December 31, 2012

Happy 2013!!!!

It's New Years Eve... like RIGHT! NOW!

And i'd be lying if I didn't tell you that new years was pretty much my most favorite holiday ever.  There's just something MAGICAL about new year's eve.

I don't know if it's all the promise of what's to come... or if it's the hope, the excitement, the unknown, or all the chances we seem to give ourselves at the start of a new year... but whatever it is, I FREAKING LOVE IT!

You already know that the beginning of 2012 saw a lot of struggle.. the loss of my home, still no job, and my books not really selling enough to make me feel "worthy."

BUT, the end of 2012 has pretty much rocked. I released The Perfect Game in October and since then it's hit the USA Today Best Seller's list, been a Barnes & Noble best seller, a Kobo Best Seller, along with being an Amazon Top 100 Best Selling Book for OVER 60 days (it's only been out for like 70 something)!!!! That has honestly blown my mind in the best possible way! I never expected to have the longevity I am having with my little book that could... I'm over the freaking moon about it.  :)

But I am so freaking thankful. 

AND HAPPY.

Sincerely.

2012 brought me an agent.

It brought me deals and offers...

It brought me audio versions of ALL THREE of my currently released books! I never expected that. In all honesty, I'd never even thought about it. So that was such a nice surprise. Thank you Audible.  :)

2012 has blown my mind.

YOU have blown my mind.

But as I sit here writing this blog post, I'm honestly hoping and praying that this is just the beginning. I find myself wishing with all my heart that the end of 2012 is just the beginning of what's to come for me in 2013.

I want to continue to grow my team, my business, my brand, my name- I want people behind me (or beside me) who want the best for me, my books and my readers... and who understand how the indie world works (or at least are willing to listen and try to figure it out). It's different coming onto the scene as a traditionally published author versus going from being a self pubbed one to a traditionally published one. I want all sorts of brilliant people around me who want to help me rise to the top. Positive, good, smart and ambitious people. Here's to hoping my team grows in just that way in 2013 because I want to continue being successful.  :)

Because honestly...being a successful author feels really fucking good. The fact that I am making a living from writing now... I cannot even put into words how absolutely mind blowing it feels. How I finally feel like I am doing the right thing- I'm on the right path- I'm following my heart and it's finally paying off. And I can stop beating myself up for being a non-income-bringing-in-loser-mcloser-face.  lol  You know what I mean. It doesn't feel good to contribute NOTHING to your household.

But now I am! And it's been so FULFILLING!

THANK YOU.

Because I've said it a million times before, but it bears being repeated... I can't do this without you. 

I could have never had the year I just did without every single one of you who gave my book a chance- who fell in love with the story I told- and who recommended it to other people.

Your word of mouth is my best friend. And I can never tell you "thank you" enough for it. Just please know that I never take you for granted.  And that I honestly do try my best to answer every email, tweet, facebook post, etc.  Because you mean the freaking world to me. You're not just "a reader"... I consider you a friend.

So kittens... Here's to a freaking amazingly MAGICAL 2013
For all of us! 
I hope you follow your heart and it leads you to true joy. Thank you for inspiring me with your words, your emails, your posts... and i'll do my best to keep turning out books that make you proud.

Remember when I released The Perfect Game I talked about getting a tattoo if it reached the Amazon Top 100?

Well I did it.

Just a little while ago. By a Giants fan, but let's not talk about that part. (hi tito's vodka, you are amazeballs)

This is what I hope I do for every.single.one.of.you.

Is it bad if I already want to add to the tattoo?  LOL



Happy New Year everyone! I love you! 
xoxoox

December 29, 2012

Taking it back

As 2012 comes to a close (ha ha, take that mayans!), I wanted to repost something that I posted originally on November 8th of this year. The release of The Perfect Game and your reaction to it has changed my professional life for not only the better, but for the freaking AMAZINGLY FANTASTICAL!  Yeah, I just made up a word.

It's so important to me that you guys realize just how much I appreciate you. How thankful I am that you not only take a chance on my stories, but you love them and tell other people to read them. I could not ask for more! 

Here's to hoping the end of this year was only the beginning and that 2013 rocks our freaking socks off!  :)  I'm ready! 

http://writing.jennster.com/2012/11/the-post-where-i-show-you-my-heart.html

THE POST WHERE I SHOW YOU MY HEART

kittens...

I love you. I really do. And I hope you know that everytime I tell you "thank you" or that "I appreciate you"... I really, really mean it.

