Sunday, December 10, 2006

Weekly update

I'm disappointed but I'm not going to be able to finish all the editing by Christmas. There's just too much else to do! But I should have everything done by January, so Love & Braces should finally get out then!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Weekly update

Still editing! But I really have to finish it before the Christmas season starts! But writing was a lot more fun that proofreading and making small adjustments and so on.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Weekly update

Had trouble posting the last times I tried, but there's not that much to update. Editing is taking longer than I expected. It's quite boring to do, but I want to make sure I do it well. It's also very time-consuming and it's hard to make time sometimes!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Weekly update

Editing is taking much longer than I expected. It's harder to make time for it, and it's kind of boring too. And this book is much longer than the first one was. But I want to make sure I get it right, so I will take my time.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Weekly update

The first draft of Love and Braces is finished - but that still means a lot of work to do on it. It's about twice as long as Retainer Girl! And yet I still feel I only cover a small part of everything I wanted to. So there's still lots of material for the next Dr.Wrighting books!

I'm a bit surprised and disappointed that there haven't been more sales of Retainer Girl. I was sort of hoping for 100 copies sold by the end of the year but 50 is more realistic. It is hard getting the word out and connecting with the right audience. And I find it hard to make the time...

Meanwhile we began a next generation of orthodontic adventures in person at the Aimes household. Betty first, and unfortunately the novelty of palatal expansion has worn off very quickly. We're managing, but just. Now I'm even more nervous about Allie who is due for braces soon. Betty has the better attitude, but her RPE already challenged that. And I wonder how dealing with this will affect my writing. At least it should give me even more material!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Weekly update

I am a bit disappointed that it's so hard to get attention for Retainer Girl. I think there's an audience for it out there, but it's hard to connect to it. Of course I should be doing more, too. Like figuring out how to make friends at myspace! I still haven't done much on the page there....

I did get an e-mail from one reader and that was thrilling because she sounded like exactly the kind of person I was writing the book for and I was so glad to hear she liked it so much. (Thanks B.!)

Love and Braces is coming along very well, and now that I am getting near the end I have to be careful not to rush it. It's turned out to be even longer than I expected - I just hope that doesn't make it too much more expensive.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Retainer Girl on "Google book search"

When you publish your book at Lulu you can also submit it to Google book search, which is where they copy the whole book making it easier for people to search it or check out parts of it. It took a long time, but Retainer Girl is now part of it: here.

One of the cool things is that you can now "Search in this book", so readers can check out whatever they want, like if they want to see whether there's anything about headgear or where the parts in the waiting room are or absolutely anything. And you can check out even more sample pages than at Lulu or Intraoral Press.

I'm a bit worried that readers will just check out the available pages and then not bother with the book at all, but I think more people will see that it really is worth getting. Here they really can see that it is a real book and everything.

But I don't know how many people will use this. The only reason I even know about this part of Google is because of Lulu, and I've only used it when I've gone to check whether Retainer Girl is available yet....

Amazon also scans the whole book in if you send it to them, and then you can search and get all sorts of other informatiom. I haven't sent in Retainer Girl yet. I think I'll wait until Love and Braces is ready too.

(And at least one person finally bought a copy of Retainer Girl at the American Amazon!)

Kicking and Screaming on DVD

The original Kicking and Screaming (not the new soccer movie) is now out on DVD (Amazon). I remember seeing it when it came out, a few years after I graduated from college and I loved it because it was so much my generation and showed a lot of life-decisions and discussions like the ones I had just been through. But one other reason it was so memorable was because Olivia d'Abo was a retainer girl in it, which I thought was a nice touch too! I'll probably get it, though I wonder if I'll still be able to relate. To the retainer girl - yes! (she was the strongest person in the film, I think), but I'm not sure about the rest.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Weekly update

Back again! Spending the long weekend with everyone back home would have been nice, but it's impossible, and I did manage to see everybody before I left (and the weather forecast wasn't great either) so I don't feel too bad. It's just that there's so much to jump right into back here!

I'm a bit disappointed that Retainer Girl didn't do better while I was away. I am surprised that there aren't more people who are curious about it. And I don't have time to do much to publicize it right now. Not that I have any great new ideas how to do that anyway....

I thought of looking up my old orthodontist in Michigan and giving him a copy. He's still working but it's been more than twenty years and I chickened out. I'd sort of like to know what he thinks, but he'd probably have too many questions.

