Category Archives: The Writing Life

Self-publishing vs Traditional Publishing

Quote of the Day: A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” Richard Bach

Photo Credit: Luisella Planeta Leoni – Pixabay

Today I’m writing about self-publishing versus traditional publishing. One of my Instagram fans asked the question about the pros and cons of each. My reply was it’s a subject requiring more than a line or two for an explanation of my views. Depending on who you ask, you’ll likely get a different response. That’s ok to listen or read them all and make your own decision about what works best for you.

The Pros of Self-Publishing

  • Control of content
  • Timeline for delivery
  • Ownership of copyright
  • Marketing freedom (design and publish)
  • Sales information confidential
  • Larger royalty – Paychecks every 60 days for what you’re doing right now.
  • Customer accessibility
  • Free advertising for your author brand – on booksellers’ platforms

The Cons of Self-Publishing

  • Author platform – Website (design and maintenance especially security)
  • Responsible for all aspects of publishing
    • Editing and formatting
    • Registering copyright and obtaining ISBN identity
    • Book covers – Professionally designed
    • Creating a description and short blurb about the novel – Your own or freelanced
    • Developing advanced reader fanbase
    • Publishing decisions: For example, go exclusive or wide including multiple author platforms.
    • Publicist – Help for getting your novel seen by readers!
    • Book Reviews – Paid – Remember reviews sell books and editorial reviews from paid sources can be used on your website and marketing materials.
    • Marketing – Development and Expense
    • Marketing tools and resources – software, freelancers, etc.
    • Digital – Social Media Sites – creation and updates
    • Development and purchasing of ads

Pros – Traditional Publishing – The BIG 5

  • Partnership and collaboration for the success of your novels
  • Knowledge and name recognition (how to place your novel to become a bestseller)
  • Inhouse advance readers fanbase for your genre
  • Phenomenon Marketing – digital and traditional
  • Advance for copyrights for novel/s present and future royalties

Cons – Traditional Publishing – The BIG 5

Note: Provide a manuscript with professional editing and formatting for the agent. The Big 5 deal exclusively with agents.

  • Literary Agent – Querying and obtaining an agent – Finding the right fit with your writing style and genre may be time-consuming and negligible.
  • Copyright ownership shifts
  • Loss of creative/marketing input
  • Smaller royalty over time – based on the original contract

Take Always

Patience, practice, and persistence – keep working at creating your best novel.

Practice without progressing in your craft is useless. Learn as you go along. Read and write every day. Be professional and kind to others including your fellow authors.

If you could choose which path to follow, would you go the traditional publishing route or indie? Talk to me and let me know your thoughts.

Thank you for following my blog for updates about my writing life. I appreciate your support. Carolyn M. Bowen

My latest Sydney Jones Series Book 2 is coming soon. Are you a reader and reviewer or book blogger of murder mysteries and women’s crime fiction? Leave your contact information below and receive an advance readers’ PDF copy of my latest novel when available.

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Book Review: Divorce Is Murder

Quote of the Day: “People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know what they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” R.L. Stine

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Divorce Is Murder: A Toby Wong Novel by Elka Ray

Book Review

A long-ago traumatic experience at Camp Wikwakee leaves Toby with shameful feelings in adulthood. And, yes, she’d gotten counseling. But just when she thinks she’s making progress; she’s reminded again of that humiliating awful night.

Toby now an attorney returned to her hometown in Victoria Canada to care for her mother, Ivy. One of her first clients was Josh, the best-looking and most unattainable guy from summer camp. The memories burnt into her mind come full circle when she sees him.

She debated whether to represent him. The attraction to him was strong. But seeing him brought back the repulsion of being confined in the damp insect ridden Wikwakee cabin and the fallout afterward. She wondered if he stood up for her against the bullies. Somehow, she doubted it since he married the most vicious bully of all, Tonya Cabrilatto.

Now, he’s seeking a divorce attorney and melting in his presence with conflicting feelings, she had agreed. Her role changed quickly when he became a prime suspect in the murder of his wife. She referred him to the leading criminal attorney in town, Jackie, who is also her best friend Quinn’s mother.

Jackie recovering from injuries enlisted her aid for building a case for him. Toby investigates and finds incriminating evidence involving those from summer camp. Josh lied to her and yet she still gets flustered and was gullible to his advances. But, is he a psychopath with murderous tendencies?

