First off, I'm participating in Hilary Grossman's Valentine's Day book giveaway. This is her third giveaway. I contributed books to the previous two events, and am happy to say I saw a boost in sales after each of them. There's something for everyone, and all formats are represented, so head over to her blog, Feeling Beachie, and enter!
Second, I registered my domain name here at Blogger yesterday. See the new URL? I know, it's a long one, but I wasn't given any short options, since my blog has a loooooong title. I'm not really interested in having an author website these days. I had one. I found it so boring, I would forget to check on it. If I found it boring, how could I get anybody else interested? It's a big time suck anyway, and I'd rather be writing.
In my own defense, I have yet to find any author websites interesting. They're either limited to author bios, PR stuff and a calendar of appearances, or they're full of stuff like recipes. Unless the author is a foodie writer or cookbook author (like fellow blogger The Happy Whisk), I really don't care about seeing recipes on an author page. I can't cook, anyway. Restaurant reviews would be nice.
And why would I need a website anyway? I already have author pages at Amazon and Smashwords, where they're more likely to be seen. I also have one at Facebook, though I'm not sure why I need that one. Author opinions are divided on the need for a Facebook author page. Self-published authors tend to have them, while the conventionally-published authors I know usually don't. Carla Neggers, Jill Marie Landis, Kay Hooper, Karen Moline, Karen Tintori, Heather Graham Pozzessere, Sally Fairchild, Gayle Lynds, James Patterson, Sherryl Woods and Carole Nelson Douglas, all on my Friends list and most of them New York Times bestsellers, are divided on this one. Self-pubbed authors often use "Author" as part of their Facebook name, while conventionally-published authors usually don't.
I currently have FOUR Facebook pages: my personal page, my Beishir Books author page (shared with Collin), a collaboration page shared with William and a humor page, The International Intruder, shared with both Collin and William.
In my opinion, neither the Facebook Author Page or the use of "Author" before or after one's name really accomplishes anything. You can find groups and pages on Facebook where you can join just to trade Likes. Seriously. Unless there's some kind of reward I don't know about for the number of Likes one gets, getting a lot of strangers to Like you is pointless, because if they're only doing it for a reciprocal Like, it's a safe bet they'll only visit your page once. But I'm sure some of my friends will disagree with me on both issues, so if you're an author, do whatever works best for you.
I confess: the only reason I keep my Facebook Author Page is because if I dump it, I have to give up my Minion header and avatar on my personal page and go with something more authorlike.
Now for my third Big Deal of the Week--and this really is a biggie--An Army of Angels is back on the front burner! When I published Chasing the Wind back in 2008, the plan was to make it a trilogy. Had things gone according to plan, all three books would be in print by now. But I got stuck about a third of the way through book two. I decided I didn't want to write "serious stuff" anymore. I wanted to write lighter, more humorous novels.
I ended up with lots of humor, but no plots.
I belong to a small writers group that meets at our church. We should really be called Writers Without Borders, as two of our members, William Kendall from Canada and April Morone from Virginia, participate by phone, with Cathy Smith, Nicole Tuberty, Kyle Tuberty and me at the church. We met on Saturday (I almost had to phone in, too, when I couldn't find my keys!), and I read a couple of humorous scenes, explaining to the rest of the group that while I had given up on An Army of Angels, I still wanted to write about those characters. The material got a positive response (and a lot of laughs) but also sparked a group discussion when Nicole commented that while she liked the funny stuff, she also liked the idea of my male protagonist, Alex, as the tortured artist with a troubled past. She reminded me that without conflict, there's no story.
I gave it some thought. A lot of thought. I realized that my favorite movies and TV shows share three elements: action, drama, and yes, humor. This story could work with Alex as he is, and Robyn, the daughter of former hippies, the only daughter and youngest of six children, with a rather embarrassing job, providing a contrast.
The solution to my problem came just in time. Collin is finally formatting all of the ebooks for print editions (currently, we only have The Unicorn's Daughter, Chasing the Wind and Final Hours available in print format--and Chasing the Wind is in need of an update). When the updated edition of Chasing the Wind goes on sale, likely sometime this week, it will include an excerpt from An Army of Angels. A new edition of The Unicorn's Daughter with an excerpt from its first sequel, Ides of March will follow.
Hope you'll check them out!