I’m so happy to let you know that my latest story, In a Sky Full of Stars, is officially available on Amazon! This story encompasses dragons, eclipses, and the difficulty of being human. It’s just a short one this time, but it’s one that I’m really in love with.
Category Archives: Books
Upon the release of my most recent book, I was once again forced to face the issue of price point. If I charge too little, I won’t make anything. If I charge too much, nobody will be interested in buying it. With the numerous ebooks available for free, some folks don’t even want to pay $.99.
I get it. I don’t have a lot of extra money to throw around. And most people don’t see the same kind of value in an ebook that they see in a paperback. After all, you can’t feel the weight of it in your hands, smell the ink on the paper, hear the flip of the pages, or have it signed by the author (at least, not in the same way).
What they don’t think about it that they are paying for so much more than the paper a book is printed on. There are numerous hours put into creating the plot, writing, rewriting (usually more than once), several rounds of editing, formatting, and cover design. Not all authors are capable of completing this entire process alone and must hire other professionals to help them. This means that on top of all their blood, sweat, tears, and late nights beating their heads against the desks, they’ve also put a few hundred dollars into it.
Okay, so after all that is done and the book is available for$2.99 on Amazon, the author starts making almost $3 back for each copy, right? Nope. The author can choose from either a 35% or 70% royalty rate, so Amazon immediately gets some off the top. Which royalty rate you choose depends on the price point of your book, where it’s available, and how big it is. But the money drain doesn’t stop there. There are also delivery fees and taxes, not to mention any advertisements, promotions, and giveaways that the author may have done to generate sales.
Let’s apply this to real life. If I sell a book for $.99, I get $.35 minus a few cents in delivery costs depending on the size of the book. I would make better money with a guitar case on the street, and I don’t know how to play.
Of course, there are some who say that if you write for the money then you will never be successful. I those people are just ticked off that their books aren’t selling. And I will readily admit that my freelance work is what pays the bills, not my books. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe authors should get some sort of acknowledgement for what they have done. Writing isn’t an easy job, and it can be disheartening to have a quarter thrown at you for your months of hard labor. Support the authors you love by buying their books, sharing their posts on Facebook or Twitter, and leaving honest reviews.
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I always like making new writing and blogging friends. In a recent conversation with a new acquaintance, he asked me if you ever get over the “debilitating self-doubt” that comes with writing.
I knew that was the answer, but I discovered just how true that was as I prepared to launch my latest book.
Although I’m an indie author, most of my writing happens on the freelance scene. I have consistent work creating blogs and ghostwriting, and this means that I usually spend a lot more time doing the projects that make me a little cash than the ones that are simply for my own creative pleasure. I do have quite a few stories waiting to be written, though, so I took the day off from my “regular” work to get my book finished up and ready for release.
By the time I release a book on the world, I’m absolutely sick of it. I have read this current book so many times that I just can’t stand it any more, and that’s how I know I’m done. There is nothing more that I can do to change it or make it better. It is as complete as a book can be.
Even though I knew the book was done, that knowledge didn’t stop a shocking amount of fear and anxiety from creeping up on me as I created a Facebook event and sketched out my marketing ideas. I thought at first that I was just frustrated; it’s difficult to know what the “right” thing is to do when it comes to promoting your work. I had a couple of close friends that attempted to help me, but they just couldn’t. I was an absolute mess.
Eventually, I calmed down and got over it. I got past the mental block that my anxiety had caused and was able to think creatively again. I’m good now.
But I want everyone out there who doubts their skill as a writer to understand that you aren’t alone. Writing is a job that not only takes a lot of hard work but also a lot of bravery. It’s impossible to write without putting a little bit of yourself into that book, and you’re opening it up for everyone to see it.
It’s tough, but you can do it.
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The movie is never as good as The Book. The Book is special and must be treated as such. The evil movie producers should never stray from anything as small as a line of dialogue in The Book. They shall scour the Earth to find the one person who looks EXACTLY as the author described the main character, or else we The Readers shall rebel.
