Thursday, July 30, 2015

Reader Statistics

I was looking for statistics on how readers choose books and I ran across this article on A Snapshot of Reading in America in 2013. Okay, it’s a little dated but I found it interesting and thought you might, too. Since this report sales of -e-books and audiobooks have increased by a fair percentage. This is from several of the workshops I took at my conference.
As of January 2014, some 76% of American adults ages 18 and older said that they read at least one book in the past year. Almost seven in ten adults (69%) read a book in print in the past 12 months, while 28% read an e-book, and 14% listened to an audiobook.

Reading snapshot

On an average, the typical reader read five books last year. Print books arer still popular but e-books are catching up.

As tablet ownership grows, more use them for e-books
To read the whole article you can go to (The Pew Research Center)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday Tips and Tweaks

I’m not sure what it is, but I lost another guest blogger. Maybe it’s summer and they’re all away. I just got back from New York City and the Romance Writers of America conference. So I have a writing tip for you.
And New York was fabulous by the way. We stayed on Times Square, toured the Cloisters, attended a couple of plays (Matilda and Jersey Boys) and hung out with friends and other writers.

Okay, back to that tip. I also attended about a dozen workshops. There were approximately 120 workshops available. They covered everything from craft, to self publishing, foreign markets, audio books, spotlights on each traditional publisher, where they tell you what they’re looking for, their guidelines and often give you a tip on how and who to submit, and more. I could go on and on, but my tip is this, if you get a chance attend a conference any conference – go. It doesn’t have to be one this big. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It may need to be close so you don’t have travel expenses, but if you’re serious about writing go to at least one. Even the connections you make might be worth it.

Writing can be a solitary life. Other people don’t understand the people in our heads and why we write, but other writers do. There’s an energy anytime you’re with a group of writers. Everyone shares information and even without the workshops you make connections and learn something. You usually learn at least one thing in a workshop, unless that person is just there to sell you something. Hopefully that won’t happen.
Out of all those available workshops I only managed to attend about a dozen. Some of those covered Blogging better, audio books, including the costs, foreign rights, foreign translations, breaking into foreign markets, analyzing data and doing a business plan, plus a few more. I arrived home exhausted but excited. Now I need to review my notes and put them into action.

If you have any comments or questions, I’d love to hear them.
And we will have a guest author for the next two weeks because they’ve already sent me everything.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pets in Your Book

Have you used pets or other animals in your stories? What function do they perform in the story? Do they need to have a function? Can they be a character?

Rhobin, you’ve picked another interesting topic. I’m a writer who likes to have a pet in the story. I’ve used a Scottish terrier; wolfhound; Australian sheepdog and a mutt in my books. They don't usually play a major role in the story, except for my wolfhound in Death Awaits. But I like the feel of adding an animal as a pet. It often helps develop the character and can show some of their positive attributes. (as in show - not tell). And they're fun to write into a scene. 
In my books they aren’t a character, but I see no reason why they couldn’t be one. They don’t have a specific function, although they may have. I’ve had a pet all my life. I had a hamster; goldfish (who always die); cats and dogs. Because I like animals and feel they add a lot of love and caring to our lives and to a story I include them in my novels.

And I love books where the animal is a character. Maybe in my next book. Do you like pets or animal in the books you read?

Check out what our other authors thinks about pets in their stories.

Victoria Chatham
Connie Vines
Margaret Fieland
Rachael Kosinski
Kay Sisk
Judith Copek
Marci Baun
Diane Bator
Anne Stenhouse
Rhobin Courtright

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How Do You Choose the Next Book to Read?

You put down the book, or close your e-reader and sigh, or maybe go wow – whatever.
It was a good book and you thoroughly enjoyed it, but now you have to find another book to red. Will it be as good? What should you choose?

There are so many ways people choose books, favorite author; publisher; recommendation, cover, reviews, print or e-book, blurb, etc.
There’s an interesting site What You Should Read Next. You put in the author or title of a book you like, or just finished, and it will come up with a list of recommendations for you to buy. Click on it and it takes you to Amazon to purchase the book.

Or you can take a quiz to get a recommendation for your next book at
Book Riot offers these four suggestions. You can read more about them at their link above.

The Charlotte “Double-Booking” Method
We read two or three (or, God help me, four) books at a time, reading a few chapters of one book before reapplying lipstick and diving into another.

The Goldilocks Method
We gather a collection of possible books, determine an arbitrary sample size – one page? first chapter? first lines? – and give them each a shot to find which one is just right.

