Fractured Facade

"A fathers death...a daughter's life...a sociopath's vendetta...FRACTURED FACADE ...a novel written as memoir. Only $4.99 and available exclusively on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited members read for free! Click here for direct link.


THE VALENTINE'S DAY CURSE -- A Short Story, Free everywhere...except on Amazon (boo! hiss!) where it's $.99 to buy! Click here for direct link! Let them know it's free at these stores and they may price match it! Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books...more to come.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fallen Trees

Nope, this post has nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy. This is the land where some fallen trees lay somewhere deep in Roanoke County.

My husband made a deal with the land owner to buy the logs which is a win-win-win. The land owner has his property cleaned out and wallet fattened, my husband envisions future furniture building, and a friend feels a warm winter ahead.

So, he and his friend have spent the last couple of weekends loading trunks of various trees on the back of a flatbed, the best of which will make their way to a mill. He hopes they were saved in time and haven't rotted through. They really gave a push this past weekend trying to get ahead of Hurricane Sandy.

This is the first shot of what will one day be my dining room table...Since the cut wood has to be dried out before my husband can begin this massive undertaking, and he has to find the time to "fit it in", I hope I'm still alive to see the end result.

Apparently, Lowe's has really crappy wood that is not only expensive, but often defective and bows. According to my husband, going directly to the source, the forest, is a woodworker's dream. Sure it's hard work, and not cheap to mill the logs, but it produces the finest wood. Whatever isn't in good enough condition for furniture will be used for firewood to warm our friend's house and business. Fallen many possibilities.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Anti-KDP Select Experiment Results

So my 90-day anti-Amazon KDP Select experiment is coming to an end and I thought I would share the results.

At the end of July I withdrew Fractured Facade from KDP Select and placed it on Smashwords, B&N, iTunes and Kobo. The Valentine's Day Curse followed shortly. I decided to give the other outlets a try since my Amazon sales and borrows had slowed down to a trickle. I thought perhaps it was time to spread my wings and fulfill the requests of Nook readers who urged me to make it available for their readers. So I did.

Unfortunately, those Nook readers disappeared as there was only a single sale of both books on Barnes & Noble through Smashwords. Yes, one single sale. Nothing on iTunes. Nothing on Smashwords direct. One sale of The Valentine's Day Curse on Kobo, and that was from someone in the United States, and not from the market I was hoping to break into -- Japan. That's a whopping 45 cents waiting for me from Kobo.

Now, maybe if I spent 20 hours a day promoting each outlet I would have gotten better results, but I don't have the time, or stomach, for that. I believe it's more effective to point someone to one site to purchase a book than it is to point them to my website for information on where to order the book on many sites. Frankly, none of those other sites help an author sell a book as they often get the categories wrong and make navigating their site impossible and frustrating.

Amazon is user friendly, and for the most part, author friendly. During my 90-day experiment I even received an email from Amazon promoting Fractured Facade as one of the suspense picks. During this same period Amazon has opened a store in India, and most recently, a store in Japan. They've also now made book lending available in European countries. Kobo has fallen way short of my expectations so I've decided they can keep my 45 cents. Smashwords can also keep my $3.00.

So, my final decision on my 90-day experiment -- As of today I will begin unpublishing from all sites and go back exclusively into Amazon, hopefully in time for the holidays. It will probably take a couple of weeks to get the books removed everywhere, so you Nook readers better take this opportunity to get your copy before it disappears.

I no longer feel guilty about not having my eBook everywhere as I now have a paperback version of Fractured Facade as well. Although I don't expect anyone other than friends and family to buy the paperback, it is out there. And Amazon has free apps for most other eReaders.

I'm not thrilled with Amazon's exclusivity requirements to get into their lending library, but until there's another significant player out there, it looks like I'm going to have to follow their rules.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Paperback Writer

A couple of years ago, before I had even finished writing the book, I first explored the costs of creating a paperback version for Fractured Facade and I was discouraged. I didn't have the skills or knowledge to even think about the daunting process. Coupled with the fees a site like CreateSpace charged for their premium help, I didn't consider it, and was content with having "just" an eBook. After I published the eBook, I ignored the statements of some who asked if I would ever publish a "real" book, but figured I'd give it some time and see if the sales justified the expense of possibly publishing a paperback in the future.

Well, it's been a year since I released my debut novel, the eBook version finding its way into over 10,000 hands, or at least buried deep in over 10,000 Kindles. Most of that five digit number is from free copies, but I have also received a decent share of checks as well. Since the release, I no longer have to depend upon an entity like CreateSpace to take over the design and formatting. I am fortunate I have a daughter who has the capability, and more importantly the creative talent, to execute exactly what I request. Yay iMac!

It wasn't an easy-peasy, bing-bang process, but at the end of the day, we did it, and we're still talking to each other!

Fractured Facade in paperback is now available at CreateSpace and Amazon.

