What book should I write first?

I’ll be finishing up my co-author project for the Dominion Rising boxset in the coming week and that means onward and forward with a new project. So…which one will it be? You decide! 🙂

 

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Death’s Queen Release Week Round Up.

A big thank you to my readers! (Yes. I’m now working on the next two Gargoyle and Sorceress Books! And the spin-off series. So 2017 is year of the gargoyle.)
Numbers Data (for all those authors who are lurking my posts) 🙂

Death’s Queen made it as high as #5275 in the Amazon store on launch day. Woot! It has since dropped back, but that’s to be expected as I did almost zero marketing with this one and it’s not exclusive to amazon, so you have to sell twice as many books to achieve the same rank to make up for the lack of Kindle Unlimited borrows. I’m newly wide, so haven’t gained much traction at the other retailers yet. Here’s the numbers for Death’s Queen over the last four days, including pre-order sales. Amazon: 397, Kobo: 31, iBooks: 7, and Nook: 4. So, yeah, small potatoes. More readers will discover the book over time. Marketing always helps, too.

Anyways, I’ll be increasing the price to $4.99 later this weekend, so grab it now if you want it at a discount. If you’re new to this series, I would suggest starting with book one. You can get Betrayal’s Price FREE by clicking here: KOBO,   NOOK,   iBOOKS, and   AMAZON.

DEATH WANTS HIS QUEEN BACK.

After her two sisters are caught up by destiny’s call, Lamarra Stonemantle is the only one left to play the role of dutiful noble daughter. A task she embraces in an effort to hide the dark magic living inside her own soul. Now that power is whispering its seductive promises again, telling her only a long dead king can complete her soul.

That unknown being terrifies her, but when Lord Master Trensler orders his acolytes to capture Lamarra, she must flee her home. To her dismay, she is rescued by tomb guards sent by her dead king.

Lamarra soon learns her fate is just as terrible as she thought, but Dead King Soryn isn’t anything like she feared. He’s worse. Yet he’s also gentle and kind and he knows a way to track and destroy the acolytes’ evil god.

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON.UK

AMAZON.CA

AMAZON.AU

KOBO         NOOK         IBOOKS   
I hope you enjoyed Death’s Queen. Book 5, The Prince’s Gryphon, will be published later this year. Likely December.

Win A Full Year of Kindle Unlimited!

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Cursed2Betrayal's Price_Master_Large

Remember, there are TWO chances to win, plus you can earn unlimited entries. So what are you waiting for? Click here to enter the giveaway.

Happy New Year and a Free Ebook

First off, hope everyone had a Happy New Year.

I’m not normally into the New Year’s resolution thing. (Why make promises I’m probably going to forget about. Right?) But this year, I’ve decided it’s time to change my writing outlook, to stop looking at my writing as a hobby and start looking at it more as a job. Yah, like a second, really, really low paying job, but still…

Why the sudden change? Because I actually started to built a bit of a fan base in 2015. Huh. Cool. That’s a rather awesome feeling, btw. Now that I have a few fans, I owe them well-edited, well-formatted, professional ebooks published in a timely fashion. Actually, all authors owe their readers that from the get-go, but there’s a learning curve to becoming a professional indie author. Some authors get it right away, others…well….never do. 

My stuff wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t top of the line, either. (Okay, my first indie published novel so wasn’t ready for readers) but I had some editing done, and ebook covers NOT designed by me. Don’t get me wrong, some authors know their way around photoshop and can put together a respectable cover. Me? Not so much. So here I was puttering along, doing all the wrong things until I happened to read Lindsay Buroker’s blog mentioning Kboards. I’ve followed Lindsay’s blog for a number of years now–she’s a great author I met on the OWW (Online Writer’s Workshop for Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror) back in 2009 or 2010.

Anyways, I joined Kboards--you can just lurk if you wish–but I highly recommend all new/aspiring authors check it out. There’s a ton of great data there, shared freely by other wonderful authors. I’ve learned far more than I’ve had time to implement, so 2015 was the year of learning how to be a professional author and 2016 is going to be the year I become a professional author (or at least, improve my writing and publishing schedule. Baby steps.)

Here’s some jewels of wisdom I’ve gained from joining Kboards:

Get an author website or a blog up and running. (I already had one, but didn’t know what to do with it.)

Start a Mailing List using Mailchimp or the like. (Don’t know what that is? Go to Kboards and start reading.)

Write more books. Write every day, even if only for an hour.

