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What makes a book sell?


Hey everyone! Hope you’re gearing up for the holidays. Things are starting to get busy around here, that’s for certain. You hear a lot about how a cover can make or break a book. Or that you shouldn’t judge a book by its’ cover (or movie). Sometimes you read a review where the reader rips apart a book because of a single grammatical error. Other reviewers don’t care how many times the word ‘flushed’ is used. As authors, we get obsessive about our books. And have a really hard time letting go of those stories once they’re published and out in the world. There’s got to be a reason, after all, that is why it’s not selling like we expected. So, let’s go over a few things that don’t matter. Your ...
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On awards, honors, and disappointment


Hey everyone! So, the Whole Life Activation awards were this past Friday. While I was deeply honored to be on the short list, another author won. I have no doubt that she is talented and deserving of the honor. And, despite all of you that voted for the cover for ‘Guarding Charon’, it didn’t even place in the final round in the AuthorsDB cover contest. For a short time today, it hurt. I freely admit it. Authors are still human, after all. We want to be told we did good and win contests. Have that validation that all the months of crappy sales or writer’s block was worth it. So, when you come close to that brass ring, it hurts when you get told no. You weren’t good enough. The thing is, I am ...
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  585 Hits

Channeling pain and loss


Hey everyone. I can’t really think about books much today. I’m afraid I’m numb. The ideas are there. Books will be written, promoted, etc. But I fear sometimes that we as a society simply don’t care enough any more. Not about books. But about each other. It’s not about gun control, or a good person with a gun showing up at the right time. It’s not about mental health, or legislation. It’s about how much we’ve lost. We’ve lost our compassion, our innate need to help one another. Tragedies happen, and we light candles, say prayers, donate blood. But does it really help? A month later, someone else goes on a rampage. The root cause, for me, is intolerance. We’re afraid of our neighbors because ...
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  611 Hits

Happy Halloween!

Guarding Charon KateMarie Collins
Yeah! It’s Halloween! Woke up to some amazing news! ‘Guarding Charon’ made it to the semi-finals for the cover contest! Voting closes on November 5th, and I can use all the votes I can muster! https://authorsdb.com/2017-cover-contest-results/23632-cover-contest-2017-guarding-charon The WLA gala is 10 days away. Yes, I’m getting nervous. LOL. Do I wish I could make the trip? Yes. But I have responsibilities and our bank account isn’t so deep that I can spend $2k to go to a party in London. No matter how much I want to go. Other than that, things are going well. I’m working on ‘Guarding Amber’, taking care of me and my family. There’s a balancing act that authors have to do. It’s being able to...
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  136 Hits

Flying high but staying grounded


It’s Monday! It’s been an interesting week since I last posted. In some ways, I’m still processing everything. And it was all good things! First off, I found out I’m now on the short list for Author of the Year from Whole Life Activation, a group in London, England that celebrates women making a difference. I’m beyond humbled and honored. With a fair amount of excited in there as well. LOL. The ceremony takes place on November 10th. As much as I’d like to go, it’s not feasible right now. When you have college bills to pay for, spending $2k to go to a gala in London isn’t being fiscally responsible. No matter the outcome, I’m thrilled. While I don’t know the other three finalists, I’m certain...
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  521 Hits

Let’s talk about whining


Hey! It’s Monday! It’s getting colder out. I threw on a jacket this morning before driving our youngest to school. And am now swathed in one of my dad’s cardigans. I want to talk about one of the worst behaviors as an adult. It’s not just a writer problem. But we need to stop whining on social media. Especially if you’re published or hope to be one day. I’m not talking a simple ‘crap, the battery on my car died’ type whine. I’m talking the out and out pity party. Oh woe is me someone else did x and I planned to do that. Why are my sales so bad? Can’t you leave a review? Shut up. Put on your big kid panties, grow a thick skin, and grow up. Readers don’t care if you found out information ‘firs...
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  624 Hits

When the horror becomes real


I can’t say good morning. I can’t say happy Monday. Not when so many families are waking up to the news of the shooting in Las Vegas. Not when so many families still don’t know what happened to their loved ones in Puerto Rico. As an author, I’m supposed to imagine horror. Cause bad things to happen to good people. When the earth herself does the damage…or someone who is supposed to be a functional, productive member of society….it hurts all of us. Hurricanes are real. And, in my belief, the frequency and severity are a result of climate change. This post isn’t to debate that. Storms like that are meant as a reminder to us that we’re not as immortal as we like to think we are. That, yes, the ...
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  510 Hits

