My Kindle Unlimited Experiment

highwayman 2 copy (2)For your free copy click here

Since the beginning of the indie publishing movement, it’s been a wild ride and a constantly changing landscape.  In a few weeks, I’ll celebrate my fourth year as an indie published author. I now have 14 published novels, and one, my first traditionally published book, is within weeks of release.

I’ve learned a lot about the craft, the edits, the art, the marketing, the accounting, the networking.

I’ve made a lot of friends.

But the more I learn, the more I learn I need to constantly stay on my toes, because what might be important today just might be obsolete tomorrow.

Kindle Unlimited is just one of the many undulating waves. Recently, I enrolled my book The Highwayman Incident in the program. It’s the first book in my Witching Well series.  I did it as an experiment. I’m thinking of putting all of the first books in my different series into KU so I can take advantage of the free promotional days. (Currently, The Highwayman Incident is free until Tuesday.)

Good plan? I’m not sure, yet. I’ll tell you how it goes in a few weeks. So far, I’ve had about 4k downloads, but only a few of those have gone on to buy book two in the series, The Cowboy Encounter.COWBOY encounter

I would love to hear other’s experiences with KU and marketing.

If you have a book in the Kindle Unlimited program, please feel free to share it with our 3k+ Main Street followers in the comment section. Buy links encouraged.

And if you enjoy time travel romance, I hope you’ll enjoy The Highwayman Incident.

Simple Pleasures in Life

dandelionDo you remember doing simple things as a kid that brought such an abundance of joy? Picking dandelions, making a wish, and blowing the fluff to the bright, blue sky. Finding a refrigerator box and making a puppet theater, a castle, a rocket ship. Lying on the ground and imagining clouds into fire-breathing dragons and playful puppies romping across the sky. Rolling down a grassy knoll until you were too dizzy to walk. When every day of summer was a new adventure.

As writers we get to retain that wonder of a new story living in our heads, coming out to play, and bringing delight to others. Each story is a new day and each day can bring a new story.

Writers block is your muse telling you you’ve lost that wonder, that you’re telling the story wrong. Your muse is the fun kid on the block who always knew a thousand ways to have fun on a hot summer day with a box and some imagination. Go! Chase after him. Summer is only so long. Don’t lose the wonder!!

Jill James, writer of romance, kid at heart
The Zombie Hunter’s Wife is coming soon! Book 2 – Time of Zombies series

In Praise of Coffee Table Books

A rather loud thunderstorm on Sunday afternoon got me thinking about things to which I hadn’t given two seconds of thought in years. Coffee lightningtable books! No one bothers with coffee tables anymore. They are completely passé, thank goodness! The number of times I’ve crammed my toes on the legs of those things… (My mom used to swear if I didn’t run barefoot all the time, I wouldn’t have a problem.)

When I married, I soon discovered the coffee table was a clutter catcher. It was also a great place for folding laundry. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the money to spend on coffee table books, and there was no point in Parisshowing off my intellectual genius, as I barely had time for such pursuits anyway. Besides most of my friends were in the same boat as I was. Furthermore, they wouldn’t have cared if I was fluent in French, found the similarities in Locke and Hume interesting, or actually knew anything about St. Francis of Assisi or the Nordic gods, or found beauty in architectural designs. We were too busy folding baby clothes.

The library became my go-to place. About once a week, I’d pack up the children and take them to the library. My oldest was just starting to seriously read and wanted more books than I could afford to buy. The library filled the gap between need and budget! Soon my oldest finished reading all the little children’s books and wanted to read the next level.

My youngest was bored! She had tipped the scale where she didn’t want baby books and still wasn’t reading well enough to read chapter books on her own. Yet she loved pictures and seemed to want to know about everything in life.

Well, it happened by accident. I had her stay with me while I went to look for a few books that I could read. Something caught her eye and she pulled out a shelved book, plopped herself in that aisle, and began to look at the pages. She discovered coffee table books! She wanted them all!

Well, the one librarian was almost appalled at the thought of a not-qunivalveuite two year old even handling such expensive books. The other librarians were taken aback by her young inquisitiveness but found it charming. I’ll admit, her interest didn’t surprise me, but the idea of using such books as a way to open her world to more, did. I only allowed her to take home two, or maybe two was the limit imposed by the library.

