Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I'm at Nicki's Today

Quick Quick

Hey, I'm over at Nicki Elson's today doing a short interview for my latest release THE EARL'S ENGAGEMENT if you'd like to stop by.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Marketing and Promotion with Pinterest

Good Morning. Well, after publishing my latest book, I've had nothing to do this last week. Ha! Like that is ever possible. There's always stuff to be done, marketing and promotion come to mind, hence this post.

Because I'm a "quiet" marketer and hate to do blog tours, or ask anyone for help, I really haven't done much in the way of promoting my books. A few cozy interviews here, (as a matter of fact, I'll be over at my good friend Nicki Elson's on Wednesday if you want to stop by), a guest blog post there, a couple of review requests, but that's about it.

Social media has never been my strong suit. Yes, I have this blog, but this is primarily my writing blog. I blog at Anne Gallagher Regency Romance Writer to allow my fans (if any) to see what I'm doing with my books, because I don't have a website, and quite frankly, a website is static. I blog to let people know what's coming up next in my series.

I've set up a Twitter account. I've been on and off it for a couple of months. It's like an addiction when I get on it, and when my kitchen timer goes off warning me my time is up, I generally ignore it. No one can really say with a definitive answer if promoting your books on Twitter gets you more sales, and if you do promote, then you're labeled as a spammer. (But I see people promoting their books all the time, so who knows.)

I have accounts at Linked In, Goodreads, and Shelfari. But they don't really work for me. I refuse to join FaceBook, MySpace, or Tumblr.

However, after much debate, I decided to join Pinterest. I haven't worked out all the nuances yet, there's still things I need to add, and look at, but I think it takes my books to a whole other level, something I can't really do on my blog. If you want to take a gander and see what it's all about, click on this link Regency Anne and you can see what I'm talking about. If you click on one of the titles of my books, it will give you the cover blurb, and then show you all the pictures of whom I think my characters are.

I'm also planning on doing more boards with Regency clothes, homes, and architecture. Like I said, I haven't really figured out all the tricks (like how to repin, or how to find my friends to follow them) but I'm working on this slowly. Building it up over the next few months. I can then add it to my repertoire of places my fans can find me.

The nice thing is, even if I don't sell a book from my being there, it's wicked fun to do. I had a blast setting up the boards, arranging and rearranging them. It's soothing, like ironing, helps me get my organizational freak on. You know.

If you do decide to stop over there, let me know in the comments what you think. Comment here if you don't mind. (The link opens in a different window, so you don't have to worry about clicking twenty times just to get back here.) I have no idea how to comment there. If you're on Pinterest, please follow me, and once I figure out how to follow you, I'll do the same.

Tell me (the truth if you don't mind) -- Do you think this is a good idea? Or is it just a time suck? Are you on Pinterest with your books? How do you like it?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Done or Finished

Well, after a blazingly long day Monday, THE EARL'S ENGAGEMENT was finished. Or should I say done? I'm never sure if there's a difference. Yes, one "sounds" better, but they both get the point across.

Anyway, it's up and running on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. (Give it a week and it'll be available on Sony, Apple and whatever other venues Smashwords deal with. I've lost track there are so many.)

As I've also never launched this particular idea before, I'd like to offer it up to you guys for review. I've given my books away for free before, but I've never gotten any reviews from that. Wait times for review sites are lengthy, and I'm just too darn busy to go searching for them.

I also think now, with three novels and five short stories out there, I'd like to think it's all been worth it. I understand I'm running in a microcosmic niche market (sweet Regency romance) but reviews drive that market -- good, bad or indifferent. As for where you put the review, Amazon is always good, Barnes and Noble would be swell, Goodreads is always nice, and Smashwords is a bonus. If there are other places you frequent, that would be great. I don't get around much.

So, if anyone would like a review copy, (Kindle, Nook, or plain html or PDF) let me know in the comments with your email address. I'll get them out to you in the next couple of days.

Here's the cover copy. But if you'd like a little more information on this particular book, you can scroll down and take a look at my "Next Big Thing" blog post. (I'd link to it, but Blogger is acting up today and I don't want to lose this post.)

When an urgent letter arrives in Caithness, Gregory Scott, the Earl of Bailey hurries to London believing his dearest relation is on her deathbed. Rory is appalled to find his presence is only needed to play-act as a fake fiancé for a friend of his cousin.

After the lady in question marries her true love, Rory is left unoccupied. Seeking out an old acquaintance, he discovers Lord Briden nearly penniless, mentally unstable, and entirely dependant upon his spinster daughter for the care and upkeep of their estate at Primrose.

