Two Upcoming Readings and a Sneak Preview of My Next Book — For You!

Today I have a few announcements: some upcoming readings and a sneak preview opportunity for you.

This gorgeous mug will be part of the Writer’s Gift Box, one of the door prizes being given away at the BWB event.

The most exciting news here is my upcoming event at one of Houston’s most beloved independent bookstores, Blue Willow Bookshop! If you’re going to be in town, definitely mark your calendars now for Saturday, August 17th, at 3:00, when I’ll be reading from and discussing The Sharp Edges of Water. This promises to be a fun event with an author Q&A­­­­––that’s right, bring your questions for me!––and door prizes and books galore! Even if you already have a copy of my book, come and pick one up as a gift for a friend or family member who likes to read or write. You can check out Blue Willow’s site here for more details. Their address is 14532 Memorial at Dairy Ashford 77079. I don’t mind telling you that the Blue Willow event is a Very Big Deal, and it would be really helpful to make a strong showing there, so please come out for it and pick up one (or more) of my books there!

I’ll also be reading with a few other Mutabilis Press poets at River Oaks Bookstore in Houston on Saturday, August 10th, at 4:00. We’ll celebrating the new anthology, The Enchantment of the Ordinary, and while I’ll be reading my poem from that book, I’ll also be sharing a more recent poem or two, including from the Moss Wood Writing Retreat I attended back in June. The bookstore address is 3270 Westheimer Rd. 77098.

beautiful cover art and design by Lucianna Chixaro Ramos

Finally, would you like a sneak preview of my next book? I’m offering my readers the chance to get a free advance reading copy of either of my next two books––one fiction and one poetry, depending on your preference––before they’re published. You’ll even have the opportunity to give me beta-reader feedback on it if you’d like to! In order to take advantage of this offer, just post a review of The Sharp Edges of Water on Amazon. Now, if you follow the writing/publishing industry, you might have heard that Amazon has been taking down people’s reviews in an effort to remove illegitimate ones, though some genuine ones have been removed inadvertently in this process. I have not experienced this (knock on wood!) and also know that all my reviews are genuine and not planted (except for one baffling troll who posted a weird review of Finis. back in the day). Anyway, Amazon has changed the rules for how reviews get accepted. Fortunately, we know how to navigate their guidelines. You can watch a full explanation here, but I’ve summarized the basics for you:

  1. To contribute a review on Amazon, you have to have spent at least $50 there in the last year, not including promotional discounts.
  2. Amazon doesn’t allow reviews to be posted from people in the author’s household, or from more than one person connected to any same household or bank account or credit card.
  3. Amazon doesn’t allow paid reviews, so your review shouldn’t indicate that you’ve received compensation for it.
  4. Amazon deletes reviews that come in under two days after you’ve purchased a book from them because they assume you can’t possibly have read the book so quickly.
  5. Avoid sounding too chummy with the author in your review: in other words, please don’t ever refer to the author by their first name only, but by either both first and last name or just their last name or “the author”; also avoid sounding “unbiased” by not indicating in your review that you regularly see the author in person or are friends with them in real life.

Watch the video for a full explanation of how all these things––and others specific to authors and not readers––work, but these simple guidelines I’ve distilled for you will get you most of the way there. To find my book on Amazon, be sure to type in the title and my last name into the search bar. (And once I get 50 reviews, my book will actually get into their searches! So yes, reviews do matter, even if they aren’t 5-star reviews.)

Thank you again for all your love and support, and I hope to see you on August 17th at Blue Willow! Bring your friends. And if you take me up on the review/ARC opportunity, send me a screenshot of your review on Amazon, then tell me which book (fiction or poetry) you’d like to get a sneak preview of. Until then~

All the best.

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Reviews for THE MILK OF FEMALE KINDNESS and Links to Buy FINIS.

By now you now that this week, my newest publication, Finis., launched. I’ve tried not to overwhelm the Interwebz with announcements of it, but I admit that Tuesday, Launch Day, I was online most of the day just trying to keep up with the traffic and buzz about it and reactions to it. It was a great day, and I’m so grateful to those of you who’ve already bought the book, read it, and given me reviews. I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far! (Links to places where Finis. is currently on sale appear at the end of this post.)

 

cover design by Lauren Volness
cover design by Lauren Volness

 

This Sunday is our official launch party, and if you’re in Houston that day, please feel free to drop by! It will be at The Black Labrador from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in their Churchill Room.

Finis. is an ebook only at this time, due to its length, but there will be copies of an anthology I was recently published in, The Milk of Female Kindness — An Anthology of Honest Motherhood, for sale at the launch party. This wonderful international project brought together authors from all over the world; the book contains poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and artwork around the theme of motherhood and offers a wide variety of perspectives. (It also contains two of my essays and three of my poems.)

 

The Milk of Female Kindness: An Anthology of Honest Motherhood

 

Here is a list of some of the reviews that have come in so far for The Milk of Female Kindness. (I wrote “some” because I know there are other reviews out there that I don’t have listed here.)

*  from blog The Reluctant Retiree

*  from blogger Carol Cameleon

*  from blogger Madhusmita Phukon

*  from Michelle Clements James at Book Chat

*  from Sharon Bonin-Pratt at Ink Flare

*  from Dale Newton at EllaDee Words

*  from blog My Train of Thoughts On…

*  several on Goodreads

I was so grateful to be included in this anthology; it really is an excellent publication. Kudos to Kasia James, the contributing editor whose brainchild it was, and to all the other authors and artists in it!

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As promised, here are links to buy Finis. More retailers will be coming available soon, and when they are, I’ll be sure to let you know!

Smashwords

Amazon (This link is for the US store, but it is also available through Amazon in India, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Australia.)

Finis. is also available through Apple’s iBooks store, but be sure you get the title that has my name attached to it, or you might end up with some very different literature you weren’t necessarily looking for!

 

 

FINIS.

So it has been quite a busy time over here! If you’ve been following along on my social media you know that this coming week is a very big deal for me. My first ebook, Finis., is coming out — it goes live on Tuesday!

 

cover design by Lauren Volness
cover design by Lauren Volness

 

You can already pre-order it at Smashwords by clicking on this link here. Smashwords also has free samples available if you want to give it a test drive first. Finis. will be available at Amazon this week, too, and I’ll be sending another post with the link once it goes live there.

 

UPDATE 8/6/14:  Finis. is now live and on sale!  🙂  Get it from Smashwords or Amazon by clicking the links on their names. It’s just $3.99!

 

This post contains some information about the ebook and the launch party, advance praise for Finis., and (saving the best for last) some very important thank-yous.

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First, if you don’t have a Kindle or Nook or other e-reader, never fear: you can still get this ebook! Download the Kindle reading app for free from Amazon, and you can turn any Apple, Android, or Windows device into an e-reader. I’ve done this with my laptop, and it works quite nicely (though I’ve been told that sometimes formatting doesn’t load quite as well with the app as with an actual e-reading device).

In case you’re going to be in Houston on Sunday, August 10th: we’re having a Finis. launch party at The Black Labrador in The Churchill Room. Come on by! Be sure to order yummy food and drink while you’re there; The Black Lab may have the best pub menu in town (because it’s also an excellent restaurant). I’ll be giving a short reading at 4:30 and again at 5:15 for those who come later and miss the first one. Copies of The Milk of Female Kindness — An Anthology of Honest Motherhood (which contains some of my poems and essays) will be available for sale there. (Look for more information on that later this week.)

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Here is some advance praise for Finis.:

“It’s not often I get that viscerally emotional on behalf of a fictional character. In a setting of overt fantasy, Angélique Jamail has created some of the most real people I’ve encountered via text in a long time.” — Ari Marmell (author of Hot Lead, Cold Iron)

“A silver vein of irony runs through Angélique Jamail’s fantastic Finis. It is a witty tale of conformity, prejudice, and transformation, in a world that is disturbing as much for its familiarity as for its strangeness. In a place where everyone is different, Elsa is the wrong kind of different, and that means facing pity, discrimination, danger, and sharp teeth. Dive into this story, readers, and confront them for yourself; it may just change the way you feel about things…” — Marie Marshall (author of The Everywhen Angels)

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Now, of course there are acknowledgements in the ebook itself of people who were an integral part of the process of making Finis. a real live book. I could never hope to list everyone who has supported me in such a short space, though, and here I want to take a moment to acknowledge a few people who have been just wonderful.

I’ll start with my editor Jayne Pillemer, whose insight is so sharp, and whose confidence in me and in Finis. has been sustaining.

Thank you to Russ Linton, author of Crimson Son, whose guidance through the self-publishing process has been invaluable. If you’re thinking about going this route, check out his blog, where he discusses at length his journey on this path, and his interview here on my blog about it and other interesting things.

When I was at my wits’ end trying to figure out how to manipulate the files for Amazon and Smashwords, I lucked into hiring Jesse Gordon as the formatter. I could not have made a better choice. His response time was quick, his expertise was thorough, and he handled my quirky combination of perfectionist and techno-luddite with grace and aplomb. He has my highest recommendation.

The gorgeous cover design for Finis. was created entirely by Lauren Volness, photographer and graphic designer extraordinaire. I also owe a debt of gratitude to Kara Masharani for being the fantastic and enthusiastic model.

Finally, I want to thank David Jón Fuller for the occasional lunchtime chat when I needed to be talked down from the proverbial editing ledge. Every writer needs friends like that.

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This week will be busier than usual here at Sappho’s Torque as we gear up for the launch festivities. Stay tuned for more exciting information as it becomes available! All the best, and thank you so much for your support.