Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sales Update

Sales #'s as of August, 2012

ebooks sold thru Amazon                                    345,253        
borrows thru Amazon                                           19,855
Free books thru Amazon                                       301,344

ebooks sold thru B&N                                            16,555

ebooks sold thru Smashwords                                 1,052

total ebooks sold in 18 months:               360,860


I have not offered freebies since June, 2012, and have no plans to do so in the future

Abducted and Dead Weight were sold to Thomas & Mercer on March 27, 2012

Abducted alone has sold over 151,000 books

The most books sold in one month: 50,000 books in February 2012

I plan to release four books a year

Will be released: December 2012
At this time, I plan to focus on writing contemporary romance and thrillers

I just finished writing Book 3 of the Lizzy Gardner series, which is to be released early 2013

I am working on a collaboration with DD Scott (a short christmas story) to be released in 2012

I have two contemporary romances (cover art above and below) that I will be releasing in 2012

I plan to release Book 2 and 3 in the Baylor Family series in 2013 (sequels to Having My Baby)


Although I continue to experiment and try new things, I do feel a need to focus. In 2013, I plan to spend more time writing and less time speaking and attending conferences.

Advice to writers thinking about self-publishing. Give it a try! What do you have to lose? It's only overwhelming if you allow it to be. Take it one step at a time. Don't spend all of your time worrying about what other writers are doing. Try different things and see what works for you. If you don't want to spend time learning about formatting and making cover art, hire someone. Go to my LINKS tab to see who I use for cover art and formatting. Be professional. Spend money on an editor/proof reader. Most of all...HAVE FUN! You can do it!

Coming soon!
Thanks to all my readers. None of this would or could have happened without you!

Friday, September 28, 2012

My Indie Journey So Far




Since March of 2011 I have sold over 350,000 e-books. Hopefully I will have an exact number by the time my two-year anniversary rolls around. I love making lists and so I thought I would share some of the highlights since I published Return of the Rose last year:

I began to receive incredible emails from wonderful readers
A Knight in Central Park was selected by Pixel of Ink as one of their Top 10 bestsellers in 2011
A Knight in Central Park was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, print and e-edition
A Knight in Central Park hit the Top 100 All Kindle Best Sellers List twice
Abducted hit the Top 100 All Kindle Best Sellers List twice, making it as high as #5
Taming Mad Max and Dead Weight hit the All Kindle Top 100 List
I was interviewed on USA Today's HEA blog
I was approached by some wonderful agents, foreign sales people, and two movie producers
I received mentions in Amazon's Press Release and KDP Newsletter
I was mentioned in PC Magazine on February 29, 2012 among others
Return of the Rose and A Knight in Central Park remained in the Top 20 in Time Travel Romance for over a year
Abducted received a wonderful review from Kirkus Revews.
Abducted was given 4 1/2 Top Pick in the April 2012 Romantic Times magazine.
Abducted was selected as one of the BEST for 2011 in Suspense Magazine.
Kaylee Beyea from Nebraska picked ME as an America Author to write about
I signed my first Publishing Agreement with Amazon
I love working with my editor, Alan Turkus, with Thomas & Mercer
I attended my first BEA (Book Expo in New York) and I spoke on my first panel
I was interviewed by Bernard Starr at the Huffington Post
Having My Baby hit the All Kindle Top 100 List and hit #48 at B&N
I signed a seven-book contract with Audible
I will be speaking at the Idaho Book Extravaganza on November 10, 2012
I was invited to attend Amazon's Press Conference in Santa Monica where I was lucky enough to be one of three featured authors on the video shown 
I was invited by D.D. Scott to post once a month on the incredible WG2E blog.
I am working on my first collaboration, a short Christmas story, with D.D. Scott
I have met so many wonderful authors and professionals in the industry 
 
Although I have moments of feeling overwhelmed, I have never had so much fun! I am also learning to make more time for writing. That's my priority. I have four finished novels I could release, but as far as I'm concerned, they need more work. I refuse to publish a book until I feel it's the best it can be. More than anything, I want to work on my craft and become a better storyteller and a better writer because there is always room for improvement. I recently finished book 3 in the Lizzy Gardner series and I'll be sending the book to my editor next week! yay! 
 
If you're a new writer just starting out, don't look too far ahead into the future. Don't write for money or fame, write because you have a story to tell. Live in the moment and write that book one page at a time. You can do it!

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Got Book?

If you are thinking about self-publishing, here are a few great places to start.




AUTHOR E.M.S. - ENTREPRENEUER.MANAGEMENT.SOLUTIONS

BUSINESS RESOURCES FOR AUTHORS

Authors today are faced with a changing industry, evolving technology and growing competition. Tired of trying to find all the answers on your own? We're here to help. Author E.M.S. is a growing online community designed to help you streamline your business time without sacrificing the creative artist within.

~~~

INDIE ROMANCE INK

New members must be ***ROMANCE WRITERS*** who have self-published or are indie-curious. We're a genre-focused group by and for romance authors, and we do not allow self-promo. Author service providers and other industry professionals are welcome as long as they are ALSO romance writers.

If you are not a romance writer, consider the Indie Authors Forum The IAF admits writers of all genres as well as industry professionals.