I want to give you a little background on me so that you can hopefully get a better understanding of just HOW thankful I truly am.  :)

I got fired from my job about two and half years ago. It was funny because at the time I was so convinced that I'd be jobless for probably a whopping whole 2 weeks before someone else scooped me up and I was working my ass off again. And the thing was, at the time, I really needed a break. I can't even begin to talk about what went on in that work environment and what I had to deal with, but to say it was one of the most challenging experiences of my life would be a true understatement.

Anyway, I couldn't have been more wrong about my ability to find a new position with ease. Holy shit, i'd never been here before. I'd never been jobless. I'd never been tossed into an environment that was filled with so many under and over qualified people looking for work all at once. So I bought a laptop and starting writing almost immediately.  But I was still looking for work and applying to numerous jobs daily.

I could barely get an interview- and when I did, I ususally left there in tears because I had just come from a miserable work environment and the last thing I wanted was to be tossed into another one. I didn't want to do something I hated. I wanted to enjoy how and where I spent my days. Life is too short.
Nothing felt right anymore.
All the interviews- THE MERE THOUGHT of working for someone else- it didn't sit well in my guts. It's like I knew somewhere inside me that that wasn't what I was supposed to do anymore. It didn't feel right to work for someone else. It felt like I was taking a step backward when I was handed this gift to move myself forward.

But how do you explain that kind of "logic" to a family who needs your income? 

Thankfully I have a very supportive family.  :)

Not like it would have mattered- I honestly don't think I could have found a job if my life had literally depended on it.  It's HARD out there. It's crazy competitive and the people hiring like to make the decision for you before they've even given you a chance "I think you'll be bored in this position." "You're way too overqualified for this."  "Why would you want to do this job, when you've been doing this sort of job the last 10 years?"

Moving on... 
I couldn't get hired (obviously lol). And I released my first book (in dreams) not knowing really anything about this business. I just knew that I had a story I wanted to tell and no one was going to stop me from telling it. So I did. And then I wrote another. And i'm working my ass off to try to make a name for myself in the Indie/Self Published author world. And it's a lot freaking harder than it looks. There's A LOT of indie authors out there. And sometimes things seem so hit or miss- the moon lines up and the stars align just right for some people and not for others. And it's frustrating because i'm sitting there trying to sell books so i don't feel like such a worthless non-income-bringing-in loser (ahem), but nothing i'm doing is working- and my books are being ripped apart and people are hating them and the comments are freaking mean and they tell me I suck and write like a 12 year old and i'm sure i'm supposed to be offended, but I know some pretty cool 12 year olds out there, so whatever.

But of course that leads to the inevitable question of- am I supposed to be writing books at all?  And if i'm NOT supposed to be writing books, then just exactly what the hell am I supposed to be doing because NOTHING ELSE FEELS RIGHT

Sorry.

I'm calm now.  lol

So I'm writing books, but not really making any money. I'm looking for a job, but I can't freaking get one. 

And what happens next?

We lose our house.  After trying to refinance and get help with the mortgage (all of which the bank said no too)- we were in the middle of a short sale when the house went to auction. The bank didn't stop the auction and I went and watched it get sold to the highest bidder. We had to move a month later. (that was all this past may/june)

And really?  It's okay. I mean, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and i'm perfectly fine with how everything turned out- but that doesn't mean it wasn't horrible and hurtful and really fucking sad to get to this point.  You know?

Holy crap, do I have a point?  Yes, I do.  My point is that if you fast foward to now... right in this moment... right this second... I want you to know that you've made a difference in my life because you're enjoying something that i've written. You're telling your friends and family to buy my book. You're recommending The Perfect Game to friends, strangers, neighbors, in coffee shop lines, on facebook, on twitter, etc.  You're CHANGING my life. 

I'll say it again.

YOU
ARE
CHANGING
MY
LIFE


Let it sink in. 

Please.

Just for a moment.

Or two.


Because I could never be where I am right now (an Amazon best seller, having made the USA Today and Barnes & Noble Best Seller list) without each and every one of you. And I would be lying if I didn't say that I wish this could last forever! Because honestly, I wish it would. :)

But as for now-  you've made my dreams come true. You've rewarded my hard work by believing in me, encouraging me, supporting me, and wanting MORE from me. For the first time since I started this crazy journey, I feel like a success. I feel like i'm doing something right. I feel like i'm right where i'm supposed to be.  And I AM SO THANKFUL for every one of you. Because I feel that way BECAUSE of you.

So, thank you... for every email, every facebook post and every tweet.  Thank you for everytime my book pops into your head to recommend to someone. Thank you for spreading the word about my little book that could. You believe in it, which means you believe in me. 

And that is more inspiring than I can ever put into words.

