Monthly Archives: July 2015

Ninety-Nine Cent Novelist

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We need to do something about this. I don’t know about you, but most of the time my book is selling; I’m doing a 99 cent promotion.

Not very encouraging when you have two more books being prepared for publication.

Granted, I’ve stepped out of the promotional arena, because the brain energy it takes to produce a novel consumes me. Trust me, that stuff doesn’t come in a bottle.


Well, maybe it does for some.

Recently, I was with a group of people talking about minimum wage jobs.  There was much feedback from young people that were upset because they could not make an adequate wage to meet the cost of living, rent, power, water…never mind, cell phones, internet access, laptops, cars. So, most had two jobs, and that seems to be the status quo.

The old-timers just laughed and talked about paper routes and mowing lawns, working at odd jobs for pennies while they gained experience in the world. But times are different, yes they are.


I mentioned it was tougher to be a self-published writer and promote your own books. I heard this response, “Yeah, the ninety-nine cent novelist is never going to make ends meet.”


Yep, in the minds of the educated public, the self-published author is a ninety-nine cent novelist. That’s what we’ve earned.

Now, you can spend years of your life devoted to writing a few books that will sell best at 99 cents, UNTIL you break out of the fortress of the unknowns and BECOME somebody.

There are a zillion posts on the internet telling us how to do this, write dozens of books, brand yourself, build an author platform, make trailers, do interviews, maintain a blog, and use all manner of social media in thirty thousand different ways to reach your audience and the media experts that can get your work noticed.  Or hire a publicist. That will likely run you thousands not hundreds of dollars. Unless you have a team of minions.



If you can do all of those things well, you’d be better off to become a publicist. Publicists get paid a mean $60,400 per year as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But I digress.

We’ve created this impression of ourselves. We wanted to sell something, anything, at any price, to get our preciously crafted words into other hands and minds so they might be appreciated by others as much as we appreciate them. We’re willing to give it away for free, because we know once someone hears our stories, they’ll pay whatever we ask to hear more, right…wrong. It’s crazy. It’s giving away your hard earned money in hopes that someone will pay more later. They won’t. They’ll just wait till your next sale. Because we have taught them that we will have one.

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Now, there is this whole culture of readers out there who won’t pay more than 99 cents for a novel, and free is better still. We created this culture. At any given point in time readers can find something for 99 cents or free that suits them, or not, and they are quick to let you know if not. Their biggest complaint being quality, which they most often define as “poor editing”. Readers want to beat writers to death with their books.


Don’t believe me, just google free or bargain priced books and see how many hits you get. Then go to any forum discussing the self-published.

Yet, that’s part of the promotional process…and it’s killing us.

There’s got to be a better way.

A couple of years ago, there were many calls for a collective of sorts and several efforts were made by people trying to organize self-published authors.

But I think that’s the wrong approach. It serves to further the divide.

Another approach:

A quality writer’s collective that promotes itself with both traditionally published and self-published authors whose books range in price from $2.99-$10.00. A web site store where readers could select quality self and traditionally published books that are reasonably priced. And quality authors would be promoted for starters. No reason why we can’t work with publishers to accomplish this. After all, we ARE publishers.

Oyster and Scribd have tried to do this and they are failing because they are not meeting their own standards for quality and they are attempting to get rich off of monthly subscriber fees.

The last eight books my husband ordered from Oyster and Scribd were hideous! He won’t even go there anymore, for traditionally published or self-published. And he’s getting frustrated, so frustrated that he told me my work is the best he’s read in a month and he reads a lot. So, I took that as a compliment. (As off-handed as it might have been, I know he meant well.)

The focus and promotion should be on Quality. Reasonable prices. No subscriber fees.

Gatekeepers (other author members) would not judge the content in the way that a developmental editor would, but no book would be accepted if it didn’t meet strict guidelines for copy-editing and proofing. Authors/publishers could pay a small fee to have their books reviewed for a set criteria. If the book is rejected, they wouldn’t be given but one opportunity to correct it, so there would be a great incentive to do it right the first time.

Word of mouth is supposed to be the very best marketing plan. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could promote ourselves and others in a way that makes everybody happy?


So, what do you think?

Settle for this:


When our sales look like this:


Ideas, thoughts, suggestions?

Go Set A Watchman––Review

I haven’t read this book yet, but I applaud Harper Lee and wish her much success. It is well deserved. I understand that many believe “To Kill A Mockingbird” was written by someone else, or at the least, heavily edited for marketability. It worked, and I will read her “original” with much due respect.

Jackie Mallon

UnknownGo Set a Watchman is a must read. I’m so happy to say that. I wanted to enjoy it and enjoy it I did.

I happily traveled with Jean Louise/Scout back to her hometown. I couldn’t wait for it; bought the book on the day of its release, the anticipation heightened by the image of the train coming up the tracks on the book’s cover. Who would have ever thought we’d be taking this trip together?

Harper Lee spends about a hundred pages allowing Jean Louise to explore her old hometown, notice the changes, indulge in the nostalgia, infusing the first third of the book with a meandering Alabama sultriness that might irritate some readers. In other words, the book starts off a bit slow.

Then it goes from zero to sixty and all the shocking layers of life in Maycomb during the years since Jean Louise has been gone…

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Everything but the Glittery Hoo-ha~#BookReview: Plundering the Romance Novel, #parody by Ionia Martin

Great review on a book by Ionia Martin that currently has me in stitches. Just 99 cents. Need a laugh? Love or hate romance? This book is for you.

