Friday, March 20, 2015

Magick Charm Re-release Cover Reveal

             I’m excited to show everyone my new cover for Magick Charm! This book was originally released about four years ago, and the rights have recently been returned to me. I’ve been working hard at polishing up this second edition, and I’m proud to be self-publishing it on April 1.
            While I loved the original cover, I wanted a new look and something that will have continuity with the upcoming covers in this series. Luckily, I have a close friend, Samantha Harvey, who’s also a graphic design whiz, and I asked her for help. I absolutely love what she came up with and I’m sure you will too!


            We discovered two fantastic images on Flickr that were combined into the final cover photo. Bourbon Street at night was taken by Sara Kelly and the twin lightning bolts picture was taken by Broderick Delaney. You can find the links to their work and their pages below.
            If you’re looking for a cover design artist or website designer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Samantha Harvey at contact[at]13magickalmoons.com. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with for my upcoming titles Gypsy Magick and Free Spirit!
            In the meantime, it’s only 12 days until Magick Charm is re-released!


Bourbon Street at Night 2 by MsSaraKelly, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  MsSaraKelly 
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Night lightning by wxcasterphx, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  wxcasterphx 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Authors Behaving Badly

            I’ve been inspired by events over the last few days to write this blog post. I’m sure that most of my readers have no idea what set of circumstances I’m specifically talking about, and I apologize, but I’m not going to entirely fill you in. I feel that the situation has gone quite far enough and there’s enough fuel on this particular fire. And I’m not going to even touch the particular topics people are upset about; people have differences of opinion and different views, and sometimes I might even agree with their general stance or point. What I don’t agree with is how some authors and their fans are conducting themselves, and that is what I’m talking about today.
            Let me give you some idea of what I’m discussing today in broad terms. Some of these examples are things that have happened this week, but some of them are things I’ve seen over the years I’ve been in the publishing business.
            Some of the things I’m upset about have to do with basic politeness that some people seem to think, because of the distance and/or anonymity of the internet, they can do away with. When authors have differences of opinion, I have seen instances of name-calling, bullying, and encouraging their followers to do the same. This is especially egregious when very popular authors do it since they have loads of attention, sway, and followers. The fallout can be downright wicked in that case.
            Ironically, some of the people out there yelling that a particular author is being a bully turn around and become even bigger bullies in response. Here’s the thing - when I was tormented in high school by a certain nasty young lady and her posse of losers, I eventually had enough, chewed her out, and told her to back off. After that, it was pretty much over and we ignored each other. What I didn’t do was then summon all of my friends to harass her. I didn’t go down to where she worked and tell them that I didn’t like how she behaved outside of work hours and they should fire her. If I had, who would have been the bully then?
Disagreeing by attacking someone's livelihood
is a cheap way to win an argument. **
            Here’s the thing I am most unhappy about, when authors attack the livelihood of other authors. Let me explain – some authors fight by going onto review sites and giving their rival’s books one star, leaving reviews like “absolutely horrible” or “worst book I ever read,” even though they’ve never read it. This is a cheap way of trying to make your point. It’s hard enough to make a living as a writer without being attacked unfairly.
            Let’s face it, people aren’t going to agree all the time, and sometimes you are going to absolutely hate something someone else has to say, but is attacking their livelihood really the correct response? And before you say, “well it depends on what is said,” would you feel the same if someone did it to you? The most polite and reasonable person in the world has undoubtedly at some point said something they regretted, was misunderstood, or was just plain disagreed with.
            There’s one more point I’d like to reiterate. It’s tough out there in the publishing world, especially among the Indie authors. What would happen if we just ignored bad behavior instead of drawing battle lines? Or if we supported each other instead of tearing each other down? That is the kind of community I’d like to be a part of, and I hope more authors feel the same.

**
Book burning by pcorreia, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  pcorreia 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Formatting a Book for Self-Publishing

What is this formatting thing I hear of? I recall it happened after I finished my last edits with my publisher. It went to someone who did some magical stuff to it in their computer and then all the Kindles and Nooks and iThings were happy to download it.

Now that I’m stepping out on my own, I become the someone who does magical stuff to my document. If only I had some clue of what I’m supposed to be doing!

That was my thought last month. I practically begged a friend of mine to figure it out and do it for me, and because she loves me, she agreed. But I decided if I can learn to do it myself, that would make things easier for future books. Plus, she has an eleven-week-old, so I’m pretty sure she’s got her hands full already! ☺

This is what I’ve learned so far. Formatting basically translates your Word document (or whatever program you use) into the different languages each e-book reader uses. No, I don’t know why they don’t all use the same one, though that would make sense to me. This is probably why I’m not a computer person.

In addition to the translation, you also have to take into account the margins, copyright page, fonts, tabs… basically how everything looks and make sure it’s all consistent.

How does the book get from my word processing program to your Kindle?
(Image from Amazon)

I was dreading doing this sort of thing by hand. So it was like kismet when I heard of a formatting program that was being recommended at around this time. Not to sound like an ad, but it’s called Jutoh, it cost $39, and it does all the formatting into all the different e-reader types.

About a week ago, I started working with it, and after a few false starts, I managed to get something that looks like… a book! I’m pretty happy with it. So now I will do yet another read-through to spot any remaining typos, any odd characters, or anything that didn’t translate quite right, that sort of thing. But it’s coming along, and I feel all publisher-y and almost like I know what I’m doing.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Writing Update

I promised a work update, so here it is.

In late January, I received an email from my publisher stating that all of their authors were being released from their contracts. What does that mean? Well, three main things, at least as it pertains to me. One, my books will be going out of print. Two, the rights to those books will return to me. That basically means that what happens to those stories is completely in my hands now.

And that leads to the third thing. I will be self-publishing those books as well as their related, previously unpublished, sequels in the upcoming months.

Right now, I’m doing my best to learn about self-publishing. I’m finding there’s a lot more to it than I ever dreamed. I’ll try to write up a few behind-the-scenes posts as I go along so you can see what I mean.

My current goal is to have Magick Charm published again on April 1. After that, I’ll be working on getting Practically Dreaming back for sale. I’ve been asked about sequels to MC, and they’re coming, I promise! I’ve got a novella on the way as well as at least two more novels in that series. Likely, I’ll also be writing a novella as a sequel to PD, but that’ll be a little ways farther down the road.

If you are on Facebook, please come and “like” my new, improved author page!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Update

            Okay, I admit it’s been an age since I blogged. I have reasons (read: excuses), but they don’t really matter. I’m back and I’m writing!
            A lot has been happening since my last post!
  • I gave myself a wicked case of writer’s block, then kicked it.
  • I moved to a new house – it’s right across the parking lot from the last house, but that doesn’t mean the move was any less hideous.
  • I went on the Atkins diet, lost a ton of weight, but had to quit it. Who knew Atkins wasn’t so good for depression?
  • I have a new godson! Connor is just as perfect as his brother, Marcus, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
  • Pele is growing up – she’s almost two now – and Morgana and Luna continue to be beautiful and sweet.
  • I'm back at pottery class, which means my sanity is returning!
  • I visited a few new cities: Niagara Falls, Gatlinburg, Atlanta, and Chattanooga.
  • I turned 40!

Connor about a week after his birth
(Marcus is playing in the background.)


Pele looking all grown up


Niagara Falls
Yep, that's a lot of water.


Next post: Career update.