Monday, January 30, 2012

What's A Short Book?

A short novel is a novella.  A single is a single.  A short story is a short story.  What's 10 recipes for a "cookbook"?

It's not a pamphlet.  It's not a booklet.  I'm calling it booklette but is there a new term for this?  Suggestions, anyone?  Mini-book?  Micro-book?  Bookling?

I bought a hardcover cookbook from France.  It's short with about 25 recipes.  This was the norm.   All the ones I looked at seem much shorter than any American cookbook.  Today I feel that American cookbooks are bloated.  The publisher/editors in tradpub have been insisting on these encyclopedic tomes in order to justify the high price they "must" charge.

It's wonderful to have the freedom to once again be able to publish books at their real length but do we need to invent new categories/terms?

BN Support


The PubIt! staff does not manage Customer Reviews.  Please use the
following link to contact Barnes & Noble Customer Service with your

You can also call the Customer Service Center at 1-800-THE-BOOK

The PubIt! Team

Original Message Follows:

I seem to have a very difficult time of getting any support so I'll
keep trying.

Please remove the ridiculous reviews from the Dream Horse page

Posted January 28, 2012
It looks real good, but I CANT GET THE SAMPLE!!!!!

UxuxcugaaxahbAkHvchvcso ad
0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Customer Service doesn't handle malicious reviews either if you click on that link.  You get to live chat and Hina sent me back to PubIt.  I called the number and have a compassionate woman who understands the issue but it's not her province either.

I guess you're pretty much on your own at BN.  Sad.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dona, Dona, The Pizza Princess

(Note the reference to Zsa Zsa, too!  And this song is mentioned in the book.)

This started as a script called The Godmother.  I sent it to my agent at William Morris and he said "You really can write funny."  Yay!  Now I'm going to take Hollywood meetings!  "Who's gonna play Dona," Leo asks.  And I say "Um, an actress.  Marisa Tomei.  Fran Drescher.  Any actress who grew up in New York City."  But how it works in Hollywood is not that way, so it never went anywhere.  :-(

Since I had already been a novelist, I felt confident that I could turn it into a novel.  Years and incarnations later, we have this version.  Which is still cute and I still love Dona.

I made the dough, then made the pizza, went out with the Nikon and 40 mm lens (which I love), took the photo then built the cover.

Great.  We are so set.  Go to BN to upload it and there's no previous version under sad Robin's name.  WHAT?  I never published it to BN.  I never published it to BN??  How does that happen?

It took me a while to figure it out.  Sure, this was one of the first books I published through Smashwords, but when PubIt opened, I deleted everything from Smashwords, and yes, somehow neglected to republish it to BN.  I had a lot on my mind.  I was working on Bad Apple 1 at the time.

Did I think about putting Dona into Kindle Select?  Yes.  For about the length of time it took to ask and say no.
Kindle Select/Jeff Bezos already has enough of my full length works.  If at some point KS  seems more viable than it seems now, I can always change my mind.

On to the cookbook today.  Looks like I'll have some good light out there so it's more prep than writing.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thanks For The Rubies, Please Pass The Moon

Not my title, it was a book by Jill Schary.  But that's how I'm starting to feel about Kindle Select and it's freebie days. 

Don't talk about the outliers, they shouldn't figure into this.  How much are we supposed to give?  How much of our work should we gamble on readers who want the moon for free.

I'll say it again.  Do Not Give Away Anything Valuable.

For The Drunk Troll Who Made Such A Fuss

To Amazon.  They threatened to pull Nothing Serious over the French word objets, which the troll insisted was missing a "c".  And the quote from the movie, The Queen of Outer Space, where Zsa Zsa Gabor with her Hungarian accent can't pronounce the word queen.

For you, dear, the movie is running on Turner Classic Movies at 7:30 am EST Jan. 28, 2012.  Knock yourself out.  (No, literally)

"I hay dot qveen."

And for the KDP Support लड़की in Mumbai who believed the drunk troll over the author (that would be me), I'm sorry you're stuck with Bollywood and can't see this.  It's a good one.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sales at

I thought this would be interesting and reinforcing the point I'm making again and again.  These are my "sales" for January in Germany.  I picked Germany because it's stark and easier to discern what I'm saying.

Every book on the list is in Kindle Select.  The totals are all from the free days.  There were no sales.
Let me point out I have 22 books for sale on Amazon.  There's plenty to choose from.

Schtupid Cupid is a novella about the cousin of the main characters in Not Low Maintenance and Unspeakably Desirable.  It should be a short hop to purchase those books after reading SC.

It's not happening.

Oh I Just Remembered This Part

Kindle Select.  That's where people BORROW books and then Amazon compensates the writers bountifully for being in the program.  That's why they want your books the borrowing part. 


Some people have had their books borrowed 1000's of times!  Wow!  Boy are they going to be compensated bountifully.  For the rest of us, not so much.

I've had 5 borrows this month which totally shock me.  I expected none given my off-genre books. 

Here's the reality.  You know by looking at your sales figures this morning if people are going to want to borrow your book.  If the book's been out for a while and it's selling vibrantly, people will borrow it.  If it's not selling, Kindle Select will not help people to want to borrow it.  Sorry.  That's the truth.

There are only a few categories that sell wildly.  If you're not in those categories, Kindle Select probably won't help.  This is not a program that is designed to help US sell books.  It's a program that Amazon came up with to create a literary Netflix.  Jeff sweetened the pot to get us to help him, but it's really not about us.  Oh yeah it can be great for some, but if it was for all of us like with promo pages and ads and links and running  billboards and featured items in rotation and bells and whistles and contests and cotton candy on a stick, more people would be reporting fabulous experiences.  And they're just not.

I read a post yesterday by Cheryl Tardiff at her blog Cheryl K. Tardiff Go read all the numbers and she kept track.  See what her experience was.  Really, you should.  Snipped from her note on a mailing list--

The grand total of free downloads was 42,886. Almost 43,000 readers have my ebooks and I have more titles for them to buy later.

After sales: not noticeable.

Let that sink in.   43,000 downloads and no spike in sales.

How much money did she lose?  Let me ask another question.  Cheryl worked hard to write those books.  She lived life, she probably gave up a lot to do this existence as a writer.  How many of those (adjectives and adverbs dropped) readers appreciate her effort enough to turn around and support her by buying her other books?

