Friday, December 4, 2015

December UK Book Sale and Freebie News!

Oy! It's December and Christmas is bearing down on us like a semi and we are the deer caught in its headlights. To celebrate this wonderful season of joy (which I really do love--no snark--I'm a Christmas nut) I am holding a staggeringly gorgeous sale for UK mystery readers and a giveaway that's worldwide (Amazon-willing).

Here goes: In the UK - A Kindle Countdown begins for ICED UNDER on December 7 and runs until December 11th. The regular price in the UK is 3.71 pounds (if I'm not mistaken). The sale price is 0.99. (I believe that includes the VAT) Buy it now to give yourself a little treat and read it over the holidays. Merry Christmas from your Canadian cousin!

The link to the UK store is here: ICED UNDER Mystery Novel UK Store

The second offer is RAZOR WIRE Free Worldwide (unless it is not available in some markets which I have no control over). This time I'm going to include the link for the Amazon.ca store because I recently discovered the link to the Amazon.com store will default a Canadian shopper to the .ca store where she/her will then have to search out the book. (Right. Like that is going to happen.)

Maybe this explains why so few Canadians (at least the ones I hang with) know anything about Kindle Unlimited or the freebie books they can try out, or the great deals that are constantly on offer. Let's correct that right now.

Here is the Canadian link to the Free RAZOR WIRE book offer available December 16 to December 18: 
RAZOR WIRE Thriller Freebie Canada

I want to see downloads people! Read it when you have time and for God's sake, post a review. I had no idea how important those bloody things were until I tried to market a book that had no reviews. Human beings want to know what other human beings think of a thing before they'll try it. Go figure.

Here is the link to RAZOR WIRE at Amazon.com for our friends south of the border: RAZOR WIRE Thriller Freebie US

And my final instruction of the day is a tip I picked up from PD Workman on Kboards regarding this business of getting Canadian hands on free book offers: Simply change the amazon.com to amazon.ca to land on the book page and download the free book. I think this could work for just about any book you want to buy in your country's market.

Unfortunately, at this time Amazon does not offer Kindle Countdowns to the Canadian market. It is a real poo-fest. I'm saying it. A real poo-fest. My three Gatineau Hills Mysteries are set in Canada and they sell extremely well in my local market in print but I cannot break into my own country with the ebooks because the US price point makes Canadian readers nervous with our dollar. I don't blame them but I can't price lower except for sales. I simply cannot. There is a line that defines writing as a hobby and writing as a profession and on those three novels, the line is professional.

It's a pickle that I have to resolve in 2016. But I'm coming for you, Canadian mystery readers. I'm coming!! (In the meantime, download Razor Wire for free on the 16th and let's get to know each other.)

Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all.






Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Guess what's free today...

 

Razor Wire

FREE on Amazon today only. (reg. $2.99)

From the back cover:

Classical violinist Charlotte Dawson needs money. San Francisco tech boom billionaire, Daniel Razor, needs a companion for his agoraphobic stepbrother. Razor makes Charlotte an offer—one hundred thousand dollars in exchange for one year hanging out with the handsome, talented, but deeply troubled Joel Razor. The job is too good to be true. Charlotte accepts. Then Daniel Razor comes to her with a request that redefines the role of companion and Charlotte discovers the lengths she will go to realize her ambition. 

Set in fog-shrouded San Francisco, Razor Wire is new adult noir suspense in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock. Originally published on Amazon in three novellas, Razor Wire is the first in a three-book series. Razor Close and Razor Edge will be published in 2016.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Winter Reading Book Sale!

Winter bites. Curl up in front of the fire with a good book. Hey, why not this one?

 "After a painful divorce, with her two daughters in tow, Sara Wolesley abandons her comfortable urban life to live in a rundown cottage on a frozen lake. But when she discovers the body of a missing child, she is drawn into the lives of three members of the tightly-knit village."

"This book kept me enthralled. There is one part where I actually felt the rising panic that was gripping Sara as matters began to spiral out of her control. So clever was the writing that I put the book down for a moment and tried to think how I could have resolved the situation, and I could only feel panic. The sense of place, the cold, the fear, and the isolation seeps into your bones as you read. Highly recommended."
Lizzie Hayes, Editor - Mystery Women Magazine (UK) July 2009 edition



Regular retail price: $4.99
Countdown Deal: $0.99 from October 26 (8 am PST) to November 1 (midnight)

An amazing bargain for Kindle readers (or get the app download for your Kobo and iPad, etc from Amazon). If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, borrow it for nuthin'.

And folks--please consider leaving a brief review because those babies are word of mouth. If you hated the book, please say why. If you loved the book, even better--speak your mind! If it was "meh", no worries--your "meh" is another reader's "wow!" Your author thanks you.

