I Love This Story …

So, we’ve talked and talked and talked about self publishing becoming the “new” publishing, like pink becoming the “new” black.  And, we’ve all probably assumed that along the way to this brave new future we’d pick up some key players who were once published traditionally … but who saw this one coming?!

Well, it’s happening.  J.K Rowling’s with her Pottermore … and now, Jackie Collins.  Yes, that Jackie Collins.

When I was about nineteen I went through this really smutty phase.  Along with novels like She’s Come Undone and Backroads, I also purchased Jackie Collins novels (mostly on tape because her british-y accent lulled me to sleep at night) and Dannielle Steel.  Now, I wouldn’t call Steel’s novels smutty, they’re more the warm & fuzzy sort of read with an add water recipe of romance … but Collins, yeah, she’s a little lascivious.  All the sex, death and mayhem one could possibly want.

Needless to say, I was a fan of her Lucky character and the sickly delicious, totally salacious Hollywood inspired novels.  They only got better for me when Collins fessed up that yeah, they were inspired by true and not-so-true events.  “Yum!” said the gossip girl lurking inside my soul.

While I’ve retired most of my Collins cassettes to the .25 cent table at my garage sale, I still have the utmost respect for a writer who can be so wickedly good.

And now this. (click the link for the full story!)

Here’s what thrilled me about the news …

Collins is a good writer.  She’s had blockbuster success with her stories, but she’s also smart.  It’s pretty impressive to see a writer who has a long standing career acknowledge, full on, that things are actually changing.  She’s not trying to pull punches or talk into fancy industry lingo, she’s just telling the truth.  You have to respect her and her balls on that one.  While she’s not totally turning off the lights on her trade career, it’s exciting to see her venturing that big toe into the self-pub game.

I’m sure she doesn’t need it … but still, I wish her tons of success!

I went to bed at 9!

Obviously, lightning doesn’t strike twice since, yeah, it’s 9 and I’m blogging … but last night, a miracle, I was asleep at 9 o’clock.  Not falling asleep … not watching TV and trying to sleep … actually, full blown, dead ass out like a light.

The last time I went to bed at 9, it was probably 2010, it was before I had a book-baby, before I decided to become one of those people who can casually mention they trained themselves to go on four hours of sleep a night.  In 2011, bedtime was always around the witching hour and for the most part, I’m always up before the sun.  So, you can imagine my joy when I literally passed out so early … then, a real miracle, I woke up before the alarm.

All day I thought about the things I’ve given up over the past year, sleep being one of the many things.  And it’s almost amazing how little I miss those things until, like a full nights REM sleep, I rediscover them.

Okay … now I need to go back to writing In The After … just thought I’d share a very random thought with ya’ll.

Complete Ridiculousness

Maybe you’re a bibliophile.  Maybe you love the idea of rare, incredibly expensive novels lining the wooden shelves of your library.  Maybe you have money to burn.  Or, maybe you’re just ridiculous.

Yesterday I was cruising around on Amazon, checking out my book, my ranking, my reviews when I noticed a few online vendors had picked up The Milestone Tapes for their stores.  Amazing!  I was excited, so I clicked on the list.  99% were normal, prices were average for print.  Then … I came upon Invise.

Apparently Invise (with it’s 92% satisfaction rating) has decided my book is worth … make sure you’re sitting down when you read this … $888.00 + tax + shipping.  I had to laugh. If you buy a book for damn near $900.00 you can’t even get free shipping?  COME ON!

But in all seriousness … I think this is probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot of stupid in my day!).  NO ONE should ever pay that much for my book … and I’m almost embarrassed a seller has the balls to ask for that price.

I don’t know how Invise came up with this price … but however they did, they should really, really consider figuring out another method.

Guest Blog : Enid Wilson

So excited to be hosting Enid Wilson today.

Enid is the author of The Spinsters Vow, a brilliant twist to a classic.  Enid graciously agreed to dissect the 99th page of her novel for our reading enjoyment!

 

A Woman of Wit

 

Thank you Ashley for hosting me today. Ashley has given me a fun subject to blog about. She asked me to pick the 99th page of any of my nine novels to talk about.

