Tag Archives: DABWAHA

Why Kait’s Win Is Even More Awesome

results from Kait's bracket in round 1

Generally speaking, I figure you can look at Amazon reviews as a matter of reach. Not everyone who reads a book is moved to review it. I know that I rarely leave Amazon reviews for a number of reasons such as, I rarely feel five star about anything and don’t want to leave lower, I don’t want to be critical of my peers yet I have a highly critical nature,¬†andI get really ticked when I write something and then Amazon disappears it. (Seriously, is it because I called His Dark Materials’ Will swoonworthy? Because there’s a twelve-year-old girl inside this body who was totally swooning and doesn’t feel that’s inappropriate.)

What was I talking about? Oh, reviews as a measure of reach. Okay, so say there’s a more or less fixed percentage of any reading pool willing to leave reviews or tell others about what they’ve read. (It’s actually my theory that when a book goes viral it’s because something about it blows this percentage out of the water and unusual numbers of people start telling others and the ripples expand at an exponential rate. But I digress. Again.) (And certainly you can affect your review percentage to some extent by asking people to leave reviews and making sure your book gets into the hands of people more apt to leave reviews, like book bloggers, but generally speaking, just stay with me.)

When I looked at RED and ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD on Amazon yesterday, Red had 42 reviews and Anna had 175. This isn’t surprising. Anna is a traditionally published book by an author who has been traditionally published before. Red is an indie published book, and the author’s first venture into a different niche (from PR/UF to YA). There should be a tremendous difference, not only in copies of the books sold and people who have actually read and loved them, but also in people who have been exposed to the book and/or author on any level.

In the DABWAHA tournament, that matters. Few, I suspect, will have read every book named as a finalist, so a lot of people will be voting merely on any impression they have. It’s like how the incumbent is more likely to win an election. Not necessarily because of their performance, but because they have that bit of recognition and credibility over the other guy.

So how did Kait, publisher-free and all on her own, who I’m pretty sure hasn’t sold as many copies as Kendare, pull this off?

Well, partly because she didn’t do it alone. Kait spent her day on the road, traveling for her job. But she did an incredible job of mobilizing her people to help her succeed. They helped her because Kait is good at establishing and maintaining relationships, and because she gives to the writing community all the time. She has a very large following on her blog, many of whom aren’t really interested in her brand of fiction. They’re there because she constantly provides intelligent perspective on industry news and other topics to help writers both indie and trad. She founded and maintains the #ROW80 community, which continues to maintain a sense of community even where other writer groups have expanded and…jumped the shark, as it were. She helped to found IBC (Indie Book Collective), and before stepping down from that organization, put in a tremendous amount of time gathering and making available tutorials and other reference material for new indie authors. Self-confident and friendly by nature, Kait’s the kind of personality that shines on Twitter without allowing it to take over her life and take the place of, you know, writing books. So in addition to the fans who have flocked to her, she’s also made a lot of friends in groups like #MyWANA.

And that’s probably a big factor: Kait makes friends. You see her out and about, networking in the community, and that’s a big part of why she even had the reach to pull in all those votes yesterday. But you see her talking with people, not at them. So when she asked for help, people were motivated, not only to take 30 seconds to cast a vote in her favor, but to ask their friends, to keep an eye out for #TeamKait messages to retweet throughout the day.

I was on TweetDeck yesterday. The first time I’ve spent any time there in…I don’t know, months. And yeah, I wasn’t very motivated when I got there. I had to be bullied and strong-armed, because such are my personal issues with Twitter, and it was hard to imagine having to show up after my long absence and start asking for favors. I was put in the position of being one of THOSE people. Which, you know, was probably more of a problem in my head than in anyone else’s–as is usually the case–because at least I was spamming for someone else. And I stayed there all day and RT’d things on other topics or for other DABWAHA brackets, and sent out friendly @s throughout the day.

By the time I went to bed last night, I was exhausted. I’m not the sort who can focus on more than one thing. I was on this all day long, being friendly all day long. I’m nice–soooo nice it’s probably a disorder–but I’m not friendly because that’s an outward-facing trait and it’s an effort. But it’s not a bad sort of effort. And like that high you get when you finally force yourself to exercise, I got some genuine enjoyment out of yesterday when my presence was warmly received by several old friends who don’t seem to fault me for how I am or the absences that causes.

