Archive for April, 2012

Eggs in One Basket — Amazon?


I hear a lot on the internet about Amazon and that ole saying of “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” type of thing. And it makes me pause and think.

What’s all the FEAR about?

Okay. So. Yeah. There’s several authors who are making their living getting their checks and payments from Amazon.

Ok. And?

Isn’t that what we do with our day-to-day jobs EVERY DAY?

Uh. YEAH! Of course, we do. Every day, majority of people are depending on their ONE PAYCHECK from their Day Job. EVERY DAY.

How many people feel trapped every day at their jobs because that’s what “pays the bills”? How many people stay at a job they can’t stand because “they have to”. Uh huh. Yeah. We put our eggs in one basket all the time.

Sooooooo….what’s the FEAR all about?

Sometimes, you just have to do the: LET’S STOP AND THINK (something I hear on the TV cartoon series DORA a lot, giving that I have a toddler in the house and I’m subjected to it. Heh. Heh.).

So yea, Let’s Stop And Think.

Thinking is what helps you conquer fear. And we forget to do that sometimes.

So, yeahhhhhhhh, there are authors who are getting their living from ONE COMPANY, but, if anything happens, you have to pick yourself up, and find another way of living to supplement the income you lost or replace it all together. Think Enron people, where employees, not only lost their jobs, but lost their savings/retirement plans as well. That’s a drastic and very heartfelt and sadden case, but you get where I’m coming from.

What you depend on today, may have to change tomorrow. That’s just the way of life.

I don’t see any problem with authors who decide to quit one job and concentrate on getting their paycheck from another–especially a job that they LOVE to do! Write!

If things change, which they do, then they’ll make adjustments accordingly.

Stop all the SKY IS FALLING statements, and the watchful eyes so that you can point a finger and say, “See! I told ya so!” Even if things do go sour, it will be okay.

What’s that other saying?: Sh*t Happens? Yeah. It does. And life goes on.

Be HAPPY for your fellow man, er, author, and let them enjoy their lives.

You can very well become one of them.

Until Next time.

Do I Need An Editor?

EditorsBack in the day, we use to dread that red ink that corrected our English papers. We even described it has “bleeding”. So, what was it about that “bleeding ink” that caused so much anxiety?


Yep. Redo. And A LOT of it! Along with that blaring kick-in-the-face statement that YOU’RE WRONG!

That about sums up the anxiety of editors, but let’s look at the bright side.

Editors gives that shiny new car that JUST RIGHT polish, which makes it shine (twinkle! twinkle!). They also can notice things that the actual author would not. I mean, we all are individuals and haven’t we been mistaken a few times in our lives? Yeah. Miscommunication. That thing. An editor can look at something that makes absolute sense to you, but may not quite read well to someone else.

It really doesn’t matter how well you’re versed in your language. Doesn’t even matter if you have a PhD in your language. Even the brightest of us needs a second pair of eyes on our work. And if it happens to be perfect, you need someone else to let you know that. I mean, come on, if you happen to be a cutie, you wouldn’t know that unless someone told you, right?

So, yes, I believe that an editor is needed, BUT I absolutely, positively, completely, for certain, understand those who can’t afford one. And I’m gung-ho for those who still want to self-publish and do all the hard work to make sure their master pieces are as well written as possible. You have a dream and you want to achieve it like everyone else. But you still, at least in the beginning of any writing skill, should have your work critiqued.

A lot of people have said Critique Circle was a pretty good place to go to. For those horror, science fiction and fantasy writers, there’s the Critters Workshop. These places are completely free! But, yes, it does take some time to get your work done (A LOT OF MONTHS AND MORE MONTHS), but you would at least learn what you should be looking for in your writing craft.


If that concerns you, it’s just $35.00 to upload your work to the CopyRight Office, and you’ll be worried free.

Critiques can be very scary at first, and you might run into a few “rude” reviewers, but mostly critiques are constructive and are therE to help you. You learn which are just opinions and which you really need to take a look at and do a rewrite. There’s a skill in critiquing and being critiqued as well, and it will most definitely help you improve on your storytelling. You want to give your audience an enjoyable read.


Bottom line, another pair of eyes, is needed. And NO you can’t use family and friends. They’re bias and won’t tell you your mistakes. It’s strangers that you need because strangers, in the long run, will be your audience. And strangers are the ones who will let you know if your novel is horrible and post it in reviews if it is. And strangers will let you know your novel isn’t worth it because you won’t get hardly any sells. And it’s strangers that will spread the word if your storytelling is AWESOME!

So, yes, let go of your protected and loved child, and send it out into the education system to learn what it needs to learn to succeed in the world. Being in school does take a long time, but it’s so well worth it once you get your degree!

Let it grow. Let it be measured for the awesome skill that it has achieved.

And make that dream come true.

Until next time!

