I just discovered a page of quotes on Goodreads quoting ME! Seriously – well, okay, maybe not very serious – but it really exists. So, if you want a quick and dirty, (and I mean dirty), example of my sassy badassy writing, and generally disorganized thought pattern, go look.
I want to extend a huge thanks to all of the wonderful bloggers at The Book Enthusiast, but especially Cindy Meyer, who has been a supporter from the very beginning, and who loves my couples as much as I do. <3 Go enter the giveaway!
Check out this interview with Adam Roth, Philly Assistant District Attorney, turned hot shot criminal defense lawyer. (He’s also an all-around funny, sexy and swoon-worthy guy.) He’s off the market now, happily married and soon to be a daddy, but he’s still a charmer.
ANNOUNCEMENT ONE: Lily and Adam Roth are expecting a baby! Because you KNOW these two will be the most hilariously loving parents around, the story must be told. I’m going to write Legal Issue, (Baby Roth’s story), as a companion novella, but also put Adam and Lily’s whole story, including Legal Briefs, Legally Wed, Legal-i-Tease and Legal Issue together in one boxed set/book. The Roths are just too funny, sexy and romantic not to have more stories.
ANNOUNCEMENT TWO: There will be a brand new feature in my monthly newsletter starting in October… Ask Mark & Adam. You can ask them questions about anything. They are perfectly willing to expound upon just about any subject, and they are not shy. If you would like to ask them a question, e-mail it to email@example.com and put “Ask Mark & Adam” in the subject line. They’ll select one to answer each month and everyone who submits a question will be entered into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card. The person whose question they actually choose to answer, will win a $25 Amazon gift card! BUT – the winner will only find out when she sees her question answered in the newsletter! How’s that for anticipation? (The winner of the $10 gift card will also be announced in the newsletter.) Trust me – it will be fun, but then, the newsletter is fun! Adam and Mark are are also fun. Naughty, but fun.
If you haven’t signed up for The Docket yet – here’s the link: http://eepurl.com/1mdR9
I’m not a “famous” author, but I make a living. Some people might consider that I’m doing decently well, even if I’m not a household name. If you are one of those people, and would like to know what my secret is, keep reading, because I’m going to share my magic formula for success. Are you ready? Here it is …
1) Write well. That means using books like The Elements of Style, The Chicago Manuel of Style, and a good thesaurus. It means writing every day and learning as much as you can about the technical aspects of writing. It also means thoroughly revising your work and working with an editor.
2) Write efficiently, and as quickly as you can, while still writing well. Develop a robust back-list.
3) Even if you are writing something geared toward commercial sales, BE ORIGINAL. Don’t do what another author has done already. It’s better to have someone respect your originality, and continue to invest in your work, than to just buy this book of yours because it reminds them of someone else’s that they enjoyed.
4.) Learn real marketing and PR skills. How? Read books that you find in the business and marketing sections of the local bookstore, not books with titles like “How I sold Ten Billion Books on Amazon in 3 hours.” Take online courses about marketing and PR strategies from reputable instructors. Plenty of great universities offer courses online for free as long as you are not seeking credit. Talk to authors who really understand the business end of publishing.
5.) Don’t rely on gimmicks to promote your books, and don’t do promotional things just because everyone else does. Develop a mailing list of the people who genuinely like your writing. Once per month, put out an interesting and entertaining newsletter and never SPAM the subscribers. Do some market research and develop carefully placed advertising. Collaborate with other authors. Readers like authors who engage with them more than authors who just promote things to them.
6.) Don’t mistake popularity for success.
7.) Don’t waste your time on petty drama. Never publicly criticize another author’s work. Always take the high road.
8.) Be patient and understand that becoming a good writer is a process. Writing is a skill. If you want to do it well, you need to practice, learn, and pay your dues. Can you become a big hit with your first book? Yes, this is the age of the internet, and if you’re incredibly lucky, and in the right place at the right time, maybe your book will go viral. Maybe you’ll even be able to sustain it. But that’s not becoming a good writer; that’s becoming a famous author. Becoming a good writer is a better goal in the long-run. Focus on that even if it takes some time.
So there it is, the secret is … that there’s no secret to success as an author, at least as long as you define “success” as making a living doing something you love and enjoy.
Several months ago, I talked to my friends, Penny Reid and Daisy Prescott, about how I would love to work on a project together. The three of us decided that we wanted to write together for the fun of it, and to raise money for a worthy cause. That’s how Shiver: Twelve Sexy Tales of Humor and Horror was born.
Over time, our group grew to include other authors who wrote Romantic Comedy, humorous Romance novels, and witty Women’s Fiction. We have had a wonderful time working together, and watching our efforts come to fruition. The worthy cause we are supporting is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which does not turn sick children away merely because they lack funds for treatment. We hope that you’ll check out our funny and spicy Halloween tales on Oct.13th, and help us raise money for this incredible institution in the process.
I now present … drumroll …. The cover to Shiver!!!!! Yay! “cue confetti* GO CHECK OUT THE GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!
I’m proud to be joining the very talented authors represented by Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency. http://rfliterary.com My agent, Kimberly Brower, is a fellow attorney, who is a fan of my books! I’m excited to be working with her, and everyone in Rebecca’s agency.
I will still be publishing books through my own press, Mendelssohn Levy Publishing, http://www.mendlevypub.com but I do have some other projects in the works. I’ll have more details about those projects in the future. I am also still represented by Bookcase Literary Agency, http://www.bookcaseagency.com with regard to translations and international publishing rights of my books that have been independently published in the U.S. and in English abroad.
