Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lemme just give you my card.

 A common promotional tool among authors is book cards. The ones you typically see are postcard size and include an image of the cover on the front and information about the book and the author on the back. You typically see these at book fairs, readings, and hanging on bulletin boards outside of your local coffeeshop or bookstore.

And they're relatively effective - out of the dozens I've grabbed on my out of a coffeeshop or book reading, I've personally followed up by checking out the author or purchasing the book roughly 80% of the time.

So when it came time to think about the different promotional tools and tricks that I wanted to try, book cards were at the top of my list. But because I am an incredibly unique and special individual, I wanted to do something a little different and off-the-beaten-path of the traditional card.
Behold! By MOO Cards -

The first set are biz cards based on my Facebook Timeline. I was able to design and receive these cards thanks to a special Facebook and MOO Cards cross-promotion (proof positive that sometimes it is worth it to be on the internet past midnight). They list my name, my blog, and my location on the front, along with my Facebook profile picture and seven alternate images from my Facebook Timeline history (I had the ability to select which images I wanted featured. So of course wolves figure prominently into the line-up).
The back of the card quotes my 2 Million in 2012 blog post, and lists my Facebook profile, my phone number, and my email address.

The second set are MiniCards and are based solely on the book. The front image is my book cover.
And the back of the card includes a small blurb about the book, lists the different locations and platforms where the book is available, and, lastly, lists this blog's web address.
That's my hand.
These cards were courtesy of MOO Cards Klout Perk. Which means that both sets of cards cost me a total of absolutely nothing.

Besides just passing them out to everyone at all the parties I'm constantly being invited to or throwing them up in the air and making it rain when I'm in the streets, I'll be slipping these babies into books on the sly at bookstores and libraries. They'll serve as a surprise bookmark and guerrilla promotional tool for you and yours when you happen to pick up a book that is identical or similar to the same demographic or subject matter that Holiday Chick most represents*.

Which means that they will not be found in or near any copies of Moby Dick, because that book is feckin' borin' and does NOT have any awesome scenes containing sex and/or feelings.
*While so brilliant that it could be automatically assumed that I thought of it myself, I cannot take credit for this idea. It came to me courtesy of Chris, mind-master, jedi producer, and an extremely attractive maker-outer.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Basically, just imagine me saying many incredibly witty and informational things, and it will be like you actually got to listen to it.

Today, as part of my efforts for 2 Million in 2012, I got to do a radio interview on my favorite radio station, WOJB. Some of you longtime readers will remember that, back when I first lived in Wisconsin, I used to have my own radio show on WOJB. I am most famous and remembered for (mistakenly) playing more songs with swear words in them than anyone else in the history of the station. In the afternoon. On Saturdays. 
Due to my experience in radio, you'd think that lining interviews would be a no-brainer and something I would have tried a long time ago. You would be wrong. You see, dear readers, I hate talking on the phone. I find phone conversations to often be awkward and uncomfortable, and when those conversations are broadcast on the radio airwaves? A no thank you. 
BUT - much like some of my other pet peeves, this little personal  is quirk something that I'm going to have to either tolerate or embrace if I want to reach my goal. AND, the DJ who was going to interview me, Jackie, had graciously offered to have me on her show, which I enthusiastically agreed to, so being a wuss and backing out wasn't an option. So this morning I took a deep breath, put my big girl knickers on, and dialed in. 
And it was awesome! Jackie was a fantastic interviewer, and not once did I feel like a moron. Whether I sounded like one is a different story, but since I gave my family and friends short-enough notice that they missed the interview, that is feedback that I don't have to get. 

The best part was that I had such a great time that I'm going to make a point to set up more interviews on podcasts, radios...and someday, maybe even public access shows. 

I'm reaching for the stars, here, kids. After all...you don't get to be a star if you don't reach for them. 

Right? I thought I saw that on a paperweight somewhere...


* If you would like to have a brilliant and always-entertaining guest on your podcast and radio show, you should contact this guy. If you would like to have a pretty smart, super sarcastic, sometimes funny, and always adorable guest on your podcast and radio show, contact me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

And now for another episode of Adventures In Amberland, where Chris discovers the joy that is taking care of me when I'm sick.

