…so they pretty much go with Plan A and stick to it: feed me, pay attention to me, play with me and, in return, you’ll get cat litter scattered everywhere, fur balls, vet bills, and love. Fifteen years ago, when we brought Zorro home, we wondered if it was really a fair deal.
Turns out, it wasn’t. Zorro gave us much more than we ever gave him.
He passed away on Wednesday, and Wednesday sucked on a level of terrible suckiness, and today, as this post goes up…there’s still such sadness. Which is all we care to say about this right now because our hearts are broken.
Until then, February was going fairly handily. We’ve finished the first draft of our new novel – it took nine months and, yes, we experienced periods of irrational moodiness and morning sickness – and we would have finished sooner except for all of the plumbers who kept knocking on our door.
So, in reflection, maybe things hadn’t been going all that swell. How did we forget about the plumbers? It took almost three weeks for the team to diagnose and resolve our water issues. After a while, it seemed as if another craftsman was always arriving at our doorstep just when we were sitting down to write or plot or edit a chapter. We're not meaning to suggest these were random visits, we don’t have hoards of vagabond plumbers roaming the neighborhood, but having a tradesman in the house certainly takes the edge off of the daily word count.
After six visits from four different plumbers, our constant drip drip drip was fixed but it left us with a hole in the wall and bills totaling into the four figures. Coincidentally, our writing royalties for the last year were also in the four figures. So, happily, Something Wicked & Co. have covered this unexpected expense with a bit to spare.
Unhappily (and we kid you not), the sink in the master bathroom has just started leaking….
Oh, we’re so glad it’s March.
Watching: Bad Milo (2013). Free if you're a Netflix'er, a cheap rental if you're not, and we promise you nothing. But we liked it....
Reading: The Ten Word Game (2004) by Jonathan Gash. One of us is meeting Lovejoy for the first time....
Stunned by: 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James has sold 100 million copies since 2011 while Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is estimated to have sold less than a third of that number since its 1885 publication date. As the Wicked Witch of the West once said, "Oh, what a world! What a world!"....
...but it didn't quite work out, did it?
Like you, we've been busy. Not busy as in = actually accomplishing anything. Just...busy. Our son, Matthew, has been busy overseas, having adventures and meeting the amazing MeLisa. Our daughter, Rachel, has been wonderfully busy as well, winning multiple recipe and cooking contests, but she's been sharing her own adventures online so we'll let her speak for herself.
So what have we been doing the last couple of months? Well, we didn't travel overseas and we have yet to win any contests. Granted, we didn't enter any contests but we vaguely hope someone somewhere will award us a prize for something. Something good, though, not like getting our names on a new disease or strain of virus.
As 2013 wrapped, we weren't complete slackers. Check out the picture above and you'll see we have a new audio book available at Audible.com. With one audio book under our belts (Aly's Luck), you think we'd have remembered what a challenge this process can be. Well, one of us did but he somehow convinced the other one that this time it would be better.
This time, we thought it might be fun to hear Something Wicked come to life in spoken form. After we'd rewritten the story, it had picked up a little steam, garnered a few reviews, and we were (and are) plotting and writing its sequel. So we posted the manuscript at Amazon's audio book factory, ACX, looking for a narrator. Since we weren't offering any money up front, the initial response was a bit muted. Which is to say, no one cared.
Then ACX got involved, deciding on its own to offer a very nice stipend to any actor or actress who did the project with us. (Why they pick some titles for a stipend is a mystery to all. We certainly don't know why.) Suddenly, there was a rush of interest in being our narrator. Flooded with audition tapes, we discovered there is some amazing talent out there. After much debate, we selected the gifted LC Kane, an experienced pro with a number of other titles to her credit.
She spent hours and hours on the job, responding to our requests and fixing the bits and pieces we wanted corrected. LC captured our heroine's voice perfectly.
Once they see the sales numbers, the Amazon shareholders may not be delighted but as far as we're concerned? This one is a winner....
Watching: The third season of BBC's Sherlock. We didn't think we'd like Watson's new flame. We were wrong...
Listening: One Republic. Where have you been all of our lives? We're going through one album at a time...
Reading: Nick Hornby's Ten Years in the Tub. They had us at "Nick Hornby"...
