Evolution – Beasts and Borders Bookstore: How THE THING IN THE WOODS Came to Be

My horror novel The Thing in the Woods would not exist if, one night when I was home from the University of Georgia sometime in 2006 or 2007, I hadn’t decided to swing by the East Cobb Borders. There I found a manual for the role-playing game Call of Cthulhu. Although I’m not a gamer I do appreciate the back-stories many games have and I am a big Lovecraft fan. I gave it a read and one of the possible scenarios was the suburbanization of the rural desolation where, in Lovecraft’s work, very bad things went down. The phrase “supernatural […]

Help Selling More Books – To Con or Not To Con? Part 2 – Fandom Cons

Last time I talked about Industry Cons, like World Fantasy Con, World Horror Con, RWA Nationals, and other pro-centric cons. The greatest benefit of these cons is often the networking, as they are light on fan attendees and heavy on pros. They can be a great place to make or renew relationships, to meet people who can have a real impact on your career long-term, but you should never go into a conversation with someone just thinking about what they can do for you. That’s not networking, that’s being an asshole. Real networking, the kind that will actually do something […]

Angel in the Dust Chapter 1

Here’s the next chapter of that serialized thing I’m working on. Let me know what you think.  Chapter 1 She jerked awake, sitting bolt upright with her mouth wide open. Silent at first, she drew a breath to scream, but he was there with his hand pressed tight to her lips. “That would be very bad,” he whispered. “There are things out there in the dark that I cannot save you from, cannot save myself from, either. So in order to keep us both alive long enough for me to answer your questions, you must be very quiet. Can you […]

We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast…

I know, it’s Wednesday. I know, this is when I’m supposed to do a How to Sell More Books Blog Post. We’ll get back to that next week. This is more important. One of my best friends had a kid, and he’s got some health issues. This is your chance to get rewarded for helping somebody out.   Wesley’s Story See that cute little bastard in the photo? That’s my little buddy Wesley. He’s my friends Rich and Kat’s kid, and he need a new liver. Now, I know, a lot of us need new livers, but that’s because of […]

New Serial – Angel in the Dust

I’ve had an idea kicking around for a while to write a weird western, so I’m going to give it a shot. Posting chapters here kept me honest on Amazing Grace, so maybe it’ll keep me motivated on this project, too. It’s called Angel in the Dust (for now), and it’s a near-future or alternate reality western set in a world where the United States is very different, and angels walk among us. Much to our chagrin. I’ll try to post a chapter every Monday, like I did with Grace. Hopefully, this will be as good.  Prologue The sun beat down like […]

Help Selling More Books – To Con or Not To Con? Part 1 – Industry Conventions

So y’all might have heard that I was in St. Louis last weekend, hitting up both Penned Con 2017 and Archon 41. My conversations with several people at both cons raised the question – Is it worth it? It’s a valid question, and one I ask myself often when I go to conventions. Last week I drove over 1500 miles round trip. I was away from home for six days. I spent five nights in a hotel, and ate out every meal for six days. That’s not an insignificant investment in time, effort, and money, and that’s before we go […]

Amazing Grace is out there in the world!

As a little “Thank You!” to all of you who read Amazing Grace in its serial form, and offered encouragement as I wrote it, I gave you a little present – This is the recorded Prologue to the novel, in my own voice, because I enjoy doing this piece at readings and thought y’all might like to hear what it sounds like to me. You can buy Amazing Grace in your favorite ebook format here – books2read.com/u/4DoRWQ. Print copies are releasing 10/17/17, in softcover and hardcover. Thanks for helping bring this project to life!   JGH

Help Selling More Books – Write More, Publish More, Sell More

That’s the trick, isn’t it? If we write more, we can publish more, and then we can sell more. I publish roughly 2-3 novels per year, plus a couple of short stories, plus anywhere from 9-14 novellas. This year, I will finish up with eight novellas, a couple of short stories, and two novels. Somewhere between 375,000 and 400,000 words of published fiction, plus around 100,000 words of blogging. I don’t count FB posts, but I do count the stuff I write here, because it’s written with intent and forethought, and usually some level of narrative thread. So close to […]

Ladies and Gentlemen, Simon Cowell!

Not really. But I have begin referring to myself as “Simon Cowell of small press publishing.” If you’d really like to see why, you can go check out the finalists of Son of a Pitch, an online query contest that gets things read by actual publishers. My pal Samantha, she of the menopausal superhero novels asked me to participate, so I read the 20 finalist queries, and the 250-word samples they submitted. Out of the finalists, who had been winnowed down through two previous rounds of judging, I requested three submissions. Despite the rapidly growing size of our Falstaff Books catalog, […]

Help Selling More Books – Mailing Lists Revisited

I wrote a couple of posts early in this series about how to build a mailing list with Incentivized and Organic Subscribers, and all that stuff remains true. If you missed them, the first part is here, and the second one is here. This won’t be about the philosophical elements of making a newsletter, this will be about the nuts and bolts, the mechanics, and what I personally do with my mailing lists to monetize them. Some of this is stuff I’ve gleaned from the internet, some of it I’ve come up with on my own, and fair chunk of […]