Monday, May 22, 2017

Wish every month could be this good...

For income, that is. I ran the numbers again for sales for this month. No new release. Not not next month, but wow, the Bookbub ad really paid off. Plus the ENT ad, though it was meh, gave it a little bump.

This month is the most money I've made with my indie books in more than a year. It's like the old days of 2013 have returned. Of course the sales are starting to lag again, but at least I did make some money, which is really encouraging. I exceeded by goal for the month.

It means I have more money to reinvest in the business, and pay bills without cringing. Run ads for my new project this summer.

The new book out next month is on sale for 99 cents for preorder. Sales rank was about 3,000 last night. I've sold almost 200 copies so far, and haven't advertised it. But I don't know if I will sell enough when I raise the price.

Wish I could find someone to do effective FB ads for me.

I am feeling more relaxed this morning now that the project is done. The first story, anyway. First beta reader responded with enthusiasm. Waiting on a couple of others. I did have fun writing this. And I sat down to outline the next story, which i need to get finished and edited by Sept. when the boxed set comes out. I want to release the second story right away, so readers don't have to wait.

I spent almost all of Saturday morning designing a website. I realized I needed one...and I secured the domain name as well. So that project is done.

I was going to take yesterday afternoon off. Funny thing is, the friend I'd texted to do something with yesterday stood me up. Well, not really. She was all set to do something and then she never responded to phone calls or my texts. So I went to the train park with the dog, walked her, came home and worked again, but at a less frenetic pace. And last night we went out with Karen and Andrew and their daughter, so that was really nice. I needed a break!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May 17

Better today. MIA person is alive, which is good. I have a goal to finish the 15,000 word short story by Sunday. I believe this can be done.

I'm working a full day today and DH has side jobs tonight. Tomorrow I plan to start early, and then go to a friend's house to write so I don't get distracted by house chores or dogs. I can do this!

I had better, since the story is due this week!

The ENT ad yesterday was meh in results. Maybe about 100 books sold on amazon. A blip on the sales chart. Sales rank dipped down to 2,800. So the Book Bub helped with the initial rank, and the ENT ad made it lower, but not spectacular.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Head desk kind of day

Hard to explain. One of those days. Issues at home, worried about the dog and her CRF and how we are supposed to go away next month (how are we supposed to relax if I am worried about the fluids and how Holly is going to eat?)

And leftover stuff from yesterday, from the person who is MIA that there is nothing anyone can do, to the fallout at HQ. And the editor who got the ax. It will affect me, in a distant way, because if I want to get a new contract for HQ, I will be competing against all those authors who are now homeless since their lines got cancelled. Five lines! Nocturne hit me the most... even though I saw the writing on the wall two years ago when they said that authors had to share a book. And distribution went downhill... the retailers didn't want the books. So if I had written for Nocturne, I could have been the bottom rung author and you could only find my book in B&N in paperback... even though my editor said I could write two books and have it to myself. Those books were so much FUN to write, but man, it took me a long time. I could barely churn out one a year working FT, with doing proposals and redoing them. 

Today was the ENT Book of the Day for Mating Challenge. I have tracked sales for MC through yesterday so I know how well the Book Bub did. I reasoned that anything sold today is because of the ENT ad. The sales rank dropped from 13,000 to 3,800, but it's nothing like what happened with the Book Bub. I'll tally the final results tomorrow. 


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May 15

I finally finished Gideon's book, sent it to two beta readers and the editor. First beta reader responded already; very good feedback. It needs work. I knew that scene needed to be in her POV. But I was in a rush. See what happens when you are in a rush?

I am setting the book aside and will address it this weekend when I get it back from the editor. After the extensive love scenes, the book came in at 61,000 words. Far longer than I had intended! I'm selling at preorder for 99 cents and then will up the price after 4 days of the release.

I have to get cracking on the short contemporary that is due in two weeks. I DO have some of it written, have not been able to focus on it. But it's only 15,000 words.