~~~

WG2E - TIPS, RESOURCES, REAL NUMBERS AND NEWS

E-Publishing is here to stay. We’re here to provide answers to all your E-Publishing questions. We’re using real numbers, real data, and real examples from our experiences. Sit down, settle in, and breathe in the future.

~~~

If you want to see what I did when I first self-published click on the LINKS tab on the top of my site or click HERE.

I first self-published in March of 2011. Not every writer who self-publishes is going to sell a million books. They might not even sell a hundred books. If you are serious about being a writer, though, and you put in the hours and the time and you refuse to release any book that isn't the best it can be, then I believe you have as good a chance as anyone of being a success. 

Be a positive force. Enjoy your journey. Believe in yourself.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

MONEY TALK



For nearly two decades I wrote nearly every day, but I didn't make one dime. Self-publishing has changed all that. Come join me on WG2E today where we're talking about money!

"The very best thing I ever did was realizing that my books are a PRODUCT and I am BUSINESS WOMAN. Last December I made a twenty-three page business plan. I realized that I could actually make real money selling my books. I came up with an amount of money I wanted to make each month ($6000) and how many books I had to sell to make that happen. Instead of just putting out books whenever I got them done, I planned release dates. I have my editors booked through the end of 2012. I have firm, hard dates that I hand my manuscripts over. I work very, very hard. I have high expectations for myself and my work output. My business comes before a lot of things in my life, but I've never been happier."
--Denise Grover Swank, bestselling author of The Chosen series.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Interviews with Indie Authors

A short interview with Tim Ridgway, co-author of Interviews with Indie Authors compiled by Claire Ridgway and Tim Ridgway.


When did you first get the idea to interview indie authors and make it into a book?

To answer that question fully, you need a little bit of background about me and my wife Claire. At the beginning of 2012 Claire and I were inspired to produce our first books, and began researching all there was online and in bookstores about self publishing. We knew from asking around that our original book idea would not be picked up by "traditional" publishers ... the market was too small. However we had our own email list to market to from a website we had been running for three years. So self-publishing was the way to go. By the end of February, the book was ready to go. Claire had written it, and I had laid it out for print (CreateSpace) and for Kindle too. So we hit "go" and began publicizing the book to our list and on our websites. To our amazement, it was a HUGE success! So we rapidly put together a second book, for publication in May. Again, this book was the result of years of research on our websites. And again, the same thing happened ... another HUGE success!

At around that time we began to wonder what other self-published authors were doing. How they were going about writing, publishing and marketing their own books. We wanted to know what made an author a runaway success. We've always believed in finding out what successful people actually do, and trying to discover what their "secrets" are so that we can learn to do the same. So we started compiling a list of the top self-published authors on the market at the moment, and we began digging deep online to find out what was working.

Like all good ideas, the book "Interviews with Indie Authors" was the combination of this research, people suddenly asking Claire for her own advice on self-pub, and us remembering reading a great book called "Conversations with Millionaires" that was inspirational to us maybe ten years ago (there aren't any new ideas ...!). The idea to interview top indie authors and put the results into a book was born. So we set about putting together an interview to send out to our top 100 list. We knew the result would be an amazing book because it filled a need that we ourselves had.

Was it an enjoyable process? Did you run into any problems?

As you can imagine, keeping track of what turned out to be over 100 new contacts was quite a large organizational job. I enjoyed sending out emails to these amazing authors, asking for their help in the book, and trying to convince them that I wasn't crazy! I was genuinely blown away by how helpful the world of self-publishing is. In the end we got 34 amazing full interview responses back, and a 34% response is pretty great in my opinion. Even more astonishing is that the majority of the authors who responded were from those near the TOP of our list. It definitely seems that successful people are the most helpful too... probably a lesson to be learned for all of us! Of course, there were many who got back to me saying that they were incredibly busy with their next book, and I completely understand that... after all, they didn't know me at all. I'm so glad that the interviews we got cover so many different genres and give so many incredible insights. They really show what works and what doesn't work. I've read and re-read all of the interviews many times now and I still see new things each time.

Was it enjoyable? Absolutely. I've got to chat with some amazing people, and have now gone on to discover their books for myself. It was also our first joint publishing project as husband and wife. We've managed not to kill each other!

Did we run into any problems? Not huge ones! The trickiest part was keeping track of authors, their photos and their book covers. It really wouldn't do to have the wrong photo next to an author's name. It seems that we've managed to keep it all together! Other than that, no, there were not really any problems. All thirty-four of the authors have been really forthcoming and helpful throughout the process. It is an amazing feeling to see someone who is so well known Tweeting about our book, or mentioning it on their website. Thank you to each one of you!
 
Do you have plans to publish more books on self-publishing in the near future?

Claire is really busy blogging about her findings about self-publishing on the Interviews with Indie Authors blog and this is where our focus is at the moment. We don't have any plans on publishing any more books on self-publishing for a while, partly because  there are loads of "How To" books on the market at the moment, and I find that they go out of date so quickly. The entire world of self-publishing is changing so rapidly that any steps you write down now won't be useful in a year's time. In a way, that is why "Interviews with Indie Authors" is special - the tips and ideas are not tied to any specific technology or time. The ideas will always be useful for someone who wants to publish their own book.
 
