Tag Archives: Quiver

Author August!

August seems to be the time of year I crawl out from under my rock, put on a pair of pants and make some public appearances. This year being no exception, I shall be at the following events:

  • Collins Booksellers, Edwardstown – National Bookshop Day (9th August , 1:30pm-2:30pm)
  • Flinders University, Writers and Their Worlds – (21st August,  12pm)
  • Dymocks, Adelaide (23rd August, 12pm)

At each of these events I’ll be selling the new print run of my zombie apocalypse novel “Quiver” (snazzy new cover as pictured below) and my short story collection “Everything is a Graveyard”. The Flinders University event is part of a series of intimate author talks, and I’m really looking forward to chatting to folks about my experiences with writing, dispense some hard-won advice, and generally chat about word-wrangling.

 quivernewcover

If you find yourself in the neighbourhood, drop by and say gudday!

New Review of Quiver

Aussie horror review site Thirteen O’Clock has reviewed my novel Quiver. Reviewer Alan Baxter pulls no punches, and offers a thorough critique of the book, warts and all.

“Jason Fischer has embraced the pulp novella, embraced everything about zombie stories and combined them into something equal parts familiar and refreshingly original. If you’re a fan of zombie action, bow-wielding badass heroines and good pulpy fun you should really check out Quiver.”

To read the rest of the review (and other delicious offerings from Thirteen O’Clock) click on the following link:

http://www.thirteenoclock.com.au/quiver-by-jason-fischer/

What I’ve learned at book signings

Writing is a funny old thing. Like any creative field, you are working with something that’s initially intangible. You’re out there, flailing your arms in space, the flywheels of your brain spinning to the point of breaking. Then, when you’ve gone all God and Muse and Ego on your blank canvas/page/block of marble, you have to pack that star-gazing idiot away, and bring out someone else. The scowling pessimist who knows Just How Crap This Is, and spends probably just as much time slapping the crap out of the Art until it resembles something that can be unleashed upon the public.

So, once you’ve engaged in this pseudo-schizophrenia and come up with the Art, you have to get it to those who might enjoy it. As an author, this means I sometimes have to emerge from the garret and do some booksignings.

Would you buy a book from this man?

Since the release of my first novel Quiver, getting in on the publicity side of writing has been a baptism of fire. During my career as a short story writer, I’ve done some group booksignings, panels and appearances, accepted some awards and all sorts of cool stuff. But all of those times, I got to hide behind a group of other authors. Now, I’m standing on my own.

Like many of my peers, writing started off as my outlet. I was very shy, very anxious, and the thought of talking in front of people or (god forbid) selling them my book in a bookshop would test my intestinal fortitude and find me wanting. It seems the opposite of being locked in the garret, but today it is oh so necessary. If you can’t do these public outings, you’re just going to have to gird up and fake your way through it, bucko. Chances are, you’ll actually enjoy yourself!

What I’ve learned at book signings:

