Monday, January 30, 2012

SC Author Connection

What, you may ask, is the SC Author Connection? The SC Author Connection is a group of three South Carolina authors who will participate in several events throughout the year.

Members include Sybil Nelson, whom you will meet later this month and Sarah Renee, whom you will also meet later this month. The third member is Elysabeth Eldering, whom you already know a bit since you follow this blog. I had had contact with Sybil prior to YALL fest, which I wanted to do this past year but couldn't due to finances. We had talked some about the SCASL conference and perhaps sharing an exhibitor booth. At the time, neither of us really knew if we could afford to have an exhibitor booth this year. Sybil was a participant in YALL fest in Charleston this past November and then because of me letting her know about Savannah turned around the next weekend and participated there. After she did YALL fest, Sybil emailed me stating that we could go ahead and be an exhibitor at the SCASL, she had found another author to go in with us.

A few emails with info were exchanged with both Sybil and Sarah as well as Heather Loy, the now exhibitor coordinator and the SC Author Connection was born.

The plans for the year are to participate in the SCASL conference, the SC Book Festival, and hopefully Decatur Book Festival, and probably a couple of other big events where we can share tables. We will get a banner through vistaprint and have something that highlights all of us and our books. Stay tuned to find out more about the SC Author Connection. - E :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Afghan drawing is now a raffle

I've been steadily working on my red, white and blue crocheted afghan and have half the rows sewn together. I had originally planned to make the afghan for a drawing for the JGDS series only but have decided to do a raffle instead of a book purchase related drawing. Raffle tickets will be $1.50 each or 10 for $12. You can find the raffle buy buttons at both the JGDS website and my other writing website. Pictures will be posted by the end of the week. Drawing will be December 1, which is after my final event as this is a year-long raffle. I need the afghan to show at my events so that folks can purchase tickets in-person as well as online. Good luck to everyone - E :)

Rumer ?

Anyone heard of this young lady? This video was shared on my plurk timeline this morning and I listened to it and responded - interesting, very soulful; then I did a search on her and guess what her first album is called - "Seasons of My Soul" - very appropriate.

Hope you enjoy the video - E :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

This and That - weekly report

It's the end of the month, well almost. Reporting on this week's goals and activities.

If you missed it, I started my introduction to Sybil Nelson with a book review yesterday.

Followers haven't increased even offering free ebooks of Finally Home, "The Tulip Kiss" and "The Proposal" - your choice of the novel or two short stories.

Sales have been zero across the board - no kindle sales, no createspace sales, no smashword sales and no nook sales.

Since it's pretty close to the end of the month, looking back at my goals and what I've met and not, I've not been successful in most items. The one thing I've accomplished is posting more often than previously, although I have neglected my JGDS series a bit. I've tried giving away ebooks for reviews and I've tried to gain more followers by offering my ebooks to anyone who follows the blog when I reach 150; I'm still at 91.

Imogene: Innocense Lost hasn't progressed although it really has been calling to me to get more written. I've wasted my "free" time playing spider solitaire and watching TV, which seems to be par for the course most every weekend. No desire to work, no desire to write, no desire to do much of everything. I hope this slump I'm in will change once the weather warms up.

I'm almost finished putting the granny square afghan together for the drawing associated with my JGDS series, which will be held in December. For details and some pics of the granny squares, you can check out the JGDS blog. I hope to finish it this week so it will be ready for my first event the middle of February.

Monday I'm introducing the SC Author Connection group. Wednesday's weekly young writers writing question is from a student in Mr. Hughes' class. Thursday I'll post on motivation and inspiration, a followup from a posting by Kim on the YA Authors You've Never Heard of blog. Friday will be a review of the Priscilla the Great series (all three will be reviewed under one review. Happy writing and see you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review Friday - Twin Shorts by Sybil Nelson

Twin Shorts is a collection of short tales and preceeds the Priscilla the Great series. This is where we meet Priscilla who will become Priscilla the Great the next time we see her.

Shortly after I received my Kindle, I searched for low cost books or freebies. "Twin Shorts" is one such find that I read in bits. This was read before I realized that the same author of the Priscilla the Great series had written this book.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION (FROM AMAZON): Hey I’m Priscilla, a.k.a Priscilla the Great. Usually, I like to talk about how my life got a little crazy after I learned about my special powers. Okay, it got a lot crazy. I mean, you try going through middle school with fire shooting out of your fingers. Awkward. But this time, it’s not about me. Twin Shorts is all about my little brothers, Charlie and Chester, a.k.a The Devil Twins.

I would read a few of the short stories when taking a break or while not at my computer and just needing to get away from the screen. The stories in this book are written from Priscilla's perspective about her 5-year-old twin brothers, who, by her account, are out to ruin her life. Each story is written like a homework assignment or an essay recollecting whatever "adventure" occurred at the time. I tended to feel sorry for Priscilla being the only girl in the household and having twin brothers who seemed to get away with everything. I almost wanted to jump in the stories and be mommy and discipline the boys and set them on the right track. Many funny stories watching the twins, Priscilla and their older brother take on every day life.

If you are looking for a quick read and some humor, "Twin Shorts" is for you. The last time I checked, it was still being offered as a freebie on Kindle, so check it out.

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 94 KB
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English

AUTHOR'S BIO: Sybil Nelson lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and two children. She is currently earning her Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the Medical University of South Carolina and has completed ten Young Adult novels.

Sybil writes under another name and those books will be reviewed throughout the month of February leading up to her alter ego being a guest on this blog. Next Friday's book review will be on the three Priscilla the Great books available.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guest Heather Paye

Today, my guest is Heather Paye, author, illustrator and book designer extraordinaire - I'm a little biased because Heather is my illustrator and she does such a wonderful job. Her covers are really striking and I've heard nothing but great things about her covers when I show them to other writers.

Heather, tell us a little bit about yourself, your likes (and no Taco Bell doesn't count since apparently the whole world knows you love Taco Bell), dislikes - who you are.

HP: Well, I'm the author of A Gift from Above, the soon-to-be-released young-adult, fantasy novel Howl, and Cacti, a children's book due to be released March 1st. Besides my writing career, I'm a freelance graphic designer, editor at Joyfully Reviewed, and student. I think it's safe to say I'm a bit of a workaholic. I like music, humans, puppies, dancing, and good causes. I dislike people who aren't open-minded, coffee, malfunctioning computers, and slow internet.

You are a young writer, only 17 soon to be 18. How old were you when you started writing and what is the first piece you wrote that you would have considered publishable in your early writing days?

HP: I was nine years old when I began writing my first novel. I had it in my mind that I was writing this novel to be published, even though I had no idea what the word "published" meant beyond "other people get to read it". When I started writing for publication, I had only ever written two short stories and a handful of lyrics, but I was determined to write something longer, all I had in my mind was an extremely vague idea of a young woman sitting in a cafe talking to a reporter. As I was writing, that expanded into ideas for a nine-novel-series. Currently, the first novel in this series - The Artifact Series - has just been assigned an editor and is being polished for its release.

