Too many books? Puh-shaw!

The first stack of my BTR pile, aka Books To Read.

The first stack of my BTR pile, aka Books To Read.

“Book Blogging” seems to be a popular topic now, which means I’ll probably try it in a few years. I may be an early adopter as far as tech toys go, but when it comes to other trends, I am usually a day behind and often a dollar (or more) short. Case in point: I only recently started to tweet here. Still getting the hang of that one. Pinterest? Fairly new, but on there here. As for Instagram? So far, not enough days in the week left open. But I digress from the original thought – what is this book blogging anyway and should I do it?

Simply put, book blogging is where you read a book and then post a review. Sounds easy enough. Of course, as my old marketing professor would say, it’s always about dollars and cents. True, many book bloggers, once they reach a certain level of readership, will start to receive ARCs, or advanced reader’s copies from publishers. The idea is you get a free book before the general public can purchase one, and the publisher and author get free and early advertising which, in a perfect world, increases sales.

There is a dark side, however. Maybe not exactly dark. More like a dim side, I guess. Depends on your point of view. Affiliate sales are the little links and ads the reader might select after reading the review. Click on the link enough times and the blogger receives a few pennies. Click on the link and then actually buy a book? The blogger gets a small percentage of the sale. The more popular the book blog, the more likely you will see these affiliate sales links.

Is this bad? Not really. For some bloggers, this is necessary income. The rub comes in when a blogger pushes a mediocre book as “a must read” in hopes of gaining those affiliated sales. Should this happen? No. Do most book bloggers participate in such deception? No. But does it happen? Well, as one man once told me – if you can think of it, then someone on the Internet is doing it and making money by doing it.

As for me? I would love free books. Who wouldn’t? But until I get through my “just had to buy this book and I’ll get to it soon, really, I promise” pile, I’ll need to beg off this book blogging trend. As they used to say – ain’t got time for that. See how timely I am with the popular catch phrases? Told you.

Any way, if book blogging is your thing, more power to you. I’ll try to stop by and read a few of your reviews. Put a link to your site in the comment section and I’ll help spread the love.

Until then, in between writing recipes for The Milk Chocolate Murders, and outlining the follow-on book – The Wedding Cake Witness, I will stick to reducing my collection of BTRs – books to read. The photo at the top should tell you how long this may take. And that photo doesn’t include the books I have stashed at work to be read at lunch. Or the other books sitting in the bedroom. Or the unabridged volume of work by some guy named Poe.

As soon as I get through these books, I’ll consider acquiring more. Unless I find myself in a bookstore, in which case all bets are off.

Don’t wait up. This could take a while…

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The New Weekly Writing Plan

It’s been a while since I have spent time with WordPress; not your fault, it’s me, not you. No, really. Me. The whole way.

So where have I been? No, not jail. In fact, here’s a quick recap of my life since we last met:

Writing, work, family, writing, work, family, writing, work, family. (Just kidding. Food was in there, too. And wine, but I digress.)

So where are we at with the novel? In the process of rewriting the completed “Apple Pie Alibi” from third person into first person. It’s going slower than I anticipated since I am also reading it out loud as I go.

By the way: reading your work out loud is a great way to spot poor writing. Just saying.

This week’s writing plan? More of the same. Writing from 5:00 – 6:30 AM; work from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Add in an hour commute on both ends and I’m left with a few hours with the family. On the weekends, I try to spend time on Saturdays reading the works of others (Book Country gives me an ample supply of emerging novels.)  Sundays? A day of church and rest. Except today…

New agenda items: I’ve added my Twitter feed. Between that platform and the FB page, you can stay up to the minute on my culinary exploits and writing progress. For more details on the cooking, see the new page above, Exploding Potatoes!

Enough for now. With diligence, the rewrite will be done by the end of April. Then it’s decision time: query or self publish? Thankfully, I’ve got time to ponder that one.

Until next time, keep writing, everyone. If we don’t, who will?

 

Log Lines for the Elevator Pitch

I was just listening to WANA International’s Marcy Kennedy and her webinar on log lines and thought I would try revising the one I have been using for Blood Lust:

“In this supernatural thriller, a former shipyard worker must defeat an ancient vampire cult in order to save two parallel worlds, and the woman who fired him.”

Too much? Not enough?

After reading the line, what is the first question that comes to your mind?

Facebook needs more money – please help!

New Zealand

So Facebook is testing a new business model in New Zealand, where people can boost their post’s reach by paying an extra fee. Sounds kind of like making your post a sponsored ad, except it isn’t one.

Hmmm.  I remember back in the day when Facebook said “Facebook – always free, always will be.”

Now they are set to launch what will probably be the biggest IPO in finance history. Billions will be made overnight. And that’s just to the guy running the show. Why the need for more revenue?

Perhaps it is because quarterly profits are starting to lag? Maybe usage has peaked? Trying to distract attention from some other issue that might lower the IPO price?

Whatever.

As writers/authors, we have been told we need Facebook. The agent I spoke with at a recent conference was very blunt in saying the Big 6 won’t even consider a new author unless they had a social network platform (FB and Twitter) with at least 3 – 4 thousand “friends.” Her advice: “friend” everyone, regardless. “Just get the numbers.”

I didn’t agree with that numbers-philosophy. Still don’t.

If Zuckerberg expects me to pay for a Facebook post when he already makes billions from ad revenue and will probably reap a future record IPO windfall, he thinks incorrectly.

Now Facebook has done some good, too. I really appreciate the ability to keep up with old friends, and make new ones. That is to say, friends that are actually people I am interested in following. Not friends that are simply part of a numbers game.

I think this new business model is a foreshadowing of ISP efforts to come, with Net neutrality foes watching to see public reaction. Pessimistic? Probably. Reactionary? Rightly so.

Let’s hope I never have to post a headline that says: “Told You So.”

Now, off to work. This week: study study study! Final exam on Thursday. Then – thank goodness – another weekend with writing time!

And here’s hoping the good people of New Zealand will prove Zuckerberg wrong.