Not For Cat Lovers Only


Check out the new links I just added — to a short non-fiction book I posted in serialized form on my blogspot site in late 2010. This book is about six beloved cats and the important role they have played in my family. As I state in the introduction, it is NOT a cute kitty book, although I did include some humorous anecdotes. Rather, it’s a heartfelt memoir touching upon the loss of loved ones, the stress of moving cross-country with kids and pets, the difficulties of living with a disabling disease and the heartbreak and guilt a parent feels upon learning she has passed on this disability to her child.

I am planning to add photos to Six Cats and publish it on Amazon as a Kindle book. Too bad the photos won’t be in color. Amazon really needs to come out with a Kindle capable of color viewing. If you’d like to see the book cover I have in mind — in color — you can also view that on my blogspot site: http://texasdruids.blogspot.com/ . If you like it, let me know, or if you don’t, I’m open to suggestions.

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Grrrrrr!


I’m not a techie! Learning my way around new sites drives me crazy, and this one is no exception. First I couldn’t figure out how to apply a theme (when I was still going the free route.) I finally gave up and paid to make this my home page, which is okay because I’d been thinking I should set one up anyway. Once I shelled out the money, my dashboard worked just fine. I previewed a bunch of themes and settled on “Blix” because I liked the style and colors. However, after publishing a few posts, I decided the font size was too small, and I could find no way to enlarge it without either purchasing Typekit or learning CSS. (I don’t know exactly what that is and have no interest in learning it.) Like I said, I’m not a techie. I’m a writer! So I went back to the themes again and after much trial and error, settled upon “Twenty Ten” because it offers a larger font — easier on the eyes.

Next, I had to redo my custom header — twice — to make it fit the new space allotment for theme and look strong graphically, as well as convey the overall purpose of this home page, namely to publicize my Texas Druids trilogy. That took more time, but that’s not all bad. I used to work in the visual arts (also went to art school for four years eons ago) and I still enjoy playing around with design and color. After much practice and teeth gnashing, I’ve become fairly proficient with the MS Paint program, and I used that to create my header.

So far so good, but them came more teeth gnashing as I slogged through the Dashboard, which for me is a bewildering jungle of choices. I’m still befuddled by most of them, but at least I got my links to show up on the sidebar. And that’s about all I can stand for tonight. Maybe tomorrow I’ll work up enough intestinal fortitude to tackle this again. No promises!

E-books in The News


The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, our local newspaper, recently ran an article titled “Authors see e-books as escape from publishers” – written by Alex Pham of the Los Angeles Times. In it, Pham mentions several well known authors who are now publishing at least some of their books electronically, or are planning to do so. They include crime novelist Joe Konrath, science fiction author Greg Bear, action writer David Morrell, Seth Godwin, author of books on marketing, Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelo, self-help author Stephen Covey and, last but far from least, Stephen King. Obviously, these celebrated authors haven’t made that decision lightly. They see e-books as a way to retain more of the profits from their work, rather than watching a large percentage go to publishers. “Authors typically get 10 to 25 percent of the proceeds of digital sales through a publisher, compared with 40 to 70 percent if they self-publish,” says Pham.

What Pham doesn’t say is how little first-time authors such as myself receive from traditional print publishers. Advances can run as low as $1,000 – $1,500 for months, even years worth of work. And if the author’s book doesn’t sell very well, he or she may never receive much more than that. More importantly, most new authors never even see their work in print because they can’t get past the “gatekeepers” – the agents, editors, assistant editors, etc., who might read only a few pages (if that much) of their submissions before tossing them aside and moving on to the next unfortunate author’s work. Not that every would-be author should be published. Far from it! But there are some truly talented people who go unrecognized and unpublished because their work doesn’t fit into some publisher’s predetermined mold.

Of course there are definite advantages to traditional print publishers: editing, cover design and marketing support to name a few. But online services such as Amazon’s CreateSpace now offer some of these support tools for a relatively small flat fee. In my case, I had author friends help me with editing and I designed my own book cover. (Which admittedly isn’t the greatest, and which I may end up having redone by a pro.) As for marketing, well, it’s not easy, but it can be done with persistence, ingenuity and hard work. Online sites offer all kinds of tips for promoting a self-published book, tips like book tagging, soliciting reviews and that big gorilla in the room, Social Networking. In short, e-books are a growing outlet for creativity that authors can’t afford to ignore.

Hello world — New!


I finally figured out how to post. Sheesh, after working on blogspot, which is much simpler in my opinion, this site is hard to understand, at least at first. I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I’d better since I’m paying for it, right?

Okay, enough griping. I really just want to say hi to all you happy wordpress bloggers. I hope to get acquainted with some of you. I’m looking for followers and folks I can follow. The main purpose of this site is to publicize my book(s). Right now I have one Kindle book published on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/b004asndes . Titled Darlin’ Druid, it’s the first volume in my Texas Druids trilogy. The second book will be out later this year.

I just entered a writing contest sponsored by Amazon. I don’t expect to win (wouldn’t that be a kick!) but it’s another way to get my book out there. Perhaps it will catch some judge’s eye. You never know ’til you try.

Besides writing, doing historical research and reading long, wonderful books, I love gardening, eating chocolate and cozying up with one of my cat children on my lap. I currently play mommy to four of the little darlings. They drive me crazy at times, demanding attention, but I adore them, each and every one. If you’d like to read about my cats of yesteryear, please visit my other blog site: http://texasdruids.blogspot.com/ .

More about writing later.  Lyn