Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bachelorette Won't Tell!

We are one show into Des's Season and I'm so looking forward to next Monday I could scream. This season looks interesting already with all the punching and crying going on in the previews. Wow! But Des won't say if she ends up engaged and neither will Chris Harrison. They are withholding that information until we get hooked on the guys, get favorites and can't look away. After the first episode, there is still a chance of losing viewers. So the producers have played their cards close to their scheming chests and are remaining mum about an engagement. But have you seen the guys? I'm not sure whether to be hopeful or not.
Let's start with the most unusual acts. And I say 'acts' because some of the men tried a little too hard to be noticed and rather than gaining points with Des, they disgusted and alienated her with their cheesy gimmicks.
The first loser to go home was Johnathon who acted drunk (or Cray-Cray) when he kept asking Des to go to the fantasy suite with her and wouldn't drop that bad joke even when he was told she was a nice girl and wouldn't be going in a dark room with him. On the first night! Did a supposedly sane man actually expect her to leave 24 hopeful bachelors, go off in a bedroom with him and do the dirty deed? Apparently. Des dismissed him before the rose ceremony and probably gave the producers the stink eye on the way back from the driveway. Or if she didn't, she should've. I'm sure the producers were all rubbing their hands together in a Doctor Evil way and salivating. They live for this stuff because it makes great ratings!
Another man did not wear a shirt and asked Des to accept his abs. Granted he had a twelve pack but I mean, come on. Even my teenage daughter yelled at the TV "Put on a shirt, Guy!' Nobody wanted to stare at his half naked body all night, especially after we'd seen him earlier, at his apartment fully naked, well except for that dastardly black rectangle that blocked out our view of his jumbly bits. Des felt badly for the guy though. To get that man to stop trying so hard (he stripped to boxer briefs and jumped in the pool) and probably because he had such horrible shrinkage when he exited the pool, she gave him a first impression rose while passing his shivering body later. There even was a man in armor. When he rented the metal suit that precluded him from walking, not to mention presenting himself in a good light, he didn't think beyond the metaphor. He looked like a weirdo, not like a spontaneous, fun guy.
One guy spoke in hashtags and that got old after about #oneminute. And then there was an ER doctor who made Des dance and her dress kind of ripped. She really didn't like him. Poor guy. The man with the horrible suit coat he made himself, just poked fun at her livelihood and passion for design. #notcool (Damned, now he's got me doing it) And then there was the magician who should have conjured up a red rose for himself instead auditioning on national TV for a Las Vegas show.
She picked her 19 guys, they toasted and Des looked happy at the end but we know different. We've seen the previews and there is terrible heartbreak and punching and name calling and girlfriends showing up to cry and embarass someone. This is why we will watch. WE want to see Des weed out the bad ones to get to the good ones so she can go on picnics on top of mountains and declare her love to the world.
I can't wait until the first group date to see if that ab guy wears a shirt. If not I'm putting a Ken doll shirt in front of the TV every time he comes on. Hear we go, Bachelorette!

Kim Hornsby is the author of The Husband Hunt 1 and 2, Short Novels available on Amazon for download. The series is modeled after The Bachelor
Amazon Link

Monday, May 27, 2013

Kindle Select - FREE BOOKS!

