Bored!

The name game. What’s in a name? Well, we’ll see! I just changed the name of my blog and my twitter page. I’m a little bored with my current set up so I’m changing things up.

Lately, I’ve held my breath,

waiting for a gust of fresh air about book promotion and my writing life…

and I then I started turning blue…

wow! That sucked.

I knew I needed a new focus!

I think we can all agree that no one cares to hear any more advice about writing. Writers aren’t really experts on writing anyway. We know what is working for us and that’s about it. Here’s what I’ve learned in eight years of trying to become a professional writer…read more…write more…edit everything twenty-five times before you publish it and then hire an editor…done! That’s all I know! So I will continue to post short solitary fiction that doesn’t fit “Seeing Scarlet” and the odd poem here and there (see The Authors Spouse).

As regards book marketing…three months in and I’ve already had it. I wasn’t cut out for this BS! Buy my book, don’t buy my book, whatever! I wrote it for readers but so did a few million other authors who are selling on Amazon’s site. It’s a fast read. Many folks seem surprised by how much they enjoy it and that there’s humor in the book. Maybe the title scares them a bit. I know eventually word will get out. Meanwhile, I’m working on the sequel to “Secret Agent of God” and writing some more shorts of “Seeing Scarlet”:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/332370

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/341537

Book Sales:

I have experimented with different promos and what have you. Here’s what I found: twitter and Facebook ads will get you more followers, but do those translate into book sales? I’m not sure. You need to focus your energy on finding people who read, plain and simple. I leave my business cards with my book links in libraries and at restaurants I frequent, everywhere that I can:

Business cards
Business cards

If someone asks me what I do, I tell them I’m a writer, and eventually give them my card.

I post flyers on community selling boards. You have to do this often since most remove them weekly.

People who read buy books. You need a presence on book reading sites.

Pricing: I did some pricing strategy research recently. So many authors are giving their books away or selling their e-books below $2.99 or for $.99 that if you do try to sell your fiction at a higher price you may suffer from lagging sales. My best sales price so far has been  a .99 promo for the e-book but if I always make it .99 then I’m forced to make it free for promotions. Amazon promotes books that are under $2.99 or .99 and take part in the kindle countdown deals, so there you have it. Why not allow Amazon to do what they do best, which is promote stuff like books.

Thoughts on free: I’m a hold out on free. If you want to read my free works please click over to the short story tab or read this blog. There’s something discouraging about busting your butt to write a good novel and then giving your book away. I give my book away to family, my best friends, the library, for fundraisers, etc. So, I’ll let you know how this works out, but for now my e-book is $2.99 and the paperback is $9.95 or $8.95 for prime members. I will occasionally run a .99 promo. The e-book cost less than a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk or a fancy coffee, and I promise it’s worth it, so that’s that. Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Agent-God-Eileen-Slovak/dp/1492868191/ref=sr_1_1/178-9819668-1912011?ie=UTF8&qid=1397322662&sr=8-1&keywords=eileen+slovak

Book promotion in general. I come from a sales and marketing background and I would still much rather promote someone else’s work on twitter, my author page or my blog than my own. If I’ve read the book and liked it I may put a review up there as well. I don’t write bad reviews because I have no interest in hurting a fellow writers feelings in a public way. I leave that to the haters. If I have read a sample of your book and didn’t care for it I won’t read any more of it. If you asked for feedback, I will be honest in a private message. If you can’t handle my honest opinion please don’t ask me. I’m one person with one opinion. If you don’t like my opinion, ask someone else.

About Facebook, I keep my personal Facebook page for family and close friends and my Facebook Author page for writing stuff. Please don’t be offended if I divert you to my public page. This way I don’t bore my family and friends with too much book stuff and I don’t have to bore you with pictures of my kids playing sports and my cat.

OK, sometimes Licorice appears in both places. She’s my first ‘Beta reader’ or ‘Beta listener’ since I’m pretty sure she can’t read, although, I strongly suspect she might be trying to figure out how to use the toilet and turn door knobs and is smarter than some humans.

Licorice
Licorice

Since Facebook is really not my thing, I prefer to put a variety of other authors book links on my author page for my fans because how often can I talk about my book without being a total bore and most of them have already read it. I read a post by another writer complaining about authors posting their book links, looking for likes on their pages. I guess if you are famous I can see where that might bug you. I’m not famous but I have some followers who read. If you need some help, send me message, a link or whatever. Some nice writers helped me when I was a flailing newbie and I’m happy to help others in any way that I can.

On my Facebook author page, https://www.facebook.com/authoreileenslovak I will also be adding some pictures and quiz type things about my book, “Secret Agent of God” since it is about Maryland and several readers have begun asking things like, “Is this character based on this person or that person” and “which little Bay front home was Gram’s?” Things like that. I thought it would be a fun exercise and like I said, when I’m not writing, I’m bored.

