Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas to all! Time for a special offer.

Now just $18.95 if you buy it right here. I will be happy to sign to you or anyone, and mail it to you myself.

My illustrated novella is now just $8.95. It contains the first two chapters of Realmwalkers, in case you want to get a preview. Of course, I will sign this to anyone you like and mail it myself.

Just select which book you want up above where you will find a scroll that says "Order yer books here." Free Shipping is only good for up to TWO BOOKS ONLY.  Supplies are limited so get your order in now! I have removed any shipping/handling charges at Paypal. You do NOT need to be a member with Paypal. They simply handle credit card transactions for me.  It's safe and easy to use. Email me if you wish to pay by check:

Though there is no Christmas in the fantasy world of Tiaera, there is still a great chapter all about Wynterfest in Realmwalkers. The realm is occupied by snow elves who do their best to make it a happy and safe place for all who visit there. It'll get you in the Christmas mood!

Merry Christmas to all my loyal readers and friends who have supported me since before I became a published author. God bless you and keep you safe especially if you're traveling this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Autumn and Lobita!

The chill in the air tells me it's time to move to my "winter office" which is the den with its cozy fireplace, clean and ready to use. Fall in Arizona doesn't really hit us till almost November, but when it does, I rejoice as I prepare for the holidays. It's a time for crafting, book signings and events all around the city. But none of that is as important as our daily walks. Lobita knows the drill. She goes into action with Plan A. She gets on my book crate and waits for me to put on her collar and grab her leash. If I try to ignore her and keep on writing, she goes to Plan B.

Plan B is more effective. It's harder to take walks in cold weather, but my puppy isn't going to let me get away with skipping them. Lobita comes to me at my desk and begins to paw at me as I type away at my laptop. She is relentless in her task and won't stop pawing at my arms and legs until I get up to take her out for our walk. It's hard to ignore her when her claws hurt me just enough that I have to give up my writing. Well, at least I get even with her. I went an bought her a sweater to wear. I'm not sure if it's really needed, but she still looks adorable and I can feel like I am getting back at her for dragging me out in the chilly weather.

God bless this little dog.  As a writer, I know I need to keep moving and walking as I have since April and this dog is gonna make sure I keep my weight under control this winter. If you are spending too much time writing, you need to remember that the holidays are notorious for added treats, parties and lots of comfort food throughout winter. Without constant diligence in our diets and exercise plans, we are doomed to gain at least a few more pounds we didn't have before. Our job as writers is sedentary and we forget how many hours we spend at our computers as we market and write throughout the week. If you don't have a dog to walk, it's going to be even harder to remember to take a break and WALK or do about 20 minutes of exercise every few hours. At least try to remember to stretch and go vacuum or dust in between. I know it's hard to do but your health will suffer if you don't.

If you have a dog, you're lucky. Start a walking schedule that will require you to move for about 20 minutes, twice a day. If you can't go outside, then have some play time with your pet. Get on the floor and wrestle with her or train her to do some tricks. I have to admit, I need Lobita in my life. Thanks to her, I've lost weight and I feel good for it. We go out twice a day. The weather may be cold outside, but at least there's no snow to deal with here in Havasu. She doesn't know it, but she has been a blessing to me and my husband as we go through our first fall and winter with this little "exerciser" getting us to play and walk every single day.

Think about getting a dog to walk this year. Our Lobita was a pound puppy. We saved her and now she is saving us. Happy Autumn!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Recent Hastings Booksigning

It was a good event although I had to deal with customers who were there at Hastings to rent videos or buy music for the first two hours. It takes a tough skin to be a promoter or salesperson. I dressed nice and wore make-up, styled my hair and decorated my table. I got there early to prepare and greeted the store personnel close by. Hastings is a good store and the book manager there is wonderful. He firmly supports the local writers here in Lake Havasu and always has our flyers done and table ready for our events.

I greeted everyone that entered and shook their hands. Many stopped to greet me back while others just walked by like they were in a hurry. It's tough and it's scary for me at times to deal with rejection, but that's just how it is in this business when you aren't famous. It's hard to keep smiling and stay positive and hope the next people entering the store will take actual interest in your books. My perseverance did pay off for in the last hour as several people did stop and bought my books. I even got a photo with one of them. Thanks Emelia!

