Somehting to think about . . .

Hunger and the fear of failure . . . when you hit the wall, the only way left is up.

~Lorelei Bell

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The New Age

When I began writing, believe me, you were at the mercy of publishers--no mater what you attempted to write and then get published, short stories, poems, articles, or novels.

Of course, back then, there were "vanity" presses, which were exactly that. You gave them your manuscript and they would tell you how wonderful it was, and as long as you paid them $XXX., you would find your words between the covers of a physical book--and then be stuck with all the copies and you had to peddle them off yourself. It never would see light of day, otherwise.

Some people were able to earn their money back. Many, no.

I had sworn to never do this. I felt it was cheating the system. But then I turned 50. With no published book in existence, I felt enough was enough. I was sick of being rejected. I had no idea why I was rejected (because their writing "not for us" in the margins of the rejection slip is not enough of explanation for anyone!).

I looked around for a P.O.D. publisher that would not take my life savings. Just a portion of it. I believed in my work, and felt that I could garner sales if I got enough friends to buy it and get a book signing or two. My husband was behind me 110%. He wanted to see me published too. My work would be on Amazon, as well as other places from this new Print-On-Demand publishing, I felt that their contract was honest, and fool proof. And it was. I had full rights to the book I chose to publish.

That was in 2008. Today if you are able to figure out the formatting to self-publish at Amazon and so forth, and have the patients you can self-publish. I've decided to go this route with the book I sent to this publisher and have taken it out of their hands, and into mine. I intend on making edits first and then publish it as an e-book to bring the price way down. Let's face it. People are buying ebooks more because first the price difference is incredibly cheap. My original book, Spell of the Black Unicorn was put at $18.95. I had no control over how much they would price it at. I felt even at that time it was expensive. But I did manage to barely make back the $499. I paid to have this book available.

Just this past week, I thought I would try and get a short story published. First of all, I had sent it into an anthology. It was a late entry, and probably had no chance of getting published. They had to reject many, they said. In the past the rejection would have devastated me. I wrote the story specifically for their altered history/horror anthology. But when they rejected it, I went to plan B. Plan B would probably net me more $, anyway, since I was only to get $20 flat from this publisher, and see no royalties at all.

So, Holy Devil has had new life breathed into it. Self-publishing is not easy. I had trouble with it. I had someone format it and when I couldn't even get the thing to up-load, or my photo for cover to go in, I had this same friend do it for me.

The difference in 20 or even 40 years ago, when I began writing, you had no choice. You were at the mercy of publishers and agents. If your work didn't hit them like a cold title wave, which ever way their whims took them at that moment, then too bad.

Now, you can do it yourself. Should you? I think for the most part that there are good books and short stories out there. But hopefully the author has learned how to plot their story and write. Editing is a must.

I do have a publisher for my Sabrina Strong Series. He was the first publisher who believed in my writing. As a micro publisher, he has done it right with the POD. He asks nothing up front. He publishes the book in both formats. Why do all these others ask for money, when they can get their cut the same way as my publisher does? I have no idea. Further more I don't have to format my work. They do that and find a wonderful cover for it.

The new age in publishing. It's the best of both worlds, as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Changing Seasons & Change of Scenery

I just thought I would do a little spring cleaning. I've found this place for free blog backgrounds called Dotty Dot Dot you should go and check this out, if you're tired of the old and want to bring in something bright and cheery. You will find a help section, and it was really easy.  I only needed to use the HTML/java script to copy and paste the script onto my blog. You see the Dotty Dot Dot logo on my sidebar, and you can click on that if you want.
She has something for nearly every one. Even the vampire series isn't bad (under Twilight series), and I found one that I thought was pretty good and used on my Vampire Writers Retreat--you might want to take a look at that one too. On Lorelei's Writing Journal, I used one called "Notebook" a very spring-like, light background that is more fitting for what this blog was to be about.  As well as my main blog Lorelei's Muse.
I've been very busy working on these changes. I hope you like them. And if you do, go and check Dotty's out. She even has free blinkies. I've got one here that is sort of nice. She has Halloween (and other holidays) blinkies and backgrounds and I'm thinking of using one for one of my blogs during the season. These are really cute!

