Skip to main content

Happy New Year! I have a feeling that 2015 is going to be the best year--EVER!

First things first, I need to read my end-of-the-year post from last year to see where I've been and if I've done any of the things that I wanted before I move onto my goal for this year. So excuse me for a second while I drop down to the bottom of this page and read last year's posts.

Here's a fun video while you wait, that I truly believe helps me not worry about the little stuff--such as poor reviews. It's a hard lesson, but one of the things I learned last year was that a few bad reviews don't hurt an author. In fact, I think they help!

A note about the video, something that--based on a lot of yapping from the general public--I think many people miss. Taylor Swift isn't the prettiest young lady in the public eye, and she isn't the best singer, but she knows that. Notice, she can't do the moves of her back-up dancers, she's clearly not a ballerina, and to make her point, she falls at the end. She also brings in a lot of average Janes and Joes to show that we all dance to our own beat. 

I love it! 

It's what young people need to hear... It's what I and every one of my author friends and my avid-reading friends need to hear, whether you work out of your home or in an office with twenty other people.

But here's my suggestion...
Not just for you, but for myself!

Yes, "Haters gonna hate... Takers gonna take... Shake it Off!" all starts in the mirror, my friends. If we don't talk smack about others to others, more than likely, we won't hear if anyone is talking smack about us. If someone approaches you, ready to talk about someone else, Shake Them Off! If you listen, you're just as bad as they are, and you might be tempted to join in.

Not that I have ever talked bad about anyone--not in a hateful way, anyway--but I have been known to complain. So, yes, I'm an author, and yes, my goal should be to write more and sell more books, but that's not my goal!

My goal as a writer this year is just as it was last year: make readers fall in love, laugh, cry, gasp, hope...escape for a while.

My goal as a person: I won't complain about about anything--to anyone. If you catch me, call me out on it! :)

Now, go have fun today! Dance, sing, read, whatever you like to do, and Shake it Off ... Whatever ails you! Me, right now, I'm going to go dance in my pajamas! Maybe even try to twerk! Okay...maybe not. I might throw out something I need. LOL!

"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you…" Brian Tracy

Until next time, my friends! 


Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer. I love talking about all things books, so if you want more posts on writing, marketing books, and new releases, and giveaways, please leave your email address here. I only send out a post once or twice a week at the most. If you'd like to read my books, I offer a couple free short stories, a couple $0.99 books, and after that, all my books are priced less than a latte each so you can afford to read them all. Also, if you're a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read almost all of my books with your monthly membership!

If you can't find my free books in your area, use…

Oh, here's last year's posts if you're interested. I think they still apply.

January 1, 2014 New Year Post: From reader to writer in a few keystrokes. Now what? What are my goals as an author? 

Okay, that sounds easier than it was. But it's how my dream started, how every dream starts, by putting one foot in front of the other. Or in my case, tapping one key after another and not stopping until I had 120k words. That's the first part of any goal: starting.

But then what? Starting and finishing a novel didn't accomplish my goal of being an author. If my 120k words had stayed on my computer instead of venturing into the world, then it would really have been a journal. In order to be an author, I needed readers.

So the question for me was: How do I get my words in front of readers?

And no surprise, every time I do an interview, I hear that and many of the same questions from readers and aspiring authors. I can't claim to be an authority in the subject, but I do love what I do and I'm always excited to answer questions, so here is my suggestion on that question and some of the other questions I get. If I don't hit yours, please ask in the comment section.

Should I self-publish, publish with an ePublisher, or wait until an agent picks me up?

Well, I don't know if there is a right or wrong answer, but here's what I suggest, which is a four-part answer.

  • I think every author should query. Why? It can't hurt. If you're lucky, professionals--and that is what successful agents are--can offer you valuable feedback. Most won't. Most will just say it's not right for me. But when you get that agent who's not afraid to go out on a limb and make a suggestion, listen to her. You don't have to accept everything, but you should be willing to listen.

