Lesson learned.

Research before you commit to anything! Given I’ve had a few weeks off and nothing to do, I wanted to get some of books that were not in print available as paperbacks (via CreateSpace). I actually have no sound business case for doing this, but I did somehow manage to sell more physical copies of my books in December than some of my digital copies…so maybe print isn’t dead?

Either way, as I have zero patience for formatting and the gentleman who formatted my manuscripts for digital release was available to format two books for print at a reasonable price, I contacted him and sent the funds through. The first book was uploaded and when I arrived at the pricing page, I was happy to see that it fit in exactly where I wanted it to ($8.99 – which is identical to the pricing of my other YA books).

When moving, don’t forget…

This is the third country move for Hubs and I. While we essentially moved the difference of a 1 hour plane flight, being without all of our worldly possessions for 2-3 weeks is a bit of an inconvenience. In an attempt to potentially make the next move easier, here is a list of what I’ve found helpful to have on hand. (FYI – we are staying a small, furnished 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom apartment while sorting out the lease for our new place).

1. A towel (yes, Hitchhiker’s Guide was correct – NEVER leave home without one, in fact, having dish towels has also proven helpful). In addition to drying off after a shower, the towel has been used for: a bathmat, a makeshift blanket, and a liner for the cat in her kennel.

2. A power strip, helpful when charging essential electronic goods.

3. Boxes of kleenex (a helpful household item that is ubiquitous in the Middle East, we have one in all rooms and the car). Uses have included: blowing ones nose, napkin, paper towel, toilet paper.

4. Deck of cards. Never be bored again. Hubs and I have a 10 year rummy game that has been added to this week.

5. A good show to watch. Or a long book to read. There will be downtime. In my case – lots of it. While I’ve been busy editing a book, working on short stories and exercising, I’ve also enjoyed catching up on some of my shows (thank goodness the new Sherlock has been released).

6. Patience (I never have enough).

7. A sense of humor. Because if making dinner out of an airfyer for over a week straight isn’t funny, I don’t know what is.

8. Optimism (another thing I always run out of).

So, what can’t you live without? Anything that’s made your move easier?

I’m not dead!

My new job is taking up all my time and most of my energy.

For a quick update:

1. A fellow author, awesome artist and general amazing person did a review of my book AND created a watercolor based on Room 702. Flattered much? Also, I love this sentence, “If you enjoy hotels, travel, and the creative jolt of a luxury-induced identity crisis, you’ll want to read this book.”

2. I started writing a new book! This makes little to no sense given where I am on current projects, but I’m hoping to make some progress this Spring with all my spare time. I hope to give some updates soon.

3. I’m going to try advertising w/Instagram. Clearly, I’ll try anything once!

In which we try Instagram.

So, as I am approaching being an Old, I’m quick to adopt some trends, but others seem to pass me by. I still don’t get Twitter and while I had joined Instagram, my account only has 4 photos (2 of which were posted by my sister). Ironically, it was while I was on Tumblr, that I happened across the ‘hotel tips’ Instagram account (someone I follow had reposted a particularly gorgeous picture). I contact those who run the account and asked if they would give Room 702 some coverage. While they weren’t able to do it for free, the price was reasonable and within basically a 3 day period, I was able to get the above image posted.

Book(s) review: The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

PS – MAJOR spoilers, consider yourselves warned.

So, earlier this year, I read Divergent by Veronica Roth.  What can I say?  Not only do I love me some dystopian YA, but I also loved the price point ($3.99, yes, this is a big deal to me).  I immediately downloaded the next book in the series, Insurgent, and even pre-ordered Alleigant, patiently waiting for the 3rd book to become available (I did the same with the Hunger Games).

And now that I’ve finished reading, all I can think is, ‘what wasted potential.’

This, that and some added pressure.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.

I’ve posted on my friend’s new website, and Room 702 FINALLY landed an article on Room Critic (one of my biggest ‘gets’ and an article I had pinned a lot of hopes on). While I am INFINITELY grateful that someone took the time to read my book and post about it (for free) and had nothing negative to say, I had foolishly believed this would translate into book sales. Cut to: sad Ann. I did not wake up to a single sale.

Translation, 0.

I don’t know whether to feel incredibly stupid or just, ‘Meh, life lesson.’ So, for my annual Christmas present, I spend money to advertise my books. In the past, it’s been on facebook – mostly for my marching band series (or promoting the latest release). This year, I decided to put my holiday funds towards marketing with A Luxury Travel Blog. I had options of tweeting or an interview, but the lure of 295,000+ twitter followers pretty much made the decision for me. Also, a bunch of people I follow, follow ALTB, so it also helped me make my choice.

The point of returning books is…?

Other than logging into my Amazon, BN and iTunes accounts every day and seeing a big 0 in the sales column which happens regularly so I’m better at dealing with it, the second worst feeling is when people return my books.  Now, I’ve been on a REALLY good streak.  The last month I had a returned book was September.  It’s a small thing, but one fact I am proud of.  Yes, I am appreciative of weird things when it comes to my books.

Cut to: this morning.  I log in as always and find that some intrepid consumer bought one each of my YA books, then returned them.  Net gain of 0.  Day not quite ruined, but certainly the last thing I want to wake up to.  In this instance, I wonder, how did you accidentally buy all of my books and then return them?  A person would have to click the ‘buy book’ option four times, and then go back on their purchase.  And to make things worse, the books in question retail for $0.99.  What’s the point?

Conferences I would like to attend.

In addition to the unlimited budget that I would require for fictional book launches, if I had all the time and money in the world, there are a bunch of workshops and conferences I would like to attend:

  • The Travel Convention
  • Travel Bloggers Unite
  • The Hotel Show
  • ATM Dubai
  • Boutique Hotel Summit
  • World Travel Market
  • Any TED event
  • I’m sure there’s at least 10 more but I don’t feel like researching them right now
  • I’m also fairly certain I should probably have at least one writing conference on this list

Further lessons in patience.

So, I sent out an additional batch of ‘please read and review my book’ e-mails yesterday – no ‘yes’s’ but a few very polite no’s. The no’s aren’t my favorite answer, but I appreciate organizations and individuals that are professional enough to deliver a response (and usually ‘best of luck with your book).