Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nifty News Part Deux...

Now my novella The Highest Bidder (Xcite Romance), part of Xcite's The Secret Library, has been released as a standalone! It's 99 cents on Amazon (free for Prime Members) for a limited time. Nice cover, too, eh?

Blurbage:

Recent widow Casey Briggs is all about her upcoming charity bachelor auction. She doesn’t have time for dating. Her heart isn’t strong enough yet. But when one of their bachelors is arrested and she finds herself a hunky guy short, she employs her best friend Annie to find her a new guy pronto.

Enter Nick Murphy – handsome, kind, and not very hard to look at, thank you very much. And he quickly makes her feel things she hasn’t felt in a while. A very long while. Casey’s not sure if she’s ready for it – the whole moving on thing. But as she prepares to auction Nick off, she’s discovering that her first hunch was correct – he’s damn near priceless.


XOXO
Sommer

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nifty News!

The novellas that appear in The Secret Library volumes are being released as stand alones. Niftier news, my novella Taste It (Xcite Romance)is only 99 cents on Amazon for a short time. Here's the blurbage:

Enjoy a delicious erotic romance novella by bestselling author, Sommer Marsden.

Jill and Cole are competing for the title of Best Chef. The spicy, sizzling and heated televised contest fuels a lust in Jill she’d rather keep buried. She can’t be staring at the man’s muscles ... he’s her competition! During a quick cooking throwdown things start to simmer and it becomes harder and harder for Jill to ignore that she’s smitten in the kitchen. Cole’s suggestive glances and sly smiles aren’t helping her any. When fate puts her in his shower and then his chivalrous nature puts her in his borrowed clothes, there’s no way to deny the natural heat between them.
XOXO
Sommer

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy to report...

That I got everything on my lazy long weekend list done. Except my toenails. Ah well, another day for that, right? I'll take sex and cider and lazing about over a home pedicure any day ;)


I am also happy to report that his wienerness had his anesthesia, teeth cleaning and teeth extraction (six of 'em) and is doing fine. He's high as a kite and I wish I was, too, because it cost me over five hundred bucks. I hope no one was expecting a Christmas present...

All kidding aside, he's doing well and will be much happier and feel much better without those rotten toofs. His breath will be much better too. At least it better be for that ticket price ;)

XOXO
Sommer

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday...

Watching the man set up the smoker, sweating my ass off in the sun, listening to the Drive-By Truckers, anticipating a Woodchuck Cider...good stuff ;)

Happy Sunday!

XOXO
Sommer

Friday, May 25, 2012

Long Weekend...

Lightmatter lion catnap
Sleep
Sex
Garden
Read
Work on book 1 of trilogy
Read
Watch Junk TV
Maybe some 80s movies
Eat some smoked/grilled food by the man
Possibly more sex
Possibly more gardening
Relax
More sleeping
Paint my toenails
Ruin the paint on my toenails
Drink a Woodchuck Cider or six (gluten free)
Add some wine to that list
Here comes that sleep again...

You get the picture. Happy long weekend. Do enjoy! I plan to!

XOXO
Sommer

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Once Upon a Time...


I had a nifty guest blogger with a sexy magical new book. She was a wonderful writer possessing a wicked way with words and she crept into my blog and said...

This Fairy Tale Isn't for Children
:

By Janine Ashbless


Hello Sommer – thank you for having me here on your blog!

Once upon a time . . . I wrote a novel called Named and Shamed. A book with a LOT of sex in it – crazy, filthy, no-holds-barred sex. It has a contemporary setting in modern Britain, but a Britain in which something has gone terribly wrong. Someone has opened the way for all the fairies out of folklore to come back - and not just the fairies but the sea-monsters and the giants and the pagan gods. Society is in a state of near-collapse. Humans are barricading themselves in the cities, afraid of the countryside, afraid of the dark, afraid of strangers.

And I wrote about a heroine, Tansy, who’s not afraid. She’s learning to live with the new ways: wheeling and dealing, using the clues in the old tales. Until the day she makes a deal with the wrong person, and suddenly finds herself drawn inside the fairy stories, with no way out but one...

So Named and Shamed has a lot of familiar themes, and I used traditional fairy stories gleefully in the plot. It all kicks off when Tansy loses a precious manuscript, and agrees to spend a night of passion with someone who will retrieve it for her – that's The Frog Prince.


But when she's done that she finds herself cursed, and in order to break the curse she has to discover the fairy's True Name – that's Rumpelstiltskin.



She sets out on her quest into the world, as so many fairytale heroes and heroines do. The path she's following is the Welsh tale of Culhwch and Olwen.


She encounters a troll who lives under a bridge – that's the Three Billy Goats Gruff.



