Archive for December, 2012

Monday, December 31st, 2012
Stop Panicking

I’ve written this entry in the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy. It’s about authors panicking and behaving badly because of it. You might see a little of yourself in this entry. Goodness knows I recognized some behaviors that I’m not proud of.

You might be an author behaving badly if…

You’ve ever signed up another author (or a reader) to your newsletter without asking them first. (Someone commenting on your blog or dropping you an email does not mean they want updates on your work–or that they even read you.)

You’ve ever sent an author an email to tell them that they would enjoy reading your book and it wasn’t for contest consideration. (You’re not a door-to-door salesman, so stop knocking on random ‘doors’.)

You’ve ever visited an author’s website just so you could promote your own work. (Rolls up newspaper and smacks you on the nose. Bad writer. Don’t EVER do that. Writers have very long memories and will not forget it.)

You’ve ever linked to your own work on someone else’s site and the discussion never called for it. (Unless the discussion specifically asks for reading suggestions, don’t do this. It only makes you look like a desperate noob.)

You’ve ever tried to guilt your readers into leaving reviews. (This is not the same thing as asking for their help. That’s okay, if you’re comfortable doing it, but remember readers are not there to do your bidding. It’s your job (my job) to write something good enough to get them talking.)

You use your Twitter/Whatever Social Media to do nothing but promote your work. Constantly. (Step away from the keyboard. Really. I mean it. You don’t want people (ie readers) to avoid you because they find you annoying.)

You believe social media is the way to success, not studying craft and writing more books. That comes later. After you’ve ‘made it’. (There’s a reason that the horse goes in front of the cart. Stop cracking your whip at empty space and learn how to hitch up the horse.)

You spend most of your time online telling traditionally published authors that they’re stupid/naive/etc. for not Indie publishing. (In those moments, it’s not them showing their ignorance. It’s you. This is especially true if you haven’t experienced being traditionally published. Everyone’s path to success is different. Publishing is not a ‘my way or the highway’ sort of thing.)

You put your name in the ‘keyword’ section for someone else’s book or created a name close to another author in order to confuse their readers into buying your work. (Have the courage to stand on your own. Don’t ride others’ coattails.)

And finally you might be an author behaving badly, if every time someone announces an achievement on a chat loop, you consider that your cue to promote one of your books. (Relax. Let them have their moment. It may be their only one and it takes nothing away from you.)

Happy New Year! Stay safe! See you in 2013. 🙂

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012
Stuffed, Yet Still Eating

I hope everyone is enjoying Boxing Day and that they had a lovely Christmas/Holiday. We’re still eating the massive amount of food we decided to purchase. My new words for 2013 are going to be: PORTION CONTROL. Actually, I can’t wait to get back to the diet/way of eating dh and I’ve been doing over the last several months. I know my body is going to go into shock, when we do, but it cannot be helped.

Like most years, I’m currently putting plans together for 2013. I’ve reached my two goals for 2012, so now it’s time to figure out some new ones. I am looking at new ways to approach blogging. Expect quite a few changes on that front. I’m going to work VERY hard to limit my babbling. I want substantive content. It’s either that or I’m going to shut down the blog.

There are more changes afoot, but things are still in the early planning stages. If you’re a writer and haven’t checked out Dean Wesley Smith’s blog lately, you’re doing yourself a disservice. I’ll have more to say about what he’s written and how to avoid writer face-plants in the very near future. Until then, enjoy the last of the nog and all the leftovers. 🙂

Friday, December 21st, 2012
100,000 Club

Well, the world didn’t end today, which as it turns out was a good thing for me personally. (And everyone else I imagine. *ggg) Today, I received word from Tor that I could have the rights back on my book, CRIMSON. YAY! Thank you Tor for an early Christmas present!

What does this mean? It means that I’ll be re-edited/expanding RED, SCARLET, and CRIMSON next year and re-releasing them. I may even write more books in the Dead World series. I’m still working on my writing schedule, so I’ll have to see if I have room.

On a personal note, I hit my second goal of the year. The first one was to make as much money as my old job used to pay. It’s taken me TEN YEARS, but I finally accomplished that earlier this year. The second goal was to reach a 100,000 ebook sales. Tonight, I surpassed that number. To be honest, I’m a little stunned. Part of me didn’t think I’d make it by the end of 2012. And part of me worried that I would never reach that number. I’m glad I was wrong. Just goes to show that you shouldn’t necessarily listen to yourself (especially that part of you that speaks from a place of fear). It’s always an unreliable voice, even if it has the best of intentions. What’s truly interesting is that over half of the above number comes from my Phantom Warriors’ series alone. Who would’ve thought? Not me, that’s for sure. I think it’s going to take a few days to sink in.

Thank you to all of the readers, who’ve made two of my dreams come true. 🙂 I have so very much to be thankful for. May your holidays be blessed and your lives even more so. Happy Reading and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
Fun With Book Bundles

I’ve decided to do a couple of book bundles in time for Christmas. They will be cleverly titled Atlantean’s Quest Bundle Volume 1 (The Arrival, Exodus, and Atlantean Heat) and Atlantean’s Quest Bundle Volume 2 (Redemption, Atlantean Heat, and The Return). Yeah, I went all out when naming them. *ggg I’ve uploaded them, but I’m sure it’ll take a few days for the books to appear. Here’s the most important point, since they’re bundles of previously published books, I decided to offer discounts on both of them. Until further notice, AQ Bundle Volume 1 will be priced at $5.99. That’s down from $8.48 (if you purchased them individually). AQ Bundle Volume 2 will be priced at $4.99. That’s down from $7.99 (if you purchased them individually). Decent savings, I think. 🙂

I thought about putting them out in paperback, but it won’t be possible with Volume 1 because the word count is over 146,000 words. Too big to be an affordable paperback, so I’ll have to break them up. What will probably happen is I’ll put THE ARRIVAL and EXODUS out as individual paperback books and Atlantean’s Quest Bundle 2 out as a single novel, since it’s a little over 90K. It’ll be a while before I can do that though. I still have to learn more about Createspace, so I can answer my formatter’s questions.