We don't know the answer to that do we.  Except for After sales: not noticeable.

I will say I often download books for later so 42,000 people did not fire up their Kindles to read Cheryl's books that night.  Some did, most didn't.  Maybe this will be a big help.

What I think I know is that 42,000 people won't be buying those books because they got them for free.  And that's a lot of money to kiss bye-bye to.

I'll repeat it again.  Do not give anything valuable away.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Literary Gimme Caps

A gimme cap is a freebie businesses give away with their logo on them.  John Deere Tractors.

You get a promo pen all over the place, right?  If you're lucky because you're always losing pens anyway.

And from stupid politicians in an election year, they'd rather give you a button than give you their honesty.

Promo.  These are publicity items.  A car dealer doesn't give you a free tune-up, he gives you a memo magnet with his phone number on it.

Kindle Select.  The Alibaba of the bookselling world.  (What's Alibaba?  I don't know, some importer of cheap crap that turns up in my google searches every once in a while.)

Do not fall into the Amazon trap of giving anything valuable away!  Let me repeat that.  DO NOT GIVE ANYTHING VALUABLE AWAY.

This is the Jacob Javitts Center Trade Show.  This is a souk full of carpet sellers.  Haggling.  Grabbing.  Free is King! 

Do Not Give Anything Valuable Away.

What's valuable?  Uh, your whole book that took you months to write and you hold close to your heart like the treasure it is.

What's not "valuable"?  A short story you wrote specifically AS A PROMOTIONAL ITEM.

Promotional items only are free!  Do I need to repeat it?  No.  You're smart, you'll remember.

I can't make it more plain than this.

Of course this means rethinking the game plan you didn't have.  You will have to create "business cards" in order to play Kindle Select Lotto.  That means writing something specifically you will not make money on.

Don't listen to the people who say stuff like "My book was downloaded 10,000 times an hour and then sales skyrocketed".  They hit the lottery.  We don't care about them because we can't reproduce whatever they did.  We can only have our own strategy to maximize our efforts.

Maybe you don't agree with me.  Okay.  Lots of stuff works.  Lots of stuff doesn't.  I'm saying this issue has become really clear over the past two weeks.  I started to ask myself "What do I want from these cheesy 5 days?"  5 days a MONTH, Jeff, if you really wanted to help, but out of 90?  Grinchly.  So how to maximize these.  What do I expect from them.  Skip the great sales.  What do you want.  I want people to be exposed to my name so they will go to my books.

Okay.  If I already gave them my books, there's no point in going to BUY my books.  Ah, yes, that's not a feature in the system, it's a bug and it's not in my favor.  Then I can't give away my books.  And I can't give away cool memo magnets.  Or can I?  If I put up promotional items, it's like a billboard going down the highway.  Burma Shave.  Eat At McDonald's.  Yeah I need a shave.  Some fries would be good.  Where's the exit ramp?

You need to flood the Kindle Select system with your memo magnets.  If you had (don't make me do the math!) 5 promo/throwaway items on Select that's 25 days.  It's also 25 weeks.  You pick 1 day a week to run your "advertisement".  ME!  Here I am!  Great Invisible Storyteller.  Make me Visible!

Every week for your entire 90 day lockdown, you get to rise up out of the muck of a million other writers clammoring for attention.  You give the reader the sizzle not the steak.  You give them a taste of how good you are but you don't waste your best product on them.  You don't throw pearls before swine.  I'm only partially calling all those people in a feeding frenzy to get free books free books free books hahahahahaha like the guy in Frankenstein swine.  Some will prove themselves to be drunk trolls.  Shouldn't you at least get paid for it?

I'll probably say more later, but there you have the strategy and the reality.

Yeah that means you have to stop what you're doing and write some short pieces whatever they are.  Sorry.  So do I.

Get Yourself on a List

About 18 months ago I met a man on the kindle board who was kindly trying to help me with the sig list of books after your name.  Never did get it which was a big reason I stopped going.  I wasn't enough in with the in crowd.  But this man was nice and tried to help me.  Sent me his book.  I sent him Bad Apple which he critiqued and made lots of notes.  That I still have.  He thought I got the story all wrong..He thought it was a girl who had been abused who picks up a shotgun instead of a violin, and goes out for some vengeance.  It isn't until the last chapter where Joe breaks into the house was this man happy.  Everything up till that moment was a huge bore.  He didn't like the covers.  The bad apple?  Girl with shotgun will sell the book.  The book isn't about a girl with a shotgun it's about a girl resurrecting her life with the aid of a compassionate family and music.  So I didn't take his suggestions and now he's one of Amazon's stars and a young woman from Canada for whom English doesn't seem to be her first language gets the point of the book.

What this guy told me was to get on a list.  No matter what list you're on, you will sell better.

I think since Nothing Serious had been published it's been a top seller in home garden>antiques (yes it does have something to do with antiques) Not Low Maintence was on that Legal thriller list for 2 words I tagged it with--Lawyers, murder.  It had no business in the legal thriller list but it was at #2 for about 10 weeks and made me a nice bit of money.  If you don't know the way Amazon drills these categories down, go study for a  while.  Can you apply any of what you've seen to your book?  Find an element, or topic that is in your book and on those lists and go to the metadata and change it.  Because most of my adult novels are about Jews, it's not hard to mention Jewish women, it's a search term and it will put those books on that list if they start having any sales at all.

Obviously some people just go to the top ten overall, or top if romance whatever.  Some people obviously type in search terms.  I don't know what they're typing.  Jewish women mystery.  Could be.  Then Amazon sorts thru the millions of books and if I've done my job with the cover title and description and of course book, I may make a sale.

Everytime I see a spike in sales, I say "I must have gotten on a list somewhere."  It become so obvious.  I don't go look, I usually find out by stumbling upon it.

Let's this be your homework for the next week or so.  Try to learn about the lists and figure out how your descriptions and metadata can drill you down to the Amazonian Lode.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More Fun Than Anything Else

For me! 

Murder is Exhausting.

How do I account for it?  That's a question we shouldn't even ask.  It got a new cover (which is cute, isn't it?), it got a new title, and it went for a 1 day freebie.

Sorry.  I don't see how the freebie helps unless people thought it would be available for 2 days in a row and when they went back, it wasn't free anymore.

I love Umberto Eco.  He's a marvelously intelligent man, a wonderful thinker.  I've read Foucault's Pendulum many times, ditto Travels in Hyperrelativity (I think that's the name of it).  In one article he said he liked writing for a newspaper (don't hold me to it) because he could think out loud but he reserved the right to change his mind.

In the next day or so I'll write about what I've been thinking and discussing but you have to know none of it is fully tested.  It's a suspicion I have.   I have been doing this writing thing for quite a while--books, screenplays and television--so maybe my instincts are good on this. 

Writing a book is like being a monk.

Writing in the entertainment business is more like cage fighting.

Where we are now seems to fall someplace in the middle.

Oy! So Tired

I went shopping.  Got some items at the Dollar Store which were then stolen from my car in the Walmart parking lot.  I found the coolest spatula, too.  Oh well.  I guess they needed the heart doily more than I did.  (Did not, that was for a photo shoot!)  This is why I don't take the camera with me.  It would have to BE with me 100% of the time and I don't want the possibility of bumping it into something or dropping it.  And yet I used to take the Nikon F with me everywhere always.  How do you go pee with it?  You don't put it on the floor in the stall.  You try to hang it up on the little hook?  I can't face it.

Murder is Exhausting.  I've been saying all week that freebie Select hasn't resulted in sales.  I have no idea what the actual sales figure is because Amazon makes it impossible for me to do the math but let's call it 10 sales since last weekend.  And in the great way Amazon makes it possible for almost everyone to win a plastic trophy

While the Fiction>World Lit>Jewish is a very small category, gee #21,946 overall?  That's darn good.  That's better than the guy Konrath said was such a good writer.

Wait it just changed while I was there to close the page.

#18,619.  I'm starting to get impressed.

I've have thoughts all day because just getting to Walmart is a big trek.  Let's talk about my Kate book.  To get newcomers up to speed and to try to keep it brief.  I went to ABC to try to get a job writing for a soap.  And they didn't like me.  So I decided to write a book about a soap instead.  I was allowed to stay in the studio of All My Children all day, talking to everyone, seeing how soaps are made, blah blah.  Came home and wrote the book.  It was published by my publisher Atheneum, my editor was Jean Karl one of the foremost in the business ever, a lot of knowledgeable people read it.  It got me a job with Proctor & Gamble, then I became one of the youngest headwriters in the history of daytime television when I took over The Doctors.  It was optioned to be a television movie, it had a paperback version.  If it was lousy, someone would have mentioned it instead of throwing money at me for it.

You would not believe the bad, mean-spirited reviews I get on this book.  The characters are bland, I'm stupid, the movie is probably easier to understand (Huh?  There's no movie.)  I don't know how to write.  That was at 99 cents.  I haven't gotten a bad review since it went to $1.99 probably a year ago.

Bad reviews aren't a good thing to have on your book's page.  But besides being part of the drunk troll thing, they are more about people being unable to read.

Digital books are very much plot driven.  There's very little substance.  I don't like roller coasters a lot, but I do like a lot of other amusement part rides.  So riding a roller coaster or the Pirates of the Caribbean (not that freaky It's a Small World After All thing, that's really bad and creepier than the Haunted Mansion) is great fun. 
I hope not the only thing.  But some readers seem angered by content.  They can't follow it.  They can't detect nuance or subtlety or subtext.

I don't seek out reviews because they bother me.  I saw Bad Apple 1 got a 5 star review so I had to go see what was said.


Soulfull, January 17, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bad Apple (Kindle Edition)
The first thing you will notice is the font. Very dos computer circa 1990, I never got use to it but I did get lost in the story to be able to forget about it.

The story is surprising. The beginning is ruff. But after about 30 pages, the story develop fast enough to get hook. I am surprised to find that this story although somewhat sad is very touching. Neal is a teenager who has seen it all and turned out to be very mature. She does get a brake in life with Truly the musicien.

I like the fact that all the bad things that are very dramatic such as physical abuse, rape etc are not mention per say but you imagation make you understand what the character is taking about.

Must read, I have started the second one.


This is an excellent review from someone in Quebec maybe?  French spelling of musicien, someone who is bi-lingual and French is their primary language?  She read it for meaning.  And I thank you, N. Drouin (sounds French to me).   The Bad Apple series is not a romp, it's textured, about two kids who have seen trouble in their own ways, it's about violence and abuse and the repercussions of that, so that was a very accurate reading.

Let this review remind you that Kindle hates Courier so if you write in that as I do, change it to Times New Roman when you upload to Amazon.  No one mentioned that to me starting out, and I'm systematically going back and reformatting everything.

I wanted that spatula!

Here's a lapel button to virtually wear.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Serious Thinking About a Digital World

Stay with me.  By the end of the process, I promise we'll be somewhere.  But I live like I write a novel so there are a lot of elements that seem unconnected now that you'll be able to resolve later.

There's a writer I've come across in forums and...elsewhere.  I think may even be a professor.  Really well educated smart and all that.  And writes novels like that.  Which don't appeal to me at all so I have no idea if they're lovely or drecky.  So a year ago this person had no regard for digital.  Again the sort of Ivory Tower Elite and the nameless rabble paradigm.  (Imagine a prole knowing that word!)  Then this person's publisher dropped them.  Then this person's agent dropped them.  Now suddenly digital is The Brave New World.  This writer can add content the publisher refused to add.  Freedom  is some fine awesome sauce, huh?

When the world changes for people like that, these are not cosmetic changes.  They're sea changes.  Did you know that phrase comes from Shakespeare? 

From Shakespeare's The Tempest, 1610:
ARIEL [sings]:
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell
Again, big mistake letting the rabble near the printing press output.

We had another week with traditional publishers saying digital is no big deal, one said ebooks aren't exciting, another said the sales were plateauing.  It's all wishcasting.  By the end of the decade, the paper book as we consumed them at the start of the century will be a rarity.  Sure there will still be books--the coffee table books and what-not.

Here's something cool you might not have known about Gloria Stuart, the actress.  (Yes, I tweaked the photo)

"Five years after husband's death, Stuart became reacquainted with California printer Ward Ritchie (Ward Ritchie Press), whom she had known during her college years. Both widowed, they fell in love. She was fascinated by his antique hand press and asked him to teach her how to run it. She bought her own hand press and established "Imprenta Glorias", and began creating artists' books (books hand-made, labor intensive, usually with a very limited run). Stuart wrote the text, designed the book, set the type, printed the pages, and finished pages with water colors or silk screen or decoupage. Books from Imprenta Glorias are in the Metropolitan Museum, Library of Congress, Huntington Library, J. Paul Getty Museum, Morgan Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, Bibliothèque nationale de France, and numerous private and university collections."  (From Wikipedia)

People can have all the books they want to make.  But when people go to read or be entertained, it'll be digital.
Ya want to smell paper?  Make your own paper.  It's easy enough.