I think I may even go back.

Meanwhile, back to Kait. I hope you’re getting my point here, which in plain terms is this:

With regard to social media, Kait Nolan is how it’s done. Follow her, and follow her lead.

Who knows how the rest of DABWAHA will turn out. I believe Kait is the only indie in the bunch, and just her making it out of the first bracket is such a huge accomplishment. It means the world to her. For authors, the reach we think we have so often doesn’t translate directly to sales and readers. We so often wonder if we’re spinning our wheels and wasting our time. Kait has put tremendous time and effort into building her social network, so not only is this an honor for her, but it’s validation. Validation rocks. So I want to thank all of you who took the time to support her, especially if there were any of you who did it because I, as a small part of that network, asked you to, and I really hope you’ll be willing to do so for as long as she can hang on in this tournament.


Filed under writing

Vote for Red! then Analyze This

Red by Kait NolanFirst up, we need to talk about Red and DABWAHA again. In the tournament, Red’s up for voting between 1pm-1am Eastern. You don’t have to be signed up and it’s totally not hard. This is just some poll-style button clicking. You just go to the website and start clicking buttons.

In this round of the tournament, Kait Nolan’s Red is up against Kendare Blake’s ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD. I haven’t read it, but I heard there’s cat killin’ in it, so I’m thinking your choice is pretty clear. A vote for Kait Nolan is a vote for an author who would never kill a pet. (No, seriously, she has this thing about it. Don’t get her started.)

This 1pm-1am window is the only time you can vote on this particular match-up before the tournament moves forward. For the love of Kait, would you please help her get to the next round?

Up next, analysis of me.

Oh wait, I can’t believe I just invited this.

Well, anyway, I continue to try to find balance in life. My daughter’s at that age where she’s very interested in what Mommy’s doing. But, if you’ve read my books, you know that’s not bedtime reading for my second-grader. Now Miss Briar is not a doll fanatic, but she’s not completely disinterested, and it’s one of those things we can mess around with together. So I’ve been trying to get back into that a bit, and I’ve put together a new site for that stuff that’s more manageable than what I had before.



One of the things I’d love to have over there is a page to showcase each of my dolls (or at least my favorites) with pictures, specs for fellow collectors, and whatever bits of their bio–personality, history, etc.–I’ve come up with. I did one yesterday. And then I also made it a blog post.

Then I realized that this is exactly what I should be doing for the Talents. Creating a character reference page for this site has long been on my to-do list. It would be nice to have the names on that page linked to other pages with more in-depth bios. It could be a lot of fun! Plus, every time I did a new page, I could take the info and make a blog post out of it, and thereby allay some of my non-blogging guilt.



So I immediately started searching about for Joss-like imagery, got them all uploaded, got on my dashboard here and opened up the screen to create a Joss page.

And totally froze.

What was I going to write? How was I going to write it? What angle? What perspective? What to include?

Friends, I am so often crippled by my own perfectionism, it’s not even funny.

Well, I think I just analyzed that myself. But if you have anything to add regarding, perhaps, why it’s so easy to write a whole page about Ciara but I can’t write about Joss who…only exists because I write about her…

Bang. My mind just exploded. A little bit.

In other news, you may notice I have some Add to Cart buttons around the site. A by-product of the dolly business is that I have to deal with digital products in a more hands-on way than I do with the ebooks. So as long as I was doing set-up on the new doll site, I thought I’d experiment over here with the ebooks. If anyone ever chooses to buy them this way and I get any data, I will eventually report on that.

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to go and vote for Kait and Red. Do it now, before you get distracted.


Filed under writing

Congratulations are in order!

Those of you who spend any time here with me know that author Kait Nolan is my critique partner of several years as well as my best friend. In case there are any of you who don’t follow her directly, and just because the occasion requires some extra back-patting and documentation, I’m here to tell you that Kait’s YA novel, RED, is a DABWAHA (Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hella Authors) finalist.

Based on a tournament structure used in sports, the mechanics of this book tournament are somewhat over my head, so if you’re not familiar, do read more at the website. If you loved RED, I hope you’ll consider supporting Kait in the tournament. And, if you haven’t, this would be an excellent time to find out what makes this book so special.

Congrats, Kait, and good luck!


Filed under books