Sunday, December 30, 2012

This and That

Last update for 2012 - hard to believe that 2013 is literally right around the corner. It will take me a few weeks to get used to typing 2013 or writing it but by time I start attending events, I should be able to handle it - lol.

Sales have been slow all year but I can't complain because I have had some sales. I would have loved to have seen twice or three times my actual sales, but there is always next year. Hopefully with new stories coming out, my sales will increase.  I wish I knew someone who could do covers fairly inexpensively for both print and ebooks since I'm working on making Kelly and Emma into a series.

What I've decided to do  is open the series to 4th through 8th graders who would like to see a new story featuring Kelly and Emma, keeping in the tradition of Nancy Drew or any other type of mystery on those lines.  I created a flyer and sent to about 30 or  more  elementary and middle schools asking for students who would like to have their story idea published to submit a 1-page synopsis of a story with a title that they would like to see turned into a novel.  If their idea is chosen, they will receivea signed copy of Finally Home plus a signed copy of their story when it is published.  In addition, their school will receive a signed copy of Finally Home plus the student's story when it is published.  It is possible that I could give away over 60 copies of Finally Home.  Mr. Hughes said it best that this sounds like good publicity for me.  I hope most of the schools participate.  I decided the other day, while chatting with Mr. Hughes, that I would probably pick one story from each school that participates.

This writing event is open to homeschoolers as well, so if you know any students who are in the age range and would like to participate, please pass this information on so that they have an opportunity to participate.  The writing contest ends January 31, 2013, so there is plenty of time to submit ideas.  If you would like your student's school to participate, please send me the school librarian's contact information so I can email the information to her and she can pass it on to all the schools. 

The red, white and blue afghan drawing was great. I didn't really count how many entries I had but it had to be well over 300 (considering two sales in November ended up with 35 and 40 entries).  I will keep the cost of the tickets down to 2/$1 and with every book purchase 5 tickets given.  The winner of the afghan was local and she was so surprised and very appreciative of winning.  I know with the cold weather that the afghan has probably been  used a good bit this month.

I think I have a premade cover for "Butterfly Halves" so hope to be able to get the cover next week and publish it as an ebook.  I will be on the lookout for a premade (inexpensive) cover for "La Cave" and "Zombies Amuck" throughout the year plus covers for new stories in the Kelly Watson series.  The state books are on hold for now since I can't pay Heather for the covers, illustrations and book designs.  I'd love to get back to them but until my sales are up to 500 print runs of each title, it's hard to pay her.  I've not forgotten her but she has probably written me off and I may need to look for a new illustrator for the state stories. I'd love to pick  up a sponsor for those books so that all I would have to do is write the stories and then shoot them over to Heather to do her illustrations and the covers and get everything ready to go (by having a sponsor, I would be able to pay her immediately and not have to worry about  it).   I'll keep working on this aspect of the state stories and hope something good turns up this year.

On the sales front, I averaged 28 books sold per quarter, selling a total of 112 books which covered both ebooks available and print books available.  Compared to 2011, I almost doubled sales. If I can double sales in 2013, that will be a step in the right direction.  My best month was November when I sold 18 books total (3 of Finally Home and 2 of each of the state titles save 4 of Successes plus 1 copy of "Train of Clues"). I will need to order some more of "Train of Clues" and Finally Home to start building my stock again as I am running low on both of those.  I'll have to do an inventory so that I can start getting my state stories up in stock as well but I'm pretty good as far as what I do have available right now.

I did sell one of  the Carolina (USC) colored scarves; two of the Clemson (University) colored scarves and no other scarves or afghans this year.  I ended up giving three of the afghans away to my kids for Christmas, so I still have 5 afghans available. I need to restock yarn for the bookworms and get those done before March so that I have a ton of bookworms going into the event season. 

March is the SCASL conference and then I have to decide where to go from there.  So here's to a good year and hopefully a spike in sales - See you all in the postings and hope you have a safe and blessed New Year celebration - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Interview is up

I apparently had in my mind I told Karen to post my interview tomorrow but I was mistaken.  It was set for today.  Stop by Karen's blog and see what kind of interesting questions she asked about cozy mysteries and see how I faltered, um answered her.  Don't forget there is an opportunity to win a signed copy of Finally Home from the MysteryMostCozy facebook page, so follow the link at the end of the intereview to get to the MMC page, join, and then go to the current contest and check join or going or whatever the option is there to be entered in the drawing.  The drawing ends Sunday at 11 PM eastern, so make sure  you have joined before then.  Happy reading and good luck to everyone who enters.  See you all in the postings -E :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

An Educator's Life: Mrs. Claus in Jail??? Creative Writing Gone Crazy!...