Happy winter reading!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Venosta, Quebec Writers' Retreat

I am off on a Writers' Retreat Sept. 25th to 27th in gorgeous Venosta, Quebec. I have never taken a retreat before due to lack of time and money and a deep-seated insecurity about the work. None of which has changed but I'm a sucker for a heritage farm house in the Gatineau Hills and I have a new series I'm struggling to get locked down for 2016.  

Mark Frutkin is the artist-in-residence. I read Erratic North and loved it. Thus, I am excited by the work ahead, tempered with rational dismay by the work ahead. 

Here is where the retreat is being held:  
http://www.venostawritersretreat.com/
What else is happening in my writing life?

I'm trying to zero in on the titles that did well since I began self-publishing, the titles that show promise and the titles I should put to bed. It's finding what interests me, what appeals to the market (readers) and the time I have available all in one place and then directing my energy there. Some writers nail this out of the gate and others (me) are slow learners. Onward!

Have a blessed weekend and don't forget to download your free copy of Heathcliff today on Amazon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

"Heathcliff" Free Days this September

Meh. Maybe it's the rain. Maybe it's my age. This blog has been nothing but Rants Against the Machine lately. Free books always make me feel better.

Heathcliff by N J Dorrian is Free on Sept. 10th, 16th and 29th. 

Heathcliff is the first book in A Wuthering Heights Variation Series. Earnshaw was just released. Novella-length historical fiction that revisits the love story of Cathy and Heathcliff from an intriguing perspective that does not violate the original classic.

Available on Amazon only, folks. (Kindle Unlimited subscribers, you can borrow the book right now and read it quickly before it is zapped off your reader.)

Please consider leaving a review. It is impossible to acquire new readers without reader reviews. I don't like to be bullied into reviewing and I assume most readers feel the same. But to keep book prices low, we need to participate in reviewing independent titles because mainstream media won't. Think of it as grass roots curating. And niche fiction especially needs all the help it can get from its fans.

Okay! On to the free book link! (Mark the date on your calendar or Follow N J Dorrian's Author Page to hear of sales, new releases, other fun stuff.)





HEATHCLIFF on Amazon. Free Sept. 10, 16 and 29.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Dear Facebook

Why you are stupid:

1) My real name is Nadine Doolittle. It is my actual name given to me at birth. It is the name you rejected over and over when I tried to join your strange and irritating club.

2) I made a name up. This is the name you accepted. You wanted me to PROVE that I was Nadine Doolittle and I declined due to not having the technology required (scanner) or the interest when making up a name was easier. (Proof of identity was needed to prove I was the account holder which I could not do as I didn't have an account. Read Catch 22 for more info on why this is stupid.)

3) Although intriguing, the suggestion I now look for my "friends" with the fake name, is a stupid one.

4) Fake Name has no online presence. Real Name does. Fake Name has no government ID or pays taxes. Real Name gave birth, pays taxes, writes books, the whole catastrophe.

5) You sternly remind folks it is wrong to pretend to be someone else. In that spirit, I am not Fake Name.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wuthering Heights Variation Series New Release!

N J Dorrian has released the second novella in the Wuthering Heights Variation Series.

Earnshaw opens on the day Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights and Cathy, disappearing for three years.

From the author:

"Where he lived, how he acquired his wealth and education is a mystery that Emily Bronte makes no attempt to clear up for the reader. She doesn't gloss over it though. We are meant to wonder, as Nelly does, and she deliberately keeps us in suspense. The genius of this literary trick is so bold, it leaves me breathless even on my umpteenth reading of the book. In my imagined version of what happened to Heathcliff in those three years, I tried to take into account the man who returned, the man Emily created, and follow her emotional logic. Mixing fact and fiction, Earnshaw tells the story of happened between Cathy and Heathcliff from the day he vanished from the Heights to the day he abandons Cathy a second time to run off with Isabella Linton."

Currently available for purchase on Amazon in ebook and in print everywhere.

      PRINT EDITION                             ELECTRONIC EDITION

   

Follow N J Dorrian on her Author Page at Amazon to learn of new releases in the series. Amazon will send a friendly email when a new book is published. No spam. No hassle. No sales pitch.

Or, conversely, join N J Dorrian's Wuthering Heights Mailing List for sneak peeks, news of sales, and chances to win advance review copies of not-yet-released books. She'll only send out a newsletter when she has something to offer! No spam. No hassle. Tiny sales pitch.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kindle Unlimited Royalty Structure - My Thoughts

Oh to live in a world where things stayed the same for more than a calendar year. Rapid change and publishing do not mix. As a writer on KBoards said: "This is why authors drink."

Amazon's KDP platform rolled out its new royalty structure for titles exclusive to KDP on July 1st. If you enrolled your book in Select, your book is subject to borrows. Borrows used to be paid at a flat rate (the amount varied from month-to-month) of $1.35 for a book read to 10%. Under the current structure, royalties are paid for pages read at a rate of 0.005779/page.

