Saturday, November 30, 2013

Kindle Countdown Deals Flops Big Time!

Update is below the post to describe why Kindle Countdown flopped!

December 1st at 8 a.m., my novel THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE goes to .99 from its regular price of $2.99. I'm trying a new thing on Amazon called Kindle Countdown Deals and I'm not sure this will be a good thing for this book but I'll see at the end of the week.
You tell them how many days to run the deal and give them a starting price point. They reduce the price then build back up incrementally over that time period. If I remember correctly, my book goes to .99 tomorrow morning and after two days goes to $1.99 then on the seventh day, back to $2.99. They put a little ticking digital clock beside the price to show how much longer at this price.
The idea behind this is sales for the week it's discounted and to create buzz and good ranking for the book after having it on sale. I'm hoping Amazon puts it on some list that readers can access for cheap books because I'm limited in what I can do promo-wise. I'll be away all week with limited internet availability.
I want to do free days at Christmas and Amazon insists I keep the $2.99 price point for two weeks after the last day on the promotion so that'll put me at about December 20th when I can reduce the price again.
As a first time author, I'm still trying to gain readers and convince people to read my book, take a chance on a new author, write a review.
UPDATE!!! You cannot do a FREE Promo after Kindle Countdown Deals. You must wait until the 90 days are up.

I'll update this blog next week when I have a chance to see if Kindle Countdown Deals works or not. I'm headed to Nicaragua tomorrow for some jungle time and won't be available online. This is me hiking in the jungle in Nicaragua.

Lately my book has not been selling at $2.99. It does far better at free :) or at $1.99 and although I never guessed that I'd be okay with offering my book for so little, I now realize this is the way to build a career.
The second in the series THE DREAM JUMPER'S SECRET will be out the first week of February and that should be a big shot in the arm for the PROMISE book, as well. Anyone out there have experience with Kindle Countdown Deals? I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

Nominated for BEST INDIE FIRST BOOK by Indie RomCon
Amazon Bestselling Author Kim Hornsby

December 13th UPDATE: I really hoped there'd be some breakthrough sales of this book with Kindle Countdown Deals but I sold very few copies of the book at each price level. It was almost like there was a sign on it saying "don't buy this." My sales plummeted. Maybe they were going to anyhow, seeing it's the Holiday Season and romance readers enjoy reading Christmas Love Stories, (like Christmas by Candlelight) but I've never seen such poor ranking for this book since it was launched! Not just that, but now I can't adjust the price to where it does make sales because I'm locked in at the higher price for 2 weeks after the promo. All round, this did not work for me at all. Good thing I have other books and novellas out there. And I have a husband to support me while I try to make a go of it as an author!

UPDATE!!! You cannot do a FREE Promo after Kindle Countdown Deals. You must wait until the 90 days are up. This has successfully tanked my book sales now for 2 months. I will never do this promo again. Little did I know when I wrote this blog in December.

The Dream Jumper's Promise

Tina Greene can't accept the presumed surfing death of her husband, Hank. Months after signing the death certificate, she trades mourning for saving her Maui dive shop from bankruptcy. When Jamey Dunn walks back into her life things take a strange turn. Dreams of Hank have the dive instructor questioning her sanity and leaning heavily on Hank's best friend, Noble. Jamey and Noble clash at every turn, both desperate to help Tina. When Jamey suspects Tina's strange dreams hold clues to Hank's disappearance, he must reveal his unusual ability to visit dreams. Trusting the man who once betrayed her doesn't come easily when the decision to let Jamey enter her subconscious has a price. As Tina, Noble and Jamey decipher the mystery of Hank's disappearance, grave danger sets in to reveal that one person is a traitor, one is flirting with insanity and one is an impostor.

Kim Hornsby is the AMAZON BESTSELLING author of THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE, NECESSARY DETOUR and THE HUSBAND HUNT. Visit her amazon page to find inexpensive downloads and print books.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

American Music Awards Hits and Misses

This year, the AMA's was the year of the production number, but we saw that coming, didn't we? Singers, dancers, Cirque de Soleil twirlers, rappers, fire eaters, costumes, lights, props, smoke machines and stage managers galore! I can't imagine the circus that is backstage at the AMA's, but I digress.

