Blog Stuff, Marketing, My Books, Promotion, Publish, Sunday Stew, Writing

No ebook giveaway, no new blog, but I do have rudeness!

I think this has to be the weirdest post I’ve ever published. I wrote this post a few days ago, but have had to edit it twice since then because two of the things it announced became invalid. For one, I had planned to announce an ebook giveaway this morning, but the site featuring the giveaway is having problems. The problem may—or may not—be resolved by the time you read this, so I’ll leave this announcement intact.The new blog thing? Well … read on.

The Brevity of Roses is now featured on Tony Eldridge’s blog as a Sunday Kindle Giveaway. The free eBook offer runs for one week, so if you’d like to win a copy, go leave a comment by August 27th. And while you’re there, take a look around the site.

Are self-publishers rude? I’ve read posts on a few blogs lately, as well as in recent comments on this blog, that some self-publishers act less than professional. I read an excellent post a couple days ago titled How Self-Publishers Can Mind Their Manners. I’d hate to see Amazon banish the Indies to the “kid’s table” as Catherine Ryan Howard puts it.

I spent all day Friday and Saturday trying to implement a brilliant idea I had. Well, not so brilliant as it turned out. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting another blog. Some days I have something I’d like to say that has nothing to do with being a writer. In the past, I’ve written such posts and then wrangled in some questionable link to writing. To avoid that, I’d decided to change this blog to a pseudo-website with a split personality.

I had already registered the blog, picked out a theme for it, wrote new posts for both blogs, and made graphics for the new “front page” of this blog. Then I did a lot of behind the blog stuff with new nested pages, featured images, constructed new widgets, etc. etc., etc. All of it gave me headache.

In the end, I decided to let things stay as they are! Maybe someday, I’ll shake things up, but for now, you might see more “Let’s just chat about life.” posts than usual here. Maybe I’ll even get serious once in awhile.

Doubt, Fiction, My Books, Novel, Writing

When your writing is like chocolate …

That post title is a bit of a cheat because I’m not a huge fan of chocolate. I know. It’s hard to believe a woman said that—and a writer even! But if the title had read “When your writing is like potato chips and yellow mustard …” maybe only one of you would have known what I meant.

If you follow me on Twitter, you saw this tweet from me last week: I feel great. Changed POV and tense and managed to add 1,700 words so far today. Then I spread writing fairy dust all around and went back to writing. On that day, writing was like chocolate … or chips and mustard.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’re probably expecting me to add a BUT to that statement as in that was then, this is now. Surprise! I’m still excited about what I’m writing. And get this … I’ll be happy even if I end up changing the POV and tense again. (A real possibility because I found out today that what I’m proposing to do is not the norm.)

What I’m really thrilled about is making the decision to write this particular book. I’ve committed. The two other books I’d started will have to wait their turn. I had doubts about writing this book and I entertained them. I was up and down, back and forth, until I decided the easiest thing to do would be quit writing altogether.

Silly me.

That problem was I’d forgotten to take off my marketing hat. From now, when I open that file, I’m a writer. A WRITER! Marketing be damned.

Book Reviews, Marketing, My Books, Promotion, Publish, Writing

Can you explain why book reviewers have this prejudice?

First off, I want to say how much I appreciate every single person who’s taken the time to read The Brevity of Roses. And those who went the extra mile by rating or reviewing it, get a second gold star in my book. Most of you paid for the book, and I’m honored. Actually, that you parted with real legal tender to read my writing totally freaks me out!

But today’s post is about seeking reviews from those with a wider reach, a greater influence. As a self-published author, without a publicist, it’s my responsibility to seek reviews of my book. Public reviews act as a sort of official word of mouth, so of course the more popular the reviewer the better.

Unfortunately, all review policies are not equal. I won’t name names, mostly because I’ve checked out so many book review sites since April that I’ve twisted them all up in my brain like a rubberband ball.

Some I eliminated as soon as I saw mention of a reading fee because, right now, I couldn’t pay for a review even if I wanted to. Some ask for two, or more, print copies, ditto on the reason for eliminating them or, at least, moving them to the bottom of my list. Some only review certain genres, usually not mine.

But what’s the biggest reason for crossing them off my list? They don’t review self-published books. That’s their prerogative, of course, but I’m not sure I understand their reasoning. Sure many self-published books are badly written, or badly edited, or both. But not every book published traditionally is excellent on all counts either. Plus, if the reviewer doesn’t like the book, or the quality of the book, they can pass, right?

So, I think I’m missing something. I think I must not understand why people review books for the public. Can anyone explain to me why some reviewers shun self-published books as a policy?

Author, Fiction, Marketing, My Books, Novel, Publish, Writing

Book sales … get real!

Let’s be honest about expectations. Every debut author dreams their book will be the one the publishing fairy touches with her magic wand. Their book will “go viral” in digital speak, and suddenly the whole world will buy, read, and talk about it. Like I said, we dream.

When I awoke, I convinced myself I never wanted to be a literary superstar anyway. The reality is that most traditionally published debut novels sell less than 1,000 copies. Knowing mine would be self-published, I set my sales goal far lower. And, reminded that my original goal was just to share my writing with a few others who might enjoy it, I was okay with that.

But along the way, I became infected by the marketing bug. It fed on the green-eyed jealousy monster. Other self-published authors were getting their 15-minutes of fame, along with a hefty royalty check. Why not me? It could be me! It would be me, if only, I did this … or that … or the other. If I wasn’t selling at least 100 copies a day, it’s only because I wasn’t marketing the book right. I wasn’t trying hard enough. I believed.

The problem is I believed that should be my expectation for my very first published novel. I know. None of you are that dumb. You would know it takes time. It takes several published works before you can even hope for those sales totals. Or you have to have incredible luck … or be Oprah’s best friend … or something.

I have only one book—a good book—but only one. It’s time to sink or swim. Fish or cut bait. Put up or shut up. It’s time to write another book because Harper Lee, I’m not.

And then someday …

Author, Book Reviews, Books, My Books, Reading, Writing

Do you know the LibraryThing?

I’d read reference to LibraryThing several times before I finally checked it out. I had imagined it as a hangout for professional librarians, but it’s actually a place to catalogue your library and connect with other readers and authors, similar to Goodreads. Though not quite as intuitive, in my opinion.

Accounts are free, but have a limit of adding 200 books to your shelf. A paid account is $10 a year or $25 lifetime, with no book limit. I set up a free account and imported my book list from Goodreads, but I’m still learning my way around. I’ve considering doing a giveaway there.

If you have a published book, it’s probably listed at LibraryThing, so you might want to check out your book and author pages. I haven’t added much to mine other than a photo, but evidently, any member can fill in information on your author page, so I check occasionally to make sure someone hasn’t entered wrong information about me. 🙂

The Brevity of Roses page is rather sparse with only two reviews, so I’m asking for your help. If you’ve reviewed my novel somewhere else, I’d be grateful if you’d copy and paste it to my book’s page at LibraryThing.

And while you’re at LibraryThing, please add me as a friend!