In the meantime, I’m still working my way through the edits for GHOST HUNTER CHRONICLES. I had the novel professionally edited several months back, but haven’t had time to go through the comments until now. Let’s just say it’s going to take me a while. I love when an editor is so thorough.

Other than that, I’m just gearing up for Christmas and the rest of the holidays.

Keep your eyes out for Atlantean’s Quest Bundle Volume 1 and Atlantean’s Quest Bundle Volume 2. They are coming to an ‘online’ store near you. 😉

Saturday, December 15th, 2012
Middle Earth–The Hobbit

Yesterday we went to see The Hobbit. I loved The Lord of the Rings trilogy, so this seemed like an obvious choice. It’s been YEARS since I read The Hobbit. So many in fact that I can only remember a few things from it.

Unlike The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is leisurely paced. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a movie that allows itself this much time to set the story up. Honestly, I didn’t mind. It was a pleasure to wander through Middle Earth again. It reminded me once more of what a writer can create. While I stared at Rivendell, I got the same internal sensation I had when I went to a Harry Potter release party at Barnes & Noble. It was a feeling of being part of something ‘bigger’, better, special. Something that wouldn’t be possible without an author’s imagination. It also drove home once more that I haven’t created a Rivendell of my own yet. And how I desperately need to for my own piece of mind.

The Hobbit tells the story of Bilbo’s great adventure and how he finds the ‘one ring that will rule them all’. For those who’ve seen the LOTR, it’s the story he finishes writing while Frodo heads off on his big adventure. The adventure revolves around the Dwarves’ need to return to their original homelands after a dragon attack. I’m not sure how they’ll stretch it into three movies, but it would definitely take more than one to tell the story properly. If you loved the LOTR, then The Hobbit is a must see.

Thursday, December 13th, 2012
Genres, What are they really?

Yesterday I made up a new list of possible writing projects. This time I broke them into genres. It turns out that two are paranormal romance, three are contemporary romantic suspense, three are sci-fi romance, two are YA fantasy, one is YA sci-fi, one is hardboiled crime/dark fantasy, one is urban fantasy, and two are horror with other elements added. As you can see, they don’t exactly go together. I did this so I could take a look at the bigger picture of what I was writing (or planned to write). It was actually eye-opening. I was surprised to see so much science fiction. I know I incorporate a lot of science fiction into my writing, but I didn’t realize I had so many future stories that revolved around that particular genre.

Most readers don’t break genres down quite to the level that I do. And they shouldn’t. Genres are created so bookstores know where to shelve books. These days the designation isn’t nearly as important, especially if you’re writing mainly e-books. Readers only really care about a good story. I think writers could call their books, Pumpkin Fiction and it wouldn’t matter as long as the story was solid. 😉 Again, that’s as it should be. But for a writer, it’s important to know what type of book you’re trying to create. It keeps you on track when you’re writing. Not that other things might not creep into a story. They do–at least for me. But it helps to know what type of story you’re trying to tell (ie genre, theme, subject, etc.).

I’m looking closely at my genres because I don’t want to confuse readers. At the same time, there are stories that I want to tell. Does designating a genre matter to you? Do you buy based on author name or subject matter? Both? I’m genuinely curious.

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
Book Buying Frenzy

Man, the last few days I have been on a book buying FRENZY. It’s like I’m ignoring the fact that Christmas is right around the corner and that I should be buying gifts for other people. :-O

In the last week alone, I’ve bought Writing the Breakout Novel (e-version/I already own the paperback.), Rivet Your Readers With Deep POV, Two Graves by Preston & Child, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Found by Margaret Haddix, The Wolf Within by Cynthia Eden, Dead Spots by Melissa Olson, Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole, The Untamed Bride by Stephanie Laurens, Dodger by Terry Pratchett, The Lady Risks All by Stephanie Laurens, Dark Nights by Christine Feehan (Wanted it in paperback.) Lucas by D.B. Reynolds (love, Love, LOVE her vampires), Devil’s Dollhouse by Richard Kadrey, Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Conflict & Suspense by James Scott Bell, Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress, and Tiger by Laurann Dohner (Trying to figure out why so many readers compare my writing to hers. This is especially intriguing, flattering, and somewhat baffling, since I sold my Phantom Warriors and Atlanteans to Ellora’s Cave MANY years before her **cough2002/2005cough**.) Thus far from what I’ve read, her work kind of reminds me of old school Lora Leigh, when she was writing for Ellora’s Cave. I see why people like her. I loved Lora Leigh’s original Breed series. I own them all in ebook and I’m slowly acquiring them in paperback.

Most of the craft books I bought I already own in paperback. I just wanted an e-copy. Christine Feehan’s book I owned in e-format, but I collect her older books in paperback for my keeper-shelf. I like those novellas, so I wanted a hardcopy, too. I wish that the publisher would’ve continued to re-release her original ‘Dark’ series in hardback. I’d planned to buy every single one of them. For now, I’m stuck with trying to accumulate the old library, large-print versions in order to have them in hardback.

Sadly, my book buying spree is far from over. There are still several books I need to pick up. A couple in both e-book and paperback because they’re my keeper-shelf authors. I think I’ll wait until after Christmas though. Yes, I’m the picture of restraint. *ggg