Sunday, January 29, 2012

So, I did it

Just to keep y'all up to date- I found an editor and she busted ass for me this past week. She gave me a lot of helpful feedback and tips and things to look for as I continue my writing in the future.

She edited In Dreams and then after I inputed all of the changes, I begged her to go through it again for me. I don't trust myself to see things clearly.

So officially, In Dreams will have an updated/edited version online as soon as Amazon loads it up! I've also sent an email to amazon to see how everyone who has already purchased an older copy of the book can access the new version if they want.

I added the cover image, table of contents, and then a sneak peak into the first chapter of the follow up book-- which i'm SUPER excited about! I want everyone who reads the book to know there's another book coming. :)

So that's it for now! hope y'all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

inspiration!

fyi- i found an editor who is AT THIS VERY MOMENT, working on any grammar issues within In Dreams. I should have the newly edited version up this weekend! just wanted y'all to know! YAY!

moving on... lol

I have a "Wall of Inspiration." lol, That's what I call it. Basically, it's the wall next to my desk where I'm supposed to work (but never do because I move around constantly, sit in weird places and go wherever feels best that day to write), filled with all sorts of quotes, song lyrics and goodies. They make me happy. :)

069

Dreams

Make your dreams come true

Believe in You ATC

Believe in your dreams

It takes everything to follow your heart

Fellow author, Veronica Mordem, shared a quote with me the other day that I have completely stolen, adopted, want to put onto a t-shirt and wear everynight to bed... I sort want to get it put on hats I make my dogs wear as they follow me around the house like stalkers.

"If you want to be successful, you must be willing to be uncomfortable." Gil Eagles

I am in love with this quote because "uncomfortable" was the perfect word to describe how I was feeling after all the crazy download madness! Everytime I start to freak out a little, I read those words and I feel better. Here's to making the un-comfort-ness TOTALLY WORTH IT! :)

Do you have any quotes or things you like to surround yourself with? Share them with me!
{Take A Chance}

Monday, January 23, 2012

Should i UNPUBLISH my book?

I'm seriously weighing the options on whether or not I should unpublish In Dreams and get a professional edit done?

I know that it might be a little late since the book has already been around for months and there have been a lot of downloads lately, BUT I am beginning to think that I will have more success with it if I take it down now and fix it.

So on 1 hand, i'm sitting here thinking, "I should unpublish it... pay an ungodly amount to an editor and then republish it with a note saying it's been edited and updated. Maybe then people will hate it less?"

But on the other hand, i'm also thinking, "The women who are really bashing it aren't my target audience anyway. And everyone who has been in my target audience, has loved the story and hasn't complained about the things the older women are complaining about."

But is that any excuse to leave the book in the shape it's in when I know it can be fixed? I hate the thought of having a crappy book on the market, when I know I don't "have" to.

I know it was my first book. I know it needs a lot of work. I want to make a living writing books. And I know that going forward, I will have to pay for a professional editor. There is no way around that anymore. If I want to put out the best work that I can, I owe it to myself to have my work professionally handled. Plus, I want to put out good books- and if In Dreams is any indication to my potential appeal to a broader audience- well then it's clear... I lack appeal. lol

I think my biggest fear in regards to hiring an editor is that they won't understand my vision, or get where my story is coming from. I don't want my story to change. I don't want what i'm trying to convey to get lost in the quest for a "professionally" done piece. I can't tell you how much I genuinely LOATHE people trying to put me in a box that says "one size fits all."

I don't want to be generic.

I'm not trying to please publishing houses and this isn't a quest to sign a big book deal.

I just want to tell the stories my heart wants to tell, in the way my heart wants to tell them. I guess I just fear that my heart will get lost somewhere in an editor's personal opinion or style/taste/preference. Is that a crazy concern?

I'm straying (per usual)... so I wonder what's the best thing to do? Unpublish and polish the book? Or leave it as is?

Ugh my gut is SCREAMING at me to unpublish it and fix it. I want to feel like what i've put out there is the best it can be- and right now, it's clearly not.

Thoughts??

