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Louise's current project is to make all her sweet romances available on the internet.
Look out for her new Regency romance, Regency Fortune, coming soon!


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Light Reading & Goodreads

Check out the Goodreads siteWhen I'm ill, which I have been this week, I always do the same thing. I retreat into bed with a huge pile of books and shut out the world. But because I'm ill, I don't want to read anything taxing, so I get Andy to take me to the library and I check out a dozen titles, at random and in a hurry. This may not be a good enough excuse. When I was on holiday I also read a load of assorted junk - that time because I was limited to the hotel bookshelf. Oh, let's admit it - I've always read a ton of junk!! I used to think that I liked junk, but do I? All those lame single stars don't say enjoyment to me.

The reason I'm noticing how unsatisfactory this way of reading is comes down to GOODREADS, which I've just discovered and totally love. What you can do is add each book you have read to a bookshelf, along with a star rating and a review. I've just ripped through about 30 books and given them one or two stars. Looking at the list makes me ask: Is this the best use of my time? I read very, very fast, two hours for a short paperback, so it's not the big investment of time that it is for slower readers, but even so...

I didn't want to study business studies at university as a second subject, but it's been incredibly useful. I used to think facts and figures were dull, but in fact they can teach you so much. Once you have the cold hard evidence in front of you -  like 30 rubbish titles that I didn't enjoy - then reality is so much harder to ignore. What a waste of time!! How can I make better use of my reading time?

So, what to do?
  • E-readers might be part of the answer, because you can collect a pile of books and keep them ready for when the flu bug strikes, and you can take a fortnight's reading without paying extra baggage.
  • Another strategy might be to choose library books more carefully (not easy if you feel rubbish and/or are keeping someone waiting).
  • A third strategy might be to stockpile titles that look as if they would fall into the category of what I call 'Good Bad Books'. Light enough to see you through flu, good enough that you give them 4 or 5 stars and don't feel like you wasted your life.
Thanks, Goodreads!

Sunday, 24 July 2011


If anyone would like a copy of A Change of Heart, I'm running a promotion on it until September 24.

Go to Smashwords and enter this coupon at the checkout: AW57B

As always, please, please, please leave a review.


Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Perfect Writing Conditions

Would you believe that I've come home with the ENTIRE outline of a Regency romance? There is nothing, simply nothing like having a free mind. No day job, no email, no distractions of any kind. All I did was lie on the beach, thinking and dreaming all day, and write for a couple of hours early each morning. It was complete heaven.

As well as the lack of distractions, my mouse broke, which meant that I couldn't do any editing - I think that's a bonus when writing a first draft. I lose confidence, go back, change, things, think it's rubbish and start again. I might unhook my mouse next time I draft a story, because it's so freeing to just keep moving forward and enjoying yourself.

Now it's back to reality, and as I heard a surfer dude say as we landed at Manchester in the rain: 'I hate reality!'

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Marketing Mix and E-books

Well, I put the price of my books down today. If you already bought one at a higher price, leave your contact details, tell me which book you bought and when, and I'll send you a coupon for a free book (of your choice). The reason I put down the price is that I was reading what other authors do and think about pricing, and I realised that I was charging too much. John Loke, for example, has about 6 books in the Amazon top 100 - and his philosophy is to charge 99 cents and, like Tescos, pile 'em high and sell them cheap. It seemed like a good idea to me. I had been thinking of a book more like a paper book - but an e-book doesn't carry those expenses of print, packing, postage, carriage, shelf space, stocktaking, warehousing and so on - so it's not fair to charge for it. So that's price sorted! So far as product goes, my Regency is far and away the most popular of the books I've published so far, which I'm thrilled about, because I love Regencies! There's a top 100 author with several Regencies in the list, which gives me something to aspire to. Place - well, Amazon seems to have the most sales, however, I have not yet published anything to All About Romance, which is surely a place a romantic novelist should be!

So far as marketing goes, John Loke said find out who likes your kind of book, go round to where they are, and shove it down their throat! Well, in essence, he's right. I know from experience that people who want to read my books because they know me never like my romances - because they don't like romances. Romance readers, on the other hand, love them. And that's not quite accurate, because people who like spicy romances don't like my sweet romances, that's how specialised the world is. People know what they like. QED, it's a total waste of time to try and market my books to anyone other than sweet romance lovers.

Anyway, I'm off to Greece for 2 weeks - I'm going to lie on the beach, think about everything I found out over the last couple of months, and write me a Regency.

One last thought, I'm actually really glad I just got some books out before I even knew what I was doing, because it is so easy to change things with e-publishing. I just won't be able to grumble at Microsoft for doing the same thing now! Isn't there a fancy word for it? When you throw things out and make improvements on the fly? It's not a bad way to progress.