Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Good Stuff To Know

I love putting this post together each month. It's fun sharing some of the great articles I've found. Feel free to join in the fun and add any more in the comments section.

Most of my "shares" this month are from Best Seller Labs. I get these via e-mail from author, Jonathan Gunson. He is a fellow kiwi and chock-a-block full of awesome advice. I always find his e-mails so helpful. Here are a few highlight articles I've read from him lately...

7 Libraries of Sensational Photographs You Can Use For Free. I have book-marked a few of them. They look really good.

How To Sell 8 Million Books. This includes a video from late author, Ray Bradbury. It is really inspiring.

7 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Book Sales. I found this article really helpful. It was great to see what I was doing right... and what I need to work on.

If you haven't yet, I highly recommend you sign up to received Jonathan's newsletter e-mails. They are always worth a read.

Another helpful article I found this month was written by Laurie Boris. How to Use Track Changes on Word. I don't know about you, but me and Track Changes are not on friendly terms. This tutorial is helping us work together :-D

That's all from me this month.
I hope you find these articles as helpful as I have.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Smashwords and Other e-book sites... are they worth it?

YA writers and bloggers unite each week to share their thoughts on what it's like going indie in today's publishing world.

Welcome to the next instalment of the YA Indie Carnival "Indie Author Series". Today we are all talking about whether it's worth having your books on multiple book sites.

I admit that Amazon is my biggest seller. They are very reader friendly. I buy most of my books through them as that "buy with 1 click feature" totally rocks.

In saying this, as an author, I think it's important to have my books on as many sites as possible. So I publish through Smashwords, which then distributes to multiple e-book chains for me. I've come to see that my next big sellers are: Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Sony and Kobo.

I think it's important that we give our readers choice so I think it is worth using multiple book sites. Sure, it does take away the advantage of being able to use KDP Select, but I have heard varied opinions on that system and for now, I'm happy to stick with having my books everywhere.

What do you think?

If you'd like to hear what the other YA Indie Carnival members think, then you can check out their sites below.

You can also check out the YA Author Club for the latest updates and news on what we're all up to.

1.Laura A. H. Elliott2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series4.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog6.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter8.Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9.Ella James10.Maureen Murrish
11.YA Sci Fi Author's Ramblings12.A Little Bit of R&R
13.Melissa Pearl14.Terah Edun - YA Fantasy

Monday, February 18, 2013

Unknown Cover Reveal

I am skipping my "So Many Things To Tell You" post this month and instead dedicating it to my most important news.

Unknown now has a cover!!
Thank you so much to Ruth Little for modelling for me. You're gorgeous!! And thank you to the very talented Brenda Howson. What would I do without you? xx

It is with great pleasure, that I introduce you to my first YA Fantasy book. For a little fun, I'm doing a one off, old school fantasy series... and believe me, it is SO much fun. Although I am looking forward to returning to a more contemporary style next year, I am loving the swords, arrows, horse riding and adventure that comes with the series I'm creating.

I hope you will all enjoy reading it as much as I'm enjoying writing it.

Unknown is the first book in The Elements Trilogy and is due for release, June 2013.

Darkness is covering the land. As the city of Mezrah grows with power and greed, the rest of the world can only stand by and wait for their inevitable destruction. The only hope against this growing power is an ancient prophecy that people have stopped believing in.

Then a star begins to fall.

Princess Kyla of Taramon stopped believing in the power of light the day her father died. Trapped in a city she does not care for, under the watchful glare of her mother, the queen, she struggles to accept her fate.

Then a star begins to fall.

Jethro has loved Kyla for as long as he can remember. Learning that she was to marry his cousin drove a wedge between him and the feisty princess. Watching her from a distance is a torture he is unable to free himself from.

Then a star begins to fall, sparking an ember of hope and sending two seekers on a treacherous journey into the unknown.