I appreciate you. 

xo

December 25, 2012

After Christmas Sale on The Perfect Game!

Okay!  So in celebration of all the new kindles, ipads, ipad mini's and nooks out there... i've lost my freaking marbles and made The Perfect Game only 99 cents!

99 pennies.
50 cents (you'll get the reference after you read the book) and 49 more.

seriously?

99 cents!?

Yeah.  SO GO GET IT!  please?

Have an amazon gift card burning a hole in your pocket?  Let's spend 99 of those cents on this book!  LOL

But really, tell your friends... tell your neighbors... tell your enemies.  unless they really suck  :)

AND THANK YOU!  Thank you so much for helping me have the most successful year i've ever had in my professional life.

And if we rock TPG back up the charts, who knows what will happen in the future!

Links?  Here you go.

the amazing amazon
http://www.amazon.com/The-Perfect-Game-ebook/dp/B009OMPKTG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1356485200&sr=8-2&keywords=the+perfect+game

the bombastic barnes & noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-perfect-game-j-sterling/1113324003


Thank you for spreading the word. I can't do it alone and I really can't do it without you. I appreciate your help, your amazingness and your general awesomeness so much. I hope you know that.  :)

I'll be on the road driving and offline for the next couple of days so this price of 99 crazy cents will last for TWO days for sure. I can't promise anything past two days though, cause I might regain my sanity.  :)

December 22, 2012

So you want to write a book PART 2

This has become necessary for me to write with some things i've noticed happening online and on facebook lately.

This is MY OPINION only- I do not speak for the masses, but I can't keep my mouth shut about things that don't sit right with me, or I feel need to be addressed.  With that being said, here goes...

Since EVERYONE and their freaking dog can self publish a book these days, there seems to be a few common courtesy's that people are forgetting once they actually do.
The minute you hit publish on the book that you've written, you need to remember...

YOU are now a BUSINESS.
YOU are your BRAND.
YOU are your IDENTITY.

I don't care if you still work for someone else and write at night, write on the weekends, or don't consider yourself a writer at all.
Did you hit publish?
Is your book for sale?
Can people buy it?
DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO READ IT AND LIKE IT?
Then you're a business. 

YOU ARE YOUR BUSINESS, YOUR BRAND, YOUR ENTITY, YOUR IDENTITY, ETC.

So you need to behave in a "professional" manner, especially when it's really fucking hard to do so. (the professional jennster says fuck a lot)

People WILL write crappy reviews about your book.  And it will hurt, it will sting, it will make you angry, crush your ego a little, etc. There's really no way around that. But through all your personal, egotistical knee-jerk responses (because that's what it is- your ego is offended), you have to take a step back. 

You need to be able to look at reviews objectively. Sometimes, the harshest critics have the best advice. I've said it hundreds of times that I got my ass handed to me when I released my debut novel, In Dreams. I cried. I crumbled. I felt HORRIBLE on the inside. And at the time, I couldn't see exactly what was "so wrong" with it. But as I grew as a writer and as I differentiated between people's tastes in books versus their constructive criticism, I found that some reviews really had a lot to tell me. And it's the things they said that helped me address issues I never realized I had in the first place. Those critical reviews helped me grow.

IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL, YOU MUST BE WILLING TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE.

It doesn't serve you well as an author to personally attack reviewers.  It doesn't serve you well to sick your "minions" on someone who posted mean things about your book. Keep in mind, these people are not posting mean things about YOU, the writer (Unless they are. I've had people say i'm an idiot. I write like a 12 year old. I must think my readers are brainless, etc.  Which fuck yeah, that shit pisses me off cause it's offensive and how dare someone insult my readers and act like they are stupid, or act like I would EVER consider them to be stupid...) But most reviewers are talking about your book- which you have to keep in mind that while it's personal to you- it is NOT personal to them. They are merely expressing an opinion about your words, the way you've written them, your characters, your plot, your story.

I know that your brain knows that it's impossible to please everyone. But our ego's and hearts hurt when we read the reviews that rip our stories apart. The only way to get thicker skin is to go through the pain. It's hard to see the validity in things sometimes when our hearts are too busy breaking to be reasonable.

Which sort of brings me to another topic that is driving me up the freaking wall lately.

It does not behoove ANY debut author to have a group of people blowing smoke up their ass about their debut novel. It does a disservice to you as a writer- because it gives you a false sense of your writing skill and then when someone DOES say they didn't like your book, your immediate gut reaction is to think that person's the one with the problem.

Having less than honest reviewers and reviews on your book sucks for you- and sucks for other potential readers. People will start to question the validity of reviews entirely (if they haven't already) if this trend continues. Potential future readers will stop trusting the reviews they read on Amazon because they won't know if they came from a valid place, or not.

