Saturday, January 17, 2015

Networking-don't make it hard because it isn't

I used to think networking was some made up word like 'synergy' and I had no idea what the hell people were talking about. Even today if you tell me to network in my day job, I would have no idea how exactly to do that. It might be because I hate my job or because I don't really care to meet new people at work. It's insurance and boring as hell and it pays the bills and that's it.

Networking isn't that big of a deal and it's not that hard. All it is, is making connections with people, that's it. That thing I wrote about Twitter where you thank someone when they tweet you? That's just being polite. When you tweet the person back, that's called networking. Hopefully, it will become a regular thing and you will have formed a connection. Will that single person make a difference to you? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it's someone they know that will make a difference. It might not be that day, it might be in the future, someone who hasn't even been introduced to them could down the line see a tweet and it could spark something for you.

Then there are the actual connections you can make besides just tweeting,  unless your are so busy you just can't spare three minutes it doesn't hurt to reply and have a  back and forth with someone on Twitter or Faceback who knows what kind of connection can be formed. In this indie thing it's easy to feel alone and fall into the rut of same old, same old day in and day out. Meeting someone online and forming a connection can make you not feel so alone. In tweeting alone I have made connections that have gotten me reviews and an invitation to a Facebook group where several people retweet each other, it's been great being in that group because there are other things that we've done and even just the back and forth has been a great source of support.

The Indie writing group I formed is a form of networking, meeting other writers and talking about writing but we also talk about dozens of other things. Those people are my sanity, my oasis of thank god I'm not alone, I'm not the only one is positive what I've written is shit and should be tossed and we've all talked each other down from the, 'I'm just going to burn it' moment. I didn't think of it as networking when I set it up but that's exactly what it is and it doesn't just help me as a writer it helps me as a person.

I've debated posting this because I hate for people to get the message, 'Hey, everyone you meet will do something for you' because one that might not always be true and two that's a pretty mercenary way of thinking and if you're only going to do it so you can get something out of it then you're doing it for all the wrong reasons and likely won't get anything out of it. Like the people who only follow me because I retweet yet I don't see from their history that they do anything but tweet themselves seven times a day, I'm not going to follow you and retweet you if all you're out is to take. 

For me I've only ever looked at it as being a really great way to meet someone and bonus points if I learn something from them. As far as I'm concerned I'm happy to meet and more than happy to help out another writer because my feeling is if they succeed than I can succeed whether they are in my genre or not. Every time an indie writer makes good it helps all the others by proving that an indie book can be just as good as a book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble and just maybe that will trickle over to me. 

So take some time, say 'hey' and be open to forming a connection. You might make a new friend who can help you not feel so alone or you might even meet a new fan or someone you can become a fan of. The more you form a network the more it gives you stronger ties to your community and it can only ever be a good thing. 




Saturday, January 10, 2015

Merch, is it worth it?

Merchandising or merch as some people like to call it, the bits and bobs, cups for some bookmarks for most-which makes no sense to me since most of the people doing it are only selling ebooks-but whatever. Then there the pens and even necklaces. Yet I'm not even sure I want to get business cards, so as far as spending money on bookmarks when I'm only selling ebooks, spending money on merchandise doesn't make sense to me. 

Argument for is to hand out the 'goodies' to your readers who will hopefully be reminded of just how awesome you are every time they look at said bit or bob. Will your pen float into the hand of a new reader who will look you up and discover your awesomeness? Will someone see your fan using/displaying your bit or bob and comment then get to hear your fan chatter on about how awesome you are? Perhaps it will inspire loyalty or at the very least some fond memory that will carry over to sales. Because here's the issue, unless it translates into sales or unless you have money to burn there are so many other ways you could and should be spending your money.

Argument against is basic, unless it translates into sales you should be focusing your time and attention to writing books and not checks for something that will likely not be used or tossed the next time a clear away is done. Because the problem with merchandise most of it is disposable as in having little value to the owner because it was a gift and because most of the items are inexpensive. I used to go to a used bookstore and there was a cup of bookmarks for free with information on books and authors like so many giveaway and I have to tell you even though I used them until they got lost or bent out of shape and I  looked at them and thought 'oh that looks interesting' I never once looked for an author or a book that I saw on the free bookmark. As I went there often looking for new books to read why didn't I ever look for books by the authors, because it was free I didn't place value on it.

It's because of that that I don't see the real value in merchandising. Am I saying never, hell no but I'm saying at this time as I debate spending money to advertise on Goodreads and shudder over it, I don't think it's worth it. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Pricing, questions and doubts


 Pricing is usually the second to the last question once you are ready to hit publish, with the last question being promotion. The problem is I do think pricing and promotion are pretty tangled together. Do you price at the top of your genre and in so doing declare your book is most awesome and devoid of errors, editing issues and has passed the test to be called awesome and deserving of the price? Because that’s what you’re saying when you price it so high, so your cover better be steller, not an error or dropped coma in sight and it better be fucking phenomenal to your betas or guess what your reviews will be so low and so immediate it will surprise you. There is nothing like failing to deliver that will guarantee a screaming review. I’ve read them. So do you price it at the bottom as a ‘hey, try me out for just a few pennies.’ Careful with that, set low expectations and sure you’ll get great reviews but if you set the expectations on pricing low once you develop a following and try to raise the price you might see your sales plummet and expectation for the next you release be set at the price.

I wrote for a year with a plan for six, then thankfully ended up with seven and now I’m at eleven. When I sat down and made the plan it was with the knowledge that one of them six would be free with the plan to take it higher at a later date. This went in hand with promotion, try me free and if you like me then I have all these other books for you to try. When I released my five, I priced at $3.99 and my free was doing pretty well but eh on my buys. I was actually doing pretty well on Nook, nothing to scream and shout over but very well. However, on Kindle while my free was doing pretty damn well it was crickets as far as sales were concerned. I gave it two months and I couldn’t take it anymore, at the suggestion of a beta and highly valued friend I lowered the price. On Nook the sales soared and on Amazon I finally got a few bites, nothing to crow over but not bad.
Then I started seeing other authors do pre-sales at a low price or .99 cents with the warning once it went live the price would go up. It appealed, I won’t lie at that point I was beginning to lose patience with Kindle so I figured I didn’t really have anything to lose. So when I released my last four I did a pre-sale at ,99 cents with the warning they would go up to ‘regular’ price of $2.99 and the sales soared. I made four times in that month what I had made the previous month on Kindle.
It made me happy but honestly not that happy. Why? With those sales shouldn’t I have been doing flips? Yes, from the promotional standpoint of all those sales finally put my books out on Amazon for suggested and those who bought where the others hadn’t been before. That right there is promotion that I didn’t pay for, but no because I did pay for it from the loss at the higher sales. No, because here’s the thing I don’t want someone who’s only willing to buy me at .99 cents and those aren’t the buyers anyone should want.
There are titles I have that have never been ‘on sale’ and never is hard word to put in print so we’ll go with unlikely, there are titles that are unlikely to EVER go on sale. Why? Because people are willing to pay full price for them. Paying attention to my sales is important to know where I stand in pricing.
For days, I dawdled over changing the price on one of my titles from .99 cents at new release to full price. Completely honest, I checked what other writers were doing and I made the decision to leave it at .99 cents as a way of promotion. 

Not going to lie, it burns like hell to have the perma free and only .99 cent titles as I wonder will I be in a position to raise the price someday. Then I have to consider that I’m not paying to promote so the free and .99 cent are my promotion and for now I’m okay with that because technically no money is coming out of my pocket. When my free goes up, the sales do trickle in after that. For me it works. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Don't miss these on sale

My apologies, I am once again caught short by someone not coming through with their blog invite. I do believe I have my answer that this experiment didn't work and invites and spotlights are now going to be left in 2014. So as I struggled to come up with a blog post I think we'll go with the spotlighting me because isn't it all about me anyway? In case you didn't know, I'm not one to put things on sale, I'm writing to get paid and I already have one free book and one only 99 cents at all times. Get them before the sale ends tomorrow.






Kate Frazier wants one night and one night only. It’s the only thing she’s made for, the only thing she’s capable of. She doesn’t want any hand holding or cuddling, she wants to get off and then she wants them to leave. She likes her men, bland boring and non-threatening only the Nordic god staring at her from across the pub is anything but. One by one she’s breaking her rules for only one night because the moment he gets close she can’t help herself. 

Only Trey refuses to let it go at one night. He knows her secret the one she’s tried so hard to pretend didn’t happen, didn’t exist even as her nightmares still haunt her. He knows and has her admitting to the rape she suffered from her mother’s boyfriend for two long years and he knows about the frantic, ugly things she did with anyone who would have her in her teens. He sees it all and it doesn’t faze him, he wants the woman she is now and he’s not going to let her go. 
Now Kate has to make the decision to go through the painful door of her past to the other side where Trey and the happiness she never thought she could know is waiting. 



This is a standalone novella at 38,572 
Please be aware this is an erotic romance and is explicit 
Please be aware this book deals with the issue of child molestation and a woman's attempt to cope with what she went through.






