Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Contest Part 3


Thanks to all the terrific supporters who voted for me, One Night in Boston ended up winning Ciar Cullen's Best Ebook of the Summer contest!!

I had fun recruiting votes, and it was a good experience for me to stretch mysef promo-wise. I'm proud I held my own as a newbie author, even though some people grumbled a bit about whether it was more of a popularity contest than a merit-based contest. You can read what I think about that, here. Now the only thing I have to worry about is Ciar's review of the book. I hope she likes it. I hope she doesn't tear it apart. I hope..hmm...I hope this isn't a "be careful what you wish for" type of thing.

Well, they say any promotion is good promotion, right? Let's hope so!

It's supposed to be a gorgeous, summer-like weekend here, so lots on the agenda for outside work. The biggest is helping hubby start hanging the vinyl siding on our newly built garage. Should be an adventure...

Friday, September 21, 2007


Whew! I am so glad it's Friday!! Long week...

Friday's Feast

What is your favorite type of art?
Love the Impressionists; love Norman Rockwell; but also have a particular interest in Jackson Pollock. So no true "favorite," I guess!

When was the last time you got a free lunch (or breakfast or dinner)? Who paid for it?
Does hubby taking me on a date count? :)

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how emotional are you?
Oh, boy. Probably more emotional than I want to be, most days. Let's say 7.5.

Main Course
Approximately how long do you spend each day responding to emails?
Hmm... Work: 40-60 minutes throughout the day. Home: A little less than that.

To what temperature do you usually set your home’s thermostat?
In the cool weather, 72 when we're home and 60 when we're at work (we have those programmable thermostats around the house - very convenient!)

Have a WONDERFUL Friday!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Contest Part 2

Yesterday, the author running The Best Ebook of the Summer contest blogged about whether or not contests are based more on popularity votes than on merit. I imagine she was referring to her own contest as well, and wondering how many people who voted did so without reading the ebooks.

Is it a popularity contest? In some aspects, I suppose it is. For those of us near the top, it became a quest to see who could pull in the most votes. But isn't that the case with most contests/elections/polls? People choose a candidate for a variety of reasons, whether it's top quality or word of mouth or wanting to help the underdog.

I know many people voted for my book because they read it, if not in full then in part, as a beta reader or friend. I know many more voted for my book because they knew my name and were intrigued by the excerpt and the reviews they read. And yes, some voted because a friend or family member told them to.

Should I feel bad, soliciting votes from such a variety of people? I don't know...I don't think so. Publishing and sales is all about promotion, like it or not. This contest got my name in front of people who now are interested in buying and reading the book. The hits on my website and blog have doubled in the last 4 days. And if I win the contest outright, I'll get a free review as well.

So what do you think? Was it just a popularity contest? And in this case, is there anything wrong with that? Did the end result - free promotion - warrant my approach to getting the word out? Or did I overstep bounds by asking people to vote even if they hadn't read One Night in Boston?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Writers' Wednesday: How to Get Along in Cyber-World

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Of course, before I dive into today's "how to," just a reminder about The Best Ebook of the Summer contest, going on now. Stop by and vote for ONE NIGHT IN's the newbie (that's me) against the multi-published author, and I'm holding my own, for now.


Last week I blogged about how wonderful it is to make friends (and writing pals) via the Internet. And it is, really. I've "met" some terrific people from all over the world. I've learned from veteran writers, thanks to boards and blogs and online classes. And I've picked up some 'Netiquette tips along the way.

1. Don't hog the board. When you belong to a writers' group (or any online group, really), you might be tempted to jump right in and post every few minutes. If that's the flavor of the group, then OK. But make sure that you're leaving room/time for other people to participate as well. And along those lines...

2. If you are asking for feedback, on writing or any other topic, make sure you give it as well. I've seen too many people come to the table with their own agendas, their own needs, and when they got what they needed, turn around and leave. If you're asking for a poll response, make sure you participate when others have polls as well. If you need someone to read a query letter, read theirs when they post it. And so on.

3. Watch the tone of your posts. This one's tough. Email, IM, chatting, posting...all has changed the way people interact. You cannot see someone's facial expression when you're reading their email/post, so if you take offense or sense a negative tone, wait a few minutes before overreacting. Ask for clarification. Many times it's just the person's word choice rather than a personal attack.

4. Be polite, and apologize if you sense someone has taken a post/message the wrong way. Remember #3. People cannot see your face, and they don't always know if you're kidding or being sarcastic.

5. Leave personal problems offline. Not always, of course: sometimes your cyber-friends can help you through tough times. But be careful which dirty laundry you choose to air. Remember there is no privacy on the Internet, no matter how careful you try to be.

6. Reciprocate the nice stuff. Do your online friends remember your birthday and send you e-cards? Do the same for them. Do they take the time to email you offline if you need something? Return the favor.

The Internet is a wonderful place to build new relationships...just be careful, and keep a few 'Netiquette tips in mind.

Anyone else have one they'd like to share?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Contest

Well, this Best Ebook of the Summer contest has now begun to consume my life...and not necessarily in a good way.

My brother-in-law, an uber-successful NYC businessman, has decided it will be his week's mission to make sure I win, and with contacts in every country in the world, I might have a chance (he called yesterday to tell me that "Brazil, Hong Kong, and London" had checked in and voted). Now if only that will translate to sales, esp. when One Night in Boston comes out in print!

But I am rather tickled that I'm running neck-and-neck for the lead, especially with an author who has 5 published novels under her belt and who entered the contest "to get a little promotion for the novel that got overshadowed by the others" she published this summer. Jeez.

So if you haven't voted, please do, and even if you have, please spread the word to anyone else who hasn't. It would be nice to win and gain some name recognition for myself, along with a review from a multi-published author, to boot.


I'll leave you with this today: The Samhellion newsletter, put together by Samhain authors. There are some great articles in the September "Great Beginnings" issue...check it out!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy Monday!

I love awards shows, as a general rule. I love seeing who's wearing what, who's arriving with whom, who gives the best speeches and who's the most surprised when they win (or don't). I'm a little fed up with the Oscars lately, though, and not only because they stretch out their show with ridiculous skits and songs and interpretive dances so that a 2-hour show becomes a 4-hour one. Ever since "Crash" won Best Picture over "Brokeback Mountain," because 1/2 the members of the Academy admitted they would never vote for a movie with "that kind" of plot, I've been a little turned off.

But I digress, because I love the prime-time Emmys, and they were on last night. I was happy that Katherine Heigl ("Grey's Anatomy") and "30 Rock" won awards; I thought Denis Leary ("Rescue Me") and the casts of "Two and a Half Men" & "The Office" got robbed; I loved Kathryn Morris's dress. Best of all, I was entertained and still in bed by 11:00. :)

I'm also happy because Prison Break starts a brand new season tonight. Yummy! Love the characters, love the writing, love the romantic tension between Michael and Sarah. Couch at 8:00 tonight, here I come!

And finally, I'm happy to report that I am currently in 2nd place, in the Best Ebook of the Summer contest. The poll is open 'til Friday, so I have a lot of work to do to catch the leader, but I'd love to win, if only as a brand new author over someone who's a lot more established in the e-pub world. Plus I'll get a review and promo out of it, so fingers crossed. If you haven't voted yet, please do! And spread the word to anyone else out only takes a minute!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

From 4th to 3rd

Brrr! 45 degrees here this morning. Guess I'm going to have to admit that fall has arrived, huh? That's if the orange leaves and the big yellow vehicles lumbering down the road in the morning didn't give it away.


Well, I've moved from 4th to 3rd place in the "Best Ebook of the Summer" contest, thanks to your votes! But I'm pretty far behind the leader, so if you haven't voted, or if you have friends/family/neighbors/co-workers that haven't voted, let them know, so they can cast their vote for ONE NIGHT IN BOSTON too. Thanks!!


Today's Unconscious Mutterings:

  • Rita :: Moreno

  • Comedy :: Tragedy

  • Polar :: Bears (do you know they're dying off and will be extinct by 2050 unless we do something about global warming?)

  • Idiots :: People who don't realize the above and live as if the earth is theirs to waste

  • Perception :: Viewpoint

  • Infected :: Snakebite

  • Fake :: Leather ~ the only kind to wear!

  • Relating :: Family

  • Distraction :: My cats, when I'm writing (I still love them, though!)

  • Gamble :: Vegas