Back To the Grind

content225RT was a blast, of course. You need to check out my blog for more in-depth info and recaps. I learned a lot, met a lot of people, signed a lot of cards, laughed and ate too much good food. If you ever have a chance to go, I strongly suggest you do. I took an RT Virgin with me, and she had a blast as well. There is something there that will appeal to every reader, writer, book seller, publisher, beginner. Wherever you are in your career, RT probably has something for you.

Next year it’s in Kansas City. We’re already making plans.

But my nose is back to the grindstone now. If I could narrow down the most important piece of information I took from RT, it would be to write more good books. The best promotion is to have another good book. I just finished a longer contemporary I’m going to submit to Ellora’s Cave, I’m working on a short for Decadent. Book 2 of the Awakening Society is underway (No, I’m not telling you which way!) and the disabled veteran romantic suspense series is still cooking too. Theoretically, I’d like to get 4 books out this year, at least. With a couple of little short stories added into the mix as well.

Damn. That’s a lot. I need to get to work.

Formatters For Hire

Continuing on with the Author Helps section on my website, I created a list of people or companies who format. Some of the names will look familiar, because they tend to do things in a similar vein. Meaning, if they edit, they may format as well.
SO, here’s my list, and of course, if you can recommend someone or do it yourself, absolutely let us know in the comments section.

 

http://ironhorseformatting.com/pricing/ – I’ve heard from friends that Lee is fantastic!
LK Campbell           
http://kindleformatting.com/book/files/KindleHTMLtags.pdf- If you’re interested in trying to format yourself, this has a huge amount of info in it. 
http://www.bellamediamanagement.com/   Carol Webb- also does covers
Steena Holmes at the www.theauthorsredroom.com. Also, on the right hand side are more listings for service providers.
Ted Risk- Dellaster Design
JimandZetta.com Ebook
Conversion & Publishing Services

jimandzetta.com He does CS formatting and conversion for $1 per 1,000 words.

Basic Smashwords
formatting blog- http://ddalglish.com/wp/?page_id=15

http://www.reneeromance.com/#!formatting   She does covers, editing and formatting.
Formats for $12 per version.
Also, check out the Women’s Lit Cafe at http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/  and go to the forums area. Service providers list themselves there.
This should at least get you started. Happy writing!!!

Gearing Up for RT Madness

content225I’m still writing, but I find myself getting more and more distracted by thoughts of RT. For those of you that have never been, it’s basically a big author party, with informational workshops jammed into it. I had a fantastic time last year meeting all my fellow authors from Decadent Publishing, and I look forward to meeting new ones at this year’s event in Chicago. 2 ladies from KYRW will be going as well, one pubbed and one not. Both are RT virgins, so it will be fascinating watching them take it all in.

Almost done with the first book of the Coming Home series. The second is about halfway finished, but I find myself adding in more and more twists and details to get tangled in. I’ve had to modify book 1 a dozen times just to get the details to flow correctly in the following books.

Working on book 2 of the Awakening Series, and I have to say the poll answers have been surprising. Not what I expected at all. I made the mistake of assuming the direction of book 2, and had it mostly written, when I realized that that wasn’t the direction the readers wanted. So, I’m writing the new book 2, and no, I’m not going to tell you right now which you chose. It’s a secret. Right now, I’m looking at mid-May for release of book 2.

I thank you for your patience! Happy reading!!

List of Editors for Hire for Indie Writers

When you self-publish, it is vitally important to present a well-crafted piece of work to the public. Self-pubbing has a negative connotation, thanks to all of the crap that’s filtering onto the net that hasn’t been refined or controlled in any way. If you are proud of the work, you need to take the time to make it the best it can be. Even if you are a good editor, you still need people to go over your work to spot mistakes. Below is a list of editing professionals I’ve compiled over the past couple of years. If you visit my website here, I have compiled a huge list with cover artists, formatters and editors.

My editors at one of my e-pubs, Kate Richards and Valerie Mann, have created an editing service called Wizards in Publishing. I can say honestly that they have made me a much better writer. And I’m so tickled they are offering this service now. They also format and upload if you need help that way.
I also have experience with The Authors Red Room. Literally, for the price I paid, 2 separate editors went over my work, and I was very pleased with the result. They had my ms turned around within just a few days.

Bev Harrison- 
bevharro@bigpond.net.au   1 cent per word with $75.00 minimum fee.
Although she runs specials.
Anne Victory-
Cathy Donaldson 
www.cathydonaldson.net
-edits
Bev Rosenbaum 
www.bevkatzrosenbaum.com  does critiques
Eliza Knight  http://elizaknight.com/      
Wendy Ely-  http://creativemanuscripts.blogspot.com/
also a multi-pubbed author.
Caro Carson www.carocarson.com/
The Midnight Line editor   Has edited for
Catherin Kean, Kresley Cole, Susan Grant
Blair Bancroft- editsbybff@aol.com
New as of 03-25-12
Found these on Women’s Lit Café: http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/forum/24
Huge list of editors.
http://www.kristenweber.com/faq.html
– on the expensive side, but Big 6 experience.
This is not a comprehensive list, of course. These are just names that I’ve run across or heard people using. Be sure to investigate any service provider as thoroughly as you can.
If you have a suggestion, please please leave a comment with your recommendation.

