Wednesday, June 18, 2014

COVER REVEAL! Pigments of My Imagination Second Edition + GIVEAWAY

I had always intended the original cover of Pigments of My Imagination to be a special edition cover--and the day finally came to change it. Here's the new one, what do you think?

The new paperback will  be available in a couple of weeks, replacing the HUGE special edition book. You can win one! Enter below for your chance at paperbacks and a $25 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 13, 2014

BOOKS ARE FOR FREAKS! Friday the 13th Ebook Sale!

So many awesome FREE and .99 ebooks--more than I can fit on one page! Check them out, then scroll to the bottom and enter the fab giveaways!
Did you win?
Raffle Copter was totally giving me fits on my phone last night.
The winner of the $65 Amazon Gift Card is Collen King
The winner of the ebook lot is Jenna DeVillier
I am super sorry if I misspelled your name, I did it by memory. Normally I'd just announce the winners through the widget but because the winner wasn't loading when I hit the button I originally selected like 40 winners by accident. I kept the first two, as that was what I was looking for. LOL

a Rafflecopter giveaway Want to trade in a pile of books you don't read for new fangled ebooks? Amazon has a way to do that.

Monday, June 9, 2014

AUTHORS:: SIGN UP FOR THE Friday the 13th "BOOK ARE FOR FREAKS" ebook sale.

It's been a while since I have had a book sale on the blog. Moving messes with everything. If you have done one before, this should be easy for you--not much has changed. Except for maybe my reach.

So here's the deal.

Are you an author that has an ebook(s) you would like to sell for .99 or less Friday the 13th- Sunday 15th? GREAT, because I am having a sale here and you are invited!

So how does the sale work?

For sale participants, there is hardly any work involved at all! You have to fill out this form, and make sure all the books you want listed are on Amazon and are .99 or less before 11:59 PM Central Time Thursday night. Then you have to agree to do some very minor promo work. You need to mention the sale a whopping three times, on any website (where allowed) or social media network during the duration of the sale. So Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That is as little as once per day! You also must post the sale info sometime over the weekend on your blog or website. Of course, you are welcome to do more promo work--just don't spam people! I'll even make it easy on you by providing web content, and even example tweets.

That's it! If you are an overachiever (I am!) You can also add the sale badge to your website. It will come in your welcome email.

Feeling generous? I plan on giving away an Amazon gift card and other prizes during the sale. If you would like to toss in a few bucks to get a larger gift card (drives traffic) let me know in the giveaway section of the form. If you would like to give away ebooks, books, swag, or anything else, let me know--but do realize I might not be able to give away everything offered. Not because I don't love every one of you, or because what you have isn't awesome--it's just too much leg work to give away 30 individual ebooks so I like to group things together in packs that make sense.

Just to recap:
  1. Must have Kindle books on sale for .99 or less by Thursday night.
  2. Must be willing to do some light promo work.
  3. Must fill out this form before Thursday at NOON central.
Into numbers? I keep track of a lot of them through the sale, and share them with all the participants at the sale end wrap up email.


Thursday, June 5, 2014


It feels so amazing to be moved and settled again. It took forever for me to stop feeling so disheveled all the time, but I finally feel back to my old self. You know what that means... books, and lots of books! This one, was one of those, Larry Kollar calls, "A download from God." It's a New Adult Romance, and it's coming out next month. July 24th! Check back here for the complete blurb June 24th!

For the time being here is some mini-blurbish to go with that sweet looking new cover! Do you love it? Share it anywhere you want! 23 1/2 Hours to Live is a New Adult Romance.

You're alone in a bookstore. A stranger comes in and tells you he'll be dead tomorrow. He asks you to kiss you do it?

Kaylee Hall knows exactly where she'll be, every day of every week. Mostly at Price's Used Book Store on 32nd street, which is exactly where she is the night Jackson Bennett decided to casually rewrite her life story. With his holey jeans and holey alibis Jackson roars risk taker. Only maybe he's anything but.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Smashed and Confused: an open letter to Smashwords CEO Mark Coker in regard to the Hachette vs. Amazon feud

I have been struggling for a while to put my thoughts on the Amazon/Hachette dispute into an article. I still believe that indie publishing and traditional publishing are on the same side, and deadlines kept me from getting my thoughts down. Lucky for me, my bestie and Green Envy Press partner Larry Kollar wrote a fantastic bit covering everything I would have said, and offering some fantastic perspective!

