosen to show them on the rooftop garden in Ella's Maltese home, and there are so many perfect details to the illustration. I love the way she gave Jack such a long face, and the silver locket is exactly like I envisioned it. And if you look closely, there's a tiny bee flying...a deeply symbolic image in the book.

 AND THAT'S NOT ALL. OMG you guys, there's so much awesome here. Because I have one last set of art cards to show you--by Marion Bordeyne, of Petra Pan fame on tumblr! Her cards are themed couples.

First there's Amy and Elder sharing a sweet kiss. Amy's hair is perfect, and Elder's stance-- *romantic sigh*

And here we have Jack and Ella. I love the way she's sort of pushing him away just as he reaches for her. Their dynamic is so difficult to capture, but I think Marion did it perfectly here.

AND OMG THAT'S NOT ALL. I had some special swag made for you guys. Lesley at SweetGeek has a brilliant idea to make a necklace with interchangeable plates. Each of the designs is a small magnet (so if you're not a necklace-wearing person, feel free to use the magnets on whatever you want). Each necklace pack comes with three designs--although I'm sure you could order more from her Etsy store if you're so inclined!

Here I am modeling my necklace at DragonCon! 

I'll be including one of these necklace sets randomly in FIVE of the limited edition packets. It'll be totally random--I'm not even the person packaging the books that are pre-ordered--but five of you will be getting this extra in your packages! And if you come to my live event on October 7, you can get pin buttons in the same design--plus lots more swag. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Introvert's Guide to Selling Books at a Con

Last week, I attended DragonCon, a huge convention with over 60,000 people in attendance. It was full of exactly the kind of people who I know (I hope!) would like my book--this is my audience, and my challenge this weekend was to find the most effective ways to reach them.

Now, to a lot of people, I seem like an extrovert. I'm not that shy, and I'm okay in front of audiences. But I'm actually very introverted. My friend Andrea Cremer summed it up perfectly: an extrovert gets energy from being around other people; an introvert recharges by being alone. And in those terms, I'm extraordinarily introverted. I can be in a crowd or in front of audiences, but it drains me. Being social is as draining for me as working out. Even being on Skype--this is why I limit the number of events and I do. Doing an event for an hour takes me all day to hype myself up and then to recover after. In very stressful, very big events, I will often just sit in silence in a room by myself to recover.

So DragonCon, packed to the brim with people, is like an Iron Man Triathlon to me.

As a fan, DragonCon was just solid fun. Seeing panels that were hugely interesting, people watching the cosplay, geeking out over fun things. As an introverted author who wanted to promo and maybe even sell her books, it was a bit more complicated.

Here's how I tackled the weekend not as a fan, but as an introverted author.

  • Be organized. Get your schedule and study it. Figure out where you have on time and where you have down time, and make sure you have the down time you need. And when you can't get downtime, come up with a plan. Don't have time to go back to your hotel room? Go to the green room, ask for a quiet room, or even just locate the nearest bathroom to catch five minutes alone. 
  • Get help. This was the biggest boon for me. I drafted my husband to be my helper for the weekend. He was in charge of the details: handing out the promo stuff while I started my panels, carting books around, taking care of the money during sales. It also enabled me to make him the salesperson and me the author, which reduced my stress considerably.
  • Use social media at live events. It's so simple, but so easy to forget. Here's how I approached social media in terms of DragonCon:
    • A few weeks before the con: tweeted and tumbld that I'd be there. The schedule wasn't final yet, but I wanted people to know I'd be there. I also let people know I'd be signing and selling books. 
    • The week of the con: tumbld and tweeted my schedule, and posted my schedule on the blog. I also made sure to keep my schedule as the top post on my blog throughout the event. 
    • Fifteen minutes before a panel or signing: tweeted, using the hashtag, about the event, and saying that I hoped to see people there. 
    • During my signing, I tweeted fifteen minutes or so before, and then I tweeted every fifteen minutes during the signing to tell people about it. I followed the rule of four--it was an hour long event, so I tweeted at every quarter. I obviously didn't tweet when readers were around--I tweeted at the lulls, when the table was empty.
    • Remember: don't harass your social media followers, especially the ones not there. Tell the people about your stuff, but don't go overboard.
  • Make your stuff do the talking so you don't have to. This was my biggest take-away from the event. Before panels, I asked the husband to pass out cards that had my book info and newsletter subscription on it. Everyone got the stuff, so I know they had my book info and I didn't feel the pressure to talk so much about it--my cards did my talking for me. And during the big signing I designed my table so passers-by could see what I was about without me having to leave the table and do a hard sell, and I used social media to call others over. 
I know some people are really in favor of what I call the "car salesman approach." They stand up at their table, they literally pull people over and pitch their books. They're charismatic and they draw people in and they sell their books with everything they have. At RT two years ago, I sat next to a person who did this, and I saw him sell a dozen books this way. It works. But it doesn't work for me. I can't do that. I can't be that person. 

