I Love Amazon’s Author Central

Amazon has added a new feature to their website, called Author Central.

It allows authors (duh) to create a bio page and other services to help them connect with their reading audience. But even better, it posts rankings, showing how well an author’s book is selling compared to all other Amazon authors, and authors of similar genres. So, I can see how well my book (Dare to Love–in case you’ve been hiding under a rock) is selling compared to other Romance authors on Kindle.

They create a fun little graph, that is updated hourly, so I can obsessively chart my progress over time. So, I now know that my overall Amazon bestseller rank today is #19,610 – an all-time high!

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I’m trying to temper my enthusiasm, because, while this may mean I’m selling more books (increased numerator), it may also mean that other writers are selling fewer (decreased denominator). See, math is fun and useful!

I can access another chart that indicates I was the #957 best selling author of historical romance ebooks last week. Sadly, I’m now down to #1,738, but it’s been climbing for the past day or two.

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AND according to Amazon, as of 12/11, I’m the #52 best selling author of Kindle ebooks in the category of fiction/historical fiction/British. Sure, if you add enough qualifiers, I’d eventually find myself in the top #100 of something, but I think this is a fairly substantial category.

Thanks, Amazon, for creating this feature. It’s like watching my own private stock market game.

Even more importantly, thank you to everyone who has bought my book. It is an amazing thrill to find people are interested in reading what I’ve written. And…AND…some of them have actually enjoyed it. Look at all the positive reviews!

Life is sweet.

FINALLY! After 11 months or 7 years…

Dare to Love cover artSeven years ago, I started my romance novel “Dare to Love.” I’d never written, let alone published, a novel before and I have no idea why I thought I could do it. I mean, how many people have the time, the commitment, and the patience  to go through with it?

For some reason, I did. It took me five years to write and two years to find a publisher. Then, almost a year ago, in November 2013, Lyrical Press gave me the green light. They wanted to publish my regency romance novel about Lord Dare Landis, a handsome heartless rake who treated women as interchangeable playthings. The novel takes place during a visit to the country home of his oldest friend, Lord Horsham, accompanied by Horsham’s younger sister Nivea. While there he learns that women, or more accurately the right woman does not lead to betrayal. Now Lord Landis must answer this question–does he dare to love?

I signed the contract with Lyrical (now owned by Kensington Press) in January and, 11 months later, it will finally be published as an ebook. Tomorrow. December 1, 2014. Unbelievable, really.

Now, I just have to wait to see if anyone buys it. I hope so. Because I have about five more book ideas swirling around in my head and I’d love to give each of the couples the opportunity to come to life.

Fingers crossed.

Kindle   Nook    Kensington

www.alleighburrows.com

Blog Hopping

bunny-reading bookI was asked to participate in my first “Blog Hop.” Authors post information about their book on a blog and then provide links to other websites, so readers can ‘hop’ from blog to blog. If you’re joining me from Jackson D’Lynne’s page, thanks for hopping over.  If you just stumbled across my site by accident, welcome!

Instead of answering questions myself, I’m allowing the hero from my book, “Dare to Love” to speak. Please welcome Lord Landis.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he fictional or a historic person? 
My name is Adair Landis–Dare, to my friends–and I am most assuredly an historic person. Perhaps infamous would be more accurate, as I am known among the ton as a handsome heartless rake who answers to no one.
Although, I now answer to Nivea, which is as big a shock to me as it is to the rest of the world.
2) When and where is the story set? 
My story takes place in 1800 England–the center of the civilized universe. My colleague, Ms. Burrows was kind enough to document my exploits during a visit to the country home of my good friend William Horsham. He insisted I escort his sister Nivea on a carriage ride up from London, which turned out to be a much less dismal endeavor than I anticipated. Then, after a good bit of time, and some shameful behavior on my part, I returned to London, where my tale comes to its surprising and delightful conclusion.
3) What should we know about him? 
I’m a right bastard. Or at least I was until I met the right woman. That’s not to say that I didn’t have my reasons for behaving as I did. Damn good ones, if truth be told. But I’m good at keeping secrets, so if you want to learn more, you’ll have to buy the book. Ms. Burrows assures me that this can be accomplished by pressing letters on the strange window box she calls a computer. If you tap her name into this device, you’ll see a photo of me and my beloved Nivea in flagrant delicti, above the words “Dare to Love.” That is the story of me and Nivea, the woman who shattered my carefully crafted facade and showed me how to love. (I  showed her a few rather enjoyable things.)
4) When will the book be published? 
You will be able to purchase Dare to Love on December 1, through Kensington Publisher. This amuses me, since I maintained a house in Kensington for a number of years. If those walls could talk…the stories they would tell…
That will need to wait for another time. I’m catching a whiff of vanilla, my favorite scent.
Muffled Hello, my Luv. Yes, I was just finishing up. A carriage ride, you say? That sounds like a marvelous idea.” The sound of seductive chuckles, kissing, the whisper of fingers across fabric, and a sudden throat clearing.
Oh, you’re still here. Well, I’m afraid an urgent matter has come to my attention. Please excuse me.
Remember to purchase Ms. Burrows book–December 1. 
 On October 9, I’ll post a link to our next stop on the tour. Stay tuned

Becoming an Author

It’s funny. Being a writer is easy. You get an idea, you write it down, you edit it a few times and voila! You’re a writer. If you’re lucky, and mildly talented, you can get someone to pay you to write–newsletters, brochures, websites, etc. I’ve had that good fortune for over 15 years.

But being an author? That’s a LOT of work.

First you get an idea for a book–that’s the easy part.

Then you start to write, realize you don’t know what you’re doing, talk to other writers, and maybe join a club or go to a conference. Over time, you manage to craft a pretty good story and you’re ready to “Become an Author.” Da da da dum.

That’s when things get tricky. Here are steps 1 through 397 (or so it seems):

  1. Write a synopsis of your novel (it’s very tricky to squeeze a 300 page novel into a 3 page summary: Boy meets Girl, Boy likes Girl, Girl gets mad at Boy, Girl wallows, Boy gets angry, Boy admits he’s wrong and they live happily ever after)
  2. Find someone to pitch to. This can be done by searching online for publishers, making contacts at conferences, entering contests–winning–and being referred to a publisher, or just dumb luck (a friend of a friend? Score!)

Here were the rest of my steps–your reality may vary:

  • Get rejected
  • Re-write pitch, summary and first 3 chapters about five times
  • Give the right pitch to the right publisher and submit your manuscript
  • Get accepted! And get a contract
  • Find someone who knows what they’re doing to review your contract.
  • Develop a bio, get a professional photo, submit cover art outline, write your book blurb, get your manuscript copyrighted and all the other boring administrative stuff.
  • Start the editing process. YIKES! You thought you had a book good enough to get published and then all your appallingly bad writing flaws are brought to your attention–page after page of corrections, comments, notes, insertions and deletions.
  • THEN you have to start thinking about marketing. Set up a website, twitter account, facebook, pinterest, whatever you think you can keep up with, whatever you have time to learn.

That’s where I am now. I’ve finished my edits, created a website and started a twitter feed(@alleighburrows). I look forward to the next 43 steps I’m sure are coming. That should be the inspiration for my next blog.