  • Don’t sit behind your table. It’s a great place to stash your books, pens, business cards and a bottle of water (hide this behind/under the desk). But the artificial barrier of the table will drive people away. Stand by the table, wander around in its vicinity. Only use the seat when you want a quick break.
  • Pack a sharpie – especially if you’re left-handed. Won’t smear on the page.
  • Go up to people, but don’t be a dickhead about it. If you’re in a bookstore, people are already there looking for a book. Give them an opportunity to buy yours. But if they aren’t interested, that’s cool. Some will want to be left alone, so smile and leave them to it. Others will still be happy to stop and have a natter. Bonus points if you direct them to someone else’s book, or even just have a chinwag about something else. You’ll meet some great folks who also like to read, which to me is an instant conversation starter. Some of the best interactions I’ve had at a book signing never involve a sale!
  • Keep it interesting. My genius publisher Baden Kirgan came up with bookmarks for Quiver, complete with luscious artwork, nice stock, and all the relevant information on the reverse. Posters too, which the kids seem to love. Hand out bookmarks to anyone who comes close (if you’re in a bookshop, 90% chance they’ll take one). Those who stop to chat, tell them about your book.
  • Have a few pitches worked out. Figure out who you’re talking to, and tailor your pitch accordingly. Going by Duncan Lay’s advice, I have separate pitches worked out for a teenage reader, for an adult female, adult male, and parent/family groups. Depending on what they tell you, refine the angle that you’re going for. Once you’ve got this bit worked out, you’ll move plenty of copies.
  • ABC = Always be Closing. Without being too much of a used-car salesman, bring the person around to the topic of buying your book as soon as you reasonably can. If you give them too long to think about it, their chances of walking increase. Offer to sign it, and if they’re on the fence that will often get them interested in a Shiny New Author :-)
  • Having said that, don’t be a desperado. If they’re not going to buy it, just let it go. Change the topic, and wish them a good day if they’re sick of talking to you.
  • Speaking of signing, always check the spelling of the person’s name!
  • Give the person your undivided attention. They are your potential readers, and are the most important people in your universe. Plus, it’s just polite. Don’t be arrogant. Put your phone away, preferably on silent. Check it only when things are quiet.
  • Have a few different phrases to write above your signature, preferably related to the book. If the reader becomes a fan, and has 18 instances of “best wishes!” on their shelf, you’ve kinda let them down.
  • Don’t use your credit card signature!!! Duh.
  • Be super nice to the staff at the bookstore. They are the secret lifeblood of publishing success! Plus, they often go to great lengths to put these signings on, so be as accommodating as humanly possible. Go the extra mile. Quite often they like review copies, which helps when they’re handselling books. Give them a reason to recommend you to readers!

That’s all I can think of for now. These signings are great fun, and I hope to do many more! Brave new world and all that :-)

Upcoming Book Signings

Hey folks, hope you are all well. Life has been a bit crazy at Fisch Enterprises, so apologies for the paucity of updates on this site! Work, life, all that fun stuff :-) The writing is coming along in steady amounts – things are about to kick off on several fronts so easing into what will be a hectic workload for the rest of the year.

During the July school holidays, I’ll be doing some booksignings of “Quiver” during the school holidays (details below). Collins Booksellers have also added me to their roster for National Bookshop Day, with a bunch of local authors including Hannah Kent, Melanie Casey, Kathryn White, Janeen Brian, Katrina Germein, Peter Cooper, Ben Chandler and Jackie Barreau. Promises to be a good day so why not check it out?

School Holidays:
Collins Booksellers Edwardstown – Friday July 12, 1pm
Dymocks Adelaide – Saturday July 13, 11am
 
National Bookshop Day:
Collins Booksellers Edwardstown – Saturday August 10th, 11am

Conflux Was Awesome

Okay, so here’s my official con report for Conflux 9: AWESOME.

Perhaps I should elaborate with some highlights. In a bulleted list. 

  • 20,000 brilliant conversations
  • 1 or 2 awkward ones (don’t ask) but these become future anecdotes, so WIN.
  • the chance to hang out with my many brilliant writer/publisher/editor peeps. Usually they are mere electrons on the interwebz, but for one four day stretch they were molecular and great.
  • Several pitches to agents and publishers. Terrifying but a great feeling of accomplishment for getting through what turned out to be fine.
  • Getting on panels with people I admire, and chatting to folks about all sorts of stuff. I was on the “Zombies are Hungry” panel, the “Geeks are Cool” panel, and the “Australian Landscapes” panel.
  • Being in the audience at the Star Wars panel, and hijacking it to set up an elaborate pun. For what it’s worth, “ENDOR’S GAME” will happen, and it must happen.
  • Random bar and cafe of doom.
  • Ditmar Awards. Many worthy recipients, but I took special pleasure this year in seeing my mentee David McDonald pick up the Best New Talent award. Kudos dude, for your star is ascendant!
  • Book Launches GALORE. As Cat Sparks said “there is a launch approximately ever 4.5 minutes”. Many of these launched books then proceeded to sell out of all copies, which is all things good.
  • Speaking of book launches – I officially launched my zombie novel “Quiver”. Was great to meet a bunch of new readers, sign copies for my mates, and blushed in the background while Cat Sparks said a bunch of nice things about me into a microphone. The posters were a hit (thanks to Baden Kirgan at Black House) and by Sunday all copies of the book had been sold.