My one warning is that you will find it aditctive. Hope your connection is faster than mine, it took me forever to get these pages up. But well worth my while.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Winners Win, Losers... take another road

Lorelei @ book signing for Vampire Ascending
at BORDERS before it closed a few months later
With my second book in the series I was apprehensive about securing a book signing with the OTHER bookstore. I knew what they would say, and it was that everyone who wanted a book at the book signing would have to pre-order and pre-pay for it. Which I thought was a tacky way of doing business in a big store. I felt tacky having to tell everyone this. "Hey, by the way, if you want one of my books to be at the bookstore the day of my book signing, you have to pre-order and pay for it right then." Because they don't want to order it and not have you show up--dear God they'd be out ten bucks (or whatever they paied for the copy)!

But I put out the announcements, I sent off letters and emails explaining what needed to be done and all the other information such as when and what time etc. That was four or so weeks ago.

Now come down to two weeks before the event, and I get an email from store personnel who was handling my book signing telling me that no orders have been made. No one has bought my book (pre-paid for it, that is). It didn't surprise me. And after I got over the news I mulled over what I should do.

The thing is I wasn't angry at anyone but the store--the big greedy corporation who has made this decision to not allow anyone with a small print-on-demand book to take up room on their shelves and God forbid they might go under for ordering a dozen books for a damned book signing for a LOCAL author.

I didn't tell my husband until the next morning. I hate hitting him with such news after a long day, so waited until this morning. I told him we'll just stay home that day. I was to be there from noon until 4 pm. I didn't like the idea of being held captive for so long in one place, but now I won't be.

I didn't rant back at the person who was coordinating this book signing. I tried to keep it on a professional level. I did tell her I wouldn't be stepping into their store ever again. I felt as though I was treated unfairly. Actually, I felt as though I were treated like a beggar.

I told them that I sold 20 copies of Vampire Ascending  the night of my last book signing in Borders.
20! That's pretty damned good for an unknown author. Julie, the bookstore manager of Borders absolutely loved me. I brought in people. Some walked out with 2 books, and one (my niece) bought 3! One for herself, one for her sister, and one for a friend.

The thing is they think they've won. They haven't. Eventually this book store will go the way of Borders. I promise you, it will. Those people will be out of a job too. The e-books are here to stay. We who want books--the kind with real paper pages--will be forced to order on-line or buy at Walmart, or Target, or your local supermarket. Gak!

Since this isn't about ebooks, I'm not going to go into my opinion on them right now. What I will say is this: I'm glad that I got to enjoy at least 3 book signings in a real book store because it looks as though those days are gone. I will find places or ways to sell my books to those who want a physical copy. I haven't lost anything. I would make more money by selling the book hand to hand than through royalties, actually. And the bookstore is the real looser in the end.

Saturday, December 31, 2011




Sunday, December 18, 2011

Looking Back... Looking Forward

I keep a journal--have bins filled with them--and once in a while I do like to look back to see where I've been, and how things have progressed. It's to help me see how I was, back, say five or ten years ago. It helps ground myself so that I'm not getting myself crazy about how I want things to go along more swiftly and be more successful than I am.

In 2007 I was getting small things published in a small quarterly called "Weeds Corner". Ruth Brookshire was the editor and owner of the little magazine out of Indiana. She accepted my very first poem which saw the light of printing ink. After that, she accepted everything I sent her, and I was paid a few dollars for it. It wasn't much, but my words were getting out there and being read.

I was working on my (eventually self-published), book Spell of the Black Unicorn. I didn't know what I would do with it, since I was getting rejection letters from everyone I sent it out to. I did what I swore I would not do. I self-published it. I didn't want to do this, but I had turned 50 and by God or high water I was going to damn well have a book published before I got too old to enjoy the thrill of doing so. I found a relatively cheep deal for this and I had to do all the formatting, but they were very helpful. I chose to go with Infinity Publishers. I payed my $400. and within a few short months I had a solid paperback book with my own designed cover and my own words inside and out. I sold a few dozen copies, had two book signings and had a ball. I still have about a dozen copies left in a box...

And here I am, 2011, my second in the series vampire novel is out now. I'm not exactly rolling in dough. Not rolling very much, actually, but it takes time to get the word out to people who don't know about your book. Promoting a book is not easy. Especially when you have no money to help things along the way. But, at least I didn't have to self-publish these last two books. And I'm not saying I may not ever try to do something in Smashwords, or some such. I'm just saying right now I'm okay with doing things this way.

