Monday, October 15, 2012

October Fundraising Weekly Update #3

Mother Nature didn't play nice this weekend during my last outdoor show.  The Tecumseh Appleumpkin Festival saw rain showers on and off (mostly on) and chilly temps on Saturday.  Sunday was warmer but the wind gusts were too much and most all the vendors on my street were gone or packing up several hours before the festival was to end.  We didn't stand a chance up against wind gusts close to 30 mph!

But in spite of the weather, people still came out and I managed to sell some more books.  I also got to meet more fans, visit with old friends, and connect with a fellow writer.  All in all, I call it a successful weekend. 

The festival was the last show for the month so any more funds raised are all going to happen by a combination of self-promoting, word of mouth from my friends/family/fans, and a measure of being at the right place at the right time.  Irregardless of how much is raised, I know that it is going to a good place with

Thanks again for all your support!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

So What's It Worth?

Firstly, let me just say that as a book lover - I still scoff at the prices some writers want to charge for books.  Granted some of them really are too high, but as a writer myself, I now see the necessity of it.

For the last year I have been putting myself out there, doing whatever I could to sell a book, but I think all it has done is cheapen the worth of my books. And by no means am I judging when I make this next statement, cause Lord knows I've done it enough myself - but I feel like a woman who's given it up too soon.  All in an effort to be liked.

And I do want to be liked.  As a writer, as a humanitarian, as a person.  But I also want to be respected in the morning.  I want people to know that I know my worth and value what I have to offer. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm not trying to write the next American classic.  BUT - I do believe my books are good ... my fans believe they are better than good!  And it is them and my family who have been telling me for so long to stop "giving it away."

I've heard the words, but the reader in me - the one who remembers buying $3.95 books at the grocery story only 10 years ago - well that person has held me back.  People are frugal today, I'm one of them.  Watching every penny and getting the best value for the price.  It is that part of me that dropped my books so low.  But in the process it has devalued all those hours of research, writing, editing, and tossing and turning until my book(s) are done.

I know there could be a backlash from this and I am willing to deal with that.  But as of tomorrow, all of my pricing is going up.  I may still sell my paperbacks for $10 at book signings, but online they will be starting at $14.99.  And say goodbye to the 99 cent ebooks.  They will all be going up to $4.99.  I may drop the price in the week before a new novel comes out, but I don't know that I will make it any lower than $1.99.

I've put out so much money trying to market and get the word out and right now I feel like I'm swimming against the current.  So I'm going to make the reader in me stop fighting and go with the flow of what any other author trying to make a living would do.

I have a few more book signings this year (check my EVENTS tab for deals), but otherwise, I'm going into writer mode now and so my tweets, Facebook updates, and even blog posts won't be what they were.  It's time to get down to the business of writing and stop putting out the "NEEDY" energy.  I truly believe when we think "I NEED THIS" or  "I DON'T HAVE THAT (e.i. more Facebook/Twitter/Blog followers, sales, etc), that the Universe answers us but not giving us what we want.  

My fans are out there.  I have been bless to meet some of you and your love of my books and wanting of more is what keeps me motivated to put out material that IS worth the wait and the cost.

And for you who won't buy my books now because of the cost, that's okay too.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

All Books only 99 Cents on Smashwords all this weekend!


Fall is in the air and I love it!!

This weekend I'll be at the Tecumseh, MI Appleumpkin Festival . I always look forward to getting out and meeting fans, this time especially so because it is so close to the small town I lived in for most of my teens.  Can't wait to see old friends!

As a THANK YOU to everyone who has helped so far this month by reposting my blog feeds, tweets, and Facebook comments, I just dropped the price on all my books to 99 cents on Smashwords!!  The Sale ends Monday so get caught up on California Dreamin' or download Taking Chances and be introduced to a group of small town friends who love to laugh, flirt, and find love where the blacktop ends!  (Book #2 - Down for the Count will be coming out Winter 2012!!)!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  I'll post again on Monday to let you know the newest fundraising total ... can't wait to see what can be raised in the next 2 days!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Great Expectations

You would think, after 34 years of learning already, that I would "get" that life doesn't always go how you plan.  God in his infinite wisdom doesn't look down and say "You know, [insert name here] knows what she's doing, so I'm going to give her free rein and let all her hearts desires come true."

If that were really the case, and rainbows really spewed out Skittles and laundry did itself, life would be different.  The 17-year-old Amy thought when she was the OLD age of 34 she would be on a beach somewhere with her coconut oiled babies running around in the sand while her sexy-as-hell surfer lovebug was out on the waves.  In the vision, each night we would return to our modest beach hut and sit by the campfire in our poncho sweaters and words like 'brah" and "wicked" would be tossed around like a hacky sack...I blame Bill and Ted for this...and Point Break!  Damn you Keanue!

