Arthur Ellis Award Winners & an Upcoming Event

Books, Craft fairLast Thursday, the winners of the Arthur Ellis Crime Writing Awards were announced at a gala in Toronto. You can see the list of winners HERE, and congratulations to all!

This week we’re driving up to Vernon, BC to take part in the 34th annual Creative Chaos summer craft fair. It’s been about three years since I last attended, so I’m looking forward to going back. Touted as the largest summer craft show in western Canada, there’s certainly a lot of cool stuff to purchase.

The fair has clear guidelines about handmade products, so I’ll be selling only my self-published mystery titles, which is fine. We always turn these out-of-town excursions into mini vacations and make sure to visit a winery or two while we’re up there. Lord knows, you can never have enough wine and cool crafts to buy. For more information about the fair, check out this link.

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Write On, Vancouver 2018

On Saturday May 12, from 10:00 to 5:00, the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library (on Georgia Street) will host a day of day-long celebration of local writers and publishers.

I haven’t attended one before, but I’m happy to be volunteering at Crime Writers of Canada’s table this year from 2 to 4 pm.

The Write On website lists a number of different workshops and panel discussions that sound terrific. Check out the website HERE, and if you have a chance, take part at this free event, and come by and say hi!

VPL-Biblioevents-Special-Events-Default_760x230

 

Imajin Book’s Spring Sale!

April is here! If I can make it through the first three months of a cold, wet dreary Vancouver winter without disaster or perpetual moodiness, then the rest of the year is a bonus.

To that end, my publisher has launched a spring book sale on all Imajin Books titles. My two novellas, Dead Man Floating and A Toxic Craft are only $.99 US (which works out to about a $1.28 Cdn.) now until April 15th.

Here’s the blurb for Dead Man Floating:

One wrong decision… 

Security guard Evan Dunstan didn’t expect to find a body floating in a campus stream. An empty vodka bottle nearby suggests that the highly despised George Krenn, head of the plumbing department, had drunkenly fallen in. Refusing to let the death of a vile man ruin his romantic plans, Evan decides to leave the body for the next shift to find.

One friend in trouble…

When it’s discovered that Krenn was murdered, Evan has a lot of explaining to do. So does his friend Sully, Krenn’s least favourite student. Evan uses his hacking skills and campus knowledge to keep them both out of jail, but the investigation forces him to question Sully’s innocence.

One mystery to solve…

Uncovering the truth proves to be more than challenging. It may cost Evan his job, his friendship, and his woman. Will Evan find the killer, or will the killer find him first?

And for A Toxic Craft:

A crafty senior…

Evan Dunstan’s spunky grandmother is giving him major headaches. As organizer for the seniors’ Christmas craft fair, Gran faces warring vendors and acts of vandalism that threaten to ruin the event. When nasty knitter Cora Riddell is knocked unconscious and her water spiked with a hallucinogen, Gran begs Evan to find out who’s responsible before more harm is done—or someone dies.

A daunting task…

In charge of the fair’s security, Evan faces a challenge that grows more difficult by the hour. His boss expects him to find the culprit before police are called in and Southwest Trades & Technology’s reputation as a safe campus is destroyed.

A friend or foe?

A search for answers reveals the disturbing possibility that even friends and coworkers hope Evan will fail. Is the culprit closer to him than he thought? Whose startling secrets must be exposed to find the truth?

If you have any trouble with the links, please let me know, and thank you!

http://getbook.at/DeadManFloating

http://getbook.at/AToxicCraft

The Facebook Conundrum

Social network imagesI’ve spent the last few days pondering my future with Facebook. Frankly, I’ve never been overly comfortable sharing much personal info about me or my family on FB, and I can’t remember the last time I posted something on my personal page.

Marketing gurus keep telling me that having an Author Page on FB is an essential, as it’s the best way to connect with potential readers. So I have a page, and I post these blogs there weekly, plus any new publishing announcements, etc. It’s open to the public, but after all the brouhaha about Cambridge Analytica and our not-so-private social networking lives, I’m in a conundrum as to whether to keep any FB presence.

