The Blocking of Thomasyna Tollefson . . .

Every author experiences some sort of woe from Amazon KDP at some point or other. Sometimes it’s not a real big deal, and other times it is. For me it’s The Blocking of Thomasyna Tollefson by Amazon KDP.

Yes, I logged into my KDP account Sunday and discovered The Courting of Thomasyna Tollefson and Ride ‘Em Tough had been blocked. Blocked means not for sale at this time. No editing, no new changes, no nothing.

Did I panic?

Not really. A little. Mostly I was bugged. Their concern was they found free content on the web that matched what I am selling on Amazon. Now, my short stories are available everywhere in the world for free and have been from the start. Only Amazon doesn’t let you do free unless you’re in their KindleSelect program, which I am not going to do as it means I have to be exclusive to them. So, you have to put your stuff for free wherever you want to sell from, wait a while, and then go beg KDP to make them free on Amazon.

With Thomi, I explained the sample chapter thing. It’s not the whole book. I haven’t heard from them about that, because while I thought I was making my point clear, I see that I didn’t make it clear that I was talking about the novel. So, now I have to go do that.

Not sure what they’ll say about my posting almost half of the story here, but I can say that traffic has increased since I have. Now, if that would convert to sales, that would be awesome. And half the story isn’t ALL of the story, so I am hoping I won’t have to take any of it down. If I do have to, I’ll be leaving up the first nine or ten chapters.

I do have half of Joleigh up, but, then, she’s only ten chapters, so I guess they were okay with her free samples. Thomasyna has 33 chapters total. So lots of story left after the first seventeen here.

And I do hope lots of readers will want to find out the rest of the story! 🙂

Why I didn’t panic, is because I don’t deal with only Kindle Direct Publishing. I have my books and stories with Barnes and Nobel, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and other places, including a few hundred places in Europe and Asia. Which is where many of my free downloads originate. And none of these places are as strict as Amazon is. iBooks doesn’t like it if you mention in your back matter that your books are for sale in those other places, but they don’t require an author to be exclusive to them, nor send their robots out to see if it’s free somewhere.

I think the German Tolino had an issue with an image which was easily fixed.

Just thought I’d mention this in case anyone went to Amazon to order and discovered it’s not there. Of course, the best place to get any book is from DreamWynd Publishing as I would receive 100% of the royalties.

I’ll post when Thomi is back up on Amazon, but till then, be aware than Amazon isn’t the only player I’m dealing with, and you can purchase at so many other places when you’re ready to get the rest of the story!

Changing Covers and Title Again . . .

Hello Readerly Friends!

I’ve been remiss in keeping up with posts and such here. Trying to rectify that . . . So much to do do, so little time! And I need to be three people or more to do it all.

Plus, Life always has to throw a few wrenches into the works.

After looking over the sales of the books for last year, I’ve decided to retitle Thomasyna from All for the Love of Thomi back to the original title The Courting of Thomasyna Tollefson. Actually the original title didn’t include her last name. I’ve just decided to see if that will make a difference to anything. It just felt right to try it.

So that calls for another cover to be created. I canvassed friends, relatives, and members of forums I belong to, and decided from that feedback to keep the image of the wine and rose but change the background, the fonts and their colors. After I finished with Thomi’s new cover, I decided to do the same for Joleigh-Anna. Instead of trying to tie them together with the background colors, I elected to chose different colored backgrounds, and just keep the same fonts to show that they are belonging to the same series.

So much goes into creating covers. I have no budget for this, but have done my own covers forever. I am embarrassed by the first few of my covers . . . awful! They say it takes about 1000 covers to become good at it. I’m not sure if I’ve done 1000, but I have created a few hundred, I’m sure. So perfection has to be coming closer! Moreover, I’m taking courses in design to help me achieve a better cover. I’ve learned a lot, but some stuff I’d already learned on my own. And that was a nice boon to my confidence!

Here are my new covers:

I am hoping the covers will attract new readers, but only time will tell. Meanwhile, I will get back to finishing the third in the series. You’ll notice that I’ve decided to add the series title to the books.

Thanks for stopping by and please visit again!

Novels Summer Sale!

There’s a Novels Summer Sale going on until the end of September. Possibly, I’ll include October, but for now it’s for the summer.

Thomi and Joleigh are on sale at all online bookstores for – are you ready??? – 99¢! That means Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Torino, and everywhere else I’ve got them for sale. There may even be some new places since I published them. Definitely, some new library options now.

