An independent author, especially one just starting out, must become a Jack, or Jill of all trades, writer, promoter, and designer. To that end, I have been learning to use the free image manipulation software products Gimp and Paint.net. The results are above.

I haven’t become an expert, by any means, but I was able to give my Bunny Elder Series covers a more cohesive look, and that’s a start.

I tried to find an affordable cover designer, but most wanted me to select the images and do the creative designing for them to manipulate into cover images, when what I really wanted was someone to design and produce the covers. One day I hope to be able to pay the costs of truly professional cover design, because I know how important that is, but for now, I’ve managed to get one step closer.

My Last Promo for awhile, I promise

After today, I’m taking a break from promotion to concentrate on writing my WIP, The body in the Belfry, preparing for speaking engagements and redesigning the series covers to add coherence to my brand.

Please help me go out with a bang with this promotion of The First Ladies Club on the fkbt.com promotion network by going to www.fkbt.com, to check out the New Releases feature spot, then hop on over to their Facebook page www.facebook.com/fkbooks.    

fkbt says: We would also appreciate asking your fan members to give the post a “Like” on the blog’s web page for this specific post once it goes live, as the Facebook computers will publicize the post to more people not directly connected to the blog based upon the level of “Likes” for a given post: more exposure is what you want for your book today!

If you have read and enjoyed this book, this is a great opportunity to let your friends know. Please also consider posting a review.

To receive weekly updates on my personal experiences as a indie author, plus the latest updates on book promotions and works in progress, please sign-up for the email listing.

Authors and their readers are on this journey together, and  I thank you so much for all your encouragement and feedback.

Next week I will report on the success of our efforts.


First Blog Book Proof Copy on its Way.

I completed the book of weekly readings for leaders of Women’s Ministries. The proof copy should arrive next week.

I’m working on the book of daily inspirational blogs and am up to April. Slower-going than the weekly entries, of course, but very satisfying work. It’s like reading an old diary and seeing how I’ve changed and how I’ve remained the same.

I just hope the books will be interesting and inspirational to the readers.

As you can see, I’m trying out a different blog style. I would welcome your comments on this new format.

Fifty Shades of Earl Grey

I belong to a support group of independent authors whose writing, whether  romance, mystery or thriller, falls roughly in the general category of Cozy. We eschew foul language or gratuitous sex and violence.

Currently there is a lively discussion about the book and movie, “Fifty Shades of Gray.” Naturally enough, the comments are pretty scathing regarding the subject matter, but I was surprised, since I did not read the book, at the criticisms of the author’s writing ability. It seems that in spite of poor editing, syntax and plot development, the salacious nature of this book made it such a success it has now been made into a near-pornographic movie glorifying the sexual abuse of women.

This is so frustrating for those of us struggling to improve our craft (which we love) and learning the daunting skills of marketing our work (which we hate) in order to raise our sales ranking  and someday make a modest living as full-time writers.

It is tempting to think all we need to do is write books filled with dangerous bondage S&M practices and other graphically violent sex acts set in a pseudo-sophisticated upper class milieu in order to become best-selling successful authors.

However, as several in my group implied, even thinking of slithering through that slimy world makes us feel in need of the mental equivalent of a hot shower to cleanse our minds.

One of the tenets of becoming a successful writer is knowing one’s target audience and writing for each of them.

I thank God that my readers are much more interested in reading about an afternoon sipping Earl Grey tea than dipping into Fifty Shades of depravity.



Great Halloween Books at indieBRAG!

HOLLOW is a featured Halloween read on Layered pages. How hauntingly delightful!

Layered Pages

B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees


When John Simpson hears of a bizarre animal attack in his old home town of High Moor, it stirs memories of a long forgotten horror. John knows the truth. A werewolf stalks the town once more, and on the night of the next full moon, the killing will begin again. He should know. He survived a werewolf attack in 1986, during the worst year of his life.

It’s 1986 and the town is gripped in terror after the mutilated corpse of a young boy is found in the woods. When Sergeant Steven Wilkinson begins an investigation, with the help of a specialist hunter, he soon realises that this is no ordinary animal attack. Werewolves are real, and the trail of bodies is just beginning, with young John and his friends smack in the middle of it.

Twenty years later, John returns to High Moor. The latest attack…

View original post 788 more words

Drowning in the Flood of Freebies?

When I first entered the world of the independent author in 2011, I read every bit of wisdom I could find about each step of the process, from the first germ of an idea, though outline and character development all the way to marketing techniques.

One bit of advice which appeared frequently was to provide free books to increase your visibility and develop a readership base.

I have followed this advice, holding periodic promotions of free or deeply discounted Kindle versions of my books. In the early years these give-aways usually resulted in an uptick in either sales or reviews of my work.

Independent publishing has become easier every year and websites dedicated to free and discounted digital books have blossomed. With this surge, we may be seeing a saturation effect.

Some readers rarely spend any money on their digital reading and I’ve noticed readers who get books for free can be more critical in their reviews than those who have an investment in enjoying a purchase.

I think we may be entering a time when the book give away has less impact on future sales and it will become necessary to find new, creative ways to get our books noticed by our target audience.

I believe the flood of e-books may begin to ebb as some authors become discouraged and readers become more discerning and once again shop for books based upon quality rather than price-point alone.

In the meantime, it is up to us to come up with those original and creative promotional ideas.

As authors, we create whole worlds inhabited by personalities of our own design, creative promotion can’t be beyond us, can it?


The joys of networking

This summer I have enjoyed collaborating on a Kindle bundle promotion with four incredibly talented and generous authors. For the bundle, entitled “Under the Italian Sun,” we each contributed one cozy mystery novel set in Italy.

The five of us are scattered around the globe and vary in our nationalities, experience, backgrounds, ages and writing styles, yet we are bound together by our love of fiction writing and a desire to see each other succeed.

In working on the bundle promotion we are also promoting each other in our individual projects, because when one is successful it pulls up the rest of us.

The more experienced authors are eager to share their expertise with those of us new to publishing, while we each do what we can to boost awareness of our colleagues’ writing.

Along with the very practical education and the other joys of collaboration I’m experiencing, I have discovered a feeling of responsibility for the other independent authors I am meeting through this project. I want to read and review their works and encourage them in any way I can.

I think I am becoming a real part of the independent author community and I feel very lucky to have been welcomed in.