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!!

My first FREE weekend completed successfully!! 135 books downloads and waiting for reviews to start pouring in. Sales are slow, I feel like I am trying to push a gigantic boulder down a hill but am confident that once I get it going...well, you know how kinetic energy works = )

Friday, December 21, 2012

Follow me on Twitter also  = )
December 24-26 I am promoting my book again with free downloads. I need to get my name out there so make sure and tell all your friends!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The second book is underway!!! Just six pages into it but it is a start!! The name of the second book is going to be "Gifted: Birth of a Vampire"
Stay tuned to the blogs and I will post occassional bits of it to tease ya!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I put Gifted on sale  for .99 at Amazon also. However, I am not seeing any result of this. Being new to self publishing, I am beginning to understand that it is not the price that matters. I just need to get my book out there and get some good reviews. Now that I know this, I will be setting the permanent price for the book at $3.99 and promote the book with free weekends and whatever other ideas I come up with. I guess everything in life comes with it's own learning process  = )

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gifted is only .99 on Barnes & Noble now. For a limited time, you can purchase my book at the reduced price there. Make sure you leave a review and rate the book when you are done = )

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gifted Published!!!


What a fantastic moment in my life! I have done so many things, been so many places, experienced so much and I have never made any money lol! I know, you wonder how I could do so much with so little, well, I will let you know real quick before I go into my book details. I became a foster child at the age of 7 so I experienced a lifestyle most people are not familiar with. When I got out of high school, I went back to KS and really had a chance to get to know my bio family, which in the end only one really connected with me. I joined the Coast Guard at the age of 23 and sailed up and down the east coast seeing everything from Mexico to the Bearing Sea. After going to Class A school, I was stationed in Philadelphia and got a taste of the NE way of life (Not for me). After four years in the military, I went to Colorado. I ended up back in TN where I had graduated high high school. Got married at the age of 30, managed a Putt Putt Golf for four years, worked in manufacturing, car sales, and a variety of other jobs including going over the road as a truck driver. I have gone through two marriages and had custody of my daughter Miranda who has stood by me through thick and thin all the while earning my love and devotion. Together, we have had adventures of near homelessness and fun times that make the stability most families have seem boring. Now, I have explained all this because it is the culmination of it all that lead me to writing. I have done poetry on Friend Family Poetry (you can find it online) and have always wanted to do something beyond ordinary with my talents and imagination. I have always believed that my life has been so erratic for a reason and I think it is because all that has happened to me (many things I will never talk about) has given me an exceptional mind geared toward dreaming and imagination. With this given talent, I finally decided to write a book that would fulfill the dream I had to accomplish something that would live on past me (besides my children, yes there are others but if I were to dwell on every detail of my whole life then I would be writing a biography and if I did that you would have to pay to read it and you don't want to do that on a blog site, it just would not make sense...oh, I digress).

So here we are!!  I wrote my book, it took three and a half years to finish, I wrote it, I edited it (thus any errors you may find is explained) and I even designed the book cover which contains my own hand! It is a story about John and Mike and how their lives changed when they were gifted by Andy, a young man who has an ability to grant someone powers with a simple touch. There are people who are "vampire like" that seek to be gifted by Andy so they kidnap him in an attempt to force him to gift them also. When that does not work, they bleed him in hopes of using his blood instead. It lays upon Mike, John, and others whom Andy has gifted to rescue him. This is the first of what will be a trilogy. I am excited as I already have the second book in my head and it is just waiting to be put into book form!!

Here is the cover I made, yes, I am sure it can be better. But remember, this is my first time making a book cover and I am at this time about as poor as JK Rowling was when she wrote Harry Potter!!

If you are intersed in reading a copy of my book, I will include a copy of the link to the Amazon link below. Soon, I will have it published on Barnes & Noble also!!