...and so are we. Well, not us personally so much -- unexpected changes make us feel itchy -- but we're changing our approach to writing. Oh, and we're making some changes to this blog. In a 1979 essay, the talented Norman Spinrad wrote, "Most mainstream best-sellers are out of print, dead, and forgotten in five years"
and he was absolutely right, thirty-plus years ago. These days, the life span of the written word is sharply reduced. Even if an author's books remain in the electronic ether, most of them have fallen out of the top 100,000 Amazon ratings in less than a year. We don't have any statistics to offer or links to share to prove this. We only have what our friendly fellow authors are sharing with us and what we're observing on our own.
We think a twelve month "dead and forgotten" period is probably about right if we're talking a hot, hit novel. The not
best-sellers, the ones that collected few reviews and a smattering of purchases? They sink from sight within weeks. Hell, Aly's Luck disappeared within days. That's one reason we've just given it a new cover. Do you like it?One of our friends emailed last week, bemoaning her oldest novel's Amazon rating (1,000,000+). She said, and we agree, that it's not enough for the work to be vaguely available on the standard internet sites. The book also has to be visible, somewhere somehow, in order for readers to find it. Her novel is two years old. Happily, she has a plan to bring it back to the world's attention. She's going to write another book and then another. In this bold new world, volume matters.
Readers are finding writers because they keep popping up on the New Release pages. And it's been too long since our friend -- or "Renée Harrell", for that matter -- had a new release. Like our friend, we're slow at this writing gig. (Not all of our friends are slow. A couple of 'em produce a new, 300+ page tale every two months, just like clockwork. They're amazing.) Unfortunately, we need a full year to write and edit and publish a book. We need to speed things up, somehow, and we have a plan. We're focusing on our fiction. When we post our blog, that's usually all the writing we've done for that particular day. If we don't work on our blog, we wrap another 350 words in on our current novel.
We skipped the blog last week, didn't feel too guilty, and the story inched forward. So the current plan? Less blogging, more publishable words. That's not to say that Mars Needs Writers is going to be forgotten. How could it be? Even on slow days, we'll get 100 unique visitors to this site (on a good day, six-to-eight times as many) and we don't take this interest for granted, not at all. We're glad you're here.
We'll be back, don't doubt it, but on a much more sporadic basis. Now, if you'll excuse us, we've got a novel to finish.
…and it’s because one of us has read Stephen King’s latest bestseller.
Last Wednesday, as you may recall, Renee decided to indulge in a bookgasm-oriented day. She hadn't enjoyed one for much too long but King’s sequel to THE SHINING called to her. With the brand new DOCTOR SLEEP: A NOVEL in hand, the female half of our writing team turned off the phone, pulled up the covers, and turned on her Kindle. She was ready to be transported back to the Overlook.
Things didn’t turn out quite as she expected.
Just in case you’d rather not see the Spoilers ahead, here’s her quick review: ***** out of ***** stars, great follow-up to the original, fun read, sadly lacking in enough Overlook-ness but terrific, nonetheless. If you love horror, you should buy it. Also, there’s this: King introduces some wonderful monsters into his story, the True Knot.
And, oh, the True Knot are evil…but, oh, they were not new to Renee. For her, almost from the start, they shared a number of similarities with the Unending, our monsters from THE ATHEIST’S DAUGHTER.
The monsters she’d helped create nearly a decade ago.
At first, she was amused. Then a little creeped out. Then angry (because, you know, she felt we had thought of these guys first). Then scared. Because, as she texted to Harrell, no one will believe we had these creatures first. Everyone will think we stole several of their crucial elements from Mr. King.
Now, everyone knows writers can be a little paranoid and that might be all we’re looking at here. We don’t think so but…we’re writers. (See the “paranoid” note above.) If you’d care to play along with us, see if you think we’re overreacting. We’re about to compare bad guys.
At one time, the True Knot were people. They still look like people but, now, they’re monsters. At one time, the Unending were people. They still look like people but, now, they’re monsters.
Although unrelated by blood, the True Knot consider themselves a family. They are led by a powerful and cruel female. Although unrelated by blood, the Unending consider themselves a family. They are led by a powerful and cruel female.
