As it feels with each year that passes on this publishing journey, 2018 felt like a pretty big year. I learned some very important things, made some great new author connections and am looking forward to what is coming up in 2019.
let’s take a quick jaunt back over the big highlights of 2018’s publishing journey. I started the year by running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to help me publish my eleventh book, Spring’s Calling. You can read my thoughts on that whole process here. I was lucky enough to get my campaign funded and was able to put out a beautiful book that I am proud of. Speaking of Spring’s Calling, I had a highly successful release week for this book and had over 250 copies sold.
2018 also introduced me to several new groups of authors I am proud to call friends. I met two amazing authors, Dianne and Clay, through the Kickstarter project and I am so excited to see them continue their journeys with their books. It doesn’t hurt we have some cross-promotional opportunities given that we write in similar genres. I am also branching out into paranormal romance as a genre for both young adults and adults thanks to two multi-author boxed sets that are being released in February and June of this year. This has given me the opportunity to work with a co-author for the first time which has been a lot of fun and I’ve made friends in both sets that will last a lifetime..
So, what have I learned during 2018 about my publishing journey? I’m gotten a better understanding of how marketing plays into things and that especially in the indie publishing market, readers prefer books that are put out on what’s called a rapid release schedule. How does this affect what I’m doing in 2019? The short answer: A TON.
Aside from Muse Song and Seasons of Magic (they will be getting some special attention and treatment when i’m reading to publish books 2-3 and 2-4 respectively), going forward all of the series that I publish will be put out under the rapid release model. I have three different trilogies that I intend to publish in 2019 and all 3 will be complete by year end. The next aspect of publishing I intend to tackle is the ad part of marketing. I’m still learning about the different ways to market my books using ads to generate sales. It’s going to be a little complicated but I’m determined to figure it out. I’ll report back at the end of the year with how much progress I’ve made on that front.
Overall, I’m pleased with how 2018 ended and I’m stoked to see what 2019 holds.
2019 is going to be a busy year for me publishing wise. I’m launching several new series and I’m not doing it alone. One of the series, an adult paranormal romance trilogy, is being released with fellow writer and long-time friend, Molly Zenk. We met nearly a decade ago when we shared a literary agent. He put us in touch and we never looked back! If I’m being honest, getting to know Molly was about the only awesome thing about having that agent (he was a nice guy just didn’t work out for either of us).
So, when the opportunity came up to join a listing-aiming multi-author boxed set, I went to Molly and asked if she wanted to co-write for it. We would split the buy-in fee and get to work together, which was something I’d long been considering. We get along well and we support each other’s strengths and weaknesses as writers. So, we decided to give it go.
The result: we’ve actually got two trilogies we’re working on. One–a paranormal romance about vampires–is being shopped to publishers right now. We had a lot of fun coming up with the world and rules for this series. i think it helps when we’ve both got a bit of a social justice bent along with backgrounds in English and History. As we got close to finishing the first book in this series, we realized we didn’t think i t fit the set theme that well and ended up with a semi-dystopian futurist paranormal romance involving shifters. We recently finished the first draft of this project and so far, the feedback we’ve gotten has been really positive.
I’m looking forward to continuing work on both series and seeing where this partnership takes us. Here’s to hoping we both have amazing 2019s with our publishing careers!
So, I haven’t been able to talk about this project until now and I’m very excited! Coming in 2019, I will be part of 2 different multi-author boxed sets. The one I wanted to talk about today, is FATED MATES.
This is a limited edition collection of 23 paranormal romance novels. Now, as you might have guessed, I usually write cozy mystery and urban fantasy. That isn’t changing. I’m just branching out and doing it with a lovely co-author: Molly Zenk. If her name sounds familiar, that’s a good thing. Molly and I met nearly ten years ago through our mutual literary agent (at the time) and we’ve been corresponding and supporting each other’s writing journeys ever since. This year, we decided to make a go of co-authoring two different trilogies and one of them, CAPTIVITY, will be released in FATED MATES.
Captivity tells the story of Aiden and Lorelei, two shifters trying to break free of both literal and figurative captivity all while trying to find love in a world that only values them for their inherent magical abilities.
We hope that you’ll be interested in checking out their story.
One of the big aims with this particular boxed set is to hit the USA Today Bestseller list. From a behind-the-scenes perspective I can tell you it is a LOT of work. We have sales goals for Nook (Barnes & Noble), Apple Books and Amazon.
So, please consider picking up a copy (it’s only $0.99) on Apple Books and Nook today!
The day is finally here. After everything it took to get this book onto the digital shelves, I can’t believe it is finally here.
An ancient prophecy. A case steeped in dark magic. To protect the world and fulfill her destiny, one detective must reconcile her past in order to save the future.
Boston Police Detective Ezri Trenton wants nothing more than to do her job…and solve her mother’s murder. Faces from a past she had forsaken and an imminent dark power that only she can stop, however, push Ezri to rethink her self-imposed isolation. From childhood, she was told she was the prophetic Savior of the magical community. Now, just days before the Vernal Equinox, the time for the Savior has come. Adding to her problems, Ezri, the detective, chases a phantom serial killer whose identity baffles the force. How can she stop the killer without revealing her magical secret? Will she catch her mother’s murderer? As the clock ticks ever closer to the Equinox, Ezri Trenton must risk everything to become who she is and has always been. The Savior.
Coming in to the release of Spring’s Calling, I decided I need to do a bit of a face lift for my social media presence and my website. And here it is! It’s bright and shiny and very me. I have to say I love how the quill looks like it’s writing out my name (yes I’m a little nerdy).
In addition to all my Facebook Page and Twitter profile, my newsletter will be undergoing a visual overhaul as well and soon everything will be uniform!
Here is to great things on the horizon with a fresh new face.
