Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oh The Places I've Been!

Nowhere, really.  It's winter.  It rains, it snows, it's icy.  I was lucky to get to the store yesterday and do my shopping.

None of my bling arrived which is disappointing.  Had an exciting moment when I did find a copy of a book I believe is out of print at a tack shop/stable in North Carolina.  It's on training event horses and is research for Bittersweet Farm.  Yes, I did some eventing but I am definitely not an expert.  I downloaded another book and was surprised to see the very famous rider/trainer/competitor acknowledge a man who coached him in dressage, was someone I rode with, too, and his book is on top of my bookcase.

I redid the cover to Nothing Serious because the original art is 90 years old and I have no idea what it was supposed to be.  It looked like the color of an old Band-Aid.  So on my quest for more Photoshop knowledge I found out how you replace colors. 

Amazon was supposed to tell me this month if they were going to accept this as a Montlake book but they haven't yet.  So we'll give them another 24 hours before they've missed the deadline they set.

Thank you to all the book bloggers who have been interested in the books I asked them to read. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Nothing Serious Two Part Interview

My romantic comedy Nothing Serious interview with Honey Bee Reviews Part 2
Yesterday there was Part 1.  Today Deb and I finished up with Part 2.  You can't ask for more attention than that.   Thank you, Deb.  And I loved all the images used.  That's a girl after my own heart.

I'm coming to think that an interview may be just as good as a review.  They're easier to get and to be absolutely honest, you are able to speak for the book.  You're in control of the publicity.  The drawback is, of course, that the interview only appears on the blog so you're dependent on how many people you reach.  The upside you don't have the risk of  a reviewer not understanding or not liking the book and having that possibly not so accurate vision on Amazon until the sun goes supernova.

Will a rave review bump sales?  Probably.  Will a good interview bump sales?  Maybe.  If you were in sparkle mode.  Either way the interview will be available for a good long time and will turn up in a Google search,

There's some kind of Madison Avenue equation for how many times a potential customer has to be exposed to a product before they buy it.  10?  20?  I don't remember the number but the point is you and your books are the product.  You have to expose this product to the potential customers and it will take more than once.  A lot more.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Week In Review

It's been about 10 degrees all week and all that implies.
I've been guest blogging at The Passive Voice and don't know how Passive Guy does it alone.
I've been getting promotional items for giveaways.  Really neat things  that will be fun and are not super expensive for me like Amazon gift cards huge enough to buy flat screen televisions.
And I did...lots of other things.  Including getting through a rough stretch in Bittersweet 2.

The issue of promotion is becoming more important.  Joe Konrath did an enormous amount of promotion for his print books.  He may not promote now but he invested huge efforts before.   Karen McQuestion did a lot of social networking before she caught on.  Now she doesn't.  The assumption that most of us don't have to do anything and somehow the magic wand will touch us, raising us from obscurity seems to be a flawed theory for me this month.  Now I say I should have been doing the promo work 2 years ago.  Living is a learning experience.

I have an interview at Honey Bee Reviews  today.  And there's supposed to be a review of Bad Apple posted elsewhere but I don't know if it's going to happen.

I'm quite excited about a program in development that will elegantly convert documents into mobi or epub format.  I've been asked if I'd like to beta test it and I couldn't say yes fast enough.  If it's terrific I'll be sure to say that here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Art of Bling

Let me say something about giveaways.  There are sites that tell people where the giveaways are and they zoom there to get them--Bloggiveaways--Because Everyone Loves Free Stuff.  They don't know anything about the book, couldn't care less about the book, they want the silver spoon peacock necklace.
Factor that into your decision making process.  Here's a hint.  You would be surprised at how much pretty neat stuff you can get on ebay directly from China that barely costs more than the price of shipping. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Goldilocks In My Own Words

So she goes into a cottage she has no business being in and ransacks the place as criminals are wont to do.  She eats the food and complains about the quality--it's too hot, it's too cold, there's too much of it, there's not enough of it, it doesn't have shaved truffles on it.  She touches all the private belongings of the property owner and none of them meet up with her standards.  Finally, disappointment causing her to be weary to the bone, she falls asleep on one of the beds which barely comes up to her requirements.