A 300 KENP (the term for Amazon's calculation of a page) book read to the end would earn $1.73. Under the old system (fondly known as KU.1) that book would have earned $1.35. 300 KENP breaks out into roughly 150 regular pages depending on how it's formatted. So let's say a price point of $2.99 with a $2.09 royalty on a sale and a $1.73 on a borrow. A sweet deal, right? Oh, but that's the honey-trap. Let's run the math....

10% read under KU.1 earned $1.35. 10% read under KU.2 earns 0.17. Yes. 17 cents. (Cents is such an old-fashioned word. I feel I should be wearing a newsboy's cap as I write this, fingers inky with newsprint.) One hopes one has written a high-octane, addictive page-turner but it's a little late now if it isn't. The book is exclusive to Amazon for three months.

With Kindle Unlimited, a subscriber is allowed up to 10 titles at a time per month on their Kindle for $9.99. Maybe my book will make it to the top of a reader's TBR pile. Maybe not. In the meantime, Amazon does not pay out for more than what is read that month. There are obvious reasons why the old system was unsustainable for Amazon, at the same time it was an excellent strategy because the retailer was able to quickly build a huge catalogue of books for their subscription service. It is equally obvious why KU.2 is a bottom-line dreamboat.

(Sadly, I would've done exactly the same thing if I were Amazon. Actually, I'd be even meaner. I'd start culling books from my store that were not performing. I'd be analyzing the Pages Read Data to identify a break-out book that hasn't broken out yet and then I would snap up that author for my Imprints. I'm horrible.)

KU.2 has deep ramifications for publishing and I'm still mulling the possible outcomes. But in the here and now, what it means for this author is something like 17 cents a day. (30 KENP pages x 0.005779 = 0.17337 cents; 30 pages is approx. 3 chapters)

Drinks are on me!

Friday, July 24, 2015

C'mon iTunes ... let's hug it out.

You know how when something is unjust and you are helpless to be heard or make a change and you just flail and flounder and rave at the fates and blog about it?

I woke to this very welcome email from the (now) lovely people at iTunes Legal/Notices. 
-----------------------------------------
Nadine Doolittle
Jul 22 (2 days ago)

to Erin
Hello Erin,
Can you confirm if any progress has been made on removing this title from iTunes Store?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grey-lady/id560171274?mt=11

The rights have reversed to me. I have since republished it and cannot promote or sell the book with this previous edition still being offered for sale on iTunes--in direct violation of its copyright. The literary agent for this work hasn't received a statement of earnings from iTunes nor has the original publisher.

What is going on? Why the delay?
----------------------------------------------------------

iBooks Store Notices
7:39 PM (11 hours ago)

to me
Hi Nadine,

We will be removing this title from the store today.

Best,
Annie
---------------------------------------------------------

iBooks Store Notices
8:17 PM (10 hours ago)

to me
Hi Nadine,

i can confirm that the book has now been removed.  If you still see the book, it may be a caching issue which will resolve itself within the next few hours.

Best,
Annie
-------------------------------------------------------

I can stop muttering incantations of doom every time I see a Watch commercial! My teeth will stop grinding in my head! I am filled with love for all things Apple! A reservoir of good will toward all men has been opened in my bosom! 

(I never hold a grudge because grudges take work to nurse and I'm too lazy.)

Thank you iTunes! Have a great day!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Apple Piracy Policy. Um, Really?

This is from their website:

"Apple actively and aggressively enforces its intellectual property rights to the fullest extent of the law. If you have any questions concerning piracy please fill out the form below."

Okay, so like I have a question? Um, I filled out the forms ... like so many forms, dude, and like no one has responded. So, like, are you sure about this piracy policy-thing of yours? Because I received word this morning from Amazon that my novel The Grey Lady is still being sold at $9.99 in the iTunes Store despite six DMCA notices filed, emails, forms filled out and complaints filed in that hellhole they call "Support."

Get this:

I thought I would give Apple the benefit of the doubt, you know? Maybe the page was a dead link, right? So I decided to try and buy the book myself. First I had download iTunes but my computer is too old, so iTunes Download told me to piss off.

Unable to check if the book was available for purchase, I was reduced to asking Amazon Support if they could check for me. (Let that sink in for a minute.) They emailed me this morning to say they checked and the book could be purchased.

Two years later without account statements sent to the agent or the original publisher. No royalty statements. No legal right to sell the book.

So to recap:

"Apple actively and aggressively enforces its intellectual property rights to the fullest extent of the law."

Apple is aggressive with pirates of their intellectual property. They could give a shit about your intellectual property. And when they are the ones doing the pirating, its a case of Fuck You.

Class dismissed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day 12. iTunes Legal. The Sequel.

Two years.
Five DMCA take down notices filed.
One query from an Apple legal representative.
Two emails from beleaguered author.
Result:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grey-lady/id560171274?mt=11

I swear I will leave this post up for posterity if they remove The Grey Lady and the last laugh is on me.

