Monthly Archives: May 2013

Genre Switching?

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Sorry for the delay in posts! I was on a very relaxing vacation. Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this new book I’m writing. I would categorize it as “New Adult.” The main character is 21 and just starting her first job out of college. It’s definitely more mature than Merch Girl and has some intense scenes that are not meant for younger eyes to read. This got me thinking about genres. I classify Merch Girl as “Young Adult” and it’s safe enough for tweens to read. Is it wrong to skip around genres when you’re building an audience?

Most of the authors I read stick to one genre, be it paranormal, contemporary, young adult, adult, etc. You get comfortable with it and know what to expect. But is that always a good thing? The only popular author who I can recall switching genres and keeping her same author name is J.K. Rowling who came out with an adult novel after finishing the Harry Potter series. I can’t blame her for switching genres if she had a story in her head that was itching to get out, but I wonder how many Harry Potter fans read her new book? I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t comment on it, but I would be interested in seeing what it’s all about.

I know that I also have ideas kicking around in my brain for paranormal and even non-fiction. I don’t want to hold myself back from writing anything just because it doesn’t fit the genre that I wrote in before. I actually think it might be nice to gain new readers…and who knows, there may be cross-over readers who enjoy Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal and Non-fiction…I know I do!

Authors and readers…I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Book Blogger Love!

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Thank you!

I just want to dedicate a post to all the fabulous book bloggers who have recently read and reviewed my debut YA novel, Merch Girl. It means the world to me for anyone to take the time to read it, and to receive some of the amazing positive feedback is icing on the cake. Take a look at some of the recent feedback I’ve received from book bloggers and reviewers! I have a few more blog reviews lined up for June and July, and I can’t wait to read them!

Booksessed Blog Review: http://bookssesed.blogspot.com/2013/05/review-merch-girl-by-rebecca-lewis.html

Goodreads Reviews: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17703969-merch-girl

Amazon Reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Merch-Girl-ebook/product-reviews/B00CN0HNQO/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Amazon Best Seller!

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Wow….wow, wow, wow. I don’t even know what to say!!! After only 11 days of being published, Merch Girl has made not one, but three Amazon Best Sellers Lists!!!! I don’t know how it happened, but suddenly my sales started rolling in, and I am going with it! It’s currently #29 in the Hot New Releases in Coming of Age Fiction, #52 on the Teen Romance ebooks list and #62 in the Coming of Age Fiction list. It’s even sandwiched in between Twilight and Breaking Dawn on the Teen List! Take a look:

twilightsandwich

This has been an incredible day and I want to thank everyone single person who purchased a copy!! This makes it clear to me that if you have a dream, GO FOR IT. If hundreds of literary agents reject your book for over a year, don’t be afraid to take the leap and publish it on your own!! You have nothing to lose, and a good story to share that would have otherwise gone to waste. I am a full believer that everything happens for a reason. Sorry this turned very inspirational, but it’s true! Don’t give up!

Indie Publishing – Lessons Learned v1

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lessons-learned

Merch Girl is now 1 week old, yay! As I was gearing up to self publish my novel, I scoured the blogosphere for real-life accounts and experiences from other indie authors, so I’d like to return the favor. I’ll probably update this “Lessons Learned” feature once a month or so with any new information I can share. But, from my one week of being in the self published domain, here are some of my observations:

1. You will be glued to the computer 24/7
I’m usually glued to my computer anyway, but I think I’ve recently been hitting the refresh button on my Kindle Direct Publishing reports page way too often! But, I still get excited for every.single.sale. Like…who is buying my book in the UK? How is it possible I sold 2 ebooks in Canada? What? I love watching the numbers, and I get so curious about who the people are that are buying it! I’m also obsessed with checking my Goodreads page which sucks so much time out of my life right now hahaha. I just can’t stop checking out all the people that add my book to their lists and I love seeing the reviews.

