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Messages - cecilia_writer

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Cliffhangers
« on: January 15, 2021, 10:59:02 am »
Something I've seen is a series of 4 novellas that were later combined into one novel. I enjoyed reading the first set I came across - they had sort of mild c!iffhangers at the end of each part - and it was quite a good way of trying out a new author, but once I'd discovered I liked the author I really wanted to read the whole novel instead. Perhaps this is a possible strategy for attracting new readers? I don't think I'd do it myself though.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Happy New Year. How was it for you?
« on: January 02, 2021, 07:07:56 am »
Thank you both. We all had complicated relationships with my husband as he had mental health issues. However my sons and I have grown closer to his sister and her family since he became ill so that is quite a big silver lining.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Happy New Year. How was it for you?
« on: January 01, 2021, 06:46:19 am »
My mother-in-law died in February and my husband died at the end of November, somewhat more unexpectedly. Although he didn't die of Covid, the pandemic made everything worse as we were not allowed to visit him once he was in hospital, and the funeral had to be done in a socially distanced way and without some of his closest family there. A couple of weeks after that, my daughter-in-law's mother was in intensive care.

On the plus side, like Marti, we didn't catch Covid, and in fact right at the end of 2020 my daughter-in-law got her first vaccination as she is a pharmacy worker. Also my own close family live near me so I've been able to see my 2 year old grandson from time to time.
And I've carried on writing throughout all of it.
Happy New Year!

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Man Who Invented Christmas
« on: December 25, 2020, 03:54:24 am »
That's a coincidence - I saw it for the first time last night and was really taken with how writerly it was. I loved the way they did the characters, and all the hassle with his family.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How to start a blog?
« on: May 10, 2020, 08:41:08 am »
I use wordpress and my author blog feeds automatically through to Goodreads, my Facebook author page and my Twitter account. I like the efficiency of this.

I've taken part in a promotion on Smashwords store - you can reduce your prices there or make them free with a coupon that's valid for the dates of the promotion and shouldn't result in price- matching by Amazon. I've found in the past that this kind of thing is worth doing in terms of follow-up sales (I think it works for me mostly because I have a 19 book series).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is Smashwords Still Relevant?
« on: March 19, 2020, 11:59:01 am »
I still don't get many sales there compared with my Amazon, Kobo and Apple sales, but after taking part in a couple of their promotional events - I think the latest was 'read an ebook week', I noticed someone (I'm assuming it was one person) bought a copy of each of the books in my mystery series, all in one go. It's a 19 book series, by the way.

Yes, as Jena said, it can appear quite natural. I have an ensemble cast in my mystery series (just working on book 20!) and I tend to rotate the POV characters round with each book, so after one character had been really annoying for the first three I gave her the chance to be a POV character in the fourth one, and it was really interesting for me, quite apart from the readers, to see things the way she saw them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: UK Royalty ?
« on: March 02, 2020, 10:00:23 am »
My UK payments have come in a couple of days later than all the others for a few months now. It can't be because of currency conversion as I'm in the UK and so is my bank.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Smashwords payment
« on: February 27, 2020, 09:57:51 am »
Sales on Smashwords itself go straight into your balance (or whatever it's called on the Smashwords site) and should be sent to Paypal on the next pay date, but sales on Kobo etc take longer to filter through.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Giving up... advice please
« on: February 01, 2020, 10:12:15 am »
There is no one true way to write mysteries. Personally I don't outline but have a starting point, some characters and a vague idea of where things might go, and then I just write. The ending / solution often surprises me so I think it will probably surprise the readers too.
You can go back afterwards and put in hints and clues and foreshadowing.
But I know there are people who (probably with greater success than I will ever have) prefer to outline and to know where the story is going.

I have a part time day job as a database manager, and 3 pensions (one very tiny). I've been the sole supporter of the family for about 25 years but I will be giving up the day job some time this year. I hope to maintain my writing income and use it to pay for treats and holidays.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A quick title question
« on: January 25, 2020, 11:18:25 am »
Also a horse story.