Mr. Hughes is at it again with writing activities, now one for the holidays.  Looks like fun and wish I coukd have been in class to participate with them.  If you are interested, his kit is available from TpT (Teachers pay Teachers).

An Educator's Life: Mrs. Claus in Jail??? Creative Writing Gone Crazy!...: Little did I know this morning that I would unleash an amazing avalanche of creative writing by my three writing classes. I have been wanti...

Don't forget I'm offering an opportunity for students to share ideas for new stories in the Kelly Watson series, so have your fourth grader up through middle schooler put their thinking caps on and submit a synopsis of a story they would like to see written.  If their story is picked, they will receive a copy ofFinally Home plus once their story is published, a copy of that.  For more details, you can email me at  E :

Sunday, December 16, 2012

This and That

First, no takers on my deal from last week's postings so basically no sales anywhere - no ebooks have sold since September. 

I was reading one of the posts on the Novel Spaces blog the other day and exploring the ebook cover designs and may have found one for "Butterfly Halves" and possibly one for a story that has never been published, "La Cave".  I've contacted the first site about the butterfly cover and may be able to get the cover after the holidays, hopefully. 

The one for "La Cave" is kind of up in the air right now because I like three covers on the same site that I feel will fit the book pretty much.  So I have to think about it. 

This Friday, I'll be the guest on Karen Rigley's blog celebrating the Mystery Most Cozy's tenth anniversary.  I'm giving away a signed copy of Finally Home for this celebration.  In order to be eligible for the drawing, you have to join the MMC facebook page and when Jenny posts the contest announcement, you have to click on join and your name will automatically go in the drawing.  So, if you like mysteries, and specifically cozies, stop over on the MysteryMostCozy facebook page and join it to be eligible for any of the drawings going on through January.  Help us celebrate ten years.

My last bit of news or an idea I had while sitting here working last night is that I've decided to hold a mini-contest for students.  Since everyone who has read Finally Home says I need to make it a series with my  characters, Kelly and Emma, I'm going to open the doors to students - write a synopsis of a mystery you would like to see written and receive a copy of Finally Home and once that story is published, a copy of the new story.  The contest is open to fourth graders and up (I think that covers the age group of 10 and up) and I will probably pick at least 10 stories.  The mystery has to occur in a small town since that is where Kelly and Emma live and has to be something that 13-year-olds can get around town easily to solve.  Think on the lines of "Encyclopedia Brown", "Nancy Drew" (minus the ability to drive around to other towns) and "The Boxcar Children." 

The mysteries can be anything, remembering that Kelly has a bit of a psychic power (she can touch things and travel back to see things that have happened that lead her to clues to solve the mystery, which is a new trait I just thought of since I hadn't planned on writing a series).  Emma is the noseybody neighbor who helps Kelly; she's the mayor's daughter and has ways of getting around without breaking the law - like keys to houses that would be owned by the city or are in limbo (delapitated type houses set for being torn down); she's the first person who greeted Kelly and her family when they moved to the small town where the story is set.

With the holidays coming up and everyone going on winter break soon, I will run this contest through the end of January.  I'm going to do a flyer to send out to elementary and middle schools in the area and a few others that I know would probably participate.  If any of my readers know of any children who would like to participate by submitting a synopsis of a storyline, please pass the word on.  Submissions can be made directly to me via email as an attachment ( or mailed to me (please email me for mailing address).  Looking forward to reading the ideas and getting some new stories out there. 

See you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Novel Spaces: Looking for Pre-made eBook Covers?

I was exploring the blog where Sunny posted her article and found this posting.  So I've been checking out sites for premade ebook covers and found some pretty interesting ones.  of course I should have been working but it's all good the work will get done.  explore the sites and who knows what you may find.  Most are geared for romance, chick lit and fantasy, but the last one has an abundant amount of variety to choose from and she is running a sale right now half off - one cover for $30, three covers for $75, which can be used at a later date.  have fun exploring - E :

Novel Spaces: Looking for Pre-made eBook Covers?: If a book has a great cover, it screams 'PICK ME UP!"  When it doesn't, then I'm less likely to notice it unless I've heard of the author or...

