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! 🙂

 

A book for Earth Day.

Surreal tree in a calm lake during sunset.
April 22nd Happy Earth Day!

I’m an introvert environmentalist. (Not one of those big brave, put my life on the line types—Although, I highly respect people that are willing to put their lives on the line for our species’ and the planet’s future.)

Instead, I try to consider the earth in my day to day lifestyle. I have a car, but I live close enough to walk to work, so I walk. I plant trees and garden to provide food and habitat for animals. I try to be energy efficient as much as I’m able.

Sometimes my environmental mindset works its way into my writing. I try not to club my readers over the head with it.

However, I just watched the documentary Racing Extinction.

Maybe I need to work environmental issues into my writing more often. The human race needs to get its collective head out of its collective _____ (fill in the blank) if we want a planet for our grandchildren to inherit.

Stone’s Song, book 2 of my Avatars series, has the most blatant environmental theme. In it, an ancient siren awakens to find the ocean realm slowly dying because of what humans have been doing to it for the last hundred years. She sets out to destroy the human race to save everything else. (So, yeah, villain. But she’s the one villain I’ve always felt bad about killing off in the end. Although I gave her a hero’s death in the end.)

Wish I had thought about this sooner. I would have done some kind of promo/fundraiser for a charity.

So in lieu of that, I’m going to try my hand at fundraising for an environmental charity.  I’ll give all proceeds from Stone’s Song to a charity. I’ll give myself a year (Earth Day 2017) to see how much I can make. I’ll post updates throughout the year. I just came up with this in the last hour, so yeah, not really well thought out yet…..

I’ll call this a work in progress.

Ishtar’s Blade is a Bestseller.

Woman stands in praise before a beautiful night sky.

Ishtar’s Blade made the Amazon Top 100 List

Woot! Woot! Cool!

(Sorry, I’ve got the worst head cold. That might have been the medicine talking.) Bestseller? I’m not sure what the criteria is for that, but I think I’d have to sell way more than I have. But still, it’s been a pretty fun ride to watch Ishtar’s Blade slowly rise up through the ranks. This morning is was #64 in the paid in Kindle Store. Tonight it has dropped to # 87. I think it has reached its peak and will now slowly (I hope slowly) fall back to a more normal rank.

All in all, it did far better than I dreamed. I’ll write a followup post at a later date, explaining why it did so well (my opinion as least, who really knows how the mysterious Amazon algorithms actually work.)

I’ll be increasing the price soon, so if you still want to try it for only 99c, grab your copy HERE. Or you can read it for Free with Kindle Unlimited.

 

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!

It’s Alive!

stonesdivide-ebookYep. Stone’s Divide is now live on Amazon. Woot. This was my first attempt at a pre-order and I must say, pre-orders are a little stressful. But it’s up, I got the final file uploaded in time, and Amazon didn’t have an epic fail. Life is good. I’ve even lined up a bunch of promo sites next week for Stone’s Kiss (Book 1). It will be free and book two will be part of a 0.99 Kindle Countdown Deal with the hope that those two will drive traffic towards book three.

The only direct promotion Stone’s Divide got was to my tiny little mailing list (35 fans and growing. lol.) If you’re reading this and would like to join (just click this link to go to my website and sign up using the form on the right hand side) and you will receive  my future newsletters, where I mention new releases and other promotions, giveaways, and chances to get advanced reading copies for review. My first ARC (advanced reading copy) giveaway will be for book one of my new sci-fi. It’ will be rolling out sometime late November or early December. So if you want a chance to get it for free, sign up and I’ll mention how to get it in a future newsletter. (It will be a while as I still have to finish it, get it edited and have a cover designed for it.) But I digress.

If you haven’t already picked up a copy of Stone’s Divide, there is still time. The $2.99 sale price will remain in effect until Nov 1.

Happy reading!

Available for sale on Amazon or read for Free with Kindle Unlimited.

Stone’s Divide Available for pre-order

stonesdivide-ebookI just wanted to let my readers know about a couple exciting events. First, Gregory and his lady love, Lillian will be making another appearance very soon in Stone’s Divide (release date October 8th) It’s available now for Pre-order.

On a side note, if you’re a fan of my other series, In Deception’s Shadow, I’m working on Death’s Queen and a novella called, Maiden’s Wolf, set in the same world. I had hoped to get these two out this summer, but a pesky Spire Warship by the name of Vengeance got in the way. He’s the A.I. hero in my new Sci-fi series. My newsletter readers will be meeting him at some point in the future, as I plan to give away advanced reading copies to anyone interested.

I’ve also created my first Author Newsletter. (Yah, I know I’m way behind the times.) You can see it here. Although, it’s the exact same information that’s in this post. If you would like to get emails about my new releases, promotional sales and freebies, you can join my mailing list by signing up on the homepage of my website (under the banner picture on the right-hand side) here.

I’ll start posting more frequent updates on my website, blog, and Facebook author’s page.

Woot! I made it onto an Amazon bestseller list.

Okay. So it’s really only a tiny little accomplishment. Stone’s Kiss landed as #100 on the Amazon bestseller list for Sword and Sorcery fantasy. It’s a relatively small pool compared to the ocean that is Amazon, but….Woot! I’m in the middle of a promo run for Stone’s Kiss and over the last few days it has sold about 120 copies @0.99, which equals only about $42 dollars in royalties. Of those 120 copies, about 50 of them were sold today, hence the reason I landed on the bestseller list and why I’ll drop back off again by morning. But I don’t care. The real interest is what will happen in the coming days after the promo ends. 

My hope–that I’ll get a few more good reviews, gain a few new fans, get a few of those before mentioned fans to sign up for my mailing list, and get some sell through on my other titles. Baby steps. So far so good.

Update: Okay, it’s kinda cool that I have to update this already. Stone’s Kiss just climbed from #100 t0 #62. 

Stone's Kiss4 stone's kiss#62