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Early last year, I kept thinking I wanted a do-over of my writing life but never had the nerve to actually put it in motion. And then in July I got what I thought I wanted–whether I truly wanted it or not.

Due to the unfortunate and heart-breaking death of one of the Ls in the L & L Dreamspell publishing team, the company ceased operations as of July 2013. Which meant my paranormal romance books, Snow Shadows, Storm Shadows, and Winds of Fate, along with my two short stories, The Secret Life of Alice Smitty and Third Time’s for Keeps no longer had a publisher.

And that meant I had the rights to all my books and could do whatever I wanted with them. It was, to say the least, a little scary. So, I merely thought about it, entertaining myself with thoughts of self-publishing and what I should do with this blog and my website and whether I should stick with my pseudonym or publish under my real name.

Have you met my bff, Procrastination?

WW3-400And then a marvelous thing happened, the sales of Whistling Woman, the one book I’ve self-published (with my wonderful writing partner and sister, Christy Tillery French) under the pen-name of CC Tillery sort of went crazy. We hit three top one hundred lists on Amazon and for several months were #1 on Amazon’s historical southern fiction list. We’ve sold enough copies on Kindle to make my eyes bug out. And that’s not counting the B&N, Apple, Kobo, and Sony sales from Smashwords. It also doesn’t include the sales of the paperback and hard cover copies.

I still find it hard to believe and then I look at those sales reports on KDP and there it is…every singleIMG_5169-Mf1-500 time! And (fingers crossed against the jinx!) it just keeps selling. Added to that, we recently released the second book in the Appalachian Journey series and while the sales haven’t been astronomical they’ve certainly been encouraging.

And here I’ve sat for the last seven months watching the reports on Whistling Woman and thinking I need to do something with all those books collecting cyber dust on my computer. It isn’t just the previously published ones. I’ve finished the third book in my Eternal Shadows series and have a tentative outline for the fourth and final book. And then there are the books I’ve finished but never submitted to a publisher (don’t ask me why! I don’t know!), the first book I ever wrote that is currently unavailable because that publisher closed, the one that won a contest and was subsequently published only to have the publisher go belly up and stiff all its authors, cover artists, and editors, and two follow-up books to that one (one finished, the other about halfway done). By my count, I have at least 10 books, 4 short stories, 2 YA books, and 2 children’s books which are doing nothing but taking up space on my computer.

But with the dawn of a new year I’m hoping to get my act together and take full advantage of this chance at a complete do-over of my writing life. And that includes redesigning this blog and (hopefully!) writing more than one post every few months.

Stay tuned…

(Please!)

And Happy 2014!

 I’m rethinking my decision not to put up a page on Facebook because of this article in the latest issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter:

*Facebook Frenzy 0A

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Are you on Facebook yet? No? Why not? Or maybe you’re on Facebook and not sure what to do now that you’re there. Well, check out these recent stats (courtesy of Marketingsavant.com):

* As of 2/14/09 Facebook has 175,000,000 active users
* Facebook grows by well over 600,000 users per day
* If Facebook were a country it would now be the 6th most populated country in the world
* The fastest growing segment are women over 55 (up 175% according to this report)
* Women dominate Facebook (meaning there are more women than men on Facebook)

Tips for an effective Facebook page:

· Update frequently. Facebook is not the field of dreams, just because you built it doesn’t mean people will beat a path to your door
· Use it to post events, updates on your book, product or message – keep your followers current about what’s going on in your world. Don’t tell us you just washed the dog.
· Facebook is not a way to push a message, but rather communicate *with* your market.
· Make sure your picture is current, don’t use a logo – I tend to think that doesn’t personalize your page enough. People want to see you, let them get to know who you are.

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So…after reading that, yeah, I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and set up a Facebook account.  I’m not looking forward to it, especially the part where I’ll feel like a complete computer moron and get frustrated because I don’t know my way around the site yet, but I’m just going to have to suck it up and do it.  Bleh!

On a happier note, I’m down to the last thirty pages of the final edit of Winds of Fate.  Woo-hoo!  Looks like I’ll make my self-imposed deadline of June 30th.  *crossing fingers against jinx*

BTW, have I mentioned lately how much I like the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter?  If you’re an author looking for ways to promote your book, you definitely should sign up for it! 

*Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.  http://www.amarketingexpert.com