Writing Inspiration #WickedWednesday #HumpDayHottie @KaceyHammell

 

Wednesdays

Good morning.  Happy Wednesday and Happy Hump Day.

I have been blessed the last few days of frantic inspiration in my writing so my post will be short and straight to the point. It actually feels like a Wacky Wednesday to me. I am currently writing a new story that is coming at me in weird waves. Scenes, dialogue that aren’t quite in order exactly, and moments from the story that come in flashes. This has never happened to me before, and although I have written many scenes within my notebooks when on the go, this one only wants to be written in long hand. Boggles other authors’ minds, I know, but sometimes the process is different for some. Whatever works right?

So because I’ve been so focused on what I have been writing, and researching wolves since this will be my first wolfie shifter, I didn’t have a long or witty post for today. I haven’t really come up for air a lot. And even though I’m sure I’ll be able to patch my new words/scenes together at some point, I can’t knock that I am getting words in. In this weird way, but at least there’s no writer’s block.

I leave you today with some inspiration. Hopefully everyone is writing up a storm and enjoying what they love most.wed2

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(Source of all photos: Pinterest)

And I also leave you with my current inspiration for my hero (Theo James) who is my Hump Day Hottie too.

 

Until next week,

Happy Writing!

Kacey xoxo

 


 

When It’s Time to Make Changes #WickedWednesday (@KaceyHammell)

Wednesdays

Good morning everyone. Happy Wednesday. Happy Hump Day. Kacey here again this week. I hope the last week has been kind to you. And productive! I had a so-so week with productivity. Not a lot of words written but I recharged my batteries over the Easter holidays with yard work, some spring cleaning and family time.  I also spent a lot of time self-evaluating and examining my writing goals.

Like with all things in life, it’s a good idea to take stock in what’s going on, who we are and the worth we should feel inside. Writing (for most writers) is ingrained in our blood. Even in the worse times when publishers are going under, dishonest people are running off with our hard earned money, and sales aren’t at their highest, we still need to write. We live, breathe, bleed and hunger for every word we write on the screen/page. That is simply the way it is. But we need to take a step back at times, think about the market we’re writing in, the publishers we are writing for and the monies being brought in.

It’s a business. Don’t lie to yourself. While writers have to write to soothe their souls and create the worlds’ we do, we want to make money do so. And when the money is not flowing every quarter, everything needs to be examined. And don’t be ashamed to admit that money matters. There are key points to look at to make money–What the writer is doing to promote their work, what the publisher is doing on your behalf and the readership they have, and what other publishers are conquering better sales. For some, it takes numerous stories before making any real money, for others it can be an instant hit sometimes. For me, my way of sales has always been a slow build. With each new release, sales climb a bit, and I keep chugging along.  I’m re-evaluating my own operations, and realize that the only way to be truly happy (for me) is to try different avenues and live by the ‘no risk, no reward’. I don’t want to get into a “stalemate” with myself and never take chances.

I did it once, with a now closed publisher who I’d always wanted to work with, and they screwed a lot of authors over. But I had taken that risk, had some reward, then when things imploded I stopped taking chances. Getting burned will do that to a person. I have since realized that I can’t sequester myself into a little bubble and never expand my horizons so to speak. I haven’t been happy in a while with how things are progressing and only I can change what will improve things for me.

When things aren’t working, change/fix/explore new options. Sometimes those can be the best decisions in a writer’s career. I’m jumping in, slowly, and shaking up my world and will try some new things. It can’t get any sadder for me than where I am now, and the mantra of ‘no risk, no reward’ is something I’ve lost along the way.

And hell, if all else fails, maybe I’ll join the circus. LOL

 

Until next week,

Kacey xoxo

Oh, if you need a little Hump Day pick-me-up…

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pic source: Pinterest

The #99cent Decision #WickedWednesday (@KaceyHammell)

Wednesdays
Good morning everyone! Kacey here, and I wish you all a wonderful Wednesday. The temperatures have been so amazing here in my area of Ontario, Canada. The sunshine has felt wonderful on my face, and we’ve had some rainy days, but the rise in temps and seeing the sun more days than not, makes up for it.

This week I want to talk about something that can stir the pot with many people in this industry. Things can get pretty heated amongst authors about the 99 cent pricing on ebooks. There happened to be a kerfuffle on social media recently that I added my opinion to, by a fairly well-known author’s (depends on  the genre you read) who expressed a serious snarl about some authors having so many books in their catalogue for 99 cents, and how the industry was suffering because of this factor.