EE: Now this sounds like an interesting series. I can't wait to read your first one when it is published. Daughter is reading A Gift From Above but she is a slow reader

What's your favorite genre to read? to write?

HP: I'm actually really picky about the genres I read. I've never actually been a big reader. When I was a kid, my sister used to consume any novel she could get her hands on, and I would read a lot just because she was - *chuckles* - but now that I have less time, I've become even more selective. My favorite genre is paranormal romance, with fantasy being a close competitor. I'm much less picky about what genre I write in, but my favorite is paranormal - stories that are absolutely intertwined with our own reality. It's fun to take the base of reality that you know - that girl in boring high school, or that guy locked in his room playing video games. You can actually get your readers to deeply relate to the character, and have them walk into something entirely fictional. To me, that is one of the most enthralling genres, and I love that I can be the one to pull the reader really indepth like that.

EE: I'm similar to that - I've found that writing short stories allows me to write just about any genre, although I'm not into vampires, werewolves, and other things that have taken over lately, but I don't mind a good ghost story as far as paranormal goes. I don't read much sci-fi or fantasy or romance, although I can write a little bit (depends on what the contest calls for).

What are your writing aspirations? aspirations in general?

HP: This is actually something I haven't really put much thought into. Of course we'd all like to be on the New York Times Bestseller list - isn't that every author's goal? To write a bestselling novel? I have several smaller goals I'm working toward right now: first is to be on the Amazon bestseller list and second is to increase my fanbase. It's really all about the readers reading and enjoying my work. Everytime I receive fan mail, it really motivates me to keep doing what I'm doing because I know someone else is reading my work, and my own thoughts have been acknowledged. The more of that, the better.

As far as my general aspirations go, I'm working toward my Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts, so I really want to get that and graduate with honors. Right now, that is what I'm really focusing on and aiming for so that I can move on to even bigger things.

EE: Do you still aspire to work for Disney/Pixar as you had told me when we first got together and you started working for me?

What's a typical day in your life like - do you have a set schedule or do you just play it by ear?

HP: Yes and no. I keep a prioritized list of the tasks I need to complete. My day consists of waking up, getting ready for my day, checking my text messages, emails - and the social networking sites, I read Twitter every morning like a national newspaper, and Facebook like a local newspaper. *chuckles* After that, I'll take a look at my schedule and decide what is due first and I'll work through my list that way. The only exception to this, is if I have school that day, then I'll complete my school work first and then move on to the to-do list. Normally, I'll finish with my school and work around 10pm.

EE: I think it's great that you have a to-do list and try to stick to it and not let anything get in your way. Gotta have set goals when you wear so many hats.

You wear many hats, what are they and which is your favorite? How do you juggle all the goings on in your life?

HP: Oh, no! I have to pick a favorite! I guess we have the author hat, graphic designer hat, editor hat, and student. All of these things are so different and there are things I deeply enjoy with all of them. At the same time, all aren't without their own frustrations at times. I'm going to say the author hat is my favorite. It's literally whatever I want it to be, it's the most flexible job I've ever had, and you can bring it to whatever legnths you want with how ever much effort you put into it. It's like taking your own continuous thought and casting it into the world to share with a bunch of people. How do I juggle it all? Sometimes it's easier and sometimes it's harder, it depends on what time of year it is. Spring is usually the busiest. 90% of what keeps everything in order is my to-do list and my iPod. If I'm supposed to be doing something - or I forget something - my iPod reminds me via my to-do list. That's all there is to it for me really.

Why Taco Bell?

HP: First, Taco Bell has wifi - any restaurant that has wifi is epic in my book. Second, Mexican food is one of my favorites. Third, their website is well-designed. That is what makes Taco Bell awesome.

EE: Many fast food places have wifi now. I've not checked out TB's website, so that may be something to do later. I like Taco Bell more than other Mexican restaurants really, but I'll reserve the awesomeness to you - lol.

If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

HP: When it comes down to it, I think Arizona will always be my place of residence - at least, primary residence. Everything that I need is here, and there's plenty to expand on with Arizona being one of the newest states. There are only two other locations I would consider: Atlanta, Georgia and California.

EE: Atlanta, really? Scary place to live or at least fly out of. I do live close to Atlanta and don't even like driving too close to it. The traffic is horrendous, even skirting the town on the major highways. I guess there are worse places in the United States to live though.

Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Elysabeth!

Thank you for participating, Heather. I really enjoyed getting to know a little more about you. Looking forward to your new series - and of course more awesome covers from you.

H.C.Paye first picked up a pen and started writing when she was about six-years-old. It started with simple lyrics, but then she moved on to short stories, and finally, when she was 10 began writing full-length novels.
Miss Paye is a part of many groups and organizations. When she is not writing, she is an editor at Joyfully Reviewed and a Graphic Designer. During her spare moments, she enjoys entertaining her Twitter followers with her random quips.

Heather can be found here
or on her blog
or her graphic design site

Desperately selling books; my one year marketing plan: by Vici Howard: 10 call to action words to help sell your book

Vici howard has posted some "call to action" words that help boost sales. What say you all? Do they work? Have you used any of these and seen an increase in your sales? What are some you have found that are working for you? I'm open to any and all suggestions since I really would love to see a boost in my sales (my pitiful 3 or 4 sales this month is very depressing).

I've tried giving away free downloads in exchange for reviews to no avail (one requested three of the titles; one requested one title and did a review already and I was offering 100 to anyone who would like to post a review on whichever title they choose or all nine titles); I ran a "Christmas special" on Finally Home half price for the week before Christmas and had 2 or 3 sales on that title and 1 of the other two titles on Kindle; I'm trying to post several times a week on a regular basis; doing book reviews every week on Friday; offering answers to young writers' questions, and have guest bloggers appear. I wonder what it is going to take to see a minimal of 10 or 15 of each title selling each and every month. Anyway - stop by and visit Vici and let her know what's worked for you. E :)

Desperately selling books; my one year marketing plan: by Vici Howard: 10 call to action words to help sell your book: I found it funny that it was easier to write a 90,000 word novel than to come up with a 30 word ad.I'm really interested in this topic becau...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Writers On The Move: Do Writers Need Brands?

As an author, do you brand? Do you have enough work out there to brand? Read Fani's perspective on branding - E :)

Writers On The Move: Do Writers Need Brands?: To brand or not to brand? That is the question. If you are a writer, branding might seem to you like the most disturbing proposition. Afte...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Review Friday and Guest schedules

Today should be my first guest post, but since I started acquiring guests to appear on my blog a little late, I decided today would be a listing of what I have lined up for the next few months, as well as the book review Friday schedule.

