Sunday, April 29, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
|"Canyon Light" Copyright MMSikes|
Thinking we would visit the Grand Canyon once again along with this new canyon we'd discovered, we headed north from Sedona. It was a three-hour journey to Page, located on the edge of Lake Powell and almost into the state of Utah. Antelope Canyon, both Upper and Lower, was about three miles from Page and on the Navajo Indian Reservation.
The first thing we spotted as we began the tour was a plaque remembering the tour group that died in 1998 when a flash flood struck the canyon, and the visitors could not get out before drowning in the rising waters. Most of the tourists were from Europe. The tour guide was the only person to escape, according to our guide.
Now, I can see all sorts of stories developing from that tragedy. How was it that the guide escaped and the others did not? Did he feel any guilt or remorse because of what happened?
This canyon journey was more intense and far more beautiful than we expected. We never made it to the Grand Canyon that day.
How does travel influence your writing? Or does it?
Thursday, April 19, 2012
heres the link http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oak-Tree-Press-Authors/210979042259140
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
This is what's happening on the big tour--some people forgot. Those are the ones who don't put the post up until the day I'm supposed to be there. It's much better if you use the schedule setting on Blogger putting in the day and time you want the post to appear. I have no idea how you do it on Word Press, but I'm sure there must be a way.
On some, it's difficult or there's no place to comment. Since the contest I'm running is the winner will be the person who commented on the most posts, not being able to comment is a problem.
I tried to pick blogger who didn't necessarily have the same followers as I do so that I'd get different exposure along the way. Except for the people who are really trying for the prize, I think that part is working.
One thing people have seemed to like is the fact that I've written different posts for each blog and in most cases, sent along a different photo of me.
Is it resulting in sales? I have no idea. At the moment I'm having trouble even accessing No Bells on Amazon. It looks fine on Barnes and Nobel.
On the other much shorter tour--8 days only--again the contest that each person is having depends upon people posting. One blog doesn't accept comments at all--and another is difficult. Some of them have the hardest captcha words to copy. On one I had to do it 5 times before I got it right. If you're going to participate in a blog tour, for goodness sake, be sure that your blog is user friendly.
You can go to my blog http://marilynmeredith.blogstop.com and read my guests' posts on the shorter tour and if you want to catch up with mine I have the stops listed.
Anyway, it's been interesting, and I've certainly learned a lot along the way.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I signed up for an ad campaign on Goodreads. I followed their advice to place two ads, one targeting authors with similar stories or style and another aimed at genres consistent with my story. After two weeks, I have not had many people clicking on the ads to find out about the book. I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to how to make the Goodreads ads successful.
A Lesson in Murder and
Feast or Famine
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I'm holding it though you can't really see it too well in the photo. This picture was taken at my critique group and I'd like to have my friend's camera. All my wrinkles and imperfections have disppeared--too bad my hair didn't get combed too.
I brought the award to show off, but our leader also served cake so we could celebrate.
Anyway, I promise this is the last time I'll hog this blog with my win.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
As the French saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Or, to be fair to the French, Plus ça change, plus c' est la même chose.
So how does that pithy saying relate to readers, writers, and publishers? In my experience, as an author of nine stories under three different publishers, it means this: that all those parts of the writing business that have plagued, frustrated and delighted us at the beginning...well, all these elements are still there, albeit in slightly different forms.
The publishing industry never stops evolving if slowly, slowly, slowly. From an initial few big houses, to the many conglomerates of the 80’s and 90’s, and to the multitude of small publishers we have now, publishing has moved along. From having a handful of books come out a year, to e-publishing and self-publishing every story that is written, the shelves are still filled. The big publishers have been slow to accept electronic changes, but then they were slow to accept Indie publishers, too. Their’s has been a grudging acknowledgement, if not acceptance, that yes, the times they are a’changing.
The PR of the business has gone from the invention of the book tour (by a Harpercollins editor who can’t remember why she thought it was such a great idea) to blog tours online and every single venue in between. As the number of bookstores decline, so do the book signings, which were a mixed blessing, at best, I think—an expenditure of time and money for a very iffy outcome.
Mystery stories themselves have evolved from the traditional to what I call the “themed” series’s with recipes and knitting instructions; from police procedurals and village cozies to dystopian plots and supernatural protagonists. All of these are still labeled mysteries and it’s up to the reader to find the stories that fill their needs.
Distribution is in flux. As online choices grow (even beyond Amazon.com), there are more ways to advertise our book, but, still, no one can say if these increased venues actually create more sales and more readers. With one of my books that had really lovely preorder numbers, I hired a PR person. She had me doing signings and talks everywhere. She advertised. She did it all. Bottom line was there just a few more sales than the original preorder numbers. It was a tremenous amount of work and time spent for little advancement, sales wise.
Ahh, that bottom line. For the fact remains that there is no one foolproof method to get someone to buy a book. I’ve been at panels where an in-your-face author actually hands a book to an inquiring reader and then I’ve watched as this reluctant reader quietly puts the book back down on the pile and sneaks away, bookless. No one has figured out what actually sways the buyer. Agents and editors like to follow trends of “best or better sellers,” but these trends have a short life span. By the time the copycat book is written, generally the hot trend is over. No wonder agents and editors get so frustrated. Perhaps it’s the cover, the back copy, the reviewer’s blurbs or the author’s reputation that cinches the sale. No one knows for certain.
What has stayed the same in our business is that it’s still a whopping 5% of writers who make plenty of money from their work. And often there are the same names, too, year after year. The rest of us count the pennies we make, do our writing, try to advertise our works in various venues, and hope for the best. We don’t know what works to sell, but we might get lucky! To end with another quotation (this from the English poet Alexander Pope) Hope springs eternal, and that’s something all of us writers understand. Maybe this new story we’ve sweated so hard over will be our “breakout” book! Hope is what keeps us doing what we love to do, writing our stories.
Friday, April 6, 2012
A story about G. Thomas Gill author of Dog Island is to be posted on Spring Hill website, Saturday , April 7th after 1:30 P.M. You can catch the story by visiting
Very Nice Tom !!!!!!
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
These two wonderful novels are on the Best First Western Novel finalist list...Jeana just passed us the news!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
|JANET RUDOLPH: REMAINS OF THE CAKE.|
|L to R: Sunny Frazier, Morgan St. James, Steve Scarborough, Billie Johnson.|
|Front row L to R: Marilyn Meredith, M.M. Gornell. Back row L to R: Susan Cummins Miller, Clark Lohr, Vicki Doudera. Occasion: Panel Discussion on small presses.|
|JANET RUDOLPH: REMAINS OF THE CAKE.|
http://www.amazon.com/Quarry-Frankie-MacFarlane-Mysteries-Book/dp/089672574X) forwarded OTP info to me. I submitted in hard copy, then forgot about it. Months later, my daughter told me to join the 21st Century and get on Facebook. One of the first messages I got was from somebody I never heard of asking, "Are you the author?" I figured it was somebody from eastern Europe trying to steal my credit cards so I answered along the lines of: "Who wants to know?" Turned out it was Sunny Frazier...now I'm published, I get royalties, and a chance to hang out at Left Coast Crime conventions. I was a wedding photographer for years; I went to a trade school for photog. I've posted pics of OTP authors and some pics of the LCC Awards ceremony. Also, Janet Rudolph and what was left of her birthday cake after a room full of people rushed it. Janet publishes MYSTERY FANFARE online. Great resource for mystery fans and mystery authors.