Publish a book every 2-3 months. Otherwise, you’re fighting an uphill battle to win visibility on the big retailers like Amazon. Now, if you’re anything like me, writing that fast isn’t possible. To get around that, hold off publishing anything until you have 3 books done, and then publish them about a month apart. Get them edited by the best editor you can afford, get writing buddies to beta read them. Get the best ebook covers you can afford. Great story +  great editing + great covers = a better chance that your book will maybe catch readers’ attention. There is no guarantee. 

Back up one step. Before you publish the ebook, start sending out Advanced Reading Copies. Give these out to reviewers like candy. Get a paperback version up on Amazon and they will have a link where they can post reviews. (I made that sound way easier than it actually is. Reviews are a pain in the butt to get.)

Publish the ebook version or put it on pre-order. Now it gets complicated. Some authors say to start promoting right out of the gate, others say to save your money until you have more books for readers to move onto next. Both are good points. I don’t have a clear answer for you. It depends.

For my next novel, called Ishtar’s Blade, I’m going to try to get the number of reviews I need to get it accepted by the heavy hitting promotional sites and promote the snot out of this book. I’ll do a 99c release for a period of 2 weeks, line up blog tour sites, do Instafreebie and Library Thing giveaways and others and see if I can get it on the Hot New Release List on Amazon. Ishtar’s Blade is a standalone novel, so it makes sense to try to prime the Amazon algorithms right out of the gate.

Now, if you have a series in mind, don’t be afraid to give away boatloads of book one. Many readers will be reluctant to part with their hard earned $$$ on a new, unknown author, but will gladly go on to read the rest of the series if they liked book one. Freebies are a great way to gain new readers, mailing list signups, and facebook likes. All of which you can use to your advantage for your next new release.

With that in mind.

Betrayal’s Price is Free on Amazon today and tomorrow. Oh, and here is it’s new cover reveal. I had to get a new cover designed for it for the print version. Herd Mistress, book two, will eventually get a new cover and a print version, too.

 

Betrayal's Price_medium_master

Happy New Year!

Kindle Select Free Promo Days–Do they still work?

There seems to be much talk around the forums about how the usefulness of the Kindle Select Free Days seems to be in decline. Not to mention what Kindle Unlimited has done to [not for] author royalties. And now it seems Amazon had tossed another wrench in things with their new marketing click ads. Anyway, I’ll talk about those other items in coming posts.

I only recently joined the Kindle Select Program, mid-December to be exact. As I only had one book and a free short story out on the other platforms (and I’d recently gotten my rights back from my publisher for the other two) I figured why not give Kindle Select a try. They demand exclusive rights to your titles for 90 days, but as I said, with no sales of note, joining wasn’t really an issue.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it was a great deal of work. lol. I had to re-edit, format, and create new covers. And while I was at it, I decided to do the same with all of them. And, Bad Author, did I ever find a big number of grammar issues and typos to be fixed. At least the last six weeks I’ve lived in the writer’s cave was worth it.

Now, Kindle Free Days:

The idea is that by giving away a truck load of ebooks for free, you might gain notice/readers. In other words, gaining future sales of your other books by building a fan base. Which, as a new indie author, is (or should be) your main goal.

However, you’re only allowed 5 Free Promo days for each 90 days Kindle Select period. (Or you can do a Kindle Countdown Deal if you wish. I’ll try that in the future.)

I enrolled Stone’s Kiss first, and broke up its Free Promo period into two segments, running one for 3 days just after Christmas and another mid-January for 2 days. During the Christmas 3 day run, I promoted it only with Digital Books Today and got 1100 downloads, which isn’t a gold rush, but not too terrible either. The second one I promoted with the site, The Fussy Librarian. And with that one I gained another 300 downloads.

So, sum total: 1400 downloads. (not horrible for very, very limited promotions)

But because of the Free promo giveaways, I’m now averaging about four sales/borrows a day. Which is up from the two or three a month I was getting. lol. I should point out that I have very limited time, so focused on writing other novels instead of promoting.  It just makes more sense to me that if you’re going to spend time and money on promotional stuff, you should have other novels out for readers to move onto next. More bang for your buck and all that.

A look at the numbers: I found—> 1400 free downloads resulted in about $100 USD in residual sales/ borrows.

Yes, still peanuts, but it will be interesting to see how Betrayal’s Price, my current Freebie, affects my sales.

With this one, I decided to run it for 5 days at once, with sites promoting on different days so I could compare the different sites and learn how well each worked. (I’ll admit, some of the paid site felt a little like tossing money into a blackhole, but those ones I never parted with more than $10, so am not too concerned if the don’t pan out.)

