Monday, December 11, 2017

Planning: Without a plan are you destined to fail?

I'm not much of a planner. I have a hard time with my depression when I fail to meet a goal, it usually sends me into a bought of depression that wipes out everything I had accomplished to that point. Yet, the more I look at others who have reached their goals one thing is clear, they sat down with a plan. I did have a plan when I started. Write and self-publish seven books and have one for free. I did that and it was more of a success than I thought it would be but that was it for my plan. I didn't plan anything beyond that, not when I would finish my next books, when I would release, what advertising if any I would do. After the first few months of great sales everything kind of faltered. Oh, wait, I don't have a million dollars now? Huh. 

So I went back and I wrote two more. Then I released them and it was great. I had sales off my new ones and old ones and then nothing. So then I did it again, two more and then nothing. Okay, I think I see a pattern here. 

As crazy as it seems I knew the key was writing more and putting out more. But the problem was I was writing, finishing, publishing and then going to sit down and write the next one. This is what I see other writers doing. But is it? I joined a writers group and yes there are several writers doing the write, edit, publish then sit and write again. There are also who finish 2 or 3, yes many of them are for series, but there are just as many who do it as a plan of rapid release. Usually rapid release is for serials or series but it doesn't have to be. It can also be and what I'm going to use it for-to establish a schedule of writing and publishing. It worked for me when I first started. I liked it because I liked being able to see everything as a whole. Not going to lie it was hella stressful but I'm dealing with more stress in the one or two books a year. 

Then I looked at the whole, when am I going to release issue. Both January and February just seem to full so I looked at the next release for March, my problem has been in the past to finish and then wait until I was done with it being published to start or finish the next book. But the turmoil and stress of a release jacks up all the good flow to just sit down and write again. 

So I've actually sat down and made a plan. It's interesting what happens when you write stuff down and start looking at a calendar. At first it was finish four and have them ready to go by March for release 3/20 then I really started looking. With that release I learned (like I said you learn something with every release) to have the book I'm releasing 100% done and edited at least 30 days before the release date if I'm doing ARCs and I want to do ARCs. So, wait if I want to put the first chapter of the next book in the back of the first then I need 2 books 100% so that it's edited-no cover is fine but it's the least of all my worries (seriously, Carrie at Cheeky Covers best fucking decision I've ever made). Okay, edits from an editor take 2 weeks then me a week at least. If that's my time frame then 2 books need to be written and edited by me and in an editor's hands by no later than February 1st. 

Oh, shit. I know readers are out there thinking, What's the big deal? 

Despite what readers think I don't just kick these things out. Maybe if I didn't have a day job then two weeks would be all the time I need but for me it's about a month from start to finish-in the best times. Minimum of two books in six weeks, oh shit. 

Yep, it's not going to be easy but it's totally doable-even for me. So if you see me around on Facebook or Twitter tell me to get the fuck off and go write. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Is timing everything?

With this latest release I've been sitting on it for what felt like forever. I also haven't released anything in going on eighteen months. I wanted to put out one before the end of the year, I could have waited until December but I really believed that if I released in November there would be enough time before the end of the year to make some badly needed connections with new readers before they got their new Kindle at Christmas. Although I heard people say November was a bad release time I shrugged it off and moved forward. And my latest release feels like a flop. 

I'm pretty sure I did pretty much everything I could do for it to be success, using the things I've learned so far. Did I learn something new this time around? Fuck yeah, I learn something new with every release. I learned that you are never as prepared as you think you are. I really thought I would have everything ready by the end of October, nope there was a delay. Did it hurt me? Feels like it maybe did. 

I don't regret going with Give Me Books promotions for this release. At a cost of $150 it hurt to fork over the cash, it didn't give me the sales I wanted. What it did give me is access to bloggers who know my name now. It will come into play in the future. I feel comfortable saying I will use Give Me Books in the future, with my next one? I don't know. I'd like to but it will depend on several things, mainly money. 

I'm not going to hit even half of the sales I did with my last title but shockingly I'm not crushed, not moping, not whining. Not every release will hit out of the park, not every penny spent is repaid immediately. I'm playing the long game here, just because I'm not making five hundred in a week off this book doesn't mean I won't make five hundred off this release over the next year. The feedback has been great, I appreciate every review, other buys have happened. This is another log on my fire. 

