January Book News

2018 bk news
Montana Welcomes 2018

January Book news from Betty Kuffel

Happy New Year to all!

After writing diligently for many years, I’ve made progress toward completion PyreCoverKAand final editing of three novels. The first is Deadly Pyre, book one in the Kelly McKay medical thriller series. With Debbie Burke’s success and assistance, I submitted Deadly Pyre to the Amazon Scout program.

Kindle Scout is a reader-powered publishing contest for new books. If a book is selected, it will be published by Kindle Press with favorable royalties and a small advance. You can check out my book and see how the program works by clicking on this link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/UP3KDBM7PVVU

I would appreciate your nomination. It would help my success, and if chosen, you’ll receive a free e-book copy.

My second book in the series, Deadly Spin is set in Alaska and is also ready for publication. If Deadly Pyre is not chosen, my plan is to indie-publish both of them later this month.

AKFlilghtCoverK7In a few days, Alaska Flight, a romantic medical thriller will be available on Kindle. My husband is in the process of formatting and uploading the manuscript to Kindle. When it’s ready, I will let you know.

 

My fourth book is Fatal Feast a biological thriller set in Montana. I have nearly finished a major rewrite following input from two beta-readers. I will be submitting it to a professional editor in about a week, so watch out! It will be finished soon, too.

Deb Burke blogs regularly on Kill Zone and wrote an excellent article about Kindle Scout that you may be interested in reading. https://killzoneblog.com/2017/04/kindle-scout-a-two-year-performance-review.html

I would also suggest you follow her blog at: http://www.debbieburkewriter.com

Deb’s Scout winner, Instrument of the Devil is on sale for the month of January for $.99. It’s action-packed. Her second book in the series is ready to publish. Both are great reads.Instrument of the Devil

For more information on Kindle Scout check out this link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/about

Note: Tom will format and upload manuscripts to Kindle and Create Space for paid members of Authors of the Flathead. He does not do covers, so you need to have one ready if you want him to help you indie-publish.

Join Authors of the Flathead at: https://www.authorsoftheflathead.org

Check out the weekly meetings and join the group of writers helping writers.

Best wishes and happy writing in 2018.

Betty

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Self-publishing after age 70

 

The following is an article I did for an online magazine, Women Writers, Women’s Books.  It was published Oct 18

One of the first questions I usually get at book signings or in front of groups is how I managed to write, publish and sell four novels in the five years after I turned seventy. The honest answer is I didn’t. I had drafts of Ratham CreekMaternal Harbor, and Harbored Secrets on a shelf in my closet for years before I dared to do anything with them. I had sent them around to different agents and publishers only to receive the dreaded rejections. I set them aside and lived life.

Several months after my husband passed, a writer friend phoned and invited me to have brunch with her at a lovely shop tucked away from Main Street. After we ordered, Angie looked me straight in the eyes and told me, “Your stories are too good to be sitting on a shelf. Get one out, polish it and publish it on Amazon.” I like this gal, but at that moment I thought she was crazy.

But…she’d planted the seed. I reworked Maternal Harbor and hired a fellow to format and upload my manuscript to the Kindle program. He helped design a cover and my book went live. I remember sitting in front of my computer admiring my book’s sale page. Nice, but how on earth would anyone find it, let alone read it? I knew I needed help in promoting my story.

I found it at a group called Authors of the Flathead. There, I learned about websites that promote Kindle books with free sale days. I set up my first promotion, paid my twenty-five dollars to a promoter and waited. And panicked. After all, that was my money at risk. I also found a few websites that did no-cost promotions. They agreed to include my promotion in their emails.

Did the promotions work? 20,184 people downloaded my free Kindle book. I couldn’t believe it. More unbelievable is 830 copies then sold for $2.99 a download. That was my beginning.

Reviews on my book began to trickle in. I suffered with each one. The readers seemed to like the story, but kept remarking about errors and typos. Good grief. I thought I had found them all. I learned I need lots of proofers. I cannot see my own misspellings or missing words.

A couple of gals proofread it again. We fixed a ton of mistakes. I reloaded the new version and continued to run free promotions and paid for promoters. Some months I made money, others I lost.

