Thursday, December 29, 2011

December Indie Cover Art Poll- Vote and W * I * N 16 E-Books

Vote for your favourite from the fabulous list below and be put in a draw where you can win 16 e-books! One book from each of the authors who participate and one from me, the host of the poll. From me you can choose either Sundered or my new release, Dark Waters (Neither of which are a part of the actual voting).

You can only choose 1 cover as your favourite and you can only get a single entry, no matter how many times you comment.

The winner will be announced on January 5th and entries will be taken until midnight December 31st.

The winning cover art will then be displayed on all the other author’s blogs who have participated this month for a minimum of 1 blog post.

If you’d like to have your cover art involved in the January Indie Cover Art Poll, send the cover, a short blurb and one link to

Don't forget to leave your email address when you vote. Now, let the voting begin!

**If you are going to leave an Anonymous comment you MUST put in your email for the vote to count**

Lennie Cook’s father disappeared when she was a child, leaving her alone to survive her mother’s descent into alcoholism. After her mother’s death, a letter surfaces among her mother’s things, giving Lennie her first clue to her father’s fate. He has taken the “iron road” to protect Lennie from a mysterious legacy that has haunted the Cook family for more than a century. Torn between anger and longing for her missing father, Lennie resolves to find him and learn the truth.

But when Lennie follows her father into a world of trains, hobos, prophecy, gangbangers, mythical beings, railroad detectives, and a living, breathing Fate, she finds that the truth is more horrific than she ever imagined. To save her father – and save the world – she must defeat Fenrir and right the wrongs of her ancestor.

To learn more click on --> # 1

When shy and retiring Llandry Sanfaer discovers a mesmerising new gemstone, she suddenly becomes the most famous jeweller across the Seven Realms. Demand for the coveted stone escalates fast; when people begin dying for it, Llandry finds that she herself has become a target.

Lady Evastany Glostrum has her life in pristine order. Prestigious, powerful and wealthy, she is on the verge of crowning her successes with the perfect marriage. But when her closest friend is murdered for the jewellery she wears, Eva is drawn into the mystery surrounding the curious "istore" gem.

To learn more click on --> # 2

A dark power described in Genesis revisits a small mountain town.

A journalist who witnessed an evil presence searches for answers.

He finds a town succumbing to supernatural forces.

Now, an evil prophesy may be fulfilled by the Nephilim.

To learn more click on --> # 3

Marcila doesn't fit in on her home island of Slinaria. When she finds out her father abandoned her as a toddler, she goes to the mainland to search for him.

She discovers magic is more than myth and learns wonders beyond comprehension. But when a young caden, a magical creature with unlimited power and a simple mind comes into her life, she cannot ignore the urge to help him.

But there are those who want to kill the peace-loving cadens and bring about their demise. With the help of mages and civilians she meets, she makes plans to stop the caden killings.

To learn more click on --> # 4

Mandy Hardy lost more than a breast to cancer; she lost her fiancé when he dumped her a week before her mastectomy. Her ego bruised and her self-esteem battered, Mandy’s sure she’ll never fall in love again.

Justin Seward is a headstrong Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer with a heart of gold and the supernatural ability to command the seas. He had to hide his feelings while Mandy was engaged to his best friend. Now that she’s free, he’s vowed to make her his.

Together, they may hold the key to each other’s salvation. But when Justin’s past catches up with him, and Mandy’s ex-fiancé wants vengeance, they realize they might not live long enough for happily ever after.

To learn more click on --> # 5

Zoë Merrick wakes up after she is murdered, and is surprised to find she is not only alive - but transformed. Even more unexplainable are the new abilities she has no control over.

It's not until a handsome and arrogant man named Justus walks into her life that Zoë discovers she is no longer human, but like him - a Mage. Forced to trust him, she must come to terms with accepting her new life and identity.

When her immortal freedom is threatened by the one man who has a right to claim her, Zoë learns the price of freedom...and the value of loyalty.