I even sold some books while I was tearing down my table and packing up my things. Ironic, but true. I love it when that happens. It was a good event after all and I will keep on selling as long as people keep on buying. I have another event coming up next week.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Signing Event in Lake Havasu!

Hope to see you there! I'll be signing my two books and talking about the third one that I hope will be out by the end of winter next year.  I'll also be giving out candy and answering questions.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A graphic for my third book

I am working on a new graphic image that is coming out so nicely, I'm starting to think it
might be suitable for a book cover.  It's a magical pendant or amulet that should look both natural but metallic as well. It isn't the central subject of my next story which is entitled The Legend of Fayre Sea. It's a medieval fantasy adventure based on the World of Tiaera. It involves pirates, druids and mermaids. It also has Audrey's story (which I posted here on the blog) in it with a lot of changes so it's something different for all my readers. I would really appreciate any suggestions that might help me turn this into a really eye-catching book cover. I can add or draw more things in and around the shell.  I don't want to go into too much of the plot but I did draw this shell which can be used to decorate the title page in grey-scale or maybe even a book cover in full color.

And here is the color version:

I am also thinking of looking for a book cover designer for this book, if I can find one that isn't too expensive. I am going to try Any other suggestions?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Finished Coats of Arms

I finally got around to finishing these three coats of arms. I brought them into Photoshop 6 to add the final details, names and mottos. I hope to make one for Athrylle soon which I plan to use in my next novel: The Legend of Fayre Sea. Unfortunately, they will have be in black and white as color graphics raises the book print price enormously. This is why I am showing these here.

This will also be used in my 3rd book: The Legend of Fayre Sea

Friday, October 3, 2014

Promoting with Bookmarkers

Looking for a new way to promote your books and even feel more welcome at craft fairs? Many of us authors use the traditional and very practical method of promoting our books with card bookmark (or bookmarkers) that have our book description, book cover, ISBN, and selling information. I have two sets I carry with me in my purse to give away to anyone interested in my books: Realmwalkers and Priestess and the Ravenknight. Here is a sheet of Realmwalkers bookmarkers I made and printed myself. Now I get them professionally done. This is just an example.

Well, over the summer it occurred to me to try something new. This fall and winter when the snowbirds are back to Lake Havasu, I am going to have these Tiaeran Beaded Bookmarkers and give them away to those who buy both books at my book signings. You may recall me writing about them two years ago. Here are a couple of the photos I used from that blog post. 

I've sold several at the listed price well enough, but few book readers are in the market to spend good money on bookmarkers when so many are free and plentiful. But I've learned over the summer that book buyers like getting both books if a free bookmarker (valued at $5 -7) is included. In fact, I have done so well with this promotion I am in need to get busy and make more beaded bookmarkers so that I have enough to cover my future sales. This is why I am sharing this marketing tip with you today.  This idea is nothing new. I have bought many craft items and art supplies on eBay and was delighted when I got something extra as a free gift. You see it on TV a lot also. Customers like free gifts and I like to make my Tiaeran beaded bookmarkers. It's a win - win for everyone.

This fall when you are setting up your events and ordering your books, think of a small inexpensive free gift to give away along with your business information. Attach your business card to the packet or card-style bookmarker also. Let me know what you decide to do and how well it's worked for you!  I'd really like to know. As always, leave me comments and suggestions. Good luck!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Coat of Arms for your Fictional Worlds

Building up the world of Tiaera has become a bit of a hobby for me. When Jack and I were working on Realmwalkers, it provided a great creative outlet that helped us with our story. I didn't know about the term "Worldbuilding" years ago, but now I do and I have discovered some great sites and tools for developing the world of Tiaera. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, here is the Wikipedia definition: Worldbuilding or conworlding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. The resulting world may be called a constructed world. The term "worldbuilding" was popularized at science fiction writers' workshops in the 1970s.

If you have a fictional world to base your stories on, have you ever thought about adding some flags or coat of arms to the various guilds, countries, families or cities? If your stories include graphics or illustrations, think about adding a flag or coat of arms. As a graphic artist, I was able to research the rules about heraldry, crests and coat of arms.  It took me some time to design something with my Photoshop program for the Order of the Royal Mystics, but I was very pleased with the result. Here is the grey-scaled version I used for the book Realmwalkers.

