Tag Archives: E-book

It’s Here Again….

Happy New Year


Happy New Year, Readers!

I can’t believe it. Seems like only yesterday I posted this same heading, yet it was Christmas a year ago. All of you probably thought I had died. The last time I posted on this blog was months back. August, I think.

I hope 2015 was a good year for you. As for me, I’ve had better. But on the other hand, I’ve had worse. All in all, I have a lot to be grateful for.

So do you make resolutions? And do you stick to them?

I don’t make resolutions so much as I make plans. And I’ve already got 2016 pretty much planned. Of course you know that old saying : Life is what happens while you’re making other plans. (That quote really did not originate with John Lennon. It originated with a guy named Allen Saunders.)

DixieCash_YouCanHaveMyHeartNumber One on my list is to finish the Dixie Cash book I’ve got underway, YOU CAN HAVE MY HEART, BUT DON’T TOUCH MY DOG. It’s full of the usual madness and mayhem only Debbie Sue and Edwina and their friends can generate. I had planned on releasing it before the end of 2015; however, my day job took over my life for about six weeks and I didn’t get it done. If I’ve made a resolution at all, I have resolved to not let that happen again. Now I’m shooting for a release date in February or March.  This was quite an undertaking for me. My sister threw in the towel at around 50 or 60 pages, so I’ve written it on my own. People who have read it tell me it’s funny, but I’m nervous. I’m the first to acknowledge that she’s the funny one. AnnaJeffrey_TheHorseman_200px (2)

Second on my list is to finish THE HORSEMAN, Book #3 in the Sons of Texas trilogy. It isn’t a comedy. This will be Troy Rattigan’s story, plus it will tie up all of the loose ends and reveal the villain who’s got it in for the whole Lockhart family.

Along with these two projects, I’m going to attempt to narrate my own audio book. I know. Don’t laugh.  …..  I’ve already bought the equipment I need and am ready to roll. All I need now is to get over this head cold that has affected my voice. I don’t know how my Texas twang will sound trying to narrate an audio book. A person should have good elocution and be a half-assed actress for it to work. In fact, most of the audio book narrators *are* actors or actresses. My advantage, if I have one, is that I know how I mean for the dialogue I wrote to sound. We’ll see how it goes. Believe me, the money I’ve invested in the equipment is a drop in the bucket compared to paying for a professional narrator. They are very expensive.

Another project on the drawing board is to write Book #2 of Miranda’s Chronicles, a sequel to the 40,000-word novella I released in 2015, DESIRED. Book #2 will not be a novella. Writing a novella is harder than it looks. I will never do it again. My home is in 100,000-word tomes. The title will be CLAIMED and I’ve already bought the image for the cover. That way, with money invested, I’ll be motivated to get it done.

978-0-451-22959-5_ManOfTheWest.inddI’m also still trying to get my copyright back from my former New York publisher on MAN OF THE WEST, a book I wroteAnnaJeffrey_LoneStarWoman_800 under the pseudonym, Sadie Callahan. I so want to re-write that book and re-release it as an Anna Jeffrey book. It’s Book #2 of The Strayhorns series and a sequel to LONE STAR WOMAN. I had originally planned to write Book #3 in this series and that story is still sort of floating around in my head. I might go ahead and work on it whether I get my copyright back or not.

So those are my plans for 2016. I think my day job is definitely going to have to take a backseat. Still, don’t bet any money that I’ll get all of this done.

How about your resolutions? Are they doable?

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IT’S OUT!…

IT’S OUT! The audio edition of THE LOVE OF A COWBOY.

I’m excited to report this news. It went live yesterday.

Making COWBOY into an audio book was a labor of love for me. It was my first published book. And its’ still my best-selling book. Now it’s available in print, digital and audio.

AnnaJeffrey_TheLoveofaCowboy_Audio(1)_Thumbnail

I was lucky to find a very good narrator. I’ve listened to a few audio books where the narrator was so bad, she actually did harm to the book. I’m grateful to say that didn’t happen to me when I searched for someone. Finding a good one is a challenge. The requirement is that they read a 5-7 minute sample and you listen. From that, you choose one. It’s scary because that really isn’t much of a sample and it isn’t cheap to produce an audio book. When you make your choice, you’re sort of stepping out there on a wing and a prayer.

If you’ve never listened to a book, you should give it a try even if you’ve already read it. Audio brings a different perspective, especially to the characters. Hearing the dialogue voiced might change you imagined the hero or the heroine.

THE LOVE OF A COWBOY is available at Amazon, Audible and iTunes. You can listen on an MP3 player, your phone, your tablet or any other device that has audio.

