Day 19 – You Are

You are
a mountain of pillows
after a long day.

You are
a long-awaited
Friday-night margarita.

You are
my pizza pal.

You are
a warm bath
and
a sounding board
and
a hug.

You are
common sense
when I’ve lost it.

You are
a surprise
every day

and

you are
mine.

I am
just
lucky.

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Breaking: Woman Wastes Time at Gym, Discovers She’s Already Hot

Reports are flooding in about a 25 year-old woman sighted at a local gym. Witnesses attest to watching her perform multiple sets of lunges, rows, curls, and push-ups in an attempt to, as one witness puts it, “get hot.” But the startling twist seems to be that the woman was already attractive, leaving other gym patrons perplexed.

“She spent like an hour on the treadmill this morning,” claims one bystander. “I sure as hell wouldn’t be doing that if I looked like her.”

Several other witnesses marveled at her useless dedication, citing alternative activities that she definitely could’ve been doing instead, including binge-watching Netflix, banging a bunch of guys, and eating “a crap-ton of pizza.”

When the woman herself was asked to comment she appeared to be shocked.

“Wait, what? I’m hot already? Damnit, why didn’t anybody tell me?”

She then threw her gym bag into a nearby trashcan and left, muttering something about cheesecake.

February Candy Pizza Giveaway :)

I feel like giving away another signed copy of Candy Pizza! Head on over to Goodreads and enter to win– all you have to do is add it to your “To-Read” list and boom! Simple 🙂

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Candy Pizza by Charlotte Cuevas

Candy Pizza

by Charlotte Cuevas

Giveaway ends February 28, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Radio Interview with The Magic Happens on Blog Talk Radio

I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday yesterday- I know I did, and am now looking forward to a great new start in 2015!

I had a lovely chat today with blog reader Annette Rochelle Aben on her radio show The Magic Happens, chit-chatting about my book, Candy Pizza, this blog, and my perspective on writing, education, my job as a librarian, kids, my upcoming projects, etc. It was a lot of fun and, since I’ve never been on a radio show before, a check on my bucket list!

If you’ve got some extra time today while you’re relaxing off your Christmas-cookie coma, check out my interview and some of the other cool stuff at The Magic Happens.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/themagichappens/2014/12/26/charlotte-cuevas-and-candy-pizza-on-tell-me-a-story

Thanks to Annette for inviting me onto the show!

Blessings and happy reading,
Char

This Week Only: ‘Candy Pizza’ On Sale!

I’m not very good with marketing/promo stuff- I tend to just forget about it and go “Well if somebody wants to buy my book they will.” I’m already worlds away with planning the next two anyway.

But I was looking over the reviews on Amazon just for curiosity’s sake, and my own Grandmother has given it 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t tell you how much that brightened up my day, and I’m not being sarcastic at all. I just laughed and laughed. I mean, she bought like 12 copies to send to all our relatives (embarrassing) but MY OWN GRANDMOTHER ONLY GAVE MY BOOK 4 STARS. I can’t get through to you how tickled that makes me!

In honor of my dear hilarious Grandma and also to make up for my complete lack of enthusiasm when it comes to book marketing, I’m offering Candy Pizza at a discount price this week – $6.99 for a printed copy and $0.99 for the Kindle edition. Imagine me saying something snappy like “What a great deal!” or “It’s the perfect holiday gift!” or whatever it is you’re supposed to say when you’re trying to get people to buy your book.

But actually, what I really mean to say is this: if you like what you’ve read in Year 1 of the 365 Poetry Project and you’re looking forward to Year 2 and you also would like to help a young writer, it’d be super cool if you bought a copy.

If you’ve already bought the book, writing reviews on Goodreads or Amazon definitely helps to get the word out! (And helps keep me motivated to write more stuff, which is kindof important.)

Thanks again for your continued support!

Blessings and happy reading,
Char

 

candy pizza

So You Want To Publish A Book? Part 3: Getting Started With The Self-Publishing Process

Ok, so you’ve figured out that you want to publish for all the right reasons and you’ve determined that self-publishing is probably the best option for you. Wonderful! So umm… where in the world do you start?!

It can seem incredibly daunting at first, when you don’t know what you’re doing. But the cool part is that it’s a learning experience- you basically get to teach yourself. For some people that’s nerve-wracking, but I like knowing that my success/eventual satisfaction is directly related to how much research and work I put into it, as opposed to waiting around for some arbitrary third party to finish proofreading or designing the cover or whatever, while I stand around helplessly hoping things turn out the way I’d like. As a self-admitted control freak, I can’t work that way.

The first thing I did and the first thing you need to do is get on the internet and research, research, research. A simple Google search of the word “self-publishing” will give you loads of useful information, including many of the most popular self-publishing services as well as a slew of blogs and articles with helpful hints and advice.

Don’t be afraid to allow yourself enough time to research. Take notes. Make sure you’re learning enough about the process before you even begin so you can know what to expect and so you can make an informed decision about which route to take. I can’t stress enough how important it is to let the process take as much time as necessary. You’re not gonna walk into a dealership and buy the first car you test drive, and you’re not gonna marry the first person who buys you dinner, so why hurry the process of something as important as publishing your first book?

From the time I first started seriously considering self-publishing to the final, finished product, the whole process took me about 4 months total. Mind you it was for a short collection of poetry, so my processing time was considerably faster than what you might expect for a novel or lengthier work. Still, whatever it is you’re thinking of publishing, don’t rush it. Give yourself more than enough time because believe me, you will hit unexpected snags that will make you crazy if you’re trying to adhere to a rigid schedule. Take your time and learn as much as you can.

While you’re doing your research you’ll be presented with several options for websites that will help guide you through the process: Smashwords, Lulu, Createspace, Nook Press, Blurb, Author House, Xlibris, etc. It’s hard to keep track of them all yet alone muddle through and figure out which one’s the best for you. That’s why it takes some time. I ended up choosing Createspace because it was easiest for me to understand, cheap, gave me a lot of control, and is well-respected among the self-publishing community. But what worked best for me may not be best for you; here are some important things you’ll need to look out for:

1) Cost. Some sites charge an upfront fee and some take a portion of the royalties. Some give you the option of purchasing services from their company professionals, such as cover designers or copy editors. But be aware that self-publishing will always cost you some money. Createspace doesn’t charge an upfront fee, but they do take a percentage of the royalties you earn. (Through a partnership with Amazon you have the option to earn up to 70% of the royalties if you agree to expanded distribution, which means anybody on the internet can sell your book. You still get the royalties from those sales but it makes it a bit harder to control the marketing.) Other than that, the only money I spent was the $12.00 it cost to buy and have two proof copies shipped to me for approval.

2) Ease of use. This is going to be specific to you and a personal preference. Whichever site is easier for you to understand and use, go for that one. Especially since this is your first time publishing, you’re going to want to use a site that lays it all out for you in black and white. Createspace’s format was very user-friendly for me. The ordered steps of the process are checked off as you complete them, and there are additional resources such as community forums and tutorials if you get stuck.

3) Perks. With so many sites out there wanting your business, each of them offers perks to get you to decide to use their services. Every site is different, but for example, Createspace gives authors a significant discount on ordering copies of their book. My list price is $9.99 but I can order as many copies as I want for $2.15 each plus shipping. This is especially useful since I want to fill up a bathtub with copies of my book. (Just kidding!) But if you’re into making the rounds around town on author tours, it’s pretty cheap to order a bunch of copies and then sell them to people at coffee shops. Also they give you the ISBN for free, which some sites make you pay for. And best of all, Createspace has the Amazon/Kindle partnership so it’s super easy to get your book (in printed and e-book format) on a selling platform that’s popular and familiar to customers.

Have I convinced you to go with Createspace yet?! That’s okay, I’m not suggesting it’s the best at everything or the best for everyone. But it is what I used, so if you want to use something else, then great! But I can’t give you any advice about that because I didn’t use it. So stay tuned for So You Want To Publish A Book? Part 4: The Ins And Outs Of Createspace.

And don’t forget to get your hands on a copy of Candy Pizza: Poetry that’s Fun and Healthy now available in paperback from Amazon and Kindle e-book!

candy pizza

 
Blessings and happy reading,
Char

New Blog Project Ideas?

My 365 Poetry Project is over and the blog now has a new name, as you may have noticed. I’ve compiled links to all the original 365 poems, in order, for easy access. You can now click on the 365 Poetry Project link on the top menu to see the whole list and find “y’know, that one about sunflowers she wrote around January.” I find it especially useful because even I don’t remember which is which sometimes!

I’m stifling my post-partum depression about the end of the project with my So You Want to Publish a Book? series of informational blogs about the self-publishing process. (Hopefully they’re proving helpful to you!) But I’m the kind of person who never needs much of a break and is always looking for the next big challenge. (Seriously, I take 10-minute lunch breaks and 1-day vacations.)

I’m debating between a few ideas here and there, but nothing seems to quite meet the challenge of the poetry project. And there’s the added challenge of, no offense, the short attention span of readers. One of the reasons I think the poetry project worked so well was that they were small chunks of writing that didn’t involve a huge time investment from readers.

But I’m anxious to stretch my prose muscles again… How would you feel about reading The 365 Flash Fiction Project? Any takers?

Comment below if you’ve got a better idea, wise guy.

And don’t forget to get your hands on a copy of Candy Pizza: Poetry that’s Fun and Healthy now available in paperback from Amazon and Kindle e-book.

candy pizza

Blessings and happy reading,
Char