Readers are right to expect free books.

Please don’t read this blog¬†title and shoot me! ūüôā

Picture of the Week - Live Free!

More and more authors are¬†getting frequent complaints their books are priced too high. Some have even said they are asked why their book isn’t free. In today’s market, people expect free books. That is a¬†simple fact,¬†and I can see why.

The book world is completely oversaturated with free books. As a reader, I could get by with never buying another ebook again if I didn’t want to. I have the BookBub app on my phone. If you haven’t downloaded the free app, I would highly recommend it. I get daily announcements to let me know which books are out there for free. Yay! I love free!

Free books are a great marketing strategy for writers. It’s a proven method for getting readers to try one of your books. Some of them will even come back and purchase a book from us starving writers. Thank goodness! Someone actually bought my book!!!

With that said, free books are also a strategy for struggling authors or new authors to get people to read their books. They aren’t giving the books away for a set time¬†frame¬†as a promotion. The books are simply free. The author does not want any reimbursement at all. What they want is readers to read them. They are desperate to get their name out there.

And guess what? These authors are still struggling even though they are giving the product away! That’s how oversaturated the market has become. Free books should be easy to give away, but sadly, that’s not the case.

Have you noticed all the constant contests out there? All readers have to do to win a free book is leave¬†a comment, but many will not be bothered. That’s too much effort when they can click over on Amazon at any given time and pick from a whole list of free books. Why enter a contest they might not even win?

I’ve seen New York Times/USA Today bestselling authors announce on Facebook they are giving away 30 free copies of their new release. Why? They need reviews, and readers aren’t willing to take the time to leave a review without a little bribery. They are busy folks. I can understand. I bet those authors, though they are very popular and very successful, still have problems getting reviews¬†even¬†giving away their product for free.

So, where does this leave authors? Is it possible to make a living in a market where the value of our product has decreased to free? It seems very few authors make a living in this industry.

I love reading free books as a reader, but as an author, if I can’t sell my product, I can’t pay my bills. The book market is getting super tough, my friends. What are your thoughts? Are readers right to expect free books?

Published in: on September 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Another Five Minutes

I¬†like to¬†write an introductory poem for my books. I did it for my first published novel.¬†A few readers said it was cool…¬†Their¬†praise made me feel pretty awesome.¬†So, now I do it for every book, you know, because feeling awesome is cool. Here’s the new one for my current work-in-progress. What do you think?


I feel time slipping away.

Will you please, please stay?



Give me five more minutes, please.

I am begging on my knees.



I fear losing you so much.

Promise me at least one last touch.



You belong to me, of course, you know.

And yet, there you go.



The emptiness instantly imprisons me.

Please, my love, return and set me free.



The silence and anxiety echo inside these walls.

With you gone, I am nothing, nothing at all.



My ache churns, my passion fueling hate into flames.

It is torture and death to endure such pain.



Come home so I may breathe again, my love!

Let me show you what we are made of.



One more chance for you is all I give.

Return to me if you want to live.



No other may have you, it's true.

When I die, my darling, so will you.



Five more minutes I delay for your sake.

An eternity it shall be before we wake.



You and I are one soul bound together.

Our love is forever.



Destiny Booze

He said WHAT?

dialogueDialogue.

Writers, did you just cringe at that word? Lol. Most writers either feel they write strong dialogue or they feel like it is the hardest thing on the planet. Which one is it for you?

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that might help when writing dialogue for your story.

  1. Think about how people sound. Read it out loud. Does the dialogue sound like¬†your character would sound? Does it sound too formal? Most people use contractions when they speak. Correct grammar tends to fly out the window during conversations, so don’t make it sound too formal.
  2. Do all the characters sound the same? Everyone talks differently. Make sure your dialogue is a good match for the person speaking. A child does not sound like an adult. A teenage girl should not sound the same as her mother. A doctor uses terminology people without medical experience wouldn’t know. Make sure the dialogue fits the person.
  3. Are you using the dialogue to move your story along? Reading a whole page of people saying good morning to each other may be very genuine to the way we interact with one another, but on paper, it is totally B-o-r-i-n-g, right? Make sure the conversation has meaning. Bring it to life. Make in interesting.
  4. Add emotion to your dialogue. What kind of scene are the characters in? Should they be happy, angry, sad, or excited? Make their voice match what is happening in the story.baby.jpg
  5. Use your dialogue to really show who your characters are. Some people have certain phrases they tend to use that is unique to them. That can make a character stand out. And don’t forget people lie. Is the character saying one thing, but thinking something else? If you are writing from that person’s point-of-view, you can really emphasize the differences in their thoughts verses their words.
  6. Don’t overuse tags. As long as the reader understands who is speaking, you don’t need to add that tag to every line. Use it when necessary for understanding. A character’s actions can serve the same purpose. People move when they talk. Add a few actions in. Make the scene come to life. Nonverbal cues and body language can tell a lot.

