I'm from a large family with many siblings, and I think it goes without saying that there was never a dull moment growing up. I enjoyed plenty of country-life, neighborhood baseball games on the weekends, and "No bears are out tonight" night-time hide-n-seek during the summer months. Winters were harsh, but the deep snow made for lots of sledding, skiing, and snowmobiling opportunities.
Some of my interests include: cooking up new recipes, bar-b-queuing out on the grill, reading, hiking, biking, fishing, camping, gardening (much shorter rows), and spending time with my little family. I'm a movie quote'er, quite sarcastic, and I like to combine words during conversations to humor other people. I love puns and being funny... I guess you could say I'm punny.
I've always loved telling stories, keeping a captive audience (or at least trying to), but I didn't start writing my stories down until the early 2000's. At that time, I was determined to find an agent and publisher and go all the way. Of course, after more rejections than I like to count, I went in a different direction. I learned all I could about self-publishing and launched my books online through Smashwords, and then later on Amazon. Smashwords forwarded my books to many different outlets like Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Diesel, and more, helping my books reach around the globe.
|2/6/2013 Visitor's locations to date on this blog.|
I have two different series out right now: The Unaltered Series, YA paranormal/supernatural powers/romance, and Scars of Defiance Series, YA contemporary/suspense/romance. The Unaltered is the most popular with A Diamond in my Pocket ranking well on the Barnes & Noble's Teen Bestseller list and also on iTunes/iBookstore. In fact, as of Feb. 5th, iBookstore launched a new feature called Breakout Books and A Diamond in my Pocket was put on the list as a breakout book. This is an incredible jump-start that has the potential to skyrocket my Internet presence and book sales/downloads ... if I promote it well enough. You see, it's not just about writing a book and putting it out there. The old adage, "If you build it, they will come," does not hold up, not if I want to actually see downloads and purchases.
As an Indie Author, all of the marketing, designing, and developing is done by me. Promoting my books is crucial to their success, however, satisfying my fans is even more important. I try really hard to respond to every email that comes in. I regularly give away downloads to help encourage "word of mouth" advertising. In the end, Indie Authors are dependent on the fan base and how happy they are. Let's face it, without satisfied readers, I'm just a wishful thinker. "I wish I could sell books. I wish I could be a famous author." No, I am doing everything I can to ensure my success, and as an Indie Author it's entirely possible.
To succeed at self-publishing, the first thing I needed was a book written well enough to gain momentum. I actually started out focusing on the Scars of Defiance series until A Diamond in my Pocket shot forward in downloads. My first few bad reviews for that book focused on bad grammar and punctuation, not the story line or plot. That told me I had an interesting book that needed editing ... really, badly needed editing. (See my post about how my ebook exploded.)
Third, I've succeeded in gaining a following, now I need to keep it by producing more books. I've been stalled out on book 3 of The Unaltered Series for almost a year, and that's been hard for me to deal with mainly because I couldn't foresee the extended delay, and I foolishly promised the book earlier than what I could deliver. That is a huge setback of being an Indie Author ... I am only beholden to myself to reach my goals.
Lastly, to succeed at self-publishing, I needed a strategy. What worked for me was listing the first book of The Unaltered series for free, and charging $2.99 for the rest. Everyone loves a freebie! The first book in Scars of Defiance is usually free somewhere on the Internet. Will I keep my pricing like that forever? I don't know. I certainly don't plan on changing that anytime soon. I think it's been an essential ingredient to my success up to this point. The remainder of my strategy is yet to be realized: Editing, professional book covers, hard copies for sale, and Mp3 downloads for audio books. I recently hired a retired professor of English to edit my books. I'll post the worked-over manuscripts once he completes them. Book 3 will release as being professionally edited from the get-go. The book covers and hard copies and Mp3 audio books will come down the line also. Once I have printed copies, I'll travel around my local area and donate them to school libraries and public libraries to reach one more demographic of readers and fans.
I enjoy helping other Indie Authors work through the struggles of success on the Internet. I also love helping young writers with suggestions and encouragement. First and foremost, I love to write and tell stories. And I have a lot of stories to tell ...
Thanks for reading my books and stopping by my blog. I hope you'll drop me a note on my contact page.