Participating in Kindle Scout

What is Kindle Scout, you may ask? KS is part of Amazon. It is reader fueled publishing. Authors put their books into the program, readers nominated their favorite books, and if the book gets picked for a Kindle Scout publishing deal the reader gets a free book!

I just got approved for my paranormal romance, Ghostly Intentions, Book 1 of the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series.

Megan Trent misses her deceased husband every day, until he returns as a sexy, ghostly visitor every night. When the visitations turn twisted and dark, she knows she’s in too deep to stop the madness on her own. Jack O’Malley, founder of Ghost Releasers, Inc. is her only hope. Sparks fly from the moment the two meet, but Jack isn’t willing to compete with a ghost. Even with her dead husband’s final release, a dark danger remains to torment her. Jack and Megan must fight evil intentions in this world and ghostly intentions in the next to save their lives and their love.

A Ghost Can’t Compete With a Real Man!

Please check out my submission and nominate me if you enjoy the excerpt and want a chance to get Ghostly Intentions for FREE!

http://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/D4UWV0OHU0HZ

Thank you, Jill James, romance author

Authors Love Reviews

Yes, even 1 and 2 stars ones.

Why?

Because it means someone is reading our books. Even if they didn’t like them, they read them. We can’t operate in a vacuum. We need to know what is resonating with the readers. What was confusing. What fell flat. We don’t know until the readers tell us so.

We love reviews!!! So if you’ve read Christmas Babies on Main Street, the latest boxed set from the Authors of Main Street, we would love to hear from you on Amazon!!

As always, thank you for reading!!


Jill James, author of Baby Steps and Snowflakes

Change is inevitable.

Amazon logo copyAmazon and Jeff Bezos must like change, because they are at it again. Readers of Kindle eBooks won’t notice any difference but the writers of those eBooks will. Selena Kitt has written a great blog post on the upcoming change in payment for authors with eBooks in the KU (Kindle Unlimited) system at Amazon.

http://selenakitt.com/blog/the-new-kindle-unlimited-what-it-means-for-authors-readers/

I don’t have a dog in this race, but things change quickly in the Indie publishing world so I like to keep up with all the news.

Jill James, contemporary, paranormal, and urban fantasy romance
Coming Soon!  –  Time of Zombies series, Book 2

Everyone has baggage.

You had a great childhood and expect a great adulthood. You were the homecoming queen or the captain of the football team. You had a crappy childhood and you want a good adulthood. You were teased about being small and puny but you’ve outgrown your awkward years. You had a crappy childhood and expect a crappy adulthood. Life sucked then and it sucks now.

luggageEvery event in your life to this point has added items to the baggage you carry. Good things. Bad things. The people we love. The people we hate. The people who love or hate us. Everyone has baggage. Some is good and some is bad. From Dr. Phil to Dr. Oz to every TV doctor and self-help book tells you to ‘let the baggage go.’

Except…

if you are a writer you are expected to not only hold on to that baggage, but to use it in your writing. To pop open your baggage and throw your dirty laundry onto the page. It is the same as asking us to open a vein and bleed onto the page.

We can choose to not use every event that has made us who we are, but you risk not having that deep emotion in your story telling.

Were you dumped, humiliated, had your heart ripped out? Hey, I can use that in my women’s fiction book.

Were you traumatized as a child? Haunted by ghosts; real and imagined? Come from a hostile home? Think what a great romantic suspense or horror novel you could write.

Were you teased mercilessly? Taunted and picked on? Kill them in your book. LOL 🙂

It is as hard as opening up your soul for the world to see. And as simple.

Write from your heart and the reader will take it into their heart as well.

Write on! Jill James

 

The Man Behind The Curtain

When I published my first book my brother asked me where the story came from. Did I see a television show or movie? To some people what we do as writers is magic. We put a word down on the page. Sometimes ninety to a hundred thousand of them. We weave our words into a story. We paint a picture, show an emotion, tell a story. With our words. Don’t take that magic for granted. When you spend your day with your stories or other writers you think everyone hears voices in their heads and has full-color movies streaming in their minds. Um, no!

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you remember the scene from The Wizard of Oz? The one where Toto grabs the green curtain with his teeth and reveals the man behind the magic? It is revealed that the wonder of the Great Wizard is all smoke and mirrors. Sometimes it feels like that is what we are doing by revealing how we work the magic of writing. We want to include readers in the process, but how much is too much? Like giving away the plot without a *Spoiler Alert*, are we detailing all the tricks of the trade and killing the magic of storytelling? Are we making it seem so easy anyone can do it?

I ask, because I was telling someone some of the things I did in my new released book and she seemed disappointed that there are things to make sure you have for good storytelling; like knowing the characters GMC and mirroring actions for effect. But if you are good at storytelling, shouldn’t those things be invisible to the reader? Shouldn’t they just believe it was a great book?

Maybe it is time to pull back a notch and hold some of the cards a little closer to the vest. Let’s bring back some of the magic of telling a story and letting the reader live it, breathe it, be in it.

Jill James, writer of stories, teller of tales

Authorgraph – great author tool

I love Authorgraph (previously Kindlegraph).

For the reader it is now possible to have an author’s autograph for an ebook!

Get your e-book signed by Jill James
*click to have any of my ebooks signed, not just The Christmas Con!

For the author it is now easy to autograph your ebooks for readers!
Just go to www.authorgraph.com and set up your account today.

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
The Reluctant Bride will be available June 9th!!

