Friday, January 29, 2016

Guest Post: Louise Herman @AuthorLHerman

Let's welcome author Louise Herman. he is here to talk about the ups and downs of self-publishing. Keep reading and find more about her and her books.
Guest Post: The Economics of Self-Publishing a Book

Introduction
Hello everyone, and I hope you are enjoying the week.

I have decided to take a week’s respite from writing the third book in my YA urban fantasy series, Split Blood, to catch up with author interview and guest post requests. I am looking forward to discussing my thoughts and opinions on the economics of self-publishing a book as well as giving some advice on what aspects of self-publishing is essential to a budget and what I have experienced as a waste of time and money.

Why did I decide to Self-Publish my books?

I would love to say it was a choice, however, after I sent a number of emails to literary agents and received no replies, I decided to close my eyes and jump straight into the self-publishing ocean.

It was nerve-racking at first because I had no idea about self-publishing but after a lot of research and learning from my mistakes along the way, I am enjoying the self-publishing journey.

What are the common misconceptions of self-publishing?

I think the biggest misconception about self-publishing is anyone can publish a successful book in today’s technological world.

For example, you have a great idea for a story, you get so engrossed in writing it, you take the leap and self-publish it on the internet and then you sit back and wait for the big bucks to start rolling in, along with literary agents fighting to represent you, right?

Not quite!

The reality is only a handful of self-published authors break even (the total cost of publishing against the profits of the sales, after each website has taken its percentage) and if you do not have a regular presence on social media sites then you could find it difficult to be seen and network with influential people who can help potential readers find your books.

These people are bloggers and reviewers.

I have built up a good relationship with many bloggers and have added them to my list of 'Go to People' when I need to do author interviews (to discuss my past, present and future. This is not all about promoting my work. It is for potential readers to get to know the person behind the books), Guest Posts (topics related to writing that are important to me) and Spotlights (a full discussion about myself, my work and upcoming projects).

It's also fun to communicate with these bloggers because it is a two way process. They advertise an author on their blog and social media sites, therefore, as an author, I also do the same (I will post the promotional item on my blog, which advertises their blog to my followers, and on my social media sites).

However, not all bloggers work the same way.

Some specialise purely in reviews but some are open to other forms of promotion.

I have found that trying to get reviews can be quite hard because many are overwhelmed with requests and often close their review request channels until they can catch up with the backlog.

While others will state they do not accept requests from self-published authors, with some going as far as to state that they have a problem with the quality of the self-published books they have previously read.

I used to find this slightly insulting but when you take into consideration that they are doing these reviews for free, they should be allowed to have an opinion on what types of books they want to review.

NOTE: Reviews are usually free and reviewers usually have full or part time jobs but review in their spare time. This means try to give at least three months’ notice to your reviewer. If you are asked to pay for a review, try somewhere else! Not only is a slightly frowned upon in the self-publishing industry but it's just an unnecessary, extra cost to your ever rising budget!

What are the advantages of self-publishing?

I like that I have the opportunity to learn about online publishing first hand and that I have the chance to communicate with a range of people with similar interests.

I learn something new every week to help enhance my writing and advertising skills and I really enjoy having full control over every aspect of publishing my books.

What are the challenges of self-publishing?

Although I enjoy having full control over publishing my books, I do sometimes think that it would be nice to have a literary agent to help take on some of the advertising tasks because having full time job, restricts the time I can dedicate to writing and sometimes the advertising infringes on the writing time.

I have also found that it takes a lot of work and effort to gain a strong following. I write Young Adult Urban Fantasy novels, which is a popular genre and I have found that it is extremely difficult to get new followers interested in looking at my new pieces of work if there are no reviews to give them an inclination of how the book has been received by other readers.

There will be potential readers and followers who will read the synopsis and give the books a try but there are some who use reviews to help them decide whether or not it is the kind of story they would enjoy reading.

It is the latter type of follower that bad reviews can affect your potential sales.

Some reviews that are lower than five stars can be disheartening to an author but if they offer constructive criticism (e.g. "there was too much fighting in it") then it could be a case of what one person dislikes about the storyline, another reader maybe looking for this type of drama.

However, if they give you one star because they "just couldn't read it because you should never write again", it offers nothing to a potential reader about the story and many would not take this type of review seriously.

And lastly, I have given out copies of my eBooks for a review in the past, only to be disappointed to never receive one.