So, for now, Claire is concentrating on her next self-published Tudor history book project, and I'm running along behind doing the layout and setting up websites for it all. It keeps us busy!
 
If there is anything else you would like to add, please do!

As I've said above, we'd like to take the opportunity to send out a MASSIVE thank you to all the authors involved, and especially to you Theresa. Everyone was so giving in both their time and the advice they shared. Their stories are inspiring and motivating, and will definitely help other authors.
 
As a final comment, we decided early on that since we didn't write the interviews ourselves, it was only right that there was a charity element to the book. That's why we are giving 50% of royalties to charity. The money is being split between two charities – ROPE (Relief for Oppressed People Everywhere) and Goal for the Gambia. We hope that in some small way, those who are not as well of as we are will benefit from this work.
 
We've set up a page on the website with links to all the retailers: http://www.interviewswithindieauthors.com/buy-the-book/

The Amazon link to the book is HERE

Thanks so much for this opportunity to talk about the process behind the book.

Tim Ridgway


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Having My Baby


Having My Baby is now available at Smashwords, Kobo, Amazon and Nook!

I have always been fascinated by fertility drugs, test tube babies and companies that provide sperm for women who, for whatever reason, need a little help having a baby of their own.

Growing up, Jill Garrison never daydreamed about having the perfect wedding. Instead, she dreamt about having a baby. Boy or girl, it didn't matter. Unfortunately, her fiancé can't have children. Determined to realize her lifelong dream of having a baby, Jill spends years searching for a company (CryoCorp) that provides high quality donor sperm. Everything is right in Jill's world until her wedding day when her fiancé leaves her at the altar to be humiliated before friends and family. She doesn't waste any time moving from New York City to California to start over. And she keeps her appointment with Cryocorp. She may never have the wedding or the husband, but nothing is going to stop her from having a baby. She's tired of everyone telling her what to do. The baby she's carrying is hers and hers alone. Nobody can take that away from her.

Or can they?


Look for two more contemporary romances coming soon. More Baylor Family novels will be out in 2013!

Happy Reading...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Release Day!


On March 27, 2012, after 19 crazy years of trying my damndest to get published, I signed my first publishing agreement with Thomas & Mercer. Today, July 17, 2012, the first two books in my Lizzy Gardner thriller series have been re-released. Abducted and Dead Weight have been newly edited and T&M has come up with some great new covers! Book 3 in the Lizzy Gardner Series will be published in 2013.

Thank you to my editor, Alan Turkus, for making the entire process super enjoyable. And thanks to all of the people at Amazon and CreateSpace for all of the amazing opportunities they have provided me.





I also want to thank over 300,000 readers for not only reading my books, but for taking the time to leave reviews and email me.




So much has happened since I first self-published 16 months ago. It's been a crazy, wonderful ride. I now have dreams of reaching millions of readers and someday hitting the NY Times and/or USA Today Bestsellers Lists. I know that if I continue to work hard and write the best books I can, anything is possible.


Dream big, work hard, and enjoy the journey while you’re at it!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Over 300,000 books sold!


JUNE UPDATE: 8,985 books sold in June. OVER 300,000 books sold as of June 30, 2012


DON’T LET LARGE SALES NUMBERS DEPRESS YOU, LET THEM INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE!

I still plan to report TOTAL number of books sold every month, but nothing will be quite the same since Abducted and Dead Weight will be re-released by Thomas & Mercer on July 17, 2012. Because of this, I will no longer have access to my sales numbers on a daily basis. Sales for these books will soon be reported on a quarterly basis. Using my sales chart, I can guess at number of books sold on a monthly basis, but it will only be an estimate.


To all writers out there who aren’t seeing great sales yet, I want to say use big sales numbers you see reported to motivate and inspire. For instance, Bella Andre sold over 90,000 books in the month of June alone. I am super excited for her. This is great news for indie authors. I don’t know Bella but she seems like a happy, friendly person and she obviously works hard and knows how to tell a story.

There are indie authors out there who are selling more than 90,000 books a month. There will always be somebody with more sales than you. There will always be authors out there making more money, too.

For nearly 20 years, I didn’t make a dime, not one cent, but I kept writing because it’s what I love to do. I was and am lucky enough to have a husband who works hard to keep a roof over our heads, but an extra paycheck over the past 20 years would have been nice, too.

Writing books and having my stories read by hundreds of readers was my dream and still is. I am now lucky enough to have the time to write, although it wasn’t always that way. Like many of you I struggled with finding balance between working outside of the house, writing, and raising kids. I put in my 10,000 hours (multiplied by 2 or 3) and now it’s paying off.  

If you want something bad enough, you’ll work for it and you won’t give up. Writing a novel with tension and conflict and interesting characters is not easy. It’s definitely not a career for the faint of heart. Passion and determination is what it takes to keep many writers in front of the computer day after day.

Don’t let other writers’ large numbers of sales and big paychecks make you feel like you’re doing something wrong. Let it motivate you and challenge you to write the best damn book you can!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Life is good...a rambling post

There. I said it. Life is ridiculously crazy wonderful.

And guess what?

