Killing Off My Firstborn

That title sounds a bit biblical, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, I won’t be spouting fire and brimstone in this post. However, in an effort to hone my author brand and steer readers more toward my fiction, I will be going a bit Old Testament on my firstborn…book, that is.

A Look Back

In the beginning–oh, sorry, going biblical again, aren’t I, let me rephrase that…At the start of my road down the writing path I kind of sort of floundered about everywhere. I was writing short and long fiction, I was writing essays, I was writing articles, I was writing web content, I was a writing fool. Self-publishing was becoming a little more of a “thing” and I thought I’d expand one of my articles into a book just to try out the process.

And so, Easy Preserving was born. I really liked this little book at the time and was even able to cut and paste some of its content into a few more articles (which actually earned more than the book ever did). I even bothered to re-work it a few years ago with a new cover and some new content.

Your days are numbered!!

Taking Stock

Over the past couple years, and especially the last year, I’ve gotten a little embarrassed about Easy Preserving (and my second book Soup for You which I quietly killed off earlier this year). The writing in both books is a little silly (not that I’m not silly) and the recipes are nothing out of this world. Plus, sales of Easy Preserving have dwindled to nothing, proving that it was time to take a critical look at this book.

He’s coming for you, Easy Preserving!!

My fear is that people might pick up this book, think the writing is crap (which it kind of is), and never want to read another book from me again (not that the Easy Preserving demographic is the same as a fantasy fiction demographic, but you never know where interests might overlap).

And since, as I mentioned above, I really want to be known for my fiction, I don’t want to confuse people with a lackluster non-fiction backlist.

And so, it is with a big ol’ sacrificial blade that I’m killing off Easy Preserving.

Backlist culling…a bit like this.

Letting You Live….For Now

All that said, I do have a non-fiction title that sells well and that I’m not completely embarrassed by: Simply Soft Cheese (although I do admit some of the “bonus” recipes aren’t very creative). This was my third book (you can now see why it took me so long to get my first novel completed) and has always trickled in some steady sales.

Each year I go through my books and rework the keywords, fix the front and back matter (you know, that part where the Also By and Bio are), and do a little copyediting on the blurb. This year, I simply couldn’t stand the cover of SSC any longer. I mean, really, how did I ever think this was a good idea….

simply soft cheese, tammie painter, cheese making,

Playing around a bit, a new, classier cover was born…

Wait, What?

Okay, okay, I know I just went on about wanting to steer readers more toward my fiction and away from the non-fiction, but it’s hard to resist the royalties this book brings in. I will likely eventually say goodbye to SSC (and my gardening book Going Native) or re-release them with a pen name, but for now they’ve been given a reprieve…at least until the book publishing gods tell me to sacrifice them for the good of my fiction.

And as for that fiction, don’t forget that The Maze: Book Three of the Osteria Chronicles is still on sale for 99 cents through the end of the month (details below)!

I’ll be back next week, but I haven’t quite decided what to share with you, either a bit about the world of Osteria, some news of the future, or maybe just some random cat memes.  

What about you, any hard decisions this week? Any thoughts on authors who mix genres? Share your thoughts and comments!!!

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Get your copy of The Maze: Book Three of the Osteria Chronicles today….
For e-book fans and bargain hunters….

From now through the end of the month you can get The Trials of Hercules (Book One) and The Maze (Book Three) for only 99 cents each. Clicking on the books’ titles above will take you to a handy dandy site with direct links to all your favorite ebook retailers. 

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Want to Help a Writer? Leave a Review!!

Now that The Maze: Book Three of the Osteria Chronicles has been unleashed on the world. It’s time for me to remind all you lovely book readers out there just how important book reviews are and how helpful they can be to give a writer a boost.

And I’m not talking about an ego boost (okay, maybe a little ego boost). Here’s just a handful of ways taking a couple minutes to leave a review can help an author…

  • It can encourage a writer. Sure as a writer you have to be self-motivated or you’re never going to get a book published. Still, if my stepsister hadn’t told me how much she enjoyed Books One and Two of The Osteria Chronicles and how much she was looking forward to Book Three, that Book Three may not have existed. I was so disheartened with writing at that point and so frustrated with the manuscript for what would eventually become The Maze that I was about ready to give up on the series. Even though it was only one person’s words, they were enough to drive me back to that pesky manuscript.

  • It provides another tool for authors to promote their work. It’s a bit tacky to post “Buy My Book!!” ten thousand times a day on social media, but it’s perfectly acceptable to post a snippet of a reader’s raving review….especially if you doll it up using a fancy-schmancy quote creator like I did with this one…

  • It helps other readers. If you were sifting through the “shelves” on Amazon and saw two books for the same price and one had fifty reviews while the other had no reviews, which one are you likely going to click on first to learn more? In most cases, you’ll check out the one with more reviews. It’s not to say the book with no reviews is worse than the one with fifty reviews (in fact, it may be better), but with our limited time and limited budgets we’re more inclined to go with books that have proven themselves to be worth reading.

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Movin’ Write Along

No, I haven’t been watching the Muppet Movie again (if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, see the video at the end of this post). And no, this doesn’t have anything to do with the amount of fiber I have in my diet as it relates to my colon health. What is moving right along is Book Four of the Osteria Chronicles!

But wait, I hear you say, you haven’t even released the third book in the series. I know! I’m still a couple weeks out from the official Release Day for The Maze, but I’ve already charted the course for Book Four and am (as Kermit and Foozie Bear would say) movin’ right along on it.

This is not a normal situation for me. Sometimes I might have an outline of my next book before the previous book is released, but never a draft. So what’s different this time? As you may remember way back when I was struggling through my third draft of my renewed efforts with The Maze, my wonderful blog readers helped me realize that stepping back and evaluating both books three and four would allow me to understand what needed to happen in book three. It was probably the best advice I’ve ever bothered to listen to. Continue reading

The Book Ordering Question Answered

I’ve gotten many questions lately from people asking about the best way to order my books in paperback format because apparently many of you enjoy holding a “real” book as you read (me too!). And let me just start by saying I will never complain about how or where you order my books, I just want to make your options a little more clear.

On my Where to Buy page there are a multitude of options and links for your book shopping convenience, but these don’t really tell you the best ways to buy based on your location, based on which gets you the best book bang for your dollar, or based on which option puts more of the book’s price in my pocket (versus “donating” most of the sale to a distributor like Amazon).

So let’s start with the best methods for both of us and work our way down…

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orvieto, italy, italia, orvieto duomo

A Little Makeover for Super Simple Book Marketing

As you learned last week, it was a loooooong process to get The Maze: Book Three of The Osteria Chronicles complete, but now that Release Day is looming it’s time to set the book launch plans into motion.

But before the book launch push (aka “be warned, there will be heavy marketing going on in this area very soon”) fully kicks into gear, I’ve been heeding the simplest book marketing ploy ever, trying something that makes me feel dirty, and getting ready for a pre-book launch vacation.

A Little Redesign = No-Brainer Marketing

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