"No more laundry for you," Chris said, laying me back on the couch in the late afternoon, after I attempted to do two loads of laundry and then almost started to cry over how miserable my cold was making me feel.
"I'll do laundry if I want to," I retorted.
"What did you say?"
"Naaathiiiiing," I whined as I sat up to rearrange the couch pillows. Then, thinking better of it as I laid back down, I repeated, "I'll do laundry if I want to." 
"Huh," he laughed, then brushed the hair on the top of my head back with his hand. "You really weren't kidding when you said that you turn into a big baby when you're sick."
"I TOLD you."

Who wouldn't look forward to spending a lifetime with this, huh? Right?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Adventure Loft, so calleth because not only do many adventures take place in said loft, but because you could lose your life just by trying to gain entry into and exit out of the loft, which makes it an ADVENTURE.

For months now I've been planning on posting these pictures to show you what my place in the Northwoods looks like. Because I know you've been dying to know...it's like, how can you imagine all the really amazing and exciting things that happen to me up here unless you can also visualize the background against which all those really amazing and exciting things happen? So let us do it now, for prosperity sake...

Because this girl is saying goodbye to all of it and moving back to Minneapolis (!)

More on that later. 

This is the view when you walk in the door. The fireplace is on the right, my desk in that little alcove to the left.
The kitchen, but that's boring, so let's move on...
The living space, which leads to Adam's room (behind the French doors) and my Adventure Loft (up the ladder, smartpants). Note the extremely fancy and sophisticated bar next to the window. It has since gotten even more fancy and sophisticated since the taking of this picture.
The view from the Adventure Loft. To increase storage, I store things in old suitcases, and place my artwork in front of the suitcases in lieu of hanging them on the angled walls. The light you see is God's light, showing everyone who sees this photo that I am his favorite person in the entire world and that, according to Him, everything I do is awesome.


Rest is something all women need.

I did not write this. I will, however, not give public attribution to this poem, for I am not a monster. But godamnit, you guys. I cannot bear to read this poem and not share it with you...for to hide it would be like hiding the greatest gift of all from the people I love the most. 

And the greatest gift would be this poem, dear reader. And those people...are you. 
Feel free to play this appropriate music in the background while taking it all in.


She Is A Lady

She sits at the piano by herself in an empty room…
Playing note after note of Moon River…

Audrey Hepburn’s voice reminds her of what she loves most…
Elegance, class, and timeless beauty.

The party she just left was nothing that reflects her fine taste.
The dress she wore represents the word beautiful if an image were required in the dictionary.

She closes her eyes and dreams of what she needs…
Unfulfilled by what the world has offered her.

Her hair frames her face…she is a lady.
Dreaming of proper behavior and romance unmatched.

She walks over to the window and views the stars…
The dark night, the rose garden, and thinks of Old Hollywood…

She is delicate and well-mannered…
Her level of patience only exists because of her visions…

She waits for him…a man that need not be taught.
A glass of red she sips as her lipstick marks the glass…

Cherry red is the color...it highlights her porcelain skin.
She closes the curtains to the bay window…

In the living room she waltzes by herself…
With grace she glides and smiles with confidence…

She thinks of James Dean and fantasizes of a real man…
One that takes over her thoughts….

Irresistible charm and a gentleman…
As she picks up the violin in the corner and begins to play…

The bow lays across the strings and creates music to her ears…
A teardrop of loneliness drops to the ground…

Is he out there? Maybe he doesn’t exist…
She takes another sip of the red…he must …

Waiting for love…the right kind…
She walks out to the garden and picks a rose…

She smells it and holds it to her heart….
The scent is like her perfume…God sent.

It is a white rose..it represents friendship….
Not the deep love she dreams of…that would be a red one.

She drops it to the ground and continues down the stone path…
She looks at the moon…the clouds are part of the scene…

They hide the moon just enough to emphasize the mystique.
She wishes on a star…and heads back to her home…

A lady….a true lady…yearning for quality…
She slips into her lace lingerie and heads off to bed…

As her head rests along the pillow she closes her eyes…
Rest is something all women need..

Available tonight for a dream….looking for true love...
She is a woman beyond her time…She is a lady.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"But the point is, I have a gold record."

When announcing my goal for selling 2 million copies of Holiday Chick by the end of 2012, I purposely worded it very carefully because I hadn't quite decided whether the goal was going to mean that I wanted to sell 2 million copies all in the span of 2012, or just have my total sales of Holiday Chick reach 2 million by the end of 2012.

Before we get into what I finally decided on, though, I want to talk about a little pet peeve of mine that has come to light since publishing Holiday Chick, because it also played a part in my inner-debate. And that is - 

"How many books have you sold?"