This past weekend I went to breakfast with two author friends at the beach. It was nice to talk writing. Things have changed so much over the years. Just to compare, I downloaded my Kindle sales for the past 3 years for May, to compare them to this month and having the push of the BookBub.

immmmmm

My best year was when I released Mating Rite in May, 2014. OMG. We are talking I made about $1200 more in income that year. Yes, new release. But it was 2014. Lovely 2014, when the indie book biz was still booming, and the draining effect of KU had not yet flattened the indie romance market.

Still, I am grateful for having a good month this year, thanks to BookBub. Grateful I can work PT instead of FT and traveling. I don't know how i managed 3 years ago to travel AND produce as many books as I did. Part of me wonders if I had been able to release more books, and make more money, would i have been better off?

I don't know. But it is what it is. Thankfully, because of the day job, I was able to save some of that lovely income I earned from books when the indie publishing boom was at its zenith. I did get in a little late - 2011 was my first indie short story, but I didn't self publish much until 2014. 2013 I published Mating Chase, Hunt and Mating Seduction. Three books and a boxed set, thanks to a good friend, and that exposure really helped. I saved some money for my business to put the money back into building my business, so now when I take out ads or pay an editor for a new book, I use that savings instead of the current income.

If money didn't matter, and time, I would just write PNR. But I am trying the sweet contempt to see how a new pen name and a new genre will work out, esp. since I had the chance to launch the new name in a boxed set that may do very well in sales, and get me into the hands of new readers. Now I have to write the second book after the first to take advantage of that. But i have time, right?

Right.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May already, and I'm soooo far behind

I have a short story due by the end of the month and I'm still editing Gideon's book. His book was supposed to be 40,000 words, but I could not write it that short. He is a major character in the series, so now his story is 55,000 words and will come in around 57,000 words by the time I am finished.

The Book Bub was a very nice surprise with sales. Not as great as others, who have had around 4,000 or 6,000 sales. I believe I will top off around 3,000 by the time the tail is in. But the money is nice and I also have had sales in the series. All of that is tapering off now, about a week from when the book was featured. I paid $424, I think, and it more than paid for itself.

I did get down to number 96 on Amazon, so at least I made the Top 100. By myself. A real first for me. I'm sure others have done much better, but this was pretty cool for me, considering my sales of MC were lukewarm. Only 14 copies from May 1 to 3.

I have an ENT ad next week.

Work at the day job is going OK. I just feel like I am still juggling balls. My bro was down this weekend and we had a very good time. He arrived Friday, as the cleaning lady was in the middle of cleaning the house. We sat and chatted. DH was working late bc of an emergency at the hospital, so we waited on dinner until he could join us.

Saturday we went to Wakodahatchee wildlife preserve and saw all the wading birds and the gators, and then ate breakfast at Farmer Girl and went to Amelia's Smarty plants, where I bought more lantana. Then DH and Drew went to the train park to ride the train while I was home, writing.

We ate at Sal's Saturday night, and sunday am Drew worked for four hours in the yard, cleaning up my butterfly garden and landscaping. We went to butterfly world after that and we laughed as a butterfly landed on his head. The walking tree. (groot!)

I miss him. He left early Monday a.m.

I'm hoping to finish editing Gideon's story tomorrow and then give it to my beta reader, and then start on the short. I already started it, but really have to dig in and get to the meat of it.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Book bub day

Mating Challenge was the Book bub feature in the PNR category of their newsletter. At 8 p.m. my rank on Amazon for MC is 127. I think that is the lowest it will go. I'd love to sell more books, earn more money and be able to relax a little, but I'm grateful I got selected for a Book Bub. The sales are being affected across the entire series, which is pretty nice. I wonder what it would be like to have these kind of sales every day. What a giddy feeling it must be!

My author rank is number 19 in PNR on Amazon, which is very nice as well. I've never achieved that on my own.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Oy, what a month

I shouldn't have written that Holly was doing well. That Thursday, her appetite started going south. For the past 2.5 weeks, it's been hell with her, taking her to the animal hospital three times, twice thru the ER, because she was NOT eating and we feared her kidney failure was growing worse. We finally took her in thru the ER April 17 and asked them to do X-rays and an ultrasound to see what else was going on...cancer? Heart disease? All tests negative. 

