So, Ya Wanna E-Publish?

Hey, it’s Rey posting today.  A former client gave me the idea of tackling e-publishing.  Given a lot of people Linda, JJ and I know have signed up with e-publishers, it seemed a great idea to “chat” a bit about them.

From what I’ve researched, they say it can be a bit more difficult finding one of these as opposed to a traditional one (I’d have thought the opposite, but what do I know, he-he).  Why?  Because different e-publishers have different approaches.

All right, you’ve written your book and now you want to get it out there.  Bravo!  But who do you go with?  You should start by checking out books (genres) like yours and see who’s handling them.  Research the companies so you know who you’re dealing with, what they’re about, and what they’re looking for, and expect from you.

Other important questions to consider:

♦  What are their contracts like?  ♦    What are their formatting requirements?  ♦   Is there a print-on-demand option?  ♦     Will they design your book cover?  ♦     Who’s responsible for editing?  ♦     Where are they selling?  ♦     Who are their retail partners?  ♦     Will they help promote you?

There’s a lot (!) to know—and understand—before you sign up.

Don’t forget to check their standing.  Are there any complaints or “writer beware” statements and grievances?  Look closely and carefully.  Sure, it’ll take time and effort—but you put that into your book, didn’t you?  Make the best (wisest) choice.

Create a list of those e-publishers that look promising—are right for you and your book—and start submitting.  Another way to get a feel for who’s who: join on-line writing communities.  Get input from them.  Check, check, check.  Ask, ask, ask.  Make a list and start submitting.

E-publishers are more willing to take a chance on new writers, even if their books don’t necessarily fall within a traditional category/genre.  So, if you’ve just written a sci-fi-fantasy romance, hey, you may stand a good chance of being snapped up.

Being e-published offers the opportunity of developing a fanbase—whether you’re doing it on your own behalf and/or have your e-publisher’s assistance (chances are it’ll be on you to do, but never say never, as Cousin Jilly likes to say).  So, once you’ve got a book you’re your name is on it, recognize that that can lead to something exciting—with the right approach(es).

Sure, there are downsides to e-publishing, as with pretty much anything out there, but there’s no need to state them here; you’ll learn about them as you’re researching [the right] e-publishers to contact.

As private eyes, the three of us have ascertained (my new word) that the more thoroughly you investigate, the more you have a handle on how to resolve an issue or learn the reality of a situation.  Like a P.I., follow clues and examine evidence to solve your baffling case: which e-publisher would serve you best?

Doncha love short and sweet?

Making Memories with a New Novel – Memory Makers (Debbie De Louise)

Today, I’m pleased to feature Debbie De Louise and her new mystery novel Memory Makers (part of the Silver Dagger tour).

Twenty-five years ago, Lauren Phelps, age three, and her sister Patty, age five, were kidnapped from their Long Island backyard. Lauren was fortunate enough to escape her captor; Patty, sadly, was not.

Since then, Lauren has suffered from nightmares featuring the “Shadow Man”.  In an attempt to recall his face—and avenge her sister’s murder—Lauren, now a kidnapping investigator, enrolls in a clinical trial for a new memory drug.

At the California offices of Memory Makers, she receives injections of the company’s special serum and starts to experience flashbacks re repressed memories.  Occurring in tandem with the flashbacks: threats from an anonymous source that point back to that wretched childhood trauma.

As she recalls moments from her past, she confronts facts about her relationship with Patty and her parents that she’d not previously, consciously, acknowledged.  Patty had always been her parents’ favorite.  “Baby Doll” to her father, she’d always been the one who got to choose which game to play, book to read, or place to go.

In addition to suffering survivor’s guilt at her sister’s death, Lauren experiences jealousy from a hurtful, harrowing childhood she must come to terms with.  There’s more on Lauren’s laden plate than finding “Shadow Man” (possibly before he finds her).  It’s about finding truths . . . and herself.

A little about Debbie . . . besides being an award-winning author and reference librarian on Long Island, she’s an active member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, and the Cat Writer’s Association (she has three lovely fuzzy felines).  Published novels include four books in the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, and Love on the Rocks.  There’s also a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, and a mystery thriller, Reason to Die.  And let’s not forget the psychological mystery, Sea Scope.  She has also published a romantic comedy novella and written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres.  Impressed?  I am.

Please visit Debbie at:

Website:  https://debbiedelouise.com / Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author / Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian / Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debbie-de-louise / Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW / Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Stay in Touch!