The True Knot never use their real names around humans. They crave anonymity in order to commit their crimes. The Unending never use their real names around humans. They crave anonymity in order to commit their crimes.
The True Knot call normal people by an insulting name: Rubes. The Unending call normal people by an insulting name: Meat.
The True Knot seek special children, who they violently murder so that they can breathe in their essence. The essence comes off of the children in a cloud, to be stored and later absorbed. If the child is sick with a disease, it makes the True Knot sick.
The Unending seek special adults, who they violently murder so they can breathe in their essence. The essence drains from the adults in waves and is absorbed. If the adult is sick with a disease, it makes the Unending sick.
Breathing in the essence of their victims has allowed the True Knot to live for centuries. Breathing in the essence of their victims has allowed the Unending to live for centuries.
Certain members of the True Knot are locators, using their powers to find the children that will be murdered. Certain members of the Unending are psychics, using their powers to find the adults that will be murdered.
The True Knot appear to be see-through at times; their eyes can be seen floating in their heads. The Unending appear to be see-through at times; their eyes can be seen floating in their heads.
Dogs dislike the True Knot, avoiding them because they can see them for what they truly are. To quote THE ATHEIST’S DAUGHTER and one of the Unending: “Animals hate us but birds are the worse. Only they see us for what we are.”
When things get rough, some members of the True Knot decide to run away. When things get rough, some members of the Unending decide to run away.
The True Knot is frightened of a girl with special abilities; they want to kill her partly because she can expose them. The girl has tried to hide her abilities by pretending to be normal. The Unending is frightened of Kristin, a teenager with special abilities; they want to kill her partly because she can expose them. Kristin has tried to hide her abilities by pretending to be normal.
There’s more but it’s all drabs and dribbles and we don’t actually want to be too obsessed with this. Are there differences between the characters, too? Sure, there are, buckets of them. The storylines travel sharply different paths as well.
But the similarities are enough that, if the True Knot ever make it to film, the Unending never will. So, sadness.
Meanwhile, what should we do next? Thinking it over, we’ve added these words to our novel’s synopsis on Amazon:
**Please note: The monsters in THE ATHEIST’S DAUGHTER and the monsters in DOCTOR SLEEP: A NOVEL share a number of startling similarities. The Hunting Monsters Press publication date for THE ATHEIST’S DAUGHTER was 2011, while the screenplay that formed the basis of the novel was copyrighted in 2004.
DOCTOR SLEEP: A NOVEL was published in 2013.
The authors admire Stephen King’s work and don’t believe he borrowed any of our ideas. We just don’t want you to think we borrowed any of his ideas, either.**
We did this because, while you and you know the truth, the world is large and our readership is tiny. We want to protect our small, self-published novel from a sea of angry reviewers who don’t believe these kinds of coincidences can happen.
They do happen. After all, they just did.
And, Steve, if someone should happen to point you in the direction of this blog – you did good work, man. But so did we.
…so we’re checking out. Out for the day, that is.
DOCTOR SLEEP: A NOVEL, Stephen King’s sequel to THE SHINING (also A NOVEL but we guess he forgot to remind us), made its appearance yesterday. Renee had her purchase on insta-Kindle download, checked to make sure all 544 pages had arrived electronically, then set today aside for a bookgasm.
Which, of course, IS what happens when someone spends all day in bed with a book. Back when she was a teenager, Renee used to do that kind of thing quite often. Less so, the last couple of decades. Instead, she’s been spending her time by taking care of the kids or the pets or the husband or the career. You know, doing all of the life stuff that everyone does, almost automatically, and that no one really remembers having done.
On the other hand, most people remember the days they’ve devoted solely to a book. Harrell still remembers his first (THE PRINCESS BRIDE) and his second (‘SALEM’S LOT), which is pretty impressive for a guy who can’t remember what he had for breakfast yesterday. If you’ve never bookgasmed out, find a good novel, turn off the phone, and climb under the covers. You won’t regret it.
The picture above? It's from the zoo in Seoul, South Korea. Because someone we love sent the photo to us recently and we wanted to post it, that's why.