At least Love and Braces is coming along really well, except that it's turning out to be a lot longer than I expected. Getting near the end stretch, but it might reach close to 250 pages. Unless I really cut a lot, but I'm not sure I can or want to.

I hope that with school and college starting all over the place more students will be looking for a book about having braces and will find out about Retainer Girl! And that I find the time to finish Love and Braces soon!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Weekly update

Curiosity about Retainer Girl still doesn't seem to be that big. It does now have a *sales rank* at, so someone must have bought a copy there, but I am surprised that no one has bought it at the American Amazon, which is where I thought all the sales would be!

One of the people who bought it in Germany gave his (or her?) reaction at the Braces Forum site but didn't get what they were hoping for, saying "its very "chewy" to read" and "it didn't convice me". I guess I have to hope other people like their books chewy.... But I'm sorry the reader didn't find what they were looking for in the book.

That's one of the tough things about trying to let people know about the book, since I don't want to mislead them. But I think it's straightforward: it's about a teenager dealing with having braces and with growing up - two things that can be pretty difficult. And the emphasis is on the braces part, because that is the prism through which she deals with growing up. And some aspects of the whole experience are exaggerated for effect

I also posted about the book at the excellent and huge Archwired site. Since that's aimed more at adults who have braces it's not exactly the target audience for Retainer Girl (which really is about that teenage expeience of having braces, which I think is quite different from having them as an adult), but I appreciate being able to make readers aware of it there. (And the next book, Love and Braces, might be of more interest to them!)

Posting there made me aware of some other issues that I hadn't really thought that much about, but that's something for another post!

Now I'm very pleased to say that the next week will be my one vacation week, or as close to it as is possible. The girls are actually busy and taken care of, so Mom doesn't have to worry as much about being Mom and gets to relax. For the first time since I don't want to remember when.... I did the big bookstore-run earlier in the week and look forward to making my way through a great big pile of new books, and I hope to get a lot on Love and Braces done. And I'm not even going to think about the flight back yet.... (Mr.Aimes is flying over next week, so he'll be able to report what to expect.)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Weekly update

Not that much done in the last week or two, with travel and everything, but at least we weren't flying a few days ago! At least by the time we head back it should be clearer what you can take on board and so on.

Still trying to figure out how to publicize Retainer Girl better and more. The one step I did take was to set up an IoPress space at myspace. But I still have to figure out all that stuff about how to invite people and who to invite and how to get invited... And to find the time to do it...

Haven't been doing enough with Love and Braces either, but it is taking shape and there's not too much more I need to do.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Braces links

Archwired has an incredible amount of material, including a Metal Mouth Message Board. I should post about Retainer Girl (also available at Amazon etc), though since the site is more for adults with braces the next Dr.Wrighting novel, Love and Braces, will probably be more interesting to them since it is about an adult with braces. (Retainer Girl is more for teens and adults who have been through the experience already, I think.)

There are also links to a lot of braces blogs there, which I will have to check out. And one more really interesting link I found there was to Smile (A Dental Drama) by Raina Telgemeier - a braces comic!

I've linked to some videos at Intraoral Press. The Head Gear Girl movie is impressive, but there's also a lot at Youtube. Like Retainer fun.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Weekly update

The German Amazon now even has Retainer Girl in stock! 4 copies (I think). I wonder if anyone has read it yet. I hope they review it there, or tell others if they liked it. But it doesn't look like there have been any other Amazon sales.

Very busy right now (and the long trip ahead!), so I don't have time to try to publicize it elsewhere. Messageboards? Braces sites? MySpace? But I'll try to think of things to do in the next weeks. And finish Love and Braces ...!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

5 reasons you should read Retainer Girl

5 reasons you should read Retainer Girl, which is available at Amazon and most other online bookstores, including the German Amazon and the British Amazon:

1. There are almost no books which really describe what having braces is like, and Retainer Girl is all about what it's like having braces - and retainers and even headgear.

2. Retainer Girl isn't just about having braces. It's a real novel about being a teenager, with Lauren looking both back and ahead and describing all the other changes she is going through. Getting the braces off is just the most obvious change, a new freedom that also poses new challenges. The retainers she gets are a more flexible holding stage, and help her with the more difficult decisions she has to begin thinking about making.

3. Retainer Girl is also a bit of an orthodontic fantasy. The world it describes is one where braces are a slightly bigger deal than the real one and Dr.Wrighting is a slightly more intense (but very nice) orthodontist. There's some orthodontic fantasy of longer and more involved treatements, some of which might make the braces experiences readers have had not seem so bad after all.

4. Retainer Girl is honest about the difficulties of having braces - the pain and discomfort, the concern about how you look, the teasing. Lauren goes through all of that and more, sharing the entire experience of having braces with the reader.

5. Dr.Wrighting is better and worse than any orthodontist you know. Almost all her patients wind up really liking her (as much as one can like an orthodontist), but most of them have to wear more embarrassing and bulkier devices than most orthodontists would insist on, and they have to wear them for a longer time. All Dr.Wrighting cares about is that the treatment is a success, not that the braces are as little of an inconvenience as possible to patients. Retainer Girl is just the first in a series of novels about Dr.Wrighting's patients, and you'll want to read all of them to see all the things she does !

Weekly update

Things have slowed down again. No more sales of Retainer Girl at the German Amazon, I guess - rank is down in the 30,000s ! - - and still none anywhere else. But I hope that some of the first buyers have got it now and that there will be some good word of mouth when they see that it is a good novel about having braces !

Work on Love and Braces is going well but it's going to get hectic at home now so I don't know how soon I will be able to finish it. I hope to get it out before the fall !

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Weekly update

Retainer Girl really seems to have taken off in Germany! During the week the sales rank got as high as 2.028 at that Amazon which sounds sensational! But maybe it's just for the English books they sell there.

I finally noticed that for Amazon sales only adds those numbers at the end of the month, so the Lulu sales rank for the book is still terrible - 20,000+ ! But that should improve once the German sales come in.

It's kind of cool that the book has taken off in Germany first. The internet really does make it a small world! But the reason I set the "headquarters" up in the US, even though I am in England is because I was sure that America would be the biggest market. I thought it was going to be almost the only market! I still think that's where most of the sales will be, but I like it that it is also going to be a sort of international success.

The success of the book has also been invigorating as far as the writing goes, and I got a lot more of the next book done. It's already almost as long as Retainer Girl! But I knew it was going to be a bigger project. I think I have another 50 pages to go.

I'm glad that I'm getting so much done now since vacation time is coming up and that's going to limit what I can do. I don't think I can finish before we go to Michigan, but maybe I'll be close enough that I can finish it there. That would be great.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Weekly update

Someone posted something about the Intraoral Press site at a braces forum - in German ! So now a lot more poeple have been coming to have a look. I hope I have enough information up so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to buy and read Retainer Girl.

Someone has already bought it, which is so cool ! The Lulu Global Distribution really does get the book everywhere, and it is listed at all sorts of internet outlets, including the English Amazon and the French Amazon. But the first sale went through the German Amazon! It even had a sales rank of 8.792 there, which sounds really good, so maybe more than one copy got sold. I just feel bad that it looks like they have to wait 1-3 weeks for delivery.

So this first success has made my week. I don't mind that much that it's taking time for the word to spread, because I want readers who like the book to be able to read the next one - or ones! And finishing them and getting them out will take a few more months.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Teen book ?

Some of the online stores that list Retainer Girl describe it as a kid's or teen book. Allie's eleven and I think she's still too young. I think it is definitely a teen book. And even if she were a few years older, I would want her to have started with braces before she read a story like this one.

I like to think that it's exactly the sort of book I would have needed about halfway into my orthodontic treatment, and that it would have helped me the rest of the way because it describes so much of what I was going through. But it's probably better to err on the side of caution. I think "mature teenagers" is sort of the minimum audience age. And the book is also meant for people who have been through it already, because I think older teens and adults can enjoy it too. And parents of kids who are going through it now.

I do like the title, but it really is a book about every part of having braces. Lots of looks back at the different stages she goes through. So I hope people don't just expect it to be just about the retainer period!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 4th update

Except for the heat it doesn't feel like July 4th here, but we'll celebrate later. I'm still not getting enough done on the next two Dr.Wrighting novels, but I did reach the most difficult pivotal scene in Love and Braces and I know exactly how the rest of it is going to go. Now I just need to find the time to write!

I think that I'm going to try to explain why people might want to read Retainer Girl here. I don't want to give away too much of the book, but I do want people to see why they might like it. Or why they might not, since I don't want people to get it if they're hoping for something else. And it also gives me something more to post here, other than the weekly updates where not much happens!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Weekly update

Work on Love & Braces is going well, though finding the time to work on it can be hard. I try to set aside some time every day, but so many things can come in the way. I want to say it's the time of the year, but I know it's not just that. But I am making good headway and I really like how it is turning out.