Unlike a poor response usually does I'm not questioning if I should keep going. I'm already going back to the story that slipped in a few weeks ago but got put on the back burner with the stress of this latest release. Five, I have five more to write, get edited, and put out this coming year. I don't have time to waste. I've been writing this weekend and I'm looking at the calendar for the next release and wondering when it should release. Hint, it won't be in mid-February when a thousand other romances are releasing. I do think I learned something about timing. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Looking for a new editor because I am a horrible person

Crazy bad news, my editor is going through health issues. I love my editor, she gets me and I know she's made me a better writer, made my stories better, stronger. She just found out about what she's going through, it's tough really fucking tough. There is no way I could truly imagine what she is going through. When she gave me the news she offered to let me out of the scheduled date of 12/7 for my next story, I didn't even consider going with someone else. As she offered me the out she told me she wasn't expecting to stop working. With that I told her, I wanted to keep her as my editor and the date of 12/7. 

Now comes the part where I am a horrible, shitty person. The edit I got back left me completely underwhelmed and frankly unhappy. She's usually very thorough with insightful, fit for me comments and suggestions. Basically once I'm done with either accepting, usually, or rejecting her changes it's good to go. This time I have had to print out and edit once I finished her edits. As I was printing I was telling myself I was over thinking it, of course it was good but before I even got to page 30 there was something on almost half the pages. It's completely understandable she has her mind on things more important like her health but I spent half a recent paycheck for my edit. I paid for a clean manuscript, and I didn't get it. 

I'm going to hell because I don't want to keep the December scheduled date for my next one. I feel like shit at the thought of telling her that I changed my mind. For the first time in practically ever I'm going to lie for a good reason. I'm going to tell her that I'm no where near done. I suck, this sucks the whole thing is shitty and I wish it were different. But I just do not have the time and money  to edit, yes I do actually edit myself twice then send it to someone paying half my check and then still need to  edit again. 

I hate this, I love my editor and the relationship we had the idea of trying to capture something like that again...I don't know. I don't want to do it but this next year is incredibly important, five books at least that need to be done and out and with them I should be able to make my move to France and to writing full time. But it only works if the books I put out are as good or better than what I have already done. 

So, yeah I'm looking for a new editor. Any suggestions?





Monday, October 30, 2017

Going with a paid promotion service this release and hoping it isn't a waste of money

I'm doing something different this time around that for once I'm not worried about. My neurotic, control-freak, perfectionist ass is letting someone else handle my new release promotion. Shocking. For me it is. The thing is, I actually did this once and it was a train wreck, a dumpster fire, craptastic. The only good thing is it didn't cost a whole hell of a lot but still more than what I got for it. It was a blog tour and dear lord it was a mess of blogs that had only a handful of followers and I'm convinced it was only for this blog tour company. At the time I promised myself I wouldn't do anything like it again. 

I think, see can't even really remember, at the time I had just the first seven out. It was nothing, it came to nothing and as I tried to let go of my anger and frustration I told myself I'll handle it all by myself from now on. For the last few years I have with uneven results. Actually the results weren't uneven. When I got bloggers to share and tweet me the response was huge. The problem came with bloggers willing to share my sales and promos. Many times I was ignored and I only had about a five percent response rate. Pretty deflating.

I get it, many of them had never heard of me so why bother sharing me. Still, it's a very frustrating, time consuming thing to do. I've seen promotion service sales before and usually the price was such a shocker I clicked right off of it. The few times it didn't I looked at the promotion being offered and been incredibly underwhelmed and noped right off the page. 

Then on my last release I did my usual round of emails to bloggers begging to be shared and got the usual uneven responses. When my release shot to number one and stayed in the top 50 on Apple ibooks for a few weeks I was shocked. It took a few days to figure out where the sales were all coming from. Then I saw them, they were coming out of Australia. What? I looked though the bloggers who shared and there was a blog out of Australia. Holy shit. They had a huge number of followers, I'd liked their blog and followed them on Twitter for a few years. I remember being excited when they said they would share but honestly had no idea the response would be so huge. But over the next few months the sale on the new release and then sale of my other titles were enormous and more than a third were from Australia because of that one blog. That whole thing of building your catalog so readers who find you and like you have more to read was paying off. Readers were reading all fourteen titles, for a good three months the sales rolled in before slowly tapering off. 

