Thursday, April 23, 2009

In it for the money?

First, let me update you on the clan dinner last Saturday night. It was great. Everyone was dressed to the nines in their kilts and tartan sashes, and from what I was told, it was the largest attendance they'd ever had—57 people.

James Irvine Robertson, from the UK was on hand with his swarthy British accent and witty banter, as well as telling us all about his historical fiction. We met up with friends we haven't seen since last September at the NH Highland Games, and ate very well, indeed.

My talk was very fun. Of course I can't show you any of it since the memory chip in the camera didn't hold as much as it was supposed to so only part of my presentation was recorded. I had many terrific questions asked about my writing and my stories, as well as giving the audience a preview of Despite Them, a Gregor Macgregor adventure. Oh, and yes, I sold and signed some books!

Which leads me to the title of this blog. Many people think that since I have three books under my belt, I'm rolling in money. Ha!

Let's get down to some hard number facts. Royalties are from 10-15% of what the book sells for. For all those romance writers whose books sell for $8.98, they make a maximum of $1.34 per book. So unless your name is Nora Roberts, James Paterson or Stephen King you're busting butt to make any kind of living from your writing. Fact is, there are only a handful of authors who make a decent living from their craft.

Why, you ask? The market for fiction especially, is tough. There are a lot of fiction writers, which makes breaking into the genre difficult. Then to become a bestselling author takes many years and many, many books, if you can find a niche in the already crowded arena.

When you look at the numbers and figure out what it would take to make a decent living from them, it adds up to getting your books out there, meeting your public, writing really well, publishing a book a year—minimum—and writing about something people actually want to keep reading about.

So when people ask my husband how he feels about his wife being able to make such a fine living from her writing, he politely tells them, "She's got a long way to go before decent comes into play."

Thank God for Scot-ophiles!

I know it's over-romanticizing a place and its people, but for some reason Scotland has a grand following. At the clan dinner, I met a woman who was born is Scotland but now lives in Virginia. We talked about the "aching loins" romances that portray making love in the heather with a broad-chested, long, flowing-haired Highlander an item every woman should put on her Bucket List.

"Don't they know what heather feels like?" she asked in her soft Scottish brogue. "It's woody, prickly and peat bogs are filthy places!"

Kinda takes all the romance out of it, doesn't it?

Anyway, for now, I'll be keeping my day job and continuing to write on my days off. My agent is looking forward to receiving the Despite Them manuscript, which will be happening shortly. Then, it's waiting to find a publisher to print it.

There's no resting on my laurels just yet. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Clan Dinner

This weekend I'm off to Massachusetts to the Clan Donnachaidh Annual Dinner. I'm one of the guest speakers for the entertainment this year. That could good or bad, as I tend to get nervous in front of large crowds.

Don't get me wrong, I love talking about writing and my books, but the hesitation comes from childhood fears of … well, everything that had to do with the general public. I was much better with animals.

I know, I know. Those who didn't know me in my shy phase would never dream of thinking I could be flustered by anything. Believe me, it took great desire and a few decades to reach the point where very little bothers me anymore. I'm not even sure I could get embarrassed if I wanted to!

But, there is still the sweaty palms, shaky hands and far to many giggles to consider myself stage friendly.

That's why I'll be imbibing in a single malt—or two—before I get up there. With any luck, the dry mouth will be sated by the Scottish elixir and I'll stand up fearless, albeit on wobbly legs, and give my talk.

Dan, my husband, is going to make an attempt to video the Scottish affair so I can have something to share with you next week. With any luck I'll be able to make a pod cast out of it. That's if there's anything left after the editing process!


By now, many of you who ordered Double Vision last week have received it, and hopefully are enjoying the read. Remember, I'd love to hear your reviews.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Heartfelt Thanks!

How'd we do in making Double Vision a Bestseller?

Excellent, it almost reached the top 100!

Because of your help on Friday, it rose to 393 in the sales ranking on Barnes and Noble—which is actually selling Double Vision now for $11.07—and a little over 12,000 on Amazon.

It's by far the best selling book in the trilogy and I've got all of you to thank for that. Eyes of Garnet and Sightless also scootched up a bit due to folks not wanting to start the trilogy at the end. Good call!

What's next?

Book signings.

I'm already marking my Shameless Self Promotion Tour with dates for signings and discussions (my favorite). I don't go very far, as traveling over 300 miles and selling six books is hard on the pocketbook, but I'll be heading to the Maine and New Hampshire Highland Games for certain, and I may pick up one of the Massachusetts Games, as well. Check the schedule on my website for the dates and places. It's updated regularly.

Once again, I want to thank all of you for making my book be a huge success!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Double Vision Bestseller Day!

To update last week's blog of attempting to make Double Vision a bestseller on Barnes and Noble and Amazon, I've scheduled the date to purchase the final book in the Eyes of Garnet trilogy.

It's going to be anytime on April 10, 2009. It's not called Good Friday for nothing!

Below are the links to Barnes and Noble, then Amazon. It's actually less on B&N at $13.64 if you're a member. Amazon is selling it for retail at $18.95. It's your choice.

Also, feel free to post a review on either, or both sites after you've read it!

Thank you all for playing along, it's greatly appreciated.