Thursday, May 31, 2007
Okay, I was taking a quick break from the computer (read as bathroom break) and the phone rang - when I got back I saw it was a local number (not a bill collector). We had stopped by a new insurance place in our little town a couple of weeks ago - they were giving lots of goodies away including lunch - free bbq plates and let us bring some home for the boys (son and bear) and all. Well they had a registration for a drawing and I didn't think anything about it until Hailie came down and said I should have answered the phone because it was for me and I needed to listen to the message. So I did my *98 and listened and I won a gift certificate (which I won't know exactly how much or for what merchant until tomorrow morning). -- soo woohooo more good news - E :)
So here are the details -
Fast and Foreign Fiction Writing Contest
As writers we have a wonderful array of locations to set our fiction in. This month Echelon Press challenges you to step outside your comfortable neighborhood and take us to someplace foreign. We want you to send us your stories of the unique and exotic, the bold and adventurous, the mystical and romantic. Take us far away. We want to read your stories that take place anywhere outside of the United States. For some this may mean where you live, but not where live!
Every author at every level should be committed to keeping their name in front of readers. Are you looking for your first publishing credit? Are you between books? Looking for a way to revive characters from books that have been out for a while? Want to introduce new characters for upcoming books? Looking for a way to build your readership? Have we got a promotional opportunity for you!
Echelon Press would like to publish your "Fast and Foreign" June story. The fast part means you have until June 11, 2007 to submit your story of 3000-6000 words. The winner will be notified by June 12, 2007 and have 5 days to edit/revise the story. Echelon Press will publish your story in its e-book division on June 18, 2007. Simple!
Send your submissions as a Word (doc) attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your cover letter should be in the body of an e-mail. Cover letters that do not adhere to professional standards will disqualify the submission from further consideration.
Our only real request is that the setting, anyplace outside of the United States be the catalyst for your story! You pick the genre. Stories must adhere to the following guidelines.
Standard Manuscript format:
File saved in Word format (.doc) or (.rtf)
8 ½ x 11 page
Times New Roman 12pt font/black
1-inch margin on all sides/ 1.5 line spacing
Align text left, do not justify (aligning text both left and right)
Header containing title, author name, and page number
Capital letters at the beginning of sentences and proper nouns
Indent new paragraphs 0.3. Do not add blank line between paragraphs.
Show scene breaks with * * * * centered in the appropriate line.
All cover letters must include:
Name (and pseudonym if applicable)
E-mail address (required)
Web address (required)
*Winners under 18 years of age must show parent's permission prior to contract.
June 2007 -- Coming Soon!
May 2007 -- No Contest
April 2007 -- No Contest
March 2007 -- Janelle Dakota -- Hear the Wind Blow (Fanciful)
February 2007 -- Yvonne Walus -- Small Price to Pay (Frisky)
January 2007 -- Elysabeth Eldering -- The Tulip Kiss (Frigid)
December 2006 -- Dan Strohschien -- The Naughty List (Festive)
November 2006 -- Jamie Summers -- A True Friend (Fatal)
October 2006 -- C.A. Verstraete -- The Witch Tree (Freaky)
so check out www.fictionwise.com and see my story right on the front page (this may change tonight or tomorrow - so hurry before they decide to put something else in the #1 place - lol-)
It's pretty cool to be the first thing people see on the website - E :)
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I don't know about most of you but when you get your first publishing contract, it is very exciting - can't sit still, must shout it from the rooftops and do the happy dance. How about when you get the second one? or the third? or the 100th? Are you still excited when you get acceptance and receive the contract, even if the contract is basically the same as the first?
I know I am. I received my first contract in January from the Fast and Frigid contest for Echelon Press. That was very exciting. Well, I've entered two more monthly contests since then (forgot to or was too busy to enter the April contest) and didn't win either of them but my March entry (one of my friends did win that so she was published in March), a young adult fantasy story received a contract. Butterfly Halves is officially published now and all I can do is the happy dance, and the announcements and everything. Of course when I got the request to contract the story, I was doing all those things too. So the last two months have been promoting Butterfly Halves and The Tulip Kiss, but in different manners.