My favorite medium is twitter. https://twitter.com/EileenSlovak I do follow back unless you are crazy, perverted, naked, racist, bigoted, or exclusively only selling followers. I consider twitter a place where writers like me with ADD and OCD can connect with my audience and with like minded people who also have short attention spans. I love that on twitter I can show off my writing prowess with ‘quippy’ catchy phrases in 140 characters or less. If that audience is 3 people, so be it. If it’s one person, well it’s that much more intimate now isn’t it? Actually, I have a great following on twitter, so join me and if I like your tweets, I’ll share them. Incidentally, I’m trying to get these hash tags off the ground: #Janice #SAOG.

So, my future promotional energy, which is waning as we speak, will go in this new direction. Because I’d rather be writing than doing anything else and for Indies this is a challenge!

So what do I really want to blog about? Being a female writer over 40 with kids who run rings around me and about things I laugh about with my girlfriends. What else occupies my mind? Sometimes I have bizarre thoughts that I’d like to share. I truly miss having fun. To those of you who stuck it out through my boring phase, thank you and wake up!!! Things are going get spicier around here. I’m turning this thing around, putting it in reverse and spinning a few wild donuts in parking lot near you! Come along for the ride, which, I’m just saying, could get wild at times.

Next blog topic: Are you overwhelmed by all of the options in toilet paper?

Thanks for reading and keep writing (and reading!)

 

Park this Rig on American Idol

The Top Ten Motor On…

I’ve decided American Idol is my current guilty pleasure. It presents such a departure from the rest of my life. So about last night…well darling, if you didn’t tune in, allow me to summarize:

Winning, while typically the result of exceptional skill sometimes comes by way of default; meaning that your opponent simply did not bring his or her ‘A’ game.

What the heck happened? Several of the show’s best contestants simply fell apart at the seams last night. Here’s how it all went down. I’ve added a star system, like in Orion’s belt, from zero to three stars, three being the best.

1. First up was M.K. with excellent pink hair and a strong start, singing my most favorite “Pink” song. Then her performance went sideways. I hope because of this one gaff, folks don’t send her packing. She has a great sound, although, her demeanor during the remainder of the program, will likely land her in the bottom three.

2. Dexter, sorry country dude, I was not digging this song choice. Even when Florida Georgia Line sings “Cruise”, the song is little more than a repetitive, monotone verse. Of course, this is true of most top ten hits, so that is the challenge. Dexter may be cruising to the bottom three.

3. Jena sang “Clarity” with authority and nailed it. With her unique sound, she pulled out a fabulous performance.** Two stars!

4. Alex, my favorite throwback, sang an up-tempo version of “Story of my Life”, which was a nice surprise since he tends to slow things down too often.**Two stars!

5. Malaya’s rendition of the Bruno Mars song, “When I was Your Man,” was strong, confident and emotional. ***Three stars! Loved it!

6. Caleb, I love you man, I just wasn’t Gaga over your song choice. Caleb can sing any song and make it his own so why did he choose that song? * One star

7. C.J. is a sweetheart but his tone was off throughout the entire tune. Looking in my crystal ball I see, C.J. in the bottom three.

8. Jessica mesmerized with her take on “Pumped up Kicks.” Although, I have to say, now that I’ve finally heard the lyrics to this deeply disturbing song, I won’t be humming it anymore. http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/fosterthepeople/pumpedupkicks.html Kids, just because any song with a good beat and a mumbled catch phrase can capture America’s interest, does not mean that it should. Good job Jess anyway.***Three stars!

9. Majesty, held her own, with an often too quiet “Wake Me Up”. She’s still one of my top picks but I am not sure this song kept the crowd awake.*One star.

10. Sam, America’s heartthrob, sang “We Are Young” with perfection. Is it possible to be too perfect? America will decide.**Two stars!

Of course, I’m just a fan, so what do I know????

I was very happy to see Jennifer Lopez take the gloves off on the judging. She and Keith have both mastered what I’ll call the ‘pump up, let down’, which is when you say something nice to someone right before you release the hammer. Bang!

Although I still don’t really hear Keith when he talks, it’s all just butterflies and unicorns. I’ve noticed he has a ‘tell’, when he begins his comments with “how are you tonight, baby?” you know it’s not going to be pretty, even if it still sounds nice. Sometimes, I could swear Keith is even saying the exact same thing as Harry, but Harry receives a barrage of boos from the crowd and Keith gets a new paper audience sign that says, Hug me Keith. It was great fun watching ‘the boys’ trade personas. But even while acting as Harry, when Keith spoke, it was all butterflies and unicorns again.

The show has an awesome new vibe, but what’s up with Ryan Seacrest? He’s not one of the show’s producers, but he acts like the rich kid who throws a party and then every other minute reminds everyone that he paid for the beer. At least Simon kept him in line.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCUQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D35tfXSINbCQ&ei=DS8rU9_gDqTe2QXVmYDwDQ&usg=AFQjCNFecvdf83lDtQnTHaVv5yagiMbgZQ

Sometimes I miss Simon, his arrogance was oddly attractive, but it was a distraction how everyone hated him so much. Simon laughed all the way to bank. I guess being hated pays off unless you are trying to become the next American Idol.

Good luck top ten!