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Sultry & Sinful made it to No. 1

Hello gang,

I’ve been meaning to write up this blog post for over a week now. Unfortunately, I was rather stupid on Friday last week and picked a fight with a tree in my yard. Sadly, I lost. Big time. And ended up in the ER with a partially herniated disc in my back. So I’m struggling along at the moment on a sea of interesting drugs and ice packs still trying to stay on top of things. It’s not really working, but the drugs make it so I almost don’t care. Hahahaha.

I’m mostly lucid. Mostly.

But while I’m still upright and awake, let me share the news. After many struggles and some resistance for the romance community, The F/F Sultry anthology made it to No. 1 on Amazon and we’ve stayed pretty high in the rankings in the LGBTQ categories. We also got our BESTSELLER RIBBON. Hurrah! So thank you lovely readers for taking a chance on us.

Here’s a snapshot.

 

 

 

 

 

No other news to report right now, but I’ll be back on Friday with another round up. 

xo

shawnee

 

 

The blog post I didn’t want to write . . .

 

Hi guys,

So. This is a blog post that no author ever wants to have to write, but unfortunately, sometimes things happen in our author world that is beyond our control. And this just happens to be one of those times. And more often than not, it involves the hand that feeds most of us . . . Amazon.

The upshot is this – the pre-order for Sultry & Sinful will release tomorrow and everyone who has ordered it to date from Amazon will get the WRONG file. Yep, you heard that right. You may be asking, “Well, how does this happen?” and I’m going to tell you how:

When a box set or an anthology is set up up, often the person who is running the set will put a placeholder file in place on Amazon. The reason why this is done is that we can’t make a pre-order live without a file and traditionally pre-orders are available three (3) months prior to a book being released. 

This is standard practice for lots of box sets and multi-author books. I know it may seem weird to the outside world, but there’s lots of reasons why the final file isn’t ready until closer to release date. Authors are still trying to get their stories edited and formatted. Sometimes authors have to drop out last minute. Having a final file ready to go three months out is rare. There are so many things that can change before release date.

But again, uploading a placeholder file is common practice.

The thing is this. Lately, Amazon has been questioning box set owners (and individual authors as well) about their validity to publish a book especially if it includes the work of someone else. And when that happens, the box set owner is left scrambling trying to email Amazon all the contracts, emails, correspondence, etc. to show that they do indeed have the right to publish what they say they are going to publish. The problem is that Amazon has been waiting until the last minute to do this. This is problematic due to Amazon’s own rules about pre-orders, which is that the final file must be in place and locked down three (3) days prior to the book’s release date.

In our case, the final file was uploaded a week prior to release date and Amazon didn’t question the box set owner until four (4) days prior to our release date (which is tomorrow). By the time our box set owner got all the documents together, she got locked out of the release window and the file couldn’t be updated.

We are not the first group to have this happen to us. And we won’t be the last either. And it sucks, believe me. Every author in Sultry & Sinful has already lined up their fans, promos, parties, etc. hinging on this file.

And now we’re likely to get slammed with bad reviews because the file they are going to get at midnight tonight is not what they paid for. And there isn’t a thing us authors can do about it.

If you’re one of my fans reading this then I would like to say I’m sorry. Amazon will fix the problem, you WILL get the right file, but it might take twenty-four (24) hours or more for the right one to appear. It’s not fair and I completely understand the frustration. Right now, you have nine (9) authors who are desperately trying not to freak out. By the way, it’s not working – we’re all freaking out.

This is my personal appeal for you to have patience. We are doing everything in our power to get the problem rectified. If you have personally pre-ordered the book and are disappointed, email me shawnee@shawneesmall.com or PM me on Facebook and I will personally send you a free gift in the way of apology.

Again, I’m sorry that this has happened and I would move mountains to get this sorted before it gets to you, but my hands are tied right now.

If you did pre-order Sultry & Sinful, thank you for supporting us and for standing behind indie authors. I know it’s not a lot, but we really do appreciate everything you do for us. Sometimes bad things happen. We will get through it.

xo

shawnee

Roanoke Author Invasion

So I’ve been AWOL for a while. From here. From social media in general. I’m trying to finish a book, which is fighting me the whole way. Felix and Rose as some of you know. Right now, I sort of want to punch myself in the face for even trying to tackle the delicate subject surrounding this book (that I can’t reveal because it’s, you know, a plot twist) but I’m going to be optimistic and say that it’s par for the course sometimes with writing that your characters don’t place nicely.

Anyhow before I start a runaway author rant about characters . . .

I’ve left my writing hobbit house to sing the praises of a signing that I just got back from called Roanoke Author Invasion.

AMAZE. BALLS.

I have to say that I’m still a bit of a novice when it comes to shows and signings. My very first signing was in fact only a year ago almost to the day of this one. It was in Atlanta, and I really didn’t know what I was doing or what to expect. It was a bit like baptism by fire. Banners. Swag. Postcards. Biz cards. Books. Parties. More Swag. More Books. So many things that I didn’t really have a good grasp on. 

