Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cold Weather Writing

I awoke this morning to a layer of frost covering my front lawn. "This is writing weather," I thought, and promptly sat down at the computer to write.

Unfortunately, I chose the wrong computer--the one with the Internet connection. Before long I was surfing like crazy, checking out all the haps on facebook, twitter, email, my publishing site. Didn't get much writing done.

I sometimes get inspired to write during changes in the weather. If it is a dark and stormy night (no pun intended) I am likely inspired to write something dark and sinister. Or, if I am already engaged in a long-term project, my writing tends to darken from the atmospheric influence.

What about the rest of you writers out there. Does weather have an influence on how or what you write? Do come up with strange new ideas in times of unique or abnormal weather?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Climbing The Charts

My new Novel "Lovestruck Succubus" has climbed all the way to number five on Smashwords.com bestseller (Novel) list and holding at number two in the genre novel listing.

Please help my work climb to number one at smashwords before it is release at all major ebook outlets including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ipad ibooks by downloading your FREE copy now in any format your computer or reader may support.

Just use the "buy" option and use this code for your FREE copy: QD37X

Please consider leaving a review after reading if you would like. It would help me out and help my new novel climb a little higher on the charts before its debut on the major outlets.

Also, you can earn 50% of my royalties by becoming an affiliate marketer of my book. Several folks have already made more than $2.20 for each one of my books sold through their link. Yes, I am willing to share half of my royalties to those helping to sell my book on Smashwords and drive it up the charts. This will not be as lucrative after the novel's release to the major outlets.

Thanks to all those that have supported me so far and helped this project to be such a success.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Daleville Dan Does Thanksgiving

Daleville Dan awoke in the morn
on that warm thanksgiving day
His sheets were soaked, his brow was wet
his 'lectric bill, he forgot to pay

He went to the fridge in search of some viddles
But the milk had turned to whey
That's ok, said with a smile
The turkey's defrosted, and I like my beer warm anyway


After spending the day drinking warm beer
and now holdin' the turkey over the fryer
He said, "Y'all watch this" as he quickly dropped the bird
and started a big 'ole grease fire

"Now that's a faar, he said nervously
as the flames lapped at his home
and before the fire trucks could come
his single-wide had turned all ash and loam

When the police arrived
the firemen explained, "It's just like Dan's luck
And through it all Daleville Dan was thankful
The flames never reached his truck.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I'm sure we all have many things to be thankful of.

Authors, Friends, and Social Media

Since I've recently become an "indie" author-a decision I may later rejoice in, or regret-I've undergone a crash-course in social promotion and self-marketing.

There are many opportunities for the indie author. Although, I believe that, first and foremost, one should concentrate on writing a quality story that is free of grammatical errors and plot holes. I must say this now, before I discuss marketing opportunities, that I had the help of an outstanding editor and new friend-Tammy Parks. I must give her mention here because, even after reading through my own work eight times, yes EIGHT times, she still found typos and spelling errors or missing words.

All I can say is: "She must have some kind of enhanced vision and spidey-sense the way she found all these."

Anyway, here's some of the things I've done in the first week after publication to foster and awareness of my book and increase sales.

The first thing I did was post the news on my blog and on facebook with a coupon one could use to download the book for FREE. Oddly enough, and contrary to my own belief, this fostered zero sales directly related to the blog posting. Sure, I saw an increase in page views and a spike in sample downloads but no firm sales.

Next, I twittered the news, referencing my blog post with the free offer-same thing and no increase in sales.

Next, I issued a news release using PR LOG. Of course, I linked to my book's page and my blog. From this, I saw a spike in page views but not such an increase in sales that I could directly attribute it to the release.

Yesterday I joined Kindleboards and posted in the book bazaar section advertising free copies of my book in exchange for reviews. Almost immediately, downloads went through the roof and sales quickly surpassed double-digit increases within four hours.

My book quickly rose to number ten on the Smashwords best-seller list and is holding there.

So, I would say that I've found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with Kindleboards. But, keep in mind (I've recently learned this) that ebook marketing is much faster paced than marketing for other formats. An action taken is usually seen in hours instead of days or weeks, and news falls off the end of the world much quicker.

What I mean by this is that one can see an immediate explosion in sales from a new approach but that news is forgotten by the next day. I'm hoping that the sales I've had and all the folks that downloaded the free copy of my book will come back and post reviews, or encourage others to buy the book.