Have anything to add? I know I always welcome suggestions. Please feel free to comment below and add your own advice! ūüôā

Where should I end my chapter?

Learning to find the flow to your writing is¬†an ongoing process that is unique to each author. I know I’m still learning with each book. When I first started writing, one of the things I stressed the most about was where to end my chapters.

You wouldn’t think that would be so hard, but let me tell you, it¬†was for me. I wanted, and still want,¬†to do it the “right” way. I don’t want my readers to feel like I’m making those chapters too long or too short. I want it just right.

So, my approach to this issue at first was to simply count pages. After seven typed pages, I would find a good pausing point and begin a new chapter. There you go. Problem solved.

I’m very proud to say I did not stick with that strategy. I read an article by a fellow writer that made me stop and reevaluate what I was doing. I wish I could have found the article to link to it, but since I read it so many years ago, it’s lost in the big world wide web somewhere. But, oh boy, it was an eye opener for me.

happy-eye-clipart-rcdmkzgc9

In the article, the author stated his goal was to hook his readers so well at the end of each chapter that they had to keep reading until they read his whole novel in one sitting.

Good goal, huh? ūüôā

He went on to say that each break in the story was a place the reader might choose to stop, and if they stopped, that reader might not pick that book back up. For an avid reader like myself who finishes any book I start, I was shocked by that. What? The reader might not finish it? No way!

Well, yes way. This is a busy world we live in. The day job, the second job, kids, sports, homework,¬†cooking, cleaning, washing, working in a small bit of a social life…and on and on and on. After all that, is that reader going to pick that book back up at ten o’clock the next night when their eyes are so tired their vision is blurry, or will that reader just turn on the TV and conk out in the recliner?

Even as a die-hard reader, I’ve chosen the TV over¬†the book.¬†That’s life, right?

So, yes, I chose to reevaluate where to end my chapters. I want the same thing with my readers. I want to write so amazingly well that they simply cannot put the book down! Bam! And, THAT’s what it is all about!

86e150a07cb952e0e4f7943d21fb315f

So, where should we end the chapter? My suggestion is simple. Don’t force the ending. Make the chapters match the flow of your story. Don’t worry so much about long or short. Just make sure you choose to end the chapter at a¬†weighty moment.

It doesn’t have to be something as monumental as a death. Unless you are writing a slasher story, I’m sure you won’t have that many people, if any, dying in your book. But, you should choose an important or pivotal moment.

You could choose the ending right as the geek got asked to the prom. Emotional turmoil and intensity can be very important to the reader. Maybe end the chapter right as the hero declares his love for the first time. End the chapter with a mystery, a surprise, a crazy turn of events, or anything that could hook your reader.

As long as the ending matches the natural flow of your story, it should work. And, if we’re lucky, that reader will keep reading all the way to the end before life can get in the way.

Published in: on January 29, 2016 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Be a real writer!

Are you a real writer? Let me give you a minute to think about it. Do you call yourself a writer? And I don’t mean “striving” writer.

Unsure of that answer? What does it take to be a real writer? Are we only actual writers if we get paid a good income?

Here’s what I think. Yes, you are a REAL writer. How do I know? Because you write. That makes it very real.

I am so tired of being afraid to tell people I’m a writer, and yes, that writing is my job. It’s a real one. I actually set an alarm every morning. I get up and get to work. I sit in front of the computer and I write all day. I work very hard at what I do. That is my job, and I take it very seriously.

Did you get all that? Let me say it again. I’m a writer, and I’m proud of it! ūüôā

It continues to surprise me how people react when you tell them you are a writer. The responses are insulting. “Really? Like a real writer? As in you get paid? That’s neat, I guess.”

News flash, friends! Writers are needed everywhere. They write correspondence, advertisements, books, newspaper articles, movie scripts, website content, and the list goes on and on and on. Writing is a real job, and if you are one of us out there doing it on a daily basis, then you have that job. You are a writer!

Be proud of what you do. Don’t be afraid to say it with confidence. Be a real writer!

21905_10153165128911291_6697100456781050239_n

Published in: on April 29, 2015 at 9:01 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,

Are you forcing the words?