So Yippee we're free.  I started this blog 2 years ago with a Jack Bruce vid of I'm Free.  Now what.  The reality is we have to start being serious.  The rest of us, those who didn't hit the Kindle lottery.  We have a dragon to ride.

And I have Fed Ex showing up momentarily with my griottines.  Your what?  Diminutive French black cherries floating in a sea of kirsch.  Yum yum triple yum.  But you think this is unrelated to the discussion.  It is exactly a part of where we're going.  It's for my Valentine's cookbook. 

Just spit it out!  Gah!  You're keeping us on the edge of our seats.  I'm sorry.  I'm still figuring it out.  Like a novel, I know the end point (I think) I'm just not sure of how I'm going to wind up there.  Soon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Question on Pricing

Hi, Suz.  Welcome.

99 cents or not?  Both!

If you go back in the archives, I've railed against the 99 cent price point.  I don't love it and think it devalues our work.  However, given the worldwide struggling economy, those of us not writing in sizzling hot genres may need to be more flexible than other writers.  I would rather see fiddling with the price than putting the work on Kindle Select.  Hold off on that till you run out of other options.

Yeah, wow.  Big statement since some are enjoying so much success.  I'm still not prepared to say what I'm thinking at the moment but I'll go some of the way.  To first base.  What heat rating is that??

If you're relatively new to writing as a career, what's your catalog like?  What's your library?  Do you have 1 book, 3, 5?  Which projects are you most attached to/what do you value most?  What projects do you want to protect, if any?  Are these stand-alones or is it a series? One imagines that if you have a series, introducing readers to the first number will get them to read the following books.  That's a different strategy than if you have a single book.

Ignoring length, what is the price of a middle reader book?  A YA?  A romance?  A mystery?  A police procedural?  A literary work?  Are they the same or different?  Why?  What's the profile of the audience for each of these?  Who has money?  What kind of money?  Do they have to ask for permission to buy a book?  Is it an impulse purchase or something considered?

We don't really know the answers to these questions without a focus group or Amazon getting generous with their research, but can try to intuit some kind of information by knowing who we're writing for.  What I think might be quite different than what someone else thinks about this.  They may feel this is a stupid discussion to be having, a real yawning waste of time.

So play around with the price of one book.  If you have a couple books, do it with the one you care about least.  If it's a series, play around with #1.  You should know in a week or two if customers accept or reject the price you set.  Readers will find you.  I wish Amazon would tell us our page views but I suspect we never will get that info.

That's what I'm prepared to say at the moment.  I hope it helps and am always glad to try to answer questions.


Again, you will hear everything about this.  There are people who sell well who advise to keep the prices up.  There are those who say price is flexible.  There are those who say 99 cents.  That's our side.

There are readers who say loudly, definitively, that any book under $2.99 is crap.  A 99 cent book is by a wannabe and not worth the time.  There are those who think 99 is right.  There are a substantial number who think free is the perfect price and paying for books is stupid.

Let me say that those people insisting books should cost at least $2.99 did not support me in my decision to increase my prices at the beginning of the year.

You are looking to the wrong person to do the math of this but here's my sense of it not based on math.  Your royalty is 70% on a book priced at >$2.99 at Amazon.  You can sell 1 book instead of 5 (whatever, someone else can do the math and tell me how many 35 centses that works out to be).  Isn't that great?!

Say you sell 10 books at $2.99 in the month.  Say you sell enough 99 cent books to end up with the same royalty check.  Which one leaves you better off?  Tick tock. I'll give you a moment to think about it.  That's right, the 99 cent sales because it  means you've sold a bunch of books and your ranking will improve.  You will be seen and at least have the chance for people to check out your other books.

At 99 cents, as I've said for months, the drunk trolls come out of their burrows and slam you mercilessly with their 1 star reviews--"I wish I had my money back!  Bad writing!  No character development!"

Or a real 1 star review for Dream Horse this past week at BN

  • Anonymous
    Posted January 18, 2012


    UxuxcugaaxahbAkHvchvcso ad
    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
Yeah I flagged it but there's no one home at BN to do anything about it.

So what do I say?  Play around with your pricing.  If you're not seeing sales, raise or drop.  For how long?   For as long as you're comfortable with it.  I saw one woman say she was keeping the test price point for 3 months.  Wow.  That's a long time in the digital world.  If you can't get a sense in a month, good for you.  You're not obsessing about it.

I do know that over the weekend I lowered my prices and saw an improvement in sales at BN within hours making me sorry I had taken Bad Apple 1 away from the site to give Kindle Select a whirl.  However, let me just say that it was free at BN in Nov. and downloaded 500 times with no bump in sales of 2 & 3.  So I'm not feeling the love.

This is all leading somewhere.  Trust me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Select Promo

I was going to wait for a little more feedback and the gather my thoughts on this but I'll start the discussion today.

I understand that some people get good results.  Let's ignore them, we could even call them outliers.  Konrath is an outlier.  You can't duplicate what he does.  There are so many moving parts to Konrath's success that there's no point in trying to rebuild it.  What the takeaway from Joe is very much try anything.

So far I don't see that this 5 freebie days thing works to sell books.  I've downloaded a few books.  Generally, I don't read them immediately.  Everyone likes something for free, I do, too.  But to me this is something for later.  When I don't have anything else to read.  Unless it really strikes me as wonderful, then I open it.  The  University of Chicago Press gives away a free ebook a month.  I think I've gotten 3 and haven't read any of them, altho I looked at one and wasn't compelled to read it.  It wouldn't move me to spend money on anything else they offer.

I've been fortunate.  My freebies haven't been downloaded in great quantities.  Why do I say fortunate?  Because if you give away 5000 books, that's 5000 sales you will never have.  And if those people don't read the book immediately, or soonish or ever, you are nowhere, worse than where you started.  If you gave away 5000 freebies and there was some record of that, so that new customers looked at your page and saw "Wow 5000 people downloaded this book, I'll give it a try!" that would make it worth giving it away.  But it's like throwing a rock into a pond.  There's a ripple and then the surface returns to normal.

