Friday, March 29, 2013

One Lovely Blog Award for 7 Lovely Bloggers

Thanks to Phyllis Zimbler Miller, co-founder of Miller Mosaic, LLC Marketing for this One Lovely Blogger Award! Thank you, Phyllis.

As per the rules, I'm now required to share 7 things about myself, then pass the award on to 7 others.

Honestly, I'd forgotten how boring I am, but, what the heck, here goes:

1.  Posting my thoughts without editing makes me extremely nervous, and that's why I hate instant messaging and texting.

2.  Believing "You Reap What You Sow" is the foundation for everything I do.

3.  I'm for banning Daylight Saving Time. It doesn't save time, it just guarantees winter blues!

4.  I live a quiet, uneventful life for the most part, and cannot tolerate even a smidgeon of stress in my life, yet--the more chaos in my protagonist's life, the better.

5.  For the first 43 years of my life, I was a night person. One day I decide to switch, and I haven't looked back. So--the next time somebody tells you being a night person is in their makeup, don't believe them.

6.  If I could only change one thing about myself, it would be that I not be this sensitive. Seems to me it has never served me well.

7.  I write mostly dark suspense thrillers, yet--I plan on writing a children's book next about an eagle! Never in a million years would I have believed that 10 years ago!

There they are — seven “shares” from me. Now look at the rules below for posts from future lovely bloggers.
  1. Thank the person who gave you the honor.
  2. Add the Lovely Blogger Award image to the post.
  3. Share seven things about yourself.
  4. Pass the award onto seven nominees.
  5. Include this set of rules.
  6. Inform your nominees.
My 7 nominees are:

(Nominees, know that you don't have to participate if you don't have time. But keep in mind that these awards are a great way for your reader to get to know you better)

Keith Pyeatt 

S.P. Bowers

Adriana Ryan  

Carrie Butler

Penny, the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

Wendy aka Quillfeather

Kittie Howard


Monday, March 25, 2013

Cover Reveal for SECRET FOR A SONG

I'm very pleased to be participating in the cover reveal for World of Shell and Bone author Adriana Ryan's second novel SECRET FOR A SONG.  Please join me in congratulating her on such a wonderful accomplishment. Bravo, Adriana!


by Adriana Ryan
Saylor Grayson makes herself sick. Literally.

She  ate her first needle when she was seven. Now, at nineteen, she’s been kicked out of college for poisoning herself with laxatives. The shrinks call it Munchausen Syndrome. All Saylor knows is that when she’s ill, her normally distant mother pays attention and the doctors and nurses make her feel special.

Then she meets Drew Dean, the leader of a local support group for those with terminal diseases. When he mistakes her for a new member, Saylor knows she should correct him. But she can’t bring herself to, not after she’s welcomed into a new circle of friends. Friends who, like Drew, all have illnesses ready to claim their independence or their lives 

For the first time, Saylor finds out what it feels like to be in love, to have friends who genuinely care about her.  But secrets have a way of revealing themselves. What will happen when Saylor’s is out?

~  ~  ~





Bio:   A huge fan of spooky stuff and shoes, Adriana Ryan enjoys alternately hitting up the outlet malls and historic graveyards in Charleston, SC where she lives and imbibes coffee. Her husband and two small children seem not to mind when she hastily scribbles novel lines on stray limbs in the absence of notepads.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

You Said Everything Would Be Fine

  Winter is Beautiful



A time to rest by the fire,

because outside it's bitterly cold!


This is what it looked like when the sun came up yesterday. It appeared we were surrounded by a grey wall. 


My husband went out and shoveled. 


An hour later...



It hasn't let up. 


For whatever reason, this winter has been especially difficult.  Most days it's grey, cold, and dark. The highways are treacherous. The hour's trip to the city is scary. 



Back in September I did a shout out about my suspense thriller BROKEN BUT NOT DEAD winning a silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, 2012, held in New York City.  While I was there doing a reading, I had my picture taken holding my medal. I wrote about it in a post titled "Barbra Streisand's Stage Fright."


Winning that medal was a huge deal. It validated what I kept forgetting, that Broken But Not Dead is a damn darn good read. A rocking good read. Still, I was a little sad to leave my medal behind. But I understood why. It was my publisher who submitted the book and paid the entry fee. Still, when I arrived home without it, my friends and family were shocked. Why hadn't I asked for it, they wanted to know. It was mine. I explained that it wasn't really mine because ... blah, blah, blah. But honestly, I was disappointed. I wanted my medal!  


