Category Archives: Fiction

99 cents doesn't undervalue me

Amazon Kindle 2

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Since going free on the kindle Second Chance Romance has  been downloaded a lot. The other two are selling well.

I almost regret not being totally obscure anymore. I feel like people are watching me now. Whereas before I used it as a way to hone my craft.

I’m only making 35% on each sale via Amazon.

Some people would argue that I should raise my prices to 2.99 and get the 70%. But, I’m not going to.

Artists are not entitled to a certain amount of money. No one is. I am not in this for the money. No writer can start out that way. I write because I love it. I have to write. I may even submit to a publisher someday. My books may be the best example of indie work is sub-par.

At least I’m giving it a shot. I am evolving and growing.

If my had not gone Free, I would have been sitting at 50 sales a month give or take. After the initial blitz I still might fall back to that.

Any money I get from this is gravy. Most writers say they can’t make it as ONLY a writer. I’m reading Hugh MacLoed’s book “Ignore Everyone” and he says “artists” have 2 jobs: their creative, fun job and a job that pays the bills.

I’ve heard the argument that if you sell your book for .99 it’s undervaluing the work you did. Your work is worth more than 99 cents. There was hours and hours.

To one person my book might be worth $5 or $10 or $20. To someone who doesn’t like romance, it’s not worth the energy and bandwidth it would take to download my book to their e-reader. To me, no book is worth $20. I will never buy a hardcover.

When you buy a physical book, you aren’t paying the author for their time. The publishing house did that already, now they’ll get a kickback for letting a publishing house licence their words to someone else. (Publishing is a really messed up system if you really look at it). When you buy a hardcover the author’s portion is like 15%. Puh-leaze.

99 cents isn’t undervaluing myself. Readers don’t want to pay 2.99 for an unknown with three books out. When I have 10 releases, when I have an established platform, I can charge $5 if I want.

I don’t have an established platform. I’m not writing material that is really popular (paranormal). My heart is not there. My heart right now is in these hockey novels. After that, i have an idea that I’ve had for a long time (I got it while I was working on Summer Fling) for a paranormal type. I am in love with the idea, but I had to do the hockey first.

I am not saying all new self-published author’s should release their books at 99 cents. I’m not saying it’s bad to list your first book at 2.99 or 4.99. If it’s right for you, go for it. I have thought about this for a long time. Under 2.99 is what I think is a fair price.

As for free, the turn around in downloads and sales has explained to me that free really does work. My next plan is finish my last of three short stories I have for free and bundle them for the Kindle. Maybe four short stories, I have a Up in Flames short story regarding SPOILER. Can’t tell you yet.

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Urgh growing as a writer

Someone emailed me some typo locations yesterday from Second Chance Romance. I cringed as I fixed them. I am so unhapy with it. I have grown so much since I wrote that book. It needs a total overhaul, but i don’t have the time or energy.

I had a long conversation with my husband about it. I wanted to delete Summer Fling, it’s my weakest book.

I’ve read author comments where they say they wish their first book would disappear or it was right to be rejected. I get that. I just don’t know what to do. I stand by the story, just not how it was told.

On the other hand:

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
— Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words)

Making mistakes means I’m doing what people are scared of. And so what if I don’t become rich, most authors do not. The only place I can go is up. I have to go write I had a terrific historical erotic idea. There are not enough of those.

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Letting go of what isn't working

I wrote 6,000 words on a novel.

It wasn’t working. I re-thought my character and went back to work.

I wrote 13,000 more words.

And I forced the conflict.  My characters are not meshing. I didn’t give a damn about if they got together or not.They were damp carrots in a cold plot soup.

I decided to drop the whole thing.

It was difficult. I put a lot of time and energy into those words. A lot of lost sleep and cuddle time is in there.

I’m onto my next project. There will be four Flames novels. The four original guys in Second Chance Romance. Kip Turner, Kyle McLachlan, Corey Porter and Doug Black.

The best thing is now that I’ve stopped what wasn’t working, the inspiration and excitement is back.

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How I inspired myself

I have untold amounts of time to lay around. I practice attachment parenting (the co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, babywearing type) and he’s a very dependent sleeper. So I nurse him to sleep a few times a day. Which equates me laying around a lot.

I forgot to grab my book to read at nap time and my mind is very busy. As Summer McStravick says her mind is like “a little yappy dog that’s always on the go, yapping”. (That’s a paraphrase of her I can’t recall her exact words and since she said it on a podcast I don’t have a link). My mind is a “yappy dog” that never shuts up. I’m pretty sure I’m a little ADD, and I hate being unentertained.

So, on the note of Summer McStravick, she has this idea called Flowdreaming. Where you do a guided mediation with positive energy and emotions and thinking. It’s like positive thinking supercharged of sorts. Which equates with what I read in The Purpose of Your Life by Carol Adrienne where she says positive thinking isn’t just all happy thoughts, it’s setting your intention for the way you want to feel and going after that feeling.

