The Writer’s Life–Up and Down, Here and There


I started this blog to share the process of a writer’s life. That includes the triumphant moments as well as the missteps and my-bad moments. My last post, on offering The Light Never Lies for a 99 cent sale on, turned out to be one of the less-than-stellar moments.

I made a quick decision to try the sale option because the book was about to come out of the Amazon Select program. Decide in haste, regret at leisure, as the old saying states. I didn’t plan for success by making effective use of social media networks. This was partially because I thought something would go wrong. Perhaps that was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I anxiously checked the site at 8:00 a.m. (PST) on the day of the sale to see if the book was listed for 99 cents. It was not. I checked often and at no time during the 16 hours that The Light Never Lies was supposed to be on sale did I see that it was. Because I couldn’t see the sale price advertised, I didn’t promote through my own social media network.

The best that can be said of the whole situation is that it was nothing lost, nothing gained. I’m still not sure what went wrong as the help staff over at Amazon have chalked the whole thing up to a network latency issue which delayed the start of the promotion. Apparently these latency issues happen. (Like do-do, perhaps?)

The lesson learned is that I need to read the fine print more finely. Things probably didn’t work because the end of my 90 days in the Amazon select program was so close and I tried to rush my way into a sale, no doubt inviting latency.

Anyway – The Light Never Lies is now out of the Amazon Select program and I have just completed the process of putting it up on Kobo. The Kobo self-publishing site is fairly streamlined and user-friendly. My epub file and my cover went up in no time. I had a problem entering my bank information but the front-line helpers were quick to give me instructions to solve that issue. I am working on loading up to Nook and it is proving a bit more of a challenge. I ran into problems every time I reached the part where I declare I am not a US citizen. For some reason, Canada is not an option when it comes to living outside of the US. Maybe I should move to the UK. I’ve always wanted to see London and travel in Scotland.

Flag, Ottawa

My time with my granddaughters is flying by in an enjoyable whirl. Brit, the nearly three-year-old is very independent these days. She is often heard to say, “I do it all be self.” Kindergarten Emma broke her arm two weeks ago. It was due to an odd landing from a fall off of a very small play structure. When I think of the heart attacks I’ve nearly had as she scrambled to the top of heights much higher, I’m glad I didn’t witness the event. The cast came off today but her poor little arm is still sore.


Farley Mowat


Before I finish, I must mention how sad I felt yesterday when I heard that one of Canada’s best known writers, Farley Mowatt had died. I can remember reading his book, Owls in the Family, to both my kids when they were little. He was 92 and that is a long life. He has left us with the wonderful legacy of his stories but the world seems a bit less bright without him.


There you have it, folks – a writer’s process for another day. I have three more stops on the blog tour to share in the next couple of weeks and then I’ll have the fun of wading through all the comments to see who the lucky two winners of the softcover copies of The Light Never Lies, will be.

Mer Bleue, Ottawa

27 comments on “The Writer’s Life–Up and Down, Here and There

  1. jackiemallon says:

    I’m wondering if you have ever read “New Grub Street” by George Gissing? It was written 150 years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it as a great read but was also heartened that all that time ago, with no social media or Amazon or other modern invasions, a writer’s life was still exactly the same…Hard!

  2. Thank you for sharing your downs as well as your ups as a writer. I must take your words to heart, since I was also planning on doing the Kindle Select 99 cent deal with my last book Twin Desires, but didn’t realize I only had so much time to do it in. And if the timing is off – it all goes down the tubes.
    Oh dear, all I want to do is WRITE, darn it.
    Hope your dear granddaughter heals well. I know what you mean, I seem to only gasp when I’m with mine, worrying over every misstep…

    • On the granddaughter’s broken arm front – she is back to school today as if it never happened. Kids are so resilient. I’m with you on the only wanting to write front. Check out other comments here on the timing of Amazon sales. I’m not giving up on it but I’ll definitely set the date further ahead and maybe dodge the latency bullet.

