Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Writer Wednesday: A New Release Every Two Months?


Now that I'm officially going indie, I can do exciting things like set my own production schedule. Why is this so exciting? Because over the years, I've had to either months between releases or releases stacked so close together it was tough to market my books. No more.

I have 2017 and 2018 mapped out and my release schedule looks like this:
January 
April 
July 
October

That's two months between releases. Will it be tough? Yes! But I think the schedule is going to keep readers happy, and I work better on a schedule so I think I'll be happy too.

Right now, my January 2017 release is so close to being completely finished (and it's only September!). My April release is with my editor, and I'll be polishing up my July release to get that ready for my editor as well. Things are looking good so far. :)

Do you like when authors release books a few months apart?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Mishmash: 9/26/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Only One Week Until After Loving You Releases!  I can't believe October 3rd is almost here! 
  2. Editing  I'm finishing up a client edit this week in time for a new one on October 1st.
  3. Two Work Days With Extended Hours  This week my daughter has student council and chorus after school, so thus begins my longer work hours on Tuesdays AND Wednesdays. 
  4. 2017 Publication Schedule  I'm going to be releasing books every two months in 2017. Well, actually it will be two months between releases. Stay tuned for more information on that this Wednesday.
  5. Fall!  My favorite season is here! I love the smell of fall, specifically the smell of October. October has been my favorite month all my life. There's something special about it.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Feature: Sundials and White Cats


Thanks so much for hosting me, Kelly.  I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and the folks that follow your blog.  Some of whom I know, some who I look forward to getting to know.

Today, I’d like to mention a few brief facts about white cats.



White cats are unique in the fact that they’re prone to deafness, especially if they’re blue-eyed.  They’re also prone to skin cancer.  In some cultures white cats are considered good luck.

But what do white cats have to do with sundials?   In general nothing, in this particular story it’s the pet that leads the protagonist, Sarah Miles, to discover the sundial.   




He came through time to find her.

As Sarah Miles drives down Eighteenth Street a stranger materializes in front of her car. She throws on her brakes, braces for impact and...drives straight through him. For a brief moment, his voice echoes in her head, "Saura." Then he's gone. Later that day, she discovers the SUNDIAL and her incredible journey through time begins.

Excerpt:
“Meghan, don’t try to come through this, you’ll get scratched. I’m getting the pesky cat and coming out.”

When in trouble, Monet was the pesky cat, the damn cat, or the bad cat.

She walked over and bent down to pick him up. A flash of color blinded her. She blinked then squinted. For the first time, she saw that Monet had plopped down beside an old sundial.

“Meghan, come here. You’ve got to see this,” she called out.

Meghan gave an exaggerated sigh. “You said not to come in.”

“I’ve found an old sundial. Or rather Monet has.”

“A real one? The rustling began again as Meghan started pushing her way through.

Appears so.” She squatted down to study it. “Looks to be a hundred years old. I bet it’s valuable. You should see the intricate detail. This will make a great piece to paint!”

Words embossed the face of the dial. “There’s writing on it. She read aloud, “Fate cannot be...drat, moss has grown over the rest of the words.”

A wave of superstitious terror washed over Meghan. Suddenly, the pieces all fell into place. And as the old woman prophesied, she believed.

“Sarah, don’t. Get out of there now. Please, Sarah, please,” she cried, her teeth chattering.

What’s wrong with you?

“There’s actually heat radiating from it. Surprising, it’s not that warm out.”

“Sarah, please, don’t you remember what the old lady said?” She fought her way through the overgrowth, barely feeling the scratches a thorny branch left on her face or the warm blood trickling down her cheek. The thicket conspired to keep her out.

Tears streamed down her face as she pushed at the bracken separating herself and her aunt.

She broke through just as Sarah reached down to brush the moss from the sundial.

“No, Sarah, no,” she screamed.