The Awakening Society is FREE Today and Tomorrow Only!!!!

My book The Awakening Society is FREE today and tomorrow only! And it’s the last time it will be free.
This is a unique book, because reader participation determines the direction of Book 2. At the end of the Amazon Select contract, I will tally up votes on the poll on the front page of my website, and Book 2 will be released. Thank you so much for taking part in this! I’m actually very excited, because the responses I’ve been receiving have not been what I expected.

Blurb:

Tonya Hughes is bittersweet about her last
appointment for the Awakening Society. For twenty years she’s done her part to
shape the young men of Savannah into lovers any Southern woman would want. But
her time has come to an end. Unable to continue the line, she plans to ‘retire’
from the society, after one last Awakening.

To Harrison Walker, the appointment with
the statuesque brunette is everything he could ever hope for. A hot woman is
going to instruct him in the art of making love, and she promises to teach him
anything he wants. But when his emotions get involved, will he be able to walk
away the next day? And will she be able to let him?

Crouch and Konrath Comedy Duo

JA Konrath (left) and Blake Crouch (right)

Far and away the best demonstration we went to was by Blake Crouch and JA Konrath, self-publishing phenoms. They were the funniest, had the most common sense advice and the most data to back up their claims. Robyn, the lady I drove up with, is not yet published and wants to go the tradition, Big 6 route. But even Robyn admitted it was the best class she went to all week.

 According to Konrath, he knew self-pubbing was going to be the thing to do, and he badgered Crouch for months before Crouch finally decided to put out 1 book. Run made 12k the first month it was out. Konrath asked him how much he’d made this year already. As of 4-12-12 Crouch admitted he had made 150k for the year.

Konrath has also made incredible money in the time he has been self-publishing, and says you need the perfect cover, perfect price, a good description and finally a good book for LUCK to strike. The more books you have out there, the more chance luck will find you. But he says to always put out the best product you can as often as you can. The best promotion you can do, he says, is to put out another fantastic book.

Konrath is a natural comedian, and he had the audience laughing most of the hour they spoke, but his information was like gold. Quiet Blake Crouch was the perfect straight man to counterbalance Konrath’s craziness, but I felt a little bad that he had to put up with him.

If you look closely, the design on Konrath’s shirt is interconnected skulls and crossbones, which I thought was appropriate considering where he was. There was a definite anti-self-pub flavor to the air at RT this year, which was disappointing. I think he dealt with it in his own rebellious way. He carried his own beer to the e-book signing and the book sale later on that week, and in spite of the people that wrinkled their noses at what he did, I thought he and Blake were both FABULOUS.
                       In spite of his audacious behaviour, the man is brilliant. He spoke about apps for smart devices, such as iphones, ipads, androids, tablets. Rather than having an app for an author, why not have an app for each book created? Where readers can go into the app, read author commentary, see videos of the author talking about the creative process, listening to play lists or even interacting with readers in a forum ON THE APP.
He also talked about advertising. He said he could see, in the future, money being paid to the author by advertisers who place their ads in the author’s books, perhaps between chapters. Already we deal with little ads everyday, but we would be more likely to put up with them if the book itself was free. Right? 
One of the people in the audience asked him about piracy, and Konrath laughed. It’s such a miniscule threat to him that he conducted an experiment. He posted one of his books for free on one of the piracy loops, and he watched as sales for the same book soared on the legitimate sites. This led to his greatest quote of the hour:
“If you’re a writer, you should be a whore with no integrity.”
Meaning, use free days, and lend books, and don’t worry about piracy because all it does is get your name to an even wider audience. Don’t use DRM on anything.
Hire a website designer he said, and sell your own books from your own website. Then you get to keep all the profits .
When asked what the best websites were for self-pubbers, he reeled off a list. Kindleboards, his blog A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing , Scott Nicholson, Rusch Report, David Gaugrahan to name a few.
In the bottom picture, he’s showing us ‘Autography’, which is an app that the author can use to sign the cover sheet of a book for a reader. Similar to Kindlegraph, but with Autography, you actually sign the sheet with a stylus in your own handwriting. It was beautiful.                                                                                                                                       

The two of them were fantastic, and kept me laughing all day.
At the original demonstration, they had author Ann Voss Peterson sitting in the front row, and he was talking about how collaborating had worked very well for him, and it helped to have somebody take on half the load. He and Ann have collaborated on 2 books. She stood up for a second then sat back down quickly. Ann seems to be a quiet lady, totally opposite of Konrath, and I went to one of her panels later in the day. Three authors were speaking for 15 minutes each. The first author spoke, then it was Ann’s turn to talk about plot. She pinkened, and it was obvious she was uncomfortable speaking in front of so many people. Then troops in Blake Crouch, Konrath and Konrath’s wife. They sit in the front row and STARE at Ann. I too was in the front row, and I watched as a wave of bright red crept up her neck and into her face. I felt so bad for the poor woman. Then Konrath pulled out his cell phone and started snapping pictures. Now, he’s not sitting any more than about 7 feet from the woman, so the camera is basically in her face. I have to say, though, she held her ground and made it completely through her demonstration without stumbling. As soon as her demonstration was over, the three of them stood up and trooped back out of the room.
I spoke to her at the end and told her she needed to kick his ass when she had a chance.
But it was damn funny.

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