Now, adding myself to the mix since I have a book for 99 cents, which has always been in my catalogue for that amount, I took this seriously. The word count on my book is just shy of 10,000 words. Why would I want my readers paying more than that for a story at such a low word count? It’s a second to a series (the first always free), and I like to use the 2 short stories to readers who haven’t read my work before. I don’t want to give them all away for free, and having these 2 in my backlist has worked, I’ve had readers comment that they found me because of these stories and they searched for more, and found the longer, more pricier titles.

I’m all for having an opinion in this business, everyone has one and is entitled to it. However, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when some authors scream “wrong” when another author chooses to take a path they don’t agree with. The author I mentioned above who was quite vocal about the subject, said things like “this is destroying our industry”, “it’s bribing readers and sadly devalues the books” with regards to the 99 price point. Hell, over a decade ago there wasn’t bitching and fighting about ebooks and smaller publishers destroying the industry.

Hmm, look at things now…

But back on topic — yes, sales are down across the board, a lot of authors are second-guessing this as a career and my heart goes out to them, but honestly, who are we to dictate to another author how they run their business? And this is a business. The path I choose may not work for another author, vice versa, yada yada yada. So why does anyone have to make statuses with all caps,  and make disparaging remarks without knowing the author’s reasons for putting his/her books at 99 cents? We don’t pay their bills, don’t walk in their shoes or know their struggles. Some authors put their books at that price when they are just starting out and want to have the exposure to run ads in newsletters, etc. Perhaps they simply want to offer their books at a low price all the time for his/her readership? God forbid an author writes for the love of the art and giving readers – who may have health issues or are unable to spend much on books – something affordable?  Don’t be so quick to pass judgment on others.

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My lower priced titles will remain at their price, and out of more than a dozen stories in my backlist catalogue, it’s not that big of a deal. I don’t find it devaluing my work because the reasons are mine to do so and I love every story that comes from my heart and soul. Perhaps people who shouldn’t, again, pass judgment on people they know nothing about. Just because a story is 99 cents does NOT mean it’s because the author devalues his/her work. That is, in my opinion, the issues of others who want to belittle others.

And while the industry is very saturated and it’s difficult to get noticed or to always be a best-selling author, every author has to follow their own path. Again, it is their decision to run their business as they see fit. Also, another point is if a book is 99 cents, an author only sets the price is they are self-publishing.  Publishers have control over pricing and often have sales running to spotlight a new release, which is part of a series or simply to try some new marketing strategies.

But authors should be standing united without anyone telling them what is wrong or right. Every author has their own opinion on what success is and how they should run their business. Perhaps we should all root for everyone and write more books instead of bashing others?

Sounds like a plan to me…

 

Until next week,

Happy Writing!

Kacey xo

 


 

Convictions #WickedWednesday (@KaceyHammell)

 

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Photo cred: Dreamtoyz.com/Pinterest

Good morning all. Happy Wednesday. Kacey here on another Hump Day, wishing I had a hot fudge sundae to enjoy. Don’t ask me why, it’s nearly midnight as I type this originally, and I have this sudden craving. But I must ignore it, stay strong in my conviction NOT to late-night eat. Plus, I don’t have the ingredients for a sundae. *g*

On the topic of convictions, see what I did there? LOL Convictions. We all live by them in our daily lives. Our firm belief in an opinion or belief. As authors we all need to have ones that we live by and won’t compromise on. For me, being true to myself and my author voice is the main one. I won’t allow others to dictate my career nor do anything that I will regret later. This past week, I had a rejection in the form of a revise and resubmit (an R&R), and while some might say a R&R is not a rejection, for this one, it was.

I sat back and read the feedback from the acquiring editor for a few hours and considered all the points she made and decided what was right for my story was the original version. The particular story has been published before with a well-known publisher who was held in high-esteem years ago, and while that’s is a point to make, it’s didn’t defer my from my decision. The feedback was something I didn’t agree with, and even sent it to a couple other authors who said they didn’t agree totally, and reinforced my belief that the story was fine as is.

