I hesitate to mention it, but today is the last chance to pre-order Discord's Apprentice. Tomorrow is not only the first day of summer and my mother's birthday, it's publication day for the second novel in The Exiles of Ondd series. The reason I hesitate to mention it is that it makes me feel as if I'm being pushy or boasting, two things that were definite no-nos when I was brought up. However, the fact is that even when they have a traditional publisher, these days writers are expected to do much of the marketing for their work. If you want potential readers to know about your work and find it easily, you have to tell them where it is, and one way to do that is to mention it repeatedly on social media.
    Yet push too hard and you'll put people off. Take Twitter. Some people check their accounts several times a day and if they have hundreds of followers, your lone tweet about your latest publication will probably be lost among thousands of others. Send out the same tweet every few hours, however, and you run the risk of boring, or worse still, annoying followers so they simply scroll past it. Similarly with Facebook or your blog. If all you put on them is, in effect, advertising links for your work, there's little to attract people to them.
    I always endeavour to give people something in addition to the sales pitch, so visitors come back again, but it still feels uncomfortable. That said, there's still a chance to pre-order Discord's Apprentice until midnight at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/542490 or http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XL9L0VU, and here are a couple of my favourite (non-advertising) tweets.

 * The drums that lined the walls needed no one to play them. They answered the footsteps of those who passed.

* Don't pick up the magpie feather. Gather all the rest–seagulls' and sparrows', stonechats' and finches', but leave the magpies' alone.