Here's the thing: If you are not ready to sell books, then don't sell books. If you don't like dealing with authors and their pissy-diva complaints, then don't sell books. If you want lovely content to lure buyers to your freakishly expensive devices, then you'll be dealing with human beings who write books. If you don't want to deal with them, then don't sell books.

The thing about Corporate Image is it can't just be an image. The way a corporation treats its smallest customer is the measuring stick of their integrity, not a glossy ad campaign telling us you have integrity. I wrote a book. It was published. Shit happened and now we want the book removed from the iTunes Store. Easy-peasy. Literally every other book retailer managed to pull off this wondrous feat as soon as they were notified.

At the moment, I can't enroll The Grey Lady in KDP Select because it is being SOLD on iTunes without permission or payment in direct violation of copyright. This means I can't hold the promotions I planned for this summer. This means lost revenue.

It's not rocket science, Apple iTunes. It's book-selling and if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

(Speaking of ad campaigns, for the love of God, will the Conservative Party give us a break from those truly stupid Justin Trudeau attack ads? Running them every 15 minutes is not helping. One of the actors carps from a script about Mr. Trudeau's hair and all I can think about is his hair compared to Mr. Harper's hair and then I wonder 'Why am I thinking about hair?' In the meantime, Mr. Trudeau has an ad running about the issues facing middle-class Canadians. No mention of hair. Do the math, gentlemen.)



Thursday, July 2, 2015

iTunes Legal, Are You Listening?

Dear iTunes Legal Department,

I'm not entirely sure you exist. I filled out forms online and hit Submit but for all I know that could just be a big placebo button to keep us hoping someone will actually do something.

Here's the thing.

You have my book The Grey Lady as it was published by McArthur and Company in 2012 still up for sale in your iTunes Store and I'd like you to remove it.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grey-lady/id560171274?mt=11

See, boys ... (gosh this is awkward) it doesn't belong to you. It doesn't belong to McArthur anymore either. It belongs to me now and has since June 2013. McArthur and Co. gave it back when they closed their doors.

It's been three years. I've asked you nicely (July 2013 and August 2014) to remove the book from your store as

1) I don't receive royalties on it
2) I've published the book myself
3) I want you to

And just like the darling hipsters you are, you still haven't done it. I assume you are too busy believing your own hype to deal with copyright infringement. You still have that shitty interface for customers/authors/the great unwashed to file their complaints into the Apple Buzzkill Cloud where they can be ignored.

This is the response I received after filing a Copyright Infringement Complaint with Apple Legal:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
If you do not receive a response from an Apple employee, we regret that we are unable to process your request. Please note that due to the high volume of requests we receive, this may be the only other reply you will receive from us.
We appreciate your interest and consideration in contacting Apple.
Best Regards,
Apple Legal
Copyright Team

Cheers you fucking assholes. Now get my book out of your store.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Kindle Unlimited and Indie Publishing

I'm not going to get into a semantic wrestling match over whether or not a self-published author is an independent publisher. I call myself an indie author. It has fewer syllables.

Amazon recently announced changes to the Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited royalty structure. An author will be paid for the number pages read when their book is borrowed. How much will they be paid? We don't know yet. I expect Amazon will walk the tightrope between paying just enough to keep authors in the program but less royalty than a sale would deliver.

The caveat is the reader has to finish the book to get the full amount. Can you imagine? How many of us abandoned War and Peace? (I'm raising my hand) We are biting our nails, hoping that we've written a book gripping enough to keep the pages turning. (This does not apply to the trade-published novels by the way. Indie is a whole 'nuther universe.)

Here's the interesting (to me) twist to the story. I woke up on June 2nd, suddenly resolved to remove my three Gatineau Hills Mystery titles from Kobo, Apple, and Barnes and Noble (among other places) and enroll them in Select. I didn't know this new royalty structure was in the wind--it was only announced last week. I would have received $1.37 per borrow (est.). A sale would net me $3.50 (give or take). But I figured it was worth it to promote the books, find readers willing to borrow an unknown author and the enrollment is only for 90 days.

Under the new royalty, a borrow read all the way through could net me closer to $3 (assuming a 0.01/page royalty). Am I psychic? Hah! I'm very happy I trusted my intuitive voice this time and made the move. I created new covers especially for KDP and I'll hold a promotion over the coming months.

The flip side of this new event is that shorter works such as the Razor Series will be bundled and take longer to release. NJ Dorrian's Wuthering Heights Variations Series will be released wide as soon as her 90 days in Select expires. That series was designed to be novella-length. Besides, in watching buying and borrowing habits, I believe readers of historical fiction prefer to buy over borrow. So look for NJ Dorrian on Kobo, Apple and Barnes and Noble this August.

As for me--holy hannah! Too much writing to do. My brain gives out after four hours and then I run off to make covers, ponder promos, write blurbs, tweak keywords, post updates to the blog, and plunk updates in the Excel spreadsheet I had to create for this enterprise.

