Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014

As it’s the Xmas break I’m taking a few days off to catch up on my reading, writing, family and booze – not necessarily in that order. For any promotions in 2015 please contact me on lefitzpatrick@hotmail.co.uk and I will contact you ASAP.

For now have a lovely time however and whoever you’re spending it with and don’t forget to check back through the past few weeks for some great indie books.

 

Lynzie xxx

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Broken People – FREE

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you are all having a lovely day and thanks for stopping in and checking on me. I’m assuming your presents are opened and the house is in total chaos. Well here’s a Christmas present for you – for today and tomorrow only you can download Ioana Visan’s Broken People for FREE! Can’t wait to read this one, who’s with me?
You don’t always get what you want, but if you’re lucky, you might get what you need.For one week only, an impenetrable castle is open to the public, and Dale Armstrong has come to Bratislava to rob it. When he finds his partner’s arms mangled, he desperately searches for a way to fix him before time runs out.Because the war in the Far East is sapping all the allied nation’s resources, only The Nightingale Circus has the spare parts, the power, and the expertise to fix prosthetics and help the injured, but nothing is free.

Unfortunately, Dale doesn’t know about The Nightingale Circus’s side job, but a forced encounter with the most dangerous woman in the city, the Golden Lady, sends him their way. On this roller coaster of crazy twists and flips, schemes and deceit, wishes and dreams, no one can foresee how the aerialist will land.

Anything is possible in a world of Broken People.

Book Links:
Free dates: December 25 – 26, 2014
Author bio:
Award-winning writer Ioana Visan has always dreamed about reaching the stars, but since she can’t, she writes about it.
After fighting the apocalypse aftermath in “Human Instincts”, she played with shapeshifters in “Blue Moon Café Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks”, and then she dealt with vampires in “The Impaler Legacy” series, before tackling longer works like a fantasy trilogy and a science fiction series.Aside from publishing short stories in various Romanian magazines and anthologies, she published a Romanian short story collection “Efectul de nautil” and the Romanian edition of “Human Instincts”.She was awarded the Encouragement Award by The European Science Fiction Society at Eurocon 2013.

 


Curtis Florence – Free Books

I featured Curtis Florence at the start of the month and Curtis contacted me this week to let me know you can download his two books for free today and tomorrow, so why not treat yourself to an early Christmas present.

 

Whose Castle is This?

A heart warming tale of two young sisters from a magical land who learn a valuable lesson in family love, togetherness, and coming of age. These two sisters learn to work together and realize just how valuable they are to each other. They also learn that individuality is not only okay but important in life.

Download from Amazon for FREE

 

Who Do You Think You Are Today?

A five star rated children’s story that tells the thought provoking dialogue between a young girl and her father. This book is an exploration in to a child’s mind. When life seems dull sometimes we have to be reminded to use our magnetic imagination to achieve things in life.

Download from Amazon for FREE

 

 


HEATHER MARIE SCHULDT

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR HEATHER MARIE SCHULDT

1. What does your writing process look like? 

I write anytime of the day I can. I’m the type of fiction writer who loves to have a story map worked out, but I give myself the creative freedom to develop the story “in the moment,” which means I can make adjustments if the story or characters call for it. I do some editing as I go, reading what I wrote – out loud – and see if it sounds the way I want it to. Then I read it again and see if it’s really how I want to leave it. I do most of my writing in my office, but I have another desk that I go to from time to time. I find myself wearing earplugs once in a while, either to drown out the background noise or to listen to music. 

2. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? 

To me, I don’t think that I have any strange writing habits. I just need a black pen and lined paper. Yes, it has to be a black pen; and yes, it has to be lined paper. I usually don’t think about what might be odd to other people because I’m focused on trying my best and making the best effort to write a good story. 

3. What book do you wish you could have written? 

I never desire to be another author. There are many writers that I admire, some are alive and some are not. I stay true to my own voice and hope there are readers who like my story. 

4. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write? 

Dan Brown’s novel, Angels and Demons, is written in a wonderful way. Some books stand out more than others to me such as Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier and The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. I have many favorite authors. The writers in my monthly short story contest, the Writers 750 Contest, are very inspiring every month. Bram Stoker’s style is beautiful. Suzanne Collins’ talent shows very well. The creative story in Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland never ceases to amaze me. 

5. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters? 

There are casting directors who have an excellent knack for being able to find the right actor for the role. I directed a one-act play in college called Sundance, and I ended up very happy with the final results. The play has five males and takes place in a metaphysical wild-west saloon. The actors did a great job taking on the roles of Sundance, Hickock, Jesse, the Kid, and the Barkeep. If the director knows the role of the character well enough, auditions can reveal whether or not the actor is a good fit. Since I was familiar with the actors in the theater department, auditions weren’t necessary. I had a good idea who could play the role. On the other hand, at the auditions for Cat On a Hot Tin Roof and Bus Stop, I worked solely with auditions from strangers. A casting director’s approach can vary; the chemistry between the possible actors can also make a difference as well as an over all balance in the cast. In my books, there are plenty of Hollywood actors that could play the characters in my stories. 

6. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I am very selective with names in my stories. Someone once said that the two most common names for male and female protagonists are Jack and Kate, but this doesn’t keep me from using the names. More importantly, I like to make sure the name fits with the story, setting, genre, and audience. Sometimes simple names can be a benefit because the name is ‘easy on the eye’ for the reader. I like to consider the meaning of the name, but I don’t force the issue in the story. In my library at home, I have several name books that I like to flip through. Sometimes I use regular names like Jill. Other times I work with creative names like Ragnar and Lenna. 

 

7. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? 

Setting goals and sticking with it are important to me. I always put forth a lot of effort. In 2012, I set the goal to publish an anthology by selecting stories from my free monthly short story contest, the Writers 750 Contest. My first Giant Tales anthology was a success. I published 7 books in 2 years. Just to be clear, six of the books were big-group accomplishments where I was the complier, one of the editors, and one of the authors. Six of the books are successful Giant Tales anthologies written by over fifty authors, and one book is a successful short novel where I am one of the five co-authors. These 7 projects were a priceless experience that benefited many people. If I can inspire others to do good work and have a positive impact on the company I work for, then I’ve done my job. 

 

8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

One of my long-range goals is to have a few novels published and marketed by a reputable publishing house. My experience in writing short stories, publishing, and attending book events as a guest author has prepared me to write more stories and continue to reach out to readers in the community. Another goal is to keep serving the community as I continue to work hard at studying the craft of fiction and writing stories.

 

9. Were you already a great writer? Have you always liked to write?

I have always enjoyed writing and telling stories. In first grade, I walked home with a friend so we could tell each other pretend stories. Later that day, I was in trouble because I never had permission to go home with her. In first grade, I did my first research project on rabbits by referring to the encyclopedia, and I loved it. I remember reading stories when I was younger, and I wanted to edit the words in the book. Recently, I heard someone say that there are many good writers but not many great writers. I try not to lump writers into categories like that. There are many great writers and there are many genres and styles of writing. Some writers are better at marketing their books. Others are better in person at live events. Some are more philosophical. Others enjoy intellectual conversations. In the end, it’s always about the story and the presentation of the story. Over the past three years, my library has increased substantially. 

10. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Set realistic goals and stick with it. Be flexible and be willing to adjust along the way. Stay motivated. Stay focused. Get out and sell your stories. Be sure to have your one-sentence summary on the tip of your tongue, and tell other people about your work. Be bold and ask other people to read your book. 

11. If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

I’m a researcher. I love to research almost anything from composting to outer space technology and winning the lottery. I never get tired of researching. In the past, I’ve been involved with a fundraiser for the fight against breast cancer. I like to find ways to help orphans and widows in my area. I’d also like to earn a respectable position at a publishing house. 

12. Are you a plotter or a pantster? 

Both. I covered this earlier, but I work best with a story map. I like to know where I am headed, but I also like to have the creative freedom to develop the story “in the moment,” which means being spontaneous.

13. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? 

Generally speaking, I never respond to a negative review. Once in a while, there might be a kernel of truth in a proper critique. If so, I quickly find it and get the most positive piece of advice I can out of it. It’s a good idea to think about bad reviews as junk mail. It’s best to keep a good focus on your goals and stay focused on the steps that will get you there. I’d much rather read the good reviews. 

14. What is your best marketing tip?

Be creative to develop a name brand. Be disciplined to find out what works for you. Get to know the business and work hard. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Promote yourself, seek reviews, and have a good website. 

15. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Every writer faces challenges. I’ve addressed most of the challenges over the past three years. It’s important to learn how to deal with distractions. Be sure to get rid of time burglars. Most of the time, it’s best to say no to extra hobbies in order to write. Deadlines are your friend. Accept the fact that you won’t be able to please everyone. After all these challenges are dealt with, then it’s a matter of not going overboard. What I mean is that writers still need to be healthy, exercise, and make good contributions in the world. I’d write all day long if I could. 

16. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

One day a long time ago I said, “I will never…” and then sometimes life doesn’t turn out that way. I’ve learned to take one day at a time, and I try to keep the audience in mind. 

17. Do you have a favorite conference to attend? What is it? 

In 2014, I went to five local events as a guest author. Four of the events were at the Kannapolis Cultural Arts Festival called Kaleidoscope and the last event was at the Cabarrus Art Council’s Art Walk. I love meeting new people and telling them about Giant Tales and Gryffon Master. Someday I hope to attend a big conference as a guest author. 

18. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy? 

In the past, I haven’t written anything that was difficult to write. Love, action, and race are real issues in life. People can identify with all three. In my current novel, the main character experiences a teleportation and I describe what she feels and goes through when her body begins to disappear and reappear somewhere else. It’s written in first person narrative, and since I’ve never teleported anywhere, I used my imagination to describe what she went through. This is an example of the beauty of fiction, especially fantasy and high fantasy; I relate to real life situations, but I can also use my creative imagination.

