9

Happy Monday everyone! I’m popping onto the blog with some good news today–I had another book accepted for publication! Somehow, in the midst of my currently chaotic life, I managed to get another book published (granted, it was submitted back before things got truly chaotic). This is lucky number 13 for me. I can hardly believe it! After years and years of being utterly convinced I’d never be a “real writer” I’ve accomplished so much it boggles my mind. 2018 has been the most successful year for my writing career so far.

So, can I be rich and famous now?

I kid, I kid. I just feel very grateful and blessed that I’ve managed to do as much as I have, and I’m going to continue working at it, even if I never get to quit my stressful day job. I’d keep writing even if I never made another dime from it. I love writing, and I love doing it for the sake of doing it.

This book is the first in a new paranormal series set in…wait for it…Iceland! I’m still working on my contemporary Man Catalog series, but paranormal romance is my first love and I knew I’d come back to it eventually. I’m just trying to vary my writing a bit to keep my mind sharp and I’m having a lot of fun with it, as well. Still, I knew the spooky things would draw me back in.

The funny thing about this book is I wrote it BEFORE I went to Iceland this summer. The country and the scenery plays a huge part in the story, and I literally described it and created the settings by using the imagery in Google Maps. I finished the book and sent it off before we went on our trip, or literally, before we had even solidified we were going on the trip. So when I got to Iceland I was like “oh please, don’t let the stuff I described be utterly wrong.” I was amazed to find all the sites I used were absolutely spot on in their descriptions–it was almost eerie. I felt like I had been standing in those places before, even though it was my first time there. Google Maps is a godsend! The power of technology is amazing. I’m also a very visual writer, so just seeing a picture helps me tremendously.

Anyway, the book is tentatively set for release in November–I’ll keep you updated! Everyone have a great day!

White Witch Magic, the sequel to Black Mountain Magic, will be released this Tuesday, February 21st! To celebrate, right now until the end of February, you can get Black Mountain Magic from Smashwords for only 99 cents. Just input the code “CD94D” when you check out!

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.

Learn More/Buy | Get it for 99 cents at Smashwords with code CD94D

 

We need peace in the valley, y’all.

City girl and unpracticed witch Lorena Mills never dreamed she’d be living in a small Appalachian town in the backwoods of Kentucky, but here she is. Mated to a handsome, brash, and sometimes aggravating Lycan named Deacon Kelley, she’s slowly becoming a better witch and more of a backwoods kind of gal.

Lorena’s job in the town of Blue Ditch is to study the creatures known as Wolvites—once thought to be feral, mindless beasts, now known to have human forms—in an effort to advance science and magic. However, when Lorena is kidnapped by the nefarious witch Neala, who once tried to destroy Deacon’s family, she discovers she doesn’t know nearly enough about either subject. Neala wants Lorena to cure her Wolvite mate Dafydd of a quick-killing virus that is ravaging their species: except, there is no cure. Lorena has to find one, and fast, or the Wolvites will slaughter Deacon’s family.

Forced to work with the Wolvites, Lorena learns about their culture and gains sympathy for them, thanks to a kinder, gentler, diplomatic Wolvite named Kendrick who would like to see an end to the violence. Lorena would love to facilitate peace between the Wolvites and Lycans, but is such a thing even possible?

If she wants to keep Deacon—and his family, and the entire town of Blue Ditch—safe, she’s going to have to find a way. Good thing her powers may be stronger than she ever imagined…

Learn more/Pre-order

Have a great weekend!

 

2

Just a reminder, Black Mountain Magic will be 99 cents through the rest of the weekend before it goes back to full price on Monday. So if you’d like a copy–cheap–get it while it’s hot!

Also, remember you can get an Authorgraph for this or any of my books!

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.

Buy it at:

Amazon| Barnes & NobleKobo | Smashwords | iBooks

 

Have a great weekend!

10

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!

13

I’ve made a big important decision about my writing career, and I thought I would share it with all of you today. After much thought and consideration (and a lot of research), I’ve decided to make some changes that feel right, and I think I’m finally in a good place to make them.

I’ve decided to become a hybrid author.

What the heck is that?

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, no, I won’t be splicing my genes with some other author to make myself into some sort of weird book-writing chimera. A hybrid author is an author who is both traditionally and self-published. It’s something a lot of the hip kids are doing now, as it gives an author more creative options. I am currently only traditionally published, but that’s about to change.

Why have I made this decision? Here are a few reasons:

  • I have an established readership/following now. It’s small, but it’s mine, dammit! Hopefully through my already established social media presence and this blog, I can show up to the self-published party without worrying that not a single person will have any idea who I am. I’ll have a few people to mingle and eat cake with in the corner.
  • I want greater creative and career freedom. I don’t just mean with what I write (I’m still sticking to largely paranormal romance and some smutty stuff here and there) but also as far as covers, distribution, and promotion. I have some graphic design ability (check out my Twitter, Facebook, and G+ accounts for my graphics-making chops) and with a stock photo account in hand and some visions in my head, I think I can make myself some pretty killer covers that I’ll cherish.
  • I’ve gotten better at writing. I’m not as green in the self-editing and plotting arena as I used to be when I was a wee writer. This does NOT mean I won’t still make use of beta readers and professional editors, but I think (or hope) I know enough now not to make a fool of myself.
  • I know the business side of writing a lot better than I used to. I also learned all I could about self-publishing platforms, pricing, and formatting.
  • Even if the whole venture flops, I’ll still be ahead. My income from writing now is minimal, so even if the response to my self-published work is lukewarm, I’ll probably be making about what I am now with traditional publishers. But if it does even slightly better than lackluster…I’ll be ahead!

I’m excited about this experiment. I want to be my own boss, so to speak, even if my employee is a pain in the butt. Will I continue to publish traditionally? Of course. I just want to open my options.

Additionally, I’m going to be making a major overhaul to my woefully neglected newsletter. As soon as my first self-pubbed book comes out (details soon) I will be offering free stories as an incentive to those who sign up. Those kind few of you who are already signed up, I will make sure to contact you to offer you these free stories as well!

I’m a little nervous and a lot eager. Watch this space for lots of news in the near future!