Katy Perry opened the show with a geisha version of UNCONDITIONALLY that had all of the above. Well, maybe not the fire eater but she nailed the opener with a Japanese theme complete with parasols, cherry blossoms, Japanese drums and K.P. herself dressed in full geisha gear, including sock feet, which I have to think is way easier for navigating up the grand staircase while singing and dancing.
Katy sang Live (no lip syncing)
Pit Bull was the host this year and although he leaned heavily on the Latino card, he was classy in his tuxedo and was absolutely adorable as a totally different type of host. His scripted Schtick was fun and the crowd loved him. Well done Pittie!

T. Swift presented the first award, luckily it wasn't to One Direction, whose lead singer, Harry Styles has an infamous T. Swi song about him. Wearing a tight, tiny gold dress that wasn't nearly long enough to cover any of her legs, she accepted several awards over the course of the evening and spoke with such heart and clarity that no one can blame her for her silly dalliances with boys who are barely finished high school.

Moving on. ONE DIRECTION Those boys can actually harmonize beautifully and if you feel like poo-pooing their talent, you try making 5 part harmony. Watch until the end to see their second award. Fans love these boys.
Ariana Grande sang next and with just her voice and a 4 Tops-style backup singing line, she rocked the house. Who needs smoke and mirrors when you have a voice like hers? My eleven year old daughter has been following A.G. for years on YouTube and loves her from Victorious on Nickelodeon.  Lady Gaga got to her feet, always one to recognize a good voice. She later won a big award and was all teenage gushy and silly in her acceptance speech but isn't she only 13 or something? Amazing!
Why would a man who has a men's clothing line show up to a huge awards show in a plaid shirt and ripped  jeans? Chewing gum. Marc Anthony. Booo
Did anyone else feel like Imagine Dragons was the only true rock performance of the night? When those nerds did Demons that morphed into RadioActive, the crowd went all rock star wild. With everyone on their feet, the 4 Dragons drummed the solo in RadioActive and brought down the house. Little does my daughter know we have tickets to see them in Seattle in February. When they finished, she was affected, aflutter and couldn't speak. Love this band. Not lip syncing.
Taylor Swift won a few more awards, spoke eloquently and the show went on with interactive commercials of JLo hawking Kohl's and pretending she was an action star, Pit Bull hawking Fiats on the beach, and Mackelmore referring to the injustice of Traynor Martin.
What's with the Shark Tank entrepreneurs in the audience? Marc, Damon and Robert had aisle seats and camera time. Who bought them camera time? And then they presented, without a woman among them. WTF? Where was Lori or that real estate woman?
Pit Bull and Kei$ha did a duet. Lip Syncing. Both of them. In her Daisy dukes and nose ring, she did a fine job of dancing and lip syncing to her own song.
It was fun to see Imagine Dragons win Alternative Rock and receive an award from non other than Joan Jett and David Grohls. They even said so.
Justin Timberlake performed a song that was amazingly fun like each of the 40 people on stage with him were lead singers in a speakeasy club. Great song, great performance J.T. and the crowd loves this Golden Boy. He's funny, musically talented and handsome. And not lip syncing. What's not to love? J.T. for president.
The Ceremonies- rock triplets?
Bill Maher who has no business on a music awards show stage, presented the Icon Award to Rihanna's mother who presented it to her in a charming mother/daughter moment that showed the world that Rihanna is just a girl from Barbados who isn't so far removed from when she used to sell fruit to tourists. Did you know that she has 33 Million twitter followers or is the most viewed artist on YouTube? Me neither. Social media works! Regardless of all her tweeting and instagraming, Rihanna won the first ever Icon Award and sang like a true performance artist. She definitely shines bright like a diamond. Not lip syncing.
Awards were given, Pit bull's presence faded like he'd been fired mid-show, and I worried that someone might fall on their extremely pointy award. "Hold it away from yourself!" I shouted at the T.V. Especially after Avici (Tim Berg) lumbered gawkily to the stage to get his EDM award. Worst ever acceptance speech, even for a Swede whose first language is not English.Christina Aguilera sang a tres understated duet with someone at a piano and showed the underbelly of a superstar in an amazing performance.
Lady Gaga and R. Kelly did a skit/song about the president having an affair with an Italian lover who looked like Marilyn Monroe that was strange. Interesting skit and love the song and love R. Kelly and love Gaga but it kind of fell flat. Too much weirdness even for Gaga? but not lip syncing.
Miley Cyrus and her kitten backdrop proved that the girl can sing but please darlin', lose the cat and weird teenager bedroom backdrops if you want to be taken seriously. It's just wrong. I'd say 99% of your audience didn't even notice your high cut undies because they were staring at the kitten, who was lip syncing very poorly.
All in all the AMA's were highly entertaining with even a TLC reunion near the end. With loads of  fake snow, lights, movie screen backdrops and fabulous sets, the evening was well done, beyond entertaining and fun. No twerking but hey that's a good thing. Wholesome Tay Tay Swi Won for Artist of the Year.
Ah, and after the ending, it said that One Direction is taking over America on Tuesday, or did they mean to say Good Morning America? I dunno.