And having your debut novel soar up the Amazon Top 100 charts when it possibly shouldn't be there also gives you a false sense of entitlement. Unless your debut novel is something in the likes of Slammed, or The Sea of Tranquility- most likely you still have stuff to learn and reaching the Top 100 should be a legitimate goal that you work and strive for.

I am not trying to be mean. Please, please, please know that I am not trying to be mean to you. I love you. I'm simply trying to point out the fact that if you think you struck gold with your first book - then most likely you won't take the necessary steps to grow. You won't work as hard to improve yourself because you won't REALISTICALLY know what you need to improve.  When you surround yourself with people who are less than honest because they want to help you succeed- there's a fine line there. We all want to be successful writers. We all to be best sellers. But the truth is that most of us don't get there overnight... and certainly not with our debut novels.

I have more to say, but honestly... i've just completely forgotten the rest.  HA. 

December 20, 2012

99 books, 99 authors, 99 cents!

Seriously!  This is happening RIGHT NOW!  For ONE DAY ONLY we have 99 BOOKS from 99 AUTHORS for only 99 CENTS!!!!

http://buymereadme.com

Chance Encounters is the book of mine that is on sale for 99cents for TODAY only!
http://www.amazon.com/Chance-Encounters-ebook/dp/B007V6IGCA/?tag=jilli06-20

http://buymereadme.com


AND YOU CAN WIN ALL SORTS OF PRIZES!!!!!!!

GO!


NOW!!!

HTTP://BUYMEREADME.COM

December 18, 2012

The Game Changer- Teaser

So i've been working on TGC (yes, we're shortening it already) and I wanted to post a teaser for you guys. I'm pretty sure this scene won't change, but please keep in mind that it IS unedited and my editor is a total bad ass, so you never know.

I've got a pretty good start on the book and my only complaint is that I can't write as quickly as I think. I feel like a freaking slug sometimes. I know you all want to know WHEN WHEN WHEN is TGC coming out, but I can't tell you until I've finished writing it. Just please know that i'm planning for a Spring(ish) release.  That's not too far away.  So hang tight kittens.  :) 

Okay, enough stalling. This is from Jack's point of view. 

Enjoy.


And just like that she was gone. But not before saying the two fucking words that plague my nightmares. This girl is always asking me to "prove it." I deserve it after everything I’ve put her through. She doesn’t trust me anymore.
 
I wouldn’t trust me either.
 
It’s ironic though right? That I’m the one left standing all alone in a parking lot this time. I swear if my heart could leap out of my chest and into my hands, it would. I imagined that for a moment…the blood trickling through my fingertips, splashing onto the concrete below as I watched it slowly pound out its last beats before stopping altogether. 
 
Fuck.
 
My life does not make sense without this girl. And now she’s gone.
 
Again.
 
How is it that I’m always losing her?

 

December 17, 2012

The Game Changer Playlist

I wanted to write a post sharing some of the music i'm listening to while I write The Game Changer.

SO MANY OF YOU helped me pick songs for Jack & Cassie, so I wanted to share!  THANK YOU for sharing your songs with me.  :)


THE GAME CHANGER PLAYLIST:
Catch My Breath- Kelly Clarkson
Ho Hey- the Lumineers
Better than Love- Griffin House
Even if it Breaks Your Heart- Eli Young Band
Every Night- Imagine Dragons
Come Wake Me Up- Rascall Flatts
What Now- Rihanna
Walk Away- The Script
You Could Be Happy- Snow Patrol
Hard to Love- Lee Brice
Lightning- The Wanted
Only Place I Call Home- Every Avenue
Stay- Rihanna
The Mess I Made- Parachute
Timebomb- Pink
Staring at the Sun- Jason Aldean
Don't Dream it's Over- Glee Version

December 16, 2012

Someone asked me last night...

...which one of my books was my FAVORITE!?!?!?!?!?

At first, I just sat there staring at her like "how the hell am i supposed to answer that question?!??!!" 

But then I realized...
I absolutely do have a favorite.

I told her that I was most proud of The Perfect Game. That i'd worked so hard to learn, grow and become a better writer and storyteller that at this point... that's the one that i'm the most proud of.  :)

But the truth is...
The book that is my favorite is the one that started this whole journey. The original story that I couldn't get out of my head. The dream that haunted me for over ten years. The boy I've never met who will always own a piece of my heart.

I'm talking about In Dreams.

