The ‘Zon is just okay for the writer me, a home run for the consumer me.

Aside from a couple of my collections and a short story or three, I didn’t enroll my books in KU. (Kindle Unlimited)

After KU’s inception I did give it the old college try~ two go-rounds. Did not work for me. I didn’t get enough page reads to make it worth my while, despite the fact that if a reader starts reading one of my books, more often than not he or she finishes it.

Besides, I’m a fan of wide distribution and good old-fashioned competition, so I use D2D. I’ve downloaded my books to D2D for distribution for 18 months now. D2D is killing it. I sell five times as many books on D2D (Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, etc.) than I do on Amazon.

Why? I have no idea. Perhaps it’s because those readers who shop on other outlets are looking for books to actually read, rather than downloading freebies and 99-cent-ers that they never get around to reading? Again, I have no idea. Any notion I may have as to the why’s and wherefore’s is mere speculation.

There are quite a number of authors making big bucks on Amazon. I ain’t one of ’em. I do all right. I do much better via D2D.

On the other hand, when it comes to shopping no one compares to Amazon. At least for the stuff I need.

Let me explain. Well, perhaps I’ll provide an example or two…

I recently needed ear drops. I swim almost everyday. I love swimming and the exercise has helped speed up my recovery. In fact, the exercise is essential to my recovery. But my right ear has been bothering me so I wanted to purchase some swim ear drops – to dry out my ear canals after swimming. Easy, right? One would think it would be easy to purchase swim ear drops in the Napa Valley.

Four pharmacies later, I realized it was not easy to purchase swim ear drops in the Napa Valley. I drove to four separate pharmacies. No luck. I accomplished nothing more than wasting gas and my valuable time, and increasing my stress level.

I drove home, flipped open my computer, checked Amazon, and bought a four-pack with one click.

It’s the same with dog food. Jake has food allergies. (Yeah, he does…) We have two local pet stores. One doesn’t carry the brand he eats, the other maybe carries, if I’m lucky, a  couple cans, zero bags of dry food. That’s it. That’s my entire local selection. Therefore I order dog food from Amazon. I also order bird food from Amazon because although the food my two parrots eat is totally common, the one local pet store eliminated their bird section altogether while the other is always out of the food I want to buy.

Bottom line: Believe me, I’d love to shop local, but I don’t want to drive all over town, stopping at four or five different stores, only to have to buy an item online anyway.

So yeah, the ‘Zon knocks it out of the park when it comes to shopping. For me as an author, not so much. But then I guess doing okay there is… okay. 🙂

Peace. Out.

Pre-Release Gitters! Or Glitters! A Matter of Taste!

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It’s almost here. A collection of foodie sweet, semi-sweet, spicy and extra-spicy romantic tales. Check it out. Here’s the link:

A Matter of Taste, from the Sweet to the Spicy, Romance for Every Palate.

Everyone participating in this collection is so different, so cool, such excellent writers! A great bunch of female foodie and wine-y authors. Each one of us is different, each perspective and style, unique. These stories are fun. I recommend you reserved your copy ASAP.

Gimme Some Sugar, Stephanie Berget~Pastry Chef, Cary Crockett, is more at home with city life, cupcakes and croissants than beef, beans and bacon, but she has to convince ranch owner Micah West she’s up to the job of feeding his hired hands. The camp cook on Micah West’s central Oregon ranch has up and quit without notice and his crew of hungry cowboys is about to mutiny. Maintaining a hands-off policy toward his sexy new cook becomes tougher than managing a herd of disgruntled wranglers. Spicy.

A Matter of Taste, J.R. Barrett~How to Make the perfect man: Once cup of mystery, one cup of tall, one cup of dark, one cup of sexy. Joy is thrilled to inherit her grandmother’s handwritten recipe book. There’s magic between those covers. She just doesn’t know how much magic, and which covers… Spicy.

Queen of Diamonds, Sandra Cox~Logan Hunter is a bestselling author with a penchant for the ladies. Kendall Theron, his efficient publicist, is prim and colorless- at least on the surface. Beneath the proper facade is a woman who will do anything to protect her family…even if it’s not quite legal. Sweet.

Anything You Want, Tina Donahue~With the big three-O only days away, Jamie has had it with dieting, exercises and being alone. Off she goes to Wicked Desires, a decadent Caribbean resort where clothing is optional but carnal and physical appetites rule. Her desires are perfectly in tune with two Alpha billionaires, Creed and Tav, determined to show Jamie a good time, complete with all the food she craves and a wicked touch of BDSM. Extra-spicy.

