What I’m reading: The Case Has Altered, by Martha Grimes
First – A HUGE Thank You to everyone who’s kept 4 of my Blackthorne, Inc. books on the Amazon Best Seller list for Action Adventure Romance. Dangerous Connections and When Danger Calls have both been in the top 20, and Rooted in Danger and Where Danger Hides in the top 40. It wouldn’t have happened without you, and I’m blessed to have so many wonderful readers. Without you, it wouldn’t happen. Be sure to read through to the end of the post for my special thank you.
Because hitting those Best Selling lists doesn’t happen for me very often, I’ve been watching some of the dynamics. Given that I’m only looking at one sub-genre (Action Adventure Romance) on one site (Amazon), these observations probably shouldn’t be generalized across the board. However I found them interesting.
I released Dangerous Connections at just about every sales channel possible. It was the 5th book in my Blackthorne, Inc. series. I publicized it moderately, but didn’t do a lot of specialized marketing. I didn’t play with the price, or even offer it at an ‘introductory’ price point. It sells for $3.99, and I haven’t touched that.
What I’m reading: Breaking Point, by C.J. Box
Have you bid on something at Brenda Novak’s auction for diabetes research. I’ve donated 4 out of print books and I’d really like to see some action—it’s for a good cause, after all. Link in the sidebar (click the image). And, there’s still time to enter to win one of F.M. Meredith’s books from Tuesday’s post. Scroll down.
The other night, Hubster and I were watching a recent episode of CSI (no, I don’t use it for police/forensics research! Hubster enjoys the special effects photography, and maybe some of the cleavage. I like following the characters.)
At any rate, the story included discovering a woman/suspect who suffered from a rare disease—one that the pharmaceutical companies don’t put much effort into, because there aren’t “enough” people who have the condition. They’re commonly referred to as “orphan” diseases. This one happened to be a rare clotting disorder. Hubster and I looked at each other and laughed. Why? Because one of the themes in Rooted in Danger revolves around research into orphan diseases. And, to raise the coincidence level, my current WIP has a character suffering from a clotting disorder—not the one in the CSI episode, but the same effects. My reaction? “Hey. I wrote those books!”
What I’m reading: Contest entry #5/5; Silver Serenade by Nancy J. Cohen
As readers, what can you do to support an author, especially one with a small press, or who’s indie publishing? Unless you’re a big name with a big house, odds are, the publisher isn’t doing much to help.
The no-brainer. Buy their books. But there are so many other things you can do to help boost the visibility of an author whose books you enjoy.
Word of mouth is still the best sales tool. Tell others about the book. For example, in the Nook First program, they promote the book over the course of the month. When it’s simply a mention buried on their website where only people looking for it can find it, I see a minor hiccup in my sales. But when the put it in their newsletter, or send the email to Nook owners and others who have bought my books in the past, then sales take a noticeable jump.
How to kick up Word of Mouth.
Many of you know we adopted Febbie from the local shelter last July. Somehow, posting her pictures on my Facebook page gets a lot of traffic, and since I didn’t have anything new for this week I thought I’d share some here. She loves running, playing “bring it” and “Timmy’s in the Well” and keeping an eye out for “visitors” to our yard, but today, I’m sharing her quieter side.
Feebie takes a break from her sentry duty to rest in her lookout hole. She’s making sure we’re proud of her efforts.
Time for a nap, I think.
Nose between the paws position.
I’m over at The Blood-Red Pencil again, this time talking about critique partners and beta readers. Hope you’ll pop over and say hello. I was going to write a separate post for Terry’s Place, but I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been busy with the release of Rooted in Danger, and doing double blog posts didn’t fit my schedule. I’ll be back with another ‘writing’ post on Monday.
But as long as you’re reading this, I’ll remind my newsletter subscribers that if they haven’t entered the contest yet (link is found only in the newsletter), it’s going to be ending on the 30th.
If you’re not checking the Booklover’s Bench site, you’re also missing out on chances to win books. (link in tab in the nav bar)
And, lastly, Rooted in Danger will be a Nook First selection starting on Saturday. But since the program isn’t exclusive any more, you can get the e-book at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords. Buy links here.
A departure from my usual Field Trips. I love my cover artist, Dave Fymbo, and love sharing how he works. This time, I challenged him to create a cover for the digital version of Rooted in Danger. The dilemma was that since this book was published in hard cover when it came out, the publisher created the cover. I liked it, but I thought it needed more “zing” to stand out in the e-book stores, where the first images you see are thumbnail size. For Where Danger Hides, we tried to make it as similar as possible. We tried that with Rooted in Danger, and these are some of the suggested images I sent him.
Dave came back with some preliminary cover ideas based on those.
What I’m reading: Delusion in Death, by J.D. Robb (library)
I did something last week that I haven’t done in far too long—started working on a new manuscript. I’d been up to my eyeballs in finishing Deadly Bones, then dealing with edits, then traveling, then getting the new computer that I just let the writing slide. Starting a new project is always daunting. Which series should I continue? Or should I do a stand alone? Mystery? Romantic suspense?
Maybe this year would have been the one to join the NaNoWriMo train; it’s the first November I wasn’t already in the middle of something else. But that “write for word count and don’t edit” just goes against everything that works for me, so there was no motivation to try it.
I’ve had emails from readers who’ve said they’re looking for more Blackthorne, Inc. books, so that’s what I decided to do. But whose story? I didn’t get that kind of feedback, so I thought it might be interesting to pick a different character.
Reminder: My NOOK contest will end June 10th. Don’t skip a chance to win a NOOK Simple Touch. And, I’ll have gift certificates for second and third place winners. You can’t win if you don’t enter. Rules are here.
Write what you know, everyone says. If I did that, I’d have written one (maybe) very boring book. Write what you can learn is a much better piece of advice. Since I’ve never been a cop or a covert ops specialist, I have to rely on research to make my books ring true.
The Internet makes doing research much easier than it was in days of having to go to the library, but it’s not your only resource. It’s a great place to start, but sometimes you need more.
I’ve been working on a sequel to DEADLY SECRETS. As readers of this blog know, I’m not much of a plotter, so I don’t do a lot of research until I come to a place I need the details. After all, if I don’t know what’s going to happen next, I can’t very well be looking it up, can I?
Things have been going well lately, and I think it’s only fair that share my good fortune with my readers. I appreciate each and every one of you who followed me here from Blogger.
In my plus column: A successful debut of SAVING SCOTT at Barnes & Noble, via their NOOK First program.
Some very nice reviews for my newest Blackthorne, Inc. book, ROOTED IN DANGER.
And, my second Blackthorne book, WHERE DANGER HIDES was voted the Best Romantic Suspense in the 2012 Holt Medallion Contest.
As a way of saying thank you, I’m going to be holding a new contest. First Prize is A NOOK Simple Touch e-reader. Second and third place winners will get Gift Certificates, either to Barnes & Noble or Amazon.
Here’s the skinny: