Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Write Stuff

Thought for the day: I wrote a book about reverse psychology. Please don't buy it!




As you can probably tell by that tattletale badge on the left, it's once again time for the monthly IWSG post, and as always, many thanks go to our fearless leader, Alex Cavanaugh, for founding this fine group, and to all the other nurturing guys and gals who've helped turn it into the thriving community it is today. To join this super supportive group of writers and to see links to other participating blogs, please go HERE

Now then, what's happening with me, writing-wise? I'm working hard (or hardly working... you pick) on book two of my trilogy. Sales have been pretty lackluster for book one so far, so I must confess to having some doubts as to whether or not it's worth it to keep going. Then again... I can't help myself, dammit. I'm afflicted with this cursed writing disease, and it will NOT give me any peace until I finish telling my story. (sigh) So write I will.

I tried something different with Explosive Beginnings. I gave away 100 e-book copies through a Goodreads giveaway promotion before the book was released, because I figured that'd be a good way to get some reviews, which in turn, would be a good way to generate some word-of-mouth buzz. Right? Sound good?

HA!

Again, I say... HA!

To date, as a result of that giveaway, I've received ONE review and TWO ratings from people who won a copy of my book.

PBBBBT! I haven't entirely given up hope on receiving more giveaway-generated reviews yet, but I thought I'd share my dismal results with you, in case some of you might be considering a big e-book giveaway for one of your books. (Then again, it could work out great for you... maybe it's just ME.)

You and I know that just because something is FREE doesn't mean it's worthless, but now I'm kinda wondering what kind of message we writers send when we spend our money so we can give our books away for FREE...?








Maybe if we could figure out a way to give away free WiFi with our books?












Okay, let's move on to this month's question, shall we?

What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Hmmm, interesting question. Maybe I'll give you a clue to my response by telling you my favorite childhood riddle. Ready...?

                                                   What would you rather have chase you...

[image: morguefile]









                               An elephant...








[image: morguefile]












              or a gorilla?








Give up? The answer: I'd rather have the elephant chase the gorilla. (Yeah, okay. I'll admit it. I was a weird kid.)

But the point is, it's the same with this month's question.My answer lies beyond the parameters set by the question. I love coming up with titles and character names, so to me, that part is fun... and easy. The hard part is making those characters come alive and giving that title some significance.

                                       So in answer to this month's question, I'd have to say...

                                                                       NEITHER!

Didn't like my first riddle? Okay, here's another one: What's the difference between a hippo and a zippo? Ready for it? Simple... one is heavy and the other is... a little lighter.

One last thing. May I have a drum roll, please? It's time to announce the winner of an autographed copy of Explosive Beginnings. That winner is (ta-DA!) the lovely JOANNE FARIES. Congratulations, kiddo! Please send me an email with your snail mail address. (If you forgot my email address, that email me badge on the right hand side of my blog works just dandy.)

                                   Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

72 comments:

  1. One review? PBBBBT indeed. And I have no doubt that it is kinder than some of what you thought.
    I am ashamed to say that I haven't (yet) got to Explosive Beginings, but I will. And when I do I will write a review.
    From my rank amateur status I find titles well nigh impossible. And names a little less so. A little.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeah, a single review out of 100 giveaways was a bit (to say the least) disappointing. Oh well. Live and learn. I know not to go that route again.

      No need to apologize, dear lady. I'm sure your list of books waiting to be devoured is as long as mine. :)

      Delete
  2. My visiting son laughed pretty hard at your hippo/zippo joke. I'll zip on over to Amazon au and see about getting Explosive Beginnings.

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    1. Good! I'm glad your son liked my goofy riddle. :)

      Delete
  3. I am the proud owner of our new book, and I loved it, from start to finish. The story got hold of me and I couldn't stop reading. Thanks! Hugs, Valerie

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    1. What terrific news! I'm sooooo glad you liked it. (I KNEW you'd like the COVER! HA)

      Hugs back atcha.

      Delete
  4. I'm trying to buy your book, but Amazon tells me I have to shop at amazon AU, but I've forgotten my password there and to reset it they send a code to my email which I can't open without closing the amazon window then when I get the code and reopen the amazon window it's the same 'enter password, get email code" rigmarole. I may have to close that account and start a whole new one.

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    1. Oh, bummer. Sorry it's being such an ordeal.

      Delete
  5. I am ready to order my copy (had to wait for a decent payday!) and will definitely be reviewing. My sales are awful, I try not to look. I have a body of work that I want to get done, that's what drives me. The gorilla riddle was my favourite here - I'm still a weird kid :-)
    Keep writing! xx

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    1. Good thing we don't judge our talent by how much money we make, eh? I swear, I spend more money buying books than I make selling my own! Thank goodness we aren't in it to get rick.

      HA! I'm still a weird kid. An OLD weird kid, but a weird kid, nonetheless. :)

      You, too!

      Delete
  6. Done! Ha Ha, will start reading as soon as I finish the current e-book I'm halfway through.

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    1. Woo-HOO! Thanks for hanging in there. I hope you like it. :)

      Delete
  7. Greetings Susan. You were kind to give a hundred copies of your book away, and sorry you got a poor response in return. The comments I've read so far indicate that some reviews might be forthcoming, which I'm pleased for you about. Hope the present and future bring you more success with your writing. Great jokes - well done. I really like your humour within your pleasant posts! Blessings to you. Love love, Andrew.

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    1. Greetings, Andrew. Well, it wasn't so much "kind" as it was a stab at generating reviews. Didn't work. Oh well.

      I'm glad you like my humor, because it ain't going anywhere. :)

      Blessings back atcha.

      Delete
  8. I love your sense of humor! It's always a good sign when I snort coffee out of my nose while reading your posts. Sorry that sales have been as good as you would have hoped. People - go buy Susan's book now!

    Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Thanks! I like to think that when I'm on my deathbed, I come up with a few great one-liners so I can leave 'em laughing...

      Cheers back atcha.

      Delete
  9. Love the riddles! Made my morning! :)

    Sometimes it takes people awhile to get to our books, to read, to review. I know I'm guilty of that. But those ratings and reviews will come. Hang in there!

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    1. Woo HOO! Good to know I'm not the only one who likes silly riddles. :)

      I'm hanging... I'm hanging. Thanks. :)

      Delete
  10. That's a disturbing image...
    I think everyone has so many free books now that they don't have time to read them, let a lone review them. Sorry you didn't get more reviews.

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    1. I think you're right. There are so many free books available nowadays, it's easy for one to get lost in the crowd.

      Thanks. They'll come. Maybe...

      Delete
  11. Marketing is truly the hard part and can be very discouraging. It takes a while to get rolling. Thanks for picking my name out of the hat. Wow - I am honored and will accept.
    Good post and riddles

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    1. Yeah, it can be discouraging, but I simply won't let it be. Right? Right! We've gotta keep on keeping on...

      Cool. (It never occurred to me that you might not accept! HA)

      Delete
  12. Yes! Keep on keeping on. Doing what you love and enjoying it isn't all about money for sure !

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    1. For sure. I never aspired to be rich, because there are lots more things important to me. Like... writing. :)

      Delete
  13. Your first book is a car you're pushing up hill. Once you get past the first, you have a base of readers who will review for you, but it takes a ton of effort to get there. You know, traditional publishers give away THOUSANDS of copies of books at book conferences, on netgalley, and at audience specific events. Distribution really is the key. Librarything is another place you can do giveaways without pain to garner reviews. You have to be careful though. Some reviewers are very jaded. Especially the ones on Netgalley. It takes effort, but if you query individual reviewers (in your genre) who have private blogs, you'll probably have more success getting reviews. AND don't forget the power of Amazon. If you can find similar titles to your book and query reviewers directly who enjoyed comparable stories, you will be likely to find great reviews.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My first book actually started selling faster than this one, so maybe I set my expectations a little too high this time around. But I'm cool. (Well, not all THAT cool, but I am patient.)

      Thanks for all the tips. You're a sweetie. :)

      Delete
  14. Goodreads giveaways were much better when they were free. You still gave away a book or more and weren't guaranteed reviews, but at least you were only out a book or so. Now they're pricey and the results are rather dismal. And I would always choose free WiFi. After all, I can use the free WiFi to download more books.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Agreed. The giveaways I did for my first book generated more interest and cost me less out of pocket. Oh well. Live and learn.

      Yes! I like the way you think. :)

      Delete
  15. HA! Love your gorillaphant and the hippo/zippo joke.
    And as for reviews and sales - hang in there :)

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad I tickled your funny bone.

      Yes, ma'am. I'm hanging...

      Delete
  16. I really enjoyed your first book, so I've just ordered a copy of Explosive Beginnings. Let's hope Amazon doesn't erase my review when I'm done.

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    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy this one, too. It has a whole different tone to it.

      Delete
  17. Loved the riddles and the thought for the day. I read somewhere that our society doesn't value what it doesn't pay for. The discussion was actually on free college tuition but I think it applies to pretty much everything. We tend to associate the value of something with the price tag. I don't know what the answer is but don't give up.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For sure, we've observed at ham fests (kinda like flea markets for amateur radio operators) that people are much more likely to buy something for a low price than they are to take something that's free. The low price is interpreted as a good deal, but the freebies are often regarded as junk. I should've interpolated that information better. :)

      Nope, not giving up. Thanks.

      Delete
  18. Even if my sales are lackluster, I can't help it either. I have to continue regardless. Keep going, Susan!

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  19. Hi Susan - loved the riddles and Jenny's grandkids are coming ... so I'll try them on them - see what happens ... lots of laughter I expect. Being chased by an elephant or a gorilla ... I'll try the gorilla next - the elephant was not much fun, especially as it happened in two separate parks a few days apart - must be an attraction there?!?! I can't read the books I buy ... or need to read now I'm a book club member ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. I hope the kiddos like the riddles. I bet they have a ton more to tell you, too.

      Yipes! You were actually chased by an elephant... twice! I'd say that's two times too many. (Maybe you smell like peanuts?)

      Not sure what you mean about not being able to read the books you buy or need to read, but I'm glad you're a member of a book club. That's always fun. (Although maybe not as much fun as in the movie "Book Club"... absolutely hilarious!)

      Cheers back atcha.

      Delete
  20. Oh geez, the review situation is so frustrating! I'm sorry the giveaway didn't work out as you hoped. I love your book and am glad you're working on the sequel - make sure you are working hard because I'm impatient. ;) :D

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    1. Yeah, the review situation is a pain, but I should be used to it by now. Not! For some reason, when someone tells me, all excitedly, that they're going to write a review, I still believe 'em. Oh well. I'm sure they have good intentions.

      Oh, cool. You must be reading it now. I can hardly wait to hear your opinion when you're done.

      Delete
  21. The review thing continues to frustrate me. It's hard. I've got a future giveaway coming up. I'm somewhat hopeful... I'll be thrilled to receive even one.

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    1. Yep, it seems a fruitless pursuit sometimes, doesn't it? I wish you all kinds of good luck with your giveaway. I hope it gets you a ton of reviews. (If you're gonna dream, you might as well dream BIG!)

      Delete
  22. I had a free day for one book three times using a now stick up their bum service, had about 40,000 downloads and got 200 reviews from it. Those odds are 1 per every 200 given away, so not great. Plus, now that a certain site has a stick up its butt and is doing all kinds of weird things, people don't review there anymore.

    The first riddle would be my line of thinking too haha

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    1. Wow! 200 reviews? I'd be jumping up and down with excitement. Not a very good percentage of the downloads, but an impressive number, nonetheless. Good for you.

      HA! So you're as weird as I am... :)

      Delete
  23. I've heard a lot of authors complaining about decreasing sales these past couple of months. So maybe it's just a low in general. As to reviews, that was a disappointing ratio. I guess one learns along the way. Loved the jokes, btw!

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    1. You may be right. In any case, I'm not gonna worry about it. Que sera sera.

      I'm glad you liked the jokes. Kindred spirits! :)

      Delete
  24. For what it's worth, if you accept that you are compelled to keep writing then it's probably best not to stress about sales of book 1 and just get on with book 2. Then book 3. I think sales tend to pick up when you have more books out there ... more opportunities to be found, and more opportunities for a fan of one book to pick up another.

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    1. You're right, but I'm not really stressed about the lackadaisical sales. I'm mostly annoyed at myself for being foolish enough to pay for that darned Goodreads giveaway. I should've known better. (But I know now!)

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  25. I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don't know how to cook or clean, don't want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

    https://BoycottAmericanWomenNow.wordpress.com/

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hello, anonymous.

      Well, now. It strikes me as rather strange that you'd choose to leave this comment on my blog. After all, I AM an American woman. But if it makes you happy to "boycott" me, have at it. (But I, um, hope you DO know that leaving a comment on my blog isn't exactly "boycotting.")

      Anyhow, everyone's entitled to his opinion, so I'm not going to rise to your bait and argue with you. What I will say is making hard-line gross generalities about any group of people leads to nothing but bitterness, so I hope you find your missing inner peace, and I wish you well. Whatever sent you down this particular path must have been pretty vile, and I'm sorry for that.

      Needless to say, I won't be visiting your blog. After all, I AM an American woman. What the heck? I reckon I'd be justified in boycotting your blog. Take care.

      Delete
  26. Holy Jeezus - who the hell wrote the comment above mine??? At first I thought it was a joke. Unfortunately it's not.
    I know from bitter experience that "anonymous" trolls would never have the guts to face anyone in person.

    I just checked and you now have three reviews, Susan. I have absolutely no doubt that you will get many more. Keep writing!!!!!!!

