Remember Johnny Lee’s hit song, “Looking for Love (in All the Wrong Places)” from the movie Urban Cowboy? https://youtu.be/FAyDmJvjxbg. I two-stepped a time or two to that song back in the day.
Now that I have a book on the market, I’ve found renewed interest in the song. Indie authors like me are always looking for love in the form of new readers and reviewers. I’d say it’s a hard knock life, but that would be an exaggeration and a whole different movie/song reference.
I find myself touting my book to everyone: my esthetician, my physical therapist, my gynecologist during my annual exam, the checkout person at the grocery store, random folks in line for their vaccinations at CVS, etc.
Occasionally my marketing strategy pays off and I’ll gain a new reader, but often I run the risk of being an annoyance. So far I’ve not been chased away with torches and pitchforks, but it could happen.
On Saturday I celebrated a “first” (for me, anyway). Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort was the featured book for a Tallahassee book club meeting, and I was invited to say a few words and answer questions from those in attendance.
It was a virtual meeting, so there were no worries about masks or social distancing. But I did pour myself a glass of Merlot, because what’s a book club meeting without wine?
I was a bit nervous at first, but the experience was so much fun that I soon forgot about my nerves and just relaxed and enjoyed myself. The funniest thing was that some attendees knew my book as well as, and in one instance, slightly better than I did! That was humbling and a little scary. Now I need to reread Mayhem before any future book club adventures.
I’m currently working on the sequel to Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort. Let me tell you, sequels are tricky. At least this one is for me. It’d sure save me a lot of time and consternation if everyone would just read book one.
How much backstory do I need to give? How do I tell folks what happened in book one without boring them to death in book two? I’ve considered writing a prologue, but I’m not a huge prologue fan. It’s not that I’m anti-prologue; I just become annoyed when I have to read one.
I’ve read a great many books that are parts of a series. Some authors do an incredible job of filling in backstory and others, even good authors, sometimes offer too much, assuming that readers haven’t read the previous books in the series. I’m hoping my editor helps me figure out the right combination.
Anyway, I titled this “Sneak Peak” for a reason. Here’s a little tidbit from Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort. Let me know what you think—it’s still very much a work in progress.
Sneak Peak of Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort:
Mark walked Paula to her room. The tequila she’d imbibed at dinner emboldened her enough to rise up on her tiptoes to give him a hug.
He grinned. “What was that for?”
“Just because I wanted to,” she said. Then she wobbled and frowned. “I probly should’ve stopped at one margarita, though.”
Mark smiled down at her. “I’m glad you didn’t if it meant getting a hug. Goodnight. Sleep tight.”
She waved a hand in the air as Mark turned and began walking the few steps to his room “Don’t let the bug beds bite. Wait, the beg buds. That’s not it either. Just don’t let anything bite.”
Paula fumbled with her room key, and the old-fashioned plastic green fob slipped from her fingers where it clattered as it bounced off the porch. The noise brought Mark back to her side.
“Whoopsie!” She said.
“Here, let me.” He picked up the key and unlocked her door, his head nearly touching hers as he bent to the task. “I’d really like to kiss you right now.”
She put a finger to her lips. “Shh! Don’t tell anyone, but I’d really like to be kissed right now.”
“You’re a little drunk, though, and I’m not going to take advantage of that, but tomorrow, all bets are off.”
Paula grinned a silly grin and began humming the tune Tomorrow from the musical Annie.
He pecked her on the cheek and opened the door. “Goodnight, again. I’m right next door if you need me.”
“And I’m right next door if you need me,” she said, poking a finger in the general direction of his chest.
She thought she heard him chuckle as she locked the door behind her. The room seemed to be off-kilter, and she had to concentrate to make everything stay still. As Paula meandered to the bathroom she picked up the lyrics where she’d left off. “I,” she hiccuped. “Love ya’….”
My book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, just garnered its 50th review on Amazon!
It’s been a really tough week for a variety of reasons, so I’m going to celebrate quietly.
If you haven’t yet ordered your own copy of Mayhem, it’s only $2.99 as an e-reader on Kindle and $11.99 for the paperback on Amazon. I know the author (me) would appreciate it. And if you have read it and enjoyed it, tell someone else.
If you enjoy steamy, smart romance I promise you will be smitten with Willing. I know I was.