At the same time, I designed my own website and Facebook author’s page, trying to save as much money as possible to invest in professional covers and other expenses. I also rewrote another manuscript.

Harbored Secrets went up for sale on Amazon five months later. It turned out to be my most successful book according to reviews and sales. It too makes money and loses it. But I always seem to earn more than I spend. As of a month ago, my combined Kindle books have been downloaded by more than 500,000 readers and have received over 1300 reviews. Almost 700 of them are five stars.

That pretty much covers the nuts and bolts of my self-publishing, but I think to be successful, a person first needs to have a story readers can relate to. Mine are stories of women, strong determined women, who fight for what is right and good.

In my first book Maternal Harbor, Teagan owns a fish shop in Seattle. She is pregnant and alone after her boyfriend walks out on her. She meets and befriends three other single moms at her OB-GYN clinic. Teagan ends up having to protect all the babies from a grief-filled insane woman.

In the second novel Harbored Secrets, readers meet middle-aged Blinny Platt, who is building her very own house in the middle of the Montana prairies. As she pounds nails and pours cement, memories of her childhood won’t leave her alone. Through her recollections, the reader learns her story of survival.

In Ratham Creek, Arianne makes a new life for herself after her husband dies and leaves her nearly destitute. She moves to a wild Montana mountain to live within her means and start again.

Don’t Mess With Mrs. Sedgewick has four smart, fun-loving widows who just want to live the good life in a quiet companionship. Doesn’t happen. A blackmailer targets them and their world is turned upside down.

As you see I choose to write about the needs of women. To be independent, strong, yet love to the fullest.

Where I find the heroines of my stories is in my family and friends. Take a deep look at who you know, their mannerisms, their actions over the time you have known them. Don’t look for just the good things but recognize the defects. We all have them. Good believable characters are built from the defects and how they overcome them.

I found success with my writing only because I didn’t give up. I never fulfilled my first desire to have my stories published by a major publishing house, but I do have hundreds of thousands of readers, fans who write me nice emails and reviews. Fans who get excited to shake my hand or receive a hug or a free paperback.

Publishing after your hair turns white is just fine.

Speaking of the Drum Solo

Ann Minnett MWW photo

By Ann Minnett

My own writing has affected the way I read novels. I now notice how other authors craft sentences, use dialogue to move the story along or flaunt literary norms. (No punctuation? No problem!) Admittedly, the sparse prose of Cormac McCarthy or Kent 51-m2i8kiil-_sx322_bo1204203200_Haruf appeals to me. A friend once said, “Each simple sentence in All the Pretty Horses is like a sunset.” I agree.

Don’t give me the seven-minute drum solo when a riff will do.

I just read a new novel by a bestselling author. Her first novel sold a million copies, and critics predict this second book will fare as well. The novel’s story gripped my heart. The complex characters came alive for me on the page. I cared about them and eagerly read through to the end.

I did not read every word.

Within the first few pages I began skipping chunks of backstory, fussy details, and rabbit trail asides. Page-long paragraphs revealed the author’s skill to the point of, dare I say it, showing off. As a reader, I don’t appreciate the author’s shout, “Look at me.”

I read those long paragraphs using a shallow, not too sophisticated strategy:
~ read the first sentence in the paragraph
~ skimmed the middle
~ slowed to catch a thought or the gist at the end of the paragraph

I don’t think I missed much with this approach. If anything, the strategy saved me from frustration and allowed me to finish the book to see what happened.

Can you relate, or do you think I’ve succumbed to the Twitter-ization of literature? When do you notice your attention drifting or bogging down while reading a novel? When do you skip to the next good part? When do you stop reading at all? I’m curious to hear what readers think.

Fifteen Years of Lies FINAL EBOOK COVER Check out my latest novel, Fifteen Years of Lies, guaranteed not to bore you with long, rambling paragraphs.

Happy Holidays, Everyone. And Happy Reading!

Life Reflections

Even as I navigate the hustle and bustle of the holiday season,  I can’t ignore the niggling prick in the back of my mind that insists on reviewing the memories of things done and left undone this past year. Recollections of new friends found, old friends rediscovered, and loved ones gone, but never forgotten. It is a time for merriment, reflection, and laughter. In that spirit, I want to share a few observations of life that a friend sent me. The author is anonymous. Hope they bring a smile.

