Welcome to Interesting Times

I hope everyone is coping all right with all the “changes” we’re seeing right now. Yes, the world has gone insane. There are those overreacting and thinking Covid-19 is going to lead to the end of the world as we know it. Others are overreacting and seeing conspiracies behind every statement and action. For this introvert, I spend an awful lot of my day simply shaking my head as I watch too many folks running around with their heads on fire. I’ll even admit to being a bit miffed (okay, it’s more than a bit and certainly more than miffed) that some folks I thought of as friends haven’t reached out to check on us after learning Mom may have been exposed to Covid-19 at church. Fortunately, so far, she is symptom free and we only have a couple more days until she’s in the clear (me too, since we live together).

I can’t speak for every blogger here or every writer out there, but I am seeing a positive trend from Covid-19. With more people home, they are looking for things to do. That means a number of them are looking for books to read. A number of authors, and even a few traditional publishers, have put their works on sale or listed them as part of Kindle Unlimited.

This is the first time I’ve dropped the price of pretty much my entire library. When I’ve done sales before, I have seen a day or two and then it flattened out. For the week or so my novels have been on sale, the numbers have continued to be fairly steady. While it would be nice to have these sales at full price, it is giving me some state points to look at and consider before pricing the next novel out.

So here’s the first set of questions for you. As a writer, have you put your work on sale to help readers fight boredom and not worry about their pocketbook at a time when they might be out of work?

Second question, as a reader stuck at home, are you looking for new books or new authors? How much are you willing to pay for someone you haven’t read before to get that first “taste”?

Now for a quick announcement. I have a new short story out today. Nocturnal Prey takes place after Nocturnal Revelations and will be one of several stories bridging the books already out in the series and the next story arc. I’m still working on the nuts and bolts of the background for the next arc. I hadn’t actually planned on writing Nocturnal Prey, but you know what my muse is like. She’s called Myrtle the Evil Muse for a reason.

This story is a bit different in that it is told from Mac’s first person point of view. I hope you give it a try and that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Here’s the blurb:

Three years ago, Mackenzie Santos’ nightmare became reality. The world learned shapeshifters really do exist. Since then, Mac has worked hard to do her duty as a cop, as an alpha and as a mother. Now those duties all come spiraling together as she becomes the hunted. If she isn’t careful, not only will her life be forfeit but so will the lives of her daughter and all those she cares for.

Until later!


  1. I dropped the price of the first Merchant and Magic and the first three Shikari books. When Shikari 1 was on free, over 200 copies went out. The second and third books are showing a lift, so the lower price is helping sales. Those three are also suitable for ages 12 and up, unlike some of my other books.

    I’ve also released a new long short-story (26K words) in the Familiars series, and have accelerated work on Greatly Familiar, for an earlier release.

    1. I’m trying to do much the same. My problem is I am not motivated today. I need to see the sun–and it is overcast yet again. I miss going to the coffee shop, etc. Whine, whine. VBG

      1. I know. I hit my favorite coffee place yesterday, in case the latest shut-downs afflicted it. I keep telling myself “Semper Gumby” – always flexible. I also use a few NSFBlog military terms as well, but in the privacy of my own mind. 😉

        1. Yeah, same here. We’re also ordering in from our favorite local restaurants twice a week, just trying to help them out.

          1. This morning, had to get car work done. (The mechanics changed the oil, and since then, the car has been dribbling oil on the driveway.) So we hit our favourite local coffee place, and had breakfast bagels with coffee in the car.

            They were 1.) very surprised to see us on an off-day, off-time. (So we’re predictable.) 2.) Very glad to see us. Very. Glad. *twitch* *twitch*

            Got back to the mechanics, and instead of the expected oil filter pulled & reinstalled, “We replaced the oil filter, the gasket, the drain plug, and the oil. Let us know if you have ANY problems. No, no, it’s covered, we got it.”

            Not sure if this is a function of highly bored mechanics with nothing else to do, or highly twitchy manager looking at the utter lack of work coming in and trying to retain a customer.

            Either way, it’s definitely gone to Uncanny Valley out there.

            1. Yeah. That doesn’t surprise me. Our meals ordered in last night were almost twice the size of what we normally get from the same restaurant. As I told Mom, it is good PR right now and something I will remember when all this has passed.

  2. I read Nocturnal Prey via Kindle Unlimited and have to laugh about the idiot (on your site) who got the very wrong idea about the plot after reading the snippeted opening scenes. 😆

    Very Good Read. 😀

    1. Thanks, Eric. So far, so good for us. But the person at the church is not doing well and now two members of their family are probably positive for the virus. Testing rules mean they won’t be tested since there is an active case already. They are assumed to be positive and are being treated accordingly.

  3. As a reader I’ve been looking at my TBR pile and selecting from there. So far, mostly Baen titles I picked up from the Free Library or the CD images. The Last Centurian was a thrilling read, but maybe not the best choice I could have made for the current environment. Now I’m reading some of the Vorkosigan Saga. Not sure what’s next.

    1. Whereas I specifically put The Last Centurion on my phone’s Kindle app and re-read it when things first started looking dark. OTOH, I read it in hardcover from the library when it first came out, so I know how it ends — which may have made it a weird sort of comfort reading, rather like I must’ve read Fallen Angels three or four times in rapid succession on my old Palm VIIx right after the Columbia disaster, when i needed to believe “this is just a setback, not the end of human spaceflight.”

  4. Speaking as a life-long reader, I am always looking for new books and authors on some level. For me, at least, it just comes with the territory. That said, I also have a…prodigious number of unread books currently in my possession, and most of my reading so far during this insanity has been pulling from books I already own.

    When it comes to that “first taste” from a new-to-me author (or sometimes, series), I do like being able to borrow the book, or being able to snag a free of charge ebook copy. Of course, a good portion of my aforementioned prodigious pile of unread books is made up of freebies of this nature; some of them have been sitting on my Kindle, unread, for years. So while free is attractive from an acquisition standpoint, it also does not really induce me to prioritize reading the book. If I spend money, the ebook is going to be much higher on my “to read” list. I will typically spend up to about $3 for a “first taste”, depending on my level of interest and my level of knowledge about the book/author. If the book is a recommendation from a source I trust I am willing to spend more money than I would otherwise.

    1. I have the same problem — I’m such a sucker for free books that I’ve got so many books in my Kindle library that I started having to delete them from my phone to keep from overrunning my storage. And most of them are waiting to be read, Someday. Although I am currently reading a freebie manga on my computer, after discovering that the panels are just too small on the phone.

  5. I dropped all my YA to $0.99, and I’m going to toss out the older titles, five at a time, free, for as long as I fell like it.

    What the heck, all these bored/frustrated people at home, maybe I can hook some new fans.

    1. I have dropped prices on mine – will see how long it takes until it takes effect. 🙂

  6. I already put everything on a big sale for LTUE, so I’ve “used” my sale period for the time being, so I’ve not put anything on sale for the quarantine. On the other hand, everything is on Kindle Unlimited already, so that’s fairly consistent.

    But there was definitely a massive sales slump in the first week of the quarantine (when it really started to sink in for people) that hasn’t recovered yet. I don’t blame people, but it did hurt.

    1. I didn’t use the sale option but simply went in and dropped the prices and noted in the product description it was a temporary price drop. Now I just have to remember to go in and change the prices back at the end of this week.

  7. I’m making masks, from the shaped pattern posted on the Joanne’s Fabrics website. I’ve offered them to some of the San Antonio activities asking for them – don’t know how useful they will be, but some of our neighbors have asked for them, when done. Doing batches of bread, since the bakery counters at our HEBs are closed, and the shelves of commercial bread are or were stripped…
    My own three longest books are marked down to half in their Kindle versions: The Adelsverein Trilogy, and the two Luna City compendium volumes. (Links not posted, since … moderation hell. Just go to Celia Hayes on Amazon, and search by name. There’s another Celia Hayes, though – not me. She writes rom-com. I do historicals and rural comedy.)

  8. I’ve put my ebook back into KU, and dropped its purchase price. Trouble is, I got cold feet about announcing the latter, afraid people would think I’m trying to benefit from the pandemic.

  9. I do Bookmas on my Twitter every month now. As the pinned tweet. Then Ill flood my feed with more things I find interesting. I’m still pretty much working full time. Cause I am at a Pharmacy. Even if someone is pretty unknown, based on my own habits I’ve put down 3.99-5.99 before. Depends on what the sample does for my reading preferences.

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