Friday, December 17, 2010

The Time Has Come

Dear friends, the time has come for me to stop posting on Forensics and Faith. This blog has been going for six years now, and the archives contain many posts on the craft of fiction, the publishing industry, and my experiences in writing. Forensics and Faith will remain up, and all the archives will continue to be available.

When I started this blog I naturally started using it to teach fiction-writing and to reach out to others in the industry. Now I'm finding I need to expand beyond folks in the publishing industry and more effectively be in contact with my readers at large. I've been doing that for some time through Twitter and a personal profile page on Facebook. In the past few days I've created a business page on Facebook and am in the process of inviting all my Facebook friends to move over to the new page. The old profile has gone down to bare bones and won't be used anymore. Please take a moment right now to visit my business page--Brandilyn Collins: Seatbelt Suspense. Click the "Like" button there so we can stay connected. On that page you'll find links to all my books, videos, events, etc. You can keep up with my news daily through this page, and also through receiving my newsletter, Sneak Pique, which is sent via email every other month. (If you've not signed up for Sneak Pique, you can do that here.)

As I write this, I'm currently finishing my 23rd book--a southern mystery titled Gone to Ground. It will release around Jan. 2012. Meanwhile May of 2011 will see my next release--Over the Edge, my suspense novel about Lyme Disease and the "Lyme Wars" in the medical community over the testing andtreatment of the disease. I'm so looking forward to the release of this book. It is my typical fast-paced suspense, yet it also contains much information about Lyme and its controversies, woven into the action. Readers will be entertained as well as learn something through this story.

Thanks to all of you for being readers of Forensics and Faith. I have so appreciated your comments and encouragement these past six years. You all remain dear to me, and I don't want to lose contact with any of you.

Blessings to all.

Brandilyn Collins: Seatbelt Suspense

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy 94th, Mama Ruth!

Today my mom, known to many worldwide as Mama Ruth, turns 94. Macular degeneration has taken much of her eyesight, but she still manages to live on her own in the retirement village in Kentucky. And she's still as feisty as ever. Those half-hour exercises, in which she can touch her palms to the floor? Yup, still does 'em every morning.

Here's a picture of Mom with her four daughters, taken this summer at our family reunion. Why a pink bathtub, you ask? Why not? (The people in the store certainly got a kick out of watching us stage it.)

And remember her parasailing 10 years ago?

Happy, happy birthday to my wonderful mom!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Comparison of Bestseller Lists for November 2010

Here is the comparison of CBA's "January" list and ECPA's "December" list, both reflecting sales of fiction in participating Christian bookstores in the month of November. (Sometimes the days counted within the month vary a little between CBA and ECPA, but in general this is a month-to-month comparison.) Books appearing only on one list are highlighted in blue. For a reminder of how these lists are put together by ECPA and CBA, please refer to the first few paragraphs of this post.

ECPA (Numbers in parentheses reflect book's standing on the ECPATop 50 list)

1. (2) Unlocked, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
2. (4) The Twelfth Imam, Joel C. Rosenberg, Tyndale
3. (12) Her Daughter's Dream, Francine Rivers, Tyndale
4. (15) In the Company of Others, Jan Karon, Penguin
5. (22) The Thorn, Beverly Lewis, Bethany/Baker
6. (30) The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media
7. (37) Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers, Waterbrook/Multnomah
8. (38) Her Mother's Hope, Francine Rivers, Tyndale
9. (45) The Waiting, Suzanne Fisher, Revell/Baker
10. (48) Take Four, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
11. Secrets of Harmony Grove, Mindy Starns Clark, Harvest House
12. Seek Me with All Your Heart, Beth Wiseman, Thomas Nelson
13. The Last Jihad, Joel C. Rosenberg, Tyndale
14. Immanuel's Veins, Ted Dekker, Thomas Nelson
15. A Lineage of Grace, Francine Rivers, Tyndale
16. The Gathering Storm, Brock and Bodie Thoene, Summerside Press
17. A Time to Dance, Karen Kingsbury, Thomas Nelson
18. A Time to Embrace, Karen Kingsbury, Thomas Nelson
19. While We're Far Apart, Lynn Austin, Bethany/Baker
20. Embers of Love, Tracie Peterson, Bethany/Baker

CBA (Numbers in parentheses reflect book's standing on the CBA Top 50 list)