Friday, January 20, 2012

it's all good in the hood

hey everyone. thanks for listening to my pity party the past few days. i'm EXTREMELY happy to say that i'm in a far better place then i have been the last week. i feel good. i am determined to take all the negative feedback in regards to my writing and apply it to my actual writing. i want to write better. i want to tell my stories better. i want you to care about the characters. so i'm trying to learn from all of the crap. :)

anyway, enough of that. i'm sick of talking about it.

i went home and i don't think i ever posted any pics!!!! so without further adieu, here are some pics of my crazy brother and sister, my hot nephew and my soon to be hot son. :) is that weird? eh, so what.

the pier in santa monica... it was a gorgeous day!
santa monica pier

blake walking...
balancing act

i guess you're never too old to chase birds! :)
chasing birds

my brother, my sister and me!
siblings

LOL- this pic makes me laugh
cousins

this is awesome! i wish blake's face wasn't cut off
scrambler screaming!

when my books become movies, i want him in them
the model in the family

playing on the lifeguard tower
siblings on the lifeguard tower

cousins. or brothers as they like to tell people
cousin love

sisters
sisters

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

you have to love my book cause you're my friend

why is it that we give our friends, family, or people who know us, less credit than perfect strangers?

what i mean is- it's been a rough week for me emotionally. this whole book thing is scary. and thrilling. and puke inducing. and horrifying. all at the same time.

and in all honesty, i'm not really used to feeling those kinds of emotions. i'm definitely not used to feeling queasy everytime i get online. or anxious. or sad.

these feelings suck.

i'm sort of in a yucky place right now. okay, i get it- my book isn't resonating with people the way that i hoped it would.

logic = that's okay. that's normal. keep writing.

emotions = people hate me. my writing sucks. people hate my book. i'm really sad about it.

and it's like, no matter what anyone who knows me says about my book or my writing- i totally take it with a grain of salt. because you know me, you know how i am. you know my personality. you know the way i talk. the way i deal with people. the way i write. and so you read my books differently. you can hear me in them. whether you realize it or not, you cut me some slack because i'm your friend.

that's why i find myself pretty much longing for strangers to tell me they LIKED my book. that they enjoyed the story. they found the characters fun, funny and relateable. that the idea of past lives was neat, intriguing, or something positive.

and when you don't get that.... or you find that everyone who loves your book is someone you know...

well you start to question things.

like your ability to write a good story. or a good book. or have characters that i thought were normal when i wrote them, but i keep hearing they're "too perfect" so people don't "care" about them. i guess society hates perfectly nice people. who knew?

anyway. i'm sad. i feel really down. and i know this was my very first book ever and i didn't know what the hell i was doing when i wrote it, but i still really loved my story. don't get me wrong- i wrote this book a year and a half ago and so i cringe at times when i read parts of it. and sometimes i want to scrap the book and rewrite it. but i know that if i do- i'll constantly be editing one book, and i'll never write any others. because i'm always going to be growing and shifting and learning. and the more i write, the better my writing will get (i hope).

it still really sucks to watch the star ratings on your book go down, down, down. and see that someone filed your book online in a folder called "nothing-special."

yeah.

it sort of sucks being in my head right now. go ahead and make me feel better. you're my friends so you have too. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

and here come the BAD reviews!

with 16,000 free downloads, i knew i was bound to get some bad reviews on amazon (you know, like 16,000 of em- lol).

and here they come.

and i'd be lying if i said that they didn't hurt. of course they "hurt" to some extent. even when my head is nodding itself in agreement with their thoughts, my feelings are weeping.

but here's the thing. those reviews talk about something in my writing i didn't even know i did. y'all, i've never taken a writing class. i don't know anything "technically" about writing a book. i also didn't want too. i didn't want to follow the exact same formula that every potential writer is taught to follow. hell, i've already broken the first 2 "rules" that every agent posts on their website:

1. don't start a book off with a dream. CHECK! In Dreams starts with a dream!
2. don't start a book off with a phone call. CHECK! Chance Encounters starts with a call!

i think those rules are stupid. but see, i don't have an agent, so i don't have to follow them. haha

i'm straying.

shocking.

back to my point.

one of the reviewers took parts of my book and posted them. when i read those parts, i literally cringed. i was embarrassed. they sounded TERRIBLE! awful! no wonder she hated the book. i even hate the book now. lol just kidding. she's not a fan of a particular writing style- the style i write in. and that's okay. every negative review has the possibility of helping me see things from a different perspective. and it's not that i have the intention of catering to everyone's opinions, but sometimes a reader will make a valid point that the author (me) was otherwise completely unaware of.

for example- there have been a few comments about how things are confusing because i tend to change character perspectives without any warning. i didn't even realize i did that, but clearly i do. the last thing i want is to have my readers be so annoyed or confused that they can't get through the book. here's the thing:

i see the story unfolding in my head. sort of like a movie or a tv show. then i write it the way i see it. and i tend to forget that you aren't in my head with me. i skip things, i jump around- all the while stupidly assuming that you're right there with me, seeing everything i'm seeing. i sometimes forget that i have to create the world for you... i forget that you don't know the characters the way i know them...

