Wednesday, August 26, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: MISPLACED by S.L. HULEN

Misplaced A Rich, Complex Tale From a Talented Debut Author

S.L. Hulen recreates an enthralling world in the opening chapters of MISPLACED and right from the start tugs at readers hearts. When the groomed sands of Egypt suddenly change to the seedy El Paso/Mexico border, the bright and highly educated Princess Khara finds herself swept to modern America leaving her no time to mourn the assassination of her beloved father.

She would have had little chance of surviving the ruthless Mexican coyotes if not for the intervention of resourceful immigration's attorney Victoria Barron. As Victoria becomes more and more embroiled in Khara's incredible stories about crossing the boundaries of time and protecting priceless Egyptian artifacts, they are chased by greedy antiquities dealers who will stop at nothing to get those items.

The story takes on a more mystical tone as Khara struggles to replace the complex religion from which she'd been torn, and ends at the base of a jagged stone obelisk on a barren mountaintop. The ensuing confrontation between the women and their pursuers leads to a startling resolution.

MISPLACED is an engrossing story, especially for fans of Egyptian history and I recommend it to everyone. I loved it!


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
AVAILABLE AT AMAZON
S.L. HULEN ON FACEBOOK


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Monday, August 24, 2015

Crowdfunding Week 8 & 9 - Elbow-GreaseTime

My Deepest Thanks
 to My Wonderful
Campaign Contributors

Eve Paludan
Mikaela Quinn
Karen Walker
Mike Flynn
Connie Walker Gray
Laurie Fagen
Denise Domning
Kim Richards
Bryan Flynn
Daniel Zollo
Linda Style
Rick Walker
Ellie VandenBrink
Holly Thompson
Cathy McDavid 
Alicia Flynn 
Brandon Flynn
Bob Bleything 
Isabella Maldonado
Nikki Kimbel
Rosemary Sneeringer
Bob Gustafson
Sylvia Wright
Kathy Marks
Brittany Flynn
Sandy Yang
Cheyenne McCray
Merle McCann
Jennifer Drogell

Thomas
Annette Francine
LegsOhara 
donnahatch29  
Minu Jose
Phil Barnes
Luca Pandolfi
Martin Weber
Jack Johnson   
Micheal Koepisch
Adam Libonati 
+Anonymous (10)
Successful crowdfunding takes a lot of work and is very full of ups and downs. Not that I hadn’t been warned or that I failed to take the warnings seriously, but they simply weren’t loud or often enough.

Somewhere around day twenty the slump I’ve mentioned hit our campaign. Part of it was a slowdown in contributions, the other was distractions in our daily lives.

I had agreed to teach a class for an online writing school and to launch a Twitter team to generate registrations for my Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths writing conference. So as day twenty came and went I found myself swamped. I set down the blogs and missed two weeks. I didn’t tweak my funding campaign nearly enough, and I frequently chickened out on sending emails to long-lost friends.

This last slacking off ended up as a serendipity. Not only did it spur me to hire an outside company to send messages, it generated a heartwarming response from people I’d lost touch with years ago. Some of my former students told me how much I contributed to their lives and how happy they were to help. This, from Facebook folks, who have been so hounded to buy this and buy that.

This week I did the same thing with LinkedIn. Now in all fairness I haven’t stayed as in touch with LinkedIn as with Facebook. But so far this group has been unresponsive, and I’ve even had a few harsh rejections which didn’t happen with Facebook. However, I’m still glowing from the results of my Facebook mailing and by how many of my peers were more than generous.

Now here on my thirtieth day I’m running as fast as I can. Can I get closer to my original goal? At this stage it’s unlikely since so far I’ve generated twelve hundred and seventy-five dollars against a goal of four thousand. Still, the amount contributed will pay for most of my book conversions and possibly let me upgrade some software, so I’m farther ahead than I was when I launched.

Moreover, I am wildly grateful to everyone who supported me. The failure to reach the goal was frankly due to my ignorance. I had researched, yes, but hadn’t known I’d just scratched the surface. For instance, I hadn’t realized the impact of press releases – or even that I needed them at all.

There are ten days left. In the event of a miracle, I will do another post next Monday.