 

19. Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior? 

I have 7 books published. My short novel is called Gryffon Master: Curse of the Lich King where Ragnar the Viking warrior tries to escape from a dangerous jungle, but an evil Lich King is hunting him down. Then I have two books from the Giant Tales Apocalypse 10-Minute Stories series, which include: Lava Storm In the Neighborhood (Book 1) and Final Ships In the Neighborhood (Book 2). The last four books are in the Giant Tales 3-Minutes Stories series, which include: Giant Tales Beyond the Mystic Doors (Book 1), Giant Tales From the Misty Swamp (Book 2), Giant Tales: World of Pirates (Book 3), and Giant Tales: Dangerous Days (Book 4). 

20. What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I am working on a fantasy novel and hope to see it published in 2015. 

 

Crazy Questions – That No One Ever Asks Authors

 
 

1.   What is your biggest failure?

Sometimes I am too helpful to the point of sacrificing myself. Time is money, as some people say. The past three years are not a failure though. The experience has been priceless at Writers 750. I’ve worked hard, learned a lot, and in many ways, I am better prepared to face numerous situations in the future. When my plate is full, I’m much more likely to say no. Even if my plate is half full, I still might say no. If it fits in with the goals, I will find a way to work it in. Quitters never win. And winners never quit. 

 

2.   How has all the time you invest in others helped or hindered you in your own writing journey. 

I love my free monthly short story contest, the Writers 750 Contest. Hundreds of writers have gotten a lot out of it. I started it in April of 2012. I’ve met so many talented writers in the Writers 750 Contest. You can find the titles and authors of the short stories from 2014 at my website, www.writers750.com

3. Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

I don’t look at challenges that way. In the past, I have been faced with life threatening situations. So many other things in life seem small compared to what I’ve been through. Each time I have been in a life or death situation, there isn’t much a person can do other than get down on your knees, pray, and walk away with more faith than the day before. I’ve had several life or death moments. Some things in life are just beyond a person’s control. 

4. What is your biggest fear?

Tunnels. I don’t like tunnels, especially the one coming out of the Boston airport. It feels like it’s 10 miles long. 

5. What do you want your tombstone to say?

Job Well Done 

6. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Flying without any side effects or complications. I went to flight school my first year out of high school and flew airplanes. I’ve always loved flying. 

7. If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

Bat-woman. Remember, I like flying. I’d be happy as an American billionaire, an industrialist, and a philanthropist who fights crime. My costume would be black and very flexible with wings. 

8. What literary character is most like you?

Each person is an original. It might seem fun to compare, but I usually don’t. If I could spend one day as a literary character for the fun of it, it might be Sherlock Holmes.

9. What secret talents do you have?

If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. I will say that in fifth grade, I was super fast with solving the Rubik’s Cube. I had all the solutions memorized. 

10. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

I’m a lover of the ocean and the beach. Some of my stories take place on a beach, on an island, or in the current novel I’m working on, out in the ocean. Escaping Captain Drake from Giant Tales World of Pirates takes place on the beach and also takes place on an island. Dragonship from Lava Storm In the Neighborhood takes place on an island near the shore. 

11. If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be? 

I’ve always loved lions, but I also like flying. So being a gryffon makes good sense. 

12. What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

First, I’d love to have a New York Times Best Seller novel. Second, I’d like to have a novel published by one of the big six publishers. Third, I’d like to see at least one of my stories on the big screen. 

13. If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

Once in a while, I read fiction out loud with a British accent. I’m very happy as an American, though. I’ve read all of the Narnia books out loud to my daughter, and one of them I read out loud to her from cover to cover with a British accent. 

14. What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

My teachers would usually say I was creative. I was really good in art and sports. I loved to do skits and tell stories. I still have one stuffed animal from fifth grade: Snoopy. Back in 1980, a whole line of Snoopy clothes came out (that fit on Snoopy), and I still have many of the outfits to this day including Sherlock Holmes. I used to be in love with the Six Million Dollar Man. I had a Six Million Dollar Man Barbie doll (with a bionic eye, a bionic right arm, and two bionic legs). I had a Stretch Armstrong, but he seemed rather useless. I also performed ventriloquism with a puppeteer dummy. My favorite stuffed animal was Snoopy. My favorite toy was the Rubik’s Cube. My favorite board game was Clue. Today, my favorite card game is Hearts. 

15. Do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

Yes. Lots. I have a dream book that tells me about the possible meanings. One time, I dreamed that there were two elephants in my backyard. My book said that it could mean ‘luck and prosperity’ or ‘wisdom and patience’. Another time I had a dream about a tree flying through the air; and then I woke up and wrote it out in a short story. I love to read my dream dictionary and see what my dreams could mean.

