October 8th, 2014
Today I finished the first draft of Moonlight Kin 4: Tristan. I expected the book to be 50,000 words, but it went a few thousand over that number. I’m going to let it sit for a couple of days, then I’ll start in on the edits this weekend. After I finish them, I’ll be sending the book off for professional edits and formatting. I hope to have it out by the end of this month, but in all likelihood it’ll probably be the first week of November. (I’m going to a wedding, then Disneyworld. YAY!)
I also have something I’d like to say to wannabe writers and new writers. Actually, it’s more of a heartfelt plea. Writers, please, Please, PLEASE GOOGLE your name before you publish a book. I know self-publishing has become super, super easy, but it shouldn’t replace common courtesy or commonsense. Whether you’re looking into pen names or you’re thinking about using your legal name, please Google your name first. It’s bad form to use a name that’s already taken. (Doesn’t matter if it’s your real name. It’s still bad form.) All you’re going to do is confuse YOUR readers (I’m assuming you do want your own readers.) and the other writer’s readers (say that five times fast ;). It also makes you look unprofessional or worse yet, like you’re trying to pull a fast one to gain readers. I know a couple of years ago some authors were sticking bestselling authors’ names in with their names (i.e. Nora Ann Roberts, Stephen Wiley King, etc.). It wasn’t cool then and it’s not cool now. It creates a lot of unnecessary animosity. Writers work VERY hard to build an audience and to build a brand. When someone comes in with a similar name or a play on a name, it erodes everything. So please, think carefully about your name before you publish that book. Thank you!
September 26th, 2014
I’ve been working on getting a few more of my books out in paperback because I realize not everyone reads ebooks. The next two books that will come out in paperback are Atlantean’s Quest 1: The Arrival (once I go through the proofs and get it sent off to the formatter) and Phantom Warriors 7: The Dark King (just waiting for the cover). I will eventually get most of my books out in paperback. I won’t be able to get all of them due to length issues. Sorry. I’m still trying to figure out how to get Hawk’s Slave out in paperback. Not sure what I’ll do yet, but it will eventually happen.
Phantom Warriors 1: Bacchus appears to be free everywhere now. For which I am genuinely grateful. If you haven’t had the chance to pick it up, now is the time, especially since I’ve rewritten much of it. The links to Apple/iBooks on my website for ALL of the Phantom Warriors are currently not working. I’ve been uploading the new proofed books and changing the distribution, so right now, they are VERY confused. I hope to get everything straightened out by the middle of next week. So what I’m saying is: Don’t bother to click on those particular links. The books are in the store, even if they say that they’re not available in the US. (They are. Again, they’re very confused.)
Moonlight Kin 4: Tristan is still coming along. I have about 13K to go before I finish the first draft. It’s still on track to release at the end of October. YAY! If that changes, I will let you know.
September 19th, 2014
Today is my anniversary. I’ll be scarce online today–even more than I normally am, so I can spend time with Dh.
I’ve passed the halfway point on Moonlight Kin 4: Tristan. I have my fingers and toes crossed that the second half goes as smoothly as the first. I can “almost” see the finish line from here. Woo Hoo!!!
September 17th, 2014
I’ve hit the halfway point on Moonlight Kin 4: Tristan. Had a surprise plot point come to me last night, so I need to see how that’s going to effect the rest of my outline. Should just make the story better, since it ups the stakes. I’m looking forward to exploring it. Yes, I’m being purposely vague. *ggg
I have put Phantom Warriors 1: Bacchus up for free on Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble (through Smashwords), and soon to be Apple, when I upload it a little later today. It’ll take a while before the price propagates. My guess is a day or two. I’m hoping to make the book perma-free, but I have no control over the other retail outlets.
September 4th, 2014
Yep, it’s that time again. I have a new release. Meet Hawk! He’s a Slaver, a Pirate, and a badass Shifter all rolled into one. You can read an excerpt HERE. I’m still waiting for Kobo to publish it, but for a short time (i.e. until SATURDAY) you can get the new release for .99. After that, the price will go up to $2.99.
