Category Archives: Uncategorized

3rd Annual Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale!

July 1, 2021 – July 31, 2021

Why is it called “Summer/Winter”?   Here in the Northern hemisphere, it’s mid-summer. Readers are loading their e-reading devices for summer beach reading and long-awaited vacations. South of the equator they are now in the middle of winter. They’re ready to curl up in front of the fireplace and enjoy a great read too!

Hello to all the readers and authors out there!  All my eBooks will be on sale for 50% off, so take advantage and stock up on plenty of books to read over the summer/winter.  You will find every type of genre with books from terrific authors all over the world. It’s an opportunity to find exclusive discounts from your favorite indie authors and discover new future favorites. So, check it out at SMASHWORDS.COM.

I’m currently working on a new book called The Atrium and a possible cover reveal will be up on my website soon.  In the meantime, I am continuing to do some Spring Cleaning on my digital content to make improvements and move forward into 2021.  Can you believe it’s half over already?  This year seems to be flying by.  Enjoy your Summer!

See you soon!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

10 Ways to Find “Comps” For Your Book

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“Comps” are other book titles that might be comparable to your book.  The main purpose for comps is to show who your readers are likely to be and to show where your book might be shelved in a bookstore.   Often agents, publishing sales people or booksellers need this information to understand more about your book.  It gives them a better idea for categorizing your title. If you are self-publishing, comps are a guide to the readers you want to reach. So how do you find comps for your book?  Here are a few ideas –

  • Look up the Best Sellers in the last few years for your genre
  •  Check out  more recent books with similar themes or point of view
  • Utilize your local library to locate books you can read or listen to without having to purchase them.  See if your library uses Novelist Plus which allows you to search for books by theme, genre and appeal.  You can also ask your librarian.
  • Use social media sites to find out what is popular in that genre
  •  If you are in any writing groups, ask other writers or readers what they would recommend 
  • Film and TV can be used as comps as well as books. If it gives a reliable comparison of what you are writing, then use it. Sometimes a visual is the best explanation. (If you use media, be sure to clarify your source)
  • Describe what part of a plot or characterization might be like your book.
  • Try not to compare your book to one that is too far out of date unless it is very well known and liked. Let people know that you are keeping up with the marketplace.
  • Barnes & Noble and Amazon show a lot of sales data that can be beneficial for comps. People often buy items that are similar. Especially when it comes to books, you can enter a title on their sites and then look for books that are recommended that appear under these headers:

     “Customers who bought this also bought . . .” (Amazon and Barnes & Noble) “Frequently bought together” (Amazon)

    “What customers bought after viewing this” (Amazon)

  • You can also ask people who have read your book for some suggestions.

TIP – Avoid saying that your book is better than someone’s title or classic.  It might be better, but you don’t want to be the one to say it.  Attacking another author only puts a negative spotlight on you. Reading is subjective, and what you hated, others might love.  So, compare your book to others that you admire or respect.

Are you influenced by other comparable titles?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

SOLITAIRE

www.solitaireparke.com

Spring Cleaning for Writers!

It’s the time of year that often focuses on Spring cleaning just about everywhere.  So, it’s not a bad idea for authors and writers to do the same thing with their websites, blogs and various digital content.  Here’s a few ideas that you might want to concentrate on for your Spring cleaning efforts.

Update your Website and/or Blog: 

  Check for broken links

  Does your site need a new overall look?

  Update your Bio and Contact information and photo

  Make sure your site looks good on mobile and all browsers

  Check your page load speed

  Think about adding or deleting content in your sidebars

  Redo your Header or Footer

  Add or delete Social Media sites & the information on these sites

  Backup your site

Email:

  Go through your emails and unsubscribe to unneeded ones

  Archive material you want to keep

  Delete old emails

Social Media Sites:

  Do passwords need to be changed?

  Update your Bio and Contact information and photo

  Do you need a new Header or Background?

  Check privacy settings and info

Check all Book Sites:

  Are all your books listed?

  Check and update book descriptions if needed

  Update Bios, contacts and photos

  Are my sites linked to the proper places?

