Tag Archives: publishing

Writing Oddities #PoiMe

Pointless meandering

This isn’t a peeve because I don’t care. I’m not even asking for an answer, such as does this do any good? I know exactly how that will go. I’m just… meandering… 🦋

So, there are like 87 kajillion books around online with more coming out every minute of every day. There are “literally” more books than readers now… a real pyramid and soon we’ll all be competing for that one last reader at the tippy top who hasn’t written a book too.

The few writers who are lucky enough to be published by a house with a marketing department can sit back and keep writing per their contracts, but the rest of us have to do our own. I suck at it, barely doing any at all because I hate it so much. Still, I pay attention to what others do, sometimes.

Two things I have noticed lately. One is the “cover reveal.” Usually it’s for a book I had no idea was in gestation in the first place. Oh, great it has a cover! Um, do I care? No. Most of the time I don’t open the post or tweet. I guess this is like a “teaser” for a movie or something to pique our interest so we’ll be all excited to buy the book the second it’s released. Yah okay. 🙄

Problem with that idea is… it’s not a movie backed by gobs of ads. I’ll likely forget the name of the book the instant the post is off my screen. Since this is undeniably true, I have no intention of doing cover reveals for my future books.

Second thing is audience participation. I assume this is to get people “invested” in some way emotionally so they will then be more inclined to invest a few bucks in the finished product. For example, I might say hey peeps, what should the name of my protagonist’s son’s band be in Ghosted:

A. Snake Charmers
B. Viper Invasion
C. Venom Cult
D. Rattlefang 🐍

You guys vote and then you’re all, yeah baby, now I’m part of the process here! And then when I get around to publishing my book later this year (hopefully, since it’s been hanging around since 2018, but that’s not even old compared to some stuff I have sitting there), you’ll be thrilled to buy it. 💰

Or not. This will simply be one more post that disappears from your mind the instant it vanishes from your screen…

Kinda like Ghosted… 👻

~*~

Image originally from Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Tangled Thoughts #PoiMe

Pointless meandering

One of the things that motivated me to both begin this #PoiMe idea and also quit doing so many prompts was the Flashback Friday. Please bear with me through the tangle of thoughts here…

So, when I look for my FF post I generally find a book or movie review, a Wordless Wednesday, or someone else’s poetry (I was big on quoting back in the day). Why is this the case when my blog is so old? Well, I’ll tell you! It’s because I periodically hosed a ton of posts. Usually I did this because I was once again attempting to find the love of my life on a dating site. I didn’t want new men to visit and read all my bitching about men on dating sites, so I kept erasing my footsteps. Unfortunately, some of those posts were very funny and would have made good FF’s. Too bad. 😔

But the point is, my blog had become a bit sterile and structured. Old boring posts. Huge gaps in posting due to hosing. New posts mainly in response to other people’s prompts. Where was my very own stuff? There didn’t seem to be that much of it, and that bugged me. Yes, a poem or a piece of flash fiction is still “mine” even if I wrote it in reply to a prompt ~ and I’m pleased with some of those results. But to me, my blog should still have a sizable amount of my own jabbering straight from my own mind.

There hasn’t been much in my life that I can call mine without someone else telling me what to do, how to do it, and when. I realize that’s the case for most people, so I’m nobody special. But I do have writing. It’s the one thing. And for a while I was hoping to hand that over to someone else too, in exchange for major coin… in fact, I wanted this so badly I would have done anything… I do mean anything to achieve it. (Almost anything.)

But it didn’t happen. I changed the way I wrote in hopes of pleasing people who might pay me for it, but that didn’t help. I wrote totally different things, but nope. Nothing. Some near-bites and a couple bucks, but… nothing. Finally, I gave up and self-published. The beautiful thing about this path is that there’s no one telling me what to write and how many words, where to break chapters, that my characters are too much this or too little that, et cetera. I do what I want! 😈

Why then should my blog be kneecapped by prompts? It was entirely my own fault that I pressured myself to feel I needed to reply to so many. Whenever I felt like “just writing,” I thought mm can’t cuz I have all those prompts saved to do. Even at this very moment, I can’t escape the teensy dart of guilt for not writing about Fandango’s spaceship and instead blabbering on here.

But dangit I am determined to pointlessly meander now, at random times, when the mood strikes… 🦋

~*~

Image originally from Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bingo Update 3

Book bingo challenge

Here’s my first Book Bingo post, followed by my next update. Today is my third bingo installment. Exciting, no? 🤣

So far in 2020 I have read 8 books. Here are my two latest reviews. Visit the links in the above paragraph if you’re interested in the previous reviews (they are brief).

Cappuccinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse. I grabbed this book by Harper Lin only because of the cupcakes. I’m glad the bingo game is pushing me to read outside my usual genres, but if this is a typical cozy? Meh. The writing is lazy, tepid, and full of stereotypes.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

Skip the italicized part if you plan to read this book!

