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Archive for December, 2014

It’s been a wild week. Just saying that now. And it’s why I’m so late putting up the blog for the week.

Today, I’m pleased to welcome a good friend, mentor, and author. Please give a great huzzah to Cynthia J. Ley!

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

“Perfect and Other Stories.” It’s my first book, and is published by Solstice Publishing. It is in e-format only, and is available through Amazon (for Kindle). My second collection of short stories,“Tales Of A Twisted World” was recently contracted by Solstice, and is due out sometime this fall.

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

I don’t know as to whether I write in a particular genre.It’s just what falls out of my head. Slightly warped and twisted? I like to write things which are slightly off-kilter, a little edgy, but still insightful and sometimes even funny.

3. What do you like to read?

Everything. Intriguing fiction, history, folklore, science. To start.

4. Favorite movie?

Don’t have one. Like different movies for different reasons. Same for movies I dislike.

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

Both. Spurts, usually.

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

Getting so immersed in the story it’s hard to come out. Kind of like some dreams that way—the dream within a dream where both are real. THEN you wake up!

7. How can readers find you?

Readers are invited to follow my blog:

http://www.authorcjl.wordpress.com

Write me at cjledit4@gmail.com

Or drop a Tweet: @CynthiaLey2

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

I came into it knowing that I was but an egg about the whole thing, and am blessed with wonderful and supportive friends in the business. There’s definitely a learning curve. Ask tons of questions and be receptive to the answers!

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

Coffee, tea, cat hair. Seriously. My Bengal likes to get between my face and the keyboard when I’m reading aloud.

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

I don’t know about something tangible inspiring me, but I do have a beautiful view of my thick green side garden (frequently covered with birds) and the sky from there. Very refreshing and interesting, often full of birdsong. My dogs like to sleep under my very large desk and hold feet with me.

Best of luck with the books, Cynthia!

BB

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Good morning! The solstice was yesterday, the sun’s warmth will be returning soon, and I’ve got two kids awaiting Thursday morning. Me? I’m thinking Muse is going to have a fun time with piles of paper and boxes.

I’m not big on twitter, but I do get on there once or twice a day. It’s a great tool for authors to connect with readers, but only if you do it right. Unfortunately, my message box and newsfeed are flooded every day with writers who are sabotaging their own sales.

Simply put, stop screaming about your book non-stop and start talking to people.

I see it all the time. I get followed, and I follow them back. Next thing I know, I get a direct message from them about how I should buy their book. Guess what? I never have. Same goes with the people who schedule tweets that are nothing but sales pitches for their book.

Why? Because I detest high pressure sales tactics. Because, as a reader, I want to know more about the author than them shoving the link to their book in my face every 15 minutes. I want a connection, that spark of humanity that makes me go, ‘hey, I can relate to that!’, to share something with them beyond the story they wrote.

Seriously, stop talking non-stop about your book. It’s going to alienate readers, not increase sales. Take the time to say hello, wait for them to decide to buy your book. Bide your time. Be patient. Be kind. Be polite. But, please, for all you or I consider holy, stop the high pressure screaming of ‘buy my book’. It’s not working. It’s annoying. It puts readers off. The constant push is making you look like a literary used car salesman!

BB

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It’s a question we all have to ask ourselves at some point. And I know I’ve brought it up here more than once. But you really need to think hard about what it is you want as an author.

Do you want to write because not writing isn’t an option? Are you willing to spend the countless hours promoting and marketing and staying upbeat even when your book hasn’t sold a single copy in three months? Are you open to constructive feedback that will help improve your story and writing overall? Are you willing to do the actual work necessary to gather a loyal readership?

Or….

Are you dreaming of instant fame and fortune? Do you think your book should sell millions of copies within days of release? Do you look at editors with hate in your heart as they ‘destroy your work’ because they suggest a single change? Do you think the job of promotion/marketing is ‘beneath you’ and ‘someone else’s job’? Do you see the life of a published author nothing more than cocktail parties, tweed jackets with patches on the elbows, and pipes?

Are you in love with writing, or the image of an author?

There’s a huge difference. The image, quite frankly, can make a great Halloween costume. Might even try that one next year. The reality…most authors are not prepared for it.

