The Bride Price is Now Available!

I’m sorry I’m getting to this post so late. The book came out yesterday, but things were so hectic around my corner of the world. ūüôā It’s nothing bad. All I can say is that a mother’s job is never done.

So anyway, Sep’s story is finally out!

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This is the first book in the Misled Mail Order Brides Series.

  • Book 1: The Bride Price – Sep’s story
  • Book 2: The Rejected Groom – Anthony (aka Tony) Larson’s story
  • Book 3: The Perfect Wife – Mark Larson’s story

In a nutshell, The Bride Price is about Angela who has some minor scars from a fire that has made her unappealing to the men back in her hometown. Her dream is to have children, and the only way that’s going to happen is if she gets married. She answers a mail-order bride ad. When she gets to Omaha, she quickly learns she’s been deceived. The man plans to sell her at an auction. Sep comes along to rescue her. He marries her, and just when everything seems to be going well, someone threatens to take Angela if he doesn’t pay up $300 to keep her.

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I’ve been looking to do his story ever since I finished Joel Larson’s story, Shotgun Groom. ¬†Sep was the 14-year-old brother of the heroine in Shotgun Groom. He meant well, but he had a lot of issues to go through that Joel helped him with.

It was nice to finally do Sep’s story so I could show how far along Sep came in his maturity.¬†Originally, I had planned for Angela to have a hand in helping Sep resolve the issue of the bride price he was demanded in this story, but given Sep’s past in Shotgun Groom, I realized this was something he needed to do himself. I had to show that he came to the place of maturity that, due to his age and proper upbringing, he lacked in Shotgun Groom. This was fun. I love working with characters who weren’t perfect in the past and showing how they changed.

I did bring Joel and April Larson and their children into The Bride Price because I wanted to show how that part of the Larson family is doing after all these years. I also brought in Sally and Rick (from Her Heart’s Desire), and Owen (from The Wrong Husband).

Angela wasn’t the only woman who came out to meet the man who had deceived her. Two other women did, too. I did this so I could also write stories for Richard and Amanda Larson’s two twin boys. Anthony (aka Tony) Larson gets Book 2 and Mark Larson gets Book 3. I am introducing their little sister Annabelle in Book 2. (I’m about 1/4 of the way into Book 2 right now.) I haven’t decided if she’s going to be a part of this series or not, but I would like to. I would need a suitable plot that involves being a misled mail order bride somehow to make it work. I have an idea, but we’ll see how things pan out as I continue through the series.

I’m really enjoying Book 2 and am excited about how the series is going to continue to develop. Lots of fun stuff is coming ahead!

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What’s the Point of Reading a Book if There’s Little Content and Lots of Ads?

I can answer this question in four simple words:

There is no point.

blog post about wasting time with ads

ID 95219571 © Rohane Hamilton | Dreamstime

So what brings about this topic?

There’s a certain radio show I used to listen to a lot. It had great content, and a lot of the stuff was helpful. I could glean something worthwhile out of every show because there would be at least one caller who had a situation I could put in the, “You’ll need to know this in the future” category.

Over the past two weeks, I decided to go back to listening to this show. Instead of the podcast, I was using You Tube. This show has drastically changed. Now, it’s about 70% advertisement in some form. At the very beginning of the show, there’s two ads that run back to back for that particular show. (This is in addition to the ad You Tube will run at the beginning of the video.) So then about 15 minutes into the actual show, you think you’re going to finally get to the meat and potatoes of what the show is supposed to be about. Except, you don’t. There’s some customer who spends about 10 minutes bragging about how much the show helped him/her. So it’s really just another ad. Then we finally get to a call with actual substance, which is about 5 minutes, 10 if you’re lucky. Then we run off to another product the owner has available. And the cycle runs through this over the course of one hour.

So I figured out that in the course of one hour, a maximum of 20 minutes is actual content a listener can gain any benefit from. What’s awful is that most of the content isn’t even useful. Over the past two weeks, I think I might have gathered one thing that’s any benefit to me. So instead of getting something out of every show, which airs five times a week, I have to listen to two weeks’ worth of show to gain one new thing. This is a huge waste of my time. ¬†I don’t know how this show manages to stay on the air, and I’m not going to listen to it anymore.

Anyway, this is going to bring me to the process of making a book because my brain is wired to look at things as both an author and a reader. (I can’t remove that part of my life from most topics because I love writing and reading a lot.)

Yesterday, I started thinking about some of the reviews I’ve seen on some books as I browsed through online retailers. Some authors apparently like to shove a lot of ads for their other books into the book they have published. There’s nothing wrong with some form of advertisement. How else are people going to know what an author has written?¬†But these reviewers claim that these particular authors have about 30%-50% actual book and the rest is nothing but ads for other books. I can see how that would turn off a reader. When they’re downloading a book (especially if they paid for it), they expect most of that space to be filled with the story, just I as expected way more content from that radio show.

In my opinion, a book should have at least 90% story. The 10% can go to ads. Ideally, I think 95% is better for actual content. But this is my rule of thumb on this particular topic.

You can always link more information to your blog or website at the end of your book. Ebooks have made this especially easy. Just insert your url as a hyperlink (if you format the book yourself) or ask your formatter to do it for you. Then, if someone loves your book, they can click the link at the end of the book to find more details about your other books where you can post as many samples or other information as you want. That way, it’s a win-win. Readers don’t feel cheated, and you still give them the option to do more in-depth on what you offer.

