Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fifty Thousand Ebooks Sold and Counting!!!

My Adventures in Self-Publishing

Well, it's happened at last!!! I hit the 50k mark last week and let me tell you, it feels great!!! Fifty thousand people actually bought my books. My books!!! My cute little stories!!! OMG!!! It's hard to imagine, hard to comprehend.

I read a couple of blog posts I'd written when I hit the one-thousand mark and the ten-thousand mark. I remember being so happy, so thrilled. And now I've sold over fifty-thousand ebooks. Who would have thought? Not me, certainly. It's beyond thrilling.

And the writerly moments just keep on happening. One of my finest writerly moments came when I received my first fan letter. Talk about thrilling!!! It came last April. The letter was from someone who'd actually been raised in the little town in the Texas Panhandle where I based my small town of Salt Fork in The Diamondback Ranch Series. Now what are the odds of that happening? Of all the readers out there, she had recognized some of the landmarks and wanted to know if Salt Fork was her hometown. Isn't that wild?

So many readers are wanting the next installment of that series of books. It's very gratifying and I'm busy writing them. Doesn't get much better than that.

I'm also having fun writing short stories. I'm writing my first Christmas story and it should be out soon. The Texas Two Steps are sexy little short stories of passion and romance. That's the tagline of the series. They're fun to write and I hope they're fun to read.

My October Obsession 2011 BIAM Writathon is coming to a close. This has been one of the most enthusiastic bunch of writers participating in a long time. Lots of writing and editing getting done.

Okay, I just wanted to share my good news. Fifty-thousand eBooks sold. Wow!!! And that doesn't count the 1500 books I've given away for free or the ones given to our military personnel in Operation Ebook Drop.

I've said it once and I'll say it again:  It's a great time to be a writer!!!

AM    :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The eBook Revolution: Signs of the Changing Times

Anyone notice something different in the RWR (Romance Writers Report) this month? How about that full-page ad on the coveted inside cover spot? Maybe I've missed it previously, but this is the first full-page color ad I've seen for an Indie eBook in that magazine. I'm pretty sure it's Indie/Self-Published. And can I just say: WooHoo!!!

Yes, I know the author is traditionally published, but still. It's an advertisement for a .99 eBook. And it's not just the cover of the book in the ad, the picture is of the book cover on a digital device, probably a tablet. Can I say: Wow!!! And also note, the author uses one of those cool QR codes, too. Snap that little code with your smart phone and you go instantly to her website. Is that awesome or what?

Oh yeah. The times they are a changing.

The RWR ad is the latest example of signs of the changing times. Back in May for Mother's Day, almost every Sunday ad in the newspaper featured an eReader on the front page. I'm talking about Target, Walmart, Office Depot and Best Buy, to name just a few.


And here's a promotional feature in last summer's Parade Magazine for Summer Reading. Notice that it's not a child sitting under a tree reading a book. Oh no. This little boy is sitting under a tree reading a book on an eReader.

Love it, love it, love it!!!

Recently in the comics section of the local newspaper, (yes, I still subscribe, but not for long), Funky Winkerbean featured a series of strips lamenting the closing of a bookstore. That in itself is sad, but it's just another example of the changing times and the eBook Revolution.

Of course, there have been numerous articles and blog-posts about eBooks and publishing all over the web in writers' circles, but the examples above are reflective of the changes in the "real" world. It's very telling, don't you think?

Yes, it's exciting times we're living in.
Vive la Revolution!!!

Anne Marie   :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Donkey Basketball: Not Just Another Fundraiser

While I was writing Her Reluctant Rancher, I needed to find an unusual fundraiser for my heroine Beth, who was trying to raise money to build a library in her small West Texas town. I wanted something different, and I remembered seeing a late-night sitcom where people were playing basketball on donkeys. It’s similar to wheelchair basketball, except the players ride real live donkeys. I googled donkey basketball and discovered that donkey basketball was actually a real fundraising business and voile! I had a great fundraiser for Beth’s pet project.

As I wrote and incorporated donkey basketball into the story, pieces started falling into place. Character traits for my hero and heroine were revealed. Organizing the event showed to what lengths Beth would go to raise money for the library. By playing in the game, Trevor’s dislike of participating in team sports was highlighted. And the donkey basketball game became a very important turning point in the story when Trev was injured and Beth discovered she was in love with him.

Writing is always an adventure. I had a lot of fun with this story. By choosing donkey basketball as Beth’s major fundraiser, key story points and character traits emerged just like magic. If I had picked some other fundraiser, my story would probably have been very different.

Here’s an excerpt from Her Reluctant Rancher:

Trev followed Dave onto the court. He couldn’t
believe he was on the back of a donkey. He concentrated
on keeping his balance, because he sure didn’t want to fall
on his butt like the police chief.

He reminded himself he was doing this for Beth.
Maybe he could make a couple of baskets and score some
points. Would she cheer for him? Would she be proud?
Why did he care?

The announcer finished his pre-game spiel and the
mayor won the toss. He passed the ball to one of his team
mates. The councilman took it down court, passed it to
another player. Trev watched the guy twist, catch the
ball, then slide right off the donkey’s back. Ouch.

The ball was loose and Dave dismounted and grabbed
it. He dropped it twice before finally remounting.
Trev sidled up beside him.

Dave grinned. “You and me, buddy. Go deep. I’ll pass
it. Try for three points.”
“Not greedy, are we?”

“Hey, might as well go for it.”

Urging his donkey toward the goal, Trev successfully
stopped the animal on the three-point line. Then Dave
dropped the damn ball. Trev groaned. The priest retrieved
it and rode for the opposite goal. A nice toss and the padre scored. The band played a victory song and the crowd went wild.


Trev trotted over to Dave. “What was that?”

Dave shrugged. “I messed up. So sue me.”

“Strategy isn’t going to work in this game,” Trev said. “Next time, go for the points.”

“This is supposed to be a team effort, Callahan.”

“We’re on donkeys, for crying out loud.”

“It’s just a game, buddy.”

“Yeah, right.” Trev hated to lose.

On the next play, Trev saw a chance to score. He
stole the ball from the mayor and took it down the court.
Dave was up ahead. “Pass, Callahan. I’m wide open.
Pass the ball.”

Trev didn’t want to pass the ball. He wanted to score
the points. This was why he hated team sports. You had
to share the glory. Share the win. But there was no way
in hell he could take a shot. His way was blocked. Damn.

He passed the ball to Dave. His friend neatly avoided
two oncoming opponents and lobbed the ball. It swooshed
through the net and the crowd cheered.

Yes! Their team was winning. Trev was determined
to make the next goal. He jerked on the reins, trying to
get his donkey to turn around. The animal tossed its head
and stood still.

Trev tried again with no success. Was he going to
have to get off the damn animal and push him? This had
to be the craziest thing he’d ever done in his life. Who the hell had invented donkey basketball anyway? Whoever it was, he ought to be—

Before he could finish the thought, Trev felt himself
flying over the donkey’s head. He hit the floor with a
painful thud and suddenly everything went black . . .


Happy Reading!!!

Anne Marie    :)