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In which I plead for a little positivity

Brenda St John Brown

Wow, the world has been hard lately. So much fear. And hatred. And more fear.

I'm fearful. No doubt about it. I've been been lucky enough to visit Paris often and last week's attacks have left me wondering when and where, not if, the first incident in the UK will happen. I'm scanning the news in a way I haven't since post 9/11, but with one key difference --  social media. Which is NOT a news outlet, but is an outlet, nonetheless.

And, wow, talk about fear and hatred. Although, honestly, I don't want to talk about that. (If you're posting your politics online, you obviously believe in them and those beliefs are polarizing. It's the nature of politics and social media, period.)

What I do want to talk about is this: the world has been hard lately and, I don't know about you, but I need a boost in a big way. I need to offer someone a kind word, a hug and a smile, preferably all at the same time. I need to use social media to reach out and virtually high five someone instead of demonizing them. I need to look back on my FB page or Twitter feed at the end of the day and think, "I helped."

It sounds all Pollyanna. I get that way. Sorry, not sorry. Awhile ago, I used the #yourock hashtag on Twitter to give virtual high fives, and I think it's time for another round. I'd love it if you'd join me for the next few days. Because, well, #yourock. :)

How do you feel about free books?

Brenda St John Brown

So, in a weird turn of events,  Amazon made LIES WE LIVE free in its US store yesterday. I've just checked and it's back up to $0.99, and that's still a bargain, yes? Which leads me to my question...what's your stance on free books? Do you download them and keep them for a rainy day? Do you download them and never read them? Or do you download and immediately move that book up your TBR list?

As a self-pub author, I have the flexibility to change my pricing whenever I want and before I set LIES WE LIVE to $0.99, I'd toyed with the idea of free to gain visibility in a crowded market. It's a tempting proposition and, I'm not going to lie, seeing nearly 60 downloads of my book in one day is cool. The idea of those 60 people actually reading my book is even better. If they read it -- and experts say it's a big "if".

So, reader experts, weigh in. How does free influence your perception of a book? Or doesn't it?

That dirty little word...

Brenda St John Brown


Promotion, advertising, publicity, hype, buzz. Whatever you call it, it's a little annoying, yes? In a, Sure it's a necessary evil, but *I* don't want to see it way. Maybe? A little?

No judgement here. I get it. But, putting on my writer hat, I've got to admit it IS a necessary evil -- and I'm going to be doing a bunch of it in the next month or so. Because, the truth is, there are A LOT of books out there in the world and how do you buy a book you've never heard of? The short answer -- you don't.

Don't worry, this isn't a warning that I'm about to turn into Polly Promo! If you're here, I'm assuming it's because you read -- and like -- my books. And if you could help me shout about them when you see that ad pop up on social media, I'd love you forever. Word of mouth is the best possible endorsement. And if you want to help in addition to any re-posts/retweets, sign up here and let me know what you fancy. I promise not to spam you.


What are you reading Wednesday

Brenda St John Brown

I've got 2 books going at the minute, which is very unlike me. In hardback, I'm reading Patrick Ness's THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE, a YA contemporary set in a dystopian world. Which sounds weird, but it's the best way I can think of to describe it. This is one of those books you want to read slowly because it's filled with these beautifully crafted sentences that are meant to be savored. I saw Patrick Ness in Liverpool a month or so ago on his tour to promote this book and he gave a bit of insight into some of the choices he made while writing, so it's cool to read with that in mind.

On my Kindle I'm reading SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch, which is high fantasy. Not a genre I normally read, but I'd heard tons about this book and when I saw it at the library, I grabbed it. I like it so far, but I'm waiting for it to become unputdownable. 

What are you reading these days? I always love a good book rec!!

Semi-daily blog?

Brenda St John Brown

Those of you who pop around frequently have probably noticed that the daily blog has been not so daily lately. The reasons for this are mostly life and other things because sometimes it gets hard to do all the things. But I also cross-post to my Facebook author page and FB doesn't always like to share link-y posts. (Related: I'm still trying to figure out what FB DOES like to share because it seems to vary.) So, if I only have time to do one post, Facebook wins.

I'll still be over here plenty -- and will resume regularly scheduled programming once I get all the publishing stuff for TRUTHS WE TELL off my plate. In the meantime, if you haven't seen me around here, check Facebook. Or Twitter. There are reasons I have to close my browser while I'm writing. In fact, there are two very good ones right there. :)