Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Indie ReCon is Going on Now!

Today is Day 2 of the three day Indie ReCon online conference. I tried to read most of the posts and watched several videos from yesterday, but I'll have to go back this weekend to get through everything. I will warn you now, there is a lot of information. So far, the biggest impacts for me were Susan Kaye Quinn's video, the web chat with JA Konrath and Barry Eisler, and Rachel Aaron's post on writing faster. With my limited writing time, Rachel's post intrigued me immensely, and it was pretty simple and straightforward, but made a lot of sense. I'll be working on putting her triangle diagram principles into action with my writing to get more out of each sit-down session.

If you're an indie author or interested in becoming one, the information provided at Indie ReCon is invaluable. Click on the graphic above to check it out. I'll discuss more of my learnings from the conference next Wednesday. Have a great week!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Keeper by Ingrid Seymour Cover Reveal

I'm excited to reveal the cover for Keeper by Ingrid Seymour.  This YA fantasy is releasing as a serial novel with the following release dates:
 vol 1 - March 05
 vol 2 - April 2
 vol 3 - May 7
 vol 4 - June 4
and the Omnibus edition with all volumes releases in July.
This is the cover of the omnibus that contains all the stories that comes out in July. 

About the Book:
Greg Papilio both wants and dreads his impending metamorphosis. He’s tired of being a runt—always picked last on the basketball court—and tired of being ugly, like a caterpillar, when he could be what girls call “drop dead gorgeous.” But as much as he looks forward to the transformation, he also fears the caste it will inevitably assign to him. He doesn’t want a common caste, or one that will obliterate his freewill and make him a slave. He wants a powerful one, a cool one.

Samantha Gibson is average. She’s short and a little full around the hips—a terribly cute look for a future chef. À-la-Rachael-Ray in her old days. She’s two years away from culinary school, from her uncaring parents, and from carving a perfectly Human future. She wants independence, a career and a quiet life of her own.

Except fate couldn’t care less about what Greg and Samantha want and gives them exactly the opposite. Greg’s metamorphosis assigns him a caste that enslaves him to Samantha, while her chance to attend Le Cordon Bleu is taken away when her parents get a divorce. And fate’s cruelty doesn’t stop there. Not content with shattering their dreams, it also makes them fall in love, just to tear them apart when Samantha morphs, losing her freewill and developing a compulsion for a guy she barely knows.

Still, these misfortunes are just the tip of the iceberg, because Greg’s fate is to protect Samantha at a time when someone wants her dead. He is her Keeper and will stop at nothing to ensure her safety, even if her secret past proves deadly, even if she belongs to someone else.

Ingrid Seymour loves, loves, loves to write. She's a young and new adult author. She writes in a variety of
genres including romance, urban fantasy, paranormal and horror. She loves pizza and sushi, Sunkist and gum. She believes in vampires, witches, but not zombies (uh-uh, never!) She writes to loud music, daydreams constantly and spends too much time in twitter!! Find her there? ;) Ingrid has incredible fun doing what she does, but more than anything she enjoys hearing from her readers. It's a dream come true.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | G +

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Game of Thrones is Back with a Vengence

I just watched the newly released Game of Thrones trailer this morning and was giddy by the end of it (the 15-minute behind the scenes of Season 4 that came out last week was also exciting)--little kid at Christmastime giddy. I'm so looking forward to what they do with the second half of Storm of Swords. Besides the stunning visuals in the trailer, the song gives it extra emotion and fits very well with the title track. It's cover of a Siouxsie & the Banshees song called "Cities in Dust," by the band The Everlove.

I just finished reading the fourth book in the series, A Feast for Crows, and I can now understand all the negative reviews. I love the world and characters Martin has created, but the book was 90% setup, or filler (it's hard to say at this point). The events of Books 4 and 5 are happening simultaneously, and Martin split the POV characters between the two books. That was a gutsy move, and I didn't mind it so much. I just wish the story felt like it was progressing.

Since A Dance with Dragons (Book 5) is 49 hours long listening to it on audiobook, I'm going to hold off for a little while. It won't be relevant until Season 5 and the 6th book most likely won't be out until 2016, so I think I've got a little time. For now, I can't wait for Season 4 to begin in April. So enjoy the trailer, and if you haven't watched the first three seasons, it's a good time to catch up!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Indie Life: The Inevitable Change

According to the latest Indie Life newsletter, this will be the feature's final month.  I'm sure that the Indelibles will live on, which continues to be a great resource for indie authors like myself. I didn't get a chance to be part of this 2nd Wednesday of the month feature for very long, and I missed the last few months during my blogging hiatus, but I wanted to make sure I gave the feature a proper goodbye.

