Monday, May 30, 2011

Distractions: A Writer's Worst Enemy

I should be writing now, but I am doing this instead.  It got me to thinking about distractions that keep a person from writing.  I was wondering: Is it just me?  As a writer, what distracts you from working on your current project?  If the answer is nothing, how do you manage to stay focused?

Here is a list of my demon distractions:

1.  My Blog: I have to mention this blog, of course, because I am on here all the time.  I need to check comments, make comments, write posts, and check my stats. 

2.  Goodreads and other sites:  As I've mentioned before, I love Goodreads. Needless to say, I spend a great deal of time on there and on other sites.  I have to promote my book, don't I?

3.  Games:  Another writer warned me not to download games to my computer, but I didn't listen.  So now every time I get stuck while writing, I go to a game and play it for a while.  Sometimes I don't even return to what I was working on.  Games are one of my biggest distractions.  They are so addictive.  I love the Diner Dash games and hidden object games.  lol

4.  Outside Distractions:  All of my problems cannot be found on the computer.  Some are external like my cats, people calling on the phone, people dropping by, etc. 

5.  A Messy House:  When I am focused on my writing, I don't even notice if the house is messy, but once in a while I look up and see it.  Then you have to do something about it.  That takes time away from writing.

I am currently rewriting Crushed and editing Werewolves Rule.  In fact, I should be doing one of them now, but I am posting instead.  So share your distractions with me.  What is your biggest issue?  What keeps you from writing?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tribute to My Hometown: Joplin, MO

For those of you who have been living in a hole, a massive tornado ripped through Joplin, MO on Sunday.  My mom and step-dad were at church.  I was in another town at the time.  They moved everyone to the basement.  Thank God the church was spared.  They came straight home, said they saw a few trees on the ground, but they had no idea of the devestation that had taken place just blocks from where they were.  The phones weren't working, so we couldn't contact anyone for the longest time.  It was a long and anxious night before we found out everyone in our family was safe.  Too bad I can't say the same for their homes.  Every single one of them had damage to their houses.

I watched it on the news and couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I couldn't even tell what street Diane Sawyer was standing on as she reported on what they think was an F-5 tornado.  The high school where my best friend graduated from is gone.  Wal-marts, where we stop to shop on our way to work almost every day, is also gone.  So are several fast food places and homes.  The hospital was ripped apart, and people had to evacuated during the storm.  They still don't know how many people are dead.  So many are still missing.

It's at times like these that you see the true hearts of people.  There are so many people out there helping to find missing people, clearing trees, taking in food and water to those effected, and repairing damage to homes.  One business in town just gave a million dollars to the Red Cross to help out.  Let's all say a prayer tonight for those who have lost homes and family to this tragic event, and remember to pray for those who have left their own homes to come here and help out strangers just because they felt the need pressed onto their hearts. 

We see the aftermath of tornadoes all the time on the news, but it's different when it happens to your hometown.  It's hard to watch the news.  You don't ever think it will happen to you or to your town... then it does.  When you go to bed tonight, be thankful that your family is safe and be grateful for your home because there are so many people out there right now with no idea of where they are going to live. 

When I remember growing up in Joplin, I think about hanging out at the mall (it wasn't hit), going to school, seeing movies at the local theater.  Once I walked from 2nd street to 32nd street with a friend of mine to visit her mom in the hospital.  I remember cruising down Main Street on Saturday night.  So many memories.  Now Joplin will never be the same again.  Very sad.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

BAD Reviews

How do you cope with a bad review?  Why is it that a single bad review cancels out ten good reviews in your head?  Why does that one bad review make you want to give up writing?  And why do people who write bad reviews write the longest reviews?

Well, as you can probably tell, I just now received my first REALLY awful review.  I had given away some free ebooks in exchange for reviews.  So far even though several people took me up on the offer only one person has written a review of the book... and they reamed me good.  The worst part is that she gave away half the book and didn't even mark it as a spoiler.  She basically said I write like a ten-year-old.  Ouch!  That hurts.  It's also a put-down to all the people who have read and enjoyed the book.

Now what?  How do you cope with bad reviews?  How do I not think about the horrible things she said while writing?  How do I keep this from creeping into my work?  Any ideas?

Indie-Authors: How Much Should You Charge for Your Book?

I'm still not sure of the answer to this one. 

Every day, I check my sales 3 to 4 times.  It's like being a kid on Christmas morning.  I am obsessed with checking my numbers and when it's gone up a lot, I jump up and down.  When it hasn't moved at all, I am kicking myself and wondering what I can do that I haven't already done.  I always feel like I've missed a trick.  So let's explore what I did, what worked, and what didn't.

