Monday, June 13, 2011

Back To The Writing ...

After a week of fun and list making ... I'm getting back to work.  Mondays are good for that!

But before I officially do - Summer Secrets was officially in the #1 spot ...  on the top of the NYT!

It's so exciting.  And if you scroll down, you'll see that in addition to Summer Secrets, Don't Say A Word shows up at #24.  I can hardly believe it.
And one last bit of good news ... ALL SHE EVER WANTED is now #1 on B&N's Top 100!

Okay, but my blog is supposed to be about getting back to work.  As writers, it's easy to get distracted by the business of publishing.  So much of our work is done in isolation, that when something more public happens, it's fun to take a moment to enjoy it and share it with friends.  Because every writer knows these moments don't come around that often.  But when the hoopla dies down, it's back to the next book.

I remember a line from a movie about ballet - Center Stage - and the head/retired ballerina tells the young dancer that when things go wrong, when life gets too crazy, you always go back to the barre -- the barre is home (okay, I'm paraphrasing). But I think as writers, home is always the book, the writing, the next story, the next scene, the next sentence.

So that's what I'm doing today -- as soon as I finish this blog.  I'm working on a new book and there are so many decisions to make, what each character looks like, the setting, the time of year .... all those little things that tend to bog me down when I'm racing ahead to the big scenes I see coming up in my plot.  But life is in the details, and books are the same.  Thoughtful decisions about the little things always add color and depth to any story, so I persevere.  Then when I get to the big scenes I can't wait to write, I have a lot more to work with.

Whether traditionally publishing or self publishing, all writers have to remember that it's always about the book. And all the other distractions of the business of publishing or even life in general are just what we have to fight through to get back to the book.

So my decision today -- what to name the river that's an important part of my story.  The book is set in Northern California, there's some wild white water rapids, but also some peaceful, lazy parts ... any ideas?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

SUMMER SECRETS hits #1 ON THE NYT E-Books Bestseller List

Wow!  Lots of exciting news today.  SUMMER SECRETS hit USA Today at #13 and on June 19th will be #1 on the New York Times E-Books Bestseller List.  I saw a preview copy yesterday and couldn't believe my eyes.

To make it even sweeter, DON'T SAY A WORD hit USA Today at #84 and on June 19th will be #24 on the New York Times E-Books Bestseller List.

To say I'm stunned would be an understatement, especially because these books are self-published backlist titles.  I got the rights back to the books last year and went into publisher mode.  I designed the covers, got the books scanned, formatted and uploaded to all the E-book sites, which was quite a labor intensive undertaking.  This is one reason I haven't been blogging much the past few months.  I've been putting up my backlist (12 titles and counting ...)

When I started the self-publishing experience, there wasn't as much information as there is now, so there was a lot of trial and error involved.

I soon realized that I was wearing a lot of hats, not just writer, but art designer, proofreader, copy editor.  I was in charge of marketing and tweeting and posting on Facebook and generally shouting my books and name to the universe.  I became very familiar with html and codes and even accidentally signed up to be an App developer at Apple when I really meant to sign up to upload my books to the IBookstore!  LOL. But hey maybe one day I'll do an app.

Everything seemed daunting at first.  Every time I went to a new site, I had that sinking feeling that I hoped I wasn't about to screw everything up when I hit upload.  Those of you who have been through this know exactly what I'm talking about.  The one great thing about doing everything myself was that I really learned how to do it all.  And I felt empowered!

I love being able to see my numbers in real-time.  I love being able to tweak a cover that isn't working.  I love being able to change a price and give readers a one day special here and there.  I'm thrilled that some of my favorite books that went out of print after only a few weeks are now available again.  That's the absolute best part.

I'm very excited that Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders/Kobo, Smashwords, Apple and Sony have made themselves available to self-publishing and have embraced my books.  All the booksellers have been very responsive and supporting, and I've had great experiences with all of them.

A lot of my friends are asking me what's next.  I'm still publishing books with Pocket.  My 5th and last book in the Angel's Bay Series, GARDEN OF SECRETS, comes out on Sept. 20th, 2011, and I'm really excited to bring Joe and Charlotte's story to life. I will have another book for Pocket after that so I definitely have my feet in both traditional and self-publishing and certainly appreciate the support I've had from my publishers.

Who knows what the future will bring? The book world is changing so fast.  I think for readers having more books to choose from is a win!  And for writers having more opportunities to get books into a reader's hands is also a win. I've also become a big fan of the Nook and the Kindle -- yes, I have both, and they're amazing.  I never thought I'd enjoy reading electronically, but I do.

I can't end this blog without giving a shout out to my friend Bella Andre/Lucy Kevin who gave me a tremendous amount of advice when I was getting started in this new endeavor.

Thanks for sharing my wonderful news.  If anyone has any questions, I'm happy to answer ...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Secrets hits #2 on Amazon's Top 100 Kindlebooks

Hi everyone - I'm thrilled to report that Summer Secrets has risen to #2 on Amazon's Top 100 Kindlebooks List.  I love this story and I'm so excited that readers are loving it, too. 

The book is a fun summer read, as indicated by the title!  It's about the McKenna sisters who years ago as teenagers won an around the world sailing race with their bigger than life father.  But something happened during that race, a secret that no one has uncovered.  Kate, Ashley and Caroline now live in the San Juan Islands.  Kate runs the local bookstore, Ashley is a photographer and Caroline is a hair stylist.  Their lives have moved on.  

And then Tyler Jamison comes to town, a reporter who seems determined to unravel every last secret.  But he has a secret of his own ... 

If you're interested in an intriguing and sometimes emotional read with a few surprises, I hope you'll give Summer Secrets a try.