It is disheartening but all these things are part of the learning process and have helped me focus on what works and avoid what wastes time and money.

What are the costs to publish your own book?

Here are the basics of what it cost me to self-publish my first book (The Orcus Games: Blood Moon):

- Book cover artist: This is difficult because it depends on the type of cover you want? You can get book cover images from a variety of stock photography sites and prices vary on each site. For a basic book cover with an image that does not need to be edited and text, I would estimate between £50 and £150.

- Proof-reader or Copy Editor: Between £600 and £1,000 (depending on word count, how many hours it takes them to work on the book and how much work the book needs).

- eBook Conversation Costs: If you cannot convert your eBooks yourselves then it might be worth getting a professional to do this for you. I convert my books myself but I have received quotes in the past for this type of work and the prices were between £50 and £150.

- Distribution costs (for reviewers who only accept hard copies): I have heard that some websites do give a small discount to authors who buy their own books but I am yet to find these sites. Therefore you would be paying the same price as a customer to purchase your paperback books to send to reviewers. Many authors buy in bulk for this purpose and can spend between £599 and £1099 for an order of 100 books.

- URL for website: Having your own website is essential for an author and you can buy domain names from nearly anywhere on the internet at the moment.

I have a website through Fat Cow and bought my URL through them as soon as I set it up.

It cost me approximately £8.99 to buy the domain name + £60 for the year (with added extras).

However, different extensions can either increase or decrease the cost (e.g. com, co.uk, org. Etc.)

- Publishing sites percentages (correct as of January 2016):

* Amazon: There are two royalty options.

- Option 1: Keep 70% of the royalties. However this option is only available to books sold in a specific territory of countries set out by Amazon Kindle. Any books sold outside of these regions will give you a 35% royalty.

- Option 2: Keep 35% of the royalties. This is the standard royalty rate.

* Smashwords: (correct as of January 2016),

"Smashwords authors and publishers earn 85% or more of the net proceeds from the sale of their works. Net proceeds to author = (sales price minus PayPal payment processing fees)*.85 for sales at Smashwords.com, our retail operation. Authors receive 70.5% for affiliate sales. Smashwords distributes books to most of the major retailers, including Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and smaller retailers.  Sales originated by retailers earn authors/publishers 60% of the list price."


Lulu prides itself on working on a 90/10 royalty split, therefore if you have published your book after 6th September 2011 and it is priced at $1.24 or higher then you can qualify for a 90% royalty revenue. 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to self-publish their first book?

There might be something I have missed out because every week I am learning something new about the self-publishing world but so far I have eight tips that would help a new author get started:

- Test it out on free sites like Wattpad first to see if there is an audience for it and find Beta readers in these groups to help highlight elements that may need extra attention (e.g. such as continuity issues, plot holes, creating believable characters or scenes, etc.)

- Build up a following and make amendments based on the feedback

- Get a professional book cover artist (unless you are good with graphics software or you are a good artist)

- Get your work proofread or copy edited

- Publish on the main publishing sites

- Build up a group of regular reviewers

- Be active on social media (not just to talk about the book but share your interests and get involved in group discussions)

- Remember success doesn’t happen overnight (it could take years), so continue with your passion and never give up!




Louise Herman is a North London Fantasy author obsessed with pear drops sweets and 80s Fantasy films.

In between reading James Herbert novels and drinking too much coffee, she writes Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance novels.

Louise Herman has currently written five YA Fantasy books to date (December 2015); The Orcus Games Prequel Trilogy and The Split Blood series, which take the reader on a journey of magic, mystery, obsession and forbidden love with seductively dark consequences.

For more information, please go to: www.louisehermanauthor.com





Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blog Tour: Defenseless @AuthorCMichaels

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TITLE: Defenseless
AUTHOR: Corinne Michaels
RELEASE DATE: January 19th 2015
FORMAT: Paperback & ebook
SOURCE: complimentary copy in 


My life is a secret.His life is dangerous.We’re both stubborn, calculating, and controlling.Mark Dixon doesn’t know what he’s getting into. He doesn’t know his games could cost us our lives. I have to do what is necessary to keep us alive, and that means guarding my heart.But I know I’m defenseless against him, and in the end, he’ll force me to surrender.

View Defenseless Trailer HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxTYjKDKndQ

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Defenseless
Copyright © 2016 Corinne Michaels
All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written consent of the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author or publisher.