I think I'm off to a good start but can only hope that these immediate and short-term efforts will have a long-term effect.

I would still like to attempt a blog tour or other forms of information and marketing means, but I want to wait until the book is released on the major markets such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ipad, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, and others before doing this.

Am I doing the right thing by waiting? I don't know. If any of you readers have suggestions, I'm open. Also, I would be eternally grateful if someone were to explain to me how to organize and do a blog tour.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hair (R)evolution

I've got this thing about hair and alcohol. Okay, not so much with the alcohol, although I have had just a few binge moments throughout my life.

I was looking back through some old photos recently and found that I could track my development through the evolution of my hair length. It seems I've been alternating between somewhat long, and extremely short hair all my life. This first picture is of me sitting in the front yard reaching for the beer. What a great start to life. I don't know who was offering me the beer.


It started out fairly normal. I sported the average hairstyle of the day back in 1966. You know, parted on the side, with a little whoop-di-do in the front.

Then, by 1969, my hair was all gone. The only thing I can figure is that it was summertime when the photo was taken. That's me sitting next to my cousin, Paula. I'm the one with the multi-directional stripe-thing going on.


By the very next year, my hair was right back to that side-parted style with the curly thing in the front again. In case you are having trouble following my unique look, that's me in the middle of the photo feeding my Dad some cake. My sister, Jacki is on the ride and my brother, Richy in on the left, sitting and looking almost toward the camera.


Okay, please forgive me as I flashfoward to my sophmore year in high school where my hair was getting long again. (I'm bypassing those really akward years where my hair layed in about ten different directions at once.) I guess that somewhere along those years, I decided to part my hair in the middle instead of on the side. I think that was the popular style at the time. I'm also bypassing those years because, somewhere along the timeline, I let my sister cut my hair, and I ended up with the basic crew-cut. I tried to wear a watch cap to school to hide it, but only succeeded in looking creepy, leaving me dateless for a while, and prolonging my exposure to wonders of socializing and dating. Thanks Jacki. I still love you though, and look back at our time growing up with fondness in my heart. But I'm still put your picture in here and making you suffer right along with me.


Of course, I had the hair back to a decent length by class picture time. Only thing I can say here is that I was kind of liking the beatles thing, but secretly wishing I was Grizzly Adams. By the way, if any of you make the comment that I looked like a girl at this time, I will find you, hunt you down, and kick your ass. Also, if I looked like I was stoned in the above photo, it is because I might have been - I don't know, I can't remember. Or, maybe I had just woken up.


After that, things get a little hazy. My hair just kept on going, and I liked it that way.


Oddly enough it (my hair) was back to a more respectable level for my graduation pictures.


Of course, shortly after that, I went into the military so the next twenty-two years involved pretty much, a single hair style.

Now, after all these years, my hair is finally touching my ears again. Would it be wrong of my to just let it grow? What are the chances I could find a hairstylist that would still remember to how to "feather" my hair like back in the 1970's and 1980's?

I know this post has absolutely no meaning or direction, but I'm just sayin' ...

I'll have to file this in the "rants" section later.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Promotion

Ok, time for the announcement. The project I've been working on most of this year is now available for your reading pleasure.

You can find it here.

Use code:  QD37X

Yes, this is the story of the Demon Succubus ousted from her clan for attempting to keep men alive long enough to develop a relationship with them. Unfortunately, her needs always trump her desires and she soon finds herself in the sights of a local police detective. The detective may be the only man able to survive her, but he has a secret of his own.

Remember, this story is for adults and contains erotic elements, so adults only.

If you follow the link, you can read 50% of the book for free. If you would like to get the whole thing for free (download in all available formats) than go through the "buy" process and use this coupon code:
QD37X (not case sensitive.)

All I ask is that you might consider leaving a starred review with comments after reading.