Lukas Everett is Avery Parker’s new reclusive landlord. He’s gorgeous but damaged, as damaged on the outside as Avery is on the inside. A car accident that killed his wife left him with physical scars that cause him to hide from the world. Avery hasn’t had it easy in her few physical relationships and isn’t looking to get involved with anyone let alone someone as cold and hard as Lukas. Lukas seems just as intent at keeping her at bay even though she knows he feels the same longing she feels. With her mind telling her to run and her body begging her to stay Avery accepts his job offer. She discovers that Lukas doesn’t just own properties but is hiding behind a pen name as a popular writer that she herself has enjoyed. It isn’t long before Avery demands all the passion she sees in Lukas but will she just be the next chapter in his story or will they find their own happy ending? 


This is a full length standalone novella at 36,543 words. 
Please be aware this is an erotic romance and extremely explicit and beta readers have called it romantic smut. 









Miranda Beckett has been born and bred in Chicago and with that comes the knowledge that the city built firmly on criminal enterprises by every group that could gain ground is still a city where crime is as much of the economy as the retail shops and hotels that line Michigan Avenue. Just like others in Chicago a blind eye is a content eye until it’s all brought into sharp focus by her younger brother one late night. She hasn’t seen her brother in years and the last time she had she’d told him she never wanted to see him again so she knew it was desperation that led him to her door. Before, he’d flat out stolen from her but now he’s pleading for the money. He pleas for the money that he owes the head of the IRA in Chicago and then he threatens that Declan Kelly knows about her and that she has the money and if she doesn’t give it then Kelly will come for it himself. 

Miranda refuses her brother and she knows she’ll be able to refuse Declan Kelly when the time comes. But she’s wrong, so very wrong. It isn’t money Kelly wants, it’s her. Her expertise as an accountant to audit his books and find who is stealing from him, that’s it he tells her but his eyes tell her there’s more. 
Without even being quite sure how and why she agreed, a deal is struck and Miranda wonders how long she can fight the need for a man she can’t have. It’s one thing to know what Declan Kelly does and another to allow herself become involved with him. She is sure she can keep Declan at bay, she has no plans to become a gangster’s girlfriend or lose her heart to him. 



This is a standalone novella at 36,218 words 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fear is a motherfucker

So yes I did move into a new situation and it hasn't really been conducive to writing. My output is about less than half of what I'm used to putting out and hopefully it won't last long. However, on top of that I was stupid enough to take my eyes of my paper and with all the sales going on during Thanksgiving and looking at the freebies and new stuff coming out from other writers I was completely thrown off my course. And I do mean my course, I don't write BDSM, I don't want to write it, I don't write MC books because I have very personal experience with them and they are in no way whatsoever romantic-fuck SOA it's not even half as gritty as the real stuff. Yet, there's all these quotes and titles coming out and I'm actually wondering to myself, is this what women really want? Should I try and write these and it will expand my readership?

No joke for two weeks I was frozen in fear I wasn't doing what I could be doing that could help me succeed. I was constantly looking at Facebook and the flood of books out there, reading sample after sample and then one of the quotes thrown up on the new 'it' book that should have been sexy made me laugh, I could not stop laughing. All I could think was, this isn't sexy this is sex, That isn't who I want to be, I don't ever want to write something like what I just read. It became crystal clear in that moment.  What I write isn't for everyone, I want to write something with a heart and soul and a whole lot of sex and although people would like to think they are different, special, unique and in one way or maybe another they are, we are more alike than different-and I don't think that's a bad thing. So my sales have shown me there are a quite a bit of people out there that like what I'm doing now and to change it up to try and be something isn't what I should do. 

So I'm going to take my eyes off the others that are out there and focus on mine, and damn did something really interesting come out of it (writing now and so excited) and write what I write. As I said before, just do what you do and the people that want that will find you. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Spotlight on Marla Monroe

This is one busy lady with a new book coming out about once a month. 
  • Marla Monroe has been writing professionally for about ten years now. Her first book with Siren was published in January of 2011. She loves to write and spends every spare minute either at the keyboard or reading another Siren author. She writes everything from sizzling hot contemporary cowboys, to science fiction ménages with the occasional bad ass biker thrown in for good measure.
    Marla lives in the southern US and works full time at a busy hospital. When not writing, she loves to travel, spend time with her cats, and read. She’s always eager to try something new and especially enjoys the research for her books. She loves to hear from readers about what they are looking for next. You can reach Marla at themarlamonroe@yahoo.com or visit her website at www.marlamonroe.com
Her newest just released yesterday. 
Link to buy: http://www.bookstrand.com/finding-them
Finding Them, check out the excerpt below. 



FINDING THEM, RIVERBEND,TEXAS HEAT BOOK SIX

 

 AVAILABLE: Friday, December 5th

Book Cover for Finding Them

Was Sierra jumping from the frying pan into the fire?