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Meet Mark Dixon in Defenseless,  the newest contemporary romance from Corinne Michaels!

Barnes & Noble➜  http://bit.ly/1XP2huY


“I made you a promise, Charlie.” Mark’s already deep voice is layered with desire.
Once again, my control begins to slip. “What’s that?”
His hands drop a little lower beside my head. His lower body shifts so his knee is between my legs. I feel his arousal against my thigh.
My traitorous body shows its own awakening. My nipples hardening through the silk material don’t go unnoticed. Heat pools in my core and my breath hitches. I want him. There’s no use denying it.
“I told you I’d kiss you again. If you don’t stop me now, there’s no getting away.”
I should stop him. I need to stop him. There’s no way in hell it’s going to happen, though. I’m craving his lips again.
He gives me one second before he crushes his mouth against mine. His entire body shifts forward, and now I’m trapped. There’s nowhere to go. Nowhere to move that’s not Mark. He takes every part of my mind and body. Our hands roam each other as his tongue slides against mine. Passion ignites between us; it sets the room on fire. His fingers cup my neck and then glide down the front of my dress. His hand brands my skin as he takes his time exploring the open skin between us.
My fingers grip the lapels of his tux, holding him, molding him to me. I can’t get close enough. Our mouths stay fused as we both lose control.
Then my mind snaps.
I push back and my hands fly to my lips. They’re swollen, bruised from the force of the kiss. His hands brace against the wall. I keep my eyes downcast. I can’t believe I just did that, against the damn wall, at a ball commemorating my father.
I shift my dress, rake my fingers through my hair, and pull myself together.
“Charlie . . .” Mark finally speaks. It sounds like shouting even though it’s only loud enough for us to hear.
“That was the last time that will ever happen,” I say with no tremor to my voice. “Tonight we become partners. It’s not about whatever this is.” I shift my hands between us. “It’s about finding the information we’re both searching for.”
“And what if we find something else?”
“We shut it down. There’s no room for feelings in this world.”
Mark pushes back, giving me space. I instantly feel cold. “Okay, then. Have it your way.”
This is what I wanted, what we both need, but suddenly I wish it wasn’t. I wish I could pull him close, kiss him, fuck him, and just feel.
But wishes are for little girls.

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corrinne bio.jpgCorinne Michaels is an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. She’s happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness.
Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn’t ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha Navy SEALs are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.
Contact Corinne:



‘Defenseless’ is a stand-alone book written by the amazing Corinne Michaels. Yes, you’ve read right is a stand-alone which means no cliffhangers and tears at the end waiting for the next book. However, the book has as much power and romance as any duet written by her. This is a concentrated dose of love, adrenaline, sexiness, and surprises.

This time is the turn of Mark (“Twilight”) and Charlie. The story takes places a year after the events that took place during the ‘Consolidation Duet’. Charlie is CIA agent who is after a dangerous terrorist guilty of murdering her father. She and Mark will have to work together to discover who is behind the attacks to their friends and why. The story has a different tone than other books by Corinne because this time both characters are accustomed to danger. Both Mark and Charlie are fearless and take their job seriously. They will do what it’s takes to achieve their goals. There is more action torture, blood, chasing and the adrenaline is always pumping.

There is an undeniable attraction and the tension is too high. The sex scenes are steamy and hot. The temperature goes to the roof whenever they are alone. There were scenes that remind me of ‘Beloved’, especially when they are behaving as stubborn kids and deny their feelings.

As usual, the writing is flawless and the story is really appealing. It’s easy to get lost in the reading and forgetting about the real world.

It definitely can be read as a stand-alone book but we have glimpses of the other characters we love so much. There is one event we have been waiting since reading the first book that was beautiful and emotional (I'm sure fans know what I'm talking about).

