Thursday, December 14, 2017

Trapped Inside the Internet

It was September 2005. I was 16 years old, a junior in high school, and I was talking to my good friend Jennifer on the phone in my basement bedroom that was always too cold regardless of the time of year.

I don't remember why we were talking on the phone. I guess that's what we did back then. I don't remember who called who, or what we'd even been talking about at first, but suddenly Jennifer said something to me that would change my life forever:

"So-and-so told me about this website called MySpace." She emphasized the second word, calling it "mySPACE."

She told me a little more about this website I'd never heard of. Intrigued, I visited MySpace and signed up. I discovered that a few other people from school had profiles, and was astounded to see pictures from the recent school dance displayed on people's profiles for anyone to see.

It was beyond my comprehension that someone could put pictures of me and my friends online without my knowledge. It was like this whole little world existed that I hadn't known about. Sure, I'd been lurking online for a few years at that point, mostly hanging out in the forums on the official Star Wars website. (My screen name there was, for some reason, Darth Gurshellewarn, or something like that.) People did not post pictures in the forums. This was entirely new territory for me, and I took to it with overzealous fervor.

One of the photos from my MySpace profile.

Fast forward twelve years.

It's hard to imagine what life would be like today without social media. It's even what I do at work: I manage many social media profiles a day, and when I get home in the evening, I get in my daily word count and then hop on over to my own social media profiles to post things there. I'm generally on social media about eight hours a day.

I've made so many friends online during the past twelve years. I love the opportunities that social media has given me. Without it, I never would have found my publisher, and I wouldn't have been able to meet some very dear author friends at writing conferences.

Despite this, I'm starting to miss the olden days.

I'm starting to miss them BAD.

I sit and try to remember what I did before the dawn of social media. I remember crocheting a lot, and I wrote stories in notebooks, and I scrapbooked my photographs in albums. Of course I had homework, too, which I don't miss at all--but I miss the simplicity of it. I miss the quiet evenings hanging out with my friends, watching movies and writing goofy stories that we'd pass back and forth. I miss a world that lived without daily outrage. I miss a world that was more civil, more polite. Part of me wishes that I could go back in time and revel in the silence.

Of course, I'm not going to ditch social media. I love you all too much! But I think it's time for me to step back a little bit and try to regain some of what I have lost.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Epic Holiday Audiobook Giveaway

2017 has flown by, and once again it is the holiday season! Oh, where has this year gone?

In proper gift-giving fashion, I am giving away free Audible copies of Servant, Sacrifice, and Ordinary Souls to FIVE LUCKY WINNERS. Entries are open to residents of the US and UK only. Each winner will win all three audiobooks.

How do you enter? 

1. Send an email to stating whether you live in the US or UK so I can send you the correct code if you are one of the winners. Please put AUDIOBOOK GIVEAWAY in the subject line.

2. Comment on this blog post answering the following question:

What is the best audiobook you have ever listened to?

You MUST complete both steps in order to have a valid entry! The deadline for entry is December 31, 2017. Good luck!

servant the chronicles of servitude book 1 j s bailey supernatural suspense

sacrifice the chronicles of servitude book 2 j s bailey supernatural suspense

ordinary souls j s bailey supernatural short stories

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Surrender Book Launch

The moment you've been waiting for has arrived at last...

surrender the chronicles of servitude book 3 j s bailey supernatural suspense

I'll be the first person to admit I'm a slow writer. Between my day job and marketing the books I've already published, it isn't always easy to squeeze in my daily word count. Factor in that plus the fact that I suffered a crippling bout of writer's block while working on the first draft of Surrender: The Chronicles of Servitude Book 3, and now you understand why it has been two long years since Sacrifice: The Chronicles of Servitude Book 2 arrived on your bookshelves.

I am deeply sorry for leaving you all hanging. I'm happy to say that Bobby Roland is back, all safe and sound (a.k.a. In Constant Danger), and now you have the opportunity to read his latest exploits as he battles his new nemesis, an individual you will learn much more about in Surrender:

Bobby Roland has spread himself too thin.

