3 Reasons to Ride the Audiobook Wave?

You may have noticed audiobooks are selling really well right now. Why? It’s simple. They fit people’s modern lifestyles and their need for stories. Here’s my top three reasons I recommend riding the audiobook wave.

One: Audiobooks Sell

According to Forbes: “Audiobooks are … up about 20% year over year across the publishing industry for the first eight months of 2017, according to the Association of American Publishers’ data reports from 1,200 publishers. In the same time period, print books rose just 1.5%, and e-books dropped by 5.4%.”(Forbes link) Psst: They continue to grow.

Two: They are easy to create and the quality is good.

You’ve already done the  hard part. You’ve written the book. Now you need to choose who will produce your audiobook  and the rest of the process is slicker than mud. The technology is amazing.

Three: You don’t have to put money out to produce them

If you use ACX you can create an audiobook for free. You sign away your audio rights for seven years and split your portion of the profits with the narrator. You get to choose the narrator.

Or … you can pay the narrator upfront a set amount per performance hour and get all the profits.


Want to know more about audiobooks?

Check out these two podcasts:

Mine, on Blood Sweat and Words (Stephanie Spicer, A Voice Actor Talks About Audiobooks.)

Mark Dawson’s on SPF Podcast (Why you need to be publishing audiobooks with Tina Dietz)


Here’s my latest on audio:

Midnight Magic

Available on Amazon, Audible and ACX

As the janitor in a haunted house, single mom Abby Jenkins has many contacts with the living and the dead in the small Pacific Northwest town of Sunset Cove, which puts her in a perfect position to solve local mysteries. Or so she thinks. Hired to find diamonds hidden in a haunted manor she gets help from a Viking ghost with existential issues. Will she survive? This book contains bad-boy ghosts, mischievous magic, and a woman who knows what she wants in a Viking hayloft.


Surfer picture: Pixabay

Stephanie’s picture: Canva

WordPress.com

5 Short Bios by Romance Writers #Mondayblogs

When I researched my book on bios, I found many authors chose not to have short bios on their websites. Here are some of my favorite  5 short-bios by Romance Authors.

Notice that they have a different “flavor,” shall we say, than the bios by thriller writers I shared last week. You can find that post here.

And now to the world of Romance Writers:

Debbie Macomber

“Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 1,000 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Thirteen of these novels hit the number one spot.

In 2017, Macomber’s all-new hardcover publications include Cottage by the Sea (July) and Alaskan Holiday(October). Macomber is also releasing a new cookbook titled Debbie Macomber’s Table: Sharing the Joy of Cooking with Family and Friends(April). In addition to fiction, Macomber has also published two bestselling cookbooks, an adult coloring book, numerous inspirational and nonfiction works, and two acclaimed children’s books.

Celebrated as “the official storyteller of Christmas”, Macomber’s annual Christmas books are beloved and five have been crafted into original Hallmark Channel movies. Macomber is also the author of the bestselling Cedar Cove Series which the Hallmark Channel chose as the basis for its first dramatic scripted television series. Debuting in 2013, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove was a ratings favorite for three seasons.

She serves on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, is a YFC National Ambassador, and is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative. A devoted grandmother, Debbie and Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington, the town which inspired the Cedar Cove series.”

Debbie Macomber, https://debbiemacomber.com/about/media-resources


Julia Quinn

“#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don’t read (or write) romance, and in 2001 she did so in grand fashion, appearing on the game show The Weakest Link and walking away with the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code. Ms. Quinn is one of only sixteen members of Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame, her books have been translated into 29 languages, and she currently lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.”

“In some ways, portraying a healthy relationship in literature is the most revolutionary thing you can do.” ~ Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn, http://juliaquinn.com/about


Susan Wiggs

“Susan Wiggs’s life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She lives at the water’s edge on an island in Puget Sound, and in good weather, she commutes to her writers’ group in a 21-foot motorboat. Her husband is an award-winning apparel designer who has his own line of made-in-America kids’ adventure wear.

Susan has been featured in the national media, including NPR and USA Today, has given programs for the US Embassies in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and is a popular speaker locally, nationally, internationally, and on the high seas.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature. Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries and languages. According to

Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with “refreshingly honest emotion,” and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is “one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book.” Booklist characterizes her books as “real and true and unforgettable.”

Her novels have appeared in the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and have captured readers’ hearts around the globe. She is a three-time winner of the RITA Award, the highest honor given for a work of romantic fiction. Her recent novel, The Apple Orchard, is currently being made into a film, and the Lakeshore Chronicles are being developed into a series.

The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book.”

