Tag Archives: Short story

Short story from a picture

I have to link to the picture

Morgan put his hand up to open the door just as his phone rang. “Please don’t be Greta,” he muttered as he fumbled his phone out of his pocket while pushing the door open.

He sighed at the call display. His wife, Haile. He hadn’t planned on working this late. Again. He promised he’d be home for supper this time. He’d make it this time as well, if she didn’t demand a last-minute errand.

“I’m on my way,” he said.

“You’re late.”

He cringed. “I’m not late. If I drive the speed limit I’ll make it in time for supper.”

“Parker’s play is tonight.”

“Tonight? No, I put a reminder on my phone. It would have reminded me earlier.”

As if on cue, his phone made the reminder sound. Seriously? Mother of frickin’ for the love of all that is good and holy. Couldn’t forget the holy.

He stopped just outside the building. Not quite under the archways. He sighed. “What time does it start?”

“Thirty-eight minutes.”

He tapped his toe and weighed his options. “I’ll speed a little. Swing by pick you up. We’ll eat after.”

“We’ll be late.”

“Mt brother is the lead character. We’ll miss the first bit of the play.”

Morgan started off at a run for his car. “I’m on my way.” His feet thumped as he ran down the brick path, past the arches toward the parking lot and freedom.

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99 cents doesn't undervalue me

Amazon Kindle 2

Image by goXunuReviews via Flickr

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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Why cheap and free are okay

But what about free content?

Image by pr1001 via Flickr

I’m sure people hoard 99 cent books because they are cheap to buy. Some people download free content and never around to looking at it. I have a ton of free pdfs that I’ve forgotten about. They sit in a folder entitled “books” or “downloads” and once in a while I find them, glance through the pages, realize it’s not for me and delete it.

It’s still a valid way to get your name out to people.

Especially when it comes to short stories. Colours of the Rain has been downloaded 1500 times. If a tenth of the people read it that’s 150 reads. If half of them read it, that’s 700. Cool!

Second Chance Romance
has 748 downloads. If 5% read it and buy Summer Fling, that’s 40 sales.

It’s far better than no one buying it at 5.99 or even 2.99. I know I could get a higher royalty at 2.99 on Amazon. And I consider changing it and seeing how many copies get sold.

Part of why I don’t have it at 2.99 is I don’t feel like it’s a 2.99 book. I said before in my imperfection that my writing is 70%. I don’t have the 30% to get a professional set of eyes on it to push it past 100. I’m getting better at it.

I know 99 cents is equated with a less professional book. Maybe I’m reinforcing that attitude. Hey, become a beta reader and point out my flaws before I release the book. Email me asrai.rdATgmail.com. 🙂

The second reason I’m going with free and cheap is I just want to be read. At two  years into the writing. self publish journey, I don’t expect to be on the best seller’s list. Many of the author’s going around talking about self-publishing are established, they have a name, they are known, so their success doesn’t apply to me.

ALso, I don’t have a strong backlist yet. I have three novel length books on Amazon and Smashwords. I have two short stories for free. That’s not a lot. I’m building my platform, I’m building my readership. That is more important to me than 70% royalty.

Lots of people can write about why 2.99 is better than .99 cents. It’s not better. It’s different. It’s not a lack of pride.

If you go with 99 cents because it’s cheap and lots of people will buy, do your research. Make sure you are setting a price point that works for you.

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Why you should be imperfect

I wrote a long post justifying my imperfection in my novels.

When what I wanted to say was this:

Imperfection is okay.

At least I’m out there letting people read my words. And while I let people read my attempts so far, I’m working getting better. Everyday.

I would rather have 100 people tell me my grammar isn’t perfect but my stories and characters are great (which all my feedback so far has said) than to have my novels sitting on my hard drive.

Writer’s have a great opportunity before us. We can write something and put it out there. Chances are at least one person will read it. Or we can sit with our thumbs up our butts and in 10 years look back with regrets.

My husband has a theory that when people feel crappy about hitting 30 or 40 it’s because they feel like they having accomplished enough. If you want to be an author, then be an author. If you want to start a business, do it. Whatever you want to do, you can do it.

Now is the time.