It’s not just because AMAZING writerly things are happening to me. In fact, I like to think that amazing things are happening to me because I am truly grateful and happy with my life and I have been for a while. I have been married for over 25 years. For many of those 25 years, my husband and I didn’t have time for each other. He took a kid to the soccer game. I took another to basketball. He worked overtime. I went to a teacher's meeting. Even during open house at the kids' school, he met one teacher, while I met another. Our honeymoon was a weekend trip a few miles away. We spent a weekend at Laguna Beach for our 20th anniversary. So, the moment I realized I was making some money writing, I planned a five night trip to Hawaii, just the two of us. Not too long after, I bought our tickets, Amazon invited me to New York to speak at the BEA. So my husband came with me and our vacation was extended. Hawaii and then New York for wine and cheese, cocktails on rooftops, and dinners out. My head is still spinning. So much happening so fast!


Theresa, Sally, and Cathy on Abbey Road
I always feel sort of bad IF I’m the only happy one in the crowd. But screw it. I’m happy and proud of it. It’s not easy to be happy. Even before I sold one book on Amazon, I had decided that enough was enough. Yeah, like many of you, I had some pretty crappy things happen to me when I was growing up. Things I don’t want to talk about. Maybe not ever. Also, like many couples do, my parents divorced. Suddenly my mom had five girls to look after and she'd never held a job…well, maybe during high school. We sold our house on top of the hill, moved to the haunted house down the street, and ate beans. I was paying for my own dentist bills at the age of 14 and I had to get a work permit from high school so I could leave school to waitress. It took years for me to realize that I learned my greatest lessons from the tough times. For instance, I learned forgiveness. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you forget what they did. It just means you choose not to be angry and bitter about it all.


911 Memorial
And obviously...every day is not a stroll through the park. Sure, I still get annoyed at times. But it doesn’t happen often and any agitated feelings are like a blip on a radar screen. Road rage has completely left me. If someone is flipping me off or cursing me from another car, I don’t know it because I keep my eyes on the road. Back in the old days, if someone cut me off I tailed them for a mile or two, making sure they knew I didn’t like what they did. Stupid. I wasted too many precious minutes being angry at drivers who probably had no idea I was angry. My kids have many stories about those days, which is sad. If I could do it all over again, things would be different. My attitude would be different. 

BUT even amidst the bad days, there was always good. I always had my mom and my sisters. All four of my sisters have always been encouraging and supportive. My sister, Cathy, loves to travel and has taken me on many amazing trips. During the two decades when I was writing but not selling, she was reading all of my books, too. She told me to keep writing. She couldn’t understand why I wasn’t selling and my not selling seemed to frustrate her more than it did me. She's read every book I've ever written dozens of times. She combines characters and cuts others completely. She can get a little crazy with her red pen. It took me years to be able to take her criticism without feeling crushed. She has made me uncrushable. Cathy and I love reading self-help books. She follows the books to a tee and I take the stuff I like and leave the rest. She says tomato, I say…you get where I’m going. We are opposites in many ways. She’s way nicer than me. Way nicer than most everyone. She has one kidney and that one kidney produces kidney stones, which worries me because I can’t imagine a life without Cathy in it. Anyhow, one of the self-help books we read talked a lot about affirmation cards. You write down something you want to happen on an index card and carry it with you until it comes true. Cathy always keeps three cards in her purse. She won’t show anyone her cards. If a card produces results, she puts that card away and writes a new one. A few months ago, she gave me a card she had written and carried around for years. If you look at the picture you can see that she wrote the original index card in 2008. That was when I was a double finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest. Maybe she felt enough was enough. Time for a card! Anyhow you can see that she changed the year 2008 to 2009 and then she just wrote 2010 over and over and then 2011 and then she really messed with the affirmation card gods when she started scribbling words like “power” and "strength" and "positive" and exclamation points!!! The card had no choice but to work. A few months ago, Cathy gave me the card. I’m going to frame it. I don’t know if I could have continued to write without Cathy pushing me onward with her never-ending support and encouragement.


Being positive and finding the good in most things is easy for me now, but it took practice. I didn’t know learning to be positive, learning to see all the beauty right there in front of me, would take practice. But I know it now. I get it. I’m done complaining. Yeah, not publishing for 19 years was getting old, but a few years before I sold a book, I knew my time would come. I didn’t know when or how, but I knew I wasn’t going to give up until my books were read by complete strangers. Now that my books are being read, it’s just too darn amazing for words. Every single sale is amazing. The Taleist did a survey recently and I believe it showed that most indie authors surveyed average $10,000 a year. Half of those surveyed made $500 a year. For two decades I didn’t make a dime so $500 a year for those 20 years sounds pretty good to me. My favorite part of the survey is that 95% of those surveyed consider themselves to be a success. How cool is that? That’s all that really matters. The meaning of success is different to all, but to me success is being able to look in the mirror and like who you see.

And another thing…I don’t know about you, but every day I read about someone with failing health or worse. All of those clichés that people are tired of hearing are clichés for a reason. LIFE IS SHORT. It’s true. Don’t waste another moment worrying about sales. WRITE. Write better than ever. Focus on the writing and the characters and you just might be the author with the next bestseller.

It could be you. Believe it!

Jared's welcoming party in south sudan
