The Laugh Riot Report

If you're a self-pubbing writer, you're wearing more than one hat. You're also the publisher and the director of marketing and public relations. And the office manager. And the bookkeeper. It's a big job, and it takes a lot time and insight to do it right. There's so much to know, so much to learn. And that means staying connected to the pro bloggers, listening to what they're saying about the life and times, the ups and downs, the art and craft and business of self publishing. But time is the one thing you don't have. You have a career, a full-time job. You have a family. A house and kids and pets and friends and commitments and responsibilities. You volunteer in your town--PTA, Girl Scouts, church, Little League. Finding hours and hours each week to research and discover the indie blogs that could most help you sail through the self-publishing whirlwind is not in the cards. If you have free time, you're writing. It's that simple. And yet, you have to read the coolest, smartest, funniest, most informative, and most relevant bloggers. It's important. It's how you learn how to survive and thrive in this business.

That's why I publish The Laugh Riot Report.

Every issue, I'll send you the top 10 self-publishing blog posts of the month, book reviews, industry interviews, cover reveals, exclusive offers, giveaways, recipes (I like to eat), and other funny business. All that delivered to your inbox every month. If you're a writer, that' s sweet, right?

And if you're a writer, you're also a reader, and The Laugh Riot Report is great for readers too. Exclusive offers, contests, giveaways, and reviews of the funniest self-pubbed books in the digital marketplace.

Hey self-pubbing writers...want to write for The Laugh Riot Report? Want to interview an industry professional? Review funny books? Get your funny book reviewed? Reveal your cover? Get the word out about your sales and giveaways? Email me, and I'll make it happen.

The Laugh Riot Report. Built for you. Sign up now.

Posted on August 17, 2015 .

AN INTERVIEW WITH HUMOR NOVELIST JILLIANNE HAMILTON

 

Q.1. Hi Jillianne, let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself.

A.1. Like a lot of writers, my writing habit began very early on in life. I was obsessed with Drama and Musical Theatre class in high school and took as many writing classes as the school could offer me. I studied Journalism and Multimedia in college and now I’m a graphic designer in my 9-5 life. I love, love, love funny movies and TV shows, especially ones made by or featuring women. Right now is an amazing time for women in comedy.
 

Q.2. What inspired you to start your writing journey?  Authors who have inspired you along the way?

A.2. I’ve been dabbling in writing since I was a kid. Since then, I knew I wanted to write first-person POV stories featuring a female main character… but I just couldn’t think of a premise that interested me enough to stick with it. I’ve started hundreds of novels over the years. Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs & Full-Frontal Snogging series was a huge inspiration to me as well as Meg Cabot’s humor novels.  
 

Q.3. In addition to being a terrific indie author, you also started the excellent Tomfoolery Press.  Tell us about that.  

A.3. Tomfoolery Press is a blog where I feature bookish articles and reviews, but only related to funny books and the writers that create them. Funny books don’t get the love they deserve. It’s a great way to learn what’s out there in a book genre I’m obviously interested in while promoting likewise authors. In addition, Tomfoolery Press is my personal publishing imprint.

Q.4. Okay, now let's get down to the book: tell us about your latest release, MOLLY MIRANDA: THIEF FOR HIRE.

A.4. She’s a professional burglar, hired out to steal high-end items like jewelry and art. She sleeps with her roommate who doesn’t know the real Molly. She’s also partnered up with a Scottish thief who specializes in hacking and using gadgets. There’s action and guns and disguises and so much more. Oh, and hilarity ensues.
 

Q.5. What came first, the characters or the story itself?  How did the book happen for you?

A.5. I was looking for a book to read- the main character had to be a woman. The book had to be funny and action-based… and I couldn’t find anything. (I’ve come across a handful since I wrote my book, but not many.) So, I decided to write my own. Molly Miranda was born. I knew I wanted her to be a criminal of some kind and even considered making her an assassin, but I thought that might make it difficult to make her likeable. The premise was the first thing to come, then the character, then the story.
 

Q.6. What about your characters surprised you while writing?

A.6. Molly’s Scottish partner, Rhys, was originally going to be the villain! Not to say he doesn’t do some evil things in the book, but I loved writing him so much that I made him the perfect partner in crime for Molly. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but he made it into the sequel too.
 

Q.7. How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in your books?

A.7. Molly is basically the badass chick I wish I could be. Writing her wisecracking interior monologue was so much fun and very easy because it’s basically my own interior monologue. It never stops, it never shuts up. Neither of us are very skilled in the domestic arts, she chews her nails like I do and we find a lot of the same traits in people appealing.
 

Q.8. What can we expect from you in the future?

A.8. I’m currently working on the Molly Miranda sequel. I’m hoping the series will have at least five books in it, with a short prequel in there too. I have an idea for a comedy chick lit novel unrelated to Molly Miranda but that’s on the back burner for now. I’d love to write a book of essays (a la Chuck Klosterman) someday but that’ll be way down the road somewhere.
 

Q.9. What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?

A.9. I am a huge English history nerd, particularly Tudor history. (I’d also like to point out that I loved it before The Tudors made it cool. Just throwing that out there.) I may or may not have Henry VIII’s initials tattooed on my body. I would love to write a historical fiction novel that takes place in the period but the genre is so over-saturated and I think I’d be too picky about getting historical details right.

 

The first two chapters of Molly Miranda are available for free HERE.

AUTHOR BIO:

Jillianne Hamilton is a writer and graphic designer. She studied Journalism and Interactive Multimedia in college and her writing has been published in The Truro Daily News, The Sackville Tribune-Post, Macleans OnCampus and the PEI Writes 2013 Anthology. Jill grew up in Nova Scotia and now lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Canada’s east coast. She enjoys corgi GIF animations and chocolate cheese cake.
 

About Tomfoolery Press:

At Tomfoolery Press, we LOVE funny books! We’ll even promote yours for free. We feature funny books within all genres and do featured reads, interviews, giveaways, crowdfunding promotion and more.

 

BUY THE BOOK:

*signed paperback available in Canada only

2015 RESOLUTIONS FOR SELF-PUBBING WRITERS

By now, indie authors, you’re well on your way to a new, you-er you.

Dropping 10 pounds.  Being nicer to the jerk at work.  Going to bed earlier.  Calling your mother once a week.  Helping out with the laundry.  Fixing things around the house.  Waking up earlier.  Planning more date nights.  Paying down some debt.  Doing a little vacuuming.  Spending more time in the gym.  Taking a trip to the coast.  Working in the garden, planting roses, and then stopping to smell them.

Wonderful New Year’s resolutions one and all, no doubt, but where are the 2015 Resolutions for Self-Pubbing Writers?

Ah, here they are, five of them:

 

1. I WILL WRITE FOR A REASON OTHER THAN MONEY

If you’re writing for money, you’re writing for the wrong reason.  Statistics are clear on this: most indie writers make small amounts of money or less than small amounts of money.  Each year, it gets harder to get noticed by the global community of readers because each year more and more writers self-publish their own books.

Yes, the front end of that last sentence means more marketing is in your future, but the back end is Historically Awesome and means you actually have a future.  Self-publishing is the most profound thing to happen to books and readers and writers since the invention of the printing press.  Indie writers should rejoice in the freedom and control and privilege and honor of presenting their written work to the world.  Nobody can tell you your book is not worthy of public presentation.  That is entirely up to you.  And that is Historically Awesome.  Future, here you come!

Now, that doesn’t mean readers will buy your book.  They’ve got to find it first and there’s some mystical marketing metaphysics going on in the global digital bookstore—if you haven’t noticed.

Would it be nice to make money?  Absolutely.  I’m not giving back my checks; that’s for sure.  But I’m not writing to make money.  I’m writing because I’m a writer, because I love to make people laugh out loud, because I’ve got funny stories to tell, and now I can share them with everyone on the planet whenever I am ready to do so.

Most writers, me included, can and should make this resolution because we are full-life writers, meaning we have jobs and businesses and concurrent careers we’ve worked hard to build and are proud of.  We make money doing those things.  We’ve set up our lives so we don’t need to make money self-pubbing our books.  That would be sweet, no doubt, but we’re not selling our businesses or quitting our jobs or abandoning our careers because we love those parts of our lives too.

Our businesses, jobs, and careers make it possible for us to support our families, to coach Little League, to go to Girl Scouts, to volunteer at the hospital, to take care of our parents, to live full and meaningful lives...and to write and self-publish our own books.

Money is the icing.  Don’t write for the money.

 

2. I WILL STOP COUNTING MY WORDS

You’ve got to self-publish a boatload of books each year, every year, and that means write many tons of words, say several of my self-publishing heroes, to build up your bookshelf and make yourself more noticeable, more prominent, more important, more popular, more successful...happier.

Yes, that seems to be factually true and also utter nonsense—all at the same second.

Counting words is stressful for some writers, painful for other writers, and paralyzing for still other writers.  Not all writers have time to pound out a certain number of words each day.  Some writers are nurses and work long shifts and come home beat up.  Some are firefighters; some are judges; some sell real estate; some build houses—get the picture?  It might take them a day to mentally and emotionally recover before they find their voice again.  I think that scenario is true for all kinds of self-pubbing, full-life writers. 

And even if the normal wear and tear of living a full life is not an issue, some people are, well, slow writers.  They can’t keep the pace day after day.  Some writers are only good for one book a year...or every other year.

So what?  That’s fabulous.

I’ve got nothing against my self-publishing heroes.  They’re my heroes.  I admire them and respect them and read their blogs and books.  But I don’t want to be them.  I’m not trading my life for their lives.  I don’t think the way they do it—smashing out hundreds of thousands of words each year—is a recipe for my success.  My writing life is part of my already swell full life.  And I’m not going to change the rest of my life so I can force out more words than I’m naturally comfortable writing.

Don’t measure the success of your writing life by how many words you write.

 

3. I WILL WRITE WHAT I LOVE

You know the old saying Write what you know?  It’s not true in the sense that it’s not the whole truth.  Yes, of course you’ve got to know what you’re writing about to make that world read real.

But the full history of everywhere that has every existed and everyone that has ever lived and everything that has ever happened in the world for all of time is instantly available on the same small screen upon which you’re reading this resolution.

In a week’s time, you can know a whole hell of a lot about anything.  If you do enough research, you can be an honorary expert in whatever topic you choose.  You can certainly know enough to write about it convincingly.

Instead, you should resolve to write what you love.  If you love romance, then write that.  Mystery?  Write that.  Thrillers, westerns, cookbooks?  Write those.  Write what you love.  If you love what you write and put that love on the page, then somewhere in some market readers will love it too.

And you will feel so good about you’re writing.

 

4. I WILL READ AND THEN READ SOME MORE

Full-life writers have, well, full lives.  Carving out time to write is hard enough for most self-pubbing writers, but they do it.  You know what?  If that’s you, then you have to find time to read too.  Reading other writers is practically as important as writing your own books. 

It seems obvious because it is obvious: the more you read, the more well read you are.  And the more well read you are, the better-deeper-richer your writing will be.  Resolve to read more this year.  If finding time is tough because you always have a meeting to attend, then join a local reading group so that becomes the meeting you have to attend.

 

5. I WILL BLOW MY OWN HORN

Don’t resolve to tell the world your book is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  That’s probably obnoxious, likely a turn-off, possibly not true.

Instead, tell everyone you’re a self-pubbing, entrepreneurial writer and that you’ve got a book they might just like.  Tell them what your book is about.  Let them decide if it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. 

The important part of telling the world you’re a self-pubbing, entrepreneurial writer is that you’re also telling yourself you’re a self-pubbing, entrepreneurial writer.  The more you say it, the more you’ll believe it’s true.  And the more you believe it, the better you’ll feel about your writing and your writing life.  And the better you feel, the better you’ll write.  What a wonderful cycle to start in 2015.

 

No matter what happens in 2015, write anyway.

Rich Leder

CONNECT WITH RICH : GOODREADS | EMAIL | BLOG

CONNECT WITH RICH : GOODREADS | EMAIL | BLOG

Posted on January 9, 2015 .

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

FROM UNDERGROUND BOOK REVIEWS

Underground Books Reviews has featured Laugh Riot Press writer Rich Leder in its weekly Author Spotlight. In this spotlight, Rich shares insights on his writing process and the complicated yet exciting and rewarding world of self-publishing. 

Just like Laugh Riot Press, Underground Book Reviews "puts a spotlight on the emerging world of independent, e-publishing and self-publishing. By providing quality, in-depth reviews, we hope to elevate deserving new authors and erase the boundaries between the traditional and non-traditional publishing worlds." 


fivestars

FIVE STARS FOR MCCALL & COMPANY: WORKMAN'S COMPLICATION

 
Kate McCall, a small time actress inherits her fathers private investigators business after her was murdered. Her father was investigating a life insurance scam and Kate decides to look into this case, as well as who killed her father. She finds herself in hot water when she lands in jail as a suspect in a murder. Will she get out of jail, prove her innocence and find the murderer?

A fast paced well written murder/mystery. I really liked Kate she is pretty much thrown into the investigation. The story has some twist and turns, that keep you guessing, anyone and everyone could be the murderer. I also liked Kate’s back story as an “aspiring actress” and the setting in New York City. I feel that lovers of murder/mystery will enjoy McCall & Company: Workman’s Complication.
— Sheri A. Wilkinson
Kate is an off-off Broadway actress, and like most in her position, she must take on other jobs to make ends meet. In Kate’s case, she’s done it all on the career spectrum of an unknown actress, including working as a private detective with her father, Jimmy. However, when Jimmy is murdered, not only is Kate confronted with the terrible news, but Jimmy left the PI business to her with the expectation that she’d pick up where he left off. Although Kate isn’t interested in being a PI, she does want to find out what happened to her father, but she’s also drawn into one of his unsolved cases as well.

There’s a lot going on in this story, there’s the murder, the unsolved case and an unexpected romance with one of the detectives working on her father’s murder. However, the author never confuses the reader and the story flows beautifully. It’s rife with quirky characters and funny scenes and dialogue, simply a really good read that keeps you turning the pages until the end. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this new series.
— M.A. Stanley

 

Best Book Of The Year! October 24, 2014

— B.K. Walker, Author of the Wolves of Shadow Falls Series

 

It's a Diamond! September 28, 2014

— Felita Daniels

ONE MORE DAY TO ENTER THE GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

WIN A FREE COPY OF

MCCALL & COMPANY: WORKMAN'S COMPLICATION

by RICH LEDER

( last day to enter is December 5 )

 
Posted on December 4, 2014 and filed under Author Update.

LAUGH RIOT PRESS WRITER GIVES AWAY 14 FREE PRINT BOOKS ON GOODREADS. YES, 14! YES, FREE!

In the spirit of giving thanks, Rich Leder is hosting a giveaway on his Goodreads page. Starting today (November 21) and running through December 5, you can enter to win one of fourteen copies of McCall & Company: Workman's Complication. It's super simple. Just click the button below, click the enter to win button on Goodreads, and then cross your fingers!


An Interview With Rich Leder

Rich Leder was recently interviewed by Jillianne of Tomfoolery Press. Jillianne and Laugh Riot Press both have similar visions to discover and support indie writers who write funny books, so JIllianne was super excited to talk with the Laugh Riot Press founder and writer on her new website. Here are some highlights from the interview.

 

JILLIANNE: Tell us a little about your book: Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench.

RICH: I wrote movies in Hollywood for 15 years (18 of my scripts were produced as Network television movies) before moving to the North Carolina coast to write novels. Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench is more or less the story of my improbable life in LA. Some of it is exactly true, some of it is inexactly true, but all of it is true enough.

It’s the story of a screenwriter at the end of his personal and professional ropes who takes a last-gasp job writing a ridiculous porn flick while coming to terms with the women in his life—his estranged wife, who left him to be a juggler, a manipulative porn star, and the beguiling granddaughter of the ancient Chinese healer he’s hired to cure his headaches. As he attempts to navigate this rocky road, he’s hired to adapt the phone book into a movie.

It’s a romantic Hollywood sex comedy. I cracked myself up writing it.

J: You also have a book series called McCall & Company. How does that series compare? 

R: Set in New York City, my McCall & Company PI series is fast and funny fiction. I’ve written the first two books in the series: Workman’s Complication and Swollen Identity.

They’re mysteries starring Kate McCall, an off-off-off-off Broadway actress whose father, a New York PI, is found dead in an insurance company elevator. Kate inherits his business (pretty much the last thing in the world she wanted) and takes her first job, a workman’s compensation case—featuring a ballroom dancing con man—because her current job is walking dogs in Central Park—crap money, literally—and she needs the money. While she works that case, she sticks her nose in the middle of the multi-million dollar insurance scam her father was investigating before he was murdered.

Like Peter Graves in Mission Impossible, to help her solve both cases, Kate enlists the help of the eccentric tenants of the walk-up brownstone she lives in and manages (the House of Emotional Tics) and also calls on the crazy cast of her way-off Broadway acting troupe (the Schmidt and Parker Players).

Her son is a rising star in the New York City District Attorney’s office, so when she gets arrested for murdering a medical examiner, he’s not happy. The point is it’s not clear if Kate will get out of jail in time to bust the insurance scam, prove who really killed the examiner (and her father), and pull off the ballroom sting of the decade.

It’s funny, yes. But it’s a rocking good mystery too.

The second book in the series, Swollen Identity, features demonic billionaire identical twins and Bulgarian counterfeiters. Kate is up to her neck in trouble again, and her friends are along for the fast and funny ride. She gets arrested in this book too—this time pretending to be a hooker.

They’re super fun to write, and I think and hope they’re super fun to read.

J: Your publishing company is Laugh Riot Press, but it’s serving a second purpose too. Tell us a little bit about that.

R: In this dawn of the digital age of self-publishing, social media is the best and most cost effective way to cast the widest net and create the broadest amount of exposure for indie authors and their books—it’s also the most time consuming. There are readers in every corner of the global marketplace looking for books in every conceivable genre, and it’s become part of the self-pubbing writer’s job description to discover and connect with those readers. It’s important for self-pubbing writers to be out there every day establishing a digital presence, reaching out to readers in as many online outlets as possible.

The good news for me is that I recognized this fact. The not-so-good news is that I’m horrible-terrible-did-I-mention-dreadful at social media marketing.

So I founded Laugh Riot Press, a genre-specific social media marketing and self-publishing company to promote me and my funny books and the funny books of other indie authors. My co-founder is a social media marketing professional, which means LRP is everywhere readers are every day of the year. We market and promote funny self-pubbing writers and their books, creating a constant presence for them in the world-wide digital village of readers so that indie authors have more time to do the most important part of the process: write more books.

 
Posted on November 21, 2014 and filed under book contest.