She and her friends get captured by a witch who's fattening them up for dinner – that's Hansel and Gretel.



They escape and flee for their lives - that's any number of obstacle chase stories –Nix-Nought-Nothing, or The Mastermaid for example.



She’s enslaved at the otherworldly Court of the Fairies – that's Tam Lin with the genders switched about. And finally, she escapes, and breaks the curse. But only by . . . well, that would be telling!

And there are other fairy tales hidden in the script. Spot the nod to The Elves and the Shoemaker by the foot-fetishism:

Three little mannikins in tiny leather aprons and workmen’s belts even fucked me obsessively between the toes.



If you have a taste for BDSM fairy stories with some wild and extremely kinky action, Named and Shamed might just be the bedtime story you're looking for. Happy endings and all . . .
;-)

xxx
Janine


Buy links:





Sommer's Summer-Long Blog Spotlights (call)

Sal plage

Bring me your hot, your sticky, your sultry...I'm looking to organize a summer-long blog event here on Unapologetic Fiction. I want to focus on summer themed works for the reader's lazy days of summer enjoyment. Short or long works welcome. For this particular event I ask that works involving any traditional erotica no-nos (taboos) not be submitted. ( This would mean no incest, rape, non-con, sex with animals, scat etc). 

If you have a summer-themed work that you'd like to promote, here's your chance (please note: this is intended to promote published or soon to be published works, not a call for new stories). There will be a limited amount of spots--I'm thinking 2-3 spotlights a week--so contact me early if you think you're interested. Any level of heat is welcome, from sweet and sexy to muy caliente! Vanilla to BDSM. Contemporary to paranormal and beyond (apparently Buzz Lightyear is coming, too).

I'd like to have a schedule lineup BY JUNE 1. So hit me at sommermarsden[at]gmail[dot]com if you're interested. Tell me your work and if you are willing to do a giveaway (print or ebook welcome) and I'll give you some more of the specifics. 

I look forward to hearing from you and then spreading the word. I want readers to lay out a blanket, bring a beach chair, a nice cool drink and get a gander at whatever smoldering bit of summer heat you have to offer!

XOXO Sommer

Monday, May 21, 2012

RIP Robin

Wow. Not a good week for my childhood icons. :( In remembrance, my favorite Bee Gees song ever:


Saturday, May 19, 2012

50 Shades of BDSMy Romance...um...

Yeah, something like that. Since the news of 50 Shades of Grey hit, I've been asked by a lot of people, what of my works fit into this niche. Readers, editors, Twitter folks, bloggers etc. have asked. So...it just dawned on me--maybe because I'm pretty sick and this always forces me to slow down, which can often be a good thing--to simply do a blog of my titles I'd recommend if that's what you're looking for. As the man would text me: duh dot com.

Here goes:

#1  Learning to Drown Can true surrender bring her true freedom...and true love?

Ember is into the whole abduction scenario. She tries and tries to coach her boyfriend Damien in the fine art of being her abductor and sexual tyrant. It's not working. One night, while locked in his truck's tool box, she's towed from Damien's property. Lucas Crow, freelance repo man and all around growly dominant, rescues her from her self-imposed prison. He even takes her home, feeds her and gets her cuffs off when it becomes evident that Damien is not coming to her rescue.

Taken with Ember and her story, Lucas gives her a choice. Stay in her unhappy relationship and play 'games' (basically dominating Damien by dictating his behavior) or stay with him as his 'captive' and learn what true surrender is. It's like learning to drown, giving up to get where you want to be. Ember is eerily taken with this man and his quiet and sure ways. The more she discovers the more she wants to discover. Like his history, his back story, where that sexy scar in his eyebrow came from.

When Ember meets Matthew Crow, she's not sure she can do what might be expected of her. Matthew's everything his brother isn't. He's mouthy, petulant, younger and spoiled. And he informs her on the way to a repo job, that they share women–he and Lucas. And they're going to share her–and he can't wait to get his taste.

Ember is torn. Stay and get to experience more of the sexual talents of Lucas and Matthew Crow or leave. Does she stay and learn to drown and maybe experience the erotic levels she truly craves, or does she keep struggling and never learn the joy of submission and surrender? 


#2 Wanderlust (*currently only available at Amazon) Road Trip. Sex. Big guy with an attitude. What more do you need?

Really Blake is floundering through a life that doesn't make her happy. She realizes the humor in the poor little rich girl scenario, but it doesn't make it any less true. She's married to the man her father picked and having mindless affairs to punish them all. Really thinks Johnny Rose will be one more affair in that vein. Big, brawny, shaved bald and bad-ass, he's just what she's craving. Until he puts her in her place--right off the bat. Then Really's intrigued. But once he gets her in his bed...then Really's hooked. What follows is a road trip, east coast to west, and an amazing amount of self discovery, sexual and otherwise, along the way.