If not, I will do a wrapup when the campaign closes on September 3. I’ll share what I learned in hopes that the next crowdfunding writer will do a whole lot better than I have.


Week #1 Considering Crowdfunding?
Week #2 Getting Started With Indiegogo
Week #3 Pulling it Together
Week #4 Show Me the Money
Week #5 What if No One Comes
Week #6 Launch Week at Last

Week #7 Realities of Launch Week 
 
To Connie Flynn Site

Monday, August 3, 2015

Crowdfunding 7 — The Realities of Launch Week & The 400 Club


The week started with a flurry of contributors and encouraging comments on my Indigogo crowdfunding site.  I was overwhelmed and humbled by their generosity. To have people step forward to help someone else reach an otherwise unreachable goal sent my belief in the goodness of human nature soaring. My thanks to every one of these contributors is boundless.

Campaign Contributors

Eve Paludan
Mikaela Quinn
Karen Walker
Mike Flynn
Connie Walker Gray
Laurie Fagen
Denise Domning
Kim Richards
Bryan Flynn
Daniel Zollo
Linda Style
Rick Walker
Ellie VandenBrink
Holly Thompson
Cathy McDavid 
Alicia Flynn 
Brandon Flynn
Bob Bleything
+Anonymous (5)
During this first week I tweaked the Indiegogo site, added pictures of possible interest to the gallery and continued to email potential interested contributors. As the week went on, contributions narrowed. According to Indiegogo this was to be expected but of course, being human, I had decided it wouldn’t happen to me. That led to a bigtime moment of RDD, a phrase I learned from Kristen Lamb, which means Reality Deficit Disorder. Of course activity will slow down – the shiny object moment is over.

At this stage Indiegogo suggests campaigners investigate doing press releases. They discouraged it for the launch unless you already have a press presence, reasoning that you want contribution traction on your site to give the press and bloggers something to write about. I’m looking into a service that hooks me up with media outlets that work with crowdfunding.

One thing that is growing clear is that I won’t be able to carry through on my resolution not to ask for money. Gentle hints in my tweets, newsletters, blogs and emails have been pretty much overlooked. I’ve changed my focus to a perk I named The Four Hundred Club. The early premise of crowdfunding was that large numbers of people made small contributions (thus the word ‘crowd’) so I decided to go ‘old school.’

3 Million Books in the Kindle Library 
My campaign goal is four thousand dollars. I will be spending most of it on advertising and having my reverted Harlequin backlist prepped for publication. Four thousand is a pretty good chunk of change except when it comes to advertising, but if members of The 400 Club come together as hoped and contribute a mere ten dollars per person we will fully fund the Create a Runaway Bestseller campaign and KNOW WHEN TO RUN will end up with the advertising it deserves. I invite you to join. Not only will you get a nifty certificate, you’ll get the finger and an eBook copy of KNOW WHEN TO RUN

I’ll be working very hard on this campaign because it’s already gone beyond  just being about me. If I don’t reach my funding goal, I’ll be disappointed, no question about it. But what bothers me more is that I’ll disappoint those people who kicked off this campaign with their time and money.

$10 x 400 = Funded Campaign
Am I sorry I got into this? Well, developing and guiding the campaign is a lot of work. But there are still more than thirty days left and who knows what’s ahead. So, no, I’m not sorry and I’ll leave that question for another week. Is this something you should undertake? Again, too early to tell, but if you’re thinking about it, I strongly advice you to do your homework. Check out the other crowdfunding platforms and the various crowdfunding support sites. Read, read, read on what works and doesn’t work. And be forewarned that crowdfunding is not a free ride.
Buy Now! 

At the point I’m not sure what I’ll report next week. I have no idea what will happen. That’s part of what makes this process exciting. In the interest of being open and honest, I must confess that I've found most of this great fun and I expect the fun to continue. If you have questions about possibly doing your own crowdfunding campaign please use the comments function to ask because other visitors will probably also be interested. If you prefer to stay private, then just scroll down and click to my website, the email address is in the footer.




Week #1 Considering Crowdfunding?
Week #2 Getting Started With Indiegogo
Week #3 Pulling it Together
Week #4 Show Me the Money
Week #5 What if No One Comes
Week #6 Launch Week at Last



To Connie Flynn Site