New Bookie…maybe

Well…I know. It’s been forever. Again. Work and the holidays have been too busy for much else. My blog and newsletter are not the only things neglected. I honestly didn’t know when I’d write anything again.

When I’d wake up at 3 a.m. (as is the norm unfortunately) I’d think: “Hmm…I wonder what kind of trouble Hailey and the gang could get into?” Nip. Nada. Nuthin’. One day last week I finally opened up a word doc and just started typing. Silly me – I forgot that was their style. They got me going – we’ll see how far I get the free ride. 🙂

On another note, before the crazy season started, I re-read an old WIP of mine. It was one of my originals. Its original title was “Vienna Waits For You.” Vienna is my favorite Billy Joel song. It was too perfect for Marshall to sing it to Vicki thought certain parts of the book. I went as far as finding who had rights for the lyrics and seeing about obtaining permission. A very lovely letter came months later (after a 2nd request) wanting to know price of the book, sales projections, etc. Rightfully so, but I knew the lyrics would have to go. It was too much to even think of. But…but…they  were soooo PERFECT! *pout*sniff*more pout*

It was a simple romance, but one I loved with all I had. It also sits a little close to home. (Vicki gets pregnant at 18. Where did I come with that one? Oh, and it’s on Maui…in the 80’s. It was amazing helping characters through the days of no cell phones!) Vicki was a pain in my ass but I loved how Marshall loved her. My writing had taken a turn for more suspense and I just kinda let this one sit.

I won’t admit the level of moron I had reached as far as reading some of Amazon’s terms. Let’s just say one link led to another and I found myself looking into their Kindle Scout program. I never got into this biz to self pub. I’ve had publishers, but now this is the road I’m on. Although I will never query again, I thought I’d give this a shot.

If you aren’t familiar with the program: Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book receives a publishing contract.” Right now, for me, this is perfect. I didn’t want to put my usual team though another read. Two of them read it early on but it has really changed over the years the few times I read through it, deciding how to best “blow the dust off.” Holy smokes…I wrote it in 2011! This was a great opportunity for me to get an honest, “sure, it was a good story,” or “nah, stick to your Hailey series. Your 18 year old was too needy.” 😉

Anyway, I entered it & it was accepted for a campaign. Here’s the link if you’re interested I seeing it or adding your “yeah or nay” the submission. https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/QIVAL8R78AMV

I loved that they had a “new adult & college” category since I wasn’t quite sure where to place it.

If accepted, it will be the 1st time I’ve received an advance – kinda exciting to think about. I don’t know what the odds are but what the hey…it’s only been sitting on my laptop for 6 years. What’ll it hurt?

I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Reading,

Bug

 

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Too much talent!

This artwork deserved a blog post at the least! I had to share it here.

A friend of mine creates the most amazing art! I bought this a while back. It resides in my kitchen so I can enjoy it daily. I also take it to my signings to accompany my middle grade books. It makes a perfect Rapunzel tower!mine-copy

I know my daughter would kill to get her hands on this:

dragons

And a few horsey friends that would LOVE this!

horses

Here are some random glass items she makes:

She does the following journals by hand – no molds. She’s taken on a whole different twist and is selling them off – cheap. Too cheap. I bought 3. I’ll share the pics of 2 but not #3. It’s for my daughter for Christmas. (If it makes it that long!)

There was just something about these doors I had to have.

I’m sorry the pictures aren’t better and don’t do them justice.

The ones below are 6×8 & just $45

There are 6×4 and $30.

I’m sure you could ask for something special and get her to do it. This obviously just taps into the amazing things she can do!

Oh…did I mention she’s one of my favorite authors? Yeah. Not fair for one person to have so much talent. Ann Simko – Check her out. You could write her from there to purchase a journal or 2. 🙂

~Bug

(who can’t draw a stick person!)

 

New release! Hailey #3!

Book #3 is finally here!

hailey-3-front

Blurb: Book three in the Hailey series is back full force, bringing you Hunt and Amanda from the Hunter’s Find series!

Vacationing at Parker’s Colorado home was nice, but unfortunately couldn’t last forever. Alexis once again needs their help. Someone is after her father’s business, even if it means eliminating her to get it.

