L A Johannesson

Romantic fiction with a geeky twist

L A Johannesson - Romantic fiction with a geeky twist

Spreading the Love around Toronto

While in Toronto I had the chance to connect with a group that’s “nuts about walls, street art, urban art, new art & graffiti.” They live in and love Toronto and the wonders of its urban geography. They launched Free Art Fridays, where each Friday they provide clues to hidden art treasures around the city.

I thought it was an innovative and worthwhile initiative, so I autographed three copies of  eloves me, eloves me not and donated them to the project.

On October 25, 2013 it was our turn.

Free_Art_Friday_Toronto_–_October_25___WLLNTTZ 2 Free_Art_Friday_Toronto_–_October_25___WLLNTTZ-2 Free_Art_Friday_Toronto_–_October_25___WLLNTTZ

The three Toronto free ‘eloves me, eloves me not’ giveaway locations were:

  1. Hotel Le Germain
  2. The Drake Hotel
  3. The Old MIll

For those of you who ‘found’ these books, I hope you enjoy them. I’d love to know who you are and what you think about the story.

And thanks to http://wllnttz.com/ for helping to spread the love throughout my favourite city.

Like you said, if only real love were this easy to find!

 

 

“A book every man should read,” says author M. Joseph Murphy

It’s reviews like this one that remind me why I love to write, why I love to tell stories, why I must continue on the author path and why I must share them with as many different people as possible. mjm

Thank you M. Joseph Murphy for your kind and supportive words. From one author to another, it means so much to hear your feedback.

You can see the full post it all right here on his blog.

Not only does Joseph share a great review, a bit about the author, he did a quick author interview with me during The Word on the Street Festival and has included it too.

 

Enough about me! If you’re a reader of the urban fantasy genre, check out Joseph’s debut novel, Council of Peacocks, Book One in the Activation Series.

council of peacocks

It’s a tale of good over evil, the evolution of the human race and saving the world. Its comes complete with a colourful cast of sorcerers, demons, humans and reptilians that move the story at a engaging pace, with many a battle for power and ultimate supremacy.

 

 

Click here for more eloves me, eloves me not reader reviews.

I’d love to hear what you think too – have you shared your review on Amazon, Goodreads, iTunes?

Are we learning enough about our industry?

I don’t often respond in such detail to posts/news articles I see online, but today I felt compelled to.

I read a post on the Huffington Post Books blog today and on one hand, I was pleased to see another example of how authors have such visible forums to share their thoughts with the literary community. And, on the other, I was struck by how tired I am of all the same old views and the same observations (some in my opinion,  mistaken ones) are being perpetuated, even by the likes of Huffington Post Books.

Here’s the link to the article – If you haven’t already, I suggest you read it before reading my response.

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author That I Learned the Hard Way

Maybe you’ll agree with Deborah, maybe you’ll think my views are have merit, maybe you’ll think they’re completely off base, maybe you’ll  have some additional thoughts/reactions of your own. I’m curious to know what you think so, please post a comment here or on the HuffPo post so that we can keep this conversation going.

Personally, I think it’s a conversation that this industry needs to keep having.

My response follows:

Interesting post. I appreciate the author sharing her experiences. I respect that they are her authentic experiences and that she’s actively begun a conversation. That should be applauded.

I think the article contains some good insights like having as many eyes as possible on your work, the use of professional editing, educating yourself about your craft and the power of community. But I’m a little surprised by a few of Deborah’s observations.

In fact, I’d respectfully challenge some of them:

This is the Huffington Post Book section, a place where people are supposed to be able to go for advice, insight, education and enlightenment around things literary.  I was a little disappointed when I read this post as there were a few points in it that troubled me.

For one, publishing is certainly about a lot more than sales. Yes, it is a business. I get that. We all get that. But this quote,

“Having a target audience that will buy your book and a great marketing strategy is the most important aspect of book publishing.”  Yes, sales are the metric for which the industry is measured, but to say that all publishing (traditional and indie) is “all about sales” and nothing else is, in my opinion, a crass and narrow interpretation.

I agree instead with this statement made in a Publisher’s Weekly article – “I can tell you firsthand that their reasons for publishing—and ultimately their definitions of success—are as unique as the books they submit to our companies for publication.” The full article can be found here:

PW Select: Book Publishing Success Measured by More than Sales Alone

Back to the HuffPo post. C’mon, if you don’t know  point #4 already, you really should not be writing fiction or articles about writing.

I don’t agree with #7  &  #8 – think this is short sighted, assumes that every writer is a marketer and that’s just not the case. Advertising with book bloggers, if that means placing an ad on their site, it is nowhere near as effective as content marketing in conjunction WITH book bloggers and other subject matter experts (both on and offline) as well as with traditional media outlets  – working with them to do author interviews, book reviews, content sharing and content curation, running contests, special offers, give-aways, promotions, etc.

#10 – While I agree the payoff is ultimately in the writing, and that there are so many measures of success, don’t you dare be realistic when it comes to book sales.

Here’s why,”The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Thank you George Bernard Shaw.

If you want the scales to tip further in favour of the author, be unreasonable! Be innovative! Be creative! Don’t give up. Don’t aim your sales goals to fit within the old paradigm. This is a different industry now. It’s ripe for change, but people have to affect that change.

What this industry needs is people who are willing to push the envelope, to embrace the new tools, to push them to their limits, to leverage technology and the opportunities that avail themselves through our global landscape, to be better marketers, to learn from the great marketers and from other industries, to use their passion for writing, their passion for their subject and these new tools at our disposal to become the biggest, best and most authentic marketers of their work possible.

