Cover Redesign

•September 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Sumiko Saulson:

The cover redesign :) #HappinessAndOtherDiseases

Originally posted on Happiness and Other Diseases:

Page_1Page_2Page_3Happiness 11

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Paperback Book Giveaway today only on Facebook

•September 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happiness 11

The contest is posted to the top of my Facebook page HERE:

It ends TODAY at 8pm PST


PRIZE: Signed rare pre-release (proofreader’s/ARC or advance release copy) copy of Happiness and Other Diseases – these are very limited edition, the final will have different cover art. I mean only 5 exist, and I’m keeping one.)

HOW TO ENTER: Happiness and Other Diseases is based in Greco-Roman mythology. Post in the comments on the CONTEST post (pinned to the top of my author Facebook page) what is your favorite Greco-Roman myth, and why? The comment with the most likes by 8pm PST on Thursday September 18, 2014 will win.

Book Release Party October 18

•September 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Sumiko Saulson:

So excited about this!

Originally posted on Happiness and Other Diseases:


Book Release, Book Reading, and Book Signing for the dark fantasy “Happiness and Other Diseases”

Saturday, October 18at 2:00pm
The Dark Entry
2589 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, California 94704
(510) 540-6666

Music by DJ Krishna

General Admission is free, but if you want to reserve a signed book (paperback or hardcover) those are included in ticket options at Eventbrite.

PreOrder the eBook at Amazon

Happiness & Other Diseases

Flynn Keahi has had a rough year. His nightmares are starting to manifest in reality, but no one believes him. Terrifying creatures are trying to cross out of dreams into the physical realm. Only Flynn can stop them – but doing so might cost him is life. Complicating matters further, one of these creatures cannot help wanting him — in every forbidden way. Will she be able to save him from his fate?…

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Good free horror

•September 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I was impressed with the artwork and the quality of the stories and I thought I would recommend this.

Check out Issue #16 – Apocalyptic Fiction!
Featuring 94 pages of short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and artwork dedicated to Apocalyptic Fiction! An interview and photography by Danielle Tunstall, as well as Ela Lourenco, author of ‘Essence’

“Legend of the Luna” (with foreword by Greg Wilkey) free til Sept 15

•September 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Because the IndieReCon voting continues until September 15, I am making my 15,000 word YA novella (or is it novelette?) free until the day voting closes. That way people can read the eBook and decided if, in good conscience, they would like to vote for me. 


Legend of the Luna book description

IndieReconNomineeBook One of the serialized tale of “The Moon Cried Blood,” the Legend of the Luna introduces us to the Lunae, and to the character Leticia Gordon. Book One of the serialized tale of The Moon Cried Blood, Legend of the Luna introduces us to the Lunae, four clans of witches who have been endowed with their powers by the moon personified. The spirit of Mother Moon has endowed each Luna clan with a different power: the power to see into the future belongs to the Luna of Beyond, the ability to revisit the pass belongs to the Luna of Before, the Luna of Below can see into the hearts of men, and the Luna of Above can see changes made to the timeline. We are also introduced Leticia Gordon, the thirteen year old protagonist of this story. Distraught and stricken by a series of tragedies, this young girl is now suddenly faced with the dawning revelation that she belongs to not one, but two of these lines of Luna, known collectively as the Lunae.

Introduction by Y.A. Author Greg Wilkey

The Moon Cried Blood Series Overview:

Legend of the LunaIt is said that the Wolf may howl at the Moon, but the Moon never howls at the Wolf. In the gritty urban streets of Los Angeles in 1975, Leticia Gordon is forced to come to terms with many things: the tragic death of her stepmother and baby sister in a car accident, fear she’ll wind up in foster care, and the sudden revelation she belongs to a long line of powerful witches known as Lunae – who exhibit first power at menarche (first menstruation).

Running from foes natural and supernatural, will her newfound powers be the turning point that elevates her position of honor, or will it destroy her like the dark forces that consumed her father? In a world turned upside down where time itself seems in flux, in whom can she trust?

This is a coming of age story.

