Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's not you. Angela Kulig and Red Iris Books part ways.

Sadly, despite recently acquiring a new contract, I have to annouce that I have parted ways with my former publisher Red Iris Books. It's complicated, and we've both agreed to see other people. I'm not nearly as frustrated as I was even five minutes ago. The only thing I really regret is the timing. One, I am about to have a baby (anytime) and two, they were supposed to be releasing a book by me today and that's not happening. I knew it was delayed, I just didn't find out until this morning it was delayed indefinatly.

It seems that in the future RIB is going to a more adult oriented business model. Since I write almost exclusively middle grade and young adult it doesn't make sense for them to extended time and resources building my series when it's not really their thing. It's a lot of work publishing and marketing a book, I respect that. However, I now feel trapped. I hate the idea of having to make important decisions about my future right now, or in a few days from now when I am completely sleep deprived.

I have a lot of really crazy ideas that seem like fantastical things to do right now though, so I will probably just do that. Since I am <90 days away from being back in complete control of the Skeleton Lake series I guess I will do something big for that then--something insane. The first thing that is probably going to happen in that series is Skeleton Song, and Skeleton Lake will be combined into one book.

But before that... I hope to release Pigments of My Imagination on my own. Or better yet, with my friends. I have a lot of things to figure out, and never enough time. The only thing I know is, I plan to take over the world. As much as I still like the other party involved, I don't take lightly to being bet against and there are things I plan on doing souly so I can feel smug about them later. I think this may have been the best motivation for me to work harder and faster I could have hoped for. I am sure that is exactly how I will feel when I no longer drowning in hormones.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I Spend the Day Getting W.E.L.L. (Writing, Editing, Laundry, & Lying About)

Last week passed in a flurry deadlines, an other, less important stuffs. I wrote a new book, in four days. Which, isn't any type of record as I write a book in three days for The 3 Day Novel Contest every September--but in my current state still felt pretty freaking fantastic.

Granted, is a young adult paranormal romance--but it isn't dark and doesn't involve any of the usual suspects. It's the first book in a trilogy. That is pretty much all I can say about it at this point. It's almost ridiculous for me to bring it up, because it's unlikely it will be out before 2013, and I don't even have a path for it yet. Red Iris Books is booked solid for the rest of the year (I know, I take up a pretty large chunk of their time) and I actually have another series I have already started talking to them about that I haven't even mentioned on my blog yet. So I might have to put it out myself, or I might have to place it elsewhere. The best way you can make that happen is to buy my other books. There will be lots of opportunity to do that for the rest of the year.

The good news is, if it does come out in 2013 the whole series will have been written before the first book comes out--that means very minimal wait time for the next book!

Now you are saying, Oh Angela, you sly devil, you just mentioned a whole other series and didn't say anything about it! Why yes, yes I did. Don't worry about it, because I have already written a whole set of blogs detailing that new series for when I am on "maternity leave."

I also did the final edit on a book last week. I know, you aren't at all impressed but editing is a whole lot harder than writing. Which is why this weekend I am spending time getting W.E.L.L. (Writing, Editing, Laundry--and mostly Lying About.) The only reason it's W.E.L.L. and not well, W.E.L. is because if I don't do laundry today, then tomorrow I will be W.E.L.'N. (Writing, Editing, Lying About, in the NUDE) like a Felon on  those Magellan commercials.

And we can't have that.

Last weekend wasn't nearly so restful or productive, as it was spent getting W.E.L.P. (Writing, Editing, Laundry, and PRINCE) which is quite as painful as it sounds. Too much Raspberry Beret, not enough lying about.

So now, before I rush away let me update you on a few things. Red Iris Books has listed The Skeleton Song for a June 28th release date. Yay!

Remember the first book in the series Skeleton Lake, is currently being REMASTERED. Which is a nice way of saying being reedited. It's got multiple sets of eyeballs on it and will be coming out soonish as well, I just don't have the official date yet but I will let you know.

I am trying frantically to finish up all the lose ends if Pigments of My Imagination. I just can't let it go--but since I can have my baby as early as next week I need to just bite the bullet. So it can come out when I am "maternity leave" so it won't seem like I went anywhere at all.

Pay no attention to the wizard behind the curtain. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Angela Breaks Her Own Rules, Hides in Corner (Bad Writer, Go 2 Your Room)

The thing is, I have rules. Not that many either, but the ones I have exist for a reason.

So, then I broke one of my rules.

Now usually, I'd maybe throw a party for this. Rule breaking in Angela-Land means coming out of a shell, or, you know, whatever metaphor you would like to use that means some kind of personal growth.

Not this time. I feel sort of like I am moving backwards. So now I have to talk about it, so you know why it might seem I am changing directions.

A while ago I realized something that other writers know deep down in their tortured little souls but often refuse to admit. Writers aren't really my target market. For me, they represent a familiar layer of book sales. By familiar I mean family. We're friends, we support each other, we buy each others books. It's what we do.