Susan Wiggs, http://www.susanwiggs.com/about/


Eloisa James

Eloisa has a long bio, but it’s done in parts. Here is one:

Eloisa… on her double life:

“When I’m not writing novels, I’m a Shakespeare professor. It’s rather like having two lives. The other day I bought a delicious pink suit to tape a television segment on romance; I’ll never wear that suit to teach in, nor even to give a paper at the Shakespeare Association of America conference. It’s like being Superman, with power suits for both lives. Yet the literature professor in me certainly plays into my romances. The Taming of the Duke (April 2006) has obvious Shakespearean resonances, as do many of my novels. I often weave early modern poetry into my work; the same novel might contain bits of Catullus, Shakespeare and anonymous bawdy ballads from the 16th century.”

Eloisa James, http://www.eloisajames.com/eloisa.php


Mimi Barbour

“NYT & USA Today, best-selling, award-winning author, Mimi Barbour, lives on the beautiful east coast of Vancouver Island and writes her romances with tongue-in-cheek and a mad glint in her eye. Asked why she prefers paranormal or suspenseful romance, she answers, chuckling…

‘Because it’s fun! Imagination can be a lot more interesting than what happens in real life to so-called normal people. I love my characters, and my goal is to make the readers love them also. To care about what happens to them while the tale unfolds. If I can steal my booklover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them in a fantasy world, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.’

Thinking back, writing my first romantic suspense novel switched the hard work into fun, and I’ve not looked back. I love writing about men and women finding each other and falling in love. Along the way, it pleases me to fill their travels with gritty conflicts – spiced up with lots of humor and seasoned with a few tears, but always with endings that are happy.

***Author of: The Vicarage Bench Series / Angels with Attitudes Series / Elvis Series/ Vegas Series / Undercover FBI Series / and her newest called The Mob Tracker Series.”

Mimi Barbour, https://mimibarbour.com


Why am I looking at short bios?

What makes a good bio?

There’s more to it than you might think.

That’s why I wrote a book about it.

Your author bio is often the first thing people read about you. While it’s only a snap-shot, it needs to be accurate, well-written and as alluring as a femme fatale. You don’t want to throw together a paragraph that fits as well as last year’s Christmas sweater. Every word counts. Your goal is to knock the reader off the page and onto a sales platform. This book examines the craft of writing a powerful, short bio to promote yourself as a writer.

 

It’s $2.99 on Amazon.com  (where they will give you a 75% credit on other business books through a Great on Kindle program)   OR   you can get it for free if you sign up for my podcast newsletter.


Tomorrow on my podcast:

“Do you ever wonder where writers get their ideas?

I talk with J.C. McKenzie, who is a High school, math and science teacher by day and an urban fantasy and paranormal romance author by night. She’s the creator of the Amazon, best-selling dark fantasy, saga, The Carus Series, set in post apolcalyptic Vancouver. She’s the author of 9 books, soon to be 10 and is an unapologetic science geek.

J.C. was kind enough to be my first guinea pig, my first interview. It’s a fun interview. We talk about wild and weird things (including corkscrew penises) in science and how they translate into her writing.

 

 

Death by Tarot Card Launch Day & My Struggles!

Today is launch day for my novella, Death by Tarot Card. It’s promotion price is 99 cents (USD).

Death by Tarot

A Ghost & Abby Mystery (Book 4)

When the cards are stacked against you, run.

Who would be crazy enough to send death cards to people in Sunset Cove, a small, Pacific Northwest town famous for things that goes bump in the night? Single mom, Abby Jenkins is hired to find the culprit, and while she is a witch and private detective, she hasn’t a clue about who would deal such a gruesome hand.

Unease settles into the town as tarot cards arrive on doorsteps. No one knows who stacked this deck. Everyone waits for the next card to drop. That is until the first recipient drops dead.

Are all the death cards harbingers of murder?

With the help of a Viking with existential issues, a Casanova man-witch and Spark her snarky familiar Abby unravels a deadly deck of secrets. The question is, can she catch the murderer before they deal another card?

 

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk / Amazon.com.au


My Struggle

I thought the day would never come. I’ll be honest here, amongst friends, it was a hard story to write, probably my hardest. I pushed through word by word with sheer will, and now I’m letting it go.

Why was it so hard?  Two main reasons.

In my heart I knew Abby’s story was coming to an end and I wasn’t sure how I wanted that to look. Was I ready to close the door on characters I’d been writing about for two years? The ones who played in my head … shouted in my head … cried in my head … and best of all, laughed in my head?

It’s like saying goodbye to good friends. I know I can go back and visit them again in one way or another, but the main part of our relationship is over, and that’s hard.

There are good things that happened as a result of my struggle. First,  writing the epilogue was a breeze. I knew where I wanted my characters to be when I blew them a final kiss. The other good part is my angst motivated  me to start a podcast about writing today.

How does a podcast heal my wounds? I need to take a step back here. The other “factor” fueling my writing struggle was that the first book in the series, Midnight Magic (which I consider to be my best book, btw) hasn’t got the recognition I thought it would. I could blame lots of things for that, but high up on the list is the difficult, ever-changing, and incomprehensible publishing market. That’s what my podcast is about, me and other writers trying to make sense of what’s going on.