Why would anyone want to give something away that they spent years creating? Aside from blatant benevolence, the answer could be to eventually direct you to something that does cost money. Like your second book. If you are a new author, building a reader base is extremely important. More important than money, unfortunately. Especially if you are in this for the duration and hoping to build a career. Getting in people's faces and heads is everything for a new author. visibility. Exposure.
And that is why Amazon Kindle has a program called SELECT where you can give away downloads of your book 5 days out of the 90 day program--free downloads of a book that you might have spent years writing. It seems like a terrible idea when what you want is to make money from writing books. However, if you can see ahead a year, the free days can help your ranking on Amazon, which helps to sell books. On Amazon, (the biggest book sellers in the world), ranking is everything. If you get yourself in the top 100 on the paid list, you can look forward to some sales that are generated purely by being on that list. No advertising necessary. Unless you want to keep the momentum and propel it farther up the list. Which you should. It's not a great idea to sit back and watch your success. Marketing is an ongoing process.
Unless you're Nicholas Sparks and wrote Safe Haven. Then you can sit back and rake in the money because your book reached #1 and stayed there for a long time.
Kindle Select gives you the opportunity to get exposure, but it's up to you to advertise your free days and get on lists with your generous offering. Over the last few months, I've compiled a secret list of forty publications who will announce your free days and direct traffic to download your novel. The higher your ranking gets, the more likelihood that when free days ends, you will maintain sales for a while if you play your cards right. And it's good to have a marketing plan for after free days like cheap ads, keeping the cost of the book low and good reviews to keep sales coming in.
Should you do all 5 days together or split them up? I've done both and I'm not sure what is best. When my Romantic Suspense did all 5 together it garnered 35,000 downloads and got some kick-ass sales for six weeks after. Then the publisher raised the price and things are not going as well. My Paranormal Romance has only ever split up the free days. Because it's self pubbed, I can choose and it does well enough with 3 days in a row. I would never do one day because you need the momentum to build. And five days feels like too much. I want to save two free days to give the book another shot in the arm next month. The Dream Jumper's Promise was free May 26-28 and after the first 24 hours, had 12,000 downloads, reaching #4 in the Kindle store FREE and  #1 in paranormal romance. The FREE lists are way different than the paid lists but still a good indication of how the public likes your cover and blurb. At the point of writing this, in my free days, I'm just hoping, that with another 40 hours to go, I can maintain my position or even reach #1 in the Free Store (above that dad-burned 160 calorie cookbook!)
Free Days has helped us self pubbed or newbie authors gain a fighting chance in this market. Since ebooks and self pubs have opened to writers who used to spend years trying to get an agent, editor, publisher and readers, there is now a lot of floatsum and jetsam out there and the discerning reader must sift through it to find a good read. But, if they like your cover, your blurb, you reviews, your name, anything, they might 'buy' it for free, read it, review and tell their friends to read it when it costs money.
Granted, many of the readers who buy your free book will never read it and those who do will probably never write a review or refer someone to your book but some might. There are millions of readers out there in the world, buying books, downloads, entertainment, and even if there is a slight chance of a hundred real sales and 2 reviews, it's worth it to do free days.
Even though it's hard to giveaway something that you value greatly, the idea behind free days is that you have to 'spend money to make money'. Give something away for the reward later. Readership. So go ahead and get writing that second book while free days are on because you know they're going to ask for it. And you'll probably have to offer that one free at the beginning too.
Good luck Writers and don't forget to check your SELECT actions on KDP to make decide if you want to re-enroll in SELECT when your 90 days ends. Otherwise it automatically gets re-enrolled for you.

Kim Hornsby is the author of NECESSARY DETOUR, published by The Wild Rose Press and
as well as a contributing author to SWEET SUMMERTIME LOVE

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Amanda Bynes Doesn't Do Drugs

This blog was written May 25th. Check the update below...

Today the star of Easy A tells us, via twitter, that she doesn't drink or do drugs. If we are to believe this, then  there is something worse going on here besides lying. The former child actress and recently famous celebrity for spinning out of control via twitter pics, is seriously in need of mental health evaluation. Let's say she wasn't drunk or high when she tweeted those near naked pics of herself on the toilet. And let's say her horribly rude comments to Jenny McCarthy were said without the help of alcohol and drugs. If that is true then Amanda Bynes needs a really good shrink. Something terrible is happening inside the brain of that young woman and the only answer is to commit her to a mental health facility and give her 24/7 access to a psychiatrist.
Personally I think she needs rehab desperately and all her tweeting is a cry for help. Who doesn't agree with me? Throwing a bong out the window at the sight of policemen entering her New York apartment and then denying that she did that or that she is involved in drugs is just crazy talk. When someone has to remove a ratty wig to reveal their recently shaved head to be booked for possession, something is terribly wrong. And then to have her comment that she needs to get another nose job by the sight of her mug shot, not that she needs rehabilitation, is sad. According to Ms. Bynes, she needs Niki Minaj's wig master, a new nose job and for people to leave her alone, even though she tweets constantly, has strange men (she apparently had never seen before) in her bathroom and takes little or no pride in her physical appearance unless it's to tweet her sexy underwear photos.
Amanda Bynes, the gig is up. We hear you. Time to call someone to help. I suggest Robert Downey Jr. or any of the countless other actors who've pulled their careers from the wreckage of drugs to go on to lead a productive life. Do it. Now.

Update July 27th
Amanda Bynes tried to set fire to a gasoline can in a driveway in Thousand Oaks (her hometown) a few days ago and according to rule #117 of the Home Owners Guidelines in the upscale neighborhood north of Los Angeles, that is not allowed. Now she's not only Cuckoo but she's dangerous. Taken away by the men in white coats, it is in the hands of a judge now, whether her parents will get power of attorney over her and the millions she supposedly is blowing left right and center. At least if she's in a 'hospital' the troubled young woman does not have access to drugs and will either detox or prove that the problem is mental, not pharmaceutical.
Breaking down like this in front of the public, and making her downward spiral into heck public on twitter, she's become like our troubled cousin who we can't stop watching. We can't look away as much as we want to. Uggh. Hang in there Ma and Pa Bynes.

Update August 16th. She's still under observation but it's looking good for Ma Bynes' conservatorship.

