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Doers And Wimps

As part of my (painfully) slow going exploration of Facebook, I recently posted a poll on my author page. I figured I would get a feel for how the poll feature works, collect some usable information, compare that information to my publishing plan, and tweet about the whole thing. According to the weekly statistics email I received from Facebook yesterday, 153 people clicked into the poll. Two responded.  (Sigh.)  Everyone has to start somewhere. For example, for years, right up…

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Starting a Blog: Oh, Daddy!

Twelve weeks ago, I self-published my first short story collection, Love + Family.  I was downright giddy seeing my words, my characters, my happy endings right there on the screen of my very own Kindle. It was tough to tuck that euphoria aside and to settle myself back into business mode, but I had to do it. The journey was only beginning. This past spring, when I was developed my publishing plan, I decided to first launch Love + Family…

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The Twitterverse

When I joined Twitter nine days ago, my motivations did not include an unyielding desire to rule the Twitterverse with poignant one-liners while inundating my followers with links to the most influential blogs, articles, and ideas in the self-publishing stratosphere. >I’ve since changed. Three days ago I experienced my first conversation on Twitter.  (With eHarmony.  Go figure.)  Anyway, it went a little something like this: Me:  Imagine for a moment that #eHarmony or #JDate or #Match let singles post reviews after going on dates…

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Publishing a Novel: The iTunes Effect

About a decade ago, before she was married to my brother, my sister-in-law called to ask my advice about a gift. My sister-in-law: “I’ve finally thought of the perfect gift to get your brother for Christmas—an iPod!” Me: “That’s a great idea! But won’t it be expensive to dock it at a marina?” Oh, how times change. And people—willing or not—change right along with them. I remember those long-ago days when my brothers and I would ride our bikes down…

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Writing a Novel: Deep Midnight

It's 3 AM. The dream wakes you, scaring you with its intensity, shaking you with its fever. By day it trails you, clings to you, seeps into your skin. At first, you tell no one. Then, little by little, the dream finds words, finds its way out of your mind and into your reality. You are forever changed. Your family and friends tell you they love you, but they’ve heard enough about your imaginary world. They think about screening their…

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Writing a Novel: 165,000 Word Count

The total word count for my first draft of AVA was 165,000 words. No kidding. I sweated over that draft, lost sleep over it, obsessed over it for months on end. It was my first-born work of fiction and I was so proud. I fed my manuscript constantly, convinced that the best way to nourish a growing book was to heap words—any words—onto the pages. No detail was too small to include, and I assured myself that readers would absolutely, positively…

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Publishing Novels: There Is Money To Be Made. So Make It.

Q: How would I define the PIY (Publish-It-Yourself) author? A: Four parts fearless, three parts writer, two parts entrepreneur, and one part dreamer -- with a sprinkle of pioneer spirit thrown in for good measure. While self-publishing a novel does begin with the work of a writer, it is actually a business.  A small business.  A start-up business.  A messy, complicated, time-absorbing business located in unchartered territory offering up no guarantees of any kind. That’s where the fearless part comes in. The exploding…

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Marketing a Novel: Single And Looking

Dating. Ah yes, that powerful, ageless word. These days, friends, relatives, neighbors, even co-workers might send a link to a Facebook page, or a blog, or networking group, or dating site, with the wonderful goal of helping the unattached among us connect with others who are also single and looking. Imagine for a moment that eHarmony or JDate or Match offered singles the opportunity to post reviews after going on dates with other members.  If you were considering setting up a date of your own, would those reviews influence your decision of whether…

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Writing a Novel: Risk And The Unpublished Writer

“Do you believe?” I've been asked that question over and over, in various forms, for two long years. Do I believe in what I'm doing? Do I believe the sacrifices are worth it? Do I believe people will want to read my books and short stories? The list goes on. All the while, I've been writing and re-writing stories and novels. I've been editing and re-editing them, often scrapping entire chapters and starting over again. Writing novels has taught me that while happy endings are not always…

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