Bobby has finally found a demoniac to cleanse. Before the exorcism is complete, he learns that someone is plotting the assassination of a local humanist leader.

When Bobby’s enemy, Thane, appears at a party with threats to kill everyone, Bobby realizes he can’t save them all on his own. But Bobby doesn’t give up easily. He flees town to find help and discovers it in the most unexpected of places.

Can Bobby and his new friend save everyone before it’s too late?

Surrender may be purchased in the following formats:

If you haven't yet read Servant: The Chronicles of Servitude Book 1 or Sacrifice: The Chronicles of Servitude Book 2, they are available here in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats.

ALSO, if you happen to live in or near the Cincinnati area, I'm having a Surrender Book Launch Book Signing on Saturday, October 21 from 9:30am to 1:30pm at Everything Bagels in Eastgate, Ohio, located at 792 Eastgate South Dr. Suite 200 Cincinnati, OH 45245. Everyone is more than welcome to attend!

As usual, happy reading!

--J. S. Bailey

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fear is Just Around the Corner

Surrender: The Chronicles of Servitude Book 3 will be releasing on October 20, but for those who absolutely cannot wait another few days to get some new Bailey stories in their hands, you're in luck!

I contributed three all-new stories as well as some backstory to the horror/comedy anthology The Whispered Tales of Graves Grove, which is available now in hardcover, softcover, and ebook formats! Proceeds benefit Reading is Fundamental, so be sure to get your copy today!

Graves Grove isn’t your ordinary town…
Nestled within the folds of the Canadian Rockies, Graves Grove probably isn’t the picturesque place you’d like to stay for long. Peculiar things happen here. The citizens seem normal superficially—they function well enough. But each one is deeply disturbed, wrapped in secrets and neuroses which drive them to strange behaviors.
And then there are all the missing children. And why is everyone afraid of that sycamore tree?
The Whispered Tales of Graves Grove is an anthology of stories taking place throughout the history of this mysterious town, from its founding to its future. Read them…if you dare.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Cincinnati Comic Expo: A Recap

It's been two weeks since the start of the Cincinnati Comic Expo, which was held at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Downtown Cincinnati from September 22-24. It was my first time attending, so I wasn't sure what to expect, especially since I was a vendor selling my own books. Would any attendees be interested in supernatural suspense novels? I figured they would be, but I didn't know, so some risk was involved there. I did split the cost of an exhibitor booth with fellow author A. Charles Ross, which turned out to be a splendid idea since one of us could hold down the fort while the other went exploring the rest of the Expo.

As it turned out, I sold enough books to cover the cost of my half of the table (but not the exorbitant cost of parking--alas!). Overall, it was a great investment. I came SO CLOSE to breaking even, and since I'll have a new book out soon, next year I will probably do even better.

Here are a few things I did that I think helped with sales.

1. I marked down the cost of my books.

I normally sell my trade paperbacks for $17, which includes sales tax. For the Comic Expo, I marked the price down to $15 including tax and had signs clearly stating that this was a Special Convention Price. This gave people a reason to buy my books right then and not later.

2. I made signs summarizing each book.

I typed up a brief summary of each book I had for sale and listed authors and TV shows that were similar to each story. This helped tell people about the books for those times when I couldn't be in the booth to talk about them myself.

3. I bribed people with cool bags.

I ordered a hefty batch of reusable shopping bags with my name and website on them (Big shout-out to Uncover Creative for designing them!), then made a sign telling people that they could get a free bag if they bought three or more of my books. I had at least five people take me up on the offer, which amounted to quite a few books sold!

4. I handed out bookmarks.

Foot traffic was a little slow during certain times at the Expo. During those instances, A. Charles Ross and I stood out in front of our booth passing bookmarks out to the few people passing us by. One man who would have passed us by without looking ended up buying ALL of our titles after we gave him free bookmarks. Not too shabby!

