Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Now, If I Could Only Remember Where I Put the Prozac....

It's been a busy crazy week--and it's only Wednesday!

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.

Thanks, guys!

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!

12 comments:

  1. Sometimes the right moment in time gives us the solution to such a dilemma.

    I do have a secondary page on Facebook, though I've been considering kind of morphing it into a page link for my photoblog, as several other photobloggers do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like an excellent idea. You should also post links to your comic book blurbs!

      Delete
    2. Don't know why I have an author's website but I have one. Sounds like you have great plans!

      Delete
    3. I think having a website can work if you use normal marketing and promotional methods--but I don't, so it's a waste of time for me. There's no one size fits all method for this nutty business--just experiment and see what works best.

      Delete
  2. Sounds like you have too much going on to write! And the purpose of all the author pages, FB, blogs, et cetera, is to get your name out there so people will buy your writing. I think you're wise to cut back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I was just telling Eve, I think these things don't work for me because I'm the Anti-Marketer. I hate pushy sales tactics (repeated Buy My Book messages and posts in which the author describes themselves or their books/blog posts as "exciting," "intriguing," "fascinating," etc. I don't do contests other than giveaways, and only then with other authors. I have my own way of selling--which must be working, since I get royalty checks every month (two this month). And it's a heck of a lot more fun.

      Delete
  3. Well, you never know where you might blunder... I do that often myself... and it comes out to be the best thing you blundered.
    Keep it going, and have fun. That's what it's really all about, isn 't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried to contact Blogger but got the usual automated BS. Try removing it from your blogroll, then reinstating it.

      Delete
  4. OK I have lost you and this page doesn't let me add you to my blog list.
    I am so confused but I think that is my new "normal".

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can't get it back, I have a Follow by Email option on the sidebar. Try that, and it should send you a notice when there's a new post.

      Delete
  5. Norma, I'm very happy that Army of Angels will be out soon. And I'm so happy that things are now on a roll!

    As for Author pages, I think it would depend on the author's use of it and for me it works as I don't have a website and have only my blog. I actually do have fans from around the world checking out my page, so for me it works. But yes, I do not really think an author should put in front of their name Author, just my opinion. When you get up there, people will know you are an author anyway. Just a suggestion.

    I was about to start a website, but now that you mention it maybe I won't. Yes, it would be hard work to keep it fresh, and we need more time writing. If I did one, I would try my best to make it interactive, fresh and new always (or at least weekly). That would be the only way I would do one.

    Good luck Norma, with everything. You are an amazing writer and an amazing woman! Thanks for all of your advice and support as well. You are a great friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A website can be a real time suck, even if you're tech savvy enough to do it yourself. I've seen some, sites of authors I know, that haven't had new material added in years, so what's the use?

      I think the use of Author before or after one's name looks amateurish. But that's just my opinion. I've seen one online who uses "the writer" as part of his online name. Maybe there's more than one and the distinction is needed, I don't know.

      Delete

Disagreements are welcome; trolls and spammers are not. Any and all comments by either of the latter two will be immediately deleted.