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”

Dear 2016: F*CK YOU!

I made an early 2017 resolution at the beginning of this month to plan out and schedule all my social media marketing for 2017 before the year began. If you’ve ever done social media marketing, you know what a royal pain in the ass it is. My goal was to get it all done and out of the way so I (1) wouldn’t forget and (2) didn’t have to worry about it for an entire year, and I was doing so well, too!

Until, 104 scheduled tweets and 70 quote graphic creations later, I receive this email in my inbox:

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A bit hard to read, so let me give you the gist of it: Another eBook store is closing due to insolvency. They are shutting down operations in 3 days and because of money issues are offering to pay $0.10 on the dollar for their last quarter sales.

This is the fourth eBook store (that I know of) to close in the six years I have been a published author. I think it’s safe to say that I came in at the trailing end of the eBook boom and it’s now pretty much over. It saddens me because it means one less place where readers can go to find great books. One less Indie-friendly place for authors to lower their literary anchor. There are plenty of factors that have contributed to this, and unfortunately those same factors will continue to affect other eBook stores until the little guys all go out of business the same way small, mom-and-pop corner book stores were and continue to be pushed out of business.

It saddens me to see a healthy, growing book market place sicken with lack of competition. It saddens me when I see people posting about how eBooks should be free because they cost nothing, or that authors who dare charge a price for their work should be pirated or boycotted. It saddens me when the beautiful tradition of spreading word about one’s favorite book turns into a tradition of spreading word about where to get that book for free illegally. It doesn’t just hurt the authors who put their life and passion into page upon page of beautifully crafted fiction; it hurts their editors, their cover artists, their formatters, their publishers, their publicists, and their bookstores. An entire industry suffers for the misdeeds of the few, and this is the result.

Another bookstore gone.

So here is my plea to you for 2017:

If you’re a reader, support the authors who bring you the books you love. Purchase from legitimate bookstores, tell your friends, maybe leave a review. Don’t download content from pirate sites, or share it with others. For every book someone downloads illegally because, “It’s just one book, no big deal!” there are hundreds, thousands more downloaded for that exact same reason. It’s never just one book, and it’s always a big deal.

If you’re a writer, don’t give up! Now more than ever the world needs our words. It needs our truth, and our fanciful lies–the first to paint the world as it truly is, and the second to give hope that something better exists, if only we believe hard enough to make it happen. Support your fellow authors, buy their books, tell your friends about the ones you love. We’re all still readers as much as writers–never forget that.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to every single one of my readers around the world. Thank you for reading, for trusting me to give you something worth your time and money, for being the starlight throughout a dark year, and for giving my dreams a home among your own. And thank you to all the writers I have met along the way for being the most incredibly supportive people I have ever met in the world.

I wish all of you nothing but the best in 2017, may you find the happiness and success you’ve always dreamed of.

See you all on the other side of New Year’s.

 

EDIT TO AMEND:

Since my gut reaction post, info I was too upset to pay attention to at the time has given me a very chilly wake up call. ARe’s actions and notices leading up to this email (which I forgot all about because they didn’t concern me) are suddenly adding up to something much worse than just an eBook store going out of business. We’re talking premeditated fraud on a massive scale. Long and the short of it, if you are an author with books listed for sale on ARe, pull them down immediately. If you’re a reader who purchased my books on ARe and have trouble recovering them, send me your receipt from ARe and I will send you a coupon code to download the book(s) from Smashwords for free in whatever format you like. Send to me directly at alianne (at) aliannedonnelly (dot) com.

Ugh, man… just, ugh…

Follow-up on Facebook Advertising: The Circling Sharks

You have seen me post on this blog about the ups and downs of being a published author. I’ve shared some excellent free and low cost resources, talked about my journey to get published, even described my foray into advertising. This is a follow-up post about the last.

The thing about any passionate endeavor, be it art, travel, culinary wonders, or business endeavors, is that in order to stay on top of your game, you have to keep improving. Keep learning, trying new things, seeking out new information, tips, tricks, inspiration, whathaveyou. I’m one of those people whose curiosity tends to rule their lives. Sometimes it’s useful, other times it distracts me from more important things I should be doing (where I would argue that this is one of the most important things I could do).

When my Facebook ad campaign failed, I wanted to know why. What follows is a long post, breaking down the psychology of (someone else’s) advertising.

Continue reading “Follow-up on Facebook Advertising: The Circling Sharks”

Farewell to The Blood Series

Dear friends, followers, and readers,

The last few years have been an amazing ride for me. My writerly journey has taken me to some beautiful places, and it all started with Liquid Silver Books taking me, a complete newbie, under its wing, and making my dreams of being a published author come true.

Now, after a happy 5-year association, for which LSB will always have my undying thanks, I have had to make the decision every writer comes to eventually: to do what is best for me and my books. I love LSB dearly, and always will. They have been nothing but supportive of my efforts to bring my books to readers everywhere. However, having spent the last three years experimenting with self-publishing, it has become clear to me that this is the path I want to take. And so, with my heart full of gratitude, I announce my departure from Liquid Silver Books in order to become a fully self-published author.

On August 31, 2015, Blood Moons, Blood Trails, and Blood Debts, the first three novels of The Blood Series, will be taken down from the virtual shelves, marking the end of an era for me.

September 27, 2010 was the date Blood Moons first appeared online. September 27, 2015 will be the date it will make its reappearance as the first Blood and Shadows novel to be independently published in both digital and print format. October 10 will mark the re-release of Blood Trails as book 2 in the Blood and Shadows series. It will be followed by book 3,  Blood Debts on October 24, 2015. All of this will lead up to the debut of Blood Hunt, the fourth Blood and Shadows novel, this winter (actual release date to be announced). And yes, for the first time ever, all of them will be available in print as well.

For the many of you who have already purchased and read these books, know that there will be no changes made to the plots, barring a handful of words here and there, and some corrections to leftover errors. The only telling difference is the series name and the covers. Each book will also be enrolled in the Amazon MatchBook program to give you a significant discount on the eBooks when you purchase both digital and print versions.

So, my honored friends, I would now like to bid farewell to The Blood Series:

Blood Moons  Blood Trails  Blood Debts  BloodHunt

And (re)introduce you to the books of Blood and Shadows:

NewBloodMoons  NewBloodTrails  NewBloodDebts  NewBloodHunt

With the caveat that there might possibly be more of them to come in the future. Plot bunnies… They just snuck up on me.

Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support my writing. It means the world to me that readers all over the world are enjoying the stories I write.

Until next time!

**If you enjoy the books you read, consider leaving a review. It helps books get discovered, and keeps authors doing what they do best–bringing you the stories you love. Thank you for supporting authors everywhere!**

#IndieBooksBeSeen

Today (I am told) is a day for Indie authors to show their pride and their self-published books. The hashtag is trending all over, and social media is getting flooded with photos of authors and their books. I like it! So I’m joining in to celebrate having a full-time creative side job which takes up every waking moment I’m not at my 9-5, gives me heart palpitations, and on occasion makes me emotionally unstable. Because I love every last second of it, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Find my books in the sidebar on the right (or below this post, if you’re on a mobile device).

To support Indie authors, give their books a try. They’re just as good as traditionally published ones, and many times cheaper as well. And if I could ask a favor, leave a review of the books you do read. It might seem like a small thing, but it makes a world of difference to us. Thank you for reading Indie books!

Indie