Links to all your social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gianttales

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hmschuldt

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hmschuldt

 

Links to your website (s) and blogs

Blog:  http://heathermarieschuldt.blogspot.com

Website: http://writers750.com

 

Links to your Goodreads and other sites you are part of.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/hmschuldt

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/H.M.-Schuldt/e/B00EKK7Y64

YouTube Book Trailer Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/gianttalesbooks

 
 
Heather Marie Schuldt
Fiction Author




Books Vs. E-readers

Books Vs E-Readers – I have to confess I am a lover of both. Here’s Nicole Delacroix to tell you what she thinks. Don’t forget you can share your views in the comments below.

 


 

Books Vs. E-readers – will the next generation of children even experience the feel of a good book?

 

For me, I started my long love affair with the written word when I was still quite young.  One of my most vivid memories is of my mother sitting at the edge of my bed reading me a bedtime story.  I was 3, but her loving voice and the compelling story completely captivated me, and I was officially hooked.  My mother started to teach me to read for myself about this same time and I couldn’t get enough of it.  I remember spending my days in libraries and reading outside.  Sure I had other hobbies, but nothing was better than the weekly trip to the local library to check out a new book.  I remember the day I got my very own library card – I was 9.  It was like a beloved toy or a secret treasure to be awed and relished.

I learned early on that even though a good story could take me on an adventure, finding that perfect book in the library could equal the excitement.  There was nothing like finding a dusty tome hiding away from the world that held a secret world of wonder.  By the time I entered middle school, most of my good memories were tied to books.  By the time I was twelve I had already read most of the literary classics and had settled on Wuthering Heights as my all-time favorite book.    My favorite past time (and most money spent) is browsing book stores.  While the big chains (Barnes & Nobles, Booksamillion) are fine for books en masse, I prefer the little niche stores or even the used book stores (Thank you 2nd and Charles!).  I find myself spending three figures every time I visit and I usually leave with another bag of books that I literally have no place to put them.  (I currently have multiple boxes of books in closets all over my house)

Then the E-reader came along, and being the book snob and elitist I am, I snubbed my nose at it and said “not me, no, never”.  Then a friend and I were planning a life-long trip to London, and suddenly space was an issue (what?  I can’t bring 20 books on the plane?), and I succumbed to the Kindle.  E-readers were still in their infancy, so I have probably the Commodore 64 version, but I digress, I ate my words and bought one.  Suddenly I could take hundreds of books all without having to leave any of my shoes behind, who was the genius that came up with this!  Now I could take as many books as I wanted without limiting my shoe space, but I had to forsake the things I loved most about books, the feel and the smell.

So I recently heard on NPR a discussion about how the next generation will never experience a real book; that technology has taken us past the need for paper and the written word.  I truly believe that there are more people like me; that love that feel of a book and the smell of a dusty library.  That search and scour through bookstore shelves to find just that right book.  It’s our history and that’s worth our respect and preservation.  So if you are part of the newest generation, take my suggestion.  Go find a great bookstore and lose yourself, you may just end up finding yourself.  Enjoy the convenience of your E-reader, but remember a book is meant to be experienced and you can only do that turning the pages of an old dusty tome.


Createspace

Earlier in the month author Nicole Delacroix share with us a really interesting article about how to market your books and you all seemed to love it. And I am really pleased to present another article which I am sure will be as informative. This time Nicole is talking to us about Createspace. I love Createspace myself but I know that using it and making it work for you can be a real hurdle so I hope this helps and you can learn more about Nicole here: http://nicole-delacroix.com/


 

Guest post: Self-Publishing: How To Capitalize Using Createspace

By Nicole Delacroix, author “Glimpse of Darkness”

With major advances in technology publishing has left behind the hefty price tags and entered the realm of the digital age.  With a free online setup, access to the Kindle Direct publishing, and even options to produce an audio version all within a few clicks, Amazon is the indie/self-publishers dream come true.  Even traditional publishers see the major benefits to print on demand and EBooks and indie/self-publishing no longer carries the stigma it once did just a few years ago. Amazon currently owns Kindle Direct Publishing, Createspace, and Audible.com as resources for the indie/self-publisher.

Print-on-demand is quickly becoming the fastest, most profitable and easiest way to get your voice heard.  Createspace even offers the option to distribute via traditional channels and stores like Barnes & Noble and Booksamillion and even academic libraries.  The truth in indie/self-publishing is that most people searching Amazon or browsing a book shelf don’t even question whether the book was printed by a publishing company or independently produced.

There are many advantages to going the indie/self-publishing route and there are many different options available to the independent writer.  One thing that you need to be aware of is that when you indie/self-publish you don’t get the marketing resources that would come with a traditional deal, but if you’re social media savvy and willing to work hard, you can make it work for you.  I will focus primarily on my personal experiences with Createspace, so remember that while this is one example, there is an option that fits every need, you just need to find what works best for you.  Many of the traditional services are also available via Createspace for a nominal fee.