To learn more click on --> # 6

How far would a villain go to help a friend? Lord Arkus of Blackriver Castle thinks doing three heroic deeds is a bit too far.

Not only it’s plain detestable, it can ruin his reputation and get him in trouble with the Villains League. On the other hand, it’s not like he’s got friends to spare. And losing the League’s membership isn’t the end of the world, one can always work independently.

To learn more click on --> # 7

The Aetelia – now known as angels – are returning. Following a fateful night of violence, Matty DiCamillo finds herself drawn into this world by a mysterious savior, who becomes a driving force in Matty’s new life.

Both driven by and fighting the prophecy that lay out her destiny, Matty, her lover Kristy, and her best friend Daniel accompany this mysterious woman on a journey that crosses time and space. Matty soon discovers that her savior may not be what she seems, and that even the denizens of this twilight world have no idea what lurks behind the stage dressing of reality. Matty finds herself racing to rescue the woman she loves and learning that she herself could cause the Universe’s day of reckoning.

To learn more click on --> # 8

Today electricity is delivered wirelessly, a technological revolution that saved the world from a drastic energy shortage. One company has the monopoly to deliver this power through the air, but this stranglehold thrusts thousands of cities and millions of people into an eternal blackout.

Luke Kincaid’s hometown wasn’t the first to be forced off the grid, but when the blackout leads directly to his parent’s deaths, Luke has just one company and one man to blame. It’s time to fight back.

To learn more click on --> # 9

In the west the ancient empire of Prast crumbles, an old man too sick to climb out of his deathbed. In the east an upstart nation of sun worshipers spread their heathen ways, swallowing up city-states and small kingdoms as they tread ever closer to Prast’s borders. War is inevitable. A war greater and more bloodthirsty than any seen since the old gods left the world.
And yet, war is as nothing compared to the greatest danger.

The Shadowland.

Only one man carries the key to stopping the Shadowland’s progress. A man battered and scarred from his years alone in its deadly grasp. To stop it he must first make a friend of his greatest enemy…

To learn more click on --> # 10

Annie Hynes is a tomboy. Naïve and love-starved, she’ll soon to be celebrating her big 3-0. Something needs to be done! Celi, her guardian angel appears to help kick-start Annie’s big change. Annie becomes embroiled with new associates and hooked on the power of big business. Unfortunately, overwork forces her to ignore old friends, and her lapse places someone she cares about in terrible danger.

Social Worker, Tyler Jones, signals disinterest in women, and only wants Annie in his life as a good buddy, and to help with his mixed-up street kids. Perversely, once her life alters, he misses her like hell. In one sweet night of loving everything changes. But, due to an overabundance of nightcaps, she doesn’t remember the night he can’t forget.

To learn more click on --> #11

J.J. Graves has seen a lot of dead bodies in her line of work...

She's not only in the mortuary business, but she's also the coroner for King George County, Virginia. When a grisly murder is discovered in the small town of Bloody Mary, it's up to J.J. and her best friend, Detective Jack Lawson, to bring the victim justice.

When a popular mystery writer shows up on J.J.'s doorstep with plans of writing his new book about the Bloody Mary Serial Killer, J.J. has to decide if he might be going above and beyond the call of duty to create the spine tingle’s he's so well known for.

J.J and Jack discover each victim had a shocking secret—secrets that make her a perfect target in a deadly game.

To learn more click on --> # 12

When Leila moves to her new home, all she wants is a family, a place to belong. Instead she discovers the local ancient myths of the telesa spirit women are more than just scary stories. The more she finds out about her heritage, the more sinister her new home turns out to be. Embraced by a Covenant Sisterhood of earth's elemental guardians - what will Leila choose? Her fiery birthright as a telesa? Or will she choose the boy who offers her his heart? Daniel - stamped with the distinctive tattoo markings of a noble Pacific warrior and willing to risk everything for the chance to be with her. Can their love stand against the Covenant Keeper?

