Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Week, Another Winner

Congratulations to Allison Condon this week's winner of an ebook of her choice! Don't forget the contest continues thru March 19th. Recommend Patriot Secrets! Recommend Novel Works! Both will enter you in my latest contest! Check out how the rules and the prizes here on my blog and in discussions here on Novel Works.

Good luck!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Sun's Out!

Congratulations to Lyndsay Paparo who was this week's winner of an ebook. Love the way its so easy to give away books on Amazon. Don't forget the contest continues until March 19th. Easy to enter and win. Recommend, recommend, recommend. Recommend my book, comment about it, or recommend my Fan Page! Just let me know. The rules are on my previous post last week and also under discussions on Novel Works.

Oh, the sun's out! I went for a walk a couple of times around the neighborhood this last week. A taste of spring, but only a small taste because it turned so bitter cold again last night! It felt good to get out again. This winter's been so, so long.

Been trying to get into writing my new book I've had in my head. It's not coming out on paper the way it is in my head. I hate that. I love it when it flows. This one is definitely a rough draft, but if I could work out the kinks it could be one of my best. I'm still waiting to hear back on my other submissions. Should hear soon on Another Night Falls. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

To be honest, I'm not even sure that my other submission, my fantasy, got to its destination. I have never sent a whole manuscript before through the mail. So I wait at least for another month before I do anything else with that one. Really when I read the submissions guidelines, I wrote the book angled for this particular publisher. I've never done that before. So we'll see.

Excited about the NECRWA Conference that's coming up. Just have to sign up. Will by the end of the week. Already sharing a room with a friend I met last year. She's so much more organized than I am. The whole of the conference looks great. This year I'm going in better prepared. I recognize so many more authors. Last year I went in blind, but had a great time.

I'm having the biggest issues with my fanpage on Facebook. Facebook's support system stinks to put it mindly. I think they want you to advertise because now I can't suggest my page to anyone. I did as they suggested and asked friends to post it on their pages. I even included asking for people to recommend it in my contest. Not only have I not gained a like, I've lost one. So I don't think its working. Shame because I've really enjoyed my fanpage. Now I'm not even sure if it's going out to my fans at all. So if anyone's wondering why I haven't been featuring authors its because the ones I did in January I'm not sure if it went out to everyone. I have two Facebook pages and I never saw the postings on my second page. So I wonder what's going on. Hate to put so much time and effort into it with no results for my efforts.

Ah, but all is not lost. The sun is out and without a doubt warmth is soon to follow!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Ebook Writer's Prayer

      There should be some sort of method to my madness. Shouldn't there? I read online how to sell ebooks. I try things. Some things work and some things don't. Obviously this contest thing here isn't at the moment. I had this strange idea that if only I could reach more people; if only its out there surely people would read it; if only.... There is a reason I want to sell more books and it's not to retire or quit my job (although now that I'm thinking about that doesn't sound half bad.) No, I've been told on good authority that its not real unless its in print. The good authority- my family.
      It's seems my family read only hardback books. Honestly, if I hear that one more time when it comes out in print I'll read it..really, my brothers, my sister, my mother, my in-laws... these are the people I'm talking about here!
      Now, I need your feedback. Should I get my feelings hurt that no one in my family has read my book? (This is not counting my children and husband. They did. I know. It's on all their computers.) Why its only been four months! The total of my family that has bought my book, but haven't read it -3.  And that's including both sides of my family. I wouldn't feel so bad but it came out around the time of my 50th birthday and it was all I asked them to do. Don't buy a card, nothing, just buy my book- it's all of $5.95. Was that too forward?
       I know I shouldn't complain about my family. I did have the most wonderful birthday. My husband went all out. But back to my frustration-
       Not only has my mother not read it, I wasn't expecting her to buy it. I offered it to her. Really I would give anyone of my family my book. I just want them to read it.  My mother doesn't have a computer. My sister who did buy it but hasn't read it printed it out for Mom. When I was home, I wanted Mom to read it and give me a review for it. She reads all the time. She loves Mary Balogh, Catherine Coulter, etc... It's all she does most days. I even buy her those books for Christmas and birthday. God bless her. She's 75 years old and doesn't understand a thing about ebooks or computers. You know what she tells me everytime I've talked to her about my book. She says "Jaye (that's what my family calls me) Jaye, I have gone to three different book stores. Barnes and Nobles doesn't even have it. I checked back in with them this week."
      Now can you understand my frustration. Yes, I want to bang my head up against a brick wall. I know, I know, my next book with my new publisher will be in print, but I haven't even started edits and won't for a couple of months. But hopefully then I will be able to hand her a copy, but for now the only way to get Patriot Secrets in print is to sell more books. So I pray!
      Lord help me, please! I pray I don't need a national best seller. I can live with the fact and accept it even though I will continue to strive to do so. Just please help my mother to understand that my books are real and the best review I could ever get would be from her telling me it's the best book she ever read.    