If you prefer to download from a mainstream site, this book will be available on all outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Kobo) very soon. Also, if you are interested in becoming an affiliate for this book and getting 50% of sales proceeds. Yes, that's right. I am willing to share fifty percent of my royalty with those that enjoy my work and pass that joy to others who decide to purchase. Just sign up for it at Smashwords dot com, and you will get a code used to link to the book. Then, if someone buys the book, you can make up to 50% of net sales proceeds. Of, course, this is only available through the Smashwords website. Barnes & Noble, Kindle, Diesel, and others take their own cut.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Karma in Critique

I know that many of you out there stay very busy with work and writing, or anything else that takes up most of the day. But, I implore you to consider taking on the additional task of occasionally critiquing or reviewing the work of others.
I used to absolutely hate (read HATE) taking on the task of reading someone's work critically. But, after basically being forced to take on such work in order to have my own work evaluated, I found that there is much to be learned from this activity.
I've learned more about my own writing by reading the work of others than I could have learn in three lifetimes on my own. I've learned what I, or many other readers, like and dislike--even when I cannot say, with any real authority, why. I've learned how to express my thoughts in a realistic and positive manner. I've developed a thick skin and a realistic view of my own talent. Most of all, I feel like I have learned how to write better by helping others write better.
What I'm trying to express here, is that sometimes there is much to gain by reading, critiquing, and reviewing the creative work of others. I've come to believe that the benefit derived by helping others in this way, can have a profound and positive effect on one's own writing.
So, in closing, take this post for what it's worth, but think about accepting the occasional task of checking the work of another writer. In the end, you might just be surprised how much personal benefit is gained by this simple gesture.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Final Choice

OK, the few votes are in, and I'm guessin' that most of you preferred cover concept number three. Below, I've posted an updated version of the cover.



So, tell me what you think. Does this capture your attention? If you saw this cover, would you be prompted to give the blurb a read - look inside?

On the right, I've posted the same picture in a smaller version so you might see what it would look like on your electronic reader, or online with Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

What are your thoughts? Intrigued? For the few folks participating in the beta-reading of this project, you'll know that the main character's eyes are a luminescent green with a thin band of gold ringing the outside. I hope this depicts that, although I wanted to make the eyes just a little more luminescent for the cover.

Oh, and by the way, The evening skyline in the foreground is of Midtown Atlanta. The building behind the building on the left is the Atlanta Four Season's Hotel. My main character visits this hotel twice and is apprehending by a police detective on her third visit. The majority of the story takes place in the Atlanta Metro area so I thought it was important to show on the cover.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cover Concepts

Presented for your opinion.

Three slightly different cover concepts for my WIP nearing completion. Which of these would most grab your attention, number one, two, or three?

1.


2.


3.


As you can see, the basic elements are the same. I want to have a woman's face superimposed into the Atlanta skyline. Specifically, the Four Season's Hotel depicted in all three concepts. Also, keep in mind that these are covers in concept only. They were all done by me to get an idea for what kind of feel the cover might have.

The one other thing that I would like to have that is not currently shown is the woman on each cover will have luminescent green eyes ringed in gold.

So, Tell me. Which one of these covers, if any, would most entice you to look a little closer and read the blurb for the story?

I personally like the third one best ... but don't let that sway your decision. Oh, and that author name shown? That's the pen name I use for my more adult projects and experimental projects.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The facebook Phenomenon

You might notice a new little gadget down there on the lower right part of this blog. Yes folks, I've now connected this blog to network blogs on facebook.

Problem is, I managed to get the widget stuck on my blog page, but now I'm thinking the only thing I've done is follow myself.

Please hit the follow button on this if you want to follow me with facebook. I hope it works. Hopefully, I'll figure out how to work this thing sooner or later.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Use Your Voting Privilege

This is just a friendly reminder for all of you American citizens out there that voting is, in fact, a privilege.

Tomorrow marks another election cycle in our nation. One of the great things about living in America is our ability to control our own destiny by voting for those that can represent us as best as possible, and serve as a means to that end.

So, I urge all of you to get out there tomorrow and VOTE! It does not matter where your political convictions lye or what others say. That, my friends, is the great thing about this country. I can mix with associates with differing political and ideological beliefs, and still keep them as friends. One does not suffer the threat of death for expressing their political beliefs, or even voting for that matter, in this country.

Sure, we have accusations of voter fraud, and one may have to shuffle past Black Panther members or the Tea Party Express to get to the polls, but they are not trying to shoot you on your way to the polls.

Iraq, for example, had one of the highest turnouts for their voting in recorded history. And many of these people literally risked their lives for the privilege of voting. They continued to risk their lives and the lives of their families by simply being seen by the wrong group of people with ink on their fingers.

So, if people are willing to go to such lengths to vote in a country that has never experienced democracy in any form, why can't we simply drive to a polling station here and make our voices heard? If you do not vote, then you have no right to complain about the direction our country has gone. If you do vote, then you have every right to blame the President and the current administration for all of our problems. That is, of course, until the next administration comes along--then you can blame them. But only if you vote!