On The Internet – What a week!

household cleaner with rubber gloves bucket and sponge..I don’t even know where to start in what can only be described as excrement hitting the multi-bladed cooling device that this week has been to writers and readers across the wide world web. I am offering no opinions and no direct links. I refuse to add to this mess.  Jill James

1. Shaming authors and naming names — a website has set up with names of alleged review buyers. To the tune of hundreds, if not thousands of them. Reading down the list, I refuse to believe it of most of them. Other bloggers were only too happy to pass off the list as legit, even with the website Fiverr denying it happened.

2. Goodreads reviews and shelves — that’s all I’m going to say. If you want to know the details, Google is your friend. Go look up new review rules for Goodreads.

3. Plagiarism — Seems there is a new charge every month, the latest is up at the dearauthor website.

As for me, I’m off to write since I have two things due by Halloween; a short Christmas story by October 4th and a loooong overdue zombie book by Halloween. (pinkie swear)

Jill James, writer of romance

Romantic Times Booklovers Convention Recap – Jill James

Our adventure started with a 3:45 am wake-up call. I had to be up that early to get my friend, Lee at 4:15 and to head to Oakland to the airport. The husband took us and dropped us off before he had to be at work. Check in went really well and easy. We got coffee and waited for our flight. The plane ended up half full and everyone got their own row of seats. Cool! Lee and I sat together but had tons of room with the middle seat empty. It was a lot of cloud cover the whole way but I did get a few shots.

DSC01787 DSC01788

We had a stop in Albuquerque but we got to stay on the plane. The flight was smooth with no turbulence. Awesome!! Got the shuttle to the hotel and met other RT’ers on the bus. The fun is already beginning. The room is beautiful and just a short skywalk away from the convention hotel. 5 minute walk.

Hotel waterfall

Hotel waterfall

Union Station

Union Station

The Union Station is gorgeous at night, all lit up in purple.

Lee and I headed to the Sheraton to get our books for the Book Expo and meet a wonderful fan in the bathroom (of all places). LOL

More on Friday……Jill

 

It sucked by Jill James

thumbs downIt sucks to get a bad review. Writers hate them. We want to know where we went wrong. It’s really bad when all the review contains is ‘it sucked.’ Writers fear that review a lot. What can you do with ‘it sucked?’ Was it the plot? The characters? The flow or lack thereof? How do you fix suckiness?

I’ve always thought that it was a stupid review. How could a whole book suck? Couldn’t the reader find something redeeming in the story? Nice descriptions? A great character? A unique plotline?

Until this weekend. As a writer I won’t leave a really bad review for another writer’s book. But if I did, I would for the book I read this weekend. I won’t tell you whether it was an Indie or Traditionally published. I won’t tell if it was romance or another genre. I won’t tell if it was a male or female writer. It would serve no purpose to have those facts.

It isn’t that a reviewer doesn’t know what to say. If they could help the writer they would. It is that it is such a hot mess that they don’t know where to start. The characters are vapid, shallow, and self-centered and the author has portrayed those as their good points. The plot meanders through every current hot trend and every trope known to writers, and doesn’t use any of them well. Events happen, but the story doesn’t. The book goes nowhere and takes forever to get there.

Sometimes all you can say is “It sucked.”

Jill James

Reviews as an Author

I’ve been giving some thought to whether I should review books as my author self. On one hand I don’t want someone to think I just posted a review for a writer because I’m a friend, but on the other hand, how much ego do I have that everyone would know I’m a writer too?

I enjoy books just as much as any reader, maybe more so, since I’m such a voracious reader, reading 3 or 4 books a week. And I want to leave a review for my favorite writer too.

Just because I’m now published does that mean I can’t leave a review for a book I particularly liked? I don’t want to seem like a freebie review (one that doesn’t mean anything because I know the author) which is kind of funny, because I don’t know more than a handful personally, but I don’t think I should have to stop leaving reviews either, I’m a reader way before I was a writer.

The other flip of the coin is; since I do know lots of authors via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and loops, can I still leave an “honest” review? And if I feel I can’t, does my review have any value anymore.

Writers: do you still leave reviews for books you’ve liked?

Readers: do you feel that a review by a fellow author is meaningless? Or worse?

Jill James

May Day

May Day Basket

A day late, but still one of the most wonderful memories I have of childhood. In our house, May Day was the day to make baskets out of paper and fill them with flowers from the neighborhood and hung on our mother’s bedroom door to surprise her with.

I can remember getting up so early there was still dew on the flowers we stole…ahem borrowed from the neighbors to gift our mother. She always acted so surprised and happy to see the flowers each May Day.

Traditions make a family and its memories. As a writer, if you want your characters to be real and 3 dimensional, add family traditions to the story.

What do they do for Christmas? Big celebration? No celebration? Why? Did they have big family dinners? Or quiet ones with the kids not allowed to talk? Those traditions make a family and make memories and make us who we are in adulthood.

If you are a reader, what family traditions do you like to see in books?
If you are a reader, what family traditions of your own do you add to your stories?

The Golden Globes

I love award shows. I love seeing how everyone is dressed and who is with whom. Although it does not have the prestige of the Oscars I love how much the actors seem to have fun and enjoy mingling with their peers. I think it is great that you can get acknowledgment for your work.

Writers don’t always have such tangible proof of their hard work. We can get great sales numbers, on a list like the New York Times or USA Today, and romance has the Rita, but those are things the general reader may not know, understand, or care about. The best way to show our hard work is to write the next book.

Having the next book coming soon or a backlist to direct readers to is the only thing a writer has to give to a reader. A good story is the best present you can give.

I’m working on the next book right now. So back to work.  Jill James