Her appetite has finally started to pick up again. Yay. After my much-deserved pedicure on Thursday, we went away for my birthday trip on Thursday afternoon, April 20th, to Ft. Myers Beach and the Flamingo Inn, a pet friendly hotel. Room 101 upstairs from the lobby. One block from the beach. Left to return home on Monday, April 21. Had a great time, relaxing, taking the dogs to the beach for sunset, visiting a couple we have known for 18 years who winter at Marco island, and just vegging. Holly loved going for long walks on the beach with DH.

And I wrote. I had gone into no writing mode when Holly fell ill. I can't focus when my poor dog is sick and I'm spending almost all my time trying to coax her into eating SOMETHING... it got pretty frantic. I would ask the pet sitter to give her the appetite stimulant at 11:30 and then rush home for lunch to try to get Holly to eat something. Gideon's book went on the sidelines. Everything did, mostly. 

So while we were in Ft. Myers, I had dragged along my warhorse of my pink Sony Vaio and my alpha smart and wrote. Gideon's book isn't finished, but I wrote about 4,000 words while we were gone. I would take the laptop outside to the little table on the porch, tie doggies up so they could sniff around, but not go too far, and write at the table. it was great.

I finally got back into writing. I'm so far behind on my schedule, but that happens. It's life.

My plan is to finish Gideon's book this weekend and then write the billionaire book due June 1. It's only 15,000 words, so that should be doable. I have a BookBub ad coming out May 4 for Mating Challenge, a real conquest to get one of those, and an ENT ad for the same book later next month. Amy is reformatting the file so much of the first chapter of the following book, The Mating Season, will appear, along with a purchase link. I really need those residual sales! Since the two books are so closely connected, hopefully I will get them. 




Thursday, April 6, 2017

April already? New writing projects

Much has happened since I last posted in February. I waffled about a new HQ contract when my editor contacted me about writing a Colton book. Yay. I have a new contract. The proposal is done and accepted already. Deadline is December. I'm going to have fun writing this one. And we are headed to SD in June for research, since we have never been there and the series is set in SD. I'm going to RWA and hoping to meet my editor. Maybe after this summer I'll try to get another contract. I do enjoy the RS books, just not the hard deadlines.

Mating Game was released March 13. Now I'm speeding ahead on Mating Ritual, Gideon's book. I have 34,000 words and I really want to focus on this book because I'm in "the mood" for this PNR. I started it shortly after March 13. It will be around 42,000 words. Plan is to release it next month.

I'm also doing a short story for a boxed set, a change for me, publishing under another name. It's 15,000 words, due June 1. I plan a series around it and if the first two books tank, I'll stop writing them. This summer is the summer of experimenting to see what sells.

Homewise, dogs are doing well, knock wood. Always a concern with Holly and the kidney failure, but so far she's eating great, exercising and her BW three weeks ago looked good. Cookie is 14 and her fav pastimes are eating and sleeping. Long as they have their health, I"m happy.

We are taking them and going away later this month for a much-needed mini vaca on the west coast. thank God for security cameras and good neighbors.

My butterfly garden is doing well. I have about 18 monarch caterpillars that formed chrysalises and hopefully will be butterflies soon. Must get more milkweed and nectar plants.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Next steps

After turning in the big book for HQ, I took a short break from writing. Focusing on promotional stuff this month for the Feb. book release, and getting the 8th wolf book to an editor for the March release.

What's next? I'm not sure. I really enjoy writing for HQ, and now I'm out of a contract. I have to brainstorm ideas for a new proposal if I want another contract. I guess I'm sort of drifting. I want to start on Gideon's book - it will be cathartic for me as I can channel lots of my frustrations into that book, but I haven't been able to get going on it yet.

I need to get organized. Taxes first. That's a priority.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Turned it in

I polished and turned in the book this week. Yay. I worked five days straight to get it done, printing it out and line editing, and then revising some scenes. I like the finished product. Nick and Shelby are made for each other.

