Friday, December 30, 2011

Out With the Old, In With the New!!

Hard to believe it's almost 2012.  I always look forward to the new year because you can never tell what it will bring.  I'm looking forward to staying busy as usual, but I'd like to also finish my sequel to Zombified. 

Our oldest son, John, will most likely be deployed to Afghanistan and we're not looking forward to that, but we will keep the faith that God will bring him home safely to his family. 

Watching how rapidly the grandkids grow and change each year always amazes me.  They crack me up with the things they do and say - I love them very much!!

I usually don't make resolutions and the last few years I've worked to improve my health such as quitting smoking and losing weight.  I've been successful, but it still didn't stop me from becoming diabetic.  This new year I am hoping to get off the pills and my doctor is optimistic that I can if I keep dropping the pounds.

I know the new year will throw me some surprises, but hey, that's what life is all about.  I'm thankful for my family and that everyone is happy and going strong.  Guess that's about all we can hope for and I thank God for all the blessings in my life. 

I wish everyone a wonderful and fulfilling new year with many more to come!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wishing Everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Almost that time again!  This year our extended family is going out to eat, with such a large group it's the easiest way.  However, Christmas dinner will still be at our house as usual for just our family.

Since this is a time to relect, I'd have to say I have more than enough to be thankful for.  The most important is my family and we are blessed that everyone is healthy and happy.

So once again, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving and may you all eat whatever you'd like and not gain a single pound! :D

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Writing the Sequel to Zombified - Not as Easy as You'd Think!

After I finished Zombified and put it up on Kindle, Nook, and the paperback version on Amazon, I thought I was through for awhile.  I planned to do a sequel, but not right away.  However, as people read the book they wanted the sequel NOW, and were wanting to know when it would be ready.  I was flattered and surprised, so I began to write.  I already had the beginning set up so that went quickly, and I am now on Chapter 9.  I have a lot more to write and it's going a lot slower than anticipated. 

When I began, I was hoping to have it released by Halloween, now it looks like spring of next year.  I have two major issues that have come into play.  Number one is I have a life that takes precedence over any writing...and right now family is my top priority and is taking up most of my time.  Don't get me wrong, I am really enjoying spending time with my family and that is definitely what's most important to me.  The second issue is simply the writing of a sequel.  There are a lot of factors to focus on, such as keeping the story flowing smoothly while subtly filling in the back story for those who haven't read the first book.  I don't want to rehash everything so it's a delicate balance.  I'm also putting in bigger fight scenes and they take longer to write - I do a lot of visualizing before writing them - I like to play it out in my head first before writing it down.

So, that's where I'm at in regards to writing the sequel.  If you're reading this, I'll go ahead and tell you what the title for the next book will be:  Zombified (Book Two: Shady Oaks).  Hopefully I will get the book finished before spring, I'm just as excited as the readers to see how the sequel turns out! :D      

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Changes to Blogger

I noticed we have some new things and I have the time today, so I'm playing with the new features.  I changed my template, I had a hard time deciding which one to use so I may change it up more often.  If you've been using the new stuff, let me know how you like them.  Anyone using the new Blogger interface yet - how does it work exactly?  I brought it up but not sure what it does.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Children's Book I Put on Kindle

I was wanting to do a story around photos of  Sammi, our cocker spaniel.  My granddaughter Sara, who is three, really likes Sammi so I tried to something that she would really enjoy.  After downloading and printing it out, my daughter-in-law read it to Sara and her older sister, Hailee.  They both loved it and so I decided to upload it to Kindle for only 99 cents.  If you're interested you can check it out here:    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005C1K1X8/ref=tag_dpp_yt_edpp_rt?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&s=digital-text%23tags

If it does well, I will probably do more Sammi adventures. :D

Google+

I received an invitation and of course joined up.  I have to say, after getting it somewhat organized and posting a few things, I really like this new social media.  I especially love the circles, with them you can target who sees your posts, which can be useful.  For example, say you're a big gamer.  You can name one circle after the game you play and put all your gaming buddies in that circle.  When you post something about the game, you send it only to that circle only if you want...you do have the option of sending it anywhere you want or just make it public, too.  By the way, for me it's much faster than Facebook. 

