Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Read, Don't Wear Your (Kindle Nation Daily) Shorts!


Kindle Nation Daily, (website link), the brainchild of Stephen Windwalker, Windwalker Media, is a webzine/newsletter about all things Kindle, and so much more, offering readers free book alerts, cogent indie-related articles and Kindle news, plus tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Kindle experience. It is no accident that it is the most popular Kindle community on the web. In addition to their Facebook page, which daily showcases a plethora of e-books for all tastes--from thrillers to romance to literary and historical, just every genre you can imagine--and all budgets, the webzine also sends out daily email blasts called Kindle Shorts. Not the kind you wear but the kind you read! In addition to an author biography and bits of other data, each short contains a generous excerpted serving of the book, usually the opening chapters, enough certainly to decide whether the work is to your taste. For readers it’s a great way to discover new authors without spending a dime. And today the featured short is an excerpt from my novel, The Volunteer.

Briefly, the story centers on psychologist Sophia Wilmot who through a haunting sequence of events finds herself holding the power to save death row inmate Jarrett Capshaw from execution. Sophia resists becoming involved, and wouldn’t have, if it were not for Jarrett’s wife and children. It’s his family and their struggle to survive, to come to terms with this calamity, that she can’t resist. But families are what The Volunteer is about, how they’re made and how in one single, horrifying instant, they can be broken. It is a story about mothers and the lies they tell to protect their children, to keep them from being hurt. But what happens when the truth comes out anyway and nothing and no one is spared? Sometimes the truth has the power to break your heart, and in Sophia’s case it will also endanger her freedom and threaten everything she has ever believed about her life.

I hope you will be intrigued by this short enough to check out and subscribe to the Kindle Nation Daily so you can sign up to receive the Shorts via email for yourself. I guarantee you will find authors and genres you love. And do visit their Facebook page, as well, to discover even more great new books every day. As an author myself I can’t say enough good about the variety of ways there are through this outlet to promote e-books. For me, the marketing end of this venture has been the most daunting and confusing. I didn’t even know where to start and when I found the Kindle Nation Daily website, I was thrilled. There it was, a variety of marketing plans laid out in a straightforward, creative and professional manner that from experience I know delivers fantastic, track-able results. Marketing a book, or any product, I think, is a cumulative adventure. It builds from each effort and having a plan is key. Having Steve’s support and the choice of the many venues he provides has been invaluable to me. Other authors agree. Read what they have to say here. All I can do is add my thanks and appreciation to theirs.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Balancing Is Not an Act!


Yesterday I attended a chapter meeting of the West Houston RWA. I’m not a member but tagged along at the invitation of two of my critique partners, authors Colleen Thompson and TJ Bennett, who were kind enough to include me. I had a special reason for going to this meeting, and it was because Joan Reeves, super-successful author of many super-fun and sexy romantic titles was the speaker. I had met Joan before, virtually, last summer through her Slingwords blog that I was led to from uber-successful Joe Konrath’s blog. I was in fact-gathering mode at the time, trying to absorb all I could about how to indie publish my work. To say I was na├»ve would be an understatement and finding Joe Konrath and then through his blog to be led to Joan’s Slingwords blog was just a gift. Without the support of the wealth of information they (and their followers) share, and the guidance Joan has so generously provided to me through our email correspondence, the learning curve would have been a lot sharper and more painful!

I went to that meeting feeling overwhelmed. It’s nothing new. I’ve been plagued with this sense ever since my first novel went live last August. I’m haunted by the notion that I am never going to master the skills necessary to keep all the multiple plates—actual writing + the process involved in artfully showcasing via cover, cover verbiage, endorsements etc. + formatting + marketing, which entails all the various social networking venues (also requiring of a cogent framework)  spinning and maintain my balance. If I can ever even learn mastery of these skills—how best to use the tools that are available—that’s another question.

But two things I came away with yesterday… 

One: I am not alone. Everyone involved in this new publishing world feels overwhelmed to some degree. (It isn’t just me being totally dense after all! At least not all the way!) Joan talked about how the indie landscape is changing, and not just yearly, but weekly, even daily! Back when I was a flight attendant I had a supervisor who gave me a piece of advice in reference to running (literally!) a four-course dinner service on a short flight. I’ve never forgotten it and it applies here: Do what you can do, and what you can’t do, don’t, and don’t worry about it!

The second thing...

Don’t waste your time doing anything that does not resonate with your soul no matter who tries to tell you otherwise. Follow your own inner guide, your own sense of what works for you. You don’t have to explain or apologize. Your way is your way, and it is to be honored and respected, revered even. You don’t have to be proficient at every level of social networking, or what-have-you, regardless of what form it takes. You only have to be true to yourself, and I believe when you are, bit by bit, the bridge to your goal, whatever it might be, is built. There is no magic bullet, no guarantee or sure-fire formula for success other than the magical, sure-fire way you create for yourself.

And Last...

Where are my manners? Thank you to everyone yesterday at the West Houston meeting. It was lovely. I enjoyed meeting everyone and got so much out of the discussion plus came home with two great reads!