Later her mind would play the scene over again in slow motion: Sarah’s hand as it reached out; Monet jumping playfully at her fingers, bringing them both in touch with the sundial; the boom; the jagged streak of white; and then nothing. They were gone, leaving Meghan alone in the clearing with the sundial.


Sundial is on sale for .99 September 19-25 at Amazon.
Sandra writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. The last animal member of the family, a kitten, came hurtling out of the woods in southern Illinois to land at her feet. He made the trek back to North Carolina, with her and her husband, and wasted no time settling into the household.

Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Self-Publishing Costs


With the number of authors moving in the direction of self-publishing, I've decided to share some things you should know before you dive into self-publishing as an option.

First, understand that the costs are all on you. You are the publisher, so you are responsible for editing, cover design, formatting, and promotion. The good news is that you get to make all the decisions and hire the people you want to help you with your book. Let's break down the big costs involved.

Editing:  There are a lot of great editors out there and their rates differ. You have to do your research and find one that's affordable and offering the type of edits you're looking for. Don't skimp on editing though. I'm not just saying that because I'm an editor. I'm saying it because every author (I don't care if you're famous or not) needs an editor.

Cover Design:  Again, there are a ton of designers out there and they all have different prices. Premade covers are also an option, and they are less expensive. The difficult part is finding one that works for your book. Join some Facebook groups for cover design. Designers post covers, sales, and even ask for suggestions for future premades. They're also happy to work with you on custom made covers.

Formatting:  I know a lot of authors who do their own formatting. Print is a pain, but it's not that difficult. You can teach yourself to do it. There are tons of programs to download and convert your file to all the different ebook files, too. Or you can hire a formatter. I hire a formatter for my ebooks and I format my print books myself.

Promotion:  This is the one that makes all our eyes twitch. I have a social media manager, and she's worth way more than her weight in gold. You can hire a publicist or blog tour companies, or you can choose to do the promotional efforts on your own. Just keep in mind they take a lot of time, so plan accordingly. Advertising is available on Facebook, newsletter subscriptions, and book sites. Teaming up with other authors to offer a big giveaway is also great for exposure and it's inexpensive.

Now this is just touching the surface, but I hope it gives you and idea of what to expect when you go into self-publishing. Yes, you will have to put out money, but the good news is that whatever money comes in from sales is all yours. See which efforts work well for you and where you need to focus that money. It took me years, but I taught myself cover design. I'm lucky enough to have a graphic artist for a sister and she bails me out when I can't do something, but you can learn different aspects of this business and lessen costs that way. I've been on both sides of publishing, and I've made it a point to learn every step along the way. The experience has been so valuable.


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Mishmash 9/19/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Motley Education Cover Reveal  I'm so excited to share the cover of SA Larsen's upcoming middle grade title through Leap Books. I fell in love with this book and new I needed to acquire it for Leap Books, Seek. Here's Motley Education: 


  2. Editing  I finished one client edit this weekend and now I'm on to the next.
  3. Picture Day  I'm helping out with picture day at my daughter's school tomorrow.
  4. Longer Work Days  My daughter was elected student council class rep and she joined chorus, so my work days are longer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays now since she'll be staying after school for those clubs. I miss her already, but oh the possibilities for more work to be done!
  5. Two Weeks Until After Loving You 

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?
      

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Feature: Timeless Cover Reveal


TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal



Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016



TIME IS THE ENEMY

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Writer Wednesday: When You Have to Put A Draft On Hold


I used to think there was nothing worse than having to put an unfinished manuscript aside, but I've come to change my mind about this. With my editing schedule, I often have to write in sprints and then put a manuscript away until my next small break between edits. At first I hated this and I'd give up sleep to finish a draft before the next edit landed in my inbox. Not anymore.

I've found that I love returning to an unfinished story. I get fresh ideas about the plot and characters, and knowing I only have half or a quarter of the book left to write is exciting and totally doable on a time restraint. So I'm not stressing anymore. If I have to put a book aside,  I know I'll come back to it.

Do you ever have to put an unfinished draft aside? How do you feel about it?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.