That book is my favorite because it's my guts, my heart and my soul. It's a part of me in ways I only wish you all understood. It's my favorite because it represents so many aspects of life that I believe to be true; like soulmates, reincarnation, past-lives, talking to the dead... 

And I was pulled to write it. It called to me so strongly I could no longer ignore it. It HAD to be written. Even if it wasn't written very well, it was a story that demanded to be told. In Dreams is more personal to me than anything else i've written- probably because I didn't just let you into a couple years of my life, I brought you into my heart, into my dreams, into my soul and my beliefs. I brought you into MY ENTIRE LIFE.  In Dreams isn't a simple story about love. It's a story about love that spans lifetimes. A love you can't get over or move past. It's about a love that pulls you in so tightly- even if you don't get why- you know you don't want to let it go.

So my answer to her?
"My favorite book is the one that's written the worst and that people hate the most. How ironic is that?" 

PS- so many of you have found In Dreams lately and have fallen in love with it. I want you to know how much that means to me.  I know it's rough and not written as well as I would like, but we all have to start somewhere right?  :)  THANK YOU for giving it a chance. I am thankful. 

December 14, 2012

A Message from Jack

Ladies-

It's come to my attention that you all want to see me in Boston with Jenn for the book signing. I guess you're emailing her, tweeting her and whatever else you do to her, asking if she's bringing me. It's pretty cool that you want me there. Even if i'd just be eye candy with Kyle and whoever else is coming along. I mean what do you ladies want- to take pictures with my abs? 

Makes sense to me.

But i'll be at Spring Training. So I can't come with her. Maybe some other time, although honestly ladies, i'm pretty much ALWAYS playing baseball. You know, when i'm not harrassing the living shit out my Kitten. But I'm sure Jenn would love nothing more than to be my messenger at her book signings. Right Jenn? So if you have anything you want to pass along to me, just tell her. She'll make sure I get it.  Or.... kill me off in the next book.

Maybe I can send Dean instead? 

#23 on the field...#1 in your heart,
-Jack C.


*"kyle" refers to kellan kyle, author s.c. stephens rock god*



Not sure what Jack's talking about? 
I'll be in BOSTON on MARCH 16th for a book signing at the OMNI hotel!
The event is free, but you HAVE to register to attend. Go here for details:
http://bostonauthorevent.blogspot.com


December 13, 2012

Did you WIN?

The FIVE winners of signed TPG paperbacks are listed below!

DID YOU WIN?

If you did, please shoot me an email with your mailing address.  Um, oh yeah. I don't have any books yet. They should be here next week.  lol  As soon as they come in, I'll get them in the mail.  You should have them by Christmas for sure!  :) 

Exciting!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered and help spread the word about the sale!  And the second book!  It's apparently up on Goodreads, so you can add it to your TBR list.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PS- rafflecopter has been really wonky today, so in case the winners names aren't showing .. they are:
JEN STEWART
MICHELLE CABLE
EMILY RENCICH
ANNA KIDD
CRISSY MACKEY

December 9, 2012

TPG on SALE!

To celebrate the announcement of THE GAME CHANGER, i've put THE PERFECT GAME on sale for a limited time only!

If you've been waiting to buy it because it was out of your price range, or if you know people who have been waiting because their TBR list is crazy long- TELL THEM TO GET IT NOW!  It will only be $1.99 for a few days.  :)

The Game Changer (the follow up to TPG) will be released sometime in the Spring of 2013, okay? At least that's the plan for now. 

So in the meantime... let's spread the word about this sale!  Gift it to your friends. Gift it yourself. Introduce your mom to Jack fucking Carter.  lol 

And i'll give out some signed TPG copies through Rafflecopter!  Thanks for spreading the word about the sale.  Thanks for all the support. Thanks for all the excitement.  Thanks for being freaking rad.  I really wish I could find a new word for thanks.  But I can't.  So yeah.  Thanks.  HA! 

The sale is available on ALL amazon platforms  (us, uk, canada, etc) as well as Barnes & Noble .


:)  Okay, heading back into the writing cave. Gotta give y'all some more Jack F'n Carter and Kitten to love...or hate. LOL  <3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 7, 2012

The Perfect Game 2?

I just wanted to write a blog post to OFFICIALLY announce that....

YES!

THERE WILL BE A FOLLOW UP BOOK TO THE PERFECT GAME!!!!!

I'm not going to give many details about the book except to say that we will be with Jack & Cassie. Yes, Dean & Melissa will be there too.

The title of the book is...

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
this is annoying huh?
.
.
.
.
.
.
it's fun for me and makes me laugh.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
.
oops, i put 2 dots up there ^^^  do you see them? 
lol
.
.
.
okay enough.
The new title is: