Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gabrielle Evans: Death and Resurrection of Common Sense

A small-town girl from southern Oklahoma—we are talking one red light that may or may not work depending on the day of the week—Siren-exclusive author Gabrielle Evans believes in taking chances and pushing boundaries.

Gabrielle’s best-selling series are driven by her belief that everyone has a happy ending waiting to happen, even if it’s found in a seemingly unconventional way. When she’s not busy writing her next anxiously awaited book, she’s living her own happily ever after, married to her high school sweetheart. For now, she parks her car in central Indiana, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.


Zasha Gershwin lives a rigidly controlled life. He doesn’t see anything wrong with being prepared and organized, and he certainly doesn’t have time for such frivolous things as love. He cares for Thane, and he’s certainly attracted to the witch, but that’s just how the mating bond works.

While his mate may not remember their previous life together, Thane Braddock has no trouble recalling every moment, right up to their tragic end. Now, he has a second chance to make everything right. Unfortunately, he’s making all new mistakes this time around.

Evil lurks to the west, spreading its shadow across the desert, and the races hover on the verge of war. When the Braddocks are called to answer the rising threat, Thane and Zasha’s turbulent relationship will be pushed to its breaking point. Can they rekindle the old flame before it’s too late? Or is history destined to repeat itself?

The Death and Resurrection of Common Sense
Common sense tells us that we shouldn’t attend an awards ceremony and interrupt the Guest of Honor to talk about how fabulous we are. We also shouldn’t interrupt the presenter to talk about how fabulous someone else is. Remember the whole Kanye West/Taylor Swift thing at the 2009 VMAs?
Yeah, it’s like that.
It seems more and more, people with an ounce of common sense are a dying breed. One of the big questions I’ve been asked from newbie authors in the last couple of months is, “How do I get my name out there.”
Well, there are a lot of ways to do it. There are also a plethora of ways NOT to do it. Mostly, I’m going to talk about the latter. So sit down, strap in, and hang on, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. I’ll warn you now, if you are easily offended, you might want to click that little red X in your upper right-hand corner.
Everyone still with me? Good. Let’s get started.
Your first book has been published. You’re excited, over the moon, and anxious to get your hands dirty pimping your book like a sweaty, overweight car salesman. It’s part of the job. People can’t buy your book if they don’t know about it. However, there are appropriate venues and then there is just being a twatwaffle.
Common sense should dictate that it is never acceptable to promote your work on another author’s Facebook page without their approval. It’s just rude.
Authors work hard. You are one now. You should know. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc. are not “public” forums. They are not “Open for Business.”
Your fellow authors have worked damn hard to create the best possible story they can. They have put in the man hours to promote themselves, push their books, and build their readership. They didn’t become popular overnight. There was no magic “easy button.” They worked their asses off and paid their dues.
Their social media outlets are for them to connect with readers, and yes, even other authors. It’s a way to keep their fans updated and informed. They are not your PR representative. Would you walk into Wal-Mart and start setting up signs and promotional banners for K-Mart?
Again, it’s the same thing.
With that being said, most authors are more than happy to give you a shout out on their wall. We’ll gladly host you on our blogs. We want to see you succeed. However, there is a protocol that should be followed.
Be humble. Be grateful. Be gracious.
We are not obligated to promote your book. We want to help you, but we are in no way required to shout your name from the rooftops, so stop acting like it. Arrogance and expectation don’t go down well with the morning coffee.
Yes, we were all new once. For those of us who found support from more established authors, it was because we followed these unwritten rules.
And if you’re wondering, posting a THANKS FOR THE ADD graphic displaying your book covers and website URL to another author’s wall after you friended them is the same damn thing. Just because it’s sneaky doesn’t make it okay. In fact, it makes it worse. When you do this, you are essentially saying to me (or whoever you’re posting to) that I’m not smart enough to understand what you just did.
Do not whine about reviews. Period.
“OMG! This reviewer hates me. I can’t believe she was so mean. My book isn’t really that awful. I can’t believe she said it was horrible. It’s not awful. Really, it’s not. Right? Please tell me it’s not!”
I get it. We’ve all been there. And that’s exactly my point. We have ALL BEEN THERE! Whatever review you just received that you think ended your world…someone out there has received worse. Pick yourself up, wipe the snot from your nose, and carry on.
Here is my biggest issue with this type of self-pity, however. Don’t look to me or anyone else for affirmation. If you don’t have the confidence to stand behind your story, faults and all, you shouldn’t write it. Really, it’s that simple. You will never please everyone, so don’t even try. Write what makes you happy. If at the end of the day, you are satisfied with what you wrote, that’s all that matters. When it’s all said and done and the smoke clears, you need to be able to sit back and say, “I did the best I could, and I’m proud of what I wrote.”
It’s a jungle out there, baby. The weak don’t survive long.
Do not attack readers. Ever. No. That’s it. That is the end of that statement. Never, ever, under any circumstance do you have the right to attack a reader. Seriously. I cannot express this enough. Do. Not. Do. It. I don’t care if someone left a review that says you smell like a litter box and your mother wears army boots. Do. Not. Fucking. Do. It.
And here’s one just for shits and giggles. It doesn’t necessarily apply to new authors, but it doesn’t necessarily not apply.
Just because authors write in the same genre, that does not make our names synonymous or interchangeable. We are not members of some secret society where we don robes and meet under churches on the full moon to bathe in the blood of virgins.
I love J.L. Langley’s books. If I was ever given the opportunity to meet her, I would inappropriately fangirl and squeal like a French prostitute. Sadly, I have yet to be presented with this chance to scare the shit out of her with my awkwardness.
My point is that while we both write in the same genre, we are not even acquaintances. Not even a single email has been shared between us. Oddly enough—and hang on to your bloomers for this one—while most authors have at least spoken once in passing, we’re not friends, and it has nothing to do with liking or disliking one another.
When an author shares a new cover or announces a new release, this is their one moment to shine. It is their opportunity to shout, “Look what I’ve done, world!” They are in their “house” and have every right to a little bragging after months of no sleep and stress while preparing this book. It’s our brief moment to feel the awkward fangirl love—maybe even be scared a little by some of it.
There is nothing worse than excitedly announcing the release of a book you have poured your heart and soul into and getting comments like:
“That guy on the cover reminds of me Synonymous Author’s book! Oh, I need to go read that again, right now!”
“Oh, that reminds me that Not Your Friend’s new book just released today, too! I need to buy it!”
“I love your books! You are one of my favorite authors, along with Who, Huh, Okay, and Interchangeable.

I’m not saying it’s never okay to talk about other authors. Sometimes, it is even encouraged. But writers maintain these social media avenues to interact with their readers and keep them informed.
Remember when you were a kid, and you ran home from school, excited to show your parents those three As you got on your report card? Now, imagine you did this, and your parents said, “That’s great, but look! Susan got ALL As! Isn’t that fabulous?”
Your special moment doesn’t seem quite so special anymore, does it? That’s kind of how it feels when you tag other authors in comments on special announcements.
Okay, let’s review the dos and don’ts.
DO network with others in the industry.
DON’T spam them with your promo

DO respect your readers.
DON’T attack them like a herpes infested, festering ball sac.

DO employ social media to post announcements and interact with readers.
DON’T use your social media avenues like the company bulletin board by posting an ad for your book and then running away as though it’s a neighborhood yard sale.

DO support your peers.
DON’T use your support as a hidden agenda to further your own career. It doesn’t work, and you’re not fooling anyone.
There’s so much more, but we’ll leave it here for now. Use common sense. If you wouldn’t do it in the real world, you shouldn’t do it in cyberland.

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