Thursday 27 February 2014

And belated birthday wishes to Sadie!

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I was so busy celebrating Cat and The Dreamer's second birthday, I totally forgot about Sadie's first birthday on Monday.

It's been a busy couple of weeks - my youngest turned 10, Hubby is preparing to leave on another European music tour, and the dog isn't very well.

So, I thought I'd mention her birthday, just so she doesn't get jealous - you know how siblings can be with each other.

Unfortunately, I don't have any new photos to reveal this time, but I have decided to get myself organised with a newsletter. To be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing with it at the moment, but I'm hoping I'll get into the swing of it.

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Saturday 22 February 2014

How not to promote and market

After finishing my latest novella, and submitting it, a couple of weeks ago, I thought I'd easily get on with the next project. But after an injury at the gym and getting a monster of a cold, that just ain't happened.

Instead, I thought I'd get my head around the weird and wonderful world of marketing my books.

It has not gone well. Here are some things I've learnt in the past few days:
  • I should have been more prepared to promote my two year old book two years ago
  • I should have had more reviews ready to go on the day of publication than I currently have right now
  • Even when you're prepared to spend money, most promotion sites only cater to free and $0.99 ebooks
  • I shouldn't rely on my 148 Facebook fans to actually see the Facebook updates I put out, because Facebook now only thinks about itself
  • Other people do this much better than me, almost instinctively
  • I need several more books published than I currently have (which doesn't play havoc with my writers block in the slightest)
  • So many links to the biggest, bestest promotion site ever are broken
  • Blog posts published on a Saturday evening probably won't get read

My only consolation is that I've finally figured out all the things I've been doing wrong, but I've figured it out too late to help my current books. Hopefully, I'll have it sussed by the time my next one comes along.

What have you learnt, that you wish you'd known at the beginning?

Thursday 13 February 2014

Happy Birthday Cat (and the Dreamer)!

My first novella turns two today! (Or yesterday, if you go by Amazon - they always jump early, don't they?)

I still remember the acceptance email, seeing the first edits, seeing the cover for the first time... Those memories hang around forever.

To celebrate, I've pepped up my bio a little bit and changed my author pic....

It took a lot of time to get a photo that didn't make Hubby laugh out loud, and didn't make me want to put a paper bag on my head.

I've also been playing around with the blurb, so I've got a good excuse to share it with you again!

“In my world, I am fifteen, the age I was when I met Rachel Carr, the age I was when Rachel Carr killed herself with a tonne of painkillers and two bottles of rum.”

Julia survived a teen suicide pact: her best friend Rachel did not. Years later, Julia is introvert and insular, spiralling into depression, shrouding herself in daydreams to protect herself from reality – a controlling mother and a huge burden of guilt.

When Adam walks into her office, Julia knows he won’t be interested in her; Cat, her flirty blonde colleague, has already chosen him as her next conquest. But his presence alone is enough to shake Julia up, and make her realise real life could be so much better.

Except Cat has other plans, lurking in Julia’s imagination, torturing her, telling her she should have died too. And she’s right, of course, because Cat is always right.

Buy here: KindleNookKobo

What were you doing two years ago?

Wednesday 12 February 2014

One Word Interview

Today I'm over on Notes from the Writing Chair, answering Angie Lofthouse's One Word Interview.

Hope to see you over there.

In other news (because two lines didn't seem much of a post):
  • I've submitted a novel to a competition and a novella to a publisher. It all happened in a bit of a flurry last week, so even though I planned to move straight on to my next project, I've needed a couple of days' down time. 
  • My F key isn't working properly, so I have to keep going back and putting the Fs back in.
  • I found some money I was given for Christmas that I'd forgotten about, and now I get to find something to spend it on!
Don't forget to check out my interview here.

Friday 7 February 2014

Elizabeth Seckman's Fate Intended tour stop

Who-hoo, I have a visitor... One of my favourite ladies! And she always tidies up after herself... Welcome Elizabeth Seckman...

Hi Annalisa! Thanks for having me over. I've been here often enough to be a boss and  suggest you put the kettle on. We'll enjoy a cup of tea as we discuss reader input.

Kettle's on, and there are some really chocolatey biscuits in the tin! Now, who've you been talking to recently?

I talked to an avid reader the other day and she shared what I consider valuable advice for us all.

She said she loved to buy indie and small pub books, because...

The price is right. She knows the editing might not always be as tight as a big pub, but the $10 price difference makes up for that.

She likes how there is less "formula" fiction in indie and small pub. Story lines are fresher when you stray from the mainstream.

Indie and small pub writers are easily reached and most are friendly and sooo appreciative of a kind word.

And what rabid reader wouldn't love to discover the next E.L. James or Colleen Hoover?

But the one drawback, as she sees it?

Indies and small pubs have a tendency to ramble about in their stories.

Hmm. Why would that be?

There is a saying, you can either be the dog of kings or the king of the dogs.

With indies and small pubs, a writer is given much more authority and leeway than at a big house. Hence, the king of the dogs. Most times, to accept or deny an edit is up to the writer.

In a big house, these writers are working for the kings, but as their dog. They say make an edit, I'll bet that edit is made.

The freedom of the small pubs and indies puts the burden of responsibility almost solely on the writer.

For myself, I try to avoid this by using several betas and listening when there is unity in opinion.If more than one person sees the problem...cut it; change it...whatever it takes; fix it.

It's best to listen before publication rather than hear it in a review after publication.

Fate Intended is the third book in the Coulter Men Series.  Trip is the last of the Coulter sons to find love. He’s a handsome man with all the skills a young spy needs to succeed. But when it comes to love, he misses the target. Jane is a sweet beauty who may or may not be wanted for murder. She’s hiding out as a cleaning lady when chance brings her and Trip together. It looks like a happily ever after is in the cross hairs until reality tries to destroy what fate has intended.

Elizabeth Seckman is a simple chick with a simple dream…to write stories people want to read.
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Wednesday 5 February 2014

IWSG: Always Insecure

For the first time ever, I'm writing this post just before I publish it. Usually I have it scheduled and I've thought long and hard about my problems, neuroses and insecurities. Today, however, I'm just going to splurge.

Thanks, as always, to Alex J Cavanaugh for his inspired original idea. You can sign up here, if you've just arrived from Mars and never heard of this fantastic group before.

So, why am I so disorganised this month? Because I just finished my latest novella. Yep, honestly, unless my latest reader finds amazing problems with the plot/characters/themes, it's staying exactly as it is.

I've been so deep in edits that I've been a little bit blog-absent recently - once more my blog feed is hitting 600+ posts to read. I have to be honest, I probably won't read them all... And then I'll feel bad, because I can guarantee that by deleting posts without reading I'm going to miss some really important news. And then I'll feel like a bad blogger friend, and I'll forget that I only have my blog to support my writing, so my writing should come first, but I've known my blogger friends for so long that they're now my real friends. And then I realise I'm actually neglecting my non-blogger friends too. And then I feel bad, and insecure, and wonder if I should bother writing at all.

So, to clarify... balance is this month's insecurity!