Now that I have started working on my third book -- 117 pages rough draft so far -- I have decided to add a few more such regal decorations to enhance the imagery of the medieval fantasy world of Tiaera. And while I was doing this, I thought I should share with you a few of the many links I have discovered for free coat of arms and crest online generators to made the job easier.

I have tested out a couple that I hope might inspire you to use for your own world:

Uplink RPG Site Generator  This was the best I have found so far. It gives a lot of options and colors for you to pick from. It certainly sped my work up for making several coat of arms for my world. I didn't like the font for the banner so I left it blank. I will import these into Photoshop and use another font and perhaps do some tweaking to complete these shields. It only took a couple of hours to learn how to use the tool and come up with appropriate designs.

Naelos Coat of Arms

Vawdrey Coat of Arms

Sangrey Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms/Family Crest Generator  This site was more informative about what the symbols and colors mean and the rules about how to create a realistic design. I found it very interesting, but rather limiting and so I couldn't make a design I was happy with. I still think it a good place to research and learn about heraldry in a fun and artistic way. Give this place a try. 

Make Your Coat of Arms: This was another site that is fun and easy to use. In just seven steps you can design a very attractive coat of arms. You don't have to be an artist and it's also free to use. I started a couple of shield designs and stopped so that I can complete these using another program. I'll post these when I get them finished.

My This site looks fun and easy to use. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it's worth listing here. I may try this out in the future.

My Tribe 101: Another site that's free, simple and fun. I haven't tried them either, but I may check them out soon for other crest designs.

Once I have the coat of arms done, I will look into the prospect of creating flags for the various nations of Tiaera. If you know of any good free online flag generator sites, let me know. I'm sure there are a number of them out there, but I would prefer some recommendations from you who have tried them. Leave a comment here or email me.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Archaic Words and Phrases

Hello all!

Summer is so ending and I eagerly await cooler temperatures as days begin to grow shorter. I find I have more time to be at my laptop and it's been a while since I did some archaic words and phrases, so let's see what I have here. As in the past, I chose words that are archaic and originated before the 16th century. The English language is ever changing but as a writer, I am still interested in these old terms from long ago. I hope you can use some of these in your writing!

Askance - Origin Unknown - First Known Use: 1530
: in a way that shows a lack of trust or approval
:  with a side-glance :  obliquely
:  with disapproval or distrust :  scornfully <they eyed the stranger askance>

Troth - Middle English - First Known Use: 12th century
Loyal or pledged faithfulness :  fidelity <pledged my troth>
One's pledged word <I don't remember the details or, by my troth, even the gist — Stanley Elkin>; also :  betrothal

Dingle - Middle English, deep hollow - First Known Use: 13th century
A small wooded valley :  dell
A deep hollow, usually shaded with trees
Fraught - Middle English - First Known Use: 14th century
a :  laden
b :  well supplied or provided
Full of or accompanied by something specified —used with with <a situation fraught with danger>
Causing or characterized by emotional distress or tension :  uneasy <a fraught relationship>

Damsel - Middle English - First Known Use: 13th century
A girl or young woman who is not married
archaic :  a young unmarried woman of noble birth

Wist - alteration of wis - First Known Use: 1500
transitive verb
archaic : to know
"Wist you not that I be about my father's business?"

There is not overmuch to do here.  (too much)

She showed pluck in getting up on stage.   (courage & determination)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Yahoo Voices Ended their Service

As quoted from their email:  "As part of our ongoing effort to sharpen our focus, on July 31, 2014, will be shut down; on August 15, we will make the final Performance Payment before closes."

It's a shame to see that part of Yahoo's Contributor Network come to an end. I've been one of their writers for several years and maintained 23 articles there. Now I'm in need to find a new place to submit my articles that vary greatly in topic: poetry, book reviews, travel, pets, etiquette and writing. I just joined and I'm learning the ropes about how it works. Does anyone out there reading this know that online content service? Do you write there? Do you like it? Does that service pay well?

