New Book Day Tomorrow

New Book Day Tomorrow
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last book release, so that must mean it’s book release time again, which it is.

A new book, “The Barista’s Heart” will be released within the next 24 hours. The final touches are just going on it and it should start appearing across the various retail sites in the coming days. Expect to see it on Smashwords and ARe on the day of release.

Without giving too much away, “The Barista’s Heart” is a touching erotic romance short about finding love in unexpected places.

It has wonderful sex, beautiful people, warm relationships, hot coffee, surprising encounters, and a macaroon.

Keep an eye out for its page here on my site, and look for it over at GoodReads and on Facebook.

I’m still writing upcoming titles and will also be taking part in some flash writing contests which may end up in all-new published works at the end of it all.

Continuing to Work

Continuing to Work
Even though I have been fairly quiet with posting my blog entries, I have been keeping myself busy with writing and with preparing other material around the web. I have several guest blog spots coming up in various locations around the web, and will be featured in the upcoming ARe cookbook.

Even though they don’t generate immediate results, every little thing is important for continuing to raise my profile

One of the little things I’m considering doing is to rerelease my earlier books to consolidate the look and feel across my titles. The earlier books, which do not have the common branding on them, will just be released with new covers to bring them in line with what I’ve set up - the content will remain the same.

Another book is also just around the corner, which will make my fans happy. Look for it within the next few days.

Marketing, Reviews, Etc

Marketing, Reviews, Etc
I was looking at the recent trends on my books across a number of retail sites and noticed a distinct tail off over the last couple of weeks that I couldn’t immediately explain. I thought it may have been due to the quality of the releases I had put out at the time, but those books have been amongst my best received, so that couldn’t explain it all.

Worried that I had exhausted my immediate supply of readers, I looked around to see what else I could do. Something that had come to my attention recently was an article in the New York Times about reviews for hire, and how they’re diluting the quality of valid reviews from readers.

The first thing to say is that I have never and will never pay for a review. I am willing to supply review copies of my published books (no difference from the purchasable versions) which the reviewer can keep if they like, but that's it. I don't pressure readers to leave reviews and I don't try and get low starred reviews removed because it makes my work look bad.

As far as the number of reviews to the number of sample copies handed out, they aren’t a one-to-one match, by any stretch. Perhaps I should hold off distributing review copies to people who won’t review, but it’s the sort of thing that’s hard to determine ahead of time. You certainly don’t want to make readers jump through hoops to prove that they are going to do what has been asked. The cost in goodwill would far outweigh the comparative small cost of review copies.

As a self-pub, it's difficult to overcome the stigma that self-pubs lack in quality. Some of the comments on my works, either in forums discussing them or on reviews is that they often exceed what passes for acceptable quality for a major publishing house. The problem then, is to get those works out there in front of readers. To try and overcome that problem, I have been looking at a range of alternative means for marketing and product awareness.

A quick look at the various groups on Facebook made me realise that almost every other person with a book to their name, or who wants a book to their name, is busy doing exactly the same thing and things quickly become a contest of who can make the most noise and be seen the most. That has the effect of swamping those who are updating with lower frequency (Come on, I’m publishing once a fortnight, and still putting fewer messages into these groups than some who publish annually or less).

That then made me turn my attention to some of the other web forums around. Quite a few were also swamped in noise, resulting from lax moderation and a strong desire by authors to be seen and heard. Those that weren’t completely swamped had their fair share of authors who disregarded the rules and were busy bumping their threads or dropping inappropriate self-promo posts into threads.

I can completely understand that desire to be seen and heard, as I feel it strongly, too. Having been on and around the web for over 15 years, I understand that behaving according to the rules of those who moderate the sites is the only real way to guarantee long term survival on a site.

It’s going to be quite a long road to recognition and widespread appeal, but I have picked up a couple of viable other forums to identify my works on. Time will tell if they’re going to help me out or not. If they do, then I will quite happily recommend them to others.

New Artist

New Artist
I am grateful to Estelle-fotography for granting permission to use their images on my site and for use in creating cover compositions for my books.

Please support Estelle-fotography the same as for my other contributing artists. My unique covers and site imagery certainly wouldn’t be possible without the support of their artwork.

Stacking the Deck Retail Update

Stacking the Deck Released
Over the weekend, “Stacking the Deck” went live on pretty much all the major retailers. The book page has now been updated to reflect the current list of retailers carrying the book.

Other retail sites will also end up carrying the book as a result of aggregation, so don’t despair if your preferred site is not listed.

Stacking the Deck Released

Stacking the Deck Released
As promised, “Stacking the Deck” is now out. It’s a delightful little erotic read about a couple who are playing some card games as a lead in to a night of more fun.

Things don’t initially turn out as expected, but is it possible for Yumi to recover the night and end up getting what she was initially after, or is it a lost cause?

Available now for download from a number of sites, with more retail sites being added daily.

Also, keep an eye out for another release in the next few weeks. Yes, there’s still more books coming down the pipeline.

Me, Around the Web

Me, Around the Web
I’m getting ready for another book release in the next couple of days. Pending any major last minute modifications, “Stacking the Deck” should be available within the next 24 hours.

That’s not the only thing I’ve got going on at the moment. Over at ARe they are in the midst of finalising a book of recipes from some of the authors on their site. Yours truly has been included and readers will soon be able to try out some of the food I love to cook when I get the chance. Once the recipe book has been published, I will also list on here some of the complementary recipes that work perfectly with those that made the cookbook.

Food isn’t the only highlight of my time. I’ve had “A Hero’s Return” selected for highlighting on Spotlight Tuesday over at Full Moon Bites. Included with that is the offer for free copies of the book.

So, things are being kept very busy and there always seems to be something to have to do. Rest assured, there’s always more books coming out.

Still Here

Still Here
Despite my rate of postings slowing down over the last week or so, I am still around and keeping myself very busy. I’m still on track for another release in the next week or so, which should make my readers happy.

Probably the worst sort of cold / flu to have is the one that lingers just beneath the surface, giving all the lethargy and tiredness but not the full-blown symptoms that can make it easy to say that it actually is a cold / flu. It also makes it difficult to step aside from work and recover when it just feels like you need more sleep.

Unfortunately, one of these lingering illnesses has been hanging around the family over the last couple of weeks and I think that it’s my turn to be affected by it. I’m finding it difficult to write, but at least I have enough books in the publishing pipeline to cover a delay in creating new titles.