If you get an invite I would recommend you try it out.  If you already have a Google+ account, add me!
https://plus.google.com/welcome?hl=en#103583559391439648782/posts

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Goodreads

I think I've found a great new website.  Several other authors have talked about Goodreads and I finally decided to check it out.  I only have a few friends so far, but I'm still feeling my way around the site.  Everyone on there seems friendly and site navigation is easy.  If anyone is on Goodreads please add me - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4988053.Char_Robinson.  I have joined two groups so far and I'm still looking at the others.  Any tips are greatly appreciated.  Once I have it figured out better, I'll post more.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Have I got a deal for you!  Smashwords is having a summer promotion and authors are cutting the price of their ebooks.  For July only, Zombified is half off ($2.50).  So if you're in the least bit interested, go check it out!  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/64621

Everyone says their book sales are falling off because of the holiday and my sales have also dropped, so maybe they have something there.  I was thinking the long holiday is a perfect time to kick back with a good book, but maybe not.

I am going to redo my paperback version, it's still too big and too costly.  My book is now at the Enid Public Library, to me that is very exciting news.  People won't be buying the book, but I wanted it there so anyone could read it - isn't that why we write books after all, so they will be read?

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, keep cool and be safe!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Update on My Novel

I've had a busy few weeks trying to finish everything.  The paperback version is finished, but not linked yet on Amazon, right now it's only showing the Kindle version.  I also uploaded to Smashwords and will post the link in a bit.  They send out to Barnes and Noble's Nook, Kobo, Diesel, etc.  Waiting on that as well.  Nothing feels better than to have everything finished for now.  I've learned a lot about formatting my book and the cover, marketing, and adding new social networks.  The book is doing quite well on Kindle considering no one has heard of me and it's my first novel.  Zombified is a full-length novel with over 77,000 words and 37 chapters.  There's sporadic mild language and violence (can't really have a zombie novel without violence, can we?).  The characters are fully developed, some are loveable and some are despicable.  The zombies are appropriately nasty, stinky, and maggot covered.  I really enjoyed writing this book and so far the sequel has been just as much fun.  If you're looking for some good reading, please consider my book - thanks! 
Here's the link to my Smashwords page:   http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/64621

Friday, May 27, 2011

Amazon and Book Sales

First Amazon pulled all forum threads that allowed authors to promote their work, now they've removed the tags that helped people find a book. There is now one specific area for authors...kinda confused because they have a vested interest in our sales, but what they're doing is hurting everyone.  My sales were steady, but I haven't sold a book in two days now.  Maybe they're planning something even better for us, but right now it doesn't look that way.  Go figure.

Oh by the way, I am waiting for my first proof of Zombified to arrive any day!  I am super excited to hold my book in my hands!  Woot!!!  As soon as I am selling the paperbacks I plan to contact our local Hastings to see if they will purchase some of my books, they're pretty good about helping out local talent. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Short Story I Wrote...

Hello everyone!  Been busy battling with CreateSpace's criteria for a book cover so I can make paperback copies of my novel.  I think I just about have it figured out though - yay!  Anyway, I still write for Associated Content on Yahoo! and they actually posted an assignment to write a zombie short story for Zombie Awareness Month.  I'd say since I just wrote a zombie novel, that's right up my alley.  I wrote the story in about an hour and posted it the next day.  Was a lot of fun to do, here's the link if you'd like to read it:  http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/8062265/theres_no_such_things_as_zombies.html?cat=44

Should have the book cover done at least by the weekend, will post then on how it's going. :D

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Well Hello CreateSpace! I Think.

I'm happy to say my book is selling, just checked and sold another one - yay!  However, I have several family members who are elderly and aren't into anything online and they want a copy of my book.  So once again after doing some research, Amazon has CreateSpace, a place where you can upload your novel and order copies and the price is fair.  I was very happy, even though I had to reformat my book again.  Kindle formats all books their way, but with CreateSpace you must send them a finished book, including the cover and back page.  So I'm almost done formatting, just trying to decide where I want to put the page numbers when I ran into a snag.  I have to send the book as a pdf.  I have no way to do that, my daughter already downloaded the trial version of Adobe Photoshop and it's expired so can't use that.  I can use Adobe Reader, it directs me to a place that I can use and I'm thinking of doing that, or I can download CutePDF and use that.  I will have to look both over again before deciding.  If I use the reader, I have to upload the file and get it back from them and I don't really like that idea, so I'm leaning toward CutePDF.  Well, will let you know how it all goes.  Think I'm going to watch a quick YouTube video on uploading to CreateSpace as well so I don't miss anything there.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Received my first review on my novel!

I've found out a lot of authors live for reviews.  They can make or break a book online.  So, I was a little nervous about the first review, after all I have no idea how my book will be received.  Sure, family love it, but you know - that's family.  I was thrilled to see I'd gotten a great review and a 5-star rating!! Woooot!!  Yay even!!  What a relief, I put so much work into that book, I wanted something worth reading and enjoying, that's what's most important.  You know I'm going to put the link to my book in again, so here it is:  http://www.amazon.com/Zombified-ebook/dp/B004WDZO3E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1302900702&sr=1-2

To everyone who has bought a copy I say a big Thank You! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ok So I Lowered the Price to My New Book - Hey I'm Still Learning!

When I put my novel up on Kindle, I did the research and thought I had priced it fairly.  Zombified is a full length novel, over 77k words and 39 chapters.  However, after visiting the forums and seeing what's really going on, I've decided to lower it.  I'm not sure I like what I see happening there.  There are so many books that authors are dropping the prices unbelievably low.  I worked hard on my book and the most important thing to me is that people read it, so I dropped the price (takes effect in 24 hours).  However, I would like to make a little money.  Perhaps it is wise to go low at first, build up a name for yourself, then you can set a higher price.  Guess I  will just have to wait and see how it all works out. 

If anyone has advice on any blog I've written please share, I'm all ears here! :D

Friday, April 15, 2011

Getting Your Name Out There - Full Time Job in Itself?

Ok, my book is published on Kindle and people can search for something similar and they may see it.  Common sense tells me that probably is not enough.  So, I joined Kindle's forum and created an Amazon Author Page that links to the book.  Friends and family on Facebook are spreading the word and I think them so much for that!  I blog but don't have Twitter (yet).  I know Twitter can be an important networking tool, I'm just reluctant to add another social network to my ever-growing list.  If I'm making a mistake with Twitter, please let me know how it can benefit me. 

I do have two other books in progress right now and I need time to write so perhaps I need to manage my time in a more effective manner.  I have family obligations too, such as watching my grandson during the week, and that take priority and always will.  Overall, my life is pretty busy right now, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  Guess getting my name out there will be a process that takes time, just like anything else done correctly.  :D     

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My novel "Zombified" is now available on Kindle!

I am so excited to announce my book is finally published.  I began writing this book over 3 years ago, right before my sons went to Iraq.  During that time many wonderful things happened such as the birth of my graddaughter Sara, the boys returning home, my daughter graduating from high school, last year she got married and gave us a grandson, Gage, who is 11 months old.  Lots of things happened so my book wasn't given full priority for quite some time.  Was mostly a late-at-night endeavor and often got shelved for more pressing events.  I was lucky to have the title right from the beginning, sometimes that can be the hardest decision to make.

Anyway, this has been a long, sometimes difficult process.  I must say I'm extremely happy with how easy it was to use Kindle.  I'm already working on the sequel to Zombified  and an anthology of short stories - I will put them on Kindle as well.  Thanks for reading my blog, hope you will check out my book - if you have a Kindle I know right now you can sample it for free.

http://www.amazon.com/Zombified-ebook/dp/B004WDZO3E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1302727708&sr=1-3

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

After a Self-Imposed Absence I'm Back!!

I had to make changes and additions to my novel, so in order to finish it I decided I would do no online writing whatsoever - I was spread way too thin.  I have finished my novel (again) and decided to publish it on Kindle.  I do have a couple publishers that I can send it to, but after much review and research I am going to try and go it alone.  In the following weeks I hope to blog about how it goes.  It's kind of scary to put something "out there" that I've worked on for over 3 years.  What if people hate it?  Guess it's a chance I have to take and that I want to take.  I already have plans for the sequel to my first book and I also have an anthology of short stories started that I will also publish.

I have the cover done and I'm in the process of adding what's needed, such as the Dedication page.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't forget anything and that the book format will convert easily to what Kindle uses, which is html.

I am happy to be back blogging again and plan to visit all my blog friends soon to catch up!