Thursday, January 27, 2011

Everyone Needs a Break

At the beginning of every year people seem to get caught up in setting goals and making up for lost time the previous year. It is good for everyone to take a step back and remember that life is a marathon not a sprint. I found myself being a victim of getting caught up in the rush of life and its struggles. Holidays brought a lot of expected bills and plenty of unexpected. I’ve been trying to catch everything up in one month but now I realize it is impossible. I always tell my friends that rewarding one’s self is important, and now I realize I have forgotten to take my own advice. This weekend I’m going to set aside a moment for me, myself, and I. I think you should do the same for yourself. Maybe read a book... In fact maybe I'll read a book.

Also a reminder that tomorrow is the last day to get Michele's books on Kindle for 0.99 cents! A great way to take a break is with a great book.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Roller Coaster of Publishing

The writing career is interesting. Everyone has an opinion (especially these days) on big house publishing, small house publishing, self-pubbing, p.o.d., electronic publishing, etceteras. As the industry tries to manage through a roller coaster of change, the writer either needs to get off the roller coaster and take charge of her writing career--deciding what is best for her--or buckle in for the ride and see where it takes her. I hate roller coasters. I used to like them when I was a kid, but not so much anymore. I usually get dizzy and feel like I'm going to puke. I think this has to do with getting older. My oldest son tried to get me to go on this loopydeloop dealio at Universal Studios with him at like 100 miles an hour or something insane like that. I was perfectly content to sip my lemonade and wait on the sidelines as the kid rode the ride. Just not into it.
Therefore, you can imagine how I feel about the publishing industry's roller coaster ride these days. Not into it. Times are changing, my writer friends. The key to writing books and selling them is still about writing GOOD books. And even sometimes Good books don't sell. Don't ask me why because I don't know the answer to that. However, I do think if you have a readership and you write good books and the publishers aren't picking them up that it can't hurt to follow Mr. J.A. Konrath's model. J.A. is the master with the e-publishing thing and I've been watching how he does this. I'm impressed. I have to tell you that I have started following his model and guess what? I am selling books. I'm uploading onto Smashwords, amazon, etc and everyday my sales are increasing. I'm receiving monies monthly on these sales and although I'm not getting advances on them, I'm okay with that because I'm seeing a monthly paycheck and that is very nice. My monthly paychecks are also increasing and that helps me provide for my family in  abetter way than waiting for royalty statements that I'm not certain what my sales even might have been during the previous period, or how much is going to be held in reserve for that matter.

So, what am I trying to say here? I've been asked about this topic so I'm giving my two-cents. If you have a readership and you have a manuscript(s) that New York doesn't seem to care about then why not take a serious look at the book, trust your gut if you think readers will want it and get it out there. Hey--if you only make $10.00 at it, that is ten more than you had, right? And, you may find an entire new readership to entertain.

Secondly, I wanted to let any of my readers out there know that I have a new book out on the Kindle (come on, this is my blog and so I get to push my books) and also in print. It's a thriller and very different from my cozies and women's fiction, because of that I published it under the name A.K. Alexander. The title is "Daddy's Home." If you're interested in checking it out, here is the amazon link:

All of my e-books are available for $2.99 except for The Nikki Sands Mysteries. They are also all available on Smashwords.

I would love to hear your opinion on the changes publishing seems to be going through and where you think it will all go?

Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Favorite Authors

I spoke the other night to a women's group here in town and had a great time. They were a gracious group and I sold a bunch of books, which is always a great thing. My favorite part of speaking is the Q & A session. I'm not sure why but it is. People usually have really good questions and it's a lot of fun.

The one question that I always, always get and that I am never prepared for is: who is your favorite author? Oh jeez. I honestly have no clue. I like so many authors and I like so many writers that are unpublished and I just respect anyone who takes a leap and writes because they have a story to tell.

I can tell you the writers I have a lot of respect for and why.

1. James Patterson. I know that some of you may be shaking your head but just "listen." Patterson is a genius at branding Patterson. He may not be the most amazing writer in the world, but he is a darn good storyteller. There are not many books that I can read in a few hours or even want to for that matter. He is a genius at the pageturner and he is a genius at his brand. Patterson isn't writing all of "his" books any longer, but he has figured out how to keep the brand out there and he is making some serious cha-ching. I respect that because that is obviously what he wants from his writing. He's a business man and as writers many of us are not the best business people. Honestly, I don't think if Mr. patterson came to me and asked me if I would write a book with him that I would turn that opportunity down. So, if by chance, you're reading this James, feel free to shoot me over an e-mail and we can talk options here.

2. Steven King--I am not necessarily a huge fan of horror. I was a big fan of Steven King when I was in high school. Here is what I like about him. He's true to himself as a writer (little creepy but true to himself). He loves to write (at least it appears that way) and he has written one of the best books "On Writing" out there.

3. Nora Roberts--here is a lady/writer who understands her market. She knows how to write entertaining books that are targeted directly to her market and she has stayed the course.

4. J.K. Rowling--DUH. Do I need to write anything here at all, other than a Thank You to Ms. Rowling for getting our youth to reead and opening doors in the YA market. HUGE KUDOS.

5. My dear friend Jessica Park--here is a lady and writer who never throws in the towel and is one of the best writers around and editor--can not tell you how many times she has been on my ass about my grammar and I still am terrible at it, but that is not because of her. That's because I'm a bad student). She has really fund her voice with her YA work and I can't say enough good things about her and her work!

There are so many, many more. But there you have a few from me. Now, I want to know yours and your reasons.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year New Goals

Everyone knows New Years is the time when everyone makes New Year’s resolutions; work at them for a month and by February a slim few are still keeping to them. Instead of doing the typical New Year’s Resolution I’d like to propose something different. Create a vision board for 2011 and even beyond. Clip pictures, words, anything out of magazines that pictures what you want for your future. Arrange the clippings on a large poster board. You can make it collage style or super organized. Michele, myself and our good friend Gilly made our boards this weekend and each was vastly different but all turned out beautiful. I took the uber-organized approach and separated mine into three categories: career at the top, hobbies and personal in the middle, and my dream home at the bottom. Our vision boards were goals for 2011 and even longer term goals distributed throughout. Michele and Gilly took the more collage approach and theirs turned out just as great! It really showed off the differences in personality. The best message of all was it encouraged all of us to think about our dreams and goals. This falls right into my theme of trying to inspire people to dream big and start taking action to make those dreams a reality. After your vision board is complete you’re supposed to take one of two options: first (the one I choose) is to place your board in a spot where you will see it every day to help you visualize your dreams coming true. The other option is to put it away where you never see it so it can come true on its own. Either way it’s a great way to organize your dreams and get a jump start on how you are gonna make them happen, so go out and start making your vision board.
Thank you for reading,