Monday, January 30, 2012

Outlaw Heroes February Free Giveaway Fridays!

Hi all,

In celebration of leap-year, I am giving away 2 free eBook copies of Outlaw Heroes every Friday during the month of February. Outlaw Heroes is a fun adventure book for kids ages 10 & up (although adults seem to be enjoying it too). You can read more about Outlaw Heroes and some reviews by visiting the My Books-Outlaw Heroes page at the top of this site.

It's easy to sign up to win an eBook copy of Outlaw Heroes. Simply click the link below, fill in the sign-up sheet (name & email) and you will be in the drawing for the entire course of the giveaway.  No strings attached.

I will choose 2 winners each Friday and send them an email with a link and coupon code to download a free eBook copy of Outlaw Heroes.  You will be able to choose from a variety of e-reader formats such as Kindle, Nook, Sony, iPad, etc.  There is also the option to download a PDF file if you do not have an e-reader but still wish to read it. This contest is for the eBook version only so if you have no way of downloading the file, then I will not be able to supply you with a copy.

Full disclosure - the link is to sign up for my mailing list but I will not fill your inbox with tons of emails and I will never share this list - ever! If I do send out a newsletter, it will be to inform you of any new books I've published, contests or price changes on books.

Friday, February 3rd will be my first drawing, so be sure to sign up today!

If you win a copy of Outlaw Heroes and would like to share a review about it, I would deeply appreciate it. You can share your review at one of the following locations:

If you don't win a copy, but would still like to read Outlaw Heroes, you can download a copy from one of the links above for only $2.99.

Good luck!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Loving the Great Reviews for Both Books & Outlaw Heroes Ranks #32!

Hi all,

I am thrilled at all the wonderful reviews I've received so far for both of my books, Widow, Virgin, Whore and Outlaw Heroes. It is rewarding to not only have people buy my books, but to also hear that they enjoyed them.  When people leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads - that is the icing in the cake! To read some of what people are saying about my books, click on the book tabs at the top of this blog or visit my page at Goodreads or Amazon.

More good news! - Outlaw Heroes is ranked #32 in the Amazon Kindle Store in it's genre.  Now, that sounds really good, but I have to be completely honest - when I say in it's genre, I mean this:

#32 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Children's Fiction > Historical Fiction > United States > Westerns

I took this right off of Amazon.  Overall - Outlaw Heroes is in the 200,000s ranking, but we will ignore that fact and just dwell on the #32!

Thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy of one of my books so far.  I appreciate your support.  As an avid reader myself, I know it isn't always easy to spend your hard-earned money on a book by an unknown author who hasn't proven herself yet - so I hope you have all felt that my books were worth your time and money.  Since joining Goodreads, I've purchased and read several Indie author's books and have found some really good authors who I will be sure to follow.  Readers and authors alike can join Goodreads - you should try it out.

What I'm Up to Next

I am currently working on polishing a full-length manuscript and getting it ready to publish this spring.  On top of that, I am also getting ready to publish a short story that I will be offering for free to my readers on Smashwords (and hopefully Amazon if they will allow Free!).  With the short story, I am including the first chapter of the new book I am working on to give you a preview of it.  So keep on the lookout for the short story - "Reflected In Her Eyes" and my new novel "Memories". 

Self-publishing both a new book and a short story means coming up with enticing book covers for both. I am driving my daughter crazy with the cover for "Memories" - we have the idea and photos ready but I'm being picky about the background.  My daughter is a computer design major in college and has helped me with all my book covers so far, hopefully she won't quit on me! Good thing we are related!

I'll keep you all updated on when the short story is available and when "Memories" is finally published.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ooops! Those Typos Get You Every Time!

Hi all,

When you are a writer, whether you write articles or books, the worst thing that can happen is to let your words go to print and then find out that you have one (or more!) typos, misspelled or misused words.  And if those mistakes are there - people will find them.  It's bad enough when this happens when you write an article, but for book authors, this is especially horrible.  Believe me, I know, because I have had to re-download my two books multiple times in order to fix everything from a tiny typo to a huge mistake. 

Why Mistakes Happen

You would think that after re-reading your manuscript at least 10 times you would find every error - but that wasn't the case for me.  I couldn't believe the misspelled words that snuck past me - especially since I know better.  Some typos I can pass off as a mistake due to Auto correct.  Quite frankly, auto correct is not a writer's best friend.  It may seem like one of your best allies when you type in ther and it corrects the word to there.  But when auto correct decides it knows what word you want before you even finish typing it, and you don't notice it, then you end up with some random word in your sentence. 

Another culprit is typing too fast.  When my fingers are trying to keep up with my mind, I tend to jumble my words together like thed og wasl ost butn ow i sfound.  Of course, this should be caught when I re-read the manuscript - at least you'd think I'd catch it.

Another reason for mistakes is using the wrong word. A true example from Outlaw Heroes is using the wrong versions of the words peaked, peeked and piqued.  Okay, that was just plain stupid on my part because I do know the difference and yet I still let the wrong version of the word go through.  Recently, while reading other self-published authors, I found there were a lot of mistakes with too & to, farther & further and no & know.  I am sure they knew the right way to use these words but, like me, were so engrossed in writing the story ( and re-reading it) that the mistakes went through to print.

How to Avoid These Mistakes

Of course, the best way to publish your book with the least amount of mistakes is to pay an editor or proofreader to go over your book and point them out to you.  Many of us don't do that with our first book because of the cost.  I know I didn't do it because I thought I had fixed all the errors myself and I couldn't afford to pay someone when I didn't even know if I would sell any books.  Looking back, however, I would have paid someone to proofread my books so the errors wouldn't distract from the stories.  Luckily, a very nice person who read both of my books sent me a list of errors so I could change them and upload new files at Smashwords and Amazon to publish.  At this point, I hope both books are as error-free as possible. 

Another thing I could do is ask friends to read the final copy and point out errors.  This wouldn't be as exact as an editor or proofreader, but it would be better than nothing.

Because I have received such a positive response to both of my books, I will definitely use a proofreader for my third book before publishing.  I want to offer my readers a good story that is as free of errors as possible and I think that would be the best way to accomplish that goal. In the long run, it will be worth the extra money to put out a quality book that I can be proud of and know that readers will not have to stumble over typos and incorrect words.

Are you an author?  What do you do to make sure your book is error-free?


Friday, January 6, 2012

Widow, Virgin, Whore Getting Great Reviews!

Hi all,

Widow, Virgin, Whore has been available in eBook format for about 5 weeks and is already receiving some wonderful reviews from readers.  You can't imagine how good this makes me feel.  You can read the reviews by Dianna, Val and Ruty on Goodreads and Crystal wrote a nice review on Amazon.  I am so appreciative of their kind words - they inspire me to continue writing.  I waited a long time to get here - I'm so happy it's finally happening!  If you are looking for a heartwarming book to read with women characters you can relate to - I hope you will download a copy of WVW.  It's available on Smashwords in all e-reader formats - on Amazon for Kindle - and on Barnes & Noble for Nook. 

Book I'm Working on Right Now

I am working on another book right now that I hope everyone will like.  This one is a love story/drama  about two people who were in love for a brief time years before and meet again years later - but there is little love between them now.  Loss, heartache and a secret stands between them - and although he wants to love her again, he's not sure he can break through to her.  There is much more going on in the story's background - so be on the lookout in early March and find out more. :)