Charge of The Light Brigade and E-Books Pricing

Quote of the Day: “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States of America

Photo Credit: Pixabay

The Writing Life

Writers are creative in placing words on the page one after another. The logical next step is publishing if you want your work to be read by the masses. This is when a writer become a publisher or an entrepreneur regardless of whether an indie writer or represented by a large publishing company. Today’s publishing world requires the author to have a huge stake in the promotion and sale of their books.

There are many aspects that play a role in the sale of a book. Here are a few of my thoughts about book production and promotions.

  • Great writing and production of work
  • Professional editing and formatting
  • Outstanding professional book cover
  • Marketing strategy – business plan
  • Book Pricing

Book World

A good portion of the books in today’s market are priced according to the competition. The scale hasn’t moved in years. However, the price for producing and marketing has skyrocketed. From advertising on major social platforms and search engines, websites, apps, books reviews, to the basics for creating your book and marketing. For example, keywords used for advertising are sometimes greater than the overall pricing of one book.

I’m reminded of the poem: The Charge of the Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson. The poem tells the story of six-hundred men who followed their leader to certain death. A clip with dialog from the poem as seen in the movie, Blindside is below.

What I’ve Learned

We can continue to follow the leader into a certain death of writing careers or make changes.  Isn’t it about time pricing and selling books be measured by the costs to produce the product AND relative competition? How many businesses do you know would charge pennies for an item they’d spend several hundred/thousands of dollars to produce? The results would be a disaster and certain death for the business. There are lessons to be learned from The Charge of The Light Brigade. Treat your writing career as a business and use sound practices to measure your success.

Note: The e-book pricing suggested is created by a mathematical calculation, and research of comparable books in your genre. This is not an arbitrary number pulled out of the sky. Remember: Pricing is not set in stone; you can always change it as do most book marketers.

There’s fear involved in making any changes and I’m not immune. However, if you’re tired of feeding the beast, it’s time to make changes. Here are a few things I do to promote my books. Let me know what’s working for you.

  • Provide FREE copies for book reviewers/bloggers
  • Develop an advance readers group to be first reviewers
  • Offer FREE books through sweepstakes on major social platforms and through booksellers
  • Run ad campaign with reduced pricing/or FREE Days

To learn about my writing life, click here. I wish you tremendous success as you develop your creative business. Carolyn Bowen

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You’ve got to put the past behind you!

Quote of the Day: “My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.” Forrest Gump

Photo Credit: Pixabay

In the movie Forrest Gump, he shared his reasons for running across the United States as his way to put the past behind him. He said, “I guess that was what my running was all about.”

So many times, we try to move on after failure, defeat, bad circumstances, and other life events, without taking time to reflect, to process and learn from and release burdens that are dragging us down. Moving from one failure to the next is not a way to live your best life now. Make your happiness a priority and make peace with your past, explore new goals, and be the best you can be.

In my book, Cross-Stepping Your Way To Success, the tools and resources are available to help you find your unique personal path for living victoriously. Topics include leaving the past behind, death & dying, depression, fitness, careers, and inspiration.

The reference to cross-stepping in this book refers to the zig-zag motions you’ll master to become successful for whom you are and were meant to become. Cross-Stepping is a way of moving forward and backward until you achieve success. This is typical knowledge for surfers of the longboard who succeed with this method to hang ten or other magnificent watersport feats.

Get ready to throw overboard anything that stands in your way of achieving your dreams of living a purposeful and successful life.

Thank you for following my newsletter. I look forward to hearing about your successes. Carolyn Bowen

Novels by Carolyn M. Bowen

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Hemingway’s Advice to Writers: Part 1

Quote of the Day: There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Lifelong learning around my home means studying the art and craft of writing. This means I do a lot of reading and writing.

We all have our favorites and my reference to Ernest Hemingway probably doesn’t surprise you. I am fortunate to have read many of Hemingway’s novels and came across a book about him written by his friend, Arnold Samuelson, an aspiring writer at the time.

For the next few posts, I’ll share some of his advice to writers from the book by Arnold Samuelson, With Hemingway, A Year in Key West and Cuba.

Note: The book was published after the author’s death in 1981. You may have seen the movie, if not watch it. The book is available in hard copy from Amazon and at most libraries.