January 6 - To Tell The Truth by Faye M. Tollison
January 13 - Haunted Destiny: A Midnight Dragonfly (an exclusive short story) by Ellie James
January 20 - Radium Halos by Shelley Stout
January 27 - "Twin Shorts" by Sybil Nelson
February 3 - all three Priscilla the Great stories by Sybil Nelson
February 10 - Queen Bee of Bridgeton by Leslie Dubois
February 17 - Guardian of Eden by Leslie Dubois
February 23 - Ain't No Sunshine by Leslie Dubois
March 2 - two of the three books in the Saderia series by Sarah Renee
March 9 - Murder Half Baked by Kathleen Delaney
March 16 - Dear Killer by Linda Lovely
March 23 - Delicious and Suspicious by Elizabeth Spann Craig

(I have enough books read on the kindle to fill up 9 months so will add to the schedule as I decide when the reviews will be posted)

This takes me through the first quarter of the year; the list of books to be scheduled for review include Still Life With Murder, Murder in Montbleu, A Touch of Gold, Deadly Daggers, Ghost for Rent, The Strange Case of Finley Jayne, Memories of Roberts Road, Murder Half Baked, Unsigned, Live Free or Die, Lye in Wait, From the Graves of Babes, Dead to Write, Kissing Kelli, Celebrities for Breakfast, Code Blue,, Southern Fried, For Sale: Old Manor House (free ghosts included), A Haunting at Hensley Hall, the Hobbitville Saga stories, "Famous Last Words", "A Very Holly Christmas", "Christmas at the North Pole Compound", "Birds in Paradise", Murder's Not Cool, "Deadly Detects: A Victorian San Francisco Story", "Tea at the Biltmore", The Witch of Agnesi, Her Wiccan, Wiccan Ways, and books that are currently being read will be added to the schedule later in the year. These reviews should take me through the end of the year or pretty close.

I thank all of you for responded to my guest post opportunity email. I'd been posting for several weeks prior to 6th of this month on plurk asking for teachers, librarians and authors to guest but have had no responses. On the 6th, I sent a bcc email to a good many of my author friends asking them to be a guest on my blog. Here is the line up through May:

January 25th - Interview with author/illustrator/graphic designer Heather Paye, who is my illustrator, layout designer and cover designer. She also writes and publishes her own stories as well as putting together some poetry anthologies.

February 27th - Interview with Leslie Dubois, author of Ain't No Sunshine, Guardian of Eden and the dance dreamer series, as well as a couple of other books. (Leslie's alter ego, Sybil Nelson, is the first member of the SC Author Connection, three authors from SC, who will attend several larger book festivals and other events. Elysabeth Eldering is the second member of the group.)

February 29th - Interview with Sarah Renee, author of the Saderia series. (Sarah is the third member of the SC Author Connection who will be making apparances at several larger events throughout the year.)

March 26th - Guest post by Elizabeth Spann Craige/Riley Adams, author of at least three different series, who blogs over on Mystery Writing is Murder.

March 28th - Shelley Stout, author of Radium Halos

April 23rd - Interview with Deanna Klingel

April 25th - Interview with children's author, Rena Jones

May 21st - Guest posting by Carol Baldwin, author of "Teaching the Story"

May 23rd - Interview with author Faye M. Tollison, author of To Tell the Truth and The Bible Murders (coming soon).

June 25th - Guest posting by Jen Wylie, author of the Ever series

June 27th - Interview with Darcie Helle, author of Cutting Edge and other stories



September 24 - Interview with Mary Lee, author of "Air Force Mom".

September 26 -


November (tentatively have Cheryl Malandrinos during her book tour for her new release)


As I fill up the schedule, I will add to this listing.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Writers On The Move: Do You Want to Be a Writer?

Some good tips in getting started as a writer; some more interesting tips in the comments - Stop by and leave a comment - E :)

Writers On The Move: Do You Want to Be a Writer?: How does one begin a career in writing? I asked myself that same question. I’ve had an idea for a children’s book for several years, but did...

This and That - end of week report

So here it is the end of the third week of January and sales have been nil across the board, although I do think I had one view this week of one of the books on smashwords. I don't know what else to do to increase sales. You would think with 9 titles available and one almost available (which by the way will only be available for the Kindle when I do get it published) that I would have some sales. I'm trying to put myself out there and advertise my blog postings and my websites. (UPDATE 01/24/2012: When checking through all the kindle sites for the month-to-date reports this afternoon, I found a copy of "The Proposal" sold in the UK on the 21st, which would have been when this posting originally went up. So that makes 1 sale for the week ending 01/21/2012. - nothing to brag about really but a sale is a sale.) -

I went to the food bank Thursday and ended up spending over an hour there talking with one of the ladies whom I've known a long time but have lost contact with and found out she is now homeschooling her daughter and that she belongs to the Homeschooling Association in our county seat. I handed her a pack of bookmarks to pass out the information to the association members and we talked about possibly doing a workshop for the kids or even having me do a 6-week co-op instruction thing. Fingers crossed that something comes of that.

On the state story side, I'm doing my afghan drawing again this year; see my JGDS blog for more info about that. I have completed 54 granny squares for that and will be spending the week putting them together. I'm also working on finishing up daughter's afghan that I started before Christmas so those two projects are going; I'm kind of shifting between them but will probably work more on daughter's now since i still have 8 squares to crochet and then put them together. I may need to get some more yarn to make another row so her lap throw will be 6 squares per row by 5 rows - I'll have to decide when I get the 4th row completed.

When I finish the red/white/blue granny square afghan and I've finished daughter's, then with my left over red/white and blue yarn, I'll finish the round ripple afghan which will be for the drawing next year, and I'll do a varigated red/white/blue Alternating V Shell afghan. I'll be collecting my yarn throughout the year to make that one since it is only available at Hobby Lobby and is rather on the expensive side (at $3.99 per skein, not something I can afford) and I will have to get several skeins every other payday using their 40% off coupon and making several trips to town to get the yarn. I'll also have to pass funds to daughter and every time she goes have her pick up a couple of skeins too. The pattern says roughly 3 pounds of worsted yarn (the skeins are 5 ounces each) so if I've calculated corrected, hopefully I can get by with 8 skeins which is only 40 ounces, which is 1/2 pound shy. I will end it with just 8 skeins.

So that's what's been happening this week. Hopefully I'll start seeing some incline in my sales over the weeks. If anyone has any input as to how to increase my sales, I'm open to suggestions. Leave a comment and tell me something you'd like to see me doing that might help me boost sales - thanks all - E :)

Giveaway - free ebooks

My followers are slowly climbing and I thank you for that. So, to thank you all for following me, when I reach 150 followers on this blog, I'm going to give each of you a free ebook - your choice of either Finally Home or the two short stories "The Proposal" and "The Tulip Kiss". I'll contact you all through your profile so please make sure you have an email available. No need to sign up or leave a comment or anything. Just recommend folks to follow my blog and when the 150th person is showing as following, I'll send out emails asking which you would like to receive - E :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Review Friday - Radium Halos by Shelley Stout

This is reposting of my previous review of this book but it is worth mentioning again. Radium Halos is an excellent read. Shelley has added a study guide that is available for free here. Shelley will be my guest on March 28th, so stay tuned for more from Shelley.

Rating: 5 stars

Radium Halos is a very lightly written, full of humor and sadness and other aspects of life novel that has the potential to be a made-for-TV movie. The characters are really brought to life by Ms. Stout's descriptions and often humorous flashbacks of all the people who had passed through her main character's, Helen Waterman, life over the span of fifty years.

