For my three books that sell for $2.99, I did a Valentine’s sale that started February 14 and ran through the rest of the month. Those three books were available for .99. So, how did the sale work out for me? Let’s just say, I’ll probably never put my books on sale for .99 again (I have some that have always been .99). Let’s look at the numbers. I might have sold 4 or 5 more of the books that were on sale than I usually do. But it takes 6 books at .99 at a 35% royalty to equal what I would make on a $2.99 book at a 70% royalty. Do the math. I probably LOST money. Or at least didn’t make any more than I would have made. I thought the reason one of my older books (and a different older book in the UK) was still selling better than my newer ones was the price. Haunted Lake is still my best seller in the US on Amazon. Guardian Vampire is still my best seller in the UK. Since those are .99 books, I really did suspect it was the price. But I think I was wrong. There is SOMETHING about those two books that keeps them selling better than any of the others. Guardian Vampire is still in the lead on B & N. I JUST DON’T GET IT. Why do those two books still perform the best? Are they more searchable? Or maybe because they are older, there are more books out there where they are listed as “customers who bought this also bought…”. I will admit, I didn’t really publicize this sale as much as I should have. I was really busy here at work and was just trying to keep my head above water. Two or three of my friends mentioned it on Facebook and/or Twitter, so I really appreciate that. I really need a good marketing plan. I know people say “just write a good book”, but people have to FIND your book before you can sell it. I took out an ad in Indtale magazine this month. That’s a start. We’ll see if that helps.
Anyway, I think the experiment was a flop. I do plan on doing a free giveaway on one of my books soon, but that will be where readers get a free coupon code from Smashwords. And there will be an extra gift for the grand prize winner. When I do the free stuff, though, I do it mostly for fun, especially since I like to give gifts. I think the grand prize is pretty cool, and it’s something we actually sell here at my day job. 🙂 I’ll probably do it mid-March because the prize is kind of an out-doorsy thing, and maybe it will be a little warmer then. Piqued your interest yet???
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged book sales, cheese and crackers, guardian vampire, haunted lake, olives, sequel, soul of a vampire, sushi, vampires curse, writing, writing series on August 31, 2012|
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I have a serious dilemma. Or should I say a series dilemma? Here’s the deal. I just finished the last chapter of Soul of a Vampire. But I think this book might have the potential of being the first in the series. I THINK. If it’s going to be a stand alone, I need to stop it where it is. But if it’s going to be a series, there’s an epilogue I need to write to hint at whose story might come next. I don’t know what to do. Many of you know my story of series writing. I wrote Guardian Vampire and a lot of readers wanted a sequel. But there was no sequel in my brain for it. So I wrote the Vampires’ Curse (Libby Fox) trilogy to please readers who liked series. It just doesn’t sell well. If it weren’t for Guardian Vampire and Haunted Lake, my sales would be TERRIBLE. Those two have always been my best sellers. And they’re stand alones. And they’re getting some age on them, so the momentum is slowing down. The only reason I hesitate to write a sequel to SoaV is because I was going to work on the book my husband thought of next. But I could put it off and write the sequel, then come back to the other one. However, I don’t want to disappoint my husband by putting off “his” book. Oh, what to do!
On the eating situation I was talking about earlier, I found that I can eat fish without the gag reflex taking over. I actually had for supper…sushi (not the raw kind), a few olives, and cheese & crackers. So I won’t have to revert to popcorn for supper again. LOL
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged challenges, challenges with riddles, current wip, guardian vampire, novellas, novels, paranormal romance, riddles, WIP on July 23, 2012|
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I’ve been working on my current WIP since April. For the first three months, it was hit or miss in the writing department. Some weeks, I would do some writing, some weeks, not so much. It was a bad three months for writing. But since the beginning of this month, I’ve had some awesome word counts. Everything is flowing nicely, and I’m really loving this story. But will others love it as much as I do? This is a story that I’m hoping with take off on Amazon and B & N like Guardian Vampire did in Jan/Feb of 2011. It’s so frustrating to have something like that happen, and then it not ever happen again. I WANT it to happen again. 🙂
I had almost resigned myself to the fact that I’m more of a novella writer than a novel writer. Before I wrote The Gnome, I had three novels and six novellas published. And a short story. I was SURE The Gnome would be a novel. But when I finished, I didn’t quite have 40K words. You really can’t call something a novel unless it’s 50K, and I was almost 11K short. 😦 At that point, I was sure there would be no more novels for me. I was convinced I didn’t have any more novels in me. But along came my current WIP. I planned it as a novella, but I wasn’t even going to worry about how many words it would turn out to be. I was hoping it would at least be a LONG novella like The Gnome. Now here I am at almost 38K, and there are still more adventures to come. The main characters haven’t yet gone on a journey where there will be challenges and perils. In a little more than 12K, this will become a novel. I’ve been averaging 1K to over 2K in each writing sitting. So even if I only get 1K per day, I could conceivably finish this as a novel in 12-13 days. (Not necessarily consecutive.) This makes me happy. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop at 50K. I’m just saying I COULD and still call it a novel. 🙂
Here’s a problem, though. This story has flowed so well lately. But when it comes to the challenges the main characters must face, I’m afraid things will come to a screeching halt. The challenges will have riddles involved (and danger), but what if I can’t think of any good riddles? What if my riddles are lame? Eek, this riddle thing is new to me! (I know this almost makes it sound like I’m writing a fantasy book, but no, it really is a paranormal romance. It’s just a little different.) Have any of you ever faced something like this? Have you had to write something that had to be SOLVED? Any advice?
