Welcome to Julia Talbot's blog!

Welcome, everyone! Here's where I blather about writing, life with my wife BA, and my two basset hounds! I love to hear from readers, so comment here or email me!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Updated my new release page

You can see it here! My new book from Resplence, Found Vampire, is out! It's the sequel to Chosen Wolf, and it could stand along but it might be confusing. Check it out!

In other book news, I have a Bear shifter story coming out from ARE in July, a Full Moon Dating (Gage and Hamish) coming out in July from Torquere and my mmf femmedomme has a date from Samhain in late October. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee




Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Happy things for a sunny Tuesday

Just a list

Looking forward to seeing everyone at RT and the Austin Author Affair

Bestseller on ARE for Turquoise Trail: Desert Dragons 1

Unexpectedly good royalty statement

My girl's toe looked better this am

Oatmeal for brekkie

The sun is shining. Here in the Burque, we get squirrely if we don;t see Mr. Sun for 3-4 days like it's been the last few. O.O

It's my FIL's birthday! Happy birthday, Daddy!

Sleeping puppies

Y'all rock.



Sunday, April 26, 2015

It takes longer to heal as you get older

I mean duh, right? Both BA and I are struggling right now with feet. I have a hammer toe that came from my injury last fall that keeps getting torn up. Podiatrist wants to do surgery, but I can't do that until BA's meds are evened out and she can drive all the time. She's dealing with the toes that were dying when she had her blot clot. They have bad nerve pain, and one shows signs of a possible ulcer.

We're both so over this, y'all. At forty something, though, it takes a lot longer to heal, and the resulting frustration is a nightmare.

On the good side, since this mess started with BA's artery, I've lost 8.5 pounds. I've cut out almost all sweets but dark chocolate and the occasional treat. (On the new eating plan I get a cupcake or cookie or some such once or twice a month). However, my cravings have all but gone, save for the occasional wistful glance at the Chocolove Toffee Milk bar at the store.

I'm eating 8-10 servings of veg a day, and fish 3-4 times a week. O.O

I might just get healthy yet.

But then I have a night like last night. A heavy rainstorm blew in and every joint in my body swelled up. I have a joint in my foot that gives me intense nerve pain when I swell, and couldn't sleep. That's when I start to despair that no matter what I do right, I'll never feel good again. Getting old sucks, though I guess the alternative sucks harder.

All this sitting with my feet up means more writing, though. I've subbed 3 novellas in the last 2 weeks. Woo!

Now, what do y'all do for auto-immune arthritis?



Saturday, April 25, 2015

need more hours in the day

edits on Found Vamp? Check

Cover art for ARE title out in July? Check

Postcards for May cons? Check.

Word count? Laughs hysterically.



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The bathroom is turquoise

Not kidding. We had painters come in today and do the very dull and tiny guest bathroom a bright turquoise. OMG y'all, what an awesome color. It manages to be both Southwest and beachy at the same time.

Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to live at the beach. None. But, thanks to flip flops, which feature heavily in our past, we have a great many weird pieces of flip flop and beach art. They go well with the turquoise walls now, and the rainbow dotted towels also match.

We also painted the fireplace wall in the middle of the front room a bright, heritage New Mexico orange red. What an amazing color. I love it. It's on the La Fonda register, a historical color from a famous Santa Fe hotel.

I can't wait until we can afford the kitchen.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

catching up on work

Still have a few publisher loose ends to catch up, and then some tax stuff to do, some accounts to cancel, etc etc. Looking forward to writing more and worrying less.

Some good news coming this week, which I will explain in detail.

Need to clean the writing room, formerly known as the office, and get shit ready for the week. Also need to get ready for cons and do a newsletter and update my website

run run!



Thursday, April 16, 2015

rearranging the office since the life has changed

today we need to rearrange the purple office to make room for the recliners we got at big lots. BA needs one for her recovery so she can put her legs up. We're both still going to have a desktop in the corner of the room but really, we do most of our writing on laptops now. Why not be comfy? I can't believe that only 4 months after giving up grueling spreadsheet sessions I get to work in an easy chair.

Dude. That's cool.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

how we all sound like the seagulls in Finding Nemo

So, I read a post today wherein an author essentially compared all of us authors doing promotion to the seagulls in Finding Nemo: a loud group of homogeneous individuals who make a lot of noise leaping at the book market shouting, "Mine!"

My analogy. Hers was more fish slapping dance, but you get the idea. The author of this article told us all to shut up and write. I have said that more than once, to more than one author, but I would never tell an author not to promote. Then, on an author loop I'm on, a relatively new author told us that an authority had told him to stop promoting to other authors on social media and focus on only readings and signings.

I kinda feel like I can address both of these statements with a single well-blown raspberry.

Do I agree that the best way to sell more books is to write more? Absolutely. As a publisher in a recent past life, I can't tell you how many writers put out one novella or novel and then sat and waited to be the next great American star. Nope. Doesn't work. Do I agree that a lot of what we do on social media hits other people just like us? Sure.