Writers, we should be writing what we want to read. It takes a lot of work to create a good read. If you’re forcing it, the readers will know. You will know, too.

I know when I’m making this mistake. The words just won’t come for me. I’ll force something out just to make a day of work, but sure enough, it reads like crap. If I don’t like what I’m writing, there’s no way the reader will.

I’ve tried over and over again to change my writing style to match certain publishers. Every single time, I end up in the scenario above. It just doesn’t work. I wish it did. I’m a professional writer. I have a background in journalism. I should be able to write whatever I need to. And yes, technically, I can write a grammatically correct piece of work in any format, but it won’t be good. In the world of fiction, I have to love what I’m writing. Have you found this to be true in your experience as well?

I’ve found that I have to write the story that needs to come out. You’ll know the one I mean. It will be the idea that comes out of nowhere and will not go away. You’ll start thinking about it as soon as you wake up. You’ll create the characters in the shower. It will cause distractions all during your day. Then, you won’t even be able to get a good night’s sleep because you’ll still be thinking about that story.

Yes, that’s the one you need to write! Worry about the rest later. That story isn’t the genre you usually write? So, maybe it’s time to make a change. Find a publisher to fit the story you need to write. That’s the way it should work.

If you’re just starting out writing and you need to know where to begin, the answer is simple. You start by writing. Write the story that won’t go away unless you get it on paper. The words will flow when you’re ready. The reader will love the story you loved writing.

Published in: on April 14, 2015 at 9:08 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

E-books are everywhere. Authors, do you miss holding your book in your hands?

8580014What was the proudest moment of Cynthia Witherspoon’s writing career? The answer is seeing her book in print, of course! The same could hold true for many authors. It is indeed a wonderful feeling! Read her full interview at Coffee Time Romance here: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/Interviews/2015/CynthiaWitherspoon.html#.VQGa8-Ek7KA

Because of the popularity of e-books, a lot of books don’t make it to print. And, from a business perspective, that’s the way it should be. That’s the way the industry is going. Authors have a great opportunity to make a great income that way. But, sadly, that also means they won’t get to hold that print book in their hands and experience that feeling of magic that happens in that moment.

Authors, do you miss holding your book in your hands? Or, are you happy enough seeing your book  on the screen?

Are authors giving away too many free books?

Promoting is one of the biggest challenges an author has in my opinion. I think most writers would readily agree with that. One promotional tool is offering free books. It’s a tried and proven method of marketing. What company doesn’t offer a free trial? The idea is that if the customer likes it, they will return for more.

Does that work the same way with readers?

The market is getting saturated with free reads. If you like reading e-books, you can download free books all day long. So, is this still an effective marketing strategy for authors? Yes? No? Maybe? Sometimes?

I honestly don’t know. As a writer, I want people to read my work. But, I also want to make money to pay my bills. If I give away too many free reads, am I making it impossible to make money in this business?

I have two reasons for pondering so much about this subject. First off, readers expect free reads now, and they want more than just a sample. They want the whole book for free. I know this because they tell me so. Secondly, as a reader, I download more free books than I buy.That’s shocking to me, because I really want to support my fellow authors, but hey, I’m human. I’m not made of money and I love free stuff!

Ideally, giving away a free sample should be a great marketing tool. I’m worried it has gotten overused. So, are authors giving away too many free books? I would love your opinion.

Published in: on March 3, 2015 at 11:14 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

The lines between genres are blurring, and this author loves crossing those lines.

INTevagordon2015Author Eva Gordon writes steampunk, historical novels, full of romance and paranormal creatures. She loves mixing all the genres in her writing. Want to find out more about this author? Read her interview with me at Coffee Time Romance and More! I think you’ll enjoy it! http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/Interviews/2015/EvaGordon.html#.VOybCS4k7KA

Or, read her book, Hand of Miriam. Do you like the multiple elements to this story? What is your opinion of cross genres?

Published in: on February 24, 2015 at 10:48 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , ,

A romantic dinner and a walk along the harbor…Happy Valentine’s Day!

INTdragonwarriorbydianagreenWhat do romance writers want for Valentine’s Day? I asked Author Diana Green if she had plans. Find out what she had to say in an interview at Coffee Time Romance and More. We talked about love, her paranormal release, Dragon Warrior, and how she copes with chronic fatigue syndrome. This is an interesting lady, folks!

Read the interview here: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/Interviews/2015/DianaGreen.html#.VN4Uey4k7KA

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read this post. So, what are you wanting from that certain someone this Valentine’s Day?

%d bloggers like this: