Unexpected Superhero Wins an Honorable Mention Medal

Global Ebook Awards Honorable Mention MedalI’m so excited! Unexpected Superhero, the first book in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series, won an Honorable Mention Medal in the Fiction – Fantasy/Contemporary category of the 2014 Global Ebook Awards.

This is the first award I’ve won since I started writing professionally. I’m so happy that the judges enjoyed the book enough to give it the Honorable Mention Medal. Yay!

You can see a list of all the winners here. Happy Reading!

Accidents Happen – And Then You Pick Yourself Up and Walk Again

John on bike in gear 1st dayIt has been a long time – too long – since I’ve chatted with you all here. I’ve missed you!

If you didn’t know what happened, why I disappeared, it’s because my husband John was in a motorcycle accident five months ago. That completely changed my life. Suddenly, my world was about hospitals and surgeries, and then being an at-home caregiver. (Boy, do I have more respect for all you parents and caregivers out there!)

Even as John was healing, there was little he could do with a multi-broken leg. We recently moved out of our apartment and I had to do nearly all the packing. John helped by taping boxes from his chair, and packing up dishes while sitting in the kitchen. But that was a chore I hope to never have to repeat.

As you can imagine, with all my time taken up with taking care of John, and then driving him back and forth to work when he returned (we owned a stick-shift until a couple weeks ago, so John couldn’t drive), the amount of time I had to work felt miniscule. The second superhero book, Superhero in the Making, had to be put on hold (though it should be out later this year). I did meet my deadline for getting Unexpected Superhero out on audiobook in May, though. Very exciting! And I managed to get my booth up at WonderCon and Cherry Capital Comic Con. At least I was able to make some of my commitments.

John home from hospitalLife isn’t back to normal yet, but we’re getting there. I hope to stay in touch with you here at least a couple times a month. Please forgive me that my web site has some issues right now. I’ll fix them as soon as I can. But I figure that getting back to work writing books and stories for you to read is better! :)

I can’t wait to share some fun things with you over the next few weeks. Progress is being made, and there’s nothing more fun than sharing it with friends!

Meanwhile, enjoy these last days of summer. If you’re looking for something to read, remember that “Superhero in Disguise” is a free short story that starts the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series. And if you joined Kindle Unlimited, you can read Unexpected Superhero for free.

Now – back to work with me! :)

Speaking Events On Self-Publishing

Hello friends! Sorry I haven’t been able to post much to my blog lately. If you didn’t know, my husband John was in a motorcycle accident two months ago and life has taken a turn while he recuperates. I’m not getting much work done these days, but it’ll get back on course eventually. :)

Meanwhile, my speaking events in Michigan are still on! Yay! Here is a list for you.

Sat, May 17, 12-2pm – Horizon Books book signing, 243 E Front St, Traverse City

Wed, May 21, 6:30pm – Traverse City Library, 610 Woodmere Ave, Traverse City

Thur, May 22 – Kalkaska High School, Novel & Creative Writing classes

Thur, May 22, 6:00pm – Kalkaska County Library, 247 S Cedar St, Kalkaska

Fri, May 23, 6-9pm – Cherry Capital Comic Con, Grand Traverse Resort, TC – FREE Preview (Everyone gets in free Friday!)

Sat, May 24, 10am-6pm – Cherry Capital Comic Con – I’ll have a table on the show floor

Sun, May 25, 11am-5pm – Cherry Capital Comic Con – Kitty & John speaking 11am-12:30 on self-publishing and the making of Avatar, respectively; on the show floor the rest of the day

Let me know if you’re planning on attending any of these so I can look for you! :-D

My Results Using Ads and Specials

US.v10WEBMost writers are curious about what is and isn’t working for other writers when it comes to selling books. I’m grateful for what others have been willing to share, so it’s only fair to share in return. Even though my results are a bit embarrassing.

I’ve only bought ads three times. I bought an ad last year with The Wordsmith Journal Magazine (online) for Little Miss Lovesick. After one month, I had zero new sales. Ouch.