#3 Bittersweet (*currently only available at Amazon) A BDSM-y love story:

Rayka’s just looking for a peace offering for an offended client when she goes into The Good, The Sweet, and the Yummy. What she finds instead is a very intoxicating man. Deacon James is more sinful than the candy he sells, and Rayka soon finds out that he can push her farther than she every thought she could go. Mentally, creatively, emotionally and yes–sexually. Rayka must remember it’s okay to let him have her body, let him test her limits, but she can’t let him have her heart. Besides, he’s made it perfectly clear he doesn’t want it anyway…

#4 Restless Spirit
An unconventional tale of lust, love and finding oneself:

Tuesday Cane walks out on her life and her abusive man when she inherits her grandmother’s house at Allister Lake. There she finds plenty of distractions to take her mind off her loss with her sexy neighbour and handyman Shepherd, former TV star Reed and her old flame Adrian.

But, as time passes, she senses that something is not quite right with her new life. And no amount of steamy sexual encounters can hide her anxiety.

Surrounded by so many interesting men and erotic enticements, Tuesday has no intention of committing to one man ever again. But the more she insists she's nobody's girl, the more she wants to be somebody's girl. Will she continue to be a restless spirit and run from love or will she be won over? 


#5 Gritty: Rough Erotic Fiction An anthology of erotic fiction. A little nibble, slap and pinch of everything:

Includes gritty fiction by: Quinn Gabriel * Willsin Rowe * Rita Winchester * Alison Tyler * Sommer Marsden * Aisling Weaver * Heidi Champa * Shanna Germain * Parker Ford * Justine Elyot

Needs. We all have them. What you will find in this book are tales—tawdry and otherwise—of folks who are on a mission to fulfill their needs. Or, in some cases, people who are lucky enough to have partners willing to help them meet their needs. Dirty, rough, gritty, coarse, sometimes startling—always stimulating. This is love and lust, fucking and seduction on the rough side. The gritty, edgy underbelly of relationships and love and sex.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Beep-beep, ah, toot-toot...



RIP, Donna. One of the biggest memories of disco (as I am a child of the 70s. '71 to be exact) is dancing to this song with my friend Kim. I had on a brown and yellow 'rag sewn' tee (ah...those 70s fashions) and plaid pants, I believe (!). We were getting down and getting funky, doing our best disco moves. Me with giant balloons shoved under my shirt. My mother and aunt were in the next room laughing their asses off. Even then I'd do anything for a laugh.

For some reason now I need to watch the Starsky and Hutch 'dance-off' scene.

XOXO
Sommer


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Share it, share it, share it...

I have the best kids. And the other day girl child brought me this to watch. She knew I'd like it. And I did. I thought it was brilliant and that everyone in the whole wide world should watch it. So watch it, share it, listen to its message.
Day three of undertheweatherish. Trying to take it easy but for some reason the moment I get sick, I have fifty things I want to do that weren't on my to-do list before I felt bad. Mop the floor. Oil the floor. Organize. Etc, etc, etc. So what I'm doing is making my To-Do wishlist for the weekend. Maybe that will work. Maybe. ;)

XOXO
Sommer

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Winners...

My winners for the Restless Spirit Blog Tour both come from the same site! Bodice Ripper Novels was the lucky site! (I use Random.org) Joanne B is my print backlist winner and Mary Doherty is my ebook backlist winner. Please contact me, ladies, at sommermarsden [at] gmail [dot] com and tell me whatcha whatcha whatcha want. ;)

Happy Tuesday. I'm a bit under the weather so that's all the blog you get today. *boo* *hiss*. Hopefully back soon with something a bit more entertaining :)

XOXO
Sommer

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My mom hates flies...

so this was the scene of yesterday's appetizers thanks to my sister's clever gift. May you take today to embrace and revel in everything about your mom that makes you smile. And remember the things she's taught you over the years like:

*Always smell your eggs before putting them in a recipe. After all, what if they are bad.
*Show you class not your ass.
*If you cut off a hunk of your hair and hide it in a Centrum vitamin bottle in the trash she will still find it...

You know, that kind of stuff!

Happy Mother's Day to all you muthas!

XOXO
Sommer
p.s. Speaking of Mother's Day, the man and my minions are making it the best day ever. Lucky me :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

GO PUBLISH YOURSELF! [A Spotlight. And my opinion on some important stuff for you writer types]



This one’s for all you writers, new, dreaming-about or established…

I get a lot of Dear Sommer… letters. No, not folks breaking up with me (*sniffle* at least, not yet), but people asking for writing advice, tips, what they should/should not do, and yes, the occasional book or story that they assume I can read and give some detailed notes/advice. 