Some people claim to get sales from this.  Someone explain how that works.  Did people see your name and remember it, then go to buy the book, or your other books?

Bad Apple 1 was downloaded 600 times.  Bad Apple 2 has sold 5 copies this month.  Bad Apple 3 has sold 4.  So because all those people were introduced to the series, it had no effect whatsoever on sales. Schtupid Cupid was downloaded a couple hundred times.  No sales after that.  Not a 1.  The verrine book is different.  That was downloaded 100+ times and there have been about 4 sales after. But it was already ranked in cookbooks where it could be found.  I can't attribute the sales to the freebie.

We can't make a business plan based on Dec.  Christmas only comes once a year.    Now we're in January.  Are you better off shooting your 5 at once or spreading it out over the 90 days?  If there was a record, a tally, for customers to see, yeah, I could believe that running 5 days and building up numbers in a lump would be good.  There is no tally.  The downside to running the 5 is that you have 11 weeks where you're paralyzed, you can't do anything.  There are no "Amazon tools" to help you.  Play with price all you want, knock yourself out. 

My conclusion is that for most of us this model is not going to work.

There is something that might.  It involves even more work.  Sorry.  Let me think a little bit more about it.

A treat from Porgy & Bess

George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, Ira Gershwin

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Look Mom! No Power Lines

Yes, my thrill of the day was learning how to remove power lines from a photo using Photoshop.  Spot Healing Brush.  These people are geniuses.

I downloaded a free book from Amazon.  I'm just going to think out loud for a little bit and maybe it'll prompt you to think, too.

This book was far from entertaining and yet at one point I believe it was published by one of the Big Six.  Didn't they notice there was no character development, too many characters, no real plot and it was just in general a big bore?

Most of us have had a run-in with tradpub either unhappily published or unhappily rejected or both.  Lucky you who are neither.  Let's just say--for the sake of one of those arguments again--that tradpub has expectations of what will be good for the reading public and if you don't fall within the parameters, you're not good enough to be published.

Now the gates at thrown open, the gatekeepers have been (rightfully) trampled, and readers can read from a vast menu of choices.

Here's the question.  Do digital readers have different requirements than an agent/editor combo in NYC?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It...Wait, Don't Let it

Big snowstorm predicted for overnight.  That should be... wintery.  Sweet Tarts and Murder Is Exhausting will have free days this weekend.  I haven't seen the kind of results others have but then I'm not writing in the same genres.  I guess.  This is 1.5 months old in the history of the entire world, I sure don't have it figured out yet.  I've had a couple thoughts that I'm not quite ready to discuss in public yet but I've run them by a couple others and they thought I was making sense.  That's  a rarity!

There's no magic bullet for this process.  Publicity doesn't seem to work.  Having traditionally published prior to digital doesn't seem to help unless you were hugely successful before.  What works is the work, the hard stuff.  Write a good book, a good description, eye-catching cover.  Rinse and repeat.  There are genres that are hotter than others.  If you write in those genres, you have a better chance of catching the wave.  If you don't, you wait until your niche audience arrives.

RIP Etta James

Such a Deal

7" Android Tablet $59.99 free shipping

No brand name is mentioned, but isn't this absolutely perfect for a student who might wind up leaving the thing on the bus?

Here's a Kobo Reader for $90.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Because Traditional Publishers Know So Much More Than We Do

Dream Horse

Love In the Air, by that sad Robin O'Neill, mispublished by Avalon a year ago

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,209,768 in Books

Let's just assume my literary skills are about equal in each novel.  Just for the sake of argument.

If I'm so stupid (since that's how they perceive indie publishers), and they're so great, why is my self-published book with its homemade cover ranked about 3 million places above the professional traditionally published book?

Sweet Tarts and High Heels

I didn't mention this project before, because it wasn't actually anything until this rousing blog post by Dean Wesley Smith this week exhorting everyone to put short stories up for sale.  Since I'm not a short story writer, I didn't immediately  think of this piece I had written a while back.

Then I remembered it and thought well, I liked it at the time and someone I respected really liked it, so maybe since it's complete, all I need is the fabulous formatting (which had me so nuts I was on the verge of buying a Kindle--maybe that's another one of Dr. Evil's plans!) and a cover and I'm there.

Wait.  I have a Tween following.  Do I want a story about a call girl under my name?  No.  I don't.
Read new blog post by Joe Konrath.
Wait.  Second thoughts.
(See, with Libra Rising, I'm happy to let anyone else make up my mind for me when it doesn't count.)
I have some name recognition and Amazon does lump my books together.  (You think this is all about me.  It could be a decision you'll face in the future, too.)  Maybe I'm better off extending my shelf space than protecting the wayward 12 year olds who happen upon this book from a little bit of language and intimations of sex more than actual sex.  Geez, I hope they didn't stay up to see Justified last night.  I was squirming over that.  They can see more on Showtime than I could ever write.

I went with keeping the fake sociologist's name on the cover for now but used my name. 

The cover I like a lot.  $3 at a stock photo site.  It was in color.  I put it in Lightroom and had downloaded a bunch of free filters weeks ago.  I was going through the list looking at the possibilities and there was a set that hangs onto 1 color and makes the rest of the image B&W.  So what looks like a big deal was really 1 click.  What was hard was to make the shadows around both breasts even.  I guess the way the photog lit her, he didn't notice one side was lighter.  It didn't look right.  Darkening shadows must not be a common function or something because there was no quick way to do it without darkening everything and that wasn't the point.

The blurb:

Noel Adrian, Ph.D. wants to know how young and beautiful women become escorts in Beverly Hills.  Of course, they meet Miss Doucette and are recruited.  The money is great, the lifestyle moving among the rich, powerful and attractive is even better.  But as sociologist, Dr. Adrian wants the backstory.
Tierney has no reluctance to sharing her story.  She’s not proud of her life but she’s not embarrassed either.  Her new world is much like her old one but now she’s not scraping by and she knows how to punch back.  But the past is more difficult to shake off than it looks and under pressure, Tierney reverts to what she knows best.  Will this time be any different.

Another day, Another Gasp

More blog posts about why tradpub is a vibrant industry, the rest of us are stupid and the lawsuit to harass/steal the ebook rights from a 90 year old woman continues.

