Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Very First Book Signing: I am FREAKING OUT!!!

Lol.  Okay, the deal is this.  I got in touch with one of the biggest bookstores in town and they are going to let me do a signing at their store a week or two before Halloween.  We are turning it into a party, because I hate those BORING book signings where the author sits at a table and prays someone will get close enough for them to pitch the book.  We are going to give away prizes and try to get customers to come in costume.  I am excited but FREAKED OUT over it.  Lol.

Does anyone here have experience with book signings?  What happened?  Did you sell a lot of copies or were you disappointed?  Do you have any tricks or tips for me?

BTW, if anyone here lives near Joplin, MO or knows someone who does, come back to find out when the book signing is.  I would love to see you there.  :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vampires Rule is Now in Print at Amazon

I just got my first copy, but I don't have a link yet.  If you are interested in getting this book in print, keep an eye on the right where it says: Buy Vampires Rule.  I will put the link when it becomes avail. to me.  Here is the picture of my new cover.  P.S. you have to read the book to understand the cover.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Sagging Middle

I remember reading an article written by an editor (don't remember their name), and it was about writers who have fantastic ideas, a great beginning, and an incredible ending but a sagging middle.  The editor complained that the writer seemed to get lost after the first two chapters and didn't find their way until they got to the end.  So how do we prevent middles that go nowhere?

1. Create a Good Outline:  If you have a solid outline with all of your sub-plots worked out, you shouldn't have this problem.  I realize a lot of writers don't want to do in-depth outlines for some reason.  Perhaps they feel it squashes their creativity.  I don't know, but I love them and couldn't write an entire series without them.
Now, I'm not saying I follow them to the letter, because I don't, but it's nice to be able to see where I am going.

2.  Sub-plots:  While you are working out your main story, don't forget about sub-plots.  An extra problem here and there for your protagonist can help make the story more interesting and carry it to the end.

3.  Character Development:  If done correctly, this can fill in a great deal of the story and keep you on target.  I know being boring is a sin, but sometimes a conversation between two characters without any bombs exploding is a good thing.  Your characters need time to grow and change.  A character who finishes the same as he/she began is not a fully-developed character.

I don't know who first said this, but I'm sure you've heard it.  Put your character in a tree.  Throw rocks at him.  Then help him to get down.  Writers seem to have trouble with the throwing of rocks.  Not me.  I've never had a complaint about the middle of my books.  Although, I've gotten a few complaints about characters in Vampires Rule.  Some people wanted to see more scenes between certain characters, but I have two more books coming out with those characters and had to save something for then.  Happy writing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trying Something New

Okay, so I went to Createspace and uploaded my book.  You have to charge more than ten dollars to be available to bookstores and libraries, but I can buy copies cheap.  My friend and I have started brainstorming on where I can sell some books.  Now that they are going to be in print, I can buy a huge box of them and sell at whatefver price I choose (provided I make enough to pay for the books plus shipping). 

1.  Free copies:  I can donate a few, spread them around, and hope that other people take notice.

2. Taking Orders:  My friend suggested that I could have certain people take orders at work and at school as if they are selling band candy or magazines.  They can collect the money and I can order the books.

3.  Bookstores:  She also thinks I can go to a few smaller bookstores in the area and offer to bring in customers for a book signing.

4.  ???   This is where your idea can go.  What do you think?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Reviews for Vampires Rule

Okay.  Because there are so many reviews coming out at once, I decided to list them all in one post and delete the other posts.  At a couple of these sites you have to look under Book Reviews and find Vampires Rule, because it isn't on the first page.  So far I have not noticed any spike in sales at all.  Hopefully, enough people will see the reviews to help me out.

I am going to start a new contest either Sunday or Monday.  The first five people to Tweet about my book, supplying the link to Amazon, and also put it on Facebook, I will give them a coupon for a free digital copy of Vampires Rule.  So come back on Sunday/Monday to check it out.  :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: Books With Bite blog

I almost missed this one.  Apparently it came out on Tuesday, but I didn't go to the blog on Tuesday.  This is a great review, and it already has a lot of comments.  People hate the cover of my book, and a lot of them said they would have passed on it if it wasn't for the great reviews.  Hmm.  Well, I wasn't thrilled with the cover either, but it was the best I could do under the circumstances.  Maybe I'll be able to pay someone who knows what they're doing to make my covers next year.