I’ve never posted my real birthdate and I’ve started deleting unwanted apps, but this is probably too little too late. I also have a sneaking suspicion that other companies, aside from Cambridge Analytica, are still busy hoarding our personal info to sell to whomever wants to sell us something or persuade us politically.

These days I’m also on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Goodreads. All the others I’ve let fallen by the wayside or closed, as I just don’t have the time to keep them up to date. So, I’m wondering what all of you authors and artists are doing about your social networking presence. Have recent developments changed your approach to networking? Are you inclined to look elsewhere than FB to develop new connections, or do you think that FB will pose tighter restrictions on how information is acquired and sold, and allow you to delete shared material, as they claim they will?

Please, let me know your thoughts, oh and by the way, because the gurus say I should, here’s my FB Author’s page and a few other links, although I’m sure this is more info than you really need or want. But just in case… 🙂

www.facebook.com/pages/Casey-Holland-Transit-Security-Mysteries/139005706175139

Website: www.debrapurdykong.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraPurdyKong

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/1391841.Debra_Purdy_Kong

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/profile/public-profile-settings?trk=prof-edit-edit-public_profile

 

Follow-up to My Goodreads Giveaways

I didn’t know if there would be much response to my recent Goodreads giveaways, especially since I rarely participate in Goodreads groups. I didn’t promote the contest on their site, except through a blog post. But I did promote elsewhere, which seems to have worked out well.

The giveaway for my 5th full-length Casey Holland mystery, Knock Knock, began on Jan. 3rd and closed on Jan. 24th. 951 people entered the draw and 432 people added the book to their ‘Want to Read’ list. There were two winners.

 

The giveaway for my 2nd Evan Dunstan mystery novella, A Toxic Craft began on Jan. 10th and closed yesterday, Jan. 31st. 680 people entered the draw and 285 people added the book to their ‘Want to Read’ list. Also two winners.

So, all I really want to say is a huge thank you to those who entered the draws for copies of my books. It’s a great way to start the year. Now I just have to work on the rest of my promotion strategies.

 

Two Goodreads Giveaways!

I’m starting 2018 by offering two giveaways, one for each my recent releases, on the Goodreads site.

Knock Knock, front cover

 

My 5th Casey Holland mystery, Knock Knock (published in November) is offered to anyone in the U.S. and Canada until January 24th!

The link is: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/273020-knock-knock

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00049]

My 2nd Evan Dunstan mystery novella, A Toxic Craft, (published in December) will offered until Wed., January 31st.

The link is: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/273253-a-toxic-craft

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the huge Goodreads site, there are plenty of other books up for grabs, so best of luck!!

2017 Craft Fair Experiences

Craft Fair 2017After participating in several craft fairs this year, my anecdotal observations pretty much confirm the experiences of previous years, which are:

. Print still sells. My books won’t sell nearly as well by sitting on a bookstore shelf with thousands of other titles. Also, some of my customers said that they tried ebooks but didn’t like them. Sure, a few use iPads and Kindles, but people just don’t seem as excited about them as they once did.

. Customers are shocked to learn that the Chapters chain here in Canada collects 55% of every book sold. It’s the main reason I prefer to sell directly to readers, along with the fact that, in the past, my returned books have been damaged.

. The overwhelming majority of young families understandably don’t have time to read. Those pushing strollers rarely stopped by my table to browse unless they were shopping for a mystery fan in their family, which leads to point four.

. Mystery reader demographics haven’t changed in the 20+ years I’ve been selling books. The largest purchasers, and readers, of mysteries are women between forty-five and seventy-five years of age.

. New or would-be writers are still quite confused about whether to self-publish, find an agent, or look for a traditional publisher. I try to give sound advice without going into a long pros and cons list. Mainly, I ask them to think about what they want out of the publishing experience, and to do some research.

Since fees are charged (and they can be quite steep) to acquire a table at craft fairs, and there is often a jurying process, selling at these venues is always a gamble. You never know until the fair is well underway if you’ll earn your money back. As a vendor recently said to me, it’s always a rush when things are going better than expected, but you can’t count on the same results every year. It’s risky to base your expectations on previous year’s successes. So, we’ll see what happens next year because I’ll definitely participate again. I guess it’s the gambler in me.