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Last but not least…

The Beast Series has a new cover (finally)! This one was really difficult to do, partly because the story is so close to my heart, and partly because it has been done so many times, it’s almost impossible to make it look original. I must have done at least 15 different versions of the cover before I got to this one, and all of them made me want to throw my brand new laptop against the wall. Hard.

So here’s what I finally came up with. It has elements of every Beauty and the Beast story on it, because that’s what it is, but I’m hoping I made one of those elements just unique enough to make it stand out. The tarot cards that play such a huge role in the story had to be included in some fashion, and three of the versions I attempted had them on the cover in different ways. I ultimately discarded them because, while they made amazingly stunning pictures, capturing particular scenes like a movie still, there was no way for me to add the book title and author name without completely ruining the effect.

This was my compromise: me going back to what feels natural to me, which is “less is more.” I didn’t want an overly elaborate scene, I wanted a visually striking representation of the story itself. I also wanted something stylistically similar to The Rebel Court series cover, since they both fall under similar genres, but not identical, because there are significant differences between the two series. Do you think I accomplished all that?

Continue reading “Last but not least…”

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2018 Book Industry Predictions

Every year, Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords puts out a long post of predictions for the near future of the Indie book industry. He is usually pretty spot on, so every year, I spend a few minutes reading what he has to say. Today, there are two posts I want to share:

2017 Year in Review and 2018 Preview

2018 Book Industry Predictions

My main take-away from these post is perfectly summed up in this one sentence: “Fair competition at Amazon does not exist.” 

This is one of the reasons why I never even contemplated enrolling any of my books in KDP Select or Kindle Unlimited. It’s one of the reasons why I am making the move to IngramSpark. It would be totally hypocritical of me to ask readers to shop somewhere other than Amazon, since I myself have a Kindle and buy most of my books from their platform, but I do want to say one thing: You, my dear, beautiful readers, have more power than you realize. You’re the reason why we do what we do. You allow us to dream and share our dreams with the world, and for that, you will always have my undying gratitude. I may never get to meet you, but just know that you are among my most favorite people in the whole world.

For every book (my own, or someone else’s) you buy instead of pirating, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

For every book (my own, or someone else’s) you buy instead of reading through KU, I thank you in the name of all Indie author.

And for every book (my own, or someone else’s) you buy from any store other than Amazon (especially independent neighborhood bookstores), I thank you with every fiber of my writer being.

Thank you for every kind message you send about how much you loved one of my books. Thank you for every anxious note and question about when the next book will come out. Thank you for every time you share one of my posts on social media, and every time you tell someone about my books.

Just…thank you for reading.

IngramSpark: A Saga in 3 Parts

Today I uploaded the bulk of my book files to IngramSpark. While Wolfen will become available tomorrow, you should be able to see and order the new print editions for Blood and Shadows and Dawn of Ragnarok on February 1, 2018. Let’s see if that actually happens. The Beast Series is still under construction for need of a new cover design. I’m working on that. LOL

In honor of my completion of this Herculean task, I have put together everything I learned from the process into a three-part blog series on my author resource site. If you’re interested in the nuts and bolts, or if you are considering publishing your own books through IngramSpark, check them out here:

Part 1: Homework

Part 2: Interior Layout

Part 3: The Little Things

See you all on the flip side of 2018! May the New Year hold all the good things 2017 lacked, and more! 🙂

Update Phase 2: Blood and Shadows

As an update on my update process, I now have a print-proof from IngramSpark en route to me. I began with Wolfen, because it’s the longest and potentially the most problematic. I figure, if I can perfect that one, the rest of my print editions should be a breeze! =) Once I check that the layout is good, the font is readable, and the cover prints the way it’s supposed to, I will be (re)formatting all my other print editions for IngramSpark. The life of an Indie author…

Oh, who am I kidding? I live for this stuff! Seriously, the hardest thing about the entire process (for me, anyway) is the wait I have to endure before I can move on to the next step. So, having redone the Dawn of Ragnarok covers, and while I’m waiting for Wolfen to arrive on my doorstep, I’ve been keeping busy redesigning the Blood and Shadows series covers. Again, there is a valid, technical reason for me doing this. Because of the darkness and the contrast, the old covers didn’t print correctly, and I had to fix that, which resulted in covers that look faded on the screen and almost too dark in print. And, as much as I love the dramatic look of them, the corona lighting elements were more in line with alien themes than what my books are actually about.

And that is why I absolutely love this new design. It’s light and dark, mirroring the battles in the books, as well as the larger series arc, and it incorporates an element of the biggest theme in the books: DNA and its manipulation. These covers convey the story much better than their previous incarnations, and I’m practically salivating to see them in print, because they will look out of this world gorgeous!

Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

Continue reading “Update Phase 2: Blood and Shadows”

To update or… Wait. There is no Option B

How to tell when a writer is working: you don’t see her for months on end. Ever make a detailed, step-by-step action plan, only to have it get derailed at every single freaking step? That’s pretty much been my year so far. My plan was to write and finish Prince of Deceit and Dearest Love, and make some progress on Sweetest Kiss, all while doing the barest minimum on the business side. Well, Dearest Love is done and out, so yay for that. As for the rest… imagine me laughing anxiously while holding back frustrated growls. Instead of finishing my novel, I ended up writing a whole lot of other stuff (which I loved!), restructuring my entire business model (not so much with the love), and doing a bunch of stuff I hadn’t planned on, but which turned out to be necessary (long-suffering sigh).

Long story short, due to technical reasons with which I won’t bore you, I am having to change the Dragonblood series name. I did not come to this decision lightly. I’m not doing this just to get prettier covers (although they totally are!!). I’m doing it to correct a problem I’ve had with the series since before book 2 came out last year. The original series name had to be changed at the last second and because I was rushed for time, I ended up slapping on a new one that doesn’t really fit the series story line. This is something that has been pointed out by readers, reviewers, friends, and family, and has bothered me for almost two years.

So why now, rather than after Prince of Deceit? Because I recently started the process of moving/expanding my print distribution to IngramSpark, and a part of it involves reformatting the covers. So I can either make the change now, or duplicate my work later. For the sake of my own sanity, I’m opting to do it all now in one fell swoop.

Mind you, the stories themselves are not going to change. The book titles are not going to change. All that’s different is the series name and the covers. If you already have a previous print version of The Royal Wizard and/or Dragonblood, congrats. They are now limited first editions that could potentially be worth a lot of money in a few…decades. 😉 If you don’t, give the eBooks a gander. Check out the previews and see if they strike your fancy. Ya never know until you try! (*hint hint*)

Okay, that about covers the boring stuff. And now, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the newly revamped Dawn of Ragnarok series, and reveal the cover for the third and final (planned) book: Prince of Deceit.

Continue reading “To update or… Wait. There is no Option B”