Archive for February, 2011

Sunday, February 27th, 2011
Updates on Backlist

I promised I would update everyone on my journey into re-releasing my backlist. It’s just about been a month. As you know, I have two books out (one novella and one short novel). I’ve made just shy of a hundred dollars this month. I know it’s not much at all, but the thing I find interesting is that it’s not much less than I was making with one of my e-publishers. You might be asking yourself, ‘why did I go the Indie route if the money isn’t as much’? That’s a good question. I was thinking the same thing…until I thought about it some more, then it dawned on me. My checks from the e-publisher are for eight books–not two. Yep, two books have nearly made the same amount as the eight I had for sale at the e-publishers. What’s going to happen when I get my next two books up? Next four books? Next ten? Yeah, you do the math.

I’ve always read J.A. Konrath’s blog, but I’ve really been paying attention to his latest entries. He’s changing his mind a little on pricing now that dropping the price on one of his books has gotten him into the top 100 on Amazon Kindle. His observations are quite interesting and have given me a lot to think about, especially as I go forward with the next releases.

Friday, February 25th, 2011
Indie Authors Have You Noticed…

This is a question for all those Indie authors out there (ie authors re-releasing old work and original work). Have you noticed an uptick in publishing related spam lately? Over the last two to two and a half weeks, I’ve been receiving more emails and snail mail geared for self-publishing than I have in the last three years. I don’t know if someone has trolled Amazon, B & N, and Smashwords for names or if one of the establishments have sold the info. I suppose names could’ve been looked up, but it seems odd given the nature of the info on the envelopes. I’m getting a ton of crap from small one-man/group publishers claiming to be able to help me become a bestseller. All I need to do is sign up with them or attend an online seminar, etc. (Yeah, and I have a bridge in Idaho to sell you, too.) I wouldn’t have thought anything of the uptick, but I find it odd that it occurred shortly after I re-released some of my backlist. It’s especially annoying since a lot of it is coming through the mail, claiming I’m on their mailing list. I’d love to know how I ended up there, since I NEVER sign up for mailing lists. I’ve had authors add me to their mailing lists without asking, which I find irritating to say the least, since they should know better. It’s always embarrassing having to go back and ask to be removed. But when strangers tell me I’m on their mailing list and I’ve never even heard of them or what they’re hawking, I begin to wonder just how I ended up there. Yes, Million Dollar Author Club I’m talking to you.

I’ve had an incredibly busy week and not a second of it was spent doing the work I needed to get done. It’s frustrating to say the least. Hopefully I can make up for it over the weekend. On a positive note, I’m down six pounds in five weeks. I know that’s minuscule to most folks, but for me it’s darn near a miracle. I lose weight SLOWLY and put it on super fast. Six pounds is practically light speed for me. Sad, but true. I have a long way to go, but at least the scale is FINALLY moving in the right direction. 🙂

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

My car still may be broken, nothing has changed with the ebooks and covers, but I did manage to get the cable TV fixed last night around midnight. So YAY me. Actually today I’m feeling much better. Like I said, not much has changed, but at least I’m not getting hit with one thing after another today. I’m still editing the secret project. I hope to have it finished by Friday. If I can manage to do that and the short I’m working on, then I’ll at least have a couple more releases up while I wait. Larissa Ione was kind enough to send me a romance template for Scrivener, which I plan to take advantage of the second I finish these edits. She’s offering it free to anyone with a Mac and the latest version of Scrivener. One of my unwritten goals this year is to learn how to use the software so that I can cut down on the mountains of paper I have surrounding me. Mountains are of no use to me if I can’t ski on them. *g

