Friday, October 20, 2017

The Surrender Book Launch

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


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.


via GIPHY
(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.


via GIPHY

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...



Monday, May 8, 2017

How to Win Even More Audiobooks!

Did you miss out on last month's opportunity to win free audiobooks of Ordinary Souls and Servant? Fear not! Anyone who subscribes to my email newsletter between now and June 30 will have a chance to win both! Just click on the link below and enter your info to subscribe. Audiobook codes available to US listeners only.





Thursday, May 4, 2017

Ebooks! Ebooks Everywhere!

Once upon a time, my ebooks were only available for Kindle. This made many people very sad, as they did not own Kindles, nor did they want to.


via GIPHY

Then, one day, the Magical Ebook Fairy came along and, with a wave of its wand, ensured that my ebooks could be enjoyed by ALL readers of ebooks, and everyone lived happily ever after.


via GIPHY

Readers can now enjoy Rage's Echo, Solitude, Servant, Sacrifice, and Ordinary Souls not only on Kindle, but on Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Scribd, 24 Symbols, and more. Happy reading!


Rage's Echo Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/baPJwx


Solitude Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/mqzJ2v


Servant Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/mvYJwq


Sacrifice Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/4jKJjY


Ordinary Souls Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/bw8AMy

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Supermassive Audiobook Giveaway of Awesomeness

Great things are happening in the land of Bailey! Servant and Ordinary Souls are both available as audiobooks (read by narrators Paul J. McSorley and Ezekiel Robison, respectively), and right now I'm giving away FIVE free download codes of each. That means FIVE lucky winners will receive codes for both audiobooks when I draw the names on April 30.

WILL ONE OF THEM BE YOU?

All you have to do to enter is to comment on this post, telling us all where you most enjoy listening to audiobooks. Is it in the car? On the bus? On the beach? Do tell!

Codes available to US listeners only.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pre-Birthday Musings


I turn 28 later this month. I'm not quite sure how to feel about that--it seems like such a short time ago that I walked up the aisle at my high school graduation clutching a stick of Halls cough drops in one fist since my gown didn't have pockets. (I was trying very hard not to die of walking pneumonia, with which I had recently been diagnosed. I spent the commencement ceremony sitting in the front row with the other 19 top-of-the-class students, discreetly popping said cough drops into my mouth and littering the floor with the wrappers since, again, the gown didn't have pockets.)

(Seriously, why couldn't they have had pockets?)

So much has happened in the ten years since then. I started college, changed my major, got dumped, met a new guy, married him, published my first novel, graduated college, published another few novels, adopted three cats, and ate an alarming amount of burritos.

I've also changed, because that's what people do when faced with new experiences.

The biggest change of all, I think, is this pesky little thing called Social Anxiety.

As an author, I have to promote my work to readers. The most effective way I have found to do this is to set up book signings so potential readers get to see my books in person. Cold calling stores to see if I could have events there was terrifying, like approaching a pack of hungry tigers. In fact, using the phone to call anyone I didn't know felt like that.



The one thing I've learned about fears is that in order to overcome them, you have to face them--not just once, but repeatedly. Since I've been published, I've had at least 100 author events including book signings and speaking events at libraries. I have to actually TALK to people, and while at first it scared me, I've found that I enjoy it. During my travels from event to event I've met an entire spectrum of people who tell me their own stories, and my life would be far dimmer if I hadn't ventured outdoors and met them.

For example, if I'd never had any book signings...

I wouldn't have met the man from Cameroon who said he used to write articles explaining to the people of his country that volcanic eruptions are caused from science-y stuff and not angry volcano gods.

I wouldn't have met the woman with MS who had a dog fastened into a baby's car seat, which she pulled in a cart behind her scooter. (Both woman and dog were quite friendly!)

I wouldn't have met the man who used to see UFOs out in the desert,

I wouldn't have met the woman who visited Edgar Allan Poe's grave, and showed me pictures.

I wouldn't have met the woman who called the police during a paranormal investigation because she and the rest of her group heard gunfire and shouting upstairs. The police arrived to find nothing--the sounds had simply been the ghostly echo of some bygone crime.

I wouldn't have met the man who told me that people have randomly attacked him his entire life, for no reason.

I wouldn't have met the other authors who, taking inspiration from me, went on to set up book signings of their own.

If you're an introvert like I am, you might be squirming at some of what I've said. But you know what? Try to do what scares you. You might find out you love it.

What about you? Have you faced your fears? How did you go about doing it?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This is No Ordinary Ebook Sale


THIS IS NO ORDINARY EBOOK SALE.
For the entire month of March, my horror/scifi anthology Ordinary Souls will be on sale for $0.99/£0.99 in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia from all ebook retailers including Amazon, Kobo, and Nook.
What will the mirror show you?

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Reality of Being an Indie Author

It's 2017.

By this point in time, I have published four novels (one currently out of print) and sixteen short stories. It has been a wonderful journey, and I wouldn't change it for anything.

But here's the reality of being an indie author:

In 2016, I drove 4,927.2 miles to and from events promoting my books.

I had $4,560.41 in sales from my books.

I spent $5,317.47 on inventory purchases, editing, formatting, advertising, Square fees, shipping, and other book-related expenses.
Yay inventory purchases!

Before taking the cost of mileage into account, I was negative $757.06 in 2016, which is actually less money than I was negative in 2015.

Goal for 2017: Don't spend so much money, and sell even more books!

Some other facts:

If I had not attended the Realm Makers Conference in 2016, I would have broken even, but Realm Makers was a blast, so I'm glad I went. Where else could I have dressed as the TARDIS and hung out with geeks?



Also, I spent nearly $600 on advertising alone. This year I'm going to budget myself better and try to be more strategic with any ads I pay for.

Lastly, I'm going to try to cut down on my mileage a bit, doing more local events if I'm able, including the 2017 Cincinnati Comic Expo, for which I have already reserved a booth.

What about you?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Get Ordinary Souls for Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks

"[Ordinary Souls is] Imaginative, expert and deeply chilling."
-Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Progeny


Do you love ebooks? I thought so! Well, today is your lucky day: not only is my supernatural/scifi/horror anthology Ordinary Souls available for Kindle; it is also available from other ebook outlets as well. Here's a list. Happy reading!









What readers are saying about Ordinary Souls:

"This is an intriguing collection of short stories, some of which will leave you more than a little unsettled and some of which you'll be thinking about for days." -T. Hernandez

"J. S. Bailey always leaves me in awe. Her characters are never predictable, nor are her endings. Masterful crafting of plot and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. I love her writing so much that I binge-read this in record time." -D. M. Kilgore

"I can't imagine a quirkier collection, and I really loved every second of it. No story ended the way I thought it would, and everything was super unique. The Mirror will stick with you longest...unless the one about the family vacation gets inside your head." -K. Keating