The Bran Flakes Method
The Bran Flakes Method, therefore, is the method of seeking out a book that’s not just good; it’s also good for you. Maybe that “required reading” pick you didn’t get around to in high school; maybe that big book of philosophy you bought on an impulse at a used bookstore; maybe that hulking classic that you swear you’ll get around to one of these days. (Anna Karenina. She’s always just there, on my bookshelf, asking me when. When?)

The Summer Lovin’ Method
The Summer Lovin’ Method is your walk on the wild side. It’s the book that’s the opposite of Bran Flakes. It’s whatever you don’t usually read

How do you chose your books? Whatever way you chose – enjoy your next book.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New York, New York...

I'm in New York this week on a writing conference. Our guest author did a no show, so I'm going to blog about  New York today. I'm off on a tour, so I'll be blogging in pieces.
Sunday we say the plsy, Matilda. Really great and fun. Today I'm off to a presentation by the FBI and other special police. That's why you attend conferences. That and the networking. I'll be back after the FBI.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I Won't Read That

Is there anything you won’t read?  Would you quit reading a book because of some line the author crossed? I’m not talking about genre, because if you pick erotica or any of the glbt genres you know what you will be getting. Although there may still be the same lines you won’t read.

I once read that you can’t kill a cat. Readers will quit reading. So are there other things that might stop you cold and go – No Way. You can’t do that. And put the book down. There are some authors I've never read because I've heard about some of their books and thought - nope, I couldn't read that. It's too gory for me.
Can an author kill an animal? Can it be a dog, cat, bird or even a horse? Does size have anything to do with your response?

What about children? Can you kill a child? Does it matter how old the child/teen? What age would you find acceptable?
Sexual abuse – adult or child?

Me, I don’t want to see an animal killed or abuse. I think I would stop reading at that point. Maybe I could accept a rat or a snake but no pets, of any kind. I have problem with a child being injured or killed and the author better set it up so I can accept it.
It also depends on how descriptive it is. Did it happen behind the scene and is only just mentioned? Or are you there as a reader watching it unfold?
I’d love to hear what your line in the sand is. Would you stop reading at some point if the author crossed that line?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tuesday Tips and Tweaks - Vicki B

This week author Vicki Batman joins us with her tip. Vicki is an avid Jazzerciser, handbag lover, mah-jong player, Yoga practitioner, movie fan, book devourer, cat fancier, Best Mom ever And adores Handsome Hubby.

Vicki’s Tip on Creating a media page for your book
Once your book is published, you will want to talk about it...a lot! And over and over. That’s where a media page comes in handy. Here’s what my blank one looks like:
Note: all margins are .5 x .5 x .5 x .5. Text in Verdana font size 12, aligned on the left.

Book Title:

Release Date:



Word Count:

Page Count:

ISBN:      / paperback

ISBN:      / digital

Book Cover: attached separately

Long Blurb:
Short Blurb:

Excerpt: limit to one page

Author name

Author photo: attached separately

Author bio:

Find Author at:
Author Central:
Other web/blog sites:

Buy links for Book title:
Amazon ebook:
Amazon paperback:
Publisher ebook:
Publisher paperback:

I fill in the blanks and save the file as: name of book media kit Ex: 080614 VBatman Temporarily Employed Media Kit
I open a folder and entitle it: book title media kit Ex: TE media folder
Inside the folder is the media kit file; covers in various sizes, author photo. Another short excerpt. That’s it!

I have used this method for almost a year now and no one I’ve shared with has complained. If anything, they have used too much! It’s a go-to place you’ll visit often.  Many times, I’ve copied from the kit. No more scrambling around to find stuff. If you would like to see the one I created for Temporarily Employed, email me at: .

And now, direct from my Temporarily Employed media kit, an excerpt to tickle your fancy:

Excerpt from “Temporarily Employed”

    Pretty much covered the whole freakin’ day.  

    A blinding red-white, red-white strobe, reflected in my brand new Wrangler’s rearview mirror, seized my attention. The police. I tossed my hands skyward, ready to surrender. I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Like I'd commented this a.m. to my roommate, Jenny, “Today, anything’s possible.”

    My Bad Day checklist included:

- Crappy job interview, one which might have provided desperately needed     income.

- Wore gut-busting panty hose on a hot day which had now worked past my     waist     and strangled my diaphragm.

- A barely blowing air conditioner indicated something had malfunctioned in     my new, fun car.

    I stole another glance in the mirror, and with great reluctance, flipped the right turn indicator. My vehicle coasted to a stop on the shoulder of Boston Avenue in my hometown of Sommerville, a nice suburb located between two large cities. Four lanes of cars and trucks zipped by as I sat there where every single one of my family, friends, friends’ friends, and their friends—including Rat Fink Suzanne—would see a police vehicle positioned right behind mine. Gleefully, drivers would chant the “Ha-ha, got you, not me” ditty.