I can’t. Just to get that out there right now. If I read everything sent to me for input by people I don’t know, I’d never get my own work done. So, my first tip is do not send unsolicited work to writers/ editors. Even if they are super nice and/or your favorite writer etc. Because they *are* super nice people and they *will* feel bad, but they still don’t have the time to read unsolicited work from strangers. If they want to read it and help you out, they’ll ask or offer.

The second thing I’d recommend to you is go here. Erotica Readers and Writers Association . Go there, look around, read articles, join up, talk to people (or be a lurker like I was) and check out the Submission calls. And then start writing and submitting. It is the quickest way to become a ‘real writer’. Write something and submit it. Tada! You are a writer.

The last thing I recommend (beyond a lot of your time, hard work and effort) is to get this book. Katie Salidas’s GO PUBLISH YOURSELF!
A recent Dear Sommer… letter prompted me to try and figure a writer’s kit to automatically suggest to writers who wrote to me. I might not have time to read your story/novella/book/super novel, but I don’t like to ignore people if I can help it. I remembered Katie’s book coming out and went to check it out, I asked a few questions, read a few snippets and she ended up sending me my own shiny copy for review. Because she is the nicest ever, that girl.

Anyway, if you ask the man what happens when you suggest a non-fiction book to me—even one that is in a topic I find interesting—he will tell you this: she will roll her eye, yawn, flop about and make general unhappy noises. Why? Because most non-fiction books bore me. 

A good example is Dr. Wayne Dyer. I think that Dr. Dyer is a fascinating person. I once caught a talk of his on PBS and watched the whole thing until 2 a.m. even though I had to get up at 6. He is a phenomenal speaker and super funny. So, I borrowed his book from the library to see if I wanted to add it to my collection at home. And…Zzz…

That is the effect most non-fiction has on yours truly. So imagine my surprise and joy when Katie’s book was actually fun and easy to read. Her writing voice for this chunk of valuable information is straight forward, approachable, entertaining and very easy to read.  She has everything from “Quick and Dirty Tips” (heh, you know I dig those) to a glossary of helpful words. Useful tricks, smart and savvy advice and a no-nonsense way of approaching self publishing. 

“But I don’t want to self-publish,” you say. I say, get the book anyway. Even if you don’t use the self pubbing tips, the marketing tips and insight on all areas of the publishing world from Katie’s perspective make it well worth the price of a paperback or the cost of a Kindle download.

Raving too much? Think it’s because I got a free book out of the deal? Wrong. I get a lot of free books (for which I am supremely grateful. I like to pile them up and roll around on them naked and…ahem. Back to the blog). I’m excited about this book because it’s not only practical but it’s entertaining. And that, my friends, is hard to accomplish. I wish I’d had this book when I tried my first self pub titles. I think it would have been a lot smoother for me and a lot less weeping with my head on the desk that I had ‘broken’ Smashwords and Bookstrand :)

Have I interested you? I sure as hell hope so. If I have here are the particulars. I’ll also be adding the link to Katie’s book to my For Writers page because I think that everyone considering starting a journey as a writer should have a copy in their back pocket. It’s that good. 

Now on to the blurb, the excerpts and the links. Remember:

NO
unsolicited work to authors/editors
YES to visiting and participating and http://erotica-readers.com
YES to a valuable tool in your arsenal like GO PUBLISH YOURSELF!

XOXO
Sommer

Blurb:
Self-Publishing made simple. Get your polished novel ready for Kindle, Nook, or Print in thirty days or less.

Avoid the common stumbling blocks and get on the road to successful self-publishing. This handy dandy guide, filled with insider’s tips and tricks, will unscramble the world of self-publishing into simple, easy-to-follow steps. 

What’s in the book?
Common Misconceptions
The Business of Self-Publishing
Basic Costs & Budgeting
Publishing Formats: Epub, Kindle, Smashwords, & Print
Cover Art
Interior Layout
Pricing
Printing and Distribution
Marketing Basics: Platform Building, Book Signings, Blog Tours, etc.

And much more!


Don’t make rookie mistakes. Learn from an insider!
Katie Salidas is an author with several successful self-published titles. Each of her titles was created in the DIY (Do It Yourself) style, without the aid of author service companies. Through trial and error she has gained the knowhow to successfully publish print and ebooks. Go Publish Yourself! has that knowledge assembled into an easy-to-use format, packed with no-nonsense tips and quick and dirty tricks, so you can take your novel to the next level.

So, what are you waiting for? Go Publish Yourself!