And while you’re at it, practice being aware and grateful for all you DO have. I am grateful every day to have water to drink. I like having access to drinkable water. I can’t imagine living in a country where water isn’t readily available. My nephew is in South Sudan. He’s there helping others because he wants to be there. He’s an amazing human being. All of my nephews and nieces are, but I’m talking about Jared now because I find myself often wondering if Jared has enough water. Where he is living, local court is held under a shade tree. A young boy and girl were doing “things” in a hut and they got caught. Court was held beneath the shade tree and the boy’s family now has to give a cow to the girl’s family. Case settled. Sounds a little steep if you ask me. I asked my nephew in an email if there were lakes and rivers and this is what he wrote back: “No rivers or lakes around here. Hence this is where we are to respond to emergencies from chronic drought and the like. And all the animals are long gone. There's been war in these parts for 30 some odd years so they were all smart enough to run far far away. Just lots of lizards, scorpions, snakes, eagles, vultures, and bats.”  Reading this makes me thirsty.

A few days ago I read a post written by Gordon Kirkland at the WG2E. I don’t know Gordon, but I’m sure thinking about him today. Maybe that's why I decided to write this post. His health isn’t so great and so he’s not going to be writing for a while. He needs a new liver. Livers are not easy to come by, but I sure hope he gets one soon. I don’t want to have to read stories like Gordon’s in order to remember to be grateful. If you have good health, be grateful for it. If you have arms and legs and good sight, be grateful. If you have a roof over your head or wonderful sisters, be grateful.

Sorry for rambling on--a rambling post with random pictures. I really just wanted to say that life is good and this water tastes great!  

Monday, June 11, 2012

My First BEA

Speaking at the KDP Booth
Amazon invited me to the BEA last week and because I told myself I would try everything at least once, I said YES and my husband and I flew to New York to see what the Book Expo of America was all about. Energy and excitement are two words that come to mind as I think back on my week. Thousands of people were walking the aisles, but I didn’t see much of that because CreateSpace and KDP kept me busy. I was lucky enough to talk on a panel at the Upublishu on Sunday with authors CS Marks (hilarious), Brittany Geragotelis (enthusiastic) and Darcie Chan (professional and kind). I was able to meet a lot of the behind-the-scenes people at Amazon and what a treat that was. So welcoming and friendly. So REFRESHING!





Speaking on a panel with Darcie Chan,
CS Marks and Brittany Geragotelis
This was my first opportunity to speak in front of a large group. I would say there were a few hundred people in the audience. It was Sunday morning after all and very early. Thank goodness. I was very shy growing up and so I was apprehensive about speaking on any panel anywhere. I had index cards just in case I froze. In the past, when I attended RWA conferences I would freeze when I came face to face with an editor. Why? Because all of my hopes and dreams felt as if they were riding on that 30 second talk. Ridiculous but true.



My first book signing
At the BEA it was a whole different ballgame. Since self-publishing in March of 2011 I have had full control of every aspect of my writing career…and guess what? I like it. I like it a lot. I have no reason to fear editors and agents or anyone else (I do realize I never had reason to fear them, but it just felt different back then because they were the decision makers, the people who held all the cards). One of the things I am enjoying most about self-publishing is that I don’t have to send queries out every week. I don’t have to open any more rejection letters. No more queries. No more waiting. No more rejections.

I am one happy writer.

Amazon has spoiled me. I tell other writers to be patient with every aspect of self-publishing, but it’s not easy to do. I want to do everything and I want to do it now! After 19 years of queries and months and months of waiting for another rejection, it’s so nice to know that when my book is ready to go, I can release it to the world and let readers decide if they like my book, or not. Not one reader, but hundreds or thousands if I’m lucky. I don’t have to wait for an agent to send my book to twelve publishers and then wait months while those individuals decide if my story meets their requirements.

Wardrobe check before video shoot
Anyhow, back to the BEA, did I mention that a limo picked me up from the airport? Surreal would be putting it mildly. I was asked to hang around the CreateSpace/KDP booth for a few days during the BEA and I’m so glad I did. I was interviewed by Mercy Pilkington at Good Ereaders. I was jet-lagged and pale and I found myself looking up at the Heavens instead of at the interviewer. It’s all a learning experience. Hopefully I’ll be invited to other events so I can practice! I spoke to the Huffington Post and Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Len at Pod Chronicles. The man from Huffington Post didn’t understand why I would sell my Lizzy Gardner Series to Thomas & Mercer when I am making so much money on my own. I told him that I wanted to try everything. I want my books on audio. I want foreign sales and the chance to have my books in a brick and mortar store somewhere in the world. Maybe in an airport someday. I want to give my books a chance to be translated into another language and T&M might be able to do all of that and more. I also told him to talk to me in a year and we’ll see if I am happy with my decision. It’s all experimental.

Talking to Andriana and my husband, Joe, on the
rooftop of Ink 48 Hotel in NY where we stayed



I was asked to give two short talks at the KDP booth and then answer questions and sign a few books. My first book signing! The icing on the cake was a three hour video shoot for Createspace/KDP (see last year’s video) on my last morning in New York: hair, makeup, sound, directors and wardrobe. The toughest question I was asked…the question that made me pause was “If not for Amazon, would you have ever been published?” That’s a tough one, but my answer was and is, “One thing for certain is that I never would have given up.”