So I leave the question to all you published authors - is the second time around just as exciting and good as the first one or not? - E :)
Friday, May 25, 2007
I was up until 4ish this morning working with Jane on designing our mini fliers for the Printer's Row book festival in Chicago in a couple of weeks. So I was working it and reworking it and converting to a PDF file (did you know you could convert files online for free to PDF - www.pdfonline.com - really cool thing) - the site we used to print up 1000 brochures (index card size is what we ended up going with - which is 4.25 x 5.5 size - www.printplace.com) - would only take PDF files, JPG files and a couple of other things - so we are getting double sided mini fliers with all of Jane's info on one side and all my info on the other side. We worked it and reworked it and finally I told Jane I needed to go to bed. so shortly after 4 a.m. - we said our final goodnights and headed to bed.
This morning I had set the alarm for about 9ish to get up but had gotten up to go to the bathroom before the alarm went off and just as I was going to crawl back in bed and try to catch a few more ZZZZs this morning the phone rang. Now I was thinking it was one of the kids' friends calling to see if they could come over to play, so wasn't a happy camper. I checked the caller ID and it said Mark R****** - so I didn't know who it was. I decided to answer and it was my new friend from Curves, Beth. (I had given her a business card when we left out of Curves yesterday). She informed me that we couldn't go to curves at 10ish like we had planned because their vehicle was in the shop and she wouldn't have a ride until later in the day - so no problem - we agreed to meet about 1 to do our curves thing. Well then we were chatting on the phone and it got to be 11ish and 11:15 and so on - we finally hung up the phone after 2 hours and I sat down at my computer to check emails and at least put a dent in my work - I had just opened a couple of emails and lo and behold my mind said 1 o'clock wasn't going to work due to the fact that our curves closes from 1-3 for lunch. So I called her back to let her know and we had two options - go at that time or wait until they opened up after lunch - so Hailie says she doesn't want to go later - she wanted to go now so she could get something for her leg (she scratched it up and got run over by a runaway 3-wheeler vehicle) - so Beth said that was fine - we found out that we live like 1/2 mile from each other and she's on my way into town - so I told her I could swing by there and get her -
After we did our Curves thing, we went to Fred's (spent too much there and now have to go back); went over to Family Dollar and she went to CVS (which is right next to Family Dollar) and then I realized while we were in Family Dollar I needed to go back to Fred's to get printer ink refill kit for my printer so back to Fred's. Then we needed to take Beth home and I needed to scoot over to the next town to get to the DMV (stupid me - got my registration and decal and misplaced the decal) - so I showed Beth where we lived and then dropped her off.
We chatted in the car like we had known each other a while. She's been in Honea Path 10 years and I've been here 9 years - coincidence? fate? karma? - something is working that got us together - so I've made a new friend (you have to realize I haven't had too many friends in this town especially working at home, I'm such a social isolate but not totally my fault - it's different living out in the country than it is in town or closer to town or in an area that actually has more than a handful of "neighbors" to get in with socially) -- Beth is an artist and who knows I may have to engage her services to do my cover art for my stories (if Karen approves it) - we shall see though - okay now I need to work and get some lines to make up for not being here all morning and haf the afternoon - see you all in the postings - E :)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Thank you my readers and fans - keep on blogging and keep on checking back for updates - see you all in the postings - E :)
I knew I wasn't selling much but golly gee - do I not have any fans out there? - The first week of May (April 30 through May 6) my sales totaled all of 2 (Jane from down under purchased a copy and had some delightful things to say to me via email about my story and that she can't wait to purchase more of my writings (she also gave me a good rating on the fictionwise site)- so thank you Jane from down under) and Jane from Washington state purchased another copy just to put a rating on the story - which I think her for also) - so my whole two copies for the month of May so far.