The reality of being an author is a life where you write when the house is quiet, even if that’s at 3 am. It’s doing 1-3 day jobs to pay the bills. It’s learning there’s a difference between promoting and being a jerk who screams ‘BUY MY BOOK’ all day long. It’s being gracious when someone tells you they don’t read your genre. It’s not monopolizing the conversation about your book at the office holiday party. It’s being the type of person that makes people want to read your book over the one they avoid because the author’s a jackass.

It’s cultivating a readership, not demanding one. And that takes time.

Yes, your house will get dirty. Dishes might not get done as often, or the floors might not be swept. But, if you invest the time in a positive image, the payout will be amazing. It won’t happen in a day, week, or even a year. It’s a constant grind for what will seem like a lifetime. Eventually, though, you might get to where you can go down to just 1 day job. Some might even be able to stop working outside of writing entirely. Most won’t, but it does happen. In the meantime, you keep growing. As an author, as a person.

And that’s something we should all want.

BB

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Good morning!

Trying to gather my thoughts this morning, but it’s not been easy. Between my day job (which I LOVE) and a retail one for the holidays, I’m doing 50 hour weeks right now. Thank the Goddess I have a freezer full of coffee! LOL

No, I haven’t written much original stuff beyond this blog. Time is of a premium right now. The retail gig, however, ends in just a few more weeks. Braces are expensive, but books aren’t selling and the second job made it so the braces will be paid for by the end of February.

Because of the day job (did I mention I love it?), I run into all types of authors. Online, via submissions, etc. And I’ve created a Top Ten List of people who really should consider self publishing over traditional. This list is by no means a slam against every single author who chose that route! More, me venting a little frustration at personality types I’ve encountered that really would be doing themselves (and publishers/agents) a favor by doing so.

Think of Jeff Foxworthy’s ‘You May Be A Redneck’ jokes and follow each with ‘You may want to self publish’. LOL

1. If you think every publisher/agent is out to cheat authors
2. If you refuse to relinquish any control over editing, proofreading, formatting, cover art
3. If you think it’s a publisher’s ‘job’ to promote your title and only your title.
4. If you’re an unmitigated, arrogant jerk
5. If your first instinct when seeing a statement you don’t like is to threaten to sue
6. If you’re going to blame anyone and everyone BUT yourself for your poor sales
7. If you think a highly recognized and respected author has ‘nothing on you’
8. If you believe every single person who tells you they bought your book did so
9. If you can’t follow directions
10. If you see every other sale of a book as one that should’ve been yours

There you go! Did you laugh at all? The problem is that there are individuals like that in the world. Yes, there’s some agents/publishers who have screwed over authors. But most Houses are decent people trying to celebrate the written word and get your story out to readers. They all want the same thing you do – a successful title – so don’t waste their time if you can’t be a decent person and do your part.

Publishing’s changed a lot over the years. It’s no longer deals made over lunch at Tavern on the Green in NYC. It’s not about big tours and movie deals. It’s about writing a good story, rolling up your sleeves, and working WITH your publisher to sell it to the world. With social media, readers want to connect with the authors they like and get to know them. It’s more than a photo on the dust jacket. It’s knowing they’ll take the time to say hello to you.

So,if you’ve taken the time to read this blog: hello! If you’ve also read any of my books , it’s much appreciated. Becoming a name people associate with books is not easy to do. It takes time, dedication, and a day job. It’s months where nothing sells, followed by one where you sell 2 copies. It’s about being positive, seeing new opportunities and jumping on them, and staying hopeful when it feels like the readers of the world hate your work.

It’s about being a decent person who works well with others.

BB

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Happy December!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We stayed home, kept things relaxed. Watched some football. Never put on a pair of socks to go anywhere. LOL

A lot of you went shopping. I know this, because I spent time behind a cash register all weekend at the seasonal job! For the most part, customers were good. Patient, not upset if we didn’t have something in a specific color or size. This is a good thing.

Today, it’s Cyber Monday. This is the day we’re supposed to go shopping online. Get all those great deals everywhere without leaving the comforts of home.

So, here’s my present to all of YOU!

If you’d like to give a copy of one of my print books to a friend, head over to CreateSpace (not Amazon, this only works if you order direct from CreateSpace) and start loading up your cart on my titles.

Daughter of Hauk 

Son of Corse

Mark of the Successor

Challenges Met

Then, at check out, input  YRUXKJ7X in the discount code area.

You’ve just saved 10% off of my books!

Happy Holidays everyone!

BB

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