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Writing Every Day

During the April A to Z Challenge, a commenter on my blog introduced me to 750 Words. I mentioned this briefly at the end of my Z post, but I wanted to talk about it a little more. I’ve been doing 750 Words since shortly after I was introduced to it, and it’s actually been a great tool in keeping me productive.

The site is pretty simple: you create a bare bones account and try to write at least 750 words every day. Your writing is entirely private and no one can ever see it. You CAN choose to make your profile public, which shows some of your stats and insights into your writing (you choose what is shown) but no one can read what you actually wrote. The site is free for 30 days and then $5 a month to use after. Having the paid version gives you access to a few things. I found out during my free trial period you can’t write more than 10,000 words in a day unless you’re a paid member. As a paid member you can also make public posts kinda like blog posts, that are meant to be encouraging to others.

There’s lots of various accomplishments that earn you badges. Things like writing 3, 5, 10, 30, etc. days in a row, not being distracted during your writing, finishing your words in under 15 minutes 10 days in a row, writing 50,000 words in a month (the NaNo badge), and completing a one-month challenge where you write every day of that month, just to name a few. You may not be terribly motivated by the idea of silly badges, but hey, I freakin’ love badges and I’m trying to collect them all!

However, the main point, and benefit, of the site is that it gets you writing. I’ve found since I started writing every day like this, I feel a lot more creative, and I’m writing easier, if that makes sense. It also takes away the angst that plagues me every day I don’t put my nose to the grindstone and churn some words out. Amazingly, my stats tell me that (at the time of writing this blog post) in my 26 days on 750 Words I’ve written 46,953 words so far! A good portion of that has been for a book I’m working on, which is now almost done because of this. But some days I didn’t feel like working on it and couldn’t get up the gumption, so I just used my 750 words for personal stuff, like a diary. Still, it kept my fingers on the keyboard.

I recommend this site if you’re looking for a productivity and motivational tool. My profile is here (only visible if you have an account). I think paid members can follow other people, but I haven’t followed anyone yet so I’m not sure how it works.

Hope to see you there!

Stuff I’m Up To Right Now

A few updates in my writing world today. I come to share some happy news and a sale with you!

First of all, I had a novella picked up by Evernight Publishing! I haven’t worked with Evernight before, but dang do they have some lovely covers. Also, they were awesome through the whole process. I originally submitted the work as a short story to a submission call for an upcoming anthology. However, the editor asked me if I would revise the work to make it longer and more detailed and submit it to their Romance on the Go line. I did, and they’ve decided to publish it! It’s called Star-Crossed, it’s a paranormal romance, and it will (tentatively) be released in July. Watch this space for more details!

Black Mountain Magic got a four-star review at Night Owl Reviews! Remember that post I made on Monday about luck? Well, this is a fine example. Night Owl Reviews is a huge and well-respected romance review site. Black Mountain Magic is one of my self-published works, so I’m able to directly access my sales figures. My book getting a highly-visible favorable review on a well-known review site, coupled with the fact I just HAPPENED to have the book on sale for 99 cents at the time of the review (which I didn’t know was coming) translated to a few days of high sales figures on Amazon, enough I almost got into the bestseller category. See how luck works like that? Since then, sales have tapered off, despite the fact I subsequently bought a reduced-price ad spot on their site after the review. It’s a roll of the dice.

So, speaking of that, both Black Mountain Magic and White Witch Magic are on sale for 99 cents right now at all retailers! Get ’em cheap! And remember, if you buy ANY of my books, I would be happy to autograph them for you.

Do you have any good news to share today?

Hello There!

So, the Blogging From A to Z Challenge is OVER for another year! This was my third year and it’s always exciting leading up to it, and fun starting off, but I always seem to forget as the challenge drags on it can become daunting and tiresome. Even with all my posts ready well in advance (I usually write them in February), there’s a lot of communication and promotion to maintain. I didn’t really care for posting our links on the daily blog posts this year instead of using the LinkyList, but I understand the organizer’s need for a change. HOWEVER, all this yammering will be for the A to Z Reflections post, so for now I’m just going to take a deep breath and say goodbye to another year of the challenge!

