Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I'll be speaking at the Southern California Writers' Conference over Presidents' Day weekend, Feb 14-17. My discussion is called "Triple Threat: Author, Indie, Entrepreneur." Here's a class description:

This class deals with the business of being your own publisher, from writing content, selling books through various retailers, and getting reviews. Find the best ways of attracting readers and learn about the expected costs of packaging and uploading your novel, as well as the challenges of DEY: Doing Everything Yourself. By avoiding gimmicks, and by not getting sucked into the social media black hole, an author can focus on the the proven ways of selling books: content people rave about, a solid fan base, and being in those algorithmic rankings.

Hope to see you there!

Here's a link to the website:

My page on the site:

Sunday, November 17, 2013


My new book, Aquarius Rising, is now available on Amazon. The print version should be ready in a few days.

Here's a summary:

Out-of-work architect Nick Fellows never suspects a job interview will lead to a fight for his life. It begins when he receives an email he discovers is encoded with numerological numbers, sent to him from a mysterious company named Atlantis Revisited. Against his better judgment, he accepts an interview with them in a park in Manhattan. He's met by their strikingly beautiful recruiter, Lisa, who's only allowed to tell him that the company's primary focus is civilization building . . . and that their last architect was murdered. 
Immediately following the interview both of their lives are put in danger. But what could the company possibly be building, and who wants them dead because of it? The only thing Nick and Lisa know for sure is that they need to get to a place called Aquarius and Aquarius is rising.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Chater Family Reveals Their Favorite Elizabeth Chater Book

First born, Elizabeth Patricia, has two favorite books written by her mother: The Marriage Mart, and coming in a close second, The Elsingham Portrait. The Marriage Mart is a top seller, reaching #2 on Amazon for Regency Romance, but the family is often surprised by The Elsingham Portrait's lackluster sales--it's easily one of her best!

 The Marriage Mart The Elsingham Portrait                     

Daughter Eve Lynn's favorite book is A Course in Murder. The book is dedicated to her and her college roommate. Rumor has it that Elizabeth used them as models for the young sleuths in the book!

Son Kerry Michael’s favorite is The Gamester. The book is dedicated to Kerry, “Who loves the gamble.” The book was in the top one hundred on amazon for several months.

Jerry Chater’s favorite book is also The Gamester: “Wonderful characters and a great love story!”

Chris Chater, grandson and publisher, has two favorites: The Big Sling and A Place for Alfreda. For me the character of Alfreda is one of her best, a woman who is looking for her place in the world.

Lynn Gillespie Chater’s favorite is Lauren's Designs.  

Grand daughter Jennifer Perry's favorite is Emerald Love.

Customer favorite: The Gamester has achieved the highest ranking, staying in the Regency Romance top ten on Amazon for several months, reaching a high of number four. A Season for the Heart has sold the most copies and has the most consistently favorable reviews. It has been in the top hundred on amazon for several months.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thom Kephart From Amazon Speaks at PWSD

Thom Kephart, Community Outreach Product Manager from Amazon, was the guest speaker at the PWSD meeting today. Kephart has been working in the independent publishing industry for six years, starting with Createspace. Now with amazon’s Outreach program, Kephart is responsible for branding and expanding awareness of Amazon’s independent publishing platforms to the public. There were at least 150 people at today’s meeting, much more than organizers had anticipated. President Karla Olson was frantically trying to service a growing number of attendees, a huge line of people that circled the banquet room. I overheard her say, “We’ve never had this many people show up before.” Kudos to her, it went extremely well. And it proves that self-publishing is not only popular, but it’s still just beginning. There’s no telling how popular it will become. I once read a statistic that one quarter of the population of the planet writes fiction. That’s how many people could potentially use KDP.  

Kephart went over some of the basics of publishing on KDP and Createspace, and he did so fantastically. Here are some of the highlights:

Print sales are being helped by e-books sales. Often we hear that e-book sales are ruining the print business, but this isn’t true. Print sales are going up.

There are 40,000 publishers now on Amazon. And that doesn’t include independent authors who publish with Amazon.  

Metadata matters. What is metadata? Anything used to find, categorize, or describe your books on the internet, including tags, book descriptions, and author bios. Thom highly recommends having an author central page with a picture and bio. People want to know who the author is. Make sure to tag your book and find clever ways to reach readers with your description and categorization.

He recommends having your book on all POD platforms, not just Createspace. “You never know where someone is going to find your book.”  He also recommends buying the ISBN. This was a contentious spot for me when I was publishing on Createspace. I wasn’t sure how much it mattered, and Thom agrees that it’s not a major concern unless you have a huge readership, but he did recommend being listed as the publisher and owning your ISBN. Too late for me. Maybe next time.

He recommended the book “SEO For Dummies.” Let’s face it, most of us are writers, not computer wizards. But the internet is our marketplace and we should learn how to use it as best we can. First thing to know, what does SEO stand for? Search Engine Optimization. Business owners spend big dollars to make sure their websites are optimized, meaning that if someone types in “glazed donut” in Google, the site for their donut shop is more likely to come up first.

He said we writers have to help each other. Better to collaborate than compete.

In his opinion DRM is more annoying than helpful to readers, though he stressed that that’s just his opinion and authors should decide for themselves what’s best for their books. I say screw it. A simple search on the internet can get you free DRM stripping software.

KDP charges a bigger delivery fee for larger files than smaller ones. That’s probably common knowledge, but it was news to me. So if you sell picture books, make sure to check your delivery charges. They take it out of your royalty! The horror!

All in all it was a great presentation by Mr. Kephart. It also put a human face on the process. Sometimes we’re lead to think our books are being managed by twelve year-old girls in India or something, but thankfully that’s not the case. Thom was knowledgeable and helpful and said many times that he wants to hear from us authors personally. He said his department gets tons of drunken calls all hours of the night from authors who can’t figure out formatting or something. It’s good to know I’m not alone.


If you live in the San Diego area, check out PWSD:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Elizabeth Chater!

Today was my late grandmother's birthday. She would be thrilled to see how well her books are doing. I started a .99 cent sale of all her books last Friday and it's been going really well. She now has four books in the top 100 Regency Romance on amazon!

These were the rankings when I last checked.

The Gamester ranked 20 

The Marriage Mart ranked 48

The Duke's Dilemma ranked 90

The Random Gentleman ranked 95

The sale will continue until Friday Aug 24th. But don't worry, I'm planning another sale in November.

Thank you all!