In August, while Unexpected Superhero was enrolled in the KDP Select program (meaning it was only for sale on Amazon for the first 90 days), I took advantage of the program’s free days option and made the book free for five days in a row at the end of a conference I was attending. I also bought an ad from BookBub that appeared on the first day of the promotion.

There were a whopping 17,561 free downloads during those five days! Over 10,000 copies were downloaded the first day, which I attribute primarily to the BookBub ad. During the next two weeks, I sold only 24 more copies when the book went off sale (back to $3.99). Then the sales dropped back to the 0-3 per week average that has been more common for my books so far.

A month or two ago, I dropped the price of Unexpected Superhero from $3.99 to $2.99 to see if I could see a change in sales. There might have been a slight increase. At 0-3 sales per week, it’s a bit hard to say. :)

My third promotion-with-paid-advertisement was last week. I dropped the price on Little Miss Lovesick and promoted it with 19 other lovely romance authors and their books last Friday. I also took out a then-free ad from eBookSoda, a newer email list like BookBub that advertises free and reduced-price books. (The ads were free, then $5, and I’m sure they’ll keep increasing in price as they grow their list. The problem with this ad is that I don’t know if it went to 100 people, 1000, or 20,000.)

I dropped the price from $2.99 to 99 cents a week before the promo with Smashwords so it would be 99 cents at the other outlets by the day of the promo. I decreased the price on Amazon two days before, and it went into effect the day before. I saw that I sold one copy on Amazon a day or two before the promotion, then two more copies total during the weekend of the promotion and ad.

That’s it – 3 sales. At the high end of “usual” for me.

Little Miss Lovesick_NEWSIZE_FINALLittle Miss Lovesick got a new (second) cover a few months ago, but it’s barely changed the sales. Unexpected Superhero got a new (second) cover at the end of March, too early to tell if it has affected sales yet. I took out another eBookSoda ad (the free ad that went to $5 when I did it this time) for Sunday, May 4 (my third choice date, Fantasy category, same as last year’s BookBub ad). I’ll leave Superhero at its current $2.99 price and see if anything happens when it’s not on sale but advertised.

And that’s about all I know so far. My second superhero book, Superhero in the Making, was to be ready next week for WonderCon, and which I expected to help sales of the first book. But my husband’s motorcycle accident and injuries trumped anything and everything that used to be on my To Do list. :)

I’ll keep you updated so you get a well-rounded view of self-publishing and advertising. (It’s less embarrassing to write about your successes, so there are a lot more of those stories out there.) It would appear that my experience underscores what other successful writers have said about success coming after you have several books out. Unfortunately, “life” has thrown a wrench in making that happen soon, but as the Brits (used to) say, Keep Calm and Carry On.

And keep writing! :)

One Day Sale on 20 Romance Novels – Only 99 Cents Each!

Little Miss Lovesick_NEWSIZE_FINALI was thrilled to be invited to join a group of friends who wanted to do a fun cross-promotion for our books. For one day, today, all of our books – all in various sub-genres of romance - will be available on Amazon for only 99 cents! Yay!

If you like my books, you’ll find several in this list you would enjoy. :) And if you’re reading this after Friday, my book Little Miss Lovesick (and perhaps some of the others) will still be on sale through the weekend. Plus, I’ve made Lovesick 99 cents across all retailers, so you can get it for a buck on Barnes & Noble or iTunes or anywhere you like to buy ebooks!

If you’re on Twitter or Facebook or other places, would you mind passing this information along? I’d love to feel like I helped my friends find new fans. :-D Thanks a million!

Happy reading!