As writers and bloggers, it’s imperative to stay in touch—to acquire followers, visitors, friends.  Sure, there’s a sense of satisfaction in writing for oneself—the process, the completion—but [personally] I’d like to know that people are reviewing what I’m writing and posting.  As such, social media is our best friend . . . most of the time.  <he-he>

First and foremost, social media puts our stuff out there in the “real” world.  Folks can read it, comment on it, like it.  The one problem?  There are so many platforms!  I myself can barely keep up with the basics—the oldies but goodies—like Facebook and Twitter.  I’m particularly fond of Facebook because not only do I have my personal page, I have an author page.  I belong to several writing communities, which help me network and “advertise” my books (as well as encourage and back fellow writers and bloggers). 

There’s an amazing amount of support out there.  Other useful platforms include YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr.  (We’re talking “free advertising” as opposed to paying someone to advertise and network for us.)  Each one will have pros and cons; you determine which will work best for you and begin building that audience and driving traffic.

Brand yourself.  Tell the social media world who you are, what makes you different, why they should read/follow you.  Garner interest.  Having a presence is really rather necessary in this day and age, and social media platforms can serve as great promotional tools.  And the more of an audience (followers) you develop, the better you look to potential agents and publishers; they love numbers (but, then, so do we).  

Part of the presence is your integrity.  Ensure your work is typo-free and follows grammar and punctuation basics—depending on what you’re writing, of course (perhaps you’re into poetry or more eclectic stuff).  Be sincere and non-critical, unless you’re a reviewer but, even then, you want to offer constructive criticism. 

Give thought to your About page, your bio . . . you.  Be honest.  Be creative, funny, intriguing—whatever you believe reflects who you are and what you’re about.  Do keep it short and sweet, though; you want to maintain (pique) interest, not lose it.

Be consistent, too.  If you decide to engage several platforms, ensure the content is similar across the board: remember your brand, your identity.  You want it to be uniform, to reflect who and what you are.  And speaking of consistency, make sure you use those platforms regularly—remember “integrity”.  Consistency = constancy.  Ensure your audience can depend on you to be there regularly.

Something else to consider: how about streaming live?  If it fits your purpose (and personality), go for it. 

Final food for thought: your post/article or story/book may be completed.  But that’s not “the end”.  Well, it could be.  You could simply leave it and hope people find it and read it.  And maybe writing isn’t about sales for you (though, to be perfectly frank, I’d love to make some serious $$$ from my writing), but chances are you want to be read and recognized.  So, being a blogger/author doesn’t stop there; it means being a promoter and networker, and collaborator too.  We wear many hats . . . and that can prove challenging . . . but it can also be fun.

HA-HA-HA-HA—Nothing to Laugh About

Hey, it’s Rey today.  Just thought I’d update you on our latest case.  We’re calling it HA-HA-HA-HA because that’s how the killer likes to sign his “farewell” notes.  But these serial killings are nothing to laugh about.

We’re close to tying up the case.  Real close.  Dangerously close.  GrimReaperPeeper—GRP for short—is clever and cunning.  He constantly outsmarts the police.  Finding clues as to his whereabouts has been a major challenge.  This guy’s good.  Unfortunately.

Here’s an excerpt . . .

Several seconds later, the door opened—to reveal our three colleagues standing but a few feet away, two Tasers, a flashlight, and a camera raised.  It flashed.

“Talk about perfect timing,” Jimmy C said.

“Ugh, I’m blinded,” Rey griped.  “So?  What?  You been taking pics of the place?  Hoping for a big scoop?”

The big scoop,” he grinned, lowering the camera.

“We found Gail,” I announced.  “Adwin’s escorting her to the car.”

“GRP had the room—probably the entire house—bugged.  Guess he reckoned we’d figure it out,” Rey said.  “Shit, we should have grabbed that speaker.  Oh well.  The police’ll get it.”

Linda tucked the Taser in her hoodie pocket.  “Do you think GRP’s in here somewhere?”

I shook my head.  “He’s close, but not within reach.”

“We didn’t find much, except a well hidden beneath some dense shrubbery to the far rear of the ohana,” Sach said.  “And then, just when we were going to leave, we discovered this passageway.”

“Purely by accident,” Jimmy C said with a self-conscious smile.  “I tripped into it and it opened.”

“This place has suddenly become very creepy,” Sach grimaced.

“Did you lock up the ohana?” I asked.   

Linda nodded.  “Behind us, as soon as we entered.”

“Then let’s head back this way.  Given Ald’s incommunicado, we’ll call Hammill on the way home.”

“Shouldn’t we call him now?” Jimmy C asked.  “He and his team members would probably prefer we hang around.  Maybe I can get some interesting details for my story.”

“This place could be boobytrapped and, if it is, we may find more than confetti raining down on us,” I advised.  “Let’s not take chances.”

“I’m in total agreement.”  Sach pointed forward.  “Let’s get out of here, and fast!”

So, hopefully, you’ll be able to read about this exciting [taxing] case soon! 

