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Posts Tagged ‘haunted lake’

I just wanted to let everyone know that my five print books are up for auction on eBay, all proceeds going to Women’s Center High Desert. This charitable event can be found on the FaceBook event Justplummy Holiday Bazaar and Fundraiser.

Here are the eBay links to my books:

Haunted Lake

Starfane

Loving the Dead and the Undead

Soul of a Vampire

Vampires’ Curse

Go check out all the listings for plumhoff1955. There will be more up this afternoon. The bids all start at $5.00. All proceeds go to the Women’s Center. This event starts today and runs for three days. Thanks Rhonda Plumhoff!

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I’m too excited to post anything else! I’ve finally published my first audio book! Haunted Lake is available at Audible here: Haunted Lake.

Squeeeee! That is all.

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I’m so excited, I can’t stand it. As soon as ACX does a final review on Haunted Lake, it will be available in audio! I never thought I would be able to do this because of the high cost, but I found a reasonably priced narrator, and the project went seamlessly.

About my narrator. Al Kessel has been awesome to work with. Not only do I love his voice, but he’s a REALLY nice guy. I wasn’t sure anyone could do anything with the voice of my character, John, who was injured in such a way that his voice was raspy. Al pulled it off better than I could have imagined. He brought kind of a “Clint Eastwood” style to John’s voice. And Al really enjoyed portraying John. He also did the female voice well. That’s hard to pull off for a guy, but I had no problem imagining a female when Al was portraying Rachel. I hope to work with him again. Here’s where you can find Al: Storyteller Productions Website and Story Teller Productions Facebook Pate

This has been an exciting experience for me. So much fun!

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When was the last time I did a Wednesday check-in? A while, I think.

So…this has been an interesting week, keeping my friend’s ten year old son. We’ve watched Scooby-Doo (I fell asleep), The Aristocats (I fell asleep), Mulan (I fell asleep)…you get the picture. I haven’t been bored, just tired. His air mattress is in the floor in front of the TV, so we both fall asleep watching TV, me on the couch. I end up getting up in the middle of the night to go to my actual bed. I sure am going to miss the little rascal when he goes back home tomorrow. I take him to another friend’s house during the day, where she home-schools him with her own kids. This has all forced me to make, you know, actual dinner. LOL

Today, the narrator (Al Kessel from Storyteller Productions) that’s doing the audio book for Haunted Lake sent the first six chapters. I approved it, so we’re moving onto the rest of the book. I’m so excited! And as I listened to it, I heard, once again, why it’s my favorite of all the books I’ve written. I only got to hear six chapters, and I was SO wanting to hear the rest of it. Even though I had read it many times. Even though I wrote it. It’s just my favorite story.

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No writing yet, but I’ve decided to pick back up my earlier goal of writing Thurs-Sat every week. I need the other days to get my house and other aspects of my life in order. After I get a handle on everything, I’ll probably add another day to the schedule. Last night, I cleaned out one side of the cabinet under the bathroom sink. This was a big chore, and I ended up with a full trash bag of stuff to get rid of. HOW did all that fit under the sink?

Now, what I need your opinions for. I’m having an audiobook narrated for Haunted Lake. The producer/narrator wants to know if I want music. He said he could do music at the beginning of each chapter or just at the beginning and ending of the book. I’ve listened to a LOT of audiobooks, and most of them don’t have music. Some of the well known authors have music. I’ve heard the music both ways that the narrator asked about. At the beginning of each chapter, the only problem I have is when the music is louder than the narrator. Otherwise, it doesn’t distract me. I’m kind of leaning toward music at the beginning and the end. So, what do you all think? Music at each chapter, music at the beginning and ending of the book, or no music at all? Haunted Lake has a ghostly mood, so I wondered if the music might add something.

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For a long time now, I’ve really wanted to have at least one of my books in audio. There’s probably not a lot of profit in it, but it’s something I would love to have. When my friend, Sharon Gerlach announced that her book, Office Politics, was available in audio, I asked her about it. She used ACX (an Amazon company).

Okay, here’s how it works. You put your book (or books) on the site, and it lets narrators know if you’ll pay by royalty share or by hourly fee. Right now I have two of mine up for royalty share. I honestly don’t think I’ll get any takers. For one thing, they show your ranking on Amazon. Unfortunately, they show your PAPERBACK ranking instead of ebook ranking. Which, of course, is a lot worse. Also, Soul of a Vampire only has one review, although it’s a 4 star, so that doesn’t appeal to many narrators, because these people want a book that sells well. Haunted Lake has 34 reviews for an average of 4.1, so that would be appealing maybe…except for the paperback ranking, of course. So if no one picks it up, I’ll probably go with the per hour option. I’m not going to post that on there, though, because if I’m going to pay per hour, I want to pick my own narrator and make an offer. If I announce I’ll pay a flat rate, I may get offers I don’t want, and I hate to reject people. Awhile back, I looked into getting a narrator for Haunted Lake, but the one I contacted wanted $1500. I just couldn’t afford that. On ACX, they have different narrators who work for different fees. They have a $0-50 all the way up to $400-$1000. There weren’t many at $0-$50, so I checked out narrators from $50-$100. If I can get one at $50, Haunted Lake would be about $270. At $75, it would be $405. I’m going to leave it up as royalty only for a week or two and see if HL gets any takers. If not, then I’ll decide.

So what do you all think? Would you do this if you lost money or broke even? Would it be worth it to have your books, or at least one of them, on audio?

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I had someone message me on Facebook today and tell me they enjoyed Haunted Lake and that they were going to write a review. I was so happy that I had to hop on over to see it. Well, when I got there, it hadn’t come through yet, but I saw a review that was written yesterday. A review that made my heart feel good. Then the other review came through. I’m not going to quote the two reviews in their entirety because they are both long. And that sounds kind of, I don’t know, bragging or something. And I don’t usually list my reviews anywhere like many authors do. But I just wanted to share a little bit of what was said, simply because I’m SO deliriously happy about the reviews. This is what can sometimes jump start us as writers if we’re struggling.

The review by B.J. Robinson (the person who contacted me) says this: “I loved the characters John and Daniel and the heroine, Rachel.” and ” I loved the way the author wove in the theme of friendship and how powerful friendship is.” and ” If you want to be scared and love ghost stories and mystery, check out Haunted Lake. You might learn how to brave a few demons of your own.”

And the review, by Genevieve, that I didn’t know about that surprised me. See, I’ve often wondered whether or not readers could relate to my characters. I’ve had a couple of bad reviews that say they couldn’t relate. But when I read this…well, you can see why I feel good about the characters in Haunted Lake. “It had me in tears from the emotion that poured from the pages. Emotion is this author’s strongest quality in her writing. She conveys emotion so clearly and realistically that it is almost impossible to not act like an Empath and feel the emotions at the same time as the characters. Her writing, like a lot of great writers, makes you feel like you ARE the characters, but at the same time aren’t.”

/end of squee

I know we shouldn’t, as a general rule, read reviews. I used to get depressed over bad ones, but I know that reading tastes are subjective, and not everyone will like all books. I just hate the reviews that are kind of nasty. But when I know for sure I’m getting a good review because someone contacts me, I can’t help but go look. And what a surprise to find I got two good reviews two days in a row. So here’s a question for my fellow authors. Do you read your reviews and do you let them affect you?

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I haven’t written anything this week yet since I’m going back to my Thursday, Friday, Saturday writing schedule for awhile. And then I’m going on vacation next week, so I’m going to READ instead of write that week. But I DID do something I’ve needed to do for a long time. In fact, I’m really ashamed that I hadn’t done this yet. It’s been hanging over my head for a while. When I proofed Haunted Lake for print, I found several errors in the original manuscript. Errors that had been missed before publishing the ebook. I fixed them and had others look over it before publishing in print. However…I never got around to replacing the manuscript for my ebooks on Amazon, B & N, Smashwords, etc. I’m am SO not proud of this. So last night, I went into my office and got the printout of my book where I had corrected the errors, and got to work. I fixed all the errors and made a couple of small changes I had made for the print version. And I got it uploaded everywhere.

The only snag I ran into was with Smashwords. Since all retailers have changed the requirements for book cover sizes, Smashwords couldn’t distribute the new version to Apple, Sony, etc. until I sent a new cover. (Amazon and B & N didn’t make me send a new cover.) My wonderful cover artist, Anya Kelleye, is super, super busy right now since she’s picked up several new book cover jobs, so I hesitated to ask her to fix this for me. I emailed her, told her the situation, and asked how long it would take to change the cover size. She dropped what she was doing and immediately fixed this for me. What a friend she is! So I was able to upload the cover and now Smashwords is happy. And I feel better knowing that an error free (I hope) version of Haunted Lake is now out there. This is still my favorite of all the books I’ve written. I don’t know if it’s the BEST one I’ve written, but this story is still close to my heart.

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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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A so-so week….

Writing: I only wrote 1748 words this past week. The only bright side to that is that it’s more than twice what I wrote the previous week. But I would really like to write a minimum of 2500, even though my goals are time goals, not word goals. But I do keep up with words. I just wish I could love this WIP. I’m working on that. There are many times I’l start a book, and I just can’t love it, but then after a few chapters, things start working. This one is just slower getting to that point.

Health: I’m on track with exercise. I walked on the treadmill at the gym four days. I ramped it up a little on Friday, going a little faster and a little longer. I’m having some trouble with feet, ankles, and knees, but I’m just working through the pain. If it gets bad, I might have to think about doing something different. It sucks getting older. 😦 I still need to work on my eating habits. I’m doing a little better. I had soup and salad for lunch today, and I didn’t eat it all. Of course, now I’m starving. LOL

And on a topic that has nothing to do with goals…but it’s my blog, so you can either read on or not. LOL I’ve been searching for an actor that I think would be a good fit for my character, John, in Haunted Lake. I’ve never been able to find just that right guy. But I’ve finally found him! Jay Ryan from Beauty and the Beast! Not only does he have the scar (on the show, not in real life), but he has the raspy voice my character has. John actually has more scars than Vincent from BatB, but he is a LOT like I pictured him in my story. I’m so glad to have finally found him! Here’s a link to his picture on IMDB. Jay Ryan as Vincent

What’s new with the rest of you?

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