Sunday, March 31, 2019

FREE books on Amazon and funny pirated copies

UPDATE 2 April: In the process of Amazon removing the pirated versions, they reset the prices of my books, so they won't be free again for another 2-3 days.

I managed to persuade Amazon to "price match" my books with Smashwords and Barnes & Noble -- so they are now free! This was my original intention when I released the ebooks, but it's not possible to set a KDP book to free when you first publish it. However, they are now free -- at least until (and if) I enroll them in Kindle Unlimited (which will require removing them from the other retailers and Wattpad).

There are currently pirated versions of both books for sale on Amazon (how bold is that!) priced at around $4 (the price changes by the hour, it seems). They have delightful new covers (bonus points for making them sort of relevant??)...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

DIY Cover design step-by-step

Given my history working in publishing, I figured I should be able to manage self-publishing as a one-woman team... And I sort of have, along with, of course, the help of a huge knowledge base written by generous experts on various blogs, and my beta readers.

Today I'm looking at my cover design process for the Wynter Wild books -- for the indie authors out there who don't have design experience and want to do it themselves, you might find it helpful. Note, I'm not a designer so my experience comes with editing book covers and providing feedback in a professional setting. I take my hat off to designers of all stripes and what I've learned comes from watching them work.

Because I did these covers on the cheap, I started with a free stock image from Pixabay, which has royalty-free images for personal and commercial use. (I also spent $49 at Shutterstock for a ten additional images used in later covers.) There are other similar sites but I find the search engine on Pixabay better than most -- that is, if you search for "guitar girl" you'll get pictures of girls with guitars instead of pictures of girls and pictures of guitars.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Introducing Blunderbelly

In my Wynter Wild series, middle brother Indio plays in a college band called Blunderbelly. It sounds like a name they dreamed up while drunk or high, and I have no idea how it came to me as I was neither at the time...
Blunderbelly's never gonna make the big time. I love it, and I love those guys, but no one's really listening to rock music these days.

No one but me??

Blunderbelly consists of Indio Fairn on lead vocals and guitar, Turk on lead guitar, an unnamed bass player, and Eduardo on drums (who could use a lesson or two from Jesse, according to Jesse). They play a mix of covers and original music.

To give you an idea of the sort of music Blunderbelly plays, here's a list of songs that sound like them.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Lost Melodies: Sneak Peek

Sneak peek at the first chapter (2500 words or so) of Lost Melodies, book 4 of the Wynter Wild series. Hi to my Wattpad readers who've headed this way! I'll be uploading the complete book, chapter by chapter, to Wattpad when I've finished editing.

CLICK "read more" to keep going...

Jesse kept the hot brunette in his line of sight as he got on all fours on the mat for some spinal waves. Her fantastic body was the second-best thing about his morning so far.

Best. Yoga class. Ever.

“Inhale. Connect to your deep inner core strength. Exhale. Connect to your outer core strength. Inhale…”

The instructor’s soothing voice led them through the exercises. The brunette glanced over her shoulder at Jesse with a coy smile as she extended her lithe body into a side angle pose, and demonstrated her admirable flexibility by arching back into the camel pose. Jesse did his best to keep up, conscious of not straining anything.

When flirting at yoga, how big a risk of injury should one take?

Sunburnt Stars: A Conversation That Happened #11

Friday, March 22, 2019

Writer's Bible: Keeping Track of All the Stuff

Today I'm talking about bibles ("books" or "scrolls"), a term writers and screenwriters use to refer to their notes.

The more you write in a particular world, the more vital a bible becomes. This can be especially true if you're writing genre fiction, where you're inventing a world. I'm writing a contemporary series and yet somehow my bible has become... huge.

I use Google Docs to organize my work - my straightforward method is simply to apply H1, H2, H3 levels as I go, to organize information, and then go to View / Show Document Outline, which puts your headings down the left side of the document as a quick contents list. Word has the same feature (View / Navigation Pane).

There are two kinds of information that go into my bible:

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Smashwords author interview

I've written an author interview at Smashwords (based on their suggested questions) to share a bit more about my writing life and process, and the Wynter Wild series. Check it out here.

If you have any additional questions you'd like to see on there, let me know by commenting here, and I'll add them.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Cover reveal! Book 4 Lost Melodies

Here 'tis! Lost Melodies is the fourth installment of the Wynter Wild series. I've almost finished uploading book 3 to Wattpad, and it'll be a few weeks before I start uploading book 4. NOTE: It will be tagged "Mature" on Wattpad, as it's suitable for ages 16+ due to adult themes (among other things).

Meanwhile, I'll be posting a bonus chapter there (actually part of the prequel, which will become flashbacks in a future sequel) about the first time Wynter and Xay met at the ashram.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Little Sister Song - free on Smashwords

I've published Little Sister Song to Smashwords and it's free! Available in several formats.

I'm hoping to persuade Amazon to make the book free there, too, which was always my intention.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Little Sister Song is out now on Kindle

 Little Sister Song on Amazon
I've just published Little Sister Song (book 1 of the Wynter Wild series) on Kindle:

The book also has a Goodreads page.

My intention was to distribute the first couple of books (at least) free to generate interest in the series, so I've been posting it to Wattpad. Given Amazon has a minimum US$0.99 price, that's what it costs. If I enrol the book in Kindle Unlimited to make it free for subscribers, I'll have to remove it from Wattpad for at least 90 days - I'm debating whether to do that.

If you'd like to support the book please consider a purchase or writing a review. The book and its sequels have had a phenomenal response on Wattpad from loyal readers, and I'll be forever grateful for their support that encouraged me to keep putting the book out there.