Now, when I first published Holiday Chick, the original pet peeve was the question, "Who published it?" At first, this question would catch me off guard because I would never dream of asking an author this - mostly because I could give a shit about who published what, but also because...why would I want to know? Am I asking because I want to know if they got picked up by a huge publishing house and therefore I should be summarily impressed, or do I want to know because I'm the type of nerd who knows the difference between what houses publish what type of reading material and thus it's what I base most of my reading choices on? Neither, Mary. The second irritation came because, whenever someone asked me that, I felt like I had to go into the big long story of why I decided to go the route that I did (and then defend my choice against those who still think that "self-publishing" automatically equals "hack"). However, both these irritations fell away after a while when I realized that when most people asked this question, they really had no point of reference for judging either unless they were an agent or a bookseller. 

But the "How many books have you sold?" question still irritates me. Mainly because it's really none of your damn business. I do not walk up to salespeople and demand to know how many units they've sold this quarter. I don't ask people I've just met at a party how much they make in a year. I don't quiz a musician or comedian on Twitter about how many CD's they've sold. To put it bluntly, on a purely social level, the question is just plain rude.You're not asking because you're "just curious."You're asking because you want to quantify someone's level of success with your chosen point of reference for what is deemed successful (in layman's terms, that's called "judging").

However, I do get that, in a time where everything in the book industry is changing, some people are seeking an answer to this question for their own edification...maybe they're flirting with the idea of self-publishing, or they've already self-published and are looking for some kind of metric to tell them what's realistic, what's not, etc. I get that. Sometimes people really do mean well and all that jazz. But I will admit that one of the reasons why I was tempted to just start the book sales meter at zero for #2millin2012 was because I didn't want to share my total book sales. Not because I was ashamed of the number, but because I'm suuuper super stubborn when it comes to principles, and also there was a part of me that wanted to gleefully frustrate those Nosy Nancys out there who were waiting to find out what they were.
But anyway.

As of Jan. 1st, 2012, I've sold 202 copies of Holiday Chick. That total - when I finally sat down to calculate it a couple weeks ago...I'm kind of what you'd call "lazy with numbers" - seemed small to me at first, until I realized that that number of books sold largely on its own: Admittedly, I've been kind of lazy with promotion since I published the book. I had a small launch party, I did a couple of book clubs, got the book into four bookstores, did a few discount sales, and threw out some very scattered social media marketing over various channels. So when I take that into account, I'm okay with that number. 

But then the question is: Do I subtract 202 from the total of 2 million in 2012, or should I begin the tally at zero for 2012? If I count that number in, that's 202 less books that I need to sell to reach my goal. But it's also 202 books that were not sold based on the efforts that I have and will put forth in 2012. So is counting those 202 copies kind of cheating? Or can I consider them part of my overall goal for this book, which is specifically to sell 2 million copies of it by the end of 2012? 

And now my brain hurts, so I'm curious...what what do you think? If this were your goal, what would you do? Count 'em? Or start at zero for 2012? 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

been thinking..., Let's make a deal.


been thinking..., Let's make a deal.:

I’ll read Courtney Stodden tweets to him while he does the dishes. I don’t understand the lack of enthusiasm at this offer.
I love the delight that comes from finding out that, even though we're halfway across the country from each other and haven't even talked about it yet, one of my best friends finds as much delight and unabashed glee in something as I do.

Or should I say: Delightfully dreamy about the dorky dual love affair Erica and I have over a disastrously ditzy Tweeter!

That's better.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Trailer Fun Time.

On a frigid, grey Thursday afternoon last week, Christopher K. Grap, Ryan Schaddlelee, and I gathered together in a mythical, magical location called "downtown Minneapolis" to shoot a book trailer as part of my 2 Million in 2012 goal for Holiday Chick. Here's some highlights...or, as they call it in the film world, some "teasers" (they actually don't call photos of the shoot "teasers". I just like calling them that) - 

Our first order of business was to stop by the WCCO studios to get a soundbite from my friend and "I know that guy" special acquaintance, Jason DeRusha. This ended in an unexpected adventure.

After our visit to WCCO studios, we then raced to Barnes & Noble to film the very esteemed Randy Fordice, who informed me, "Amber, I got this" when I tried to give him direction. And he did, you guys. He totally did.

And then it was on to the Bulldog N.E., where we filmed Andrew Eklund, Jake Nyberg, and Tony D'Aloia
Andrew Eklund, diggin' into the Word.
Jake Nyberg, getting ready to perform.
Tony D'Aloia is a serious thespian.
All in all, it was a fantastically fun afternoon. Special thanks to everyone who helped out with this dream project (and to everyone who was willing to help out, like Kevin, Patrick, and Melissa)...and to everyone else, keep yer eyes peeled for the video premiere, coming up in the next few weeks!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Telling the truth.

"A lot of times people use the excuse that they don't want to hurt another person's feelings. This is always a lie. If you ever catch yourself thinking this, what's really happening is that you're protecting yourself from your own feelings. You're avoiding what you will feel when they get upset. It is the coward's way out, and it simply delays having all your cards on the table."  - Jack Canfield

Friday, January 13, 2012

Because if you don't like having dry skin in the winter, then you should. JUST. MOVE!

While filming our book trailer yesterday, we stopped by the WCCO studios to get a little soundbite from the outrageously famous and universally beloved Jason DeRusha. This was mostly just a thinly-veiled ploy to get on the news for his Good Question segment. This was much more comfortable than all the other days, when I just hang around the studio building during work hours, waiting for Jason to come out so I can ask him if he needs any help with anything he's doing that day and oh! by the way! I could totally spare some time to be on his Good Question segment just, you know, in case he needs anyone else to lend a soundbite or just stand there and smile a lot in the background somewhere.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

We're making a book trailer today!

After I saw this about a year ago - 
the idea of a book trailer has been stuck in my mind. Probably the biggest reason for this is that if I have done nothing else during my years of Minneapolis, I've met a lot of really fun, creative, and entertaining people whom I would love to torture and publicly embarrass on a public forum for my own personal gain. But also, the idea of using different mediums to both promote and sell books is something that fascinates me. All of my writing is heavily influenced by music and film...so it kind of makes sense to incorporate music and film when sharing that writing, right? 
 
Since this book trailer debuted, however, there's been a lot of chatter about book trailers in general. Some of the book trailers that have been recently produced are both interesting and entertaining in their own right.
 
Like this one- 

However.
 
As with every big, unexpected success in the entire world, you're going to find 50 billion other people who assume they can also copy that type of success. Which, don't get me wrong - there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. If we took the attitude that good ideas shouldn't spread or be replicated, we wouldn't have fire, right? The worst is when people who know nothing about how social media or trendsetting works assume that an author should just make a video and then BOOM! A billion book sales. Or when people make one just to make one, and thus subject their audience to a totally boring 5 minute video that tells you absolutely nothing new about the book, much less entertains or grabs your attention (hint: No one wants to watch a video that only comprises of an image of your cover and you reading the description of the book aloud. WTF.)
 
But if you have a really fun idea (or a lot of fucking money to burn), why not, right? Because that's the whole point of this whole writing thing, isn't it? You do it because you love it. And doing something really fun with rad people that will help you continue to do the thing you love...there's a whole bunch of wins right there.
 
So today we'll be traipsing around downtown, getting footage for a book trailer that will be at once beautiful and uplifting, heartwarming and hilarious, glorious and inspiring...or, even better, bite-sized and super dorky. I'll try to post some pictures and updates through my Twitter and Facebook feeds, so if you'd like to be in on all the dramatic action, you can follow along here and here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why I love the TC.

Here's the thing that I've noticed lately about Minneapolis/St. Paul that sets us apart from other cities like New York and L.A. - we go out of our way to promote and cheer on others. Take a look at Twitter sometime - it's full of TC peeps RT'ing or announcing the great things that other people on the scene have done/are doing. And then some of them take it a step further by thinking of great ways to help said people further their goals, whether it's by featuring them in a magazine, putting them up for an award, or sponsoring their endeavors. And we don't just do it for our friends: We do it because it's become a natural part of our online community. Publicly, we seem to thrive on the spirit of building others up.

Which is really freaking awesome.

Snow Wars.

I like to think of this unseasonably warm weather as a big punch in the face to all the Winter Dicks out there. The kind who seem to take a sort of sadistic joy over reminding people that this is Minnesota, and no matter what you might be hoping, this winter especially is supposed to be long, cold, and bitter. "Well, hopefully if it's snowing in October, that means the snow will be gone by April," you brightly tell yourself and your friends, trying to take the optimistic route after the first snowfall hits before the leaves barely have a chance to fall off the trees. "Nope," they reply, barely able to contain their smug little smiles, "They're saying that this year it's supposed to be colder, longer, and more snowier than any winter we've had in years." Those guy are dicks. Winter Dicks.
 
