Tag Archives: publishing

Writerly Wednesday: Book Updates

As of *checks watch* about five days ago, I am no longer participating in the Kindle Unlimited program. The reasons for this are myriad and have been covered by other authors in so many other forums. The short version is – Amazon’s Kindle Select payment options have dropped every month since I enrolled (save August, which saw a slight bump back up) and I’m just not getting enough page reads to make the exclusivity worth it for me.

So – The Cardinal Gate and The Waning Moon are available at so many other places now! (I’m hoping to get The Ruby Blade up for pre-order on all those other places, but it’s taking awhile to yank that one from the Kindle Select, so right now, you can only pre-order via Amazon Kindle.)

So – to celebrate my books going wide, The Ruby Blade’s upcoming release, and the fact that it’s October, i.e. the best month of the year, The Cardinal Gate and The Waning Moon are on sale for the entire month for only $0.99 each. Right around 11/2, the prices will be going back up to their regular prices of $2.99 and $3.99 respectively.

So – now’s your chance to snag those ebooks for only $0.99 each! DO EET! DO EET FOR THE CHILDREN! (Just kidding, please do not read these books to your children. There is some Strong Language and Violence and Sexual Content) that makes these super not appropriate for the children.)

Click here to see all the exciting places you can purchase this fine book.

Surprisingly, this book links to all the places you can buy THIS fine book.

 

Happy reading!

Three Things Thursday: Ruby Blade

  1. In case you missed it, The Ruby Blade cover reveal and preorder announcement went up last night! You can pop over to Goodreads and mark it as “to read” and then head to Amazon to preorder your copy!
  2. The book is currently with editor extraordinaire getting once last look-see, and then I’ll be sending out ARCs, having it proofread, and then sending it to my formatter to work her magic.

    There’s probably a wand involved somewhere, too.

     

  3. If you read The Cardinal Gate or The Waning Moon, I’d be beyond delighted if you could head over to Amazon to leave a review for either or both of them. Getting to 50 reviews lets the books get picked up by Amazon’s algorithms, which results in more people seeing my book, and presumably buying my book, which makes it easier for me to keep writing books. (This is also presumably some kind of eldritch magic.)

    Amazon employees at work

Cover Reveal! The Ruby Blade

I am so excited to share this with you guys. I love my cover artist and what she’s been doing for the series, and really think this captures Eleanor and where she’s at with The Ruby Blade.

As much as doing the cover art is one of the most fun parts of the gig, writing the accompanying blurb is my least favorite part.

I mean, I have one, but I think the real winner is the version I came up with Monday evening as I was workshopping this in my author group chat (for the 1 millionth time):

Just buy it. It’s not that bad.

NAKED HOTTUB SCENE!

GOOD FIGHTING!

/and scene

The Blurb

Raj swore he’d pay any price to recover the blade he’d wielded a thousand years ago, but what if that price is Eleanor’s trust?

Eleanor is beset on all sides by supernatural enemies determined to halt her quest to reopen otherworldly traffic between Earth and the Fae Plane. Double-dealing shifters, black magic, and treacherous elves challenge the skills and cohesion of the group.

The chill that threatens to send her dragon half into hibernation does nothing to bank the fires of her desire for Raj—but Florence’s cryptic warning prevents her from succumbing to his charms. Raj is not what he seems and he is hiding something far darker than Eleanor ever imagined.

Will she be able to forgive him or will the truth kill her?

And, without further ado, the cover!

 

Didn’t Skyla do an amazing job?

I’m super excited for you guys to read this book! ARCs will be headed out the end of next week (maybe earlier) and the release is set for 10/31/17.

You can add it to your Goodreads queue The Ruby Blade (Eleanor Morgan #3)  and even preorder it on Amazon (Kindle version only at this point).


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Writerly Wednesday – Nuts & Bolts Edition

I drafted most of this last week before I found out my kiddo was on his way to the ER. Obviously, I didn’t get to the publishing part of it then.

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You may or may not know that as an indie-published author, I am not raking in the dough.

I’ve published two books this year (with a third coming out in…checks the countdown clock in the sidebar…less than 48 41 days *cue panic*). In order to publish a decent book, there are a lot of things one must do in addition to being a decent writer.

One must hire a professional editor. This is not cheap. Nor should it be! You want quality! One must have a proofreader. Preferably someone who is not also your editor. Because the more eyes, the better. One must, if they are not graphically inclined, have a cover designer.

Seriously – if I was in charge of my covers, they would look like this (real sketch I shared with my cover designer):

I still have the original if you want a signed copy of this. hahahaha. My kindergartener can draw better than I can. (Full Ruby Blade Pinterest board if you click!)

You can see why I pay cash money for a cover designer, right? There are other expenses, as well. ISBN numbers, formatting (I’m fortunate that my formatter takes Amazon gift cards), copyright filing fees, and the biggie…advertising.

Advertising is something that I’ve not quite figured out the magical formula for, but I can tell you right now, that’s the second largest expense I have (after my editor).

I am not making the big bucks. I’m new, I’m unknown, and I don’t have the backing of a publishing powerhouse for promotion. (There have been two days this month where my daily GROSS was less than $1. I am not even kidding a little bit.)

