Paperbacks

I have been wondering if I should create paperback copies of my novels. The price would need to be significantly higher than I charge for eBooks -- probably approaching $14 each. I can prepare them using CreateSpace at no charge except the time and effort involved.

When I thought about this a year ago, I talked to a few of the publishers, such as Astrid at Ylva. The consensus was that paperbacks were a necessity in the publishing business at least in part because authors wanted them, and because it provides something to give away or sell at various events. But sales volume was extremely low, and for revenue purposes, it wasn't worth the effort.

However...

If you would like me to have paperbacks available, and you would buy them, please drop me a line. If there is sufficient interested, I'll try putting together the first few and see how difficult it is.

I *may* do it anyway, as it might be nice to have copies myself.

Wolf Women

I'm pushing back some tears.

Wolf Women first draft: completed.

93,000 words.

A little bragging

I want to thank everyone for this image associated with Hunting Pups:



It's been there since a day or two after I hit Publish and has remained in that slot since.

Fox in the Water is at #2 in a slightly longer category (22 to 32 pages); it's been there for days.

Thank you all for your continued support.

Thinking of Writing a Novel for NaNoWriMo?

If you're thinking about writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month in November, please drop me a note.

I started a non-fiction book called "On Writing". I haven't decided if I'm going to finish it. It talks about the way I write, and how I wrote 3 novels during NaNoWriMo last year. I'd like to know if it's worth finishing.

New Shorts and a Status Update

Two weeks ago, I published a cute little short story called Hunting PupsHunting Pups reached #1 in the gay and lesbian short fiction category and stayed there for several days. I was amazed and pleased at how it has done.

Last night, I published Fox in the Water. This is another short from a novel that is currently stalled, Fox Found, which also keeps having the timeframe adjusted as I write other novels in front of it. It is now actually set after Wolf WatchWolf Ways and Wolf Women, the last two of which aren't even done. But there are no spoilers, so you can read it safely.

In Fox in the Water, we see the scrappy little fox easily handles getting picked on by the big, bad wolves.

I also have a short waiting called Fox Opponent, but it contains an important (although subtle) spoiler for Wolf Ways, so I'm not ready to publish it quite yet. Fox Opponent is set in the evening after Fox in the Water.

--

As for the status of my novels...

Seer: Thrall needs editing. If I can finish getting distracted with the Wolf books, I'll get it out the door. Expect it in October.

I have two books, both written from Zoe's perspective, in progress. Wolf Ways picks up a few months after Wolf Watch. Zoe struggles with her position in the pack and her relationship, or non-relationship, with Elisabeth. You can expect the fox to meddle. This book is longer than Wolf Watch, coming in about 125,000 words.

I am currently most active writing the first draft of Wolf Women. I don't want to say too much about it, as doing so would involve admitting spoilers for Wolf Ways. Zoe continues to explore her position in the pack. The fox continues to meddle. And motherhood is involved, with a twist or two.

Rachel Spangler

She says it better than I could. Here's the link:

http://rachelspangler.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/back-to-the-book-business/

Snippet from Wolf Women

"Is there more edamame? We're out." Ember stepped forward, saw the bowl, and said, "Oh, good."

She was halfway to the door again before Michaela stopped her. "Ember Louise!"

The girl froze. "Alpha?"

"Put. The edamame. Back."

Wolf Ways

2:25 AM. I just finished the first draft of Wolf Ways, the sequel to Wolf Watch.

I'm teared up a little.

Expect it in October.

Fox Shorts

I spent a good share of the spring and summer writing a great many words but not getting much published. However, some of what I wrote is actually pretty good, and I realized this morning that some of these turn into decent short stories.

So...

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be publishing a number of shorts. Generally speaking, these are portions from the beginnings of various Fox novels, but they stand alone just fine as well. I have a short or two that Michaela wrote and at least a couple that Elisabeth wrote. These will be listed as being part of the Fox Shorts series.

These stories will eventually (with luck and work) make their way into novels.

I also have a few other short stories to put out. I'm not sure what yet. I'll post here with periodic updates so you know what to look for. Or if you drop me a note, I can add you to my mailing list.

