Blog: In Real Life

Book reviews, marketing observations and advice, and general commentary…


Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Commentary | 0 comments

This is an important day. And while I understand that not all Americans are celebrating, I think we can all agree that we are living through history. Things change…laws change, attitudes change, even publishing changes. And we’re all part of it. I believe it is important to acknowledge this. So here you...

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THE FALL by John Lescroart

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Books, Reviews | 0 comments

This ran as part of the Nerdy Special List at Pop Culture Nerd. You should read all the recommendations; click here to do so! The Fall begins quite literally when a young woman plunges to her death from an overpass in San Francisco. The expected questions abound—was she pushed? Did she jump?—but that’s where this story stops being predictable. The woman in question,  Tanya, had a difficult, tragic life, but she had begun to persevere in the face of great adversity. As we meet the people in her life, the answer to who might have wanted to do...

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An Open Letter to Authors

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Marketing | 0 comments

Having recently completed the re-vamp of the Bouchercon 2015 website (please check it out!), I’m motivated to make this plea… Dear Authors: Yes, my day job is marketing books. When people ask me what I do, I say, “I connect books and readers.” Much of what I do is online, and my goal is always the same: To make it as easy as possible for readers to find books (and authors) whether they’re searching in a store, a library, or online. Last week, I talked about Mobilegeddon, and the importance of your website being responsive (mobile-friendly)....

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Mobilegeddon 2015

Posted by on Apr 24, 2015 in Marketing | 0 comments

Last Tuesday, Google released substantial changes to its search algorithm. In a nutshell, these changes mean that websites that are responsive (mobile-friendly) are now (most of the time; there are exceptions to every algorithmic rule) getting (much) higher placement in search results. But…will the book industry notice? Should authors and publishers care? You can find as many answers to this as Nancy Drew had pairs of nylons. My answer? Is yes, you should care. Why? Numbers. Specifically: 64% of American adults own a smartphone. 42% own a...

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Random Observations

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Commentary, Marketing | 0 comments

Wow…it’s been a crazy few weeks. Lots going on, and so it seems like a good time to round up some observations… Book Expo America BEA. The Rumble in the Javits. Book Nerds Unite. However you look at it, BEA is a big deal if for no other reason than there are a ton of people there, each of whom has some connection to book world. While I’m far from a fan of the locale (the combination of pigeons flying around the show floor at $6 for a Diet Coke doesn’t blow my skirt up), I love the energy. I say it every year: if someone tells you books or...

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Open for Service

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Marketing | 0 comments

While I’m not pleased that we need an organization like Open for Service in this day and age, I’m glad they exist, and I’m happy to support them. Here’s how they describe themselves: We are a non-partisan, nonjudgmental group looking to provide a grassroots network for people to support businesses that open their doors for everyone – Black, White, Gay, Straight, Christian, Atheist, Disabled . . . well, you get our drift. Anyone who knows me at all knows that this will always apply to my business:   Please...

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Clean Reader: Who’s behind it and what’s next?

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Commentary | 0 comments

In March, 2010, my friend and YA author Marley Gibson received an email from a school librarian in Riceville, Tennessee. The librarian, Cheryl, explained to Marley that while her students loved her Ghost Huntress series, she was distressed because she had to go through each with a Sharpie (she was specific about this) before shelving them to “mark out bad words.” In other words, she censored them. Marley was furious. She responded to Cheryl and contacted her publisher. As a reader, I was horrified, and I contacted a number of reporters....

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Goodbye, Lisa

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in Commentary | 1 comment

In December, 2013, I used this space to tell you about my friend, Lisa Adams. I got so many wonderful notes about this post, and I’m grateful that so many of you took the time to have a read of Lisa’s blog. One week ago, Lisa died. I saw the news on Saturday morning, and while she prepared us all for it as well as anyone could, it has left me with an even greater sense of loss than I had anticipated. One of the conversations (via instant message) with Lisa that I will always remember was about our shared experience of someone close to us...

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Video, Please

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Marketing | 0 comments

Me: I’d like you to make a short video. Author: Huh? Video? Why? Me: Because videos are fantastic online content. Author: Really?   I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve had the above conversation. I mean, I get it…you’re authors. Most of you (with some notable exceptions) aren’t accustomed to being in front of a camera. You might not even own a video camera other than your smartphone. But this doesn’t change the fact that people like watching video. According to Pew Research, 63% of online adults and 82% of...

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Survey Says

Posted by on Feb 6, 2015 in Marketing | 0 comments

It’s an age-old question: What makes a reader choose one book over another? These days, the potential answers often feel endless, and that’s before we even get to how different answers are connected to each other. But knowing that whatever the answer, it will provide fodder for discussion and consideration rather than a clear-cut game plan shouldn’t stop us asking the question! So I did. Before I share the results, some notes on the survey pool: 442 people answered, and each could only pick one answer. So statistically...

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