Sometimes the calendar makes strange demands on us. In this case, it requires that we present the following press release “out of order,” as it were; but then, we’re dealing not only with two good books and two fine authors, but also with two hemispheres and two time zones — so the time is out of joint in any case. Thus we bring you, first, the announcement; second, the free previews!
The Day of the Books!
On August 8, 2008, the distance between the United States and New Zealand will lessen.
Award-nominated author and podcaster Tee Morris (United States) had announced on his podcasts a promotion he dubbed “Billi’s Crazy Eights”, its name coming from the release date (08-08-08) of his next novel, The Case of the Pitcher’s Pendant: A Billibub Baddings Mystery. He then discovered his Crazy Eights promotion coincided with award-nominated Fantasy author Philippa Ballantine (New Zealand) celebrating her birthday and the release of her next novel, Digital Magic. After some playful name-calling and serious brainstorming, these two authors are teaming up from their respective hemispheres for “Double Trouble” where their fans will visit Amazon.com on August 8, 2008 and send both books up the Amazon charts.
“Double Trouble is where Pip and I make 08-08-08 our day on Amazon,” says Tee. “On our respective podcasts and mailing lists, we’re asking our readers and listeners to buy The Case of The Pitcher’s Pendant and Digital Magic. Our goal is to get not one but two Dragon Moon titles into Amazon’s Top Ten lists.” Authors Scott Sigler and Seth Harwood accomplished similar feats on their own Amazon Days (Sigler on April 1, Harwood on March 16), but this promotion will be the first time two authors are working together to dominate Amazon’s charts. “Double Trouble just made sense to us,” Tee continues. “We’re currently collaborating on both our podcasts (MOREVI: Remastered and Chasing the Bard, both new titles are sequels to award-nominated books, and we work well together.” For Pip, this kind of promotion is important, considering her location. “There is strength in numbers, even if that number is two,” she jokes. “Tee and I are pooling our promotional resources together, and that will make a difference on August 8.” A good part of their promotion includes getting the date out across four podcasts, and encouraging their listeners to spread the word. “Podcasting allows authors to introduce works to a global audience and build a fan base,” Pip states. “This is particularly valuable to authors like me on the other side of the world. A promotion like this is not only innovative, but a great example to the publishing industry of podcasting’s potential.”
Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine ask their fans to visit Amazon.com on August 8, 2008 at 8:00 a.m. PST-USA to place their orders for The Case of The Pitcher’s Pendant: A Billibub Baddings Mystery and Digital Magic. Additional information on the two authors can be found through their respective podcasts, The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy and Whispers at the Edge. Their voices can also be heard in the podcast novels MOREVI: Remastered and Chasing the Bard. Tee and Pip are available for interviews and invite you to to contact them through http://teemorris.com or http://pjballantine.net.
I’ll anticipate the next couple of articles by saying here that I highly recommend both MOREVI: Remastered and Chasing the Bard. You can listen to both of them either by subscribing through your own podcatcher software or simply by going to their sites.
Who is Billibub Baddings, you ask? Imagine, if you will, a Lord of the Rings–style dwarf (okay, think of John Rhys-Davies’s portrayal of Gimli in Peter Jackson’s films) who’s been tossed into a mystical Portal to Oblivion — but surprise! “Oblivion” turns out to be 1927 Chicago. Billibub finds his feet in our world by taking up the best profession a fighter and ore-hunter can pursue in that legendary city: he becomes a hard-boiled private detective, wielding a .45 named “Beatrice,” a war-axe, and a snappy put-down with equal skill, and indulging new-found passions for chili and baseball. One Billibub Baddings mystery, The Case of the Singing Sword (billed as “The Lord of the Rings as written by Mickey Spillane”), has appeared already, and it’s a delight.
As for Digital Magic, I’m eager to find out about its contents. We know two things about it, however: One, it’s a sequel to the wonderful Chasing the Bard (see next article), which deals with the Fey and their exploits in the world of William Shakespeare, and two, it takes place in our near future. The reader who automatically associates the “fantasy” category with medieval settings is not wrong, as published offerings go; it seems one cannot set a story in the future without its being automatically labeled “science fiction.” Until now, that is. We’ll see if Pip can pull it off; my money’s on her.
The Free Previews of the Books!
“Try before you buy” has been the watchword of podcast authors such as Sigler, Harwood, and Selznick, and Pip and Tee are following in this tradition by offering free, complete (!) PDF versions of their books. Check out the electronic editions of Digital Magic and The Case of the Pitcher’s Pendant — and if you like them, go to Amazon.com on 8 August 08 and join me in helping their authors to set a sales milestone.