Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goodbye 2015

In two short days, another year will have come and gone. We’ll be saying goodbye to 2015 and ushering in 2016. With the end of the year, I thought it was a good time to sit back and reflect on what I’ve accomplished with my writing. Besides making me feel better, it will motivate me.

So, what happened this year? Let’s see…

Four books came out this year, which is pretty much the equivalent to one book every quarter. I released the last two books in the Time for Love series and the first two books in the Taking on Love series. In case you’re wondering the four books I released this year were: Tough Times, It’s About Time, Taking a Gamble and Taking a Chance. If you haven’t already, be sure to check them out.

Taking a Gamble, the first book in my Taking on Love series, took a virtual tour. It was introduced to a host of new readers and has been well reviewed by those who have been kind enough to post reviews online.

I’ve received several new Twitter followers and my Facebook author page is up to 630 likes and counting. That might not seem like much compared to some more well-known authors, but it’s a big jump from where I started at the beginning of the year.

I continued to blog faithfully each month. Though I didn’t see an increase in people following my blog, I can see that more people have read it and even commented. I’d call that a win.

A book trailer was released for Taking a Gamble as well as a cover reveal trailer for Taking a Chance. If you haven’t seen either of those, you can still check them out on You Tube.

All of my books became available for purchase on Amazon as of November 2015. Prior to that, only a select few were offered on the world’s most recognized online retail site.

Besides releasing four books, I have an additional two written; the final two books in the Taking on Love series. The first of those books, Taking a Risk, is currently being edited and will soon be off to formatting. Taking Another Shot, the final Taking on Love book, will need to be edited and formatted, but it will be a bit longer than anticipated. Next year, I have a surprise release in store that will come out after Taking a Risk. Stay tuned for more information on that.

Yes, there are some things I didn’t accomplish that I wish I had, one in particular, but I’m not discouraged. 2016 is a new year with new and exciting possibilities. Goodbye 2015 and coming soon, hello 2016!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I'm Raising the Price of my Books: Here's Why

I'm not just a writer. I'm a reader too. I think most authors are. The love of reading is what makes us so passionate about writing.

A few years ago, I finally caved and bought my first e-reader. As I was getting acquainted with it, I was astonished to find that many authors were offering their books free. There were just as many that were priced at a paltry 99 cents. For a while, the only books I would buy were those priced at 99 cents, especially if I didn't know the author. I discovered some amazing authors this way including Erin Nicholas, Nicky Charles and Christie Craig. I was also able to rule out those that I didn't enjoy without breaking the bank.

Since the 99 cent price point was working for me as a consumer, it made sense to use it as an author. The idea was that I could reach more readers, including those who loved to read but had a limited budget. Every e-book I've released in the last two years has been priced at only 99 cents. Considering not one of my books is less than 50,000 words, I felt like readers were getting their money's worth. As a reader, nothing irks me more than paying $5.99 for a book that turns out to be less than 100 pages when I download it to my e-reader.

Recently, there's been a shift in people's opinions on the price of books. There's a theory out there that a book that costs 99 cents is poor quality, poorly edited and the author isn't talented. That's true for some books that are 99 cents, but it's also true for some books that are $5.99. In fact, I've seen more mistakes in some of the $5.99 books I've read than some of the free ones. Maybe it's because the authors offering their books for a cheaper price feel like they have to try harder or pay for it in reviews. Who knows?

A recent industry survey also found that the highest selling books are those priced at $3.99. Readers feel the price is reasonable and are confident the quality will be good.

From the release of my first novel, I've been hoping that I'll end up a bestseller and I'm not picky. I'll be happy if I'm an Amazon bestselling author, but I'd also be happy to be a NY Times and/or USA Today best seller.  I haven't reached that goal yet and I'm beginning to wonder if the 99 cent price point is costing me new readers. I have a pretty steady following of loyal readers who have read everything I've produced since my Wattpad days. My books are well received by reviewers. Yet I continue to struggle to reach the one big goal on every writer's bucket list; become a bestseller.

With the change in readers' opinions, I think it's time to change with it. I'm not saying I'll become an instant bestseller, but I have to see if this is going to help. Come January, I'll be raising the prices on all of my books while still keeping them reasonably priced. Will it make a difference? Time will tell, but you better believe if I become a bestselling author next year, I will be shouting it for all to hear!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

All I Want for Christmas: Some Things Never Change

It’s that time of year again. The holiday season is upon us and Christmas is this month. With the approach of Christmas comes that inevitable question: what do you want for Christmas?

Most people are expecting me to answer with a specific gift item. Oh, I want a watch or I could really use some more Magnolia perfume. On a serious side note, if anyone knows where I can get my hands on some Magnolia perfume by Avon please let me know. It was part of their floral line a few years ago and I haven’t been able to find it since.

Getting back on track, the truth is that I only want one thing. It’s the same thing I’ve been asking for since I became a published author. It’s a gift that can be purchased for less than ten dollars, but it’s something I can’t buy myself. As I typed that last line, I was struck funny by how much like a riddle it sounded, but that wasn’t my intent.

The only thing I want for Christmas, the only thing I want in my writing career really, is to be a bestselling author. Clearly, I can’t make that happen on my own. Sure, I can write a killer novel and promote the hell out of it, but I can’t buy enough copies of my books to secure me bestselling author status. I need readers to do that for me, and I’m including my friends, family and coworkers in that group.

If you really want to give me something for Christmas, buy one or all of my e-books. I currently have seven e-books out and they are all priced at 99 cents each. Even if you buy all of them, you’re only spending $6.93 and we both benefit from that. You get the books and I get the sales that can help me inch closer to that bestselling author mark. There is one other thing you could do that I would really appreciate. After you buy the books, if you could be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon, it would make my day. Reviews don’t have to be much. A few kind words are all that’s needed.

So, there you have it. Once again, all I want for Christmas is to be a bestselling author. As soon as I reach this goal, I’ll stop asking for this gift. Until then, I’ll ask every year. Now you see what I mean when I say that some things never change.