Fiction, My Books, Novel, Promotion, Publish, Reader, Writing

The agony and ecstasy of self-publishing a book!

Let’s discuss the ecstasy first. You publish a book. Yay! Family and friends read it right away. Then a few acquaintances read it. Finally, a few friends of friends or acquaintances of acquaintances discover it. You receive glowing reviews. People tell you they love the book. Your writing is a success!

Thank God for those early readers, but family, friends, and acquaintances are a limited number. For many of us, that’s a very small number. Naturally, we want more readers. And more. And more. Think potato chips … or Junior Mints.

I confess my impatience. I want everyone to read The Brevity of Roses now … today … right this minute! Of course, that’s not going to happen. I don’t remember any of the self-publishing advice naming Patience as a required virtue. If it was mentioned, I must have glossed over it in my … um … impatience.

Now, we’ve reached the agony. You have a book you love and want to share, but have to wait for readers to find it. In my ignorance, I imagined that word of mouth would spark a firestorm of readers burning through the pages—and I imagined that chain-reaction would start immediately. Didn’t happen that way. Still, there’s hope because I know that people intend to read it. How do I know this?

A few people have directly told me they intend to read my book. I believe they will. Last month I gave away a copy of Brevity on Goodreads. Hundreds of people entered the giveaway, but I would be naïve to think all those people actually intended to read the novel. However, over eighty of those people also added Brevity to their To-Read lists on Goodreads. Will they all read it? I doubt it, though a percentage of them probably will.

Then I got a boost from Women on the Verge. Each month they select members’ books to highlight on their front page, and currently The Brevity of Roses is one of those. Every day since WOTV highlighted it, more Goodreads members have added it to their lists. Some of them will surely read it.

There’s no way to know how many people might have added my novel to their “want lists” at Amazon or any other online bookstore,  or even jotted it down on a to-read list at home, but I’m sure some have. On a good day, I imagine hundreds have done so … and untold thousands may do so from future promotional efforts.

These people are my eventual readers. These people keep my hopes up. These people—potential bearers of ecstasy—make the agony of having a published book easier to bear.

Patience.

Writing

A conference, a contest, and a cry

If you’re looking for a good conference to attend this summer, might I suggest the Nebraska Summer Writers Conference? The Nebraska Summer Writers Conference joins the Prairie Schooner literary journal and the American Life in Poetry series as part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln creative writing program. The Conference’s registration is open to the public, and includes creative writing workshops and panel discussions.

The weeklong session runs from June 12th-17th and the weekend session is June 11th and 12th. If you sign up now, you can get in on the discount offered on the Poetry and Novel Master Classes.

Remember that I have a contest running. On May 19th, I’m giving away a softcover version of my novel The Brevity of Roses on Goodreads. You can’t win if you don’t enter!

Not that anyone cares, but I cried with James Durbin last night. In case you’re not an American Idol fan, James was a contestant on the show. James pegged himself at the beginning as just a heavy-metal screamer, but somewhere along the line, he revealed he could truly sing with tender emotion. I started rooting for him to make the final three. Alas, he didn’t. I’m sure his career will do fine without an Idol win, but I’ll miss his performances.

Comment, if you care to, otherwise run along and have a good weekend.

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

Book Reviews, Contest, Fiction, Marketing, My Books, Novel, Promotion, Social Media, Writing

Shameless? Shameful? Whatever, I’m doing it!

Yes, I’m promoting The Brevity of Roses again. I’m going to ask you to help me out and it won’t cost you a penny! That’s right, we’re talking FREE.

If you’ve read the book, please rate or review it any bookish place you frequent online … particularly Amazon, and while you’re there, please scroll down to the Tags Customers Associate with This Product section and click the appropriate tags to help Brevity rise higher in the search results.

I’d also like to invite you to follow me on Twitter,  and like my Facebook page, and be my fan on Goodreads … because you can never have enough of the real Linda. Cowbell, maybe … Linda, never.

If  you’re really dedicated, you could also sign up for my Brevity Insider Newsletter, which you’ll receive sporadically. And if you’ve already done all these things, my goodness, don’t you have a life??? Seriously, thank you for your support.

Now, today’s big news! This new giveaway begins today and ends May 19th. Click below to find out more and enter to win.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Brevity of Roses by Linda Cassidy Lewis

The Brevity of Roses

by Linda Cassidy Lewis

Giveaway ends May 19, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

You say you couldn’t care less about me and my book? Well, that’s just rude. 🙂 Seriously, even if you don’t, or can’t do, anything more to help me promote my book, come back Saturday to see the gift I have to give to you.

Until then, do you think we could use more cowbell around here???

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

Books, Feedback, Opinion

The sticky business of rating books

I blogged about rating books last month, but I’d like to revisit that topic today. In the last week, I’ve read at least three blog posts about rating books, which have caused me to wonder if my criteria is too strict. Since I started an account at Goodreads, I’ve been giving most books a 3-stars rating, but now I know many people see that as a thumbs down.

Currently, this is what my ratings mean:
•    5 stars = I loved the book and will read it again … possibly more than once.

•    4 stars = I really liked the book and most likely will read it again.

•    3 stars = I liked the book and enjoyed the read, but might not read it again. You never know. Sometimes a 3 star turns into a 4 star for me.

•    2 stars = Reading it wasn’t a waste of time, but I had problems with it. I doubt I’d read it again.

•    1 star = For me, reading it was a waste of time, and I might not have finished it.

Often, I just rate the book, not write a review, so it’s likely my 3-stars has been seen as a negative. I’m probably bringing down the average rating, when that was not my intent. I’m wondering if I should spend time re-evaluating my posted ratings.

Your turn, a lot of questions today: What does a 3-stars rating mean to you? Do you have a personal rating system? In a five-star system, what percentage of books do you rate 5-stars? Do you consider the average rating on a book before you rate it, or stick to your standards no matter what?


[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

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

Publishing progress and other comedies

Today, I have an update on the progress toward publishing my novel The Brevity of Roses. I certainly can’t say the process was painless, but I’ve finished formatting the print and Kindle versions. Next up is the version for Nook. I hope I’ve learned enough from the mistakes I made working on the first e-version that I’ll be able to breeze through the next, but I’m not holding my breath.

I’ll share my hilarious adventures in a future post or page. Oh yes, I laughed—hysterically, but still. I love the layout of my print version, but e-reader formatting leaves a lot to be desired. It’s just not very pretty. The least they could do is let you select your own title and chapter heading fonts. Oh well.

Barring a total mental breakdown from formatting for Nook, I’ll soon order a proof copy of the print version. If that looks good, things will move quickly after that. Brevity will definitely be available sometime in April.

It’s also time to get into promotion mode—past time, probably. A few friends have signed up to help promote my book on their blogs with an interview or guest post and a book giveaway. I’ll also host a giveaway on Goodreads. And I’ll have a special contest here on my blog. I hope to announce more as the big day grows closer. So stay tuned!

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]