Sounds like an independent publisher to me. Indie all the way.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Because it's June! June, June, June!

You would have to enjoy Broadway show tunes to get the reference. Or live in a cold country.

I'm too busy to enjoy the summer. I have a writing schedule that would fell a horse. To help me out, I recently acquired a headset with microphone to use the Speech-to-Text function already loaded on my computer. It is an amazing tool for getting out that all-important first draft. I can talk out a lot of the subtext in the story and edit it in later. My wrist and back have been killing me from sitting long hours hunched in front of the screen. But it's not like a car that parks itself. My first go at it was only modestly successful. I had to do a lot of editing because APPARENTLY I talk a lot about stuff of absolutely no interest. I bored even myself.

In other news, my daughter is going to have a baby at the end of November. So that will be three grandchildren. Let me tell you something about kids. You tell them to do something and they don't do it. You tell them not to do something and they do it. I specifically said I wanted my fifties to get my ducks in a row before I became a grandmother. Did they listen? No.

I'm thrilled, but also under the gun to get the house finished so I have room to put them all up when they come to visit. Between us, we have four children who are all married or getting married and starting families of their own. Still, after spending ten days with my two-year-old grandson, I'm glad my kids didn't listen to me. That little guy wore me out.

My goals this summer:
1) A rough draft of a new series
2) Daily exercise (I should just 'cut-and-paste' this every month.)
3) Get over snake phobia and weed garden.

Friday, April 24, 2015

2015 Arthur Ellis Awards Shortlist

ACK! I did not make the shortlist but my fellow authors in Ottawa did! Congratulations Brenda Chapman and Barbara Fradkin! If these crime writers are new to you, check out their titles. Gripping, insightful, these writers are masters of the craft. I'm thrilled! I'm jealous! But mostly, I'm thrilled to see their names on the list!

HERE IS THE LIST OF NOMINEES:

Crime Writers of Canada present the 2015 Arthur Ellis Awards Shortlists for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing.

Best Novel 
Brenda Chapman, Cold Mourning, Dundurn Press
Barbara Fradkin, None so Blind, Dundurn Press
C.C. Humphreys, Plague, Doubleday Canada
Maureen Jennings, No Known Grave, McClelland & Stewart
Alen Mattich, Killing Pilgrim, House of Anansi

Best First Novel 
Janet Brons, A Quiet Kill, Touchwood Editions
Steve Burrows, Siege of Bitterns, Dundurn Press
M.H. Callway, Windigo Fire, Seraphim Editions
Eve McBride, No Worst, There Is None, Dundurn Press
Sam Wiebe, Last of the Independents, Dundurn Press

Best Novella
Rick Blechta, The Boom Room, Orca Book Publishers
Vicki Delany, Juba Good, Orca Book Publishers
Ian Hamilton, The Dragon Head of Hong Kong, House of Anansi
Jas. R. Petrin, A Knock on the Door, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine

Best Short Story 
Margaret Atwood, Stone Mattress, McClelland & Stewart
Melodie Campbell, Hook, Line and Sinker, Northword Literary Journal
Peter Clement, Therapy, Belgrave House
Madona Skaff, First Impressions, The Whole She-Bang 2, Sisters in Crime
Kevin P. Thornton, Writers Block, World Enough and Crime, Carrick Publishing  

Best Book in French 
Hervé Gagnon, Jack: Une enquête de Joseph Laflamme, Expression noir / Groupe librex
Andrée Michaud, Bondrée, Editions Québec Amérique
Maryse Rouy, Meurtre à l’hôtel Despréaux, Édition Druide
Richard Ste Marie, Repentirs, Alire

Best Juvenile/YA Book 
Michael Betcherman, Face-Off, Penguin Canada
Sigmund Brouwer, Dead Man's Switch, Harvest House
S.J. Laidlaw, The Voice Inside My Head, Tundra Books
Norah McClintock, About That Night, Orca Book Publishers
Jeyn Roberts, The Bodies We Wear, Knopf Books for Young Readers

Best Nonfiction Book 
Bob Deasy (with Mark Ebner), Being Uncle Charlie, Penguin Random House
Charlotte Gray, The Massey Murder, HarperCollins
Joan McEwen, Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry, Heritage House
Bill Reynolds, Life Real Loud: John Lefebvre, Neteller and the Revolution in Online Gambling, ECW Press
Paula Todd, Extreme Mean, McClelland & Stewart

Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel 
Rum Luck by Ryan Aldred
Full Curl by Dave Butler
Crisis Point by Dwayne Clayden
Afghan Redemption by Bill Prentice
Strange Things Done by Elle Wild

The winners will be announced May 28 at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto! Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Stealing in Broad Daylight

Um...

At this very moment I'm listening to the FULL ALBUM of Enya's Greatest Hits on YouTube.