Backup:

  Important files of data and images (possibly an external hard-drive)

Take stock of what has happened in the past and get ready to reset things and move forward to a great year.  Things will get better and you need to be ready for a wonderful new year ahead! Get ready to accomplish your goals!!!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Why We Celebrate Valentine’s Day and 8 Ways to Make it Fun.

 

The History of Valentine’s Day, and Why We Celebrate.

40 Children’s Books to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

The Best Romantic Books for Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day Recipes

80 Ways to Show Your Love Without Spending Money.

Valentine’s Day Quotes & Messages – 84 Messages Perfect for You

20 Great Things to Do If You’re Single on Valentine’s Day

35 Best Valentine’s Day Movies to Watch for a Romantic Night In

42 Valentine’s Day Crafts That Are a Creative Way to Show What’s in Your Heart

 

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

SMASHWORDS – End of Year SALE!

The fourth annual Smashwords End of Year Sale kicks off December 18th and runs through January 1, 2021. The sale is beginning a week earlier this year so you can take advantage of the Smashwords Store’s ebook gifting feature.  You can find books at 25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off and 100%-off (free).  What a great time to stock up on the books you would love to read or give the gift of reading to someone you love or a friend.  Visitors to the Smashwords Store will find the sale prominently featured at the top of the Smashwords home page starting December 18th.  So, encourage your friends to visit the website and check out this amazing sale!

https://www.smashwords.com/

Have a wonderful Holiday – Merry Christmas to everyone!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/solitaireparke

Larger World Series – “Patterns of Existence” to be Released Soon!

I have been working feverishly to finish this final work of the series so that my readers can get a complete picture of the intricacies of the Larger World.  I am excited that it is in the final stages of editing and will hopefully be available very soon.

  • This is the third volume of the series called “The Larger World.” There is also a companion book filled with colorful images called, The Altar Shields.”
  • The first book in the set, entitled Beyond the Astral Planes,” is this subject’s version of how to become a traveler, and deals with the beginnings of the knowledge.
  • Book two is a much more in depth look at the information stated in book one, and becomes the intermediate level of the learning entitled, Threshold of Perception.”
  • It is followed by this new volume, Patterns of Existence,” which deals with all of the above and more, but at the advanced level of comprehension.

Each of these works is capable of being read individually with little or no loss of cohesiveness or clarity, but when cross referenced together, they form a detailed picture of the expanse from which the series found its name; The Larger World.”

 If you have not read the previous books, they can be found at my website and many other locations in various formats (e-book, paperback, hardcover).  So, check them out.  The latest book will be here soon!

www.solitaireparke.com

Happy Fall reading to everyone!

Solitaire

 

 

Never give up – Never surrender!

It’s a line spoken by actor, Tim Allen, from a movie – “Galaxy Quest.”  It’s one of the funniest sci-fi spoofs ever made.  It’s just one of those feel-good movies that you watch again and again, and it has a great message.   It’s so easy to get lost amidst the responsibilities and difficulties of life.  We struggle to find the time to write or create, and sometimes it can be all too confusing and disheartening to keep up the drive.  Many of us are working day jobs and trying to fit in our writing or whatever our passion is, around everything else.  What we need is creative clarity about what we’re creating and why we’re doing it in the first place.   Go back to the ”well” so to speak, and dig deep for your source of inspiration.  Do you have a great story that needs to be expressed, whether it’s as an author or in a painting?  Someone out there needs to hear or see what you have to say and it will profoundly connect with them in a meaningful way, and that is important.  It means continuing to be an artist even when there are setbacks, and a lack of validation.  That clarity will help you to prioritize amidst your busy life, and your amazing creation will materialize and give the world something to think about besides its everyday routine.  To be elevated above the mundane into a place that is intriguing, magical, whimsical or exquisite is what teaches us how to thrive and experience truly being alive!

Never give up – Never Surrender!

Solitaire

Check out my website for upcoming books and fun features.

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

READ IT NOW – Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Three – INTO FUTURES PAST

I am excited to tell you that the third prequel to the Daughter of the Dark Lord INTO FUTURES PAST has been released!

It is available on my website www.solitaireparke.com under Books.  Check out the first two prequels and the other books there as well as some fun extras.