Really, we get so upset over these things, myself included.
I was on this nice little fantastical train of thought the other day where The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping was being made into a movie. Of course, I would be highly involved in the production process and the movie would be wildly successful. (Hey, I said it was a fantasy, right?)
Anyway, I started to think: If these really talented Hollywood types who are experts at telling a visual story make recommendations and changes to the original story, would I be so selfish with my book as to not let it happen? Would I tell them, “Oh, hell no. My readers expect that wooden box to be square, not rectangular. I don’t care what your props department thinks; have them carve another one.”
I just started watching the Outlander series on Starz. I have read and absolutely adored the books. Even though it’s been several years since I read the first book, I can already tell that the series is not an exact reflection of the book. But I do know that Diana Gabaldon was highly involved, and she has said on her own Facebook page that “the book is the book, and the show is the show.” She understands that some changes have to be made to convert the story into one that can be told visually. And the thing is, it’s still a good story. Yes, I am usually a staunch supporter of The Book. But I’m beginning to realize that just because it’s a little bit different in film format doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or bad.
You can all feel free to remind me of this when I do get a movie deal, and I’m yelling at the actors. 🙂
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Sometime last year, I was involved in a discussion about whether the “packaging” that a book comes in is important or not. More specifically, this meant was a book any better for being printed on paper instead of being produced in ebook format?
My answer, if I was listening to the logical angel on one shoulder, was no. A good story is a good story. It doesn’t matter if it has a great cover, or lots of marketing, or what it might or might not be printed on. These factors affect how well the book sells and who buys it, but they don’t change anything about the story itself.
The passionate angel on the other shoulder thoroughly disagreed. Sure, ebooks are convenient, good for the environment, cheaper, blah blah blah. But you don’t get the same sensation of holding the book. You don’t hear that beautiful scrapey noise of the pages turning. You don’t get the sweet, comforting sensation of reading words that are permanently imprinted on paper. Most of all, you don’t get that smell. It doesn’t matter if they’re new or old, books smell amazing.
I’m thinking about this right now because I just requested the cover edits for my upcoming book. Like always, I’ll release it in both formats. Like always, I’ll be excited to see the listing on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and various other platforms with my name and a thumbnail picture of the book. But I will be absolutely thrilled to actually feel the hard copy of it in my hand and to smell the fresh ink on those crisp, white pages.
What do you think? Is there a difference to you in how the book you’re reading is packaged? I’d love to know!
I truly believe that you should read in the genre in which you want to write. My most recent foray into this principle concerns time travel. Once I finish up the sequel to The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping, I have an outline that I’ve started for something a little different. I don’t have a title for it yet, but it’s based on a dream I had once and revolves around (you guessed it) time travel.
During a quick little shopping trip to Amazon, I found Monique Martin’s Out of Time. Since I always try to support other indie authors and it had good reviews, I decided to download it. I haven’t regretted it.
Elizabeth and Simon find themselves transported to 1920’s Manhattan. While they search for a way back to their own time and place, they have to face some major challenges. Not only do they have to blend into this new world, but there are vampires to fight as well.
The characters are well developed and experience genuine arcs as the plot progresses. Martin lets the reader into the minds of both of the main characters throughout, bringing their emotions right to the forefront of the story. Martin fully employs her descriptive powers, whether she is letting us in on the in’s and out’s of what life was like in the 1920’s or simply waxing literary. One of my favorite lines from the book: “Umbrellas blossomed like black flowers in a potter’s field.”
I noticed that another reviewer on Amazon stated that the vampires seemed to come out of nowhere in the story and were a bit misplaced. I humbly disagree. I think the problem is simply that Ms. Martin plunges the reader so thoroughly into the time period of the story, that the reader forgets what the book is actually supposed to be about. It’s a rare occasion that the author does such a good job that we forget what’s going on.
I highly recommend Out of Time to anyone looking for a great sci-fi romance! I look forward to reading further into this series!