Excerpt: Book Signings


When I mention the words “book signing,” you’re probably thinking about that last book signing you attended for a big-name author. There were probably people lined up around the corner to see the author and get their books signed.
Sounds pretty exciting, right? I bet you’re just imagining that happening to you someday. And maybe someday it will. Always keep a positive outlook.
However, for 95% of authors this isn’t the case. Sorry, but it must be said.
That doesn’t mean you need to get depressed and feel like your dreams of stardom have been dashed. It just means a slight reevaluation of the situation and a more realistic expectation of what will happen.
We indie authors have to work a bit harder for our fans. Let’s face it, we have to work a bit harder for everything in this business. But we do it because we love it.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a successful signing. Even if you don’t think you have a single fan yet, you can still have a great book signing.
First things first. Change your idea of what a book signing is. Forget the screaming fans and lines out and around the bookstore.  Let’s be realistic here.
As an indie, a book signing is not a place for your adoring fans to come and find you.  Sure, you might have a few friends stop by, your family might come to support you, but everyone else who stops by (for the most part) will be “new” to you.
Think of this as a way to create fans.
If you’re at a bookstore, this is an opportunity to put your book in front of potential new readers. They are there looking for a new book to read. And guess what, you just happen to have a new book!
If you’re attending a book fair, this is an opportunity to reach out to other booklovers. They are there because they love books. And you are there because you love to write them.  It’s a match made in heaven.
 If you’re part of a “local authors” event put on by a library or any other book-related organization, this is an opportunity to reach out to your peers and maybe their readers as well. Everyone attending these events has a similar goal in mind to you, “sharing published work.” Writers are also readers. Share, share, share.
Any of these events are places to build fans. If your book is available in print, you should be on the lookout for places to do book signings. Check with your local library, indie and big box book stores, and even smaller venues if you can find them. I once did a book signing at a neighborhood block party. It was out of the ordinary, sure, but I sold a few books. It was great.
So, once you’ve scheduled a book signing, what do you do next? How do you handle the event?
Let’s start with the setup. You want your area to be perfect.
1) Have a nice presentation display. If you have a banner or framed book covers, even better. Make your table look nice and inviting. Bring a bowl of candy for people to munch on. Use a nice color-coordinated tablecloth to make your area stand out.
2) Have plenty of books on display. Bring more books than you need.
3) Have freebies like bookmarks, postcards, business cards, etc. People like free things, and if your book and information is on these free things, it will have more of an impact. People may not buy today, but they might use your bookmark and later decide to give you a try. With that said, make sure that your bookmarks and other freebies have something on them that tells where your book can be found.
4) Bring lots of markers and pens. You never want to be caught without a way to sign your book, right? Also, guard these like a hawk. I had all of my metallic sharpie markers stolen from my table when I walked away for a second to speak with the event coordinator. It’s silly what people will steal these days.
5) Bring lots of water, but no snacks. Drinks are fine (non-alcoholic). You want to stay hydrated. But you don’t want a mouth full of crumbs when someone approaches your table to talk to you. Book signings are usually no more than a few hours. Eat before you get there and hold off on snacking until it’s over.

Now we move on to the next part.
1) Look your best! Dress to impress. Go out and get your hair and nails done. Splurge on a mani/pedi. It will make you feel more confident, which will in turn make you look more approachable. Let’s face it, when we look good we feel good. And you will want your spirits high when you go into that book signing.
2) Bring a wing-man (or woman). Bring a friend. Not only can they help you pass the time during a dry spell, but they can also help take pictures, watch the table during potty breaks, etc. A friend brings extra energy to a signing, and if you’re anything like me (introvert is my middle name), they can also be your book’s wing-man (or woman).  Just like the wing-man at a bar, these friends can help talk up your book and make you seem like a superstar author. I can tell you all day long how great my book is, and you’ll probably shrug it off. But, when another reader says it’s great, you might stop and listen.

Okay, so you’ve got your table, you’ve dressed to impress, and you’ve brought your wingman; now what? Time to sign some books, right?
Now comes the hard part. Remember what I said above? This isn’t going to be a line-out-the-door kind of event.
Now you have to work. Reach out and make some fans. The people passing by your table probably have no clue who you are. They might stop to take a second glance at your book. I’m sure you have a spectacular cover! So how do you approach them?
“Hey, buy my book!”
NO!
You may be ready to scream to the rafters about how awesome it is, but avoid the hard sell. No one likes it. It makes you seem like a used car salesman, and nobody likes them (my apologies to any used car salespeople out there).
Approach people in the same manner you would want to be approached. Do you want someone shoving a book in your hands and telling you to buy it? Probably not.
If they’ve stopped by, they might have an interest. So approach on that point. Greet them with a smile. Always smile. Ask them how they’re doing. How’s their day going? Ask them what genre they read. What was the last book they read? Who is their favorite author?
People love talking about themselves.  Get them talking about the book-related subjects that interest them. They will hopefully warm up a little. Through chatting with people, you build rapport. You’re no longer some random name on a book cover. You’re a real person. Hey, maybe even a cool person.

