Monday, December 5, 2011

Giving It Away

 What a fun person Marian Allen is! I love the trailer for Force of Habit. Now I must get the book.

30-second YouTube spot: 

When Bel Schuster swaps clothes with a native and goes off-limits on the planet Llannonn, she lands in several flavors of hot water. Alien criminals, local slavers and the planet's own particular legal code end up in a baggy-pants courtroom drama.

Giving It Away

When my previous book, EEL'S REVERENCE, came out, I ran a contest during my blog book tour for it. One of the prizes was the right to name a character in a short story I pledged to write to promote FORCE OF HABIT. The winner of the drawing was one Holly Jahangiri.

Now, I had "met" Holly in Dani Greer's Blog Book Tour class, but she was only a slight acquaintance. When she won the contest, I started following her blog, I "friended" her on FaceBook and I "traded follows" with her on Twitter.

After a few months, I got an idea for the story: On the planet Llannonn, living books--people who, as in Bradbury's FAHRENHEIT 451, memorize and recite texts--live in a cross between a library and a rooming house. Some of them go missing. The librarians and a cop team up to solve the mystery.  I would call it "By the Book".

Like FORCE OF HABIT, the story would be sf/crime/humor. Holly would be one of the librarians. Her Twitter avatar included a purple feather boa, so I wrote a purple feather boa into the story.

By the time I finished the story, submitted it to my publisher and went through the edits, my familiarity with Holly the character cemented my friendship with Holly the person. The connection must have manifested itself electronically because my publisher, with no input from me, made a cover for the eStory featuring -- a purple feather boa.

Holly loved the story and helped me promote it (it's free at Smashwords -- if you really want to, you can pay $0.99 for it at Nook or Kindle stores) and helped me promote FORCE OF HABIT. She even interviewed herself on my blog. <>

I recently ran another contest and the right to name a character in a new short story was won by -- HOLLY! So there will be a sequel to "By the Book". I think I'm going to call it -- and this is the first announcement of the title -- "By Hook or Crook".

I'm in several writers' email lists, and the question occasionally comes up as to the benefit of contests and of giving writing away. I post free samples at every Sunday, some of them excerpts but many of them flash fiction stories. Although I love earning money with my writing, I find that the satisfaction of sharing my creation is vast. I hope that people who enjoy the free stuff will support me by buying something, too. And the inspiration and friendship I found through writing "By the Book" are beyond price.

I never give anything away. But some things, money can't buy.


Multiple formats at OmniLit 
Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble Nook
Multiple formats at Smashwords 
"By the Book" (Free)


Marian Allen said...

Thanks for having me here, Ellis! I hope you enjoy the book and the free story that goes with it. :)

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Ellis Vidler said...

Marian, I love your sense of humor. It shows in your picture. The trailer for Force of Habit is fast-paced and interesting. The book is on my list for this week. (I have to ration my book buying--I'm an addict.) The story about Holly is nice. Good things do happen where you least expect them. Thanks for being here.

Holly Jahangiri said...

I think that's ultimately what cemented our friendship, Ellis - no matter what Marian says, we share a similarly quirky sense of humor, a way of looking at life's funny side, and an appreciation of wordplay. Seriously - being turned into a character (some said I was already a "character") in Marian's story was, as I said right after winning it, the "Best. Prize. EVER." That I won my way into a sequel - well, I've learned NEVER question luck.

Nope, money can't buy friendship. And it doesn't buy a Living Librarianship on Llannonn, either!

Una Tiers said...

Outstanding book trailer!
Una Tiers

Marian Allen said...

@Ellis, it was great being here. I'm looking forward to COLD COMFORT!

@Holly, you're so right--With great Librarianship comes great responsibility. I think you and I were separated at birth, maybe, or something.

@Una, I'm glad you like the trailer. I discovered that I liked watching short ones, and keeping them short forces me to narrow my focus to one point I absolutely MUST make.

Thanks for visiting and commenting, y'all!