Donny is forced to take out an unidentified assailant, which brings in Hunter and Amanda from the FBI, searching for answers. Parker is less than thrilled to have his toes stepped on by the feds, but agrees to partner with them for Alexis’ sake.

Once again Donny’s brother, Tyler, and his crew are needed. Both to protect Alexis from the unknown as well as the one man who they think may be more involved than they want to admit.  Hailey pays a hefty price on the gamble, searching for answers to keep Alexis from having to leave life as she knows it, and go permanently into their protective custody.

~*~*~*~

Up until this series, Hunter’s Find was my favorite suspense. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about writing more after that publisher closed. I was thrilled when they came knocking on Parker’s door! I hope you are, too!

I have to thank the crew of the book for being patient with me while they got pushed aside since Dusty insisted I write his novel. But mostly, thanks to all of you for hanging in there with me. I saw a few sales squeak in on pre-release day. So, thanks!

A had more than a few hurdles with this one. I’m grateful for friends of mine that stepped in to help beat it into shape when my original editor couldn’t complete it. I also am very unhappy with the print covers again. I will be ordering them from a different supplier for signings. If you want a print copy – please contact me.

Amazon kindle link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0GR5FQ#nav-subnav

Smashwords for all other formats: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/666022

Barnes & Noble and the rest will catch up shortly.

Thanks & Happy Reading!

~Bug

 

 

Barnes & Noble!

A Barnes & Noble signing seemed like something I wasn’t ever going to see. After all these years – I finally have a signing scheduled!

If you are in the area, I’d love for you to pop by! Rhea & I always promise a great show. 🙂 Later, there most certainly will be drinks. You’re welcome along for that, too!

book signng

To 6×9 or not to 6×9…

…that is the question.

It was either that for a title or:

editing

Have patience with me while I back up a little. I have always used Createspace for my print books. It was easy enough to learn their formatting & I was happy with the price and product.

I received an order of various books for my last signing and was really disappointed in the color on my covers. Maybe I am more critical (because – y’know, we are the most judgmental of ourselves…and) because I worked for a printing company. It really doesn’t take a graphics professional to see that ALL the covers had way too much yellow. It didn’t matter so much on my middle grade books since they are cartoons. I noticed on Come and Talk to Me, but it was still passable enough that I didn’t want to complain. My Baby, Just Say Yes ones were terrible. The cover is majority “faces” and those faces looked jaundiced.

Capture

Createspace is usually top-notch for customer service. They did spend several e-mails back & forth with me regarding this, and even had me send a copy to them (on their dime) since I didn’t feel the pictures I sent though e-mail did the terrible color justice. However, the final answer was “it is within our print parameters.”

I learned that because they are so busy, they now job out to new companies to fill orders. That explained how I had received a box prior to this that was 2Xs too big for the order and no packing. They always used to be great about shipping. They were speedy to replace the whole order so again, top-notch service.

books

BUUUTTTTTT…the were done addressing the fact that the covers were garbage to me. They said several times “it is within our print parameters.” And added “If you order them again, they can come that way and would not be replaced. The color ‘is within our print parameters.'” When I asked if others were complaining, they said “Maybe only 3% – that’s not enough to think this is a problem.” I asked a few friends & found out they saw and did the same as me. “Yeah, I noticed they are way more yellow than my last few batches, but not so bad that I wanted to complain.” I asked them to complain, in hopes maybe something would be done. I hate killing a tree as much as the next guy (probably more), and wasting money (definitely more) but I had to throw these copies out. I couldn’t sell them like that.

Knowing the printing process & how this is such an easy fix, I was beyond disappointed. Needless to say – I was sick. (as well as poor Steve and Laura! – My peeps on my cover in case you haven’t read that one 😉 )

Soooooo….here’s what I found, tried, and cried over, trying to get this remedied. I’m dropping this on my “TIPS” page on my blog for anyone that wants to look into printing options.

Lulu: I ended up using them to see what would happen. Learning their set-up was a little different, but in 2 proofs I had a book I could sell. The colors are back where they are supposed to be. The base price is more expensive, but it was no books or not make as much. No brainer. (They do run sales so I will keep an eye out for that!)