Is there anything worse in a society than seeing a senior citizen abused?  This is what traditional publishing has devolved to?  They need the money so badly they would turn Jean Craighead George's remaining years into a legal battle?  Is there anything more unseemly and telling than this?  I find it despicable.

This is how much tradpub cares about you.  I actually prefer the anonymity of Amazon and even the dopey complaint about Nothing Serious and the whole objets/objects issue with the drunk troll.  That's easy to resolve.  Accede to their idiot demand or unpublish the book.  Either way it's over in 5 minutes.

Be this

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Today and Today and So Forth

"Long-term there’s no future in printed books. They’ll be like vinyl: pricey and for collectors only. 95% of people will read digitally. Everybody in publishing knows this but most are in denial about it because moving to becoming a digital company means laying off like 40% of our staffs. And the barriers to entry fall, too. We simply don’t want to think about it."

So a publishing insider confesses in an email to Pandodaily.  Well worth the time to read the post. 

"Making the best of things is... a damn poor way of dealing with them."  Rose Wilder Lane (Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter)

I'm glad to see tradpub is sticking to what they know best.

"Back up so we can hit it again!"--Captain Edward Smith of RMS Titantic.

Didn't I say paper books were like vinyl?  Yes, I remember saying that.  I said also coffee table books would hang around.  Yes, and the collectors.  Like the people who collect those funny salt and pepper shakers.  The book sniffers.

It's hard to know what else to say.   I'm growing concerned about BN.  They're not servicing their content providers.  Some people will say don't put all your eggs in one smiley basket.  But if everyone knows where the best eggs are, where you get the lowest price on those eggs, and the basket and the heat gun to thaw frozen pipes, why go elsewhere?

Why buy paper books?  They may smell great (eyeroll) but they take up so much room  and the pages yellow practically as soon as you buy them these days.  Why is that?  Cheap paper?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Magic Yeast

Vinny Gambini--Did you buy these magic grits from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?

It's probably illegal for me to quote that line from My Cousin Vinny.  The movie studios are suing a couple sites that make movie scripts available for free download.  $11 million bucks worth, I think it is.  You can't embed videos.  Now you can't transcribe a script because of why?  Because you and your friends will say "Hey gang, let's put on a show" and then reenact the movie in the barn for the neighborhood kids?  Because reading the script is so much better than watching the movie that you'll just download a 20 year old (or more) script and read it instead of paying 20th Century Fox $19.99 to watch the thing?

Hey Rupert, what I really want to do is read the script to Knocked Up instead of watching the movie.  How about neither?  How about you make better movies and then to slightly misquote Sam Goldwyn "The customers won't be staying away in droves".

Anyway, this is all about this yeast product which sounds way cool and I'd like some.  And the image is in public domain.  But I could watermark it and say that because I tweaked it, now some weird kind of rights make it MINE MINE MINE and I'll sue you if you use it.  (I won't.  Go.  Use it.  Enjoy it.  Buy one of my books instead.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Verrine Thoughts

Grainy caramel.  Don't let it happen in the first place.  Follow the instructions in the book.  ALWAYS use honey, Lyle's Golden Syrup or corn syrup in with the white sugar.  Problem solved.  But if you don't do that and if you do get graininess, try to slowly--SLOWLY--low heat--remelt the mixture.  You have to be patient.  Once sugar burns, you can't go back.

Here's the real solution.  Start over.  You probably won't get it right the first time.  And sometimes you're distracted and even though you've done it correctly 10 times, 1 time it doesn't work.  Don't waste time trying to fix it.  It's not as though the ingredients are super expensive.  Altho I do have to say the price of butter makes me cringe.  Especially when I have one of the dogs getting up on the counter and helping herself to anything I'm not guarding.

I didn't know people were going to be this interested in verrines.  I was attracted to the lovely, colorful layers but didn't realize other people were as well.

Rice Pudding with Summer Fruits
I made a cookie today and I attempted to color it red.  It was so awful, so neon pink--although they tasted wonderful,  they looked like a nightmare--I threw out the few of them I made.  Usually when I'm experimenting, I start with a small batch so any catastrophes don't hurt too badly.  This was just some flour, sugar and oil and 2 egg whites.  The dogs get the yolks.  They're excellent, yes, raw.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Question du Jour

Well I really don't have 1.  I'm in a quandary that some of you may have now and some may have later.  Or maybe by later it will be so obvious that it won't present a dilemma.

In one corner, wrestling fans, we have that Dr. Evil, the Great Vacuum, the Astounding Absorber of all things  And in the other corner we have Barnes & Noble, the great pipe smokers, the professoriat wearing lather patches on their frayed herringbone jackets.  Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding.  Let the match begin!

The fake professor doesn't have a chance.  It's not lean and mean, it's not moving and positioning for the attack, it's just sitting there expecting the fans to come out of the cheap seats and save them.

BN does nothing to help the author/publisher promote their indie books.  Of course neither did Amazon and what they're doing now is no big deal either.  But it's something.  As the market is flooded with indie books, these companies must give us tools to promote our work.  For criminey sake, it will sell more books.  They're hardly doing us an altruistic favor by helping us sell more books.  They're making money.

So do I stay or do I go.

What are the benefits to staying with BN?  I only have a handful of books doing well there.  It doesn't seem logical to keep the others there when I can get the measly 5 freebie days at Amazon.

So that's why I'm removing Blue Raja from BN this week and giving it a freebie weekend at Kindle.  It won't be the last.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fotoshop--A Health and Beauty Aid

It does Windows, too!

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Here's a small hint about Kindlegen.  Stay very far away from it.  You need to go back to DOS to run it and it bollixed up my file.  Calibre got it 100% correct.  So time to get an output file from Kindlegen--5 hrs plus lengthy phone call to computer genius friend.  Time to get output file in Calibre--about 2 min. while I was listening to lecture by computer genius friend on hidden codes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nook Update 1.4 something

I had no idea it was available, if you didn't, you can go get it.  I couldn't seem to get it via wifi so we'll see if the download works.  I had to take the root chip out because the Nook device got totally confused by that.  Now we can watch movies on Netflix.  Except why should I pay for Netflix when I have Amazon Prime?  That Jeff Bezos is Dr. Evil, he thinks of everything!

I started on the new cook book.  I suspect it will be less comprehensive than the Verrines because I'm running out of time if I really want this done by Feb. 14.  So it can cost less, no big deal, right?  I'm a little confused about Kindle Singles or whatever it's called.  Yes to cookbooks or no.  Is a cook book a how-to book?  No children's books.  Does that include YA?  Kiddie lit is not YA so again I'm confused.

Every few days there seem to be posts on the state of legacy publishing and what all they're going to do differently now, or what they could do differently.  Most of the solutions seem to feature acquiring/keeping old rights from authors they have treated shabbily for years and then feeding at the trough without doing new work.  What a great business plan.  Why bother to publish new books at all in this case, just loot the vault for everything left and digitalize that.  With each new crisis they have, my disdain for them grows.  Now they think they've found a new way to stiff writers, so they can feed at the trough a little while longer.  Properties that had no value to them 2 years ago, they will now sue 90 year old women for.  And they're not embarrassed. 

I'm glad to be done with tradpub.  I suppose it's something of a tepid Housekeeping Seal of Approval to be published by one of the Big Six.  And I suppose if they give you enough money, the abuse they'll dish out could be worth it sort of in a Bucket List kind of way.  "I climbed Mt Kilamanjaro, I published with Random House, I got a tattoo..."  If it's something you want to do before you kick the bucket, definitely go for it.  Otherwise, the unpleasant aspects far outweigh the benefits to me.  Sorry.

Things we can do with toffee we didn't think of last week.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Murder Is Exhausting

I don't know that much about murder but the whole digital publishing thing is!

I changed Mr Mitnick to Some People Need Dying to hopefully the last stop on its journey Murder is Exhausting.
It's an Albert Camus quote.  Then I was fortunate enough to find an illustration that worked really well for it.
And that's the whole story.

I suspect I will remove it from BN where it has done nothing ever and put it on Kindle Select for those measly 5 free days.  After that if none of it works, and I somehow figure out another description, I will give up until the next possible fix comes to me.  It's a cute book but fill in your generic explanation of why some things catch and others don't.  If vampires flew out of the mission belfry, I'm sure it would do better.  But that ain't happening.

Here's the revised blurb

The Mitnicks come from the clothing industry in New York City.  It’s not exactly the high fashion trade, but close.  Berry did go to Paris and work for some of the renowned couturiers to learn more but when she designs, the clothes tend to be a little off-market for anyone in the real world to wear.  Who’s going to wear an evening gown with one wing sticking out of the back?  No one, that’s right.  So Berry packs up her sewing machine, at 27 sort of a failure at what she thought was her life, and comes to live with her father on a ranch in the beautiful central coast of California.  Immediately there's a murder.  And a handsome, irritable sheriff, a cute blacksmith and a group of older women Berry calls a harem chasing her father.  If she hadn’t been involved in a murder before, maybe Berry could ignore it and let Sheriff Mark Fernandez do his job without input from her.  But she knows what it’s like to never learn who killed someone she loves, and vows not to let it happen this time.  As everyone knows, anyone who kills once, is willing to kill again to keep the truth buried and Berry is getting just too close for anyone’s comfort.

What can you learn from this?  Don't be reluctant to change things around if they don't work.  If you believe in the book, set aside some time from your new project and tinker.  Give it time to work.  Don't be impatient but do be realistic.  Do the best you can with it and then let it go.  Things will change in the future.  More readers will come onboard.  Maybe something you are writing now will bring readers to you and then this book will be discovered.  Maybe it will never work.  But maybe you'll find a niche audience for it.  Don't despair.  Don't dwell on it.  Keep moving forward.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

For The Right Price

Say about $2500, I will be glad to do the work to get Dream Horse printed through CreateSpace.  Actually, I'll just give Lightning Source $12 and tell them to turn it back on.  Here's what a paperback copy is going for now at Amazon.

+ $3.99shipping
Used - Like New
  • Seller: gb_book
  • Seller Rating:95% positive over the past 12 months. (2,881 total ratings)
  • In Stock. Ships from CA, United States. Expedited shipping available.
    Domestic shipping rates and return policy.
  • In very fine condition, like new

I don't know where they're getting them from.  I cancelled with Lightning Source so if gb book doesn't actually have a copy, there's no one to print one.  So if you want one that bad you can't spend $199 for a Kindle Fire and 99 cents for the digital book, I can give you a bargain price.  Or I can print it out on my printer and sign it for you.  That's personalized service!  For $5000, I'll bring it directly to your house and take you out for pizza, too.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Accent Falls On The Accent

They're having a Parent Trap marathon on the Hallmark Channel.  This morning it seems to be Hayley Mills and this afternoon Lindsay Lohan.  Here's the problem with both of them for me.  Hayley Mills.  Why does she speak with an English accent when she as Susan grew up in California and as Sharon who grew up in Boston?  Doesn't make sense anymore than Sean Connery speaking with his Scot accent and playing a Lithuanian sub commander in whatever movie Alec Baldwin was in also.  Lindsay Lohan.  She was surprisingly good but who can look at her without thinking of the Lindsay Lohan of the last few years--very vivid.  And of course that poor Richardson woman who died in the ski accident--very vivid.

I won't name another movie because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but I've seen most of it in parts now and when the 16 year old kid supporting player and the dog (I'm not kidding, the dog is really good) are the most talented actors in the cast, there's a genuine problem.  Didn't anyone notice?  Two words--acting coach.

Just get 'er done.  Either the audience is too dumb to notice/care or there are other elements in the movie that will gloss over the insufficiencies.  And there was a whole long article about a week ago why Hollywood can't figure out why ticket sales are way down.

I don't have premium channels.  Waste of money.  If there's a free weekend, I go look and see they're running about 50% movies from years past.  I can see those on USA except of course with commercials but since I've seen them 16 times already am I really paying attention anyway?  No.

So today while Hayley Mills was doing her cute thing--and I do watch this movie every blinking time it's on, I love Brian Keith,--I made frosting and took pictures of cupcakes for the cookbook.  It was supposed to be an easy frosting.  Actually I think it's harder the way it was written so of course I "fixed" it.  It's still no less complicated or time consuming than real buttercream.  And nothing in the world compares with real buttercream, besides it's so simple anyway, I don't know why people use that cornstarch frosting.   You know what I'm talking about--the confectioner's sugar thing.  Ugh.  Can't you all taste the uncooked cornstarch in that???  I guess I have to make it my mission to convince 1 person at a time to give that up.