1. I live in my own little world, but it’s OK. Everyone knows me here.
2. I don’t do drugs. I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast.
3. The most precious thing we have is life, yet it has absolutely no trade-in value.
4. If  life deals you lemons, make lemonade. If life deals  tomatoes, make Bloody
Marys.
5. Every day I beat my previous record of consecutive days I’ve stayed alive.
6. Marriage changes passion; suddenly you’re in bed with a relative.
7. I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn’t need the class!
8. Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
9. Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever.
10. Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.
 
Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed holiday season.  ~~ Deborah
Shadows of Home will be FREE on Dec. 22-26, 2017    Breaking TWIG will be $.99    SOH ad teaser banner #1BT Banner Author Shout#1

December Book News

dec holidays

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  ‘Tis the season for sharing books we love with people we love, right? I’ll be sharing mine at the annual Kalispell Art Walk Holiday Stroll, signing books at Montana Marie, a delightful shop on Main Street carrying work by dozens of local artists. (You may remember it as Think Local.) The Stroll is Friday, December 1, from 5-8 p.m. Come by and try a sip and bite of something delicious, and browse everything from candles to terrariums (terraria?), all locally made. And take home signed copies of my Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and Seattle Spice Shop books, all made for you in a little house in the big woods outside Bigfork!

Happy Holidays!

DEBORAH EPPERSON: The home of a Texas friend flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Debby lost almost everything, including her beloved books. After months of hard work work and many tears, Debby recently was able to move back home. But I think the Montana Women Writers would agree that a home without books is unthinkable. So several MWW authors stepped up and Debby will be getting two boxes of new books for Christmas. Thank you Betty, Marie, and Leslie!

In this time of giving, I am giving away Kindle eBook copies of  Shadows of Home from Dec. 22-26. Also, Breaking TWIG will be on sale for $0.99 Dec. 22-26, 2017.

Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season.     ~ Deborah

SOH ad teaser banner #1BT Banner Author Shout#1

 

December Book news from Betty Kuffel 

I am excited to report Amazon Scout accepted my medical thriller Deadly Pyre submission to the contest for publication. Their acceptance came in yesterday!

<Approved!

Hello Betty Kuffel,

Your Kindle Scout submission has been approved for launch! Your campaign for Deadly Pyre will launch on December 8, 2017 12:00 AM EST and last for 30 days.

This will be the URL for my Kindle Scout campaign once it launches:
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/UP3KDBM7PVVU

The Kindle Scout campaign for Deadly Pyre will launch on December 8, 2017 12:00 AM EST and end on January 7, 2018 12:00 AM EST!>

Please click on the link when it goes live, read the excerpt from my book and vote! This is sort of a Dancing with the Stars for authors. Votes for the book count in the final determination of a winner.

If you’re interested in the Scout contest, here’s a link to a blog post written by Debbie Burke, long time member of Authors of the Flathead whose thriller won a Scout publishing contract and is now available on Amazon.  Deb’s website: http://wp.me/p7O7QO-6A

JOIN MONTANA WOMEN WRITERS

& INVITE YOUR FRIENDS

to the

Holiday Tea and Book Sale

Downtown Columbia Falls at Business Locations

Saturday December 9th 1-3 P.M.

Montana Women Writers will be participating in a community event in Columbia Falls on Saturday December 9th. Authors will be at numerous businesses greeting shoppers. They will be selling books and serving tea with cookies.

҉

STATION 8

Phyllis Quatman

WALLFLOWER

Betty Kuffel and Patti Dean

TEA KETTLE CAFÉ

Nan Garrett

NORTH FORK PIZZA

Dina Woods

COLUMBIA FALLS LIBRARY

Marie Martin and Becky Palmquist

ODD FELLOWS COFFEE SHOP

Ina Albert

VAQUEROS (formerly Los Caporales)

Open- Need another author

BAD ROCK BOOKS

Karen Wills

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL NAN MCKENZIE 406-892-0055