Janet's Jargon

Fun lifestyles, charitable acts, great fiction, author support, Patrick and Grace Mysteries, Keith clan trilogy,

Friday, February 18, 2005

Hey, the price is right! It's yours--free!

I have finally gotten around to doing something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I finally got a "Sampler" put together. What is it, exactly? It is the first chapter of each of my 12 novels that are published already, the one nonfiction book I have out (my "stupid flood book"), and a bonus of a sneak peek of three brand new novels that will be out this year.
If you would like a copy, sent as an attachment, just send me an e-mail at janetelainesmith@yahoo.com or leave me a comment here.

I sent the first notice on this out last night, Thurs., about 9 o'clock. Now, at 1:40 pm the following day, I have already sent 163 of them out. Besides, I have gotten a few replies back from people who have ordered some of the books already. Hey, don't laugh! It's called "Marketing."

Have fun! I definitely am!

The fast lane of life

Wow! They say time flies when you are having fun. Then why does March 1st seem so far off in the distance? Anticipation! That has to be it. You see, I received word a couple of days ago that I am a finalist in the RIO awards for this year. RIO stands for Reviewers International Organization. Not only do I have ONE book in the running; I have TWO. Both of my timetravels, HOUSE CALL TO THE PAST and PAR FOR THE COURSE are under consideration in the "Missing gems" division. Those are the books that were published before 2004. There are only 6 books in that category, and there are 3 winners in each division, so... To say that I am nervous and excited and worried and a little bit of a lot of other emotions is putting it mildly. Now I know why the people that are nominated for an Oscar but who don't win it can honestly say, "It is such an honor to be nominated." Well, it truly is.
I will be sure to post the outcome on here Mar. 1, as soon as they are announced. That is, unless I win and I'm flying way too high! Then it might take a couple of days to land first.
Make it a great day.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The best kind of paycheck

To an author, is the royalty check the bottom line of the value of a book? Not in my book. I had an e-mail from a reader yesterday, a fellow named Ben, who said he spotted my book, Dakota Printer, at the bookstore. Since he loved the movie, Fargo, he decided to give it a try. He wrote, "Dakota Printer outshines Fargo by a mile and a half. When is the next one like this coming out?"
I also recently had a letter (on little post-it notes from the retirement home where she lives) from a woman who has lived her entire life in Fargo. She had read Dakota Printer. She wrote that her birthday was in January, and she would be 90 years old. So, I decided to call her for her birthday. She was so excited. It almost made me feel like a real celebrity! As we talked about her life in Fargo and the book, she said, "My mother always told me about this woman she knew years ago in Fargo. She was a real busybody! Her name was Beulah, but until I read your book I never knew what her last name was. Now I know it was Hegdahl." I told her Beulah Hegdahl was a fictional character, but she insisted she wasn't. I'm not at all sure she was convinced of it.
Today, Sunday, at church, our minister came over to me after the service. He said he had finished reading Dakota Printer. He said I must have done a lot of research about George and Libbie Custer. I read the books Libbie wrote about their life in North Dakota. Of course, I embellished them (just a bit!), but it was all based on actual history. They did stop and spend a few days in Fargo, so I figured they just might have met Papa Levine and his granddaughter, Mary Jane. Well, if they had been real people, they might have met!
I really like it when people think my make-believe people are real ones!
Yup, that kind of pay is the kind you will never get in the royalty check. But it is the best kind!

Now, go out there and make this a great day!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ol' Blue Eyes sang "It was a very good day..."

Well, it wasn't that way for me yesterday. I haven't said much because it was a pretty "iffy" situation. Anyway, 4 1/2 months ago HarperCollins asked me to send them the manuscript for Pampas for their new Latino line of books, called Rayo. Well, I asked them a whole bunch of questions (when they called me) and we discussed the book at great length. The gal I spoke to (the 2nd in command for the Rayo imprint) said it sounded perfect and they were really anxious to get books, as they plan to publish 75 titles this year. We also talked about my translating it into Spanish, as opposed to their "in house" translators doing it. They said that after checking my Spanish chapter on my website and said I could handle it very well. Then she said that the last contract they offered a gal who is a former cop from Chicago got a six-figure advance, and her book wasn't even written. They told me they would have a definite answer in 2 weeks--3 at the most. Well, like I said, that was 4 1/2 mo. ago. We spoke several times and the gal said some of the steps had passed easily, and a week and a half ago she said it had only one step left. Now I have been down this road a gazillion times, so I knew better than to get my hopes up to high. I wasn't really counting on it, but you know we are all so silly, we think just maybe......
Well, yesterday I finally got word from her. It came as an e-mail. It was another one of those rejection letters I used to get from all the big shots. It was wonderful. She elaborated--a lot--about all the good things about it. The only problem? They are doing books only that have Latinos in a US setting!!!!!!!!! Well, DUH! She knew that before I ever sent it to her. I told her it was in Argentina. She could tell that from reading the first chapter on my website. Am I disappointed? Not really. I sort of expected it. Even though she had checked on my sales records, and said she was very impressed with it. What I am is doggone mad! I just hate the fact that they wasted almost two months of my time with this book. I could have had it out 2 months ago from PageFree and I could have sold a gob of books. Bookstores have been asking me about it, and I just told them it was "temporarily on hold"!
I remember now why I thought going with a place where I can do it "my way" was a great idea. Next time I get one of these hairbrained ideas or let somebody talk me into something stupid, will you please, all together, kick me in the butt!
And I already got the electronic galley from PageFree today so it should be on its way to the printer by the end of the week!
I already have a couple of reviews for it. I'll try to post them here tomorrow. Yup, maybe it is a very good day after all! Hope yours is, too!