Friday, May 11, 2012

A good day for Ghost Planet

171 days until launch. Today was a very good day!

Last year when my agent received the offer from Tor, a good friend of mine put me in touch with a friend of his who is a multi-published author, thinking I might be interested in chatting with a pro about the very big step I was about to take.

It turned out the author was Kat Richardson (bestselling author of the Greywalker paranormal detective series). I knew who she was, because a few years ago when I toured the Seattle Underground in hopes of using that setting as a sort of sanctuary for the homeless in my second novel (ECHO 8), I found that Kat had already done something similar. (I decided to use a creepy old boat instead. Kat's forthcoming release SEAWITCH is set on . . . a creepy old boat. But no homeless people!)

I found Kat a generous person full of good advice. We even have a similar marketing challenge, with our books having two distinct audiences. Since our first email exchange, I have consulted her another time or two, and have joined her local write-in group.

When the time came for blurbs, I immediately thought it would be AWESOME to get Kat. But I was nervous. She was a friend of a friend, and had been kind, and I didn't want to put her in an awkward position. Finally I worked up the nerve to ask, assuring her I would completely understand if (A) she didn't have time, or (B) she decided to read the book but didn't like it.

She graciously agreed to read it, and I heard from her today. Her email was titled "GHOST PLANET," which is of course what it would be titled, but it took me back to my days of querying, and staring at those responses, afraid to open them.

Kat is part imp. You can tell by reading her posts on social media. This is how she started the email:

I've been having a hard time figuring out how to say this, so I guess I'll just blurt it out and get it over with:

Heart drops through stomach. And chair. And floor. And center of the earth.

I was already working on my internal pep talk by the time I absorbed the rest of the email, which took a few passes. Here is an excerpt from her feedback, which included an endorsement she posted on Facebook, Google+, and her personal blog.

OH MY GOD! Finally a Science Fiction novel where the Relationship is as important as the Science and the won't-let-you-go story literally will not work without BOTH! Perfect balance! The pace was great and the story hooked me right up front and kept on twisting and turning all the way to the satisfying end...A novel about complex relationships, dependence, independence, and identity that's also about ecology, science, and coexistence...Fantastic! Congratulations on a wonderful read!

And really, there's nothing else to say about that except THANK YOU, KAT! And everyone go out and buy Seawitch. (Note: GP also received an awesome endorsement from award-winning author Linnea Sinclair, which you can read about here.)

Playlist & Pinterest

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one day, I had even more fun with promotion. I finally got the iTunes playlist for GHOST PLANET updated and linked from my web site. And I spent far too much time fooling around with Pinterest, so there's now a GHOST PLANET board.

I'll give the links below. If you click the one for the playlist, you'll be asked if it's okay to launch iTunes. If you'd rather skip that, you can also just search the iTunes store for "Ghost Planet playlist."

- Ghost Planet Playlist
- Ghost Planet Pinterest Board

Do you guys do playlists? Pinterest boards? Would love to see them!


  1. Huge Congrats, Sharon!
    I don't do Pinterest - it's just one social media site too many for me, but I have done a playlist for Keir. It won't be going live on my blog until June 13th though. :)

  2. Wow, Sharon, what a fantastic endorsement! (Another one!)

    Like I've said before, this one has "break-out novel" written all over it. I'm so excited about the buzz that's already building for GHOST PLANET!

  3. Great comments, there!! Congrats! No Pinterest for me. I don't have music in mind when I do anything except run!

  4. Awesome comments for an awesome novel. You deserve every word!

    Pinterest? Uh, no. I do have iTunes on my computer, though, as I undertake the monumental task of trying to preserve the best of my vinyl collection before I sell/give it away. Yeah. I'm THAT kinda dinosaur.

  5. Awesome! I followed your Pinterest board but couldn't get the playlist to come up! :-( Can't wait for the release! Congrats!

  6. Thanks, Pippa! Come back and announce when you have your playlist up. Are you using iTunes or something else? iTunes used to provide code so you could embed the list on your site. Bummed they don't do that anymore. It was buggy - maybe that's why they quit.

    I know what you mean about social media. When a friend of mine told me about this I thought I need it like a hole in the head. I was right - is TOO easy to get sucked into. But the nice thing is it's not something you have to stay on top of - it's just there.

    I decided to try it when social media maven Kristen Lamb mentioned in an interview how easy it is to use, and that it's great for fueling creativity. My muse draws on visuals A LOT. It didn't occur to me until I started playing around with it that it could be a fun and fresh form of marketing. I love being able to share what I think my characters and world look like.

  7. Thank you, Laurie! I'm excited too. The buzz is a little early - there were a number of comments like "let us know when it's out." But Kat generously offered to repost in October.

    I have been reminding folks it's available for preorder. I don't understand why Amazon and B&N don't allow preordering of digital versions. I would think they lose sales that way. People can go buy and then forget about it, and it would automatically download to their device when it's available. Currently if they want the digital version they have to wait, risking forgetting about it. I suppose I should send them some feedback about that (unless anyone knows a reason they don't do this?).

  8. Hey Sharon,
    I think my biggest issue - aside from doing another site - was a lawyer posted about issues with copyrights - that Pinterest encourages copyright infringement. I do like to use visuals - my blog started off as just someone to post all the images to go with my stories, but... I have trouble enough keeping on what I have. :-P I do like to see what influences other authors use though.
    I use Grooveshark which works a similar way - you can have a widget with a whole playlist, or code to embed each track separately. I have a multiplay widget on the side of my blog with my favourite tracks, and the upcoming blog post has the little individual ones, each with an explanation and/or the lyrics that say why each piece was chosen. :)

  9. I added it to my wishlist so i wouldn't forget.

    (Pinterest changed their TOS to take care of the copyright issue, but yeah, you do need to be careful.) Lots of place encouraging pinning. its free advertising for them.

  10. Thanks so much, Barbara!

    Donna - Aw, thank you. And actually, vinyl is very hip!

    Pauline - Weird, I wonder why. When I click the link it goes to basically an empty page, and a dialog pops up saying Chrome needs to launch an application to continue. What browser are you using? Also if you have iTunes you can just search for the title in the store. Thanks for letting me know, and thanks for the follow!

  11. Very cool, Pippa! I should look at that too. Would like to be able to play them from my web site rather than send people off to iTunes.

    Yeah, I wondered about the copyright thing, especially when I saw photos with watermarks. It is hard to be sure what is okay and what is not. I haven't added any images that don't belong to me, but of course am pinning them from others and it's not always clear where they came from.

  12. Thanks for adding it to your wishlist, Pauline!

  13. Just read this in a blog post on Pinterest for authors:

    "A recent study shows that Pinterest drives more revenue per click than Twitter or Facebook. The study said: 'Pinterest is the first social network that’s delivering not only lots of traffic but also real revenue and lots of new customers.'"

  14. I really need to check Pinterest out. The copyright issues scared me off at first, but apparently that's been resolved...or mostly resolved.

  15. The scariest part is how easy it is to get sucked into the vortex.



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