I believe the first short will be "Hunting Pups" and will be available tonight (Thursday) or tomorrow.

About Reviews

I've talked about reader reviews on Amazon before, but I'm going to take a little time and do it again.

When people email me, I frequently nudge them to write reviews of the books they like. Some don't need a lot of nudging, but many do. I recently exchanged emails with a very solid supporter who admitted she was shy about reviewing because she didn't feel her reviews were elegant.

As both an author and a reader, here's my position about reviews.

If you are able to write elegant reviews, great. I've had some amazingly elegant reviews of some of my novels, telling me things I didn't know. These reviews are deeply appreciated.

But I'll tell you right now -- that's not a skill I have. I couldn't have written those reviews.

So -- please -- don't worry if you're elegant in how you write a review. That doesn't matter. If you liked my books, then pop over to Amazon, click on the 4 or 5 stars, and then find something to say about it. I'll give you some ideas.

  • I really enjoy everything this author writes, and this novel is no exception.
  • I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
  • I will continue to buy more books by this author.
  • I couldn't put it down
Comments like this help other readers. They say, "This person enjoyed the book." That's more than silence.

Now, if you want to step it up a little bit...

  • This book made me think.
  • This book made me happy / feel good.
  • I cried.
  • I liked the way the author (insert something)
  • This book really drew me in
You get the idea.

Now, when I read reviews, I don't like to see spoilers. Exception: if you feel the blurb is misleading, that's a different issue. (If you believe one of my blurbs is misleading, please let me know so I have the chance to fix it. I admit I'm not the best blurb-writer.) You don't need to rehash the plot. In fact, both as an author and a reader, I don't want reviews that rehash the plot.

You can, however, talk about the things I did especially well. If I made you fall in love with a character, feel free to say so.

Think of it this way: if you were going to recommend my book to a friend, what would you tell her?

Negative Reviews

What if you disliked a book? Well, if you dislike a book because it hit a pet peeve or wasn't what you were looking for then I might suggest you shouldn't leave a review. Negative reviews directly affect an author's livelihood, and you really have to decide if it's fair to have that impact.

But if it's a bad book -- for whatever reason -- that's something different. Then it's fair to leave a 1-, 2- or 3-star review. In my opinion, a book has to be truly miserable to be worth 1 star. 1 star basically means, "This author is horrible". I have very, very occasionally left 1-star reviews, and in nearly every case, the author didn't know how to write a sentence. Even a few books I could not finish got 2-stars from me, if it was just a "I didn't like it" problem.

But let's say one of my books just didn't do it for you. Well, you could just drop me a quiet note. But if I'm asking for positive reviews, I have to be willing to accept negative reviews. After all, not every one of my books is going to be worth 5 stars. So what sorts of things could you say?

  • I usually like this author, but this book didn't do it for me
  • I thought this novel was just a regurgitation of (some other novel)
  • I thought the blurb was horribly misleading, and I wouldn't have bought the book because I don't like reading books about (whatever this book is about)
  • This book contains (some plot element), and I just don't like books that include that

Here are some other things, but I know none of my books would ever earn these (grin):

  • This book is so poorly edited I couldn't finish it. (Please don't write this if you found an error every 30 pages. This is what you say when there are errors every page, or ever few pages, enough to truly impact your ability to enjoy the book.)
  • This person needs to go back to high school English and learn about sentences and paragraphs.
  • The characters are shallow and uninteresting.
  • Plot? What plot?

Final Comments

I'm not trying to tell any of you what to write or when you should review. I'm just trying to nudge some of you who are intimidated by leaving a review. You don't have to be. If some of the things I've written above are fair, then copy and paste them into your reviews. You don't need to be creative and unique when you review. You need to help other people decide if the book is worth reading.

Note also that (apparently) a lot of people buy books based on how many reviews it has. I joined BookBub, and they frequently say, "Over 500 5-star reviews on Amazon." I don't see any of my books earning that distinction (plus I'm really left wondering whether those are honest reviews vs. fakes).

But if you want to support your favorite authors, buy their books and rate them when you're done. 5 stars and some cut and paste phrases to let others know, "this person liked the book. I might, too."