Well, folks. The time has come to share the cover art for SPRING’S CALLING!
I am really proud of the work that Deranged Doctor Design did with this one. It came together very quickly and really pops with colors and definitely does its job of communicating the genre to the reader. I can’t wait to have this in my hot little hands in paperback.
And in case you were curious about when this book hits the digital shelves, I have that information for you, too! SPRING’S CALLING releases on all major platforms on November 12, 2018! Check back a little closer to release for pre-order links.
Looking back on this whole Kickstarter experience, it is a little hard to believe that it has only been a week since the campaign ended. This whole journey really started back last October when I had an in-person sit down with the folks at Instafreebie (conveniently located in Cambridge) to learn about their platform a little more and the crowdfunding course they would soon be offering. At the time, I did not have a book ready for launch yet. So, I ended up being a street team member for another author (who happily fully funded her campaign, too).
I watched and learned a lot by helping out this other author with her campaign and I got to vicariously live through her at the time. And, me being me, I started to set my page up really early. Like four months before I launched. I will admit I was not expecting it to be such a time suck or to be so involved. Admittedly, part of the time suck aspect is probably the perfectionist in me. But I worked a LOT on it (my husband compared my effort in planning this campaign with planning our wedding and honeymoon and he wasn’t wrong) and ultimately, I am pleased with how the campaign page itself turned out.
Running the campaign itself was somewhat stressful and much like when I did the Kindle Scout program, the middle part of the month was horrible. I was convinced I wasn’t going to get funded and I’d be horribly disappointed (Spoiler alert: that didn’t’ happen). I also was sort of disappointed with the people who didn’t end up pledging. Though, they did warn us about that in the course. In the end, 56 generous folks got me to 101% funded. The money will cover the final production costs for Spring’s Calling as well as some other production costs for upcoming releases and some funds promotional pushes for Spring’s Calling release. Hooray!
So, given all of the work and time I put into the campaign, would I do it again? Honestly, no. The effort was more than I got back as a return. I had a grand total of one person on my mailing list pledge the campaign and they are the people who should have really been there grabbing up their early copies with bonus content. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure some of them will buy the book when it is released in November (or at least, I hope they do) but it would have been nice to see them order it ahead of time. I’m glad I did it and I learned from the experience (filming videos is hard stuff guys). I also made some really great new author friends who I can support (and get theirs in return) going forward. So hey, I get to cover the costs of publishing this book and I’ve got some good contacts for the future. Not bad at all.
Well, as of 6:00 EDT yesterday, the Spring’s Calling Kickstarter campaign successfully funded. Over the course of the campaign, we raised $2,027 together! Thank you to everyone who pledged and shared the campaign along the way.
We now enter a bit of a waiting game as Kickstarter collects pledges. I should get the money in a couple weeks and then I can start the final steps to get this book ready for publication. I must say, I’m eager to get the reward process underway so that I can then focus on some other writing-related things (even unrelated to this project … can you imagine?)
In about a week or so, I’ll be doing another post looking back at the whole campaign experience and sharing some of my thoughts. But for now, I’m eternally grateful that 56 people found my project interesting enough to back it.
We are now halfway done with the Spring’s Calling Kickstarter campaign! It’s hard to believe how quickly this is all going and yet it also feels like it is moving rather slowly. I worked on the campaign itself for close to three months before launch and we are only 16 days away from the end.
As of this post, we have raised $1,532 of our $2,000 goal. We are over 75% of the way there but as I mentioned before, you don’t get your rewards unless we reach 100%. In today’s campaign update, I shared a little profile on two of the story’s main characters, our protagonist Ezri and department psychologist Desmond who is a distant cousin but still very much Ezri’s family.
It’s interesting that of all the changes this novel has been through in the last six years, Ezri and Desmond have remained at the center. Sure, early drafts had some weird romantic tension that quickly got tossed out the window for professional reasons, but their connection and Desmond’s support of Ezri even when she doesn’t want it or can’t see that she needs it has always been at the heart of this book. I’ve also found that the basic tenets of magic that I devised while writing the first draft have remained largely the same which made subsequent drafts easier in that respect.
I honestly can’t say enough, though, about the great editorial assessment that I received from Rebecca Heyman. Yes, it resulted in the second complete rewrite but it needed it, badly. I hadn’t quite realized that the plot I’d written while an acceptable plot for a young adult protagonist (it was very much a coming-of-age situation), it was not going to work for an adult protagonist. She made me confront some of the aspects of the story that were superfluous (goodbye animal familiar and all-too-convenient brother) and gave me the opportunity to deepen some of the other supporting cast.
I really want to be able to share this story with all of my backers, but we are still $468 away from making that happen. Please, even if you can only spare $1 or $5, it adds up and together we can produce the best version of this book. So, if you haven’t pledged yet, go and grab your eBook (or paperback) copy today!
So, we are about a week in from launching on the 23rd and we are now at 63% funded. I have to admit I’m really happy with how the campaign has gone so far. To those of you who pledged anonymously (as guests), I’m sorry I couldn’t thank you by name. But, I’ll be able to do so when we are funded.
But, 100% funding is still 37% away. If you’ve been to the campaign page and are thinking about pledging, don’t wait. The sooner we hit this benchmark, the more chance we have to make the best version of this book possible. EBooks are available to anywhere in the world and right now, I can ship print books to the US, UK and Canada. If you live elsewhere and want a print book, please reach out to me and I’ll see if I can get it to you.
We are now entering what I’m told is a lull in the process. Like anything that runs for a month, there is bound to be a big push at the start and a big push at the end. I’m trying my best to be patient but I will admit it is hard. I believe in this project a lot and I want it to succeed because you all deserve this book.
So please, head on over the campaign page if you haven’t and check out the project. Feel free to share it on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you frequent on the interwebs.