I also have my eyes on Hubpages, Bubblews, InfoBarrel and Constant Content. Any opinions or suggestions? I know this doesn't have much to do with Tiaera, but it does have a lot to do with writing. Please feel free to offer whatever advice you can offer about this topic. Thank you!

As I work to find a new place to submit my "non-Tiaera" stories and articles, I'm also removing my latest blog story "Add a Spark of Valor" because I plan to either make it into an ebook or add parts of it to my third book in the works. I hope you enjoyed it while it was up and will look forward to the new version of this story one day in the near future.

Lobita is growing into a fine dog and she is learning to give me time on the computer to write these days. She is now 7 months old and thriving despite the heat and the monsoons out here.

Keep cool and keep on writing!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Memories Software Freebie Winner!

Congratulations to Kelley! She is going to get the FREE My Memories Suite 5.0 program (a $40 value) along with all its extra freebie graphics and tools that every member enjoys. I'm amazed by all the wonderful designs and embellishments that one can download once they become registered users. I hope Kelley has a lot of fun with this program and finds it just as useful to use with her writing projects as I have. Check your email, Kelley, for the special link and instructions on how to get your program.

For the rest of you who did not win, don't forget you can still buy this program using my code to get $10 off. Just click the link banner below. You get everything in the My Memories Suite as I mentioned in my previous blog post.

Use the code
STMMMS34133 to get $10 off instantly! 

Thanks to all who participated in this software giveaway!
Happy writing and scrapping!

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Memories Free Digital Software Contest 

As much as I enjoy writing on my books and blogs, sometimes I just have to take a break and craft. That being said, I've discovered the fun and convenience of digital scrapbooking! I have tried a few online programs this summer and I am delighted with this one. This is a winner! I like that I can use it both offline and online. And it's always growing with new graphics and improvements. Yep! The owners of My Memories have come up with a great Digital Scrapbooking Software that is easy to learn and loaded with lots of tools to make beautiful albums, books and journals!

Not into scrapbooking? Why should you be interested in this software? Well, I thought the same at first, but once I thought about it, I realized I can use this for my novel writing and to organize my research materials. And any book I design with this software can be printed into a real book that you can carry and reference while you are writing. The software is so good the wonderful people at My Memories have decided to offer one Software Download for FREE to one of my readers here at my blog!

To enter, simply do one of the following:
-Visit My Memories Website and choose a favorite layout from their gallery, then tell me what you chose with comment on this post.
-Like My Memories and Realmwalkers on facebook and tell me you did in a comment on this post.
-Follow the My Memories Blog and leave a comment on this post saying you did!

Winner will be drawn Thursday July 31, 2014.

If you don't win or just can't wait, then how about a special discount just being one of my readers? Use the code STMMMS34133 to automatically receive $10 off your purchase of this software!
 Just go to My and enter the number for your discount and start downloading this popular scrapbooking program. 

Here are a few layouts that I just created with My Memories!

Put your notes, mind maps, research information, charts, etc...
Add all your character sheets and sketches.
Add all your maps so that they are in one place for quick reference.
And don't forget, you can have all these professionally printed into a one of several size hard-cover books or just keep them as ebooks on your computer. Other ways you can use this software is for your blogs, world-building, book signing flyers and invites, book event ads, ebook samples and other promotional materials. The list goes on! Still not sure you can figure out how to use this creative program? No problem. Check out this link for a series of My Memories Suite tutorials.

Still want to learn more? Then check out these links. You have till July 31st
to get your very own FREE My Memories digital scrap booking program.

My Memories Blog-

Use the code
STMMMS34133 to get $10 off instantly! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Crossbones and Tiaera

I'm looking forward to the next episode of "Crossbones." I'm eager to enjoy and learn what I can about the pirates as they brawl, pillage and cavort, and to relish the way they speak in this weekly series. The writers have won my heart for their colorful terminology as a means to depict a bygone era where words such as succeedingly generous, bastard thwarting, supplicate, recount, transpires and my favorite so far: discommoding are used. As a writer, I am impressed with the way they did not do as "Black Sails" did on Starz, mixing old English with vulgar profanity by both men and women. I suppose that pirates curse and use such words and so the actors use them, but for viewers like me, I find it very offensive and distracting. Yes, of course, I don't have to listen to them as they portray uneducated criminals who can only express themselves with four letter words and the like. Yes, many a pirate may not have been fortunate to learn how to read and write, but "Crossbones" doesn't feature only pirate characters. Some of the characters are well-educated and high ranking. And John Malkovich? Well, I better check my history book about how educated and eloquent the real Blackbeard was. John does a wonderful job so far. I was so impressed and eager to learn some of these words I sought and found a place online with scripts for TV shows. Here is the link should you wish to study the scripts for your own studies.