So today is the birthday of my book, the end of a series and the beginning of a podcast. I think I need a drink of champagne.

I wish you struggles that lead you to creative places.

 

 

7 of the Best Short Author Bios of Thriller Writers #MondayBlogs

Barry Eisler

“Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler’s bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous “Best Of” lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he’s not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.”

Barry Eisler,  http://www.barryeisler.com/barry.php

Lee Child

“Lee Child was bornin 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV’s “golden age.” During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars’ worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

Killing Floorwas an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment.

Lee has several homes—an apartment in Manhattan, country houses in England and the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while traveling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born.

Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.”

Lee Child, https://www.leechild.com/lee-child.php

Allison Brennan

“Allison Brennan believes life is too short to be bored, so she had five children and writes three books a year. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, Allison is now a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than three dozen thrillers and numerous short stories. Reviewers have called her “a master of suspense” and RT Book Reviews said her books are “mesmerizing” and “complex.” She’s been nominated for multiple awards, including the Thriller, RWA’s Best Romantic Suspense (five times), and twice won the Daphne du Maurier award. She currently writes two series—the Lucy Kincaid/Sean Rogan thrillers and the Maxine Revere cold case mysteries.”

Allison Brennan, http://www.allisonbrennan.com/about

Joseph Finder

“Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen suspense novels, including THE SWITCH, a stand-alone thriller, and GUILTY MINDS, the third to feature “private spy” Nick Heller. Heller was introduced in VANISHED (2009) and returned in BURIED SECRETS (2011).

Joe’s novels HIGH CRIMES (1998) and PARANOIA (2004) have been adapted as major motion pictures. GUILTY MINDS (2016) and COMPANY MAN (2005) won the Barry Award for Best Thriller. KILLER INSTINCT (2006) won the International Thriller Writers’ Thriller Award for Best Novel. BURIED SECRETS won the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel.

A founding member of the International Thriller Writers, Joe is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is a graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Russian Research Center, and lives in Boston.”

Joseph Finder, https://www.josephfinder.com/generalbio/

Dan Brown

“Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 bestselling novels, including The Da Vinci Code, which has become one of the best selling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars. Brown’s novels are published in 56 languages around the world with over 200 million copies in print.

In 2005, Brown was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine, whose editors credited him with “keeping the publishing industry afloat; renewed interest in Leonardo da Vinci and early Christian history; spiking tourism to Paris and Rome; a growing membership in secret societies; the ire of Cardinals in Rome; eight books denying the claims of the novel and seven guides to read along with it; a flood of historical thrillers; and a major motion picture franchise.

The son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown was raised on a prep school campus where he developed a fascination with the paradoxical interplay between science and religion. These themes eventually formed the backdrop for his books. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he later returned to teach English before focusing his attention full time to writing. He lives in New England with his wife.

Brown’s latest novel, Origin, explores two of the fundamental questions of humankind: Where do we come from? Where are we going?”

Dan Brown, http://danbrown.com/#author-section

Karen Slaughter

“Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 37 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her eighteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books. As well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her novels Cop Town, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her are all in development for film and television.”

Karin Slaughter, http://www.karinslaughter.com/bio-1

Joanna Penn

“Joanna Penn is an Award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers under J.F.Penn. She also writes inspirational non-fiction for authors and is an award-winning creative entrepreneur and international professional speaker. Her site, TheCreativePenn.com is regularly voted one of the top 10 sites for writers and self-publishers.”

Joanna Penn, https://www.thecreativepenn.com/about/


What makes a good bio?

There’s more to it than you might think.

That’s why I wrote a book about it.

Your author bio is often the first thing people read about you. While it’s only a snap-shot, it needs to be accurate, well-written and as alluring as a femme fatale. You don’t want to throw together a paragraph that fits as well as last year’s Christmas sweater. Every word counts. Your goal is to knock the reader off the page and onto a sales platform. This book examines the craft of writing a powerful, short bio to promote yourself as a writer.

 

It’s $2.99 on Amazon.com  (where they will give you a 75% credit on other business books through a Great on Kindle program)   OR   you can get it for free if you sign up for my podcast newsletter.

 

 

Blood Sweat & Words Launched

Well, I did it. I launched my first podcast. I ran into a few, last minute speed bumps, but I made it.

Podcast Link

And there are glitches. Like, where the heck did my podcast logo disappear to? But, hey, I’ll find it. I think it’s like socks in the dryer. It’s out there somewhere. lol. (It’s 3 in the morning so if my humor is off, you can understand why.) Also, I can’t for the life of me get my name centered on the front page. “Wrinkles,” I tell myself. “These are just wrinkles.”

