Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Opinion on the Amazon KDP Select Program

First, I am thrilled to see Amazon include independent authors in this program.  It is a definite sign of the times to see the market opening up so much for all who love to write.  Amazon Prime is set to be a big hit in the near future.  The program is able to pull more potential readers into the eBook market by promoting their movies, music, TV shows, and now books.  One yearly fee for access to so much is surely going to secure many more Amazon customers.

One of the stipulations is that the author exclusively lists the eBook in Amazon’s Kindle Store.  While Amazon has been a strong source of sales for me, I cannot ignore the success I have experienced on Barnes & Noble.  I have seen some authors talk about only selling 10% as much on Barnes & Noble as they have sold on Amazon, and therefore it’s not a big enough market for them to consider.  In contrast to those authors, 46% of my sales are derived from Barnes & Noble and other outlets like Kobo, Sony, and iBooks. It would be crazy for me to let down 46% of my readers just to have a chance at a small share of that $500,000 per month.

More importantly, I would be doing my readers a disservice if I took my books down from Barnes & Noble and other outlets. It would be a disservice to readers from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, etc. who have taken the time to email me about how much they like my books. Why should I take my books away from them?  There are some creative ways to use a Nook tablet to download Kindle software.  But, if I told 46% of my readers that they had to go buy another device or hack their Nook Color, I am pretty sure we’d never see each other again. Furthermore, I have just enrolled in Operation E-Book Drop that offers my books for free to deployed active duty military through Smashwords. If I joined Amazon’s KDP Select Program, I would have to withdraw my support of this important program that I proudly support. I will gladly keep my books in the Kindle Store.  But for all of the reasons listed in this post, my books won’t be enrolled in the KDP Select program.

Readers are customers and they deserve quality customer service from the author.  That begins with access to your books.  I will keep my books listed with the online retail sites that ensure any reader can find the right format for their eReader.  A listing of each is here.

I applaud Amazon’s policy of inclusion for independent authors, but I must decline the invitation at this time.  Each of the readers that select my books are worth hanging on to. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Book for the Holidays

When I was in school, the last thing I wanted was a book for Christmas. In law school if I saw a book I would run screaming from the room. Try reading approximately 200 pages of law text a night and then see a book and say, "I want to read more!" Did. Not. Happen.

But, then something great happened. I passed the bar exam! I grabbed every book that I had not picked up for three years and toted them to the beach. I polished off eight books in six days.It was glorious.

Now I am so excited for Christmas because I hope for books under my tree and in my e-reader stocking. I love having other people buy me books, send me a book download (Amazon lets you purchase actual ebooks as gifts!), or through a Nook gift card. That means that person took the time to look through books for something they know I would like. It means a lot to me and it has the added benefit of experiencing something new.

Some of my favorite authors have been from a book that was given to me as a gift. My aunt will give me a different type of book than my mother-in-law and she'll give me a different kind of book than my best friend. You know why I love it so much? You find new authors, new books, and a new adventure with each one.

So, this year if you don't know what to get your best friend with her new Kindle or Nook, give her a book or books to build up her library on her new eReader! A thought for a gift - give a Kindle or Nook gift card with a list of books you recommend. Find your favorite books and pass them along - you never know what great new book you'll discover in return this holiday season!

Wishing you all a cup of hot cocoa, a warm blanket, a soft sofa, and a good book to curl up with this holiday season.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Small Business Saturday for Indie Authors

Today is Black Friday. Walmart stores are packed and people are frenzied with deals trying to find the perfect gift. I, myself, have ordered all of my daughter's presents online this morning. But, then the American Express commercial comes on and reminds us about Small Business Saturday. This is about supporting Mom and Pop stores in your local community and not forgetting about those business run by your neighbors. It got me thinking - aren't indie authors the equivalent to the family store down the street?
Indie authors can be the girl/boy next door. They are the Mom and Pop stores competing with the large publishing houses similar to Walmart. But, you know what? In almost all cases, indie authors sell at a lower price than other authors. Yeah, published author's books may be 40% off- on sale from their $28.99 price down to $15.99 for hardbacks or on sale from $12.99 to $7.99 on e-books, but indie authors regularly price their books lower. So, if you want to find a great deal this holiday season, shop indie authors this Saturday (or this whole holiday season!) and support the small guys and gals out there who are your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Author Interview

I am very happy to announce that I was interviewed by David Wisehart over at Kindle Authors. You can read the interview here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Help! My Husband is Watching Football!