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Photo Cred: QuotePixel.com

Every publisher looks for different elements that have to hit a certain level, from the romance to the character personalities and depth, to the writing itself. And each publisher has that right. However, as authors we have the right to feel strong with conviction about the hoops (or revisions) we want to put forth. Though I didn’t agree with the acquiring editor’s feedback completely, I value the input and will always ensure that each of my books have the elements that the publisher I submitted to was searching for, as well as everything ALL publishers might want. It is within my power to know when to make changes to a story, and not just do so in order to be published. I stand firm in my conviction that this particular story has all the elements it needs and is a great story. It’s been put through the ringer with more than one critique partner, beta readers and other authors since I originally wrote it about four years, or more, ago.

Without conviction to stay true to ourselves and the stories we write (when warranted), then what are we doing this for? While we all want to be published authors, there is no need to bow down to every opinion of others and changing things to suit others. Ultimately, first, last and always, they are our stories and we need to stand tall and proud of what we’ve accomplished. When the time is right and a publisher gives that wonderful word – YES – then it’s time for that story to shine. But don’t compromise your convictions for the sake of others.

 

Until next week,

Happy Writing!

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Writing Romance #WickedWednesday @KaceyHammell

 

Good morning everyone! Welcome to Wednesday. Kacey here, starting the new change around the blog and looking forward to greeting you on a different day, different time, different bat channel…errr, well, bit off there, but you get my meaning. 😀

I’m keeping in line with April’s original “Wicked Wednesday” idea. Not everything will be wicked, maybe a little wacky mind you, there will be good information and such as always too, but today, I’m starting with a topic that I was discussing with my mother the other day.

The most wicked LOL, but also the wackiest part of this business, and we’ve touched on it before, is the reaction to the Romance genre – erotic romance sub-genre too – but some people still hold a heck of a grudge against Romance in general. I’m not sure what it is, and everyone is entitled to that opinion, but I’ve read romance since the Harlequin days and back some ##### years ago (since I was 11), and have thoroughly enjoyed it. And it inspired me to be a writer. A lot of people are of the mindset that writers aren’t “real” writers if they write romance. Okaaaaaayyyy. We put as much blood, sweat, research(most of us who do our job well), and tears into writing and are great storytellers. I’ve never understood some of the public opinion on writing one genre over another makes for a better writer than others. Romance sells, and does so quite well. There are hills and valleys, dips and dives over the years but the romance genre continues to sell.

The people around me (not immediate family) don’t consider what I do … real. If they can’t get the books at the local bookstore, then I’m not a real author. My temper rises when I hear this crap, but it is true and is what I live with. But things really take a nose-dive when they learn that I write in the erotic romance sub-genre. Oh it tickles my funny bones to watch people go pale, swallow hard a few times, and form some thoughts. Usually incorrect ones, and I get things like “oh so it’s porn”, or “not real literature then”.

No one, absolutely no one should judge another person’s reading material!! Ever. And to be judged by people who think you are not a real author, when you have more than a dozen titles published, is just so wrong. It is almost evil! LOL  So very wrong. But really, we have to take the judgment with a grain of salt. Not everyone enjoys reading what we write, and not everyone is an author. They couldn’t possibly understand what goes into writing a story and getting it published. In their minds, they could believe we just put scratch down on paper and no one of real merit is publishing us.

So take the good with the bad in terms of judgment and always be true to yourself. You know what your stories are worth, your value as an author.  Never let anyone’s negative opinion get you down.

Learn to laugh their opinions away because you’re the one with the catalogue of stories to your name. Enjoy that!

And then consider this …

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Until next time, have a super week!

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Newbie Tips with @aprilzyon

Hello and happy Wednesday darlings! I know that I’m not a newbie but I swear I need a billboard inside of my bedroom with these tips, and have needed them from the start of my career so I hope that you take them with the love and advice that they are intended.

They are only intended to be tips, not a full on “DO THIS” or “THIS IS THE ONE TRUE WAY!” guide.

So here goes.

Let me be upfront with you all first and foremost.

I am the single most unorganized person you will ever in the history of ever meet in your life. I’m so not kidding. I wish I was but I’m not.

So here we go. Here is the list that I’ve been building since I began to write, one that I wish I had when I started writing.

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Okay my first piece of advice….

Get yourself either a portable memory drive or sign up for OneDrive, Dropbox or something similiar and create the following folders.