I’m hoping that taking this step affords me the opportunity to broaden my readership, and share the sexiest and sassiest lawyers in Philly with even more people who like to laugh, blush and swoon at the same time.
Also spelled mishegoss
- (slang) Madness; silliness. Etymology Yiddish מישעגאָסס (mishegoss), from משוגע (meshuge), “crazy”, from Hebrew משוגע (meshugga`), “crazy”, from שׁוּגַּע (shugga‘) (“be driven mad”), שִׁיגַּע (shigga‘) (“drive mad”). – Wikitionary.org
I’m teaching you a new word if you didn’t know it already – Mishegas – craziness. Practice saying it a few times. Now say it loudly – Mishegas! Throw in an Oy – Oy! Such mishegas! Very good! So why am I teaching you this word? I’ll tell you why. It’s part of an Action Plan I have developed to guard against burnout. Here is …
NADINE’S STRATEGY FOR MAKING IT THROUGH THE DAY AS AN AUTHOR WITHOUT KILLING ANYONE
STEP 1: REMEMBER WHO MATTERS
While I appreciate all of them, there’s something really special about 5 Star reviews from random readers who just bought my book and loved it. They make everything else I put up with in this business seem unimportant. They often seem to appear at just the right time, much like fan letters from people in countries, that I couldn’t find on a map if I tried, arrive when I need them the most. Let me ask you this, has someone ever tagged you in comment when somebody else asked for book recommendation, even though they weren’t on your street team, and you didn’t ask them to do it? Have you ever met a reader who made you feel like a celebrity, rather than someone who was picking gum out of the carpet and rummaging through the sofa for change the day before? Have you ever screwed up your courage to make a visit to Goodreads, just to find out your book was voted to some list of best (whatever) books by someone not related to you in any way? Every time one of those things happens, no matter how small it may seem, and no matter how busy you are, save it, take a screenshot, write in crayon on a napkin or a small child if you have to. Keep it somewhere safe, where you can get to it and look at it whenever you need to, because sometimes it’s good to remember the people who really matter in this business, and what your books mean to them. I’ve gotten mail from people who have told me I made them laugh during difficult times. They helped me feel better during difficult times too.
STEP 2: REMEMBER WHO DOESN’T MATTER
My grandfather, may he rest in peace, was a very wise man. He survived more challenging things than his book ranking falling on Amazon, (like the Great Depression for instance), mostly by having a sense of humor and by repeating one word at appropriate times, “Mishegas!” On a daily basis, authors face stresses that have nothing to do with writing. Sometimes they originate with other other authors, sometimes readers, bloggers, or people who work in either the indie or the traditional publishing world. For example, there are people who anonymously make up stories just to cause drama. (Sometimes between two authors who have never even heard of each other.) There are mysterious One Star reviews that appear by people who joined Amazon that day and only bother to review one book ever and it’s yours. (What a coincidence!) There are people who rip off other people’s ideas. (Hey, my character has a different name and lives in a different city!) There are readers posting that they want others to send them pirated books and actually tagging the author. (I swear to God – I couldn’t make that up.) There are book signings where indies are called “aspiring” authors and have to go to a different room than “real” authors. (I guess since I’m both, I would have to sit in the hall.) There are people who offer to sell you their review, (and there are authors who take them up on it.) There are people who expect to be given free copies of your work and then don’t take five minutes to review it. (The RC in “ARC” stands for “review copy” by the way.) There are people who charge you lots of money for very little work. (Trust me, I’m the magic bullet for success.) There are people who won’t invite authors to events unless they’re famous enough, even if they have a great fan base. (And actually write good books.) Worse, there are people who will bump an author from an event if a more famous one suddenly becomes available. (Yes, really.) There are people who game the system and list their books in crazy categories, (or just the wrong categories), to gain visibility on Amazon. (I’m a Bestselling author in Erotic Ukrainian health & beauty textbook sagas .) There are people who complain about the price of a $0.99 book that took you months to write. If you took all of this stuff seriously, you could go crazy. So, don’t. Take a step back and look at how silly and pathetic these people are! And every time you run across some scam, or snub, or drama just yell “Mishegas!” Then get off of Facebook and go write. In fact, consider blocking the source.
Now, I’m not naive or insensitive; I know that trolls, bullies, thieves, snobs and saboteurs can have a negative impact on someone’s career, and on someone’s peace of mind and emotional well-being. I’m not dismissing that. I’m just saying that you should remind yourself frequently that these people can’t stop you from writing, and won’t stop you from succeeding, if you write good books, are interactive with, and accessible to your real fans, and you don’t stoop to involving yourself in their mishegas. If they seem powerful, give them less ammunition.
I’m incredibly lucky. I get to do something I enjoy for a living. This week I saw a dream realized, I hit the USA Today Bestseller list. To celebrate, I’m lowering prices. My first novel, The Law of Attraction, a Top 100 Bestseller on Amazon and Barnes & Noble will now be available for $0.99. My other full-length novels, also Bestsellers, will be $2.99 and my boxed set with books one and two will be $3.99. My novella will remain at $0.99 as it’s over 100 pages long and has a 5.0 review average on Amazon. This isn’t a sale; these are the regular prices from now on. Thank you to every reader who has made it possible for me to realize my dreams. The new prices should be up by tomorrow at the latest. The Law of Attraction is already at $0.99.
Please give Jada D’Lee some love for making this amazing trailer and thank The Rock Stars of Romance for sharing it! I will see and appreciate any comment you make.