Tuesday, 13 November 2018

New Book Marketing: Bad Girl Tells All, on Anne R. Allen's blog this week!


I'm on Anne R. Allen's blog this week with a post:
 
New Book Marketing: The Bad Girl’s List for Book Launch Success

(click below this sample for the full post)

By Melodie Campbell

When I was a marketing director, some of us kicked around this saying: We know that half the advertising dollars we spend are wasted.  Trouble is, we don’t know WHICH half.

I liken this to promotion time.  You can spend a pantload of time promoting your books, to the point that you don’t have time to write any new ones.  So how do you make best use of precious time?  

What works and what doesn’t?
This post is about what has worked for me.  But it also illustrates what is done behind the scenes, by my publisher.

But Publishers Don’t DO Anything Anymore to Promote Your Books, Right?  WRONG.

Writing a book is fun.  Sure, it’s a lot of work.  But most writers admit it’s a lot more fun writing a book than marketing it.  I’m fortunate to be with Orca Book Publishers, a medium-large Canadian publishing house.  They do a lot of house promotion of my books.  I regularly hear people complain that publishers don’t do anything anymore to promote your books.  That’s simply not true.  Here, I’ve broken down what they do, and below that, what I do.
WHAT ORCA DOES


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Looking for a Hallowe'en book to read?


This Hallowe'en...
Join the lovable Gallo mob family for a madcap
Hallowe'en Party!  

      "Hilarious"
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

Winner of the Derringer and 
     Arthur Ellis Awards

Available at all the usual suspects

(go to book page in menu for links)

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Just in time for Hallowe'en! Books I will Never Write, Part 1: Dino Porn

...and you thought I was kidding.

On SLEUTHSAYERS today!  Here's the link:

https://www.sleuthsayers.org/2018/10/just-in-time-for-halloween-books-i-will.html

Repeated here, for my regularly readers:

Just in Time for Hallowe'en! Books I will Never Write Part 1: Dino Porn

By Melodie Campbell (Bad Girl)

Apparently, I have been sounding too normal these days.  There have been complaints. The following is an attempt to rectify that.

People pay money for the weirdest reads.  Don't believe me?

DINOSAUR PORN

Yes, you heard that right.  This is a 'thing.'  No, I don't mean porn that randy male dinosaurs might read, involving somewhat sassy females of the same species who like a good time.  Last I checked, dinosaurs couldn't read.  Not even the urban ones.

But I'm not here to talk about that.  I'm not even going to talk about the weirdness of someone wanting to *write* about sexual relations between a human of today and a creature that might possibly have become extinct during an ice storm back in the good old days.  All writers are weird.  Some are more weird than others (thank you, George Orwell.)

Nope.  I'm here to talk about the blatant inequality in the dinosaur porn field.  Not only that, in ALL areas of human/not-even-remotely-human erotica.

Don't believe me?  Have you noticed that all these erotic books that star humans and some other race like Vampires or Werewolves or Aliens or Ducks (hey - has it been done?) always feature a girl with the Vampire or Werewolf?  Or in our case, a girl with the T-Rex?

Why is it always that way around?  Never do you see a young man being pursued by, say, a randy female dino.  I have to assume female dinos are more discriminating.

So in the interests of fair play, just in time for Hallowe'en, I offer my version of Dino porn.

It might go like this:

"La, la, lalalala, la, lala, la la..." <innocent young female stegosaurus frolics among the Precambrian (whatever) wild-flowers, unaware that she is about to be approached from behind>

"Hey hey," says health male homo sapien, who obviously time-traveled here from another era.  "You on Tinder, babe?"

"Tinder?" says Steggy-gal, unfamiliar with the vernacular.  "Isn't this a grassland?"

"How about I just show you my equipment?" says creepy guy, who might possibly be blind.  "I'll just take it out here...oops, no.  That's my phone."

"Oh! There's a butterfly!" says Steggy-gal, easily distracted.

"HA," says creep, lining up to do the dirty.  "Bet ya never had it like THIS before!"

"Gee, these flies are a nuisance," says Steggy, batting the annoyance away with her spiked tale.  "Why do they always hang around THAT end..."

"YEOOOOOOOW"

Okay, enough pastiche-ing around.  It's discimination, pure and simple.  Okay, maybe not pure.  And possibly more complicated than simple.  All those extra bits.  Which reminds me.  Girl with a Squid comes out in 2019.

Melodie Campbell writes some pretty wild comedy.  She even gets paid to do it, by poor unsuspecting publishers.  Check out her many series at www.melodiecampbell.com

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Meet Teddy!!

(as in Bear.) 20.3 pounds at 14 weeks; we have another giant on our hands. Will be going for St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog training in 2 years, if all goes well. Sunny would be pleased, snif. Man, I had forgotten how much work puppies are...

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Saying Goodbye to Beloved Frankenpoodle, a St. John Therapy Dog

My beloved Frankenpoodle crossed the Rainbow Bridge tonight. He was twelve and a half, a wonderful wonderful St. John Ambulance therapy dog, who did such good with many disabled children. Such a good life lived. 
Even though I knew it had to be soon, I can't stop crying. Dear Sunny.

He was famous, although he didn't know it.  This appeared in The National Post Newspaper, about seven years ago:


WRITING FUNNY WITH FRANKENPOODLE

By Melodie Campbell

If Dr. Frankenstein were creating a dog, this is what he might end up with.   Standing 30 inches at the shoulder, Frankenpoodle is a giraffe in a dog suit.

I got my start writing comedy.  Frankenpoodle got his start as the klutzy giant of the litter. No breeding for him.  Instead, he became a canine muse.  Together, we have slogged through seventeen novels; me at the keyboard, him on the worn brown chaise beside me.  Both of us snarfing snacks and looking forward to walk time. 