But here's the thing. I'm an author. A former publisher. A non-fiction ghostwriter (hire me! I do blog posts). And I read. I buy 10-15 ebooks a week. Some, admittedly, on Bookbub, but I buy a lot of random romance off Twitter, Facebook and ARE's newsletter.

I've also made great connections through my author marketing. I got my first contract with a menage romance thanks to stalking an author I liked on her Twitter and getting in on a contest for a book contract.

Now, I will say that these days I temper my time on social media. I like Twitter more than Facebook, where my author wife prefers Facebook. So we focus our efforts differently. I do try to go to signings and such, but travel is expensive and social media is free. The key in not "pushing" as the blogger in question calls it is to post about other things in your life most of the time and advertise your books less.

Write good books. Absolutely. But never believe you're not engaging readers on your social media even if most of what you see is other writers.

Go forth and promote!



Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chino's story!

Well, the beginning of it. Since I started the Elemental Ops series, people have been asking when I was going to do Chino's story. Well, it's here! Yay! I started a new series in fact, because loner Chino needed his own base of operations, his own lover.

So I give you Desert Dragons book 1, Turquoise Trail.

Y'all I am so tickled with the new dragons. There are 6 sets so far, all wee feathered serpents. Chino meets Oliver after his Elemental Ops team sends him off to the desert in search of a new clutch of dragons. Can he save Oliver from the elements, and protect his new lover and his dragons from outsiders?

Buy it here!

I'll holler when it's up on ARE and Amazon, too.



Wednesday, April 08, 2015

My girl is home

2 procedures, lots of holes poked into her, lots of hysterical anesthesia reactions, but home and on the mend

Thanks to everyone for all the support



Sunday, April 05, 2015

I'm sure the universe is trying to teach us something

But I'm not sure what it is.

My girl is in the hospital awaiting arterial surgery tomorrow.

Keep us in your thoughts.



Friday, April 03, 2015

Lost work days. Send chocolate

I have a cold sore on my eye. Not my eyelid. On my cornea. This both incredibly painful and debilitating. Makes it hard to see. Really hard.

Now, I have a confession to make. I am the world's worst touch typist. Seriously. I was the last class in my high school and college where keyboarding/typing wasn't mandatory. I'm a pretty fast hunt and peck typist so I skipped the typing in favor of an extra AP class. In the short term, that got me out of college in 3 and a half years. Yay. In the long run, it means when I have an eye injury, I can't type worth a hoot. Like, at all. Sucks.

I know things could suck worse, and I'm super grateful for insurance.

But, dude, it's hard to work when you can't see.



Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A minimum wage analogy

I know I've talked before about .99 bundles, and how they devalue our work as writers, not just as artists, but as professionals.

Even more depressing was a recent discussion I saw on a loop where someone very snarkily asserted that if a story was under 10,000 words no one should charge for it. That anything but novella length wasn't worth paying for, and all authors and publishers were greedy assholes. (Nope. Not kidding)

I try hard not to be an author who bitches, with varying degrees of success. But when someone tells me that what I do for a living is worth nothing, even though they want more, please, I get a little grumpy pants.

Take this minimum wage analogy. The minimum wage in my state is $7.50. Not the lowest, but definitely low. Now, imagine, as it is for most writers, that you have taken a second, part time job. Something you love doing, but that only pays minimum wage.

You work this job say, five hours a day. (I use this number because a professional writer can bang out 2K an hour on a good day. Some get way less, some more. We'll go with it). That's $37.50 a day, before taxes. Now, imagine that your boss comes to you one day and says, "Hey, I appreciate what you do, I want more, but I'n not gonna pay you anymore because you like it here so much."

Ack eyes.

You'd quit, right?

Now, I know what you're thinking.

That's not a fair analogy. You work 5 hours and you get thousands of opportunities to sell that story. You can make a ton of money on that story.

Okay, let's assume I self publish this almost 10K story because everyone thinks I get a ton of money out of that. I price it at .99 on Amazon because that's the sweet spot right now. That means Amazon takes 70%. So I get .29 per copy. So I only have to sell 125 copies to make my minimum wage. What am I complaining about?!

Right. Except I'm a professional, so I paid someone to edit my book and do my cover. I'm not a web genius, so I also paid someone to format for me so during Amazon conversion I don't get an unreadable mess. At .29 I have to sell roughly 900 copies to recoup those costs, and then my 125 copies to make my minimum wage. Sure, a book can do that in no time, but most don't, especially a short story. And yes, the book can remain on sale indefinitely, continuing to earn money, but most books do their best sales in the first two weeks.

Using the minimum wage analogy, I would have to have to work over 45 hours to break even on costs and and get paid for the hours I put into writing the story. Now think of how may of you make more than minimum wage and and think of what you would tell me if I asked you to work a 40 hour week for free.

Maybe now you can see why I'm moved to make this analogy? No matter how you do the math, which I know some folks will argue with, someone is still asking me to give my work away for free. I would never ask y'all to do that!

Just my two cents. Y'all feel free to discuss as long as we can stay sane about it.