Friday, December 7, 2012

Coming Soon to Etsy and Amazon

Book 3 in the Prince of Cwillan series by Mary Catherine Campbell.

Happy Holiday's Everyone!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Self-Publishing and the POD Market What Gives?

Self-Publishing and the POD Market What Gives?

By Jenn Flynn-Shon

First I’d like to thank Cathy for the opportunity to share my thoughts on self-publishing here on her blog! For those Writers, Authors and hopeful soon-to-be novelists out there I hope my experiences can help you to make the best decisions for your work. I’d like to point out that everyone will have a slightly different experience, this is just mine, and shouldn’t be taken as law, obviously. But Cathy asked if I’d share some of my tips and advice on POD self-publishing, so here goes!

So what does POD even mean?

POD stands for Print on Demand and it is all the rage in the self-publishing world as it helps both the printer and Author in a couple ways. First, the printer runs the books from a digital file, not a typeset printing press. That’s a big deal because to switch out and print a different book is so much more cost-effective and efficient. Second, the Author can have a copy in their hand in mere moments as compared to the months it would take back in the day of traditional printing. To get my proof copy took about 10 days from order, to print, to delivery. Finally, and to me the biggest benefit of all, is the fact that an Author isn’t obligated to obtain thousands of copies of their work only to have those books collect dust in their garage.

What are some POD Choices?

There are many options available and they range from full service style with a staff of people who will work with you on your project (that you will pay for) all the way to formatting your own work and printing it out at OfficeMax. Some names you’ve probably heard if you’re in the biz are Lulu, Createspace, AuthorHouse, Blurb, etc…

I chose to go with Lulu as my POD publisher for various reasons. One of which was that they offer global distribution to Amazon, B&N, etc. and this sounded great – I upload the work once and they handle distributing to the big players. Also - I could buy just what I needed, other Authors I knew had good experiences with them, and they frequently offer discount codes that I could pass on to my readers. The Lulu printing method was attractive to my environmental sensibilities as well. They print in various locations across the country and ship to the buyer (you or your readers) from the closest location possible.

For my first novel, Ripple the Twine, I only offered paperback. With Lulu I make about $4/book when purchased direct through them. And I set up Global Distribution right away as I wanted my book available on Amazon too. This ended up being a good test because it essentially backfired.

Back in August I did a Blog Book Tour and sold 5 copies on Amazon from it. I was thrilled until I checked my royalty account only to find I took home a profit of about $0.25. Total for the 5 copies sold! That’s because Lulu takes their share and THEN Amazon takes another cut which leaves me at about $0.05/book.

Hardly profitable, no wonder they call us ‘starving artists’!

Do I Plan to Stick with Lulu?

As I wrap up final formatting on Reckless Abandon, my Romantic Suspense novella, I’ve been exploring my options. I intend to release this as both an eBook and paperback so it seemed like a good time to test the waters over at Amazon instead. I'm going with Createspace and KDP. Most people will shop there over other retailers (like Lulu). Plus their Author commission schedule is far better**.

Lulu did have some nice perks and I may use their services again sometime but for the needs of my readers and potential to make a bit better income it seemed smart to jump into the Amazon waters with my second release. But take note, I will be recording my thoughts on how well it works!

Are you writing and releasing work via a POD Publisher? Where have you found works best for selling your writing?

** eBook through KDP Select has a much higher royalty rate but do your research, you must offer exclusivity for 90 days to get this higher rate and it may or may not be worth it for your needs.

Jenn Flynn-Shon is an Author of fiction novels featuring strong female characters, an avid blogger of Randomness and Lunacy, and a frequent Guest Poster. She’s an active member of the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers and a two-time winning participant in NaNoWriMo. Learn more on her website.

My Chick-Lit novel, Ripple the Twine, is available on Lulu:
Reckless Abandon will be available for eBook on Amazon on Tuesday October 30, 2012!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Celtic Cat Is Back!

My world was shrinking, my Celtic Cat Photos blog shrunk down to so small a size I couldn't read it on my iMac. It made it hard to work on my blog, even the plus key didn't help, the writing was so small all it enlarged was unreadable words.

Of course I blamed, they did something that ruined my blog.

Well yesterday I was working on the notes to my editor for my next book. I ran my fingers over the wireless mouse. Zap! The notes were shrunk down to a tiny size. I realized that the problem was something that I had caused.

So today I called Apple, had a lot of trouble because the auto-voice and I weren't getting along. Finally, a real person came on the phone. I explained to him what had happened. I figured he would laugh at me. No, all he said after I gave him the serial number of my computer, "Hit the control button and scroll on your wireless."

The whole page became bigger like it used to be....miracle....I am back in business, I can complete the notes for my editor and get back to working on my blog.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

Closed ~ Etsy Giveaways

             I am so excited that these Etsy shop owners are sponsoring this giveaway.
                                                        You are in for a treat!
Giveaway #1:
A $25.00 gift certificate to use at one of these 4 fab Etsy shops!

Fobskeys are ideal for us busy, multitasking women who have to run in and out of stores with hands full of kids and/or shopping bags. Also, they are great when taking the dog for a walk. As an added bonus, Fobskeys are the perfect size to help you find your keys easily in your purse or diaper bag.
Fine Art Photographs, Original Novels, Photo Greeting Cards, Note Cards, Calendars, Wall Art, Home Decor, Cottage Chic, and Vintage Style Artwork of Ireland, Scotland, Europe, Canada and Americana
Now a full-time artist working in her private studio she stays connected to her community through teaching art classes for kids at Northwestern College and working with local artists. Along with her sculptural vessels, she has recently expanded into making ceramic jewelry, inspired by her larger works.
I have so much fun embroidering bags, towels, blankets and anything you can think of - it's so fun to see your ideas come to life. So please do not be afraid to ask me for something you don't see listed - I'll try my hardest to find it for you!

Giveaway #2:A 9 Tree Branch Button assortment from The Hickory Tree!
WIN a wonderful assortment of 9 very big Wooden Tree Branch Buttons. They range in size from 1 3/4 inch to 2 3/4 inch or 4 .4 cm to 6.9 cm. This beautiful assortment includes 2 Spalted Maple, 2 Red Oak, Black Willow, Shumark Oak, English Yew, White Pine, and Honey Locust. There are 9 buttons in all. Each button has been sanded silky smooth and naturally finished with earth friendly finishes. Organically preserved with a natural tung oil, and coated with an organic beeswax and orange oil finish. Finally I buff them to a satiny sheen. All buttons will be packaged individually and labeled as to the type of wood they are. Perfect for whatever project you are planning in the future or to accessorize an already wonderful creation. Great for embellishments on pillows, journals, scarves, hats, jackets, or handbags.

If you prefer not to use Rafflecopter...
    here are the same instructions the "old" way!  :)

Entry #1: (Mandatory) Become a follower of this blog! Follow through Networked Blogs, bloglovin' or subscribe to our monthly e-mail mailing list.Entry #2:
 (Mandatory) Visit the 5 Etsy shops (above) involved in this giveaway. Then come back here and post a comment telling us one favorite item from at least two shops.
Entry #3: (Mandatory) Add these Etsy shops to your Etsy "Favorites"
Leave one comment with your Etsy user name & email address stating you "Favorited" all of them. (If you do not have an Etsy account, start one! It's a great place to shop.)
Entry #4: (Mandatory) "Follow" these Twitter pages:
Leave one comment with your user name & email address stating you followed all of them.Entry #5: (Mandatory) "Like" these Facebook Fan pages:
Leave one comment with your user name & email address stating 'Liked' all of them.Optional Entry #6: Tweet this giveaway on Twitter... Each Tweet is worth TWO entries! Copy & paste to post this:  TWO ETSY GIVEAWAYS = TWO WINNERS! Come join the fun... #giveaway #etsy @AngiesMusings Please RT!(post the link to the Tweet in your comment with your Twitter user name & email address - this can be done every day... just make sure to come back and leave a link to each Tweet you send!)
Optional Entry #7: 'LIKE' this blog post to show it on your Facebook page.
Leave one comment with your user name, email address & a link showing your post.

Optional Entry #8: Follow these blogs: (if you follow all 5 you'll get 5 extra entries!)
Leave one comment with your user name & email address stating you followed all of them.
Each item will be checked!

Thank you so much for signing up! Giveaway ends Saturday, June 9th, 2012 at midnight. Winners will be announced on this blog & by direct e-mail on Sunday, June 10th, 2012. Any questions? Feel free to contact me here:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Winter Photograph Part 2

It is growing cooler as we head north on Lake Michigan. The wind is fierce, howling across the lake and unto the beach. Sending sand flying like is was snow.

There is wind erosion everywhere. At the north side of Manistee Lighthouse I climbed up on the sand dune and was shocked to find I was actually standing on the top of the protective fence. I shot the photograph above before climbing down to get back in the car and try to warm up.

You have to be a dedicated fishermen to go out on the pier for the Muskegon channel marker He is all alone and if he was washed into the lake, I don't think we could get to him in time. It amazes me how many birds we see flying even in these stiff winds.

I think for my next trip I am going down to warmer climes, something like the Florida Everglades.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Winter Photography

A question on an Etsy Team got me thinking. What would I do if I had a week off and could do a road trip. Well my answer was a trip along Lake Michigan would be my choice. So off DH and I went. We only had 2 things going out that we wanted to do; photograph a picture barn I was told about and stop at the Chocolate Garden.

On our first day we accomplished both.

For winter shooting I take besides a winter coat, a vest, wristies, gloves, ear covers, a hat, and fleece socks, besides the usual camera gear. We haven't had much snow, at least not where I live, and it has also been warm so we didn't know what to expect.

We started in Michigan City, Indiana. The vest was the first to go, it was in the sixties. Nice and warm, but the wind was vicious. I walked out to the the old lighthouse along the beach, had to look for a place I could get up the sand dune to access the pier. Even though there were fishermen on the pier, I stayed back where it was safe. There are all kinds of warnings about going out during high winds that create waves that can knock you into the icy water.

To save time I decided to walk back along the boardwalk. Big mistake. The sand was reclaiming the walkway. I had to place my camera under my jacket, turn away from the wind and hope for the best. I was being sandblasted. It took me a long time to get all the sand out of my hair.

From there we headed north to St. Joesph.

To Be Continued...........

Cathy 3 / 12 / 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

5 Years Coming Up!

I find it hard to believe that on April 15, 2012, I will have been on Etsy for four years and will be starting my fifth year! I joined in March but didn't listing anything until April 2008.

Where does the time go?

It has been quite a ride! I love Etsy!

2011 was banner year for Celtic Cat!

Etsy has given  me the chance to sell off season, which for Celtic Cat Photos and Thistle And Shamrock Publishing is Dec. 10th to the springtime. 2012 will be the first year we won't be doing outdoor summer shows. We are selling our tent, I will miss my summer vendor-friends, but I won't miss putting up that heavy KD tent, sitting in heat, the long summer hours and early mornings.

Cathy Feb. 18, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winter In Michigan

Usually In Michigan we have temps well below freezing and in the single digits at night. Not this year.

In fact my Day Lily under a pine tree came back in December because the weather turned warm. The poor plant has been struggling, until it finally got too cold and it died. One day it is cold here, then it gets warm for a day or two, then cold again.

Not that I am complaining. I haven't had to shovel snow this season.

Cathy 2 / 1 / 2012