  • Covers  
    • Do a folder for each publisher you work with, and if you self publish, a folder for that as well
    • If you write series – do a separate folder for each series you write
  • Contracts  
    • Do a folder for each publisher you work with, and if you self publish, a folder for that as well
  • Edits
    • If you write series – do a separate folder for each series you write
  • ARCs
    • If you write series – do a separate folder for each series you write
  • ARCs sent to reviewers
  • Reviewers that have responded (this is important because you don’t want to continue to send books out to people that don’t put reviews up for your books. That’s money out of your pocket and they aren’t even giving you a review in return.)
  • YEAR ?
    • QUARTER 1 EARNINGS
    • QUARTER 1 SPENDING
    • QUARTER 2 EARNINGS
    • QUARTER 2 SPENDING
    • QUARTER 3 EARNINGS
    • QUARTER 3 SPENDING
    • QUARTER 4 EARNINGS
    • QUARTER 4 SPENDING

****PLEASE NOTE YOU WILL WANT TO DO A FOLDER FOR EACH YEAR AND A FOLDER FOR EACH QUARTER — YOUR ACCOUNTANT WILL THANK YOU AND YOU WILL THANK YOURSELF LATER — yes, I meant to type all in caps because taxes are so not to be screwed around with!

Now then, you will also want to get yourself a couple of good close people who will be your Alpha and Beta reader. Have them sign a NDA (non-disclose agreement) to protect yourself and your work as well as them. **I linked a very basic NDA to rocketlawyer here.**

Another thing you will also want to do is backup your work – often. (Hence the dropbox, onedrive, Google Docs, the portable storage device etc)

Keep timestamps on everything that you do. Seriously you have no idea when this might come in handy!

Again, keep yourself organized from the moment that you start and you should be good.

Me, I’m still trying to pull myself out of the mess that I started five years ago and I’m still crying like a baby. I’m still trying to find that inner organized space, its there but I just don’t know where.

So that’s my hope for you all today – that you are organized and find that my mistakes are your cautionary tales and you learn from them.

Now, on to the best part of Wednesday – well besides the fact that half the week is over…


These come from “The Worlds Hottest Men” on Facebook – make sure to give them some love!

Wicked Wednesday with @aprilzyon

Hello everyone and welcome to Wicked Wednesday with me, April Zyon. Today I’m talking about asking your fellow authors / bloggers for help with pimping your books and how much is too much.

Deep breath.

We all ask each other for help in “pimping” our books. We all help each other (or we should, we are all in this together you know) and because of this there should be some measure of respect because of this.

So this is just a bit of me jumping off from where Michelle talked about My Way or the Highway.

This is all about logic and respect, and again this is just me and my spin on things.

First of all, if someone hosts you on their blog, takes the time to work your document into their blog then you need to thank them.

Secondly, if you send them a blog post try to send them not only a word document but also a html document as well. (I’m sure someone will cover media kits soon, if we haven’t already)

Third, if you have a word document with images embedded into that document, please always send the images separately but don’t overwhelm your host with 10 images in one blog post! (PLEASE!)

finally…

 

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If you look at your word document and your word document is 10 pages long – not the html – the word document – its FAR TOO LONG. Seriously. If your document is over 6 pages long WITH images in it – its too long.

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  • Be respectful
  • Keep it clean
  • When your host comes  back to you and asks you to host them as well, return the favor
  • Don’t give multiple choices for excerpts, choose one to send to your host
  • Don’t send multiple documents to your host (ie: one doc for social media, one doc for blurb, one doc for excerpt, one doc for buy links, etc)
  • Thank your host

 

That’s it for me folks 🙂

Now, on to some beautiful man candy. I love the man candy. ❤


Today’s images come to you from one of my favorite Facebook communities, Hottest Men with Tattoos. Go over and give them some love. ( I do not own these images, they belong to the photographer and model.)

 

 

Reader and Author Conferences with @aprilzyon

Happy Wednesday my darlings. 🙂 How are you all doing today? It’s hard to believe its September already! I’m just agog at the fact that this year is utterly flying by.

So a few days ago I read this amazing article by another author and it struck something in me. I really wish I had saved the article but I didn’t. I was on my phone reading it while waiting in the doctors office and sadly didn’t think about saving it.

The gist of it was this…

As an author, you go to conferences to meet your fans – you don’t go to make money. If you go with the intention to make money then you are doing your fans a disservice.

Why?