One of my readers suggested I should make a later book in the series free (as a reward for getting that far?) but my series now runs to 19 books so it may not be relevant to your case. I now have the 1st, 5th and 12th books on permafree. When I set the 12th book free there was a slight increase in sales of the whole series. I suppose it was just because it became a little more visible.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Word Count for a Typical Cozy Mystery?
« on: January 12, 2020, 12:39:31 pm »
Well, at least in my case as a reader, it isn't about making my money stretch; it's simply that the length and pacing serve the cozy, immersive feels of the genre. It's about visiting the people and place but fortuitously dropping in on them when the most interesting stuff, like a mystery, is afoot during your visit.

Yes, I am sure that's what most of the readers like. I have a small group of very engaged readers of my mystery series and they say things like ' Can't wait to find out what the gang are up to'. Actually that's more or less how I feel while writing them.
Mine average at just over 60,000 words, but the term 'cozy mystery' seems to cover a very wide  area recently so I expect some of the variations in length can be put down to differences of sub-genre.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do you offer print versions of your books?
« on: December 30, 2019, 10:22:30 am »
I'm gradually working my way through my 19 book mystery series creating print versions, but I find I hardly sell any. I mostly want to do it so that I can take printed books to events and (possibly) offer some for sale at the little gift shop round the corner from us.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Supporting Works for a series?
« on: November 26, 2019, 10:59:40 am »
Yes- I've published two short novellas (maybe they are theoretically novelettes) that put the series characters into slightly different situations from their usual small town murder mysteries. I also have few short stories featuring characters from the series, and some are included in a small book imaginatively entitled 'Five Short Stories' along with a couple of unrelated ones. All of these sell a bit, and I sometimes get a few printed copies of the short story book and give them away as tasters.

I can share ebooks with my son, who shares my Prime account - I don't do this very often because our reading tastes could hardly be more different (except that we both love Terry Pratchett).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Race/culture as an aesthetic choice/preference?
« on: November 17, 2019, 12:07:39 pm »
Where I live (Edinburgh) people are much more likely to be divided by supporting different football teams (and some of these divisions originate in religious differences, i.e. Protestant and Catholic) than they are by race. So my experience leads me to agree with Evenstar on this.

Writers' Cafe / Re: the NaNoWriMo thread!
« on: November 17, 2019, 06:49:11 am »
I seem to be always trailing behind you, Erica - have reached just over 35,000 words today. I hit a very sticky patch last week but hoping now I've got through it I can get to the end a little ahead of schedule. Fingers crossed!

Writers' Cafe / Re: the NaNoWriMo thread!
« on: November 14, 2019, 08:48:11 am »
I reached 28,000 words today. I am really pleased to have got this far, partly because I desperately want to reach 50,000 words this month to prove I still can, and partly because it has taken until now to write the part that interlocks with the previous novel in the series, and from now on I can strike out in a new direction!

Writers' Cafe / Re: the NaNoWriMo thread!
« on: November 10, 2019, 07:15:03 am »
I'm at just over 19,000 words now but may get to 20,000 by this evening. I got stuck in a sailing scene in the middle of last week - what I know about sailing could be engraved on a pin-head - but once I got the characters back on dry land I got into my groove again.

Writers' Cafe / Re: the NaNoWriMo thread!
« on: November 03, 2019, 08:12:42 am »
I always start a new book in November. I am on track so far (not saying much as it's on the 3rd!) I'm always pleased when there's a weekend near the start.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Switching genres
« on: November 03, 2019, 02:49:53 am »
I am not exactly a successful author but I do have a (small) number of readers who seem to read anything I write. My main genre is mystery and I now have 19 books out in one series. However I have fallen into a pattern over the last couple of years of writing 2 (occasionally 3) books in the mystery series and 1 other novel every year. The other novels are either 1950s thrillers or Regency historical. I like the challenge of writing something historical and at least the dedicated readers follow me around wherever I go! Actually I think this is partly because I tend to have the same sort of parameters whatever I write - very little visible violence or sex, and hardly any swearing. This is not for any religious or moral reason but because I feel more comfortable writing like this - I taught myself not to swear when my kids were small and I have never really gone back to it! Except when driving on my own, that is.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are we setting our sights too low?
« on: October 26, 2019, 09:10:54 am »
Not sure if I fall between categories (this is the problem with classification of any kind) - I publish because I think people might enjoy what I've written, and it would be nice to make a bit of money too.

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