What’s up with Linda Cassidy Lewis?

Do you have long, quiet periods where nothing much is going on followed by bursts of activity? It seems to work that way in my life. Also, that sort of describes spring where I live, except that this year we had an abundant rainy season preceding the burst of bloom occurring now. I’m in the midst of a burst of spring activity too, so I thought it would be a good time to let you know what’s going on in my wonderful world of writing.

First, The Brevity of Roses and An Illusion of Trust, books 1 and 2 in my women’s fiction series The Bay of Dreams, got a facelift. I’ll be writing Book 3 this year. This week, the cover of my supernatural suspense novel Forever was also updated.

    

Next, the lovely Darlene Foster, author and world adventurer, interviewed me. She’s a Canadian, now living in Spain, who incorporates her adventures into her middle-grade fiction Amanda series. You can learn more about Darlene and read my interview on her blog. If you’re into learning more about me, check out my other interviews.

Then, Amazon took the stage. I got word that Kindle Press will be publishing my humorous romance Love & Liability! This is the second book in my High Tea & Flip-Flops Series. They haven’t given me the publication date yet, but I expect it will be sometime in early April. (Amazon moves quickly in their publishing divisions.) When it’s scheduled, you’ll hear me shouting the date.

As you may know, Kindle Press is also the publisher of two of my other ebooks—High Tea & Flip-Flops and Forever. And since the two-year anniversary of the Scout program is coming up, they’ve decided to celebrate that by putting all their publications on sale. The sale will run from March 20 through April 3, and all Kindle Scout books will be priced at only $.99 … yes, 99-cents! Mark your calendar now!

Also, beginning in April, Forever will be part of the Amazon Prime Reading program, which means that if you’re a Prime member, you could read it absolutely free.

Is anything exciting happening in your life?

Linda

Two Bucks or a Penny Less

Everyone loves a sale, right? And a fabulous sale is when you can buy a book for two bucks or a penny less. My ebook publisher, Kindle Press, cycles their titles through a promotion schedule. This month, both my Kindle Scout winners are on month-long sales in the US Amazon store. High Tea & Flip-Flops will be priced at $2 and Forever will be priced at $1.99 for the whole month of September.

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Read the full preview of High Tea & Flip-Flops.

Chelsea can’t stop thinking about her handsome upstairs neighbor. Jeremy, a suave and secretive, man with a British accent, is the opposite of her usual California surfer type. When drawn together by fate and a pizza, they make a pair that’s hilarious, sexy, and worth cheering for.

 

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Read the full preview of Forever.

Tom doesn’t usually keep secrets from his wife, Julie, but he keeps one when Annie is thrust into his life and he sees flashes of a past life with her. And that secret endangers their lives because a dark entity, who’s waited two centuries to exact revenge, has made them pawns in a demented game.

 

So what are you waiting for? Go book shopping!

Linda

Looking Forward … and Upward!

Last year, my life hit a high and a low. I hope never to repeat the low, but I hope to repeat the high often. The high came from seeing High Tea & Flip-Flops be bought or borrowed by almost 4,000 readers in only four months! That may be nothing to some of you writers, but it was HUGE to me. That the high came from a most unlikely book, for me, only adds to my surprised delight.

Forever_postSo what’s in store for my career this year? I’m perpetually dizzy from all the ideas spinning around in my head. I do know one thing for sure—I have a new publishing contract with Kindle Press for my supernatural suspense novel Forever. YAY! My initial excitement about that resulted in a crushing headache, but it was worth it. This will be another new book genre for me, so I’ll need to find out how to connect with readers of that genre. Of course, Amazon already knows how—and boy do they do it!

I’ll have some final work to do concerning Forever in the next few weeks, but I still hope to complete the first draft of my next novel by the end of March. That one (shown as Fish in the bar graph in the side bar) is a beautiful story of love and heartbreak and second chances. I’ll be editing and revising that manuscript through spring and summer. It will definitely be published, but I don’t know how or when. I’m excited to get back to work on it because I believe it’s going to be my best book yet.

Also, I’m thinking about changing all the book covers on my first three novels. I want to develop distinctive “brands” to visually differentiate the genres of my books. And I have several stories in those genres that I need to do something with. Maybe I’ll submit them to journals, maybe I’ll publish them as singles or in a collection, maybe gift some to my devoted fans.

Speaking of devoted fans, watch this place for an announcement about something new I’m going to start—a Facebook group for those who enjoy my books and want to show their support. I’m on Facebook every day. It’s the only place I regularly “speak.” I have a Facebook author page, but unless I pay to boost my posts, which I can’t afford to do, most of those who follow that page never see what I say there. But every member should see whatever I post or comment on in my fan group—whether serious or silly.

Okay. Ready, set, go!

Linda

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

What Should I Write and Publish?

As an indie writer, decision making is both a blessing and a curse—I get to make them all and I have to make them all. Making decisions at any time does not come easy for me. My current one concerns what I should publish next. And beyond that I’m trying to decide what I should be writing now and in the future.

questionpandaBefore Amazon’s Kindle Press published High Tea & Flip-Flops, I self-published two novels of women’s fiction. The Brevity of Roses once hit #3 in the Kindle contemporary fiction category on Amazon, but that was only because it was FREE during a promo. But I had no hope that it or An Illusion of Trust would ever rank in a Top 100 Paid category.

Though it thrilled me to know people were reading my work, in the world of publishing my books were invisible.  As such, I didn’t feel the need to brand myself as writing a particular genre. I felt free to write whatever I wanted. I figured a few hundred readers would find my books, mainly during free or discount promos, and some of them would eventually get around to reading and maybe even reviewing them.

Those expectations changed with High Tea & Flip-Flops because Amazon has the means to make sure many more than a few people know about that book. Kindle Press published it on 28 July and by the end of August 916 people had bought or borrowed it. I won’t see the actual numbers for a few more days, but I expect that total doubled by the end of September. And because Amazon selected it for their October Kindle Monthly Deal promotion, I predict the number of sales and borrows for the third month will equal the first two months combined.

As I write this, High Tea & Flip-Flops sits at #26 on the Top 100 Paid list in the Kindle Store’s Women’s Fiction > Humor category—not a nothing category. It’s also on the Top 100 Paid in Contemporary Fiction > Romance (#69) and just shy of the Top 100 Paid in Women’s Fiction > Romance (#115) both major categories. Plus, borrows and sales have picked up on my other novels. Yes, I’m still far from being a known author, but I’m no longer a completely invisible one either.

If I’d been thinking like a career-oriented writer, I would have had another romantic comedy written or at least started before I submitted High Tea & Flip-Flops to the Kindle Scout program. But I’d surprised myself by writing one romantic comedy and certainly never intended to make a career writing them. HT & FF was a gift of sorts. One I definitely needed, considering the health problem I faced this summer.

But the truth is I didn’t really expect Kindle Press to select High Tea & Flip-Flops. I figured I’d self-publish it and write whatever I wanted next. So now I find myself conflicted.

To capitalize on the success of HT & FF, I feel I should publish another romantic comedy next—or at least a romance.  As it is, I haven’t even written the first draft of a romance or women’s fiction novel. What I have in the final stages is psychological suspense with romantic and supernatural elements. That’s what I wanted to write.

Would it be smarter to publish another book soon, even if it’s a different genre, or not publish anything for several months while I write and polish another romance, humorous or otherwise?

Do you have an opinion on this to share with me?

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.