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I’m sitting here scratching my head and wondering why some books sell and some don’t. I don’t mean all books, I just mean mine. LOL Why do the same two books sell the best all the time?
Guardian Vampire took off in January and February of 2011 and made me a lot of money in those two months. I never figured out why that particular one sold like that. And now, over a year later, it’s still running neck and neck with Haunted Lake in sales. Haunted Lake is selling a little better right now, but GV is still doing well. If it weren’t for those two books, I wouldn’t be making much money. Haunted Lake actually took about 7 months from the publishing date to really start selling well. I don’t know why. It’s averaging 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, so that’s encouraging.
The reason I did the Libby Fox series in the first place is because my readers asked for a series. They really wanted a sequel to Guardian Vampire, but there just WASN’T a sequel in my heart and mind. So I did this other vampire series. There’s even a werewolf in the second and third book. And honestly…I think the Libby Fox books are better than Guardian Vampire. Much better, in my opinion. The covers are definitely better. Was it the title that sparked interest? (Thank you Susan.) Are the Libby Fox titles all wrong? The readers wanted a series. I gave them one. But they aren’t selling like I want them to. Is it going to be a delayed reaction like Haunted Lake was? I released the three novellas in June, August, and December of 2011. Should I be patient? I know the key to continue selling is to keep writing and publishing. But I’m still getting better sales on my older stuff.
So now I’m wondering about my garden gnome supernatural horror story. I haven’t a clue in the world how it will do. It’s out of my genre, but not too far out. There’s a romance in it, that’s just not the main focus of the story. Will readers think it really sucks? Or will they like this book that’s different from my others? My first beta reader likes it, even though she’s only seen the first draft. I’m anxious to see what my other betas think after I get the edits done. The thing is, even though I wonder about these things, I’m not AFRAID to publish this story. Because what will be will be. I’ll never know until I publish it.
So here’s an interesting question. Should I write a sequel to Haunted Lake or Guardian Vampire? Should I force myself to revisit those characters just to try to boost sales? Or should I follow my heart and mind and write what I feel? Actually, I’m not so sure I would mind revisiting Haunted Lake. Because the guy that DIDN’T get the girl might just have his own story to tell. The possibilities are endless, aren’t they?
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged A Rocky Path, alex o'loughlin, archie kao, casting your characters, characters in books, guardian vampire, hans matheson, haunted lake, hilary duff, ian sommerhalder, libby fox series, tim kang on February 17, 2012|
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Most of us, when we’re writing a story, have at least a vague idea about what our characters look like. Some writers have a particular look in mind and make up someone completely from scratch. But many of us see certain actors in our minds when we think of our characters. It’s hard for me not to do that. So I thought I would let you see what I saw when I wrote some of my books.
I’ll start with Guardian Vampire since that one is still my best seller. I honestly didn’t see an actor in my mind for this one until I started watching The Vampire Diaries. When I saw Ian Sommerhalder, I knew this was my Logan. And I imagined Hilary Duff as Kendall.
One problem I’m having with Ian is that I also want him to be Ethan in Club Blood. LOL
There was never any doubt as to who I wanted to be Patrick in A Rocky Path. Hans Matheson was the one from the very beginning.
I think the hardest character to cast is John in Haunted Lake. I think he may be my favorite character. So much happened in his past and he’s scarred both physically and emotionally. I can’t make a connection between him and any actor yet. Those of you who might have read Haunted Lake, what do you think? I do have some ideas for Daniel, though. These two:
And Adam from my Libby Fox Series. It has to be Alex O’Loughlin!
Who do your characters look like? Or do you make up everything about them? I would love to hear who you see when you write!
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged anya kelleye, club blood, createspace, guardian vampire, haunted lake, Jonathan Eli, print, see me, starfane on August 5, 2011|
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Today I submitted Haunted Lake to CreateSpace for a print version. I’m really nervous, and I think my cover designer, Anya Kelleye, is nervous, too. The cover is going to be iffy. I love it, but sometimes there’s an issue with color on this particular cover. And it looks different on the computer screen than it does when I print it out on our color laser here at work. Also, I hope all the errors in the interior have been fixed. When Anya and I did the print version for Jonathan Eli’s book, The Last Cabbandeum, we were delighted at how it turned out. Her cover was perfect. The interior I did looked great. So, hopefully, we did okay on this one. If not, we can always redo it and order another proof. It costs more to do that, but it has to be right.
After this, I’m going to work on getting Starfane in print. Then, I’m going to do a three novella set in one book with Club Blood, See Me, and Guardian Vampire. I may have said this before, but I joked about calling it “Loving the Dead and the Undead”. :0)
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