Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Fun Fun Fun

I'm making headway on Sleeping Ugly and I WILL have it ready for my editor on Friday.  Might be Friday night, but it will be FRIDAY.

Not sure what the mental hold up is this time.  It's a great story and it's loads of fun.  This one doesn't have anything that would make me hesitate to publish it.  It's just fluffy and enjoyable.  But I am dragging my feet.  :shrug:   Eh, you know me.  I'll work like a madman for the next three days and get it in under the wire.

Next week, I had planned to start the next book.  Then last night, I figured out how to wrap this up so that it doesn't NEED a next story.  I mean, I could still write more stories in this world if I wanted to, but without a need, I don't have the pressure of getting a book done this summer so it'll be publishable by this November, and then writing a third book so it'll be out in February.

Gah, just thinking about a schedule like that makes me want to hurl.

All I have to do is write a new end by Friday.  :panics: 

Actually, the first thing I need to do is remember the new end I thought of while falling asleep last night.  That's more doable to me than writing two more books and having them ready to publish by early 2019.

Fun fun fun.

Anyway, that will probably mean the November book will, once again, be Unequal.  Yay. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Marketing Results

I know the sale isn't over yet.  You can still get Wish in One Hand for only 99c/.99p through midnight Pacific time (or Grenwich time for the UK) tonight.  But the initial results for the ENT ad are pretty much in, so I thought I'd share.

A $40 ad for Paranormal/Romance (the best category they had for WIOH) netted me 68 copies sold for WIOH, 4 copies sold of In Deep Wish and Up Wish Creek, and 3 copies sold of Wish Hits the Fan.  Which means the ad paid for itself and put a little money in my pocket.

I'm pleased with the results, but it was nowhere near the results I got when I had ads go out for DE and AD back in 2015.  Not sure if it was the book or the fact that selling books is harder now or whether the readership of ENT leans more toward mystery/suspense than toward paranormal.  Hell, for all I know, an ad on the Thursday before Memorial Day wasn't the best plan.  (They picked the day.  I would've preferred Monday - DE's ad was on Memorial Day - but it wasn't in the cards.)  So much of this marketing thing is guesswork and crossing your fingers. 

Oh, I also got last minute acceptance for an ad with Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Books (PUFB) for yesterday and today ($8 for two days).  Yesterday's newsletter didn't go out until late afternoon, but I saw 4 sales there already.  I hope today's newsletter isn't quite so late so people have time to read it and buy the book before the price goes up tonight.  But it's out of my control.

Let's hope for residual sales, both in page reads and in people reading WIOH then deciding to buy the rest of the series.  :fingers crossed:

Anyway, if you're on the fence about advertising, jump in the pool.  The water's only cold when you first submerge. 

(Administrative Note:  Blogger has decided to stop emailing me comments to approve, so now I have to come back here and refresh my panel to check for new comments.  I learned this early this morning because I had two unapproved comments waiting here this morning that had been posted yesterday.  If you comment and don't see it immediately, don't worry.  It's probably there and I'll get to approving it when I can.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sale Day Pimpage Post

Wish in One Hand is on sale for only 99c now through the 28th.  (Or for .99p in the UK.)  The rest of the series is still $2.99 each, but what a deal when you can get 4 books for under $10.

The big ad for WIOH goes out with ENT tomorrow.  Cross your fingers for me. 

I love those covers so much.  

By the way, the above image is also a postcard.  If you want one, let me know in the comments and I'll drop you my email address so you can send me your snail mail addy.  (Which I don't save unless I know you well enough we've been sending Christmas cards or something.  You know who you are.)

Here's the Once Upon a Djinn series in a nice list for you to click upon:

Wish in One Hand - Book 1
In Deep Wish - Book 2
Up Wish Creek - Book 3
Wish Hits the Fan - Book 4

If you've already read them and have yet to leave a review, I'd really appreciate it.  Nothing fancy unless the mood strikes you, but every review helps.  Thanks bunches.

Feel free to spread the word.  Or not, as the mood strikes you.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Author Dreams

The other night I had one of those dreams that's so realistic when you wake up, you're not sure if it's true.  I dreamed that when I woke up and did my usual 'look at my Author Page to see if I picked up any new reviews', someone had one-starred all my books.  Which is kind of tragic when the book in question only has one or two reviews.  In the dream, I didn't go look at the reviews, but for some reason I had it my head that they weren't real reviews.  More like they were left there by someone being spiteful.  And I remember thinking that I would have to contact Amazon about that.  Then I woke up.

And I did what I always do after the major events of the morning are taken care of, I checked my Author Page to see if anyone had left any new reviews.  Nope.  Whew.

But it could happen.  Which is probably why dreams like that leave me in a cold sweat. 

I like the dream where I wake up and check my sales and there's a sudden spike better. Although that dream usually leaves me feeling down when I see reality.  The good dream probably made the bad dream easier to dismiss, though. 

These dreams are more frequent than I'd like.  I'm sure other authors have similar ones.  So much of this publishing thing (self or otherwise) is out of our hands once we get the book out there in the world.  You write a good book that is generally well received and one person comes along with a twist in their undies, and one-stars it.  You see sudden sales when you haven't really done anything and you have no reason you can point to for the spike, so you can't replicate it for more sales. 

And maybe that what the dream is all about - feeling out of control.  :shrug:    It's been a running theme in my dreams for longer than I can remember. 

What do you think?  Do you have similar dreams?

Friday, May 18, 2018


Big news... I finished the first round of edits last night.  Okay, so maybe not that big of news, but it's big to me.  I finished it, then emailed the manuscript to my Kindle so I can start round two today.  Round two will be more intensive and nitpicky.  Round one was basically devoted to fixing some gaping plot holes.

Right now, Sleeping Ugly is weighing in at 53K.  I should add at least 10K during the editing, so it'll be about the same size as several of my other books.

June will be devoted to writing the first draft of the next book.  Sort of a NaNoWriMo in June.  Still not sure what trouble Ms. Jeni Braxxon is going to get into there, but I'll figure it out along the way.

July will be more editing for SU and for book 2.  August is still slated for release month, but I'll be working on SU#2, as well, so maybe I can start the editorial process with that one in September for a November release.  :fingers crossed:  And somewhere in there, I need to do SU#3. 

Which would push Unequal into sometime in 2019.


As long as nothing jumps up to slap me in the face, this should be doable.  I might be a total basketcase by the time I'm done, but we'll deal with that when the time comes.

In other news, I'm having a sale on Wish in One Hand starting next week.  It'll be 99c/.99p from the 22nd through the 29th.  The other three books aren't going on sale, but they're only $2.99 each, so not a bank-breaker.  You can get the whole series of four books for under $10.  Feel free to spread the word.

That's it for me.  Any questions?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Important Things to Remember When Marketing

Surfing the wild FB waves as I am wont to do first thing in the morning, I run across so many things that make me cringe... and I'm not just talking the news :ba dump bump:.  So I decided to make a little checklist of things that are important to remember when marketing...

1)  Proofread everything.  You do not want to post a misspelling or a typo in your marketing materials.  Seriously.  It just makes you look bad.  Because you write stuff FOR A LIVING.  Duh.  (A typo or whatever might be more forgivable in a blog post or a status update, but not that much more.)

2)  Check that your book, which sells for 99c, is not shown as selling for $99.  Decimals are important.  No one is going to click your link to see if you missed one.  They'll just laugh at your hubris and move on.

3)  Make sure that when you post a link to your book, it's a link to YOUR BOOK.  Not a link to the search you did to find your book.  Not a link to a page where, if someone scrolls down, they'll find your book.  A direct link. 

3a)  For godsakes, don't use a tiny URL thingie.  Just post the damn link.  Personally, I don't click links unless I can see where they go to.  I've been burned before.  (That which has been seen cannot be unseen.  Argh.)  And make the link clickable, if at all possible.

4)  If English is not your first language, get someone who is an English speaker to proofread your marketing materials.  If you make it hard for English speakers to read your marketing materials, it doesn't bode well for us to be able to enjoy your book.

I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones that smacked me in the face this morning.  Got any to add?

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Making of a Cover

When I was thinking about redoing the cover of Blink of an I (which wasn't an easy thing to decide, having put so much effort into the original cover and all), I began by trying to find a cover image that sparked me.  I scanned through hundreds of photos and what I finally decided to do was use a woman's face.  I downloaded about a dozen.  Tried some different things and finally settled on this one:
But it wasn't quite right, so I flipped it and cropped it and played with the brightness/contrast until I had this:
Added text and tweaked the image some more to get this:
but it still wasn't right.  It looked too 'women's fiction'.  I needed something more.  So I started playing with the image using the 'effects' available in my photo manipulation program.  I hit on an effect called Bas Relief and used a background color as close to indigo as I could.  (If you're read the book, you know why I went with indigo.)  And I came up with this:
Cool, but still not quite right, so I found a stairwell...
...did the bas relief thing to it, too, and then added it into the other image.  And voila!

