Joanna Campbell Slan has moved, searching new blog...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sales of Cut, Crop and Die to Benefit Homeless Great Danes

Once again, MAGDRL (the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League) is teaming up with mystery author Joanna Campbell Slan for a special fundraiser.

Joanna's new mystery, "Cut, Crop & Die" features a rescue Harlequin Great Dane named Gracie and Joanna has agreed to donate 50% of the sales price to MAGDRL during this special promotion when you order your books through the link below. The book has received great reviews and, in addition to a Great Dane tie-in, it's about scrapbooking, so whether you love mysteries, scrapbooking, or Great Danes (or all three!), you'll enjoy the book. From now until 7 June, order a copy of the book through the link below and MAGDRL benefits. Joanna will personally sign special bookplates for the book(s) you order, making them a perfect keepsake for you, or for gift-giving. Your book will be shipped to you, with your signed bookplate (if you want one) the week of 15 June.

For more information, and to order your book(s), see this special page on the MAGDRL website.

PLEASE REMEMBER -- When you order, put what you want as an inscription on the bookplate in the comments section of the order. If you don't want a personal inscription, you'll get a bookplate with Joanna's signature only.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Great Review for Cut, Crop & Die

Here's the process for handling a book review--

Fasten your seatbelt. Say some prayers. Remember it's just one person's opinion. Remind yourself that Tess Gerritsen said that one of her books that sold the most copies got the worst reviews. Think back to when Joe Konrath told you, "Only worry about the things you can control. Don't sweat the rest."

Open the email.

Read it. Here's a portion:
About page two, I definitely knew this was going to be a great read. I finished the book in two sittings, anxious to know not only who "dunnit" but how Kiki would resolve some personal issues.

I found the characters to be greatly developed and best of all very believable. I really liked Kiki as a main character. She is a young widow with limited financial resoures who is raising a 12 year old daughter. The supporting characters couldn't be better. Sheila, Kiki's mother-in-law is an absolute hoot. There are many scenes in this book that I was just laughing out loud. I don't want to give too much away but believe me, there are some very funny scenarios that any woman or homeowner can relate to!

The mystery itself is well paced with sufficient plausible motives that are revealed in a timely manner. Readers do not need to have any knowledge of scrapbooking to enjoy this one, just the desire to read a great story with friendships and a little romance thrown in with a teriffic mystery

Feel overjoyed.

And appreciate the kind person who took the time to read your book and NOT give away the surprises.

PS There's a giveaway for Cut, Crop & Die at that link.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Twitter Directory

As some of you know, I twitter. The micro-blogging site is a great favorite of mine. To find me go to

I use the site to share announcements about blog postings for the many blogs I participate in: Killer Hobbies (, this blog and my character's blog (

I use it to post appearances, special events, and contests I'm running. I find it very successful for getting the word out, and the number of folks following me grows with each passing day.

I also find it a goldmine of valuable information. The best tweeters can condense their offerings into 140 characters. Makes it a snap to skim through and pick out items of interest.

I also rely on Twitter to share journaling prompts, which are writing tools to get scrapbookers (and authors!) to blast out of writer's block.

I came across this directory of authors who tweet:

Right now, it's limited to non-fiction authors. I hope they'll do the same for those of us who lie for a living!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stand Up to Sell Your Books

A couple of weeks ago, I attended Festival of Mystery. I'm not sure how many books I had to sell--must have been 20 or two dozen at least. I sold out in the first hour and a half. After I sold out, I started taking orders for my books. That resulted in selling another 18 or so copies of my books. (Now, remember--I was standing there without anything to show people in a room full of other authors competing for sales. So I think that 18 or so more copies was a real test!)

Later, another author asked me, "I noticed you stood up the whole time. Why?"

I stand up at signing events for these reasons:

1. It pumps up my energy, and I want to be focused so I can give my all to fans.

2. It makes me easier to approach. When you are sitting behind a pile of books, you can remind folks of bad moments facing authority figures. (We've all had those.) Instead, I want fans and potential fans to come on over and say, "Hi!"

3. It makes it easier for me to call out to people who walk by. If they were milling about, I'd say, "Hi! May I tell you about my book?" And usually, they'd say, "Sure!" Even if they didn't buy, I tried to make new friends. After all, they were there because it was a book sale. They, I assume, were all readers. They might decide my book would be great for them--or for a friend.

4. It makes it easier for me to communicate. We love looking into people's eyes, don't we? Did you know that our pupils flare when we are viewing something that makes us happy? So, I want people to see me--and I want to lock eyes with them. I want them to know I think they are important.

5. I want to be seen over the pile of books. Um, I'm short, so this is important!

Does standing up make me more successful? I dunno. But, I come from a betting family. If I had to lay odds on it, I'd say, yes, standing really does improve my chances of making a sale.

Here's the news release Richard and Mary Alice sent following Festival of Mystery:

On Monday May 4, 2009 at the Greek Church Hall in Oakmont was the scene of the crime. Dozens of volunteers and the crack team of Mystery Lovers staff pulled of an amazing retail event--- the 14th Mystery Lovers Bookshop Festival of Mystery---with loads of good feeling all around. Thanks to our staff and volunteers as well as the authors and publishers who make it all happen.

In the pouring rains the folding chairs came out and from 1:15 until the 4PM opening folks lined up around the building to be among the first 100 to score a bag of free books donated by our generous publishers----Harper, Random House, Midnight Ink, Simon &Schuster, St Martins and Penguin. Folks who value the entertainment of reading came from all over Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan and Indiana. In 8 minutes the freebies were gone and the real shopping commenced. Fueled by the goodies sold by the Riverview National Honor Society, readers mingled with other readers and with writers during the four hour event.

Armed with a bibliography they received when buying their tickets, and the full story of 40 authors from the US and Canada in the latest newsletter, lists were scrupulously reviewed and over 300 readers came prepared to meet new friends who write mystery books and old friends met in past years. By the time Richard’s interviews with the 13 new writers began, eight long lines of shoppers were lined up to take home piles of new mystery books.

In four hours, 1806 books were sold----a 15% increase over last year. At almost 8 books a minute sold, it was a recession defying achievement. The raffle for our charity Beginning with Books netted over $500……a new high. The gift baskets donated by our media sponsor WDUQ, authors who couldn’t make it to the Festival this year, and many attending, were swept up by grateful readers.

A happy and grateful group of Mystery Lovers once again thank all those who make this the largest and longest running book festival in this region.

Richard Goldman & Mary Alice Gorman
Mystery Lovers Bookshop
514 Allegheny River Boulevard
Oakmont, PA 15139

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Reviewers Are Saying About CUT, CROP & DIE

Here's what will appear in the May 15 issue of Booklist: “Slan fulfills all the promise of her first novel (Paper, Scissors, Death, 2008) with this second entry in the Kiki Lowenstein scrapbooker series. Her writing is much more assured this time out, and the book is filled with characters who we care about.”
Kirkus Reviews said: "Kiki's second outing is a nicely crafted cozy full of amusing moments, real-life insecurities and scrapbooking tips."
My author copies came in the mail, and I can tell you this book is beautiful! (More beautiful "in person" than you can tell from this image!)