I haven’t run a sale in a long while and thought it was time to toss one out there. The price will go up in price to $8.99 at the end of the sale period.

I really hope that if you take advantage of this fantastically reduced price, you’ll also take a few minutes to leave a review at whatever outlet you purchased from.  🙂  I’d love to take advantage of some marketing opportunities that require an author to have five, ten, or more reviews, usually on Amazon, before they even consider taking your money for their offers. Very frustrating when it takes about 100+ sales to get one review.

Thomi and Joleigh are now elegible to be given away on Amazon, so maybe I’ll do a giveaway at some point and see how that goes. I can do them for free – except for the cost of buying the book to be given away. So, very affordable right now with the sale going on!

I have a new review for Joleigh-Anna from a reader on AuthorsDen. I’ll post it here later on.

That’s the news for now! Have a great day!

New Cover Reveal

Here are my new covers for Thomi and Joleigh! I hope people will like the new colors. My family did. Yeah, surprisingly they gave me their opinions. They usually don’t like to. You know, because they might hurt my feelings if they hate it. 🙂

I chose shades of pink as I’m going to brand the series with these colors. I’m working on Stormi’s cover now. Hers seems a little more challenging to work with since I want to use hearts and lightning bolts to illustrate it. I may actually outsource the cover to a place I’ve recently discovered which does decent work for affordable prices. Book trailers too. I’ll tell them what I want, and see what happens. If I like it, I’ll see what they can do for these as well. A great cover is key after all. And it would free up my time for writing and promoting.

I have to admit, though–I do love to design. It’s addicting.

The covers and new book files have been uploaded to all outlets. For now, I’m staying with the wide distribution of the books, but if things don’t change by the time I’m ready to release Storm, I will take another shot at Amazon exclusively for them. The short stories will stay in every outlet.

I’ve updated my Goodreads pages, and will try to be more regular there. Also in AuthorsDen. My sons recommend Reddit, but that place confuses me! Yes, I have a Facebook account and a Twitter as well as others. I need to use them better as well. Another bewildering endeavor for me. What can I offer to others that would be of interest to them? When I figure that out, I’ll get busy with them.

Here are the new covers:

Relaunching the Romances

Yes, I’ve decided it’s time to relaunch the romances. After having my romances up on Amazon for eight years with just a handful of sales, I’ve designed new covers and have done extensive edits with rewrites. I had thought of retitling Thomi, but that would involve a new ISBN, and they are way too precious to waste, especially when I have only three left of my block of ten.

I’m debating sending them to print at some point; maybe I will, maybe I won’t.


Because I can make all the changes and fixes I want and need to to an ebook, and have done so all along. But once it goes to print, it’s pretty much set in stone. More hassles to fixing a flawed print book, so I’m hoping this last pass while be, indeed, the last pass in that case.

I also wanted to be sure that the two stories work well with each other, since Joleigh was originally a stand alone story, until I discovered they could be linked through Stormi. To that end, I changed a scene in Thomi’s story where upon learning at 1 AM, that Matt has been killed in an accident, she and Halleigh hop out of bed and dash right over to Joleigh-Anna’s and stay for hours, instead of merely commiserating over the phone.

Why I never realized before that that is what she would’ve done, no matter how crappy she was feeling herself, I can’t say. But it works so much better, and so when she’s dashing to Joleigh’s aid in Joleigh-Anna’s story, it rings truer.

I’ve never done a book launch, never mind a relaunch. So, I’m doing some research on it. I honestly don’t have the patience to wait to get them up there. I want to just do it! Now!

I’ll also be changing the price, and maybe taking them out of the other online stores for a while – they aren’t doing anything at any of them, anyway – and giving KDP Select another shot. I didn’t use it to the full the first and only time I tried it. Plus, I wasn’t happy I’d have to take them off my site – where they’d been selling at a higher price at the time, and selling more than I was on Amazon. Go figure.

I’ll post a cover reveal in a day or so, as I want to be sure I’m absolutely happy with them. I’ll also be offering a substantial preview of Thomi, since her story is 32 chapters long. Joleigh’s story is only ten chapters, so three chapters is what I offer for free there. I will have them on site here, and in PDF form if you want to download them. I will probably post them before the relaunch, so the new version won’t be up at Amazon yet.

One thing I have to say – each time I go back through the books, I love those stories and people more and more! Stormi’s story is coming, I hope soon. But after revisiting that manuscript, I see it’s in need of considerable rethinking on how I want that story to go. Plus, I have to introduce Rikki and Halleigh’s men in this . . . Should be fun!




