Monday, April 30, 2012

Self-Publishing: USA Today List!!!

I had the shock of my life on Wednesday, when my friend, author Tessa Dare, emailed me congrats and the link to the USA Today Best Seller list. Shaking and disbelieving, I opened it up. Sure enough, Wild Montana Sky was #137! I was stunned, excited, and moved to tears. I started calling and emailing friends and family with the news.

It had NEVER crossed my mind that Wild Montana Sky would make the USA Today list as a self-published ebook, although I had a vague wish that it might happen someday when I became an Amazon Montlake author.

The congratulations came pouring in. The wave of acknowledgment was amazing.

So many of my self-published friends were especially excited because it gave them hope that someday, they, too, would hit the list. (My wish for them too!)

I emailed my Montlake editor, and she called. Lindsay was so excited for me. In her opinion, making the USA Today list was a better achievement than the New York Times list because USA Today List takes real numbers from booksellers, while the stores the New York Times list pulls from are a secret.

What a way to wrap up my one-year anniversary! I'll be posting a blog in a few days that discusses my year long numbers. But I have some number crunching to do before then.

What did change this month was for some (unknown) reason Wild Montana Sky started to sell well on Nook. The numbers kept escalating, double and even triple the amount I sold on Amazon. I hit the top 100 Nook list and dropped as low as #20. I've been on the list for about two weeks. Currently I'm #40. The sales for Starry Montana Sky and Stormy Montana Sky were less than Amazon all month, but increased as the month went on and readers came back to buy the second and third books. I've ended out-selling Amazon in total numbers for the Montana Sky series.

Here's the cake from my former writing teacher and current editor, Louella Nelson. She took me to lunch on Saturday.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Self-Publishing: Online Class

I'm teaching an online class about self-publishing for the Orange County Chapter of RWA. Go to for information and registration. I think you can sign up until Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Self-Publishing: Cleaning Out

I'm doing some necessary cleaning out and decluttering of my house, especially my office. I realized the time had come to part with my stacks of writing magazines. I have Romance Writers Reports (the monthly Romance Writers of America magazine) and Writer's Digests and some script writing magazines that go back about 15 years.

I tend to hold on to things, long past when I should. Part of that comes from being too busy to sort through and organize things that aren't important. But the bigger part is that I always think I'll need them again. The writing magazines are full of great articles, and if I wanted to reread any, there they are. If I need to write a blog post or and article, I have a lot of information available.


I haven't opened one of those magazines since I originally read them.

Today it occurred to me that that two thirds of the information in those magazines is out-dated or not pertinent to my current writing career. Basically, the only information that's still useful is the craft information.

The publishing world has changed so much that it's important to keep current, not stay bogged down in old thinking. Lots of previous advice no longer works any more, or it might work if you want a traditional publishing career, but not for self-publishing. (Especially not in this digital world of ours.)

I admit I had a pang parting with those stacks. One or two headlines caught my eye, and I set that magazine aside to reread. I didn't even take the time to sort through the RWR reports that had my Golden Heart finaling/winning announcements. I knew if I stopped my momentum, most of those magazines would find their way back to the selves. (Although they might be less dusty.)

I also included a few of my Writer's Guides. For example: I don't need 2007's. Actually, I don't need 2012's, either. Not that I have it. I don't even have time to write my newsletter, and barely blog. So I'm not going to search the pages of a writer's guide to find possible places to submit an article. Plus, I've let go of the dream of writing articles for magazines. Right now, I'm focused on my books. If I want to write for magazines in the future, I'll study whatever version of Writer's Guide exists then. (Probably online.)

I also tossed some of my college statistics books. If I haven't done any statistical research by now, it's not going to happen in my future. Not to mention, I couldn't do a statistic to save my life. I barely scraped by in those classes, anyway.

So I ended up with four bags to donate to the library for their used book/magazine sale. Hopefully, someone else can put them to use.

One of these days, I'm going to tackle the shelf of how-do writing books. (Most of which I've never read, or only skimmed.) But not today.

Sooooo, in keeping with your new ideas of your writing career, do you have some culling to do of your bookshelves?