Monday, June 18, 2018

Free Books #OpenBook Blog Hop



What's your opinion on authors giving their books away for free?

If you are a heavy reader of e-books, you probably know that there are a lot of free books out there. Enough that you could fill whatever e-reader you use without spending a penny. And you know what? Some of those books are good. Really good.

But you won't find any of my books on that list. and that's on purpose. I don't give my books away for free on a mass basis. (I have been known to give away a copy or two to interested readers.) My reasoning is simple.

I work hard on my books. I put a lot of time and effort into writing my character's stories. My time should be worth something,

But beyond that, It's not a totally free process to get them ready for publication. I don't have the skill set needed to format them in the way they need to be set to work properly with all the various e-readers. I pay someone to do it for me. There's the cost of editing and covers, too.

Then there is the delivery fee. At least one of the major sites (cough, Amazon, cough) charges the author a small delivery fee when their book is downloaded. (not on free books, however.) That's on top of the cut they take for their share of royalties.

Now, I am very aware of the concept that readers will so love your free book that they will go right out and buy the rest of the books in a series. I've seen that stats that indicate that this use to work. I've also heard the discussions about whether it works any more or not, and I lean toward the side that says it doesn't. Why?

I believe the market is over-saturated. There are too may free books out there, and even if they get
downloaded they don't get read. Sorry, my author friends, but I'm a poster child for that. I'm not sure how many unread books I have on my app. Too many. And I'm fairly picky about what I download.

So, I won't price my books for free. I do try to price my books at an "attractive" level, one that won't scare off potential readers to a fairly unknown author. And I have one book (The Marquesa's Necklace) priced at 99¢ to attempt to draw in new readers. (Haven't read it yet? Go buy it! Please?) In advertising terminology, it's my loss leader. My hope is that if there's at least a small investment made to obtain the book, there's a higher chance that it will actually get read.

But I would love to hear how readers feel about this topic. The comments are open! And while I'm waiting, I'm going to hop on over and find out what the other authors think.


June 18, 2018
What's your opinion on authors giving their books away for free?

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.











Monday, June 11, 2018

Strange Conditions #OpenBook Blog Hop


What's the strangest medical or psychological condition you've ever given to one of your characters?

It would be easy to say that many of the characters in my Free Wolves series suffer from clinical lycanthropy. In simple terms, that's the condition of thinking you are a werewolf (or other animal.) In more technical terms, it's defined as a rare psychiatric syndrome that involves a delusion that the affected person can transform into, has transformed into, or is a non-human animal. Its name is associated with the mythical condition of lycanthropy, a supernatural affliction in which humans are said to physically shapeshift into wolves. (from Wikipedia.) But since my characters can actually shift, it's not a delusion. Or is it?


I'll leave you to ponder that question and move on to Oak Grove and Harmony. If you've read the books, you know she has a few quirks to her personality. Counting stairs is one of them, and being obsessed with naming things is another. Her morning habit of coffee and reading the newspaper in the summer borders is more than a pattern. Then there's her weekend cleaning ritual, chores always done in the same order.


Although I didn't plan it, those symptoms point to a slight (and undiagnosed) case of OCD. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) It's defined as a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.

That may be part of what makes the librarian job so perfect for Harmony. There's a certain sense of ritual in many of the daily tasks. Shelving books, for example. Not only does it involve finding the right spot for each book, I can see her straightening up all the neighboring books in a perfect line, all the spines the exact same distance from the edge of the shelf. Or carefully arranging the magazines in the periodicals section so they are in chronological order.
Here's one example from The Marquesa's Necklace:


 I climbed the stone steps, smiling, counting them as I had habitually done all those years ago. As a teenager, the library became my second home. One, two, three ....fifteen. There is now a wheelchair ramp in the back, but the steps are unchanged. 
I don't consider Obsessive Compulsive Disorder strange, but it opens up a whole host of quirks for me to play with in exploring Harmony's personality.
Now, let's see what the other authors inflicted on their characters! 








June 11, 2018
whats the strangest medical or psychological condition you've ever given to one of your characters?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Changing My Life #OpenBook Blog Hop





If you could change one thing in your life and not have it affect you negatively later, what would you pick?

Let me start by saying I'd be afraid to change anything, despite the disclaimer about not affecting me negatively later. What's the saying- for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's true. But for the sake of this blog, I'll set that feeling aside.

If you've read my bio, you know I'm a computer geek. It's my job. I won't bore you with the technical details, but between my job and writing, I spend far too much time staring at a computer screen. And I wouldn't change that.

So, what would I change? I'd figure out a way to get started in the computer field sooner. I was no spring chicken when I touched my first keyboard. Heck, I'm old enough that in high school, there was no such thing as keyboarding. Kids took typing classes back then.

And the test they gave predicting what field we should study didn't even include a category for computers. I forget what the score suggested I make a career in, but it didn't happen. Of course, personal computers didn't exist back then, but computers were mainstream for big business.  Good programmers were sought after. But I have no desire to be a programmer.

Move ahead a few years, when personal computers started to hit the market and servers no longer filled entire rooms. That's when I wished I gotten started. Before the dot.com boom. (I came in at the end of that era.) Of course, with my extra knowledge, I would have bought stock in technology companies while it was still cheap.

What would my life look like now if that had happened? I hate to even think about it. I have a pretty darn good job now and I wouldn't want to mess it up. Or all the other good things in my life.

Now, let's go find out what  the other authors would change.

June 4, 2018
If you could change one thing in your life and not have it affect you negatively later, what would you pick?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Must Haves for Camping #OpenBook Blog Hop



With the Memorial Day holiday marking the unofficial beginning of summer in the United States, the season of cookouts and camping has arrives. What are your "must haves" for these events?


I started camping when I was a Girl Scout, eons ago, and learned the basic skills. As I got older, we moved on to more advanced knowledge. I even took a forest survival course one summer (not with the Girl Scouts.)

But camping as an adult, I like to keep it simple. I don't want to spend hours tending a fire or making sure the charcoal is at the perfect heat. I have better things to do.

There are a few things I'm willing to splurge on. Really good chocolate for S'mores and Banana Boats. Real butter for roasted corn on the cob. Better quality burger.

But food is only one part of camping. I found out, through experience, that it makes sense to buy quality equipment. A foam cooler won't do the same job as a high quality one. A good  tent will keep you drier in a rainstorm than a cheap one. And don't skimp on safety equipment. (Yes, a bucket and shovel are necessities for camp fire safety.)

Speaking of safety, first aid supplies need to be checked each year, expired items thrown away and new ones bought. If they have been stored in hot or cold conditions, they may expire faster than they would in a climate controlled environment. A good practice is to start fresh with everything each year just in case.

There's one more must-have. Or two. Peace and quiet. When I go camping, I like to be in an out-of-the-way spot with as few people around as possible. I'm constantly in search of a spot that only a few people know about. Those spots are disappearing as more and more people discover the joys of camping. I think I spotted a new one this past weekend, so I'm looking forward to checking it out.

Now, even though I'm a day late, I'm off to find out what the others in this hop consider as their must-haves.





May 28, 2018
With the Memorial Day holiday marking the unofficial beginning of summer in the United States, the season of cookouts and camping has arrives. What are your "must haves" for these events?





Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

What's in a Headline? #OpenBook Blog Hop



Do you read the trashy tabloids while you wait in line at the grocery store? What headlines grab your attention and why?

It's been a long time since I've perused the headlines of one of those tabloids that used to grace every checkout stand in every  grocery store. I remember the days when Elvis sightings seemed to be the main headline each and every week, followed closely by alien abductions. But now I gravitate towards self-checkout (I'm faster than most of the cashiers!) so I don't stay caught up on the "news."

So, I decided to make a visit to the website of one of the more famous of the tabloids. With a certain royal wedding in the news, I picked a good week for it. The top headline screamed "Meghan Markle's Secret First Husband Found." (We all knew she'd been married before, right?)

Then we get a story about William Shatner hitting on his co-stars. Yawn. Move along.

Ah, another story inspired by the royal wedding. Decades of dirt! Bizarre lost sex secrets of the royal family! Let's find out about what sex toys they use. Because sex sells.

 There's about five more stories tied to the wedding, neatly interspersed with the sordid stories of other celebrities. To my disappointment, not a single Elvis or alien in site. So here's my headline-"Elvis attends the royal wedding in disguise!"

Let's try another one. "Meghan Markle's first husband was an alien!" Or "Is Prince Harry a virgin?" How about "Did the ghost of Princess Diana walked Meghan Markle up the aisle?"

I could keep going- "Harry and Meghan's marriage doomed" but I don't want to have all the fun. Make up your own headline and share it in the comments. In the meantime, I'm going to check out and see what the other authors favorite tabloid headlines are.



May 21, 2018
Do you read the trashy tabloids while you wait in line at the grocery store? What headlines grab your attention and why?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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