I am a bit disappointed in not being able to drum up more interest in Retainer Girl. I know I could be doing more to get the word out, but I think finishing the next Dr.Wrighting books is more important right now. I think that over the long term having a set of several orthodontic fictions available will really help, and I still hope I can get both the new ones out by fall.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Weekly update

I'm kinda disappointed that things are going so slooow. No one is discovering Retainer Girl yet, or the website, or the blog. I haven't tried to publicize it, but maybe that's what I'll have to do. But I'd still like to see if it can catch on on its own.

I haven't made too much progress on the next Dr.Wrighting novels in the past week. Too much else to do.

We did make the decision about Allie and Betty's braces. We are going to wait until we get back in September. The orthodontist is eager to get started but Betty is getting a palatal expander and I didn't feel comfortable with either of them starting their treatment when we're going to be away for so long so soon. But he mapped out their treatment and we are going ahead with it when we get back.

Both girls sighed with huge relief when Mr.Aimes and I decided we would wait until September. I'm trying to prepare them for it but its hard. Writing the Dr.Wrighting novels just reminds me how hard it is to ease the whole experience.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Weekly update

Retainer Girl is now also available at! Right here! With the description, though I still have to fix part of that. But I'm glad the description is there, so readers know what to expect. (I sent in the description to Barnes & Noble, but it's not there yet).

At Barnes & Noble they now list "People who bought this book also bought", so maybe someone has already bought it!

Writing on the next Dr.Wrighting novels went pretty slow this week. And Mr.Aimes is less of a weekend help with the World Cup on now for the next month. Unfortunately the girls are not as devoted, though at least they're watching England play today.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Weekly update

Seeing the book is available at B&N was a big step. Still waiting on Amazon. And it would be nice if someone bought the book....

I didn't get as much writing done, but this week should be better. The girls are back in school and that makes a big diference.

I talked with my husband about the weblog, and he's thinks it's o.k. for me to write about some of the personal things. Like the girls, especialy since they'll be getting braces sooner or later and that is relevant. He suggested the names I should use: Allie and Betty. Typical! And he just wants to be Mr.Aimes.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Alyssa Milano is a retainer girl

Someone sent me these links of the actress Alyssa Milano wearing retainers!

I don't let the girls watch Charmed but they've seen Who's the Boss and probably recognize her. But if I show them the pictures will they think it's cool that she wears a retainer in public even as a grown-up or will they just be terrified that they'll have to wear retainers all their lives??? I don't remember, but I don't think she had any braces on Who's the Boss so maybe she just had her teeth fixed again recently and that's why she needs them.

Maybe she'll want to read Retainer Girl!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Retainer Girl available at Barnes & Noble!

Barnes and Noble is the first online retail outlet where Retainer Girl is available, aside from Lulu! That went much quicker than I expected. (Amazon still doesn't have it.)

The book was listed, but as unavailable. Then they added the cover picture! And now everyone can buy it! Click here. They even discount it a bit (though buying direct from Lulu is still cheaper). I'll have to try to add a description but it's great they already have the cover. Lulu says that at Amazon I'm going to have to download the cover to them .....

This is soooo exciting!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Waiting for Global Distribution . . .

Retainer Girl is on its way to being "globally distributed" through Lulu. Which means it will be available at Amazon, B&N, and even at bookstores. If they order it. But it will still take a while. The final sample copy arrived Thursday and was approved, setting everything in motion. But it might still be 4-6 weeks !

I am excited about it. I've been working hard on the next two Dr.Wrighting novels, trying to get as much done before school is out and there is even less time. But I should be ready to start the publishing process with Love and Braces during the summer, and so it should be available . . . maybe by September ? But I had put away Retainer Girl and now with having to approve it for global distribution I read it again, and I'm still very happy with it. I wonder whether there will be readers who like the way I did it.

It's fantastic to see Retainer Girl listed at B&, but since it's not in the distribution channel yet no one can really buy except through Lulu. And I think it will be a lot easier to get readers once it's available from the online stores.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I self-published Retainer Girl at two months ago, and it has taken more time than I expected to get things rolling. Basic Distribution has not worked out well - the book only got listed as unavailable at Amazon ...- so now I'm moving up to Global Distribution, which should make it easier for readers to get the book.

So far the Intraoral Press website hasn't gotten many visits, so I'm trying adding this blog to see if that helps drum up interest.

Lulu makes publishing easy, but getting the word out is harder. This blog should help do that, and should help me keep track of how things go.