Royalties & Kodak Moments

Some people say you can officially call yourself an author when you first put words down on paper.  Others say it’s not official until you actually get published.  And still others insist it’s not something you are allowed to officially announce until you earn money from it.  Well, all I can say is…

It’s official!  On ALL counts.  Woo hoo!  Got my first royalty statement today from Crimson Romance!  I is a real writer!

I’m not saying I can afford to retire now or anything, and I won’t be buying myself a new car unless it’s of the Tonka variety, but still–it’s pretty dang exciting.  My first book, Coming Home, has earned me my first royalties.

ComingHomeCover

I will probably frame the royalty statement and hang it on my wall.  Where’s my camera?  I need to get my hubby to take a picture of me holding the royalty statement up while I grin from ear to ear.  I CAN afford a picture frame, at least.  And perhaps even a celebratory pack of gum.

Now excuse me while I go change out of my pajamas for my photo shoot…

🙂

Write Some, Market Some, Repeat

I used to think that once I wrote a book, the hard part was done.  If you’re an author, you’re probably laughing as you read that sentence; I’ll give you a moment to recover…

Sure, writing is time-consuming, emotional, and fraught with perilous eyestrain–although at least papercuts are less of an issue these days, thanks to the modern age of computers–but as far as the whole publishing process goes, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Nowadays, of course, there’s all sorts of stuff you’re supposed to do with social media (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and maybe even eHarmony, I don’t know…), and that eats up a lot of time–especially if you get distracted by a certain Grumpy Cat (HE’S JUST SO CUTE!).  And in between bouts of social networking, writers are also supposed to be, you know, writing.

Plus if you’re venturing into self-publishing, there’s also the tiny matter of learning the technical aspects of the ebook business such as cover art design, proper formatting for manuscript submission to online distributors (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.), and determining pricing strategies that find a happy medium between pricing your book at “dirt cheap” and “who does that writer think she is, Kafka?”

Needless to say, I twitch a lot more now than I used to.

So I’m busy, busy, busy, but at least it’s a good kind of busy.  I’ve formatted the 1st of my Heavenly Bites novellas for Amazon and Barnes & Noble (hopefully correctly–release day will be a nail-biter), am nearly done with the 2nd novella, and am chomping at the bit to get to novella #3.  I’ve contacted 139 bloggers and/or reviewers, which I feel pretty good about until I remember advice in a self-publishing guide that advocates contacting 500; then I just sort of wheeze and fall over.

I’ve gotten a couple of reviews back on novella #1, Pastels and Jingle Bells; they liked it! Yippee!  Here’s hoping that trend continues.  If you’d like to check out these advance reviews, you can click on these links to read them at Goodreads and at Romance Reviews Magazine.

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Okay, off to work on that happy ending for novella #2…

Cover Art: A Matched Set

I am now the proud owner of TWO book covers thanks to Elaina Lee at For The Muse Design.  Woo hoo!

It’s amazing all the little things that go into cover art that can stress you out.  Fonts, for example.  Do you have any idea how stressful title fonts can be?  And that’s just narrowing down the style–don’t get me started on choosing the size

But now I have these two covers for the first two novellas in my Heavenly Bites series, and I like them.  I like them a lot.  We are going to live happily ever after, these covers and I.

Well, I hope.

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So?  What do you think?

Fantasy Vs. Reality (or, Inside A Writer’s Head)

Sometimes the inside of a writer’s head is a scary place.  Well, mildly disturbing at least.  And that’s not just because there may be several characters living in her head at once which may result in repeating dialogue aloud or even laughing out of the blue at an idea for  scene–both of which can lead to very funny looks from people nearby.

There’s also a phenomenon that occurs with writers–at least it does with me–in which said writer pounds out a thousand words or so with great delight at the result only to go back and reread them the next day and wonder if perhaps she was under the influence of medication at the time she wrote them.  That happens with me a lot.  The doubts, I mean, not the medication…

Do you know what I mean?

It’s like creating a beautiful landscape in your backyard, and when you plan it out in your head it looks like this:

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And yet somehow the reality turns out more like this:

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Sigh.  Ah, well.  That’s what editing is for, right?  Here’s hoping the writing goes better than the gardening!  🙂

Cover Reveal

Ta da!  Here’s the book cover for the first of my three Heavenly Bites Novellas, Pastels and Jingle Bells:

PastelsandJingleBells 200x300

And of course the official book blurb is now under the “Books” section of my website, along with the blurbs for the other two novellas.

Pastels and Jingle Bells is also up on Goodreads now, see?  Check out this link here, and please do consider adding it to your to-be-read list!  🙂

Sneak Peek

Happy Labor Day!  Hope you spend it doing something you enjoy.  Me, I’ll be writing today, which is something I enjoy, so that works out well…

I just put the official book blurbs up on my website for my upcoming Heavenly Bites holiday novellas (and they’re called Heavenly Bites because that’s the name of the bakery in them, not because they’ve got vampires or anything), and here they are:

***

Novella 1:  Pastels and Jingle Bells

Trish Ackerly never expected to cross paths with Ian Rafferty again, but when she spots the former bully of her childhood years through her bakery window, she thinks she may just have been given the best Christmas gift ever:  the opportunity to finally give Ian the comeuppance he deserves.

But clearly she does not have a knack for this whole revenge thing, because before she can make good on her plans, Trish gets inadvertently drawn into Ian’s life in an unexpected way that lets her see just how different the man is from the boy he used to be.  In fact, much to her astonishment, she actually starts to like the guy.

A lot.

Trouble is, Ian doesn’t know who she really is, and explaining it to him is going to be a little difficult now—which is bad news, because Trish is starting to realize that all she really wants for Christmas this year…is Ian.

 

Novella 2:  Love Lessons

Self-assured Nadia Normandy knows everything there is to know about men and dating, which seems to be why little old Mrs. Beasley maneuvers her into taking unsuspecting and bookish accountant Benji Garner under her wing.  Her mission?  Shape him up for the opposite sex, preferably in time for New Year’s Eve.

A challenge?  Sure, but Nadia discovers that Benji’s got a charm all his own, and she finds herself avoiding her usual social scene in favor of time spent with him—all in the name of mentoring him, of course.

Except that after a while, it starts to feel less like mentoring and more like something else—which could present a problem, because just as Nadia begins to realize she didn’t know quite as much about men as she thought, other women are starting to notice her unlikely protégé.

Much like Nadia is beginning to notice him in a whole new way herself…

 

Novella 3:  Playing Cupid

Much as she loves her meddling matchmaker of a grandmother, free-spirited Aimee Beasley is tired of dodging the dull and downright tiresome dates the older woman keeps trying to arrange for her.  So when she notices her beloved Gran preening in the presence of a distinguished elderly gentleman who’s been visiting their apartment building, Aimee is delighted at the prospect of turning the tables on her.

But her plans to match her grandmother up with the gentleman in time for Valentine’s Day hit a snag when Aimee realizes he’s the uncle of their downstairs neighbor, a stodgy thirty-something history professor named Doyle with whom she butts heads on a regular basis.  She’ll need to find a way to make nice and enlist his help, or her plan to see her long-widowed Gran happily matched again will never work.

For Gran’s sake, she’s determined to find a way.  In the process, she starts to realize that her cranky downstairs neighbor has a softer side she never suspected existed.

And when it comes to romantic heroes, history professors may not have gotten a fair shake…

 
So…what do you think?