The truth of the matter is, there are far more non writer book readers than writer book readers; and I am so tired of talking about writing. The thing is, blogging about writing, how to sell books, and everything else that goes with it represents something I am not that proud of. It represents instant gratification. I get more views and usually more comments. While I still enjoy helping other writers (It's what I do.) I really can't blog about it anymore.

Now don't get your big girl commemorative knickers in a bunch! I know you are thinking if I am not writing about WRITING then what on Earth is there to write about? When I say, no more writing about writing--I mean no more how to's. No more marketing advice, or warnings for the new kids in the twittersphere. ON MY BLOG. Feel free to ask me anything whenever you want. Especially if you need to know how to get to third base.

I also don't plan on blogging about what I'm writing constantly. That's boring too.

Any questions?

Oh yeah, and I am told this book is coming out next month.

We will be doing something fun for it's release.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Why All Readers Should Get to 3rd Base (Part 1)

If the relationship between writers and readers was like a baseball game (or a bad metaphor for sex) then a reader finding your book equates getting to first base.

Even if you hit a home run, you have to get past this point before you can score--yeah this is def a metaphor for sex.

So how does one get the first base? Social media, word of mouth (talking--what people did in the dark ages BEFORE social media), book bloggers (which is a more specific type of social media)--are you guys noticing a trend here? AND you're real life, real network, of real friends and family members are the best way to spread awareness of your book.

So, now that you are on first base--what is second base, and how do you get there?

Well, if first base is finding your book, then second base is people PURCHASING your book. Or downloading your book if it's free.

So how do you get your people who have found your book--to seal the deal? The absolute best way to transom browsers to BUYERS is to have an awesome looking cover. I say it again and again. I don't care if you think the best way to sell books is to write books better than Harry Potter--cover it in garbage and you are never going to get to second base.

Then you will be forty, living in your parents basement, writing Lord of the Rings fan fiction that no one reads because you even need a good cover for those these days.

We will get to reviews in a second, but while they are very important. 9/10 paranormal romance readers wont scroll down far enough to see them if your cover is a joke.

Yes. I made that number up.

It's probably really a lot higher.

So now that you are on second base, your breathing is labored. You can see the finish line and you are ready to SCORE!! So you better come back Monday and see how to get to third base with your readers. Here is a hint, it's probably not what you think. Don't look away, because your readers have started flirting with the cute short stop.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Writer Beware: Those Who Wish To Make You a MAN (or a best seller)

The more people who follow me on Twitter, the more direct messages in my inbox from people/services/demons from hell, claiming they can make me a BEST SELLER ON AMAZON!

OMG SRSLY??!! Let my just get my wallet....

Oh wait, I've already been a best seller on Amazon.

Newsflash, it's not really that hard. I mean really. Take a second away from envisioning yourself as number one, toppling the likes of John Locke, and Suzzane Collins, and whoever else is on your hit list. (I know it's not just me.) Now look at what they are really promising you. But first, play the theme music.

These services, promising to make you a man... er best seller, range in price from a few five dollar notes to more than you would pay for a nice professional cover.

I bet you think dynamic tension, must be hard work.

Seriously peeps. get the Cover.

They aren't promising you that you will have THE #1, they are promising you that you will be #1 in an obscure category. If that! Some of them don't guarantee their services at all. They just say they will tweet/ post the information and that is what you are paying for.

I think my first number one slot was something like children's books>>>social situations>>self help

I am not even kidding you, and I was pretty sure that I was there having sold less than seven books. I remember specifically because it was BEFORE the book launch so these were just people that had stumbled into it.

Most of the "businesses" that offer these services are the used car salesman of the digital age. They throw around impressive looking numbers like reach 50,000 people! Who cares if those 50,000 people aren't quality followers.

Get 50 magical unicorn MPG on this crappy old sedan!

Make good friends instead. Hit up  book bloggers (nicely), and don't pay for what you can get for free. Because there are quite a few free services out there. That doesn't mean you should ask people who you don't know, and you never talk to, for free promotional services. This happens to me allll the time! But if you mention you follow my blog, I can sure share a tweet for your cause.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Angela WRITE Now: So many annoucements, ALMOST too many to list!

So after feeling like NOTHING was getting done, everything seems to be wrapping up all at the same time. You maybe should be sitting down for this. I tried to list them in semi chronological order, but as always no guarantees.

Skeleton Lake is being REMASTERED by my publisher. Re-edited for typos. Re-formatted, and re-awesomeized.

AND the Red Iris website will soon play host to some awesome Skeleton Lake bonus material.

Included in this will be a never before seen letter to Cassie that was written by Raiden the night Marlow nearly drowned in Skeleton Lake.

AND Soonish, Skeleton Lake will have it's very own professional book trailer.

You know, pretending for a second I had the skills to make one by myself. That's cute.

You should go bother SM about it at Red Iris Books.

The Skeleton Song is complete, edited by me and has been turned over to my publisher for them to edit (it may come back to me, it may not) and get ready for publication.

In case you missed it, The Skeleton Song is a Novella set in the Skeleton Lake universe about what happened BEFORE Marlow came to the Lake. About the dark things in Cassie's life. About the things that killed her.