Crossbones - Episode Scripts

What does this pirate series have to do with Tiaera? Simple. Anyone who has read my stories here, as well as Realmwalkers and The Priestess and the Ravenknight, will know I have an affinity for using archaic words. They will also know I have pirates in my medieval fantasy world. Thus I am inspired by the dialogs in "Crossbones" as I am in many historical dramas on BBC America and PBS.  I've sat with pen and notebook while watching "Mutiny on the Bounty" and "Sense and Sensibility," jotting down phrases and words that are clearly archaic or seldom used these days. I still take the trouble to look up words I'm not familiar with and check when they were first used so that I may incorporate them in my future stories about Tiaera. My aim is to make the language used in Tiaera somewhere between the 15th - 17th centuries and still try to make the stories understandable by modern readers whenever possible.

"The Musketeers" have just premiered on BBC America and I didn't get the chance to see the pilot yet, but I did record it so I can see it later today. I hope the script there is also entertaining and enlightening for this medieval fantasy writer.  No, I don't have musketeers on Tiaera, but pirates are often known as swashbucklers as are the knights, rogues, guards, etc... Tiaera has them all. If they carry a sword, let it be so. Better get my pen and notebook ready!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Puppy Imposed Hiatus

Yes, I got one on April 2nd and my life has changed so much. The impact has been so great that my writing has all but totally stopped. Today is the first day I've had a chance to write a post. And it's gonna have to be a short one because I need to tend to the little creature that has wormed her way into our hearts and home, Lobita. She's a breed-mix of Chihuahua/Pug aka Chug. She looks like a tiny rottweiler but she is tiny and is an XS size in pup clothes. We doubt she will be getting much bigger than this.

I was totally ignorant about how much time puppies require.  Since bringing her home from the Animal Shelter in Parker, she needs CONSTANT.... repeat CONSTANT supervision. I have had a few "meltdowns" too, but she is still here and is three months old now.  As a writer, I have had to put aside my book and all marketing and blogging. I can't even do my gaming like I used to. My gaming partners have to tolerate me suddenly going AFK at any moment because Lobita needs to go outside to relieve herself - and that's if I catch her on time.

As a writer, she hasn't been all bad news. Yes, I have to stop working on my third book for now, but she is learning and growing and in just a matter of a few months, she will be allowed more freedom around the house.  The book can wait till then. And I have lost almost 5 pounds walking her twice a day.  My doctor is very happy and thinks she is more of an asset to this writer. I think she is right. I am not chained to my computers all day long now. I feel healthier and stronger. I enjoy the walks and I hope to continue them even when I get back to working on my book.  So I guess, I'll keep her and try to resume my writing once she is better trained and housebroken.

For now, it's a life of constant supervision, potty pads, near-misses, pet shopping, training, walkies, blessed naps, and bonding with our little pup, Lobita.

Here is my album I am making about Lobita on Flickr if you want to see more of her.
 Lobita's Flickr Album

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Signing Tomorrow at Hastings Bookstore!

It's time again for another Hastings Book Signing!  
If you live in Lake Havasu City, AZ come on over to the

Hastings Bookstore 
321 Lake Havasu Ave.
(928) 680-7272 

12:00 - 4:00PM

Saturday, March 22nd.

I 'll be there to promote my two books and to talk about the third
 I'm working on: "Guardians of the Fayre Sea."  I hope to see you!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why aren't you writing?

I was checking through my Google+ writers forums this morning and found this article shared by Chicki Brown. This article comes at a good time. I am getting ready to start on my next book now that most of my book signing events are over. I still have a few to do in the next two months, but I really need to get down to doing more writing. After reading this article, I realize I have become a slacker and have lost the momentum.  Even my blog here is not as active as I want it to be so I am going to have to do something about it. This is the right place to begin creating and sharing ideas about my characters and places which, in turn,  may inspire you to do the same with your project.

