About an Author

    Vintage still-life

Once upon a time, there was a woman, who, through no fault of her own, decided to become a writer (silly woman).  So, with a fat-barreled ballpoint pen (very comfortable on the hand, no less, and her favorite writing instrument of choice), it’s dark indigo ink chamber filled to its brim and it’s .7mm ball bearing tip inked and ready for writing, this intrepid would be author began to fill the wide ruled pages of her spiral notebook with the words that were tumbling from her very prolific imagination.

It took her two years, many a spiral notebook, several refills of her trusty pen’s handy dandy ink cartridge, and hours upon hours of transcription into her dependable computer’s Word document program to complete the first draft.

Once the story (a murder mystery titled Murder at Tulip House, set in 1932 England that miraculously appeared to our author after binge watching about 15 hours of Agatha Christie’s exquisitely adapted Hercule Poirot series, presently being broadcast on Acorn TV), was dutifully researched, rewritten many, many times, reviewed by trusted friends with degrees in English (thank heaven for wonderful friends), given the once over by the wonderful free (our author is big on free) portion of the online proofreading program by the apt name of Grammarly, found at https://www.grammarly.com and a genre appropriate and fantastically rendered cover purchased from https://www.selfpubbookcovers.com (a stunning site for book covers for all genre), the requisite research was initiated into how to ePublish, for free, our author’s first completed novel.

She read the free downloadable pdf how-to files provided by Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com and Amazon Kindle at https://kdp.amazon.com  (they have different requirements, so she read both).  Taking her time, as she is a very organized woman, our author followed both sets of instructions, spending many additional hours formatting her manuscript (she created two separate files to make formatting easier), in order to comply with each entities requirements for ePublishing a novel on each website.

Because of her due diligence, she was able to use the document formatted to the Amazon Kindle specifications when submitting her manuscript to Barnes & Noble and KOBO.

Once all the necessary requirements were met, all front matter created, and a free (yep, free) ISBN number obtained from Smashwords, as Smashwords prefer their ISBN numbers and Kindle, Barnes & Noble (Nook), and Kobo don’t care where this very important tracking number comes from, just as long as you have one, our intrepid author began submitting her manuscript to these ebook publishing sites. With each submission, sending good wishes into the ether and crossing her fingers for good luck, she then pressed publish.

Within minutes of letting her friends and family know of this new and daring accomplishment, several books were sold.

Eureka!!! She was now, forever and always, a published author.  Yay!  Happy dance, happy dance.

To her delight, as all the statistics regarding first-time author’s sales success figures emphasized a high probability of no sales to be the norm, our author managed a very moderate (emphasis on very part) sales success.  Again, yay, with an added very silly happy dance.

Thinking to take advantage of Kindle’s CreateSpace at https://kdp.amazon.com  and provide her reading public with a print-on-demand (POD) copy of her book; our author obtained the requisite ISBN number for a printed book from Kindle and began following the website’s directions for creating a printed copy of her book.  Sadly, this has not turned out to be a positive experience and is still a work in progress.  But, because she now had the appropriate ISBN numbers (these were also free from Smashwords) for a printed book, she was able to apply (again for free) for an LCCN (Library of Congress Catalog Number) at http://www.loc.gov/publish/pcn , and receive an LCCN number without a problem.  This site is also used to obtain a CIP (Cataloging in Publication) description for your completed manuscript, also for free.

Once our author has all the bugs worked out for her POD book, the LCCN number will be added to the front matter before submitting the book for printing. Our author will keep her reading public apprised of her progress on this very important project.

As it happens with do-it-yourself projects there are sometimes glitches. This has happened with Amazon Kindle.  For the moment, due to Murphy’s unpredictable laws of the universe, the copy of our author’s book that is presently available on Amazon Books, cannot be updated with the latest revisions and it does have some errors that need correcting.  Our author apologizes to all readers for this glitch and hopes to have it corrected very soon.  Our author thanks you in advance for your understanding regarding this matter.

