Erik Orrantia

author of Normal Miguel

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The World Goes on Without Me
Hotel California
Hi Everybody,

It's been a long time since I've written...I was afraid this would happen.  It's so hard to keep up on these things. 

Although Normal Miguel has just come out, and I'm very excited about it, I've been spending hours a day on a new manuscript.  When I get ideas, I just can't keep myself from getting them out.

I hadn't read the e-mails regarding a chat or board for the contemporary work.  Can anyone fill me in?  Is it worth it?  How do you do that?  I'm a bit of a neophyte at all of this social networking stuff.

In the meantime, I'm also lamenting the terrible turns this world seems to make every damn day.  I'm not sure we'll all be around much longer.  It's taken us much longer to get this far, as a species, than it will to put an end to us!  (Not a dooms-day sayer...just a realist, I think.)

Anyhow, welcome Anne, if you're out there.  I'm looking forward to reading everybodys' books.  (They're all on my to-do list!)

So long,


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The chats usually DO have an effect - but it's not necessarily immediate because most chats are full of people who never post. I don't know if they're shy or just too busy to do anything but read -- Erastes has had some good results with asking readers questions, but that doesn't always work either. Many of us have taken to doing chats in groups, and visiting each other's chats, so we have someone to talk to. It's discouraging to have a timeframe that you're expected to fill with no help from the audience.

Some chat groups have moderators who do mini-interviews and keep a conversation going -- Romance Junkies, Literary Nymphs, several others... And there are lists like Romance Excerpts Only or homopromo, groups where no chat is needed.

Amazon sales tend to go up after a chat, and every bit of promo 'wisdom' I've run across says that a reader starting from total ignorance needs to see your name/title at least three times before there's any inclination to go look. On the other hand, there are people whose books I will never read because they're so in my face that it becomes irritating.

A couple of suggestions: Make a file of excerpts, about 800-1000 words, that you think are interesting and will draw a reader in. (If this is difficult, ask a friend!) File that document somewhere you'll be able to get it when you're doing a chat--this will save you hours and make chats much easier. Also, in this file, save the links to your books. Most chat sites want a 'buy link' and -- since that's the point of the exercise, the easier it is for an interested reader to get your books...

I know what you mean about the world at the moment, particularly the Gulf. As scientists were saying forty years ago -- if the ocean dies, the planet loses its major source of oxygen. And guess what, oilsuckers? You can't breathe money. I'd like to kick every single person who bought into the "let's ridicule the environmentalists" propaganda. It's no joke.

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