The Reality of a Book Store Signing


Hey! It’s Monday! I hope your weekend was a good one. Almost three years ago, I wrote a post about the myth of the book store signing (here’s a link if you want to read it: https://katemariecollins.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/the-myth-of-the-book-store-signing/). Now that I’m doing these on a monthly basis, I wanted to talk about the reality of these events. First off, don’t go into one expecting to have a crowd of people waiting for you. Most often than not, people will think you work for the store initially. At my first Barnes & Noble event, I barely sold more books than I got asked where the restroom was. LOL. I turned it into a game at one point. Second, expect to have long blocks of time (...
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  482 Hits

Challenging myself, and any other author who wants to join in


Hey! It’s Monday! I’m blogging again! Woot! I thought a lot this weekend about how I prioritize things when it comes to writing and promoting. And I realized something. I spend a whole lot of time checking the ranking of my books. Or for new reviews. And a lot less on actively promoting my books. But, that’s a little backwards. I should be concentrating on future sales, after all. I can’t turn back time and force readers to buy my books. Or leave a review. So, why do I check two or three times a day? One of the common complaints I’ve heard from authors is that we don’t have time to promote. It takes too long to do x, y, or z. But we’ll spend more time checking for reviews than it takes to po...
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  463 Hits

Responsibility and the Rabbit Hole


Hey! Not sure how many have missed me, but I’m still here and kicking! For almost two years now, I’ve been in a rabbit hole of sorts. Losing my mom in 2015, followed by my dad in 2016. My youngest being assaulted at school, and the case still pending. Life in general put a lot of things on hold. Primarily, promotion and this blog. First, it was the funerals. Then it was helping my sister with the estate and simply sorting through over 70 years of accumulated stuff in their house. Some things came home with me, and other things got sold. This is what happens when your parents die. You have to make decisions that aren’t always easy to make. And, while I have great faith in our judicial system ...
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  528 Hits

Why I play nice with other authors


It’s a Saturday. Things are calm. I’m recovering well from surgery 3 weeks ago, and life has gotten back to our version of normal. Going to let you all in on a secret today. The best way to get people to buy your book is to get them interested in it enough to spend the money. Yes, the story has to be well written. Yes, the cover and blurb have to spark interest. But they won’t even look at those unless they know about it. And the BEST way to spread the word is to do it yourself. I’m a big advocate for doing my own promoting. Why? Because I know me. I know what I want the readers to know about me. I control the information. So, I’m personable online. I don’t get into politics or religion (bot...
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  704 Hits

Keep it professional


Hey! It’s Friday! Oldest has been retrieved from college for the summer, and the quiet of the house is disturbed by the sounds of her unpacking and shuffling stuff around. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days and thought it was time to get those thoughts down. Every author needs to maintain a level of professionalism with their publisher, their agent, and their readers. Plain and simple. At the end of the day, this is a business relationship. That’s it. The publisher and agent are trying to help you get your book out in the world. The reader bought it, read it, and (hopefully) left a review. Maybe they’ve stood in line to get your autograph at a signing. Being friendly is great. It r...
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  647 Hits

Back in the saddle again

Internationally renowned
Hey! Are you there? I know I haven’t posted for a while and thank you for not unfollowing my blog because of it. Life happened. On May 25th, I had surgery. The weeks leading up to it were full of taking care of things I wouldn’t be able to for a while afterward. Then, it was about recovery. Happy to say things are going really well! Still have a weight limit for lifting, and haven’t been cleared to start coffee again, but I can work with those. In the weeks leading up to surgery, I had ideas for ‘Guarding Amber’ (the follow up to ‘Guarding Charon’). I just didn’t have the focus I needed. My mind went to a million little things that I’d not done for months (years?) that demanded my attention ...
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  724 Hits

What a week!

