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Posts Tagged ‘Self publishing’

I Wish I Could Tell You When My Next Book Come Out

June 21st, 2019 No comments

“When’s your next book coming out?”

I love this question. And I hate this question.

I love it, because it means my previous book did its job of pulling that reader into my world (MUWHAHA!)  filled with detailed characters and twisty-turney plots. I hate this question, because I can usually only offer the vaguest of answers.

Some authors are startingly good at scheduling their book writing, editing, and release process. They can say months in advance exactly when the public can get their greedy little hands on that author’s novel.

Me? Not so much. My writing process is not serene and consistent. It is messy, frustrating, thrilling, and unpredictable. Some authors I know are hella’ good at writing in-depth outlines and following those outlines to a tee.

I outline, too. Really, I do, but my characters don’t always feel like staying on the paths I lay out for them. An outline is just a starting point, and as I dive into a crafting the novel, often the story veers in directions I never imagined as I was cheerfully typing up the outline, thinking, Yep, this is solid as can be.

As a result, I often have no idea how long a book will be, which can stretch the writing days. My most recent book, How to Become a Henchman, weighed in at a respectable 78,000 words. My second book in the series, How to Defeat a Hero, currently bends the scales at almost 95,000 words! (Not respectable at all.)

I admire (cough… envy) authors who can breeze right through that first edit of their rough draft. That happens sometimes to me… you know, once. Most of the time, though, the first draft of a novel is really just a suggestion. It’s like half a shape of the thing it’s meant to be, and it’s up to me to take the chisel (okay, chainsaw) and carve out its true form. This takes tons of mental sweat and muscle and sometimes very real tears.

The first draft of How to Defeat a Hero was so rough, (sorry, book, I love you!) that I actually had to do a second edit just to stitch my darling little Frankenstein monster back together again. And then it was time to throw it to the hounds.

I mean, my sweet, understanding beta readers.

If my beta readers were terrible, unhelpful people, they would tell me my book was great and I would smile and delightfully toss the manuscript into the Amazon Kindle store where it would slowly sink into the murky depths of forgotten books.

My beta readers really are awesome people. They don’t pull their punches. They tell me when my characters suck, when my plot is slower than a one-winged duck trying to fly against a hurricane, and when there are plot holes the size of a moon crater in the story.

That means more edits. More time.

So, add it all together, and it’s nearly impossible to predict when my book will be polished and ready until I’m pretty much done with the last word of the last round of edits.

This situation makes it frustrating for me to try to plan my book launch, and I know it drives some of my readers batty. (Sorry, readers, I love you!)

But—and here’s the important thing—I wouldn’t have it any other way. My timeline is so whacky because I won’t publish a book until I’m sure it’s the best I could make it, until I know that I can give you a story that I’m proud of. You know it’s worth the wait for Grandma’s famous, handmade lasagna even if you’re practically starving.

This is me making my lasagna. Slow. Haphazard. But filled with love.

Thanks for waiting!

New Covers, New Impressions

March 29th, 2015 No comments
Old and new covers for the girl with broken wings series

The Girl With Broken Wings covers got a makeover.

Readers, you may not realize exactly how much we authors think about you. We think about you a lot. Creepy, right? But it’s only because we want you to notice us, read us, love us, and – of course – post a review about our books when you’re done. Feel flattered that we often spend hours, days, or even weeks sweating and struggling to write a book summary that will stop you in your tracks and hook you. That we fight to get into the genre categories you frequent. That we always wonder what you think about our covers.

Covers. Sigh. Perhaps nothing about publishing a book is so tricky as getting the cover right. A bad cover can break even the best book. A cover has a lot of responsibilities. It must capture a reader’s attention in a split second and whisper promises of the story within. It must be strong, powerful, clean, well-balanced, and intriguing.

But here’s the thing…authors aren’t cover designers. A few are, but most of us, including yours truly, haven’t progressed in our artistic integrity beyond stick figures. That means that we often have to hire cover designers for our books and guide them on what we want while restraining ourselves from breathing down their neck so they can do their magic.

Weird how a cover – so influential in the buying process – is so divorced from the actual creation of the book and story itself. Few cover designers read the books they create covers for. Has it ever driven you crazy that a character on the cover looks nothing like the protagonist in the book? Now you know why.

Readers, here’s a little insight into life as an author – most of us are neurotic freaks when it comes to our covers. In our writer’s groups, we constantly ask each other, “What do you think of my cover?” We send each other endless drafts from our designers, trying to tweak shadowing, fonts, the tagline, everything, all for you.