I liked the budding romance between Francesca and Matty and the possibility that Matt killed his own father. That kept me going actually, that this whole nice guy routine was a total fraud, as it so often is, and the sweet boy Franny knew as a child had turned into a very bad man as they do. But no. After misdirecting us into thinking that an ex-con had done did the deed, Lin just flings a previously unknown character at us as the murderer. Well, poo! That’s no fun. I won’t read any more books by Harper Lin, no matter how much cake they contain.

Okay, you’re safe from the spoiler now! I’m moving on to a book written by an indie author, my friend JR Rasmussen. Unlike me, JR figured out how to focus on a genre and do the branding thing, gather a group of advance readers, and basically go about writing in a wholly professional way. She also has kick-ass covers on her books, not that we should judge by this, but… damn.

With that disclaimer, I also want to say that I wasn’t all that interested in reading her book A Dream Of Fire when it first came out. Dragons… meh. Magic… meh. Like I was happy for my friend and all, but I was sticking with romances. But then I got sucked into the whole Game of Thrones madness and was suddenly whoa dragons? Hell yes I wanna read a book with magical dragons!!! Gimme.

I loved A Dream Of Fire! Here is the 5-star review I just posted:

Thoroughly enjoyed this witty and exciting story! I used to avoid this genre in general, but Game of Thrones got me hooked on dragons and magic in fiction. This was a superbly well written story with great dialogue and interesting characters. Loved the imaginative spells!”

So there you have it. Unfortunately, my loan expired for American Gods and in the meantime I’ve somehow accumulated a pile of other books to read. I’ll be working on those for my next update.

~*~

Image credit to Kriti and Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

BIG PROMO SMILE 😍

Switching Positions

My political love story Switching Positions is available on Kindle books, yayyy! Just in time for Valentine’s Day! ❤️🍫💋

Hurry and grab your copy today, my friends. These babies are selling fast! 😘

That’s it; that’s my smile. 😍

Once again, the link to purchase my new book (or borrow it on Kindle Unlimited) is… Switching Positions.

~*~

Written for Trent’s Weekly Smile.

Image credit to Paula Light.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Book Bingo Update

Book bingo challenge

Some of you may remember that I started the Book Bingo Challenge. Here is my first post on the topic with the three books I had already read and one in progress. That one was When We Believed In Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal. This was the best book I’ve read in ages and I highly recommend it. It had two POVs, so I checked that box.

Next, I read our very own Melody Finch’s We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves. I loved this book too. It allowed me to check the box for a book published in 2020.

Yesterday I finished a nonfiction book by Roger Rosenblatt called Rules for Aging. It was mildly amusing and had some clever insights. The best one was, of course, something I always say: no one is thinking about you, so quit worrying so much about it–they’re all thinking about themselves. But I prefer fiction in general.

I have a bunch of books to choose from to continue my card. I love to read! Also, I’ve finished writing my quirky political love story and am submitting it to Amazon for Kindle tonight, so expect me to nag you to buy it. 😀

~*~

Image credit to Kriti and Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Chocolate Lady’s Eight Candle Book Tag ~ Day 8

Menorah

To celebrate Chanukah this year and my friend the Chocolate Lady, I accepted her challenge to participate in the Eight Candle Book Tag. This was a fun game. Thanks for coming up with it, Davida!😀

I’m pretty sure I said “wow!” or something to that effect when I finished Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. This book was a revelation. First, it’s simply a great romance novel full of interesting, complex characters, lots of wit and humor, loads of sexy times, a quirky setting, and an actual plot. Second, the sex isn’t as unrealistic as it’s often portrayed in the “bodice rippers” set in the 1800s or whenever. Third, WTT is a contemporary romance, written in a breezy style, which made me think about my own writing.

What I thought was, hmm, ya know, if this kind of writing gets published, then maybe I too could write a romance novel!

And indeed I can write one. Did write one. More than one actually. Getting published, however, is another matter entirely…

Happy Chanukah!

~*~

Images from The Chocolate Lady’s blog

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Worth A Thousand Words?

Tiger cub roaring in jungle

In her series of posts about posts, Dr Tanya @ Salted Caramel asks about using images.

1. How important are images to a blog post?

I didn’t use to place importance on images, unless a post was about travel or a recipe. To me, blogging is writing, not comics. And I feel the same about twitter. But I am in the minority ~ people are visual, even on these alleged written media. To grow an audience, you have to give the people what they want. At first, I didn’t care about that, but when I began to care (around the time I published my first Kindle book), I started using more images. Now, I wouldn’t dream of posting without an image (if I don’t, my pink cupcake icon will still show up with my post in readers), though I’m fine with bloggers who don’t bother with images. In fact, I have to respect them for that.

2. What is tbe role of images in blog traffic and reader engagement?

I don’t know. I assume they help drive it up because I read this when I looked for tips. But I don’t have a direct comparison of my own before/after, since at the same time I began using more images I also began posting more frequently and commenting more often on new blogs.