Novel Spaces: Are You Holding Your Novel Hostage?

good article by Sunny Frazier to novice writers about letting go and moving forward with their novels.  E :

Novel Spaces: Are You Holding Your Novel Hostage?: I received an interesting email the other day from one of the authors in the publishing house I work for. Sales for this author's book were ...

Sunday, December 09, 2012

This and That

I totally forgot to post my this and that posting last Sunday but it's not like there was anything to report, so you all didn't miss much.  I also was at our local Sisters in Crime holiday party so worked some and really didn't think about posting anything.

This week is a little different.  I have things to report. 

First, book sales - there have been no ebooks sold this week or this month or the past several months.  I'm still running my special over on smashwords for Finally Home with coupon code NL88Q for half off - $1.50 a download.  I've had some wonderful praises from readers for this book and it would make a great gift for that young reader who likes mysteries or who likes Nancy Drew mysteries specifically.  I'm also considering making this a series but am looking for some ideas on writing more mysteries using Kelly and Emma as my continuing characters.  So, for the rest of this year, if you leave a comment on any posting of an idea for Kelly and Emma and I use your idea for another story, you will receive a free Nook or Kindle download of Finally Home; or if you have already read Finally Home, then when a new story is published, you will receive a copy of that story. 

Actual physical book sales were not bad this week as I sold seven (7) books to the Belton Museum.  The director bought four copies of State of Successes and three (3) copies of Finally Home for the museum.  So just from a phone call and a referral from a customer from the Sugarfoot Festival in October, I made a quick sale.  Not that I have any of  the money  left since I went to Walmart and spent it on a few things I needed plus a few things I didn't really need but wanted - I bought some more yarn to make myself an afghan since I picked up a color I really like -it's called Real Teal and I'm pairing it with Aran, which is an offwhite/cream/ecru color.  The difference between the solid colors and varigated colors is the skein sizes (7 ounces for solid colors versus 5 ounces for the varigated colors) and how much more I'm getting from one skein.  I've finished the first skein of Real Teal (I bought 3 of this color and 2 of the Aran) and used a one-size bigger hook and actually got 20 rows from the skein as opposed to only 12 rows from the varigated using 6 skeins per afghan (30 ounces); so if this holds true for the other skeins, then I will end up with an afghan that is 100 rows deep, which makes it much bigger. 

I will continue working with the varigated colors for events but for me personally, I like the solid alternating colors. 

I posted Friday evening a special 1-week only deal on bookworms and books.  This deal will end at midnight next Saturday night.  Place orders via email ( before then in order to guarantee delivery by Christmas. 

This week, on the 12th, I have a posting about 12/12/12 going up on the Writers on the Move blog, so stop on over and leave a comment. 

I think this is all I have to report.  Don't forget to comment on any posting between now and the end of the year with any ideas you may have for new stories with Kelly and Emma.  See you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, December 07, 2012

Christmas Special Deal

Today I went to town to run some errands and while in Walmart picking up more yarn (yes I'm crazy), I got to thinking that I need to run a special deal.  So please pass the word, book orders directly from me will be 20% off retail plus you receive a free bookworm.  I'm also offering my bookworms for $1 each with free shipping with a minimum of 5 per order.  The colors left are Mirage (11), Ocean (17), Aspen (4), Melonberry (2), Marrakesh (2) and Watercolor (27). 

This special deal will be good through the 15th of this month to guarantee delivery by Christmas.

Books available:
Finally Home - 2 copies (retail $12; sale price $9.60, but down to $9.50)
Train of Clues - 5 copies  (retail $7; sale price $5.60, but down to $5.50)
State of Wilderness - 16 copies  (retail $10, sale price $8)
State of Quarries - 3 copies  (retail $12.50; sale price $10)
State of Reservations 1 copy (retail $12.50, sale price $10)
State of Successes - 8 copies (retail $10, sale price $8)
State of Heights - 18 copies (retail $10, sale price $8)
State of Nature - 16 copies (retail $10, sale price $8)

To place order, please email me at and I'll forward instructions for payment.  Don't forget to let me know who to make the books to and where to send them and your choice of bookworm; each book equals one free bookworm, so if  you order 7 books, you get 7 bookworms.


See you all in the postings - E :)

Sunday, December 02, 2012


Congrats goes to Deborah Malone from Honea Path who purchased 2 chances at the Sugarfoot festival in October for having one of her tickets drawn in red, white and blue afghan drawing.  Thank you to Larry Bowman, birthday guy, at our Sisters in Crime holiday party for picking the winning ticket.  Deborah will have afghan in hand this week.  E :)