At this point, you might be able to make a connection to their interest and your book. Ease into it; don’t just shove it into their faces. Toss out some info on your book, how you were inspired to write it, etc.
A lot of advice on the Internet says, hand people a book to give them ownership of it. People are more willing to buy once it’s in their hands. I say, take this advice with a grain of salt. Shoving a book in someone’s hands makes me go back to the car salesman analogy. “C’mon, let’s take her for a spin. You’ll love it.”
Tread carefully here. That’s all I’m saying. You can certainly pick up a copy of your book and show it to them. But don’t just shove it into their hands with the hopes they’ll buy it. Remember you’re trying to build a fan base here, as well as selling books. Offer it to them and see if they’ll take it. If not, maybe suggest they take a bookmark or post card, something to remember you by.
Is every person who stops by your table a sale? Potentially, yes, but in reality, no. Many will chat with you, maybe take a bookmark or business card, maybe a piece of candy, and walk away. That’s okay.
The point is you reached out to a person who didn’t know who you were, and didn’t know anything about your book. You’ve planted a seed that might eventually turn into a sale. Be sure to remind them, if they’re walking away, that you’re available on ebooks as well. I make it a point to always mention my Kindle, Nook, Sony, and Kobo availability at the end. 
A successful signing is not always about selling hundreds of books, though that would be nice. It’s considered a success if you sell as few as two books. That’s right, I said two books.
The real success is in reaching people. Telling people you’re out there. They may not buy today, but there is a chance, if you’ve made a connection, that they’ll buy sometime down the road.

Excerpt: Why Are You Self-publishing?


The first thing you need to consider, when looking at self-publishing, is what you want out of it. Why are you publishing, and what are your goals?
Are you doing this simply to hold your book printed and bound, in your hand? Are you looking to establish yourself as an indie author? Are you looking for fame and fortune? Is this a one-time book or a series you’re working on? Are you expecting millions?
Let me break your heart for a minute. (Remember: I promised the good, the bad, and the ugly. I won’t lie to you.)
Self-publishing is not the fast track to easy money!
I’m sure you’ve heard the stories about HP Mallory, Amanda Hocking, J. A. Konrath, and the list goes on. Please don’t let the recent news about indie authors “selling millions” fool you. Just like with traditional publishing, the “millionaire authors” are more the exception than the rule. Self-publishing does not guarantee riches. For all of the authors you have heard about, there are thousands of others that you haven’t.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, don’t let those facts discourage you. You can make a living wage from your writing, but you’ll have to put in the effort. This is why you need to go into this with a clear head and know your goals.
It can take years to establish yourself in the market. For some, “overnight success” takes ten years. You have to be willing to accept that and do all you can to soldier through the rough patches.
Before you take any steps toward creating your book, sit down and have a real heart-to-heart about what you want and what your realistic goals are.
If you’re doing this to have a few copies to share with friends and family (and that is just fine), then I’d suggest going the vanity publishing route via author service companies. Places like iUniverse or Trafford will take your manuscript (your completed story in a word-processed format) and perform all the tasks necessary (editing, interior layout, cover art, etc.) to turn it into a printed and bound book. They’ll give you exactly what you’re looking for: a bright, shiny new book with your name on it!

Quick & Dirty Tip!
Remember that service-based publishing companies make their money by doing it all for you. They will charge you for that easy book creation, and it won’t be cheap. This is not the option to take if you want to make money from your work.

If you’re in this to truly become an indie author, then you need to treat your book like a business venture.
You might want to consider setting yourself up as a DBA (Doing Business As) or an LLC (Limited Liability Company). Creating a separate entity for your publishing venture will offer you some additional options when it comes to printing. Some companies will not work with individual authors (Lightning Source, a major printer and distributor, for example). That is not to say that you have to create a company for your publishing venture; it is just an option that can make things a little easier. We will not be going into the details of creating an LLC or DBA; that is beyond the scope of this book. I do, however, strongly suggest that you look into this option. Pick up a book or two at your local library.
In essence, that’s exactly what self-publishing is: a business venture. Your business is the creation of a product: your book(s). You’re putting this product out into the market with the hopes of making money from it. You have to take all the financial risk in this venture with no guarantee of a return on your investment.
Self-publishing is not for everyone. You need to go into this with a clear head and the willingness to give it your all. If you can’t do this, then you might want to reevaluate your goals. If you can do this, however, then you’ll reap the benefits of all that hard work and create a product that can eventually earn you a profit.



