Saturday, 23 January 2016

Self- Promotion, Construction

As you know I am an author and when my first book was published was amazed to discover the amount of self-publicity that you have to do to promote your books.

Following suggestions by other authors  I'm in contact with, I opened up social media accounts to help in the process. So now I have :

  • a website
  • a blog
  • a Facebook author page
  • Google+
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Tsu
  • Wordpress
  • A monthly newsletter
  • not to mention various FB and Yahoo groups that deal with authors connecting to readers

So bloody many things. Now all of these take up time. I try and tweet every other day, post something on my FB page and Google+ weekly. I also have my author friends post on their blogs and/or websites. The others are maybe fortnightly but it all takes time.

It all takes up so much time that my last book wasn't publicised as much as normal because it was Xmas as well.

So I've just paid someone to do it for me for a few weeks. It will be interesting to see if there is an increase in sales with this person adding posts to many blogs as well.

Basically if you want to make a success then you have to put in the effort behind the scenes.

I remember when I sold my first book I thought I'd be lucky to make $50 a year I may never become a millionaire with my books but I am making an extremely nice income with them ... 

The funny thing is on top of  all that promo work you have to keep searching out the pirates and send out take down notices. It's an impossible task to ever get on top of - so far to my knowledge I've taken down 20 sites which is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the thousands of sites.

So whats the funny thing? Some of those sites keep tallies on how many times the books are downloaded ...  I'm cranky. If I got just one dollar (and remember I actually get at least twice that when I sell a book) from each I would have over a million dollars and that's just 8 sites from the thousands of sites!!

Where's a mechanically minded male when you need one?

Just bought myself a new chair for the office/studio - no bloody instruction sheet!

So I have this pile of pieces and a picture of the finished article ....  thank goodness I studied engineering way back in the 60s .... lol.

Still Mr Spot is having lots of fun in the empty box - he keeps hiding in it until Fozzie walks past then jumps out at him.

Fozzie - being the very brave dog he is has now taken refuge under my desk - his usual position with his head on my feet.  I guess I am supposed to protect him from the big bad puddy tat!

UPDATE : - Queen of the Allen key ... who needs instructions!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Better Late Than Never....

I'm laughing ...

Back in March of 2014 I tried, unsuccessfully, to get in contact with the Taxation department. I wanted to know the figure I needed to earn from my royalties before I would have to put in a tax return.

After hanging on the phone for hours and getting absolutely nowhere I ended up writing a letter as suggested on the ATO website.  I figured it may take a couple of months for an answer but at least I would have it from the 'horses mouth'.

Yep. Waited two months and got - no answer.

In the end I contacted a very nice accountant and she gave me the information I needed in less than a minute - $32k - now I had a figure.  Until I reached that amount I didn't need to put in a return because I was now over 60.

This morning - yes its January of 2016 - I get a phone call from the ATO in answer to my March 2014 letter!

Man I've heard of a backlog but that's ridiculous.

Anyway the man confirmed what I already knew that I had to earn $32k before I needed to put in a return. I thanked him silently laughing.

He then proceeded to tell me they - the ATO-  hadn't received returns for 2010 to 2014 but he could see I was eligible for tax free since 2010 as I was over 60 so he would mark my file for those years as such. I politely thanked him again and wondered 'WTF?'

I'm still shaking my head in disbelief - almost 2 years to get an answer? Bloody hell ....

Monday, 18 January 2016

Five Star Review ....

Just got a 5 Star Review for my latest book.

I love when my readers contact me or give honest reviews and this review was simply perfect.  I always try to make my characters 'normal' with flaws and vulnerabilities then hope that my readers can relate.  The fact that my characters are 'mature' and have faults seem to be to be more natural.

I try to have some point where the emotions override everything and if I succeed and have my readers reaching for the tissues or wanting to give someone a good shake then it makes me one very happy author.

When I get a review like this I know I did something right!

"Suzy Shearer has done it again! She has woven a tale of love, heartbreak and second chances that left me reaching for the tissues multiple times. She certainly knows how to write characters that will leave you in tears or ready to slap them up side the head. 