this is a learning process for me.

in dreams was the first book i'd ever sat down and attempted to write. while i'm completely in love with my characters and their story, i know that my writing could be better. i've never claimed to the best or most talented writer out there (dur). all i wanted was to write a story that made people feel, or think about things they may have never thought of before (reincarnation, past lives, the idea of soulmates). but mostly, i just wanted to write a story that people could enjoy.

my hope is that my writing will continue to grow and get better. i truly think that with each book i write, it will. and with each negative review, i'll do my best to learn something from it. don't get me wrong, there are definitely parts to negative reviews that i don't agree with. but i realize that each person has their own style, taste, personality and interpretation. we're not all going to see things in the same exact way. even when it's written down for us- we'll interpret characters differently.
and that's okay with me. it's never been my intention to please everyone.

i may be dumb, but i'm not that dumb. ha

so i guess a thank you is in order to the negative reviewers. thank you for taking the time to write them. thank you for helping me learn where i'm flawed, where i suck and what you hate about my writing. at the end of the day, it truly is helpful and i will be a better writer for it. being a self published author means i don't have an agent. i don't have a publisher. i don't have a team behind me of professional writers, editors, and copy editors (clearly). you can't expect me to be perfect. well you can, but you'll be disappointed. :)

ps- i also need to THANK all of you who have loved/liked/enjoyed my book. you inspire me, encourage me, remind me that i do have some sort of ability to tell a decent story with good characters. you make me not want to give up or stop writing. i can't tell you how much your wonderful reviews do for me. and when you take the time to email me, when you're passionate about my characters, going crazy over something cooper did or said- it makes me smile. don't ever hesitate to email me. i might take 100 years to get back to you because sometimes i truly suck at the internet, but i will get back to you.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

why self publishing is SCARY

being a self published author is scary. i know you're probably rolling your eyes and saying to yourself, "what? shutup jenn, i'm sure it's soooo scary"... but here's the thing:

risks = unknown outcomes

unknown outcomes = fear

fear sucks (cause it usually stops us from taking risks)

it is really freaking hard trying to figure out what works and what doesn't when it comes to marketing and promoting your book. i mean, us indie (i think that's the "cool" term for self pubbed authors now) authors have to take risks when it comes to our work, just for the sake of getting exposure.

for example, i allowed my book to be FREE yesterday on amazon and i got over 16 thousand downloads (thank you everyone!). way more downloads than i've ever had in the entire time my book has been for sale. and i'm super excited about the exposure. super excited at hopefully gaining some new readers, people who like my writing style, my characters, the way i tell a story, and want to read all my future books! but it's still scary. like i want to puke, scary. because obviously, since my book was free- i made $0 on all of those downloads.

and making $0 dollars doesn't pay the bills. HA! like most writers, i'd like to be able to say i make a living writing. and it's just really hard to say what works in terms of getting the billions of people in the world to know your book exists. it's hard to make your book stand out from the thousands of other e-books that are being published every.single.day.

so we take risks.

we send hundreds of free copies to book bloggers, reviewers, etc. all in the hopes of generating some kind of publicity... some sort of buzz... word of mouth. ANYTHING that will tell other people that our book is here! and it doesn't suck! and you should read it!

and you know, i don't mind doing that. but it's still scary because it doesn't always work. there is no magic formula that all self published authors can follow that will guarantee everyone the same kind of results. it's so hit and miss. what works for one author might not work for another. it's just really hard to navigate this massive e-book field right now. especially when you feel like you're navigating it alone, with your one little tiny solo book.
so, we give our book away. for nothing. not because we think it's worth nothing (we know the exact opposite is true), but it's that we aren't sure what else to do to seperate ourselves from the masses. and what are we left with after we've given away hundreds (or thousands) of our books and people still aren't buying it?
i guess we're just left...

waiting...

yet hopeful.
because i think deep down we writers know that it only takes one thing- the right moment at the right time and everything can change. and we all hope for that. because we all want people to enjoy the stories we tell.
at least i do.

but first, i'd just like everyone to know it's out there. my book exists! it's real! and it's enjoyable! and you should buy it!
and tell your friends. and your neighbors. and your dog.

cause in all honesty, after 16,000 free downloads- i don't know what the hell else to do. :)
i'm going to go throw up now. lol