Checking Amazon yesterday, we noticed that SLEEP was #1 in Books, #1 in Horror, #2 in Suspense Thrillers. Ten reviews had already been posted, ranging from terrific -- “a wonderful sequel”-- to less grand -- “a huge disappointment”. This disparity of opinion is pretty much par for the course for any popular work. (Even Dr. Seuss’ FOX IN SOCKS, the children’s classic, has its critics. “It basically has no story or interesting plot at all,” one person stated when giving their one-star review. We won’t argue the point because FOX IN SOCKS is a rhyming book and the book’s engine is silly rhymes, not intricate plotting. However, this reader’s harsh response to rhyming tales has caused us to abandon our next effort, THE SLUT IN THE HUT.)
What surprised us about the reviews for SLEEP wasn’t that people had varying opinions. We were surprised that there were critics of the critics, attacking even the reasonable, well-considered, negative reviews. Under Comments, one reviewer was called a “hater”. Later, the same reviewer was accused of attempting to “torpedo” the latest King hit. (If one of our stories is ever #1 in Books, #1 in Horror, and expected to top the New York Times Best-Seller List on the week of its release, feel free to unleash your venom. We don’t think a few contrary voices are going to stop that train.)
Earlier this year, one of our friends told us that she no longer posts book reviews on Amazon. She said that people ignore the good ones while slamming the bad ones. She isn’t going to play that game any longer. Our problem with that is, we rely on both good and bad reviews to guide our purchases. We’d hate a candy-coated world of book reviews, where only positive word-of-mouth is ever allowed.
Except when it comes to our writing. If you see a negative review on one of our stories, you know the person is a hater who’s only trying to torpedo our novel.
Quote o' the day: "If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mister Brave Man, I guess I am a coward" -- one of Jack Handey's favorite Deep Thoughts
...stay out of the kitchen, or so the saying goes. Our entire adult lives, both of us have made an effort to abide by this bit of wisdom. As we mentioned last week, our daughter, Rachel, is much more oven-oriented than either of her parents. Our culinary skills have forced us to seek out Early Bird dinners all over town while Rachel's love of the kitchen has made her a Pillsbury Bake-Off semi-finalist in their Quick Rise and Shine Breakfast
We learned, when you're in the Bake-Off competition, the Pillsbury team sends you a special branded apron to use as "whenever wear" (as in, we'd like you to wear this whenever someone is pointing a camera in your direction). The contestants get a free apron, the Pillsbury Corp gets their name out there, it's all good. Team Pillsbury also shares some media tips with the contestants; you know, in case they're interviewed for the local t.v. station, the hometown paper, or a popular website. No, not this site; a popular site.
Those tips must be golden because the NWF Daily News knocked on Rachel's door and she told all. Plus, the words "Pillsbury" and "Bake-Off" enter the conversation frequently. Her interview is here
One fellow who is also
a baker but who has yet to hear from the NWF Daily News is Inom, the man on the left. (You might not appreciate the sexiness of Inom's name on first listen but give it some time. If the sullen but steamy vampire in Twilight was called Inom
, everyone would think the name sounded oh-so-hot. If there was a popular actor named Inom Clooney
, babies everywhere would share the moniker. Deny it if you must but you know we're telling the truth.) Although, honestly, the NWF Daily News might have made a good call. Inom doesn't look like the kind of guy who welcomes reporters. Or photographers, either. Would it kill you, buddy, to break a smile?
Whether he's smiling or not, we're on Team Inom. We had some royalty money to spend so we headed to Kiva.org
, our favorite micro-lending organization. On the Kiva site (here
), we read, "
Inom works as a baker and sells baked goods. He is 32 years old. He is a married man, has two sons and two daughters, and lives with his family in the town of Qurgan-Tube in the Khatlon region. The children are in school and his wife helps him in the activities". Inom wanted two thousand dollars to buy the ingredients (flour, sugar, margarine, yeast, eggs, raisins and baking powder) he uses in his biscuits. Since the average annual income in Tajikistan is only $1,388, you might think that's an inordinately large amount of cash. But then you see the size of those biscuits and you realize, hey, those things are HUGE. Is two thousand dollars going to be enough?