Here’s what I remember…

  • We put a lot into conferences.
  • We buy our books to sell at conferences (Oftentimes at a loss to ourselves)
  • We buy swag (I have an awesome story about swag that I have to tell you! One of the ladies on this blog wrote a series based in a small town and the small town had windmills in it. Anyway, she had these Windmill stress ball things made up to take to a con to give to her readers, something to deeply connect to her series. I thought that was a freaking AMAZING IDEA!)
  • We buy the table we sit at
  • We buy candies for our readers
  • We buy pens, markers, stickers, etc
  • Business Cards
  • Table coverings

and all sorts of other little things that you simply wouldn’t think of. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. But you know what, its worth it. Why? Because you meet your readers. You get to meet them face to face, hug them, take pictures with them and you get to finally put a face to a name. You get to chill out with people who have read your books and understand what goes on inside of your brain because they’ve peeked inside of your brain by reading that book. It’s not about stroking your ego, its about meeting people that actually understand how your mind works because they’ve met the characters that have ran amok inside of your little brain.

That’s right ladies and gents. Anytime that a reader opens your book they see the things that go on inside of your mind via your characters. 🙂

So the long and short of it is that Reader and author conferences area awesome. They really are. In large settings I’m actually very, very shy but in small settings I’m fairly “bubbly” or so I’ve been told 🙂

Now, the real reason you are here..

The lovely men.

Today’s men come to us via Facebook (of course!) And the seriously (SERIOUSLY!) talented Michael Stokes

 


Please visit his Facebook page and give it a like as well as give his Kickstarter a couple bucks as well if you can. ❤ (** I do NOT own these images, they are OWNED by Michael Stokes and the models that posed for them. I am simply sharing them and his amazing work with you all.)

 

 

 

Politics with @aprilzyon

No, I’m not going to discuss politics with you but what I’m going to touch on is something that’s been said before and I’m going to say it again…

We are authors. What we post on our author pages reflect upon us and what people tag us in also reflects upon us. Believe me, I know!

I had to reset my settings on Facebook so that I had to approve people tagging me in things because of some of the hate speech that I was being tagged in. Things that I would *NEVER* ever say, things that I would never approve of and just terrible, horrible things so  here is my post for this fabulous Wednesday in this political hotbed of a season…

Check your settings.

Trust me on this.

Make it so that you have to approve anything that people tag you in. I *hate* it, good lord love a duck I hate it with a passion however the simple truth is that I would much rather take an extra ten minutes out of my day to go through tags than let any of my friends, readers, fans feel as if they are being abused because of a tag that is on my page.

This goes for politics, racism, and so much more. Things that are so not me! I’m a huge believer in LOVE IS LOVE and EVERYONE is EQUAL… not all of my friends are sadly and they will tag me in some really – really crude and terrible things thinking that they are being funny when they aren’t. And yes, I’ve asked them not to.

So that’s my advise today my darlings, check your settings, ensure that you are able to approve any tags on your Facebook page before they go up.

That’s all for today. ❤


Now today all images are via Matthew Hosea. I just love him. He’s so …. well you will see. Drools!

Wicked Wednesday with @aprilzyon

School is back in session for most of the US and I’m sure that there are a lot of writer moms who are singing the praises of school and thanking heavens for the buses that come and take their angels away for 8 hours a day.

Not because they don’t love their kids, but because finally, FINALLY, they can write!

I know that this was how I felt when my kids were little and it was school time again.

Why do we love this time of year so much?

Because we have a couple of hours each day where we can sit down and simply write. A couple of hours where we can simply either outline, plot, plan or (*GASP*) relax!

Yep, that’s right, I said it – RELAX.

Yes, writing is something that we would rather be doing. Don’t get me wrong. I would much rather be writing than doing anything else in the world however the simple truth is that we are human and we all need to take a moment to relax. We need to recharge our batteries and we need to relax our minds or else we will not be able to create the fabulous stories that are inside of our minds.

Now my darlings, our kids are all at school, so bring out a notebook and sit outside while it is still warm outside and go out and start to write. It doesn’t have to be your next best seller, hell it can be your grocery list for that matter, just do something. Write, get yourself accustomed to simply working your way through that routine once again.

I know that this is a short and rambling post, but I am in the middle of edits on 2 books and working on writing another sooo…. let me give you some of the eye candy that I’m drooling over while I’m working ❤


All of today’s images come from the fabulous and amazing Furious Fotog. They are – AMAZING!!!