Kim Hornsby is the author of Amazon Best Selling Suspense Necessary Detour and The Dream Jumper's Promise, the latter of which is up for Best Indie First Book. 
Under the pen name Kiki Abbott, she also publishes short stories based on THE BACHELOR called The Husband Hunt http://amzn.comB00BN1YNS0.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lip Syncing at The Billboard Awards

Lip Syncing or not lip syncing? That is the question. Some did and some didn’t exactly at America’s Billboard Awards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last night. And Kid Rock called them on it when he took the stage to say that everyone was singing to pre-recorded music. As much as I don’t appreciate the Kid’s music, he was right. The first person I saw who I suspected was lip syncing was Selena Gomez. Her whispery voice and Egyptian dance moves made for a lovely performance but I suspected with all that dancing, no one’s voice can be that evenly projected. As a singer, I know this stuff. Trust me.
Chris Brown did not lip sync and that performance is a perfect example of my last point. He was winded, off key, missed words and danced like there was no tomorrow. That man’s temper might be questionable (and I thought a Ninja fight scene in his choreographed number was an unusual choice) but he sure can dance. And I have to think that Chris Brown is in tip top shape. Still his singing suffered because of the dancing and that is as it should be during a live performance. No one can jump around like that and sing exactly like the recorded version. No one.
Justin Bieber sang along to his track, adding two vocals to the performance. The sound glitch in his second performance with Will i Am, allowed us to hear his recorded version and his almost flawless live performance. A few times he came into the phrase late and that was the clue, when we clearly heard his softer recorded track. That, and the fact that someone made a major boo boo, mixed the sound wrong and we, at home, could hear his live voice clearly above everything else. I was amazed that the kid could sing as well as he did and dance like that. Kudos to J.B.
Taylor Swift, on the other hand, (who did a darling performance of Twenty-Two), sang almost flawlessly which was highly suspicious seeing that she can barely sing live when she’s standing still. T.S. is famous for singing way off key in T.V. live performances and that could have something to do with her monitor or ear piece or excitement, but she never sings well on an awards show. So to hear the almost perfect version of Twenty Two, was extremely suspect, even though when she finished her mile run to the stage through the bowels of the MGM Grand, she was breathing hard and we could hear her panting in her head mic.
Christina Aguilera sang live. Of this I’m sure. Because she can.
Not J Lo, whose vocals are never the main focus in her performance anyhow, especially when she’s wearing red, BIG BIRD sleeves, but it’s my humble opinion that she sang along to her own vocal track too. Too bad her right boot came loose but she continued on like the trooper she is.
 In this day and age when women performers are upping the ante to include full- on dancing/stage shows, Madonna-style, is it ridiculous to ask them to sing live as well? Who could do it? Madonna can’t. Even she lip syncs at her shows sometimes (or maybe all the time). But have you ever seen a Madonna show? OMG. Last night she received an honorary award in her underwear and was as pretentious and charming as only MDNA can be.
It appears, after last night, the Milli Vanilli faux pas is becoming the norm now. I’d love to hear the discussion between artist and producers about how everyone is doing it. ”Don’t get left behind singing your heart out, off-key, when you can be singing along to your own perfect voice!”  The Perry’s, I’m pretty sure delivered a pure unadulterated vocal performance, so did the gal at her guitar singing about Mary’s, Kacy something. Now her voice was full of nerves, flaws and problems but the gal sang live. Well done Newcomer!
Last night the performances at the Billboard Awards were absolutely amazing. Stunning. Full of lights, effects, dancers, acrobats, confetti, balloons dropping from the roof and pyrotechnics. But what about the live singing? Is that a thing of the past if the artist decides to do choreography? Do we have to choose as an audience what’s acceptable and allowable now? And the big question which must’ve been tossed around at pre-productions meetings for the Billboard awards show is: Is it lip syncing if you sing along to your own track? You decide.
Over and Out

Kim Hornsby is the author of Amazon Bestselling Suspense Novels

                             The Dream Jumper's Promise                                 
                                                  and Necessary Detour


Thursday, May 2, 2013

New Cover for The Dream Jumper!!!

I have a new COVER to show off for my novel, The Dream Jumper's Promise! And I love it!
This magnificent artistry was designed by cover artist extraordinaire, Jen Vinci/Jeanine Henning who has done some amazing bestseller covers lately. I can't remember how I found her but when I did and she started working on finding the exact combination of photos and font to reflect the contents of my book, I knew I was going to be very, very pleased.
My last cover was lovely. I still think it is a great cover. I worked really really hard on it, 5 months of searching for different photos, pouring over sites, worrying about looking too weird, too romancy, too pale, too creepy. BUT, comments from readers have led me to think that the cover did not truly represent the story. I felt badly to change the cover because my dear friend Lori Coulson, who has a fantastic eye, helped me with the cover, according to my specifications. I know she'll understand it served me well and it was time to move on.
And so, I launch this new cover with a light heart and the knowledge that I finally let the expert take over some aspect of this process and help me.
As The Dream Jumper's Promise gets more successful, I'm excited about the prospects. This new cover puts it in a whole new section of Amazon Books - the bestseller section!

Thanks for your support in my struggle to be a successful novelist!