Here is a step-by-step guide to publishing your own book using Createspace based on my experiences:

Step 1: Create

This really is the heart of the process, writing your book.  Make sure to include all the necessary parts: introduction, acknowledgements, dedication page, table of contents, title page, copyright page and if you’re feeling lucky a blank page for that all important autograph!  You can choose to prepare your files yourself or you can use Createspace professional services.  There is a free user friendly templates you can download to format your book.  Once you’ve completed the formatting process you simply export to a PDF format and you’ve got a print-ready file.

 

 

Step 2: Setup

Now that you’ve finished the most important step, writing that book and formatting it, now it’s time to add it to the Createspace site.  Again, the process is step-by-step and guides your through any possible pitfalls.  If you haven’t already set up a free Createspace account, you need to do this.  Even though Createspace is owned by Amazon, they really are independent of the Amazon network.   The first landing page you should see is the member dashboard – if this doesn’t load for you, you can access via the My Account pull down.  Here’s where all your projects will live and breathe.

You will start by clicking the big friendly Add New Title button; from here you will fill in your book title, description, credits, choose a book size and a paper color and finally upload your files.  I personally didn’t use many of the Createspace services as I decided I wanted complete control.  I hired my own cover artist to do the artwork and formatted the book myself.  You can use your own files for both your interior and exterior data.  Createspace does have a free stock photo library for cover art – remember you can’t use art without permission from the artist – so if you’ve decided you like that picture you downloaded three years ago from some art site that you don’t remember now, you’re better off getting new art.  There is also a paid service where you can commission artwork from the Createspace site, but I found my own artist (who is a GENIUS) and got exactly what I wanted.

**Side Note** if you’re looking for an artist, find work that you love and reach out to the artist.  Most artists are open to doing commissioned work just remember they expect to receive payment in half on agreement and balance on delivery.  Know what you want, provide character descriptions, pictures if you have them, anything that helps put into focus what you want, and then let the artist give you their vision.  My book cover would have been 100 times different if I didn’t let my artist give me what he knew I needed to make my cover art work.

Now that you’ve uploaded your files, it’s time to choose your book’s ISBN number.  Unless you’re planning on re-publishing or distributing your book with a traditional publisher in the future there isn’t much value to paying for your own ISBN, so I went with the free Createspace assigned ISBN.

Step 3: Review

Now that everything looks the way you want and you’re happy with your masterpiece, it’s time to submit your files to the Createspace team for review.  This consists of an automated file checker (which depending on the size of your book can take a while) that makes sure you didn’t color outside the lines (margins people, margins) and then a manually review which can take up to 24 hours.  If you’ve formatted correctly, you should pass the auto check without an error (things like embedding fonts happen, they will embed them for you, just click ok!) and you’re off to the manual check.  This is a little more drawn out as a staffer will check page by page to make sure the auto check didn’t miss something.  Please note, they will not check for editing mistakes, spelling mistakes or content issues.

If you take the time to join the community any first-time author will be advised to view multiple proofs of their book until you’re satisfied.  This doesn’t require purchasing multiple copies (although I suggest at least a few purchased runs) as you can digitally proof your masterpiece.  I only suggest a purchased copy when you think you’re ready, you need a least three to five people you trust (preferably someone who is a dedicated Grammar Police Officer) to run through and look for all the misspellings, typos, grammar issues and proofing issues.  Each person will locate something the others didn’t and you’ll be glad that they catch it before you go live.

The last thing to consider before you hit the big “Approve” button is a Library of Congress Number (listed under Marketing as LCCN assignment – please note there is no guarantee that your book will be listed and you must meet the requirements).  If you want to have a chance of listing your work in the Library of Congress, you MUST submit for the number BEFORE you approve.  You will need to add the LCCN number to your copyright page before you approve, Createspace will take care of sending the project to the Library for you – it’s included with the fee.  Is it necessary?  Absolutely not, it’s more of a prestige item, and there is no guarantee that the Library will even list your book, but if you want a shot at being listed, it’s there.

Step 4: Distribution

So you’re finally ready to hit the “Approve” on your proof, you’ve made sure you have no mistakes and your literary genius is finally ready for the literary world at large.  Now it’s time to set up your distribution information and select your sales channels.  This is where you determine how much you want to charge for your masterpiece and how much you want in royalties. Createspace has a little say in what you need to charge based on the book size, number of pages and the type of paper you’ve selected.  But as long as you hit that base price, you can charge as much above that as you feel comfortable with.  My suggestion is to play with the royalty calculator before you decide on the format and size for your book.  Of course, the format is going to affect the number of pages, so you need to keep this in mind as well.

Createspace currently doesn’t offer a hardcover option, so if you’re looking for the fancy dust cover and hardback edition, you’ll need to supplement your publishing options and look for an additional source for this edition.  If you do this, remember the Createspace ISBN will not work for the hardcover edition you will need to opt for a paid ISBN.  Bear in mind that most independent authors don’t profit from hardcover editions as they cost more to print.  It’s something you have to decide for yourself as it affects your retail pricing and royalties and any personal cost to buy books for promotions.