To learn more click on --> # 13

Callie is shocked when she is ripped from her home in the middle of the night. She is taken to a city that she never knew existed only to find that she is actually a fairy. Not just any fairy, but one destined to become queen of the fairies.

The only problem is the current queen is a cruel tyrant and Callie will have to fight for the title that she was meant for. She would love nothing more than to go back to being the normal human girl that she always thought that she was. When tragedy strikes, Callie finds that she no longer knows who she can trust. She must learn to survive on her own, dealing with the struggles of life and love for the first time. Will it be more than she can bear?

To learn more click on --> # 14

Cursed with endless drowsiness, Enchantress Hiresha sleeps more than she lives. Since she never has had a chance to raise a family, she sometimes feels like every woman is pregnant except for her. This time, she is right.
From virgin to grandmother, all the women in her city have conceived. One unexpected pregnancy is a drama; fifty thousand is citywide hysteria.
A lurking sorcerer drains power from the unnatural pregnancies, and Hiresha must track him by his magic. Unfortunately, her cultured education in enchantment ill equips her to understand his spellcraft, which is decidedly less than proper. The only person uncivilized enough to help is the Lord of the Feast, a dangerous yet charming illusionist. Associating with him may imperil Hiresha’s city, yet refusing his help will allow the sorcerer to leech godlike power from the mass births

To learn more click on --> # 15

Review Dark Waters- Celtic Legacy, and W * I * N B * I * G

To celebrate the release of Dark Waters I am going to have a review drive, just like I did for Sundered.

Only this time, the Grand Prize is cold, hard, Amazon Gift Certificates.

$150 to one luck winner, and 5 $10 gift certificates to runners up.

How do you get in on this fabulous contest? There’s no purchase necessary, you can sign up for my NEWSLETTER (Which only goes out once a month) to get 1 entry into this contest. How do you sign up? You can leave a comment below with your email, you can email me at to tell me you want to be a part of my newsletter OR you can sign up off my Facebook Fan Page.

Want another free entry? “Like” my Facebook Fan page and I’ll give you an additional entry.

Now, you can get EVEN MORE entries just by purchasing Dark Waters. (Which by the way is only .99 for the last 3 days of 2011) Email me your POP for 10 entries into the contest.

Write me a review on Amazon, email me the link, and get an additional 20 entries!!

Phew. That’s a lot of chances to win, so good luck, and happy reading.

This contest is open internationally, and will run from December 29th/2011 – January 29th 2012. Winners
will be announced February 5th 2012.

*All reviews and purchase links NOT emailed to me will NOT be entered into the contest.*

*Entries through Facebook and the Newsletter sign up need not send any additional emails in order to be entered into the contest*

Thursday, December 22, 2011

#IndieBookBlowout Final thoughts

I was lucky enough to be a part of IBB 12 days of Christmas Event which has been a total blast! If you haven't checked it out yet, you should. Like, immediately following the reading of this post! ;p

By Ryan Bibby-
With that in mind, there are TONS of great books, Sundered included in that list that are only .99. In fact, in order to win the Kindle, all you have to do is sign up for their newsletter, which gives you even more chances to win. It's Crazy, I know.

But, anyway, on to the meat of the post. Was the money I put out for the promotion worth it?

I paid for the $100 level, which gave me good exposure, an optimization class which if you read my previous posts(Why your Cover Sucks and it's Killing your sales), you can see the results with my HUGE cover change, it's given me a chance to rub elbows with a Kindle Bestselling Author, Carolyn McCray and absorb some of her knowledge, I've met a ton of other authors AND, for once, I didn't have to do ALL the work. :)

So, would I recommend this type of promotion to other authors?

Yes, I would. I've seen my exposure increase along with my sales which is the whole point, right?

IBB has been easy to work with, very much concerned with helping the authors get the most bang for their buck and really, overall, very, very willing to go the extra mile to help.

Psst. Here's the new cover for Bound, since you're here, let me know what you think!

By Ryan Bibby-

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why Your Cover Sucks, AND it's killing your sales

Harsh, I know, but the truth often stings us in our most sensitive bits.