September 2nd, 2014
Three years ago I started self-publishing my backlist. I eventually got everything put up this year. I have noticed a significant change in self-publishing, especially this year. There was a time when you could write the best book you could, have it edited, get an amazing cover, and be pretty sure it would sell decently. Not HUGE numbers, but sustainable numbers. Numbers that would allow most writers to make a living.
Time for a harsh truth: Those days are over.
Now you have to do all the above and hope that you don’t slip down even further. Someone on one of the many lists I belong to was talking about market saturation and predicting even bigger changes to the publishing industry because of it. I believe them. I no longer recognize most of the names I see on the bestseller lists. In fact, I’ve never heard of 85% of them. I don’t want the meaning of those lists to be lost, but I’m afraid that’s exactly what’s going to happen if things continue the way they’re going.
I heard reps from Amazon and Kobo speaking recently and they hinted that big changes were coming. One even hinted at some type of quality control being put into place. I admit that I had mixed feelings about that, since who knows who will be in charge of deciding what’s good or not. The one thing all these changes have driven home to me is that I can’t continue to do what I’ve always done. No matter how hard I work to make my books better (i.e. studying craft, hiring good editors, cover artists, formatters, etc.), my efforts won’t be enough on their own. That is a REALLY difficult thing for me to say and an even harder thing for me to accept. But accept it I must. I’ve come up with a few things I plan to implement on the marketing front, but even those won’t be enough to make a huge dent in a saturated market. (And I don’t mean that in a ‘oh woe is me’ way.) I’m simply stating a fact.
So what does that mean for me and writers like me?
For me, it means changing focus significantly. As much as I enjoy writing romance, I’m never going to be a top-selling romance author. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. (I needed to hear it again.;) I wish that weren’t the case, since that’s been my dream from age fourteen on, but it’s true. My ‘voice’ and the way I approach storytelling is better suited for other genres. Genres I might have a chance of breaking out in. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be writing more romances. I still have a few books I want to write. What it does mean is that they will no longer be my main focus or a priority. They can’t be, if I want to continue to make a living. I will have to push them to the back burner and work on building my other pen names. Pen names that don’t focus entirely on romance. Let the games begin.
It’s a brave new publishing world out there. The only thing certain is change.
August 29th, 2014
Phantom Warriors’ Box Set Sale ENDS TOMORROW!!! Price will return to $8.99.
Lately, I haven’t been in the mood to read new books. My TBR pile suffers the most when this happens. It starts gathering dust, moths, and mold. But I find it really hard to read new books, when I’m in writing mode. I just finished writing HAWK’S SLAVE, a Phantom Warriors’ story and now I’m back to working on Moonlight Kin 4: Tristan. Yesterday, I outlined the whole story. I know some things will change when I dive back into the book, but it helps to have a loose trail to follow. (Helps me at least.)
Because I’m in writing mode, I’ve been re-reading some of my favorite books. Mainly it’s been D.B. Reynolds‘ entire Vampires in America series, but I’m also re-reading Jennifer Armentrout’s Obsession. I should finish with that one tonight. After that, I may read Cynthia Eden’s latest release, Playing With Fire. I’ve read the other two books in the series and really enjoyed them, but I’m a big Cynthia Eden fangirl, so that’s no surprise. I’m HUGELY behind on my Ilona Andrews’ reading, which KILLS ME because I love her/their work so much. (I’ve bought all the books, but I’m several behind.) I guess that gives me lots to look forward to. I’m also waiting for the final book in Jeaniene Frost‘s Dracula trilogy. I’ve read the first book. Own the second, but I’m waiting to read it until the third comes out in January. Yes, I want to read them straight through. I can’t give these authors money fast enough.
I always hate when I get into these re-read moods because there are SO MANY books I want to read. Books I’m looking forward to reading. But the brain is fickle bitch and in this case, it’s not worth fighting it.
Does this happen to any of you?