Did I mention how heavy it was?


Last month, in a post titled Where Home Is, I talked about my obsession with selling our house and moving New Brunswick. I ache to be there with my family. 


The comments I received were wonderful. 


I hope it's clear how much I appreciate your support and encouragement. I am never alone because of you. 


Did I also mention that despite your wonderful support, I was still blue? 


A few days ago, my publisher sent me this:



They had New York ship them another IPPY medal, along with stickers that now go on every new copy shipped from the publishers, telling the world that Broken But Not Dead is an award winning novel. 

You told me things would be fine.


"I'll let you know when the house sells."


~ ~ ~

Monday, March 11, 2013


I can't remember when I first met Carrie Butler (sadly, we're not related, nor are either of us related to Gerard Butler), but I think she left a comment on my blog one day, and so in response I visited her blog. Immediately I liked the feel and appeal of her site. I don't generally have time to check archives, but I did on Carrie's blog. Needless to say, I was hooked, and we've been blogging buddies ever since. Carrie is warm, intelligent, adorable, and not afraid to be honest with herself and her writing. I've learned a lot from her. 

At any given time, if you stop by Carrie's blog you'll probably find her shouting out about another author, someone she admires and respects. Now it's our turn. Carrie is currently doing a book tour for her first novel STRENGTH, an adult paranormal romance, now available from Sapphire Star Publishing! She's stopping by today to share the condensed version of her publishing journey. 

If you're not yet published, pay attention to Carrie's resiliency and determination. When you work hard for something you yearn for, when you believe in yourself, dreams do come true. And as Carrie would no doubt agree, a little stubbornness doesn't hurt. 

Take it away, Carrie! 

My Publishing Journey

Thank you so much for having me, Joylene!
One of the things I've always enjoyed about your blog is its ability to inspire. You've been so candid about your experiences, and many times, your words have kept me going. So, today, I'd like to offer your readers my own brand of encouragement.
In February of 2012, I began to query my New Adult (NA) paranormal romance.
I know it doesn't seem like long ago now, but it was an entirely different era for the category. The industry had built up this stigma—scoffing at college-aged protagonists and insisting writers age them up or down to fit the mold. Hardly anyone would consider New Adult fiction.
Fortunately, amid a slew of "NA isn't a thing" rejections, I received a partial request from someone at my dream agency. It didn't work out in the end, but the back-and-forth encouraged me. Maybe I did have a good story. Maybe it truly was the concept—the label—that was hindering me. So, what could I do about it?
I had two options: I could either compromise the integrity of my novel, or I could find a new path.
In May of 2012, I decided to query a few small presses. Believe it or not, within twenty-four hours, I had two full requests. Talk about a one-eighty. These editors were undeterred by the risk of trying something new. They were hungry for great fiction and more than a little avant garde. Things had finally started to look up—for a little while.
Let's fast forward.
The morning before I received an offer from Sapphire Star Publishing (SSP), I received an R&R from another respected publisher. Awesome, right? Not so much. I respected this editor, and I did appreciate the time she put into reading my manuscript, but her feedback hurt. It wasn't the usual sting of rejection, either. By that point, I'd built up my rhino skin. It was the condescension in her words—more potshots than critiques—that got to me. It made me doubt my writing, and even worse, it made me doubt myself.
I spent the day in serious contemplation. How much longer was I willing to suffer for this dream? Could I afford to keep pursuing it so actively? What if the heart I put into this manuscript was forfeit?
You know what they say, though. "It's always darkest before the damn." A little after midnight, I received an email from SSP. The email. I did a happy dance, called my family (out of bed), and spun around in my desk chair.
The funny thing was, if I hadn't taken such a blow before that, I might not have been so appreciative. Heck, I might have weighed the situation too long and missed out on a beautiful opportunity. So, relish your setbacks, my friends. They just might be setting the stage for something better. :)

Title: Strength
Series: Mark of Nexus – Book 1
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing   
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)
Release Date: March 07, 2013
Available at: Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and Nook. More retailers will be added in the coming weeks, i.e. Sony Reader Store, iBookstore, Kobo, etc. Be sure to keep an eye on my Pinterest "Retailers" board. I update it whenever STRENGTH pops up somewhere. :) 


When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few minor setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

About the Author:

Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.