Within the pages of those large books were beautiful photographs of the most amazing things. By the time she was three, she knew the difference between univalves and bivalves. I’d pass the seafood area in the grocery store and she wanted to help me pick out bivalves and univalves for her daddy’s dinner! I could tell her to pick out one type of univalve and two different bivalves. She sit in the cart and point, then struggle with her decisions. “May I pick out a crustacean, too?”

bivalveYes. I got odd stares. I’d just smile and nod. I know I have a strange child, and I promise, she’s not an alien.

From deep-sea ocean beauties, to Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China, to towering redwoods, and insects of all kinds, lightning storms and cloud formations, and photos taken from outer space, back to the finest statues and paintings in the world, they can all be found within the pages of coffee table books. The photography is awesome and can make even the ugliest creepy crawly thing look fascinating. It’s a way to open a child’s world beyond an immediate setting.

In tiny bites, those books feed my young daughter’s insatiable appetite for knowledge. The incredible photography made each book a journey. Each became another block of the foundation upon which her education was built. They expanded her vocabulary by giving her scientific words that we just don’t use in normal conversation. And they did it all while she was still young.

Our electronic books and fancy little e-readers just don’t quite compare to snuggling with a child while you read through a really big book! Oh, the places you’ll go within those big picture books. I think Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr Seuss, would have heartily approved, for my daughter had learned to read from his books and their sing-song rhymes.

We have so many tools today to help our children, from television shows to computerized games. We can give our children so much more than what existed when we were children. Never has there been so much information available with a few keystrokes or the click of a few buttons. But there’s a timeless favorite of mine, those coffee table books.

And there’s nothing to compare with the scent of a child all fresh from an evening bath as they cuddle up for an evening read. And there’s nothing similar to a book where both child and parent, alike, can explore something in such detail. Scottish castles, sundials, Renoir paintings, beautiful antebellum homes of the old South, the masterpieces of Frank Lloyd Wright, or the most amazing bridges of the world, there’s a book out there filled with such pictures!

The coffee tables is gone and my toes are happy! I still have nmother and baby readingo desire to impress anyone with my interest in art or anything else that catches my fancy. In fact, buying a book for the purpose of decorating a table is beyond me. My house seems to always be bulging in books and now my Kindle probably contains more books than what remains on wooden shelves in my house. But there still room for paper books in our lives – the ones that enrich us and leave us breathless.

Don’t just read to your children, explore and learn with them! It’s never too soon to start reading to them.

 

 

Musical Genres

  

I’ve spent the bulk of my career writing Contemporary Romance, which I love. It’s treated me well, here on Main Street, and in my other ventures. I’ve been told a time or two that I should try a different genre, that my voice and my phrasing lends itself to historicals. 
So, I have decided to leap into a historical storyline that has captivated me. It’s been so refreshing to my little soul, taking me to new places in my writing that are exciting and rejuvenating. 

Many authors write in more than one genre, some using a different name for each. I haven’t gotten far enough into that side of things yet, although I don’t think I’ll use a different name. My historical still has romance as the overall theme, so I don’t think I’ll need a new name. (Plus, pen names can be a real pain the butt to keep up w/ – extra social media accounts, email accounts, websites, etc.) 

I’ve always read historicals, but never given them much thought, as a potential option for me as a writer. Now, I feel like I’ve really found a niche that is going to serve me well and make me happy. And hopefully, people will respond, buy, and enjoy this new adventure when I’m done.

For now, I’m working on two other books, one in edits with my publisher and one which is in first draft for a series that will start next year, also with my publisher, Forever Red Publishers. It looks to be a very busy summer and for now my little historical than could, and will, is making all the rest of my writing easier; it’s making it fun and exciting again. 

I think I see why there are so many authors who play the musical genre game – it sure gets your blood flowing for the art of writing again. At least it has for me! 

Some of my favorite historicals are written by Eloisa James, Johanna Lindsey and Amanda Quick. What are some of your favorite books and authors that aren’t sweet, contemporary romances?! 

   

   These works are inspiring and make me long for a time long gone. I only hope my future endeavor into this world does the same for a reader someday!  

If your of the mind, look up these ladies and play a little game of musical genres, along with me! 😀 Be sure to comment and share your thoughts on authors who write more than one genre; historicals in particular or if you do read one of these ladies – you must share your love for them with us here! ❤️

Wishing you well, in fiction and real life.

Kindly,

Kelly