Divorce is murder and the nemeses from camp are involved. And, one murdered Tonya, Josh’s wife. How far back does the treachery go – Camp Wikwakee?

Ray provides layer upon layer of intrigue with the intermeshing of the personal and social lives of the main characters. Her description of the characters and scenic imagery places you in the story. This whodunit will keep you guessing to the end. Highly recommended reading. 5 Star Review – Carolyn Bowen

Thanks for following my blog/newsletter. Hope to see you on social media (Twitter). Carolyn Bowen

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Putting the Social in Social Media

Quote of the Day: “Sometimes you only need to look at other high achievers to remember how GREAT you can become. You can do ANYTHING, and don’t you forget it.” Marsha Wright

Photo Credit: Pixabay

First a disclaimer: Twitter is my happy place for knowing what’s happening right now. Being fascinated by the weather for family and friends live on the coast, and the last BIG one left its mark, I get up-to-date warnings on Twitter from reliable sources. But there’s more, business, financial, travel, and entertainment news is always flowing with what’s happening around the world. Of course, these are my favorite topics. You can find your own by simply following leaders in the industry or related hashtags.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

However, the news potential isn’t why I love Twitter. It’s the people making the Twitter community a place you’d want to hang out. The influencers and fans with an attitude of gratitude and willingness to share positivity are who make a world of difference.

I am thankful for my readers and fans that are diligent in supporting my writing life. I feel like we live in the same neighborhood. We do –Twitterville. I’d know them walking down the street and be glad to have potluck dinner with them.

Then there are the mega influencers like Marsha Wright who promotes the hashtag #ThinkBigSundayWithMarsha and retweets positive sayings and quotes to 600K followers. Wright is a serial entrepreneur, #1 international bestselling author, syndicated columnist, CEO of PromoNation.co and the top 5 marketing influencer. Follow here: Real Marsha Wright® | Top 5 Marketing Influencer

Does she make a difference? Yes. Follow and read her posts and you too will develop a positive attitude.

Thanks for following my blog. Say hello on Twitter @cmbowenauthor. Thanks, Carolyn Bowen

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Dog Days of Summer Reading

Quote of the Day: “Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly.” Van Morrison

What are Dog Days of Summer?

The Dog Days of summer means the worst heat of the season will set in. Living in the south you know it’s time to find shade, cool bodies of water, and air conditioning. And, of course, a great mystery read.

When Are the Dog Days of Summer?

Yes, the season is here! Dog Days begin July 3rd and end August 11, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. The 40 days of extreme heat coincides with the dawn rising of Sirius, the Dog Star.

Stay cool and hydrated while enjoying the offerings during the summer months. There’s no better time to catch up on your reading. Load up your bookshelves for beach reads and the long summer nights.

For mystery lovers, you’ll want to check out the special promotion for Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1 at Smashwords
Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones SeriesShort Blurb:

In a conspiracy to advert prosecution in a wrongful death suit, lead attorney Sydney Jones was targeted for removal from the case of Birdman & Birdman’s prestigious client. She didn’t go quietly. There were immediate repercussions and only the fittest would survive.

Check out the reviews on my media page for books by Carolyn M. Bowen.

Are you on Instagram? Follow here and share your photos of reading my novels. I’d love to see your favorite reading spots.

Thank you for supporting my writing life. Wishing you a safe and happy July 4th! Carolyn Bowen

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Summer Reading Kickoff

Quote of the Day: “What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person …” Carl Sagan

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Latest News: Summer Promotion

Love reading mystery-thrillers with a strong female lead character – then today is your day. Primed For Revenge, the first in the Sydney Jones Series is your right choice for entertainment. Join the thrill of reading with this special price promotion to kick off your summer fun.

A Short Blurb

Practicing law in a large partnership, Sydney Jones was primed for making partner. Then her life turned upside down after a disagreement with her boss at Birdman & Birdman.

Leaving the office, she was swiftly kidnapped and taken to her assailants’ hideaway, beaten, and raped. With no memory of whom she has put her at a disadvantage with her captors. Through gritted teeth, she promised a day of repercussions for their actions while mentally visualizing her revenge.

Warned by her assailants to keep her mouth shut or else, she was delivered to her home. Not recognizing her former living quarters, she was careful in exploring her options for regaining her memory.

Piecing together the reasons for her kidnapping brought her into contact with people, some she could trust and others risky. The problem was the amnesia prevented her from recognizing the difference.