The beautiful Lady Rosamund is part hoyden, part bluestocking, part servant. Wanting nothing to do with Society, her uncommon way of life spurs Rory into offering assistance, but Rosamund adamantly refuses. When Rory learns the lecherous lord next door is blackmailing Rosamund, he devises a scheme to help her whether she wants it or not.

The idea to find Rosamund a husband goes slightly awry, as Rory doesn’t bargain for falling in love with the enigmatic Lady Rosamund. And when his plan turns up another beau for Rosamund, can Rory let her go?

Thanks everyone.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cleaning the Mental Clutter

Good Morning. Last week, as I reported, James Taylor and I ripped up the rug in the front hall.  I set aside my revisions and cleaned my house. Well, yesterday, I decided to go bat shit crazy and rearrange the furniture. Yeah, what was I thinking.

I was thinking that I didn't want to work on my revisions. Some life I lead, huh? If I'm not writing, I clean.

Anyway, we have this room -- my mother calls it a den, I call it an extension of the kitchen. (Because the kitchen is a little box separated by a wall with a pass-through window.) In this "den" we have the tv, Monster's toys, my "other desk" (for household/school/bill stuff) the table where we eat, a love seat, and a couple of bookcases. Like I said, the room is huge.

We live in this room. Mind you, I have a dining room, a formal parlour, a foyer, and 3 bedrooms. However, this is the room we congregate in. (I don't think Monster has played in her bedroom once.) When we moved in, I put the furniture where I thought it should go and left it that way.

But it's always bugged me. This room faces the north side of the house, has only two windows, and the paneling is old Canadian pine board. (very thick, beautiful, and something my father absolutely refuses to allow me to paint) Needless to say, it's very dark. Only one overhead light.

So yesterday I decided to rearrange the furniture. See if I could get more light in. I took out a desk, moved two small pantry closet things, added a shelf, moved the big pantry thing, rearranged Monster's play area, and brought in some plants. Then for some crazy reason, I decided to take the desk downstairs to my office and rearranged all that furniture too.

On top of all that, I dusted, did laundry, vacuumed, washed dishes, cleaned the laundry room, and went to the grocery store. When I finished I turned on the tv and watched 3 hours of the Castle marathon on TNT, then switched over to Downton Abbey.

Now mind you, I should have been working on the revisions for The EE. I'm almost finished with them and want to get this book published. It's been my driving force for the last two months. So why would I forego that to clean my house, you may wonder.

Well, I'll tell you. The revisions I'm trying to do (suggestions from my wonderful critique partners) have made me realize the book was not everything I wanted it to be, everything it could be, as perfect as I thought it was. Yes, I made them, 99% of them in fact, and now, heading into the final edits/read through/copy line edits, I understand that I'm stubbornly refusing to acknowledge I'm not a first, second, third, or even fourth draft wunderkind. I thought I was, I really did.

Vanity, they name is woman.

And that bugs me.

What it all boils down to, is that EVERYTHING needs revisions. From where you put your furniture, to how many times you change your blouse in the morning, to how many times you need to revise your manuscript. Nothing is perfect the first time. No matter how perfect you think you are. But I have to say, now that my furniture is in a much better place, there's so much more light, I think my brain is as well. It's Monday and I'm ready to dive back in to see what else I can do to make my book the best that it can be.

Tell me -- Does your "mental" clutter drive your "outside" clutter? Or vice versa? Do you procrastinate getting things done in a timely manner like I do, or do you dive right in? How many times have you rearranged your furniture?

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Weekend with James Taylor

Ha! I bet that title got your attention, huh? Well, I've been waiting to hear back from my last crit partner on The Earl's Engagement and I bet you know what I've been doing for the last week. Yeah, cleaning my house. When I write, the house kind of know...messy. This time it was, well, a little bit more than messy. I think this time, my dust bunnies were going to call the housecleaning ladies up the street. I don't really blame them. With all the Christmas goo-ga hanging around, pine needles, tinsel. Yeah, a little overwhelming. 

So, amidst all the madness, I found my big dog had secretly peed on the carpet in the front hall. Yeah, we don't use it at all, so it was a surprise when I went to the hall closet and my feet squished. eewwee. Please don't judge me. I know I'm not the best housekeeper, but the dog pee is not mine. She was soundly yelled at and put outside. She promised never to do it again. (Of course, my telling her she was going to live outside for the rest of her life was probably what made her promise.)