Kim Hornsby is a former rock singer and entertainment specialist as well as an Amazon Bestselling Author.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Juan Pablo has chosen his Queen

Filming of The Bachelor 2014 has finished, if you can believe that.
The first night at the Bachelor Mansion in Los Angeles was September 17th in Agoura Hills (near Britney Spears house) in California. The scoop is that they stayed briefly in the L.A. area, after the opening night, had a few days/dates and left for Utah. Juan Pablo loves to ski and on his Bachelor application, he said that his favorite place to go was skiing in Utah, so this is no huge surprise.
But the next location was a HUGE surprise to me, if the rumors are correct. The whole show picked up and left for South Korea, where they filmed a spot with a dance duo who has millions of hits on YOUTUBE. Really? Okay, I'll wait to see this. Then they went to Vietnam, apparently and ended in Miami after hometowns. If you love spoilers, check out Reality Steve who seems to have a spy on the inside of The Bachelor. Chris Harrison, are you moonlighting?
One of the oldest contestants was eliminated in Miami, leaving 3 gorgeous women to go to St. Lucia with Juan Pablo.
You have to think this man is trying to find someone compatible with being a part time mommy. It would totally suck if he thought with his 'heart' instead of his head. I know someone who made the first choice and the children are virtually ignored now. Very sad. I think Juan Pablo is smarter than that.
I can't wait to see this all play out on Monday nights in January. CAN;T WAIT! As I type this Juan Pablo presumably has proposed to someone and is waiting out the three months to be with her. How frustratato! That's my attempt at Spanish. Luckily we have Thanksgiving and Christmas to distract us before the regular Monday nights resume and we find ourselves planted in front of the T.V. hoping Juan Pablo finds his true love. It's something to look forward to in January which has the highest suicide rate of all the months. Oops. Did I say that?
If you find it hard to wait, like I did, you might want to take up reading. I'm an author and created my own little Bachelor world in these stories.

I recently wrote a short story (2-3 hour reading time) where I used Juan Pablo as the hero. I made him French but still very sweet, compassionate, parental and sexy. It's #1 on Amazon Christmas stories this week in Anthologies. My story in the book is Christmas in Whistler.
Also, check out my Pinterest board for this story. I loved writing it and paired him with Julianne Hough.
 I think they'd make a cute couple. What do you think?

Friday, November 8, 2013

NaNoWriMo Musings Along the Way

I may be feeling too confident. Everything might come to a crashing halt any day now but so far I'm ahead of schedule for NaNoWriMo. If you are one of the people left in the world who don't know what I'm talking about, it is National Novel Writing Month for all us people across the world who want to tackle the horrendous task of completing a novel in a month.
Have you ever said, "writing a novel couldn't be that hard", or, "I could write a novel if I tried"? Well this was your chance. Don't despair if you haven't signed up. You can sign up late or do it next year. It's an annual thing so anyone who procrastinates can jump in next time. 
I stared at my computer all summer, wishing I could get going on the second in The Dream Jumper Series. I have readers waiting for this thing. I just couldn't get motivated. Publishing #2, The Dream Jumper's Secret, was originally planned for this fall but without any words on the page, that didn't look good. I had the basic story line. I just couldn't write it down.
At the last minute I signed up for NaNoWriMo when I realized that my hubby will be away on trips over half the month of November and I'll have the freedom to write with uninhibited abandon. Don't get me wrong, he's a wonderful husband, and I love him dearly, but he does blame the state of our messy house on my novel writing. He works from home so I imagine he spends the whole day wondering when I'm going to get up from my keyboard and do something around this 4,000 square foot house. And I spend most of the day cursing the day I let him buy this big place, wondering how expensive a cleaner would be. Until I hit the bestseller list I haven't been able to justify paying someone to clean. I'm driven by the need to prove something, most days.
So you see, I had two problems with the novel--no motivation and lack of support. Then I realized I had a third problem. Fear. I love the first book. It was nominated for BEST INDIE FIRST BOOK by Indie Rom/Con this year, has 166 reviews, has been downloaded 67,000 times and I consider it as small success.