Then what happens?  I can't remember, honestly.  I hope the cops came and took her to jail.

Evelyn Nesbit

Friday, January 18, 2013

Brilliant Bad Apple!

This is fun. Bad Apple at Amazon UK

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,600 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

 #5 in Kindle Store > Books > Fiction > Children's Fiction > Arts & Music
 #7 in Kindle Store > Books > Children's eBooks > Arts & Music

The Story That's Not Yours

Which of these is untrue--
1) I am very susceptible to being derailed commentary
2) I am incapable of being derailed by outside commentary

Don't look at me.  Answer it for yourself.

Okay, I will answer it for myself.  Yes.  I mean both.  And as I have said before I no longer make changes unless someone is going to pay me to do so.

When you're starting out it's natural to ask "How am I doing?"  Unfortunately, people will tell you.  Then you will begin writing to suit them.

This happens all the time with agents.  They will make a casual, unserious comment and then you try to fix the project for them so they will--PLEASE!-- represent it, and after you finish turning your story into theirs, they're not interested any longer, or that market's changed, or they were in a car wreck (yes, that happened to me, not the wreck that was the agent) and are out of the office for 6 months.

A writer needs to learn how to protect themselves and their work.  If you enjoy being critiqued and trust the person, then maybe it's helpful.  If having comments makes you doubt your choices, maybe you should wait until the project is completed before you let anyone read it.  Then if they have complaints that you left something out, you may be able to point to the section they glossed over where everything was so cleverly explained.

Write your story, not theirs.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Then Lockie Said to Talia

"Death rushed up to me so close its breath was my breath."

Yes, I'm working on it.  I have a friend who has written 2 books in the space of time it's taken for me to get this far with Bittersweet 2.  I feel like a slacker!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Huffington Post Interview

Yes! I was interviewed and it's live today Huffington Post. 
If you don't want to go there, here it is:

Barbara Morgenroth said she likes indie publishing because she no longer feels pigeonholed into a specific genre. She has written YA, romantic comedies, mysteries, cookbooks, and photography essays. “I wasn’t allowed to explore everything I wanted to do in traditional publishing,” she said. “Now no one cares.” Originally published under multiple publishing houses and imprints, including Atheneum, Berkley, Alpha Penguin, and Avalon, Morgenroth has been self-publishing since 2008-2009, and currently has 15 indie books out. “Traditional publishing was ridiculously easy to abandon,” she said.

And there we have it in a nutshell.  Traditional publishing was ridiculously easy to abandon.  Well said, Barb!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bad Apple Book Tour's Final Day

And it really ended on a high note.

"Haunting story, it had a poetic feel to it. Neal and Truly are opposites in every way, but Truly sees something behind the surface in Neal and he wants to let her see it to.  Intense plot line, an excellent read."

Musings From an Addicted Reader

It's Just A Ride

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Churn Out Those Units

Years ago I read a stockholder statement by one of the Big Six where the CEO used the term "units" and there was a footnote to explain "Units are books".

The current wisdom is that the way you become successful in digital publishing is to have a lot of books.  Now writers who used to write 1 possibly 2 books a year are planning on writing at least 4.

Here's the truth for me.  I may write that fast but I don't think that fast.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not Exactly A Heat Wave

But compared to some years, this is quite warm.    The night I cut the tip of my finger off, it was 30 below zero, so 30 above is terrific for January.

Apparently the Rafflecopter widget didn't work so I removed it.  If you would like a copy of one of the Bad Apple books in the series, I will send it to you while Bad Apple is on the book tour.  That ends Jan. 14 so it is a limited time offer.

There is a plastic camera made in China called a Holga.  The basic model costs about $25 at Amazon.  No, you read that correctly.  It uses 120 film which you might as well send for rather than search for and perhaps Walmart can be used to send it away for processing.  I find this rather strange although the results are visually somewhat interesting.
The photos are out of focus, the color isn't correct, there are light leaks and then you're stuck with something you have to try to get into your computer.