Friday, January 13, 2012

my book is FREE today!

hey everyone! you know by now that i've written and self published my first Young Adult Paranormal Romance!!! well, all day today, FRIDAY THE 13TH it is **FREEEEE** on amazon! as far as i know, you can get it on any of the amazon sites (italy, spain, UK, germany, etc).

so if you have a kindle. or you have the kindle app like i do on my android phone, you can download a copy of my book, IN DREAMS for *FREE* all day today!

it ends at midnight california time according to amazon!

so go yourself a copy! what'cha waiting for?

and thanks. and on yeah, if you don't think it entirely sucks, could you leave a review after you read it on amazon? that would be amazeballs. but if you hate it (because you clearly have no soul) then let's just all pretend you never read it, k? k. lol

US Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Dream-ebook/dp/B005F0FXKM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1326443490&sr=8-4

UK Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005F0FXKM/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_g351_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0AZHP8BEETM0Y5KG35RX&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=467128533&pf_rd_i=468294

GERMANY Amazon:
http://www.amazon.de/Dreams-Dream-ebook/dp/B005F0FXKM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326488818&sr=8-1

SPAIN Amazon:
http://www.amazon.es/Dreams-Dream-ebook/dp/B005F0FXKM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326488951&sr=8-1


FRANCE Amazon:
http://www.amazon.fr/Dreams-Dream-ebook/dp/B005F0FXKM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326489152&sr=8-1">

Monday, January 09, 2012

public service announcement regarding MY cell phone

dear world,

just because i choose to own a cell phone, does not mean that i am obligated to be at your beckon call.

my owning a cell phone does mean that i must answer it when you decide to call me. it also does not mean that i am required to respond to any text message, voice mail, or missed call within YOUR allotted time frame.

it is my cell phone.

it is my life.

it is my personal time.

it is my choice.

just because i can be reached, does not mean that i want to be.

and that my friends, is my mother fucking prerogative.

if i don't feel like answering the phone, i won't. if i don't see your text in the amount of time that you wanted me too, sucks for you.

my phone is not attached to my hip. i often leave it in rooms where i'm not. it's upstairs, i'm down. it's in the kitchen and i'm nowhere near the kitchen.

ooooh, how dare i.

the thing is... while there are many things i love about cell phones, there are a few that i don't. and it's mostly the fact that everyone thinks you should be reachable and available at all times... in their time frame... on their schedule.

but you know what? if you're one of those people- that's your problem.

no one is obligated to be available to anyone at all times. unless they choose to be. (or unless they work for you, you pay for their cell phone and have made it clear that they are your bitch.) but other than that- it's time for a reality check.

i don't give a shit that you can call me when you want, text me when you decide to, or want answers the exact moment you send me a question.

sometimes, i don't want to talk on the phone. sometimes, i don't want to deal with text messages. sometimes, i'm not even thinking about my cell phone (ooooh, the horror). when the most important people in my life are sitting next to me on the couch, i may not care whose calling my cell.

and that's my choice. because owning a cell phone does mean that i'm required to give you anymore of my time if i don't want too.

it's just weird how much we expect of others... especially when i can remember a time when there were no such thing as cell phones. there were .10 cent pay phones. and people called your house- and you didn't know who was calling. and when you weren't home, they left messages on your answering machine... the machine that recorded them with cassette tapes. tapes. and all of those people who had to wait however long it took for you to get home listen to their message and then call them back when you choose too- they all lived.

and you will too.

i won't apologize for not being at your beckon call.

i may not answer when you call (and if you call from a PRIVATE number, you can rest assured that 100% of the time, i will not answer), i may not respond to your text for hours, i may not listen to your voice mail for days (haven't we established how much i hate voice mails already?).

that's just the way i choose to be when it comes to my cell. speaking of, i better go find it. no clue where it is. ha

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

more! new! doggy! pics!

have you met our new doggy pete? i call him puppy. it makes me laugh because he is clearly NOT, a puppy. but he's so freaking cute i can barely stand it.

i think i could look at his face all day. i love him so much! he's one million times better than a brand new puppy and i'm so happy we have him in our house. :)

so today, i took him to a dog park for the very first time. and yes, i brought my camera. so here's some more pics of my puppy. lol

petey the (non) puppy!

he is so vicious!

get it pete!  :)

awwwwww- <3 my puppy!

isn't he the cutest?

ps- the weather was so nice today. it almost felt like i was at home. WHICH I WILL BE ON FRIDAY! woo hoo!!! wish i could bring my doggy with me! :)