So we opened our wallets and contributed to the cause. If Rachel wins the bake-off, she's promised to use part of her million dollar prize to take us to Qurgan-Tube to try Inom's biscuits. And, if we go, we're going to ask the Pillsbury people if we can bring Inom one of those bright blue Bake-Off
aprons. Then, if we can somehow talk him into putting it on, we're going to take a picture and share it with you. Because that's what it's all about, you know? Sharing the love. Quote o' the day: "
Baking makes me focus. On weighing the sugar. On sieving the flour. I find it calming and rewarding because, in fairness, it is sort of magic. You start off with all this disparate stuff, such as butter and eggs, and what you end up with is so totally different. And also delicious.
" -- Marian Keyes
…in a big baking contest, there are all kinds of rules and regs to follow. Some things are allowed, other things aren’t, and stuffing the ballot box is absolutely against the rules. One person = one vote is pretty much the theory and we’re good with it.
Since we’ve had our turn at the internet voting box, we’re hoping you’ll consider placing your vote, too. Because – be prepared for bragging – it’s just been announced that our daughter, Rachel Ruiz, is one of the Pillsbury Bake-Off’s Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts
Proud? You bet we are -- even if we’re a little confused. Where did the girl get her cooking genes? Renee’s favorite dessert is No Fat Chocolate Pudding, found in the bakery aisle of our local mega-mart. Peel off the top lid and the brown goo is good-to-go. Harrell’s favorite breakfast is Maruchan Ramen at 15 cents a packet. Add boiling water, let the block of pressed noodles steep for 60 seconds, and it’s a meal. As you can see, we’re pretty casual about the meaning of the words, dessert
In our house, “home cooking” meant we were having dinner at the neighbor’s house. So, when our teenaged daughter blew the dust off of our pots and pans and starting preparing real food, we were more than a little surprised. (Also, more than a little pleased. Shhh, don’t tell her.) Then Rachel went off to college, joined the Air Force, met Ben, the man o’ her dreams, married and moved away…and we returned to a life of non-refrigerated desserts and sodium-laden noodles.
Meanwhile, Team Ruiz produced two of the world’s cutest grandbabies. In between diaper changing, still ongoing and ever so much fun, Rachel began developing her own recipes. She frequently provides treats for Ben and his co-workers but a stay-at-home mom has limited opportunities to display her skills. Wanting to stretch her culinary muscles, she began to enter on-line cooking contests. She told us, “I love, LOVE to bake and recipe contests give me an outlet for my creativity.” The Pillsbury Corp offers the biggest recipe contest in the world.
There are thousands of entries chasing the million dollar prize so it’s an honor to be selected as a semi-finalist. Truly. However, as we learned during the Disney Fellowship Competitions, life rarely rewards the world’s semi-finalists. There are three categories in the contest and the first two (Appetizers
) have already been completed; only Breakfast
is still in play. Sixty recipes were chosen in the contest’s breakfast category and only 33 of the Quick Rise and Shine Breakfast
contestants will be going to Las Vegas to continue competing for the prize.
Those 33 contestants are chosen via internet voting. The one person = one vote is in full force but you can vote for as many recipes as you like. As it happens, we think her recipe for Spicy Tortilla Breakfast Empanadas is really inventive and pretty terrific. (No, we haven’t made it ourselves. Haven’t you been paying attention? We wouldn’t make it even if the ingredients included No Fat Chocolate Pudding and Maruchan Ramen. Also, it’s not take-out pizza. On the other hand, Rachel has
made it and it tastes wonderful!)
“It’s pretty much a twist on one of Ben’s and my favorite breakfast dishes, the Tex-Mex version of migas,” she told us. Tex-Mex migas traditionally include scrambled eggs, tortilla chips and salsa. Her version? Even with only seven ingredients and a 20-minute prep time, it came out really different and fun. “It just came to me one day and I decided to try it. I liked it, Ben really
liked it, and I decided to enter it in the contest.”
So that’s where we are today. Since it’s a short contest – it runs September 12th through September 26th -- we’d appreciate it if you’d swing by the Pillsbury site and sign-up today. (Go here
.) It’s pretty easy; if you’re 18 years old, you give ‘em an e-mail address, make up a password, and you’re in. Then go to the Voting Gallery, review the 60 different breakfast recipes, buy all of the ingredients, make every dish, and then vote for Rachel Ruiz once you’ve decided you like her creation best. Or, if you’re a little busy, just check out Rachel’s recipe and, if you like it, cast your vote. You can finish the other stuff later.