I spent the weekend reading the soon-to-be-published sequel to Lori Roberts Herbst’s debut novel, Suitable for Framing. Her new book, Double Exposure, continues the adventures of photographer Callie Cassidy who seems to be a magnet for mystery. I adore her characters, and I always think I know whodunnit, but she fools me every time.
I don’t think there’s a fixed date yet for publication, but I’ll keep you all posted. In the meantime, read her first novel, pictured below, if you haven’t already.
And then there’s me. I didn’t get a lot of writing done this weekend, so engrossed was I in reading Lori’s book, but that’s not to say my books didn’t get some attention.
My novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, will be featured at two different Tallahassee book club meetings in the next couple of months! I’m so honored to have had my little book selected by these clubs and excited to have the opportunity to visit with readers in real time about Mayhem.
My romance, The Executive and the Cowboy, set in the Texas panhandle, will be ready for publication sometime in April, if all goes well. We’re in the editing/revision stages now. And, if I can rid myself of distractions (dadgum March Madness!) I should be able to finish the first draft of the sequel to Mayhem, Wedding at the Motor Inn and Resort, by mid-May.
Those of you who’ve read my first novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, will get a huge kick out of this gift my son designed for me.
I squealed when he gave me the shirt. I’m going to wear it the next time I drink from the Scout’s Honor logo mug my daughter commissioned to celebrate the publishing company name we coined for the book.
I sold a copy of my book to a telemarketer yesterday. Usually, I ignore numbers that I’m fairly certain are spam, but this one originated from Washington D.C. and I thought, Hey, it might be President Biden, so I accepted the call.
Turns out, it wasn’t Potus, but it wasn’t exactly a telemarketer either. Instead, the caller was from a charitable organization that I support. I politely listened to the caller’s spiel and then replied, “I’m sorry, but I can’t make a recurring monthly donation at this time. I’m a self-published author and I’m never sure what my royalties will amount to.”
“Oh?” She said. “What do you write?”
I grinned to myself. “I have a novel that was published in December. Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort.”
“She laughed and said, “What?”
I repeated the title.
“Oh my,” she said. “I’m buying that right now!”
We talked a few minutes more then said our goodbyes.
At the top of the hour I checked my sales on Kindle Direct Publishing. Now, I have no way of knowing if the kind caller was the purchaser of my book, but I did make a sale for an ebook that hour. And that’s why they call me, The Hustler. (Note: I think I’m the only one to use that nickname, but maybe I’ll start a trend.)
A few days ago I had what I thought was a brilliant idea. Sales for Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort have been good, but reviews were a little light. The reviews the book received were outstanding; there just weren’t that many of them.
So, I thought, why not have a drawing on my Facebook author page? When the number of reviews reached 40, I’d draw a reviewer’s name at random and give away either a Scout’s Honor coffee mug or a signed copy of Mayhem. Cool, huh?
Except I didn’t take into account that many reviewers on Amazon use nicknames or initials instead of their actual names, so for the last couple of days I’ve been trying to figure out who “Keek” is, and who among my readers might be “Amazon Customer.”
Also, and this is both a wonderful thing and an almost impossible impediment, I don’t personally know at least five of the reviewers! How would I contact them if they won?
Sometime this weekend the number of reviews not only reached, but exceeded the 40 mark. I was able to track down all but two reviewers through connections on Facebook and friends of friends, but those two were untraceable. I felt awful, but went ahead with the drawing as promised, and notified the winner.
So, any suggestions for future giveaways are welcome. I believe this was good for book sales and review numbers, but as Mayhem wanders away from my core group of friends and followers, it might be impossible to track down a winner. This one has given me a massive headache. But I’m also smiling!
If you’ve read my book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, you’ll find this cartoon even funnier than it already is. If you haven’t read my book, you really should. You know, to be in on the joke. I knew there was a reason I loved The Far Side so much.
My first novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort has garnered nearly 40 reviews on Amazon! I’m pretty stoked.
When it reaches the 40 review mark I’m going to select one of the reviewers at random to win their choice of either a Scout’s Honor coffee cup (pictured below), or a signed copy of Mayhem.
So, if you’ve read Mayhem and haven’t yet written a review, take a couple of minutes and let others know what you think. Reviews don’t have to be fancy or flowery, just sincere. If you’ve rated it, but haven’t left a review, I don’t have any way of knowing your name, so if you want to be included in the drawing make sure to write a few words.
If you haven’t yet read Mayhem, even if you read it and didn’t like it, I still love you. I really do.