Friday, October 18, 2013

Talking to Crickets with M.Pax, a One Word Interview with Tyrean Martinson, and Friday Celebrations

M. Pax is here today as part of her blog tour to promote Beyond The Edge, the latest installment of her spectacular series The Backworlds. I'm excited to welcome Mary as she is a friend as well as a terrific writer and a fellow member of Untethered Realms. Thanks for being here, Mary!

I'm also excited to be on Tyrean Martinson's site as part of her One Word Interview series. Thanks for having me, Tyrean! You can find my interview here.

But now back to The Backworlds and M. Pax. 

Talking to Crickets

If you’re out there publishing, you probably get what I mean by crickets. We scream, we shout, we stand on our heads with flags on our butts [OK, maybe not that], trying to be heard, trying to be seen and noticed.

It’s not easy. Is it? No.

I’ve spent month after month talking to an empty room, so it seemed. Fortunately, I’m extremely stubborn. So I never gave up.

Don’t you give up. It has nothing to do with talent. There’s a heck of a lot of noise out there. You never know when someone might hear you, though. That’s why you can’t quit. Not ever.

I lucked out with Bookbub noticing me in June. They gave me a free ad. That sure was fun. Loved the sales that resulted from that. Thank you Bookbub!

A month later, an editor contacted me and asked me to consider putting Semper Audacia in their anthology, Space Jockey. After some negotiation, I agreed. They paid me. It came out recently and is better than I expected. It gains me exposure.

I published Semper Audacia exactly two years ago. It sells 10+ a month on average. Yeah, so a lot of crickets until something happened.

I hope I’m paying attention to myself here, because I released The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear a year ago. The crickets for that one are deafening. It’s a different audience than my space opera. Obviously, I’m still struggling with how to connect with that audience.

The Backworlds connects, and when I compare what I did for it versus what I did for Hetty, I can see what worked. I offered Backworlds #1 as a perma free and released the second in the series shortly after — a recipe I will repeat for any new series.

However, it seems what works and what doesn’t differs from author to author and from book to book. This formula may not work for my next. That’s what makes this game baffling.

I likened book marketing to pushing a boulder up a hill. My friend, Vella Munn, likens it to pushing water up a hill. Yup, she’s more right than I am, and she’s written a heckuva lot more books than I have.

Don’t be discouraged! Stay out there! Keep yapping! Someone will eventually hear you and things will start to happen. You won’t know when and you won’t know when. Which is why you shouldn’t stop.

Luck is what happens after a lot of work, a lot of work that on first glance seems to be getting you nowhere. 

About Beyond The Edge

Some truths are better left unfound.


For two years Craze’s dear friend, Lepsi, has been missing. The murmurings of a haunted spaceship might be a message and may mean his old pal isn’t dead. The possibility spurs Craze and Captain Talos to travel to uncharted worlds, searching. Out there, in an unfamiliar region of the galaxy beyond the Backworlds, they stumble upon a terrible truth.


Meanwhile, Rainly remains on Pardeep Station as acting planetlord, dealing with the discovery of her lover’s dark and brutal past. Alone and questioning her judgment, her introspection unlocks more than heartache. Latent protocols in her cybernetics activate, forcing her to face a sinister secret of her own.


In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe. This is the fourth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.

M. Pax-- Inspiring the words she writes, she spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with the Husband Unit and two demanding cats. She writes science fiction and fantasy mostly. You can find out more by visiting her at:


Thanks again to Mary for being here!

Today is also the day for Vikki's Celebrate the Small Things hop. I am celebrating that I am finished with jury duty! I actually got dismissed a few days early and it's been great to be able to get back to a normal routine.

I didn't have a bad experience but I'm still glad to have that behind me. I didn't end up on a case but did get as far as the jury box before the prosecutor decided to dismiss me. I have no clue why he did but I didn't complain!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! :)


  1. A boulder up a hill - yeah, that about describes it. We have no idea what will work until we try it and then it may only work that one time.

  2. I was called for jury duty over 20 years ago, and since I had 5 young ones at home, I wrote a letter asking for a later date. And I've yet to hear back from them. Oh Well, some people say I'm lucky. Glad that's behind you, Julie. Get on with writing.

  3. Welcome back! Now you can get back to normal and enjoy the weekend. Happy Friday!

  4. Great post, Mary, and good luck! :)

    I had a similar experience, Julie. I got picked for a jury, then the defendant decided to make a deal. To bad he did it before lunch. LOL :P

  5. Hi Ladies.

    Trial and error can be both a pain and a comfort.

    Jury duty reprieve! Yeah. Have a great weekend


  6. Jury duty is the worst! So are crickets, btw. Wishing loads of success for all these books you mentioned today, Julie.

  7. It's often as painful as that, Alex.

    Thanks, Melissa.

    It can, Shah.

    Glad you're back from jury duty, Julie.

  8. Awesome. Never give up--just try something new, eh? Great words, Mary, and if you do ever find some magic powder that draws everyone to your work, you'll share, right? (I'll loan you my teleportation device in exchange.) ;)

  9. @Alex, yeah, I thought that was a perfect description.

    @Cathrina, LOL, watch you will hear back from them now. :D

    @Madeline, thanks! Happy weekend to you. :)

    @Melissa, LOL LOL, isn't that always the way? :D

    @Shah, thanks, you have a great weekend too. :)

    @MJ, thanks!

    @Mary, you and me both! :)

  10. @Crystal, LOL, I think Mary will be mobbed by all of us if she finds that powder. :D

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  12. Mary - Thank you for your raw honesty. I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one that hears the crickets . . . everyone seems so amazingly successful, and I'm just counting up my sales one by one, with plenty of crickets in between. It's good to hear what's worked for you . . when I get my second novel finished I may put Champion in the Darkness on permafree.

    Julie - Yay! No more jury duty. I got that far once too, and then got kicked off, but I wasn't unhappy about that.

  13. Glad you're done with jury duty! Have a great weekend :)

  14. Sorry you didn't get picked. I got on the jury, I think, because I dated a guy with a motorcycle once. Yeah, it was a case with a motorcyclist. He wanted money for injuries he received in a crash he caused. So no, he lost! Didn't read this juror right - did he! LOL

    Mary, congratulations, you seem to be doing it right. It's all about trial and error and just simply 'doing'! Good for you, and thanks for sharing. Would love a free ad with Bookbub! Wow!

  15. I will definitely share, Crystal.

    You're far form alone, Tyrean.

    I think that they found me on Twitter, Yolanda. I'd love if they gave me another. :) Yes, lots of trial and crickets.

  16. water up the hill! Wow. Sounds like a tough job. But i guess it's okay since you love what you do :D


  17. Just commented on your interview, J! Loved it! :)

    MP: It IS such a perplexing mix of things that creates "buzz" for your work. I certainly haven't found it for my own stuff, but I'm always noting what others are finding. Appreciate authors like yourself sharing what has worked--and hasn't--for you!


  18. Yay! Off the duty, but you did a good job, I'm sure. Stopping by to wish Mary well again.

    I didn't post this morning. :-( Next week!

  19. "Luck is what happens after a lot of work," very true M. Pax. Thanks for the encouraging words. Them crickets sure know how to take over our world, but not giving up is fantastic advice... I must remember it!

    Julie, glad jury duty is over for you. Enjoy your weekend ;)

  20. Yes, love is a big part of it, Shell. As I was packing up my 5 books a bit ago for the event I'm attending tonight, a big grin spread across my face. I wrote and published 5 books and it's what I always dreamed of doing. It's awesome.

    I begged my mailing list for help with the last book. I told them if they wanted more, they should leave reviews so I can afford to keep publishing. A lot of them responded very positively. So, you should try that.

    Thank you, Lee.

  21. Very nice interview with an important reminder. It's easy to become discouraged in this market, but we must persevere.
    Happy weekend, everyone.

  22. @Tyrean, I wasn't unhappy either, not in the least LOL.

    @Laura, thanks!

    @Yolanda, oh, I was just as happy I didn't. That's funny about the motorcyclist!

    @EJ, thanks!

    @Lee, thanks!

    @SK, thanks, hope you have a great weekend too.

    @Deanie, happy weekend to you as well. :)

  23. Great advice, Mary. It really is so easy to give up because you think no one is listening/reading. But you're proof of the benefits of perseverance. :))

  24. Mary- what a great article! Never, ever wuit- something I constantly need to keep in mind.

    And congrats on getting out of jury duty, Julie! I called a couple of years ago. I sat in a crowded room in the county courthouse for a full day and then went home. I spent the whole day curing myself for not bringing a book with me. If it ever happens again I'll bring two!

  25. Glad you got dismissed early ;)

  26. @Bev, oh, I was so glad I had my Kindle with me! Would have gone crazy if I'd forgotten my books.

    @Vikki, me too. :)

  27. Keeping on is key Deanie, and the knowledge you're not alone.

    Tenacity is in my basic wiring, LG, which is good because I'm rather impatient.

  28. A great post! Oh yes, just like pushing water up a hill. It sometimes feels entirely useless. And it's good to be stubborn in this business. :) Yay for no jury duty! Have a lovely weekend, ladies.

  29. It does often feel entirely useless, Christine. It's nice to know it's not just us, right?

  30. Yeah, I hear the crickets in my region too. Lucky we love what we do.

  31. Yes, loving what we do is important, Charmaine.

  32. I also admire your perseverance Mary! Best of luck with Beyond The Edge! Glad you're back Julie!


  33. Thanks, Julie and Mary. Pushing water up a hill--what a perfect description!

    Mary Montague Sikes

  34. It does seem like success with a book is a lot of hard graft and a bit of luck. Mary has great stories and worlds which is half the battle. Nice post!

  35. Thank you, Julie.

    Isn't it, Mary. I had to give Vella points for that one.

    It alone rarely wins the battle, Nick.

  36. I should check out Bookbub -- we need a better way to reach readers instead of fellow writers.

  37. We do, Milo. I think that's where most of us are experiencing the crickets. However, our fellow writers do give us more exposure. So it's nothing to sneeze at.

  38. What an inspiring post from M. Pax!

    Also, hurray for being free from jury duty, Julie! I can't imagine how big of a time suck that must've been...

  39. I've said it before, Mary, but I'll say it again: you're an inspiration!!!

  40. I always get a lot from your posts. I've been struggling with marketing. I listened to a presentation by Bella Andre that is full of wisdom. You and I need to talk about what she said.

  41. Hi Julie and Mary .. glad the jury duty is behind you - I got called up just before I left for South Africa - so wasn't around to fulfil my duty - it hasn't happened since ... am I tempting fate?!

    Love the idea of crickets - now I'll think of them and the game in a different light ...

    Cheers to you both - Hilary


Thank you for your comments!