Also today:

  • My September Newsletter can be found here.
  • I’m hosting at the Once Upon … Facebook Party (10-2). If you aren’t part of the group pm me on FB and I’ll add you. I’d love to chat. I have four contests set up.

fairy


Would you like to know more about my podcast, or read a cool new book for free?

I have a deal for you: Weekly Podcast Newsletter Link

My gift to you

In 12 Hours My #Podcast Blood, Sweat and Words, Launches #Mondayblogs

Am I ready?

Maybe …

Mostly …

That’s the best I can do.

Many years ago when I started my first blog I was told to jump in. That worked for a blog and that’s the advice I pass on to new bloggers. A lot of the little things you need to know you figure out along the way, and the readers are forgiving. They laugh with you, not at you. But a podcast is a different beast.

All I have to do is push the PUBLISH button, which is the same as a blog. But so much kicks in when I do it for BS and Words.; the theme on WordPress, hosted on GoDaddy and plugged into Blubrry … I feel like my baby has to go through a cyber-maze before it gets to the listeners. And we all know how many things can go wrong in a maze.

Where is the Minotaur today?

They say your first podcasts are the worst. That doesn’t make me feel better today.Blood, Sweat and Words-2

I’m launching with two. My guru, John Lee Dumas, recommends three, but I’m doing two.  It’s more manageable, and while I understand three would give me a better rating out there, I’m not so concerned about ratings the first week. I want to get my feet planted. I want to begin.

Episode 000O is about me. Episode 001 is a monologue about navigating the digital revolution, because that’s at the heart of the show. I sub-titled it A Virgin at an Orgy and a Really Big Fish.

In the following weeks I have kick-ass interviews  with interesting authors about all sorts of things I know my listener will enjoy. But I felt I had to anchor it with talking about me. I hope I don’t put too many people asleep.

As if Launch Day Wasn’t Exciting Enough

fairy

I’m sure my planets are lining up in some odd formation tomorrow. Not only am I launching my baby podcast, I’m also sending out two newsletters (i.e., my regular author newsletter and my new, weekly podcast newsletter) and I’m participating in a FB party (10-2 PST) I’ve got 4 contests set up and I’d love to see you there.

At some point “this” business made sense to me.

Now, all I can do is laugh.

I suppose if you’re going to do a belly-flop, you may as well do a big one:)

 

What do I have to offer you today?


Infographic by: MusicOomph.com


Wishing you all a great week.


My gift to you

My weekly podcast newsletter delivered on Tuesdays gives you two writing tips and a description of the week’s episode. I call it my BS and Words NL:) And yes, if you sign up, I will send you a free copy of my book, How to Write a Short Bio.

Click for the Sign-Up Page

BS & Words Schedule Rocks #Monday Blogs

Before I show you my amazing line-up for the rest of 2018, I have to tell you one story. It happened last Wednesday morning. Nervous and excited I phoned Suzan Tisdale for a Skype interview. I expected it to be ten to twenty minutes long. It lasted one hour and ten minutes and it freaking rocks!!! Omigosh! I won’t give any spoilers away, but she gave so much to that interview I listened with my mouth open the whole time.

I’m love this podcasting gig. I get to talk to really interesting people as they open up and share their piece of the puzzle with all of us. It’s an honor and one heck of a lot of fun. I can’t wait to share my episodes with you.

8 days and counting …

Now are you ready to see the schedule for the rest of the year?

2018

Date Guest Topic Episode
Sept.
04 Me Behind the Microphone BSW000
Me The Digital Revolution BSW001
11 Stephanie Spicer A Voice Over Actor Talks About Audiobooks BSW002
18 J.C. McKenzie Science Geek to Writer BSW003
25 Abigail Owen An Author Helping Authors BSW004
Oct.
02 Suzan Tisdale #GetLoud #StayLoud BSW005
09 C.J. Hunt Helping Authors BSW006
16 Bonnie Edwards Sex on the Page BSW007
23 Willie Nikkel Homicide Detective to Author BSW008
30 Eileen Cook Coaching Conflict BSW009
Nov.
06 Anne Janzer Book Marketing in a Sustainable Way BSW010
13 Janice MacDonald Genre Fiction, the Poor Cousin at the Table BSW011
20 S.G. Wong Marginalization of Minorities BSW012
27 Sharon Ashwood Christmas Stories in a Dark Paranormal Universe BSW013
Dec.
04 Julie Howard Building Community BSW014
11 Mary Buckham Multiple Stream Incomes for Writers BSW015
18 Not finalized yet BSW016
25 A group Christmas Special Celebration BSW017

I’ve only had one person turn me down so far, and that was Philip, my shy editor who  doesn’t like attention. Fair enough.

Can you believe this line-up?


Want to keep up with what’s happening on the podcast?

The Podcast’s weekly newsletter, BS & Words, delivers you information about the latest episode and writing tips.

Click here to sign up.