Helen worked at the Radium Dial Factory in Illinois one brief summer and only did that through her older sister's urging. The journey takes us from the early 1920s to the mid 1970s (although the latter date is not really known, it is elluded to through a description of Helen's niece's hairdo and that she is out of the times). The flashbacks are woven in quite nicely and don't really take away from the story at all. I felt like I was listening to my grandmother (in a sense) recollecting her time during certain periods of her life. I found myself cheering for Helen, crying with her, crying for her and hoping that just once she would stand up for herself and let it be known.

I really hope this novel does get made into a movie as it would be very eye opening to folks who know nothing of this time period. I had never heard of the radium dial factory info until I met the author at a writer's conference a couple of years ago. I'm sure in its heyday, the factories did get a lot of attention but there are folks who are still around today that possibly have some connection or other to these terrible conditions and should definitely be shown the dangers of radium and how it has affected or impacted the lives of those exposed to the harsh working conditions.

I have already recommended this book to several folks and will continue recommending and will keep my eyes open for the movie to come out - E :)

Product Details
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (October 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1448696224
ISBN-13: 978-1448696222
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces

Radium Halos is available for kindle for the low price of only 99 cents.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Writing conferences, book festivals and workshops, oh my!

After I linked back to the YAAYNHO posting about Young Writers Conferences, I got to thinking about writing conferences in general. Even though it's January, now is the time to start thinking about which conferences you would like to attend or try to do a presentation. I would love to be invited to be a presenter at a conference geared specifically for young writers - just think, an opportunity to shape young writers and play a part in their possible future success. I'm not a big name (yet) but maybe one of these days.

On the other hand, it is nice to think about workshops and conferences to enhance your writing career. If you have the means and opportunity to attend them, then by all means, you definitely should. If you are like me and really tight on your budget and can only think about attending one a year, then you need to find just the right one to attend.

Where does one start looking for such conferences? A really good place to start is your local area - maybe some of the colleges offer 1-day writing workshops through their creative writing program or English department; maybe some of the local writing groups offer them throughout the year. If you don't have any local writing groups, then a search on the web will get closer to finding the conferences that are fairly close to you, but the best guide out there is the Shaw Guides. They list by state and outside the United States and there is usually something for everyone.

Why do you want to start thinking about conferences now? This is prep work, allowing you to make a list of what the conferences have to offer or could offer based on past years' offerings, helps you keep track of dates (when registration opens, ends, early bird specials on lodging, et cetera), and also gives you some comparisons to see which is the best fit for you. There may be several that will fit your needs but based on cost, locale and time (when the conference is held, how much time you would have to take away from your full-time job if you have one, travel time, et cetera), this will help you make a more informed decision.

Book festivals are the same. If you are looking for a place to be an exhibitor or presenter, many book festivals give you that opportunity. Most book festivals are free to the public and also offer things like panel discussions and presentations by the authors who are invited to participate in such a way. The SC Book Festival (where I was an exhibitor in 2010, representing 4RV Publishing and split a booth with Shelley Stout, author of Radium Halos) is one such book festival that has guest authors, presenters, panel discussion and a large exhibit space. Book festivals are everywhere but the list I had a few years apparently doesn't exist any more. Here is a site that will get you to a listing of book festivals by state and even internationally, if that is what you are interested in.

Writing workshops tend to be 1-day events that are offered by either local colleges or authors and seem to be more intense, concentring on one topic. These can occur at writing conferences as well and are usually offered as special courses, master classes, or intense workshops. Usually the cost of these workshops is separate from the cost of the conference. When I attended the SCBWI conference in 2010, I signed up for the intense workshop for PAL members (PAL = published and listed) and it was definitely worth the money.

Non-writing people say that writing is a lonely profession but if you look at all these opportunities, writing is far from a lonely profession. These are opportunities to network with like-minded people or professionals who can help your writing career continue on the right track. Writing groups or critique groups are also another network writers should be involved in. These are the folks who usually do know when and where conferences are as well as who can offer sound advice; after all, their goals are similar to yours as far as writing goes - to get published, but also to publish the best stories you can publish.

Do a little searching now and make a list of places you can see your books doing well (exhibitor/vendor wise) or where you have an opportunity to present your wisdom to the upcoming writers; it's never too early to start. Wishing you all wonderful writing adventures - E :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Createspace announcement

No, they are not going belly up. No they are not changing names.

I received an email today regarding the Pro Advantage plan on createspace. For those of you who are published with createspace already, you probably received the same announcement. For those of you considering publishing with createspace, some good news for everyone. The Pro Advantage plan has been discontinued, but not to fret you still have the ability to get your books listed in the expanded distribution.

What this means for authors publishing using createspace is what we were paying for books under the pro advantage plan is now the same for every one, which in turn means higher royalties on our sales. The pro advantage allowed us to list our books with Ingrams (bookstores), Baker & Taylor (schools and libraries) and Createspace direct distribution. It would cost us $39 each for the titles we listed with the pro advantage, with a renewal of $5 per year to keep the title active. Now, the expanded distribution is only $25 and from what I'm reading, this is a 1-time payment on each title to get the same distribution as what the pro advantage gave us.

This makes me a happy camper because I have a short book that I just wasn't too thrilled with ordering too many copies at once because it wasn't cost effective and realistically for the cost to print the book and what I'm retailing it for, I wasn't making very much royalty wise. Now that the pro advantage is gone, the book will cost me the same as my state books to print and I can leave it listed through amazon and my createspace store and not have to worry about paying that $39 to have expanded distribution. I won't feel so bad about ordering copies of that book to have on hand now. Doing a happy dance over here for this new announcement - :)

Keep on writing, see you in the postings - E :)


This question is from R., a student in Ms. Jurkowski's writing club: We need to know what a writer does when you are writing a story and your train of thought just stops.

MY ANSWER: Usually walk away for a few minutes - go for a walk, or write another scene or something unrelated - give him a random word and have him incorporate into what he's writing now or have him just write something totally unrelated to what he is working on - for like 5 minutes - maybe that will spark his thinking back to what he's working on now.

Teacher's reply: Thank you so much for answering R. right away! He was near tears and ready to quit Writer's Club because he was stuck in that story. He had written a page and a half already and I hated the thought of him quitting. Your advice was great and he tried it. He was just wandering around the room but at least he didn't quit. He was so excited that you responded right away and I left him with the phone so that as soon as you answered he would be the one to read it. He thought that was wonderful!

My reply to teacher about quitting: Cool. Glad he is sticking with it. Sometimes we do start stories that we just have to put away for a long time and just move on to something else. Please tell him not to quit (although every author has been there), but to keep plugging away. The stories will come as they need to come, like the story I'm working on right now - it is really speaking to me and causing me not to work on my state stories.