Common Misconceptions of Self-publishing


Because self-publishing is still in the early stages of being recognized as a viable platform, there are still old misconceptions being thrown around. These are used to scare potential indie authors away from taking that leap into the market.

“You’ll be lucky to sell 200 copies.”

This was the first thing I was told when I decided to self-publish my first novel Immortalis Carpe Noctem. It scared me, as it was meant to. But after talking with other indie authors and looking at the sales rankings on Kindle and other online platforms, I realized that this was completely untrue. A well-plotted book that has been edited and has good cover art sells just as well as its traditionally published counterpart. In fact, Immortalis Carpe Noctem sold more than 200 copies (print and ebooks combined) within the first couple of months of publication. It sold more than ten-thousand copies in its first year, and the number rises every day.
 As you can see, the quote above is wrong; however, there is a seed of information there that you should take from it. No book will sell without help. I didn’t just place my book online and hope for sales. To start, I made sure the book was edited, two times, and then gave it a beautiful cover. Those two items are essential to the potential success of your book. Beyond that, to get Immortalis Carpe Noctem to move, I had to market it. Getting the book online to vendors is just part of the process. Do not think that hitting “submit” will be the final step in your publishing journey. That is only the starting point. We’ll discuss marketing in later chapters.

“Self-publishing will ruin your chances of ever being traditionally published.”

Another thing I was told when I decided to self-publish was that it would ruin my chances to ever be traditionally published. That idea is the old style of thinking. Many authors today whose books show great promise are being targeted by literary agents. Instead of the author querying an agent and then waiting months for a response, the agents—after seeing excellent sales—are contacting authors directly to offer representation for things such as print rights, foreign rights, and movie options. In essence, the indie market is becoming a sort of slush pile for these agents.
Now, as with all things, there still is some truth to take from this quote. Only the books that are selling well will attract literary agents. If you are dabbling with both self-publishing and still considering the traditional route, I’d recommend not bragging about your “publishing achievements” if your book has not shown continuous positive sales. Remember that it takes time to build an audience, and you cannot expect overnight success. If you are straddling the fence between these two methods of publishing, keep them separate until you have something that is really worth bragging about.
“Only friends and family will buy your books.”
This quote makes me laugh every time I hear it. In actuality, your friends and family will expect you to give them the book you publish for free. As they see it, they helped and supported you, so the least you can do is give them a free book.
And that’s just fine. Give them a free copy. You’re not marketing to them. As an indie author, you want strangers to buy your book. Focus all of your marketing efforts on building a platform and getting to know new readers. Those are the people you want to connect with and turn into fans.

Buy Links:
Signed copies at Rising Sign Books






Friday, May 11, 2012

The one it's all about...

Ballpoint Art (Woman 4) Final day of the Restless Spirit book tour is here. Wow, that went fast! And the final day brings us the star of the shooo, um, I mean book~Tuesday Cane. I talk to Tuesday over at Words of Wisdom...From the Scarf Princess.

In a few days I'll come back and use random.org to choose two winner and then I'll contact them and....the villagers will rejoice! ;)

It's Mother's Day weekend. I hope you all have a brilliant time. Look for an upcoming book spotlight on my blog to show off a book I recently read that is the bomb. And utterly priceless if you have any interest in self publishing. Beyond that, bring on the cookouts and the vino and the presents! We're going to celebrate the fact that I am apparently one bad mutha. ;)

What's up with you this weekend? Kiss your mother!

XOXO
Sommer

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mmm...Shepherd

Knucks09


Day four of the Restless Spirit blog tour brings us to Book Reviews and More by Kathy and my main man Shepherd. I know! I know! I always fall head over heels for one (or more) of my male characters but I truly think Shepherd takes the Dom cake. I simply cannot say (or type) his name without making yummy noises. The same noise I make when I'm eating a warm chocolate chip cookie.

It's like Mmm... and *sigh* had a baby. That is my Shepherd noise.

Go visit with him for his character interview and remember, drop a comment along the way at any blog (or all of them), and you could be one of my two winners. The more times your name's in there, the better your odds. Huzzah!



XOXO
Sommer
p.s. There seems to be a B+ review of RS on Book Reviews and More by Kathy. Yay! second review for my book. But I have no idea what it says beyond B+ because I'm trying not to read reviews of late. It saves my sanity. What tiny little shred I have left...heh ;)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

stop 3...again

Blackberries, Pitts Lane - geograph.org.uk - 1492491No, you're not seeing double. Due to a snafu stop 3 of the RSBT went up late. So I'm back to post the link for stop three at Guilty Indulgence. I'll honor any comments at GI or at Lucy's blog. So no worries, win/win!

What's made my day is the lovely four chocolate dipped strawberry review at the bottom of stop three on GI. I think it might be Restless Spirit's first official review. Pretty nifty.