2. You must (must!) market yourself
Luckily, I am a publicist by day and even have a degree in Public Relations, so I knew going into self-publishing just how important being my own best supporter would be. Here are a few things I’ve done to get the word out there:

  • Twitter: Create a Twitter account and don’t just follow other authors…follow your readers! Before you publish your book, you must establish your target audience. It’s pretty easy to find your audience on twitter using the search feature. Since my book is about music and a boyband in particular, I followed a bunch of music loving girls, especially fans of bands that I enjoy. (shout out to the fansons and directioners!) But, don’t just follow a bunch of users…you need to interact! Tweet a few times a day, and don’t promote your book. I HATE when authors ONLY Tweet about their book. Get into actual, normal conversations with your fans. I also have a lot of indie bands following me, and I try to promote their music on my Twitter and this blog.
  • Facebook: You should create an author page. Don’t use your personal page, it doesn’t look professional. Plus, do you want all your readers looking at your family photo album? I think on Facebook you can be a little more promotional than you can on Twitter. Post links to blogs that feature your book or other reviews online. Post photos that inspired your book. Ask questions to your fans, etc.
  • Book Bloggers: Speaking of blogs, book bloggers will become your best friends! They hold the power of getting the word about your book out to hundreds, if not thousands of other readers! It’s easy to find book bloggers in your genre, just Google it! Make sure to read each blog’s review policy because they can be a little bit different, and some blogs do not accept indie author books.
  • Amazon Author Central: If you’re selling your book on Amazon, don’t forget to fill this page out! You can add your bio, editorial reviews, and link to your Twitter and blog as well.
  • Goodreads: Goodreads is an amazing tool for indie authors, and if you’re not using it, you must sign up right now! It’s free to join and you can browse virtual book groups to join. Some of these groups welcome indie authors and will hold group reviews.

I don’t want to make this post too long, and I want to save more for next time. So that’s it for now. Do you have any tips/lessons learned you’d like to share?

Merch Girl Memories

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true-life

So, with the debut of my new Young Adult novel, Merch Girl almost coming up on a full week of being available for purchase, I thought I’d reminisce with some true-life, non-fiction stories from MY time being friends with and selling merch for local bands, and maybe some famous celebrity stories too.

Thankfully, I kept a handy dandy online journal so that I would remember everything that happened to me and my friends. Seriously, if I did not have this journal, I honestly wouldn’t remember 75% of the stuff that I went through! No, I wasn’t drunk or on drugs, I just have a really bad memory.

Anyway, one memory that I DO remember is the first time I saw and met the band that I would eventually become really great friends with and be their merch girl from 2003 – 2005. It was such an amazing time. I was 20, turning 21. I even spent my 21st Birthday at a bar on Lansdowne Street watching their band play while the Red Sox were in the World Series. Lets just say they were a huge inspiration for my book 🙂

Ok, so in the summer of 2003, I moved to NYC to intern for Interscope Records. While I was in NYC, I was also getting involved with a new media/new music venture called Paved Earth. They hired me as a Boston rep, and one other guy. They sent us each other’s email addresses so we started chatting online on AIM. Keep in mind, this is before Facebook even existed, I don’t think Myspace did either. So, I had no clue what he looked like or what the band sounded like. All I knew was that he was in a band and went to college for music in Boston and that they were playing a show at the amazing CBGB club in NYC.

Here’s the first thing I wrote in my online journal about it:
This dude that wants to be Boston A&R for PEM is in a band and having a show at cbgbs next tues.. i felt way cool cos he just said this:
“Tues….you should come, i will put you on the list…youre an A+R person now…hehe.” me=dying cos i cant believe someone just said that to me haha 😀

So, yes, I was excited, but not anticipating anything amazing. Well, when I got there with my friend, I remember seeing a guy soundchecking on stage and praying to myself, and to my friend, “please be him, please be him, please be him!” hahaha. Well, it turned out that it was him! And I ended up loving their music and all the guys in the band were amazingly cool. I loved my internship at Interscope, but I was so ready to go back to Boston so I could see them more often!

Here’s a little more from my journal…I was such a fan girl from the start:
okay i was not expecting anything great or for him to be hot or anything… and yeah well the band was AMAZING and he was HOT and i have such a crush hahah. i’m so gonna go to all their shows when i get back to school! mm before i left he says, “i wanna give you a sweaty hug, is that alright?” im like uhh yeahhhh hahahahah. so hot omg.

I guess I had a thing for band guys, what can I say? Until next time…. 😉

It’s Alive!!!

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Merch Girl is finally available for purchase!!

If you love bands, concerts, music, hot rockstars, teen romance, and an all around sweet romance, be sure to pick up a copy!

It is available in both ebook format and paperback at the following links:

ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CN0HNQO
paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Merch-Girl-Rebecca-Lewis/dp/1484005511

Merch Girl by Rebecca Lewis

Merch Girl by Rebecca Lewis

Thanks for the support!!