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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

ASK PZM: March 2013 - Pricing

First Wednesday of every month, a few of us (over 300) participate in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. We share and encourage. We express our insecurities without fear of ridicule. Trust me, if you're having a difficult time, IWSG is the hop for you. To sign up or find out more about IWSG, click here and follow the simple instructions. 

I know today is Tuesday... But because today is the 5th, it's time for Ask PZM, where Phyllis Zimbler Miller answers marketing questions. I think it fits well with IWSG. Hope you agree.  Today's subject is pricing.

Q:  Can you recommend pricing for a Kindle ebook?

Although I cannot recommend specific prices, I can share some information on pricing.

At this writing, Amazon for the U.S. site (other Amazon country sites vary) gives 70% royalties for ebooks priced $2.99-$9.99.  Lower or higher prices get 35% royalties.

(Why does Amazon do this?  Obviously the algorithms at Amazon have decided the 70% royalties price range is the sweet spot of ebook pricing for Amazon.)

If you control your own KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) account – and you should, you can change the price whenever you want.

In addition, if you put your ebook on KDP Select (ebook exclusivity on Kindle for 90-day periods), you can have up to five free days in any configuration during each 90-day period.

Then there are the sites where you can list your book depending on the price.  Some sites focus on “bargain books,” whatever the individual site’s definition is of this.  Some sites focus on free ebooks.  Some sites have a range of ebook prices.

Here are some things to ponder:

 On Amazon do you have a physical book of the ebook?  You want to look at the relationship of these two prices.

2.     If your ebook is on KDP Select (the physical book does NOT have to be exclusive), the ebook can be borrowed for free by Amazon Prime members and you still get paid by Amazon a piece of the “borrowing” pie.  At this writing an Amazon Prime member gets to borrow one book free per month.  Might an ebook priced at $9.99 have more attraction to a Prime member than an ebook priced at $2.99?  (The Prime member gets $7 more “free.”)

3.     Does a higher price right before a book is free via KDP Select make the book’s free days more attractive?

4.     Does it make sense to make the book less expensive right after a successful KDP Select free-day promotion (success = tons of free downloads) to keep up the momentum started by the free days?

5.     When an ebook is first launched, does it make sense to make the price less expensive and then increase the price as the book garners good reviews?

Now before you feel completely overwhelmed, remember that there is no right answer to any of the above questions.  There may be better answers for certain books, but no one can know the best answers for all books.

Giving away books for free:
I know there are authors who are adamantly against giving away their books for free.  Yet unless the authors are world famous, I disagree with this stance. 
Giving away books for free to help attract interest in your books is a time-honored traditional publisher marketing technique.  (Years and years ago I worked for a weekly newspaper in Philadelphia and I got lots of hardcover books for free in the hopes of a book review.)     

Having first tried a free book promotion myself for my thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS, I have come to the realization that it is best, in my opinion, to do this via KDP Select.
By giving away your books for free via KDP Select, you are making a statement that your book has value and only via this special limited-time offer are you sharing your book for free.

Which still begs the question:  How much to price your Kindle ebook?

Perhaps one way is to look at the other books in your category.  What is the “competition” charging?  Does it make sense for longer books to be priced higher than shorter books?

Do fiction and nonfiction books have different intrinsic values?  Are people in general more willing to pay for an unknown author’s ebook on weight loss than for an unknown author’s spy thriller?  After all, one ebook could help solve a problem while the other is for entertainment.

If you have several books on Kindle, you might want to consider how the different prices relate to each other.  In other words, when someone looks at all your books on your Amazon Author Central profile, do the prices as a group make sense?  As I have both fiction and nonfiction books on Kindle, I do take into account these comparisons – see

The good news?  If you control your own KDP account, you do not have to write your book’s price in stone.  You can experiment with different pricing including seasonal pricing if your book “fits” a specific season.

P.S.  In honor of Women’s History Month in March, my 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT, which takes place in the spring of 1970 during the Vietnam War, will be free on Kindle on March 6 and 7 at

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the co-founder of the online marketing company and the author of fiction and nonfiction books, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO MARKET YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON AND FACEBOOK.  She blogs on author topics at and visit her Facebook Page at


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