If you’re an author, you’ve certainly heard about the big showdown between Amazon and Hachette, one of the Big 5 publishers. Or rather, you’ve heard the breathless reports from traditional media outlets about how the Amazon colossus is attempting to strong-arm helpless publishers into accepting its terms. Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords (a combination eBook store and distributor to other stores) weighed in with a blog post titled Amazon Hachette Dispute Foreshadows What’s Next for Indie Authors, The title provides a strong hint at Coker’s views on the matter. What follows are my own views, in the form of an open letter to Mark Coker.

Dear Mr. Coker,

Your recent blog post does not only a disservice to those authors that you claim to champion, but your own company as well. Rarely has the phrase “cutting off your nose to spite your face” been more relevant. Frankly, I’m surprised—almost shocked—that you would so blatantly side with large publishers in this dispute, especially when you admit that the same publishers shun Smashwords due to your (correct) stance on DRM. Let’s be honest here: major publishers would be happy to see Smashwords dead, right after Amazon. 
If you are getting your information about the dispute only from the likes of the Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, you’re getting a very one-sided view that is slanted to favor Hachette. That shouldn’t be a surprise; PW is the traditional industry's mouthpiece, while the WSJ is owned by the same conglomerate that owns HarperCollins (and Fox News, but we won’t go there today). Amazon, which owns no major media outlet to tell its side of the story, has mostly taken the more typical corporate approach: keep mum until reaching an agreement. One offer Amazon has made, that has somehow escaped the notice of the world at large, is to fund 50% of an author pool “to mitigate the impact of this dispute on author royalties” if Hachette funds the other half. So to say Amazon is unconcerned with how this is affecting Hachette’s authors is blatantly untrue. To my knowledge, Hachette hasn’t exactly jumped on this offer, which I think tells us who is more concerned about authors in this dispute.

The root of the dispute is this: Hachette is attempting to reinstate the Agency Model, and Amazon does not want it. Hachette, and other major publishers, were found guilty of collusion when they forced it on Amazon a few years ago. The problem with the Agency Model is that it turns the whole system of retailing on its head. Any store, including brick-and-mortar bookstores, pays a fixed price for each unit of inventory—be it groceries, CDs, monitors, books, or rolls of carpet—and sells them at some markup (usually). Amazon has never been shy about their corporate strategy: focus on market share, and profits will follow. So Hachette might set a retail price of $14.95 on a new release; Amazon pays maybe $7.50 and sells it at whatever price they decide best fits their needs at the moment. Larger retailers can demand (and often get) discounts—that’s how Barnes and Noble killed locally-owned bookstores; they used favorable wholesale prices to undercut the indies. Would publishers demand of Walmart, or B&N’s brick-and-mortar stores, the right to set prices? If not, why is it okay to demand the same of Amazon?

Now, let’s talk about Smashwords, and why some authors might stick with Amazon. (Hint: it isn’t because they’re all starry-eyed about the Kindle ecosystem.)

I’m a member of a publishing co-op, Green Envy Press. We pool our various talents to help each other produce eBooks with at least as much polish, inside and out, as major publishers. We have varying thoughts about diversification—of our authors, I’m the one most dedicated to the proposition. Nine of my ten books, including the just-released Into the Icebound, are available at Smashwords and the stores they distribute to. I have what I think are good reasons to spread my books far and wide, although my sales figures might disagree. When I look at my income, I see $600-$900 coming in from Amazon every quarter (paid monthly by the way), and maybe $20-$30 from Smashwords. Since I use Smashwords to aggregate the rest of the world (except B&N, because I like their Nook Press tools so much), it’s safe to say that 97% of my sales come from Amazon. On a good day, I’ll sell as many books at Amazon as I have in over two years at Smashwords proper (38 books). I know that other authors have different spreads, maybe a few lopsided the other way, but I can only speak for myself. 

