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Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30th Challenge

Hi it’s Christina –

Not really my kitchen
Good Morning! Today is my last day before insanity starts, so I am going to spend it getting my house organized. A bomb blew up in the kitchen, the waste baskets are overflowing, and I have a boatload of laundry to do… to name just a few. I also need to go grocery shopping, and I need to go back to Costco because when I got there yesterday, the pharmacy was already closed, and I needed to pick up a prescription.

I’m in a bit of a quandary. When I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, I said I was going to be working on a new story, Taming Tate, but I still haven’t finished Faerie Tale Queen. I’m thinking one last run through NaNo and FTQ will be finished, but I feel guilty working on the same book for three consecutive NaNos.

However, I do have some extra incentive to finish FTQ. Remember the NYC publisher, who wanted Corporate Blues, but I rejected the contracts he offered? Well, he came back again with a contract I would have accepted, but I had already published Corporate Blues. I told him I was working on FTQ, and I would give him first swing at it. If he accepts it, we’ll go forward; but here’s the catch, I have to have it to him before the end of July. If I spend July on Taming Tate, I won’t have time to finish FTQ.

I know this probably sounds like a no-brainer, but here’s the catch. Just like with Corporate Blues, Faerie Tale Queen already has a cover I love, and I assigned it ISBN#s. If I go with the publisher, my cover will change, and I have wasted the two ISBN#s because they will have to be reassigned. Am I being short sighted? Should I just suck up the money I spent already and go the traditional publishing route again? Hah, I’m getting ahead of myself. I don’t even know if they will accept FTQ. What do y’all think? I’d really like to know.

On another topic, my $0.99 Sale went well, but I fell shy of my goal of selling a hundred books, by eight books. I really thought the sale didn’t end until midnight tonight, but when I checked Amazon this morning, the price was back up to $2.99 (I lowered the price from $4.95 to $2.99 a little over a month ago). I know there are still several hours left before the end of the month, but I doubt I’ll sell eight books today. I did break the top 10K mark overall on the Amazon ranking list, and the top 500 mark for historical romances, so that’s something.

I can run another sale for Amazon.uk, but I think I will hold off until September so I can run the sale for both UK & US at the same time. Also, if I don’t go the traditional publishing route, I can include FTQ in the promotion.

What I’m really hoping for is that one of the fifty-tree copies of A Second Chance that sold will generate two more reviews so I can qualify for a different type of promotion. A friend of mine told me about it, and he sold over five hundred books during the promotion, and has been selling several books daily since the promotion.

Unfortunately for me, they won’t even consider promoting a book until it has ten reviews, and I have been stuck at eight for quite some time now. I don’t understand it. Why don’t folks review books after they have read them? It takes less than five minutes, and the reviews don’t need to be anything elaborate. A few sentences and you’re done. Yet less than 2% of the people who have read A Second Chance, have written a review for it. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of being a writer, because I have absolutely no control over it. Sometimes this whole marketing thing makes my head spin.

Enough! I babbled so much yesterday, we never got to the challenge, and I don’t want to do that again today. I hope you have a marvelous day, and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:

There was this one time…

There was this one time, many years ago, when I had wanted to pack everything up and move to Florida. I was working for a company which had offices in Jacksonville, and I would have been able to transfer. I would have had to pay my own moving expenses, but I didn’t care.

For months I poured over real estate listings, maps and school reports. I researched and carefully put together my pitch so I could sell my husband on the idea. I narrowed the list down to three possibilities. Each of the houses was in the best rated school district. Each home had five bedrooms, one for us, one for each of our children and a guest room. Every house had a pool, and one even had a dock for my husband’s fishing boat.

I got comps for our house here in New Jersey so we could get a good idea of how much it would sell for. Between the sale of our house here and the new one in Florida, our mortgage would have been less than $50K. The taxes for a year on the Florida home were the same as one month’s taxes on our New Jersey home. I would have been able to afford all the bills on my salary alone, and my husband would have been able to start his own business.

I had all my ducks in a row. The children were all behind me on the move. I was excited. I presented everything, full color photos of the property and all, to my husband, and he wouldn’t even look at it. There was no way he was going to move away from his family. It didn’t matter that I had made sure each of the houses would accommodate for an extended stay from them, or even my offer, that when the time came, they could move in with us. He wouldn’t budge.

This is a true story, and as you can probably tell from my tone, it is one that still bothers me. Instead of having a nice new home in Florida, my husband having his own business, and our kids being able to go to college at greatly reduced rates, we are still here in New Jersey, in our fifty year old little ranch which does not have the same property value as it did ten years ago, paying exorbitant amounts on mortgage, taxes and college. I love the man dearly, but sometimes his shortsightedness makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

Your Next Challenge is:

You visit some place you have not seen since you were a child.

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.