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Archive for March, 2014

Good morning, everyone! And welcome to the last Monday of March! Today, I’m honored to host Rebecca Frencl. Grab a chair, say hello, and find out something about this amazing author.

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

a. My latest Solstice release is Ascent of the Fallen. It’s mostly a paranormal romance, urban fantasy. http://www.amazon.com/Ascent-Fallen-Rebecca-L-Frencl-ebook/dp/B00IOTWMV4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1396274747&sr=1-1&keywords=ascent+of+the+fallen

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

a. I write the genres I like to read and I’m an eclectic reader. It’s actually my first urban fantasy story. It was inspired by an amazing piece of public art on the Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Chicago. I was stuck in traffic on a school bus full of 8th our way back from seeing Romeo and Juliet. As I stared at that sculpture an idea came to me. It was supposed to be a short story, but got away from me.

3. What do you like to read?

a. Fantasy—any kind really, though I prefer high fantasy and urban fantasy, thought I have a weakness for a good dystopia.

b. Romance—particularly historical or ones with strong fantasy or science fiction elements.

c. Mystery—period/historical mysteries in particular. I mourned Elizabeth Peters’ passing.

4. Favorite movie?

a. Depends on whether or not my six year old is in the same room with me at the time. My go-tos when she’s not around are the Lord of the Rings. I love those movies. However, the orcs scare the bejeezus out of her. So, when she’s around we’re a Disney family. One day she will realize just how cool Star Wars is.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

a. During the summer months I’m very disciplined and will write 3-4 hours a day. During the school year all bets are off. I do most of my planning and plotting during the school year. It’s so much to try and teach, grade and prep for my 8th own worlds running. However, I am very pleased that I’m starting to find more and more time during this school year during which to write. I’m hoping it’s the start of new habits.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as an author?

a. I think one of the most surreal moments for me came at the last Con I went to. I was at Windycon, a local science fiction convention, and found myself on a panel with Bill Fawcett and the author guest of honor at the time and I was treated as though I were just one of the club. I’d spent so much time with my nose up against that glass I kept wanting to pinch myself to see if it were real. I also had to keep reminding myself not to go all squealy fan girl.

7. How can readers find you?

a. Facebook—https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebecca-L-Frencl/115163871892050?ref=hl

I’d love to get up to 300 likes before the next book comes out!

b. My blog “Not All Who Wander Are Lost:” http://rebeccalfrencl.blogspot.com/

c. Twitter @rlfrencl (though I admit I’m really not the best at Twitter and sometimes even

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

a. Marketing, marketing, marketing. It’s the one thing you don’t think of when you’re forget it exists) writing your novel, editing it and hunting for a publisher who will talk to someone without an agent. I never knew how much I was going to have to learn (and still have to learn) about marketing. It’s an ongoing struggle with me.

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

a. Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. Did I mention coffee?

10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

a. I want a writing area! My writing area is my laptop and sometimes just the flashdrive that hangs around my neck J It goes where I go. The one thing that’s always on my desktop though is a picture of my daughter. While I don’t have anything genre-specific to inspire me I always try and keep in mind that I want to keep writing, even with all the ups and downs and the paychecks that can buy a happy meal, to show my little girl that if you work hard enough your dreams can come true.

 

Thanks for stopping by, Rebecca!

BB

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I know…I’ve been busy with the blog this week! Today, though, I had something on my mind that wouldn’t go away. And it’s important to share.

When you sign with a publisher, be they big or small, don’t ignore them. Don’t spend two months trying to weigh your options on a contract offer. Or three months deciding if you like a cover. Six weeks to get back to your editor? Not cool.

Yes, life happens. Things crop up that are sudden and unexpected that take over your life. But your writing career should NOT be placed on the far back burner. Serious authors, who want a long career, are responsive. 

Unfortunately, there are writers out there who see this only as a one way street. They expect their House to drop everything and answer their questions immediately, yet take months to get back to them on other things. This is not right. It’s unprofessional, and rude. Do not expect a lightning fast response if you can’t be bothered to make a decision on your cover art without consulting sixteen friends and relatives.