But, reality is SO far from what I thought I wanted.  Truth be told, I know in another 10 years when I look back and think of what I wanted at 34 will be different from the reality of 44. And I have to believe that all the 'things' that go on right now will make the life at 44 all the much more enjoyable, that I will appreciate it even more than I appreciate all I have now.

I laugh with my family about things that stress me out now - getting nervous to speak in front of groups, worrying about how to increase my book sales without spamming (and annoying) the hell out of all my friends and family.  I joke that one day, when I'm the guest speaker at the Romance Writers of America convention or the subject of Oprah's Next Chapter, that I will laugh at myself for stressing about things now.

But I do stress.  Because to me, writing isn't just a creative outlet.  It isn't a way to live out my fantasies with random men (though the visuals are nice :D).  I want this to be my livelihood, my way to make my way in this world.  The path will be long and I hope at some point the terrain will be a little more smooth.  But I also know that these bumps, costly detours, and roadside distractions, will all be worth it in the end. 

Because in the end, I will be following my heart, living my dream, and (hopefully) inspiring others to find and follow their own passions.

I have no clue where life is going to lead me in 10 minutes, let alone 10 years.  My guesses have been wrong most of the time.  And after having spent thousands of dollars on psychics (yes - THOUSANDS - no, not proud of it),  I have learned one thing - nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.  But if we move one foot in front of the other and can keep hold of even the tiniest mustard seed of faith, our journeys will be all we could ever want and more.  It's looking past the struggle, moving around the roadblock, and pressing forward with a determination to make a difference - in our own life and the lives of those around us.

So to all you struggling artists, tired Superwoman-moms, ambitiously gutsy dreamers ... remember this - a journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.  Every day I take another step and then another.  The key is to keep moving forward, don't stop and stare, and never - EVER - look back.

Monday, October 8, 2012

October Fundraising Weekly Update #2

Happy Monday!

I can only say that because I have gulped down an X-Large English Toffee cappuccino and the sugar is kicking in!  Really I would love to be back in bed, cozied up with my man and the plethora of animals that think they need to sleep with us (2 dogs and 1 fat cat)!!

This is just a quick post to let you know how the fundraising is going for the Domestic Violence Hotline.  Here are the dets …

 This week I got $14 closer to my $500 goal!  So only $411 more to go!  This weekend I have a 2 day festival, so I am hoping that my donated funds will raise a good bit!  

 There is still plenty of time to make your book purchases count … 24 days to be exact!  Remember,

$2 of every paperback book sale will go toward the charity
$1 of every eBook sale will go toward the charity 
Thanks again to all of you who have helped me reach this point in the fundraising...I can't wait to see how much further we can go!
ALSO - I'm still trying to get to 250 LIKES on Facebook for my author's page.  There are only 32 more LIKES to go!!
Right now, Playing with Fire (and my other 2 books) are all $2.99 on Smashwords, BUT, if I can get to 250 "LIKES", I'm willing to drop all my books down to 99 cents, for one week!
YES, even during this fundraiser I am willing to drop the price of books!  Which means I make nothing off these books during the week I mark them down.  That's totally fine by me since it is going to such a great cause!!!!

Cheap(er) books are on their way.  How soon depends on how fast we can get the word out!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Right Out of the Gate ...

I don't know how the skies were wherever you were this weekend, but Southeastern Michigan was PERFECT ... blue skies, cool fall breeze, trees are changing colors.  Fall is my favorite season!

This weekend I was out at the Clinton Fall Festival selling my novels.  I kick-started my Domestic Violence fundraiser off there.  And I have to say, I am very pleased with how things went.  Even if I didn't sell a book, I had some great conversations, met some new friends, and helped spread awareness about domestic violence.   

For the next month, each Monday I will have a short (or as short as my long-winded self can get) blog with the total raised for the week.  Don't worry though, you'll still get some of my wit, charm, and sarcasm in sporadic posts in between.

Thank you to everyone who bought a book this weekend!  And I look forward to seeing how much can be raised.

So without further ado... this week I got $75 closer to my $500 goal!!

Also, I realized that 25% of proceeds isn't all that much, and it varies between novels, so instead of that, I will be using the following breakdown ...

$2 of every paperback book sale will go toward the charity
$1 of every eBook sale will go toward the charity

Here is what you missed!