Tapped for a crime once nudged her toward caution for something afoul was going on at Birdman & Birdman. She prepared for a fight. With a vision of fury, she made a chilling decision – never to be a victim again.

Where to order yours…

Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1 is now available online and at your favorite bookstores in ebook and paperback format now! 

Amazon

B&N

Books-A-Million

Google Play

KOBO

Smashwords

Foyles – UK

Thank you for following my writing news and sharing on social media. I appreciate your support and look forward to your comments and reviews. Enjoy your upcoming summer reading! Carolyn Bowen

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Reader’s Fun Giveaway

Reader’s Favorite Fun Giveaway

Book Blogger, Summer Giveaway

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Quote of the Day:  “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Spring is about new beginnings and having fun with beach season right around the corner. The days grow longer when the summer solstice arrives June 21st.  I can’t think of a better way to kick start the season than with a fun giveaway for loyal and new readers. Let the fun begin!

Game Plan

Hit the subscribe (follow) button and share on Twitter tagging me with your favorite quote, scene, or why you like a certain character from any of my novels. Use hashtag: #ReadersGiveaway

Novels by Carolyn M. Bowen

Cross-Ties, The Long Road Home, and Primed For Revenge, The Sydney Jones Series Book 1.

For example Cross-Ties – quote “Bless Your Heart,” Leah figured out the southern meaning behind the phrase. It wasn’t as expected. #ReadersGiveaway

Winner Prizes

Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Carolyn Bowen’s book of your choice and a $25 gift certificate. The winner is selected by the most tweets with the hashtag #ReadersGiveaway – Deadline midnight June 21st.

Deadline: Midnight -June 21st

Thanks for following my blog/newsletter. I hope to see you on Twitter soon sharing this fun giveaway.

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Author to Author: The Writing Life

Quote of the Day: You see, I am trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across – not to just depict life – or criticize it – but to actually make it alive. So that when you have read something by me, you actually experience the thing. You can’t do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful. Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

One thing I think we can all agree on is the road to discovery for authors is challenging. We write and hope for the best reception for our stories. Most times it seems as though our stories come from a place of inspiration rather than a rational decision to write and plot around a specific topic. I’m speaking for myself here. If you have a writing method that works for you, good!

I’m going to skip right to reviews and reviewers for this is the pressure point for deciding the fate of your novel.

  • The shoot-gun approach to seeking reviews thinking everyone will want to read and leave a great review is a journey filled with perils and one you’ll most likely regret.

What to do!

Find your niche, your tribe, or following many say. Don’t send out review copies or place your work on websites that are not friendly to your genre. For example, you may ask why in the world someone would download and read or attempt to read about murder mystery if they find it appalling?

They do and are subject to leaving crass reviews making it difficult for real mystery lovers to find your novel. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written in Agatha Christie’s style or the most eloquent presentation of your story. Your novel and some readers just do not match. And, Lord help you if you get an overly zealous reviewer that goes to every site your novel is published on and shares their distaste. Please beware this is cyber-stalking!

You may ask, “Didn’t they read the novel’s description, clearly stating what it was about?”

I’m with you there. If a novel is crime fiction or in similar categories, you can expect a story line with gritty details about happenings that some may find offensive. That’s why their different genres for novels on all the platforms selling books.

What to do

  • Clearly identify the genre/s your novel falls into.
  • Write an accurate book description about your novel.
  • Find where the readers hang-out who would enjoy reading your story.
  • Think about groups on social media seeking books of your genre.
  • Your website is a goldmine and where true readers will navigate to keep up with your writing. Also, your website is the real estate that you own unlike the social platforms where you may post. Think back to social sites now dissolved and the followers that you no longer have access to.
  • Become a developer and up your game by engaging your fans on your website and where they hangout.
  • Find professional reviewers in your genre. You can post their reviews to your online book platforms.
  • Don’t give-up! There are readers who will enjoy your novels and give positive reviews. An interesting part of the writer’s journey is finding your base support. Once you do that, the sky is the limit. Go create!

 

If you’d like a sample of my new psychological thriller, Primed For Revenge, the 1st in the Sydney Jones Series, follow my blog using your email address and I’ll forward you a PDF of the first 25 pages. Note: Crime fiction, murder mystery, psychological thriller, adult rated!