Recently, I decided to update the covers in my Girl With Broken Wings series. I really liked my previous covers. I thought they were artsy, unique, and invocative, but it was time for a change. After studying the other covers in the paranormal genre, I decided that I wanted something darker, edgier. I worked with a new cover designer for three months to re-do all of the covers in my series, and I am thrilled with the results. Every new cover that my designer sent me was like a Christmas present come early.

The result is the banner at the top of this blog, which showcases my old covers and my new covers.

It will be interesting moving forward to see if these covers influence readers or impact my sales. All I can say is that I love their artistry and grittiness, and I think they promise an exciting story within. I hope readers will agree!

All the Nathaniel and Deidre You Want in a Single Collection

October 6th, 2014 No comments

Announcing: The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles, Volume One

Get It Now

Cover, The Vampire's Housekeeper Chronicles

Stay strong Deidre!

Deidre finds herself out of a job, out of luck, and out of time. The rent is past due, and the list of her employable skills is smaller than her checking account balance. Hope comes in the form of Betsy Riddle of the Bullseye Employment Agency who gives Deidre one shot at staying out of a fast food restaurant uniform. A mysterious gentleman with certain “peculiarities” is seeking a housekeeper. Deidre squeezes into her only nice pair of slacks, tames her wild orange hair, and starts off for the job interview that will either change her life….or end it. Thus begins Deidre’s hilarious adventures as the housekeeper of a cranky vampire. Nathaniel is unliving proof that  tempers don’t always sweeten with age. He stubbornly clings to his gramophone, insists on wearing a cape to meet guests, considers the television to be “witch magic,” and gets murderous when his prune juice runs low. The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles, Vol. 1 includes five  fast-paced and humorous short stories and a novella that follow Deidre as she struggles to keep on the right side of her boss’s fangs, clean a haunted mansion where the walls bleed on a daily basis, and catch the eye of a certain hunky wereferret. Filled with a kaleidoscope characters from inept poltergeists, smelly zombies, chatty ninjas, obese werefrogs, and senior citizen vampire hunters…this series has it all! Each story builds upon the last, adding more laughs, more action, and more adventure to Deidre’s world. Deidre is an unlikely, enjoyable, and very human heroine who proves that being a vampire’s housekeeper doesn’t have to suck.  Don’t miss out on a single story in The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles  series with this great  collection.

Get It Now

RISING – Book Three of the GIRL WITH BROKEN WINGS Series

April 17th, 2014 No comments
Meet my new baby, RISING. She's a big one, but that just means there's more of her to love.

Meet my new baby, RISING. She’s a big one, but that just means there’s more of her to love.

Have you ever had a big, hairy audacious goal, like running a marathon, buying a mansion, or finally solving that $%^&*# Rubik’s Cube? That goal drives you, focuses you, gives you a glimpse of future glory. Success can be oh-so-sweet, but then what happens next?

Maya had a goal, a pretty big one. She wanted vengeance against the man who changed her and murdered her boyfriend. (If this sounds like gibberish, it’s time to get your hot little hands on FALLING – GIRL WITH BROKEN WINGS). At the end of LANDING (book two in the series), Maya gets her vengeance, which leaves her with that big, scary, accusing question…what next?

I’ll tell you what’s next — Adventure, Snow Storms, Cool Missiony Stuff, Chuck Norris Jokes, Occasional Kidnappings, and maybe even a little love in the air! That’s right, RISING, Book Three in the GIRL WITH BROKEN WINGS series is here!

And Guess What — You Get A Discount

As a gift to true fans of the series, I have priced the ebook for $2.99 for its first week of existence. On April 27th, RISING, well, rises to its permanent price of $4.99. Buy your copy today and enjoy an awesome story for an even…er, awesomer price.

Other Places to Buy

RISING is also available as a soft cover on Amazon, though the  book is so big that the printing cost make it a wee bit higher than I would have preferred (sorry, nothing I can do about that). Additionally, you can find RISING on iTunes, Kobo, and BarnesandNoble.com.

One More Thing — Free FALLING Giveaway

<< Blog Update: This giveaway has expired <<

If you really want to enjoy RISING, then make sure you start at the beginning. Maya’s story, and the whole not-exactly-human-so-much-anymore thing all start with FALLING, Book One in the GIRL WITH BROKEN WINGS series. You could always buy the ebook on Amazon for just $3.99, but if you need one more little nudge, I’m giving away 10 print copies of FALLING on Goodreads. Participation in the giveaway is completely free. You’ll need a Goodreads account, but otherwise no hoops to jump through. I’d love to be able to mail you a copy of FALLING! Throw you name in the hat.

The giveaway ends April 30th, so sign up today!

Alright, those are all the announcements of the day. Back to business.