If you'd like to add Unknown to your TBR, here is the Goodreads link.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Indie Author Spotlight - Laura A. H. Elliot

We are pleased as punch to intruduce our own, Laura A. H. Elliott. She's officially an Amazon best-selling author as of last week when Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale hit #1 in Science Fiction & Fantasy (three seperate categories):

 Laura A. H. Elliott
Laura A. H. Elliott, best selling author, loves writing about enchanted road trips, shadow worlds, and alien romance while eating lots of popcorn. She lives in a tree house on the central California coast. After twenty-plus years as a freelance graphic designer/animator with clients including E! Entertainment Television and The Los Angeles Times, she crossed over into the world of publishing non-fiction and followed her heart to the world of fiction. She is the author of the paranormal romance Shadow Series (also available in audiobook format), the sci-fi romance Starjump series, and stand alone literary romance novel Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale. Her latest release is Shadow Slayer, book 2 of the Shadow Series. Moon Killers, book 3 is due out this spring. She's also due to release her first adult title later this year. She's happy to have been included in the new adult anthology Midnight Surrender.

Laura A. H. Elliott's Books:

Moon Killers (Shadow Series #3) Spring 2013
(Shadow Series #4) Fall 2013

When fear’s as blind as love, how far would you go to find your own happily ever after?

One mistake will change Ginny’s life forever. One answer will set her free. Once upon a time Ginny’s road blood ripened, the day she got wise to love. Engaged to the high school quarterback, his quarter-carat ring and enchanting smile should have been enough for her. But, she stands him up and takes a walk where every step questions her happily ever after gone-bad and the fate of the mother she never knew. The mother her father refuses to talk about. Ginny fights to untangle her big, fat, lie-of-a-life on an enchanted road trip to Winnemucca, where she believes all her answers lie. To solve the riddle of her past, she must outrun everyone who wants a piece of her future–including a man determined to see she never has one.  

Transfer Student (Starjump #1) (YA Sci-Fi Romance)

Two Worlds--Two Teens--One Wish

Rhoe and Ashley would never be friends.
Even if they lived on the same planet.
But, they'll become so much more.
They'll transfer.

Earthling Ashley's world revolves around winning daily popularity contests at Beverly Hills High School and surfing competitions with sweet scholarship prizes that will finally help her break free of her control-freak mother. Meanwhile on planet Retha, Rhoe misses his dad, loves his mom's home-cooked Glechy crag with a side of ory sauce, is desperate to heal his sick brother and wants more than anything to win The Retha New Invention Competition. But Rhoe's invention teleports him across the universe with an unintended side effect, Ashley and Rhoe transfer. They swap lives when they make the same wish at the same time.

Popular-surfer-turned-boy-geek alien Ashley must handle life on Retha as Rhoe complete with webbed feet, low-gravity, and an obsession with Yuke, all the while being hunted by Rethan spies and resenting her hairy, flat chest. Boy-geek-turned-popular-surfer Rhoe must fit in at Beverly Hills High School as Ashley, compete in The Laguna Beach Invitational without becoming shark food, dodge boys' affections, cool his preoccupation with Tiffany and his new body, and find the healing rocks he believes will save his brother's life.

If only it were that simple. Some wishes can't come true. Some have to.