Daughter of the Dark Lord, Katherine, is determined to protect the downtrodden.  She’s in a race against time and space to fulfill the prophecy and become a leader unlike any other before her.  Follow her failures, triumphs, and unending journeys to claim her destiny as the Queen of the Dragons in this exciting, action-filled fantasy adventure as she struggles with self-acceptance and the acceptance of the dragons and people in her world.

In Book number three, Katherine travels through time to find herself transformed into the body of a woman named Elizabeth. She struggles to make sense of this unfamiliar new reality while being pursued by forces of good and evil.  Using her special abilities, will she be able to claim her calling and as Queen of the Dragons, save them all?  This is her story, one of thrilling adventure and at times heart-wrenching sorrow as she seeks to fulfill her destiny.

I hope you all enjoy the journey of Katherine Pendragon as she travels – INTO FUTURES PAST!

 

Solitaire

 

 

 

What is a Typical Day in a Writer’s Life?

I start my day in the same way as, I would assume, any other person.  Personal hygiene, shower-shave, the usual stuff.  Ordinarily it wouldn’t be worth mentioning except that without it I manage to think about a lot of things.  It’s just that none of them equate to writing.  Being freshly showered seems to energize my mind and allow it to do other things besides wallowing around in a fog.  Coffee is on the menu between 7 and 11 in the morning.  I rarely stop for a lunch break, but occasionally snack here and there while I keep working.  From 11 on, I usually drink tonic water and ginger ale – my ginger tonic.

I have two dogs, so periodically during the day they need an outdoor break.  Then there are the two cats who definitely don’t want to feel ignored.  Pets have their own ways of letting you know when they need your immediate attention.  Not always in a good way!

If I’m writing dialogue, I often have conversations back and forth with my characters to determine what sounds awkward or unrealistic.  If I need to clear my head, once in a while I’ll watch an episode of a Sci-Fi show just to keep a fresh mind and then its back to writing again.

For me to get into the spirit of writing, the mood of the room is actually quite important in the scheme of things.  A good desk lamp tends to set the stage, casting an ambience that is conducive to seeing the story before I write it, or at least doesn’t take away from the ability to begin writing.

Music is the single most important ingredient to my writing, and it has to match the feel of the story.  I write more fantasy than anything, and I’ve found that epic instrumentals work every time.  I can almost see the characters being inspired right along with me.

 I try to write 8 hours a day, Monday-Friday, and rewrite the bits and pieces I don’t like in the evenings between 10:00 p.m. and midnight.  I don’t sleep as much as most people, and it just seems logical to do something constructive during a time when very little happens otherwise.

I’ve been asked many times about taking breaks and I advocate them, of course, but I rarely remember to take them.  Once I get caught up in the story, it tends to take on a life of its own.

Oh, and then there’s that full-time job that I work from home for thirty-two – sometimes more – hours per week.  I’m a pretty busy author these days.

 

If you haven’t already, check out my Website, my Amazon Author Page, friend me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

Solitaire

 

 

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

From everyone at solitaireparke.com, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

“Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.” – Brooks Atkinson

”It’s New Year’s Day Hurray! Hurray! The old year’s past and gone away. We’ll raise our glasses and make a toast, because this Now and this Present is what means the most.” – Sharon Gardner

”This bright new year is given me to live each day with zest, to daily grow and try to be my highest and my best!” – William Arthur Ward

”A brand new year could be considered the seed, and your goals could be the buds, but taking action and achieving your dreams, well, that is the flower. May the New Year be your seed and may you have lots of flowers to inspire you!” – Kate Summers

”It Doesn’t Matter Where You Came From. All That Matters Is Where You Are Going.”- Brian Tracy

”Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

”Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’” –Alfred Lord Tennyson

”With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

”I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” –Thomas Jefferson

”It is our attitude toward life that determines life’s attitude toward us. We get back what we put out.” – Earl Nightingale

”I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings.” – Nick Frederickson

”Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

”What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” – Anne Frank

”Every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all of our lives.” – Steven Spielberg

”Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” – Brad Paisley

”And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” – Meister Eckhart

“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coehlo

”Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

”We all get the exact same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them.” – Hillary DePiano

”A New Year brings new grace for new accomplishments.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

 

Have a wonderful new year of fantastic and inspirational reading!

Solitaire

 

 

 

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