If you haven’t signed up to receive my newsletter, between now and July 15th, I’ll be collecting names of new subscribers. On the 15th, I’ll draw a couple of names from the new subscribers to whom I’ll give MP3 players.  Just go to my website, www.annajeffrey.com and follow the prompts.

Meanwhile, here’s the blurb for THE LOVE OF A COWBOY:

“When Texas beauty, Dahlia Montgomery and her best friend journey to Idaho for a change of scenery for the summer, the last thing she expects to encounter is Luke McRae, a lean cowboy intent on sweeping her off her feet and into his bed. Dahlia can’t resist his rugged cowboy swagger and his sky blue eyes, even though she knows he can break her heart.

Luke is part owner and manager of the legendary Double Deuce Ranch in the Idaho mountains. With the ranch, an alcoholic ex-wife, a shrewish mother and three kids to worry about, he has no interest in romance. But that doesn’t mean he has given up casual sex with beautiful women….But is either he or Dahlia prepared for the consequences of a sexy summer romp?”

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TIDBITS OF NEW OLD NEWS . . .

I’ve hired someone to format THE LOVE OF A LAWMAN for the digital bookstores, so I won’t be taking six months to do it myself and get it uploaded. If all goes well, I’ll be able to upload it by the end of this month and hopefully, it will be error-free.

I have a cover ready and waiting. It was designed by miracle worker Kim Killion. I love this woman.

I’m weary of seeing half-naked men on book covers, so I decided to go a different direction. Seems like every other book these days has a picture of bare chests and abs. Hope I haven’t made the wrong decision. This guy looks pretty good, doesn’t he? Even if he is fully clothed. Let me know what you think. One nice thing about self-publishing: If the cover is wrong, you can take a mulligan.

This book was originally released in 2005. The original cover designed by my print publisher won the Cover Cafe award for cover of the year.

Like all of my books, it’s kind of a soap opera. The “What If?” question I asked when developing this story was, what if beautiful gutsy woman who has been abandoned by the guy she ran away from home with years back, returns to her hometown, bringing her brainy daughter, searching for her roots and starting her life anew, only to encounter and be distracted by the man who has been in love with her since they were teenagers?

What if a handsome ex-ProRodeo champion, who is divorced and starting over, takes on the job of sheriff in his tiny crime-free hometown just to while away a few months before he does something else, then a murder occurs under his watch? And what if, at the same time, he runs into the beautiful woman he had a crush on in high school?

If you’ve read my books, you know that all of my heroines are beautiful and all of my heroes are handsome. Romance novels are, after all, fantasies. So if you haven’t read this one, it will soon be available through Kindle and Nook and other online venues.

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The second occurrence is I had a conversation with Amazon about publishing a print edition of THE TYCOON. According to them, I’m wrong in thinking I should publish it as an e-book first. They recommend I publish it as a POD book first. I’m still deciding. In any event, God willing, I’ll get this book on the market this year. I started the year thinking I would get it out there in February. Then I moved the date to May, then September. Now I’ve lowered my sights and I’m just shooting for 2012. So much for best-laid plans.

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My newly designed Web site is up and functioning. Check it out. www.annajeffrey.com. Let me know if you have any problems navigating it. It can be fixed.

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FINISHED!! … AT LAST!

I’m back, fellow bloggers and readers! I hope none of you thought I had died.

Two things have been going on that have kept me from blogging. I just had to get THE TYCOON finished, which I did. Unfortunately, my *real* job consumes so much of my energy and time, I just don’t get anything done during the four days I work, so I had to dedicate my three days off to nothing but the book.

I already have the cover. I’ve just applied for a copyright and now I’m on a quest for a couple of beta readers and a copyeditor. One thing I’ve learned is copyeditors are expensive!

I’m going to release it as an e-book, but soon I will put it into print as a paperback.

Finishing a book is a weird letdown. All of a sudden I feel like I’ve got nothing to do, though in fact, I do have plenty to do to launch the book. But I’ve lived with this particular one and its characters for more than two years now. So giving them up is almost like abandoning the family pet. I know from the past that for a few days, it will just feel like something important is missing from my life.

I’ve posted the blurb for THE TYCOON before, but it’s been a while, so here it is again.

“When DRAKE LOCKHART, wealthy Texas ranching scion and business tycoon, meets a stunning redhead at a fancy ball, the last thing he expects is a tryst he can’t forget, followed by her disappearing in the middle of the night. Every minute spent with the vulnerable beauty has left him hungering for more.

“SHANNON PIPER was out of place at the ball. And an intimate encounter with a man so far removed from her social hemisphere wasn’t on her agenda, especially when he has a reputation for ruthlessness and is one of Texas Monthly’s most eligible bachelors known for his history with women. Is a relationship based on just sex the way to protect her heart? Or is it the beginning of the most enduring love a girl with a sketchy past could ever know?”

So what do you think? Does the blurb make you want to read it?

I also have a new Web site being designed. Hopefully, it and the new book will launch at about the same time.

Now I’m on to working on THE LOVE OF A LAWMAN, which was originally released in 2005, getting it ready to upload. Too bad I can’t use the same cover because that cover won an award.

The second thing that has been going on is I put my 2003 release, THE LOVE OF A COWBOY, in the Amazon Kindle Select program. Since it’s a nine-year-old book, I was amazed and humbled by the number of readers who downloaded it when it was free and and bought it after the free promotion ended.  It stayed at #1 on the Top 100 Free Downloads in the Kindle store all five days and remained on the top twenty list for nearly several weeks. That was more than I had hoped for when I started the promotion.

That kind of reception lessens some of the trepidation I have about releasing THE TYCOON. Since I haven’t self-published an original book before, obviously, I’m a little nervous. I’ll keep you posted.

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LEST WE FORGET…

Happy Memorial Day, everyone…..One thing we do not want to forget on this opening summer holiday is the reason for the day. We want to remember that it’s more than the opening of summer or the end of school or a long weekend at the lake.

When I was a kid, my grandparents called it “Decoration Day.” In the tiny community where they lived, there was no one to look after the only cemetery. In a showing of respect for those who had passed on, volunteers hoed weeds, repaired fences, pruned trees and did anything else that was needed to make the cemetery looked cared for. And some honored their own loved ones by decorating their graves.

This custom wasn’t confined to where my grandparents lived. It did and still does take place all over the country. Unfortunately, however, to a great degree, we’ve gotten away from it. These days, too many of us don’t have time or are too far away. And there are a hell of a lot of us who don’t even know what Memorial Day is about. That’s sad.

In these days when we’re losing or have lost so many of our young men and women to causes that no longer seem worthwhile, let’s don’t forget them. There’s a famous quote and I’ve been searching for the origin all week, but haven’t found it. It says, “All gave some, but some gave all.” Let’s don’t forget that either.

On another topic, I’m making a few changes to the blog. Some you might have noticed, some you might not have.

You might have noticed the book list is missing. I had this great slide show through a site called http://www.slide.com. Around the first of the year, they announced they would be taking their site down at the end of March and we who had slide shows created through them should do something different.

So far, I haven’t found a user-friendly site on which I can create a slide show that WordPress will accept. WordPress recommend a site and I put together a slide show there. But then WordPress rejected it and continues to reject it. I can’t figure out how to get past their rejection.… Like everything in the computer world, if you aren’t a guru, anything you do has a steep learning curve. Did I say I’m not a guru?

The other thing you might notice is a link in the right-hand column to The Anna Jeffrey Times. This is a baby newspaper. It features headlines and a few articles about current events. I would like to give it its own page in the blog so that you don’t have to leave the blog to glance at it, but so far, WordPress hasn’t let me do that either. I suspect it can be done and I hope to eventually figure it out.

The last thing I’ve done is put the archives in a drop-down box. It’s all still there, so if there’s a past blog you want to view, you can find it by using the drop-down box.

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Blog Map 😦

“Figuring it out” is how I have to approach everything I do on the computer. I’ve owned a computer of some kind for twenty-five years, so you’d think I’d be smarter, wouldn’t you?

But I’m nothing, if not determined. Eventually I’ll get that book list back up there as a slide show and eventually I’ll get The Anna Jeffrey Times on its own page.

Meanwhile, while I struggle with it, if any of you *are* gurus and want to make some suggestions, I’m certainly receptive.

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A NEW DEVELOPMENT…

Earlier this week, I turned on one of my favorite TV financial shows and there was Barnes & Noble’s CEO announcing that Microsoft had purchased 17.5% of Barnes & Noble. Their stock immediately rose by 10%. I’m posting some links at the end of the blog to articles about the deal.

This was huge news, I think, because just after Christmas, Barnes & Noble had reported a terrible Christmas season and a 20% stock drop. Most people had pretty much written them off, or at least the brick-and-mortar part of that business. And I already knew that Amazon had owned the 2011 Christmas season with their digital readers.

This is a definite game-changer for B&N. And it might be a game-changer for the whole digital book community. A cash infusion from a rich company like Microsoft might well be the balm that soothes all of B&N’s ills. In addition, Microsoft will be releasing Windows 8 at the end of this year and no doubt some of that technology will find its way into the Nook.

On the same day, I surfed over to B&N’s Web site and saw where they had announced a new reader. The Simple Touch with Glow Light and it retails for $139. Glow Light will enable a reader to read in bright sunlight. No other tablet—not even iPad or Kindlefire—has this feature and I suspect B&N probably owns it. You can learn all about it at B&N’s Web site.

So can a whole new generation of tablets and e-readers soon hit the market?

The DOJ suing Apple and the major publishers for price fixing and then the publishers settling with them is also a game-changer. At this point, I’ve lost track of what Apple has done. I don’t know whether they settled, too.

All of it bodes well for readers. The B&N CEO reported that 57% of books are now purchased as e-books. No one knows how much that number will increase this year, but unquestionably, it will. Shoppers continue to buy tablets and readers, even though it isn’t Christmas. And most of the readers who already have them are huge fans of them. Not only do they love the readers themselves, they also love getting books at a cheaper price. No telling what will be for sale by the time the 2012 Christmas season rolls around. It’s so exciting.

In my house alone, we now have 2 Kindles. And in the past 2 weeks, I’ve downloaded half a dozen free books..

Speaking of free books, I want to also remind you that THE LOVE OF A STRANGER will be a free download in the Kindle store on Amazon on May 14th and 15th. That’s a Monday and Tuesday. You don’t have to have a Kindle. You can download it to your computer, to your iPad or even to your phone if you pick up the Amazon app. I don’t think you can download it to a Nook. Amazon and B&N are in fierce competition on these machines.

So that’s my exciting news for this week. What do you think? I know everyone is happy to see Barnes & Noble saved. But being in bed with Microsoft, what will it become now?

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WORK ON THE BOOK GOES ON…

Work on the first book of my new trilogy continues. Everything takes so much longer than I thought it would. So many more authors are self-publishing now, which slows down the process. But that’s good that aspiring authors who have been shackled or shunned by traditional publishing are finding an outlet.

I now have a title and have ordered the cover. That’s going to take several weeks. Not too long ago, it took a few days or a week. I don’t know yet how long copyediting will take.

At this moment, I’m planning an e-book release, followed by a POD release through Amazon. The title I’ve landed on for the trilogy is SONS OF TEXAS. And the title for the first book is THE TYCOON. The second book will be called THE COWBOY and the third will be called THE HORSEMAN. The setting is Fort Worth and rural Texas.

The book titles are fairly self-explanatory, but here’s the trilogy arc:

“The three grown children of an old wealthy but dysfunctional Texas ranching family find love in unexpected places in spite of their quarreling parents. Crisis and near tragedy ultimately reunite the parents who have been the root of the family’s breakdown and harmony that has been missing for many years returns to the Double Barrel Ranch.”

The flag of Fort Worth, Texas currently in use...

And here’s the blurb for THE TYCOON:

“When successful, wealthy Fort Worth businessman, DRAKE LOCKHART, encounters a beautiful redhead at a fancy charity ball, the last thing he expects is a tryst he can’t forget with a woman who disappears. With her continuing to haunt him, he’s driven to search for her. Once he finds her and persuades her to spend time with him, he recognizes that his bachelor days are over. But she has no trust in love or in him and erects barriers between them. Just when he thinks he’s winning her over, without his knowledge, an associate in his powerful company goes head to head with her in a business deal involving real estate she desperately wants. Restoring her faith in him is a challenge Drake must face and win if he’s ever to be happy.

Presented with the opportunity to spend time with one of the most successful businessmen in Fort Worth and one of Texas Monthly’s most eligible bachelors, SHANNON PIPER, smart, successful real estate broker in the small town of Camden, Texas, cannot deny her wilder side. Falling in love with a man she doesn’t trust isn’t on her agenda, yet she can’t ignore his attention or her own attraction to him. Her solution is to confine their relationship to “just sex.” After he claims to love her, his treachery in a business deal proves her original fears well-founded. She can’t easily be convinced she can ever trust him. Her unexpected pregnancy forces both of them to stop playing games and embrace their true feelings.”

English: Actor Hugh Jackman at the 83rd Academ...

Drake

As always, Hugh Jackman is my mental image for Drake, but I haven’t yet found one for Shannon. Sometimes I think of Julia Roberts, but with green eyes. Suffice to say Shannon’s beautiful and smart because all of my heroines are beautiful and smart. This book will be a typical steamy Anna Jeffrey drama. 🙂

English: Julia Roberts attending the premiere ...

Shannon

I had hoped to get it out the door by the end of February, but that isn’t going to happen. So now I’m pushing for the end of March. <sigh> I’m nothing if not flexible.

I welcome your comments.

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THE READING REVOLUTION IS HERE….

And if I ever doubted it, I no longer do.

As some of you know, my real job is with a major retailer. For most of the holiday season, I worked in the electronics department. The number of iPads, iPods, KindleFires, Nooks and other tablet-like devices that were sold was astonishing. Amazon is already claiming sales of more than a million KindleFires.

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

And what can we do on each and every one of these electronic devices besides play games, email and surf the Net? WE CAN READ BOOKS!

Even though I wrote back in October about reading on an e-reader as opposed to having a printed book in your hands, I see the handwriting on the wall.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Mid-list authors like me have already found a home on the Internet with Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords, which distributes e-books to e-retailers like Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Apple and others. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are paying nine times the royalty rates for e-books as the Big 6 in New York. I have a friend who has self-published 17 of her backlist books and has now sold more than a million e-books. She would never have seen the day in traditional publishing when she would be as well-paid as she is in e-publishing.

Amazon already has an apparatus in place where mid-listers can self-publish in print if they so desire. Mid-listers also now have access to editing, copyediting, cover design and even reviewing by a major reviewer. A writer who dreams of seeing his great American novel in print is no longer stymied and denigrated by the gatekeepers.

Of course, none of this is free. Authors will have an outlay of cash to make this happen. The author with business savvy will put together his or her own little organization that functions in a professional way, which will benefit both author and reader.

Barnes & Noble nook (ebook reader device)

Image via Wikipedia

It’s only a matter of time before one of the major bestselling authors will take a close look at his or her royalty statement and recognize how much money he or she is sacrificing by not being independent. And when that happens, I believe it will be like opening the floodgates. All bets are off when it comes to the future of New York print publishing and to existing online e-publishers. The ball is now in the court of authors and readers, where it should have been all along.

Like all change, on the surface, it seems as if this cataclysm has occurred overnight, but that isn’t the case. It has been evolving for at least 2 years. What will now make the difference, though, is that so many people now own e-reading devices and will now be able to buy e-books cheaper than they ever could buy new print books. So each and every one of them can fill up his e-reader with as many as 3,000 books. Even school books will be e-books.

So if you didn’t get an e-reader for Christmas, you might consider it. You can soon pay for the e-reader with what you’ll save buying books.

This is an awesome development and I’m so glad it has happened in my lifetime.

I’d love to hear your comments.

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A Surprising Discovery…

Steve Jobs at the WWDC 07

As I’ve posted on Facebook and in other places, I’m eager to read Steve Jobs’ biography. So I’ve been dithering whether to buy the book or buy a download for the Kindle. What I’ve discovered is that as much as I like that Kindle, there are some books that are just too delicious not to have a *real* book in my hands. Something tells me that the book about Steve Jobs is one of those.

This discovery was a “wow” moment for me because I thought I was ambivalent. I thought books in print had been replaced in my mind by Kindle books.

So I started thinking about other books I might like to read or have already read and I asked myself, “Kindle or print book?” I made a short list of the ones  I would just have to read in their print format if I hadn’t already read them. Here’s a small part of my fiction list in no particular order. I prefer a print-on-paper edition of every one of these books.

GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell
HEART OF THE WEST by Penelope Williamson
THE OUTSIDER by Penelope Williamson
LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry
THE DEATH OF THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA by Ernest Hemingway
SOPHIE’S CHOICE by William Styron
RIDE THE WIND by Lucia St Clair Robson
DEEP END OF THE OCEAN by Jacquelyn Mitchard
All of Nicholas Evans’ books

Cover of "THE HEART OF THE WEST"

Those are just a few. Then there are the non-fiction books I would prefer to have in traditional print form. That list is much longer. There’s just something about a non-fiction book that calls for one you can hold in your hands. Many of my non-fiction titles are research books and I haven’t yet mastered how to find things in the Kindle downloads.

In addition, I get a little panicky at the idea that you don’t really own anything with digital readers except the reader itself. The content is out there in cyberspace somewhere in that nebulous *cloud* and you’re only *using* it. I can’t get past the feeling that it could be yanked at any time.

Cover of "Ride the Wind"

None of this is to take away from the convenience, the ease and the utter out-of-this worldness of reading a book digitally. I do love it. Even my husband loves it. As I’ve said before, he can’t deal with a cell phone, but he can use the Kindle.  The technology is revolutionizing both bookselling and book publishing.

But in thinking about it, I wonder if a lot of readers will turn out to be like me. Some books on the Kindle, some not. Do all of you have digital readers now. And are you devoted fans? Or are there still books out there that you would prefer to read printed on paper?

I just hope the day never comes when the print books will no longer be available.

Anna J

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