Tag Archives: resources

Stirring the water

More ages ago than I could accurately quantify, a speaker made the comparative reference to personal growth as ‘all in’ or likened to a stagnant pond. I think about their comments occasionally, using them as a metric for myself, based loosely on the ‘smell factor’ for the scum on the surface.  There is a great body of water I know for the mental imagery as well…if the spring warms faster than the aerators are activated…there is a lovely green, mossy blanket that covers the surface of the water. While pretty – it is clearly out of place.

The same can be true for notions about writer things. I’d much rather have my life pond look like this…colorful, peaceful, but also…scum free.

(Image source unknown. No copyright infringement intended.)

Why do I mention any of this? Well…I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I have a professional career outside of writing and publishing, one that I don’t always enjoy, but never fail to be proud of. The idea with that work is that we are always innovating, always growing, reaching out to serve the customer in new and different ways. For that position, I am also on a short list of folks for a chance to move up and be a deciding factor for a team, a location, a region, and my company. It’s daunting and exciting at the same time. There is no moss growing. There’s no time.

That said, I’ve often been fond of the notion that those who forget history, the past that brought us to this present, are condemned to repeat it. Consequently, I spend a fair amount of time learning, and sharing the past practices as we reach for new, better, or innovative ones to replace them for my non-author me. Interestingly enough, I’ve gotten an opportunity to do it for the writer side of the equation recently…and I’m submerged in the idea of how much publishing has changed.

Moreover, I’m shocked to see how some things have returned to the fore, often with the user none the wiser for the point. The dialogue and discourse of the industry has changed expansively, and divisively. I’m not saying anything new, I realize that…but in learning about where we have come from, to seeing what we’ve become…I understand better the confusion so many are experiencing. The sheer number of charlatan experiences is mind-boggling. And, I don’t believe that it’s on a course to turn away soon.

There’s another adage I know about filling many roles, but mastering none – I think that’s where publishing is right now. With the floodgates open to allow publication of works that have been neither edited, or reviewed, put into the mix by writers who don’t understand or know the history, the market has flooded. And, continues to run over. Unfortunately pooling in places that don’t get stirred.

There are pros and cons to this. Writers who the ‘gatekeepers’ withheld once upon a time until they were better positioned to be published, either by writing education, or storytelling instruction, etc…are out and in the market…and what early bard didn’t have a few bumps in their stories? At the same time…they are in the market without the benefit of firm guidance on those factors, nor the expanded circle that used to be the path. In my head I see a fish on land…

What I mean to point out is this…once upon a time, the work went through so many hands before getting to public consumption, the village worked together. Now, we have individuals who are author, editor, art designer, marketer, publisher, and media rep. How many hats can we wear well? I think it is far fewer than most believe. And, I would argue that running for the sake of running doesn’t eliminate pond scum, it only churns it up to smell as each task takes a turn on the bottom.

I further believe, that just because we are seeing someone do something, doesn’t make it responsible or an accurate practice. I think most of us NEED others in our circle of influence. I think it reveals a large scale problem with publishing right now…One we need to get ahead of and back down before it destroys us all. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the past. Innovation should be moving the bar farther…not bringing it down. We collectively need to be doing better. I think that includes reaching out to others, and clasping the hands of those who reach for us.

That said…we also need to know and understand when in the timeline it is time to regroup and right our own ship before we align with an armada that isn’t where we’re trying to go. At the end, balance is everything. It’s what keeps us moving forward without letting the moss grow. For me, after the recent learning curve, I’m more convinced than ever that I need to take some time to stir the water. The surface may be clear, but I’m not sure what’s lurking underneath. I can’t accept that.

Last – don’t forget about the Crossword puzzle blog hop…there have been hiccups, but I’m loving seeing so many new sites and what they have to offer. Hope you will too. Until next time, read something great, and tell your friends.

Sav

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Things to Come

Hi ho…hi ho…it’s off to write we go. Or something like that.

I’m excited to say I will be taking a part in a box set with some amazing authors. The theme of that box set …Fairy tale Retellings! It will be released in May. I’ll post the pre-order links as soon as I get the go ahead to do so from the set organizers.

My initial thought was to do one of the classic fairy tales. Then I thought about doing one that was less known. Then there is the vein of thought that maybe you could combine a lesser known with a well known. The possibilities are endless. What would you do? Is there a fairy tale you would like to read a re-telling of?

Anyway…I have much research to do…some of the original fairy tales are more than a little twisted. lol

Until next week…happy reading!

~Jolanthe~

 

(don’t) Let it Show…

I’m not a big dog in this race…not even close. There are some that think I’m a big deal though, and well versed too…why? Because I learned one lesson in business young and have never forgotten it – Don’t flinch…and I don’t.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a full-blown tornado ripping though my soul at any given moment.

I did something a week or so ago, something I never thought I’d ever consider doing again…I pitched a literary agent to go back to traditional publishing. I LOVE being an Indie…don’t get me wrong, there’s just something about the idea of traditional backing, and marketing funds, and a few other perks that are tempting…though only recently. I’ll give it to you gospel…I was shaking in my shoes and nearly yerked my lunch before I got to the door. All in all, there are some great things on the horizon though because of that meeting…and I did manage to keep lunch in. So there’s that too. I just have to re-evaluate how I’m going to travel the road I’ve endeavored to take.

I’m fully confident of my abilities to write and be in the public eye at signings or conventions. I love the energy in a signing room…not gonna lie, it’s a hard habit to break and I have a fix every chance I get. That said, I also know my limitations. Public Relations and Marketing are easily my predominant Achilles heel, and the aspect of the business I struggle forward every inch to gain ground. I have to consider that I may need to go hybrid at the least to be able to have that front get the attention it deserves. It scares me more than a little, but I know I need help.

 

I did not make the decision to leave traditional publishing lightly. Any consideration to go back must be as carefully weighed. Whichever way this road goes, one thing will hold true…you won’t see my frenzy if I can help it. Composure will be me, if I have to stand on my own feet to accomplish it.

Tangled webs

I want to take some time today to talk through a few sticky situations. Why? Because left untended, they become monsters and the tangled webs are too strong, even for ninjas then. I’m no ninja, so venting them openly is the best I can do.

I’ve been gunning HARD lately as many of you know. It’s meant long days, short nights, an ass-ton of coffee, and raw emotions. The combination can be lethal…but I’m holding the tiger by the tail…so far. I know that’s not how we maintain control, but at this point, any grasp is better than none at all. Right?

I’ve noticed that when I’m in this odd euphoria of sleep deprivation that things jump out at me that I might not otherwise notice. Rather than poke the bears, I thought I’d offer some friendly advice without naming names…with the best of intentions and a smile on my face while the caffeine has continued dominion.

Let’s start with the person on social media who posts every hour or so about the same thing…or an update on something that will obviously not be resolved for days…or what they are doing at any given moment. Let’s face it, over-sharers exist. Most of the time, I can ignore the behavior, or there is always the ‘unfollow’ to click if it gets to be too much, but let’s talk about some self-regulation on social media. I’d like to point out to those who feel compelled to share such finite changes in your day…there is a difference between quality and quantity in sharing too. If your audience can fathom when you are ‘on the throne,’ based on your lack of posting for those 4 minutes, you’re doing it wrong.

Next, let us take a lesson from Yoga about breathing…there are going to be things that come up that will fluster us to no end, and when that happens…let us stop, and take a good, deep, cleansing breath before we react. The cursing, screaming, spittle-dripping tirades that some have come to favor are so unattractive…live and virtual. Personally, I think one of the rapid killers of civilized society right now is the immediate gratification of responding before having to think. What ever happened to taking a few minutes, or overnight, to process information before spitting out the first, often worst, thoughts that come to mind? We are not showing ourselves very well.

Third up on my list of ‘OhMyGoddessWhatAreWeThinking?’ is the matter of If you ask for it…guess what? I recently suggested a new writer who wanted to publish, work with an editor I know. They write outside my comfort level of what I can edit and have ability to offer good feedback for…so I referred them to someone else. I learned that they got the edits back and have ‘poo-poo’d’ the comments as being too picky, and that it isn’t fitting with their writing style. Also, that a NYT Bestselling author most of us have heard of doesn’t do it that way. Here’s the thing…One, you are not said NYT Bestselling author where you can take license with the hard rules.  Two, grammar rules ARE picky. Three, YOU ASKED FOR AN EDITOR because you didn’t know what you were doing wrong or how to remedy it…guess what? They gave you comprehensive guidance on how to fix what wasn’t working. If you didn’t want to know…you shouldn’t have asked.

Four…and mercy let me slurp some coffee before I begin this one…IF you KNOW the answer, please don’t ask the question just to get attention. I’ve seen recently…seasoned authors, with a year or more under their belts, asking first book, newbie questions. Questions that I am seeing first book/newbie authors answering with ease and confidence. I am floored. That’s all I’ve got. Well…that’s not completely true, and it goes to a larger, pandemic problem that should be addressed…If you ask a question – BOTHER TO LEARN THE ANSWER. there are TONS in the Indie author community that are so helpful and will go out of their way to assist anyone…respect them enough to take in the answer and make it work, not just hear or read the words. You’ve taken their time, return the courtesy by at least trying to apply the response. If you require repeated exposure to the same information, get a notebook.

Four segued nicely into five which is ditch the excuses. LIFE HAPPENS…to all of us. We all get sick, have babies or fur babies who need us, want to take a day away from the keyboard to decompress, have parents, or play-dates, or appliance mishaps, or any other myriad things that happen…at the end…if you made a commitment – keep it. It’s that simple. your best is not the same as anyone else’s…and guess what? It’s all you’ve got to give. Don’t bungle it up with excuses about how you didn’t go as fast as someone else, or whatever…leave the excuses for the quitters. If you’re going for it – RUN!

Lastly, if you’ve just learned it, you are not qualified to teach it and CHARGE for the lesson. There is sharing and information swapping that happens all the time, but I’ve noticed a trend that makes me nervous…young authors who had a good book do well, who jump from that to the ‘teaching class about it for $50 an hour so you can do what they did.’ It reminds me a workshop I attended at RT several years ago about learning the Amazon algorithms to maximize exposure…which translated to sitting in a class waiting in pain to get to the subject, instead of how amazon was like the presenters dating life. Many of you know just how pricey RT is…so I paid for that. I can never recover those funds, not the hour and I learned NOTHING. Welll..I learned I’m not going to that presenters class again. Basically, there is a wide range of information out there and often it doesn’t have a price tag…so Buyer beware.

I’d like to say this is everything, now squarely expunged and I’m good to go…but we all know it isn’t. These are just some examples of the sticky things that are out there…the ones that are easy to get tripped up in and off-track. It’s too easy to lose our way, and get caught up in the crazy of others.

There used to be a meme on my desk that I haven’t rediscovered since moving the office that said: “Don’t let others pull you into their storm, pull them into your peace.” It’s good advice.

All of these things are detractors, and false roads that take us away from the golden path to productivity…so let us now make an agreement to lift each other up, and offer positive reinforcements as we each try to grow, and to put helpful things out in the paths of others, and not to ask for things that we don’t truly need as we try to be a bit better than we were yesterday.

It’s my goal…how about you?

My Pretties Arrived

Two weeks from today, I, along with some local friends, will be making the trek to St. Louis for Penned Con. This is one of my favorite events, not only for how well it’s run, but for the people and authors who attend, and for the charity, Action for Autism, the profits go to.

Aaaaaanyway……the one thing an author MUST have when attending these signings is…..BOOKS! When Irma’s direction was still in question, the organizer of Penned reminded us that one of the print distributor’s locations was in South Carolina. AAAACK! There is no way of controlling which site your books are printed at. Needless to say, I hurried home on my lunch break, placed my book order, and crossed my everythings that they would be printed and shipped before Irma hit land.

They have arriiiiiiiiiiived! My pretties are here!

The excitement of opening a box and seeing the creation you, with the help of your cover artists, beta readers, editors, and publisher, created never dims and never gets old.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

Sanity is over-rated.

It’s go time. I’ve been working for this kick off point for half of the year between other things, and honestly…I’m ready to wrap. How abysmal is that? I’m at the beginning of my victory lap and I’m too pooped to run it. lol

I will. No worries…I always rally. Right now, I’m just zoinked from the hard run marathon to reach this point.

What am I talking about?? FIVE RELEASES IN SIX WEEKS.
Yupp, you read that right. Even though one has moved dates, the lead up didn’t change…so in my mind it still counts.

Ready??
Here goes.
Tomorrow, Tuesday August 29: Imposs-i-Bella releases.

Tuesday September 12: Book of Mysteries (The Custos Series book 3) releases.
AND Rogue in Cimmerian Shade Limited Edition box set releases.

Saturday September 30: Gravedigger releases.

Tuesday October 10: Veil Break in Haunting Savannah releases.

I’m going to grin like a madman when it’s all done…but right now I could use a masseuse, a housekeeper, and a cook.

True story.

Sav

Return to the cave

I’m wrung out. Weirdly too. From Biloxi Mississippi to home is a 15 hour drive. I did that with few hiccups, though the drive to the gulf was nearly my undoing…15 hours on next to no sleep made the sway of the car far too soothing to easily continue. caffeine was my friend.  North Iowa Book Bash is a mere 4.4 hours away…should be able to do that blindfolded and in full zombie, but the return trip this time kicked my ass.

The great thing about it is that I sold out of 2 titles, and liberated most of my swag inventory….which means…I get to order books and choose new swag. YIPPPEEEE….it’s like a holiday all over again. My Mardi Gras connection is getting a call ASAP! I need more goodies with Book of Mysteries hitting this summer.

Seriously though, BFF Bookies do such a great job of putting on an amazing event. I swear – it’s like a reunion with all the folks that you shared the kids table with at Christmas and conspired with on how to liberate the desserts without the grown ups noticing. SO MUCH FUN! I will return every year they’ll have me. TRUTH. Normally, I’m a full table girl cuz I like to spread out. This year I had a half and shared which was fine…but I’d sit at a tv tray in the corner if I had to…if you’re in range – PUT THIS ON YOUR TO DO LIST! I promise you’ll thank me.

Other than a little library thing…I’m in the cave now. I’ve WAY overloaded my calendar and I’m raring to get on it. I’ve got a box set and an anthology releasing this month yet…but I’ve got FIVE more releases happening THIS YEAR…and after a brain detour in Clear Lake…I may be swapping a cover out yet for one of those (or quite possibly two) with a model whom I’ve come to respect for his professionalism and poise in the midst of the reader event crazy. It matters…and this guy has earned the marks…hope you agree when you see the covers. It makes me happy to give back to the community that shares this writing world.

So – keep an eagle eye on the horizon…there’s gonna be something popping up often. Til then, see you on the pages.  ~Sav

 

Well…there’s that.

PHEW!

I’m home from a week+ away. I spent over 35 hours on the road there, back, and in between to other places and I’m spent. But…there’s no rest, not really anyway. There will always be something more to do and the list is cross one-add three. Invariably, I’m looking at one thing and something else pops up…”well, there’s that now too.”

BUT…it’s all good. I met some amazing readers, had some awesome chats with new to me (and new to publishing) authors…and got to laugh out loud. So, I’m solid. This week will be a lot of catch up for me, to get the promo back on track for Sultry & Sinful: The Femmes of Paranormal, and Prowlers & Growlers….as well as to be continuing the promotion for C.A.S.E. Revelations…there’s tons in the hopper.

I’m off again in less than 2 weeks to North Iowa Book Bash, and another fun, incredible signing event, plus I’ve got to finish Ela’s Cinder for May. Like I said, no rest. So, I guess I should take a moment to say thanks for the ones I just had.

The little river house was lovely, and mostly quiet…and if I didn’t use each moment to the fullest, I have no one else to blame.  Watch for the last March newsletter coming out from me on Wednesday with some reads from the signing authors at Biloxi…I’ll leave you with my final sunset from the trip.

Til next time…see you on the pages!

 

Too many directions, not enough gray matter

OIY! Last week I knew I had forgotten something, but like Neville’s ‘rembril’…I couldn’t find what I’d forgotten…remembered it now though – it was my weekly post here. OOOPS.