 

I’ve chosen my latest historical romance “The Spinster’s Vow: Mrs. Darcy’s Journal to Love”. The 99th page featured a heated argument between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, about Wickham. In this Pride and Prejudice-inspired story, Mr. Wickham was in fact the heir to Longbourn and a cousin of Elizabeth. Here is an excerpt:

 

I did not like his raised voice, and so I retorted, “How am I to know? He is my cousin!”

“Whom you have only known for a day!” Mr. Darcy said.

“I have only known you for a short duration, as well!” I replied.

“Have I done anything, during our short acquaintance, to make you doubt my integrity?”

“I still do not know you well!”

“You believed that I took away his inheritance – something entitled to him – took it from a childhood friend of mine, no less? And left him at the mercy of others?”

“Mr. Wickham was very charming. He sounded altogether sincere when he related the circumstances to me.”

Mr. Darcy’s eyes flashed. “Suspicion certainly does not seem to be within your inclination.”

“Are you accusing me of ignorance?” My voice raised another notch, as well.

“I thought I had found a woman of wit as my partner for life.”

“Now you accuse me of being a simpleton?”

 

In this refashioning of Jane Austen’s classic, Mr. Bennet had gone missing. Mr. Darcy met a melancholic but spirited Elizabeth Bennet who had vowed to remain a spinster until she found her father.

 

A debauchery at a masquerade forced the couple to marry. Misunderstanding ensued and it took the couple a journey across the continent to search for Elizabeth’s father before they realised their love for each other.

 

I hope you like this new take of P&P. Comment below to have a chance to win an ebook version of The Spinter’s Vow. Tell me about your witty partner. Contest opens to worldwide readers and closes on 30 April

 

******

Author Bio

 

Enid Wilson loves sexy romance. Her writing career began with a daily newspaper, writing educational advice for students. She then branched out into writing marketing materials and advertising copy. She loves food, travel and tennis.

 

Enid’s novels has been ranked in the top 50 best-selling historical romances on Amazon USA, the top 30 best-selling Regency romances on Amazon Canada, the top 21 romantic short stories on Amazon UK and the top 39 British mysteries on Amazon. Enid loves to hear from her readers. Visit her at www.enidwilson.com

A Little Something for Your Easter Basket

So, there is no such thing as the Easter Bunny.  I figured this out when my mom told me the same was true about Santa and the Tooth Fairy.  Bummer.  I mean … who doesn’t love the idea of a giant rabbit running around leaving candy?  But, it’s true … he doesn’t exist.

However, in the spirit of getting goodies I’ve decided to do something I haven’t done thus far … for one day only I am making The Milestone Tapes free for my readers and followers.  I’m the Easter Bunny this year!

From today (4/8) through tomorrow (4/9) The Milestone Tapes will cost you nada via Smashwords if you use the coupon code YR98A to make your purchase.

Enjoy your holiday and snag a copy currently ranking in at a full 5 stars on Amazon and a respectable 4.8 stars on Goodreads!

XX,

Ashley

World News, Quite A Happy Birthday!

I’ve been, maybe, the worst blogger in the history of the world.  I apologize (it feel’s like I’m always saying “sorry” here … sorry for that!) …

I just returned from a trip out west, the place where it all started for me.  365 days I stood on Rialto Beach and said “it’s time to figure my life out and live it authentically.”  I knew what that meant, where I needed to go and what I needed to do … now, I’m published.  It was a crazy year, but the accumulation of it couldn’t have been more justified … I needed to stand there again and feel the completion, the accomplishment.

Today, I turn 29.  The first year of writing has come and gone so quickly, I don’t really know whether to celebrate or cry because it was an amazing year, and I know I’ll never go back.  I’ll be that innocent again, or at things so simply.  It feels like I grew into this so quickly.

But here’s what’s crazy.

The day I turned 28, I decided to write a novel … the day I turn 29, I have an article about that novel feeding out of World News.  I don’t know if it gets better than that … it was a fluke of timing or the natural unfolding of things.  But either way, it’s amazing.

World News Article About The Milestone Tapes

This Has Been A Wild Year

Nearly one year ago my life was completely and entirely different.  I was a wife, a puppy-parent, I worked 50 hours a week … and those things haven’t changed.  I’m still a wife, I still have my wild pack of Chihuahuas running my house and I still work 50 hours a week.  But now, in addition to all of those really fortunate things, I’m a published author — and that is a huge, really mind-bending accomplishment.

