Feeds:
Posts
Comments


So I’ve joined a fun and supportive blog hop that celebrates independent authors that requires you write one post about anything self-publishing once a month. If you’re interested in reading some of today’s posts or joining up as well, click on the icon above.

I came across a fascinating blog post on Kboards from a best-selling, formally traditionally published author, Elisa Beth Naughton. If you have the time, you can read it for yourself here. Otherwise, I’ll try my best to summarize.

Naughton opened up about the struggles she had when she was traditionally published where she used any meager profit she made for her own books’ publicity and claimed a negative income on her taxes (even being on the best-selling list). She brings up the fact that she was so focused on the prestige of being traditionally published that she was unaware of the poor contract she signed for her books. Many times, authors will trade many of their rights and profits just to say that they’re traditionally published. As soon as she got some of her book titles back, she decided to follow a few of her successfully self-published friends and dove into indie waters. She admits it took some hard work to get her books noticed again, but is now claiming possibly seven figures this year on her income tax from self-publishing alone!

She admits that self-publishing isn’t for everyone (and I’m sure having her name well-known prior to self-publishing helped her immensely), but she makes a great point by saying that she is so glad she writes in an age where authors have these choices. It is so important to realize that self-publishing allows every author that choice.

If you don’t get represented by an agent, you have a choice.

If you don’t get picked up by a publisher, you have a choice.

If you don’t get offered a great contract, you have a choice.

If you don’t make much profit off your traditionally published book, you have a choice.

If you get your books backlisted, you have a choice.

Self-publishing gives us all a choice, even if you do decide to go the traditionally published route.  It’s in every author’s best interest to support indies so that they always have a potentially profitable alternative out there (and hopefully publishers will become wary of this and offer better deals to keep their authors happy).

When I was querying agents (and my dream agent actually was interested!) I probably would have accepted anything to just get published. I’m so glad that I did go it on my own for the very reasons that Naughton points out:

“I get to write the books I want to write, the way I want to write them, and I get to release them when I want…not when a publisher can fit me into their schedule. For me, self publishing is a perfect fit and no matter where I go from here, it will definitely be part of my career plan.

Of course, this all seems fabulous and it sounds like I’m making tons of money, doesn’t it? But you have to remember that I wrote for ten years without making a penny. Three plus of which as a published author. If you add up what I’ve made self publishing and divide it by ten years, trust me, it’s not much in the long run. But the growth potential is there, and that’s what keeps me going. There was a time not long ago when I was pretty sure I was going to have to go back to teaching because I wasn’t making any money writing. I was even looking at job postings online, trying to find a science position in my area. Now that’s all changed. I get to keep doing what I love. I get to keep writing the books readers love because of self publishing.”

I’m so happy that Naughton has found such rewarding success in self-publishing, especially after working so hard for all those years. I’m definitely content with my small successes at this point and thank the universe everyday that I had this option available. My series would never have been published and there are many fans that have thanked me for writing them.

Options are always a wonderful thing 🙂

On Thursday, New York Times best selling indie author, Dave Wolverton / David Farland’s teenage son was critically injured in a longboard accident. Ben and his family were life-flighted to Las Vegas where Ben has since been in a medically induced coma. He has had multiple emergency brain surgeries to attempt to control the swelling in his brain. The problem is his family did not have insurance and they are worried about the extraordinary cost of such a traumatic injury.

You can see more of this story at http://www.gofundme.com/BensRecovery.

I don’t remember seeing David Farland on the KBoard Forum, but he’s been a successful indie author for quite a few years. I’m usually leery of donating to unknown causes, but this story touched me so much that I looked into David Farland’s books. He has many high-rated fantasy books and a couple writing instructional books.

One in particular caught my attention, Million Dollar Outlines, and I started reading it immediately.

Bestselling author David Farland has taught dozens of writers who have gone on to staggering literary success, including such #1 New York Times Bestsellers as Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), James Dashner (The Maze Runner) and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).