Thanks. And happy eating!
...or so the song goes. In our experience, love and family and conservation of angular momentum
is every bit as important but that's not what we're talking about today. Today, we're talking about money. Our
money, to be more specific. Yes, it's crass to talk cash. Still, we said the same thing a few months ago then went ahead and talked about money, anyway, so what does that say about us?
On some level, it says we're professional writers. Maybe we hang with a crass crowd but they seem quite comfortable talking about their cash flow.
When we speak with other writers, people we know on any kind of personal level, the conversation inevitably swings to (a) sales (b) royalties (c) contracts (d) money. Oh, and how are the kids?
The kids are doing well, thanks for asking. We plan to do some serious bragging in the very near future so please return to this space.
As far as money? Just days ago, Amazon sent us a pair of lovely royalties checks -- one for its US arm, one for Amazon EU. Combined, this was the largest number of dollars we'd received since going the self-published route. Since Amazon pays a couple of months after sales have been recorded, we anticipate receiving some decent checks over the next couple of months, too. Sadly, this bump in sales isn't seen under the "Renée Harrell" semi-pseudonym. All of our favorite novels, Aly's Luck
, The Atheist's Daughter
and Something Wicked,
are struggling to find an audience.
In fact, 'Wicked' was on life support before we did a rewrite and plugged it into KDP Select. We did our first two-day KDP giveaway in true lame ass style (failing to share that we were
doing a giveaway but only because we forgot), our lack of effort resulting in a new positive review and a single additional sale. Determined to do better the next time, we hired eBook Booster to find promo sites for SW on its second and last, three-day giveaway. Initially, it seemed to help, as the novel was listed on a half-dozen different sites. Almost magically, we remembered to plug the second giveaway on this website, too.
At the end of the three day “sale”, ‘Wicked’ ended up #2 in Amazon's YA Mystery/Thrillers and #2 in its YA Paranormal. The ratings were nice but the number of total downloads wasn’t impressive. For the first two-day handout, when we did nothing at all, we gave away 656 copies. With eBook Booster’s assistance, over a three-day period, we sent out all of 752 copies. Still, we collected another nice review (thank you, Jamie, whoever you are) and sold three copies of the novel.
Financially, this was not a win.
But we can't be too grumpy. Some of our other work is finding a readership and, for now, that's going to have to satisfy us. If you're wondering what we're going to do with our royalty windfall, well, it wasn't THAT much; it was just several times better than our usual monthly collection. So, tomorrow, we're going shopping for people. That's right -- Kiva, here we come! But first things first: Next week, we're talking about family. Can't wait to see: Cockneys Vs Zombies
. It never showed up at the local theater but, in the States, its being released on DVD today. 69% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and possibly stupid. We love stupid. Reading: Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen.
If we could write as well as Hiaasen, that's all we'd do. Do you hear us, C. Hiaasen? Back to the word processor for you! Quote o' the day:
"A guy will say, 'Well, I make my luck.' And the same guy walks down the street and a piano that's been hoisted drops on his head. The truth of the matter is your life is very much out of your control." -- Woody Allen
… with thanks to Cassysailermoon for her assistance.
Look, if we were a pair of big dollar authors, you’d almost expect us to find a co-writer to “flesh out” our expanding series of novels. Clive Cussler, Janet Evanovich, Tom Clancy – everybody who's anybody is doing it. (Almost everybody. J.K. Rowling has really missed a bet so far; if she’d signed Thomas Perry to knock out the first draft of her next novel, we could all be reading Harry Potter and the Big Bag of Gold by now.)
Sadness and gloom, we’re not big dollar authors so we can’t afford to hire a talented but poor-ish writer to pen our words. Hell, we’re talented but poor-ish writers and currently available for hire. (If James Patterson calls, we’ve even got a title available: Alex Cross and the Big Bag of Gold.) But, even with an anemic bank account, we wanted to know what it felt like to have someone else do most of the work while we watched Age of Dinosaurs on Netflix.
So we went looking for someone to write our blog.