I'm sure every writer at some point in time has come upon that proverbial brick wall and felt like quitting, but if you quit, you leave so many what ifs out there, that you may feel lost for a while. Quitting isn't the answer, but sometimes a story may fizzle and will have served its purpose of only getting you started on something major. Thanks for the great question, R., and I hope you keep up the writing. Mrs. E :)

Monday, January 16, 2012


Today is Martin Luther King Day and technically a holiday. I don't have much to offer in way of a post for the holiday. Perhaps you all can reflect on MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech and journal your reflections of what that speech means to you. If you would like to share any of your thoughts here, that would be great. Keep writing - E :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

JA Konrath's take on success

I was reading through Kristi Bernard's blog, The Neophyte Writer, (see blog posting from yesterday for direct link to her review), which led me to a posting she did about JA Konrath's posting of $100,000 in 3-weeks, which led me to another posting about that article, which led me to yet another article and finally to JA Konrath's blog. I read his latest posting first and then read his $100,000 posting.

For those of you who think that self-pubbing and overnight success go hand-in-hand, here is JA Konrath's take on his success; this on the heels of showing his $100,000 earnings in a 3-week period.

Remember, he first self-pubbed on Kindle in April of 2009; all of these sales are only on his Kindle published books/stories, not anything else; he also has been working hard for 24 years.

I agree with a lot of what he said about self-oublishing either in print or ebook format not being a get-rich-quick thing or success happens overnight. It does take a lot of hard work and persistence as well as just lucking up on the right combination of everything. According to his blog, he only has 2066 followers, so why is he earning $100,000 in a 3-week period (that is the last week of December and the first two weeks of January)? He is reaching folks he wouldn't have with his traditional publisher and he's continually putting out stories.

That is my objective, to reach folks I normally wouldn't with a traditional publisher, although my state stories really are limited to reaching power because of them being a United States specific topic. My other stories, ebook only I'm publishing everywhere that Amazon (and Barnes & Noble) lets me, worldwide.

I'm thinking "The Tulip Kiss" should do well in Holland due to the fact that my husband's family has roots there and at one time there actually used to be Eldering Tulips. I sent the story to my father-in-law along with "The Proposal" and Finally Home as ebook versions. I'm hoping he will spread the word to other people, especially family in Holland and that I should start seeing sales.

I know this writer will keep plugging away, doing events, publishing new stories as much as possible and hope that my success comes quicker than 24 years. E :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Proposal Review

My second review on this short story. The first was posted on smashwords when it first came out. Check out Kristi's site and you never know what you mind find interesting over there - E :)

This and That - end of week

So, I've a campaign to give away all my titles as PDF files for free in exchange for reviews. To date, I've had one actual request (have sent three files to the one person) and two who said they were interested in reviewing the books but haven't made the request yet. I've been posting on my plurk which goes to my FB page and twitter page and the one person who has requested my books actually retweeted a post last week. He lives in England so the state books wouldn't do him much good, but if he wanted them, I would've been happy to send to him.

Sales this week have been very minimal - Finally Home - ebook = 0, print = 0; "The Proposal" (an April Fools Day story) = 1 on smashwords; "The Tulip Kiss" = 1 on kindle. No sales on Nook this week. I hope those folks who purchased the copies will write reviews for the stories. I'm getting views on smashwords; unfortunately, I can't gage how many people view my books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Smashwords is the only one that shows how many views and so far "The Proposal" has had 46 views; Finally Home 25 views and "The Tulip Kiss" 15 views. I can only hope I'm getting similar views on the other two places or more but that isn't showing up as sales, so need to do something to help generate sales.

I decided to do something with "Bride-and-Seek" when it is published (hoping within the next couple of days or at least by the end of week next week). I'm going to list it exclusively on kindle for the quarter and put out my five free ads during that time and see if that will boost sales. I've been following the Sisters in Crime yahoo forum and there is one lady there who has been reporting her progress throughout her time with one of her books listed this way (what this exclusive listing does is alows prime members to get the ebook version for free (borrow) and the author has to not put that title up for sale on any other ebook sales place (no Nook, no smashwords, no fictionwise (if they are still in existence), no sales on your website in ebook format) but you can keep the title in print format everywhere, if it is available in print). Anyway, we are pretty close to having a completed cover for "Bride-and-Seek" and once that is approved, I will be putting the story up on Kindle only. The ads hopefully will lead to folks checking out my other titles and hopefully purchasing them.

The other thing I'm considering is FB ads. Another author friend of mine has just started using the FB ads (middle of December) and saw a dramatic increase in her sales - something like 48 books over a 2-week time period - now that's the kind of sales I'd love to have since my goal is only 15 to 25 a month of each title this would be great to see sales like this.

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and my posting will be a short one about the holiday. Wednesday's posting will be a question from a 3rd grader Lunchtime Writer's Club member in Indiana. Thursday will be about book festivals and other things, and look for a review on Shelley Stout's book Radium Halos on book review Friday.

So signing off on another dismal sales week - until next week, - E :)

UPDATE: 01/16/2012 - I haven't really been checking my sales on createspace, so I've kind of neglected my state stories a bit but I just checked it today and apparently I had an order for State of Wilderness last Friday through the expanded distribution (could have been to a bookstore, a library or school or through createspace directly). - So sorry for neglecting my state stories - lol.

Challenge Your Reading: Ebook Challenge

Now this is a reading challenge I think I can participate in since I've been reading ebooks more than print books now that I have a kindle. I could use an ipod touch for next to nothing (if someone knows where I might get one please let me know). Anyway - check out the different reading challenges on the page - E :)

Challenge Your Reading: Ebook Challenge: Host: Workaday Reads Goal: read ebooks Minimum Requirement: 5 ebooks Restrictons: none 2012 sign up

Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Review Friday - Haunted Destiny: A Midnight Dragonfly by Ellie James

amazon's description: Teenage mystic Rachelle Dugas knows to expect the unexpected when she fills in for a friend leading a Haunted New Orleans tour. But when she decides to check out a haunted house on her own, nothing prepares her for the secrets lurking in the shadows—or the twist of destiny about to unfold.

Anything related to butterflies or dragonflies, I'll give a chance. I also got this as a free download, so even better. Doesn't hurt to get something for $0.00, and something as well-written as "Haunted Destiny". I loved the setting of this story - New Orleans. I've not been to New Orleans but I felt like I was right there exploring with Rachelle or guiding the tour right beside her. Rachelle takes over the tour for one night due to her friend being injured. It also has been raining all day and some of the tourists felt that the tour would be cancelled. Rachelle knows all the places to highlight and does so with the expertise gifted to her. Of course, her mystic powers show her things she's not sure she wants to see or that she doesn't understand the meaning of until she gets caught in a bit of a downpour and all the tourists have left. When she enters the one house, not by the usual means of front door being opened, she finds that her dreams were more foretelling of her destiny than of anyone else's.

This is a very short story but a very delightful read. I recommend "Haunted Destiny" to everyone unless you don't like tales of fate or ghost stories (only kidding). I rate it a 4.5 stars.

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 194 KB
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (November 23, 2011)
Sold by: Macmillan
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Find more on Ellie James here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Writers On The Move: Self-Publishing: A Three Step Primer

A simplistic view of self-publishing - E :)

Writers On The Move: Self-Publishing: A Three Step Primer: The world of publishing is changing dramatically.  Every day it seems, there are new options on how to publish your book, and many of thes...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Priscilla the Great's book giveaway

Priscilla the Great Blog

My friend, Sybil Nelson, one-third of the SC Author Connection and author of the Priscilla the Great series, is giving away 100 ebook copies of her book, just for following her blog. Check it out and if you like what you see, how about following her. I told her since I already have copies of the first three books, I would let someone else have my copy, so really that is 101 followers that she needs. She is up to 74 right now, so she is very close. See ya'll over there - E :)


From a student in Mr. Hughes' sixth grade class - How do you write onomatopoeia?

While working with Mr. Hughes' sixth grade class during writing time today, one of the students asked how she would write onomatopoeia - like the sound of a doorbell or things like that. Being the resident author for the class, Mr. Hughes threw the question my way. I've seen it written several ways, ALL CAPS or italicized usually with an exclamation mark following. I answered the young lady by saying that italics were frowned upon or using them extensively, so told her to put them in all caps. While they were working on their writing projects, I decided to do a little research. This is what I found, specifically the section about italics, number 5.

I did share this with Mr. Hughes and while I was reading it, I tried to think of an example of when I had used onomatopoeia in my writing. It came to me - in my short story "The Proposal". I start out with frogs ribbitting. Italicized and an exclamation point following. Ribbit! Ribbit!

Now you know the answer to the question. If it is at the beginning of the sentence, it would be capitalized or if it stands alone like I did and italicized. If it is within a sentence structure, you would italicize the "sound". An example they gave was like machine gun firing - you would write it as rat-a-tat-tat.

So how do you write onomatopoeia in your stories? Mrs. E :)

If you teach a writing class or have a writing club and would like your students' questions answered, please forward them to me at eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com. It's okay to send several questions at a time as I will be doing a "Wednesday Weekly Young Writers Writing Question" posting every week. I will not use students' names, but if you give me their initials, I can do that as well as the teacher's name (example E.E. in Mr. Hughes' class ask: ...) that is how my postings will go.

Keep checking my blog weekly for a new question and response. E :)

Followers = Readers?

Does this statement ring true for every author's blog you follow?

Do you follow blogs because you actually read them or the author's works? Do you follow blogs just to follow blogs?

Part of the strategy of having blogs is to build a web presence and to gain readers for your books. Authors should have blogs which are constantly changing as well as a website, which doesn't need to be updated as often but still needs to be updated, especially if you have new books, works in progress, and things that aren't going anywhere for the rest of your life.

In my social networks - FB, twitter, plurk and my two blogs/websites (one is for my JGDS series only and the other is for all my other writing plus family and life in general) - I have over 1000 followers combined (may be even closer to 2000 but this was my closest guestimate). By all accounts, I should have some pretty consistent page visits on my blogs. I don't. My book sales are next to nothing for everything I have published, but I'm at a loss. How do you increase sales? How do you get more followers to be readers of your books? This is a dilemma that has me perplexed.

This year I'm making some changes to my blogging schedule and hopefully will pick up more followers, which hopefully will mean more readers of my books/stories. I will do a Book Review Friday, every Friday throughout the year except for the month of July and probably the month of December. The last week of the month on Monday and Wednesday, I will have guest bloggers (and the schedule is still open as I've put a call out to librarians, teachers and authors but have had no responses yet, other than the two for February) and then will post announcements and writing related information on Mondays and Wednesdays. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be open for reposting things of interest to my readers from other blogs, so there may be several postings on one day if I feel there are postings from several other blogs I follow and read consistently that may be of interest to my readers. Hopefully by being a more consistent and almost daily blogger, I will draw in more followers and thereby more readers of my stories.

So I ask you the reader, why are you following my blogs and other blogs that you follow? Do you actually buy or borrow the author's books and read them? What is it that has attracted you to that person's blog? Feedback encouraged and welcomed. - E :)

Tomorrow, find out what book reviews have to do with readers and followers over on the Writers on the Move blog. They are all connected and shouldn't be exclusive of one another since writers need reviews as well as readers. E :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Heather Paye

In case some of you aren't following my illustrator, Heather Paye, here is her newest posting and it's chock full of some great things going on. She is offering an e-course on creating in-depth characters for the low price of only $5. What's better than that low price is her "free" advantage. If you are one of the first ten persons to register for the course (using her code as specified in her post), you can get in for free. I hope you all take advantage of this and will support my illustrator, such an ambitious young person. - E :)

Cluster Map/Visits/Comments

Since putting up my cluster map Saturday and it is still early in the day Tuesday, I've had 42 visitors from varying places. As you can see from the totals below, visitors from the United States marginally win (so far), but I ask you - why are people from Russia, Malaysia, and some other countries I've never heard of visiting my page? If I have so many visitors in just three short days, why do I not have more followers on my blogs? It would seem if people are visiting, the least they could do is leave a comment and let me know they like certain posts or they have something to say about something I've posted (I like to think I have something of interest to offer and that's why I have a few followers).

Current Country Totals From 7 Jan 2012 to 10 Jan 2012.

United States (US) 22
(California (CA) - 6, Minnesota (MN) - 4, Massachusetts (MA) - 2, Illinois (IL) - 1, Michigan (MI) - 1, Washington (WA) - 1, New York (NY) - 1, Colorado (CO) - 1, Texas (TX) - 1, Georgia (GA) - 1, South Carolina (SC) - 1, North Carolina (NC) - 1, Florida (FL) - 1)

Germany (DE) 3
Sachsen 1
Thuringen 1
Baden-Wurttemberg 1
France (FR) 2
Ile-de-France 2
United Kingdom (GB) 2
Cambridgeshire 1
Hampshire 1
Russian Federation (RU) 2
Murmansk 1
Saint Petersburg City 1
Canada (CA) 2
Ontario (ON) 2
Spain (ES) 2
Madrid 2
Denmark (DK) 1
Syddanmark 1
Colombia (CO) 1
Valle del Cauca 1
Cambodia (KH) 1
Phnum Penh 1
Philippines (PH) 1
Manila 1
Brazil (BR) 1
Rio de Janeiro 1
Taiwan (TW) 1
T'ai-pei 1
Malaysia (MY) 1

So how do visitors to my blogs and comments translate into sales? Stop by tomorrow for a posting about "Followers = Readers?" which will segue way to my posting on the Writers on the Move blog Thursday.

As always, I encourage my readers/followers to leave comments and if you come by the blog accidentally, then please follow my blog. I really need followers. Thanks - see you all in the postings - E :)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Book Covers

I have a new cover! Psych! - lol. I guess that dates me. Back when I was in high school, we would say "Psych" when we faked out someone. I was really hoping to have a new cover for "Bride-and-Seek" by now to share with you all but I don't. I'm patiently waiting, trying not to push Heather too much since I know I'm not her only client and that she is getting ready to start back to school soon. I have a really clear vision of what I want the cover to look like but whether or not I've conveyed that to Heather is another question. I do know that once she gives me a first cover, if it isn't exactly what I had in mind, she will take my suggestions and go back to the drawing board and rework it until my vision comes to fruition.