You can find the review here:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review: Cubicle Blindness

You can see a review on Vampires Rule and an interview that I did on the Cubicle Blindness blog.  Here is the link:

Others coming soon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Editing, Rewriting, Revision

Whatever you want to call it, it's hard.

I am currently working on two books that I finished last year. In my mind, they were finished and just needed a little polishing.  Then I went back and read them.  Of course, I found stuff I wanted to change.  At first, it was small stuff, a word here and a word there.  Then I decided to change one of the major characters.  I only wanted to change one thing about her, and I didn't think it would be a big deal.  WRONG!  Changing one small fact about this girl threw off the whole story.  I found place after place that I needed to redo or get rid of completely.  After a while I had to admit that I totally screwed up my story.  It is a big mess now.

So what do I do?  I've considered changing her back to the way she was, but it wasn't working.  I thought about trashing the whole book and starting over, but that seems a bit excessive. 

My books are incredibly complicated.  There are several characters, plot twists, pieces that interlock so well that if I change something the whole house of cards topples over.  I was wondering about other writers.  When you finish a book and go back to revise, do you have this problem?  Or are you usually lucky enough to have a good book that just needs polishing? 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Book Reviews Coming

Sales for Vampires Rule have stalled out, and I have done all I can on this end.  I've joined sites like Goodreads to promote it.  I've handed out business cards.  I've talked about the book everywhere I can think of.  Now, it's review time. 

Months ago, I sent out emails to at least a hundred book review bloggers, asking if they would be interested in reviewing my book.  Only a handful agreed to do it.  So I gave them a coupon code for a free digital copy at Smashwords.  Then I waited.  Waiting is the hardest part.  All of these questions and doubts start keeping you awake at night.  Will they like it?  Will they even read it?  There's no guarantee.  So I waited.  Then I waited some more.

Finally, two of the book review bloggers have contacted me.  They've finished Vampires Rule and the reviews will be up soon.  One of them gave it four stars, and the other gave it five stars.  Cubicle Blindness is putting up the review around June 15th, and Books With Bite is putting it up 'soon.'  I'll let you know when it becomes official.  Maybe you would like to check it out.  Happy writing!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Character Building part 5

It's been a while since I wrote on Character Building, but I'm returning to the subject because of a recent review on my book.  The reviewer brought up an interesting point.  Characters need to have flaws, especially your main characters.  Now she and I disagree on my characters, Jack and Silver.  She saw them as too perfect, but I see the flaws in them.  Silver is stubborn, fights with everyone around her and always thinks she's right.  Jack has been sheltered (for a vampire), and he latches onto the wrong people.  They both lie to each other constantly and hide things from each other, important things.  Of course, I have a different view from the reader because I know what happens in all three books. 

Yes, characters need flaws, but you have to be careful.  If you give them too many flaws or the wrong flaws, you can turn your reader off.  You want your characters to be liked. 

What if your protagonist is not a nice person?  This can and has worked in some novels.  The trick is to make the antagonist a hundred times worse and make the main character the best chance that other people have for survival.  It's fun to watch a bad guy take on a worse guy. 

When building my characters, I don't go down a checklist and say 'I think I will give this person this flaw.'  The flaws come out of who they are and past experiences.  I believe flaws should be logical.  Take Vampires Rule, for instance.  Even though Jack was a vampire for ten years, he led a sheltered life.  His vampire friends protected him, took care of him.  He lost his parents, and we find out he had a distant relationship with his dad to begin with, so naturally he would have a hole there, and he might be desperate to fill it with the first father-figure he meets up with.  Once he forms a bond with this person, he would be tenacious and not want to give it up even if he discovers the person isn't who he thinks they are. 

When writing Vampires Rule, I didn't sit there and purposely work flaws into my characters as I was writing.  I just wrote the story, and my characters came to life.  For the people who see them as perfect, I am glad because that means they fell in love with those characters so much that they couldn't see their flaws.  It's like when you look at your child, and you don't see their flaws as others do. 

Happy writing.