Sunday, September 16, 2012

This and That

The week has flown by but I've not accomplished that much. As far as sales go, nothing to report, no sales across the board again.

This is the last month in the third quarter of the year and looking at my projected sales (had to set my goals high at 500 for overall sales with 10 or 11 books published at this point) I'm very disappointed. Not counting my free days with "Bride-and-Seek", "The Tulip Kiss", or "The Proposal" (except when the 50% coupon was offered in July on smashwords), my sales have been less than 100 so far. Next month is the Georgia COMO conference and I really hope to see a major spike in the sales of books since there are 12 states represented in the SELA group with an overall county total of 1025. I'd love it if every state, each county bought at least one copy of each title I have available. That would make my year and would allow me to get more state stories published (i.e., pay Heather so she can keep doing covers and illustrations for the books).

I have been kind of slack this year as far as attending conferences and being out there but with no sales, no royalties, no money to speak of, it's hard to do all the conferences I would like to do. Conferences get costly - booth rental, travel time, hotel, gas (and the price seems to be hovering around $3.50 something/gallon in this area with higher amounts in different places), food, et cetera. I feel like I could be doing more but have to just take what I can get when I get it. So hopefully the librarians will do their part and order tons of books in October.

As far as my writing goal, that fell flat. I've become disinterested in my story, even after printing it off and reading it to refresh my memory of what I'd written. I still think the story is a good idea but getting Sarah Beth (Imogene's mother) from Washington state to China (still haven't decided which city to set this story in - Bangkok, Shanghai, or Beijing) is mostly personal thoughts, very little interaction between other characters. The interactions come once she is in China but even those are few and far between. This is definitely unfamiliar territory for me to write since I'm used to moving a story along with dialogue. If any of my readers out there have any suggestions or sites that will help me write a "quest/adventure type" story, please share. If anyone would like to brainstorm some ideas on how to move the story along, email me and we can get together on chat and try brainstorming the story so I can get it written.

Last item of business - tablets. Last week I posted a video "A day made of Glass by Corning" showing how Corning is developing glass products (we all know Corning is known for their cookware) that can be used everywhere - in the office, at home, schools, zoos, field trips, bus stops, et cetera. Some of the items they showed reminded me of the tablets that are out there in that they have similar features - can enlarge pictures, move things around, do reports, but what will happen to the tablets and computers in the future? The glass products are basically supposed to replace computers and tablets in such a way that we are wouldn't need our ancient computers and tablets any more. I can't do without my computer unless they find a way to integrate the actual feel of typing on the glass products - lol. That said, I love to type and my job and writing require it, so not sure I can totally give up my computer right now. Maybe one day.

Why do I mention this? About a month ago, I got a tablet - an Acer Iconia Tab 10.1. I mostly got it to use at events for my square device so I could take credit cards. I've been asked numerous times at events if I took credit cards but had to lose a sale because I didn't. Last summer I found about square and set up an account and got the device (with the hopes that I would eventually upgrade my phone to a smartphone of some sort still with straighttalk). I've used the square device a couple of times but both times on someone else's phone (once at the SCSLA and once at the SC Book Festival). Since I won't be places where other people have the devices needed for me to use my device, I decided that a tablet would be my best bet. The problem with the tablet is that unless I have some sort of data plan, I can't use it unless there is free wifi available in the places I am doing events. When I did the Mint Hill Sunday in the Park event, no wifi, so my tablet was useless not that it mattered anyway since I only sold one book that day.

There are pros and cons to my tablet but overall I do like it. The pros are that I can actually use my square on it; the con - I need portable internet service to use it outside of my wifi area. Pro - I can read a book from my kindle account on it with much more ease than on the kindle; the con - it's heavier than my kindle and makes reading in bed difficult. Pro - checking my email and accessing my web browser are faster than on my computer; con - I haven't figured out how to copy and paste things from my emails to websites like plurk so have to open my email on the computer when I post the DK Daily Teach newsletter items. Pro - you can download tons of apps (a lot of them for free); con - you get addicted to the games you download (my favorites so far have been spades (although I don't like the way the computer plays because nothing like interacting with real people when playing card games) and bubble blast). I've been through all the levels of bubble blast Halloween and bubble blast Holiday, now I'm working on the plain bubble blast (I'm up to pack 7, which means I've already been through 600 puzzles on the regular; 400 on each of the Halloween and Holiday packs). I found myself playing bubble blast until after 5:30 this morning and I was upset with myself since that meant I was going to bed in the wee hours of the morning and of course, that means I am so late getting going in the day. I guess I need to set limits on myself and stick to them.

See you all in the postings - have a great weak - and I'm still looking for teachers who teach writing to students grades 3 through 12 who would like to have their writing questions answered - so please pass the word and if you know of any teachers who fit this category, please have them contact me via email so I can get my WWYWWQ column going. I'm totally out of questions and know school has been back in session for a couple of weeks to a month in some places, so surely you teachers out there have students asking general writing questions that an author can answer for you. Thanks - E :)

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