And while some of them are holding on - claiming that we should all just wait, that it being 50 degrees in the middle January just means that we'll probably still have snow by the time June hits - there's still a small satisfaction in knowing that this year they don't get to take joy out of everyone else's frozen misery. (And yes, the fact that I can walk outside in January without even a jacket on somewhat scares the shit out of me...however, if this is what it takes for people to believe in that silly thing called science and take global warming seriously...I'll take it. I've got my Post-Apocolypse Plan set all up. I'm good). If Minnesota suddenly turns into California, I'm okay with it, pals. Then everyone else who just loooves winters will know what it feels like when people challenge them with the incredibly ridiculous "If you don't like it, then why do you live here?" weather defense.
 
So here's to you, unseasonable temps in January. I won't talk about you on Twitter or Facebook because I find that shit to be incredibly boring and annoying to read about, but right now, you're okay by me, little guy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Ernest Hemingway, Yelper.

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Ernest Hemingway, Yelper.

Infusion Tea and Coffee House
Category: Coffee & Tea
THREE STARS

I got up late and the sun was already high and I had been drunk the night before. The barista brought me a cup of coffee and asked if I wanted anything else and when I said no she left. The coffee was good and very hot. I sat at the table for a while. When I was done the barista came and cleared my mug and went back behind the counter. I ordered a muffin to go and walked out into the street. By that time it was two in the afternoon and my headache was not as strong as it had been.

Monday, January 09, 2012

2 Million in 2012.

What would be the one goal that would change your life forever? I'm not just talking about losing 20 pounds, or paying off your credit cards, or any of those other "if only ___" goals. We can talk about those another time (mainly because it will feel more appropriate to talk about weight loss goals when I'm not currently stuffing my face with leftover Christmas cookies). What I'm talking about is: What is the one goal, if you accomplished it, that would change your life for-ever. No looking back. Everything is different. All of your wildest I'm-in-a-hot-tub-on-top-of-a-fucking-mountain-you-guys dreams just came true.

I've been playing with this idea on the regular, ever since this. It's called a Breakthrough Goal. As Jack Canfield (I love that guy) states, it's "something that changes your life, brings you new opportunities, gets you in front of the right people, and takes every activity, relationship, or group you're involved in to a high level." It's when you dream so big and set a goal so fantastic that it's hard to go back from it, because after you've allowed your imagination to stretch that wide, regular life starts to seem like kind of a drag.

Since the publication of Holiday Chick, my Breakthrough Goal has been this quiet little secret...this small, delicious little dream I had scribbled on an index card and stuffed inside my wallet. I didn't want to share it because...what if it didn't happen? What if people did that thing where they kind of smile politely and nod at you all nice-like but deep down you know they're secretly thinking, "Yeah, good luck with that one, Amber..."? What if I announced it and I looked stupid? 

Here's the answer to that, though, which I just realized today: I already look stupid. I look stupid all the time. Sometimes I even go out of my way to look stupid on purpose, just because I'm so okay with looking stupid that I don't even care if I look stupid while I'm looking stupid...or something like that.

The point is...I'm fucking doing it. And I'm gonna let you watch me as I do it. 

That sounded a lot more sexy than it was meant to. You're welcome. 

I'm selling 2 million copies of Holiday Chick by the end of 2012.

There's no "I'm hoping to sell" or "I'm going to try to sell" or "Maybe I might be able to sell". Nope. No built-in outs.

It's happening. Declarative. Definitive. Two million copies in 2012.

It's a lofty goal. A bold statement. I know it. That's the point. Here's why:

A. As most of you long-time blog readers know, I'm not that super awesome with follow-through. On Thanksgiving I said I was going to post 30 days of Christmas music, and I ended up posting two days worth. And one of those days was a repost of something I posted last year! Ha ha. So this is going to take guts. It's going to take dedication. Hard work. Digital pavement pounding. Follow-through. So I'm purposely not letting myself say anything resembling, "I might not make my goal, but (insert consolation prize here)" because then I'm just a wuss who's hoping you'll let me off the hook if I decide - much like most of the people who enter into sacred, must-be-protected-at-all-costs marriage these days - that this is really hard and I don't wanna do it anymore. And you know what I realized these past couple weeks? The "Ha ha, I'm really bad at following-through, it's just a part of my charm" attitude is some straight-up bullshit.