So here, have some photos of the “Quiver” launch (nicked from Cat’s Flickr feed). To summarise, it was a great convention. When it was all over I shuffled into the airport, tired, suitcase full of books, and very, very happy.

(images copyright Cat Sparks and purloined from http://www.flickr.com/photos/42956650@N00/)

Melbourne Supanova

Life has been a bit flat out here at Fisch Industries, hence the lack of updates. The weekend before last I was fortunate enough to get an author spot in the Dymock’s stand at the Melbourne Supanova. I was there signing copies of my new book “Quiver”, meeting new readers and rubbing shoulders with the other authors. Had an absolute ball, met some great folks and saw just about every configuration of cosplay it’s possible to see. Amazing how much effort con-goers went to with their outfits – it’s all I can do to roll out of bed and get dressed.

Anyway, a picture speaks a thousand words. So have several :-)

In the thick of it – selling books left, right and centre.

Unwittingly, con-goers run the gauntlet of desperate authors….

One happy author, posing with a GIANT poster of his book.

The Black House Comics crew – top bunch of folks!

Another Quiver Review

Hey folks! I’m hoping to do a quick write-up of my Supanova experience soon, but in the meantime, here’s a new review of Quiver. Reviewer OzNoir writes:

“…QUIVER encapsulates many of the tried and true formulas common to survival horror; the building of fortifications, scavenging, zombie (or coffin-dodger) hoards and their migration, the fall of Government and the rise of independent parties, but the most important component of this zombie post apocalyptic concoction is the humans themselves who are commonly more inhumane than the walking dead. Fischer goes to great lengths to portray a dead world whose living souls are rotten and more menacing than those who threaten to end mans existence.”

The rest of the review can be read here:

http://justaguythatlikes2read.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/review-quiver-by-jason-fischer.html

New Review of “Quiver” from Scaryminds

Scaryminds do love them some Aussie horror, and it was great to see them do a lengthy review of my first novel, “Quiver”. It was not without moments of tough love, but all’s fair in the world of reviewing. Having reviewed for many years before writing in earnest, I have nothing but love for anyone who’d take the time to read my work and express an opinion about it.

“The book is a big read that should have a few people squirming as the gore hits the page, but Fischer never drops his narrative edge from first page to last page. A solid example of decent writing in a ghetto sub genre Quiver kept my attention, and more importantly didn’t bounce me off the page, as the journey went increasingly more surreal.”

The rest of the review can be found here: http://www.scaryminds.com/reviews/2013/book161.php

Check out the rest of the Scaryminds site while you’re visiting, these folks are nothing if not prolific when it comes to following and covering the releases in local genre fiction.

New Guest Blog-Post over at Wednesday Writers

Today, I’ve had the pleasure of guest-blogging over at David McDonald’s site for the “Wednesday Writers” feature. I’m currently mentoring David via the Australian Horror Writers Association, and it was most kind of my talented mentee to give me an opportunity to talk about “Quiver”, how it came about, and the fix-up/mosaic novels that inspired me to put it together. 

http://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/2013/03/wednesday-writers-jason-fischer/

 

Because I’m a promotional NINJA

No matter what I do with this writing thing, I like to have fun with it. Some of you may know that I have a new book “Quiver” available here. As a commercial artist it is of course in my best interests to promote my own product, but there’s nothing worse than spamming all and sundry with “BUY MY BOOK”.

With that in mind, I’ve taken a different tack. The protagonist of my book is a teenage girl, and as such she is by default all over the social networking. So if you’d like to chat to Tamsyn Webb, she is now on Twitter and Facebook! She is known to respond to readers with her usual sass and dry wit.

http://twitter.com/tamsynwebb

http://www.facebook.com/tamsyn.webb.9

One thing that backfired on me, er, I mean her. She is of course 17 years old, which means that Facebook won’t allow her profile to be completely public. So just friend away, friendo. You can then hear all about her adventures, and how the lack of chocolate is starting to get to her.