Not only did I get to see my son, Jesse, and his girlfriend, Andriana, (they live in Brooklyn) while in New York, I met James Altucher (and his wife Claudia) author of I Was Blind But Now I See. James is a very interesting person and I wish I had had more time to speak with him. James has been on a quest to find the meaning of happiness since the age of six. He is a positive force and I am very excited to have met him (read his blog post).  Meeting Frederick G. Dillen, author of Fool, was another highlight of my trip. He was kind-hearted, super interesting and adventurous. Traveling to New York just to meet Fred would have been enough for me, but I was also lucky enough to meet Alexis Harrington, Vincent Zandri, Blake Crouch, Justin Luke Zirilli, Jim Fusilli, Dan Mayland, Greg Smith, Darcie Chan, Brittany Geragotelis, CS Marks, and many more whose names I never learned!

Getting direction from interviewer
I was invited to speak at a conference in Idaho in November and I met many wonderful people from Audible and ACX. Pam Spector and I tried to connect, but never did. We did wave from across the room. I met Jennifer Bassuk and Anthony Roberts, a really nice guy. 
I also met my editor from Thomas & Mercer, Alan Turkus. What a treat. He’s as nice in person as he is on the phone. I was lucky enough to meet Andrew Bartlett, Libby Johnson McKee, Alison Grand, John Fine, Jennifer Butler, Brittany Turner, Thom Kephart (he looks 19!), Hande Ormen, Whitney Hall, Mia Lipman, Nader Kabbani (a real slacker...Not! Nader is a pianist, a swimmer, a husband and father of four beautiful daughters, and who knows what else he does!), Atif Rafiq, David Symonds, Sean Linehan and Jacque Ben-Zekry. These are only some of the wonderful people I met from Amazon. There were many more, but I’ve only been home for a few days and this is all from memory, which isn’t what it used to be.

A great group from KDP/CreateSpace
Overall, during my time spent at the BEA, I have to say that the opportunities for independent authors, now and in the future, appear to be endless. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

May Update II

BOOKS SOLD as of May 31, 2012: 293,202


*Total(s) are as of May 31, 2012 and do NOT include over 250,000 FREE downloads
(Amazon and B&N combined Sales)
Borrows have NOT been included in total sales

Return of the Rose - Released March 2, 2011 $2.99
Medieval Time Travel Romance

March: 298
April: 894
May: 1,600
June: 1,475
July: 1,291
August: 2,352
September: 1,955
October: 1,527
November: 981
December: 1,074
January: 1,457
February: 1,519
March 2012: 1422
April 2012: 1800 (289 borrows)
May 2012: 944 (178  borrows)
Total: 20,589

A Knight in Central Park- Released March 18, 2011 $.99/$2.99
Medieval Time Travel Romance

March: 247
April: 6,071
May: 4,306
June: 2,414
July: 1,330
August: 9,812
September: 2,088
October: 1,348
November: 876
December: 2,383
January: 2,685
February: 1,485
March 2012: 1,620
April 2012: 1,032
May 2012: 680
Total: 38,377


Taming Mad Max - Released April 25, 2011 $2.99
Contemporary Romance

April: 30
May: 182
June: 265
July: 310
August: 934
September: 1,872
October: 2,125
November: 2,150
December: 1,561 (272 borrows)
January: 4,393 (782 borrows)
February: 1,088 (99 borrows)
March 2012: 1,692 (114 borrows)
April 2012: 872
May 2012: 880
Total: 18,354



Finding Kate Huntley - Released May 5, 2011 $2.99
Romantic Suspense
May: 187
June: 261
July: 325
August: 1,159
September: 3,363
October: 2,089
November: 1,095
December: 4,421 (1,088 borrows)
January: 2,523 (791 borrows)
February: 1,908 (123 borrows)
March 2012: 2,077 (46 borrows)
April 2012: 1,384
May 2012: 945
Total: 21,737


Abducted - Released May 29, 2011 $2.99
Romantic Suspense/Thriller

May: 25
June: 694
July: 1,708
August: 12,917
September: 39,413
October: 18,176
November: 6,645
December: 3,649
January: 2,118
February: 32,500 (5,088 borrows)
March 2012: 18,188 (3,674 borrows)
April 2012: 6,103 (893 borrows)
May 2012: 3,045 (690 borrows)
Total: 145,181



Dead Weight - Released December 22, 2011 $2.99
Romantic Suspense/Thriller

December: 451
January: 1,430
February: 11,385 (325 borrows)
March 2012: 15,836 (1,399 borrows)
April 2012: 6,934 (738 borrows)
May 2012: 3,171 (418 borrows)
Total: 39,207

 
Having My Baby - Released April 13, 2012 $3.99
Contemporary Romance

April 2012: 3,855 (378 borrows)
May 2012: 5,902 (986 borrows)
Total:   9,757



I leave for New York very soon. I will be speaking on a panel with other writers at the BEA and I can't wait! I will also be meeting many people from Amazon...author teams and consultants and my editor! I will report back when I return.

As you can see, my sales are dipping, but I never worry about that. Besides, I would never complain about having over 15,000 sales in a month! More than anything, I can't wait to get back to writing my latest book. I love writing and connecting with readers and that's all I really want to do.

If you are thinking of self-publishing, go to my LINKS tab above and see what I did to get started. There are also links to the IRI group, 1000+ members who are not only welcoming but also willing to share tips with you!

Self-publishing and being an independent authors is lots of fun and a lot of work, but if you are patient and take one thing at a time, you'll enjoy every step of the ride. Just like writing a book, it can't all be done in one day.

If you are a new writer, remember that learning the craft and writing every day is the most important thing you can do. Your book must be the best it can be. Hire a proofreader at the very least. If you have a great book ready to go, release it to the world and good luck! Stay positive and don't worry about slow sales at first. Say YES to interviews and blogging. Try to get your books reviewed. Send one request to a reviewer every day and eventually someone will agree to review your book. Remember...what works for one author, might not work for another. It's all up to you. Believe in yourself and your books. You can do it!

If you are a READER, thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you would like to see posted!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Need a proofreader and copyeditor? Meet Faith Williams!


Faith Williams is a freelance proofreader and copyeditor.  Working with independent authors, she has proofed and copyedited in romance, thriller, science fiction, and non-fiction genres.  Follow The Atwater Group on Facebook or check out the webpage at www.theatwatergroup.com.

As a freelance proofreader, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great indie authors over the past year.  I’ve read great stories and gotten a sneak peek at best-sellers.  I love my job so much, I feel like I can’t call it a “job” because a “job” doesn’t fill me with the giddiness that I feel every time I start a new project with an author or, better yet, finish it.