I spent yesterday reflecting on the changes the past 360-some-odd days have seen.  Everything from shedding self-doubt, to starting this blog, to really learning the flesh and bone nature of publishing.  In sum, I guess the only conclusion I can draw is that this has been a wild year.  One I’m thankful for beyond words … because this was a dream.

I’ll admit, this whole process looks very little like how I thought it would.  If you had told at the start of this I would be self published, I would have laughed.  Not because I think there is anything remotely wrong about with going it alone — but rather because it felt, in beginning, insurmountable.  Genuinely, I thought I’d have an agent, a contract, that The Milestone Tapes would hit store shelves far, far in the future.  But I can’t say I regret things working out like they did … actually, just the opposite.  I know so much more about this industry than I would have learned had things worked out differently.  And with that comes a sense of pride and faith — that I never need the agent or the publisher, that I can make own way with things and do it all in my own terms.

One of my favorite moments: This book that no one believed in — that every agent and every publisher turned away because it was a hard sale made the top 40 most requested books on Goodreads.

I want to thank you all, so much, for taking this journey with me … this, right now, is where it was always going.  The moment when The Milestone Tapes would be available on Amazon and Nook and a few bookstores … where I could say “okay, I did it … and now I’m ready for what comes next.”

Seriously … the followers of my blog, the comment contributors, have really made a difference.  I know I don’t say it enough … but your time and consistency have mattered to me more than you’ll ever really understand.

This has been a wild ride, but I can promise you it’s only beginning … I have more stories in me and I can’t wait to tell them.

Sincerely & With Love & Gratitude,

Ashley

Number 68 People, Number 68!

Tonight was one of those over-the-top, absolutely amazing, jump up and down and then scream wildly at the top of my lungs moments.  Only, I didn’t jump or scream, I’m still too sick for that nonsense — instead, I called my husband (who was out celebrating his win with is “old man” hockey team) … I told him to buy everyone a round on me, I was number 68 and I felt like celebrating.

I’m still on antibiotics and can’t drink, so I celebrated with some grape gatorade … whose jealous now?!  Watch out, I’m a real wild one.

Here’s how it happened …

My Goodreads giveaway is ending shortly, only three more days and then it’s done.  It’s been fun to watch the numbers climb, watching the trends and lags … tonight when I checked, I had finally broken the barrier into over a 1000 requests, that was my goal — my “wouldn’t be amazing if” when it came to the whole giveaway thing.

I get that everyone likes free stuff, but that was pretty cool nonetheless considering first time giveaways generally net around (according to the e-mail Goodreads sent me) 500 requests.  They, in all their wisdom, encourage a second giveaway where the average peaks to about 800 requests.  I have clearly smashed both of those numbers with my little book.

Then, I started getting curious … with my “1000+” requests … where did I rank in the “most requested” … so I found my novel, did some simple math and it came out to … the 68th most requested novel.

That’s when I got really excited.

The thing is, being an Indie Author is a lot of small accomplishments.  Quiet accomplishments.  More often than not it’s defined by the things you wanted and never got.  I wanted an agent … nope.  I wanted a publisher … nope.  I wanted to be taken seriously … that was lukewarm.  Until tonight, with my own steam and own work this is what I accomplished.

Right now, there are just shy of 1500 active giveaways … and to be honest, I’ve never ranked anywhere near that high in anything.  Not my high school class ranking, not alphabetically … you get where I’m going with this right?

What this had done is bigger than giving me a moment of sheer joy … it’s been the encouragement I needed to continue writing.  I’m knee deep into In The After … sometimes it’s harder to write than others. I’ve been sick, planning for our upcoming trip, distracted by the promotion for The Milestone Tapes … but I’ve been trying.  Now, I can’t wait to sit down to write and I cannot wait to see what this next book will do.

I cannot begin to put into words the gratitude I feel towards these people willing to take a chance on a first time writer.  Now, I know that the copies are free and there is nothing at stake for the people who signed up … but it matters to me that these independent readers even bothered to click on the cover and read the description.  I guess it’s really because of all those agents who considered this novel unsalable, they’re beginning to be proven wrong … I believed that this book would mean something to someone and I wasn’t wrong pushing forward with the project.  It’s validation … in short … of everything I believed in and everything I worked.

So, I’m climbing off my soapbox now … I just wanted to celebrate for a minute.