Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Same Thing Happens Every Year

With the exception of a very few times in my life, I can’t remember there ever being more than three or four people at the table for Thanksgiving in my family. I tried to grab my pal Penny before someone else claimed her, but I was too late. So unless something changes between now and Thursday, the group will include me, my bud Margee, and Mom.

So here’s the drill. As I write this, I’ve got a 15-pound turkey defrosting in the garage refrigerator. Sounds like a big bird for three people, and it is, but hey, it was free after reaching the required grocery purchase total. The Scotch will flow, probably my Gentleman Jack for Mom, and cabernet for me in my special monogrammed Tinkerbell wine glass (Tink wants a drink, damn it!) and even though I always promise myself I’ll be more efficient next year, it’ll be the same. Me sweating and swearing in the kitchen to get things done—the rest know not to offer help. The kitchen is too small and I’m a very poor delegator anyway. While the turkey spins on my Ronco Showtime Rotisserie, I’ll prepare enough food to make the casual observer believe this is our only meal for the year, or perhaps the last one of our lives. I suppose that’s common practice on these holidays. There will be stuffing, mashed potatoes, and glazed carrots. I’ll make homemade poppy seed rolls the night before (ha-ha, if I’m organized enough, that is) and let them rise. Dessert is often a flaming cranberry pudding, drowning in brandy or rum and butter, the fire extinguished with a Matterhorn of whipped cream. Baby poop pie, or rather pumpkin pie, for Margee because she’s the most traditional of us all.

Meanwhile, as the alcohol is flowing, there are appetizers going on at the kitchen table, my favorite clam dip recipe and maybe some homemade tzaziki. Hey, my yiayia would be spinning in her urn on my desk if I bought this treat from a store. So everyone is getting stuffed full of chips and crudites before the main meal is even on the dining room table.

All those hours of work, and the whole event is over in 25 minutes. And of course, just to make things interesting, it wouldn’t be a holiday meal unless someone said something to spark an intense discussion [read: hot argument] that on top of everything else will have me swearing that I’m not doing this again next year, even if we have to eat in a diner at a truck stop. But here we are again, and here we’ll be next year, despite everything.

And then there’s Christmas . . .

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Now the Question is $2.99 or $9.99

Here's that money thing again. I was alerted this morning to a tweet from a reader who sees my backlist selling for $2.99 and wondered why another author's old titles are priced so much higher ($9.99). As I explained in a disjointed, multi-part message to the unhappy reader, I am in the fortunate position of owning nearly all of my backlist. I can charge whatever price I choose. After some inexperienced dithering at the beginning, I decided to follow Joe Konrath's example and price my books at $2.99, old title or new. There is an exception to this which you will find on this blog if you scroll down to look for it. Same graphic and everything.

I'm not out to gouge my readers--I want them to enjoy my work at a price that's fair to all of us, which e-publishing makes possible. That other author's books being sold for $9.99 are most likely still controlled by her publishers. I'm not knocking trad publishing, paper books, etc.  I've simply chosen the model that works best for me.

So for now and the foreseeable future, my books will be priced at $2.99. If you find them cheaper than that, please know that I did not discount the price, the vendor did. I'm not happy about it and I'm doing what I can to change the situation. $2.99 is more than fair. Less than that is not.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A New Kind of Online Store

Some industrious authors, including Patricia Ryan and Doranna Durgin (there are others, so please forgive me for leaving them out) have put together a very cool new store!

The Backlist E-Bookstore--http://astore.amazon.com/backlebook-20
Actually, this store includes not only backlist print books that have been converted into e-books, but new, previously unpublished work as well. Our authors include Doranna Durgin, Patricia Ryan/PB Ryan, Deb Baker, Becky Barker, Lorraine Bartlett, Pamela Burford, Marsha Canham, Lillian Stewart Carl, Phoebe Conn, Christina Crooks, Winslow Eliot, Karen Fenech, me, Michele Hauf, Libby Hellmann, Mary Ellen Hughes, Kelly McClymer, Tim Myers, Terry Odell, Beth Orsoff, Ryne Douglas Pearson, Karen Ranney, Patricia Rice, Kathryn Shay, and Laurin Wittig.

Plus, authors are being added all the time. So if you have/want a Kindle—and don’t forget, you can win one from me right here—and would love to get a look at books you might not have read before or would like to see again, come and visit.

We also have a Facebook page http://tinyurl.com/2ecwyk4 that includes up-to-the-minute information about participating authors.