In this book, Dave teaches how to analyze an audience and outline a novel so that it can appeal to a wide readership, giving it the potential to become a bestseller. The secrets found in his unconventional approach will help you understand why so many of his authors go on to prominence.

Or you could check out his other instructional, Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing. I picked this one up as well 🙂


All successful writers use resonance to enhance their stories by drawing power from stories that came before, by resonating with their readers’ experiences, and by resonating within their own works.

In this book, you’ll learn exactly what resonance is and how to use it to make your stories more powerful. You’ll see how it is used in literature and other art forms, and how one writer, J. R. R. Tolkien, mastered it in his work.
So if the story pulls at your heart-strings a bit and you need to help with your outlining or resonance, you will feel wonderful purchasing his books knowing that it will go to help this young man recover. Win, win. And if you don’t think your outlining or resonance needs any help, check out his amazing fantasy books. Here’s the link to his many books.

Please feel free to share/tweet/reblog this and have a restful Sunday!

I’m happy to announce that the third book in the Infinite Series, Infinite Loss, has been released!

InfiniteLossCoverWeb

Book Description:

With lessons and lives of sacrifice and devotion behind her, Maya must continue the journey into her next incarnations as a young and passionate Lakota warrior on the Great American Plains; the dashing British spy Major John André, fighting the tide of a great revolution; and the desolate master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.

Each life is touched with love but strained by unbearable grief. Maya must experience life’s most trying lesson…the devastation of loss.

I want to thank you for your support and interest in my series by reducing the ebook from $4.99 to $3.99 for the first two days. I truly appreciate all the encouragement and this is my way of thanking you each personally.

Infinite Loss is now available at these locations:

B & N

Amazon

Amazon UK

Smashwords, Kobo, Itunes, and Sony will be up shortly. The print version is not out yet. I will send another notification when it’s released.

To those of you that have left reviews for Infinite Sacrifice and Infinite Devotion, thank you so much. I look forward to hearing what you all think of Infinite Loss! Enjoy!

Corey M.P. (author of newly released HIGH) tagged me for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop weeks ago. I’ve been so busy trying to get my third book of my series out that I’ve pushed this post off. While I’m waiting for the formatting, I thought it was a great time to discuss Infinite Loss.

Of course I would love to talk about the novels of the future that are rattling around noisily in my head, but I’m committed to finish out my series and have only allowed myself to outline upcoming projects. So, in all honesty, the next big thing is getting my third novel of the Infinite Series released. I haven’t said much about the third book so maybe answering these questions will give a little sneak peek!

Here are my answers:

1. What is the working title of your book?
InfiniteLossCoverWeb

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

It is a continuation of the Infinite Series where I extend Maya’s spiritual evolution with past lives centered around loss and the lessons it teaches her. I took the opportunity to write three past lives in some of my favorite time periods: the early Native American Plains, the American Revolutionary War, and the early nineteenth century in America.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

This is still hard to pin down. I list it under historical fantasy, although reincarnation fantasy best describes it even though it is a specialized genre.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

If a movie was based on my series it would be unique in that different stars could cameo for all the different lives as they change gender and race throughout time. As long as each character retained the same eyes and markings, you could use many stars for each role. This is the only way to make it authentic to the countries and times involved in my books. Buckheimer, call me 🙂

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
With lessons and lives of sacrifice and devotion behind her, Maya must continue the journey into her next incarnations as a young and passionate Lakota warrior on the Great American Plains; the dashing British spy Major John André, fighting the tide of a great revolution; and the desolate master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self-published and loving it!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

One year.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don’t know of any other books that attempt to evolve a large cast of characters throughout so many incarnations. I think at this point, my series is unique.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

It’s a combination of the love of history and the fascination with reincarnation.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I search out the most hidden parts of history. I strive to surprise my readers with fresh look at a culture or time period, avoiding the usual stereotypes and historical clichés.

 

Instead of tagging five people I want to extend the invitation to anyone who would like to share their current project with us (who hasn’t been tagged already by this point). Just post the link in your comment so we can go and check it out.

Thank you again, Corey, for the tag. I’ve enjoyed it!

HIGHblogtourlogo2

I’m here today with an interview with debut author Corey M.P. If her cover doesn’t stop you in your tracks, her blurb will:

Sonja Fines is a thirty-year-old, uptight, sleep deprived, workaholic from Manhattan who hasn’t taken a day off in years. On a Friday before a Fourth of July weekend, she hops in a cab, late for an important presentation, but ends up in a coffee shop…in Montreal. Shocked by her sudden escape, she meets laid-back Chad Miller. They spend the next three days together, and quickly fall for each other. Sonja has never been happier. But when Chad suddenly reveals something from his past, Sonja flees in a hurry—and her life turns upside down. Overwhelmed with emotions, she embarks on a roller coaster of spontaneous decisions that change her life dramatically.

I’ve already read the first chapter and it is a very well written book with a great promise of escape. I can’t wait to release my next book so that I can really dive in. Corey was so kind to answer a few questions and please follow her on her blog tour if you want to learn more.

1. What is HIGH? As the author, what do you say it is about?

HIGH is a contemporary novel. It’s about Sonja Fines, a thirty-year-old, uptight, sleep deprived, workaholic from Manhattan who hasn’t taken a day off in years. On a Friday before a Fourth of July weekend, she hops in a cab, late for an important presentation, but ends up in a coffee shop…in Montreal.

2) How did the idea for this story come about?

It happened years ago. I was a fulltime graphic designer at the time, and I was in the middle of yet another hectic week of no breaks and long hours. One day, I managed to step outside for a quick coffee break. It was then I realized I was burnt out, and at that moment, I had the urge to escape. But I didn’t. Instead, I was inspired by that feeling to write HIGH.

3) Writing music? What is coming through your speakers when you’re writing?

It always varies. It depends on my mood.

4) If your book had a theme song, what would it be and why?

High by James Blunt. It’s actually in the book. ☺

5) For you, what is the most problematic portion of writing a novel? Plot lines? Character depth?

Editing is what I find the most challenging. Just when you think you’re done writing—you end up finding a sentence, or a paragraph that needs rewriting. It’s a long, grueling process, but a truly rewarding one.

6) When writing, are you ever stumped? How do you get over it?

Luckily, I haven’t had that problem yet.

7) Do you have a character that is most like you? If so, why and how?

Hmmm, this is a good question. I think a lot of writers have a little bit of them in their characters. I’d have to say the character that is most like me would be my protagonist, Sonja Fines. For starters, I based the story of HIGH on a feeling I had during one stressful day. It was the feeling of wanting to flee and escape the norm, which is a feeling she shares with me in the story. But that’s about the only thing her and I have in common, because unlike me, Sonja does flee.

8) Are there any characters that were difficult to write? If so, why?

Fortunately, I had no difficulty writing my characters. They just all came alive as soon as I started writing.

9) What are you working on now? What can we expect to see from you in the near future?

I’m editing my second novel, Hearts and Errors. It’s scheduled to release this June. You can also expect more novels from me in the near future. Also, I recently created Sammy’s Books, which is a collection of beginner books for children under the age of five.

10) Do you have a support system when it comes to writing? What was the reaction from those close to you about your novels?

Thankfully, I do have a support system when it comes to my writing. My dearest older sister and my mom have been so supportive. They read HIGH when it was only a few chapters long, and they encouraged me to finish it because they always believed it was a good story. After I completed the book, they read it immediately and gave me their feedback. They said it was a great story and that I should publish it…so I did. Aside from them, my husband and my dad have also been extremely supportive. And now that my book is out there, I am receiving wonderful feedback from family and friends. It makes it all worth it.

11) You’re about to write. Do you have a ritual?

No real ritual. As long as the ideas are flowing and I have either my computer, or a notebook and pen, then I’m good to go.

12) What are you currently reading?

I haven’t had a chance to read anything lately. But I do have a number of newly purchased books that are waiting for me. Hopefully I can get to them after my HIGH Blog Tour.

13) Do you plan on writing a sequel to High?

It has crossed my mind, but I’m not sure yet if I will or not. Let’s see what the readers say. If they want more of Sonja and Chad—I have no problem giving them more.

14) What do you want fans to know about High?

HIGH is about facing your fears, embracing new things, meeting new people, really tasting the coffee, forgetting the past, exploring life, and learning how to live and love all over again.

Click here to get your copy of HIGH or visit coreymp.wordpress.com.

Thank you so much, Lauren, for this wonderful interview.

Thank you, Corey! And best of luck on the rest of your tour!

Wonders of Bookbub

bookbub.com

Just thought I’d check back in after having the flu for a month and taking a break from the final edits of Infinite Loss to talk about the benefits of Bookbub.

“Bookbub is a daily deal email newsletter exclusively for digital books. More than 600,000 people with eReaders have signed up for BookBub to learn about free and deeply discounted digital books that match their interests.

Authors and publishers pay us to promote their limited-time digital book discounts and freebies to our subscribers. We can advertise promotions running at any retailer including Amazon’s Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, Apple’s iBookstore, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords, and others.

Like other daily deal emails, BookBub is an “advertorial” newsletter. This means that although our daily email consists of paid advertisement listings, we have an editorial team that approves only the listings they think are the best deals for our subscribers.”

You can find out more information here.

I was leery of putting down money for advertising. In the past I’ve tried all the free promotion sites and a few inexpensive advertising ventures. I’ve learned  very quickly that it’s a waste of time to spend the whole morning writing to all the different freebie websites and focused on the ones that gave a big surge in sales like Ereader News Today, Pixel of Ink and Free Kindle Books and Tips. The websites that charge $5 or $10 didn’t seem to make much difference for me.

Bookbub is fantastic since it targets a large readership that has signed up for specific genres of interest. Bookbub sends an email directly to the reader along with a few other deals of the day—some of which were best sellers, which is nice to get on their also bought lists!

Before Bookbub ran my promotion (December 27) my books were not performing well. Infinite Sacrifice was at #5,459 ranking on the free bestseller list and Infinite Devotion at #177,466 on the paid list with no sign of a holiday surge.

The price to run the ad (for a free book in the historical genre) was $125 and they are selective in regards to reviews and ratings. They feature both indie and traditionally published books.

Here are the results:

  • Author rank reached #16,901.
  • Highest ranking for Infinite Sacrifice ever #36 of all free books, gave away over 20,000 free copies, and it stayed under #2,000 since the promotion.
  • Infinite Devotion reached #12,646 of all paid and stayed under #40,000 since the promotion.
  • Practically doubled my review numbers and mailing list subscribers
  • I’ve sold four times what I normally bring in a month (not just on Amazon, but across all vendors)

I will definitely do it again and hope that more sites like this crop up to assist readers and authors. I can’t wait to run another ad again, since Bookbub doesn’t allow you to list the same book within 90 days. That gives me some time to decide if I should pick another genre my book falls under since it’s just been seen by the historical fiction subscribers. It might be smart to send my book out to the fantasy readers next (plus it’s much cheaper).

So, if you have a some good reviews under your belt and a nice star rating, I would definitely suggest reducing the price of your novel in order to purchase a promotion with Bookbub. The ad paid for itself in a few days. Hurry though, because prices are rising. The same ad will now cost me $130. Bookbub has steadily been increasing their fees as readership increases.

Even if you aren’t interested in investing in an ad or maybe don’t have a novel ready yet, it’s a great program to sign up for. I’ve joined and I’m filling up my kindle quickly!

Just wanted to share my recent book trailer. They may not sell books, but they are so much fun to make!

If any of you are interested in making one for your novel, I re-posted an old instructional blog below.

Phew! The Book Trailer is Done!

July 6, 2011 by laurenwaters | Edit

Wow! That was so much easier than I thought and I’m so pleased with the results. I’ve posted it up on my Book Trailer page and please let me know what you think!

Even though I’d been searching and collecting images for a bit before, the actual process of creating the video clip took me about a day and a half. I never used iMovie before so this was learning completely from scratch. I wanted to let everyone know exactly how I did this so anyone can create one themselves–and I’m no techy so seriously anyone can do this.

Step 1) First, I opened up a new project on iMovie and titled it. Then I downloaded all the images I collected free and some I purchased to iPhoto (not sure if there is a direct way to just download it to iMovie, but remember I’m figuring this all out on my own and this way worked). When I clicked on the camera icon on my iMovie page there was all the photos I wanted when I highlighted last months photos. I was able to just drag each photo to the desired placement of my new project.

Step 2) Once I got them all in the order I wanted I went to Kevin MacLeod’s website, searched the mood I wanted, and I sampled some fantastic choices. I knew immediately which song I wanted to go with and I downloaded it to my iMovie. I clicked on the musical note tab to drag the song to my project. The music shows up as an encompassing highlight around your pictures. It will go as long as you have pictures or when the song ends. I found I had to delete a few images to fit the song time (click on the clip and press delete).

Step 3) Now I tried it out with the music by hitting the play button. I realized I needed to change timing to get each image in time with the music. Each image gets a default time of 4 seconds so in order to change them you must click on the image until clip duration pops up and you can type in exactly how long you want the image to appear. If you want all the images that duration you check the box to apply to all clips, otherwise leave it unchecked to specify this one clip. I found I needed to tweak each time to fit perfectly with the music and this did take some time.

Step 4) When doing step 3 be careful not to be completely exact since you need to put some transitions between clips to make it all smooth. Next to the camera icon and the musical note icon is an icon for transitions. Click on that and you can highlight each option to display how the transition appears. I decided to use two different transitions to decipher between the lives and within the lives. I used a flash between the lives and the cross dissolve between the others. Drag the transition and place between the desired clip and click on it to set the timing of the dissolve.

Step 5) Hit the play button again to perfect the timing EXACTLY to the music. This takes some time.

Step 6) To finesse the look further you can apply cropping, Ken Burns effect, and even video effect. Click on the image and under the clip duration box you see Video Effect. It defaults to None but when you click on it you get so many options to play with such as flipped, black & white, dream, sepia, and so many more. Once you choose the desired effect click on the cropping icon next to the microphone. On the side bar of your clip you’ll see three options Fit, Ken Burns, and Crop. I mostly chose the Ken Burns since it allows you to zoom and move the image however you want. This looks wonderful since it adds movement to the stills. When you click this effect a red and green box appears on the image. If you click on the green ‘start’ box you can control the size and placement of where the image will begin. Then you do the same for the red ‘end’ box and by overlapping or separating them you get as much movement as you would like. This is another part where you need some time to get it just the way you want.

Step 7) Now you’re ready for text. It’s best to try to be as laconic as possible. Write out a script on a piece of paper and try to remove any unneeded words. Your job here is to give your potential reader the impression and feel of the book. A brief outline of what’s in store for them and to entice them into going to your website to read more and hopefully buy. You’re trying to grab them, so the fewer words the better. Go hit the upper case T button between the camera button and the transition button. You’ll get some different placement options and text effects. Once you’ve picked the one you want drag it to the clip. Click on the clip and the text box will appear where you wanted it. Type in desired text and if you’d like to change the font, click the font button that appears above the image your working on. You’ll get some options of text, color, size, style and alignment to play with but if you want more text options you can click on System Font Panel. It’s a great idea to always include your cover, website, and planned launch date at the end. You can always go back and take the date out later to use after the launch.

Step 8 ) Watch the whole project again and perfect everything. Once it’s exactly the way you want it go up to the File button and select finalize clip. This will take about 40 minutes. Once that’s done go to the share button and select the YouTube option and upload it (you’ll need to sign up for a YouTube account before this step if you didn’t already have one). Make sure to specify if you want this clip viewed privately or publicly. Since most of us want as many people as we can to see it, most will choose the public option. Click the view option as soon as that’s done and you’ll see your original, amazing book trailer up for everyone to see!