Ernest Hemingway’s advice on ambition, self-comparison, and originality:

“Never compete with living writers. You don’t know whether they’re good or not. Compete with the dead ones you know are good. Then when you can pass them up you know you’re going good. You should have read all the good stuff so that you know what has been done because if you have a story like one somebody else has written, yours isn’t any good unless you can write a better one. In any art, you’re allowed to steal anything if you can make it better, but the tendency should always be upward instead of down. And don’t ever imitate anybody. All style is, is the awkwardness of a writer in stating a fact. If you have a way of your own, you are fortunate, but if you try to write like somebody else, you’ll have the awkwardness of the other writer as well as your own.”

In the next post, we’ll look at what Ernest Hemingway thought was the “good stuff” writers should read.

Please take a moment and share your thoughts below. Thanks for following my newsletter. Wishing you a wonderful weekend! Carolyn

Fiction: When Truth Fails

Quote of the Day: “That’s what fiction is for. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn’t sufficient for the truth.” Tim O’Brien

One of the political topics in the air right now is about Pro-Life. I don’t usually get into political debates and I’m not this time. What I will say is that my latest mystery-thriller addresses this issue.

In my latest novel, Primed For Revenge, the main character Sydney Jones was brutally beaten and raped by her kidnapper. She became pregnant from the accoster and couldn’t imagine giving birth to the child that she’d always see as a result of the manhandling and rape. For the rest of the story read here.

There have been times in the past when fiction clearly stated the obvious truths about social, political, world events, and futurists’ expectations, and many have come true in our lifetime.

My suggestion about the current political restrictions concerning a woman’s body is doing the research: look at the mental health, financial, social welfare of THE woman affected. Then answer the question, should her life be legislated without her consent?

For more about my novels, click here!

Thanks for following my blog and reading my mystery novels. You are appreciated! 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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Happy Mother’s Day!

Quote of the Day: “Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; a mother’s secret hope outlives them all.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes

Today is a celebration of motherhood with a thankful heart for the blessing of having a loving mother who supports your dreams.

From my house to yours, wishing you a day filled with joy and good tidings. Happy Mother’s Day, Carolyn Bowen

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An Evening with James Ellroy

Quote of the Day: “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” Mark Twain

Los Angeles CA

The Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) is hosting an evening with James Ellroy June 13th, 7:15 p.m.–10:30 p.m. at the historic Hancock Park O’Melveny estate of Brian Curran and Kevin MacLellan Los Angeles, CA 90020.

About the Author

Lee Earle “James” Ellroy is the author of the Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy: American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, and Blood’s A Rover, and the L.A. Quartet novels: The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz.

Visit Eventbrite for more information and to reserve your ticket/s for a luminary evening with James Ellroy, a master of American mystery and crime fiction writing.

This event is organized by The Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

 

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Book Review: Livia Lone by Barry Eisler

Quote for Today:  “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.” —Norman Vincent Peale

Spring 2019

Spring is in the air and I’m enjoying my writing life – reading and working on book 2 of the Sydney Jones Series. As you know, I rotate my reading from craft, marketing, to the mystery-thriller genre. This is my latest read. Hope you’ll give this gripping fiction a shot!

Livia Lone (Livia Lone, #1)Livia Lone by Barry Eisler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Livia Lone opens the dialog for talking about human trafficking. It’s a worldwide criminal operation partnering for taking and fulfilling orders for people, against their will, to be distributed worldwide. This fictional account shows the political corruption and horrors associated with this heinous crime.

The psychological effects of abuse take on many forms and we get a front row seat to seeing Livia deal with years of childhood and early adulthood abuse. The suspense of not knowing if her sister is dead or alive after both were sold by their parents in Thailand haunts her.

The love for her sister keeps her going. Learning how to defend them both was her objective. She excelled at martial arts, studied criminal justice and became a cop with one purpose in mind – find and free her sister. What she did with her new found knowledge crosses the line, but it fit her agenda – vendetta against those who caused their suffering.

Barry Eisler weaves a tale of deceit that’ll keep you turning pages. In the end, you’ll be ready for the next in the series.

View all my reviews

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

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Meet & Greet: Author Event

Quote of the Day: “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” Ray Bradbury, WD

Meet & Greet!

Join me May 3rd, 7-9 p.m. for a meet and greet at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA. I’m tickled to participate in their Emerging Author’s Program.  I hope to see you there. Be ready for some fun and games with giveaways. Hint: What is your favorite scene or quote from any of my novels?

As many of you know, my latest mystery-thriller is celebrating an April birthday. Primed For Revenge, the first in the Sydney Jones Series is available now at your favorite bookstores. I look forward to your comments and reviews. Thank you, Carolyn Bowen

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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 Writing Life

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