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

The Brevity of Roses is free on Amazon!

Today and tomorrow, February 23 and 24, the digital version of my novel The Brevity of Roses is FREE at Amazon. REMEMBER, you don’t have to own a Kindle to read a Kindlebook. Amazon provides a free Kindle reader app for your PC, Mac, smartphone, or iPad.

If you haven’t read Brevity yet, here’s your chance to get it free. If you have read it, PLEASE spread the word about this promotion. I’m excited. Brevity is all dressed up in its beautiful new cover and waiting to be read. I want to see the book rise to the top of the Amazon ranks in its categories. If you tell your family and friends, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and anywhere else you can think of about this giveaway, I will be eternally grateful.

Am I being melodramatic? Yes, I am. I really need this promotion to work. There are millions of books for sale on Amazon, so even though mine has a 4.6 star rating, it’s virtually INVISIBLE. With this promotion, I can make its existence known to thousands of readers who would love it.

Deep breath. Here we go!

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!

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Doubt, Goals, Life, Marketing, Power, Tuesday Topic, Writing

No, no … that’s the old me

Yes, I know, I’ve told you many tales of my life as a hermit. I’ve revealed my social awkwardness, my reluctance to venture into public places, my preference for a virtual life. Just two posts ago, I expressed the belief I’m not confident enough for Twitter. Well, that was just … um … an act. I will accept the Oscar, thank you.

Okay, so it wasn’t an act. But I realized that not only could I not pro2hermit_hafmote my writing in this hermit state, it wasn’t actually true of me anymore. So … tada … I’m coming out of my shell. I’m taking the plunge. I’m stepping out on faith. If you follow Judy Clement Wall’s blog, you know that 2009 was her year to challenge herself this way. And she has now become the flat-out rocking “Incredible J” of 2010 … and beyond. I don’t hope to equal her success, but who knows?

I’ve undertaken my first challenge and I’m so excited about it, I moved this post, intended for Wednesday, up a day. Over a year ago, soon after starting this blog, I came across Mari Mayborn’s. She’s an inspirational writer and speaker. Her beautifully written blog posts were some of the first I dared to comment on. She reciprocated here and, eventually, even dared ask me to give her feedback on articles she was preparing for submission. Then, she let me know she’d be in California this month and asked if we could get together.

Normally, my response would have been to say, “I’m sorry. That would be nice, but _____ (fill-in the blank).” I am now, very glad I didn’t do that. She drove two hours (one way!) to meet with me at a Starbucks yesterday. I will not lie, I had a mild anxiety attack as I was about to leave my house. But I persevered. Mari was as lovely a person as I knew she would be and we talked for nearly three and a half hours! (And I’m pretty sure I didn’t babble the whole time.) It was great. I loved it. I’m ready for more.

So, I’m through with the hermit “I can’t” thinking. There are, of course, still things I won’t do, but only because they’re dangerous, wrong, or just plain stupid. To the other things, I’ll say, why not?

What’s the best that could happen?

Photo credit: Dawn M Schiller – Odd Fae and Autumn Things
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Author, Fiction, Novel, Publish, Writing

An old-school author

WD0809When I pulled my copy of Writer’s Digest from the mailbox yesterday, I was happy to see Anne Tyler smiling at me. In honor of her 18th novel due out in January, she granted the magazine a rare interview—but only by email. She’s an extremely private person, having not given a face to face interview since 1977. As the article states:

“Anne Tyler belongs to a disappearing generation of writers, those who came into their own in an era when it was more than enough to—well, to simply write.”

For new authors, such reclusiveness is unimaginable in today’s publishing world. Once you’ve written, edited, revised and polished your book, once you’ve signed with an agent, once your agent sells your book to a publisher—then you get to start another career. You have to market your book.

Of course, most authors have always done book signings and interviews, but in this digital age, you’re expected to also have a website, a blog, a Twitter account, do podcasts, blog tours, and anything else you can think of to promote your book. It’s up to you to write it and sell it.

All that activity, of course, does not excuse you from setting to work on your next book … and don’t think you can take three years to finish it. Authors are expected to be personalities … to entertain their fans. And if you’re not a writer, but you are a celebrity … hey, there’s probably a multi-million dollar advance check with your name already on it.

So, all you writers out there, is this self-promotion policy something you enjoy (if you’re published), look forward to (if you’re aspiring), or do you long for the days when writers could “simply write” and publishers publicized?