All of this isn’t to complain – not in the least. I knew, more or less, what I was getting in to. I expect that as I keep publishing, I’ll get a little more traction, attract a few more readers, and get more reviews (I’ve heard that 50 is the magic number on Amazon, and I’m almost half-way there with The Cardinal Gate).

Maybe there will be a day in the future when I’m not squeezing in my writing and editing time around my dayjob. That is my ultimate goal, but for now – only two (almost three!) books in, that’s impossible. Where you run into an interesting problem is when you think about how often it’s recommended indie authors publish to stay in the readers’ minds. I’m publishing three books in a calendar year this year. Three books that average 100,000 words each. It takes me roughly 2-3 months to write a draft of that length when I’m working full time and editing on the side. Then, another 3 weeks for a second draft. Off to the beta readers, a few days to incorporate their feedback, a couple rounds of editing (that’s 4-6 weeks of work for me) and proofing (another week), final changes and readthroughs. Formatting. Uploading and reuploading and swearing. My writing calendar looks like this:

The Ruby Blade is Red (of course), book 4 is Orange, Editing is purple, blogging is yellow, novella/sekrit project stuff is green, and that’s just the writing calendar. I currently have five active calendars. FIVE.

As you can probably imagine, that’s a lot of juggling – especially since I do occasionally enjoy having a social life and because I do have a kiddo 1/2 time (which is just not enough…sigh).

**this is where I left off; talking about my 1/2 time kiddo who is awesome, but accident prone**

I’m starting to book a fair amount of editing clients, and I really love it. I love writing. I hate editing my own stuff, but it’s part of the process.

My dream – my ultimate goal, and the thing I’m working towards – is financial freedom. I don’t know how realistic that is. I know people a few years ahead of me who make enough money writing that they can also do a fair amount of travel (yes!) and others who have more books published, but are still reliant on secondary sources of income (such as a day job or a partner with a good day job or some combination thereof).

If you asked me where I wanted to be in five years, I’d tell you it’d be 100% debt free (thanks marriage, divorce, and master’s degree!) and making enough $$ writing and editing that – at the very least – I’m able to cut down to half time. (I kinda like my sweet, sweet health insurance, and if the ACA goes away, there’s no way I’d be able to afford insurance on the open market. Mental illness is a horribly expensive pre-existing condition and is the reason I’ve gone without insurance the few times I didn’t have a job that offered it.)

Ultimate dream? Doing the writing/editing and living in a country where you just get health insurance because it’s a fundamental right and not a privilege of the wealthy! (I’m not harboring any illusions that this country will be the US, of course. For a country that has such a vocal contingent declaring it a “Christian Nation” we’re sure awfully stingy about taking care of the poor and sick (Matthew 25:41-46).)

For now, though, it’s a slog. I work at my day job where, for the first time since I was 22, I’m an hourly employee which means if I take off an hour to pick up a sick kid, I don’t get paid. I spend my evenings after Bean goes to bed with my editing clients (not actually with them; I do not provide that level of service) or writing. I try to hang out with friends and Beer Guys regularly. And I’m still not making a profit. Yet.

I’m confident I’ll get there, but this is hard, hard work. It’s the best hard work I’ve ever done, but I’m not rolling around in my piles of money, laughing maniacally yet. (YET!)

 

As soon as I make it big, I promise to take a video of me making a money angel.

pinky swear

 

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Eleanor Morgan and the Case of the Noisy Chimney Koalas

I slept poorly last night. I was restless and plagued with weird dreams. We currently have a family of birds who’ve built a nest in our chimney and the babies are newly hatched and loud AF.

Because the bird noise is near constant right now, it’s invaded my subconscious, and last night I dreamed opened up the fireplace and found: two dozen hummingbirds, some rabbits, a hawk of some kind, baby owls, opossums, raccoons, stray cats, and a koala.

Hopefully, I’ll get more sleep tonight and the baby birds can adequately learn to fly in our chimney so they can get the hell out and we can make a chimney hat or whatever to keep future critters out.

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I spent a lot of time with The Ruby Blade over the weekend. Saturday was definitely my most productive day, with Friday coming in second. Yesterday was not so great. I finally managed to get things moving in late afternoon when my friend RJ started bribing me. Every 500 words, I got another page from her current WIP. It was very effective!

I’m hoping that one more week of focused, intense work, and I’ll be able to wrap this draft up and send it to my beta readers only a week late.

This weekend’s writing supervisor is checking my work.

 

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I feel like I haven’t had much time with my kiddo lately. He’s been at his dad’s since last Wednesday (the 26th), and the previous weekend, he was at the coast with his grandma. The Beer Guy and I got out there for one night, but it feels like it’s been too long since I’ve gotten an adequate amount of Alvie Bean snuggles. I can’t wait to pick him up tonight and I’m even more excited to spend the weekend with him. (Please remind me of this at 3:30 pm on Saturday when I’m updating my Etsy listing because he never. stops. talking.)

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I actually had a wonderfully productive weekend, even beyond the writing. I did menu-planning and got groceries for the week (although I know we’ll have to restock the bananas midweek), went to pick up my new glasses, got my car washed and the oil changed, got a massage, and brought some of my books to a local book store where they are currently on sale. In addition, I’ll be doing a book reading and signing there on August 10 at 7 pm. If you come, you can ask me anything, buy paperbacks of my books, and get them signed. I’ll also try to convince you to come have a beer with me after (my treat).