Not everyone can deal with my writing “mistakes”. Not everyone will like my writing. (If you buy something you don’t like there is a period in which you can get a refund from most retailers).

You know what? Not everyone likes Twilight or Harry Potter or whatever. A lot of people do. Should we deprive the world of them because one, a hundred, a thousand people don’t like them?

I won’t even go into the people who run around going “but who is checking on the quality?” Woe is me the sky is falling because someone published some crap. People have been publishing crap for ages.

Some people like the crap (Quentin Tarantino keeps making movies, I know a lot of people who live for the reality series the Bachelor save us from the world where love is a contest and bad writer’s get published by “the big six legacy publisher’s).

So I say, fuck everyone who demands perfection.

They might be people who are afraid of failure.

Failure and imperfection mean you are doing something. You are trying and you aren’t afraid to do things that might not work. I’m not suggesting that if you release a novel you edited yourself that you’ll be the next bestseller. Lower your expectations. You might not even pay your electricity bill for a summer month with the proceeds.

And people might give you crap for promoting the image that indies aren’t professionals.

We try to teach children not to worry about what other’s think about them. And then we are too afraid to try for our dreams because of what other people might think of us. do what you are afraid to do.

Releasing a book that has a misspelling or grammatical error is not a matter of life and death. No one is going to come to your door and yell at you. The grammar police may have a little tantrum in the corner. A reader or three might ask for refunds. (No one has asked for a refund of anything yet). But not following your dream can have a huge impact on your life.

No one can stop you from trying. Let’s see what happens when they see us coming.

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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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Complications Over Coffee

Corey has gone live.(Click those words if you are as excited as me, it’ll take you to the buy page on Smashwords).

It feels a bit anti-climactic for me, after having spent several months with him. I’m a little sad to let him go, I loved writing this book. Twice. I wrote his story, started editing, and then had a better idea.

You can grab the book  on Smashwords. Amazon takes a few days but I’ll post the link when it comes.

The short description:

Nicole received the news seven months ago: men are cheating scum. Corey has lived apart from others until he met Mandy Green, who has taken his confession for a family to heart. While Nicole struggles to finalize her divorce, find a job. Corey struggles with a hold on bachelor hood and his temper. Will Nicole and Corey keep their lives untangled? Or will they let their lives get complicated?

The long one is on Smashwords and Amazon.

I hope you all love Corey as much as I do.

Stay tuned I have ways for you to obtain a free copy (limited promotion probably the first weeks of March, 2011). 🙂 Or a free copy of a short story of after Complications.

 

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The Plan

Here is my current plan: (Okay writer’s usually have more ideas than they can ever write and I wake up at least once a week with a new idea and I scrawl it down somewhere and never write it, but anyway I have a few projects going on).

1) A few short stories to write. Often my ideas never get written because I have this idea that I’m supposed to write novels. I think I’ll start writing this stuff into short stories, which I’ll collect and publish as a collection.

2) Edit Baggage (aka Corey’s story).

3) Make a cover for Baggage. A cover takes a few days for me to settle on. And then I change it a few weeks later.

4) Start new hockey novel.

I have 2 more left to write. When I started this I first plotted out Summer Fling (my plotting wasn’t much like the final story but it was plotted first).

Then the high school sweetheart thing got into my head (and goalies. I love goalies). My original plan was for Mandy to have had a crush on Kip in  high school but he never gave her the time of day, but then Kip took over and feel for her.

So, then in Second Chance, we met Corey and everyone wants to read Corey’s story. So I wrote that one. Except, the one I wrote wasn’t the right one, but it had a great heroine so she’s going to show up in the one after Corey.

I planned Doug’s story before I even started Summer Fling, but after getting to know his character, it solidified. So Mackenzie Black gets her day and then Doug get his. And then I’m not writing ANYMORE hockey. For a while.

Maybe I’ll write with an MMA star. Okay that is just my crush on Georges St-Pierre talking. We watched the last season of The Ultimate Fighter and I just love his accent.

I do have a fun plan for after the hockey stuff is done. I’d probably like writing hockey more if the real Flames were doing better. The year I started SCR they nearly won The Cup.

So, I have lots coming. After we get over this round of colds. Sick 9 month olds are a pain.

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