Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest Blogging

Hi Everyone,

I'm guest blogging today about perserverance and writing at Riding With the Top Down:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bad Reviews ...

It was bound to happen at some point, and today's the day. I got my first bad review. One star. Very critical. When you create characters and send them out in the universe you hope that you've explained their motivations and their actions in a way that presents them in a positive light even if they've done something wrong, and for at least one reader, it seems I didn't.

Am I disappointed? Absolutely, but it's part of the business, right?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Measure of Success

According to a romance writers' loop I'm on, a recent issue of RWR (the Romance Writers Report magazine from RWA ) asked authors to define what success means to them. Though I have yet to see the article and don't know the context in which the question was asked, I believe that some of the choices included: finishing a manuscript, submitting to an agent, sales  numbers and more. It's an interesting question, the idea of success. It would be so easy to say that in order to be successful one must have sold their books, but while that is definitely a measure of success it shouldn't be the only measure of success.

Writing is a tough and lonely business. Many authors spend their days (or nights) toiling in a room by themselves creating images and people out of thin air. How would those people talk? What do they look like? What do they do in their spare time? What are they doing in this book? Then comes the actual writing and crafting of word after word of dialogue and the description with the sole purpose of getting the reader to keep going. To find a mix of words that is so compelling you won't want to put the book down. And they do this for thousands upon thousands of words. Sometimes they can turn to colleagues (follow authors) for advice, but in the end the book is entirely their world, their creation, which they've opened up to you.

And because of most authors there is no contract before a book is complete -- and even then there's no guarantee a book will be published -- it would be so easy for the author to throw in the towel and give up and not finish that story.

Which brings me back to the definition of success for a writer. I think any writer who has created a story, who has spent month after month writing and revising and putting words to paper, whether than have sold their book or not, should consider themselves a success. They have achieved a milestone many aspire to, but few reach. (Cause you know, everyone wants to be a writer, if only ... )

So today pat yourself on the back for a job well done. If you've finished a book, you are a success! You've worked hard and you deserve that recognition. But don't get too comfy. There are more successes to be had and more work to do. So get busy, and at each and every stage of your career, make sure you stop to mark your new success while reaching for the next level.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quick Note

Sarah Wendell is blogging about Chanukah romances today at Smart Bitches and she mentioned Second Chance Chanukah! Awesome!

Check it out here:

Thanks Sarah!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ebook Now at B&N

After a bit of a delay, Second Chance Chanukah is now available for the Nook as well. You can find it here:

Guest Blogging Today

Hi Everyone,

I'm over at RT Book Reviews guest blogging today about my novella. You can check it out here:

You'll also get to read an exclusive  excerpt  from Second Chance Chanukah there.

I'll also be doing some more guest blogging later this month. More on that to come. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And I've Got a E-book ...

Wow! Ok, I've got a book. Well, a holiday novella called Second Chance Chanukah under my pen name, Fay Alter, and it's available now on Smashwords and on Amazon and BN's Nook by tomorrow. Amazing ... simply amazing.

Thanks to everyone who helped my dream become a reality. First off all my early readers -- Elissa, Stephanie, Giselle and Kimberly L. Thanks to Bev for her edits. And a special thanks to my family for everything.

If you're wondering what Second Chance Chanukah is all about here's the skinny:

Jess Coen always thought she'd marry her childhood sweetheart, Danny Adler. Until he married someone else. Now a widower with a son, Danny is back in town just in time for Chanukah. Will these two have a second chance at love or will past hurts and new emotional wounds keep them apart forever in this holiday-themed, contemporary romance novella.

Buy it now at Smashwords:

Or later at Amazon:

Or check back later for the links for BN.

I've priced it at 99 cents so it's a real treat to get you in the holiday mood!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advice from a Self-Pubbing Pro

As I wait for my final book cover, I thought it might be interesting to get some self-pubbing tips from authors who've already had success in the ebook universe. First up, is author CJ Lyons, who has had a bestselling series from a New York publisher, found success self-publishing original ebook novels (including Face to Face and Sleight of Hand) and recently signed a major N.Y. publishing contract.

Here then are CJ's five tips for self-publishing:

1. It's vital to know and understand your audience.

2. It takes time to grow your audience, so be patient. The more titles you have available, the faster you'll grow your audience.

3. Pay attention to sales trends and be flexible, trying pricing experiments, changing cover art and product descriptions if they aren't striking a chord with your audience.

4. Your best promotional efforts are spent writing your next book ... not to say to never do any promotion, but play to your strengths. If blogging or tweeting or facebooking gives you enjoyment and energy that increases your productivity, then go for it! But if you find yourself drained and lacking energy to write, forget it. The writing is more important than marketing.

5. When in doubt, go back to No. 1 and ask yourself: What would give my readers the most pleasure? This question should be repeated with every endeavor whether it's trying a new genre, planning a plot twist, preparing cover art, writing your product description or marketing yor work.

Thanks CJ for your tips! This great advice for authors in any genre or format.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I've Got a Cover!

I've got a book cover! Yay. It's still being tweaked, but I've seen it, which makes this whole self-publishing process all the more exciting and nerve-racking. I've also finished my last round of edits so the story is ready to go. Hopefully, within the next few days, you'll be able to download and enjoy "Second Chance Chanukah," my novella about childhood sweethearts who are reunited during the Festival of Lights. Past hurts and new emotional wounds, however, may keep these lovers apart for good.

In the meantime, I hope you're enjoying some great reads this month!

And if you're looking to step into the self-pubbed, ebook market with a guaranteed good read, check out these new releases from some great romantic suspense authors. Debra Webb, one of my favorite Harlequin Intrigue authors, just released "Impulse," the second in her ongoing Faces of Evil ebook series. Unlike her Colby Intrigues (which if you haven't read you need to ASAP), the Faces of Evil books are a bit darker and grittier, though Webb maintains her smooth writing and with great characterization. Also out with a self-pubbed book is Roxanne St. Claire, author of the great Bullet Catchers series, who returns to her contemporary romance roots with "Space in His Heart." And if you're enjoying her contemporary return, you'll be happy to know that her next N.Y. published book series will be a four-book contemp series starting next year from Grand Central.