Get It Free with Coupon Code MW42W

It’s available free HERE ON SMASHWORDS. You can also get it from places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble for 99 Cents.

About the Foreword

It’s by Greg Wilkey, who is also UP FOR AN AWARD at IndieReCon. He’s this guy:

Greg Wilkey is the author of the Mortimer Drake series. Released in June 2013, Star Blood is the fourth installment in the Life and Undeath of Mortimer Drake. Wilkey is in the editing stages on a new series “Growing Up Dead.” A very popular independent author, he has sold close to 10,000 copies of his young adult books and garnered the attention of best-selling author Anne Rice, who said about him:

“Greg Wilkey is a writer to watch. His three suspenseful Mortimer Drake teen vampire novels delight male as well as female readers, and Greg’s imagination, and storytelling have enchanted fans, young and old. I applaud Greg’s immense talent and his willingness to go it alone as an indie published author. Obviously word of mouth is bringing the intrepid Mortimer Drake to new readers every day. Many a New York published writer would be grateful for Greg’s ever increasing sales.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ — Anne Rice, author of Interview with the Vampire.​

Learn more about Greg Wilkey on his website:

Indie Writing: Why more than talent is required

•September 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

There is no dearth of talent

Some people believe that the sole determiner of a writer’s success is talent. Well, let me let you in on a little secret: there is no dearth of talent. The world is filled with incredibly well-written people you’ve never heard of. They hang out at open mike poetry peddling their wares to a dedicated indie crowd. Its roots are in the oral storytelling traditions of our ancestors or the anti-establishment principles of Jack Kerouac. They are rebels who don’t let the New York Times Best Seller List write their reading list.

Finding your audience

But you stumble in the door, and you find out they aren’t your audience. Sure, you can keep reading “Killer Romance” and “What’s Up on Vicksburg?” over and over again. You can pay constant homage to your beatnik poetry roots. But you’re never going to get these guys interested in horror. No matter how transgressive it is. No matter how many times you mention William Burroughs. They have seen your brown face and those little green naps on your head and they DO expect you to sound like Alice Walker. You better get your little Peter Straub sounding ass on down the road, girl.

So you go to the political place with the idealistic younger people and the fundraisers for charities you believe in. And you read Zombie Haiku, because EVERYBODY loves zombie haikus. Then you feel a little more comfortable, so you start reading the stories about evil cats at ManulFest. Because we all have cats, and we all know they are secretly out for revenge.

Now, someone is listening.

Courting your audience

The first hurdle you face is not convincing people you’re good: it’s trying to persuade them to devote a chunk of their limited free time to giving you a chance in the first place. You are competing with a lot of other people, many of who are known quantities. You start out as an unknown quantity.

People do not initially know whether or not you have talent. They do not care. When you first start out, you can hardly even give your book away for free. Your first job is to just convince everybody that for some reason, they should give a shit about your book.

It’s not easy. It may take years.

Once you have convinced people to actually READ your book, THEN it will matter whether or not you are talented.

Increasing your audience

This subject came up recently, because an old and dear friend who also writes became extremely incensed over the fact that the IndieReCon contest is a Reader’s Choice Award (in my words) or as she put it, “a popularity contest.” As such, she said, it proves nothing about the talent of the author.

Reader’s Choice Awards or Viewer’s Choice awards like the ones our local paper the Bay Guardian gives out, and other voting-based awards like the BAM (Bay Area Music magazine) BAMMIES are a contest to determine how popular your artistic product (your band, your book, etc.) is.

Now it is entirely valid to say that a Reader’s Choice Award doesn’t prove you are superiorly talented. It’s just not relevant. Talent is not the only thing you need to develop an audience. You also need promotion. You can promote yourself, or hire or cajole someone else into doing it, but you will need it.

Without promotion, no one is going to give a shit about your book, your band, your local art exhibit, or the play you’re in because no one will hear of it. The theater will have empty seats, and the venue will not want to book you again, because you are costing them money.