But after two signings at DragonCon with only about ten people--or less!--showing up, I knew I had to try something different. 

And that's where my table design came in. 

This is what the table looks like when you get there. Just a table, a water pitcher, and two chairs. And for the past two years at Dragon Con, I left it like that. The only thing I added was a single copy of my book, propped up for display, and a Sharpie. And, to be honest, when I looked around me at DragonCon this year, the other authors were doing the exact same thing.

This year, I added more things:

And this year, by no coincidence, I also sold around 40 books. Here's a list:
  • Sign in the front of the table. It is a braggy sign--I have the NY Times list, a Kirkus Star, and a pull quote. And it labels me as author--sometimes people don't always realize the person sitting behind the books is actually the author. I made it colorful and chatty (using a template from Staples), and the poster is laminated and reusable. People are curious about what you're doing at the table, but they also know that if they approach to find out, they might be pulled into a hard sales pitch they're not interested in. So I made the sign to tell them who I am and what I have to offer, so they can walk on by if they're not interested. And I know for a fact that the sign sold at least two books--two strangers walked by, saw the sign, and stopped because it was interesting to them.
  •  Book display set up. It's hard to see in this picture, but I actually have stacks of books behind each of the AtU books, and anyone walking by could see I had stock. The husband sat in the chair beside me, behind the books, with a bag of change and a card reader, so there was no doubt that books were on sale. Most people didn't bring their own books to sign; having the stock there and readily available (and visible) signaled to people that it was available.
  • Freebies that I was very free with. I had post cards, pin buttons, and more sitting on the table, and one of the first things I said to anyone who approached was to take something for free. People are interested in free. It gives them something to talk about, something to have in their hands, and it takes the pressure off me to be the salesman. The husband handled the money and sold the books--I gave out the free stuff. 
  • Sign up forms. I used two: one for pre-orders of my new book, and one for sign ups to my newsletter. Even if people didn't want to buy things, they could stay up to date on future things, and several people took this opportunity. 
  • Listen. I put the table on the offensive--it did my introductions for me. Which let me be in the position where I could bypass my introduction and listen to my readers as they approached. It gave them the chance to set the stage for our conversation. It gave them the opportunity to talk first, which let me listen. Introverts are much better at listening than talking, and as a writer, I would much rather listen to my readers than talk at them.
I've had a similar table set-up at the RT Convention, and I do feel that doing something like this, where your table can do the selling and talking for you, is the perfect solution for the introvert. What about you? What ideas do you have to help introverts reach readers?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DragonCon: Doing it Right

WHEW. Well, despite being a touch under the weather (and thus not being able to hang out with people nearly as much as I wanted to), I survived DragonCon 2014, and it was AMAZING!

I'm going to be doing a separate post later about the advantages of doing DragonCon as an author (namely: book exposure and book sales) and some of what I've learned in the past. I'm still something of a newb; I've been three years in a row, but am still learning all the time from the true veterans who have DragonCon down to a science.

A science of FUN, I mean--DC isn't all work and no play! It's a lot of fun, full of amazing people and amazing cosplay and amazing stuff. But today I want to talk about a few serious points that really should be mentioned.

Here's some of what DragonCon did exceptionally well:

  • DCTV: DragonCon TV. In all the host hotels, there's a station called DCTV that plays panels and highlights from the con. Interspersed between shows are fun parody commercials, cute skits, music, and "bumps"--funny anecdotes similar to what's on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. This year, I noticed two important commercials: one warning people that service animals are workers and you should treat people with service animals with respect, and two separate commercials about how cosplay is not consent. Good on you, DCTV, for making sure that your audience is reminded of these important facts. 
  • And speaking of consent, another good point for DragonCon: an established system to handle pervs. There were over 60,000 people at this year's con, and of course some of them were douche canoes. My husband noticed one guy hanging around at the top of a staircase, using his iPad to sneak down-the-shirt shots of girls. We went straight to a DragonCon volunteer and reported him. In seconds, she handled the situation like a pro. It was clear that (a) the staff and volunteers were trained to handle such a situation, (b) there was a system in place that they were all aware of, and (c) that behavior was not going to be tolerated. 
  • It's worth mentioning that this is no new thing--DragonCon is huge, but takes the safety of its attendees seriously. When I casually mentioned that a drunk guy was behaving inappropriately to a friend and me last year, DragonCon staff bent over backwards to help me (although we got rid of him ourselves by the time I mentioned it). 

This all makes it sound like there's a huge issue with creepers or something, which is not at all my intent--I just think that there's been a lot of flack in the past for Cons that didn't handle this sort of situation correctly, and I want to point out that DragonCon did. You can't control bad people from doing bad things, but you can control how you attempt to prevent it and how you respond when it happens, and DragonCon is clearly working to the good on that.

Tomorrow: a fun post!