In the meanwhile, stay safe, play smart.  Aloha!

Day Five, Final Day

Day Five, Final Day

… to get Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie? for a mere 99 cents. 

Rookie private eyes JJ, Rey, and Linda take on their first official case: to discover an elderly millionaire’s pretty young wife’s secret.  Is it an affair as hubby, WP Howell, believes?  Or are more dastardly deeds in the wind?

It appears the latter because Carmie Howell is soon found in the waters off Oahu.  As the trio investigate, they stumble over a few more bodies.  Who’s responsible?  There’s a plethora of potential culprits.

Linda checked the mirrors and started the ignition. “Do you want the good news first or the bad?”

“Give me the bad.”

“It’s a two-parter.”

I couldn’t contain a Cousin Reynalda water-buffalo snort. “Of course it is.”

“Part one: Rey told me that she hasn’t been able to get any info on the Howells that we haven’t yet read or heard. But she’s expecting phone-backs from her Mainland film and theater contacts, so something of note could crop up. In terms of Salv, she didn’t come up with anything, but she did emphasize the word ‘yet’.”

“That’s partially bad news. There’s still hope,” I declared with a quick smile. “What’s part two?”

“Mr. Gruesome has no police record—”

“What!” I gazed at her in astonishment. “A guy like that has no police record?”

“That’s correct,” she affirmed with a smirk. “A couple of officers recognized him, courtesy of your drawing. Deff, Makjo’s lunch buddy, said he’s known around the station, but he’s never been caught with any fingers in a till.”

I exhaled slowly. “What’s the good news?”

“We have a name: it’s Kale Karaoke Loulu.”

“Karaoke?”

“The guy likes to sing. Apparently, he’s got a good set of pipes.”

“Who’d have thought?” I settled in and motioned ahead. “Onward, my faithful fellow private eye. Lunch beckons.”

If the Triple Threat Investigation Agency P.I.s have piqued your interest, perhaps you’d like to check them out Hula at:

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day Four, Two Days More

… to get Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie? for a mere 99 cents. 

Newbie private eyes—JJ, Rey, and Linda—accept their first official assignment: to discover an elderly millionaire’s pretty young wife’s secret.  Is it simply a matter of Carmie Howell having an affair, as WP believes?  Or is something more sinister afoot?

Perhaps the latter . . . because Carmie is soon found floating off the sapphire shores of Oahu.  As JJ, Rey and Linda investigate, more bodies fall.  Who’s responsible?  Druggies?  Gang members?  Mob sorts?  [Very] nervous nellies?

Latte-colored eyes gleaming, she leaned forward. “In a quest to learn more about Gino Carpella, I decided to go wayback. Carmie’s twin, as we know, is quite the entrepreneur. He made his first million courtesy of his father’s fabulous pizza pies.” She looked like the original Steve McGarrett nabbing a prime suspect: gratified.

“To make it all happen, he needed financing.” Rey smirked, sucking back a quarter of the drink. “As in a major loan.”

“A loan with nointerest,” Linda declared. “But there was a silent partnership agreement.”

“And the partner is?” Rey prompted with a Cheshire grin.

“Martino Lino Mondino,” Linda announced, not waiting for me to hazard a guess.

I looked from Linda to Rey and back again. “The Martino Lino Mondino?”

“Yup,” Rey said, her expression smug. “As in Mondino’s Supreme Sardinos—er, Sardines.”

“And Mondino’s Superlative Select Meats. And Mondino’s Classy Celebrated Cheeses,” Linda continued.

“He’s absorbed a lot of little companies and cottage industries along the East Coast. He’s also known for foodstuff first and triumphant business deals second.”

“He wins over the competition each and every time,” Rey stated.

“He wins because he eradicates them permanently,” I added.

Linda wagged a playful finger. “There is nothing to prove Mondino ‘eradicates them permanently’.”

“Then why have six competitors in the last dozen years gone the way of Jimmy Hoffa?”

Linda’s smile was dry. “Lots of digging and a couple of calls confirmed Gino’s still tight with Mondino. In fact, the fifty-five-year-old who, I understand, bears an uncanny resemblance to Jimmy Stewart in The Glenn Miller Story, is a co-signer on the lease for the Seventh Avenue building that accommodates Gino’s head office. Here’s another ‘in fact’: Mondino, who goes by the name of ‘Teen’ if you’re a friend, also owns a building a half-a-mile away from Gino’s—hey, what a great name for a business. Gino’s and Mondino’s.”

If the gals have piqued your interest, perhaps you’d like to check out Hula at:

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day Three, Not Free . . . but Pretty Darn Close

Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie? is a mere 99 cents through August 17.

