Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Updates and observations

Randomly, and if I don't produce links...well, I have my reasons.

+ I am well into Book Nine. (Am I being psychotically paranoid about releasing titles? Maybe.) It's a mystery, I can tell you that much.

+ I know what Book Ten will be about. A short story, and think Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography (kind of). And it just might be released before Book Nine, which would really make this Book Nine, and Book Nine Book Ten. (This is why someone came up with the brilliant idea of titles.)

No titles, but here's a little clue
+ Remember when Amazon Publishing and its imprints were all the rage, circa 2012? Authors wanted to sign with them and observers condemned the potential possibility for collusion (including me)? Um, don't. I'm underwhelmed (and that's a huge understatement) with the quality of their marketing and editorial services. If anyone thought they were going to revolutionize publishing...let's not worry about that anymore.

+ And remember when people were recently bitching about Amazon Vine? Not sure yet what it means, but the pickings are much slimmer than they used to be.

+ As I'm cleaning up my social media experience, I get the sense that others are doing so as well. Not leaving but contracting.

+ Speaking of which, I'm now on Tumblr. Right now it's a lot of food porn, but there will be more Boston and more...whatever else I want :-) If you're on Tumblr look me up.

Back to the books!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cover Reveal for Wish For Me and Drive Of Me (The Djinn Order) by @dianthajones

As I indicated, I'm not going to be doing a lot of blog tours anymore- but of course I'm going to make an exception for the writers I know and love. A. Star, the alter ego of one of my faves, Diantha Jones, is coming out with a new series and I can't wait to read it. (You know I'll be reviewing it as soon as I do.)

Genies and steampunk? Oh, this is going to be good!

Series: The Djinn Order, Act One
Publication Date: March 2015
Genre: New Adult Steampunk Fantasy

Three wishes. Two lovers. One destiny.

When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.

Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.

But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window. As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth...a truth neither of them will ever see coming.

WARNING: Not suitable for ages 18 and under. A significant source of bad language, sexy times, and dirty jokes. If you suffer from a lack of a sense of humor, take with plenty of wine. If the symptom persists, see a doctor.

Designed by: Deranged Doctor Design
Series: The Djinn Order, Act Two
Publication Date: TBD
Genre: New Adult Steampunk Fantasy

The Dream Of Me synopsis will be released after Wish For Me is published.

A. Star is a fan of dirty passion. She likes to read it, and she damn sure likes to write it. Her first adult romance/fantasy novella is called Invasion, an alien romance about sacrificeLover, Divine is the first release from the Mythos: Gods and Lovers series. Future releases under A. Star include three more books in the Mythos: Gods & Lovers series, The Djinn Order novella series, and more.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The New Year's Post

Because we all want to reflect, wrap up and move on.

What I published

I published three books this year. Yeah. And that furthered my resolve that I needed to keep up the ambitious pace I set for myself.

What I wrote I wrote three more books this year. We're still in the universe of The New Pioneers, but I've added a bunch of new characters. All of them are introduced by people you've already met and one of them has been teased. I am excited about the direction the series is taking on and I can't wait to release Book 6. It's a short story that will use a character everyone wanted more of to segue into a subject everyone said I should write more about. (Need a hint? Check my Twitter feed on the right!)

What I read

I read...a lot!

What can you recommend?

What I watched

I finally gave into my Netflix account when I realized that old Hawaii Five-O and The Rockford Files were on. God, I love Seventies hair. Why do I need to watch so many mysteries? Hmm...

What I'm thinking

In 2007 I wrote four novels. In reality, I wrote four novels in about four months. (Not coincidentally, this was before I joined social media, although I did keep a blog.) I enjoy social media, but I, like many other writers, stressed about which platforms to be on and how to conduct myself while there. So it was a little bit of a relief that Facebook changed its policies to make promotion more difficult. After some research and consideration, I decided to focus my professional (I already posted about some of the changes I’m making to this blog.)

If you’ve been paying attention to publishing news, “suddenly” indies are making less money than we were before. Mark Coker lays out the entirely reasonable proposition that there is now a glut of indie books that exceeds the demands. Having lived through the Dot Com, Real Estate (and even the Mind Body) bubbles, I would say Coker is correct. I would also say that his advice to stay the course and keep writing (and improving) is the only thing we indie writers can do. It’s good to be aware of what opportunities and limitations we have (Kindle Unlimited looks like a good place for shorter works, but overall readers seem to like longer works), but there’s no point in getting worked up over what we can’t control.

What I'm planning

  • My wheels are spinning around the plot for Book 9, and I’ve already started making notes and writing snippets here and there.
  • I’m hoping that I can place more ads on certain sites, but I will definitely be offering more giveaways, particularly on Goodreads. (As always, review copies are free at all times.)
  • I’ll be reading and reviewing three books a month…(yikes!)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Joining the 21st century

Finally got a tablet, and to no one's surprise but my own I'm reading more.

By nature, I tend to be thrifty, and the fact that I'm a writer when I'm not a stay-at-home homeschooling parent only exacerbates that. I am also a Late Adopter when it comes to technology; I prefer to let other people pay the premium for being the first in line to acquire something and then work out the kinks for me.

Several years ago I had a Blackberry when everyone else was oohing and ahhing over their new iPhones. I was ecstatic about how much I could get done with the tiny keyboard, and I knew that the virtual keyboard wasn't going to cut it. (Stints on my husband's Android smartphone confirmed this.) My primary needs for any kind of device are to read and write. If I can't do those things, there was no reason to invest a lot of money in a smartphone or tablet.

I was willing to muddle along with my laptop until a few months ago when my children's wear and tear damaged the screen hinge to the point that it wasn't comfortable to use. While I could use our computer to a point, my husband needs it more than I do. (Since he's the bread winner of the family, I have no problem saying that.) As my usage of that machine would cut into his productivity, I felt justified finally getting a tablet.

Last week, after weeks of research, I walked into Best Buy and picked up this ASUS model. (I can't link you to the Best Buy page because apparently they're not listing it on their website anymore.) That night I went home and ordered this keyboard case. I will admit that this is not the prettiest case on the market, but it gets the job I need done.

We're in the middle of "the holidays" so I haven't had a chance to write anything extensive on it yet, but I have written five reviews on it. I've also transferred most of my Works in Progress on to it so I can make edits and additions.

More importantly, I've used it to read a lot more than I was able to before. When other authors were sending me their ebooks, it wasn't a portable experience for me unless I printed out a .pdf copy. (I do not recommend this.) Suddenly e-reading is much more enjoyable, and I look forward to reading and reviewing a lot more.

(I'll also add that it makes homeschooling a lot easier: there are a bunch of library books my sons have been able to read on the Kindle, and the Netflix app makes it very easy to watch documentaries.)

So with that new development in mind, what do I have next up on my reading list? The Moon Spinners by Mary Stewart, which I got library. Why? Because it's not available in e-format yet.

Ah, technology!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Destiny (The Tranquilli Blood Line Series) by Celia Breslin (Giveaway)

 photo Destiny-Blitz-Banner.png
 photo Destiny.jpg
Title:  Destiny
Series: The Tranquilli Blood Line Series #2
Author:   Celia Breslin
Published:  November 3rd, 2014
Publisher:   Champagne Book Group
Word Count:   74,000
Cover Artist:   Ellie Smith
Genre:  Urban Fantasy Romance
Content Warning:  Sexual situations, violence, and profanity
Recommended Age:  17+
Synopsis:  In HAVEN, San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli survives a vicious attack by her vampire family’s longtime archenemies. Several weeks later, as she struggles with PTSD and survivor’s guilt, supervillain Dixon resurfaces and kidnaps two of her best friends. To save them, Carina must comply with the evil bastard’s unusual demands. The kicker? She must tell no one what she is up to.
Meanwhile, she has a new dance club to open for the preternatural community, a fated soul mate acting secretive and distant, and a sexy, new, undead friend who’d love to take Alexander’s place in her heart and bed.
Blackmailed, betrayed, tempted…sometimes destiny has a wicked sense of humor.
About the Author:
 Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for vampires, werewolves, and the Fae. When not writing, you’ll find her exercising, reading a good book or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies.
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • One lucky winner will receive an eBook copy of Haven (Tranquilli Bloodline #1) and Vampire Code
Giveaway is International.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 8, 2014

A word about my pricing

I announced in both my newsletter and on this blog earlier that my pricing was going to be firm and stable: subscribers to my newsletter are the first ones to know about any new releases, and they'll have two days after the announcement to get my new book for free (so go sign up for my newsletter; I usually make it really easy for you to catch up on the rest of my series too.)

For everyone who isn't a subscriber, you'll be able to get most of my newest releases at a discounted price for a week before it changes over to the permanent price.

As for pricing, my short story (and there will be more) is 99 cents. Given the length, I think that's fair. (This is the only time I can't discount on Amazon since I'm not on KDP Select.) My first two novels, each over 70,000 words long, are $3.99. Again, I think that's fair. However, my next two novels clocked in a little closer to 60,000 words, and I felt that I should reflect that in the price. So those two are priced at $2.99.

Many (most?) other indie authors play with pricing or "price pulse". Basically, they take a look at where their sales are and discounted for a period as needed. They do this for a reason: people like sales. (I like sales!) So I certainly don't fault them for it. In fact, I've been tempted this year to follow suit, many times.

Dollar symbol
Sooner or later, this casts a shadow over all of us

But then I bought a DVD around Thanksgiving, and the next day the company I ordered from had a holiday sale in which they discounted everything by 20%. There was nothing I could do to change it, and overall the four dollars I would have saved weren't worth complaining about (well, unless it would have meant that I could have bought an e-book...). The company didn't do anything wrong and I still like their work. But that momentary feeling of being cheated- however irrational, however fleeting- is something I really want to avoid being associated with as a vendor, especially when I am still in the early stages of my career.

Thus, my prices are firm. I can only hope people will agree that they are fair.

(Needless to say, review copies will ALWAYS be free.)

...Having said that, I am considering making the first book in my series free. If I did so, I would offer something to any customers who had bought the first book, Like I said, I don't want anyone to feel cheated by me.

What are your thoughts on free books and price changes?