For reference, it's a little less than half of the length of Skeleton Lake.

It is also going to be absolutely free.



Stay tuned for deets and dates. We are going to have a fun little launch for this one and I am hoping it and the remastered version of Skeleton Lake will come out soon.
Pigments is on it's final edit. Every time I edit it I think it will be the last and it hasn't been, but this is it.

Definitely, the hardest book I have had to edit. There is a lot that goes on that is very important, even if you don't realize it until much, much later.

This is a love story that spans lifetimes, and each bit of the puzzle is as important as the life that is being lived right now. Only those pieces are buried, and it takes a little work for the reader and the main character to dig them out, brush them off, and realize what is so important about the bits that don't seem to make any sense.


Don't get me started on the ending.

Well, that is all I am going to say about that.
But wait, there's more! (Says Angela in her buy more oxyclean voice!)

It looks like Pigments of My Imagination is going to be turned into an Audio Book, and it's my first one so I am excited and overwhelmed! My Publisher, Red Iris Books, thinks that audio books (quality ones) are going to be very big for indie publishers. As it stands now I think Pigments is going to be the second experiment for them in audio books, so I really hope it rocks! Though, I hope all my books rock! AND!

They are looking for Anthology Submission pieces. Here is what they are looking for:

We are currently accepting short story submissions for the 2012 Blood Iris Anthology. Our books tread the line between horror and paranormal, so we love explicit violence, disturbing content, and other material you won’t traditionally find in paranormal novels. If you’ve written something that will make readers flinch as much as they swoon, it might be a good fit for the Blood Iris Anthology!
Click the logo for all the deets and payment info for selected pieces. {Money, good!}
This is my current WIP. I finished it at some point, but hated the beginning, and the end. Very, very small pieces of the book. That are mostly romance/relationship stuff.

I think it's 5, maybe 6 chapters that are holding me up.

Another issue I had with the book was, I love Alex. So do most of the Skeleton Lake readers. The only problem is, Raiden and Marlow leave Alex and Lena behind to bring Sara home.

I knew what was happening back on the home front, so I decided to include more of that into the story line. As a result, Dust of the Dead Sea ends up being considerably longer than Skeleton Lake.

Which I am totally OK with, except that means more editing.

Now I feel like I am forgetting something, but that is all you need to know... WRITE NOW anyway.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

You don't like Klout, you don't understand Klout, or you have been living under a rock.

Get over it. It's time to put on our big girl panties and realize that what Klout scores you on will exist whether it's there to do the math for you or not. So lets start with the basics.

The score (or in this case mine). I will admit, it needs improving. Before Klout changed (yes, it used to score you differently!) my score was 12 points higher! I never really got over it.

You are scored on a Scale from 1-100 but you need to get that school grading system out of your mind because the only people who get A's are the people like Justin Bieber.

Even Amanda Hocking, who we all secretly want to be when we grow up, wouldn't get a passing grade if we use that old way of thinking.

And you can't even think of 50 as being the average, or the median. The average Klout score is actually 20, so I guess I'm not so run of the mill after all.

The good news is, the lower your Klout score, the easier it is to improve it. So lets talk deets. Where does this number come from? Remember in my last post Social Media: A Seven Days a Week Kind of Job I described what Klout does as this; "It measures how much of a difference you make in your social media bubble." And here is how. Klout scores you in the following categories.

True Reach

What is it, and why is it important? Well it is a more accurate representation of the people you influence. I say accurate, because if you see my True Reach is only 1k. When in fact, I have more than 3k Twitter Followers, and Facebook people, blog followers etc. The sad truth is, not everyone that follows us gives a damn about us. Your job is to change that, by providing awesome content. The more people you interact with, the higher this number is likely to be.


Like speakers. Like enormous speakers the size of the internets. Sure, you could shout your message from the top of the tallest mountain you could find. BUT NO ONE WOULD HEAR YOU. Amplification is all about spreading your content, and about how much people are influenced by it.

Network Impact:

The one time it's alright for all your friends to be cooler than you are. Network Impact is based on how important the people you interact with are. Great news, their coolest rubs off.

Did you know, I dig when people talk about me behind my back? Why? Because Klout also keeps track of how many mentions you get, how many retweets, how many followers, comments, etc. Witness:

So see, it was all there whether you were looking at the big picture or not. The question is, how can you use this information? Now I will admit, sometimes it makes me a little crazy. I see church moms, and Scentsy sales reps with higher Klout scores than me--because they gossip with their lady friends all day every day while the kids are at school. Maybe one day we will get a conversational impact score ;)

I also recently disconnected my Google+ account from Klout--because as much as Google would like me to be, I just am not that into it. It did increase my score, though only a little.

Now, I have told you all of this because I actually have spent a few months formulating a plan to increase my Klout score. I just don't have time to implement it until the fall because hey, I have to have a baby before then. The higher your Klout score is, the harder it is to increase but you should still be able to bring it up by improving your content. Timing is also important too. When you attempt to spread the content. I love sharing random facts and blog post a 3am as much as the next insomniac writer--but it's better if you share when there are more people on. I'll get into that later.