So fast forward to a year later with a few more signings under my belt to RAI2017. 

I have to give Liz and Tobi some credit here. I had no idea what to expect for a local signing having never done one before. And yes, Roanoke is relatively local for me. Anything within a 2-3 hour jot and in my own state counts for me. Why I’ve never pursued one before now seems like absolute folly because RAI knocked my socks off.

Why was RAI so awesome?

  1. There was no drama 
  2. The event coordinators were extremely professional
  3. The event was well-organized and well-attended
  4. The authors were diverse, approachable, and happy
  5. The volunteers were probably the most caring and attentive staff I’ve ever seen at an event
  6. Everyone laughed HARD
  7. Did I mention there was no drama?

I can’t overstate how important these points are when you’re an attending author at an event. There is enough chaos with the amount of stuff you have to lug around, pre-orders to fill, hotel check-ins to take care of, travelling, frantic set ups and break downs of stands . . . the last thing you need is for someone else to instill more chaos into your life. And no matter how much we smile and chat, signings are more stressful than we authors like to admit.

So I felt more than relieved when it became quickly clear that someone was doing a damn good job of steering the ship AND everyone was having a good time. It was like having a giant boulder lifted off my shoulders.

It probably also helped that I met and bonded with two amazing authors – Carey Heywood and Jen Luerssen. It was love at first sight and honestly, we were like the Three Amigos for the entire thing, which again, was a huge comfort for me since I was flying solo anyhow. This is the level of awesomeness that they brought to the party –

 

See what I mean? Jen and the chicken says it all really.

I miss them already. I’m busily planning writing retreats in my head with them as I type.

And the readers? There were tons and I mean tons of them and everyone was friendly, outgoing, and had a smile for me. And when you’re sweating blood because you’re characters aren’t playing ball, those smiles mean a lot. Every. Single. One. And when they tell you they love your books, it makes you remember why you’re doing it in the first place.

So thank you to all of you who made my first ever Roanoke Author Invasion such a success. I can’t wait to see you all again next year.

xo – shawnee

P.S. Special shout out to Karin Anderson for being an amazing fan and friend.

 

 

Back up and Running

As some of you probably sussed out, my blog has been inactive since before Christmas. Unfortunately, this was a side effect of the new website construction. All my old blog posts were imported into the new site  at the end of last year as it was being built, and rather than create more work for my developer who would then have to re-import my new blog posts, I took a hiatus. A pretty long one.

But now we’re back. Hurrah. New book out, new website, new novella coming in April, new series announcement and a big box set. Phew! Lots going on in 2017. So in order, here’s what’s been going on:

Betrayer is live in case you didn’t see the announcements plastered all over my social media. The 3rd book in the Shining Ones series is out and available wide, which means you can find it on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. You can also find it in paperback here. One more book after this, folks. Destroyer is the end of the series. And it’s going to be a real corker . . .

New website is up. I think you probably guessed that as you looked around. Not too shabby and much better for mobile and tablets. As always if you need my immediate attention, best to find me on Facebook or Twitter. And now unfortunately Instagram, too.

My new novella, The Seduction of Violette Tournaline, is now available for pre-order as part of Sultry & Sinful: The Femmes of Paranormal for just $.99. This is a steamy lesbian and menage romance anthology so you’ve been warned. But as you know, I’m more lighter on that side of things and so mine is more kitten than tiger in that respect. It’s still a good story and might have a tie in with the Shining Ones, but then that would be telling, wouldn’t it?

New series announcement coming in the next couple of months. I’m currently working on the first book in that series, code named “Felix and Rose”. If you’ve been keeping up with me on Facebook or Twitter, you know I’ve been toying with this story for a while. I’ll release more details as the book takes shape, but look for an October 2017 release. I’m super excited about this book. It really is going back to my goth roots.

Super mailing list . . . holy wow. My mailing list has gone nuts, and I’m in awe that so many of you want to keep in touch. It means a lot to me – you’re now my people. And I take care of my own so I’ve got a lot of surprises in store for you guys starting this month. Exclusive freebies, swags, giveaways until the end of 2017. Just for you. Be on the lookout for my very first welcome email on my birthday, March 14th. Woo hoo. Birthday cake for all! Well, not quite, but there will still be pressies . . . shhhhhhh.

And last bit of news. I’m now on Instagram. Unwillingly. Who really wants to see pictures of my breakfast, but that’s okay. Maybe I’ll find something decent to photograph if I ever leave my desk. Stranger things have happened.

It’s good to be back. I’ve missed you guys. See you next week, maybe sooner.

 

xo shawnee

Happy Holidays

I just wanted to take a quick second to say . . .

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE.

happy-christmas-1443492-638x354

Have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend. May Santa bring you whatever your heart desires, whether you’ve been naughty or nice. (I’d know what I’d prefer!)

While we’re at it, let’s say goodbye to 2016. What a year, right? Most of us will be happy to see it go.

And to 2017? Well, hello cutie. You’re looking rather attractive right now. Let’s be friends and see where it goes.

 

Have a good one, everyone!

 

xo

shawnee