Finally Home - mock up full cover first version

Finally Home - full cover final version

Case in point, Finally Home was originally the attic scene with the mirror and Kelly sort of looking to the mirror. I loved the mirror, wasn't too crazy about the attic, sent Heaher some pictures and a bit more description of what I pictured in my mind and she sent me back what is now gracing my book.

"The Proposal" - front cover - only and final version

"The Proposal" actually came to me almost perfect. I don't recall making any changes or asking that something be changed because it was just right for the story. I did have to change one little section in the story to fit the cover but it was a minor change; sometimes that does happen too.

"The Tulip Kiss" - front cover final version

"The Tulip Kiss" is another case in that the first one she sent me I loved everything about it save for the way the wording was getting washed out and the tulip was overpowering color wise. On the fourth attempt, she sent me now what is displayed on all the sites where the ebook is available.

So I have no doubt that when Heather sends me "Bride-and-Seek" it will either be almost perfect (there is always room for some improvement in everything) and what I pictured or it may need tweaking, so as soon as I've got a cover, I can then turn around and share with you all as well as get the story published on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. Having the "just right cover" for your story is very important. I'm very thankful to have a talented young lady like Heather who is willing to work with me and create some very exquisite and eye-catching covers. Keep up the good work, Heather. See you all in the postings - E :)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Writers On The Move: Got Rhythm?

This is a great article by Heidi Thomas and something I could have used a couple of months ago when I did my writing session for the teachers, but I did touch on this a bit. Hopefully more teachers can use this advice when teaching writing to their students - E :)

Writers On The Move: Got Rhythm?: What does writing have to do with music? When you are in the revision and self-editing mode with your Work In Progress (WIP), it is helpful...

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Writers On The Move: Forget Resolutions Go For Real SolutionsH- have ...

A different way to look at "resolutions" - using acrosting poems to come up with your goals and these are goals for all writers - in every aspect - E :)

Writers On The Move: Forget Resolutions Go For Real Solutions

H- have ...
: Forget Resolutions Go For Real Solutions H- have faith in your abilities A- advertise and market P-post positive, handwritten no...

YA Authors You've Never Heard Of: Young Writers Conferences

I hope some of the young writers will take advantage of this and check out some of the conferences geared specifically for you. I'm going to look into them and see about being a presenter - E :)

YA Authors You've Never Heard Of: Young Writers Conferences: I've mentioned the sessions on writing nonhumans and aliens I present at young writers conferences before ( here ), but, since I'm writing t...

Friday, January 06, 2012

Book Review Friday - To Tell The Truth by Faye M. Tollison

My first book review of the new year. All books reviewed the first few months will be what I've read since receiving my Kindle last March. I have a list of books that will probably take me through at least nine months, plus all the books I'm reading this year all in my different collections. I'm reading mysteries, YA and thrillers and a little bit of everything in between. Hope you enjoy the Book Review Fridays, and hope it brings you a new list of things to read.

(SNEAK PREVIEW: In February, I will be reviewing Leslie Dubois' books and she will be a guest blogger the last Monday in February. She and one other author will be sharing a vendor booth with me at the SCASL conference in March and so I want to feature many of her books leading up to the event. She is a phenomenal writer and amazes me how diversified she is. Stay tuned for more on her.)

TO TELL THE TRUTH by Faye M. Tollison
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4-1/2 stars

SYNOPSIS: Anna Kacey had faced many difficulties in her life and had carried some heavy responsibilities. When she met Senator Kenneth Levall, her world soared. At least until it collapsed. Until that fateful day when the gun she held fired, and the senator fell on the floor at her feet and died. Undercover cop, Detective John Mentz, came into her life and fell deeply in love with Anna. He gave her reason to question her relationship with the senator, whom he was investigating for drug trafficking. But as strong a woman as Anna was, she had to dig deep to find the strength to endure what followed: the murder of her sister, the destruction of her life, and lastly facing a courtroom full of people, a judge, and a jury in an effort to save the man she really loved. He had confessed to the murder of the senator in order to protect Anna from being charged with murder. It was now time for her to stand up and To Tell the Truth.

My Review: I saw this story from beginning to end. I even had a hand in editing it. This story had at one time been submitted to Harlequin Mystery or Suspense line (I've forgotten the exact name of the line) and Faye was told the story needed to be longer or that it wasn't a good fit. I really was hoping someone would pick the story up because it is a good story. The suspense is going through the trials and tribulation with Anna and John and really coming to root for them. Anna is a strong character and I believe this is because Faye really did know her well, like a real person whom she had known all her life.

The romance that starts between John and Anna is distant and is still in the budding stages, but that is okay, the romantic feelings do get rekindled in the next story in the series. If you like hot and steamy romance, this is not the book for you. If you like finding out what's going to happen next and a book that keeps you turning the pages to do just that, then this is the book for you.

To Tell The Truth is available in print and on the Kindle. It is part of the KDP Select program so is available to Prime members for free as part of the lending program.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Faye M. Tollison is a member of Sisters In Crime and has published a short story in Petigru Review, the anthology published by the South Carolina Writers Workshop, as well as numerous critiques in Printed Matters, the newletter published by the Greenville Chapter of the SCWW. She has been writing for many years and has now become serious enough to publish her first book. She has loved writing this book and is now working on her second book, The Bible Murders.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Book Clubs

Sunday night or Monday morning of this week, I thought about adding some discussion questions to my website for Finally Home. Why, you ask? So hopefully a book club will pick up my book and add to their calendar. My friend and author, Faye Tollison, was recently invited to come speak at a local book club in her neighborhood to discuss her book To Tell The Truth. Coming up with the discussion questions is a bit harder than expected. With my state books, it was easy to come up with the discussion questions and include them at the back of the book because everything is based on clues in the books - the study guide uses this technique to take some of the clues a bit further as deeper discussion questions or research projects. With my generalized fiction and this being my only other print book, discussion questions are really needed if the book is being used for a book club reading.

I'm looking at a new way to make folks aware of my stories and I hope that book clubs will be one of the ways. If you are interested in having Finally Home as a book club read, please let me know and I will offer a discount on books ordered directly from me and they will be signed copies. Drop me an email at with the subject "Finally Home book club" and how many books you need, when you need them by and if you would like me to visit your book club.

I've started a new story, tentatively titled Imogene - Innocense Lost and this one will have discussion questions because I just feel that there is a place for this story in a book club at some time in the future. I will keep you updated on the progress of that story as it happens. The main goal the first two weeks of January is to get as many of the four state stories to be published this year written. Then I will work on Imogene and keep you updated to her progress. If you would like more information on the state stories, please stop by the JGDS blog or the JGDS website and see what's available and what's coming up.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Workaday Reads: 2012 Self-Published Reading Challenge Sign-up

Here is another reading challenge and this is a good one - too bad I didn't know about this one last year - I would have read at least 25 and probably more by indie authors; oh well, hindsight is 20/20. This came to by way of Priscilla over at Prissy Fit. Stop by and see what it's about - E :)

Workaday Reads: 2012 Self-Published Reading Challenge Sign-up: I'm jumping right into challenge hosting next year, and adding a second challenge to my blog, that way there is a challenge to match each...

