Updates on Publishing

Another chilly Sunday in the Kawarthas and it’s April. At least the ground here is bare of snow for now.

I’ve been working for the last few weeks on re-editing The Facepainter Murders and I’m happy to say that the new, better version is up on Amazon and Create Space.

I’ve also explored some further advertising opportunities.

Bublish

I’m in the midst of a 2 week free trial with this company, in which a membership costs 99$ US a year. A lot, but that lets me upload all my books and get them before the thousands of people who follow the site. Every weekend, Bublish hosts a twitter campaign that ends with a virtual bookstore on Monday. Whichever bubbles(see below) are new the week before are featured.

The bubble includes an author biography, an extract from one of the books and an insight section. The latter is a short paragraph about what ever the author might think would interest a reader, such as an introduction to why the book was written or how the writer coped with a particular scene. I started with book 1 of my Dangerous Journeys series last week, wrote two bubbles and have had 187 views so far and 2 clicks thru to Amazon. I’ll see how it goes by Thursday.

Amazon Ads.

You know the books that appear below the one you have searched for on Amazon? Those lists result from Amazon Ads that are written by the author or publisher. Amazon runs a bidding programme so that each ad, once clicked upon, costs the author what she bid for placement of that particular ad. It’s not a great system. The results are delayed, sometimes by as much as six weeks and the sales are not in real time. However, the clicks data and the information about sales form Kindle Direct can help determine whether or not an ad is working.

Brian Meeks wrote a book on the subject called Mastering Amazon Ads, which is helpful although a bit confusing for a non-analyst(Brian is one). There is also a oa free course in the subject. You can find it here. I’m in the midst of both the book and the course and setting up ads. I think it’s useful to do all three in conjunction. Brian runs a Facebook group about the ads as well.

 

Too long away

There are few excuses for neglecting a blog but here are mine.

2016 was a difficult year for us. My husband’s cousin, a youngish man of 64(young from our perspective) died in the late Spring, a shock to all his family. Late in the summer our beloved dog Charlie became ill and died of a small tumour in her great heart. Health issues, since partially resolved, both our own and those of close friends, occupied the rest of the year.

But we are in a new year, and the pain of those losses is receding. Not to say the world is comfortable with a man with a clear personality disorder in the White House, but one can carry on.

My plans to become a writer of non-fiction have faltered, mainly because I write fiction and that seems to be that. However, there is a good deal more to learn about writing fiction and I am looking forward to a retreat in April with the kind friends of Writescape. Before that, I  will travel to Bermuda to visit my sister and her family. One of my journeys there resulted in No Motive for Murder, the third in my Dangerous Journeys series.

Another book, currently titled Painting of Sorrow, is under consideration by an agent. Fingers crossed.

Bad news is that my long-time publisher, Arline Chase of Write Words Inc. has closed up shop. Soon I hope to republish the books under my own imprint. so many thanks due to Arline for taking a chance on a beginning writer when she published Murderous Roots. All best wishes to Arline going forward.

Because of Arline’s retirement, I’ve been studying self-publishing both at CreateSpace and at Smashwords, where my books currently have a home. When I’m ready, I’ll reissue all four plus in the fall, the fifth in the series.

Of course, I read. Today I finished a book by a writer friend, Crozier Green. His novel of the early days of the Cosa Nostra in Sicily, titled The Little Wagons, was a terrific read. Please see the review below.

Crozier Green has written an engrossing, action-filled novel of the beginnings of the Cosa Nostra in Italy, seen through the eyes of three men and the woman they all desired. Two of the men rose from sulphur mines, graduated to the prison of Palermo and battled for supremacy in the nascent crime families of nineteenth-century Sicily. The woman, a wild and wildly-intelligent daughter of one of the bosses, manipulates both men and the officer of the Carabinieri who loved her, to gain power of her own.

The Little Wagons is suspense-full, fast-paced, well-written book that deserves five stars for its vivid characterization. Even minor characters are well-described. I won’t forget any of them soon.

The plot, involving as it does the entwined lives of four different people, is handled well. The opening description of the sulphur mines brings the reader into a hellish, claustrophobic world. The setting alone is sufficient to explain why men would do anything, including murder to escape from it.

The Little Wagons is a great read and terrific history.

That’s about it for a sunny and warm Saturday in the Kawartha Lakes.

 

 

 

 

Blogging and Evernote.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A warm, humid morning, more July than May. Another week of unseasonable weather has brought the Baltimore Orioles, white-crowned sparrows, and many more finches—American goldfinch, purple finch, house finch, both red and orange varieties. Tulips, daffodils and spirea are blooming. White blooms on the Serviceberry tell me it’s time to prune the roses.

I’ve finished the latest revision of my WIP. This time through I concentrated on plot, looking for holes and places where I had made it too easy for the protagonist. Tomorrow, I’m going to give description a hard look, to make sure my characters are grounded in time and place.

I’m trying a new piece of software, new to me that is, called Evernote, a way to store pieces of information, images, web-sites etc that come my way into a more coherent arrangement than bookmarks. My bookmark folder is unwieldy at best so I’m looking forward to using Evernote and Evernote Web-clipper.

One of the articles I found this week concerns blogging. The author, Philip Kleudgen, on the site Write to Done, gives 10 suggestions on giving a blog a title that will take it viral. He puts content that shines at number 5 with the following checkpoints:

S – Specificity
H – Helpfulness
I – Immediacy
N – Newsworthiness
E – Entertainment value

Number 1 talks about numbers, in headlines. We’ve all seen them and used them but apparently the numbers 10, 16, 21 and 25 are particularly good at seducing readers.

I suggest those of you who blog or are interested in blogging read the full article. Useful information, from Mr. Leudgen who blogs at  RestaurantCoverings.comThere are useful links in his bio as well and a pdf. of resources.

My garden this week.

My garden this week.