Kathy Bennett, A Deadly Justice

Kitty Bucholtz, Little Miss Lovesick 

Linda Carroll-Bradd, Capturing the Marshal’s Heart

Kathleen Creighton, The Prince and the Patriot

Jacqueline Diamond, The Cowboy and the Heiress

Gillian Doyle, Mystic Memories

Susan R. Hughes, A Baby for Christmas

Michelle Knowlden, Indelible Beats

Heather MacAllister, Counterfeit Cowgirl

Mindy Neff, The Bad Boy Next Door

Louella Nelson, Cora Lee

Lyn O’Farrell, Worth the Risk

Dee Ann Palmer, Where Eagles Cry

Sandra Paul, Last Chance For Marriage

Michael H. Payne, A Curial Quartet

Edie Ramer, Christmas at Angel Lake

Angie Ray, Ghostly Enchantment

Susan Squires, Waiting For Magic

Kristy Tate, Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent

Patricia Thayer, Colton Creek Cowboy

My Writing Process – Blog Tour

Thanks so much to Jennifer Brassel for inviting me to join the blog tour. :) Jennifer’s blog can be seen here. Jen and I both have stories in the romance anthology, Moonlit Encounters, and her book Secret Reflection is a modern Gothic tale complete with ghosts, romance, and an unsolved crime.

My Writing Process

j0178677What am I working on? Right now, I am finishing up the second book in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series, Superhero in the Making. At the end of book one, Unexpected Superhero, Tori has decided she definitely wants to pursue life as a superhero. But it’s harder than it looks. On top of everything else – family issues, secrets uncovered, and secrets to keep hidden – there’s another woman trying to catch Joe’s attention. Tori is trying to keep in mind that undercover superhero work is a job like any other, and Joe is a professional. But can she trust him?

How does my work differ from others of its genre? The Adventures of Lewis and Clarke is about superheroes living their daily lives as our next door neighbors. It’s about love and marriage, friendships, family, and trying to save the world one person at a time. It’s also about the battle between good and evil, and constantly begs the question – am I up for the task? It’s romantic comedy meets urban fantasy. I really enjoy writing this series and I hope to continue for several books to come.

j0309372Why do I write what I do? I love writing about people in love because I’m in love! :-D But I think it’s more interesting to see the ups and downs and sideways parts of love, not just the happy moments. Falling in love and getting married is awesome, but nothing prepares you for what comes next. It’s hard! But it’s so worth it. Add that to the fact that I am amazed at how God created us to be strong, good, loving people and yet the world and the dark forces around us keep knocking us down so that we’re weak, selfish, and greedy, and there is a lot of room for stories in there! I’m trying to write about both of these elements in my superhero series.

How does my writing process work? Well, that depends entirely on my deadline! LOL! Right now, I am writing six days a week, 8-12 hours a day to finish this book in time for WonderCon. I’ve taken time away to write at a timeshare several times recently, and over the years, because I can focus on just writing. I usually start with the big idea and boil it down to six or eight main points, then whittle those down to a dozen or so scenes each, then create 3×5 scene cards that I spread out on the floor looking for holes in the story. Once I’ve got the first quarter of the story worked out, I start writing based on the scene cards. Then I look at the second quarter, see if anything needs to be changed because of what I wrote in the first part, tweak the scene cards and write the second quarter. Repeat for the last two quarters of the book. Then I talk to my editors (I have two, Marcy and Sarah) about plot problems, etc. It’s intense and exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it to do anything else. (Though I’m really looking forward to a vacation soon!)

I hope you found this fun and interesting. Maybe you learned a little something about me that you didn’t know. It was fun giving you a glimpse into my world. :)

Moonlit EncountersIf you’d like to read about another of my Aussie friends with a story in Moonlit Encounters, check out Coleen Kwan‘s My Writing Process blog hereColeen Kwan writes both contemporary and steampunk romance. She lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching Criminal Minds.

And now – back to writing!

My Books Are Free Thru Saturday – YAY!

Little Miss Lovesick_NEWSIZE_FINALHi friends! I’ve been so busy writing Superhero in the Making that I haven’t been able to keep up with my email. Turns out, Smashwords is having a big promotion – Read an Ebook Week. The very cool thing is that I could put one or more of my books on sale at 25%, 50%, or 75% off, or I could make them FREE!