YA Historical Fiction Challenge

Here's a challenge for all of you out there who read historical fiction, specifically YA historical fiction. This came in my email this morning from Ren over at All By Myshelf.

This is a 3-level challenge of 5, 10 or 15 books. So easy enough since most of us voracious readers are reading at least a book a week - so shouldn't be a problem meeting the low level of books required to meet this challenge. Good luck to all who participate. Make sure you stop by the YA Bliss blog and sign up for the challenge (click the title of this posting to be taken directly to challenge blog).

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Karen Cioffi's Writing and Marketing ebook Extravaganza

If you are a writer, a published author or just starting on your journey and are thinking about writing, here are some ebooks available to help you on your way. Karen Cioffi, the creator of the Writers on the Move blog and group is offering a plethora of information. Please stop by her sites and check out what she has to offer. - E :)

2012 Writing and Marketing eBook Extravaganza
by Karen Cioffi

To start the New Year with a BANG, from January 1st through February 28, 2012, Karen Cioffi is offering all her writing and marketing e-books (purchased directly from her site(s) using the Paypal SHOPPING CART) for $1.19 each. This will also include any new titles added within that time period.

Yes, that’s right, only $1.19 for each of these titles:

How to Write Books for Children: Writing, Publishing, and Marketing Children’s Books (nominated in the 2011 Global eBooks Awards – over 100 pages)

Editing Books Like a Pro: Self-Editing for Books and Articles

How to Create an eBook and Its Many Uses

Writing, Publishing, and Marketing – You Can Do It!

How to Start a Freelance Writing Business

How to Attract Customers With Informational Marketing

Learn How to Create and Sell Information Products From Your Own Site

New titles to be coming some time in 2012 include:
Webinar Marketing: Create and Present Your Own Webinars
Book Marketing: DIY Virtual Book Tours From Start to Finish
Book Marketing: Soup to Nuts
Marketing Information Products

If you’re reading this you’re probably an author or writer, and it’s no doubt you know how important it is to stay on top of your writing and marketing game, and the above e-books will help you do just that.

For only $1.19 each, get all seven titles for under $10.

Click on the links above to review what each book has to offer – each landing page will have a shopping cart on January 1st, for your convenience. Be sure to use the Shopping Cart Paypal Buy Button, otherwise you’ll pay full price.

For a complete ONE page list (with brief descriptions of each ebook) go here.

About the author: Karen Cioffi:
Learn about writing and marketing with Karen Cioffi at here. Sign up for her free newsletter, A Writer’s World, and get TWO free site-related e-books for subscribing, and ONE more just for stopping by.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Babies, Books, and Signs: A-Z Challenge 2012

Here's another reading challenge. I'll keep posting them as I get them but that doesn't mean I'm participating in all of them. Pick and choose which ones you would like to participate in. This one seems easy enough but it will be difficult finding books starting with X, Y and Z - good luck if you decide to take this challenge - E :)

Babies, Books, and Signs: A-Z Challenge 2012: Attn: I apologize to all of those who already signed up in the previous linky, but it was deleted. I didn't realize that linkytools is now a...

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Writers On The Move: Book Marketing: 20 Strategies to Broaden Your Reac...

For all you authors out there looking for some new marketing strategies - how about stopping by and see what Karen Cioffi has to offer and stop by Tuesday for a special offer that Karen is running through the end of February. See you in the postings - E :)

Writers On The Move: Book Marketing: 20 Strategies to Broaden Your Reac...: It's here! January 1st, 2012, and along with wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year , I have 20 book marketing tips you can use ...

Writing, Blogging and Sales Goals

With the new year upon us, I have come up with some goals for writing, blogging and sales. I have decided to forego the usual resolutions this year and set goals. My long-term goal is to be able to only work part-time or not at all on my now full-time job by the year 2015. That goal had originally been set for June of 2013, at the time my youngest would graduate but I don't feel at this time that this is an attainable goal. In other words, I need to have books supporting me instead of me supporting them in order to quit my job or cut back to part-time hours. So I have set the following goals for both my JGDS series (you can check out the JGDS blot here or the JGDS website here for more information) as well as my other writings:

1. Blog at least twice a week. (CORRECTED SCHEDULE)
(Blogging schedule will be something like this:
Mondays and Thursdays - Writing announcements and other info.
Tuesdays - open or repostings or linking back to other's blog postings of interest
Wednesdays - special postings from students (Wednesday Weekly Young Writers Writing Questions (WWYWWQ) - I will try to answer students' questions about the writing process or problems they encounter during their writing class, writing club or just in general to their personal writing.
Fourth Monday and Wednesday of month - Guest posts
Fridays - Book reviews

2. Have guest bloggers at least twice a month as well as appear on other's blogs throughout the year - (I'm scheduled to be on Barbara Ehrentreu's blog on the 26th of this month; will have a promotional post for Karen Cioffi up on the 3rd of January and am trying to have Leslie Dubois author of Ain't No Sunshine guest in February, who will also be an exhibitor with me at the SCASL conference in March. I'm trying to schedule the other who will be at the SCASL with Leslie (aka Sybil Nelson author of the Priscilla the Great series) author, Sarah Renee for February as well. This will be a bit trickier since I'm late on schedulding guests for January but hopefully starting in February I will have at least two guests a month.) Schedule will be guests the last week of the month, Monday and Wednesday, and I'll have librarians, teachers, YA and children's authors (hopefully).

3. Hold more contests to hopefully draw in readers and boost sales.

4. Write the next four state stories in the first three weeks of January (clear the table of what will be coming out for the year)

5. Write something every day - whether it be 15 minutes or an hour, but I will write every day. (I started a new story on Friday, December 30th, that I'm anxious to see where it goes, so that may be something I'll work through and possibly publish later this year).

6. Do whatever it takes to have consistent monthly sales of 15 of each title available. (This number seems low but considering my sales goals last year for the 10 titles available were extremely low, this is jumping point. I'd really like to see 25 of each title sell each month but I don't want to be disappointed too much when I don't meet my sales goal. The biggest problem with my numbers is that I can't accurately gauge my total sales since two of my books are still under 4RV Publishing and won't come out of contract until May of this year and June of next year, so the only sales I can depend on right now with those two titles are actual in-person/email/paypal sales directly through me. I'm hoping by having my QR codes available at live events for instant availability of the stories will help boost the sales some as well as offering a giveaway related to the book if purchase is made from the QR code at the event.)

I was shooting for five goals but ended up with six. This will be a start to the year and in six months, I can always re-evaluate and see where I need to make changes or adjustments.

What are some of your writing goals/challenges this year? Leave a comment and be entered for an ebook version of one of my non-state books - "The Proposal" (an April Fools Day story), "The Tulip Kiss", "Bride-and-Seek" (available soon), or "Butterfly Halves" (available soon). Comments made through the middle of January will go in the random drawing. The more individuals who comment, the more drawings I'll do - up to 4 total. See you in the postings - E :)