Now, for those of you who started following me during the challenge, I hope you’ll stick around, and I’ll fill you in a little bit about my blog:

I’m primarily a romance author and about 90% of my blog content is about writing. I tend not to focus on any one genre, more the mechanics and ins and outs of writing in general, so it’s friendly and identifiable to everyone, no matter what you write. I try to be entertaining and funny as much as possible. I TRY, anyway…

I’m also a tour host for Goddess Fish Promotions. I host tour stops primarily for romance and urban fantasy authors, so you’ll see those from time to time. Every one of them includes a gift card giveaway, and you might find some new reading, so it’s lots of fun! I am also quite willing to host a promotion/giveaway for anyone else, if you write romance/urban fantasy or something with romantic elements. This is mostly because, of course, I’m a romance author and my main fan base is romance readers, so something of a completely different genre probably won’t get much traction on my blog. Also, please note: I am not a reviewer and I don’t review books. If you’re interested in a guest spot, contact me!

I’m part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which does their blog hop on the first Wednesday of every month (also run by some of the same people who run the A to Z Challenge). Join us!

On more personal notes, I recently (and finally!) created a ‘wall of fame’ for myself in my bedroom. I left lots of space for more covers! Here’s hoping I’ll fill them in. I had posters made at Vistaprint for super cheap:

Anyone know this ‘Megan Morgan’ person?

I also got glasses for the first time in my life this past week. Truth be told, I needed them LONG ago, but I was stubborn and just used to the world being fuzzy. Now I’m freaking out because I can see blades of grass and individual leaves on trees. IT’S CRAZY.

I really like pink.

I also have a cat that needs constant attention or she will combust:

SLEEP? No sleep, ADORE ME.

So, that’s that! Welcome to my blog. Another hilarious thing you should know about me is that I’m addicted to watching Mountain Monsters on Destination America. It’s ridiculous and overblown and so very, very fake, but I can’t stop laughing at it.

Tell me about yourself!

It’s Almost Here!

Tomorrow begins the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge!

*excited screaming*

I’ll keep this post short and sweet since I’ll be here every day in April except Sundays (though the last day of the challenge will take place on Sunday, April 30th, because this April has five Sundays). If you’re doing the challenge too GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN! If you’re new around here and have no idea what’s going on, prepare yourself, it’s going to be a wild ride!

By the way, if you missed it, I’ve put Pandora’s Tacklebox, my theme from last year, in e-book format and I’m giving it away for FREE at Smashwords! Get a copy in any format you like!

Let the games begin!

A Wild Week

Apologies for the lack of meaty posts on the blog this week. White Witch Magic came out this past Tuesday and I’ve been wrapped up in new release stuff and promotion. I promise next week it will be back to your regularly scheduled blogging, starting with a guest tour and giveaway! Until Monday…

Self-Pubbing Check In

I have about two months under my belt now with my self-publishing experience. My first self-published book, Black Mountain Magic, went live November 15th and I put it on sale for 99 cents on December 15th. I made a post talking about what I learned when I first started this adventure and I’m going to make another update now.

As of today, I’ve sold 218 copies on Amazon, 22 on B&N, 4 on Kobo, 5 on iBooks, and 1 on Smashwords, for a total of 250 books sold. About 75% of those sales have been the result of paid advertising, which I haven’t broken even on, so don’t cheer for me yet!

Here’s where I’ve done promotion. If you’re looking into doing paid promotion, my experiment may help you out:

Total: $203 spent on promotion.

Out of all these promoters, the only two who were any good and worth the money were Ereader News Today (which is ALWAYS gold) which netted me 106 sales on Amazon, and Bargain Booksy, which netted me 73 sales on Amazon. However, I paid twice as much for Bargain Booksy for less sales, so take that as you will. Would I use them again anyway? Absolutely.

The others got me between 0-10 sales. BKnights gave me back my money (I didn’t ask for it) but in the form of a credit to use on Fiverr. Books Butterfly guarantees your sales or your money back, but in the introductory email they tell you this is just ‘store credit’ to try their services again (also they weirdly track your visits to their site and list them in the email). Since they didn’t work for me I’m not even going to bother asking for a refund and chalk it up as a learning experience. Maybe it was my genre or the timing of running the promotion on a holiday (I didn’t pick the date of the promotion, they did).

Ereader News Today (usually referred to as ENT) continues to be the BEST site for promotion outside of BookBub (which is incredibly difficult/expensive to get into) and I’ve used them for almost all my books in the past. Some authors don’t use them because they mistakenly believe you have to have a certain number of reviews for them to accept you.  This isn’t true, you simply have to have an overall decent rating if  you have any reviews at all.