As one of my fans said (in response) she was voting for me not because of my popularity as a human being, but because of my popularity as a writer. She read my writing – some of that writing I occasionally give away for free to develop an audience – and she liked it. In fact, I specifically gave away Legend of the Luna on Labor Day Weekend to promote the contest and increase voting.

These contests aren’t to determine your popularity as a person. They are to determine your popularity as an author. They are to let the local bookstore know whether or not the books you want them to clutter their valuable shelf-space with will actually sell.

Representing your set

Now, I learned everything I know about marketing from my mom or from my rapper friends back in the 90s. These guys were Ephriam Galloway, Sick YG, Hugh EMC, Rappin 4Tay, JT the Bigga Figga, this promoter Edwin Hagler aka Duga the Hip Hop Informer, and his friends at KMEL, Chuy Gomez and Franzen. Everybody was selling tapes out of their trunk and using small distribution companies, City Limits, or small record labels like Dog Day or In A Minute.

These people believed in coming up together as a team. You represented someone or something. You represented the Fillmore, and you cared about the other people trying to make it because you were on the same team. You weren’t supposed to be cutting each other’s throats, because if one of you made it that could only be good for the rest.

So that’s how I feel about my writer sets, the Ladies of Literature, the Writer’s Muse Magazine people, Horror Addicts, Women in Horror, my local ladies on the San Francisco Goth scene, the Black Women in Horror Writing, and the writers who listen to the Dinner Party Show as well. We are supposed to have each other’s back, like you and me against the world style. Not climb up each other’s backs.

If you can’t stop talking about yourself long enough to prop up your fellow writers, the ones who you should represent if you do consider yourself a part of any group (horror writers, women writers, black writers – I consider myself part of several groups) people are going to get sick and tired of hearing you talk about yourself all the time.

Social skills do matter

That said popularity as a human being has a direct impact on whether or not you can convince people to read your writing. If people think you’re a douche, they are not going to want to buy a donut from you at a 7-11, much less give your book a chance.

That is not to say that complete jerkholes can’t make it, but it’s like Hugh Laurie’s character on House: when you’re a total dick, you have to be exceptionally talented for people to put up with your shit. Lots of other doctors, who have bedside manners, are making a living by being competent and professional. If your ego is telling you that you’re the House, M.D. of literature, go ahead, be an ass. Maybe you’re the Mozart of the paperback and that can work for you.

Personally, I am going to go with the idea that there are hundreds of thousands of talented writers out there. Many are just as talented or more talented than I am. Given the choice between two equally talented writers, an anthology, small press publisher, or fan might chose the one who is not a raving prima donna. So yes, I think social skills count for something.

Don’t Overcharge

One other thing: If you are indie, and you aren’t selling enough books, make sure you have something out there for free, even if it’s just a short story or some poetry. Most of your future readers will not pay for the first thing they read by you, but if they like it, they’ll buy something else later and it will pay for itself. Also – make sure your books are competitively priced.

The indie writers I know who are having the most difficult all seem to have their books priced way too high. See what other people you are competing with charge, and ask your friends who buy books for opinions. Check out the cost of books at your local bookstore, etc.

Is selling ARCs of a book, before pub. date, considered theft?

•September 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Sumiko Saulson:

I think it’s unethical. When you receive an ARC you should treat it with the same respect as you would confidential client information.

Originally posted on A Bibliophile's Reverie:

 Picture Taken from a recent product page, for a “Prince Lestat” ARC, being sold nearly three months prior to the slated Publication Date.
**Click the hyperlinked text, to be taken to the incriminating Ebay page, which really quite shocked me, to say the least!**

As a book blogger, it is commonplace for me to receive Advance Reader Copies, or Galleys, for books, which I might review and feature here on this book blog. These ARCs are rarely ever shared with anyone else, besides myself, and I have never thought to sell them on Ebay, because there is an unspoken truce between publishers and media outlets to not sell galleys or advance reader copies for profit, in advance of a book’s slated release/publication date. Some people might be wondering, “Why are you writing this article, exposing this kind of stuff, when the practical thing is neither to raise attention to it…

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