15,909,875 people have tuned in since it was uploaded on November 13, 2013. plata oro is the entity behind the upload and they have 25,140 subscribers.

I don't get it. Did plata oro pay Enya's music label for the right to upload a digital copy? Did YouTube? Was it such a huge cost that the only way to recoup their investment is by running ads throughout? (I just skip 'em. No biggie.)

Has YouTube and plata oro uploaded the album and from the millions of listeners the artist is bound to attract (like me), they make a fantastic profit by selling ads to corporations? ("Psst, guys, I got a vid running on YouTube that has over 15 mil eyeballs. If you want a piece of the action it'll cost ya.")

I never have to pay for this album. It's crazy. I don't get it.

Wait--is this the Utopian Era of Communal Property and no one told me? Well, hot damn! There's a lovely little mansion in Silicon Valley I've had my eye on for some time ... so when can I move in?

Inquiring minds want to know.

(stolen from the National Enquirer. it's their tagline.)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Write More. Write Fast. Write Now.

I'm hard at work every day on two new short series for Kindle Unlimited. I write 3000 words a day. It's not easy. The back is the first to go. The wrist is next. I have 20 years of writing experience. There's no excuse for a pitiful word count anymore. (Except blogging. Blogging is a good excuse.)

Tips For Increasing Word Count:

If you're just starting out, the best thing you can do for yourself is just write like hell. It's going to suck. But it's easier to fix words than it is to come up with new words. Write out of sequence if that helps. Write the bits you're interested in. You can knit it all together later. Revision is your friend. Don't worry, you'll get there. But not until you have a first draft with a beginning, middle and end.

If you have years of writing experience and just want to squeeze more productivity out of your writing time:

1) Know that you can write more. If I can do it, you can do it. Don't listen to the voice that says you can't. You can. You already know how to tell a story, it's a matter of typing it.
2) Don't think when you're writing. You can think later. If you get stuck thinking, skip to the next most interesting thing in your story and think about that. You'll want to write it and hey! there's no reason why you shouldn't.
3) Revise as you go along. Hah! I thought I couldn't do this either. But it's amazing how the brain will cough up corrections to scenes, adjust dialogue, add details, etc. if you just let it do its job.
4) Set a word goal and keep a beady eye on the number. It's your cookie--your validation--it loves you. Feed it and watch it grow.
5) When you get to the end of your novel and it resembles a novelette, DO NOT PANIC. This is where the fun happens. Go back to the beginning and flesh out the chapters with description, deepen dialogue and character, add bits of business. You'll be amazed at how painlessly word count grows to full-length novel.

To Outline or Not to Outline, That is the Question.

Some very prolific writers swear by their outlines. Based on my own experience and hearing from other writers, I think the outline works for a particular type of brain. Many authors start with an outline and then scrap it. I start by writing a first draft and the outline emerges from there as I go along.

If outlining exhausts your creativity when it comes time to write, don't bother with them. If you are inspired and excited by outlining and write like a white hot genius when you get to work, count your blessings. Keep what works, chuck what doesn't.

Is it possible to write a book in one month? I think it is but I think first and foremost, it's better to learn your own mind and take the time to say what you want to say. Ultimately, that's where the real joy of writing lies.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Series. New Author. Spring.

The first in an eight-book series based on the classic romantic novel, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Unaware that she is dead, Cathy raps on the window of her old bedroom to rouse Heathcliff to let her in. She has found her way home at last after getting lost on the moor coming from Thrushcross Grange. But so much has changed and Heathcliff's is not the face she sees at the lattice window. As Cathy sets out to find him, she remembers their love and the cruel twists that split them apart. 

In the meantime, Emily Bronte is visited by a publisher's representative named Mr. Dawson who is tasked with advising Ellis Bell to revise his novel. Shocked at finding the creator of Heathcliff is the painfully shy daughter of the local curate, Dawson demands answers. To fight for the life her original vision, Emily must reveal the source of her disturbing inspiration--a revelation that astonishes Mr. Dawson.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fifty Shades of Sheep

Across the street from an Author's house there is a field of sheep. For the most part they stick together at the hay troughs but every now and then something catches the fancy of one or two and off they go.

On this day, it was a book. The story had caught on with a few members of the flock and they ran off to read it from cover to cover. After a short time, hearing the shrieks of glee, several others followed not wanting to be left out. Gradually, more and more of the flock trotted after them, curious as only sheep can be, until only handful of sheep were left near the hay trough.

One of them looked at the others and said "Maybe we should go along just to see what the fuss is all about."

"It is about a movie based on a book about a virgin who wants to be controlled by a billionaire who has issues."

"So it's a romance?"

"Only if you think control is romantic," bleated another. "The girl doesn't want to think and she doesn't have to with the billionaire."

"There must be more to it than that. They seem to think it's Important," insisted a third sheep. He rose up on his skinny legs trying to see over the billboards, television ads and commercial sex shops circling the flock.

"The author made millions and millions from the book and now millions more from the movie. That's why it is Important."

"Ah, so it is a Worthy Piece of Culture."

"The Media certainly think so and the Media are never wrong," intoned an older sheep.

"Then why do we not follow the others and get in on this party!" bleated one of the younger sheep, clearly chomping at the bit. "I, for one, do not like to Miss Out."

"By all means, go if you must. I, for one, have no trouble Missing Out," said one of the sheep who had joined the discussion late. "I Missed Out on Pet Rocks, Cabbage Patch Kids and Tickle Me Elmo. I slept through Twilight and I forgot to turn up for Titanic. But go if you like. It will do you no harm."

"It will do you no good either but that never seems to enter into the equation," griped one of the quieter sheep of the flock.

"Oh, not this again," groaned the older sheep. "This Fad is no different from the days of the Roman circus. We survived that nonsense, we shall survive this."

"There were fewer of us then. It seems like it's much easier these days to fool all of the sheep all of the time."

"You are taking this far too seriously. It is only a movie. I am not going only because I don't like crowds."

One of the flock at the premiere had broken away and was careening toward them at a dangerous speed wearing a black silk mask. The Ewe skidded into them breathlessly. "The movie is even better than the book!" she gushed. "It is very naughty and we're all watching the naughtiness together so it doesn't feel like we're baaad. A documentary filmmaker said this is an insightful phenomenon; women are finally coming out of the closet about their sexuality."

One of the Ewes who had stayed behind rolled her eyes but did not comment for fear of being labelled a prude. She was a prude and she would admit it freely if prudery hadn't become a dirty word within the flock.

The young sheep bolted to his legs and gamboled off after the masked Ewe to catch the second showing of the movie.

The older sheep bent his rickety old legs and settled near the trough. "I suppose it'll be hours now before anyone shows up with anything nourishing for us to eat."

"Hours? It will be years before Culture recovers from this shock. Mark my words. Look at them. The sheer weight of their collective shades of wool has shifted the balance. No one will want to invest in the really nourishing hay after this."

"You are probably right," bleated the sheep who had joined the conversation late. "I found a patch of grass at the fringe of the field. I think I'll graze on that until the fuss dies down and things get back to normal around here."

The rest of the sheep settled near the trough of stale hay to wait for nourishing feed. Some continued to grumble but most were not at all surprised that a book about a girl who did not want to think had struck such a chord among sheep.







Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Introverted Author's Guide To Marketing

10 Tips to Flogging Your Books the Introvert's Way:

1) Read KBoards but never post. You don't have to. No one knows you're on the other side of the screen, snooping into the threads. You'll learn just as much and it's almost like being with people, only better.

2) Exercise. Pop a cassette tape into the old VCR--(yeah, you heard me)--and follow a work out led by a really cheerful, extroverted fitness leader. You'll kill two birds with one stone. A workout and socializing!

3) Email. No need to talk to anyone on the phone. Ever.

4) Write books.

5) Put the books on sale occasionally and advertise the sale at carefully chosen sites using this criteria: (a) they will accept your book (b) they offer a reasonable risk of recouping your investment (aka ROI) (c) they don't bug you to tweet stuff for them.

6) Work on improving your storytelling skills by writing more books.

7) Blog if you like it. I do.

8) Don't do anything that bugs you, makes you tense, grates on your nerves or is a time suck in the interest of "building a platform." Write books instead.

9) Do the activities you enjoy doing. I like giving readings where I can talk about the writing process, self-publishing or the writer's life. I'm not crazy about talking about the books themselves because I'm already removed from them by the time they come out. (Huh. Doesn't sound much like a reading. More like talking about books with wine involved....)

10) Join up with other writers when you foolishly commit yourself to hand selling at a fair or some other mad undertaking. You'll be less likely to hide out in the bathroom and therefore sell more books.

Bonus Tip: Write a bestseller and become a recluse.

Inspired by David Gaughran's book: "Let's Get Digital." Introverts need not fear the self-publishing marketing journey. Give it a read.

A big shout out to Draft2Digital for the free gift!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway Winners!

And the winners of the Goodreads Giveaway for THE RIVER BRIDE are.... *insert drum roll here*

Susan Gannon of Arvada, Colorado
Arturo Operario of North York, Ontario
Sarah Hansrote of Knoxville, Tennessee

792 people entered THE RIVER BRIDE Giveaway and 365 people added it to their To-Read shelves. Thank you!

Folks, this will be my last Giveaway and here's why:

The mailing of books is costly in addition to the cost of the books themselves. This expense is absorbed by the author. The service the winning readers provide is to post their reviews at Goodreads. Without reviews, authors cannot afford to continue to enroll their books in Goodreads Giveaways. A print copy is the only format accepted and because of the cost involved (and often disappointing result) many authors I know are giving up on Giveaways. It is a great program and I'd hate to see it go but for independent authors on a tight budget, it has become a poor return. 

There are readers out there who buy indie books at full price and post their reviews. There are companies who for a fraction of the cost of a Giveaway will promote an independent author's book. When marketing dollars are tight, the non-performer gets cut. 

Writing a review can be nerve-wracking but your opinion matters, especially for an unknown work in this day and age. Think of yourself as a literary talent scout! Finding diamonds in the rough! going where no man has gone before! Readers rule! Discovering a new work by an unknown author is an adventure. You have to tell the world about it because if you don't, who will?

Congratulations to my three winners. Folks, your books are in the mail and I look forward to reading your reviews!

Peace and happy reading.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

THE RIVER BRIDE Goodreads Giveaway!

Open to U.S. and Canadian residents! Toss your name into the hat to win a free, signed copy of THE RIVER BRIDE! 

(whew. exhausted. feel like a carnie barker.)

(If you don't see the fancy entry form, the other link will take you to the same place.
Go ahead. Click it.)

 Free Sample: Two chapters of The River Bride on Wattpad

 
 

    Goodreads Book Giveaway

   
        The River Bride by Nadine Doolittle
   

          The River Bride by Nadine Doolittle      Giveaway ends January 23, 2015.
         See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
         
      Enter to win



Monday, January 5, 2015

It's January Sale Time!

In the time-honoured retail tradition of slashing prices to lure post-Christmas shoppers to open their wallets ... I am holding a 0.99 sale of the ebook edition of THE RIVER BRIDE.

The sale is everywhere ebooks are sold: Amazon, Kobo, B&N, GooglePlay and Apple. Click the links in the sidebar to land on the page. 

The price goes back to 4.99 (USD) in February. (It may be my destiny to be a starving artist but no one said anything about giving up caffeine. Thanks to the readers who bought THE RIVER BRIDE at the regular price, I'm caffeinated until March.)

PS: It's a frozen Quebec morning, the trees are coated in ice and when the sunlight shines on them ... too distracting. So beautiful. 

And the dog is sick. So I have that to distract me as well from finishing my latest novel. Back to work!



Saturday, January 3, 2015

David Adams Richards and Arthur Ellis

A little history. I was in Vancouver for a family crisis. (My family doesn't have reunions--we have crisis-management team meetings.) Anyway, there I was in my suicidal sister's apartment and I found a book on the bed (hardcover) by David Adams Richards: Mercy Among the Children. I picked it up and read it even though I have a love/hate relationship with Canadian literature. Mostly I love it but some of the contemporary writers make me nervous. David Adams Richards wasn't one. Mercy Among the Children was the best book I'd read in a long time. I was very impressed by my sister's literary taste.

Crisis over, I was packing to take the plane home and I gave the book back to my sister. She said it wasn't hers; she didn't know where it came from. I asked my brother. He said he thought it was mine and that's why he put it on the bed. To this day, we have no idea where it came from or why it appeared at that particular moment in our lives. All to say, the theme of the book had echoes for me with my own family. 

I put it in my suitcase and it now lives on my bookshelf as a keeper. 

I read most of D.A.R.'s backlist after that and felt I had made a literary discovery. Turns out he was already discovered. He is one helluva writer. Some readers feel his work is depressing. Bullshit, I say. Pull on your big girl panties and read like an adult. Good fiction tells us what we are and what we can be. He's not going to draw us a fucking map or lie to us on the journey. 

(Ack! My New Year's Resolution was to swear less....)

The point of this post is to say David Adams Richards has a book entered in the Arthur Ellis Awards for 2014 Best Crime Novel. The title is Crimes Against My Brother.

First, I can't wait to read it. Second, I can't believe my lousy luck. I entered THE RIVER BRIDE in that competition. Many, many incredibly talented Canadian mystery and crime fiction authors have entered their books in that competition. We freaking love the Arthur Ellis Awards given out each year in May by the Crime Writers of Canada. I didn't expect to win or shortlist but I entered because I'm a Canadian and I write crime fiction set in Canada. So ... yanno ... that's what we do. 

The highlight of 2014 could very well be that I saw my name on a list with David Adams Richards. It would be beyond the limits of my joy if our books made the shortlist. But if I won and he didn't ... then how could I respect the award? 

*snort* hilarious. but since we're thinking about it...

How could a genre author who owes so much to a literary master respect an award that beat out the master? I have no idea. I'd like to believe that for the jury there's no contest and D.A.R. smokes the rest of us. But there are criteria that I'm not privy to. There are variables as is the way with fiction and genre fiction in particular.

Maybe I'll just read his book and be glad to be a Canadian surrounded by outstanding Canadian authors who feed my soul. They don't get the national love they truly deserve. So this is me saying it: Thank you David Adams Richards for nursing me back to health with your books. 

Love,
a reader