Writers’ New Year Resolution

- by Lina Gardiner

It’s a new year and most of us have some sort of plan for 2014, depending on whether we write by the seat-of-our-pants or we’re big-time organizers. I’m guessing these methods, or lack thereof, gravitate to organizational skills in other areas, as well.

What works for you? Do you have the year laid out? In your mind? On paper? Do you schedule time to write, to blog, to network? Or, do you work when your muse strikes?

It’d be interesting to note the differences in working style and productivity. It makes sense authors who treat their writing time as business hours are more productive and therefore, most likely, more successful… (Good thing you can’t see the guilty expression on my face right now, I’m a card-carrying pantser)

There have been chats on social media about organizational programs for authors, programs that plot and keep every scrap of information characterized, color coded and catalogued. Ways for the planners of the world to organize themselves. That kind of planning might seem over-taxing for pantsers. But, I have to wonder — who gets more work done? Probably not the pantsers. At least not in the organizational aspect of their day. But does it make a difference when it comes right down to writing?

It’d be an interesting survey.

Snow Days

- by Dianne Drake

IMG_0037IMG_0012 I watched the snow storm yesterday, and if left me with some odd questions.
1. Why did the store sell out of milk and bread? That’s a question I’ve never had answered.

Quick, run to the store for milk and bread, we’re having a blizzard! I, for one bought neither. In fact, my cart (I shopped on my usual shopping days) was filled with produce for the most part, a large chuck roast which I’ll grind into hamburger since all the hamburger was sold out, as well, a few staples that weren’t apparently popular with panic shoppers.

Ha! I even saw one poor soul pull a can of spotted dick off the shelf to read the ingredients. “Sorry dear, but they were out of milk and bread. I did manage to score this last can of spotted dick, though.”

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Marshall Field’s Christmas Memories

- by Patricia Rosemoor

Crimson DuetLast year, Entangled Publishing offered my two related holiday romantic suspense novels, HOLIDAY IN CRIMSON and NIGHTMARE IN CRIMSON, sold separately. This year, they are being offered together as CRIMSON DUET at a great discount.

As a child, I lived in the Chicago suburbs. I didn’t know much about the big city, nearly twenty miles away, except that I looked forward to Christmas, when Mom took me downtown to see the iconic Marshall Field’s windows on State Street.

When writing my holiday romantic mysteries, I wanted to use a department store like the one I loved as a child. I wanted to involve the Christmas windows. And I wanted the murder victim to be Santa Claus. As a matter of fact I killed him twice!

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Boxed In, but Nicely

- by Rebecca York

As an author, sometimes I feel like I’m caught in a time warp. I remember when my first novel, LOVE IS ELECTED, came out from Silhouette Romance (now Harlequin Romance) in 1982. Back when there were only a few romance lines competing for readers’ attention, LOVE IS ELECTED sold 260,000 copies. Today that would be unheard of for a category romance or for almost any other kind of book except by a must-read, top best-selling author.

Like most authors, over the years I’ve seen my sales numbers slip. But a few years ago at a NINC conference at the TradeWinds Resort in St. Pete Beach, I learned that a good way for published authors to increase their sales was with indie publishing. The lucky authors were the ones who had the rights to their backlists and could go into production quickly. My own backlist was tied up with Harlequin, and I had to write new material to get into the new market.

To date, I’ve sold about 45,000 indie books. But I see the market fragmenting, just as the romance market did. There are a lot of indie books out there—sold for very low prices. And I’m fighting for visibility just like everyone else.  Which is why authors are banding together for promotion. Last year I joined the Free ParTay (www.freepartay.com) where we advertise our books for free for a limited period, cross promote, and then raise our price to 99 cents for a short period—or longer.

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