(Overall, Echelon authors sold 99 stories this first week with one author selling 23 copies of her story - and of course Janelle sold 11 copies that week - way to go Yvonne and Janelle)
Fictionwise only updates their site once a week, every Monday. Any books to be uploaded are uploaded on Mondays. I'm anxiously awaiting my Butterfly Halves to be uploaded since Karen said it had already been submitted to them (she thought it should have been uploaded yesterday but as of this evening sometime, it had not so alas, hopefully for memorial day - will be a good thing)
Okay, week #2 (May 7 - May 13) - Zero books sold on fictionwise - what's up with that - I have no sales whatsoever, how tres, tres tres sad for me - where are my friends and fans? Yvonne sold only 8 copies (for her first place sales this week) and Janelle sold 3 copies (placing her in second place). Where are the fans and readers? (overall, all Echelon stories that sold this week was very low - only 35 copies of stories sold - these are just authors from Echelon who sold stories).
Week #3 - (May 14 - May 20) - Although I still sold 0 copies of The Tulip Kiss (my fans must all be sleeping - I mean a story that you can download for only $1 and I've been pushing it with my email signatures, and other things - bookmarks floating around places and mentions just about everywhere I go - so where are my wonderful reading fans?), Echelon authors did sell 80 stories overall (not as many as the first week but more authors sold stories than previously). Yvonne has taken a dip in sales and is now 4th with only 6 copies sold. Janelle took a small dip also, she sold 3 copies and now sits at 7th place on the chart. The top two sellers both sold 10 copies each and they are both brand new uploads - so awesome job ladies.
All I'm asking is if you have purchased a copy of my story, either from Echelon when it first came out, or from fictionwise since the end of January, please review or rate the story. I believe that reviews do help sell stories, especially ebooks, since people can't hold the story in their hands and flip through to read passages throughout to decided if they want to buy the story. If you have purchased a story, I really do thank you from the bottom of my heart and would love to know what you think of it. Either review it publically on Echelon, rate it on fictionwise or drop me an email or note here to let me know what you think of it.
Thanks again to all the wonderful readers of short stories out there - see you all in the postings - E :)
Friday, May 18, 2007
Saturday is Janelle Dakota's birthday - she will be 43. We only get better with age.
Monday is bear's birthday (oh yeah, bear is my description of my sort of husband since we don't really live together - separated but living in the same house on different floors and the reason I call him a bear is because he is manic depressive and when he's depressed he just kind of growls like a bear - no it's not because he's cuddly like a teddy bear - lol) - he will be 54.
Tuesday is the last day of school for the kids (we started the first week of August but this coming school year, the governor has passed something - not sure what to call it really - saying that all schools in South Carolina cannot start before the third Monday of August - trying to get them all on similar schedules with breaks and such - we think) - they have half days Friday, Monday and Tuesday and Tuesday really isn't even a half day because all they need to do is go pick up report cards and say their goodbyes. This is a monumental time for Hailie as she will be leaving middle school for good and heading to high school in the fall (no, I'm not ready for her to be in high school - the expense, the activities, the constant running here and there and everywhere to take to those activities, and whatever else comes with starting high school in this day and time). She has become friends with quite a few teachers over the past four years and so I'm sure she'll be sad (although she already informs me that she's ready to go to high school and she's excited) - guess we'll find out Tuesday when we go get report cards.
Bear's sister's birthday is either the 27th or 29th (I have a hard time remembering which) - she will be 44. She is the youngest of his sisters with a 5-year gap between her and the youngest child in the family. Bear is the oldest. There are six kids in his family overall with him being the oldest, four sisters and then a brother as the youngest - lol - you'd think being around women all his life pretty much he'd know what to do when it comes to communicating and all - but alas - nope - he doesn't - no communication or very little and no pizzazz like when we first met - he fizzled out - that is why the marriage went downhill basically.
When we get into June - there are a string more birthdays to deal with - but I'll post those later - I'm getting tired and since it is now 2:35 a.m. and I haven't been sleeping well as it is - I think I should turn in and try to get some sleep before starting work - see you all in the postings - E :)
Fictionwise is a pretty neat place for our short stories and other ebooks. They update their website every Monday and so by chance I was looking through the short stories (I did all, then by individual categories) and then browsed through all the fiction posted there and these were the results I came up with -
For just browsing the short stoies there are 5175 items posted in all the short stories, The Tulip Kiss was 469 (I think that's the right spot or maybe it was 439 - it seems I remember it being in the top 500 - which equates to the top 10%) out of those.