I also think adding a link to an email list at the back of a book is a good idea. Then you can directly reach them when you have a special sale or a new release. ¬†I also think it’s a good idea to include an entire list of books you’ve already published because if someone loves the book and wants to read more, they have the list right there. They don’t have to search for it. When I get excited about a new author, the first thing I do is see what else they’ve done. Some authors add a short description for each book. ¬†The more books you have out, the harder it’s going to be to add a short description for every single book you’ve done. An alternative to this is to add a short description for the books in that specific series or that specific genre. You can add links to the series or individual books so the reader can find out more about them in more detail without adding a lot of space that is in your book.

With e-reading¬†devices being electronically friendly, it’s easier than ever to use links to your blog or website to your advantage. I word on an Apple computer in Microsoft Word. The way I add links is to highlight the text I want to link to. Then I go to the toolbar. I go to Insert. Then I scroll down to Hyperlink. This is what pops up:

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You choose the “Web Page” option, which is in blue in the screen shot above. At the very top is the box for “Link To”. Either copy and paste the url into that box or manually type in the link you want people to go to.

That is how I add links to my sites when I format books. Depending on your program, you might have to do things differently.

You can use these links to add some fun stuff for the readers. Maybe you can offer a special short story, character interviews, pictures of characters, trivia about the book, or something else. It can become an interactive way to engage with your readers. Maybe you can ask a question and direct people to answer through the link. If you set up a page on your blog or website dedicated to receiving feedback from your readers, this could become a way to engage with them on a personal level.

I haven’t done any of these. I just thought of this stuff as I was writing this post, but there are things you can do to promote your other books without taking up a lot of valuable space in your book.

 

 

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Putting Wanted: Mail Order Husband On Hold

I have been standing at a wall on this particular book for the past two months, and thought I’ve added a couple thousand words to it, in my gut, I know there’s something “off” about it. So I’m putting it aside.

Wanted Mail Order Husband ebook cover

I rarely ever do that with a book, but sometimes a writer has to put something on hold and focus on something else. Fortunately, this wasn’t up on pre-order, so I have the luxury of doing that.

This is one good argument against doing a pre-order. I love doing pre-orders. They are a great way to get everything lined up in advance. BUT I can see there being a benefit to waiting until the book is done before doing anything with it. If I had put this thing on pre-order, I’d have to get it done even though it’s gone off track. I suspect it went off track about 10,000 words back. My word count in this book at the moment is 24,000 words. For me, I don’t usually know I’ve gone off track on a story until I’m 5,000 to 10,000 words away from the point where things went downhill. This happened in The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife, Boaz’s Wager, and Wagon Trail Bride. I ended up going back and rewriting major portions of that book. The thing was, back then, I was too stupid to realize I had gone off track, which meant I kept on writing until about 20,000 words needed to be scrapped. Those were not fun times. I hate doing that.

So having learned how my brain works, I’m going to stop right now while I only have 10,000 words to scrap. When it’s been over a month, and I’m still struggling with a book, it’s a red flag that I’m not taking the book in the right direction. I’m going to set this aside in a folder, and when the time is right, I’ll go back to it.

This, of course, means, I have a vacancy. I don’t like doubling up on books in the same series. For example, I don’t like writing Book 1 and Book 2 at the same time because something that happens in Book 1 might impact something I need to put in Book 2, but if I were to write those at the same time, I wouldn’t realize this until I’m deep in Book 2. This would require me to go back and scrap parts of Book 2 and rewrite it. So I have to start on a book that isn’t part of a series I’m currently working on. I don’t know what that book will be yet. I still need to get done with Married In Haste so I can have it ready for my editing team at the end of the month.

I am currently behind in my writing schedule. This hasn’t been helped by the fact that I hit a dead end on Wanted: Mail Order Husband. It has only made things a lot more frustrating, and the more frustrated I’ve been getting, the harder it’s been to write anything at all, even in stories where I know where I’m going. It’s difficult to write when you’re wound up so tight that you have trouble concentrating on anything. ¬†I’m hoping that if I put this book aside, it’ll help relieve some of the pressure so that my creativity will come back.¬†Right now I’m going to focus on Married In Haste and The Rejected Groom. I know I’m on the right tack in those books.

Like I said above, I am relieved that I never put this one up on pre-order. The pressure isn’t there to finish it. Going through this experience has me questioning whether or not pre-orders on a book is really that great of an idea. If the book is already finished, I guess I don’t see any harm in doing it. It is nice to have everything done on the day of release so all you have to do is let people know the book is available. To me, that is the main benefit of doing a pre-order. I’ve never seen massive sales from doing pre-orders. There is a slight bump, but it’s nothing to brag about. Now, if you’re a popular author with a large following, then pre-orders could be a powerful tool under your belt. But if you’re not comfortable doing a pre-order or don’t see any benefit to it, I see no reason to do it. I think pre-orders were supposed to be the next big thing in marketing, but I don’t think it ever panned out to be what people said it was supposed to be. (That’s my two cents for what it’s worth.)

The important thing is that the book should be one the author is proud of. Believe me, it’s no fun to have a book out there that you cringe about whenever you think about it. So for the sake of Wanted: Mail Order Husband, I’m not going to finish it at this time.

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