Blog

Comfrey Week

DSC03768

A Comfrey Week is going to leave you bruised — but healing. Soul bruises happen so often that we tend not to notice them. We say things like “I’m just a bit tired” or we raid the emergency stash of chocolate. But we should acknowledge that someone or something has hurt us. Then we can heal.

So this week, stop reaching for chocolate (oh, okay, have a little piece), and ask yourself why you need it. What’s hurt you?

Once you’ve assessed your bruise, then you can treat it. But Comfrey Weeks aren’t panaceas. Comfrey is a poison even if you can use it externally as a poultice or ointment. Just so, how we respond to the bruises on our souls can heal or destroy us.

Be careful, think through the consequences of your actions — and don’t be afraid to get professional help.

A Comfrey Week is a great time to start the healing process. Be gentle. Be careful. But remember, even the worst bruises do heal with time.

Amazon Keywords

wordsAmazon keywords are wonderful. Get them right, and readers searching for your type of book are served your book in their search results. Get them wrong, and your book may well languish, undiscovered, and hence, unread.

I have plenty of those books.

But I’m learning! The place to start is with Amazon’s own advice on choosing key words. Did you go off and read it? If you only have a few minutes, spend it on that link and not this post :)

Keywords are about targeting your book. Who are its intended readers and what are their expectations when they pick up your book and begin reading (what are they searching for)? Targeting is vital beyond ensuring that you’re meeting your promise to readers (and that your promise is clear) because it helps you align all your promotional efforts.

By promotional efforts I mean: title (keywords), blurb (keywords), cover (visually express keywords), teasers (graphics + text to express keywords), guest posts (keywords), etc. I think marketing experts would call it “staying on message”.

Keeping the purpose of keywords in mind helps in defining them — or it does for me. If I start thinking about the cover and realise that the sort of cover I have in mind wouldn’t work for the story, then I know something is off. Shift between visual and text scribbles if that works for you. Coming up with keywords takes me days.

There are tools that promise they can deliver you the keywords you need. Do they work? I don’t know. I haven’t tried them. I’ve become dubious about all the things marketed to authors as guaranteeing results. If you have tried the tools, and have found any helpful, I’d love you to share your experience in the comments on this post.

Keywords are about your characters, your tropes (e.g. second chance love), your subgenre and so on. They are about meeting the market. Your book is unique, but it must be discoverable! But there are readers for everything. You just have to think about how to reach them.

I could talk about this for ages because the thing I’ve discovered is that the idea of keywords is simple, but their effect is so powerful (they’re in everything, influencing everything), that how we think about them is unique to each author, and we have to find a description of their potential that resonates with us. Then we have that lightbulb moment and spring into action. So almost all of what I’m saying is old news to you and you’re bored, but then one aspect catches your attention and you’re engaged.

Keywords have to engage!

What hooks you when you’re browsing for books? that’s a keyword, even if visually expressed.

If you look at books similar to yours, you’ll get an idea of keywords from their titles, blurbs and from the lists they belong to on Amazon — and don’t forget researching the words reviewers use! Reviewers are smart!!

The lists I’m talking about are at the bottom of a book’s Amazon page. Dare, my paranormal romantic suspense collection is currently free (till Feb 25) which means it’s gotten enough downloads to show up on some lists.

top

That’s great. But mostly my books aren’t ranking high on lists. Still you can see what categories Amazon has shuffled it into (based on my keywords) by scrolling right down to the bottom of the book’s page and finding these:

lists
These lists reassure me when my books go live that I’ve gotten my keywords pretty much as I wanted them — in this case, paranormal romance and the various characters or story types that people might search for, and which I deliver.

You can tell I’m not an expert, so please point out my flaws, share your experience, and if you dare, ask me questions!

A Sweet Basil Week

DSC03735

Things are cooking this week! A Sweet Basil Week bubbles with ideas and simmers with happiness. Add some spice to your week! Take risks, take a nap! Do whatever you need to do to recharge your spirit. A Sweet Basil Week is a gift from the universe. Enjoy!

If you’re crafty or creative, this is the perfect time to start a new project.

Release Day! Ran From Him

australian contemporary romance, kindle unlimited, perth romance,My new contemporary romance, Ran From Him, releases, today. Only 99c for a great category romance with a very special setting: my hometown of Perth, Western Australia.

Six years ago Cate Trapani fled emotional blackmail and a forced marriage with tycoon Daniel Garren. But now she’s back, determined to save her brother from a similar fate: his happiness sacrificed on the altar of their father’s business interests and her ex-fiancé Daniel Garren’s ambition. But Daniel isn’t the villain she remembers, and she’s not the awkward, innocent girl she used to be. This time, she’ll fight for what she wants. But so will Daniel—and what he wants is Cate.

Heat rating: sensual.

buy

And because I’m super-excited about the release of Ran From Him, I’m celebrating by putting my collection of paranormal romantic suspense FREE for five days. So grab Dare, now!

dare3

Procrastination. Don’t fight it

Procrastination is your subconscious over-ruling your conscious self.

rfm3What I really wanted to do today was write my secret project. I have notes, I have a cover, I have absolutely everything except the ability to focus on it! So I’m procrastinating; i.e. putting off writing the MS in favour of a range of other activities. I’ve trimmed the dog’s paws (golden retrievers grow fur between their paw pads and then skid on tiled floors — it’s a talent, I guess), social media’d like a professional PR person (in my humble opinion), read (digested, ranted and otherwise responded to) email, designed a cute teaser for Sunday’s new release, Ran From Him, and stopped to think.

kapow

Procrastination is so important. It’s like an ice-breaker, forging a path through life’s busy-ness, so that we have time to think. If we just sit there, people seem to think we’re doing nothing, and so, should do something for them! But if we’re “busy” (procrastinating) then we’re free to think.

When I find myself procrastinating — doing something I hadn’t intended to do, while something I really need to get done is ignored — then I’m beginning to realise it’s a warning sign. Somewhere, sometime, I’ve gone off-track and need to stop, reassess and recover my purpose.

So although I’m annoyed with my subconscious today in sabotaging my plans, I am sitting here while I type this post, thinking about my writing schedule for the next six months and questioning it. I’m thinking of my marketing strategy, and questioning it. And I’m thinking, thinking, thinking of the current MS and a growing suspicion that the plot needs tweaking.

Procrastination is the secret to success!

Fan Flower Week

fanflower

In a Fan Flower Week, the focus is on appreciating the quiet beauty of survivors.

We’re all survivors. Not victims. We are people who have lived, suffered, and kept on going. We’ve learned to enjoy the good times and manage the tough ones. We have our own unique take on life, and a lurking sense of humour.

Beauty is inspiring. Beauty that comes from within, and welcomes everyone with generosity and grace, is the truest and most lasting.

In this quiet week, you’ll meet someone beautiful. I’m not sure who. It might be someone you see everyday, but this week, you’ll see their beauty. It might be a stranger.

It might be you.

Happy Valentine’s Day

In celebration of Valentine’s Day (and because I love giving away books), my short Regency romance, Midnight Kiss, is free February 13-16 on Amazon.

kindle unlimited Regency,

The ghost of an Elizabethan courtier helps a Regency couple find true love.

By day, Emily Hazel is a prim and practical lady. At night, she is a ghost hunter. Armed with her sketchpad and pencils, she invades Rowdon Castle, determined to capture its legendary ghost. But Emily has forgotten her fairytales: The forfeit for trespass is a kiss.

A romantic short story for believers in happy-ever-after.

FREE

 

Heat rating: Sensual