Sierra is in over her head. She has more responsibilities than she can handle with two sisters in college, an absentee brother, and a ranch under foreclosure. All she’s been able to do for the last eight years is take care of everyone else.
Rollan and Thorne are new to the area but are instantly attracted to Sierra with her quiet strength and sensual beauty. More than anything, they want to see her happy. When they find out she’s being blackmailed with her ranch, the men come up with a plan where they can spend more time trying to convince that they are meant to be a family.
Sierra’s unexpected attraction to the two men is baffling. She’s afraid to trust her instincts where they’re concerned but accepts their offer of help putting herself close enough to get burned. Are Rollan and Thorne the answer to her prayers, or will they be her downfall?
Now on Pre-order. You can get it now  BUY Finding Them  Enjoy the excerpt below :-)

WARNING! Adult Content Below 
Thorne dropped her on the bed with a bounce then set to work on removing her jeans. Rollan climbed on the bed and attacked her breasts once more, but had lost his shirt somewhere on the way to the bedroom. She welcomed him with open arms, eager to touch him. She loved how his hot skin felt over the hardened muscles of his arms and shoulders. They weren’t created in a gym somewhere. These were home grown and the result of long, hard hours out in the sun. She could appreciate them so much more since she’d labored trying to keep her ranch going.
The feel of callused hands on her thighs surprised her. She hadn’t even realized that Thorne had managed to remove her jeans already. She hadn’t even noticed when he’d pulled off her boots. Rollan’s hot chest, arms, and shoulders had her totally mesmerized.
 “Spread these sweet thighs for me, baby. I want to see that pretty pussy,” Thorne told her. “Aw, hell, Rollan. She has the softest curls down here, and she trims it. I like how everything below that clit is bare for us.”
“Please, Thorne. Touch me,” she cried out as Rollan sucked hard on one of her nipples while pinching the other one.
“Oh, I’m going to do a lot more than touch you, Sierra,” he said.
 In the back of her mind, she worried that she’d just jumped head-on into something she wasn’t ready for, but the way they made her feel soon drowned out the warnings. She wasn’t going to let her brain talk her out of this. They said they cared about her and wanted her for her, not for her land. They were already getting that. Why would they seduce her unless they truly did want her?
Thorne gently spread her pussy lips and the feel of his hot breath against her wet flesh sent chills down her spine. He slid his tongue from her slit up to circle her clit and hummed against the swollen bud.
 “Damn you taste good,” he said.
“Oh, God, that feels so good,” she groaned. He licked her pussy, drawing the wet lips into his mouth to suck on before starting all over again.
 The more he licked, the more her cunt ached to be filled. It felt so damn good, but she needed more of them. She wanted to see them and taste them as well. Sierra wanted them to fill her with their cocks and fuck her into next week. She’d gone without everything for so long that now that it was within her reach, she wanted it all and she wanted it now.
“Please, Thorne,” she whined.
 “What, baby? What do you want?” he asked as he stabbed her pussy with his stiffened tongue.
“Fuck me. I want you both to fill me up.”
“Aw, honey. We’re going to take good care of you. Relax and feel how good it can be,” Rollan said before nipping the side of her breast.
“Is this what you want, Sierra?” Thorne asked as he slid one finger deep into her pussy.
 “Yes!” she hissed. “More.”
He chuckled before adding a second digit and thrust both of them in and out of her cunt, varying the speed and depth until she wanted to scream with frustration. She wanted to come, but she wanted them inside of her, too.
 “Look at her face, Thorne. She’s all pink and her mouth is open, just begging for a dick to suck on,” Rollan said in a raspy voice. “Hell, I want to fuck her tits and her mouth. I don’t know what to do first.”
Thorne’s deep laugh vibrated along her pussy, sending sparks deep into her core. Sierra wiggled, trying to get more friction from his fingers as he pumped them in and out of her sopping-wet slit. She was about to beg him to fuck her again when he did something with those nifty fingers that curled them in just the right spot to rub over her sweet spot.
 Her loud moan had both men groaning with her as she bucked beneath them. The pleasure building with each stroke of Thorne’s fingers and twist of Rollan’s on her nipples promised to be more than she’d ever felt before. Sierra raced toward it, eager to find out just how hard she could come and how high she could fly.
Thorne seemed to pick up on the urgency as his strokes grew faster and his tongue rasped over her clit in tighter and tighter circles. When he curled his fingers deep in her cunt and stroked that special place while sucking hard on her clit, Sierra screamed as wave after wave of ecstasy poured over her in a warm wash that took her breath.
 Rollan climbed off the bed as she floated down from the high they’d given her. She realized he’d completely undressed when he straddled her waist and his thick dick bobbed near her face. The spongy head looked almost purple and the thick shaft jerked as if it had a mind of its own.

Friday, November 28, 2014

My interview flaked

I have written about three different blogs to replace it however I am in a really bad place right now and the thankful one alone had over six curse words in only twp paragraphs so I'm going to give this weeks blog a pass.

I hope everyone had a good and safe holiday.