If the book is ordered through CreateSpace eStore I receive a higher royalty than through the Amazon site, but Amazon offers better exposure and rankings. I'm thrilled wherever, and whatever version of the book is bought. In fact, even if you don't buy it from there, or already have it, it would be great if you could click on the Amazon site and "like" the paperback as I understand that helps somehow in the secret world of Amazon Algorithms. And by all means after you read it, please consider leaving a review.

I have to admit it felt more satisfying to rip open the cardboard package and hold an actual book, my book, in my hands than it did when I hit the "download now" button and saw the electronic version spring onto my Kindle screen.

Now that I'm a "Paperback Writer," is it a "real" book now?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Am a Coney Island Baby

I am a Coney Island Baby. Good, or bad, Coney Island has laid a heavy hand on shaping who I am today.

One day I will write a poem or short story about it, but for today, I will post some pics from last month.

Famous for its rides, especially the wooden-tracked Cyclone, the only rides I ever went on were the bumper cars, haunted house, or house of mirrors. Scraped skin from my ankle once lined the barrel of the fun house as I tumbled non-stop, and cemented my inability to handle even a "calm" ride. It was probably the first time the operator had to ever stop that "ride."

During my younger years the draw for me was the beach, pier and Boardwalk, but mostly the beach.

Now it's the, pier, Boardwalk and food, mostly the food. Nathan's, just as good as it ever was, is still at its original location on Surf Avenue. The Shore used to be a movie theatre.

Nathan's has expanded to the Boardwalk as well.

Because Brooklyn is so small, with only a couple of million folks, my friend and I ran into my husband and his brother while they were enjoying some beer and hot dogs that fine sunny afternoon.

We left them and headed to Ruby's which is right next door. If you read Fractured Facade you may remember Marie reminiscing about her days of going to Coney Island with her grandfather, a regular at Ruby's. In those days, us youngsters didn't get thrown out of bars, but usually found ourselves with coins stuffed in our hands for the Fascination Arcade where we played Skeeball while waiting for our supervision to finish drinking beers and eating clams.

Ruby's has really changed from the dive it once was...No longer dank, dark, barely-filled, or, cheap. Now they charge $6 for a beer, or a glass of wine, and the EuroTrash that has "found" Ruby's thanks to all the publicity it received when it was almost forced to close down, doesn't mind paying it. Never in my life would I have imagined I would use Ruby's and EuroTrash in the same sentence, but alas, if that's what has saved Ruby's from its demise, so be it.

I don't lament the change of Ruby's as much as the ability to call a friend on a Saturday afternoon who will agree with me it's time for a cocktail and a dance to a tune on the jukebox in Coney Island.

After a couple of cool ones, we decided to walk to the end of the pier, the very pier that sometimes was deemed "too long" to walk when we were younger. Like life, it seems much shorter now.

The fishermen and crabbers are still able to spend the day without the need for a fishing license. The odd assortment of characters, boombox music, and slimy stuff, are still lining it.

Young love...

A lonely man...

And a cruise ship (is this the same one from Maine???) sailing in the harbor can be seem depending upon which way I turn.

As we walked back to the car, a flock of starlings circled our heads and flew up to the Parachute Jump.

And just like I did with Grandpa before getting on the subway some 40 plus years ago, I stopped in "our store" to get a treat...

but couldn't indulge in the memory of Grandpa's parting treat to me -- a candy-red jelly apple the teeth of my youth used to demolish.

Ciao Coney Island...I miss you already. At least I still have the memories.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Freedom Tower -- September 2012

When we left for our Maine excursion we departed from Brooklyn. It had been a while since we've been upstate and forgot the best way to get there, so depended upon Ms. Garmin for directions. Ms. G. has a funny sense of humor because she took us through the worst sections of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, determining the best way for us to get upstate was via streets. It must have added about two hours to our travel time. On the way back from Maine, we weren't making that mistake again, so that time we programmed upper Manhattan as our destination figuring once we hit the West Side Highway we'd head into Brooklyn that way.

Welcome back to NYC traffic...

We didn't get to stop at the Freedom Tower as it was rush hour on a Friday and we couldn't wait to get out of the car, but I was able to snap off some shots of it, as well as some Lower Manhattan sights as we snaked our way to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, which by the way has been renamed the Hugh Carey tunnel. Huh?!

Before we even hit the house we stopped off at Greenwood Cemetery to see my parents. It's hard to believe it's been five years since my father departed, twelve for my mom. Looking up from their graves, through the trees, past the harbor, beyond the Statue of Liberty, the Freedom Tower rises. The sight of it comforts me...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recycling Windows Into Art

Just a quick post to show my latest window creation, a winter-themed one...

to be sold along with my Japanese one. My husband has cleared a wall for me at the shop for display...

This was the first window I attempted. Since I barely have any free wall space throughout the house, I had my husband put chains on it and we hung up in the sunroom...

Now that I have a system, each one takes me about a week to make...much better than the months the first one did! Don't throw out those old frames...recycle them!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ciao Acadia!

Although I have many, I'll post just a couple more shots from really appreciate the rock formations I suggest clicking on the photos to enlarge.

Ciao Acadia! You were well worth the drive...