Hard Copy, Amity Grays~Aubrae Sloan is paying the piper-a handsome business tycoon she has unintentionally libeled. The cost? She must pose as his fiancee and accompany him to a vineyard in Southern Idaho. The plan is to avoid a lawsuit by helping him win back the land her rather scathing article has cost him. Semi-sweet.

100 Kisses, JW Manus~When baker Molly Larsen accidentally poisons the grandmother of scary, sexy billionaire Blake Connor, he demands she make amends. He wants his pound of flesh in the form of 100 kisses. His terms are any time, anywhere, and Molly cannot refuse Blake- or else. Sweet.

Announcements.

Will be offline for a few weeks in early September.

For the time being all my books are available on Amazon exclusively. Nothing personal. This is a financial decision, but it is not set in stone. I will be evaluating the situation daily.

One of these days I shall get around to telling the my story. In the meantime, keep writing. It’s food for the soul.

Julia

What are you waiting for? Like I tell my dog, 1, 2, 3… Write!!!

Go ahead. Write. What’s the worst that can happen?

Well, let’s get this over with.

I’ll tell you the worst– you fail. You fail miserably. Few people read your book. Those who do say you suck.

Done.

That’s it.

Don’t give up your day job… yet. (And never ever ever respond to bad reviews.)

I kept my day job for five years after I published my first book. And if I still had three kids in college at once I’d be working at least half-time.

If readers say you suck, keep writing. You will improve. Practice doesn’t make perfect but it makes better.

Write your book. Get some help with editing. Get some help with formatting. Get a cover. These things are not expensive. I know, I do it all the time. Uploading to D2D and Amazon is easy as pie. If I can do it, you can do it.

One, two, three… Write!

#jhrom Jewish Romance. My heroines are smart, sexy, and yes, Jewish!

Here’s what my twitter bio says: (It really says this, I wrote it myself.)

Iowan.Writer of smart genre fiction. A lover of all things syfy, fantasy, GSDs. A Jewish hero or heroine in all my work. Author of the award-winning Captured.

Even if it is unstated, all my heroines are Jewish – from Mari in Captured, to Cara in Come Back to Me, to Eva in Beauty and the Feast, to Sara in Incorporeal, to Dr. Meera Driver in my fun Vixen comics. All of them.

Why?

1. I may be a mix of things, but I’m Jewish. My world view was and is shaped by my Jewish  roots, my Jewish family, my Jewish experiences, my Jewish education, the study of the Hebrew language and the Hebrew Bible, along with the New Testament (Hey, Jesus was a total Jew.), and my obsession with the study of history and religions.

2. I hate TSTL heroines. Hate ’em with a grand passion.

3. Every heroine I write is an aspect of me. Thus she/they is/are Jewish. And I’ve thrown some Jewish heroes into the stories for good measure.

4. Jewish women are hot. Get used to it. Sexy does not negate smart. Neither does smart negate sexy. Smart IS sexy.

5. I ain’t gonna hide what I am. I’m proud to be Jewish. I’m proud of what I write. I write what I want. And what I want is to write books about competent, complex, canny Jewish women.

Read my books. You will like them.

(Remember, sometimes I do plug my own books on this blog!)

Read a short story. Write a short story. Why?

Because a short story teaches you to economize. How to write a succinct beginning, middle, and end with no or minimal fluff.

Fluff = Unnecessary filler.

Assignment: Write a 5000 word short story.

Assignment: Write a 10,000 word short story.

Assignment: Write a 25,000 word short story.

Short story writers I recommend:

Me. I have a number of short stories which you can find in my book list. 🙂 (Look left.)

Believe it or not, Pistol Pete Maravich~ I swear he wrote a collection of short stories. Read ’em when I was a kid. Good luck finding them. I sure as heck cannot.

Washington Irving (of Sleepy Hollow fame).

O. Henry (William Sydney Porter).

Edgar Allen Poe.

John Steinbeck.

Ray Bradbury.

Henry James.

John  Cheever.

Sandra Cisneros. (I consider her novellas to be interconnected shorts.)

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. (Again, her novel,l Mistress of Spices, gives one a sense of interconnected shorts.)

Nadine Gordimer.

I’d like to include more female short story writers, but women, at least according to traditional publishers, tend to write long. Or perhaps they aren’t published and promoted until they write long. But it’s more than that. It’s not sexism. You’ll notice most of those men are dead or old dudes.

It’s this~ in America the writing of a short story has become a lost art. To our literary detriment.

It’s also this~ The interesting thing? Over the past ten years erotica writers have mastered the art of the short story. Concise writing. Beginning. Middle. End.