After you set your pricing you choose your distribution channels.  You will automatically receive the option for Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, Createspace EStore and you can add in the Expanded distribution (free!) for bookstores and online retailers, libraries and academic institutions and even Createspace Direct.  All of which are free to use, but remember the more channels you choose, the more it affects your pricing and royalties.  I myself chose the standard distribution but only opted for the bookstores and online retailers from the Expanded distribution.  For my title, the rest didn’t hold any value, so I didn’t need them.  Remember, just because you select the channel, doesn’t mean that you’re going to walk into a bookstore and see your book, but the title is available for them to order.  Amazon listings take between five to seven business days to fully populate, and if you publish on Kindle, you may see two listings for a few days as they meld your paperback and Kindle editions into one listing, as Douglas Adams said “Don’t Panic”!  Eventually within a few business days your masterpiece will be listed as one entity, paperback and Kindle versions.

Once you have your initial listing, you can update it with additional information or edits via Amazon Author Central (www.authorcentral.amazon.com – you will be required to open an author account).  Here’s where you can create a nice landing page for your full bio and headshot, anything that may increase your sales.  All in all, Amazon is responsive to requests, they have kind courteous staff that is available to answer any first-time author questions via phone or email support, to guidance and help throughout the process.

Step 5: Sales & Marketing

Now your masterpiece has made it to the final and most important part of the process, getting the word out there.  I missed the mark and didn’t start marketing my book until I had actually finished my book.  The truth is that you should be marketing your book at least six months before you’re actually going to publish.  This gets your name out there, via virtual blog tours, social media, and traditional marketing routes.  However, Createspace again has a suite of on-demand marketing solutions to help you make your masterpiece well known.  Everything from press releases to video trailers, they have everything you could need.  I personally didn’t use any of these services, rather choosing to fumble on my own, but I had the good fortune of having a marketing professional at my disposal.  Amazon also offers up-to-date sales reports so you can track how well your work is selling.

Remember, it’s never too soon or too late to start plugging your work, so go ahead and tease the masses with a little taste of what you’re writing.  Build up your social media followers (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+, Goodreads, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.); make sure to use your personal website/blog as the focal point.  Everything should point to one main landing page for your work, and everything pointing should be in line (formatting) with your main site.  If you’re HTML savvy, this will be an easy chore for you, if you’re not I suggest finding a good professional to assist.  There is nothing worse than an unprofessional landing page, it’s one thing to be fun and silly, it’s another for your product to appear this way.

In closing, with the ease and cost-effectiveness of Createspace it’s no wonder that in 2012 there was a 59% increase in self-publishing titles over the previous year[i].  Even now, self-publishing still remains a new frontier for independent publishers, which means it’s the perfect time to jump on board.

For more information regarding the author or their work, please visit www.nicole-delacroix.com

[i] Bury, Liz, ·  theguardian.com, Friday 11 October 2013 07.10 EDT, “Self-publishing boom sees 59% increase in DIY titles”

 

 


My Christmas Story

http://www.amazon.com/Safe-Haven-L-E-Fitzpatrick-ebook/dp/B00H0NPST8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418939254&sr=8-1&keywords=safe+haven%2C+l+e+fitzpatrick

If you’ve read any of my posts before you might have heard about a little Christmas story I wrote. Well when I say Christmas story this isn’t exactly a merry jaunt through festivity, but it does have snow – and gun fire. Safe Haven is part of my Reacher series and I’m battling through book 3 at the moment, but it’s set in the summer and this cold wintery weather isn’t helping much with the setting. So Safe Haven is my go to read to beckon in Christmas as I wait for snow.

The book has had lots of downloads this month, it’s free and surging through the rankings. I’m really hoping to hit a top ten somewhere so if you can download the story I’d really appreciate it. And hey these people liked it:

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner, September 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Safe Haven (Kindle Edition)
This is definitely a page turner with a riveting storyline, and it will keep you guessing about the purpose of it all. I had a lot of fun reading this one. I thought the writing style was easy to read but not simple or written with clichés like other books. Basically I really enjoyed this book. The purpose of fiction is to tell a story that causes the reader to enter another world and Safe Haven did that for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little short story, December 29, 2013
By
Scott A. Martin (Lawrenceville, Georgia USA) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Safe Haven (Kindle Edition)
This great little short story sets the stage for the rest of the Reacher stories. It clues us in to how and why The Running Game came to be. I thoroughly enjoyed this as well as The Running Game and highly recommend anything in this series from this author;
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent follow up!, January 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Safe Haven (Kindle Edition)
I cannot wait for the second book, but this was a brilliant teaser/back story I am absolutely taken with these characters and cannot wait to find out more!
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Vardin Village

Another festive book on special offer today. Check out Vardin Village by Maggie Spence and let us know what you think.

 

Sixteen-year-old, George Vardin, lives in a crappy, ramshackle cottage with no electricity and a roof that’s about to implode. The creaky front porch overlooks the magnificent ancestral mansion that his father lost because of his drug abuse. George is not sure which is more breathtaking; the view or the irony.

