Crud and Halloween and Book Launch…oh my.

Okay, so I decided to release Escape Magic on October 31, the anniversary of Houdini’s death, right? Pretty good idea. Great idea, in fact, except for the fact that I am the mother of three, two of whom are still young enough to trick-or-treat on Halloween. Which means costumes and candy and, well, you know. And that would not be enough to keep me from launching Escape Magic properly, so I went ahead with it, and came nose-to-nose with something that did keep me from doing it up right.

The crud.

Whether it’s the flu or a bad cold or what, I don’t know, but it has totally sapped my energy. I haven’t tweeted about Escape Magic properly, and I promised some neat Houdini facts on here that I haven’t organized in my brain well enough to write. Whatever it is, the crud sucks.

The fact is, there are some things I have to keep doing in spite of everything. And Escape Magic would be right up there if this hadn’t been such a busy week. But it has and I have no energy left for Twitter or Facebook or even my blog. In fact, I’m going back to bed as soon as I finish this post.

But before I do, I wanted to announce that beginning Monday I’m going to do a week-long celebration of Magic right here on my blog. There’ll be giveaways and balloons and champagne—all right, the balloons and champagne will be imaginary, but the giveaways won’t. I’ve collected a number of cool magic tricks over the past year or so and some very pretty decks of cards. And by next week I should have hard copies of Escape Magic to giveaway (I already have some copies of Close Up Magic). And if all that doesn’t appeal, I’m also going to give away some $5 Amazon gift cards, good to buy anything you want on Amazon (including any of my books–you could probably get more than one of my ebooks!).

So that said, remember Escape Magic is for sale NOW at only 99 cents for the Kindle ($6 or so for the paperback version). If you buy it and love it, leave me a review! I could use a pick-me-up.

I need to be writing. Even if I sometimes ask what’s the point?

Here’s a little peek at how I as an indie contemporary romance author often feel: Hello? Is this thing on?

I recently read a very good blog article about why indie writers need to avoid underpricing their books. The author made several very good points, but one in particular stood out to me. Unless we write as a hobby, we’re hoping our writing will eventually support us. It’s hard to do that when you’re selling your work for 99 cents.

I’ve spoken up several times on this subject in support of writers selling their work for whatever the hell they want to sell it for—provided they can find buyers. It’s survival of the fittest out there in the publishing world, and anything you can do to give yourself an edge is fair game.

The problem is, pricing your ebook at 99 cents is no longer going to give you that much of an edge. In fact, giving it away is no longer going to give you an edge. The only real way to get an edge in today’s market is to study your craft and write and promote and study and write and promote…and pray. Yup, that’s right. Pray. Pray to God or Buddha or your muse. Pray for that magic moment when, for some unknown reason, the words you wrote catch on. Something snags the attention of the reading masses and it’s your book that’s being tweeted and talked and posted about.

I’m still waiting for that. Reviewers (for the most part) like my writing. But hey, most of them get my books for free. (Want a review copy? Email me. I’ll send it out. Kindle or paperback. Your choice.) So I’m still trying everything I can, including different price points, to catch that wave.

Just the other day, I dropped the price of Ducks in a Row from $2.99 to $1.99 in the hopes that it would spur some sales. The sequel, Saturday Love, is with an editor now and I hope to publish it in January. I think there are literally dozens of people waiting for that sequel, and I have no intentions of disappointing them. If I could grow those dozens to hundreds by January, that’d be pretty awesome, though.

And, can you keep a secret? Next week on July 1, Close Up Magic will be free for one day only. I’m not telling everyone yet, just you guys. I’d hate to discourage anyone from paying for the book now.

But as I wait for that moment when it all comes together with pricing and readers and promotions and magic, be assured I’m writing. And I’m striving to write each book a little better than the last one so that eventually my readers won’t even look at the price of my novels. Eventually, they’ll see another book by me and buy it without worrying about how much it costs because they know it’s worth it.