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It's a regular feature of my life as an author to feel like I have to justify and excuse the fact that I pay attention to what the world is saying about my books. You see, authors aren't supposed to pay attention to reviews--whether to what they say or simply to their existence. Authors aren't supposed to mention that what readers do to help spread the word about a book is important, because that puts undue pressure on readers. But it does matter and we do care.

It may seem premature to think about the results of some of my recent activity, but the fact is that there have already been significant results—and most of them are all in my head.

But Heather (you say), you don't write horror! You don't write supernatural fiction! What do you mean you want to feature Halloween content today?

I'm officially signing people up for my new monthly newsletter. You can sign up here. (You may notice that the sign-up form is hosted on my other website. I'm still working on integrating it with the code on this one. It won't matter for the sign-up process.)

My brain is about to explode with the learning curve for both Hootsuite (for scheduling routine promotional postings on social media) and Mailchimp (for my new monthly author newsletter). The eventual goal will be to have a widget for subscribing to the newsletter embedded in the website structure itself, but for now, I'm testing out the html code for embedding it on a page. So go ahead and sign up if you want to -- it'll help me test how it works.

Having listened to the promotional strategy advice of a wide variety of people, I'm planning to accomplish two things this weekend. One will be to set up Hootsuite (or some equivalent social media manager, but that's the one people seem to prefer) to handle automated promotional reminders that I rarely have the emotional energy to do manually. The other will be to set up an opt-in (of course!) newsletter for fans and readers to provide both a direct way to communicate announcements and other information, and to provide special content in exchange for access to attention.

Bella Books is holding one of its periodic surprise sales. This time the theme is relatively recent ebooks, so if you haven't gotten around to buying Mother of Souls yet (yes, I'm secretly tapping my foot impatiently) it's only $5.99 through this weekend. Plenty of other bargains as well!

So here's the deal: we sold over 1000 Storybundle packages (in fact, over 1000 at the bonus level). To celebrate and thank the buyers for their support, I'm going to give away five (5) Alpennia e-books to randomly-selected bundle purchasers who comment on this post. If The Mystic Marriage (in the bundle) is your first introduction to Alpennia, I'd strongly suggest you try book #1 in the series (Daughter of Mystery).

You have just five more days to take advantage of this incredible Storybundle offer featuring speculative stories that feature and embrace LGBT+ characters by authors committed to good representation and solid storytelling. If you’ve already enjoyed even one of the featured books, it’s a good sign that you’ll like others. If you look at the list and spot even two that you’ve been meaning to read, then the bundle as a whole is already a bargain.

The LGBT+ Bundle - Curated by Melissa Scott

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