George’s life is about to suck even more because school starts next week and he can’t scrape up enough money to pay his cell phone bill let alone the fee to play varsity football. Uncle Morris shows up and offers a creative solution to keep George and his sister together under one roof. It’s a much larger, less leaky roof, with a breathtaking view of the crappy, ramshackle cottage. Crafty Morris reveals a secret tunnel that leads to the mansion and consequently some Vardin family secrets that will make junior year unforgettable.

 

Download from Amazon on special offer today.


Seeing White

Still waiting for a white Christmas? Me too. Oh well, while we wait here’s a new release – Seeing White by Charlotte E Hart.

 

Alexander White, the wealthy business man with looks to die for. Just like the other colours you’d think…….but no.
He came from a very different place and made some of his money a very different way.

And he keeps it well hidden because the truth would destroy everything he has. All that he’s worked for would be gone in an instant if they ever found out what he’s capable of, or what he really did and who he did it for. So he keeps people far away with metaphorical games and walls to deceive and confuse.

He doesn’t do relationships, he doesn’t do emotions and he certainly doesn’t do love….. whatever the hell that might be.

He does money. Making it, manipulating it and spending it whist he plays with women who know what they’re signing up for when they walk in the room.

Three people shaped who he is today. One damaged him beyond repair, another taught him to control the rage, and a decent one helps him to consider his options more appropriately than his own head might allow.

But be under no illusions ladies, Mr White has not been a nice man, and he will probably never be a decent man but as long as he keeps up his image, and nothing gets through his barriers, no one will ever see the truth.

Life’s good for Elizabeth Scott, successful business, happy kitchen and a great sister who deals with all the expensive people so she doesn’t have to. She just cooks, bakes and smiles her way through each day……well most of the time anyway, that is when her great sister isn’t pushing her to, “get out there a bit more,” or “sort her shit out.”

Then the biggest contract of their lives comes up….. And the ever useless London tube, with her sister in it, catastrophically breaks down. Unfortunately that means only one thing, she’ll have to deal with some of that wealth herself and that means the devastating Mr Alexander White in all his glory.

Life suddenly couldn’t get worse, regardless of his unfairly gorgeous backside.

She has no idea what the hell she’s doing.

Download the book now:

Http://www.Amazon.com/dp/B00PPZZGCW
Http://www.Amazon.co.UK/dp/B00PPZZGCW


Stone Guardian

Another new release today, take a look at Stone Guardian by Paulina Woods and let us know what you think.

BLURB:

Element – Fire (Healer/Destroyer)

Royal House – Purple

Milcah was born to rule along side an evil mother. Milcah’s father was taken against his will and forced to give up his seed to produce a child with unimaginable powers. At a young age she was taken away from the only home she knows and forced to forget, again and again.

Raised by a detached stepmother, Milcah learned to depend on herself and her best friend, Mary for support. When Mary suggest a vacation, with a scenic route, to the Grand Canyon Milcah believes she is finally getting the chance to see outside her small town. Packing a few things and climbing into her old beat up car, she never imagined she would find a new side of herself.

Lost on a back road, Milcah meets her destiny in a small town named Beacon. When her mind is unlocked, she finds she has a past that will lead to the salvation or damnation of the world.

This is book one in The Witches Amulet series.

BUY LINKS:

Barns & Noble: http://goo.gl/xrMBRq Amazon: http://goo.gl/hMSCnQ

EXCERT:

“Damn it. How can I get lost with MapQuest? Stupid directions.” Milcah bangs her fist against the steering wheel. Two weeks ago driving across the country alone seemed like a great plan but now that she is actually doing it, not so much. “If I had known driving was going to be more stressful than work I would have flown.” After leaving Tucson, Arizona she had gotten lost on all the small highways and now she is on a godforsaken two lane highway where she hasn’t seen another car for ages, her phone refuses to get reception, and to top it

off there are storm clouds in the distance.

“Fuck me. I should have stayed home.” Something had told her to fill up at the last gas station so she is going to be ok there, but she needs to find somewhere to hole up until this storm passes. Getting stuck in the middle of the desert during a thunderstorm in an older Honda is not a good idea.

After driving another twenty minutes, Milcah spots a sign announcing a small mining town. Even small towns have hot food, hot water, and a nice warm bed. Glancing back at the clouds, she ignores her misgivings and turns right onto a small, barely paved road.

“Ouch!” Her left tire hits a pothole and she hears the bottom of the car scrape. Milcah hopes the older car she is driving is made out of tough material, she can’t afford expensive repairs.

Like a horror movie, the road starts to look overgrown and all but disappearing in some places. Milcah is sure the last time this road was paved was when pavement was first introduced. But with storm clouds riding her ass, there is no way Milcah is turning around. Reaching across to the passenger seat, Milcah picks up her phone, hoping the closer she drives to the town the better her reception will get. No such luck. Throwing her useless phone on the passenger seat, she passes under a sign that reads “Welcome to Beacon”.

“Beacon of what?” Looking around at the empty streets, Milcah feels a chill run down her spine. “This town should be named Forsaken.”