Roxie has the best night of her life until the popular kids decide they want to celebrate her birthday in a way Roxie never expects––in her attic, with a gift that’s out of this world, and a pact to never tell a living soul what happens next.
Twelve-year-old Roxie wants to be like Adrianne, the popular girl who gets everything she wants––a flock to prowl around the mall with; invitations to parties; and for Hayden, the cutest guy in the eighth grade to, you know, notice her. When Roxie invites all the eighth grade peacocks (code word : popular kids) to her first ever thirteenth birthday party on Halloween, they all come and give her a gift that’s literally out of this world. Roxie astral projects to Planet Popular where she becomes seventeen instantly and gets everything she’s always wanted, but nothing is as it seems. Being a high school peacock is complicated and Roxie will risk everything to be who she thinks she wants to be. Oh yeah, there’s Prom, doppelgangers, a mysterious map, and lots of bad peacocks too.
BONUS EXCERPT! Two Chapters of Shadow Slayer, Book 2 in The Shadow Series
13 on Halloween, (Shadow Series #1) is now available as an audiobook on iTunes, Audible or Amazon.
Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2) (YA paranormal romance)
Shadows will do anything to become human. You see their influence everyday. You say things you don’t mean or do things that aren’t like you. You look, different. Friends you’ve known forever suddenly never call.
As a freshman, Roxie just wants to fit in which is impossible because she barely runs into her friends at her huge high school. Adrianne’s disappearance and Hayden’s attention rock Roxie’s world. But nothing rocks it like the most gorgeous guy at school, Drew. And nothing is more important to Roxie than astral projecting back to Planet Popular to solve the mystery of the map. But that changes when Drew invites Roxie to homecoming. Hayden warns her that something’s wrong. Why would a guy like Drew like Roxie anyway? Drew must want something. Hayden’s right. Drew is…different. Planet Popular was just the beginning. Part of a bigger world, the Shadow World. There’s a war brewing between the world of humans and the world of shadows. When the shadow invasion begins at Roxie’s high school, she’ll not only fight for her life but the lives of her family and friends, when she discovers she’s the Shadow Slayer, the one human who can save Earth from the shadow onslaught. But, Roxie can’t even kill a spider. Oh yeah, there’s an evil English teacher, an enchanted play, a sword of Sandonian steel, a homecoming of horrors, and seven magic words too. Audible (Audiobook) |iTunes

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Indie Life - It's All About Balance

I'm not sure where I spotted this, but when I clicked on The Indelibles link, I knew I had to be a part of Indie Life. This is a monthly series where indie authors can post about life as an indie. At the bottom of this post you will see the links for the other authors involved. This is a great opportunity to learn a little more about life in the indie world. I really encourage you to check out this series. You may discover some fantastic tid bits that you can store away for your writing craft and career.

This month, I want to talk about balance.

Most of the writers I know are passionate about the craft. I am. Writing makes me so incredibly happy and I would do it all day, every day, if I could.

My ultimate dream is to be a full time writer, something I am working hard towards achieving. At the moment I am at home with the kids, watching them grow, wiping up their tears, teaching one that throwing food all over the floor is inappropriate behaviour and teaching the other that kamikaze jumping from his top bunk bed, with a plastic sword in hand, is how bones get broken. My full time job at the moment is basically making sure my kids are feeling completely adored by their mother.

It's when my little one sleeps that I dive into my office and swim in the ocean of my imagination. It is my favourite time of the day and I always feel just a little sad when junior wakes up from his nap. My little bubble pops and it's back to playing mommy again.

I sometimes find this really frustrating and desperately wish to retire into my writing cave. But life is about balance. Stepping away from the computer to look after family, work another job, exercise, cook, eat, play, relax... is vital to becoming a quality writer. Your brain and eyes can only take so much screen time. It's amazing how often a storyline will come clear or a character will develop another layer as I'm going about my other tasks.

It's also important to find balance in your writing.
You need to find time to research, study (there's always room to improve your writing skills), write, edit and market.

Fitting everything in can be a mission. That's why I get up an hour before everyone else. The time difference works in my favour, so I spend that time marketing and working on social media stuff. During nap times, I work on my writing and on the weekends I do a little of both.

I'm not going to lie, I do get very excited about the idea of my youngest starting morning kindy next year - 3 mornings a week!!! That's like 6 hours of writing time. I am very much looking forward to seeing what I can achieve.

What do you think about having a balanced writing life? How do you fit everything in?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Indie Author Month Giveaway

I am going away on holiday tomorrow. I know! Lucky me. I'll soon be sitting on a beach in Bali watching my kids play in the sand. Can't wait!

As I won't be around for a week, I've decided to leave you with a little giveaway. I figure since I'll be having so much fun, you should be too.

Love 4 Lit is running an Indie Author Month. YAY!! There are some AMAZING authors involved with this... plenty of giveaways, plenty of awesome posts including excerpts, character profiles, cover reveals and so much more.

If you'd like to find out more about this super cool event, please follow this link...

Indie Author Month Main Page

Like many of the authors involved, I am running a giveaway to celebrate. I hope you can join in the fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you'd like to check out the other giveaways going on, please follow the links below...