Not wishing to leave any publishing stones unturned, our author has also put a great deal of effort into sending query letters to reputable literary agents.  Even with the understanding that finding an agent interested in representing a first-time author to be close to impossible, as literary agents receive thousands of submissions a week (yep, thousands a week), she persevered.  After reading the advice and direction provided on many a different website, all basically saying ‘don’t get your hopes up,’ our author created a query letter (checkout http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/successful-queries for a good passel of great query letters you could use to write your own superlative query letter, there’s a lot of great info on this site, so check it out).  She also reviewed the information available on the website Association of Author’s Representatives, Inc. at http://aaronline.org , and got down to the business of sending a well written query letter, plus the requisite attachment, to the 140 literary agents (our author also created a query agent form that listed the agent’s name, agency, email address and attachment requirements to make sending her query’s a quick and easy process), interested in mystery writers.  And surprise, surprise an agent, actually two, yes, two agents, wanted to read the entire manuscript.  So, amid heart flutters and a whisper of disbelief, off it went.

It wasn’t long before one of the agents (name withheld in order to protect the innocent), wrote back saying she ‘adored’ ( a direct quote), the main character but the introduction leading to the initial murder was a bit long, stating: “…but for today’s reader the introduction takes too long, no matter how well written and crafted the narrative.” It must be said that our author was just a little bit giddy to hear her literary effort being thought of as being well written and crafted.  Kazow people!  Our author does have to say, flattery will get you everywhere.  So when she was asked to cut the first 35 pages of her novel and resubmit, she did.

With this second submission our author asked, as she was still doing a great deal of research on publishing in general, about social media and how important it was in today’s world of publishing. She also mentioned that she did not have a big social presence.  This revelation did not bode well for our author, as this well-known agent stated that it was very important, promptly ending all communication with the author.

Sigh.

Ah, well, so much for stardom and world fame.

Undeterred, our intrepid author put in many a long hour researching everything she could about how to market her book on her own.  She listened to dozens of podcast hosted by successful authors (check out https://www.thecreativepenn.com and https://sterlingandstone.net, to name just two of the thousands of very informative podcasts available on the net), to reading books from the library (yes, ladies and gentlemen, real printed pages with a front and back cover, hold it in your hands, and turn the pages type books on marketing).

Because of her diligence, she has come to realize that, short of becoming a marketing expert with a social media following of hundreds of thousands of wonderful fans, and using marketing management sites like MailChimp at https://mailchimp.com or AWeber at https://www.aweber.com to manage your vast list of subscribers; a requirement by the big five trade book publishers before even looking at a promising manuscript from a first time author, leaving little or no time for the writing of future sparkling endeavors, or paying thousands of dollars that she does not have hiring marketing experts and placing costly ads everywhere, this author decided the best thing she could do would be to continue researching ePublishing sites, create her own website, again for free, using WordPress.com, and write, write, write.

And that is exactly what she is doing.

Her present effort, Murder at Tulip House, is available at Smashwords.com, Amazon Books (remember there are some editing errors in the Amazon version only but the story is still there), Barnes & Noble, and the international eBook site: KOBO.

Our budding author would greatly appreciate hearing from readers everywhere, as she has many other story ideas that she is in the process of developing and your input and questions are very important to her. She also hopes the above information is helpful to all authors everywhere.

Remember: creativity does not happen in a vacuum. So, get out there and explore your world, crack open your favorite writing tool, and see you on the web.

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MOVIE REVIEW

Movie Clapboard

TITLE: Wild Oats

Starring:  Shirley McLane and Jessica Lang

Year:  2016

Shirley McLane stars as Eve, a retired school teacher and Ms. Lange stars as her dear friend of 40 years, Maddie. When Eve loses her husband after a bazillion years of marriage, she unexpectedly receives a life insurance check for $5,000,000 instead of $50,000.  On a whim Eve decides to take Maddie, whose husband has left her for a 25 year old, to the Canary Islands.  What ensues is gentle chaos, unexpected mind bending sex for both ladies, and a bit of a tussle with some bad guys.

You will smile the whole way through the movie with even a few guffaws along the way. Great acting, laughter, and good fun in the sun.  What more can you ask of a movie?

Give it a watch, I think you will like it. Let me know.

L

 

BOOK REVIEW

Reading

Title: The Art of Crash Landing

Author: Melissa DeCarlo

I started reading this book Friday around 10:00 p.m. and could not put it down. By 3:00 a.m. I could not keep my eyes open, so got some shut eye.  I picked it back up again Saturday afternoon and finished it by early evening.

WOW! Did not expect the plot line, which was wonderful and shocking, but the writing was spectacular.  Sassy, irreverent, insightful, and heartbreaking.  Made me laugh a lot.  Pulled at my heartstrings a bit too.

Mattie Wallace thinks an unexpected inheritance is going to be the answer to her messed up life. Little does she know that the world has other plans.  Returning to the small town of her mother’s birth finally brings answers to long kept secrets changing lives forever.  It is a true rollercoaster ride and worth every minute.

This is Ms. DeCarlo’s first novel and I am looking forward to everything she creates in the future.

Remember:  Read a book and write a book review.  Post it everywhere to help authors become known to the world.  You are the literary agents for your favorite authors.

Enjoy.

L

 

Book Review

Shadow-play

Author: Deanna Raybourn

Book Title: A Curious Beginning, a Veronica Speedwell mystery

Rating: A highly recommended read.

This is the debut novel in a new Victorian lady detective mystery series by Deanna Raybourn, featuring the intrepid Miss Veronica Speedwell. If you thought the Lady Julia Grey mysteries were wonderful, well, hang onto your plush velvet roses, and stand ready with your finely honed hat pins, because this new series is just as intriguing as the first…if not just a touch better.  Ms. Raybourn spins a perfectly plausible yarn of mystery and political intrigue to rival the wild-and-woolly tales of Mr. Clive Cussler’s uninhibited imaginings.

So, pickup your books and get to reading, because the second in the series is presently available, with a third becoming available in the foreseeable future.

I look forward to each and every one.

Book Review

a book of Magic

Happy New Year everyone.  This is my first book review for 2017.  Enjoy.

Author:  Jen Lancaster

Title:  The Best of Enemies

Review:  A Darn Good Read

A husband is dead, millions go missing and Sarabeth Chandler calls upon her best friends for help.  Jacqueline Jordan, a well traveled investigative journalist with a prickly personality, and Kitty Carricoe, wife and mother extraordinaire, put their lives on hold in order to help their friend.  Together, with a great deal of sarcasm and laughter, they manage to untangle a very well crafted web of lies and deceit.

If you like a well developed plot, characters with minds of their own, snappy banter and a slap bang ending, this is the book for you.

Enjoy.

 

I am your literary agent and you are mine.

heart

The publishing paradigm has definitely shifted.

Huh, you say.  Let me explain.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Kristen Lamb’s post of December 19, 2016, titled The Hard Truth about Publishing…and I completely agree with her.  Her post and all the research I have been doing on using social media to promote my writing, has made me realize that the literary agent/publisher pedestals we still cling to with white knuckled fists, (hence Ms. Lamb’s very informative post and the myriad of very helpful books on the subject), have given me this light bulb moment.

Light bulb If we understand all these wonderful philosophies correctly, these once hallowed pedestals have crumbled into literary dust right before our very eyes, and we have yet to recognize this rather fundamentally powerful change in the system.

The thing is, we (EVERY USER OF SOCIAL MEDIA OUT THERE, and I know there’s a few of you out there…:) have now become each other’s literary agents/marketing gurus/publishers.  How about that for a paradigm shift?

Social media has changed the world of communication forever and we are still looking at selling our books in the old fashioned way: we write, we ePublish or POD (Print on Demand), we post a note on every social media site known to man saying “Hey, I’ve written a wonderful book, come read it,” and then we wait, hoping the world will notice.

And, when that does not bring the results we long for, we send query letters to literary agents or publishers, only to hear nothing, or be rejected by everyone we’ve solicited.  Not to worry.  All part of the process.  Or so “they” say.