Besides being rude and such, most contracts will have a clause stating how long you can take before requested revisions are completed, etc. By putting it off, even if YOU aren’t in a hurry, you could be breaching your contract and giving your House the opening to drop you. And you won’t have any reason to complain.

I believe in treating others as I want to be treated. If I want to be successful as an author, then I don’t shoot myself in the foot if I can help it. That includes dealing with edits in a timely manner, approving or asking for changes to the cover art without being a diva, getting my blurb to the EIC before they ask for it, and responding to emails from my publisher in a timely manner. Are they having trouble with my paypal account? Yeah, I’ll get right on it. I won’t wait six days. 

BB

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So excited and I had to share! We went ahead and released ‘Fin’s Magic’!!!!!!  Links are below….really excited about this one. It was fun to write, and hopefully you’ll all enjoy reading it!

 

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Fins-Magic-Amari-KateMarie-Collins-ebook/dp/B00J7X1DQG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395711512&sr=1-1&keywords=Fin%27s+Magic

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/420044

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fins-magic-katemarie-collins/1118958910?ean=2940149453931

 

BB

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Morning, everyone!

Like most Monday’s around here, it’s a slow one. Kids don’t have to be up quite yet due to school starting later on Mondays. I can sit, write my blog, and watch the cats play.

As an author, my mind is constantly going. It’s filled with ideas, what to do next, dialogue between me and my imaginary friends. I’ll be thinking about upcoming events, or a way to reach readers that I haven’t found yet. I freely admit that one of the best perks about being an author is that when you mention you hear voices in your head, no one reaches for a straitjacket. This is the normal for an author…constant noise.

Which is what makes the quiet of a Monday so important. It makes me slow down, take a few deep breaths, and revel in the quiet. Weekends can be chaotic, so knowing I’ve got some time coming where I can find my center, regain my perspective, and breathe is important.

Next Monday even more so. I’ll be spending this coming Saturday at Emerald City ComiCon with my husband. It’s something we’ve done for three years now, and look forward to the next one as soon as we leave site. While I’m not a guest of any kind, I do have a friend who has a table on Artist’s Alley. He was generous enough to give me a small corner of his area to put out some postcards and business cards. I’ll share them here in a minute. I have no idea if they’ll be of interest for people who stop by Luke’s table, but it’s worth the chance. 

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If you like it, let me know! If you’re going to Emerald City ComiCon, I hope you find his table (or me!) and pick one up. And – don’t forget – the presale for ‘Fin’s Magic’ is still going on! Check it out here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/420044

BB

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I know…I know…but there’s been so much that’s happened in the last few days that I can’t keep quiet!

Cover came back for the new book on Sunday! Check it out!

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Not only is the cover done…THE PRESALE HAS STARTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/420044

Right now, it’s scheduled to release on April 15. If it releases earlier, you’ll know! Because I’ll be screaming with joy!

There’s something about this book that gives me hope. I’m still looking for my readers, you see. I’m working hard to get my name out there, and I’m hopeful each and every month. 

I don’t think I write bad books. And I know that I’ve only been published for two years, and it takes an average of five to be ‘found’. I’m not on the brink of despair, ready to bemoan to all of you the tragically poor level of sales each month. Because I truly appreciate EACH AND EVERY PURCHASE of my books. 

Would I like to see higher numbers? Yep. Every author does. It’s approval, a pat on the back, a reminder that someone in the world thinks it’s worth reading. 

But I also see that in the months where I only get one or two books sold. This is not a sprint. Two years ago, no one knew who KateMarie Collins was. I’m a very long way from being a household name, but a few have let me into your lives by purchasing my books. For that, I am forever grateful.

BB

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Hello!

Special treat today! We have K.C. Sprayberry stopping by to promote her new release, “Evil Eyes”!