Bye, Bye, Buy the Book Page

Yes, Bye, bye, Buy the Book page . . .

I’ve decided to eliminate the Buy the Book page for a couple of reasons. In the past, I was selling enough copies to justify having such a page. But, I suspect that people nowadays are afraid their sensitive information might be compromised even though the CHEC payment gateway I was using is a secure page and website. Books would’ve been delivered immediately.

So, I’m going to recommend those interested in purchasing a copy of the books to visit Amazon, iBook, Nook, or Barnes & Noble. International readers can also visit Tolino. At some point I’ll either post or make a page with links to all the places you can buy the books.

You can also buy at The site is McAfee secure, and uses the secure CHEC payment and delivery system.  There is a page there with a list of all the places worldwide where my books are offered. That list is here.

When you get to whichever site you want to buy from, just search for the book’s title, or my name. I would be absolutely thrilled if you would also leave a review once you’ve read the story or stories. If even a small percentage of readers would be so kind as to do that, it would be awesome. But so far, only one person has taken the time to do that.

One reason that reviews are so important is, of course to persuade other people to jump into an author’s world. In this case, Mine! But, when an author is trying to promote her/his books, and would love to use say, BookBaby to help to that, any author with less than ten reviews on Amazon or elsewhere, will not be welcome to start a campaign with them.

So . . . on all of my stories, and my recipe book, I need nine more reviews. So, I do beg of you dear readers . . . pleeeeeaaase, please, leave a well thought out, constructive review for us struggling authors!

Hmmm . . . maybe that will be the subject of a future post!

Until next time, keep warm if you’re experiencing winter, as I am, or keep cool if you’re having some nicer summer temperatures!

New Site Coming!

Yes, I have a new site coming., which I’d purchased when I thought I’d lost this one. If you’ve wondered where I’ve been lately, that’s one of the projects I’ve been striving at getting up and running. Always real life stuff to deal with, plus working on writing projects, and graphics for books and headers, memes, etc. If I had a bigger budget, I would so outsource the covers, even though I enjoy designing them myself. Just, I’d rather be writing!

Losing a site is traumatic. All that work gushing down the proverbial drain!

What’s happening to my emails all the time it’s out of play? What am I missing? Probably nothing important, but who knows?

Most of the pages, I  had on my PC, but the posts were gone. Wah! I lost heart for a while. Then bought the new domain, which is still under construction, for this domain came back into public domain finally, and all my stuff was back. Yay!

Yeah, I just couldn’t throw away $80 at the time to buy it back once I realized I’d missed the grace period for renewing it. Was hard at work, at the time, learning to build PowerPoint videos, and I totally missed all the reminders because I neglected to check my email. As this domain wasn’t the only one I had to worry about, I had to make a choice, so I bought back the publishing site, and let this go. So, that’s the sad story of that event. I shall be ever more vigilant in future!

But now, what to do with the new site? Still working that out, but here’s the thought. This site is going to be about the books exclusively, and the site bearing my name will be about me and whatever is going on in my life at the time. Writing life, personal life, muses, and all that sort of stuff. I know I need to add more stuff to both sites, some links to my favorite sites, some guest posts, and maybe a contest or two. My son feels I should be posting more than one chapter of the novels for public reading, so I am considering it. Considering a donation button if I do that, for I’ll be posting at least half of the books. But we’ll see.

I’m hoping to go live with Neenah today, but we’ll see. I need new author pictures but haven’t had the funds in the budget for that. Last professional pictures I had taken were about eighteen years ago. I use those for my other writing endeavors.

That’s the news for now! I’ll announce when the new site is open and have a link to it.

As always, thanks for stopping by!



Illustrating The Writing Life

I’ve just created another meme to illustrate the writing life!

What fun! Why didn’t I do this so much earlier? Probably because I hadn’t a clue I could. Just like I hadn’t a clue I actually could create a video. So, I’m on a roll!

I love this image! Love it enough to want to name the little man in it. I want a similar image with a little woman character in it, so I’ll be searching for that later on.

Anyway, hope you like this one.

Writing is 3% talent & 97% not getting distracted by the internet




New Skills Learned!

I am learning to make videos!

This week, I took a 5 day marketing challenge with Jim Edwards and Jeff Herring.

Wow! What a week! All my excuses for procrastinating in this area are GONE!