Well, look alive everyone, because WE are the world, so just exactly what are WE waiting for?  What we should be doing is reading and promoting all our favorite authors on every form of social media we can.  You can toot your own horn only so much.  Now it is time to help each other.

It is really up to us to encourage every social media contact we all have to read not only our books, but the books of all the authors we like/love.

So the circle of a books life is:  read it, post an immediate book review (not post links to sites that have a tab called Book Reviews), but immediate posts on each social media platform a satisfied reader has, and instantly send that review to every friend and follower they have, world wide.

Ta da!  Instant marketing.

So, if you were to read say, Murder at Tulip House, and you liked it, then posted a positive review on all your social media sites, at least 100 of your thousands of friends/followers would buy the book and read it.  Which would result in more reviews being posted,  more books being bought and read, etc., etc.

Social Media is the backyard gossip line of the 21st century.  Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool around.  Check it out.  A million studies have been done on this one.

So, read and promote every author you love on every social media site you have, and see if you don’t make a huge difference in this wonderful world of writing and self publishing.

Look forward to your comments.  Come visit me on my Facebook page: Linda Fleete

L

 

 

 

News from a published author

Letters

Hello everyone,

I’m attaching a link to Kristen Lamb’s blog and her very timely post regarding the truth about publishing.  Here is the link: https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/the-hard-truth-about-publishing-what-writers-readers-need-to-know.  Really good info.

So, please, go read, become an avid review posting addict for your favorite authors, and help keep we authors writing with our lights on and our computers buzzing.

Have a good one.

L

 

 

 

26 Little Letters

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog.

Yep, another blog about a writer’s experience, but I hope mine will be funner (not perfect English but I like it) than the others.

Why 26 Little Letters?  Well, a few weeks ago I had a light bulb moment and realized that writing is probably the most level of playing fields there is.

And where did I come up with that little theory?

Easy:  Everyone using the modern English alphabet is using the same 26 little letters to create every word they write, we all just push them around the page in different ways.  Some better than others, but who cares?

So, even if you are just learning to write or have degrees out the wazoo, the is still spelled t..h..e, and all the rest of the words we use are in the dictionary, so look them up and use every one of them.  Well, maybe not all in one sentence, as that would be a bit cramped, but have fun, don’t be intimidated by the person with the big title, or the big ideas, or even the little ideas that have the potential to be big ideas, just write your thoughts down and leave the editing for later.  Much later.

What am I basing my crazy theory on?  The book I wrote and epublished.

It is titled:  Murder at Tulip House and it is my very (very) humble ode to Agatha Christie and her wonderful mysteries.

Back in February of 2014, after binge watching about 15 hours of the Hercule Poirot (I have since watched the entire series, twice…that’s a lot of TV time, but worth every minute) mystery series on Acorn.com, I woke up with a crazy kernel of an idea about a mad man and his quest for revenge.  What followed was 2 years of writing, tons of research (yea Google and Wikipedia), and lots and lots of editing and rewriting (THANK YOU MARGARET AND TERI).

Once my cohorts and I determined that Tulip was ready for unveiling, I researched an affordable cover (ebooks only require a front cover, thank goodness), got mine from selfpubbookcovers.com.  Very helpful site with thousands of beautiful covers to choose from.  They also have very useful advise on publishing.  Give it a read and check out the site for your book cover.  Yes, I’m promoting.  We all need help starting out and this is just one of thousands of sites to find a cover.  You can also use Create Space on Kindle…its free.  I like free.  So, give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

I formatted my document according to Kindle’s wonderful instructions (styles are easy, once you get the hang of them), added my free ISBN# that I received from Smashwords, and hit the publish button.  And voila, my book was published.

Because I published on Smashwords and Amazon, my ebook is also available on KOBO, Barnes & Noble, and about ten other sites through Smashwords distribution.  Check it out.  Great site.

Well, I think this is pretty good for my first post.

Merry Christmas everyone and talk with you soon.

L