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Here’s a teaser for you:

A man stands inches from her. She didn’t hear him coming. Christine cups her burgeoning belly, fear drying her tongue to the roof of her mouth.

“Whore!” The man points at her belly. “We had a committed relationship, and you screwed another man. There’s the evidence right in front of my eyes. You’re nothing but a whore.”

His eyes scare the life out of her. They’re dead, soulless, compelling. She can’t move, no matter how much she wants to.

Tears wash her face. She’s trapped, with nowhere to turn, but to dive into the lake and try to swim before the freezing water paralyzes her muscles. That would mean endangering her baby. She can’t move, can’t put this little life in so much danger. Yet, she’s in danger from this man approaching her step by step.

Paperback is coming, but you can get it NOW on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Evil-Eyes-K-C-Sprayberry-ebook/dp/B00J1QC3V8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395015157&sr=8-1&keywords=evil+eyes+by+kc+sprayberry

BB

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Morning, everyone!

It’s a slow start in my house, but that’s fine. If anything, it helps my concentration. When all you have in the background is the sound of your fingers on the keyboard, the washing machine doing its’ thing, and the cats playing while you sip your coffee and figure out the day, it’s nice.

Then I get working on a story, or work, and the stereo comes on. Gotta have a soundtrack to my life. LOL.

So, something’s been on my mind for a few weeks now. I want to talk about responsibility today. I’m talking about what your job as an author really is. It goes far beyond writing one or more books. Here’s what the list contains, as I see it.

Writing

Editing

Public image

Marketing

As an author,I’m responsible for all of this. It’s being able to see what suggestions are valid during the editing process over throwing a fit if one word is changed. It’s being in control of my image as a author, and what information about my life I share with readers. Do you want to be seen as approachable? Likeable? Positive? Then that’s what you have to project everywhere. Online, in person, in emails. 

Reputation is everything to a writer. One bad post on FB where you lament how horrid sales were is going to bite you in the backside. Because your image takes a huge hit, and the public remembers. That reader who was following you and thinking about buying your new novel? Yeah, they’re going to remember your snarky moment and pass.

I’ve been fortunate in that a handful of new authors have come to me for advice. That’s a weird feeling, since I’ve only been published for two years! But they do that, because they see me as a success story. Why? Because I’m positive. Always looking forward, not back. Sales were bad last month? Sure, it’s possible. But why dwell on it? Why browbeat the very people who support you (your readers) for not buying more copies? 

The last on that list is marketing. Every author, from the unpublished hopeful to J.K. Rowling, has a responsibility to market their books. It is not solely the responsibility of their publisher. That’s like expecting the grocery store cashier to follow you home and unload the bags for you. 

Publishers have hundreds if not thousands of titles and authors they have to deal with. It’s not just about you and your book. Sure, your book might be the best one in their House. But until you have the draw – and sales – to rival Stephen King, don’t expect to have things handed to you on a silver platter. You’ve got 500 other writers with the same expectations, hopes, dreams, and faith in their titles around you. Throwing a hissy fit because you think it’s their job to get you reviews instead of doing it yourself is just wrong.

Letting everyone in on a not so secret part of the industry here. On average, it takes five years for an unknown/new author to go from publication/release of their first book to being ‘found’ by their readers.

5 Years.

And, in that time, the two most important things a writer can do to improve those odds is to develop that positive public face, and market the Hades out of their titles. Write, keep writing, write every day. Release more books. Spend ten minutes on FB, twenty on Twitter, write a blog, email newspapers/media outlets, check with local stores and find out if they’ll carry your book.

You simply will not get huge sales out the gate if no one knows your name or that you’re an author. Each and every sale you get for the first five years will be hard fought, and feel like a small victory. But slowly, over time, you’ll start to see the increase each month in sales. Maybe you’ll go from averaging only one or two sales a month to four or five. It’ll be there, though. 

Don’t give up. Never surrender. But stay positive and keep marketing. Because that, my friends, will earn you a solid readership base that will make for a lasting career.

BB

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