1. (3) Unlocked, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
2. (14) Her Mother’s Hope, Francine Rivers, Tyndale
3. (20) The Twelfth Imam, Joel Rosenberg, Tyndale
4. (25) Her Daughter’s Dream, Francine Rivers, Tyndale
5. (27) In the Company of Others, Jan Karon, Penguin
6. (30) Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe, Irene Brand/Anita Higman, Summerside
7. (39) Immanuel’s Veins, Ted Dekker, Thomas Nelson
8. (41) A Prairie Christmas Collection, Tracie Peterson/Tracey Bateman
9. (49) The Thorn, Beverly Lewis, Bethany/Baker
10. Plain and Simple Christmas, Amy Clipston, Zondervan
11. Christmas at Harringtons, Melody Carlson, Revell/Baker
12. The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media
13. Amish Christmas, Beth Wiseman/Kathleen Fuller, Thomas Nelson
14. Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers, Multnomah/WaterBrook
15. Secrets of Harmony Grove, Mindy Clark, Harvest House
16. Seek Me With All Your Heart, Beth Wiseman, Thomas Nelson
17. The Shoe Box, Francine Rivers, Tyndale
18. Lightkeepers Bride, Colleen Coble, Thomas Nelson
19. Take Four, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
20. A Lineage of Grace, Francine Rivers, Tyndale

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hear the Beat!

Have you read the December issue of Christian Fiction Online Magazine? Check out the first of my two-part article titled "Hear the Beat!--Using Sentence Rhythm":

Sentences have rhythm? You bet they do. And as in music, different sentence rhythms create different feelings. A fast beat in a song makes you want to dance; a slow beat makes you want to sway. Once you understand how sentence rhythm works, you can use it to help create the desired aura of a scene.

Sentence rhythm is based on this principle: The rhythm of your sentences should match the “beat” of action in your scene and the emotion you want to create in the reader.

This month, we’ll look at the first guideline for creating effective sentence rhythm...

Continue reading Hear the Beat.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Transferring Google eBooks to eReaders

Yesterday saw the launch of Google's ebooks. Google has been working toward this for a long time, scanning millions of books into its system. Many of these--classics no longer under copyright--are free. Google could end up being a real competitor for Amazon's Kindle, which currently sells by far the majority of ebooks.

Here's the deal. You can download an epub version of a book from Google to transfer to many ereader devices and apps, including the Sony Reader and the Nook--but the books can't be transferred to the Kindle. (Amazon holds the format for Kindle ebooks close to its chest. No one can sell books to put on the Kindle except Amazon.)

Figuring out how to download a Google ebook to a certain device takes a number of clicks. First I suggest you go to the Google books Help Center for info on transferring to the various devices/apps. I looked up the instructions to transfer a book to a Sony Reader and found them helpful but incomplete. Here are all the steps I discovered in downloading a trial free book to my Sony. (For you Nook folks--sorry I don't have a Nook to experiment with. But your experience should be similar. If anyone's tried downloading on a Nook--please speak up.)

For the Sony Reader, follow the usual first steps to buying a book--connect your device via cable to your computer and open your Reader Library.

1. On the Internet go to the Google ebookstore.
2. Scroll down to the free books. I chose Great Expectations.
3. Click on the book to go to its page.
4. Look to the right where it says "Read on your device" and click there.
5. Scroll down until you see "eReaders and other devices." Note that this is where you'll see the link I mentioned above to "Help center instructions."  The annoying thing is that when you click on this Help page it doesn't open a new window. So if you click it, you can either memorize the info and click your back button to return to buying the book, or open a second window in Google ebooks for purchasing, so you can refer to the Help page if needed.
6. Back on the page for the book you've chosen, click on "Download EPUB" toward the bottom of the page.
7. A File Download box may pop up, asking if you want to open the file or save it. Click open.
8. The file should open in your Reader Library. I could see a little piece of the cover. And I could see that I was on Page 1 of however many pages the book has.
9. Look toward the top right of your Reader Library. You'll see a box icon formed by four horizontal lines. If you hover your cursor over that (make sure first to click somewhere on the Reader so it's now your active window), you'll see "List View" pop up. Click on that icon to see a list of books in your Library. The book you just downloaded should be listed.
10. Click on the book and drag it over to your "Reader" (in the list on the left). If it's transferring correctly you will see a small plus sign pop up. And you'll see the "Status" circles start to go around, telling you that a book is transferring.
11. Click on your Reader to see the list of all books in the device. Your new book should be listed.

If these steps don't work for you, go back to the help page to look at alternatives.

As for price, doing a quick check of Amazon's top five Kindle sellers--Unbroken, Hornet's Nest, Decision Points, The  Confession, Cross Fire--I could see that Amazon and Google prices for these books were identical. I imagine each seller will be watching the other for competitive pricing.

It'll be interesting to see in the future what the new Google ebooks does to the sales of the Kindle, since the two aren't compatible. Will people choose to buy another device such as the Sony Reader or Nook instead? 

Friday, December 03, 2010

Misperceptions About Publishing

I'm passing on this article to you in case you missed it: "Twelve Misconceptions About Publishing." I encourage you to follow the link and read it. It's a good article, and right-on informative about publishing these days.