You know, right in our babies, our books, our belief that we have the BEST cover art EVER.

And, it's all a lie.

Now, you have to realize this has ZERO to do with your cover artist. That's right, zero. This problem has to do with YOU (and by you I mean me too) not being able to give your cover artist something to work with.

For instance, my book, Sundered, originally had a very cool cover. This one, right here.

It took TALENT to produce this cover, something I do not have. What I also didn't have was an understanding of what I would NEED to have on the cover in order for it to sell to my MARKET.

This book cover is great, but it really doesn't sell to my market, which is ZOMBIES and monsters. Much as there is a romance in the book, that is just a bonus.

It took some advice from Carolyn McCray, bestselling Kindle author and her Optimization Workshop to set me straight.

What I learned blew my mind. NO, really it did. As proud as I was of Sundered's cover, it wasn't helping me sell my book. It was scaring away potential readers because the book cover said one thing (erotic romance apparently ;) while the blurb said Zombies, Monsters and high action. A contradiction that scared readers off.

So I took Carolyn's advice and had a second cover done. Again, a talented artist, but THIS time, I knew what I was looking for. Zombie, monsters, freaky looking.  I knew my market better, understood what my readers were looking for and I gave it to them.

Now, what did the cover change do for me? It increased sales by 800%. Yes, you read that right.  Because now, what I show my potential readers and what the blurb says MATCHES.

All because I finally had someone tell me the truth. My cover art sucked because I didn't recognize my market and wasn't able to then give the ideas to my artist and it was KILLING my sales.

So, now that you see the two covers together, both by VERY talented artists, what do you think? Which one would you buy?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Indie Book Blowout- Books, Kindles and Cash

This is pretty straight forward. A whole bunch of .99 Indie Authors got together for a couple of promotions and YOU, our readers can double dip on the prizes!

The first site is the 12 Days of Christmas Indie Book Blowout where you have the largest selection of all genres. Lots, and lots of books! And yes, Sundered is there with its NEW COVER. You can win a BRAND NEW KINDLE through this giveaway, just for joining the newsletter!

The Second site is the 12 Days of Christmas Extra, Secret, Special Giveaway where you can enter to win a Kindle Fire OR a $200 Amazon Gift Card! Sundered is here too with the new cover. :)

So what are you waiting for? Go get yourself some prizes!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Saying "Goodbye" to my Agent

Wow, never thought I'd title a post with that.

I know that some of you are grabbing your head in your hands, screaming at the computer. "Why?" I would have been that person not so long ago.

Here's the long and the short of it.

 Advances in traditional market are low right now. Really, really low. Why would I tie up a novel in a one to two year process for $2500 (on a good day) when I could put it out myself; in that two year period make that same money, and then some, on my own? That route doesn't make as much sense as it once did, nor is it as potentially profitable.

 Would you rather chase after a publishing house or have them come to you? I choose to HOPE that by publishing on my own, they will come to me. And if they don't? I'll survive. I'll just need each of you to buy 10 books. ;p

The traditional world of publishing is 1, maybe 2 books a year. With the way things are now, readers don't have the patience they once did to wait for a year. We should be putting out (this is from a kindle bestseller) 3-4 books a year if you want to keep your readers from forgetting about you and moving on to the next authors work.

You'll never get that with a traditional publisher.

Finally, and most importantly, my agent just didn't have time for me, as much as she made a last ditch effort to connect with me. I've been with her for over a year, the last 7 months she's been MIA due to personal issues, but even before that, I was having to dodge her heels to make things happen. That is not my job. My job is to write. I'm grateful she thought well enough of me to take me on, but that isn't enough, not in this market.

So that's it, those are my reasons without getting into the nitty, gritty detailas as to why I left my agent, and am striking out completely on my own. Maybe you have reasons, different than mine, to go indie too?

Monday, December 05, 2011

A book Promotion: What worked, What didn't and Who cashed in.

