Here We Go Again!

If it wasn’t already evident that I believe in writing whatever story comes to me, it will be now. My next novel is not women’s fiction. It’s not romantic comedy. It’s suspense … supernatural suspense with an evil spirit, whose lust for revenge is not bound by time. Here’s the book description:

Forever_front_lgAfter twenty-three years, Tom and Julie Cogan are still in love. But they’ve started keeping secrets from each other. Secrets that will jeopardize more than their marriage. When young and beautiful Annie is thrust into Tom’s life in a bizarre experience, he decides not to tell Julie. Now, his silence has put them all in danger. Unknown to them, they’ve all become pawns in a demented and deadly game staged by an Entity who’s waited nearly two centuries to exact revenge.

So, yeah, storytelling in a genre I haven’t shared with you before—but it’s still character-driven, with the examination of relationships all-important. This story, in essence, has been with me for seventeen years. I’m glad it’s finally written, though how it will be published is not yet determined.

You may remember that my novel High Tea & Flip-Flops received a publishing contract from Amazon’s Kindle Press after winning a Scout campaign. Now, I’d like to do the same with Forever. I’m excited to announce that Forever has been accepted for a Kindle Scout campaign. Yay! That means I need your help.

If you click the link below, you’ll get to read the first twenty pages. Then, if you think Forever deserves publication, please click the blue “nominate me” button. Nominations show Kindle Press that readers are interested. Don’t forget—if Forever is awarded a contract, you’ll receive a free copy of the ebook from Amazon!

(No Kindle? No worries. Amazon has a free Kindle reader app for your computer, smartphone, or tablet.)

My Forever campaign will last through the month of December. Please spread the word to friends and family, so they can click that blue button too. I think the guys will like this one, so don’t forget them. And I’ll be thrilled to see you share and retweet my campaign posts on social media throughout December.

Go forth and nominate!  https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/OSOW3M6MU09A

Thank you. 🙂

Linda

Thoughts on NOT self-publishing

A funny thing happened when I received notification that Kindle Press had selected me for a publishing contract: I had little obvious reaction. My husband was joyous. I felt like I’d suffered a kind of shock, and it took nearly a week for that feeling to completely dissipate. That happened when I woke in the middle of the night and thought, I’m going to be published by someone else!

17zv8Except for a vignette published in an online literary journal, I’ve only been self-published. Oh, I tried for a “traditional” publishing contract with my first novel, but at that time indie-publishing was really taking off, and my impatient and impulsive self jumped in. By the time my second novel was ready for publication, I’d decided I didn’t have the personality type to have a successful traditional career. Or a writing career at all.

I saw myself as a hobbyist, writing what I wanted, the way I wanted to write it, accountable only to myself and readers in that I would write the best books I knew how. I didn’t set out to brand myself as a women’s fiction writer or a romance writer or any other single genre writer. My author friends, volunteered as beta readers and editors and, for one book, a cover designer. I did everything else on my own. And I’ve made mistakes.*

The biggest mistake was in failing to understand the necessity of abundant platform and marketing resources to succeed financially as an indie author. Realizing, finally, how much I lacked in that area, I didn’t expect to—and didn’t—make much money. And for a while, I convinced myself I was okay with that. Oh, how we lie to ourselves!

I work hard at writing. For the last seven years, I’ve sat at this computer nearly every day—for several hours on each of those days. Writing is my full-time job. The thing is, my only job before this was raising children—four of my own and then providing day care for four of my grandchildren for various periods over the next several years. Though childcare was absolutely the most rewarding thing I’ve even done, I didn’t receive a paycheck for that job.

Now, things have changed. For the first time in my life, someone has paid me for my work.

As I write this, I’m waiting to hear from my first professional editor. I’m accountable to someone else. I’m no longer just a self-published author. Someone has seen value in my work and was willing to invest in it.

Yes, I know authors say validation comes from satisfied readers. And definitely, it does. I don’t discount that a bit. Readers complete the equation. And I don’t discount the readers who’ve invested their money by purchasing my books.

Still, the money Kindle Press deposited to my bank account was a different kind of validation. It was a much needed boost of confidence. Finally, I feel like a professional. I feel like a grown-up. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a bit apprehensive about this new kind of publishing too. Then again, I suppose the unknown is always a little scary.

We shall see.

Linda

*I’ve been wondering if, once again, I acted impulsively by submitting High Tea & Flip Flops to Kindle Press … but that’s a topic for my next post.

An Author by Any Other Name

When is it worth publishing under a pen name? That’s what I’m asking myself this week. Soon I’ll have two novels published under the women’s fiction category and one under romantic comedy, but my next novel is neither.

If I published under a pseudonym, I’d proclaim authorship on this blog with a dedicated page and the cover displayed in the sidebar, but the book wouldn’t be linked to my other books on my Amazon or Goodreads author pages. And search results for readers of my other books wanting to know what I’ve written lately wouldn’t include the book.

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Some authors use both names on their covers such as Nora Roberts did when she started publishing in a different genre as J.D. Robb—Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb. Now, she doesn’t need to do that because her pseudonym is well established. Then again, Nora Roberts was already a big author name when she chose to write under a pen name.

I haven’t established my real author name yet. Unless the literary gods choose to pluck one of my books from the masses and shoot it to the top of the Best Sellers list, I’ll have to establish my name by writing more and more and more books. So, at this point, can I afford to “lose” one to pen name?

My next book, besides High Tea & Flip Flops, will be a dark story with a little light at the end. I’ve described it variously as psychological suspense, supernatural suspense, and even romantic horror. No vampires or zombies, but an evil spirit is a prominent character. There’s some violence, but there’s also a lot about love and marriage and family. Here’s a quick description:

Tom and Julie Cogan’s marriage of twenty-three years is in crisis, but it’s not cliché when Tom becomes attracted to young and beautiful Annie. Not when they were lovers in a past life. Not when the orchestrator of this renewed attraction is an evil spirit with a lust for revenge nursed for over two hundred years. Not when the odds of surviving this grudge match are slim—for Annie and Tom, certainly, but for their loved ones as well.

So, yes, that’s definitely not romantic comedy or even women’s fiction. But is it different enough from what my readers might expect to warrant starting over with a new author name?

Do you have an opinion on when it’s best to use a pen name? If so, please share in a comment.

Linda

Big News! I have a new publishing contract!

I’m thrilled to announce that Amazon’s Kindle Press will be publishing my romantic comedy High Tea & Flip Flops! A huge thank you to those who supported me during my Kindle Scout campaign.  So what comes next?

High Tea & Flip FlopsI have a 30-day period to make changes and resubmit my manuscript, cover, and book details to their editorial department. They may or may not request further changes. If they do, I have the option to accept or reject those requests. Then the ebook will be formatted, scheduled for publication, and a pre-order product page will be created on Amazon.

If you nominated the book, you’ll receive an advance digital copy to read and (we hope) honestly review on Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, or wherever you talk about books. Kindle Press options only the digital, audio, and foreign translation rights, so I’m free to self-publish a print version, which I will.

So why didn’t I self-publish the ebook? Discoverablilty. Some self-publishers have a built-in target audience or a substantial marketing budget. I have neither. I’m just a little fish in a big—and ever-growing—pond. I need someone with clout behind me to help get my books discovered. Amazon has that clout. I’m not sure how many Amazon customers will see a promotion for High Tea & Flip Flops, but I assure you that number will eclipse astronomically the number of people I have the means to get the word out to.

If you’d like to know more about the Kindle Scout program go to https://kindlescout.amazon.com/.

Stay tuned here for the latest news on High Tea & Flip Flops and my next book.

Linda

The Hot List

tea_nomYes, I’m talking about Kindle Scout again! If you’ve missed my previous appeals for help in winning a publishing contract through this program and would like to know what the heck I’m talking about, read this.

My campaign for High Tea & Flip Flops is nearing the end—only four more days to go. So far, my book has been on the Hot List more days than not, but I need your help to keep it on the list for the big finish.

Reasons why you should nominate High Tea & Flip Flops:

  1. You love romantic comedy.
  2. You love getting a free book, which you will if Kindle Scout publishes it.
  3. You know I try always to support my fellow authors.
  4. You’ve learned something from my blog.
  5. You admire my perseverance in trying to get my writing out to the public.

Reasons why you should not nominate High Tea & Flip Flops:

  1. You think I’m a terrible writer.

But wait, you say, what if I don’t like reading romantic comedy? So what? Even if it’s not a book you’d like to read, but you think it’s worthy of being published, nominate it. If it shows up on your Kindle, give it to a friend or family member who will enjoy reading it.

So,  if you haven’t nominated High Tea & Flip Flops, may I ask why?

If you have already nominated my book, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And may I suggest you tell a friend to nominate it too? Here’s the link to my campaign page: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3QR8C2LJAU1XU

Linda