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)

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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

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A couple of changes here

I've made a couple of decisions about how this site is going to be run.
  • First, as of December 11th, all blog posts will contain original content. I love to help my fellow authors promote their work, but after a year of participating in blog tours, I don't think posting the same boilerplate post is helping anyone. I will happily continue to participate in blog tours if 1) authors are willing to write an original guest post or 2) I've read the book and can interview the author. Ultimately, I think this is a better move for this blog and whomever I'm posting a promotion for.
  • Second, and this was a hard decision to make, my reviews will be posted on Amazon and Goodreads. When I have a new review I'll point you to Amazon. Google does not like repetitive content, and I know that I do more good for authors by adding to what other customers see on Amazon than here (as awesome as my blog is). 
  • However, I do plan on writing about "themed" books I've read if one presents itself. That'll be both for both fiction and non-fiction. I'm pretty excited about this, and I think it has the potential to be more interesting than my reviews.
This will probably mean that there will be fewer posts, but I hope not by much.

To quote one of my favorite writers, let's make the internet a better place!