Damn straight, this dog inspires me.  Toker, the big black poodle-cross with the Mohawk hairdo in The Goddaughter’s Revenge, steals the show. 
 

 The dog that stole my heart:

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Why I Chose a Traditional publisher


by Melodie Campbell (Bad Girl) 

Students often ask me why I don’t self-publish. 
I try to slip by the fact that I was a babe when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Meaning, I was writing long before self-publishing on Amazon and Nook etc. had even become an option.

Having a publisher and agent before self-publishing was a 'thing' has certainly made a difference, I'm sure.  But now we have a choice. 

Why do I still stay with a traditional publisher?

Gateway Endorsement

There’s no getting away from this:  a traditional publisher, no matter how small, is investing THEIR money to produce YOUR book.  They believe in your book so much that they are willing to risk their own money to see it published.

What’s more, readers know this.  They know that if your book has a publisher, then it has gone through a gateway of sorts.  Someone in the business who knows about the book trade – someone other than the writer - has determined that this book is worthy of being published.

They believe in your book.  That’s a huge endorsement.

You may believe in your book.  I hope you do.  And you may decide to self-publish it.  That’s your choice.  And it may be just as good as any book that is released from a traditional publisher. 

But the reader doesn’t know that.  Further, they don’t know if you’ve already sent the book to a dozen publishers and had it rejected.  In many cases, they assume you’ve done just that.  They assume that no publisher  wanted it.  Therefore, they figure they are taking a risk if they buy your book.  And most readers don’t want to take risks with their money.  (Some will, bless them.  We love those 
readers.)

Distribution and Promotion

Traditional publishers – particularly large or mid-size ones – get your books into national bookstore chains.  They will also include your book in their catalogue to the big buyers, create sales info sheets for your book, and perhaps buy ads.  They arrange for industry reviews.  We authors complain they don’t do enough promotion.  But they certainly do these things that we can’t do.

We, as authors, can’t access the same distribution networks.  We can’t easily (if at all) reach the prominent industry reviewers like Library Journal and Booklist. 

And then there’s the whole problem of bookstores insisting on publishers accepting returns.  So if your book doesn’t sell, your publisher has to pay the bookstore back the wholesale price they paid for the book.  Independent authors can’t work that way.  We authors would go broke if we had to return money to every bookstore that shelved our books but didn’t sell them.  Remember, you don’t get the book back.  The cover is sent back and the book is destroyed.  Yes, this antiquated system sucks.

All the other crap

I’m an author.  I want to write.  I don’t want to spend my cherished writing time learning how to navigate Amazon’s self-publishing program, and Nook’s self-publishing program, and all the others.  I don’t want to pay substantive and copy-editors out of my own pocket.  I don’t want to seek out cover designers (although I admit that part might be fun.)  I don’t want to pay a bunch of money upfront to replace the work that publishers do.

If you self-publish, then you become the publisher as well as the author.  I asked myself: do I want to be a publisher? 
  
This was my decision, and you may choose a different one.  You may love being a publisher.  But I find it hard enough being an author.  Adding all those other necessary factors to the job just makes it seem overwhelming to me.  I may be a good writer.  But I have no experience as a publishing industry professional.  I have no expertise.  So I publish with the experts.

You may choose a different route.  Just be aware that when you self-publish, you become a publisher just as much as an author.  It’s all in how you want to spend your time.

Good luck on your publishing adventure, whichever way you choose to go!

That's The B-Team, a humorous heist crime book, on the shelf at Indigo/Chapters, in the photo above.  You can get it at B&N, Amazon and all the usual suspects. 

ON Amazon

Friday, 28 September 2018

A Thank You to the Original Fashionista


My mother died 7 years ago this week.  Today would have been her birthday.  So I am revisiting this post for the first time since the original was posted.  (Yes, this blog has been going a long time!) 

(That's me on the right, after a modeling job, still wearing the last dress from the show.  Mom is on the left, her sister Marg in between us.  Circa 1986.)

My mother was the original fashionista.  From the day I was born, she dressed me like a princess in petite designer knock-offs.  So it’s no mystery why my latest mystery A PURSE TO DIE FOR (co-written with Cynthia St-Pierre) has a fashion theme to it.

I remember happy Saturdays with Mom traveling the subway to Eaton’s in Toronto, from the time I was five.  I would gaze at the super stylish manikins in the picture windows at Eaton’s and Simpson’s (both long gone) with pure delight.  It was the 60s and fashions were ‘mod’.  Colour sizzled. Makeup was bold.  And 
Mom was a gorgeous diva who turned heads everywhere.

Many years later, I took my own trips down the runway in Vancouver and Toronto, as an occasional fashion model for Marilyn Brooks and others.  And trip is the right word!  Sometimes those high heels were a little too stiletto.

Now, my own daughter Alex rules the runway, and has taken over as the family fashion Diva.  Why?

One of the tragedies of my life is that my mother died mere months before A PURSE TO DIE FOR was published.  It was my gift to her – a fun and heartfelt thank you for the brightness she created in my life.  Mom was the sun around which this family spun.  Her love of beauty in art and clothes reflected the beauty of her soul.

The heroine in A PURSE TO DIE FOR has the same fashion addiction, and the same big heart.  What Gina recognizes – and what my Italian mother so effortlessly portrayed – is that fashion is just downright fun, and we should take joy from it.

So to my dear Mom who walked the Rainbow Runway just months before A PURSE TO DIE FOR came out – this book is for you.  Miss you every day.  Ciao Bella.