So, what has me running it so many directions you ask? Wellll….here’s the list:

Starting last week, the preorder campaign went up for the Prowlers and Growlers Box set that I’m in…HOLYMOLY – you want this set. 22 all new stories from a mad conflagration of authors – many of them best sellers or award winners all on their own…and it’s 99 pennies for a limited time…four days into Pre Order, it’s already hit #1 in two outlets, and two countries.

grab your copy with the links here:

16487805_10154862328142332_9208551584914280578_oLimited Time
Join the dark side with ***ALL NEW*** stories from some of your favorite NY Times, USA Today, and Award Winning, Bestselling authors.
Step into the shadows with witches, werewolves, shifters, vampires, and soul mates: the sizzling hot alphas you love.
Are you fated to find your fantasy lover in these seductive, steamy pages bursting with danger and desire? Claim your book boyfriend now!
Amazon Smart URL: http://hyperurl.co/PnGBs
Nook: http://bit.ly/2jzPcGI
iBooks: http://hyperurl.co/PnGiB
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2jJSDvf
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kfFjSp

THEN, tomorrow…is the cover reveal and Pre Order open for my next book:

follow along on my Facebook author page to see it.

C.A.S.E. Revelations.

pizap-com14850505869582

Release Date – March 7, 2017

A simple mistake brings the world to its knees with no notice or time to prepare. Young and inexperienced, first term president Baron York will have a lot to answer for when it’s finally done. If, that is, there’s anyone left to answer to.
Lessons from The Great Depression make an encore performance at the Hamilton property as they try to stay alive…and sane. Where were you when the world went dark and everything stopped?

Folks who get my newsletter got to see the cover today, but have to wait for the preorder with everyone else. Not getting my newsletter?? We can fix that. On my website…towards the bottom of the homepage is “NEXT STEPS” The link to subscribe is there and you too can get the latest delivered to your mailbox.

After that is the Sultry & Sinful: Femmes of Paranormal Anthology that is also coming out in April. The marketing for that is going to be amping up soon as well. Keep watching.

The rest of 2017 is a blur. Signings start in March with Booking In Biloxi, put on by the Crazy Cajun Book Lovers for the third year. North Iowa Book Bash is in early April brought by the BFF Bookies…both events are amazing.

Writing wise there are several more titles to come in ’17 from me.
Keep an eye out for details on:

Ella’s cinder – Rags to Riches in Reverse
Book of Mysteries – The Custos series Book 3
an Untitled piece for the Halloween in Savannah anthology due in October
a piece I’m playing with called Gravedigger
and lastly an idea I’m toying with based on reader requests – a follow-up to Viva Zapata & the Magic 8-Ball WIP titled Zapatista Revolution

Soooooo…yeahp, just a few kettles bubbling up right now. Apologies for missing last week. Forgive me? Hope so. Til next time, read something great.
See you on the pages!
Sav

The Bionic Woman…and other things I dare to be.

As many of you know…I’m in recovery mode. What started last April as a pain, has become a marathon course in varying degrees of how much I can actually handle. The meds are lovely, but they hijack my system sixty ways by noon and I’m afraid I can’t keep up with that.  Right now, I’m doing my best to ignore the throb and keep working without the chemical interference. mneh – I might be winning that.

I joked with several that I am now part Borg, or perhaps Terminator. lol. Maybe Bionic Woman would be better as I only have a couple seriously upgraded parts. The rest is the same ole me. The same half-sane, running 220 with my hair on fire, point me to the bar gal that always has more on the plate waiting to avalanche than there will ever be room for. I happen to love it that way. I can rest when it’s over…for now, I’m racing the clock that says ‘You can’t possibly’ and daring it to reconsider.

In my quest, and up next on the list is the newsletter foe that I thought I mastered until I tried to send it. I will get that remedied and you WANT to be on THIS LIST. ((The sign up is on my website-follow the link))  I have enough free tickets and other goodies to give out that there should be a prize or three in every single issue… Also, it’s where you’re going to get the first look at what’s coming next. The only people getting it sooner are my street team, and honestly…they’ve earned that.

So, here’s the only reminder you’ll get. 🙂 Sign up soon or miss the issue – there are LOADS of goodies going in and I’m excited to see who’s going to win. Will it be you??

open magic book, stories and educational stories floating