Anyway, I dug out my old James Taylor albums (yes vinyl) and threw them on the turntable. Yup, record player.  The carpet was old so I decided to rip it up. Eewwee. Nothing like soggy dog pee carpet. Once I got the carpet up, I had to take up the foam underneath.  Oh, by the way it's 40 years old, so it was falling apart.  And then under all that, there were the staples and the carpet nail runners. Fun stuff. And I didn't hurt myself. Not once. Yay me.

But, during all the hard work, it was me and James. Singing off key with the front door wide open. I think my across-the-street neighbor was laughing at me. I didn't care. Nothing like old Jimmy boy. Did you know he was from North Carolina? I didn't until about 10 years ago.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is, but I do know that when I was singing with James, it brought about a lot of old memories. And it got me thinking about old books I'd read, back when I used to listen to James at my childhood home on Hendricks Street. L-O-N-G time ago.

I read my first Harlequin romance THE HONEY IS BITTER by Violet Winspear (Still have it too, believe it or not). I read Rod McKuen (ALL of his poetry -- still have all those books too, and a few albums he made.)  National Velvet. Trixie Belden. Louisa May Allcott. Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys. I think I even started Thoreau back then but didn't finish it until 20 years later.

While sweeping and vaccumming up the remainder of the mess in the front hall, I made a promise to myself, that this summer I was going to read all the books I haven't read. The classics. Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Stein, Dickens, Vonnegut. Perhaps they'll help me to be a better writer. lol

Tell me --  Are there books you haven't read, but think you should? What are they? Have you ever ripped up carpet without having anything to put in its place? (Yeah, I probably should have planned that a little better.)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Welcome Carol Kilgore

I'm proud to be a part of Carol's new book launch SOLOMON'S COMPASS.

A missing belt—her uncle’s prized possession. The lure of buried treasure. And a sexy former SEAL who makes U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell crazy. What more could any woman want. Right?

Taylor is in Rock Harbor, Texas, on a quest to unearth her uncle’s treasure—a journey far outside the realm of her real life. There’s one glitch. Taylor's certain the buried treasure was all in Uncle Randy's dementia-riddled mind. Now he’s dead.

Former SEAL Jake Solomon is in Rock Harbor under false pretenses to protect Taylor from the fate that befell her uncle and the other members of a tight circle of Coast Guardsmen called the Compass Points who served together on Point boats in Vietnam.

Jake is definitely not supposed to become involved with Taylor. That was his first mistake. Taylor is attracted to Jake as well, but she refuses to wait for him to locate the killer when she knows her plan will force her uncle’s murderer into action.

But the killer's actions are just what Jake is afraid of.

Carol Kilgore has always had stories and characters in her head, but she didn’t know she should write them down until about a dozen years ago. Once she started, she couldn’t stop.
Her first published short story won the Derringer Award for Best Short-Short Mystery. She continued to write short fiction for a few years and also enjoyed a small success as a freelancer before giving it all up for her true love—novels.
Carol writes a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance she calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss. Always at least one crime; always a love story. Solomon’s Compass is her second published novel.
As the wife of a Coast Guard officer, Carol has lived in locations across the U.S. She and her husband now live in a San Antonio suburb and share their home and patio with two active herding dogs that keep them free from all danger, real or imagined.
You can find Carol here:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Falling on My Face -- Update

Thank you, everyone, who sent me their best wishes for a speedy recovery. I am much better now. The swelling has gone down, and I almost resemble my former self instead of FrankANNEstein. (lol I couldn't resist.)  At least I'm not green anymore. I believe my tooth is slowly healing. It was a little loose, but seems to have begun to dig its way back in. So thanks for all your prayers.

I also may report, I finally finished THE EARL'S ENGAGEMENT on New Year's Eve. Whew. Never thought I'd get it done, especially after I had to rewrite the ending. Gah, don't you just hate that. Moving right along and then realize it's not going to work. But it's finished and off to my critters.

Oh, and by the way, here's the cover. Isn't she beautiful? I think she's one of the prettiest heroine's I've ever written about. I just love the dog.

I'm hoping to get it out in a few weeks. I finally bit the bullet and uploaded my other novels to B&N for the NOOK. So for those of you that are interested, you can find me on there now as well as Amazon.

Now with that out of the way, I'm hoping to return to the blogs with
a little more enthusiasm. At least until I start my next book.

And lest I forget, Happy New Year! I hope 2013 blesses all of us!