Friday, January 18, 2013

     A great friend of mine once said "Nothing goes wrong but I go wrong with it". This is by far my favorite quote of any person I have ever read or talked to. I mean really, think about it. If we really focus on this quote for what it says, it can totally affect how we live! Almost every bad decision we make is out of emotion and usually that emotion is anger based on something that happens to us. But if we take a moment and remember the quote then we can take the reigns. We can look anger in the eyes and let it know who is boss!!
Enjoy your day!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

     This week I returned to writing my second novel, GIFTED: Birth of a Vampire. Although it is slow going, I am making progress. I have heard about writers that can knock out 10,000 words per day. I take my hat off to them!! Perhaps some day when I feel settled I will be able to put that much focus into my writing. For now however, I am pushing about 2,000 words per day and I am content with that for the moment. At this pace, I may have the book done by March, April at the latest. I have already set my storyline in my head and put part of it to paper to keep on track. It is interesting how the story takes on a life of it's own while fingers dance across the keyboard. I find myself adding and taking away from original ideas as water makes subtle path changes as it flows down a hillside. I find myself enjoying the story almost as if someone else had written it when I am done. As in GIFTED, there will be plenty of action. BOV starts off fast to get you gripped. But for those that long for more depth, I will be working to provide more detail also.
     I realize many writers have a strong talent in bringing a sentence to life by adding descriptions and flair to them. This is not a talent I have in abundance as of yet, however, my focus overall is to provide enough flair, if you will, to give the read flavor. I have gained the assistance of a friend I have yet to name. Once I get her permission, I will include her twitter or whatever she chooses to disclose. She is an English major and a high school classmate that has taken an interest in helping me with my books. I hope someday to be able to repay her for her kindness as she is providing her valuable editing skills!
     I look forward to coming here and announcing that BOV is done!! Until then, keep checking up on me here and I will keep you informed.

Monday, January 7, 2013

     Revise revise revise! This week has been a week of revision for GIFTED. I wish I could say I was a "gifted" editor but my English stopped in grade twelve. However, I have been working on the book, enhancing it, working on rewording it in many places, fixing punctuation errors that I missed, and I am even building a bit more character depth. As I revise, every few days I have republished the book in an effort to make sure my readers are getting the best possible version at hand. To anyone who has purchased older copies before the revisions, I do apologize for the mistakes. The storyline is still the same though, I will not change that. I should be done with the revisions this week then I will send a copy to a friend who is an English major. She will edit it further. Once that is done, GIFTED will be made available as a paperback for the first time. It is hard to say just how excited I am about this. To be able to finally hold a copy of all the hard work in my hands in book form!
     As for the Trilogy, yes, it is in the works. As stated in previous blogs, I have started the second book already. I have ideas for the third one also. I can't wait to get back to writing again, I just need to polish GIFTED a bit more before I do though.
     I am also working on a poetry book. I have well over 100 poems on line and am picking the best of them to publish as a small ebook only. This will be sold for .99 and will be free every chance I can make it so.
     After I am done with the Trilogy, I am considering different avenues about what to write. For the moment, I am considering writing spin offs from GIFTED. Short stories about the more popular characters from the book to give them more elaboration and enhance the Trilogy even more.
     Please feel free to leave comments about what you think would be some good ideas or what you would like to see happen.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

     Sales are trickling in after my promo. However, with sales come reviews and I finally received my second review. This one was a bad one. I choose to accept all reviews, good or bad, as a learning experience provided they are competent. This review was done well and pointed out some rather large flaws in Gifted. After thinking about it, I decided to revise the book and polish it up further before doing a final editing of it. Once I am satisfied that I have it as good as I can get it, short of rewriting it, I will republish it.
     Although I have been told by another author not to revise it, I feel that since it is early on and it is not selling a lot yet, now is the time to do it if I want to. Besides, I do not want it to go to paperback with these discrepancies. Although the people buying it now are not getting the book as polished as I would like, I feel all future customers should be given that opportunity as I learn more and more each day.
     My biggest problem in the book is in the fight scenes. I thought they had been done well but once I was given another viewpoint, I was able to see many redundant terms. Especially with the terms "the man", "the first man", "the second man", and "the other man". Although I still make use of the terms, I have found other ways to name the attackers or eliminate where possible.
     I am far from being Steven King or any professional author with years of experience nor do I have my own editor so I do not expect my work to be anywhere near perfect. But I will continue to learn and improve Gifted and eventually republish it for everyone to read and hopefully enjoy as, in the end, it is the story they are buying.