Novice private eyes—JJ, Rey, and Linda—accept their first official detecting assignment: uncover the “secret” of an elderly millionaire’s pretty young wife.  Is it simply a matter of wifey having an affair, as hubby believes?

Not long after they embark on their first case, pretty young wife is found murdered on the shores of Oahu.  And there’s a secret all right, one of many, and they don’t all belong to the deceased woman.  Who of the unconventional cast of characters is the murderer?  As Jill, Rey and Linda try to fit puzzle pieces together, they stumble across several more bodies.

A straightforward task becomes anything but.  They’ve dealt with multiple murders in past, however, thanks to a wacky week in Connecticut, and while this new set of quirky personalities proves equally taxing, they have enough faith in their [budding] talents to persevere and unscramble clues.

And, if the trio succeeds, their newly founded business, The Triple Threat Investigation Agency, will prove a viable venture.

Curious?  Please check out the rookie private eyes’ escapades at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Can-Hula-like-Hilo-Hattie/dp/1074454073

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day Two, Howdy-Do

Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie? is a mere 99 cents through August 17.

Newbie private eyes JJ, Rey and Linda accept their first official detecting assignment: learning the “secret” of an elderly millionaire’s pretty young wife.  He believes she may be having an affair.  If they succeed, their newly founded business, The Triple Threat Investigation Agency, will prove a viable venture.

The twist: the wife is found murdered along the sapphire shores of Oahu. And there’s a secret all right, one of many, and they don’t all belong to the deceased woman.

Perhaps you’d like a little excerpt?

We’d only had to demonstrate she was a cheating spouse who possessed a secret that could prove of value to her husband and help dissolve a four-year marriage. All that had been required: surveying the woman, taking photos as necessary, and delivering nightly reports. Easy-peasy. Not.

What we’d unearthed in the preceding days extended to the sordid world of drugs and gambling, two ugly and dangerous addictions that could drag you under and far like the Molaka’i Express, which was the crossing of the Kaiwi Channel from volcano-formed Molaka’i, Hawaii’s fifth largest island, and possessed exceptionally strong currents. If the vice didn’t batter you, the enabler—the human component—was there to ensure you remained dependent, paid up and/or stayed high, and never screwed him or her.

“Man, she must have really pissed someone off.”

“Big time.” I peered across the darkening Pacific and reflected on that which had brought us to Hawaii: a desire to open our own P.I. agency. But the body sprawled across rough wave-soaked rocks begged one crucial question: what did a meteorologist, actress, and scriptwriting assistant know about detecting? So what if they’d played amateur sleuths several months ago during a murder-filled week at an eerie Connecticut mansion? That didn’t grant them the expertise or street smarts to manage a bona-fide case.

. . . But maybe the more imperative question at the moment was: how were they going to explain a simple undercover-case gone terribly wrong?

If we’ve piqued your interest, please check us out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Can-Hula-like-Hilo-Hattie/dp/1074454073

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day One – Havin’ Fun

For five days, Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie? is a mere 99 cents.

Promotion dates:  August 13 – August 17

Novice private eyes JJ, Rey and Linda accept their first official detecting assignment: learning the “secret” of an elderly millionaire’s pretty young wife.  He believes she may be having an affair.  If they succeed, their newly founded business, The Triple Threat Investigation Agency, will prove a viable venture.

The twist: the wife is found murdered along the sapphire shores of Oahu. And there’s a secret all right, one of many, and they don’t all belong to the deceased woman.

Who of the unconventional cast of characters is the murderer? As the trio try to fit puzzle pieces together, they stumble across several more bodies and what promised to be a straightforward task becomes anything but.  They’ve dealt with a sundry of murders in past, however, thanks to a wacky week in Connecticut, and while this new set of quirky personalities proves equally taxing, they have enough faith in their [budding] talents to persevere and unscramble clues.

Here’s an opportunity for the women to prove they made a wise choice in becoming bona-fide detectives. But can they do so before the murderer strikes again?

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day Five, No Jive

You can still get The Connecticut Corpse Caper for F-R-E-E, but only today.

A cozy mystery with grit, Caper is set in a ghost-inhabited mansion where a lot of weird things—besides murders—occur.

Several guests—including nieces Jill Jocasta (JJ), Reynalda (Rey), and BFF Linda—must stay a week to collect a share of dotty Aunt Mat’s inheritance.  If anyone leaves early, his/her share goes to those remaining.

One invitee leaves the first night and not of his own accord.  Others soon follow.  JJ, Rey, and Linda endeavor to find out who’s behind the murders (and a couple of other curious capers)—before the killer “finds” them.

Feel free to check out how the three amateur sleuths finally solve The Connecticut Corpse Caper at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Connecticut-Corpse-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEDWHMG

NOTE: FREE promotions are active in all Amazon marketplaces.