How much effort goes into gaining that 3% of sales, then? In my opinion: far too much. If you hadn’t started taking EPUBs, I'd have given up on you and started going direct. I write in Scrivener, and format in Sigil, so my workflow doesn’t involve a Word file. The income I get from Smashwords is not worth the time to produce a Word file just for the Meatgrinder. I’ve uncovered two problems in the EPUB autovetter (y’all were using a ratty version of Epubcheck at first, and it checks the manifest instead of the spine for the title page). Fortunately, you have excellent and responsive support staff who want to make this stuff work. But why not take it a step further? There are excellent open-source tools that can automatically convert a good EPUB to all the formats you support—like Meatgrinder, only better because those of us who don’t work from a Word file could play.

So. Why is it that, despite the far wider reach that Smashwords affords, do I typically get 30 times the sales (or more) from Amazon? It’s not for lack of trying on my part—in the beginning, I tried to give all bookstores equal time, and my non-Amazon sales have actually picked up since I gave up and just focused on Amazon links. Could it be that Amazon mentions (and sometimes headlines) my books in their massive email blasts once a month or so?

Another possibility is that online publicity sites/newsletters work from the assumption that you're in KDP Select and can schedule free days whenever you need them. Maybe Smashwords should create its own promo services, or at least encourage the established services to be more Smashwords-friendly. I would love to see more revenue coming from Smashwords.

Amazon is winning the eBook wars for a number of reasons right now, not the least of which is that it's making a lot of authors a lot of money without much up-front hassle. Between the most basic of promotions that nobody else seems to do, and the Amazon-centric review and promotion ecosystem, a cycle of dependency is spinning up. Smashwords needs to counter that, somehow, before authors have no choice but to follow the money. But backing traditional publishers in a fight against Amazon isn’t going to do that.

Author of White Pickups and Accidental Sorcerers

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thanks for 1,000+ Facebook Likes

Big surprise here, I am a bit behind schedule!

I meant to post this a week ago, you know, when I actually hit 1k Facebook likes--but I was busy living in book worlds and I didn't want to stop. Trust me, you didn't want me to stop either!

There are certain things I thought I would never do when my first book was published in 2011. I never thought I hit 1k Twitter followers... or 2k, or 5k, or 10k... if you would have told me I'd have 23,000+ without being a household name I would have laughed. But here I am. Only none of the Twitter numbers are as shocking as the Facebook numbers.

Because I really used to dislike it. I dug in my cute little kitten heels, I crossed my arms and turned up my nose. I did not want. But some people wanted for me, and now we're here. So thank you. Without the people reading this blog, without the people buying my books, I don't know where my life would be; but I'd be missing out on a lot of amazing fans and friends. I am grateful for every single one of you. Every Twitter follower, every Goodreads and Amazon reviewer, everyone who takes time to post a comment on and every Facebook stalker.

Never think you don't matter. No matter how many books I write and sell, no matter how many new friends I make online--you will always matter to me.

Stay tuned for amazing announcements, giveaways, cover reveals, and book launches. June is going to be a big month!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

HEY YOU, yeah, you! Whatcha reading?

So I have to hand a book in to my editor after this long weekend, and I have to hand in another (surprise!) book a week or so into June. NO ONE PANIC! (I mean, besides me!) I know that many authors tend to stop reading when they are staring down the barrel of hellacious deadlines, but I am not one of them. Actually, I read crap tons when I am busy writing and editing. There's a good reason for that, it's because I'm tired. I know what your thinking--wouldn't your time be better served sleeping if your so tired?

Well, yeah. IF I was talking about that kind of exhaustion. But I'm not. There is something so draining about living inside your own world for so long--searching for lost commas, coming up with solutions to problems you caused. It's not bad in small doses, but when you start doing it for hours and hours a day you start looking for a way out. That's why I have to read, even when I'm too busy for it. To fix the mental fatigue that I bring down on myself, I like to escape to a universe that I am not the god of.

Currently I am re-reading all of Cassandra Clare novels to get ready for the next book, what are you reading? What kind of things do you do to relax?

Next week I am celebrating 1k Facebook likes... I am a little behind ;)