Welcome to my first post in the 2012 A-Z Blog Challenge. I've decided to do a month of Gratitude, starting with the letter A.
Angels. I am sure there have been Guardian Angels watching over me for much of my life. That's not to say things have been perfect. But whenever things were darkest, I had the feeling there was something other than a father figure watching over me. Something special, with intention. Something spiritual and magical all in one.
I started dreaming about Guardian Angels after our house burned down in 2008. Each night I would go to bed with the story and in the morning a vivid scene was just right there, waiting for me to write down. I began what would be the first of three Guardian Angel romances, two of which are now uploaded to Kindle and Nook.
I began wondering what it would be like for a Guardian to fall in love with a human. What would happen if this angelic being discovered she would rather be human, and battle the forces of good and evil in the human world, rather than in the vanilla world of Heaven? That her higher calling was, in fact, amongst the human population, and not the angelic realm.
And of course, what would it feel like for an angel to fall in love?
After our house was destroyed, my husband and I spent about 8 months in temporary quarters, first in a motel, and later in a small one bedroom apartment. Everything about my life changed after the fire. Almost everything I valued materially was destroyed.
But what came in their place were the angels and the angel stories. And though my possessions are gone forever, these stories will live long after I'm no longer here. They were a gift. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
I found out the hard way that the title of your Indie-pubbed book does make a difference. I loved the title of my paranormal romance, Angel. It finaled in contests under that name. I liked the simplicity of the one word title. But, I was ignorant.
I've talked with several other author friends of mine. Tina Folsom has been a good friend, crit partner, and my tech guru for the past three years. If you haven't read Tina”s books, you are missing a great author. You can see her interview on my 5/26/11 blog:
More important than her obvious writing talent is the fact that she is about the hardest working writer I know.
I explained that Angel wasn't coming up on the Amazon and B&N sites. People had to remember my name, and search by that. Okay for my friends and family, not so good for new readers. No one had ever told me this.
My erotic short The Stimulus Package sells because of where it comes up on the searches: right next to a book on why men cheat in Washington DC, the Presidential Stimulus Package, and a stimulus package for church organizations. I am clueless why they chose this title. I think the title for an erotic short is catchy. Nobody knows who Angela Love is, or is searching by her name (yet, she says as she winces).
Kindle: The Stimulus Package
Nook: The Stimulus Package
So, now we will see. Tina helped me get the book up and loaded. It takes a few days to populate, but hopefully next week it will be more prominent.
The other myth that I've wondered about is the .99 myth. Head to head, even though Angel is right around 100k words, the Stimulus Package still outsells it 3 to 1. I've just stopped that .99 pricing. I mean, it's 100k words. It didn't feel right and honest to undercut traditionally published authors who are required to sell their books, even their Kindle books, much higher. I just paid $8.99 for a Kindle version of an author I really wanted to read. I'm supporting the industry.
At the higher price, the rankings have dropped like a stone. But I'm going to leave it that way, for now. It just feels right, somehow. Compared to my other sister and brother writers, it is still cheap. I worked hard on that book. Rewrote it some 50+ times. I've vetted it just about every way I can, and now it's the public's turn.
At the end of the day it isn't about rankings, but visibility. I'm just looking for a chance to break in the door with something I'm proud of. Everyone says you can't have a blockbuster first book. I now understand there will not be an exception made in my case.
What about you? When you buy, how do you search? How do you find the authors you read? If you are a writer, have you experimented with book covers or titles? I'd like to hear it.
My love of gardening has spanned over 40 years. I love the seasons, every single one of them. In Northern California we get to garden year round. I find it relaxing, soothing, and something I just must do every day.
There's lots of future in my future. And I'm so grateful I get to write, that I live on a beautiful piece of property, and get to garden, tend my chickens, be close to family and the community of writers.
I hired the talented Cindy Pavlinac http://www.CAPavlinac.com to help me design some author shots. Her stunning photographs of sacred places has charmed me into a journey and has inspired some of the scenes in my stories. I also participated in a Labyrinth Walk in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral last November. It was the highlight of the holiday season for me.
I have to admit to having a crush on Rodrigo Santoro. Yes, I'm happily married, but if this man came to my front door, it would break my heart to say no. And because there's no danger this will ever happen, I don't have to think about it very much.