    How embarrassing.

    After killing the engine, I flopped back in the seat. Shooting the morons the finger was an idea. Nah. I'm too exhausted to care.

    A litany of:  "No, not hiring." "Just filled the position." "You're over qualified." "You're under qualified…" tornadoed through my head. Coupled with the intense job search through various outlets like the internet and completing numerous online employment applications, no wonder my body had been depleted of all life force.

    Not even a breeze blew to take the edge off the unbearable summertime heat. Tangled wild trees and dry scrubby bushes banked the roadside. The grass had taken on a scorched look. Rolling down the driver’s window, I surveyed my surroundings. Nothing great. Nothing new.  

    I stole a glance in the side mirror at the policeman who strode purposefully along the shoulder. The gravel crunched under his boots. He looked huge, probably because his uniform, which appeared to be bulked with a bullet-proof vest, made him resemble a buffed-up superhero in size. Exceedingly intimidating.

    Sigh. When things went wrong, they were really wrong.

Buy Links:
Amazon ebook:
Amazon paperback:
The Wild Rose Press ebook:

You can find Vicki at:
Author Central:
Plotting Princesses:

Thanks Vicki, for dropping by and sharing that great marketing tip.

Don’t forget to check back next week for another tip or tweak.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What Kind of Book Reader Are you?

I was looking for information about what you as a reader look for when you decide to buy a book. I found this interesting, fun article on types of book readers in The New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog. (See link at the bottom of the page) I thought I’d share it with you. Do you see yourself in any of them?

The Hate Reader: you complain the author can't put two sentences together properly or that the book is dragging hopelessly in the middle and what kind of plot twist is that, even? An elephant in Act 3? These characters are so poorly drawn as to be comical! You call that a conclusion? you will finish each hate read down to its very last word, and you may well close the covers and toss the volume across the room, but you will do it with a great, secret frisson of satisfaction
The Chronological Reader: You buy a book, you read it. You buy another, you read it. Perhaps you borrow a book at the library. You read it, and then you return it, and you get another, which you will read.

The Book Buster: Is your home strewn with books scattered about, this way and that, their pages turned, their covers folded over, their backs broken and their limbs splayed out on either side? You are a destroyer of books, but you love them so.
Delayed Onset Reader #1: You are without a doubt a book lover, and when you walk into a bookstore or any place books are available, you can't help yourself, you buy one or many. When you get home you put them aside, often reverently, as if they were art, displaying them on a bookshelf or propping them up on your bedside table, pages ready to meet your eyes as soon as you have the moment, maybe months later.

Delayed Onset Reader #2: You are not a book lover. You buy books so you can show them off. If you are wealthy, you may have a mahogany-paneled library for expressly this purpose.

The Bookophile: More than reading, you just love books. Old ones, the way they smell, the crinkles and yellowing of the pages; new ones, the way they smell, too, the crispness, running your hands over a stack of them at the bookstore.
The Anti-Reader: You never read books, because you find them too long.

The Cross-Under:  You are a grown-up who reads Y.A. or kids books, or a kid who reads adult books.
The Sleepy Bedtime Reader: You tote your book into bed with you and it's so very comfortable and the book is so deliciously good, but you cannot keep your eyes open and end up waking up with a book on your face and your light still on at 3 a.m.?
The Book Snob: You are hard to impress, Little Miss or Mister. You only read books that are well reviewed by critics that you have determined to be of the highest caliber.

The Hopelessly Devoted: You stick to the authors you like, and you read them, pretty much exclusively, whatever they write, good or bad, regardless of reviews or the opinions of your friends or family.

The Book Swagger: You're the one wandering around book conventions with that acquisitive gleam in your eye and a pile of ARCs in your tote bag. If it's free, you'll take it, and even if it's not, you'll try to get it for free. Whether you read all this swag or not is really of little consequence.
The Re-Reader: You know what you like, and instead of branching out and possibly finding something new that you don't like, you focus on what you do. You read the same books over and over again, returning to them as if they're old friends, which, pretty much, they are.

The Cat: You creep around the house all day and sneak peeks at all those large, paper things that your owner leaves lying about. Sometimes, if you're lucky, your owner has left one open, and you lie on top of it and let its smooth pages touch your whiskers. It is oddly comfortable, and deeply satisfying, particularly if it's in a spot in the sun, where you enjoy whiling away a whimsical afternoon. Your owner fancies that you're actually reading the pages, but you're not. You're just lying on them. Humans are so weird.