Worn out now, as is always the case when I finish a big project. I turned it in on Tuesday and went to the day job Wed and today, and tomorrow. Maybe this weekend I'll take a small break.

I marched last Saturday, it felt good to take action. I'm going to be more active this year. I believe that sometimes we need to risk losing our freedoms that we take for granted in order to realize how precious and important they are.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Finished!

After working steadily for five days straight, happy that I had MLK day off from the day job, I finished the first draft of Navy Seal Nomad. Well, it's more of a polished first draft. Plan is to set it aside for two full days and then begin editing on Thursday, finishing Sunday, and then one final polish and off to my editor.

Very happy I managed to finish. This was an easier book to write than Cowboy Seal, probably because I had a simpler plot. Goal is to have much simpler plots in the future, and focus more on character development.

So I began working on NSN early December, and finished yesterday. That makes a total of 7 weeks it took me to write a 72,000 word book for a first draft. If not for the intense writing weekend I had in December, where I wrote 30,000 words in 4 days, I could not have done it.

I need to space myself and pace myself more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Goal made, sort of

I did make it to 60,000 on NSN this weekend, but my real goal was to get to 62,000 words. That plan was derailed on Friday when I learned of the tragic shooting at FLL. Since that is the airport I fly out of all the time, and the one friends and neighbors use, it truly affected me. I couldn't write anymore...I was too deeply shaken.

The rest of the weekend I did make some progress on the story. Plus I have a life, and I'm determined to have a life, so I wasn't at the keyboard all weekend. We had friends over Saturday night, and DH and I went to CS for dinner as well. Yesterday we took our beloved Holly for a very long walk at the park in the delightful 60 temps and looked for the nest of bald eagles at the park that our friend told us about. Last night we made a fire outside, and had another couple over for wine while toasting our toes before the fire... and it was a whooping 54 degrees. Ah, Florida life.

With the story, t am at the point now where I need to tie loose ends together. I really do like Nick and Shelby, and the setting of the story is part of the charm - a horse ranch in TN. I had wanted to travel there to research and write the story, but that wasn't in the cards last year.

I'm not sure what 2017 will hold as far as my writing career goes. Lots to think about and promo plans to try. I am putting the indie wolf series into two boxed sets with cool new covers. And releasing a story in March. One day at a time. My focus now is finishing the book!

I will be going to RWA in July. I did make that commitment. Not going on my local chapter's cruise... really had thought about it, but my conference budget is tight this year. RWA is accessible because I can drive. And after what happened Friday, I'm a little more leery of getting on a plane...domestically.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hello 2017 and deadlines

2017 is here. Made my goal of 50,000 words on NSN, and then over the New Year, wrote more so I have a total of 55,000 words. 15,000 left. I'm making plans on how much to write each day, and then will set aside the book to edit. The alpha smart comes in handy. I took it to the park New Years day when we took Holly for a very long walk, and then DH ran his new trains while I wrote and the dog sniffed around. Love my alpha smart!

This weekend, my goal is to reach 62,000 words. I don't want to push myself. I'd rather set lower goals and then surpass them. I do really like this book. Nick and Shelby are perfect for each other and the conflict, will he stay or go and will she finally work up the courage to leave the life she knows is safe and comfortable but unchallenging? is simple. I'm striving to write books with much simpler plots and focus more on character development.

We had a good New Year's eve; went to a party at a friend's house in Westin and then home to toast in the New Year with friends/neighbors, and then shot off a bunch of fireworks, making the other neighbors come out to join us. New Year's day was sluggish, but we ate out at a nice restaurant to celebrate the anniversary of our first date.

When I turn in NSN, I'm taking a short break.And then writing for fun. I need a fun project for later this month, considering I'm scared about the cheeto taking office. Who knows what will happen? What buttons will he push if he gets into a temper tantrum?

Anyway, writing wise, I feel good about the start to the year. Dh and I were reminiscing about last year this time, when I had to pack up the kitchen and both bathrooms due to the mold contamination, and we were searching for a place to live for 3 weeks. The beginning of the nightmare. It's nice to have this year start out with our biggest concern being where to eat to celebrate 23 years of first meeting each other!