Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Going Wilde!

I'm obsessed. Plain and simple.

I'm obsessed with my new indie publishing project and it's difficult to think of anything else ... so excuse me while I indulge myself once again.

My last post was about my Kickstarter campaign for my new Winnie Wilde series, specifically for RUNNING WILDE, the first novella in the series.

As of now, that campaign is almost 140% funded and it still has a few days to go! 

And ... as I write this, the Winnie Wilde campaign is one of the most popular fiction projects on Kickstarter according to Kickspy! Who knew?!!!

It's not too late to be a part of this exciting new adventure. To pledge, GO HERE!

Extra monies will be used to fund the 2nd book in the series, WILDE WOMEN.


Now available
for pre-order through Amazon
In addition, RUNNING WILDE is now available on Amazon for pre-order.  To pre-order RUNNING WILDE, GO HERE.

Next I need to finish up the edits and have it professionally proofread and formatted.

After that it will be ready to upload to Amazon for launching. The projected release date is April 13, 2015.

Also on the checklist are ordering PR materials like bookmarks (yes, even for a digital book), arranging PR assistance, reviews, blog tours, etc.

The website for Meg Chambers (my pen name for this new series) is also almost done.

It takes a lot of work to bring out a book, even a digital novella, on your own.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Kick Me! Please!

A few days ago, I set up a Kickstarter Campaign to help defray some of the costs in self-publishing my new Winnie Wilde erotic romance series under the pen name of Meg Chambers.  I didn't set a large goal, just $1,000, which will cover the bare bones of self-publishing RUNNING WILDE, my first Winnie Wilde novella.

As of the writing of this blog, the campaign is 80% funded - in just a couple of days! And I have no doubt that the project will fund completely over the next week or so of the campaign.


If you're not familiar with Kickstarter, it's a crowd funding website that helps people with projects fund them and turn them into reality. Several of my writing colleagues have used it successfully.

Generally, when you pledge to a Kickstarter campaign you receive rewards when the project is completed. In my case, it involves receiving copies of RUNNING WILDE and even the next book, WILDE WOMEN. The largest reward is having your name or any name you choose in one of the Winnie Wilde books. That reward level has been very popular!  If a donor does not want a reward, they can opt out and still pledge - and a few have done that.  It has been quite fun and exciting to watch.

Just because I'm close to my funding goal, it doesn't mean the campaign is done. Any funds over the initial $1,000 will go to other publishing expenses and toward the next book or books in the series.

It's not to late to be a part of this exciting new adventure. To pledge, GO HERE!

So where does the money go... glad you asked.

As anyone who has ever self-published a book professionally knows, it costs money.  I'm not talking about slapping a manuscript together and throwing it up on Amazon, as so many novice writers have done, thereby flooding the market with really bad books, but taking the time and going through the process to do it professionally, as any traditional publisher would.

Step 1 - Write a good book.  RUNNING WILDE my first Winnie Wilde novella has been written and read by a small arm of Beta or sample readers who I trust to critique it with eagle eyes.

Step 2 - Do final edits. This is currently in process, but is taking a back seat to a book I have under contract with a looming deadline.

Step 3 - Order professional cover. Done and I couldn't be happier with it. Everyone has "oohed" and "ahhhed" over the cover designed by Kim Killion of the Killion Group for RUNNING WILDE.

Step 4 - Have book professionally edited, proofed and formatted. This will probably be done by the end of February or early March and costs the most money.

Step 5 - Launch book on online retailer. This will be sometime in early April.

Step 6 - Market the hell out of it and hold breath. Expect RUNNING WILDE to be released by mid April.

Steps 3, 4 and 6 takes funding, especially steps 3 and 4.

Again, thank you to all who have supported me and Winnie.

Game On! 
Because I didn't come to play. 
I came to win.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Yoda Was Right ...