Barb Taub

I was crying. No, really.

cupid1I downloaded and read Ionia Martin’s hilarious bodice-ripper spoof, Plundering the Romance Novel (subtitled A Really Awful, Truly Terrible, Very, Very, Bad Romance) and was laughing so hard I was using the sleeve of the sweatshirt my husband had left lying on the couch—again, even though I’ve warned him about it, so it serves him right—to wipe off the tears and snot because I didn’t want to stop long enough to go for tissues.

Now that I’ve finished (and, okay, done some laundry) I just have to tell you about it.

gold starMy Review: 5  stars out of 5

Once upon a time there was an Omnipotent Narrator. Actually, she was a romance novel reviewer who had just had it up to HERE with all the crap that gets published these days, for god’s sake, she could do better in her sleep and maybe make a…

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Hiring Developmental/Content Editor: Apply Within


I am just short of 30,000 words on The Conduit and searching for a content editor who is familiar with both crime fiction and paranormal. I’m particular about this as I am not looking for copy editing or line editing or proofreading yet. I would like developmental editing and I would like to get started with an editor before I get too deeply into this novel.

With a couple of trunk novels under my belt, I feel my skills and technique have improved. I know how I want this story to develop and, having read over it a few times from chapter one to chapter thirteen, realize I am at a critical point.

It would be really easy to blaze forward like a wildfire and tell my story, but there are conventions. I’ve read many, many books in both crime fiction and the paranormal, but only a handful that combine the two elements.

I have a forensics adviser, and even though my protagonist has a background as a crime scene specialist, crime scene matters are well covered.

I have been all over the web searching for a qualified freelance developmental editor who has the time right now to work with me. A few have read the ms, but we differed too greatly on the direction of the novel. So far, no luck. I am hoping not to have to wait two or three months.

This is not comic book crime fiction with super heroes. This is a story that involves real crime scenarios from both past and present, real life people, two of which have paranormal skills, a mentor and her protégé. The magical comes from metaphysical components that are not necessarily pseudoscience, but grounded in psychological theory. So a science background in psychology/sociology (even neurology) might be helpful. Knowledge of ancient cultures and history (Indian/Hindu and Native American/First Nation Peoples) may be helpful. Medical background may also be helpful, particularly psychiatry/forensics, but not absolutely necessary.

The implied spirituality in the work in progress is NOT religious or theological. If that would conflict with your own personal belief system, we might not be a good match. I’m not looking for an omnipotent God to be introduced who converts everybody to the Christian faith. It’s NOT that kind of story.

I have experience in psychiatry, forensics, and the medical background and have studied Hindu mythology and Native American lore. It is the background of my paranormal mentor. The story is set in and around Atlanta, Georgia.

The conflicts: “Jillian wants to be free from the torment of her nightmares, but she may have to give up someone important to her to get there.”
Jillian, a main character, is an adult, but for a year in her childhood she suffered clairvoyant nightmares about a notorious serial killer. Now divorced, with an eighteen year old son and a twelve year old daughter, a love interest has come out of her past, a dog goes missing, and the nightmares have started again.
Bill, another main character, is a semi-retired G.B.I. Liaison, and former crime scene specialist. A three year old case still haunts him and is part of why he retired in the aftermath of some serious personal issues that challenge his belief in the justice system.

If you are an editor, or know someone who is, with references and qualifications that you feel are suitable and the story interests you, please use the info on my contact page to inquire. Feel free to share a link to this page with others.

UP FRONT: I will tell you that I am not prepared to pay more than $3.00 per page (250 wpp).

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Thank you all for reading.

Plundering the Romance Novel by Ionia Martin

Need a laugh? Here’s a 99 cent novella written by one of the wittiest women on the internet. Sure, she’s been all tangled up in a heart wrenching romance of her own, but she’s penned this piece making light of the genre. Support our favorite book reviewer and pick up a copy today.

readful things blog

Plundering cover

If you should feel so inclined to purchase

Description: A silly, satirical romp into the land of romance novels and pirate adventures, full of romance clichés and humour. This book is a short novella, just over 10k words.

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the minds and hearts of romance novel heroes and heroines? No? Good, because this book won’t be helpful with that at all.

If romance clichés drive you mad and you like Monty Python style humour, this may be the perfect book for you.

From the twisted mind of a sometimes writer and lifelong reader, you are certain to have less brain cells than you started with after reading this book.

Captain Stormy is the typical romance hero/villain archetype. He follows the Romance Hero Handbook to the letter, but he is about to figure out that nothing in his guidebook is going to prepare him…

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Sometimes, ya gotta try new stuff

Looking for some new marketing ideas. The fantastically creative Craig Boyack and his accomplices have come up with this really neat paper doll. I loved them as a child and plan to print this on some photo stock paper for my granddaughter.

Entertaining Stories

We authors tend to all try the same things to promote our works. We blog, we tweet, we sign up for paid promotions. It all works to a degree, and there is no magic spell that will help us stand out from the crowd.

I’ve been known to try some crazy things from time to time, and today is no exception. I see that adult coloring books are all the rage today. Sadly, I don’t have any of those. Still, maybe an old school trick still has some life in it.

My regular readers know that Lisa Burton, the robot girl, is a recurring character on Entertaining Stories. I recently promoted her to ‘Official Spokesmodel’ for Entertaining Stories.

Lisa takes her job seriously, and when I’m writing she really gets into it. She uses alternate voices to read back my dialog, calls me out for too many coincidences, and dresses…

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