And - 

B. Goals that are realistic may be attainable, but they are not inspiring. Selling 100,000 copies of Holiday Chick does not inspire me. Selling 500,000 copies of Holiday Chick inspires me a little. Selling a million copies of Holiday Chick....that stuff is in-spir-ing. But if I'm going to go that high, why not go even higher, then, right? Goals that are so ambitious capture the imagination. They challenge you to think in entirely different ways. And if you want to change your life, if you want to be in that hot tub on top of that mountain, you have to do and think differently than you did before (otherwise you'd already be in that hot tub, right?). Also: Hot tubs are awesome.

So it's happening. And to make it happen, I'll also be turning a part of my blog into a sort of experimental tutorial. We've all read the articles about Amanda Hocking (including this article that my friend Dave sent to me literally as I was crafting this blog post...how weird is that, right?) and other authors who have made millions through self-publishing. The articles make it sound so easy...just do what they did - turn it into an e-book! Sell it for 99 cents on Amazon! Pay other bloggers to review it! - and you'll be rich! Riiiiiich! So I'm going to try out some of the billion marketing tricks and tips out there for aspiring and indie authors to see what kind of results they shake out. Because at the end of the day, when it comes to bookmarks and Facebook fan pages and all that other bullshit, us writerly-folk really just want to know one thing - does it help you sell more books?

So that's my goal for this year, kids. I'm selling 2 million books in 2012. And I want you to ride along with me, every step - mile, kilometer...I'm not here to make judgements about where you're from! - of the way. This blog will be filled with madcap exploits! Hilarious hijinks! Adorable pratfalls and heartwarming lessons! And you will be stuck to your seats, blog campers! Glued to your screens! Mainly because the only thing more riveting than watching someone do something so stupidly ambitious is watching someone go on a string of horribly bad, nightmarish, oh-thank-god-it's-them-and-not-me dates.

And I've already done that for you, haven't I. Oh yes...yes I have.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Hotness & Notness.

As some of you might remember, I have my own personal experience with the annual Vita.mn's Hotness Contest. And I know that we all have our own opinions about this contest...some of us think it's campy fun, others think that it's one of the most banal and disgusting things to ever be a part of the local scene.

But I think one thing we can all agree with is that this is freaking awesome. To help support it, I submitted my own picture. 
 
You want to make out with me right now, don't you. It's okay. Those feelings are only natural, after gazing upon this glorious portrait of my beauty.
 
To further celebrate it, I would like to take this moment to post a couple more. Because, if we've learned anything about each other over the years, it's that you guys love it when I purposely embarrass myself on a public forum.

So here you go. 

And this one I'm posting for Kevin, to help soothe his mood after our very heated debate about government spending, Planned Parenthood, and abortion.
To submit your very own picture and help support the alternative to celebrating people merely for their hotness, get your fine personality over to here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Hippo demonstrates for you how to properly read "Holiday Chick."

Note: This is the first in a week of super-fun announcements about Holiday Chick. The first one being -


If you're not familiar with Smashwords (and that's okay. I don't expect you to know everything), then get ready - Smashwords is like book-shopping heaven for those of us who like unexpected reads. You can find millions of books on there, and for standard prices ranging from $2.99 - $0.99, there's no buyer's remorse if you take a chance and find the book wanting. 

Also, for those of you who might have gotten some super sweet e-readers (Kindle Fire? Nook? iPad?) for Christmas, this is your one-stop shop for finding books that fit whatever format you're rocking. For those of you who do not get to carry a Kindle Fire around in your back pocket, have cheer - you can also download the e-books onto your computer in PDF form. Basically, however you can best access an e-book, Smashwords can do it up for you.

So hop onto Smashwords, why don't you! And make all of your e-reading dreams come true... 

And you should probably hurry up about it, because I'm seriously considering an exclusive deal with Kindle in February.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

My dear acquaintance, it's so good to know you.

On New Year's Eve the snow started to fall around seven o'clock. I stood at the window and stared out and up, thinking about all the people who will be so happy about the thick layers on the ground in the morning. Up here, snow means money. It harkens to the skiiers and snowmobilers and snowshoers and ice fisherman from afar, like a signal to all the Winter SuperFriends to assemble and unite. Which is great, except for the immediacy of it, which seems to happen every New Year's Eve. The worst night ever for a snowstorm, right?

Under the right circumstances, the happiest night for one, too.

Here's to a fresh, dazzling 365 days of exciting possibilities, swelling triumphs, and daring new adventures. Happy New Years, pals.

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