Internationally renowned
Good morning! So, vacation’s this week. We’re off later this morning to get the a/c fixed in my van. Not a terribly fun thing on vacation, but it also means I don’t sit at the dealership for 6 hours. LOL The house is still quiet. Right now, it’s just me and the cats awake. And some of the felines may have gone back to napping. That, or they’re into mischief. General rule with toddlers and kittens: if it’s quiet, go check. LOL A lot of good has happened lately, even with some bad. It’s 13 days until Ayrshire College Comicon in Scotland. Hopeful that my donation to the silent auction does their local food bank some good. I have a surgery date. My 40+ year battle with obesity will be coming to ...
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  880 Hits

On the author/reader relationship


Hello! It’s a Sunday afternoon. House is quiet, though not writing quite yet. Need to transport the youngest to hang out with a friend soon. As a writer, an author, I give a lot to my readers. I give a small piece of myself in every book I write. Each and every word, character mannerism, name, is a gift of my soul to my readers. And I hope they appreciate it. Readers give back to us by buying our books, leaving reviews (good or bad), standing in lines to meet us at events. They tell their friends and co-workers about our books, bid on them at auctions, and help authors grow. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. There are some readers who say one thing and do another. They promise revi...
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A good week gets even better

Authorsdb blog badge
Hey! It’s Saturday! Last week was hectic as anything, but I managed to survive. No one likes almost $700 in car repairs, but they were necessary. Now to try and sell some books and recoup at least part of that. I had a couple of really good things happen last week. One just came to pass last night. My blog’s now a syndicated one on Authorsdb! The other one…well, it started coming about earlier in the week. But I’m still grinning about it. I was checking my email late one night. There was a message from a gentleman who was part of a comicon at a community college. They were going to do a charity silent auction at the con, with the proceeds going to a local food bank. And he was hoping I could...
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  784 Hits

When good books go unread (and bad ones sell)


Hey! It’s almost March! Spring’s coming…the lawn is thawing out. Got the pruning done, and the house is getting cleaner. I should be able to open windows and doors soon, which means less time spent getting interrupted by the cats wanting to go in or out. LOL Let me start by saying there’s a lot of really good authors out there. Both traditionally and self published. I never claimed to be the best author you’d ever read. But I can say my stories are well written, thought provoking, and entertaining. And then there’s the crap that gets published and sells. Don’t tell me not to be frustrated when my sales slump and the literary equivalent of toilet paper gets movie deals. Don’t tell me to stay ...
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  755 Hits

Why I hate automated DM’s


Happy Thursday! Snow is gone, sun is actually shining right now. And my husband’s 5 month old kitten is full on toddler mode. LOL So, something happens to me on Twitter. Talking with other authors, publishers, and friends, it happens to them a lot. And it’s those annoying automated direct messages we get whenever we follow someone new. I’m about to be blunt. To me, those things are the literary equivalent of an unsolicited dick pic! Look, we know you’ve got a book out. Or do covers. Or have a blog. We took the five seconds to scan your brief description. But to then send me something that’s little more than ‘BUY MY BOOK!!!’ is annoying. Really? You’re so lazy that you can’t say hello like a ...
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  737 Hits

Fear, Ignorance, and the Writer


Good evening everyone! I thought about posting earlier today. To be honest, this has been formulating in my head for a couple of days now. Work happened (still love my job, even on days where it’s insane), and I’ve been feeling like crap since I woke up. The one downside to working from home. There’s no one else to make sick, and no one cares if you’re swaddled in blankets. So, you tend to suck it up and get stuff done even when your body’s telling you to stay in bed. LOL I’m not going to discuss politics tonight. Not really. The election is over and done, we have a new President. Even if it’s not the person I voted for, I will respect the office he holds. What bothers me the most right now ...
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  630 Hits

Teaser Tuesday – Fin’s Magic: A Book of the Amari

finsmagic-with-quote
THANK YOU!!! Your votes put ‘Guarding Charon’ into 4th place with the P&E poll for Best of 2016!!! This week, I’m giving you a peek at Fin and her world! Enjoy!             Thunk. The sound of the arrow piercing the wild boar’s carcass seemed loud in the early morning silence. Fin lowered her bow. “Well, at least I hit it that time”. “Your aim’s getting better. It may not convince a trained archer, but most won’t question your role with us. That should make things easier for you.” Alaric kept his voice low. She reached over her shoulder and extracted another arrow from her quiver. Nocking it into place, she slowly drew back the strin...
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  881 Hits