Monday, January 25, 2016

Book Blast: The Proving @KenBrosky


The Proving (1)


The Proving 
by Ken Brosky 
Proving Ken


It's been 100 years since the Specters invaded Earth. Like ghosts they haunt the planet, devouring any human being foolish enough to venture outside of the last remaining protected cities. For some humans, venturing out isn't a choice--it's an opportunity to prove yourself to your clan. But when a coterie of New Adults undertaking a mission deep in Specter territory discover a terrible secret, they quickly find that everything they've learned may be wrong ... and Earth is in grave danger.


add to goodreads

amazon get it


Skye took a deep breath, held it, then forced it out quickly between her pursed lips. The loud whistle seemed ear-splitting, jolting her nerves — too late to change her mind now, she twisted her body, her boots digging into the gravel as she fell back and faced the farming contraptions. She lifted her rifle, seeing the Specter’s strange glow change, move, and then without warning its crocodile face emerged from the body of the large machine. Its mouth opened. Cleo fell back, screaming. A claw phased through, reaching out for Skye. She fired her rifle. The blue proton bullet tore through the creature’s arm, sending yellow sparks fluttering like butterflies into the air. The Specter’s mouth opened wide, revealing sharp, finger-length teeth, so close that Skye could see their serrated edges.

   
50_Amazon_Paypal

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/15/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Spotlight: DEBT @RachelDAuthor



99c Pre-Order Sale



DEBT
By Rachel Dunning


The Debt Collector
 I pay my debts, and I expect others to.
I was raised in the slums of London, I knew nothing of privilege. My father was murdered when I was seventeen. Morty figured my father's passing meant I would automatically take on dad's debts. I refused.
And I paid for that refusal.
So did my sister.
So now I fight. All I know how to do is fight. The best cash is in the states, so that's where I am now. A big fish called Vito came along offering me a "favor" when I arrived.
Another debt.
I paid for that one too.
I knew Kyla Hensley would be trouble when I met her. But I wanted her. I could see through the falsehood of her wannabe-slutty clothes and her sexy legs. So I chased her.
Besides, trouble is my middle name.
Kyla Hensley
I was brought up in privilege, but I lacked everything else. My father is a business tycoon who buys and sells and doesn't care who gets rolled over in the process.
I never knew my mother, and all I have of her is a photo with a note scrawled on the back in French saying "I'm sorry." The only Female Figure I had growing up is my dad's wife who is a bleach blond with seven boob jobs. We never bonded.
I drink. I party. I meet guys.
But I wasn't always like that.
I've had a string of lovers in the last few years, the worst and most recent of which was Vince Somerset. My best friend Vera was dating a guy called Rory Cansoom who is the opposite of Vince in so many ways, and yet so the same.
She and I hit the road for spring break, getting away from the two college psychos and just trying to have some fun.
But there's a funny thing about trouble, the more you run from it, the more it finds you.
Which is when I met the Debt Collector.
It was only supposed to be sex. He made that clear. I made that clear.
That's all it was supposed to be.
I never expected to fall in love. I never expected to fall so deeply, madly, uncomfortably in love with a man who is wrong, so wrong for me.
And yet...so unbelievably right.

Content WarningNot intended for readers under the age of seventeen.

Over 400 Pages - Standalone Novel
New-Adult Romance / Sports Romance
Genres: New-Adult Romance - Sports Romance


Expected Release Date:
March 2016


Rachel Dunning hit the scene in August 2013 and is the author of the highly praised Naive Mistakes Series, Truthful Lies Trilogy, Johnny Series and the paranormal romance series, Mind Games.

A prolific writer, she sticks to stories where Alpha Males aren’t pricks and where women have guts.
She’s lived on two different continents, speaks three different languages, and met the love of her life on the internet. In other words, romance is in her blood.

Get Rachel’s Newsletter

Sign up for Rachel’s Newsletter and never miss a release or a special.


Where Else to Find Rachel

Blog / Website: http://www.rdunning.com
Barnes and Nobel: http://bit.ly/RachelDunningBN






Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Release Blitz: Defenseless @AuthorCMichaels


defenseless release blitz.jpg

defenseless it's live.jpg
Meet Mark Dixon in Defenseless,  the newest contemporary romance from Corinne Michaels!

Now Available!

Barnes & Noble➜  http://bit.ly/1XP2huY




defenseless cover.jpg

Blurb

My life is a secret.
His life is dangerous.
We’re both stubborn, calculating, and controlling.
Mark Dixon doesn’t know what he’s getting into. He doesn’t know his games could cost us our lives. I have to do what is necessary to keep us alive, and that means guarding my heart.
But I know I’m defenseless against him, and in the end, he’ll force me to surrender.

defenseless teaser 3.jpg

About the Author

corrinne bio.jpg

Corinne Michaels is an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. She’s happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness.
Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn’t ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha Navy SEALs are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.
Contact Corinne


THANK YOU!

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