  • Depends on how many stories you have in you. If you have only one great idea, you may have to wait on an agent. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, and I'm not saying there's not a chance to be successful as an Indie author with one book, but it's hard. If you have only one great idea, you may need the advertising budget that only a large publisher can provide.

  • How quickly do you want to get your books out there? With most agents and big publishers, you should expect to wait a year to eighteen months until your book hits the shelves, whereas most ePublishers will usually have your book edited, formatted, a cover designed, and published within six months.

  • Self-publishing, more than ever, is a viable option. However, DO NOT forget that you have to act as though you are a publisher. You CANNOT skip steps. You MUST make sure your book is properly edited, formatted, and has a professional-looking cover BEFORE you publish.

  • Should I hire an editor? Yes, yes, yes! This shouldn't even be a question. The question should be: whom should I hire? Ask around. Word of mouth is a great way to find an editor. Ask questions. What books have they edited? Get a return date, and do not pay all up front.

  • Is social media important? I think so, but not because it'll sell books. It's important because of the connections you make with readers, reviewers, book bloggers, and authors. Yes, authors. Never forget that authors are readers... Connect with authors who write and read the genres you like to read and write. It only makes sense that if authors like you, so will their readers. That's how you expand your reach when you don't have a budget.

  • Should I offer my books free or at a discount? Yes and No! Yes, giving away your first book free for a temporary time is a great way to meet new readers, gain reviews, and expand your platform. A discounted book, on the other hand, does little to reach a large amount of readers unless you already have a platform.

  • Should I write a series? Yes, but please make sure that each book is complete. Don't split one book into two or three books and leave a cliffhanger. Ugh!!! Readers--I'm a reader, so I speak with authority--hate that. Yes, you can offer a new 'dun, dun, dun' moment at the end, but the first issue must be resolved. Then yes, series are a great way to meet and keep readers. And when you have a series, offering the first book free or at a discount makes sense because you have other books to back it up.

  • Can I write in different genres? Yes, but be careful. I wouldn’t write young adult and erotic novels under the same name, but if you warn your readers at the top of your description that this book contains paranormal elements (for example), then if they don’t like paranormal, but love you, they may be willing to take a chance, but not burn you if it’s not their style.

So here I amjust a baby, really, since my first book was published only two years ago. Of course, I had four books waiting in the wings when my publisher picked me up, so I was able to publish nine books in these last two years (two of them were short stories too).

So, now I’m wonderingwhat’s next?

What’s my goal now that I’m a published author? Surprisingly, selling more books to make more money IS NOT my goal. If it were, I wouldn’t give away books. Having my book in the hands of millions of readers, though, is my goal. As a writer, I think we can all agree that nothing feels better than readers reading your work. So that is my goal...don’t laughI know it’s a lofty goal…

My goal this year is to be on the New York Times Bestseller List or, at minimum, be on Amazon’s top ten ‘paid’ bestseller list. (Note...I didn't reach this in 2014, so I will have to keep working toward this in 2015)

Is it possible? I don’t know. I know it’s not impossible. And I see only one way to get there. In simpler terms, my goal is to publish Book Two and Book Three in my Creatus Series (I did this in 2014. In fact, I published three more books in the Creatus Series in 2014) and publish Book Six in the Southern Suspense Series (I didn't manage this, but it's getting there). That’s three books in twelve months. (I did add a short story to a new series, The Waterman Series, so I did publish four books.) Yes, I can do that. My goal leads me to the last question I hear all the time…

How do I sell more books?

I know some authors hate this answer, but from what I’ve seen, when you don’t have a big publisher backing you, the only way to sell more books is a two-part answer…

Write Better Books and Write More Books! reach my goal, I will do my best to make sure my books continue to get better. 

Whatever your goals, I wish you a healthy, prosperous, and above all, happy new year.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

Here was part two of last year's goal for 2014:

January 8, 2014 New Year's Resolution: My writing goal: make readers fall in love, laugh, cry, gasp, hope...escape for a while. (I think I did this. At least, I got the majority of my reviews in the last twelve months....most of them were very good, so I hope I'm managing this goal, since, as I said above, this is my continued goal for this year.)

A great book increases my heartbeat as if I’m prey, melts my insides in anticipation of a kiss, and immerses me in its depths, never letting go.

Ahhhisn’t that the truth?

As a reader, I love when a book captures me so completely that I feel lonely when I finish. I can't begin to count how many books I've read more than once to hang out with my friends again, probably the reason I enjoy reading series.

No, my books aren't always going to make you smile; in fact, I anger some folks. Why? I'm not sure exactly; maybe it's because my characters are real. They struggle with disappointments, regret, abuse, loss, addiction... But...I always give them a way out. Sadly, not all my characters accept the dangling light at the end of the tunnel.

To me, that's what makes a reader connect with the characters. Like a good friend, you stand beside them through their ups and down, experience their tragedies and their triumphs, invest in their lives so that you can cheer for them if they obtain their happily ever after.

So...if you want to fall in love, solve a mystery, laugh, cry, gasp, have hope for a happily ever after, and most of all just escape for a few hours, please try one of my stories. (Pretty straightforward goal last year. I like this year's goal better, though.)

Wow...if you made it this far, thank you for reading all of that rambling. 

Thank you again for being awesome friends!

Until next time, happy reading and writing!



Popular posts from this blog

"As in any fairytale, everything good must come to an end." ENTANGLED DREAMS:

Now, if you’ve read any of my novels or excerpts, you know I don’t do happy-go-lucky beginnings; and as in any fairytale, a little rain must fall, or in the case of my stories, I prefer a monsoon. This week’s excerpt: But alas, as in any good fairytale, everything good and wonderful must come to an end. After the tragic accident that snatched her mother away from Alexandra, her father moved them away from the beaches of Destin to another beach in Florida. Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach was loud, the water murky, and there were no weekend adventures as there had been in Destin. Her father married her evil stepmother, Lilith, who Alexandra was certain was a witch with her long, black as midnight hair and pale-white skin as if she’d never seen sunlight. Her father had admitted he wasn’t in love with Cruella, as she had come to think of the witchy woman, but that he’d wanted Alexandra to have a mother and siblings. Well, she definitely got that. The k

To prologue or not to prologue, that is the question. Readers, please weigh in!

Personally, I love prologues. They get you right into the action whether it was in the past or something exciting that is to come. But that’s exactly why most agents’ blogs I’ve read say not to use them. Paraphrasing…“If you need a prologue, then your story must not be strong enough…” Hmm … well, I like them, and I use them. But I’m curious what readers think, and I’d love you to weigh in. AND, if you have some great examples, please leave the title in the comment section. Now … here’s what I’ve noticed. Plenty of bestselling books have used them, even though they aren’t always called prologues . Same diff in my opinion. My biggest example is ‘Twilight’. If that little blurb wasn’t in the beginning, I don’t think I would have made it through the first chapter. How about movies? I don’t watch a lot. But I’ve started to notice how many have “prologues”. I also don’t have cable, but I have NetFlix, and hubby has just started watching ‘Breaking Bad’. Okay … I

The rule of thirds: No matter what you do, someone will hate you. Get over it and Write On!

No matter what you do in life, a third of the people will love you, a third will hate you, and the rest will be indifferent. Get over it and Write On! Yes, I'm talking to myself. If you're listening, GREAT! It's good advice! Is it easy advice? Heck No! For some reason, even though that percentage is rather low on my books--the percentage of people who hate my books runs about 4.6%--it still hurts.  Note: I only averaged the 'firsts' in my books, the books I actively promote. Because if I go to the second, third, and fourth books in my series, those numbers drop drastically. Obviously, if readers don't like my first book, they don't go on to the rest of my books in a series, so those books receive little to zero one-star reviews. So...if the number of one-star reviews we receive is less than five percent--Thank God ALL of the 33 1/3% of the haters don't write reviews--why do we get so depressed when we receive a one-star review