So far I’ve had a greater number of downloads. Day one: 2523 free downloads. With it sitting at #2 in Sword and Sorcery and #67 overall (Woot! I never thought I’d make it into the top 100 Free in Kindle list) And this with me only promoting on the second tier sites, as you have to have 8-30 good reviews to be accepted by the bigger sites, and Betrayal’s Price had only been out for two weeks, so doesn’t have any reviews yet. Good, bad, or otherwise.

 

Screen capture_betrayal's

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I don’t know if the dowBeautiful archery woman aiming, smoky backgroundnloads were helped along because a lot of non-football fans were looking for something to do to avoid the superbowl or if the crap weather help, or if FreeBooksy, bknight on ffiver, and Book Angel really are that good.

 

 

I’ll be posting more updates in the coming days, so stay tuned. And if you’re interested Betrayal’s Price is still free until Feb 5th. So if a Romantic Fantasy Sword and Sorcery adventure is your kind of book, give it a try and tell your friends and family about it.   <——- Look, See. I do attempt to promote. lol. 

Updates and Editing Funnies.

I see I haven’t updated my blog in a while. Big surprise there. Bad me.

Writing wise, a couple months back I signed a contract for book two of In Deception’s Shadow, my epic fantasy romance series with MuseItUp Publishing. This one is called Herd Magic, and is about Ashayna’s sister, Sorsha, and the Santhyrian Ambassador, Shadowdancer. I just finished round one of edits, and am about to send it back to my editor. I’m also working on book three(Lamarra’s story), called the Dead Queen.

At the same time, since I can’t seem to work on just one project, I’m writing book two of the Avatars. In Stone’s Song, Lillian and Gregory face off against a newly awakened, centuries old Siren—and she’s not at all happy with what humans have been doing to her oceans while she slept.

I’m also about to reboot a new sci-fi series I started last year because Vengeance, Warship of the Spire, is just too much fun to let stagnant on my hard drive.

Night Owl Reviews is having another of their web scavenger hunts. I decided to join this one. Click on the widget to the left for details about how to win books, Amazon gift cards and other cool stuff.

 

Editing funnies from Herd Magic. (Because an author should be able to laugh at themselves.)

 

Map instead of heap (don’t ask me how I made/missed that one)

Past instead of passed (should have caught that one)

Then instead of than. (but only twice. Yeh! An improvement.)

Torn instead of tore (more than once)

Just….is a filler word. Bad Lisa.

Towards instead of toward. (and vice versa. Too many times to count.)

Power, power, power,….you get the idea.

Sweet instead of sweat.

Founded instead of found….yep…really.

Bounded instead of bound. (Which I think is actually worse.)

Lay instead of lie.

Hewed instead of hewn.

 

Yep, them there are some great mestakes. ::rolls eyes::

 

The next issue I ran into is probably only something sci-fi and fantasy authors encounter. While a character’s internal thoughts are usually denoted with italics, so too is telepathic communication between characters. The only difference is the telepathic communication has quotes (I’ve seen other symbols used as well, but quotes seems to be the most popular.) But I found having both in italics was too confusing to read, so my character’s internal thoughts are not in italics. Apparently I don’t just break rules, I reverse them. Lol.

Argh! Another Goal Bites the Dust.

I had planned to start blogging again. My goal: once a week.

Now that doesn’t sound too hard, does it?

For the average human, no, probably not. But for me, the social media sloth….those plans for a once a week post turned into once a month post. ::cough:: ::cough::

Though, this time I do have a good excuse.

What can I say, I’ve been trying to figure out the IRS and their ITIN process. When I haven’t been there, I’ve been poking around the Canada Revue Agency website. So far, the CRA comes out on top—they don’t seem to want my first born. LOL. Some authors are smart enough to figure this out all on their own. Me—I think I’m smart enough to know when I need to find a tax professional to do this kind of stuff for me.

 I’ve been deep into editing book 2 of my epic fantasy romance series, In Deception’s Shadow. So between that and tax funnies, I may have an excuse for being a little…or a lot crazy.

 Which brings me to today’s news (since Lea from MuseItUp freely admits she’s crazy, too).

 Over on the MuseItUp Publishing blog we’re running a monthly blog theme about author pet peeves. I’ll be posting on March 14, so be sure to pop over to see what pushes my buttons. I’ve also heard there’s going to be some daily e-book giveaways. I’ll post details later about that. Stay tuned—Muse has some fun stuff in the works.

Here are some titles from this month’s posts:

No One Likes Rejection, But….

Publishing and/or Writing Pet Peeves and How I Solved Them