Change is inevitable. If we as indie authors don't recognize this and are unwilling to adapt to all the change going on around us, then we will be left behind. This isn't an industry where we can get comfortable and coast. There are new developments, new suggestions from other successful authors, and new opportunities opening up every single day. Most of us don't have the time to search for every new idea, but we do need to dedicate a certain percentage of our time to finding a few of these innovations and applying them. The key word is "apply" because it is too easy to become paralyzed by research. I am guilty of that way too often.

One thing I just found out is that Kindle Direct Publishing now allows authors to upload their books in multiple formats, not just a .mobi file anymore. I don't remember this being an option a year ago (though I could have just overlooked it). You can now upload an ePub, HTML, or MS Word file as well. With this discovery, I'll have to experiment which format is the easiest and cleanest for me to upload, hopefully allowing me to reallocate some conversion time to more writing time. My writing time is a precious commodity!

Also, there is less than a week left to enter the Provex City giveaway at Book Divas. I am giving away 3 signed paperbacks and 10 ebook copies of the first book in the Lorne Family Vault series. The giveaway ends February 17th. Visit the official giveaway page HERE. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IWSG Wednesday: The Best Days are Not Behind Us

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

The best days are not behind us. At times I feel like I missed out on the good ol’ days of publishing. I don’t know if I’ll ever see my books in actual bookstores, but that doesn’t have to be such a bad thing. Online retailers are crushing bookstores one by one. I get to be part of the new revolution instead of what’s being phased out. Some mornings I feel like I missed the self-publishing gold rush of several years back. I am running near the rear of the stampede only to get lost in the kicked-up dust like so many other authors joining the chase. The market is overcrowded now and discoverability is like winning the Mega Millions jackpot. But it’s never been easy. If it was, then everyone would crank out their masterpiece to collect a quick million.

There are a lot of best practices, but there doesn’t seem to be a single secret to discoverability and becoming the next big name. It always comes back to hard work, persistence, and luck. The harder you work and more persistent you are, the luckier you tend to become. But coming back to the notion that the self-publishing gold rush is over, I recently read a blog post by Hugh Howey, who coincidently is one of the self-publishing success stories listing more indie authors able to support themselves on their craft. Go check it out and come back: Defying the Odds (And the Naysayers).

I have to admit, I’ve never heard of the authors he mentions, but I’m not looking to be famous, I’m looking to make a living as an author (a comfortable living if I may be so bold). I found the post very inspirational because these authors really began to make an impact after the so-called gold rush was supposedly over. Granted, they have been writing for quite a few years and have healthy backlogs, but that’s the real key—honing your craft over multiple books, finding your true voice, finding what it is about your storytelling that will connect with readers, and having more titles for your readers to discover, fall in love with, and tell their friends about.

The best days are not behind us. It seems like everybody has a book or two or even three, but the truly passionate authors will not stop there. They’re in it for the long haul—10, 20 books, and more—and will inevitably find their nuggets of gold because more is always out there. More readers are looking for good books every day. I only have two books out so far, but I plan on writing for the long haul. Sometimes I feel like I missed out, but I didn’t—not really. I didn’t miss out on anything because my best days are writing, which can—and should—be every day.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Provex City Giveaway at Book Divas!

I'm excited to announce a Provex City giveaway on the Book Divas website. The contest for paperback and ebook copies runs from February 3rd - 17th. Visit the official giveaway page HERE.

Book Divas is a great website "for the young and young of heart." They provide interviews, reviews, contests, awards, and giveaways related to literary fiction, young adult fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs. They also have tons of publishing related posts and a section dedicated to new author interviews. While you're there to enter my giveaway, take a few minutes to poke around the site and find what excites your literary passions. 

Be sure to enter to win your copy of Provex City. And if you already own a copy: first, thank you, and second, you can always win another copy and pass it on to a friend. :) Enter HERE.

I would also like to give a big THANK YOU to Isabella at Book Divas for setting up this giveaway! :)
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