Breaking it down to mainstream (the category that The Tulip Kiss falls in) - there are 154 items listed and The Tulip Kiss was 3rd - that's pretty impressive if I do say so myself.
For the overall fiction category - of 2744 items under the mainstream category, The Tulip Kiss is 56th - again - right up there a good bit.
When I checked Echelon Press's books - I ranked 12th out of 151 items -
Tells me that The Tulip Kiss is selling some but not a lot. I'd like to see sales pick up but not sure how to really market that one story - I've tried several things and am gearing up a display for the Printer's Row in Chicago June 9-10 (Karen will allow us authors to pay a small fee and will set up a display for us to get our stuff advertised). I'm doing up some bookmarks, some tulips with some information (going to be really cute because the tulips will be in little flower pots) and a few other things since by this time my young adult fantasy story, Butterfly Halves, should be out.
I checked out Janelle's rankings and the following is true for her:
For overall fantasy stories - of 1845 items, Hear the Wind Blow ranks 6th - way to go Janelle - keep up the good work
For short stories - overall - no category - of the 5175 items, she is 31st (again this is pretty awesome).
For short stories - fantasy category - 2nd of 506 items (now her story just went up on fictionwise on April 30th, so basically in two weeks she has maintained some high spots on fictionwise)
On Echelon Press's listings of the 151 items, she is ranked #2 - I think she deserves a round of applause for doing such a great job - onl being on fictionwise for 2 weeks and already ranking in top 10 of her category and on our publisher's listing as well.
For everyone who has purchased any story from fictionwise or Echelon Press, please make sure after you read to rate the stories or go to the Echelon site and post a review - with ebooks, I think reviews and covers really do help sales a lot. We appreciate everyone who has already purchased our stories and for those of you haven't, what are you waiting for - they are good, quality short stories (or we wouldn't be published) - so I encourage you all to download a quick read and check back and drop us a note when you have purchased a story and let us know what you think of them - For a $1 - you can't go wrong - see you all in the postings - E :)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Determined to possess a beautiful butterfly necklace, two sisters find themselveschallenged by time and space when they break the necklace in half in a fit of siblingrivalry. Fate sends each of them into an unknown place, separated and alone. But somethingstronger is at hand; will they discover the power of the butterfly and be reunited, or has fate other plans?
One person has said to take out the necklace part and leave that as a mystery; one person says it will be better with the girls' names and ages - what do all of you think?
The necklace is vital to the story but I'm game - I'll make the suggestions to the publisher and see what she says - Thanks for reading and commenting - see you all in the posts - E :)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Can't wait to say my story is published but more later. See you all in the postings - E :)
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Last night, my friend Janelle (see book cover Hear the Wind Blow) posted about her bestselling figures, so I figured I needed to post mine as well. On fictionwise, in the mainstream short stories, The Tulip Kiss is ranked #3 out of 153 short stories. Fictionwise updates the rankings and ratings and all every Monday. So this is in large part due to the fact that two copies (Janelle purchased a copy and another Jane from down under did as well) sold in one week. Out of all the short stories, 5167 of them, The Tulip Kiss ranked 439th. Top 500 isn't bad. Janelle's story ranked 40th out of those 5167, because she had 14 copies sell in one week (her story was just posted to fictionwise on Monday, April 30) - way to go Janelle.
General news - I have to go back for another sleep study the end of this month - not fun - but they are going to put me on CPAP this time and see if I sleep better, although I'm not so sure I will even with a breather to help me breath better. I'll still be hooked up to trodes on my head, chest, legs, and a belt around my waist and chest to monitor my breathing, my eye movements, my heart rate and my leg movements. The problem with studies like this is that the person being tested doesn't sleep well as it is and then to throw all the other stuff in makes one more likely not to sleep. I can't sleep in other people's beds and can't sleep hooked up to monitors, so maybe the CPAP will help, maybe not - guess we'll find out in the next few weeks.
And now - my cover for Butterfly Halves is here. I can't wait to see the book published. So here you go -
It's so pretty - and I think it will have sell appeal - drop me a line and let me know what you think of this cover.
See you all in the postings - E :)