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day to St. Patrick's Day Event!

CONTEST TIME!  Starting Valentine's Day through St. Patrick's Day!


I haven't done a contest for a while. Decided its time. Now holding a contest can be simple. Decided this time for me it won't be. For those to enter it will be. There is a couple of things I need and you guys are just the ones to help me. And in turn I have prizes!

I'm going to admit I'm not a sales person. I write and by profession I work in a laboratory. A real lab, not the ones on TV. My dad wanted me to be a doctor. Instead, I became a Medical Technologist. The point, neither profession has a thing to do with being able to make a sale. And on Novel Works, I don't have an issue asking for someone to look and buy another's book. My own I have a problem asking people to buy it. Humble, perhaps, but humble doesn't sale.


Does writing a good book automatically make it a best seller? Not by a long shot. Does a good review guarantee a sale? No. Advertising is key. And when you're on a strict budget, I'm afraid it doesn't go far. When you publish with a small publisher, you don't have the backing of publicizing your book. It's up to me.

So this is why I'm turning to you. I need your help in talking up Patriot Secrets! I have faith in my book. I just need more people to read it.

The contest: there will be a couple of ways to enter.

1)  First recommend Patriot Secrets to a friend! All you have to do is tell me, email me, leave me a comment either on Novel Works, Facebook, or here. I'll believe you.

2)  If you have already read Patriot Secrets leave me a comment, a simple review of the book. Again it, the comment can be here, Novel Works, Facebook or email me.

3)  If your friend reads Patriot Secrets, have them leave me a comment. I'll enter them in the contest. Same way to enter. Also if you leave a comment on the buyers sight about Patriot Secrets I'll enter you in also, just let me know. I love feedback!

4)  Now, this is a little different. Having issues with Facebook and inviting people to like my Fanpage. Facebook recommended that I have friends post it on their Facebook Page and see if I can get fans that way. So if you post recommending Novel Works, you're entered, just let me know.

Remember on Novel Works I offer free promotions for anyone with a new release and also when I highlight authors- all is free. So the more fans I have, the more people I can reach.

So what do you get?

1) At the end of each week- I will give a way a copy of an ebook (value no more than $6) from Amazon-hopefully either Patriot Secrets or Dream Walker. But it will be your choice.
Days of book give away- February 19-February 26-March 5-March 12, March 19

2) At the end of the contest (March 19) one name will be drawn for a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com.

3) If at the end of the first quarter, if I have sold enough books to have Patriot Secrets go into print, I will give away a Nook, a Kindle, or a $150 gift certificate to either Amazon.com or Barnes and Nobles!

Sidenote- hopefully I would know in April whether total number of sales have been enough to put Patriot Secrets into print, but with my publisher sometimes that's not the case. It may be later, but I will hold to if the numbers were there at the end of March, 2011, I will give away the Kindle, Nook or $150 gift certificate to those that were entered into the contest.


Make sure if you leave a comment, I can get back in touch with you if you win a prize. Second, you can win a book and the $25 gift certificate, but once you've won a book for the week, you won't be able to win another book. But everyone's in for the Grand Prize if Patriot Secrets goes into print.
Places to buy my book

Wild Child Publishing

Amazon.com

AllRomanceBooks

BookStrand

Patriot Secrets at some point will be at Fictionwise and Barnes and Noble Nook. When it comes up at those venues, I will let you know!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Dog Named Dog

My Dog Named Dog 

When I was seventeen, I got my first dog of my own. Mind you, I grew up on a farm with a million animals. The dogs I grew up with were my dad’s, well-trained and disciplined. All my dad had to do was to whistle an order and immediately his dogs would obey. My dad had a way with animals, but I wasn’t allowed to have a dog of my own. Although surrounding our land from time to time dogs were dumped. I got Dog from an old mutt of a poor dog with three legs that someone had left out in the middle of nowhere (because that’s where our farm was). She had a litter of two puppies. I found them when I had gone for a walk. I couldn’t tell anyone what I had found because stray dogs caused problems around the farm, but I would sneak out at all hours to ensure they were fine.

The old dog was smart. She had chosen one of the abandoned run down houses that my grandfather had used to let hired hands live in when they worked for him. The whole of the dwelling had crumbled and overgrown with vines and weeds, perfect shelter for an animal though. As the puppies grew, I became scared something would happen to the one I claimed. So to the horror of my sister, I began to sneak in Dog into bed with me every night and return him in the morning to his Momma. He was adorable, but it didn’t stop my sister on tattling on me. I guess my little stunt softened my dad and he let me keep him except I couldn’t keep him in my room. So I had my Dog.