I also just realized today's post is about Reed, Allister Lake's resident berry farmer and there are...berries! in Guilty Indulgence's header. Must be Kismet.

See you tomorrow for stop four. Shepherd. Yurm...Shepherd *sigh*.

XOXO
Sommer

Reed Green, former TV star...

Blackberries, Pitts Lane - geograph.org.uk - 1492491 Is who we're chatting with today. A minor schedule change zings us over to the wonderful Lucy Felthouse's blog. There we chat with Reed, former TV star, current berry farmer about sexual pleasure, Port and his thoughts on Tuesday--the girl, not the day ;)

Hop over and say hi if you can. Remember you can comment on any (or all) of the character interviews and be eligible for a chance to win a signed paperback from my backlist or an ebook from my backlist.

Now I have some stir fry to whip up. And a shower to take. And a book to finish. I'm reading a doozie. It's been a long, long day, but the eye exam is out of the way and my coveted big black nerd glasses are in my near future. Woop!

XOXO
Sommer

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day two...

Kiryat Anavim barn
It's day two of the Restless Spirit blog tour and I'm at Delighted Reader talking to my character Adrian about everything from his favorite sex position to what he thinks it means for him that Tuesday's back in town. Adrian's the one who is familiar...seeing as he's Tuesday's old flame.

Remember, at the end of the blog tour I'll be drawing two winners from all existing comments. One backlist signed print title and one backlist ebook title. Comment at one place or feel free to comment at all five. It's up to you! Also...don't forget I'm writer of the month at Xcite's site. 25% off all my titles until the end of May. Click the banner at the top to access the deal. Hint: there are 4 rotating banners, you can simply arrow through them.

XOXO
Sommer

Monday, May 7, 2012

Stan...


Joseph Julien bodice
Day one: I'm at Bodice Ripper Novels interviewing my first character...Stan! Stop in and say hi. :)

Full tour schedule below.

XOXO
Sommer

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Restless Spirit Blog Tour Starts Tomorrow...

Woohoo! This is the schedule for my Restless Spirit blog tour.

Five days, five character interviews, five excerpts and a chance to be one of two winners. A print winner  and an ebook winner from my backlist.

I'm very excited. I'm pretty sure this is one of my favorite books ever. I've even found myself reading it and I never ever ever read my work once it's been published. So, that's a mind freak :)

Here's the lineup. I hope you'll join me and come by to hear what my characters have to say and say howdy.



May 7th: Bodice Ripper Novels
May 8th: Delighted Reader
May 9th: Lucy Felthouse
          & Guilty Indulgence
May 10th: Book Reviews & More by Kathy
May 11th: Words of Wisdom...from The Scarf Princess

Hope to see you there!

And also yay, just in time, for the month of May (I am totally a poet)...I'm the author of the month on Xcite's site so save, save, save on my books. Go on...save! :)



XOXO
Sommer
*tour handled by Writer Marketing Services

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Skittles and Starbursts and Gummi Bears, oh my!

Heh. Those are a list of some of my favorite sweet treats. But I asked for *messy* so we'll have to go with a fresh made S'more. You can win a copy of Restless Spirit just by sharing yours.



Where: Victoria Blisse's Blog
GO HERE


What do you have to do?: tell me your fave sweet

What will it cost me?: the thirty seconds it costs to type your answer

What do I get? A chance to win a smoking hot (ahem, if I do say so myself)book and there's also a rousing excerpt to be had. Oh, and it's fun.

How long will it last? Until May 19th

There's your info! Go forth and confess your sugar addictions to moi. :)

Happy Saturday. We're off to the flea market.

XOXO
Sommer

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Yay! Stuff! And More Stuff!

I'm baaaaack! Yesterday was finishing a book and then my (ab)normal emotional meltdown post book finishing. Those who follow me on Twitter or FB know I have mentioned my angry and anxious mentality after wrapping up a project. Don't most normal people celebrate? LOL.

But in other news, I got this yesterday! It even smells pretty.





Now on to today. I am up at Polly J Adams blog. It's an interview. Where I tell stuff. Thanks very much to Polly for welcoming me! :)

And...finally, I've got several related works coming up in the future. Longer works that are linked by a common theme. That's all I'm gonna say right now because I'm superstitious about writing (and only writing!). But here is what's fueling my current WIPs. What's fueling yours?

XOXO
Sommer

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Never thought I'd be so happy...

Covered in dirt and poo and hay. But I was. The man and I spent hours and hours doing this this weekend. I'm itching to plant our veg in mid-May. Very excited! Here's a peek at our progress. I'll spare you the pics of me dressed as farmer Ted. But I will show you my secondhand boots. ;)

XOXO
Sommer