The Times They Are A-Changin’…

You may have noticed a few changes on my website recently–unless of course you’ve never visited my site before, in which case you’re just going to have to take my word for it.  You can trust me, though.  I’ve got an honest face.

New header, new photo, new email subscription list for new releases and other special updates, AND other plans in the works.  Thanks to those “other plans,” I’ve got two bits of news to pass along:

1)  Pastels and Jingle Bells is now free on a number of ebook retailer sites; it’s in transition right now.  I’m really proud of that novella and of the reviews it’s gotten, and I’m hoping to share it with lots of new readers.  If all goes well, its sequel Love Lessons may be free as part of a special offer involving my email subscription list.  Fingers crossed that I get the technical side of it all worked out…

2)  My Heavenly Bites novella series and All’s Fair in Love and Weddings are now available on pretty much all the major ebook retailer sites.  Yay!  Click on the following links to see them on those sites.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

iTunes

Kobo

Scribd

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Plus I’m also working on a new manuscript, so… busy, busy, busy!

And So Ends The Summer…

Summer is winding down to a close now, and with it, the prep for the release of my most recent work-in-progress, All’s Fair in Love and Weddings.  Whew!  It’s been a busy couple of months…

But it was all worth it, because my book is just undergoing a final polish for things like typos and accidental gender switches (pronouns, not the characters) and is now officially…[drumroll]…available for pre-order on Amazon!  Woo hoo!

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The formal release date is September 30th, and if you would like to check it out for yourself, click on the Amazon link here.

Now please excuse me while I get back to relentlessly hunting for typos…

Guess What Finally Arrived In The Mail! (or…The Squealing Could Be Heard For Miles)

Look what finally shipped from Amazon and arrived on my doorstep today!

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Words cannot express what it felt like to thumb through a paperback for a story I had written–surreal, maybe.  Thrilling isn’t a bad choice either.  I’m probably going to walk around holding a copy close to me for the next several days and then whip it out to show people whenever a chance presents itself:

“I’d like paper instead of plastic today, and–oh, look! See my book?”

“Fill ‘er up with regular please, and while we’re waiting for the tank to fill, take a look at this book I wrote!”

“Yeah, sorry, doctor.  I don’t really have an abnormal growth to show you today, I just wanted you to see THIS!”  [holds book up]

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go do a happy dance…

Christmas In…?

So I finished my Christmas novella, Pastels & Jingle Bells.  And I’ve been working on a New Year’s novella, too, plus learning about self-publishing options on Amazon, and while I’m working details out little by little, one very important question remains:

When are you actually supposed to release holiday stories to readers?

I mean, I initially just had a vague idea that I’d publish my Christmas novella around Christmas time, because even I can connect those dots pretty well.  Unfortunately, “around Christmas time” isn’t all that specific, and now I’m trying to determine the actual point in time that would be best.  It’s not like I can really go by what I see department stores doing, because they start marketing Christmas stuff in, oh, maybe March.  A blogger I know (Kim at Read Your Writes Book Reviews) recently asked folks to weigh on when they start actually reading Christmas stories, but opinions varied.  I’m thinking sometime in November.

What do you think?

I Will Sleep With One Under My Pillow

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In other words…my first published book, Coming Home, is officially available in paperback now through Amazon.  Pardon me while I squeal with delight:

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Okay, you can uncover your ears now.  No, wait, I feel another one coming on–

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Now I’m done.  For the time being, anyway.

But my first book in paperback is a very exciting thing!  Now I have to practice my “author” signature for all the MILLIONS of people who will no doubt be clamoring for me to sign their personal copies.  Well, at least my mother will…  But I can feel a certain giddy madness coming on that may result in me leaving signed copies under random people’s windshields in supermarket parking lots.  Hey, you have your marketing strategies, I have mine.

For some reason the paperback version still isn’t correctly linked to the ebook version on Amazon–the course of modern technology never did run smooth–but hopefully that will be fixed before too much longer.  But if you’d like to see it with your own eyes, here’s the paperback link.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Sorry.