What I’ve learned so far: you gotta spend money to make money. But spend it in the right place!

Other things I’ve learned from self-publishing:

  • If you think understanding your sales with KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) will be easy, you’re gonna have a bad time. Amazon continues to lead the market in not making a lick of sense, so don’t expect the various confusing parts of your sales dashboard and your sales rank to correlate or reflect each other accurately at any given time. Just smile and nod, and understand if you want to get anywhere with self-publishing at all, you need to be on Amazon.
  • Smashwords has a hilarious attitude about Amazon, to the point I’m pretty sure they try to gaslight their customers into believing there’s no such thing as a Kindle. Don’t mention the word Amazon anywhere in your book. In fact, if you wrote a book about the Amazonian jungle, you’ll probably want to avoid publishing it on Smashwords. They seem to believe they’re going to be bigger and better than Amazon. Just smile and nod.
  • Send your book to reviewers and review sites yourself. Don’t pay for reviews, as this could get you kicked off Amazon for life. Of the 1,000 sites you send a review request to, about 10 will say they’ll review it and 2 will. However, don’t believe the scare tactic of “Reviews are the only way to sell books! Ooooh!” It’s not true. I’ve sold 250 copies with one review. I would rather get them organically than pander.
  • Trying to size book covers correctly is the devil.
  • If you’re not a super-duper popular author, the only real reason to produce a paperback copy of your book is so you can buy insanely discounted copies for yourself to not sell to people who don’t want them (also so you can run a Goodreads giveaway because you can only give away physical books).
  • Just keep writing.

So that’s my two-month report. The second book in the series, White Witch Magic, will come out February 21st and I’ve already racked up a wonderful 16 presales for it! I’m a superstar!

Book Sale!

Black Mountain Magic is on sale for just 99 cents right now at all retailers! Get it cheap for the holidays!

Black Mountain Magic – Kentucky Haints #1

Witches and Lycans and hillbillies, oh my!

Lorena Mills is a witch, but she’s not very good with potions and incantations. Working for a government agency that puts down dangerous uprisings of supernatural creatures, she does much more paperwork than spell casting. When her less-than-magical job lands her in the small Appalachian town of Blue Ditch, Kentucky, in the shadow of Black Mountain, her life starts to get a whole lot wilder.

In the forests surrounding the town, Wolvites—twisted, bestial creatures who hunt and kill humans—are posing a threat. When handsome, charming, and altogether reckless local Deacon Kelley insists on taking matters into his own hands, Lorena has more than monsters to worry about. He won’t stay out of her way, and he won’t take no for an answer.

Deacon is a Lycan–in modern terms, the non-shifting descendants of werewolves–and he and his family have protected Blue Ditch for generations. But now, something too sinister to be controlled by their efforts alone is stirring, and the Wolvites are far more vicious than they’ve ever been. Will Lorena be able to stop the threat and uncover the deadly secrets surrounding it before it’s too late?

To keep the town, and Deacon, safe, she’ll have to—and she’s really starting to like this town.

Read the first chapter

Buy it at:

Amazon| Barnes & NobleKobo | Smashwords | iBooks

Gatlinburg

Today my heart and thoughts go out to the people of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, who were devastated by wildfires over Monday night and Tuesday morning, resulting in almost all of Gatlinburg being burnt to the ground. The destruction is terrible and many people lost their homes and livelihoods. Unfortunately, most major news outlets barely gave any airtime to the story, instead continuing to rattle on ridiculously about politics. I find it disgraceful that most people had to rely on the internet for any information at all. I’ve never been to the area, but it looks beautiful.

If you would like to know ways you can help, here is an extensive list of places and charities taking physical and monetary donations.

Release Day Is Almost Here!

My first self-published release, Black Mountain Magic, will come out on Tuesday! I’m really excited about it. You can pre-order a copy at all major online retailers right now if you like.