It’s football time in the Bluegrass!  These are the words that turn my husband into an obsessed couch potato every year.  If you’re married to a football fan, then you surely encounter the same phenomenon with its own special twist.  So the question is: What do you do when your husband is glued to the TV for hours upon hours watching football?  After several years of thorough testing, I believe I have found the perfect list:

  1. READ!
I am quite the reader and can tear through a book in the time it takes my husband to watch three football games back-to-back-to-back.  While he watches grown men destroy each other, I often seek to entertain myself with a good romance or mystery novel.  You say you need a few suggestions?  Well, since you asked: Bluegrass Series!

  1. Watch a Movie
Whether you go to the theater or rent a DVD to watch in another room, movies can be a nice escape from your husband’s constant questioning of the referee’s ability to see. 

  1. Go Out with the Girls
Many of your girlfriends face the same fate every Autumn.  Why not get together with them for drinks or dinner?  What may start out as a support group can quickly develop into a great time out on the town.

  1. Manicure & Pedicure
He spoils himself with nachos, beer, and a big screen television.  Why not indulge for yourself and treat those hands and feet to a nice day of luxury at your local spa?

  1. Minor Home Improvement
Sometimes, the urge to Do-It-Yourself strikes. I may want to update the window treatments or plan the next Honey-Do project for my husband.  No better time to plan his demise than while he is glued to the game.  Later, when he asks when you asked him about all of this, just tell him he must not have been listening while the game was on.

  1. Dance Lessons
I really want to learn the exotic dances featured on all of the network reality shows.  My husband is far less interested.  So while he watches the game, I may just have to enter myself in lessons.  Now that is athleticism.

  1. Enjoy the Outdoors
As you sit next to him and see so many people enjoying the outdoors, the mood may strike you to take a hike through the local woods.  Do it!  Enjoy the fresh air and get some great exercise.  Nature is our #1 inspiration and I certainly take advantage of it as often as possible.

  1. Watch the Game
Wait!  Hear me out.  Watch a game with the hubby. Next time you want you husband to snuggle you close as you watch some girly romantic comedy, he’ll be more inclined to sit through it with you.  Marriage is about sacrifice… some of the time. ;)

Enjoy the Fall!  The cold of Winter will be here too soon.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Standalone Books vs. Series

When you think of the books you want to write, should you think in terms of a single book or a series? If you listen to the “experts”, series are better sellers which make them the obvious choice. In this entry, I will describe my process for creating a story and how it led to a series.

When I developed my plot, I wasn’t thinking of word counts or book sales. I was thinking of the story. What did I want to tell? How did I want to tell it? Who should tell it for me? I thought of characters that made me laugh, characters that made me scared, and characters I could love. I painted a picture of Central Kentucky by combining the traits I love from the region into the fictional town of Keeneston. But, most importantly, I thought of the beginning, middle, and end of a story.

It was then I realized the story I wanted to tell would be better served through a series. My tale was too long and there were too many different aspects to fit in a single book - it fit better into three. I wanted to develop secondary characters and give them time to shine in their own books. I wanted to give my readers time to fall in love with every aspect of the town. I fell in love with them when I was writing, and have to admit, I didn’t want to give them up after just one book. However, after my third book is released in the fall, I will find myself entering the area between stand alone and series.

After the first three books that will focus on McKenna, Danielle, and Paige, my novels will become stand alone books with their own mystery to solve. Where I enter the gray area is that the books will all be set in the same town, with some of my favorite characters making appearances. The books will be written so that anyone can pick up in any order and read. Each book will have the full story without any lead-in to the next novel. I do read some very good series and I also read some very good standalone books. Most of all, I want to reach a conclusion on the story. Eventually, the story needs to end and I need to feel satisfied. I love J.D. Robb’s Death Series and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, but I want to know how those stories end. I want to know if Stephanie ends up with Ranger or Morelli!