But sometimes, after reading and reading and reading, there are words or phrases that become annoying. Most recently, the little voice inside my head has become very unhappy with the word “then.”  I have begun to actually hate this word, because it’s abused in two very different ways. 

The first offense is starting a sentence with the word in question.  “Taking a step, he closed the distance between them. Then he hugged her.” Really?  Did I, as a reader, not figure out that after he stepped toward the heroine, that he didn’t stop to answer his cell phone but went directly into hug mode? Did I need that “then”?  I don’t think so.

A related pet peeve is the comma splice.  This is where “then” is used as a conjunction.  “Taking a step, he closed the distance between them then he hugged her.”

Wikipedia says: Coordinating conjunctions, also called coordinators, are conjunctions that join two or more items of equal syntactic importance, such as words, main clauses, or sentences. In English the mnemonic acronym FANBOYS can be used to remember the coordinators for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so.

Did you see “then” in that list?  Me neither.  Does this one matter too much?  Maybe not.  But it still irks me.

The second abuse I find difficult to overlook is the incorrect use of “then.”  I know this trips up a lot of people and it’s even happened to me (once in a while, anyway!).  When do you use “then” or “than”?  If you want to compare something, it’s “than.”  Think of the A in compAre and the A in thAn to remember.  If you are talking about a moment in time or something that happened next, it’s “then.”  Think of the E in timE or nExt and the E in thEn to remember. 

More than anything, I hope you remember those little rules, and then you will always know which to use!

Monday, May 14, 2012

May Sales Update I


BOOKS SOLD as of May 13, 2012: 284,452


*Total(s) are as of May 13, 2012 and do NOT include over 200,000 FREE downloads
(Amazon and B&N combined Sales)
Borrows have NOT been included in total sales

Return of the Rose - Released March 2, 2011 $2.99
Medieval Time Travel Romance

March: 298
April: 894
May: 1,600
June: 1,475
July: 1,291
August: 2,352
September: 1,955
October: 1,527
November: 981
December: 1,074
January: 1,457
February: 1,519
March 2012: 1422
April 2012: 1800 (289 borrows)
May 13, 2012: 237* (29  borrows)
Total: 19,882

A Knight in Central Park- Released March 18, 2011 $.99/$2.99
Medieval Time Travel Romance

March: 247
April: 6,071
May: 4,306
June: 2,414
July: 1,330
August: 9,812
September: 2,088
October: 1,348
November: 876
December: 2,383
January: 2,685
February: 1,485
March 2012: 1,620
April 2012: 1,032
May 13, 2012: 298*
Total: 37,995


Taming Mad Max - Released April 25, 2011 $2.99
Contemporary Romance

April: 30
May: 182
June: 265
July: 310
August: 934
September: 1,872
October: 2,125
November: 2,150
December: 1,561 (272 borrows)
January: 4,393 (782 borrows)
February: 1,088 (99 borrows)
March 2012: 1,692 (114 borrows)
April 2012: 872
May 13, 2012: 398*
Total: 17,872




Finding Kate Huntley - Released May 5, 2011 $2.99
Romantic Suspense
May: 187
June: 261
July: 325
August: 1,159
September: 3,363
October: 2,089
November: 1,095
December: 4,421 (1,088 borrows)
January: 2,523 (791 borrows)
February: 1,908 (123 borrows)
March 2012: 2,077 (46 borrows)
April 2012: 1,384
May 13, 2012: 452*
Total: 21,244



Abducted - Released May 29, 2011 $2.99
Romantic Suspense/Thriller

May: 25
June: 694
July: 1,708
August: 12,917
September: 39,413
October: 18,176
November: 6,645
December: 3,649
January: 2,118
February: 32,500 (5,088 borrows)
March 2012: 18,188 (3,674 borrows)
April 2012: 6,103 (893 borrows)
May 13, 2012: 1,129* (277 borrows)
Total: 143,265



Dead Weight - Released December 22, 2011 $2.99
Romantic Suspense/Thriller

December: 451
January: 1,430
February: 11,385 (325 borrows)
March 2012: 15,836 (1,399 borrows)
April 2012: 6,934 (738 borrows)
May 13, 2012: 1,225* (234 borrows)
Total: 37,261

Having My Baby - Released April 13, 2012 $3.99
Contemporary Romance

April 2012: 3,855 (378 borrows)
May 13, 2012: 3,078* (640 borrows)
Total:   6,933



If you are thinking of self-publishing, go to my LINKS tab above and see what I did to get started. There are also links to the IRI group, 1000+ members who are not only welcoming but also willing to share tips with you!

Self-publishing and being an independent authors is lots of fun and a lot of work, but if you are patient and take one thing at a time, you'll enjoy every step of the ride. Just like writing a book, it can't all be done in one day.

Most important of all, stay positive and don't worry about slow sales at first. Say YES to interviews and blogging. Try to get your books reviewed. Send one request to a reviewer every day and eventually someone will agree to review your book. Remember...what works for one author, might not work for another. For instance, I love Kindle Direct Publishing's Prime Lending program, but it doesn't seem to work for everyone. I also believe in FREE, because sometimes a book needs a little push. Mrs. Fields walked the streets giving out samples of her cookies before she made it big. If you don't like the idea of going FREE, then don't! It's that easy. It's all up to you. Believe in yourself and your books. You can do it!

If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask. I plan to write 10,000 words this week. How about you?

If you are a READER, thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you would like to see posted!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Come visit me today at RG2E and meet a fabulous fun reader, Emmy Jordan.


Being a Mom is the toughest job on earth. My four kids are now ages 19 to 31! If I had it to do all over again, I would be much more patient. And I would try to live in the moment even when surrounded by chaos. I wonder if that would be possible?!

Joey, Brittany, Morgan, Jesse



Have a great day. I hope you are all surrounded by nothing but happy smiles and lots of love.

Theresa

Monday, May 7, 2012

uPublishU - Book Expo



I've been invited to speak on a panel with three other authors at the upcoming BEA in June! I've never been before and I can't wait! If you have attended the Book Expo before, please let me know how it went.


Penned & Published – Self-Published Authors & Stories of Success!



Moderator

PJ Campbell, Director of Events for a major global trade publisher



Speakers/Participants

Darcie Chan, Self-Published Author of The Mill River Recluse

Brittany Geragotelis, Self-Published Author of Life's a Witch

C.S. Marks, Self-Published Author of the Elfhunter trilogy

Theresa Ragan, Self-Published Author, Author of Return of the Rose