Why I’m Writing Someone Else’s Blog for a Measly Five Bucks
Hi, my name is Cassy. You’re probably wondering why Renée and Harrell are having me write their blog, and why I agreed to do it…for only $5. Let me explain. Renée and Harrell found me on a website called Fiverr.com. In their own words, they were “wandering through Fiverr and looking for someone who sounded up for a silly challenge.” They found me, and asked if I would be interested in taking on this challenge. Of course, I agreed; I’m up for almost any challenge that someone makes me on Fiverr! Before I start rattling on, let me first explain to you what Fiverr is and how it works.
Fiverr is a website where sellers can sell their services, called “gigs,” for $5, and, in turn, buyers can buy these services for only $5. People buy and sell all sorts of different things on Fiverr. Some people translate from one language to another, some people will take pictures of themselves holding a sign with your business name or URL written on it, some people will sing you a personalized song, and some people, like me, will write anything you want. I offer to write your essay, book report, speech, blog, or any other writing assignment up to 500 words for $5. Right now, I know you’re thinking, “Wait?! This girl does all that work for just $5??” The answer to that question is yes. But wait! There’s more! I actually don’t make $5 per gig because Fiverr takes out $1 of every sale as their commission. So, essentially, I work for $4 a gig. You probably think I’m crazy that I work for so little money…and sometimes I think that too. But, to be honest, it’s not all that bad. I’m good at writing, and I usually enjoy writing people’s papers. It usually doesn’t take me that long to write the papers either, so the dollars I make per hour is about what I would make at any gas station or grocery store job. Besides writing your paper, I also have other types of gigs. I will proofread and edit your writing, improve your Fiverr gig description, take pictures with your message, make video testimonials, write reviews, give piano lessons, and much more!
I found out about Fiverr from an article I read about how to make money online. I decided to give it a try. I didn’t expect much success, but on my first day signed up, I got three orders, and after only one week, I made over $150! I am saving 100% of the money I make on Fiverr for college, which I will be starting in January. I’m very excited to start, but, as everyone knows, it’s very expensive. However, the way things have been going with my Fiverr sales, it looks like I will make enough money to not need financial aid! This is extremely exciting for me! Fiverr has proven to be a great money maker for me, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to make some extra cash!
* * *
So that was Cassysailermoon, wordsmith, making four dollars by writing our blog this Tuesday and – as you’ve noticed – moonlighting as a recruiting agent for Fiverr.com. Next time, we should slip her a few bucks to promote one of our novels. While we were pleased to have someone else do the heavy lifting this week, finances dictate that we write our own blog next week.
Unless, of course, James Patterson calls, excited about our Alex Cross suggestion. Then, who knows? Cassy might just become a regular.
...meaning, of course, Niceville, Florida, when two things suddenly occurred to us: (1) There's a city called Niceville. It sounds like a location from The Powerpuff Girls cartoon (we love us some Mojo Jojo).
While the area appeared to be a perfectly...well, nice little spot on the map, it didn't seem especially nicer than the communities surrounding it. If someone is going to name their city after Nice-ness, then that same someone needs to bake free cookies for all of the visitors. Or brownies, with and without walnuts. We're just sayin'. We also happened to recall (2) Holy crap!
August 21st is the start of our free book promotion day and we'd completely forgotten about it.
Which we had. Completely. Again. So the first thing we did on arriving home was unpack our luggage. After all, free book day or not, dirty laundry doesn't belong in a suitcase. Then we thought we'd do a shout-out for anyone wanting a free copy of Something Wicked.
At this very second, the Amazon ranking looks like this:
-- which has everything to do with places like Free Kindle Books
and My Free Indie
mentioning our novel while we returned from the wet and humid streets of Niceville. If you'd care to mention the giveaway yourself, please do. It runs from 08/21-08/23. In early September, we pull the title away from Amazon-exclusivity and we'll see if we can find enough reader interest to write a sequel to the story. Next week, as promised, we're going to post our $5 blog as written by Cassysailermoon. (Probably not her real name.) Quote o' the day:
"I run six to eight miles a day, plus weights and aerobics in the lunch hour. I also lie a lot, which keeps me thin." -- Hugh Laurie