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    1. HA! Yeah, that's quite a comment, especially from someone who's allegedly "boycotting" American women. (Helloooo...) I probably should've just deleted the comment, but I had fun responding to it. :)

      I'm gonna keep writing. Why not? Beats cleaning the toilets and pulling weeds. (And PSSSST! YOU keep writing, too!)

      Delete
  27. Congratulations, Joanne! I sure hope she enjoys it as much as I did.
    Your response to "This month's question" made me chuckle. Because I'm fascinated by names, I'd love having an opportunity to 'baptize' my characters. On the other hand, I'd be far too prejudicial to allow them much individualism. Keep on, m'dear!

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    1. Always happy to make someone chuckle... :)

      HA! That's what you think. You can baptize your characters with whatever name you like, and you can meticulously lay out their lives for them, but just like flesh-and-blood kids, they still choose their own way in the end.

      Delete
  28. Congratulations, Joanne! Susan, I hope you get more reviews from your giveaway. Maybe they just need more time to get it done. Your hippo/zippo joke made me laugh. Have a nice weekend!

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    1. Thanks. Even if the reviews from the giveaway don't pan out, at least I learned a valuable lesson. :)

      You have a super weekend, too.

      Delete
  29. I hope the number of sales and reviews goes up for you. Maybe books are like a TV show - it takes time for a new series to catch on. I think Seinfeld didn't really take off until Season 2 or 3, so be patient.

    My list of books to be devoured is very short, but I just can't seem to find much time to read. Maybe it has something to do with the list of structural reports to be devoured at work (ha!) being very long...

    I'm looking forward to "Explosive Beginnings" - I should just go ahead and download it from Amazon, current book be damned, huh?

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    1. Thanks. I'm being patient. The low sales doesn't bug me as much as spending money on a giveaway that bombed in terms of reviews. Oh well. Live and learn. And keep writing...

      I understand that. When Smarticus was working and had to read and write so much technical stuff, the last thing he wanted to do is read for "enjoyment." :)

      Hey, I'm not gonna tell you to damn another book...! :) "Explosive Beginnings" will be ready for you whenever you're ready for it.

      Delete
  30. I liked your hippo and zippo riddle :)
    Have a good weekend.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I'm glad. I'm a sucker for silly riddles.

      All the best back atcha.

      Delete
  31. Hi Susan, Though I thoroughly enjoyed your first draft of Explosive Beginnings I've been waiting to read the latest edition before I write my review, so I apologize for the delay. 100 giveaways? You've always been so generous and I'm sorry more people haven't responded yet. Keep writing as I'm also anxious for Book II, and stay away from running elephants and gorillas!


    Julie

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    1. Hi-ya, Julie. It'll be interesting to find out if you prefer the first version or the kinder, more gentler one. Okay, I'm writing... slowly, but surely.

      You stay away from those wild animals, too!

      Delete
  32. My excuse for not been looking at Your Explosive Beginnings is that I had to tend to my own explosive beginnings … but as soon as my own explosions are over, I will concentrate on Your explosions … and that's a promise, friend Sue. Love, cat.

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    1. … your book came to my house via UPS which couldn't deliver it as this cat works nights usually sleep in the day time … so I had to find the lil IFIXIPHONES place where UPS dropped it off for me … and round and round this cat went as one way streets galore … dat was a fun lil outing … smiles … anyway, lookin forward to start reading your new book, friend Sue. Happy summer readings and writings, eh? Love, cat.

      Delete
    2. Any baby gorilla and/ or baby elephant will do … the smaller the better though … smiles … c.

      Delete
    3. Sorry getting the book was such an ordeal. Hopefully, you have it now, and I really hope you enjoy it. Archie is a LOT different from Pearl. :)

      Yes, happy summer all the way around. Reading, writing, just being us. And oh yeah, definitely want a small elephant or gorilla. :)

      Delete
  33. Selling, reviewing, rejections,and accepting criticism are among the tough issues I see in publishing. My daughter has published and those are hard.

    Elephant or gorilla? Neither. Baby elephant? I'd be okay with that.

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    1. Yeah, you're right. All of those things are hard. We need to develop hides as tough as an elephant.

      A baby elephant would be kinda sweet. (Shades of "Hatari.") Then again, a baby gorilla is mighty cute, too.

      Delete
  34. I've done a few art giveaways in the past, but all they ever did was stress me out, and sometimes depress me, too. Sorry the Goodreads one you did ended up being such a disappointment for you!

    And LOL, an elephant chasing a gorilla would definitely be a sight to behold!

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    1. Yeah, could be that people don't place much value on something they get for free. Live and learn.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete