I wrote a blog post last week and didn’t post it, because it was sad, and also because it stopped being true. I spent much of a day saying good-bye to Zelda, torn between rushing her to a strange vet and letting nature take its course, eventually deciding through many tears that the most loving thing to do was to just be with her, letting her know how much I loved her.
Nature decided that it was a bad day, but not the last bad day. A couple days later she ate a little chicken and by yesterday she was walking again. Not with any speed, and I’m still pretty sure that the baddest of bad days is coming soon… but it’s not going to be today, and that’s sufficient unto the day.
Meanwhile, I am puppy-sitting and working my way through that scary to-do list. I made definite progress — I think I’ve whittled it down to about twenty items, but of course, the twenty items left are some of the worst and scariest. One of them is so tiny — fix the Subscribe button on the sign-up widget — but the fact is, I have absolutely no idea how to do that and am probably going to easily spend a full day working on it, feeling frustrated and annoyed the whole time.
Is that a good use of my time? Obviously not. Does anyone really care if the subscribe button doesn’t look like a button? Well, I do, so yeah, probably there are some other obsessive people who would be bothered as well. Mostly, though, I think it feels like a symptom of my life being outside my control. So many things I can’t fix, can’t make better, but here’s a thing I could/should be able to fix. I wonder if I could convince myself that leaving it alone would be a signal of acceptance? And signal is not the word I want, but I can’t find the right one.
Speaking of things I can’t control, I’ve been experimenting with ads this weekend. I’d really like to get book sales back to where they were before I tried putting Ghosts into Kindle Unlimited. I was never earning enough money to live on, but I was steadily managing to push off the day when I’d have to start filling out job applications. That day is now zooming toward me. Is it ironic or just sad that one of the big reasons I’ve been avoiding a 9-5 is my reluctance to leave Zelda alone all day?
Anyway, ads. I had fun making them, but so far, they’ve been a pointless waste of money. My clickthrough rate is 0.13%, which is roughly equivalent to 0.
I might do better with more comparable authors — the authors I chose were almost at random, just people I liked, with audiences sizable enough to give me a big, reasonably inexpensive pool. (Robin McKinley, Sarina Bowen, Ilona Andrews.) So here’s a question for you: who are your auto-buy authors? Oh, and comments on the ads also welcome. Feel free to make suggestions!
I am so sorry to hear that Zelda isn’t doing well. I know how hard this time is for you. You’ll both be in my thoughts and prayers.
As for the subscribe button, if you can find the strength to let it go, let it go. I personally don’t care about it. I do know all about itchy little things I can’t let go of that take me from what I need to be concentrating / focusing on. There is a strength and a statement in choosing to let it go.
Spend time with Zelda. Write. Take pictures. It will be ok.
Maybe someone that knows how can help you?
Auto buy authors?
Meghan Ciana Doidge
Lois McMaster Bujold
I pre-order as soon as I can. Some times I see a “release date soon” type of ad, rush to the book and see “you purchased this on…” Never hurts to make sure!
There could be other authors that I’d put on the list but they sell so high. I usually put it on a wish list and wait for a sale or maybe birthday money.
That’s just because of where I am, not necessarily a statement of price points. Though some of them are quite high. Sadly a few of my spendier purchases have been the most disappointing. I tend to shy away from them now.
I hope all goes well for you and that you find peace and strength in the days ahead.
I think I’m just going to let the subscribe button sit on my to-do list for a while. Of course, it’s been on my mental to-do list for over a year, but it’s not going anywhere. And I do exactly the same with authors — there are a few who I will buy right away, many that get put on a birthday list (or translation money list), and many that I’m grateful my library card gives me access to. And I hate it when I spend $15 on a book and it’s disappointing — I try to remind myself that movies are just as expensive and can also be disappointing, but still… Thanks for the author suggestions! (Lois McMaster Bujold is #1 on my auto-buy list, even though she’s disappointed me a couple of times.)
So sorry to hear about Zelda it is a tough decision if we should let nature take it’s course or the alternative. I’ve bet cat sitting for three weeks now and my Cali is improving. She isn’t crying and I have to sit with her to eat and drink. It is working she comes out at night for treats and cuddles. Just love them. Your in my prayers. 💕
P.S. I like #2 cover.
I’m glad your pet is improving! Zelda’s doing well today, too — so much better than last week! Thanks for your prayers!
S. Collins said:
I like the “simple” ad the best. The “long blurb” is too busy and the “fancy ad” just isn’t as eye catching, IMO.
My auto-buy authors are Mercedes Lackey (the Valdemar books) Dorothea Benton Frank, and Dick Francis (unfortunately deceased and his son isn’t as good). I read a variety of books, but crime/mystery is what I read mostly because I can find more decent but affordable ones in this genre than the others.. Since I average reading a book a day on a limited budget, that is an important reason for buying I truly love fantasy (NOT science fiction which should be an entirely different category) but most fantasy is either too dark or too trite or too full of “romance”.
Hate vampire and werewolf stuff. Hate errors in grammar, punctuation, tense, spelling. (A proof reader is simply not something any author should ever try to do without. Spell check doesn’t catch errors such as “their” for “there” or “they’re” and “lay” when it should be “lie”. Hens lay. People lie down or they lay stuff down.) Love ghosts, witches, physics, etc. Too much or too graphic sex or romance is boring – I have my own at home, thank you.
Am I your average reader? Probably not, but I am a prolific reader who is always looking for a new author or a new interesting book. Hope this information is of some use to you. Good luck!
I loved Dick Francis. And yes, his son just doesn’t have the same touch. Thanks for the suggestions!
Sorry to hear about Zelda; that’s always tough. My favourite ad is the fancy one, because there’s a review quote (always helpful) and a bit of hint to plot. Plus, like all of them, the word FREE figures prominently.
Some of my auto-buy authors are Ilona Andrews (I’m not that keen on the Hidden Legacy series, but highly recommend the rest), Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs, Jennifer Estep, Benedict Jacka, Nalini Singh (but only the Guild Hunter series), Grace Draven, Laura Bradford (only the Amish Mysteries series), Jessie Mihalik (a recent discovery), Daniel O’Malley, Sarah Micklem.
I actually love the Hidden Legacy series, although if we were sitting together talking about it, I could come up with plenty of reasons not to. But I like the family so much, and the family vibe. I like some of your others, too, but I’ve never even heard of a couple of them. I’ll have to give Jessie and Sarah a try! Thanks for all the suggestions!
I’ve been mulling it over and I think the reason I’m not as drawn to the Hidden Legacy series as much as their other books is because they’re YA and I prefer to read about characters with more life experience.
Here’s another rec, compliments of Ilona Andrews: http://www.ilona-andrews.com/kingpin-of-camelot/
I recently re-read this book and it’s as funny and awesome as I remember!
YA? They’ve got some pretty steamy sex in them for YA books. And Nevada’s 24, I think, when the series begins. They definitely aren’t as dark as some of their books, though. They’ve got one series that was almost unreadable for me, because it felt so grim (The Edge series). I did read them, but I’ll never reread them. And thanks so much for the recommendation — I actually got three months free of KU on Prime Day, so I’m downloading it now!
I thought YA meant just meant Young Adult; didn’t realize the designation also meant no explicit sex, oops! Anyay, at 24, I still consider Nevada too young to be all that interesting, despite her many talents, but I guess my other issue with the series is that I just didn’t feel like rereading any of the books. I started reading the last book in the series, but actually quit part of the way through, because I was bored — something that never happens to me with the other Ilona Andrews series, which I usually happily reread. (I have the next one on pre-order, but might cancel since it doesn’t fill me with any sense of anticipation. I do love their new Iron Covenant series, though!)
The Edge series was indeed very grim and a bit uneven, but I did reread the books (I love to listen to audiobooks when I go for walks, and Scribd has this series available so I recently went through the entire series) as I was very intrigued by the concept of the Edge, the Weird, and the Broken.
Another book I thoroughly enjoyed was The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (AKA Sarah Monette, who I’d heard about but had never read). Unfortunately, I think it’s going to remain a standalone book, which is a shame because there’s so much more to explore!
PS Whenever I am tempted to get a KU membership, I sternly remind myself that I have a huge TBR pile on my Kindle and Scribd! So many books, so little time! (A good problem to have, ha ha.)
YA generally refers to high-school age protagonists, NA (New Adult) college-age. But I enjoyed the Goblin Emperor, too. One of my KU discoveries has been Helen Harper — have you tried her? You might like her. She’s got a whole bunch of series and while they’re definitely uneven, she’s got some interesting protagonists. There’s one, which in most respects is very classic urban fantasy, but her protagonist is a pacifist and refuses to hurt people. Another is a post-the-magical-apocalypse, which starts out feeling a lot like she’s exploring the premise of the Kate Daniels series while people are still adjusting to the disaster. It goes off in different directions and her plots are filled with coincidences (guaranteed if the television goes on, it will be at the exact moment to get some important piece of information from the news), but she’s entertainingly different. Worth reading! And yeah, I can’t believe I’m reading KU books when I have 200+ unread stories on my Kindle, but I’m enjoying myself!
Thanks! Scribd has the audiobook for Slouch Witch, so I will start with that 🙂
Thanks for clarifying what constitutes YA vs NA. I’ll have to remember that.
No, I haven’t read anything by Helen Harper! Always fun to discover someone new. What book of hers would you recommend that I read first?
In the first book of the Slouch Witch series, I started out irate at the “hero” and hating the relationship. But I liked the protagonist enough to keep going and I wound up enjoying the series quite a bit. The Highland Magic series is the one with the pacifist heroine, also fun. I’m pretty much hating her vampire series, though, but then I never like vampires in the first place. Overgrown mosquitoes, IMO!
Carol Westover said:
Oh goodness. Poor baby. Maybe a reprieve so you can be prepared to let her go. Still sad as all get out… I actually really like the fancy ad — maybe because the five gold stars grab your attention and then you see the couple and the blurb about it having a really good ending that will leave you asking for more (which all of your books do for me!) I only really have a couple of auto-purchase authors (Danielle Lincoln Hanna, You, and Gillian Larkin).
Thanks for the author names! I’m not familiar with either of them, so I will give them a try.
Tracie Hall said:
If I did such a thing as “auto buy”, you would certainly be one of them. I do an occasional check to see if there’s anything you’ve published that I haven’t read (if I kept up with your blog, no doubt I’d know, of course), I will also purchase (or seek from a library) anything read by Jayne Entwistle or Joanne Frogatt. I just started reading a series (Magnificent Devices) by Shelley Adina, but I don’t know yet if I’d like everything she’s done. Kristin Hannah is another author I follow. I also track J.K. Rolland, as Robert Galbraith. But I don’t auto-buy anything because I have control issues and must know where my money is going and when.
I don’t actually literally mean auto-buy — I’m not sure if there is such a thing and I wouldn’t be able to do it if there was. I just mean the authors where you don’t need to read the blurb or think about the decision, you’ll read the book when you spot it. Thanks for all the suggestions! I’m definitely going to have to start making a list.
Tracie Hall said:
Hee-heee! Oh. 🙂