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Showing posts from February, 2022

Romance Doesn't Have to End - Neither Does Sex

Recently I listened to a short story, Slingshot by Souvankham Thammavongsa , being read on the podcast Selected Shorts too hot for Radio . The story centers around a 70-year-old woman who meets a 32-year-old man, her neighbor, Richard, and they start a short, but intense, relationship. The woman has been a widow for 30 years and in her words, “I hadn't had sex for such a long time that I could consider myself a virgin. I couldn't remember how it all happens."  That story, originally published in Harper's magazine in 2018 , made me wonder how many other stories are now being written about older characters being in love and having sex. That's not something we tend to acknowledge very often. It's as if we don't think older people have those desires. But they do. Recent studies, such as this one in Prevention Magazine , indicate that people well into their 80s and 90s still want romance and physical intimacy. "Sex isn't like a carton of milk that goes

Old Dogs, New Tricks: Diving into the Kindle Vella Pool

In mid January, our newest member of the Blood Red Pencil, Brynette L. Turner , published an informative post on Amazon's Kindle Vella . The serial format reminded me of the 1940s, when my brother and I walked to the little theater in the small town where we lived on Saturday afternoons to watch episodes of whatever serialized movie was playing. We waited all week for Saturday to arrive so we could see what happened next. Those fond memories caused me to rethink my initial belief that Kindle Vella, while an interesting idea, wasn't for me. That about-face woke me up one night, thinking about this different approach to a book series. First, a storyline for a book series I've been planning for a couple years ran through my mind. Then a second story idea budded and bloomed without the slightest bit of encouragement from me. Both will lend themselves well to serialization. Now I'm excited with the idea and can't wait to get started. But first things first. I need to lea

Promoting Kindle Vella Stories

Most independent authors recognize that promoting our novels is a crucial factor in our success. The Kindle Vella platform for serials is no exception. However, I’ve found that it presents a few challenges for novelists as we venture into this new format. How do we find new readers or encourage established fans to try serials? How do we promote episodes? The approaches are varied, so I’ll discuss what I’ve done and some of the efforts I’ve seen from other KV authors. Consistency with images and colors helps with branding, right? I repeat them across a variety of platforms. Twitter allows hashtags for retweeting groups, targeting followers, and reaching people who enjoy serials and romance. Facebook pages/groups allow interacting with readers/writers already familiar with Kindle Vella, updating friends and previous followers, and sharing excerpts. I put links on Twitter to an excerpt on my website and add Kindle Vella links in my newsletter. My first project’s promoting has focused on (

I Fell in Love... With Kindle Vella

I’ve been a writer and editor for decades. In fact, I’ve done so many jobs in the publishing industry, one wonders why I haven’t published more of my own work by now. Seems like that would be a logical step for any writer. So, what always stopped me? Well, the rewards were just never strong enough, I guess. The actual process of writing, too often unenjoyable. Sometimes I loathed sitting down and struggling with the words. I had the ideas and loved brainstorming and researching but pounding away on a keyboard was just too tiresome and time-consuming. I didn't have the passion for the work. I enjoyed editing books for other authors, though, a lot more than editing my own writing. I even enjoyed marketing books for them. Certainly, I loved brainstorming when I worked for publishers who were looking for creative ideas. And, mercy, I love reading more than anything. I could sit and read all day long! Even after 15 years of participating in National Novel Writing Month and Book-in

The Secret in the Wall: Preparing for release day

On February 15, 2022, the eighth book in my Silver Rush historical mystery series, THE SECRET IN THE WALL , officially descends upon the world. Here's a little teaser for you: Former saloon owner Inez Stannert is trying her best to keep her colorful Leadville, Colorado, life behind her and to provide a respectable home and upbringing for her teenage ward, Antonia. Now the owner of a small music shop in San Francisco, Inez can’t seem to steer clear of mayhem as murder victims literally come out of the woodwork. She’ll have to figure out how to lose the bones and keep the gold. Now, a confession: When I turned in my draft to the editor in late 2020, the pub date seemed soooo far away. Plenty of time to re-group and prepare, I thought. But 2021 disappeared in a haze. Maybe because the year didn't turn out at all like I thought it would (I'm sure I'm not alone in that). Maybe because other projects consumed me. Whatever the reason, 2022 arrived awfully fast and (yikes!) I r

Romance, Crime, Writing, and Prayer #BlackHistoryMonth

Author, editor, educator Shonell Bacon has been a member of the Blood-Red Pencil since 2009. She writes across the genres of Romance and Crime, along with non-fiction. Check out her book on how to Make Your Writing Bloom ! Or click the poster below to browse all her books on her Amazon page .

A Little Romance for #BlackHistoryMonth

 From blog team member, Brynette L. Turner . Click over to her Amazon page here . As an added treat from the author, a little birthday present for her readers . One day only on February 6, 2022! Happy reading!

Kindle Select & Kindle Unlimited

There seems to be some confusion over the terms. They are not interchangeable but are related. Kindle Select is the program for authors. You upload your ebook to the KDP platform and enroll it in the Kindle Select program exclusively for a period of 90 days, which is renewable. Your ebook cannot be available on any other publishing platform during that time period. It does not impact your paperback version. Readers subscribe to Kindle Unlimited , download your ebook, and read it. They have seven days to return it. If a reader has a high rate of returns, they will be monitored, perhaps blocked from returning. However, seven days is plenty of time to read a book before returning it. Returns are deducted from your pages read and royalty amount. Readers currently pay $9.99 for a 30-day trial membership or $60.00 for a 90-day membership. KDP boasts over 150 million subscribers. Only a portion of the amount paid by KU subscribers is deposited into the KDP Select Global Fund. Each month, tha