I'm terrified to write the second one in case it's not nearly as good. Here's what helped give me that last push. Just before November, I read a series of 3 books by an author I felt was on my level 11 months ago. She and I published around the same time, went neck in neck on the free lists last winter and I was intrigued by her provocative cover and title. Sins and Needles is the name of the first one. I foolishly didn't read it, thinking it was about drug use, not tattooing. Okay, I'm a dork. But I also didn't want to buy it and help her do better than me. Did I tell you I'm competitive?
She published the second book in her series a few months after the first, then the third a few months after that, managing to fit in a prequel as well. According to what I've read about her, she writes at an alarming speed, holed up in an office, stopping for nothing until the book is done. In the last year, her books rose to the top of the charts, she's now represented by Scott Waxman of the Waxman Agency and is published by Hachette. This month, she is my hero. Not just because she wrote quickly but also because she turned out some fine reading. They are romantic/suspense, but more erotic and more suspenseful. Edgy. Hard to describe. Just buy the first book and see if you can get through the swearing, sexy scenes, and gritty descriptions. If so, you're in for a wild ride.
Before I started NaNo I took mental note of what made that series so compelling and decided to get off my fat arse and write the next book in the series. I plotted it out, penned out 35 scenes like Bob Mayer said Jennifer Cruisie does and signed up for NaNo. Excitement started to rear its lovely head. On Halloween night I was like a race horse chomping at the bit, pawing the ground at the gate, anxious to start writing. It was difficult to not jot down even a few words.
November 1st, I woke up, wrote my 2,000 words and left on a girls' weekend with my laptop. I woke each morning I was away, hours before the other ladies, got myself a cuppa and planted myself in the big chair by the roaring fireplace to write 2,000 words. I came home the first weekend with a really good start to my book. Yipee!
Did I lose steam? Not so far. I'm still writing like a maniac. Everyone has their writing process. This is the process that worked for me-- plotting ahead of time and planning scenes. My friend Geri, is the opposite. She needs to do away with all the obsessive planning and just give herself permission to write a very rough roughdraft. See where the story goes just before she writes it down.
Once I gave myself permission to just write the damned thing, much like the Cherry Adair Finish the Damned Book Challenge, I was off to the races. (With all these horsey references, you'd think I was a jockey). And now I'm up to almost 40,000 words this first week. They are not all great words and the rewrite is going to be horrendous but I'm getting this story down. I know now that I will finish this book by the end of the month unless I become like the hare in that fable where it falls asleep and the turtle wins the race. Knowing I'm 4/5th's of the way done is a beautiful thing over here in my head. I've set my sights on a Valentine's Day publication and am having the cover artist get busy for the second book in the Dream Jumper series.
Having this glorious international challenge, knowing that there are thousands and thousands of us out there in far-reaching countries, struggling to write, helps spur me on. I have a competitive nature but it's all friendly and fun. Mostly, I'm challenging myself to be the best I can be.
Also, checking in on word count is right up my alley. If you're writing and want to friend me, my name this year is Kimberwrite and I'd love some friends. I asked to join a group here in Seattle and didn't get a reply, so I took that as a no.
If you are stuck and can't get going check in to NaNo's motivational speeches by bestselling authors. Some are very inspirational.
Here's what works for me if I get stuck along the way.

1. Get up from the computer. Go do something else. Think about what you are going to write next but deny yourself the action for an hour. It's like the 'takeaway' in sales techniques.
2. Go back to your synopsis and read what you intended. If you don't have a synopsis, maybe try writing one.
3. Write out the next two scenes, making sure you are making it almost impossible for your protagonist to achieve their goal.
4. Pretend you are the protag. Get inside her head. Then write from that angle. Not necessarily first person POV, just be her and then try writing.
5. Music the protag would listen to, stick a hat on your head for different characters,
6. Give yourself permission to write a terrible book. Don't worry about editing, choosing the best words, the most narrative descriptions. You are going to fix that in the coming months. Just write what comes to mind.
7. Don't read back what you wrote and don't backspace more than two sentences. Keep the bad stuff and just continue.
8. Have fun!

NaNoWriMo is to be credited for more than just getting those first time authors to write their novel. It helps writers like me drop all the expectations and just sit down to write. Isn't that what it's all about?

Kim Hornsby is the author of two full novels The Dream Jumper's Promise and Necessary Detour, two short stories based on THE BACHELOR and has two contemporary romances in the Seasons of Love Series. All are available on Amazon.

                                                   Find Kim at