Alex has been described by his subs as having a frozen heart. He doesn't allow himself or his subs to become emotionally attached to each other for fear of getting hurt. That is, until he meets Kallie. She has captivated him just with her voice alone. Their first meeting has him reacting like he never has before and it throws him completely off. He doesn't know what to do. The reader gets to see a vulnerable and emotional side to a Dom and man that routinely is not present in a book of this genre. 

Kallie slowly gets to know the real Alex, after a bad start with him, and falls in love. Old fears come up again and with them brings back the old Alex. Kallie can only cope with old Alex for so long though. A series of tragic events will leave the reader on the edge of their seats to see if this couple will make their love last. Have tissues ready for multiple points throughout this book!!"

Buy Link :

Friday, 15 January 2016

Farewell ....

Another of my 'heroes' has left the stage - farewell Alan Rickman.  I loved him from the first moment I saw him in Die Hard and from then on watched every movie he was in.

He was the consumate actor - brilliant, funny, seductive - simply wonderful.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Pet Peeves, Procrastinating, Publishing ... and a Sad Loss

Decided this week was the week to get back to work - haven't done any writing or painting since mid December - but of course I got side tracked.

Okay I'll own up - I'm procrastinating about getting back into work.

I started reading and one book led to another .... you know the rest.

Anyway the book had some reference stuff in it that I knew came from Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time so wanted to explore it more. Went to the book case where I thought the book was and couldn't find it. Searched everywhere then finally realised I'd lent it to someone about 5 yrs ago along with a couple of other books and never got any of them back .

That got me thinking.

How annoying is it when you lend someone something and they never bother to return it.  I can recall lending The Golden Bough and The Gulag Archipelago to a work colleague back in the 60s and despite repeatedly asking for them back they were never returned.

I love my books and have no problem lending them to people but I do wish they would return them especially when asked.

I ended up buying new copies of both books from the 60s but over the years lost them when I had to downsize my book collection.  I'll have to keep my eyes open for them plus Hawking's book. I already bought a replacement of The Hobbit - can't possibilty live without Tolkien's works on my shelves.

Been slowly trying to rebuild my library now I have the house to myself.

Two of my more recent books are about to come out in paperback so that means I need more shelf space to add them. Of course the problem is still finding space to put in additional bookcases ... lol

So now you know one of my pet peeves. Tell me what annoys you? Is it lending things that don't get returned or something else?

The ebook that had one of my short stories in had been selling well - better than we actually expected. In fact one day it was #6 on Amazon's Horror ebooks category - ahead of Stephen King!!

Whoohoo ... lol.

None of us expect to make money from it - it was just a way of getting new readers but the way things are going we may even break even. It cost me $10 US for my share of the cover design and then $50 USD for professional editing. One of the authors was great at formatting so she did that for free.

We've decided to write another - same authors and the same theme - Paranormal Romance so I really need to stop procrastinating and get back to work .... lol.

Devastated by the news that David Bowie has died. He had his 69th birthday on Friday and released his latest album. It's fabulous.... I bought it on the weekend and then tonight I read he is dead.

At first I thought it must be a hoax, it was so hard to believe.  I feel like I've lost a friend - I have all his albums and think he was an amazing talent.

His music is immortal and I almost believed he was too.

Goodbye Sir David .....

Monday, 4 January 2016

2016 ... Hope Yours Is A Great One!

I never make New Year resolutions - always break them before the end of January ... sometimes before the end of the first week ... *snicker*

So this year I have no resolution once again but instead I'm hoping it will be a vast improvement the last couple health wise.

This time three years ago I was sitting in a hospital bed after having a 2.4kg mass removed and I was feeling pretty awful. It took over 8 months to recover but at least now all I have to show for it is a 20cm long scar and no belly button ... lol.

The following year I spent the year having to take antibiotics for 10 months.  Then last year I was diagnosed with PFX syndrome in my left eye. Hopefully all that is behind me and that it was my last hospital stay and last bout of health problems.

I guess it's all a part of growing older - just not the part I enjoy!

So apart from hoping I stay healthy I don't really have any real desires for the new year. Maybe it would be nice to meet a male friend as well I hope to have another book published, take a holiday and do some more painting. Hope my family stay healthy, happy and safe.

Simple desires - that's about it.

Of course winning the Powerball or Ozlotto would be very nice as well ..... bwahaha.

Anyway I hope your 2016 brings you all your hopes and dreams and you remain healthy and happy.