My fictional world of Tiaera is far from finished and I have some new characters I'll be introducing with my next novel.  The working title that most of my Google+ writer friends liked was "The Guardians of Fayre Sea." Other suggestions are welcome, so leave me a comment below if you can think any.  Other suggestions are as follows:

The Fayre Sea Pirates
Souls of the Wave
The Trident and the Cutlass
Fayre Sea
The Merfolk of Fayre Sea

The story I am working on is about not one but two races of merfolk (or merpeople) who inhabit the waters just off the coast of Athrylle known as The Fayre Sea. They are rivals who strive to live in peace while menacing pirates sail their ships between those two continents. The story will involve the piratess, Felucia Athlynn, a character you met in "Realmwalkers." There will be raiding, romance, betrayal and mystery if everything turns out the way I plan.

I've been working on the story outline this week and I've done several pages so far. Right now it looks like it's going to become a novel (as opposed to another novella) and I hope to have it done by the end of the year. It will be a follow-up story that takes place after "The Priestess and the Ravenknight" and ends right before "Realmwalkers."


Yes, I guess you can call me a plotter. I need to do research and write notes. I update my maps, notebook, character sheets and outline before I can do any actual writing.  I don't find this method of writing too rigid for my creativity as my methods and outline are always subject to change as the story unfolds. This is why I won't give out too much about it at this time. Once the book takes shape, I will give more details for those of you interested.

And none of this will ever get done if I keep finding too many things to do instead of writing, which brings me back to this article. I hope you find it helpful as I did.  Keep writing even if its short stories, articles, poetry, etc... I meet readers hungry for a good story at every event.  Whether it's by ereader, audio or the printed book, readers still abound in search of a great story.

The Clock's Ticking: Why Aren't You Writing?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Amazon's Automatic Updating Service

Did you know that you can opt to receive updates automatically for some of your Kindle books? A new book version will be made available after they confirm that improvements were made to your Kindle book. I just found out about this tool and I think it's a great idea. Too bad it's still a bit buggy.

Case in point: The Priestess and the Ravenknight ebook I promoted at Amazon's KDP last autumn. After the first promotion, I decided to go over the ebook file again and revised it. I didn't make many changes, but I am happier with the newest version.  Then when I ran another 3-day free promotion at KDP, I wanted to download the newest version to my Android and Cloud Reader. The end result was that I got the same old version even though I deleted the copies I had on both readers. I tried it again and again, thinking it was just "operator error."  Well, it wasn't.

Fortunately, KDP has a good Help Chat Service at their site and I didn't have to wait long at all to get someone who fixed the problem. The rep had me remove the ebook from both my Android and Cloud Reader once more. Then I downloaded my ebook again and checked. This time the copy I got was the most current and best available. I don't know why the automatic updating tool did not work. I decided to check with a friend and had her check her copy and she also had problems with the automatic updating tool. In the end she ended up going the same route I did so a rep could reset and send her the latest copy of The Priestess and the Ravenknight.

It troubles me that after two free promotions, there may be readers out there that only have the old versions of my ebook. You should NOT have to pay for the newest copy even though the promotion days have ended. Please log into your Kindle account and go to Manage Your Kindle
and see if you have even opted for Automatic Updates. If you are opted in, you should see a message saying that you have an update. If you do as it says, you should get any new versions of ebooks that have been updated since your original purchase. Be careful if you use this service as it will remove any annotations or bookmarks you may have made in those Kindle ebooks.  

If you do not get the new update or if you are not even sure you did, I recommend you look up at the menu tool bar (once logged into and click on HELP.  Look to the left column under TOPICS and click on KINDLE.  Under QUICK SOLUTIONS click on the button "Contact Us"  and scroll down the list of methods you want to use for contacting Amazon KDP.  You can use Phone, Email or Chat. I chose the chat option and got a rep almost instantly.  I explained the problem and she was able to guide me through the steps, which were the same ones I did before but this time she reset something on her end and made the update available to me. Once I verified I got the newest copies on my Cloud Reader and Android I thanked her and decided I should write you all today about this.