I look forward to this new season and connecting with mystery lovers here and on social media. Carolyn Bowen

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The Long Road Home – Interview

Quote of the Day: “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” Virginia Woolf

Carolyn Bowen Author (31)

Today I want to share the conversation I had with Jason E. Foss, producer of ‘A Dreamer’s Blog’ and the empowered-individuals.blogspot.

Jason wanted to know about my writing process specifically relating to my mystery thriller, The Long Road Home.

I hope you’ll enjoy the light banter and the behind the scenes writing of this novel and the up-to-date news about my upcoming new mystery.

Follow ‘A Dreamer’s Blog’ for interesting in-depth coverage of the writing life from your favorite authors.

Thank you, Jason, for the opportunity to share with your readers. This interview will be remembered as one of my favorite author experiences.  Carolyn Bowen

Where to buy The Long Road Home

The Long Road Home is available at your favorite bookstores!

Download and Read FREE with Amazon Kindle Unlimited!

Thank you for following my blog and connecting on social media. I appreciate your support. Carolyn M. Bowen

Let’s Connect on Social Media!

These are a few of my favorite social media hangouts! Drop by and say hello!

Goodreads

Twitter

Love picture ideas? Me, too.  Pinners Follow Here!

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Veterans Day 2018

Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, American pride stands tall remembering those who have fought for our freedom. On this day, November 11th, we honor military veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces.

Veterans Day 2018. The Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen

Look around you today and thank those who bravely fought for our country. A veteran may be as close as a family member, your next door neighbor, friend, or acquaintance.

My grandfather fought in World War I followed by his son who was drafted and served in World War II. War affects not only the country but every family member who is left behind. In the before mentioned wars, the country supported the cause and did whatever it took on the home front to safely bring their loved ones back home.

Veterans Day, Rosie the Riveter, Writing Life

Rosie the Riveter comes alive for me knowing a family member was a proud American who put on her welding mask and wielded the torch to provide wartime services.

Veterans Day History

Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I; major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service. Wikipedia

The Question of the Day

Do you think Americans would rise to the occasion to support war efforts as in the past? If not, why? Please answer in the comment section.

I’d like to remember you or your family members who’ve served or presently in the United States military on this Veterans Day. You don’t need to say anything unless you want to, just place your/their name (s) in the comment section to be remembered on this special day. You have my utmost respect on this day of honoring all service personnel. Thank you for your service!

Thank you for following my blog and connecting on social media. I appreciate your support. Carolyn M. Bowen

These are a few of my favorite social media hangouts! Drop by and say hello!

Goodreads

Twitter

Love picture ideas? Me, too.  Pinners Follow Here!

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The Travesty of Self-Deception

The Travesty of Self-Deception
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Quote of the Day: Life isn’t about maneuvering in a straight upward line. It’s about negotiating the dips, twists, and turns encountered in everyday life thereby removing obstacles standing in your path to claim your noble calling. CMBowen Author

Now available in the Timeless Edition.

The first sentence in M. Scott Peck’s book, The Road Less Traveled, says “Life is difficult.”  What a downer or surprise for those who believe failure is not an option.

Many years ago with the first edition, I wanted to quit reading after the first sentence. My definition of life was the direct opposite. Yet, I continued reading and joined a book study group to get the full force of the meaning and basis for the book. I’ll add here the end results enlarged my thinking to transcend difficulty and surrounded me with lots of warm, fuzzy feelings.

Struggle too many is unacceptable. If it becomes too hard they quit. But, the question comes to mind, how long should you struggle, sometimes leaving a trail of brokenness in your wake? Perhaps, you’re barking up the wrong tree decoded means this business/career is not for you. Highlight: There is a special way for you to showcase your talents. Go back to square one!

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

If you’re repeating previous failures, stop now and get some help before your upside down peeking out a mouse hole.

Question for Today

How long do you think you should attempt to accomplish a goal? For example, building a business, before quitting?

I look forward to reading your comments. Thank you, Carolyn Bowen

As always, I appreciate your following my blog and reading my books. Hope you’ll check out my “About Page” to learn more about my books and writing life.

I’ll be writing and sharing on social media. Hope to see you there, too! Carolyn Bowen

Social Media Hangouts!

These are a few of my social media hangouts! Drop by and say hello!

Goodreads

Twitter

Facebook

Love picture ideas? Me, too.  Pinners Follow Here!

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