Guess what I chose? :-D  I just made them free tonight! When you hit the BUY button, use the coupon code RW100 to get a 100% discount.

Super_ip09_FINALIf you or your friends haven’t read Little Miss Lovesick or Unexpected Superhero yet, now is the time to pick them up. You can download any file type you need – the MOBI file for Kindles, the EPUB for NOOKs and nearly every other reader, and even a PDF if that’s your preference. (You could even get one of each.)

Since Unexpected Superhero is book 1 in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series, and Superhero in the Making (book 2) comes out next month, you may find the second book more fun to read if you’ve read the first. :)

Superhero in Disguise by Kitty Bucholtz, in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke seriesAnd “Superhero in Disguise” is the short story prequel to book one. It’s free all the time (’cause I like you). You can click on the book cover on the sidebar to the right to download it from Amazon, or you can download it here from Smashwords in any format you want.

Please tell your friends. The Smashwords sale ends Saturday at midnight!

Comikaze, Here I Come

COMIKAZE_POW_LOGO_colorI’m excited to announce that I will have a table at Comikaze this year! Yay!

Comikaze is Stan Lee‘s comic book and pop culture expo, and is held annually in Los Angeles. This is only the third or fourth year, and already the attendance is close to 50,000 people!

I will not only have Unexpected Superhero and Superhero in the Making available in paperback at the con, but I will also launch the as-yet-untitled third book in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series that weekend! Woo-hooo!!

Comikaze is October 31 – November 2, 2014. I hope to see you there!

Melissa T Wins “Be a Character in My Superhero Book” Contest!

Big Chin SuperheroThank you to everyone to who entered my “Be a Character in My Superhero Book” contest! There were lots of entries and so many cute ideas for characters. I’m glad it wasn’t a contest where I had to choose the best one because I wouldn’t have been able to choose just one. LOL!

As promised, I used the random number generator on Random.org to choose the winner. The lucky number was 8. I went down the list of entries and found the eighth one and the winner is -

MELISSA T FROM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA!

Melissa, who also goes by Mel, said her character can be called Amazing, because that’s what her friends call her. Then she added a wink smiley. ;) Okay, Melissa, you got it! And because the name has a positive connotation, I’m going to name one of the minor superheroes or a superhero wannabe MelAmazing!

Because there were so many good entries, I couldn’t help myself, I clicked the random number generator button again! The next lucky number was 1. And the first person to enter the contest was -

JERRY M FROM WYOMING! (I think Wyoming, I know it’s somewhere in the West!)

Jerry has the nickname Skunk because of his white hair patch. Perfect name for a bad guy’s second-in-command, don’t you think? If that’s okay with you, Jerry, I’d love to name him Skunk!

And because I just couldn’t not hit the button again, a third number came up! Number 6. And the sixth entry was -

BRIONICA B FROM MENIFEE, CALIFORNIA!

Brionica also goes by Brie or B. One of my superheroes, Hayley, owns a nursery – which makes sense because her power is over plants. Her assistant manager has become an important part of Hayley’s business with lots of great ideas. And she just might start suspecting Hayley is Green Thumb in this book or the next. The assistant manager’s new name is Brie!

YAY!!! This was so fun! I hope you all enjoyed it, whether you won this time or not. I’ve decided to run this contest for the next superhero book, too. That one will be out in November. I’ll again pick three winners to be minor characters in the book. To be eligible for the contest, be sure to sign up for my newsletter here on the right.

(A reminder: the only reason they have to be minor characters is because I need to be careful not to get sued for having “your name” do something awful. :) I happen to know Jerry/Skunk, so I think he’ll be fine with his namesake being a bad guy – but not a villain! – but I’ll still get written permission from all of the winners.)

CONGRATULATIONS, WINNERS! :-D Look for your names in Superhero in the Making coming out in April!