The thing about getting the second book out is that you've made contacts with people on the first book, and now--because they loved the first one--they are willing to help promote it on their sites and with their efforts and so forth, other people eventually learn about both. It's like a tiny snowball, rolling down a hill. I think.

And I've also published an older short story--which never saw printers ink back about 9-10 years ago when I tried to get it into the pages of a magazine. But I re-wrote it and it was taken and now it is out there with a bunch of other writer's works.

I'm now working on a novella, and hope to get it written by spring and see if I can't send it to the same publishers (Dark Moon), as they take the shorter works. They only take horror fiction.

After that I hope to get the third book in the Sabrina Strong Series into the capable hands of my editor at Copperhill Media, and meanwhile I hope to begin a mystery series. I don't want to lean on just the one sort of genre. I'd like to stretch my writing abilities. I know I have a couple of stories in me and they have to be told in their specific genre.

I write this with the realization that only a few short years ago I had no book published, and now I have 3. I have to pat myself on the back, but I also have to kick myself and work on those things I hope to publish next year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

First book in the Sabrina Strong Series

Second book in the Sabrina Strong Series--soon to be released!
This blog was started by me early in 2010, and it was before I knew I was going to get Vampire Ascending published. I had tried with one publisher, but the editor seemed to be wanting to push a romance angle. I didn't write the book as a romance. Fortunately, I had another publisher who was interested in my book, and I had to wait until I was finished wrangling with the first publisher, before I could go with Copperhill Media.

Well, here I am, another year is nearly gone by. I'm about to get the second book in the series out and I'm being told this book is even better. I'm encouraged by this, because I felt it was my best work. I'm hopeful that once I get this thing out there you--readers/fans--will have read the first book, Vampire Ascending, because you'll want to start with the first book, as the second one follows it close behind, and lots of things happen and you really don't want to miss any of it.

For those of you who don't know, I've struggled with sending my book manuscripts out for years. More than three decades have passed since I've begun writing. And I was never able to get even a toe into a door. I was so desperate that I self-published my first fantasy book, "Spell of the Black Unicorn", as I felt that this would be my only way to see anything of mine in print. It wasn't something I wanted to do, at first, but after getting rejections for it, time and time again, and seeing that many authors were being admitted into this exclusive club, plus I had turned 50, all weighted in on my decision.
Spell of the Black Unicorn, my self-published light fantasy
I even did the front cover, since I am an artist as well. I thought it came out rather nicely. My aim was to make it look whimsical. It is a light fantasy for adults. If you are interested you might check it out at Amazon. Both books can be found there. Also, you may click the covers on the right side of my post to go to either book's site.

Anyway, I'm looking back on a year that had some excitement in it, and I've made lots of friends here on the blogs and I'm still learning things. I'm attempting to get my name/works out into anthologies. I'm hoping to gain new readers, of course.

It all takes time, and I get a little frustrated at how much work it is and I feel it's still too much of an up-hill battle.

But I have to remind myself where I was two years ago. I've got a second book in a series coming out. I hope to work on a new mystery series, as my next two books for the Sabrina Strong series are written. They are nearly finished, and I just feel that I need to do something different.

I'd also like to try to get a faster Internet and try my hand at placing a few works as an Indie. But, again, I'm thinking too far ahead. I feel like a racehorse waiting for the gate to kick open. I want to go!

Well, thanks for stopping in on my little chat. I hope it wasn't too boring. I simply wanted to look back and think about how far I've come, and remind many of you that you can get published, somehow, now. Back in the day, there was no such thing as Smashwords or other ways of getting your books published other than going through the grueling task of contacting an agent and waiting forever for a rejection letter. I'm done with those. I know of a couple of people who were going that route and now have self-published, because they want control over their work. It's a thought, isn't it?

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Writing In The Crosshairs: MARK TWAIN DOES BATTLE WITH NaNoWriMo!

Writing In The Crosshairs: MARK TWAIN DOES BATTLE WITH NaNoWriMo!: Children, I just passed old Hemingway. He was cussing up a storm. I asked why. He told me of NaNoWriMo or NoNoNanettes as he called it. ...