Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book Review: Unicorns and Magic and Dragons and Non-Believers

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy ... Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Michelle Snyder, author of Symbology: Decoding Classic Images discusses the unicorn image at Two Ends of the Pen: The World of Symbols: The Unicorn today. In her opinion unicorns don't exist! That is so sad. It's not sad that she said unicorns don't exist. It's sad that she doesn't believe they exist.

Why, you say, is that sad? Because, if you don't believe in unicorns, you don't believe in magic. And, if you don't believe in unicorns and you don't believe in magic, then you don't believe in dragons. Everybody knows there are dragons! Without dragons what a boring world you must live in.

All I can say is: there are unicorns; there is magic; and there are dragons in my world. My life is never boring!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book Review: Dogs and Cats and Death and Magic...Oh My!

I just finished reading The Bellhound - Four Tales of Modern Magic by Camille LaGuire. It's short, only four stories, but well worth the read. Each story is a stand alone with no spill-over characters. Camile LaGuire writes for the YA market.

The Bellhound of the book title is a humorous little "be careful what you wish for" story. The second story, Away He Run , is, according to Panzer,  nearly purr-fect. Next up comes Trespasser  which demonstrates the importance of standing up against bullies, no matter how powerful they are. And finally, Like The Wind, is a story about childhood belief and joy.

No spoilers here. You'll have to get your own copy to experience the magic!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Getting Ebooks Into Book Stores?

We all think about strange things sometimes. I admit, I've wondered how long it would take for somebody to figure out a way to get ebooks into brick and mortar bookstores. Well, it turns out I'm not the only one wondering about it.

Dean Wesley Smith has figured out a way to not only get them into bookstores, but to actually make money doing it. And ... he's put his idea with instructions out there for anybody to use.

He tells you how to get them into bookstores, how much to charge, your profit margins, what they should look like, you name it. So, click Dean Wesley Smith  and find out everything you need to know.

You can thank me later.  (Dark chocolate works wonders for me.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Let's Talk Paint.NET for Ebook Covers

Okay, everybody who knows me knows I'm a hands on person. I want to learn how to do something first before I even consider hiring somebody else to do it.  So ... I've been searching for a program that will allow me to make a professional cover for my ebooks without costing me a fortune.

I've been learning how to use Paint.NET. I can't remember who recommended it to me. So far it seems to be relatively simple, although I haven't learned how to use the layers function yet. The layering function is necessary to add lettering to my image for the ebook cover.

Click  Resource Of The Week: Paint.Net  to see if it might work for your ebook cover.

Oh, did I mention, it's free?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Let's Talk Amazon Tagging

Tagging is an important part of marketing your ebook on Amazon. Believe it or not, tagging can make the difference between sales or no sales. 

You probably simply tagged your ebook as noir, mystery or crime and left it at that. But have you thought about tagging them with the name of the author in your genre that your writing/plotting most closely resembles? Or, if you have a following in the short story market, how about your character's name? There are numerous tags you can use to help readers find your ebooks.

Author Maureen Mullis posts about tagging her books on her blog, Plotting It Out today.

To read how she does it, click here: Plotting It Out: Playing Tag

Monday, May 9, 2011

Let's Talk Pubit

I admit I live in Amazon Land. I love my Kindle, but - I do realize there are other ereaders out there. And, if you want to make money from your ebooks, you need to sell in other formats as well.

So today I give you a site to help you publish with Pubit. This is a March 30 post at Joel Friedlandar's The Book Designer titled, Getting Started with Barnes and Noble's Pubit! - A Mini-Tutorial.

Click here:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Let's Talk Numbers.

Let's continue with our look at marketing ebooks.

There is no doubt the pricing of your ebook has an effect on your sales. A 99 cent price tag on your ebook is a great incentive for an impulse buy to a purchaser. It also works as a sale price for an ebook they've been curious about, but not curious enough to pay full price.

Today, Aaron Patterson is examining his and Vincent Zandri's approach to pricing Vincent's ebooks. Vincent has been doing blog tours for his various ebooks. They've been adjusting the pricing on each book as it is featured in the tours.

Check here to see how it's been affecting the sales figures for each of the books:   THE WORST BOOK EVER!: Let's talk numbers.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Buy my Ebook - Part Two

 On April 29, I pointed you to  Vincent Zandri's blog where he posted about how he managed to sell 100,000 ebooks. He told you all of his marketing secrets.

Did you put any of those secrets into your marketing plan? Did they work for you, or are you still trying to figure out how to market your ebook and get into Amazon's Top 100? Top 50? Top 10?

Well, here are some more marketing ideas for you from a different perspective. Today, J.A. Konrath is blogging about how he's managed to make all of his sales.

Read J. A. Konrath's advice here: A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Business Rusch: Advocates, Addendums, and Sneaks, oh my!

Do you think you need an agent? Do you think an agent is your friend? Or, do you think an agent is looking out for your best interests when s/he tells you to sign that book contract?

Kristine Kathryn Rusch's column yesterday was about agents and her experiences with them over the years. She addresses some disturbing developments in the agent-writer relationship.

You'll find her blog post here:
The Business Rusch: Advocates, Addendums, and Sneaks, oh my!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

F&W Announces New Crime Imprint

F&W Media announced they will be entering the crime market in June. F&W has purchased Tyrus Books from Benjamin LeRoy.

Read the press release  here:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Smashwords Partners with ScrollMotion

Smashwords announced they've signed an agreement with ScrollMotion that will allow all books in their Premium Catalog to be available as apps for the major devices, such as Smartphones. This will be a huge distribution step forward for Smashwords authors.

Read the announcement here:
 Smashwords: Smashwords Partners with ScrollMotion to Deliver I...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Murder at the Repair Shop or My Life Is A Joke

Having a full-time day job doesn't leave me a lot of time for my writing. So, I sneak writing time in whenever I can. I keep a copy of my current crime story manuscript in my car for editing and rewriting. Whether it's waiting for a doctor's or dentist's appointment or any other spare minute, I'm ready to take advantage of it.

I was at the auto repair shop to have my car fixed. As usual, I had my current manuscript, "Stockley Murder Case," with me. I went to the counter to let the mechanic know I was there. I sat the file on the counter while I signed the estimate form. I went into the waiting room, took a seat and went to work on my manuscript. An hour and a half later, the mechanic came to tell me my car was ready.

As I was making out my check, the mechanic said, "After changing the starter, I washed the car. No charge."

I smiled and signed the check.

"You looked so busy working on your file, I didn't want to interrupt you so I vacuumed the inside of the car too."

I was so surprised I just stared at him for a second, then said, "What?"

He pointed at my file folder and asked, "Did you figure out who did the murder?"

"The clues were there," I replied. "I knew all along he did it."

"Will I be reading about it in the newspaper?" he asked.

It was a that moment I realized he thought I was a police officer and the file folder contained the information for a real murder case. "I don't think so," I said as I handed him my check.

I hurried out to my sparkling clean outside, vacuumed clean insider car.

As I opened the car door, I felt a tap on my shoulder. "You forgot your file," the mechanic said. "You won't catch him without your evidence."

Thanks," I mumbled, taking the folder. I drove from the lot vowing never to write the title of a manuscript on the file folder again.

© 2011 Fiona L. Woods