Thursday, August 29, 2013

When Publishers Promote eBooks: The Good

It's interesting to see how books by mainstream authors are now promoted to compete in the digital world (and with indie authors, who have control over their work and their pricing in both the digital and print realm.)  A couple of months ago, The DaVinci Code was free in Amazon Kindle's Store.  Free!  Can you imagine it ever being free years ago when it was topping all the bestseller lists?  Do you think anyone ever said, "Hey, a few years from now, let's give away The DaVinci Code for FREE to anyone who wants it!"

Of course ebooks weren't around then, Kindles weren't around, and thousands of free books weren't being given away every day.  The best way to get someone to read your books?  Give them your first book for free.  If they liked it, they'll be back to read your other novels.  The giveaway of The Davinci Code earlier this summer was of course to stir up more buzz for Inferno, which is on my to-be-read list.

Earlier this summer it was revealed that J.K Rowling was really Robert Galbraith, author of The Cuckoo's Calling.

Amazon sold out of their hardcopies almost instantly.  That would have been a bigger problem in year's past, but today people could still immediately purchase a digital copy.  The publisher quickly dropped the price of the ebook version--currently it's $6.50, or 75% off the print list price.  That's less expensive than each of the Harry Potter ebooks.  But what better way to jump on all the unexpected publicity than to offer a huge discount?  I know I downloaded a copy.  That's cheaper than many paperbacks.

Offering a great price for an eBook isn't anything new to indie authors.  I'm glad to see some of the traditional publishing houses offering competitive pricing as well.  It's good for readers, good for authors, and good business for the publishing houses as well.

I've got a follow-up post on the flipside of pricing your digital book.  While these are great examples of promotions done right, I've seen others that are all wrong.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What I'm Reading: The Husband's Secret

The Husband's Secret

I first heard of Liane Moriarty when I read What Alice Forgot, which I absolutely loved (What I'm Reading).

The Husband's Secret is kind of a mystery, wrapped up and packaged as Chick Lit.  There is a full cast of characters, and although their life stories all seem separate at the beginning of the novel, it's interesting to see how their lives intertwine.  Although I was able to guess the "secret" fairly early on, that didn't stop me from loving this story. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fall Outfit Love

I never go out and buy an entire outfit at once.  Usually I'm looking for a specific piece or happen upon something that I love.  During a family trip to the mall this weekend (i.e. my husband was there to entertain my toddler) I managed to sneak in a little shopping.

First I found these jeans.  Then I spotted these shoes.  After that I found a cute sweater that I loved. 
I haven't really jumped on the colored denim bandwagon yet, unless you count a gray pair that I own.  These are so cute for fall, and aside from the cute ballet flats, I'm imagining them with riding boots.

I've been wanting a pair of spectator oxfords forever.  My Pinterest Board is full of them.  But some of them look too masculine on, some don't fit right, some are sold out in my size.  I didn't expect to find them at Loft, but I absolutely love these.  They come in cabarnet as well.  Adorable!

Before I knew it, I was in line at the register and grabbed a pair of earrings and a necklace as well. The fact that Loft was having a 40% off sale didn't hurt either.  I love the versatility of long necklaces--wear as one length, loop it around your neck, etc.  I have a similar style of necklace in silver, with small silver discs instead of crystals.  I like the option of having this goldtone one too.

I was pretty excited that I found everything in one store as well--that was all I had time for on this shopping trip!

What are you looking forward to wearing this fall?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

My first Friday Favorites post was just a couple of weeks ago (Friday Favorites: Product Love).

Today I wanted to share a few more of my favorite beauty products.  I have a couple of tried and true staples that I love from The Body Shop.  Recently I ran out of both, so a trip to one of my favorite stores was in order.  Although I snagged a couple of bargains then, I just noticed they're having an awesome sale online right now, so grab these while you can!

The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion

It would be hard to find someone who doesn't love this cooling peppermint lotion.  It soothes tired feet, moisturises, and has a great peppermint smell.  Even better, it's on sale right now for 40% off! Available here.

The Body Shop Body Butter

The Body Shops's body butters are another one of my favorites.  I first discovered the mango scent years ago but then become devoted to the cocoa butter one when I was pregnant with my daughter.  I snagged one of each the other day.  Even though I hadn't purchased the mango body butter in several years, it was nice to return to an old favorite.  The light scent is perfect for summer.  The cocoa butter will also forever remain a favorite of mine.  Find all of the line here.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Writing Wednesday: Which Came First, the Book or the Blog?

It's interesting to read different author's thoughts on blogging. 

Some authors were bloggers long before they ever started writing a book.  Maybe they always had an idea in the back of their mind or a story they wanted to tell or maybe they never, ever intended to write a book but their blog developed such a large following that the opportunity presented itself.

Maybe they were like me (First Things First) and only after they published a novel did they frantically scramble to start a blog once they realized they needed a way to connect with their readers.

Looking back, it would have made a tremendous impact to have a blog following before self-publishing.  Promoting your book takes time, whether you choose to do so on other blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  If you have followers, you have readers.  I didn't have a blog before because I was too busy writing my book.  I'm trying to find the balance now between blogging and writing, because it's hard to give complete attention to both.  I follow popular blogs that have new posts every day.  Some bloggers treat that as their business, so that makes complete sense to constantly blog, but what about when you are blogging simply to connect with and attract new readers?  When the real product you are focusing on is your book and not your blog?

One of my favorite blogs on self-publishing is J.A. Konrath's.  His perspective is that to obtain readers, you need to spend your time writing--not on Facebook, Twitter, etc. trying to find your audience.  He does have a blog, but it is geared more toward other indie authors and not necessarily the audience for his books.  I've read opinions of other authors saying that you absolutely must blog, and often, to obtain readers.

Where do you stand on the blogging vs. writing question?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rosemary Lemon Chicken

I adore this chicken recipe for summer.  It's so simple to make and full of flavor.  Even my toddler loves it!  The lemon adds a refreshing touch, and during the summer months, we often have lots of fresh herbs around to cook with.


1 package chicken drumsticks
1 lemon
1 package small red potatoes
1 cup white wine
Rosemary sprigs
Olive Oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Arrange chicken drumsticks in casserole dish.
  3. Cut potatoes and lemons into small wedges; arrange beside chicken.
  4. Toss with olive oil, then add wine, rosemary sprigs, and fresh garlic.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes and enjoy!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fashion-Forward Monday: Stitch Fix #6

It's Fashion-Forward Monday! 

I haven't posted a Stitch Fix review in a while.  My last several fixes didn't have as many great pieces as my first ones did.   If you find a stylist you love, I suggest writing down their name and requesting them specifically.  A few things were really off and not at all my style.  As always, feedback is your friend.  Be specific about what you like and don't like.

I did, however, find one amazing piece in Stitch Fix #6.  This is the perfect example of something I never would have picked up and tried on.  It looks really shapeless but actually has an amazing drape to it.  It definitely needs to be layered with a cami beneath.  I can see it transitioning nicely to fall with a blazer or bulkier cardigan on top as well. 

Want to sign up for Stitch Fix yourself?  Join the waiting list here: STITCH FIX
Want to read about my favorite fix? Stitch Fix #3

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Favorites: Product Love

Today I thought it would be fun to share some of my recent favorite beauty finds.  What's on your summer "must-have" list of beauty products?

Sephora by OPI Ocean Love Potion

I know mint is all the rage this summer, but it's just not me.  I love this teal color from Sephora by OPI.  It's the perfect shade of ocean blue and fun to wear as an alternative to all the pinks and corals during sandal season.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

Am I the only one whose hair looks better after a day spent at the ocean?  After a trip to the beach earlier this summer I decided to give this Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray a try to see if it had the same effect.  Love it!  It adds the perfect amount of texture to my wavy hair.  I had to laugh at the directions though: "Style and let dry (stand in the wind) or use a diffuser."  Really?  If I had time to stand around in the wind and let my hair dry, I probably wouldn't need this product.  Luckily it also works just fine with my hair dryer.