Hi there! What a weekend I had. Sheesh! Who could have predicted that my mother-in-law (who’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s) would just up and vanish on Saturday? Thank heavens the cops found her in her car on the side of I-70 in Frederick, MD. She’d run out of freaking gas. So … we had to retrieve her car on Sunday, before I could post here.
Pretend this is me, racing home from Frederick, not smiling.
I was telling my neurologist about this on the phone today. My neurologist is awesome. He actually gives a damn about me. How many people can say that about their doctors?
All my doctors are awesome, actually. I must be really
lucky good at picking doctors.
I’ve also been pecking away on my novel. And working on my speech for this Saturday in Richmond. Care to see a shitty outlined preview?
Well, here it comes:
Introduce myself, explain my series, the NYTimes list, etc.
Ask how many are considering self-publishing. Ask if they’re doing it to make a million dollars. I’m not here to tell you how to do that.
Never intended to make a career as a self-published author. My first novel was published by small press in 2005, but went out of print 9 months later when the publisher went under.
Shortly before the novel went out of print, I suffered a stroke and developed a rare movement disorder called dystonia.
Despite these setbacks, I kept writing freelance and fiction.
I decided to start a blog to establish an online presence. This eventually led to my starting three other blogs.
From 2005 to 2009, I wrote or revised three more novels, short stories, while freelancing and maintaining one to four blogs.
I submitted my work to agents and small presses, and kept doing so after I decided to bring my first novel back into print through Lulu.com in 2009. That’s when I started my fifth blog, My Life on the Mid-List.
In 2009, I also held a fundraiser for dystonia, wrote my first screenplay and took a dream vacation to Italy with my husband. Having a chronic health problem has taught me that life is way more precious than money, and that I need to live and do things while I can.
Around the time I got ready to publish through Lulu, I read about publishing ebooks for Kindle on Joe Konrath’s and Lee Goldberg’s blogs. I decided to do so.
I started off pricing my ebooks at $1.59, but dropped the price to $.99 to see if it would help sales. My sales shot through the roof. Naturally, they would compared to the prices charged by publishers, which were unreasonably high. And who wouldn’t try something new, if it was cheap? I was selling myself short, in the hopes of gaining greater exposure. I knew this wasn’t a sustainable business practice, but I hoped that I could come away with something to show for it.
When the New York Times announced it was going to include indie authors on its bestseller list, I kept my prices low and hoped, despite the scoffing of someone who won’t be named. When I actually hit the list, I couldn’t believe it. The whole experience seemed surreal, yet when I contacted local papers with press releases about the news, no one cared.
Here’s what it boils down to: the only reason I made the NY Times list was that I sold a whole lot of downloads cheap for Kindle and Nook. I get 4 and 5 star reviews, so I write the best books I can. I don’t pay for reviews. But I hit the market at the right time, too.
Early this year, I took a seminar on filmmaking, in which I learned about crowdfunding. I read about how other creative projects were being funded in this manner, so I decided to try doing so with my books.
There are examples of success stories, i.e., other writers who’ve funded books or series this way.
The power of the Internet was made clear to me when I reached a reader in England through blogging.
Amazon has used the publishing business’ bad business practices against it to take over. It’s obviously trying to become the one and only publisher, i.e., the ultimate gatekeeper.
I’ve chosen to make my work available to all readers, regardless of whether they prefer print or ebooks. Many will recommend that you sign up with Amazon’s Kindle Select Program, in order to make more money or better promote your work. I’ve chosen not to do this. My choice is to provide books for all readers, regardless of format or device they use. Signing with Kindle Select is no different than signing with a traditional publisher. The only thing that’s changed is the technology.
I believe authors need to focus on building their online platforms through the effective use of blogging and social media. They can start by wasting less time bitching talking to each other and spending more talking to readers.
I think it’s time for me to stop chasing my own tail, and follow my own advice, don’t you?
This is why I love Penelope Trunk!
And here are other links of possible interest:
It’s probably not racist. Ha ha … Dude, nothing’s fucked. LOL! I’m joking, of course.
A life coach worth reading!
Cops are collecting cell phone logs.
Courts are divided on cell phone searches.
Can Oprah maintain her empire without a talk show?
Online buying is really clicking.
Am I just contributing to the problem? LOL!
What the fuck do you think? ROFL!!!!
Yet, the irony is that, because of the Internet, I’ve made friends in Ireland and England. I myself have sold books and made book donations around the world. Yet, I cannot overlook that Amazon has helped me get where I am today. So thank you, Amazon!
However, I’ve come to realize that I can’t depend on your largesse (sp?) forever. If I’m going to reach all readers, I must establish my own brand or platform. There are readers with Nooks, Kobos, plus Diesel, Sony and Apple products to consider.
So … here’s the Facebook Page for my Sam McRae Mystery Series. Please “like” it.
And if you could contribute to the Sam McRae Mystery Series Indiegogo campaign that would be most awesome!
There are only 14 days left until the deadline, Dec. 10.
Furthermore, if you’re on Facebook, please login and click the link below to vote in the Indiegogo Contest, which could win $500 for my Sam McRae Mystery Series Campaign. Vote now, if you can. It takes literally 5 seconds. Votes are due by Wednesday, but please vote now!
I’m begging you. Just scroll down on the page and click the blue VOTE button. It would mean a lot, and if everyone who reads this clicks that blue button, it would surely make a difference! Click here or copy and paste the link!
Giving Tuesday launched to help charities! Awesome.
Thank you to all who have believed in me. Really!
Thank you, Paul! You’re a saint.
I couldn’t play your Rolling Stones video in the teaser post, but I found these. Interesting!
Life’s too short, man. So, the Dude abides.
UPDATE: Check out all the cool stuff I’ve pinned. Awesome!
UPDATE 2: My books are now on Nook UK! Hurray!