It was exactly two months ago that I attended Bouchercon, the World Mystery Conference, in Long Beach. When I arrived, I was pretty close to being burned out on my writing career and almost cancelled out of the event. Frankly, I had been feeling like a hamster in a wheel, cranking out book after book after book for many years, without feeling like I was getting ahead.

It's true, I had built up a nice, large following of readers, and a very impressive body of work, but financially there was little evidence of all my hard labor. And while many authors will tell you they don't write for the money, I say bullshit to that. Writing is not a hobby to me. It's a profession. A profession I love and am fairly good at, but still a profession.

After three days of talking to many of my colleagues at Bouchercon, I came away with a renewed spirit and vigor - not to continue my writing career but to CHANGE it!

Once home, I sat down and made a list of the projects I had started and wanted to finish, together with a list of the projects I wanted to continue, including those still under contract. Then I wrote down the most important items - the projects I thought might lift me out of my doldrums and expand my career at the same time. Then I sent my new game plan to my lovely and supportive agent, followed by a 90 minute conference call with her to smooth out the rough edges of my strategy.

The one new project I was determined to do first was to develop a new erotic romance series, which I would self-publish. Two months ago, this was not even on my radar. Today, it's almost a reality.  The manuscript for RUNNING WILDE, the first book in my Winnie Wilde erotic romance series, is done but needs final edits, proofing and formatting. But it's done and has been reviewed very favorably by Beta readers. And yesterday I received the gorgeous cover I commissioned from The Killion Group.  The release is planned for early April.

This morning my friend and colleague, Karen MacInerney, said to me:  " you realize you made this dream a reality in about 45 days?"

That's right, I did!
I didn't try to do it, I did it!

You'll notice that the Winnie Wilde books are being written by "Meg Chambers." That's my pen name for books that fall outside my well-known "cozy" or "soft-boiled" brand set by the Odelia Grey and Ghost of Granny Apples series.  If you see me launch a book under the name of Meg Chambers, know that it will contain "adult" themes, scenes, and topics.

Dear gentle readers: Warning!
Meg Chambers books are "R" rated.
Please purchase and read accordingly, or not.
Thank you.

I'm still working a day job. I'm still writing like a crazy, obsessed lunatic. But now I have renewed purpose and focus. More importantly, I have a plan. Only time will tell if this change will also fulfill my desire and need for more tangible rewards.

If you are discontent with something in your life, change your situation. Because only YOU can make that change, and if you look around, there will be a lot of people willing to cheer you on to the finish line.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

2015 - Chapter One

It's the 4th of January 2015, which means it's resolution time again!

 And here is how 2104 ended up:

 1) Make my bed every day - Ummm, I've probably only made my bed half the time!

 2) Balance my check book every month - I have balanced my checkbook every month except for a couple. It's currently balanced. YAY!

 3) Stick to a workout and eating program -  I continue to eat healthier and move a lot more. I wear George the FitBit almost every day and it continues to push me to be more active.  I discovered earlier in the year that I was allergic to dairy. By cutting it out, my skin and a few other things got a lot better. When I backslide, it's not pretty.  I started a blog called The Half-Assed Vegan for folks curious about the plant-based lifestyle or just how to change little things in their eating habits to be healthier. I lost weight this year, but not a ton.

 4) Read at least 30 books in 2014.  I actually read 36 this past year.  And that does not include all the times I've read my own manuscripts over and over before turning them into my publishers.


1) Continue exercise and healthy eating and focus on losing at least 50 lbs in 2015.

2) Read at least 32 books in 2015.

3) And here's the BIGGIE:  Start a new book series which I will self-publish under the pen name of Meg Chambers. The first book in the series, RUNNING WILDE, should be ready for release this summer.  This is along with continuing to keep my current book contract obligations.

You'll notice the bed making and check book balancing didn't make the 2015 list. I've given up on the bed thing and will be happy with 50%. As for the checkbook balancing, I think that's under control.

I got this.
I do.