Back to where I was lying around and my mind was yapping at me for some direction. I turned to my next hockey novel whic h I abandoned due to lack of feeling it. I abandoned the project I went to after that, because of my second Rule “No writing stuff that isn’t fun.” I wasn’t having fun. And I know the hockey thing is going to be good if I can unravel the characters. If I can fall in love with the characters.

So my mind said, if you aren’t in love with your characters, which characters are you in love with?”

I loved “Sleepless at Midnight” by Jacquie D’Alessandro . There are some great romantic scenes which are really hot. Really hot and swoon-worthy. I mean you want to be the heroine and have a hero who acts exactly like him. She is that lucky. I love the emotions between them. The tension. The way you want to grab them and scream “You love each other. Just get together already.” Except the conflict is out of their hands and they can’t be together, except they have to be because they love each other.

Anyway, I’m feeling all the happy feelings inside me.

And then my whole plot came into my brain. I’m so fucking excited to write it, but I had to write down how I got there.

(And then I have to write something else totally unrelated, but is pervading my life and I understood it in the shower this evening. Freaking Freecycle moderation. DId I ever mention that it is occasionally the bane of my existence and i want to quit? I can’t wait to move so I can stop the insanity).

So, that is the story of how I inspired myself. If anyone has a story about how they had fun writing today leave a comment with your email or shoot me an email.

BTW, no affliate links here. Except y'know, my Smashwords.
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New Blurb for Second Chance

I joined a writer’s forum. And they have a new indie section and a discussion ensued about writing a good blurb. Which Konrath et al say is the corner-stone to sales.

This is my old blurb:

12 years ago Kip Turner let the girl of his dreams go to pursue his dream of playing hockey. Kip and Mandy were opposites in high school. He was popular and good-looking. She was unathletic and shy. Despite their differences they fall in love. A year after high school, Kip is drafted into the NHL. He’s going to a play across the country. Mandy is pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher and she refuses to go with him while insisting that Kip follow his own dream. Kip goes to follow his dream and they break off their relationship. 12 years later … They come into contact again. Mandy is a single mother and Kip has been playing hockey. But fate has moved them to neighboring Albertan cities. Could they renew their old relationship and have a successful end? Or is Mandy going to let him go all over again?

What went wrong:

Kip is the main focus. I admit I focus on the males more. Romance is more about the female’s journey. Also a lot of passive words in there.

It is longer than a paragraph. Blurbs are a quick hook. This is not quick. It rambles.

It lacks a strong hook. Again rambling and missing strong, evocoative langauge.

Enter Karen McQuestion’s method for crafting a blurb. Great advice.

Following her advice I went to Mandy as the main character and her situation:

Mandy Green is happy juggling her life as a single mom and her dream job as a third grade teacher.

Then what changes

Her world is knocked on its edge when her high school sweetheart connects with her via Facebook.

And what occurs next is:

Mandy decides on one, last date with Kip to finally move on. Kip isn’t quite so ready to let go.

Hype. I failed with this one. I consider my blurbs Work-In-Progress. I have to work my longer version. Maybe.And i have to remove the passive voice.

strong verbs and specific nouns I used:

juggling her life

single mom

dream job

Her world

high school sweetheart

connects

dare

second chance

first love

The final product:

Mandy Green is happy juggling her life as a single mom and her dream job as a third grade teacher. Her world is knocked on its edge when her high school sweetheart connects with her via Facebook. Mandy decides on one, last date with Kip to finally move on. Kip isn’t quite so ready to let go. Will Mandy dare to take a second chance with her first love?

Better? I think so. And it will get better from here.

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Hockey burn-out

I am stepping away from my current WIP, which is the next Up in Flames book.

I’m not writing well. I’m forcing the story and not feeling inspired.

I am going to write some other stuff.

Might even be slightly more commercially viable stuff (read venturing  into paranormal land). Not because I feel the need to be commercially viable, but because I have some ideas that interest me.

So, yeah hockey on hiatus. Maybe I’m just not feeling the hockey love because the Flames aren’t doing well- again. (They were when I was working on Complications over Coffee edits).

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Convenient Love

Convenient Love

Penny works in her father’s store while she studies business part-time. In between studying, she alternates between fantasizing about her co-worker Shawn Moore. and planning her escape.
Shawn works to support his disabled mother. He refuses to look closely at Penny because she deserves better than he could give her.
When Penny’s grandmother has a stroke, her escape plans are postponed. Can Shawn give Penny a reason to stay?

 

It’s a free short story, I wrote based on a dream I had.

Why free? I’d rather be read for free right now. I’m not selling a crapload anyway, so I’d just rather be read widely. It’s PG-rated for mentions of sex and alcohol, but not explicit at all.

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