  3. I’ve had similar issues with Amazon on price changes. You really never know when they’ll take effect, and sometimes it can be DAYS before the new price kicks in. Not easy to run a promotion with that kind of response. I think, oddly enough, raising the price happens quicker than lowering the price.

    But thank you, too, for reminding me of “Owls in the Family.” Honest to God, I haven’t thought of it in about forty years, but it was one of my favorites as a kid, and believe it or not I never knew who wrote it. You can bet I’ll pick it up now and savor it!

    • Happy to have revived a Farley Mowat moment! I’m not giving up on the Amazon sales option in Amazon Select, but I’ll have to put more planning and thought into it next time, for sure.

  4. sjoycarlson says:

    Interesting… I’m starting to explore publishing options for my own novel and it’s so helpful reading about other author’s (mis)adventures. Thanks for posting this!

  5. As always, I deeply appreciate your generosity in sharing your travels. Maybe someday you’ll write a “How to do it” book for the writers like myself who are clueless.

    • Rest assured – the moment I feel like I even slightly know what I’m doing, I’ll consider the idea – haha. The learning curve on this stuff just seems to keep on going and going.

  6. Heh Fran – lucky you keep me update because I hadn’t heard about Farley Mowat dying.

    I remember The Boat That Wouldn’t Float. And his recounting of the Inuit famine, in People of the Deer. Canada has lost a great writer and an even greater environmentalist.

    Take care over there in Vancouver with the kids, but please don’t move to Scotland. Love you always. . . B

  7. Roy McCarthy says:

    Canada not an option? That’s weird. Here in the CIs we’re resigned to having to select ‘United Kingdom’ incorrectly when it is the best option. But Canada is surely to big to be overlooked.

  8. Thanks for sharing, Fran. It seems there’s always more red tape to totally complicate things.

  9. jane tims says:

    Hi. I am impressed by your knowledge re self-publishing even though sometimes things don’t quite work out. I couldn’t wait any longer to read ‘The Light Never Lies’ on my Kobo, so I had the very easy, happy experience of getting a Kindle app for my IPad and downloading the Kindle version. The only drawback – when I want to find out what happens next, my husband is using the IPad!!! Izzy continues to be my favorite character. She accepts everything with graceful maturity! Jane

    • I love it when someone recognizes Izzy as the complicated character she is and still likes her. Here’s to wrestling that iPad away from hubby so you can finish.

  10. dex says:

    I love Amazon as a reader. As a writer, I’m not crazy about the profit splitting, at least from the quick and dirty research I’ve done. Sorry to hear your sale didn’t work out!

    • I’ve always loved Amazon, as a reader, too. I won’t give up on the Amazon Select program just yet. I have the first book in the Crater Lake Series almost ready to go up under my own imprint and I’ll probably do more research into running specials on that one as a lead-in to the 2nd book. I look forward to reporting on how that goes.

  11. evelynralph says:

    Have not read everything as i had an op. On my hand yesterday and cannot hold my Ipad for long. I really have not gotten the hang of Amazon, as an author. I need to guide people to my books, reay for when my bigger novel is published. Hopefully, this coming summer or autumn. You do not then, advicAte putting a novel on free or very low sle orice?

    • Hey Evelyn – I’m not saying I wouldn’t try the Amazon Select sale days again – I would, for sure. I just think I would have to plan them to land about 30 days into the three month contract and choose dates a couple of weeks out from that in order to give them lots of time to make sure the sales prices show up. I’m not sure about free days. Big controversy on that subject, right?

      • evelynralph says:

        I would say so in some quarters, i am fairly new to Amazon, as an ebook author, and I am not a technical person either. I jus thi k, with ll the billinsod reader out there, i ought to have old more. Even just by readers perusing.

  12. Gwen Stephens says:

    Sorry to hear about poor little Emma, as well as your sales bust. There’s always something new to learn here in your blog, Fran. Thanks for sharing these ups and downs. Food for thought for those of us on the way up.

    • Thanks, Gwen. Emma came through the experience with flying colours – older and not necessarily wiser in the caution department but maybe that’s not a bad thing. She remains fearless.

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