So, which is better: the series or the standalone?  My answer is: the better overall story. What it comes down to is writing. If you do what you love and tell a story that you love, then people will read it. It does not matter if it is a stand alone book or a series. I just want to be entertained. Books transport you to other times, other countries, and even other worlds. I love every page I read of a good story.

So, the moral of the story - if you have a beginning, middle, and an end to a great story, it doesn’t matter how long it is or how many books it takes to tell it. Just tell your story, your way.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Indie-pendence Day Weekend!

Indie-pendence Day Weekend! 
Most Americans are getting ready to enjoy a long weekend in honor of our Founding Fathers signing the Declaration of Independence. I have found four independent authors that I plan on reading in the very near future and I want to encourage others to give them a shot too. And remember to let each author know what you think with a review on They've worked hard to give you a quality work at an amazing price.
Happy Reading!

Erin Kern - Looking for Trouble

Anna Mara - The Perfect Revenge

Emma Jay - Eye of the Beholder

Courtney Milan - Unlocked

And I wouldn't mind you trying Bluegrass State of Mind either :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I am so excited to announce the launch of my website:
I will continue writing blog entries, so make sure you check back here to see what's on my mind and also excerpts from the books.
The website will have direct links to where you can purchase my book. It also has an email sign up so you can be notified when Risky Shot, book #2 in the series, is released!
Check it out and let me know what you think.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Countdown to Book Release!

Bluegrass State of Mind will be released by July 1st! The anticipation is killing me. I am hopeful that if I work even harder I can release it sooner. Keep your fingers crossed!
Part of the book is centered around horse racing. I had a great time thinking up names for the horses. So, if you had a horse running in the Kentucky Derby, what name would you like to hear the announcer yelling? Would it be something like in this link...My Wife Knows Everything vs. My Wife Doesn't Know!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Preakness

As you might have noticed, my books are set in Kentucky. And if you are writing about Kentucky, you must include horse racing! Today is The Preakness. Which begs the question: Who are you rooting for? It's tough. You have Mucho Macho Man with his amazing woman trainer, or do you bet for a long shot like Isn't He Perfect? I am going to cheer on Shackleford, who is a Kentucky born and bred horse. After all, how can a girl from the Big Blue Nation not cheer for him when his silks are blue and white!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Little Twitter for Your Tweeting

Now you can follow me on Twitter! You can click on the link or you can find me @BluegrassBrooks . I will be having Meet and Tweets after Bluegrass State of Mind is released (only weeks away!). I will be available to discuss anything from what you thought of my book, to updates on Book #2 in the series (already underway), and my belief that UK Basketball will make it back to the Final Four next season!
I invite you to follow me on facebook and twitter for all of the latest news, sneak peeks, and of course, to talk about the books! 
Remember, feel free to email me withany comments on my blog! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Derby Day!

There is no better day than today to begin my blog about the Southern romance novels known as the Bluegrass Series.  For Kentuckians, Derby Day is a day of celebration and indulgence.  Mint Juleps, Kentucky Chocolate Chip Pie, extravagant hats, beautiful dresses, and maybe even a little wager or ten.  It's a day to gather with friends and family to cheer on the magnificent horses that add so much character to the region.  Whether your picks for each race are based on hours of research, jockey preference, color of the horse, or the prettiest silks, everyone let's it ride for just this one day.

The first book in the Bluegrass Series is Bluegrass State of Mind.  This book, centered in the fictional town of Keeneston, Kentucky, will have plenty of horse racing intrigue.  Kenna's quick exit from New York City leads her to Horse Country, where she looks up an old acquaintance, Will Ashton.  The Ashton family's horse farm is one of the best, producing last year's winner of the Kentucky Derby.  Kenna's new home and career lead her on a series of adventures that are sure to keep you glued to the pages.

The editing process is underway and I hope to publish on Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and many other sources for eBooks very soon.  I will update this blog and my newly created facebook page to let everyone know when the publication process is complete.