They were actually giving us a preview of a new marketing tool and membership site with this challenge. And I will probably sign up for the membership site as soon as I can.  The recent posts here are all challenges we all had to do each day. And I copied all of the prompts in case I wanted to use them after the challenge was over. But when I join the challenge group, I will have them available every day.

I am looking forward to seeing how this will help me sell more books. It has also kickstarted my juices to write posts and make videos that will maybe help and encourage other writers to keep on keeping on with their craft. I feel rejuvenated!

Of course, it helped encourage me when my posts, memes, and video got some likes and comments! Especially when one was from Jeff Herring himself!

I have followed Jim Edwards on and off since I got online in 1993. He’s an internet marketing guru type, and maybe if I’d paid more attention to him way back, I might have been further along in knowing how to promote and market my books and websites. Lynn Terry is another “guruess” I admire and am actually a member of her private forum that teaches us how to wrap our heads around this stuff, whatever it is you’re selling, or trying to get noticed by crowds of people.

For us authors, it’s crucial if we want sales. Can’t become a best selling author without them! Not that I expect that, mind you, but we all have our dreams, don’t we?

Anyway, my video is now up on YouTube and here on this site in the Video Den. Please take a look at it! And I wouldn’t mind at all if you shared it in appropriate places!

Now that I have wrapped my brains around PowerPoint, I shall be preparing book trailers and teasers. Maybe even read a chapter and post it here, there and wherever. I’ll let you know details when I have them more finalized.

I feel like a kid with new toys now! Went and signed up for MS Office online, and I am loving it all at the moment. I do love getting new software!

Love new gadgets too! Got a new Asus ZenPad Z10 tablet on which I have installed the office suite so I can work on my projects where and whenever. I have to upload more photos to OneDrive so I can make the videos. I haven’t made use of OneDrive as much as I probably ought to have had. I’ve uploaded boatloads of stuff to Google Drive however. But with the subscription to MS Office 365, you get 1T of storage. That’s what my laptop has, so I will be backing my laptop up to OneDrive soon!

All right, I should be writing or editing or something!

Have a great day!




#1 Product I Would Buy To Help Me Self Publish My Books

Okay, first, I’m going to put out several things an author of self published fiction – or any author, actually – would consider figuring into a writing/publishing budget.

  1. Editing services
  2. Book cover design
  3. Book layout services or professionally done layout templates
  4. Ebook conversion services – if you’re doing your stories as such, and you should.
  5. Book trailer creation
  6. Promo/marketing services
  7. A professionally done author page/blog/website

Each is important to your finished novel. They all work together to make your novel the very best it can be. But – what if your budget is practically nonexistent, like mine?

If it’s possible to purchase just one, how do you choose?

Let’s consider each one:


Poor editing will likely get you reviews from people more disturbed by your typos, misspellings, grammar, and sentence structure. Which could cause them to forget how great your story actually is. And you do want them reviewing your great story, right?

Book Cover Design

An ugly cover might see your book remaining on the virtual shelves forever with only a handful of sales.

Sure some books sell well with an ugly cover. Non-fiction particularly. The covers of Aaron Shepard’s series of how-to writing/publishing books are ugly. Butt ugly. Pink with bold black lettering. BUT – I have at least three of those books, print and ebook, because I know Aaron’s work, and I will put out for almost anything he writes about.

However, since I’m not well known . . . I really need a cover that will help sell the story.

So do you.

Now, if you’re artistic enough, or know someone who is, you can get a cover done for less. Or free. I am not artistic as far as drawing with paper and crayons go, but I can get a pretty decent one using stock photos, and free fonts. A bit of practice is in order, but it can be done to good effect.

Interior Design

Now, the interior of your book is as important as a well edited copy and a good cover. Lousy interior design will also get you negative reviews from readers. Almost as likely as a poorly edited copy. Well, I know it will. I’ve seen those reviews – for print books as well as for ebooks.

A poorly done interior for an ebook might even adversely affect how ebook devices render your copy. Sure, the reader can play around with settings trying to get a better result, but why make them bother?

And, once more, you’re giving them another reason to forget to say how much they LOVED your great story!

Ebook Conversion Services

Ebook conversion mystifies many an author. There’s a learning curve to almost every method of doing it. Unless you give someone else that headache.

Outsourcing, though, can be expensive. There are some services out there that do a decent job for around $50. I’ve used one such site, and I was happy with the results. I think it was. And, of course, you can try finding someone on Fiverr or Elance, or a similar site.