If you downloaded my ebook or have a library of Kindle ebooks, you may find the Automatic Update service useful in ensuring you have the best copy of your ebooks at hand. If you have any questions or problems with it, know that their Chat Reps are highly recommended and I will use them again for their fast and excellent help.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Experience with KDP Select

Now that I am feeling stronger and healthier, I am happy to be back at my laptop to write about my plans to leave Kindle's Direct Publishing Select when it comes up for renewal at the end of this month. I am still using Kindle Direct Publishing for selling my books as Kindle ebooks but KDP Select is a program by KDP as a way to help ebook authors promote their works. It sounded like a great program to try out with my novella, The Priestess and the Ravenknight (P&R). By signing up and promising to sell P&R exclusively through KDP Select offered the follow (copied from their site) :
1. Earn higher royalties and earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers borrow your books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Plus, earn 70% royalty for sales to customers in Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico.
2. Maximize my book's potential by using their two promotional options: Kindle Countdown Deals, time-bound promotional discounting for your book while earning royalties; or Free Book Promotion where readers worldwide can get your book free for a limited time.
3. Help readers discover your books by making them available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and reach the growing number of Amazon Prime customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Japan. 

It was all free and so I thought to give it a try. I filled out the forms and entered appropriate key words and categories that best described my book. I began spreading the word via emails and social networks. I spoke about it with my fellow writers locally and some of them also tried it. I did several free promotions and even tried the Kindle Countdown deal for a short time. 

All with very limited success. 

I'm not going to grumble or complain about KDP. Amazon did as they promised. I had no problems with them. I can only guess that I haven't marketed enough or correctly. If they did any promoting of my novella, I never saw it. I never got email promos or ads about my ebook so I am not even sure if anyone did.  I tried a email campaign service also and it helped a little. My download numbers were a meer few hundred at best. So how can readers try out my book if they don't know about it? How can KDP Prime members borrow the book if their can't find it. Heck, I couldn't find it without using the URL I copied and saved. My novella was buried or lost where it was difficult to find amongst so many many other ebooks available at Amazon KDP.  During my second enrollment I tried other keywords and categories and kept promoting as I could without driving my friends and the public crazy.  I created my author profile also and keep blog ads linked to Amazon. My marketing budget is very limited and without using a professional service, I can only expect what I got.

The result was most disappointing and I've decided that when my enrollment in KDP Select is up on Jan 31st, I will quit the program. I have 3 more promotion days to offer my ebook, The Priestess and the Ravenknight, for free. You're invited to download it tomorrow, Jan. 12th through Tuesday, Jan. 14th.

Remember this is only my experience with KDP Select. I am sure there are other writers out there that have done very well with the program and got a lot of downloads which turned into sales after the promotion was over. If this has happened to you, I welcome any advice or suggestions on you did it that resulted in many downloads and sales. What kind of marketing did you use? How long did you use it? What days did you promote your book? What kind of keywords or categories did you use?

Once I am done with KDP Select, I will turn P&R into an Epub ebook and begin marketing it and selling it at various online sites independently. I may even put it into CD form and sell it at book signings. It's time to plan my next move as I continue to sell both Realmwalkers and P&R this new year. 

And now that I am doing better, it's time to get to back to work on my next book.

I look forward to your comments and reviews of The Priestess and the Ravenknight, free tomorrow through Tuesday at Amazon Kindle.

Keep on writing! Don't give up!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

Dear friends and colleagues,
Sorry for not posting here in a long while. I have been battling a nasty cough and cold for over a week now. I am doing better and hope to get back on my usual blogging routine and blog story. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you a happy and prosperous new year. Are you ready to write new books and stories as we enter into 2014? I plan to get back into writing my third book plus return to drawing once my health improves. Sadly, this may still take a few more days of bed rest. But I can't wait! I'm ready to work on my next book.
This cold medication is making me woozy so before I drift off to la la land once again, I want to thank all my friends and readers who have been so supportive not just in 2013, but ever since I have started writing in earnest. I want you to know how much I appreciate your support and encouragement. I wouldn't have gotten these two books done without it. I am grateful to have such good friends and colleagues around both locally in Havasu and online. Thanks so much!
Happy New Year and keep on writing!