Friday, December 28, 2012

     My second FREE promo on Amazon has come to an end. After two promos there was a total of 777 downloads worldwide. I think that is pretty good overall considering this is my first book and I am a total unknown. Sales are slow but I know they will pick up over time as word of mouth hopefully does it's thing.
I played with price and decided in the end to put it at $2.99 and leave it there. I am so new to all of this so I can't give too much advise but here is a few tips from what I have learned.
     Create a Facebook page if you don't already have one.
     On Facebook, search Kindle, cheap ebooks, ebooks, books, authors, and any other related words you can think of. Many of the results will be populated with potential customers. Almost all of them will allow an occasional post about your book. Be careful not to post too often, I posted twice in one day on one page because I changed my price and was reported for spam. So plan your posting and word it as perfectly as you can.
     Join a forum, so far, my favorite one is Kindleboards, they have a section just for authors and the rest of the site is all readers. It is a great place to mingle with prospective customers. Get involved in the forums. Read the rules carefully and follow their guidelines. I have found the site to be a great place to learn and grow as an author, editor, and promoter.
     Try not to become obsessed with how many sales or downloads you have. If you are reading this, you are probably new also. There is an ocean of books out there, many have a good head start and unless you get a couple good customers with a huge fan base, you will have to claw your way like the rest of us to get your numbers up.
     Write more books. After all, isn't that what we started out to do anyway? I know when I started GIFTED, my only interest was to be able to proudly say that I actually wrote a book. I wanted to be somebody, to be able to type my name on Google and see ME!! Well, I succeeded. Now I want to finish my trilogy. Then, I am thinking about doing small stories about each character. But that is a thought, one to file in the Jim Ellis archives.
     Once you have all this done, try to get more reviews for your book. Many sites on line will not advertise for you without them. Research on line to find these sites. Use them if you can. It is getting harder as more and more indie writers enter this new world.
     Another thing that I am going to do is write more query letters. My book is not exploding so I have nothing to lose. There are plenty of agents out there that accept email queries. Chances are that most or all of the letters will be rejected, but it is a definite "no" if I don't at least try.
     Well, that is it for now. Time to get back to writing GIFTED: BIRTH OF A VAMPIRE!! (tentatively named). Good luck and see you again soon!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

     So I have been playing with a new book cover and this is what I have come up with. I am also waiting for a fellow author who said he would make something for me to see if I like it. In the meantime, here is the one I have made, let me know what you think.

     I made the one on the left with Photoshop on line editing which is very limited. David made the one on the left, he found the photo which I had to buy but it was worth it for the final product. Mine looks like a Christian book while his actually is a perfect fit for my book!!  Thanks David!!!
     Here is a little shoutout for ya!!  Check out his page at
The Road So Far...
     OK, I am not going to pretend to be an expert in any one area. If anything, I am kind of a Jack of all Trades. I have touched on so many businesses in my lifetime that I would be comfortable working just about anywhere. That being said, I just wanted to share with you what I have learned the past few weeks since I posted my book.
     Like so many before me, I had dreams of instant success. My book is different from most books out there, I thought for sure it would spread like wildfire. Now that is not to say it won't some day, but first I have to get a spark going and hope that there is something to burn once I do! I had read about an author that said she posted her first YA novel on Amazon and was averaging 3500 sales per week. She also said that when Amazon put her book on the 100 cheap books list, she sold 45,000 and 11,000 during the two day promotion. Based on what she said her book was about, I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that my book would blow hers away. I mean, she even admitted that her agent could not get a deal with any publisher for her book because it was not mainstream. What I did not consider is that even though I have never heard of her or her books, she already had a following. She has had massive help from a professional standpoint and when her book hit Amazon, she was already at a gallop.
     The reality of it is this. Getting your book to sell right off the bat is like winning the lottery. If it is written just right, appeals to the crowd of the moment, gets the right readers who have a following of readers for their blogs, I could go on, you get the picture. For me, I was excited when I finally got my first sale, and even more so when, by the end of the day, I had FOUR!! Wow, talk about a drop from dreaming of 100 or more sales per day!! Two weeks later, I have had 135 free downloads and seven sales (At least three of these I am sure were people I know).
     So what do I do? I pulled up my sleeves and started researching. I googled and googled. I read blog after blog, article after article. I started this blog, which I know is not the best but it is a start. My first goal here is to keep my friends and readers up to date with what I am doing. Secondly, I will watch for feedback and advise. Finally, I learned a long time ago that we retain more and stimulate ourselves further when we put our thoughts and experiences on paper (or in this case digital paper!). I have become a member in two forums and where I am meeting other writers and readers. I spend most of my time on these forums reading about the experiences of other authors and getting to know the readers. I am getting valuable advise whether directly or indirectly. This will ultimately assist me in promoting my book and writing my future books. I have also found a few good sites that assist in Amazon's free promotion days. and are the two I like best so far. I found out how to shorten a long hyperlink (I probably should have used it on some of the ones above!). I followed the advise I have been given in preparing for my FREE promo coming up on Monday. From there, I will keep posting on the forums, keep studying, and most of all be patient. I even revised my book description to make it read better than before. Finally, if you read my earlier blogs, you noticed I played with the price which I found in the end keeping it at a respectable level and leaving it there to be the best thing.
     Will I ever be rich or successful as an author? I have no idea. But I can keep dreaming right? And in the meantime, I keep reminding myself why I started doing it to begin with, I LOVE IT!!