Join the Celebration!

Thank you Friends and Fans for all your support!  The Grand Prize giveaways have been announced.

Launch Celebration From September 1 – October 15

The official release date for Butterfly Swords is October 1, 2010! I’ve been touched by the enthusiasm people have shown for the book so I wanted to put some fun launch activities together in September and October.

The Goodies

Join in the launch activities and help spread the word. In return, you get positive karma and you’ll be entered in the prize drawing. Winners will be randomly drawn on September 15, October 1, and October 15.

All giveaways are open to both U.S. and international readers!

jeannie_w_swords_smallGrand Prize – A pair of steel butterfly swords*. The very same ones I used with my costume in the Dress For Historical Success workshop!

Grand Prize – A one-of-a-kind annotated version of Butterfly Swords with handwritten comments by moi. Think of it as the DVD commentary, book version. It will include discussion about story elements, reflections, how parts of the story evolved. Thought it might be fun to do.

Grand Prize – A color 8.5 x 11 print of Butterfly Swords by deviantArtist schumy330 (Cha Cha).

The three Grand Prizes will be drawn on October 15.

Book Giveaways

In addition to giveaways for Butterfly Swords and The Taming of Mei Lin, I will also be giving away a couple of other awesome titles with the same spirit of adventure and romance as my stories.

silver-phoenix_thumbnail poisoned kisses_thumbnail heaven_sword_dragon_sabre
Silver Phoenix

by Cindy Pon

Poisoned Kisses

by Stephanie Draven

Heaven Sword

& Dragon Sabre

by Jin Yong (Louis Cha)

October Book giveaways – Individual names will be drawn for: one of two autographed copies of Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin or a copy of the graphic novel of Heaven Sword & Heaven Sabre, vol. 1 by Jin Yong. Winners will be drawn October 1.

September Book giveaways – Individual names will be drawn for: a free digital download of “The Taming of Mei Lin” from eHarlequin, Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenix, hardcover edition, or an autographed copy of Stephanie Draven’s debut from Harlequin Nocturne, Poisoned Kisses. Winners will be drawn on September 15.

Party favors – Official Butterfly Swords charms are going out to all newsletter subscribers. Sign up to receive the insider track on Butterfly Swords and receive a custom designed charm. Hint: I will be designing one of these for each of my books and supplies are limited. So collect them all. 😉 (NOTE: You must include mailing address to receive the souvenir charm)

Be a Part of the Launch Crew!

One entry for each activity. Your name stays in for the entire celebration. 🙂

1. Sign up to receive the monthly newsletter

If you’d like to sign up for the newsletter, use this link.

Sign up for Jeannie’s Email Newsletter

2. Blog or Tweet about Butterfly Swords – If blogging, comment here with a link to the blog page. The topic is up to you. 🙂  If tweeting use hashtag #butterflyswords

3. Online badge – Post the Butterfly Swords badge on your webpage or blog which links back to

4. Bookmarks & Postcards – I got this idea when a couple of friends from California asked to have some bookmarks to distribute to bookstores. If you’d like a stack to give to your friendly neighborhood bookseller or library or book fair, please comment and I’ll mail them to you ASAP.

5. Blog Tour Trivia Contest – I’ll be blogging all over the interwebs in September and October. Fill out the BINGO form for additional entries.

Banners for Websites and Blogs

Please link back to “ HTML for links is coming soon!

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Animated Versions:




No book excited me more last year than Cindy Pon’s debut, Silver Phoenix. I rushed out and bought the hard cover. I told everyone I knew about it. Plastered it all over my blog. One fan even wrote me after reading the book because she thought Cindy Pon was my pen name since I’d gabbed about the book so much! (I redirected said fan to the right place)

The morning I sold, I literally ran to my computer and typed an excited e-mail to Cindy. I felt like a giddy schoolgirl running through the playground to a friend  who was a grade higher than me. “Cindy, Cindy! I sold!”

Silver Phoenix is lush and gorgeous and the original cover reflected the mood of the book perfectly:

Then I saw the cover of the sequel today:

And I saw how they want to rework Silver Phoenix:


The covers are dark and urban in appearance. The clothing modern. The faces hidden. To me, they look like so much of what’s out there in YA land. Black covers. Dark brooding mood.

I’m going to be emotional and unedited for a moment: They took away everything that was bold and special about Phoenix. They made it look modern and non-descript and non-Asian. The reasoning is that it will reach new readers this way. By hiding. By HIDING.

I lied about the unedited part. I’m a writer. Everything I post is edited. I thought very carefully about this post, because I do admit, I know next to nothing about the publishing industry. I don’t know about marketing books since I’m so new in this game. And I make it a habit not to rant too much about things I don’t know about.

But I am a reader. A consumer of books. And yes, I am biased. I write historical romances set in the Tang Dynasty. I love wuxia fiction. I started writing what I write because there weren’t many books like Silver Phoenix in the English-speaking market.

So I’m going to speak as a fan. Perhaps sales were low and the publisher had a responsibility to try to change that. I get it. This is a business. But what principle of marketing says that the way to success is to downplay your strengths? Cindy Pon writes fantasy. The selling point of fantasy is the worldbuilding. What principle of marketing dictates that you should NOT differentiate yourself from the crowd? That you should look like every other product on the market? Maybe people will think they’re buying Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, but really they’re picking up the generic store brand instead.

And that brings me to my biggest confusion. What makes the powers that be believe that READERS WANT TO BE FOOLED? That readers will pick up a book expecting one thing, and will actually be happy when it’s not that at all? That’s one of the main complaints I read in reviews. I expected a different book. So what happens when a reader picks up Cindy’s next book expecting a dark urban fantasy and gets a sweeping and epic adventure instead?

Maybe 2009 was just a tough year. Maybe people just stopped buying hardcovers except for huge big name authors with established readerships. Debut authors need to build a readership and it takes more than one book. That’s what everyone keeps telling me right now. The best way to sell more books is to write the next book. Well, Cindy did that. Fury of the Phoenix is coming out in April and Silver Phoenix‘s paperback release is in February.  If the publisher had stuck with the same look and feel, then they’d be building the brand and message. More sales on the second book, renewed interest in the first.

But the way they’ve done it now muddles the message. I don’t know what to think. If I wasn’t constantly checking up on Cindy’s blog, if I had walked by the bookshelves come April, 2011, I would have missed this sequel.

Consistent messaging. Building a brand. Increasing loyal readership. Aren’t these written into a big book somewhere?

I’m going to read Fury of the Phoenix in April. I’m going to tell everyone I know and I’m going to plaster it all over my lonely blog. I’m going to do it with love and not sadness or anger because I’m getting that out now. I’ve wanted to read this book since I finished the final sentence of the last one.

I hope the marketeers are right. I hope this new look nets a bunch of new readers who are happy to discover Cindy’s work. I hope all her current readers know to look for this book in April and buy it. Because I know the general reading public isn’t online and stalking authors the way I do. They’re walking into the bookstore and browsing shelves.

I hope the marketeers are right about this move, but I hope they’re wrong that an Asian cover doesn’t sell books.