1.  The 2.99 Book:  This is the price I started at because I worked hard on this book and feel like 2.99 is even kind of low, but I didn't sell very many at this price.  With so many cheap books out there, people are hesitant to pay this much for someone they've never heard of.

2.  The 0.99 Book:  When I took my book to Amazon, I put it up for this much.  Then I had to drop the price at Smashwords to match.  Sales have been pretty good at Amazon without me even telling people where to find it. 

3.  The Free Book:  No big surprise here.  This kind of book has sold more copies than any other.  I have given away books at Goodreads in exchange for reviews, given away books on book blogs, and basically given them away anywhere and everywhere that I can in the hope that these people will love it so much that they'll spread the word and buy the next book.

Well, that's how it is so far with sales.  I seem to learn something new every day.  Sometimes I find new sites to try.  If you know of any I haven't heard of, please let me know.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Self-promoting: What Works and What Doesn't?

All I can do is talk about what is working for me.  This has been a learning experience for me.  If any of you have something that worked for you that I don't put on my list, feel free to add it.  I'd love to hear about it.  Maybe it's something I don't know about or haven't considered.

1.  Twitter:  This hasn't worked for me.  I don't get Twitter, and I have trouble thinking of something smart and entertaining to say that is short enough to Tweet about.  Mostly I use Twitter to keep up with my favorite show, Supernatural.  lol

2.  Facebook:  I've been doing Facebook for a couple years now and enjoy it.  Love Farmville.  But I don't think it's helped my sales any.  There are a few people on here from Facebook who Follow my blog.  Thank you!  But I don't think it's helped my sales any.

3.  Goodreads:  I LOVE this site!  If any of you are on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I am growing a great list of vampire loving friends on there, and at last check almost eighty people have added Vampires Rule to their TBR list.  It's also a great site to talk about books on.

4.  Book Bloggers:  I have at least twelve book bloggers about to read my book and review it.  I'm hoping my sales will jump once these reviews hit the cyber-space airwaves.  A few of my interviews have been posted, but I didn't notice any change in sales.  We'll have to wait and see if reviews help or not.  I hear they do wonders with your sales.  More on that later.

5.  My Blog:  Well, I love working on this blog, and I'm sure it's contributed at least in part to my growing number of books sold each day.  Thank you all!

6.  Blog Directories:  I joined a few blog directories, listed my blog on them and waited.  According to my Stats page I've had several visitors come in from these sites to look at my blog.  Maybe it's helped, and maybe it hasn't.  Jury is still out on this one.

7.  Shelfari:  I'll stick with Goodreads, thank you.  I joined a few groups on Shelfari but haven't gotten very good feedback from it, and I haven't had any luck finding good friends here like at the other site.

8.  Email Blitz:  I wrote a summary of my book, gave the links, and a coupon code for two dollars off my book and asked friends to email to all their friends and ask them to send it to their friends and so on and so on.  It did not work.  I know because I've watched for the coupon code being used, and only two people used it. 

9.  Business Cards:  I spent thirty-something dollars on business cards.  They look good and it's nice to have one in your purse when you meet someone who is interested in your book.  I also drop them off here and there, hoping someone will find one and use the link to find out more about my book.

I think that's it, the extent of my great effort to promote Vampires Rule.  If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them because I'm tapped out.  :)

Friday, May 13, 2011


First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who participated.  There were a  lot of great names to choose from.  I had a hard time narrowing it down, but in the end I felt there was only one name that fit my character perfectly.  And the winner is...

...Isobel.   I picked this name for several reasons.  You see, my female villain is going to be a few thousand years old, so I wanted an old-fashioned name.  I also decided it would be good to have a name that the girl could change over the years.  Maybe she went by Isabella, Bell, Izzy, etc. at one time or another.

Thank you all!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Another Interview and Giveaway

Another interview on Vampires Rule just went up.  You can find it here:

Rebecca is also giving away a free digital copy of Vampires Rule.  Anyone interested should go there and sign up.  Please pass this along.  Thank you.

Three Away From My Goal

Since publishing Vampires Rule, I have been setting goals for myself each week and reaching them.  Today is the third week and I am three books away from my goal of seventy-five books sold in three weeks.  It's funny because I didn't think that was a great number.  Then I heard from other Indie Writers.  One of them said she was amazed because she sold six books in the first week.  Vampires Rule sold twenty-one copies in the first week.  So I thank God for the building success of this book.

Next week I'm shooting for an even hundred.  Wish me luck... and tell your friends about the book please! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vampires Rule is now available at Amazon!

Very cool.  Unfortunately I am having trouble getting the link to work, so if you click on the link to the side and it doesn't work, that doesn't really surprise me.  You may have to just go to Amazon and put the title in the Search box.  Here is the link: 

I am going to click on it now and see if it works.