3. How many images on average do you use in a blog post?

For a prompt post like this with a few questions I use one image only, and the same goes for a poem or a piece of flash fiction. I also generally use a single image for my own prompts: The Monday Peeve, Thursday Inspiration, Flashback Friday. When a post is longer, I may use more images. In my series fiction, I’ve been up to 3 or 4 in an 800 word post.

I’ve become stressed out over images for the series fiction, and I wish I’d just stuck with the same one from the beginning all the way through. First, it’s super hard to find what I want. Sometimes I spend longer looking for the damn images than writing the story… and even then they’re not right. Second, I can’t get the same person in the images, which bugs the hell out of me. So, Kevin grew a beard? Ugh. Third, the free sites that allow you to use unattributed images are so limited, and often their stuff is ridiculous, so I’m forced to google and hope I haven’t stolen something. It’s really stressful! I won’t write this way again. One image, straight through. That way also, people will know it’s the same story coming up.

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sunday Night Blahs

Witch with cat and candelabra

Later tonight my 3TC post will pop into the feed ~ I have 10 more scheduled. These 10 include an announcement that September 10 will be the end of my 3TC hosting. Please let me know if you’d like to host (it’s fun!), and I’ll add your name to the remaining posts so people are aware. I’ve done 178 of these posts now (including the ones coming up), and it’s time for me to move on.

I will continue my Thursday Inspiration prompts because I really enjoy doing those. I don’t always write something myself, but I find it inspirational to search for the music to go with the picture. I’ve been using my Happy Color app pictures, which make me… happy. 🙂

I’ve done two audiobooks and am really disappointed that the narrators don’t seem to be helping out with any marketing. I thought we were in this together. Oh well. It was a good experiment, I guess, but it took a lot of time (and these were short books!), so I won’t be doing more. In a way, I’m glad my 200 page romance novel never got going as an audiobook because that would have taken forever to review.

From time to time, I get bummed out about writing generally, and this is one of those times. I never seem to get anywhere. I don’t have time to market like you’re supposed to, and nothing I write is great enough or lucky enough to simply take off without that. Yes, I write because I love to, but after all these years, it’s depressing not to have made any money at it.

I recently encountered a published poet and his stuff was just so bad… I don’t get it. Not saying my stuff is great or even good. But it’s so random and frustrating what gets attention and what gets published. Same as it’s ever been, I suppose.

Notwithstanding all this whining, there are still lots of good things in my life, just not any good writing news is all. Idk if I want to continue toiling away during my free time finishing all the OCD items on my writing to-do list just to keep seeing a flat line on my sales reports. I could just… stop.

I don’t mean stop blogging. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have loads of writing in progress. Romance novels in various stages of completion. A murder mystery love story half-done. Stories for anthologies. Finished books I want to edit again. It’s ridiculous.

Happy September. 🐱

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

My First Audiobook!

Here’s something for the Weekly Smile: my first audiobook Burnt Offerings was approved by ACX last week and is now available to purchase! I’ve made several sales already, and some folks were kind enough to leave a review. Thank you so much! 💖💖💖

Burnt Offerings

Funny, sad , bittersweet. It’s what a gourmet box of dark chocolate would be if it were a book. ” ~ Hamlet (reviewer)

Yay! 🔥

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Kerfuffle [socs]

This whole blog theft kerfuffle has caused an astronomical amount of disruption in our once peaceful little community. 😱

First, let’s consider the good things. What? How can there be good things? Well, how about the fact that lots of us immediately joined together in support and sympathy for each other, sharing info and strategy and trying to keep each other’s spirits up? I’d say that’s pretty great. 💖

But yeah, other than that… disruption, upheaval, anger, cursing, murderous rage… okay, those last two were mostly me, but I do tend to get a bit carried away. 😡

We have people talking about passwording their blogs (which I’ve done before and is a pain in the butt), and we now have one valued writer who has shut down her three blogs due to the theft. No one has received any satisfaction from contacting Digital Ocean, the hosting provider for the thieves.

I am considering making some changes to my blog because of this stressful situation. While I do not normally post anything but the tiniest excerpts from my published (or wannabe published) fiction, I still intensely dislike the idea of this disgusting bot spider grabbing all my posts and plopping them somewhere else, even with a linkback.

But I don’t know what changes yet. I like everything the way it is, and I don’t want to change my ways due to their bad behavior. I’m trying to shrug off the mess because I want to focus on having a productive yet restful weekend, and it’s going well so far. (I am writing this late Friday night and will schedule it to post 1AM Saturday.) 🌸

If you don’t post big chunks of work you intend to publish, you should be alright except for the annoyance factor. I’ve self-published poetry that I’ve blogged and the Amazon bot found it, but they asked if it was mine and I said yes, so that was fine. I vaguely remember things called “splash” pages back in the day… your updated posts were not on that main page. It took an extra click (AN EXTRA CLICK OMG WHO HAS TIME?) to get to the blog. But we all read by feed now, or most/many of us do. I wonder if the spiders would be thwarted by a splash page?

One of y’all will know, I’m sure. 🙂