Thursday, February 28, 2008

February 28, 2008

This will be another brief post because I still feel a little bad and I am tired.

However, I just had to share this...

So here are two things with Taste of Tombstone (TOT). First, for those who don’t know; this was my very first book and it came out 10 years ago in January 2008. I recently discovered that the 1998 version of Taste of Tombstone is listed all over the internet for sale anywhere $17-$200! I guess after ten years, a small print run, and a second edition out, this has become something to collect. How weird is that?

The University of New Mexico Press reprinted TOT and is releasing it this month. I just got my author copies with the new cover, edits, and text. You know, there is nothing like opening a book for the first time and hearing that paper noise that can only be heard with a new book fresh out of the wrapper.

It has certainly been an interesting 10-year ride, so far! Can’t wait for the next 10 years…

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

February 27, 2008

I haven't blogged for a few days because I am fighting a nasty cold. I have managed to blast through some books though since I only laid around this weekend.

I will get back to blogging on a regular basis when I am feeling a little better.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

February 21, 2008

Today is busy with work, but I did manage to read some from another book I am judging (last night). I hope to do that again tonight, but Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Lost is on tonight, so we will see.

We are going to LaPiazza for dinner again tonight - it's my friend's birthday celebration. I usually get the angel hair pasta with red clam sauce, but maybe I will try something new.

I did receive some book review copies that my publisher sent me. They were written in various papers, magazines, etc. They were all favorable, but some had what I thought were back-handed compliments. Like this one written by a history professor, "While more analysis would make this book more convincing, for most readers, its engaging stories and appealing tales should prove worthwhile." What does that mean? He thought it was so-so but to most of us non-scholarly types it's a good read. I guess he could have trashed it. Ah, the life of an author. My fav review ending is this, "The gunfight made Tombstone famous. Monahan makes Tombstone live."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February 20, 2008

Sorry to keep all you budding authors waiting to hear why I have a full-time day job. It's that day job that sometimes prevents me from posting and writing.

Yesterday and today I was slammed. I have another conference call in 8 minutes, but wanted to get something in here.

I went to my Pilates class - yeah!! Can't wait to sneeze tomorrow...

Okay, for those who think being an author is glamourous and lucrative, I'm about to rock your world!

Don't get me wrong, I love being an author. However, there is a lot of hard work involved, and some days I just want to give it all up...but that's a whole other story - being persistent.

Back to why I have a a full-time job - because I want to eat, drive my nice car, and have a roof over my head.

Here's the scoop: most authors, like myself, only make a very small portion of the book's profits. On average, an author makes 7-10% of the net receipt. Using the 10% scenario, that means that if the book sells for $16.95 and the publisher actually sells it for $16.95, then the author gets $1.70.

However, most of the time, the publisher sells the books at a discount. How do you think Borders can sell it to you for 20% off? When a publisher sells a book to a bookstore, they give them 40% off the cover price (or $10.17). In that scenario, the author receives $1.02, but wait, it gets better! Publishers also sell their books through distributors who get a 50-60% discount. When that happens, the book sells for $7.63 and the author gets $.76.

When you see numbers like that you think, why wouldn't I self publish? Well, that is an option, but then you have to do all the work of marketing and selling. Plus, the publishers can definately get your book way more exposure than most authors can by themselves.

Now you know why I have a day job...

Monday, February 18, 2008

February 18, 2008

Sorry I haven't posted sooner, but last week was crazy with work and trying to adjust to the time changes.

Last week was such a blur so I don't have much to report. I will start this week anew and forget the last one.

The weather has been bizarre...upper 60s for the last two days and it will be in the 30s tonight. No wonder the flowers are blooming in February. That's even early for the south!

I haven't done any writing lately, but have been giving advice about it.

Someone asked me about self-publishing. It's certainly an option, especially if you have about $6,000 to drop and some time.

To begin, you have to finish writing your book, and then you need to have it edited--don't ask Aunt Edna to do it! Pay for this service--it can make or break your book.

Next, find a printer, designer, and get your legal ducks in a row. Copyright your work (you should do this no matter who publishes your book), get your ISBN numbers (no bookstore will sell your book unless you have one), set up an accounting system, find a printer, and attempt to get a distributor to sell your book.

You should also have a current website with ordering information.

I don't mean to make this sound impossible, but there is a lot to consider. I almost went this option, but decided I would hold out for a traditional publisher. I let them do all the work and pay up front. royalties and why I still have a day job...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

February 12, 2008

I've been really slack about this blog. However, I was out of town since last Thurday. My company flew me to Lake Tahoe for a business meeting. Tahoe is stunningly beautiful! It was really cool because we all work around the U.S. and never get to see each other. We had two half days of business and the rest was all fun. We had a team-building dinner event, ate at an awesome restaurant, and played at the casinos. I didn't ski because of my back, but I went and watched the others. It was about 45 degrees, so we sat outside with our wine. I work with a great group of people!

My writing took a break while I was away. I did manage to finish reading another book in my award's category. I also submitted some marketing tips to the Women Writing the West's newsletter.

Monday, February 4, 2008

February 4, 2008

Saturday was Groundhog Day. The rodent saw his shadow, so it's six more weeks of winter...we'll see.

Sunday was the Superbowl. Great food, fair commercials, and a darn good game.

I made the gym today, and did some volunteer work with foster kitties. There is one six-month old gray kitty named, Misty. She's so sweet and equally scared. She let me hold her today and she went to sleep, so I let her for about 40 minutes.

I am working on a couple of projects that I can't really talk about right now, and they are both exciting!

Friday, February 1, 2008

February 1, 2008

It's already February - I swear time just flies by.

I was feeling pretty poorly yesterday, so I laid low and did my job. I did manage to make sopa de albondigas (meaball soup) for dinner. It's a wonderful Mexican soup with tomatoes, cilantro, and meatballs in a light broth. There is nothing like soup to make you feel better all over, well, except good wine to go with it!

Today is better, but the weather is gloomy, cold, and wet. I think I will make potato and leek soup for dinner.

I should start calling this the food column, rather than an author's column. Hey, at least you know what I am fond of, which explains my first book, Taste of Tombstone. Food and writing are my passions, so I guess it makes sense that I talk about food all the time.

Let's see - some writer stuff today. For some reason, I have been getting more and more requests for advice and research stuff. I really don't mind, because I was once in these requestor's shoes. When I think back, I prayed that all the people I contacted would be kind and offer some good advice. Some did, some did not.

I hope that I never become too busy to help new writers starting out. Most of the time, the requests are small, but I recently received one, which I tried to answer with the details I had. I got another email back with even more questions.