There is no other way to describe the sad, abandoned town. It has overgrown grass on the sides of the road, buildings with blank empty windows and the only sound is the shutters blowing in the wind. The town looks like it had been built in the early gold rush years and then abandoned soon after. Turning onto what she assumes is the main street, Milcah feels an oily sensation pass over her. It reminds her of her dreams.

“What have I gotten myself into? I don’t think phones were invented when this place was a booming town. There’s no way I am sticking around. I can make it to the next town.”

Making a U-turn, Milcah slams on her brakes to avoid hitting…what the hell was that? She knows it wasn’t in the road a few seconds ago. Scared but curious, Milcah studies the object. Standing at over seven feet tall, it can’t be mistaken for human. A ghost? But a ghost of what? A little transparent, it has wings, which reach from the middle of its knees and come to a point a little above its head. Wanting to get out the car and investigate but knowing that’s when people are killed in horror movies, Milcah presses the gas pedal, swerves around the creature, and heads for the road out of town. Gripping the steering wheel Milcah tries to stop her hands from shaking. What the hell was that? As she reaches for her phone, again hoping it will work, Milcah feels her hand pass through something warm. Glancing over, Milcah screams as she stares into the eyes of the creature, now calmly sitting in her car. Hitting her brakes to avoid running into anything and putting her car in park, Milcah turns in her seat to stare at it.

Milcah is able to make out more features, a heavy brow covering deep-seated eyes, a semi-flat nose resting over plump lips. Though not a classic beauty in any sense of the word, the thing still doesn’t look like a monster. Curiosity over shadows fear and Milcah reaches out and runs her hand through the creature again feeling the warmth and a slight tingle. Reaching for her amulet in a nervous gesture, Milcah tries to remember what she has read about ghosts and the proper thing to do. She doesn’t have any holy water but it doesn’t look like the thing is trying to suck out her soul or kill her.

“I think I have read way too many supernatural novels and need to get my head checked.” Milcah looks out the window, making sure she isn’t hanging upside down after crashing her car. A car crash would go a long way to

explaining what is happening. She turns her attention back to what’s sitting in her passenger’s seat. It seems to be studying her just as much as she is studying it.

It seems fascinated by the amulet Milcah is playing with and reaches out as if to touch it. Moving the amulet out of reach, Milcah tries to figure out what she is going to do. She is not a very brave woman and has trouble stepping outside of her box but somehow, she feels like she is supposed to be right here, at this moment. Looking at her amulet again, Milcah longs to be able to ask her mother to explain what is happening. Milcah glances at her phone again, hoping to see it has reception. Growling to herself, she looks back at the creature to see he is following the movement of her thumb as she rubs the amulet.

“What would Mary do?” Milcah envies Mary’s ability to believe in the supernatural outside of books. Milcah believes in the goddess and to honor her, humans need to take care of the world they have been given. She lights candles during the full moon and reads her own tarot cards. She even went to see a few mystics with her mother. Yet nothing has prepared her for what she is facing in this small deserted town. She always believed people move on to the next cycle and supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves, and gargoyles were fantasies made up by humans to explain evils in the world.

Last year she had decided to see why she was having nightmares and a psychologist told her she was suppressing memories from childhood. He believed Milcah had been abused as a child and the dreams were her mind’s way of dealing with the trauma. Milcah never told anyone about the visit and never went back. Now she makes a mental note to call the doctor when she returns home.

Help us. The sound of a deep male voice overlaid with many others causes Milcah to jump. Shaking her head, Milcah tries to ignore the voice echoing

around her. Help us.

“I’m going insane,” Milcah grimaces. “I need to get to the next town.”

As soon as the words leave Milcah’s mouth, thunder rolls across the sky, quickly followed by a flash of lightening. “Dang it. I cannot drive in a desert rainstorm. What if there’s a flash flood? I have to think of something. I can’t stay here.” The GPS is useless but Mary had been thoughtful and placed a paper map in the middle console. After looking at the confusing lines on the map for a few minutes, Milcah gives up and tosses it into the backseat. Crossing her arms, she sits back and tries to think of another plan.

Help us. There it is again. Glancing over at the creature in her passenger seat Milcah wonders if he’s pushing his voice into her head. Before she can ask him the voice echoes again. Help us. With that last plea, something unlocks in Milcah’s mind. Something akin to a memory surfaces and Milcah loses focus, in the real world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Paulina is a small town girl with big dreams. She is the second oldest of three talented siblings.

As early as three she was directing her family around acting out whatever current story was in her head. At four between her older brother and her, a whole universe was created which the younger siblings were introduced into as they were born.

Her natural ability to tell a story took her down many paths. She wrote plays, poems, small children books and short stories all before she entered high school.

When picking a career her councilor told her writing was a dying art and so she went to school for veterinarian science. Three years later she dropped out of university and enrolled in the local community college with a major in journalism

In 2008 she graduated with her BA in Communication/Journalism from Cal State Fullerton.

 Find out more

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