Friday, January 6, 2012

One Life To Live

As I said, it got cancelled and there's probably 1 week of shows left to air.  It's been so bad, I've been glad but tonight was just a little different.

When I was on the show, they managed to get Roscoe Born to sign on for a while.  I named his character.  Mitch Laurence.  I wrote scenes.  I talked to Roscoe.  I used an incident in Sweeps that actually happened with him at the studio.  He's terrific IRL.

It was strange to see him die.  Sure Vicki was shot and is maybe dying, but that character was there when I got there.  I had a hand in creating Mitch.  I came up with his lapis lazuli watchband.


New days.  New tastes.  New needs.  New technology. But people still want a good story and still like beautiful images.  Some things don't change.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

*Books Are Units

I read a book, Carnival Culture, years ago by James Twitchell concerning the state of our society.  Very funny, very astute.  It'll cost you possibly the best penny you ever spent on a book

Twitchell had a quote from a speech by Oscar Dystel (yes, Jane Dystel the agent's father) the head of Bantam Books  where he had been talking about units for an hour and there was an asterisk and footnote which was "*Units are books."  Just so no one was confused by what this publisher at a speech about publishing was referring to.

(I gotta tell you how hard it was to find that in the book, digital really spoils you with the search function.)

These elitists talk a good story about how glorified and exalted their work is, but it's no such thing to them in reality.

"We sell books, other people sell shoes.  What's the difference?  Publishing isn't the highest art."--Michael Korda, (at the time) editor-in-chief, Simon & Schuster. 

So today we have blog posts concerning legacy publishing and how it's big business that's about "acquiring" "properties" and let's not think of books as "books".  And then I thought let's call them units because that's what you've been calling them for years.  Or we can just call them "reads".  Which I hate bigtime.

A little of these people goes a long, long way.  I wish this is the last post of the year where I mention tradpub.

Got my new Nikon 40mm lens.  Love it.  I took it out of the box, let it warm up and the condensation clear, and took this.  No preparation, no nothing.  This is a raw image, no tweaks of any kind.  That's a thing of beauty.  Now I can do my next cookbook.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mr. Mitnick's Harem or

Something overcame me yesterday, unfortunately, and I decided to revamp Mr. Mitnick's Harem.  Not rewrite it but change the title and cover and reformat.  So instead of doing the YA novella all day, I wound up struggling with the cover.  This is not to put you off of doing your own cover.  I want to do my own and want you to be able to do a good job on yours.

The set piece in Act 3 is a fiesta at the mission.  I thought okay cool, I'll quick get a photo of a fiesta.  No.  Okay, festival then.  No.  Okay, carnival?  No.  Okay.  Flamenco dancers.  No.  Are you kidding me????  I'm good at finding stuff, I can find anything.  Maybe I didn't look hard enough.  But I was looking at places I could pay for the image, not liberate it.

So kind of unfortunately I wound up exactly where I started--with an image of the mission.  Then I couldn't find a photo of the mission at night.  WHAT?  Fine.  I'll Photoshop it to night.  Then I couldn't get enough sky.  Sheesh.  It was overcast all day and I didn't want to search all my images from that delete incident a couple months back.  Finally the clouds move around a little, I rush outside and point the camera to the sky.  Solved.

I spend most of the afternoon turning day into night and trying to put lights on the mission--I'm sure Photoshop has a different/better way of doing it, but again, I couldn't find it even with a Google search.  I lift the mission off the original image and place it on the new sky background.  I'm going for dark, grim, foreboding and I start to realize, wait, this is a cozy.  This is a humorous, I hope, book.  I send it to Chris, the comedy writer.  He goes Yikes!  You have to lighten this up, put another element in it.  I write back "What, a clown?"

This cover is destined to be changed again.

What we would also like to determine is what, if any, effect there has been from the freebie weekend.  And surprisingly, there have been a few sales of Schtupid Cupid and Verrines.  I can't honestly say if SC lead to the sales of Not Low Maintenance.  It certainly wouldn't have lead to the sales of the Flashes but I sure was happy to see anything happening there.  Maybe Bad Apple1 probably did lead to the sales for BA2, so I am hopeful that's a trend.  Dream Horse is still going strong while the kids are home.  It's selling about 60 copies a day which I think I great for a middle reader book.  And got this terrific review on the Verrine book, thanks Serene.

5.0 out of 5 stars I can't wait to start making Verrines, January 2, 2012
Serene (Marina, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Verrines: Sweet and Savory Parfaits Made Easy (Kindle Edition)
I picked this one up as a kindle freebie, and I really had no idea what a Verrine was- however this book soon educated me! And what an education! Verrines are actually tiny parfaits which can be made in a glass, and which contain different discernable layers. They can be sweet (such as chocolate and fruit), or savory such as salad. The writer did a great job of educating the reader, and including recipes that were both practical and easy to make.

Recipes look and sound good... And I really liked the inclusion of pastry cream which is something everyone is going to want to make.

This is hands down one of the better kindle books out there. Sample and see for yourself.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Freebie Weekend and What I Make of It


The human mind does search for explanations.  Maybe it's a safety feature and not a bug.  If you don't understand how dangerous wooley mammoths are, you'll keep getting devoured by them.

Schtupid Cupid did well (for me) download numbers wise and rankings in some categories, I think the whole Jewish aspect narrows the audience.  Bad Apple1--wonderful book no vampires, not a lot of life-threatening suspense being played out.  If you want to be scared and thrilled and taken on a wild ride, this is not it.  Verrines-- super narrow and I was thrilled at how many were downloaded.  Cupid actually had more downloaded in the UK yesterday than US.  I thought that was lovely.

A woman who wrote a historical mystery had 8000 copies downloaded.  So all mine put together were about 10% of her number.

My pal Chris (no, I have a point, stay with me) published a couple of his books and had bigger things on his mind so ignored them.  Until a couple days ago when he saw he had sold 18 copies.   He had done nothing not even rewrite the description as I begged him to.  (He says he will now.)

People will--repeat WILL--find you.  Amazon makes it easy to navigate around and drill down.  Yes, you're going to do better if your book is for the widest audience possible.  But if not, you can still be found and read and gets some numbers going for you.  It's your job to make them glad they did find you.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Sorry for my outburst re: Bad Apple 1 but