Ingram Spark: This is where I’d love to be. Book store distribution. BUUUUTTTT…$49 set-up per title. And I read that you will never get it right and to just “suck it up, Buttercup” and pay them another $10 to do it. Before I could even start, I had to quit. They required a pdf file that WASN’T made from Word. It seemed like a whole new can of beans and I didn’t want to go there (or buy another program just to do this.)

I have a local book store in my town. Whoo hoo, right? Wrong. She doesn’t want my books unless she can buy them from Baker & Taylor. Mine is not to question why. For me, it seems it would be easier to take them on consignment and tell the author to pick them up if they don’t sell. You’d be out nothing. The Baker & Taylor route – the store has to buy them then if they decide to return them, they rip off the cover (gasp) and return that for a refund & throw out the book. Then I get to pay for them. What a deal! NOT! This is the fear of a lot of authors. That’s the fact, Jack.

bill murray

Back to Lulu. I thought I found a way around this. Because they aren’t Createspace (*cough*Amazon*cough*) you get distribution. BUUUUTTTTT…you have to go 6×9. I hate 6×9 with a passion. What difference does an 1/2 inch make? A $hit-ton. To me anyway.

BUU…ok, I’ll stop that. Today I gave it a whirl. I took a few hours & re-formatted a copy & cover to 6×9. I get to the final steps and I see that $14.13 is the minimum I can set the price at. I make a big fat ZERO on sales at that price. Cue deflated hopes and dreams of distribution.

deflated

I could do all the work, but why? Who would go to B&N to pay $14.99 for a book that they could get for $9.99 at Amazon with free shipping?  Another sad day to see how much Amazon is ruling every aspect of publishing.

In hindsight, I knew there was something about Lulu that niggled at me. My first publisher went though Lulu with Dustin Time. I was sad that  my books were $15.95 and wondered who the hell would pay for that. I thought it was the publisher just tacking on their share. Maybe so to some extent, but I guess the price was not completely their fault.

I had wanted to give it a shot. Really give it a shot and see if I’d gain sales from different channels. I already limit my distribution at Amazon because that’s the price point I want to keep.

Well. Bloody. Hell.

Back to the drawing board. I’ll have to continue with Createspace for books for my signings, with the exception of Baby, Just Say Yes.

If this was about money, I wouldn’t be a writer now, would I? I just found out that since I drop all my books at Smashwords so people can load any format they need, I am on some “library” now that  is a lot like Netflix. For $7.99 you can read all you want. I’m sure I make a whopping 2¢ on each book. Maybe. Why people bother with pirate sites and the risk of a virus is beyond me. It’s legal to make sure a writer makes nothing.

Sorry this got so windy. I’m sure I’ll be back with another rendition of “As the Stomach Turns” when I get another bright idea about another print platform. I have more time than money, right?

Happy Reading! (On your e-reader!!!)

Bug

 

 

 

Hailey 3!!

I need to apologize for the delay in getting book #3 out. I promised it wouldn’t take a year like last time, so I guess I lied. Not on purpose! Some characters just yell louder than others. Dusty won this round and Dustin Time #3 had to get out in the middle of it all.

I’m getting my final edits on Hailey 3 this week before it’s shipped off to the editor! Man these guys got in trouble this time around! I hope to have it out shortly for you!

I don’t think I’ve ever let this slip, but Hunter and Amanda partake in this particular tale. If you haven’t caught up on the Hunter’s Find series, now is a good time! It’s a series I always loved and planned on continuing, but with Musa Publishing closing their doors, I didn’t know what I was going to do. This seemed like a wonderful compromise! The two groups really blend well.

The Hunter’s Find series is mob-based, so it’s not for the faint of heart. I was told once that the F-bombs were a little thick. Sorry, but I just couldn’t see the mob dropping a “shucky darn.”

hunt2

There are a lot of new-comers to my newsletter. Welcome! If you haven’t dove into the Hunter series, I have print copies with the old covers that I’m selling for $5 + shipping. (That’s less then cost to me!) Holler if you’d like 1 or both & I’ll shoot  you a price.

If you haven’t dove into the Hailey series yet, book #1 in “e” is on sale for 99¢ everywhere. (May need to give it a day to pop up from this posting.)

cover hailey

Happy Reading!!

Bug