*This is a couple of days early, but since I had it ready, I decided to announce it today along with the winners*

The quick and dirty version of how the promotion was laid out was this.--> Four books pushed over two days to get their Amazon rankings hopefully high enough that they would catch fire and keep going. What we were hoping for was a snowball effect. If you want the long version of the contest, click here.

How the promo got set up.--> We put a call out for bloggers, asking them to put up a post for us that we would prep ahead of time. All the bloggers had to do was cut and paste. For doing that, the blogger with the most comments on their blog got a $20 Amazon gift card.
There were great prizes and overall it went pretty well.

Here are the numbers.

• 75 bloggers participated

• The top selling book sold 45 books, 22 on day one, 23 on day two- Best Ranking was 4800 overall

• The next best selling book sold 35 books, 20 on day one, 15 on day two- Best ranking was 5700 overall

• The next best selling book sold 26 books, 14 on day one 12 on day two- Best ranking was 7500 overall and this book also ended up #49 in their category of top 100

• The last book sold 23 books, 11 on day one, 12 on day two – Best ranking was 8500 overall

• Total book sales between the four books was 129.

What worked--- Offering Amazon Gift cards as a prize
Getting other bloggers on board

Having multiple authors

How we had the participants enter

What didn’t work --We had almost a 20% drop out rate of bloggers, people who signed up to help and didn’t follow through. Apparently this is common and asking around, we actually had a very low drop out rate. It is usually closer to 50%.

Never use anything except blind carbon copy when conversing with all the bloggers (BCC) I mistakenly put the group into the “to” section and then people hit reply all and then the poop hit the fan. It was my mistake, but it pissed people off and I think it’s where I lost a few bloggers.

The sales were good, but not fantastic. When other groups have done this, they are hitting closer to 80 sales per day which gives them the snowball effect which we didn’t quite manage. This I think was in part to the two day spread.

Would I do this again/was it worth it? Yes and yes. Sales are sales and readers are readers, even if there was only 5 per book, that is still 5 readers we didn’t have before.

I would change how many days we did this, condensing it to a single day, lots more advertising of the contest well before the day it happens, I would start planning it more than a week and a half in advance and I would try to get at least 300 bloggers signed up. If I’m going to assume that half of them won’t follow through, you have to go big. We were lucky by all accounts to have fabulous bloggers who stuck to their word!! :D I would have the promo on the weekend, when sales already tend to be high and I would find a way to encourage people to go to the participating blogs. Lots to think about.

Now, on to the good stuff. The winners!!

The blog with the most comments belongs to Reena Jacobs!

The first $5 Amazon Gift Card goes to Lynn Hallbrooks and her comment on The Beauty Brat

The Second $5 Amazon Gift Card goes to Stina Lindenblatt and her comment on Heather McCorkle’s Blog

And the grand prize of $100 goes to Crystal Fulcher AND because she bought all 4 books she gets a bonus of $25.

Thank you everyone for participating, the event could not have happened without all the support from the bloggers, readers and tweeters!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Humility? In writers? You must be thinking of someone else. . .

I am a naturally confident woman. That is good, but it can also get me into trouble. Yes, in that picture, I would be the cat . . .

November has taught me humility. I cannot do it all. I am not super woman who can type three novels at a time, while promoting a fourth, while plotting a fifth, while editing a sixth, while participating in Nanowrimo, while running my business that pays the bills, while taking care of my farm, while getting in enough sleep not to lose my mind. Amongst other things that I shall not name now for fear you will think me nuts.

I do no like to fail. But, November taught me that if I try to do all the things on my to-do list in one shot, none of those things will be done to the high standards I hold myself to.

If I want to be seen as a writer who puts only good books out (always the goal) I have to realize my limitations. I will always push them, that is just who I am, but I also have to acknowledge when enough is enough.

So, thanks November, for kicking my ass and teaching me that it's okay to let go, to focus on just one project, complete it and then start another. It was a tough lesson, but one I needed to learn, even if it was the hard way.