I loved that dog, still do. He followed me around everywhere, step for step. I named him after John Wayne’s dog in Big Jake. I’m giving away my age, but I loved John Wayne. And if his dog was named Dog, it was just fine with me. Dog was a spotted mutt. It wasn’t long before Dad kept on me to train Dog properly. I was too soft on him, ruining him with my technique. Okay, all Dog had to do was give me those puppy dog eyes and I let him do what he wanted. Then came a time when a boy rode his bike by the house and Dog nipped the kid for doing nothing but riding by at the wrong time. I couldn’t stop Dog no matter how many times I yelled at him to stop. For some reason, Dog thought he was protecting me, but instead he showed my Dad he was right. I hadn’t trained him properly. (Don’t worry the boy was fine. Tiny nip at best.)

I say this because I told myself I knew what I was doing. How hard could it be to have a dog? But as most things in life, things are never what they seem. Hard work has never bothered me. I know I’m obstinate and stubborn. I have always believed that those skills help me to achieve the goals I have sought over my life, but now I feel like I did when I was seventeen with my dad telling me he told me so.

Writing has always been a dream of mine. I know how that sounds. I watch American Idol and every contestant gives the same line. So I’m like those poor souls. But even given my age, I’m naïve. I learned how to write on my own. I read and read books in the genre I wanted to write. I took every criticism to heart. My first attempts…well, I don’t talk too much about them. The bottom line is that I spent ten years learning to do what I love to do. Granted some people are born to write. I wasn’t one of them. I had to be taught to put down the stories in my head on paper. It’s a lot harder than it looks, but I’m at a point now where I feel good about my writing.

I’m so excited to have signed The Sun Will Rise with Whiskey Creek Press. I’m also happy to have had Dream Walker and Patriot Secrets published. My problem now isn’t writing, but how to publicize my works. Being naïve I thought once it was published I would let nature take its course (so to speak). Writing the book is only the beginning. Why I had the hardest time getting a review for Patriot Secrets! With Dream Walker, Wild Child Publishing got my review. I never requested one. But with Patriot Secrets I was left on my own. Getting a review isn’t like submitting a manuscript where you can get feedback on your submission. And you aren’t supposed to ask why you didn't get a review.

Now with Patriot Secrets I did face a couple of issues. First Patriot Secrets is a historical fiction book. It’s not a straight romance, although there is romance in it. It’s called story driven with romantic elements. Getting a romance reviewed is easier than a historical fiction. Although I’m admitting now, I haven’t the foggiest idea what I’m doing asking for a review. The historical fiction sites I found wanted a book in print, refusing to look at an ebook. Then the sites I found that said they reviewed ebook historical fiction never returned my requests. So I turned to Romance reviews and got a couple of romance reviews. Honestly I was thrilled with the reviews from Coffee Time Romance and Icy Snow Musings Book Review. And I do realize that a true romance holds to a formula that I didn’t follow with Patriot Secrets. It doesn’t mean it’s not a good book. It just means it’s not a true romance. And I just want to add the reviews from readers have been great!

When I was writing Patriot Secrets, I was thinking John Jakes. I love the way he integrated history into a story line. He followed a family and definitely didn’t follow the romance formula. So I think that’s how I would compare Patriot Secrets I would say if you enjoy John Jakes and books on that line, I would hope you would enjoy Patriot Secrets.

Now with my new book, The Sun Will Rise, totally a different story- romantic suspense! Followed with Another Night Falls which follows the romance formula to the t.

But the reason for this blog- trying to get Patriot Secrets reviewed I went to one of the sites that allow you to submit your manuscript for review and it goes out to ten review sites at one time. Out of those ten only one took Patriot Secrets – an erotica review site! Now here I was praying someone would review my book and then to discover the only one that took it from this group is a site you have to click onto saying you’re over 18 before you can get in it. This isn’t a good sign for me considering I don’t write erotica! Never advertised it as an erotica!

Now I ask you should I be disappointed for not getting a good review at this site. They said I had one bland love scene (sex scene- it was one sex scene). There were plenty of love scenes. Fell right down their scale. Let me think what they said…too many characters…knew the history, but they seemed to me to be saying that it interfered with the story… My husband read it last night and laughed! Laughed! I wish I could take it so lightly, but I guess it is all I can do. I don’t think, though, you will be seeing me post it here for everyone to see.

So back to my dog named Dog. He never bit anyone after that incident. Dad saw to that. Good dog. He never changed being extremely protective of me. I learned I might not be the best dog trainer, but it didn’t stop my enjoyment of my pet. Nor is one not so good review going to stop me from what I enjoy-writing. Not everyone is everything.

So it goes with writing. I can’t be everything. I do need help and guidance sometimes on making the right moves. Getting a review from an erotica site when my book isn’t erotica wasn’t a good move. As it was when I was learning to write, I will make mistakes. How I wish it was so simple as to write a good book and all would fall into place. It's funny. Someone at work today asked me was I making any money off my books. It was like you have a couple of books published, why are you working! Boy, I wish it was that simple, but as all things I've faced in life nothing is as simple as it seems.

The bottom line, I loved Dog and hold only the fondest memories of him. I love writing and am proud of what I write. So lesson learned.