This is what publishing needs. It’s also what marketing needs.

So If we’re learning things the hard or the easy way, let’s set our sights on learning new things, not the same lessons over and over.  Let’s set our sights on learning to do things right and learning to do the right things.

And by the right things, I mean the right things for the future, not the past.

On the plus side of online dating

Online dating often gets an undeserved bad rap.

Shows like Catfish sensationalise the negatives of online dating, rarely, if ever, showing the up sides.  The media, so-called web and relationship experts and  internet fear mongers everywhere jump at the opportunity to promote their hypothesis that everyone on the big, bad internet is either psychologically twisted, out to steal your money or your identity and no one online is to be trusted. The sub-text is “offline=good, online=bad”, especially when it comes to looking for love.

To that I say, “Rubbish, bullocks, bullshit!”

As in the offline world, online you will find good, bad, honest, deceitful, trustworthy, dishonourable, exciting, boring, intelligent, ignorant, happy, morose, passionate, apathetic, beautiful, unattractive, tall, short, young, old… (you get my point) people.

The online world is a microcosm of the offline world.

Offline or online, do you not try making friends because you have one enemy? Do you not trust anyone ever again because you had a promise broken? Do you stop looking for love because you’ve had your heart broken?

Worse yet, do you you cower in fear, paralysed into inaction because someone, somewhere, at some point in time had a bad a experience?

No, you don’t!

You find balance. You respect that there is the potential for a negative experience, but you focus on the positive. You take calculated risks. You learn from others. You implement safeguards. And then you harness your inherent optimism, create some truly great experiences and share them with everyone who’ll listen.

The positive needs promoting. It’s out there. Everyday, people using online dating sites are having a few laughs, making new friends, getting lucky, forming relationships and falling in love.

While not every time, these sites deliver lots of the good stuff lots of the time – the entertainment, the self discovery, the companionship, the sex, the romantic dreams and the happy-ever-afters.

We need to get better at sharing the positive stories and helping others to see the plus side of online dating.  This is one of the reasons I wrote eloves me, eloves me not.

And, it’s a key reason I started this Google+ community for fans of online dating to share their stories, their milestones, their inspiring experiences.

Online Dating Fans - Google+-2

If you’re still reading, I suspect you might agree with the notion that the positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to online dating.

So, if you do and you have great experiences to share, then step over to the Google+ platform, find your voice and start shoutin’ from the rooftops.

There’s a lot of negative noise to overcome. So, online dating fans, let’s crank up the volume on the positive side and drown out the naysayers.

Because there’s a lot that sits on the plus side of online dating!

APE – The Theory of Revolution

We’re in the midst of an indie revolution. Traditional publishing is challenged by those who are ‘doing it for themselves’ and by the people who are making it their business to do it for others, share what they know and help many of us to realise the dream of becoming successful self-published authors. And it’s all happening without the assistance of the traditional publisher.

Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch recently co-authored, published and launched APE -Author, Publisher Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book. While apes are usually associated with evolution, not revolution, this time it’s different.

Detailing the trend they call ‘artisanal publishing’, their new book is a ‘how to’ guide for the indie author, outlining practical ways to best publish and promote the independent work, thus bypassing traditional publishing practices.

While a handy guide on it’s own, this book is being used as the platform upon which revolutionaries Guy and Shawn stand to rally  the indie author troops, inspire them and  band them together to build their indie movement. Once it gains the requisite membership momentum, it will surely  challenge the foundations of traditional publishing and be a formidable force of its own. Benefits to authors and readers alike should ultimately result.

I will not sit idly by and watch this happen. I want to be an active part of the movement. I have some of my own revolutionary ideas on this that I’ll share in a future post so watch this space. Thankfully, I’ve already taken some steps to secure my place. I have embraced the roles of indie author, publisher and entrepreneur and am proud to discuss, defend and share my experiences.

I have also been lucky enough to be in conversation with Guy and Shawn and was recently featured on a HOA for an APE Makeover on Google+ where they reviewed a number of indie works and provided feedback to us based on the principles they espouse in their book. For the full episode, aired originally on February 14, 2013 see the video below. The detailed discussion of ‘eloves me, eloves me not‘ begins around the 44 minute mark.

APE Makeover with co-authors Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch Co-authors Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch, moderated by Peg Fitzpatrick

I found this a great experience where I received a few sincere compliments, some helpful tips and suggestions (a number of which have already been implemented) and the chance to meet others involved in creating change within this industry .

Thanks to the Google-goodness, it was all achieved without even leaving the comforts of home. Yet another reason I’m becoming quite the Google+ fangirl!

The Joy of Books

Ever wonder what books get up to when they’re left on their own?

 

This creative retailer is from Toronto, my hometown and everything you see here can be purchased at:

Type Books,
883 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario
(416) 366-8973)

Australian Author and Literary Legend Bryce Courtenay Dies

Today is a sad day for Australia, for writers, for the literary world and for millions of fiction fans.

Bryce Courtenay’s book has now closed. He died yesterday in Canberra, at 79.

He has left a legacy of inspirational work, an incredible cast of characters and a global reader community that has been entertained and inspired by his work for decades.

This year will be our last to receive a new Christmas present from Australia’s premiere novelist, so we will cherish it and its messages.

The Sydney Morning Herald  obituary is touching and it also contains link for readers and fans to share their tributes.

Mr. Courtenay, thank you for your gifts, your imagination, your inspiration and your capacity for sharing them all so willingly.

Personally, your message about reinventing yourself in Australia has brought tears of familiarity and promise to this emerging author’s eyes.

© 2012-2017 L A Johannesson All Rights Reserved