Anyway, that's how it's done over here in 'self-published author making her own covers' land.  It takes time and patience, but on the upside, it doesn't cost me any money.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

And Therein Lies the Rub

I finished reading through Sleeping Ugly last night.  And I hate myself a little.  It ends.  But it doesn't end.  It needs sequels!

Like Wish in One Hand, I never intended for Sleeping Ugly to be a series starter.  And like WIOH, it appears that it's going to be a series whether I am prepared for it to be one or not.

And I am so not prepared for this to be a series.  I don't have clue one about what might happen in the next book.  I have zilch for ideas on a series title.  Or other book titles to go along with 'Sleeping Ugly'.  Nada.  Zip.  Gah.

So, here I've written this awesome book that's so fun and fast and interesting even I had a tough time ripping myself away from the story to make edit notes, a book that's due out in August, and I have no sequels lined up behind it. 

The question now is: Do I stay on schedule and publish this in August knowing any sequels might not be quick in coming OR do I set this aside to write other books in the series so I can release them in sequence while I have my editor do Unequal for an August release?


Monday, May 7, 2018

Kerfluffle, Silly Person, and Other Bits

I don't know if all y'all have heard about the kerfluffle involving a misguided chick who trademarked a word and then sent out a bunch of 'cease and desist' letters to romance authors who had that word in their titles.  I don't know the legality of any of it, but it seems kind of silly.  One of the silliest statements I've seen from her is that those authors who are using her word can just change their titles, it only takes 24 hours.  Umm, it might only take 24 hours to do a title change on an Amazon ebook, but, having just changed the title of one of my books to better market it, the ramifications going along with a title change are numerous and far-reaching. 

Cut it out, silly person.  It's a freakin' word.  And shame on the government agency who allowed an unheard of author to trademark a common word.  (Albeit stylized in a font, it's still a common word and the font isn't that unusual.)  Like anyone would mistake anybody's books for one of hers.  Derp.  I mean, I could see if she was famous and someone was using her stylized word to make money off her fame.  (Like in the movie Coming to America when the guy had a restaurant called McDonnells with its golden arcs instead of golden arches, and the Big Mic instead of a Big Mac.  ROFL)

Anyway, if you're reading this and have received a C&D letter from this silly person, contact a lawyer and I've heard the RWA is doing something, so contact them, too. 

In other news, I submitted WIOH to Ereader News Today for an ad.  We'll see what happens.  If I get an ad, I'll create a sale on my Once Upon a Djinn books around the ad date they give me.  Last time I did an ad with them, the sales were awesome, so fingers crossed.  I should know in a week whether I've been accepted or rejected. 

My free thing For Dying Embers has accomplished at least one thing - more people are finding and reading Fertile Ground.  I mean, it's not a stampede or anything, but it's nice to see people reading that book.  (ala Kindle Unlimited, of course.  Without KU, I still wouldn't be seeing much in the way of readership.)

Okay, that's it for me today.  What's up with you?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

It's Not Due Yet

I don't know what it is about looming deadlines that make me suddenly filled with a world of gumption.  Or how the lack of them makes me drag my feet.  Hubs is the same way.  Give that man a deadline and he will meet it, but usually with a frenzy of activity at the end.  It's such a part of us that it's a running joke here at Sanderson Acres now.  "It's not due yet." is an echoing theme hereabouts.

And it's not just us.

The world is filled with people who wait until the night before to do their homework, cram for a test, pay their bills, shop for presents, clean for guests...  Hell, look at the number of people who don't send their taxes in until April 15th.  I've seen news reports of the post office (back when people had to mail paper copies) being totally inundated the night of April 15th, with lines of cars and people all trying to get their taxes dated stamped so they don't get a penalty for being late.

Maybe it's something in our genetic makeup.  Maybe our ancestors waited until the last minute because if they did things sooner, there was a chance some terrible tragedy would wipe out their plans anyway.  I bet the inventor of the wheel waited until the night before it was due.

I will get Sleeping Ugly to my editor on June 1st.  I may be editing furiously the last week of May, but it will be to her on time.  Right now?  I can't seem to muster the gumption to work on it.  Or anything else for that matter.  It's not due yet.  ;o)

What about you?