Description

Combine your talent and business sense and take your writing dreams to the next level by penning and publishing your own work of literary art! Join celebrated authors and publishing professionals for this inspirational and engaging session where they describe what it takes to become a best-selling author. Long-time Publishing Veteran and author, PJ Campbell, will share her experiences of publishing and talk with authors who have made the leap to publish. Meet this dynamic group of writing professionals and learn exactly what tips and techniques are needed and applied to create a successful book campaign. This exciting session includes an expert panel of successful authors who will share their thrilling self-publishing stories! These courageous writers will share their experiences and insights on their own best practices and how they turned their trials into triumphs! From pen to published author, this session will prove that You can Publish You! 


Bios

PJ Campbell is the Director of Events for a major, global trade publisher and an authority in the creation of successful book campaigns through author appearances. She has more than 17 years’experience in formulating, marketing and publicizing author appearances through webinars, blog tours, online chats, Skype, bookstores, conventions, conferences, seminars, workshops, galas, and launch parties. Including her background as a former bookstore General Manager and Director of Events, she has an all-inclusive perspective of the business of writing. As an author, PJ has written articles and essays on a variety of adult topics including the business of events, women’s issues, motivation, sports, health and art. Her writing has been published in national and international newspapers, magazines and websites. Her 2009 published book, 101 AUTHOR TIPS: Creating A Successful Book Campaign was an award finalist in Best Books USA Book News and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. PJ’s newest book will be published as an e-book, entitled, Authors’ Online Bestseller Resource: Sales, Publicity, Promotion, E-Publishing. PJ is a member of the following professional writing associations: National Association of Women Writers, International Women Writers Guild, Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Western Writers of America, Pacific Northwest Writers Association. Contact PJ Campbell at http://pjcampbellwriter.com,

Darcie Chan is the author of The Mill River Recluse, a self-published debut novel that has become a word-of-mouth e-book sensation. With over 570,000 copies sold, The Mill River Recluse appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists for more than 24 weeks and became a heartwarming favorite of readers across the country. Darcie was born in Wisconsin and grew up in the small towns of Brandon, Wisconsin, La Junta and Cheraw, Colorado, and Paoli, Indiana. Thanks to loving and supportive parents who are both educators, she learned to read and write at an early age. She has two younger sisters, with whom she is very close. Currently, Darcie lives just north of New York City with her husband and son. She writes during every moment she isn’t working as a lawyer or spending time with her family. She gets very little sleep, especially now that she is hard at work on a second novel set in Mill River, Vermont.

An Olympic-bound gymnast during her teen years, Brittany Geragotelis always thought she'd see her name in print one day. That dream came true first as a magazine editor, where she had the chance to interview celebrities like Dakota Fanning, Miley Cyrus and Jamie Foxx, and then more recently in news outlets like Publisher's Weekly, Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Though she's now a full-time writer, she also pens the blog Brittany the Book Slayer (www.thebookslayer.com) as well as produces and stars in author videos for her YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/thebookslayer). After publishing her first book, Life's a Witch, on the community writing site Wattpad (www.wattpad.com/BrittTheBookSlayer) and receiving nearly 18 million reads of the paranormal action romance, she landed a 3-book, 6-figure deal with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. The prequel to Life's A Witch, titled What the Spell? Will be published as an e-book in three parts beginning in September 2012 and in paperback in December. The re-release of Life's a Witch and the sequel will follow one per year. A self-professed pop-culture junkie, Brittany currently lives in NYC with her boyfriend and two cats, Murray and Cohen.

C.S. Marks has often been described as a ‘Renaissance woman’.The child of an English professor, Chris has always loved classic literature as well as epic fantasy, and decided to try her hand at writing and illustrating an epic series. The result: The very successful Elfhunter trilogy, which has sold over 40,000 copies both in print and e-book form. This epic trilogy has garnered awards (Reviewer’s Choice Best Fantasy, Best Series) and nearly 200 reviews. She is now hard at work on an exciting new Alterran series, the Undiscovered Realms. A former field biologist and avid horsewoman, Chris holds a PhD in Biology, and has competed both nationally and internationally in the sport of endurance riding. She is a full professor of equine science at a small liberal arts college in the midwest. She is in demand as a lecturer and presenter at conventions, academic fairs, and publishing workshops. In 2011, Chris signed a three book deal with Sea Lion Books, including comic book and graphic novel adaptations of the Elfhunter trilogy as well as hard covers and paperbacks. While she has enjoyed an ample measure of success as an independent author, she is now looking forward to a long and productive relationship with Sea Lion Books, bringing her wonderful Tales of Alterra to an ever-widening group of appreciative readers of all ages.


Theresa Ragan has been writing for nineteen years and has garnered six Golden Heart nominations in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Competition for her work. She lives with her husband, Joe, and the youngest of her four children in Sacramento, California. Theresa writes medieval time travels, romantic comedy, romantic suspense, and thrillers under the name T.R. Ragan. In her first year as an indie author, Theresa sold 250,000 ebooks. Books by Theresa include: Return of the Rose, A Knight in Central Park, Taming Mad Max, Finding Kate Huntley. Also look for Abducted and Dead Weight, romantic thrillers under the name T.R. Ragan. Many of her titles are top sellers in their category!