Rifts appear to be forming on a lot of the lists I belong to. I’m not sure why I’m surprised, but I am. The rifts are between authors who are strictly pursuing N.Y. publishing and authors who are re-releasing their backlists and e-publishing original work. I’ve already went through this once. When I started in e-publishing in 2002, I was ostracized by a very large writer’s organization *cough*RWA*cough*. Obviously, I wasn’t alone. Most of my fellow erotic romance writers, who were epubbing with indie publishers went through the same thing. It was bad. REALLY bad. It nearly tore a few organizations apart. Authors were at each others throats. It was a very unpleasant situation that left a lot of bad feelings behind. Eventually, the storm blew over…or so I thought. It seems to be gaining new momentum, but this time it’s not the erotic romance writers getting hit with the brunt of the force. Now it’s Indie writers. The divide between Indie and Traditional publishing is growing. Not everybody who was writing erotic romance back in the day should’ve been writing erotic romance. Just like not everybody who is Indie publishing should be Indie publishing today. But there are some skilled writers out there Indie publishing today. People who’ve taken the time to learn how to write books. People who continue to better their skills. People who understand that not everything they write is publishable. The key is knowing the difference. I think this rift–like the one that came before it–is growing out of fear. There are tremendous changes taking place in publishing right now. Some foreseen and others hitting like a 7.0 quake. It’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay not to have the answers. Nobody does. The key is learning how to control the fear. It doesn’t do any good to attack what you’re afraid of. It won’t make it go away. Just ask all those erotic romance authors, who are still making a living writing the spicy stuff. Authors have more opportunities to make a living today than they have EVER had in history. This is something to be celebrated. Striking out at each other only weakens us as a whole.

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
Started Out Bad And Didn’t Get Better

I have just had one of those days. A couple of weeks ago I took my car–which was running fine–in to get an oil change and the fuel system flushed. They ended up also doing the coolant system, while they were at it. I made a comment about them getting the work done fast, but didn’t think anything more of it…until I got home. I parked my car and smelled an eye-watering, burning odor coming from the vehicle. Again, I didn’t think anything of it. I figured either oil or coolant had gotten splashed on the engine block. Not great, but it would burn off in a few days. (I don’t drive much so I knew it would take a while.) Fast forward three weeks. My car still stank whenever I drove it for more than fifteen minutes. So I take it back to the place that worked on it. They show me where something was spilled on the engine (shocker–NOT) and then take it in to look at it. A few minutes later the guy tells me I have a leak and that he’s rinsed out the area and dried it well, then greased it. So I ask the obvious, did that fix the leak? Should have, but maybe not. If it hasn’t, then I need to go to a different garage to get this gasket/valve replaced because it’s not leaking low, it’s leaking high and hitting the engine block. So I reply, I thought you said it wasn’t leaking. And he repeats what he did to it, which of course doesn’t answer my question. When I suggest I go to the dealership, he tells me no that it may be fine. Now I don’t know much about cars, especially now that they’re computerized, but in my opinion either you do or do not have a leak. There is no maybe. So the guy tells me to drive it some more and see if I still smell something burning. If I do, I should take it to this shop he recommended. (Been in business thirty years, cheaper than the dealership, but still uses dealer parts.) I left angry and confused because I have no idea what is wrong with my car. I don’t know if they screwed up during the oil change, then fixed it when I came in or if there is really something leaking under the hood.

So then I get home and find out that I won’t be getting any of my book covers for at least a couple of weeks. I was supposed to get them yesterday, so that was disappointing to say the least. Then I went out to get the mail, let me just say that there are pros and there are cons to e-publishing. One big pro is that you can make good money once you build your audience. The BIGGEST con for e-publishing is accurate accounting because there is absolutely no way to prove or disprove sales. Yep, you can get robbed blind and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

I haven’t managed to get any work done yet today, which just adds to my pissy lovely mood.

I’ve decided to workout, then I think I’m going to have a beer. Today, I really, really need one. How’s your day?