But, there are free ways to do it that don’t make your head explode, or make ebook devices cringe.

Using is one free way. Unlike, D2D let’s you create your book in both .mobi and .epub and you can use the files anywhere–you just can’t use them with their ISBN in it.

Not a big deal on Amazon. And most places offer an ISBN for free. A few charge up to $125 dollars for one. You can get your own number for that much at I’ve decided to save the cost of those numbers and just go with the free ones.

You can also get software to help you DIY, some paid, some free. All with a bit of a learning curve. Calibre, Scrivener, Jutoh are just a few of them.

Book Trailer Creation

A book trailer isn’t necessarily a must, but it is strongly recommended. I haven’t one— Oh, no, wait, I do, but I’m not happy with it. Uggy!

Again, you can find services costing from $15 up to a couple hundred or more.

Here as well, with some practice, you can do it yourself with software you probably already own. Like PowerPoint. I’m taking some course in learning how to use this program that’s been sitting on my PC and laptop for years, and have never opened it until this week.

I’ll be converting this post into a video soon, and posting it to YouTube. I’ll let you know when it’s up.

Promo & Marketing

Finally, there’s the business end of it all. The promoting and marketing of your precious baby.

Discovering what media kits are and what to do with them, social media promo and marketing, searching for sites, both free and paid, on which to post your book, such as Goodreads, and a host of other methods, both free and paid.

You can pay someone to do all this headache work for you if you have the budget for it. Chances are you don’t.

Yet there are many services that offer low cost promotion campaigns, like Fiverr and other “better” services that range right up into the thousands, like BookBaby.

If your head doesn’t explode over any of this, why, then, have at it and save yourself a bundle! My head explodes . . .!!!

Author Website/Blog

Okay, last, but not least, there is your author presence on the web. Which you should already have set up. Here, too, you can find someone to do it for you, and pay nothing to thousands of dollars for that.

I do my own, because I have no budget for that, plus I want control over it. My platform of choice nowadays is WordPress.

If you elect to pay to have it done, make sure you can do the updates yourself. You don’t want your posts going up according to someone else’s schedule, nor do you want to have to keep paying to have them posted for you.

Make sure, too, that you are satisfied with the design itself. I’ve seen some authors sign up for work and the site is more than butt ugly. I can’t believe this web site developer/designer believes those sites are awesome. Aaron Shepard’s book covers are prettier!

Yes, I do my own web sites, author and otherwise. I use WordPress, and after trying out a number of themes both free and paid for, I finally elected to go with GeneratePress, which allows for many different layouts, and offered a bunch of other features I wanted. I have a few plugins I use, and there are probably others I could or should be using. I’ll get to them someday . . . 🙂

And The Product I Decided Was
The #1 Thing I Needed Most Ii-i-i-s-s-s-s-s-s-s:


Having spent money on almost all of the first six aspects, the most important product I bought to help me get a good looking novel, are my professionally done book layout templates from the people at They are a bit pricey, yet, not out of this world so, and definitely well worth it.

And if you hit upon a sale, then the deal is so much sweeter!

I did get mine on sale. One of their newest designs, Fling for romances; which can be modified by removing the swirly heart image from the header. With that gone, you can use the template for any other style or type of book you want. I will be using the modified template for my kids’ and YA novels.

The cost for a license for one book is $59.
A license to use the template for multiple novels of YOUR making is $119.
A license to use the template for books for clients is $249.

I chose the second option. I don’t expect to be laying out book interiors for clients any time soon. Oh, and if you sign up for their newsletter, they’ll send you an offer for 10% off your order, good forever.

These templates are fully formatted not only to size, but also to margins, chapter number placement, and chapter title placement, and a table of contents. Which you may or may not want to include in a novel. If you use chapter titles, you might want to use the TOC feature in your print book, but it isn’t necessarily necessary.

It’s a must in ebooks.

Fonts are included – which are free for commercial use, so you don’t have to worry about copyright issues. Same with any images that are included.

An author page is included at the end with the spot for the author image nicely centered – where it will stay and not climb all over your page!

You get templates for all the eight industry standard book sizes, plus you get them for Word which works with 2003 and up, Adobe InDesign, and Apple Pages.

I hope you found something of worth to take away here. Best of luck to you in your publishing endeavors!

Please sign up for notifications of new posts and features so you don’t miss out. And please visit the Reading Room and check out my poems, short stories, and samples of Thomi and Joleigh-Anna!



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