I’ve learned a whole bunch of stuff on my first self-publishing excursion. I’ll share with you some of those lessons, if you’re planning on doing the same and still need advice:

Thing I’ve Learned About Self-Publishing

  • Use a simple, non-fancy font on your cover flat. I learned this the hard way, after I received copies of it. The cover flat is the back and front of your physical book, that you upload to a place like CreateSpace. The font I used for the blurb on the back looks wonky. No one I’ve shown the book to so far has even noticed it, but it bothers ME, so I’m in the process of re-doing it. Making a cover flat and getting it to fit right is harder than you think. You might have to tinker with it over and over again.
  • Don’t be afraid of reviewers. I sent my book to a bunch of reviewers pre-release and some of them actually said they’d review it! I found them through reviewers who had reviewed my traditionally published works, as well as through the tour service I do blog tours for, and Manic Readers. You can also just Google ‘book reviews (your genre).’ Make sure you read each reviewer’s guidelines for submitting books and MOST will tell you if they review self-pubbed works.
  • Have a Goodreads giveaway! This is only possible if you have physical copies of the book to give away, since you can’t do an e-book giveaway. It’s free, and tons of people have entered my giveaway, much to my surprise. A large portion of those people also added it to their to-read shelf and a few pre-ordered.
  • If you publish through Smashwords, they will distribute your book to places like Kobo and B&N as well. I didn’t even realize this. Whoops.
  • If you don’t publish through Smashwords and use Nook’s self-publishing platform, you can’t put your book up for pre-order. However, if it’s distributed by Smashwords, you can do pre-order on Nook.
  • Most people have no idea your book is self-published unless you tell them. I haven’t had a single person ask who my publisher is. Most people don’t buy books based on the publisher, either (unless they’re looking for books from a publisher-specific imprint).
  • If you made your own cover, don’t tell people. Let them see it first and get their honest reaction before you tell them. 😉 I was pleased so many people exclaimed “oh, I love the cover!” only then did I buff my nails and do a little bragging.
  • Don’t check your sales obsessively. Seriously, doooooon’t.

I’ll come back AFTER it goes on sale and I’ve had a little experience with that and let you know what else I’ve learned. I’m sure there will be plenty!

A new release!

Well, I’ve gone and pulled the trigger on my self-publishing endeavors! I’m really excited about this venture and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I’ve had a crash course in formatting documents for various types of book files, but it wasn’t too frustrating. Okay, I lie, there was definitely some hair-pulling involved–but next time it’ll go smoother because I know what I’m doing now, right? Right?!

I’m proud of how the cover turned out, too. It was far less frustrating to create, I think because I knew exactly what I wanted ahead of time and I’d found the perfect picture (that being my sassy yet sultry heroine). The story is a bit of a twist on shifter romance with a southern flavor and a dash of humor.

I’ve decided to release it on November 15th (just in time for holiday buying!) and I’ve put it on pre-order at all major retailers. It will eventually be on B&N if you’re a Nook fan, but Nook’s self-publishing service takes longer before you’re approved and can put books up. As soon as it’s available on Nook, I will add the link. Nook is now available and added below!

I will be doing some promotional stuff and giveaways in the near future and after it’s released. If you like to review books of this sort, or have a friend who does, please let me know here or shoot me an email, I will be happy to provide you with a review copy! This is a full-length book, 270 pages.


Black Mountain Magic – Kentucky Haints #1

Available November 15th

Witches and Lycans and hillbillies, oh my!

Lorena Mills is a witch, but she’s not very good with potions and incantations. Working for a government agency that puts down dangerous uprisings of supernatural creatures, she does much more paperwork than spell casting. When her less-than-magical job lands her in the small Appalachian town of Blue Ditch, Kentucky, in the shadow of Black Mountain, her life starts to get a whole lot wilder.

In the forests surrounding the town, Wolvites—twisted, bestial creatures who hunt and kill humans—are posing a threat. When handsome, charming, and altogether reckless local Deacon Kelley insists on taking matters into his own hands, Lorena has more than monsters to worry about. He won’t stay out of her way, and he won’t take no for an answer.

Deacon is a Lycan–in modern terms, the non-shifting descendants of werewolves–and he and his family have protected Blue Ditch for generations. But now, something too sinister to be controlled by their efforts alone is stirring, and the Wolvites are far more vicious than they’ve ever been. Will Lorena be able to stop the threat and uncover the deadly secrets surrounding it before it’s too late?

To keep the town, and Deacon, safe, she’ll have to—and she’s really starting to like this town.

Pre-order at:

Amazon | Barnes & NobleKobo | Smashwords | iBooks