Friday, February 18th, 2011
Looks Are Deceiving

Had my first Kettle Bell workout today with a personal trainer. I signed up so that I could learn proper form. The trainer seemed like a nice guy. Very well educated, quiet demeanor, encouraging, but not overly so. Perfect for me. Should’ve known he’d turn out to be a sadist. *ggg I can barely walk up the stairs without my legs threatening to give out on me. I can’t even imagine what tomorrow will bring, if I’m this wobbly today. I told him I’d call and make another appointment because I didn’t quite get everything that he showed me. What can I say? He brings out the masochist in me. (wg)

That’s honestly about all the excitement happening here. I’m still waiting to see what Frauke does with my Atlantean covers. If they’re anywhere near as good as the Gothic Passions and Rose’s Rapture covers, they’ll blow my socks off. (Which is quite a feat since I don’t currently have socks on.)

I’ve decided to do an indie book experiment. I’m going to release a single title under a pen name and put it up without linking to it. I want to see what kind of stigma is attached to my name. As much as I’d like to think that there isn’t one, I know that isn’t the truth. People who pick up my books expect a certain thing (whatever that is). A new name won’t come with any expectations. The best way to test this theory is to release a book under a new name to see what happens. Now I realize this isn’t remotely scientific because many factors can affect the outcome (ie genre, length of book, cover, etc.), but it should be interesting to see what happens. I will post the results after a few months. I figure if the experiment fails, I can always redo the cover and put my name on it. 🙂

Today is my father-in-law’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!!! May you have many, many, many, many more. Hope you managed to have a wee dram to go along with all the well-wishes. Here’s tae us, Wha’s like us, Damn few, And they’re a’ deid.

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
Valentine’s Day…Please Forget Me–Not!

When I was younger, particularly in high school, Valentine’s Day meant the world to me. I always dreamed about getting flowers and a box of candy from a guy. At the time, I’m not even sure it would’ve mattered who gave them to me. It was a kind of big competition in school, a silent competition, to see who got the best Valentine’s gifts. As you might guess, I rarely received a Valentine’s gift. This probably had more to do with the fact that I didn’t have serious boyfriends (or any boyfriends) in high school–at least not until my junior year. This of course didn’t matter to my teenage heart. I still wanted to receive a Valentine’s heart full of chocolates. When I did finally get one, frankly it was a bit of a let down. It certainly wasn’t all harps and sunshine. I’m sure the gift was sincere, but it always felt like guys were pressured into making these silly displays. Kind of loses something when that happens. I think that’s why I don’t pay much attention to Valentine’s Day now. As I’ve grown older, I have realized that love shouldn’t be expressed one day a year. In fact, if Valentine’s Day is the only day you’re receiving a declaration of love, then you’ve got problems. It’s time to step up your game. 🙂

On a completely different note, I finished formatting Atlantean’s Quest: The Arrival yesterday. All I need now is my new cover. I’m waiting on pins and needles to see what Frauke comes up with. 🙂 So while I wait, I’m currently digging into edits on Rose’s Rapture. On a happy note, a friend (we’ll call her Sylvia Day *ggg) sent me an email to let me know that Blood Lite 2 will be releasing in mass market paperback in September. Woo Hoo!

Saturday, February 12th, 2011
Pirates, Pirates Everywhere, But Where’s The Rum?

On a lot of the lists that I’m on, the battle between authors and pirates remains fierce. I wish I could say that I was never like that, but I was, when I first started in publishing. I went around turning in every site that illegally carried my books. Every once in a while, I still get a wild hair and I’ll fire off an email. Afterwards, I chastise myself for getting worked up about nothing. Because it really is nothing. Pirates aren’t hurting my sales. Most of the people who’ve illegally downloaded my books wouldn’t have bought me in the first place. If anything, I need to be pirated more. That way people will be familiar with my name and may be more apt to buy my future work when it comes out. I was reminded of this when I watched this video: NEIL GAIMAN discusses getting pirated. The video is four minutes and change, and well worth a listen. I’ve read about his thoughts on pirating before, but I think this short interview sums up why we as writers shouldn’t sweat it.

Now I’m off to finish the last thirty pages of edits on THE ARRIVAL and do a kettle bell workout. And by doing a kettle bell workout, I mean I’m going to try to get halfway through Jillian Michael’s kettle bell workout without collapsing. *ggg Note to self: Buy a lighter kettle bell.