Step 9) You want to be sure to give the specified credit under the descriptions box on YouTube for Kevin MacLeod’s music–and if you haven’t already donated to him for the clip you should do so now.

Step 10) Now it’s time to send this link out to friends and forums to get feedback if anything needs to change. Once you feel confident that it’s as fantastic as you can make it. Email it out to all your contacts, post it on your blog, send it out to guest blogs, feature it on your Facebook account and every possible place you can send it! Let this be your calling card!

So that’s it! Hopefully I made this easier for everyone–remember a special note–I’m not tech savvy and this might have been completely round-about way to do this, but I did it and if you need help follow this and it does turn out pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

Good luck to all you out there and feel free to comment here if you have any questions. I’ll try my (technologically-challenged) best to help :)

abna-badge_250

Just wanted to let all of my writer followers know that entries have begun for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. The cash awards and publishing deals are pretty amazing, (not to mention the publicity!). I don’t think you have to be published yet to enter, so those of you who are looking for another way around the query process, this contest is for you! Oh, and best of all, it’s FREE!

For contest rules and guidelines, click here.

Hurry, they will stop taking entries on January 27th or after they receive their ten thousandth entry. Why are you still reading this blog post…go!

I just had to reblog this amazing post by author Steve Vernon. His words are so true and inspiring for anyone who is afraid to dip their toe into the self-publishing water. Thanks Steve!

YOURS IN STORYTELLING...

Listen.

I’m an old fart.

I’ve been writing for a LOOOONG time – like since the eighties.

First story was sold in 1986.

* * *

So what was going on in 1986?

Dolly Parton opened Dollywood – a theme park dedicate to all things Dolly.

Arnold Schwarznegger married Maria Schriver.

Top Gun was the #1 Top Grossing Film earning nearly 354 milllion dollars worldwide.

The world’s very first computer virus – called THE BRAIN – was created.

And I made my very first sale to OUTLAW BIKER magazine. It was a story entitled “The Bridge” – sort of a Mad Max on a motorcycle story. I earned $125.00 cash money for the sale of that story.

Hot damn, I thought, I”m going to be rich!

Well, things don’t necessarily work out the way you want them to.

* * *

So why am I telling you this?

Well –…

View original post 810 more words

256px-Busy_desk.svg

(My editor…unfortunately)

Scary, I know, but when you’re trying to get your book out in the busiest time of year, it’s bound to happen.

After the initial shock and denial stage, I immediately tried bargaining with her that I could push back my release a few months if she needed more time and, she first agreed—until she found out the page count of the third book. Clocking in around 640 pages, she just couldn’t promise me that it would get done by March. Since it usually takes another two or three months after the editor is through to make the changes and to send it off to copy editors, I knew I couldn’t make my fans wait that long.

But how could I change editors mid-series? Would this effect the consistency of my books? Could I find someone with the same skill at the same price? How could someone jump into such a complicated series mid-way?

After breathing into a paper bag for a few minutes and then self-medicating myself with too much chocolate, I realized that this might be meant to be (what I always say to myself in difficult situations). My editor recommended a few editors she works with (at a small press publishing company) and said there was one in particular that had a strong background with historicals. I contacted this person, sent off a sample chapter, and was so pleased to see that their styles were incredibly similar (at the same price to boot!).

She seems wonderful and she not only said she’d get right on the project, but that she wanted to read the first two books so she could understand the third book that much more!

So, just a word of assurance to any of you that might get the same shock, there are plenty of fantastic editors out there and situations might arise where you need to find an alternative mid-series. Take a deep breath and send out sample chapters to other recommended editors and feel around for one with a similar style. In hindsight, it would have been a good idea to touch base with my editor a month earlier so that I could have had more time to find a good fit, but this time I was lucky to find someone so fast who was willing to start the project immediately. So keep in touch with your editors!

Happy Holiday everyone!

DSC_0143

%d bloggers like this: