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In April 2014, I mentioned the creative aspects behind the cover art for our novella, Genesis: Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Slice of Life .   ...

Video courtesy of @jcallenbooks

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My First Book Signing

Welcome to IVD 2013
My first book signing was an awesome experience because of the people that were with me at the Indie-Vengeance Day event and the people I met. 

Hearty Breakfast with Justin

The day started with a group of us gathering at IHOP. I met people face to face whom I had been chatting online with via Facebook and/or twitter for the past couple years. Yes folks, there are real people behind those avatars and they do eat. By the time everyone arrived we were stretched from the far wall to the door to the back room. After our hearty breakfast and paying our bills we got in our vehicles and headed to Half-Priced Books up the road and over a piece. 

Lynn and Tracy comparing notes
Amber: Sign this please.
That store is about a city block wide and half again deep. I kid you not. I had 4 boxes of books plus other things I thought I would need. I carried in one box and saw some of the other authors using shopping carts. Oh yeah, why didn't I think of that. I get in the room and my good friend Tracy James Jones already had our table staked out.  Up on stage like the Divas we'd like to be. Just kidding - honestly it is the first place she saw to put the books but it worked well.  I could look over the group and see their smiling faces. I also helped direct traffic when I wasn't busy signing something.

Lynn, Tracy, and Charity
We had lots of folks milling around. Some would come in just to see what the heck was going on. Others were looking for a particular genre, I had the honor of pointing them in the right direction. Some came to cheer us on - thanks family and friends. Some picked our brains like Jackie Smith, debut author. Somewhere in the middle I benefited from the collective knowledge of an established author who was like the Lone Ranger - he helped out but I didn't know who he was under that mask. Seriously, Tracy and Charity knew him and that was good enough for me. 

Lynn, Sreya, and Tracy
James, Lynn, and Tracy
After the crowd thinned out we had time to take some pictures with each other. While we're on that subject, I'd like to say a Texas sized thanks to my fellow authors for allowing me to share their pictures with you. Maybe some day my camera will decide to let go of the pictures it is holding captive. Unfortunately, with so many authors, only so many cameras, and so little time, I didn't get to talk to or get pictures with everyone. That's okay, I have my memories aided by their shared pictures. This was a day that will live forever in my heart along with my new author family.
My author family from around the globe and my heart
While I plan on doing more book signings, I doubt there will ever be one that tops this one. 

Thanks again Amber and Scott for allowing me to join in with y'all. Huge thanks to Half Priced Books for providing the portal to knowledge and fun.

Have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Two Cents Worth

My plan for today was to check email then do some reviews. I know I'm backlogged on those and I apologize to those awaiting mine. Your further patience is requested while I get this overwhelming thought out of my head. 

Many of you know that the Call Sign: Wrecking Crew series is political and military. Those are David McKoy's areas of expertise and as a rule I don't talk much about politics. Mostly because I don't know enough about the subject.  I do know about the effects it has had on me and people that I interact with. 

In the email this morning was an article sent out by military.com that talks about veterans et al that won't be receiving their benefit checks come November 1, 2013. You say well I'm not a veteran or survivor how does that affect me? Simple, veterans et al are consumers and bill payers. For some the VA check is their only source of income. For me, it is the only source of income save for what is earned through book sales... which actually goes into the company. From my direct deposit account, I also get money direct debited for life insurance. Now I won't be able to pay them. If enough people can't pay their bills then those companies won't be able to pay their debts...including their employees. Those employees can't pay their bills then how in the world is anyone going to have money for luxuries like books. I know some feel that books are a necessity but not everyone does. If this cycle keeps going then we will have NO economy and NO government to bail us out or pay us benefits. Then what? 

So authors and publishers, if your sales have dropped or are non-existent this might be your answer.  

What can we do? Other than let our Representatives in Washington know how we feel and if they don't listen get rid of them...not much. 

That's my two cents worth. I'm getting off my soap box. By the way, I have contacted my Representative and given him my two cents worth. 

Have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-owner of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

Update: After I finished and posted this, I noticed that the gridlock is temporarily resolved. However, the basic premise I outlined above is still true and possible. Thanks for taking the time to read this. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Being An Author Isn't For the Faint-hearted

Alvin from Chip-wrecked
Is it me or does everyone expect to be an instant success at this self-publishing independent authoring thing. I've been doing it for the last couple years and I can honestly tell you it is not for the faint-hearted. It takes discipline and the courage to keep at it each and every day. There is no baby crying allowed. You don't like how the words fall together then change them. Stop worrying about what others think. If you know in your heart it is the best you can do to capture what your characters are trying to tell you then listen to them. Sure they may try to steer you into a whole new direction... let them. Unless they are like Alvin of the Chipmunks then maybe you need to keep a watchful eye and re-direct them from time to time. 

I'm not saying don't let others view your work and make suggestions. I'm saying that if you have a legitimate reason for what you are doing then let it stand. Take the lumps if they come but don't compromise the big picture. 

Once you have the book written, proofread, formatted for different versions, and published it, you can't stop there. You have to take it to places where it can be seen. I recently discovered Bublish as a new way for readers and authors to connect. It is definitely different. As usual, I had a bit of trouble... you see they currently only take e-pub files. I figured out a solution to my problem.  I remembered I have our book on Smashwords premium. So I downloaded our books as an e-pub and then went to the download section of my computer when it was time to attach them. 

Don't forget about Goodreads. Once upon a time, I think the books actually drifted over from Amazon but that wasn't the case with our two latest books. So I had to enter them manually. Most important thing to have here is an ISBN. That's where Smashwords was most helpful. When I published our books there I requested a free ISBN. Simple now when I need to find our ISBN for other things, I  go to the ISBN manager from our Dashboard. 

I'm still in the process of getting all our books out there to be seen. I also put together a website for Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Wings of Eagles) and one for myself to feature all of our books, current and future. I even created a new Facebook fan pageI will also be at a book signing event with several of my fellow indie authors. So be looking out for the details on that.

Have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to the Call Sign: Wrecking Crew series with David McKoy.
co-owner of Call Sign: Wrecking Crew LLC