Forgotten Cobweb Stuff

Doing the Self-Publishing thing, you end up doing a lot and being in a lot of things–especially when it comes to the internet. And some things just, well, just fall to the side and accumulate cobwebs.

That’s what happened to my LuLu account.

I started my self-publishing journey on LuLu in 2009. Three of my novels are there. Just sitting there. Nothing happening with them. They just sit. There. Forgotten.

Then, I just happen to hear something on a LinkedIn discussion that LuLu charges for uploading. It does? I asked myself. They didn’t charge for uploads when I started way back when. Hmmm.

So, I went to my account to see what the rates were. I never found it. But I’m figuring it must be something to do with the eNovels. And while I was looking, I noticed my “dashboard” had changed and that one of my eBooks, The Made, was $8.99.


I don’t have my eBooks at $8.99!! That’s insane!

I dug a bit deeper and found that my paperback novels were automatically converted to eBooks.

Hmmmm, I said to myself. I think I remember LuLu sending me an email about that.

Oh well. So, I changed the pricing and while I was there, I noticed that same eBook was being distributed to iBookstore and Barnes and Noble.


I already have my books there through Smashwords. I didn’t need LuLu to do it too.

I went to Barnes and Noble and, sure enough, that $8.99 pricing overwrote my Smashwords pricing at Barnes and Noble. And they have LuLu as the Publisher and not MY NAME! Dab Nab Bit!!!!

I turned off the LuLu distribution thingy, and now I wait to see if my Smashwords would take back over. If not, I’ll have to contact Smashwords to distribute my novel back to Barnes and Noble, which would have the NORMAL and RIGHT pricing for an eBook.

I also added the Preview feature to my eBooks on Lulu and updated my Author profile. The Author page was something new that wasn’t there before…or, at least I didn’t think it was. It wasn’t there the last time I visited it, which was some cobweb time ago. It’s pretty neat and I liked that there’s an Author profile.

Sigh. I tell ya. The things you have to keep up with in this business. But…I wouldn’t change it for the world.

It’s still fun!

Until Next Time!

The Secret of Self Publishing Success

I posted earlier about if Self Publishing Worth It?, and the first question was: Is it profitable?

I know there’s a lot of numbers out there of people stating how much money and how many books they are selling, but you must remember something, and keep it clearly in your head: their numbers won’t predict your success.

I was reminded of that on a Kindle forum. And I wanted to reiterate what success REALLY is. In my posting on How To Find Readers For Your Novel–ACTUAL STEPS! Honest Answer, I made some statements on success and I’m just going to copy and paste them again in this posting.



My numbers are small potatoes to some, but these small potatoes met my life-time goal of actually having strangers reach into their pocket and consider paying their hard-earned cash on one of my stories. I just wanted to share, and I always kept wondering if someone, anyone, would enjoy what I wanted to tell. And that goal was well met.

You might say, “Well, you’re not successful! You’re not selling thousands of books!” To me, that’s the same thing as saying, “Well, you’re not a millionaire! So, you’re not successful!” And to both of those statements I’ll say, “Successful? Why, yes I am!” Because I met my goal to being successful in life. I have a house. I’m debt free (meaning, no credit cards and everything paid in cash); both cars paid off, student loan is history, a little savings, a daughter, a cat, and a wonderful husband who cooks my breakfast, lunch and dinner (I do the cleaning); and I can travel twice a year for vacations; and we’re not living from paycheck to paycheck. Now that’s successful in life for me. And it took years to build it–from elementary to college to temporary jobs to professional experience, to giving up cable, to saving and not spending on things that are not “needful”, and doing a lot of stuff myself (my hair, my lawn–though now we can afford someone else to do the lawn–ironing instead of dry cleaning, etc. etc.). Today I can afford to pay an editor and a Cover Designer, when I couldn’t 12 years ago with my current day job career.

This is the same as self-publishing.

My novels? I have a few strangers buying…and it’s slowly building. And I got a few more books that I’m working to release. I’ll let you know if I’m still not successful in a few years, and even then, I’ll tell you the same thing: “Why, yes I am!” Because I wrote my first book in 1997 (finished two years later) and didn’t decide to self-publish and do the “Do It Yourself” project and get it out there until 2008. I wrote more books over the years, and now can see them in print and on Kindle, Nook, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Book-A-Million, Sony eReader Store, Kobo, and Apple iTunes. And my books are being bought! Something that wasn’t happening several years ago.

You understand what I’m saying now? Remember your first job? I do. Mine was at Del Taco. Am I still working there? Heh. Heh. Not in your life. So that’s why I can honestly say, if you ask if I’m successful in a few years… my answer will still be: “Why, yes I am!”

Your goal is to be successful, and to do that, you have to make your own way and find and define your own answer, because it’s the uniqueness of things that are popular.


And that’s it. Basically, you have to look at success differently and be happy with each step and progress that you make.

Again…Take the time, take the STEPS, to your personal success and be happy.

Until Next Time!

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