As the buildup to this latest release has been coming up I kept going to the blog and checking their offers of shares, and promotions as I wondered how I could get them to share again. The longer I thought about it and thought of all the stress and angst and how I couldn't get more than 2 fucking people to sign for an ARC I thought fuck this shit. I went to the website of the Australian blog and thought it couldn't hurt to at least find out how much it would cost for them to do a promotion. 

They came back and the price wasn't insane considering what they would do. If their one tweet and Facebook post had made such a huge impact then I'm willing to take a chance on having them run a promotion for me. Even if the response isn't more than what I had last I'll be happy. Fingers crossed this isn't a waste of money, who knows. We'll just have to see. 

If the response is what I hope it is I'll share the details and the blog as their due. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Author Spotlight: Emma Haven


Author Spotlight

Emma Haven


Emma Haven has a new release that looks delightfully naughty. I wanted to know more about the release and Ms. Haven. 
She  writes stand-alone Erotic Romance amd Erotica with elements of BDSM, menage, suspense, and mystery – sometimes all at the same time. All books are entirely stand-alone, and no books are part of a series. Each story is a unique journey through two (or more) characters blossoming (or raging) relationship. No cliffhangers. No series. No 500,000 word commitment to find out whether they will or won’t. Just one hot story from beginning to end.

Now that we’ve got the marketing drivel out of the way.
Trixie Belden. The first book series that I loved when I was a child was the Trixie Belden series. After reading every book in the series I could get my hands on, I knew what the next book should be. So, at eight years old, I borrowed my Dad’s old Royal typewriter and banged out my first book. That typewriter followed me through school to college, where I majored in English and decided I would write the next great literary novel.
That was twenty-seven years ago and as I am sure you suspect, it didn’t happen. I wound up in IT, started a business. I did write lots of memos, web copy, and blog posts, though. It was something.
In 2016, my twenty-plus year career in IT came to an end in a particularly callous and brutal company layoff. As I struggled with making sense of what I had just watched, participated in, and had happened to me I turned back to writing to work through the emotions. Eventually, that lead me back to my original dream as an eight-year-old girl to write for a living.
I chose erotic romance because I love exploring the emotional complexities of one or two damaged people finding one another and struggling to make it work with all the fear and desire and over the top emotions new love entails. My books usually contain something outside the norm of “accepted” experience as I am fascinated by people that work to make their place in the world while celebrating their differences.
And I write standalone stories because I truly, truly despise cliffhangers. There is nothing more frustrating to me than to get to the end of a book and not having a complete resolution.


This woman is  after my heart. A writer who despises cliffhangers, sign me up. Check out her latest. 





Excerpt:

She shook her head, mimicking his pose. “Obey me, and you’ll be rewarded.”
He stiffened. “I’m not a dog, signorina. I do not heel to anyone—man or woman.”
Rather than take offense at his haughty tone, Regan trailed her fingers across the smooth skin of her cleavage, glancing at him from the veil of her lashes. “Have you ever tried?”
“Yes, for a woman I cared about enough to try something new.” He shrugged. “Submission doesn’t suit me.”
She cocked a brow. “Perhaps you didn’t have the right Domme.”
“Do you practice the lifestyle?”
She shook her head. “No, not as such. You said it yourself. I’m simply used to being in control of every situation.”
Dante took a step toward her, and then another. He reached out to touch her cheek, ignoring her attempt to dart away. “You are obsessed with control. Look where it got you.”
His other hand rested on her chest, near her heart. He patted gently. “You need to surrender control sometimes, mia piccola tiranna.”
She grinned at his silly nickname for her, rather pleased to have made such an impression on him. She ignored his suggestion. “I never surrender.”
“You will surrender to me.”
She frowned. “Never.”




She is available everywhere! You can find her latest here. 




Visit her at:



Friday, October 27, 2017

New Release Giveaway

Rafflecopter Giveaways for 
His Sugar Baby 
New Release

SHARE DAILY, ENTER DAILY 
 Reader Giveaway
Prizes are 
$20.00 Amazon Gift card
$10.00 Amazon gift card 
$5.00 Amazon gift card

I figured the bloggers were already in the public so it was no big deal to announce them on the Rafflecopter but with the 'regular entrants' I didn't feel it was a good idea to post the winners info the way Rafflecopter showed it. So the winners of the Reader Giveaway will post here and then I'll email them with their prize.
$20.00 Amazon gift ccard: Shanae T. 
$10.00 Amazon gift card:  Bea L. 
$5.00 Amazon gift card: Erica G.














THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!!!



Blogger only Giveaway
Prizes are 
$20.00 Amazon gift card
$15.00 Amazon gift card
$10.00 Amazon gift card
$5.00 Amazon gift card
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Blogger Giveaway

Saturday, October 21, 2017

His Sugar Baby






***Currently in Kindle Unlimited***
But only until March 9th
Kindle US


Blurb

Grant

I made my first million at sixteen, my first billion before I was thirty. I get what I want how I want it, and I have no problem paying for it, that includes women. Hell, I’ve already been doing it with the women I’ve been dating. They enjoy my credit cards during the day and I’m supposed to be able to enjoy them at night but as the weeks go on the excuses pile up but they still spend my money. So I’m done with dating. It’s time for a woman who knows the deal and signs on the dotted line. I’m looking for a sugar baby, it's instant lust when I find Anne and see her curves that should come with a warning sign. Until I find out she hasn't just been a sugar baby before; she's sold herself by the hour in Las Vegas. It's one step too far for me, only I can't stop thinking about her. I find out she had her reasons for what she did, like I have mine. Her past is her past; I want her for what she is now. Besides, this is just sex, a simple exchange for time and money. Except, little by little, it becomes far from simple as I find out money doesn't buy everything.  

Anne

I thought I was done with being a sugar baby, of selling myself for security and a better life than the one I grew up in. Even though I'm a plus size, not a size two, men were more than willing to buy what I was selling. I tried to go white collar, to be normal. For four years I worked my ass off to get a degree in accounting; only, things don’t always go as planned. The instant attraction to Grant is a cherry on top; he's gorgeous and very generous. Is that why all my rules begin to blur, blend, and break to please him? I'm not ashamed of my past and all I’ve experienced, but it doesn't prepare me for Grant and all the things he wants and needs from me. I don't believe in forever, in happily ever after. What happens when he wants more than I give?

Excerpt

“Fifty thousand a month for a year, whether we make it the entire twelve months or not. You’ll also get a credit card for personal use, whatever you want to use it on, no limit.”
Her reaction isn’t what I expect. Taking a step back, she shakes her head. “What are you expecting from me?”
I follow her. “You, all of you. I’m not into kinky shit or anything. You make the rules. I’ll accept what you are willing to give or not give. You don’t do blow jobs, fine, but I’ll need to taste you, that preview in the car wasn’t enough.”
“If you want to.” The words come out of her in a rush. Her grey eyes begin to glow as my hands catch her hips to keep her where I want her, close to me.
“You’ll spread your pussy wide for me to feast when I want.” It’s not a question. I can smell her wet for me; I need to taste her again. Sliding my hands down over her beautiful round ass, I squeeze what has been tempting me.
“Yes, yes.” Her hips rock against my straining cock.
Fuck, her breathing flutters as she rocks against me again. Needing to know before I tear her clothes off and fuck her where we stand; I almost groan as I ask. “Any other no-gos for the bedroom?”
“Anal.”
“You mentioned it already, I’ll live without it. Tell me more, any other limits?” Her hand comes up to my arm to steady herself. Her breathing does that thing again, then her other hand is at my waist. Her eyes are hypnotic pools of silver.  
Her voice is trembling. “I agree to sex at least three times a week, but I have the right to say no to more than five. The right to my own space and to sleep in it instead of with you. No pimping me out or trying to share me with other men or women. No fondling me in front of people. No discussing our arrangement publicly, if you talk to your friends about it privately I’m fine, but just not putting it on blast to just anyone.”
“When you say three times, is that each time I fuck you or every time I take you.” Fuck, she’s panting for me to be inside her. Her hands go around my neck then pull me down to her mouth.
“Take me.” She groans into my mouth.
Clinging to my last shred of sanity I ask the last question that matters, “Are you protected? I fuck bare and I want to come inside you.”
“Yes, yes.” She moans as she presses her breasts against my chest.

“You’re mine.” It’s not a question. Question time is over.