5. I had clearly-marked signage.

I recently had my publisher, BHC Press, design a table drape and retractable banner (a.k.a. My Giant Face) for my events. The table drape and banner clearly state that I write supernatural suspense, and My Giant Face on the banner was so captivating that one girl saw it from across the room and thought it was her own face that someone stole off the internet and turned into a banner. (She had brown hair and glasses, too.) Another woman noticed My Giant Face and said that I looked like I could be one of her sisters. My doppelgangers didn't buy any books, but at least I know that my retractable banner is noticeable!

6. I talked to lots and lots and lots of people.

In fact, I talked to so many people that my throat was raw and rasping by the time the Expo was over. I used about 70,000 cough drops over the weekend just to maintain the ability to speak. I still sounded like a frog as the event came to a close. But that's good--that means so many more people know about my books now!

In all, I sold 15 copies of Ordinary Souls, 10 copies of Rage's Echo, 6 copies of Servant, and 5 copies of Sacrifice. I can use these numbers as a benchmark to surpass at next year's Cincinnati Comic Expo.

Have any of you sold books at conventions? What tips would you add here?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Why Do I Write Supernatural Suspense?

At this point in my life, I'm fairly certain I've had roughly 8,543 book signings. (Okay, not quite that many, but I'm getting there!)

I've developed a half-decent elevator pitch when people who aren't familiar with my work want to know the kinds of stories I write: "I write supernatural suspense novels and short stories, so it's suspense but with ghosts and demons and other strange things. If you're familiar with Dean Koontz, my books are a similar genre to his."

(I like to throw Dean's name around a lot.)

It's cool when people get excited to learn that I write in one of their favorite genres. Sometimes people are curious and ask me why I have chosen to write supernatural suspense, so here are some reasons why.

1. It's more subtle than all-out horror

While I would consider myself a fan of certain brands of horror, I'm not much into the slasher variety. Give me creepy; don't give me entrails. My own writing has been mildly gory in the past, but I've toned it down a bit in recent years. Guts don't scare me--I just think they're gross. My personal favorite brands of horror are of the Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling varieties.

(I know Rod Serling didn't write that episode, but it's a cool GIF.)

2. It creates a broad range of possibilities

This probably goes for most genres, but I feel that I could take a story anywhere using supernatural elements. I've written stories featuring ghosts, demons, angels, people with mind-control powers, a cursed mirror, and a painting that eats people's souls if they stare at it too long. The possibilities are endless!

3. Stories are scarier if they hit closer to home

The vast majority of my stories take place in the present-day and feature regular people who have terribly bizarre things start happening to them. It's the same with supernatural suspense novels by other authors I've read, such as the aforementioned Dean Koontz, Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, and Erin Healy. I think a story is scarier if the remote possibility exists that it might be able to happen in the real world.

4. It's fun

Maybe I'm just mean (as all authors should be!), but I enjoy pitting my characters against enemies of a supernatural nature, whether they be ghosts, demons, or something else. They have to think outside the box when figuring out how to defeat them.


I'm assuming that since you've read this far, you're probably a fan of supernatural suspense. And now I must ask: Why do you like reading it? Tell us in the comments!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Listen to Sacrifice--Now on Audio

Last winter, I was pleased to announce the audiobook release of Servant: The Chronicles of Servitude Book 1. Narrated by Paul J. McSorley, Servant became a popular audiobook for fans of supernatural suspense, and people kept asking when Book 2 would be available in audio format as well.

Now fans of Servant are in luck. Sacrifice: The Chronicles of Servitude Book 2 is available from Amazon, Audible, and iTunes!

Bobby Roland can't catch a break.
Less than a week after Bobby takes on the mantle of Servitude, a position granting him the ability to exorcise demons from the possessed, he finds an envelope taped to his door containing an intimidating note and a picture of a strange woman. When a shadowy figure is abducted off the sidewalk down the street from his house, Bobby can't help but wonder if it's her.
Bobby may not be ready to drive out demons, but that doesn't put a damper on his desire to help those in need. With the aid of his friends and a new supernatural ally, Bobby sets out to find the woman and free her from her captors.
Little does Bobby know he may have bitten off more than he can chew...