Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anne R. Allen's Blog: How a 91-year-old Author's Debut Mystery Hit the B...

Panzer loves this post at Anne R. Allen's blog! The post is about Anne's 91-year-old mother's marketing plan for her cozy mystery ebook that sent her sales over the top. 10,500 in just three days!

And what was that plan?

It's the same plan Panzer and I have been talking about for months: free ebooks to get the sales rolling after the giveaway. The plan even helped with the dead tree edition of her book.

Panzer says tootle on over to  Anne R. Allen's Blog: How a 91-year-old Author's Debut Mystery Hit the B...: NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS! Recently, my publisher, MWiDP, relaunched Shirley S. Allen’s cozy mystery, ACADEMIC BODY as an ebook. Sal...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jill Kemerer: WSG 20: DIY Business Cards

Panzer has been after me for quite a while now to make him business cards to pass out to his cat friends. He got tired of waiting for me, so he went out into the catosphere and found Jill Kemerer's great blog post explaining how to make his own business cards.

Panzer is doing the happy cat dance, because it's even got complete instructions for using Picasa to create a photo collage for his business cards. Now he thinks he doesn't need my help and can do it all by himself. But ... my bad boy forgot one little thing ... he doesn't have the password for my laptop.

If you're thinking about doing business cards, tootle on over to  Jill Kemerer: WSG 20: DIY Business Cards: Writer's Survival Guide 20: Do It Yourself Business Cards All summer I told myself to get new business cards, but a lack of expertise prev...

And, if you happen to see my bad boy over there, don't listen to his meowing pleas for help ... just send him on home to Cats and Crime.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Smashwords: How Rachel Higginson Overcame Rejection From Tradi...

 Panzer and I went over to Smashwords to read the new interview with indie YA author Rachel Higginson.

Rachel sure has ebook marketing figured out. First, she took a look at what other indie authors were doing. Second, she listed the first ebook in her series for free. Then, she sat back and watched her downloads soar: 30,000! Then, all those excited reader started buying the other ebooks in the series.

All there was to having a breakout ebook, right?

No. It wasn't that easy!

Panzer says you need to read the interview to get the whole story. So, tootle on over to  Smashwords: How Rachel Higginson Overcame Rejection From Tradi...: Independent author Rachel Higginson lives in Nebraska with her husband and four young children. A year ago, she was an unknown, unpublis...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Google's "Glasses" Will Change the World Forever

Panzer and I are on the way to one of his cat friend's house for a party, so just a quick post tonight.

Vincent Zandri has an interesting post at his blog about Google's attempt to take over the world with their new eye glasses. Yes, you read that right: take over the world with their new eye glasses.

Tootle on over to Google's "Glasses" Will Change the World Forever to read all about it.

Gotta go. We're late! We're late! For a very . . . you know the rest.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Is Publishing Broken?

The catosphere is full of meows today about So Panzer went over to see what all the yowling was about at David Vinjamuri's post on indie publishing. 

Vinjamuri addresses Legacy Publishing and Indie Publishing, ebook reviewers (both paid and unpaid) and who's Indie Publishing now days. Panzer found plenty of examples and links for follow-up in the post too.

Panzer wants you to tootle over to and see what you think.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Author Stamps

Panzer and I took our daily trip into the catosphere and checked in at Margot Kinberg's blog Confessions of a Mystery Novelist and found an interesting post, "The Signature is There."

"The Signature" of the post's title is the author's stamp on her mystery fiction. The author stamp can be alphabet titles, nursery rhyme titles, etc. Margot provides plenty of examples from Agatha Christie through Sue Grafton and beyond. 

Tootle on over to Confessions of a Mystery Novelist

  and learn all about "The Signature."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Self-Publishing Audiobooks: Is it Worth it? Self-Publishing Advice

Panzer has been thinking about doing one of the stories from Cats and Crime as a podcast. (No, Silly, Panzer wouldn't be recording it. Remember, he can't read!)

We've been tootling around the catosphere looking for help. We came across an interesting blog post by Mark Hawker about audiobooks. He discusses where to go for help finding a narrator, getting distribution, iTunes, and other important considerations. 

To see if audiobooks might be in your future, tootle on over to Self-Publishing Audiobooks: Is it Worth it? Self-Publishing Advice

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Smashwords: New Library Direct Enables Libraries to Acquire La...

Panzer is doing the happy cat dance!

We were out searching the Catosphere today and we found some big news over at Smashwords! Smashwords authors now have access to the library market for the sales of their ebooks. From the news at Smashwords, those sales are going to be big. Libraries are already placing orders.

Tootle on over and read the full story at   Smashwords: New Library Direct Enables Libraries to Acquire La...: Smashwords today announced Library Direct, a new service that allows libraries and library networks to acquire and establish large opening...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book Review: Catnip

Okay, okay. There's no surprise who picked out today's ebook. Panzer picked, Catnip, by Valerie Tate. With a title like that, there's no doubt who picked it. Right?

Panzer was rolling on the floor laughing before I was ten "pages" into reading it to him. You'd think he was on Catnip. He was wiping tears from his  eyes because he was laughing so hard at Marmalade the cat's antics in the story.  This is the classic story of  a rich woman leaves her fortune to her cat.

No spoilers here, but Panzer thinks the ebook should have been titled Catnapped

My bad boy did find the romance between Chris and Alicia just a little predictable and sappy.  What can I say, he is ... well ... you know ... a bad boy!

Even with the sappy romance, Panzer gives it four paws up for Marmalade's performance.

The ebook is available at Amazon for the Kindle.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Smashwords: Multiple Smashwords Authors Hit New York Times Bes...

Woo Hoo! Smashwords authors have hit the NYT Bestseller List multiple times. Panzer is doing the happy dance all around the living room!

Read about it  at  Smashwords: Multiple Smashwords Authors Hit New York Times Bes...: We knew this day was coming.  Self-published ebook authors are landing on the New York Times bestseller list in a big way. Take a look a...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Murder and the Librarian or My Life Is A Joke

I was working on a 1,500 word mystery story and I was stumped. I needed a good way to commit the murder. I knew the victim. I knew the motive. I knew the murderer. I just didn't know the how of the murder.

My murderer was a woman. I knew from past research that women prefer a bloodless way to commit murder: no guns, no knives. Women prefer to use poison: no muss, no fuss. Just get the job done.

I'd been working on the story for three days. I had the beginning finished and the middle roughed out, but I just couldn't decide on a poison. Then I had a brainstorm.

Our county library system has what's called the Quick Information Line. You call with your question and they guarantee they'll have the answer in two minutes or less.. Well, I called the Info Line and asked the man who answered, "What's the easiest way to poison someone?" There was complete silence on the line so I thought he must need the question narrowed down to answer it. "Not arsenic; that takes too long." Still silence, so I pressed on, "I don't want anything too simple. I don't want to get caught. Just something easy and readily available."

"I'll have to put you on hold," he said, and the line went silent.

While I sat there tapping my fingers on my desk and watching the seconds tick by on the clock over my desk, I decided not to hold him to the library's two minute guarantee.

After a few seconds the phone went "click click" and the librarian said, "Ma'am, was your question, how to kill someone by poison by accident or by murder?"

"Murder," I said.

"Okay," he said, and the line went silent again.

I went back to tapping my fingers on my desk again. When I heard more clicking noises in the phone but the librarian didn't come back on, I wondered what he was doing. When he still hadn't come back on the line after another two minutes, I started playing the "what if" game. "What if" he had called the police and all those clicks in the phone were the police tracing my call. As the ticking seconds turned into minutes, I wondered "what if" he was keeping me on the phone on hold while the police were speeding to my home.

At that instant, I heard a loud knocking on my front door. I held my breath, waiting for the door to burst open and the police to run in. Instead, the knocking continued.

I started toward the door, but the phone cord was about fifteen feet too short. "I'm on the phone," I shouted. "The cord won't reach the door." No answer just more knocking.

I tried to reach the window so I could see out. The cord didn't reach there either. I went back to my desk. I looked at the phone in my hand. I put it back to my ear; still no one there. Careful not to hang up, I sat the phone on the desk. The knocking on the door sounded like someone beating on it with a hammer.

I walked bravely across the room. My heart was beating against my ribs. Taking a deep breath, I opened the door.

My mother stood there with her fist raised as if ready to knock me in the head. "What took you so long?' she said. "I knew you were home. Your car is in the driveway. I was about to call the police on my cellphone."

"I'm on the phone," I said, pointing toward the desk. "I'm on hold."

"Go ahead," she said. "After all this to get you to open the door, I'll wait."

"I've got coffee in the kitchen," I said. "Help yourself."

With a sigh, I collapsed into my chair. Putting the phone to my ear again, I still heard only silence.

Finally, five minutes later, the librarian was back. "Food poisoning from home canned food kills more people."

"Really? Food poisoning?"

"It's always ruled an accident."

I started scribbling  on my paper. "You wouldn't happen to know which food poisons people most often, would you?"

"I thought you'd want to know that," he said. "It's improperly home canned tomatoes."

"And the coroner always rules it an accident," I said. "That's perfect."

"Is that all?" he asked.
"You probably want to know why I need to know that . . .," I said.

He cut me off, "Lady, it's my business to get the answers to your questions. What you do with those answers is your business. The less I know about this the better for the both of us." He hung up.

Apparently, he had been playing the "what if" game while I was on hold too.