It sounds like fun, if I felt like using film again.

Anything you can do, Photoshop can do better
Photoshop can do anything better than you
No you can't
Yes I can
No you can't
Yes I can Yes I can.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In The Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, 
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; 
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, 
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.



Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bad Apple Book Tour

Yes, this is a new year and we're going to be changing things up which means getting Bad Apple in front of readers in an improved and coordinated way.   If you have a chance, stop by and add your support to our efforts to help Bad Apple.  You'd show up for a concert Neal and Tru gave, right?  (I would!  Wait, is it going to be at night?)
January 7 Reviewing in Chaos   

January 7 Zone Out Mode 

January 8 Books in the Hall 

January 8 Bookishly Devoted

January 9 Lunar Haven Reviews & Designs

January 10 Bex 'n' Books 

January 11 A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books

January 12 JeanzBookReadNReview         

January 12 Sapphyria's Book Reviews

January 13 Books & Tales

January 13 Buffy's Ramblings

January 13 Boekie's Book Reviews

January 14 Books & Other Spells. 

January 14 Musings From An Addicted Reader

Saturday, January 5, 2013

This Is NOT the Worst Winter

But I'm tired of it already.  It is supposed to warm up this coming week.

I had a nice note from a Kobo reader who read Flash while it was still on Kobo, then I removed it so the Flashes could be in Amazon Select.  She wrote this week "Where's Flash of Light?"  Well, nowhere but Amazon, so I sent her a copy.  If this happens to you, email me and I will send you a copy, too.  She kindly wrote back to say she loved it.

That's the problem with Select.  Amazon gives you the ability to promo to a wide audience but you run the risk of making non mobi people unhappy.  Device wise, this can be solved.  You can hack Nooks to accept mobi and hack Kindles to accept epub.  I've done it.  It's a bit of work, though.  Unfortunately.  What will happen is that customers will migrate to tablets and away from dedicated readers.  That will solve all the proprietary formatting issues we have now.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ken Lindner--Your Killer Emotions

Here I am this morning watching Fox News (yes) and Brian Kilmeade is interviewing someone about a book they wrote.  I look up, doesn't register.  Then the name is said.

It's always startling when someone you know is on television.  Even with my background.  I was on television.  I had a walk-on in The Doctors when I wrote it.  That was fun!

So this was my first agent at the William Morris Agency which I think is now called Endeavor or something.  I had met Simon & Garfunkle's manager.  Mort took me to meet a famous entertainment lawyer.  Harold took me to William Morris where Ken had just been hired as a lawyer, fresh out of Harvard/Cornell/a huge gig doing something for Weight Watchers (Jenny Craig?) and he was a top tennis player.  And male model attractive.

Ken has gone on to great achievements in his business and now he's written a book which I immediately bought because, knowing him, I know it must be good.

Your Killer Emotions

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bad Apple Review

Bad Apple received a very nice review from Kate at YA Book Crazy.

"Filled with touching moments, funny dialogue, and a touch of intrigue, Bad Apple is a compelling story about a broken girl slowly rebuilding herself again with the help of a family she never thought she'd have...

Barbara Morgenroth skillfully weaves a story where all these people have a place and purpose. Bad Apple also has a bit of mystery. You never really know all the answers, even when you've read the final page."

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

To Drive The Cold Winter Away

And I wish there was a way to do it because the weather is stinko!

I did finish the photo essay but haven't finished uploading it to Amazon yet.

The problem with images in readers is that they're not meant for it.  There are so many different readers, I'm not sure what size the image should be.  Other people probably do know but I don't.

I had a trial subscription to a magazine.  I thought what a great idea that would be but it was horrible.  The magazine was laid out for a paper version and the pages didn't fit on my Kindle Fire.  Or they were so tiny I couldn't read the print.  Maybe you need an iPad.  Or a laptop.

I think I'm talking myself out of publishing this book.  If anyone wants it, email me and I'll send it to you.