Do Reviews REALLY Matter? (Hint: The Answer Is NOT No…)

When you’re a relatively new and struggling author, reviews of your books are VERY important.  Well, maybe they’re important if you’re a wildly successful author, too, but I don’t have quite the same personal insight into that perspective as I do the former.  I’ll let you know if that changes anytime soon.

Bottom line is…reviews matter.  And I’m talking about reader reviews, too, not just reviews from professional book reviewers or organizations.

Reviews tell a writer that somebody was interested enough to pick up his or her book and actually read it, which feels incredibly wonderful!  Unless, of course, the reviews are unflattering, in which case I suppose it feels more like a kick to the gut–or maybe someplace a little lower if they’re especially harsh…

But the point is, somebody read the book!  Yay!  Writer’s existential crisis averted!

But there’s a lot more to reviews than I first realized, and maybe more than you realized, too.  Until recently, I had no idea that books on Amazon only became eligible to participate in the Kindle Daily Deals once they earned at least 10 reviews, and this is important to an author because Kindle Daily Deals are seen by tons of readers and represent an incredible opportunity to become known to the general public.  Eligible doesn’t mean a shoe-in, but it’s a start.

There’s more, though…

Rumor has it that there are other promotional opportunities on Amazon that an author can’t become eligible for until he or she earns a certain number of reviews, like the “If You Liked This Book You Might Like ______” or “Buy This Book With That Book” for a special discount price.  And once you reach 75 or 80 reviews, I think you win a car.  Or something.  The details are a little fuzzy right now…

But anyway, reviews definitely matter.  They don’t have to be lengthy reviews that analyze subtext and note similarities between the work in question and Anna Karenina or anything like that.  They just have to be honest.  And hopefully respectful, even if the reader didn’t particularly care for the book.

So please make a writer’s day and leave a review!  And if you want to compare his or her book to Anna Karenina, you go right ahead.

Second Book On Amazon :)

This morning I just happened to check Amazon.com to see if my second book, The Bargain, was listed on the site yet–and it was!  Happy day!  It is now officially available for preorder there, and, yes, I’ve already ordered one for myself because I get a special thrill out of clicking on that 1-click button even when I’m just shopping in general.  To click on my own book is like putting the cherry on top of the sundae, know what I mean?

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So, there it is.  Hee!  If you’d like to check it out for yourself, here’s the link.  Have  a lovely day!  🙂

Pretty Please With Sugar On Top

I just found out from my publisher today that books on Amazon can only become eligible for the Kindle Daily Deal promotions if they have at least 10 reviews, so I thought I’d fall to my knees and beg a favor of people out there who have read Coming Home and would be willing to post a review on Amazon.  (By the way, you’re looking positively gorgeous today…and have I mentioned that I just love what you’re doing with your hair?  Say the word, and I’ll be happy to lay on the compliments a little thicker because I can kiss up with the best of them…)

Coming Home has 8 reviews posted so far, so it just needs a couple more.  Reviews don’t have to be lengthy; just a couple of lines would work great.  Like “This book changed my life.  If everyone read it, we would finally see world peace.”  Or, you know, whatever you want to write.

Unless, of course, you hated the book.  In which case…

Never mind!  🙂

It’s Here!

 

ComingHomeCoverWell, it’s finally happened!  My very first book ever to be published has been, well, published.

It’s ready-to-buy now on Amazon and iTunes, and it should be ready any day now at the Barnes & Noble website, too.  I think I probably bought the first copy myself, and it was both weird and wonderful to read my own book on my Kindle.  I’m tingly all over!  Either I’m thrilled, or I’m coming down with something.

Now I have to sit back and bite my nails over whether or not any reviews get posted, and if they do, whether any–except maybe one from my mother (love you, Mom!)–turn out to be positive.  Sure would be a bummer if it turns out my writing makes people want to scratch their own eyes out or something rather than read another word of it, eh?  Ahem.  Perhaps I’m stressing too much about this…

Anyhow, it was very exciting to see my book listed on the web page for USA Today’s New Contemporary Romances.  If you scroll a little more than halfway down, there it is!

I have to say, I’m having a lot of fun today with all of this…  🙂