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Archive for December, 2017

I haven’t been around social media much….

This past year, especially since October, has really been awful for me. My mom went to the emergency room early in October and was admitted to the hospital. They finally determined they would have to take part of her colon out, and when they got in there, they found they would have to take out her ENTIRE colon. She now has an ileostomy rather than a colostomy. Then, two days before she was to go to a nursing home for rehab, she fell and broke her ankle in two places…at the hospital. She also has a lot of stuff going on in her esophagus and stomach she’s having to take meds for.

Since then, her health has gone downhill. The long incision in her stomach from the surgery came open, and now it’s having to heal from the inside out. She has now developed MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph) where she had surgery on her ankle. She’s still in the nursing home, and her mind is slipping really bad. First, I made them check her for a UTI to see if that was causing the dementia. She did have one, and when she went on antibiotics, she was herself for two whole days. Then it was back to the craziness. It could be the MRSA or other infections causing the dementia. It came on way too fast to be Alzheimer’s. She was really smart and self-sufficient before all this happened. I have noticed a slight improvement the past couple of days, so maybe the antibiotic she’s on now is helping her. Fingers crossed. But as bad as she is, I don’t think she’ll ever be able to stay by herself. So there are some hard decisions to be made. The most likely scenario is that she’ll stay in the nursing home since everyone works and can’t stay with her. I’ve been up there pretty much every night since this all happened, and I see that being my future for quite some time.

So, new things. I’ve tossed this back and forth for awhile, and some of you have seen me post about it. But I think, for 2018, I’m truly going to focus on my other pen name. I’m tired of not making at least a part-time living on my writing. And it looks like Lauralynn just isn’t going to do it in the foreseeable future. I never market the other pen name, but it’s time to start. I’m going to concentrate all my efforts on that name for awhile and see where that goes. The genres are very different. My other name writes sweet romance and mysteries. I’m probably going to add a sweet historical romance and possibly a sweet older woman, younger man romance to the mix. We’ll see. I just think when something’s not working, I need to try something else. I’m not going to retire Lauralynn. If I get a good idea for a story that won’t fit the other name, I’ll probably write it under Lauralynn. I’m just so disappointed that Keeper of His Soul did so badly in sales. I felt sure this would be a book that would take off, but it just didn’t.

So I’m really going to try to be more organized next year and work hard to market my books in a non-spamming way. All that while taking care of Mom. Wish me luck or prayers, whichever one you do. I’m going to need them!

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When I was a newbie writer, I had no idea I wasn’t supposed to respond to reviews. And I did a couple of times until I was told it was a no-no. I look back at that time now, and I’m kind of embarrassed. But one of the reasons I thought it was okay is that I work in a retail/wholesale business, and we are told we ARE supposed to respond to reviews. We are supposed to try to make the customer happy in any way we can. And I’ve noticed on Amazon, for physical products, many vendors do respond to reviews.

So why aren’t authors supposed to? Honestly, I don’t have a good answer for that. I have some ideas, but I’m not sure I’m right. What I’m thinking is that books are so subjective that we can’t really respond to an unhappy reader and make things better. Either they liked it or they didn’t. But what about books that are badly edited? Should authors say anything about that or just hang their head in shame and try to fix the problem without responding? Should an author thank the reader for pointing that out and say they will do their best to correct the situation?

What even started me thinking about all this is an email I got from a company who helps businesses get reviews. It was a link to their blog post that talks about how you should never (on your own site…you can’t fix Amazon) take down negative reviews because it seems untrustworthy to do that. Which I have to agree with. They talked about how you should always respond in some way that assures the customer you’ll do everything in your power to correct the problem. So why can’t authors do that? Why are we limited when other retailers are encouraged to do it? Just something to think about.

What do y’all think?

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