COVER REVEAL ~ Night Moves by Kristen Strassel!!!

I LOVE cover reveals! And today I have a cover for a book that I can’t wait to read!

You know how much I loved Kristen Strassel’s Because the Night, so I’m REALLY excited for Night Moves, the next installment of the steamy vampire romance series The Night Songs Collection.

The book release date is March 26th, but while we wait, here is the cover.

NIGHT MOVES COVER

Night Moves Press Kit

Book Name: Night Moves (The Night Songs Collection, #2)

Book Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Book release date: March 26th, 2014 by Fast Foreword Publishing

Night Moves (book  #2) on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20815056-night-moves?from_search=true

Night Moves book blurb:

We bonded in darkness, over darkness.

Melanie Vaughn’s job ruined everything. Her social life, nonexistent. Her relationship with her boyfriend, a hostile roommate situation. She resolves to fix everything one snowy afternoon, but instead comes home to discover her boyfriend is already exploring other options. Blonder, bustier options. Rage drives Melanie to do the unthinkable.

When Soul Divider was on the top of the world, so was Ryder Maddox. When the band faded into obscurity, Ryder’s luck plummeted with it. In a last ditch effort to rekindle the band’s heyday, Soul Divider teams up with powerful vampire clean leader, Talis de Rancourt. In return for her services, the band pays the ultimate price for never ending fame.

Now on the run, Melanie meets Ryder in a middle of nowhere hotel. She never expected her teenage rock star crush to be as lost and as in need of a companion as she is. Their connection is all consuming, even before they find they share another kinship: murder.

The newly turned vampires in Soul Divider still have a lot to learn. The police and public begin to connect the girls that go missing or die in sync with the band’s tour schedule. Back at home, clues are also adding up against Melanie as well. Between constant media coverage and unrelenting attention from the authorities, Melanie and Ryder find themselves in unchartered territory

About the author Kristen Strassel:

Kristen shares a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross.  She spends each day striving to be half as fabulous as they are.  She’s worn many hats, none as flattering as her cowboy hat: banker, retail manager, fledgling web designer, world’s worst cocktail waitress, panty slinger, now makeup artist and aspiring author.  She loves sunshine, live music, the middle of nowhere, and finding new things to put in her house.  Kristen is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.

Kristen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7267647.Kristen_Strassel

Kristen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristenStrassel

Kristen’s Blog: http://deadlyeverafter.com/

Other books by Kristen:

Because the Night (book #1) on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18489280-because-the-night

Because the Night (book #1) on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Because-Night-The-Songs-Collection-ebook/dp/B00GFCRJRO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384802462&sr=8-1&keywords=Because+the+Night+kristen+strassel

Seasons in the Sun (book #.5) on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18774105-seasons-in-the-sun

Seasons in the Sun (book #.5) on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Seasons-Sun-Kristen-Strassel-ebook/dp/B00H3NQ1DW/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=05QAF8Z4ZKZ1CHA5016F

Blog Tour Spotlight, Review, and Giveaway ~ Taming Darkness by Kat Daemon

I’m excited to bring you a spotlight and review of an amazing debut novel by Kat Daemon.

Title: Taming Darkness (Taming Darkness #1)

Author: Kat Daemon

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Release Date: March 3rd 2014

Taming Darkness Cover1

Since he was sentenced to earth eons ago, Lucifer has always lived by three simple rules: Humans are toys that are meant to be played with, love is a useless emotion, and the only creature worth fighting for is himself. To him, nothing matters but his own enjoyment, whether it be manipulating those around him, or indulging in the sins of the flesh with Lilith. Then he found young, sweet, and innocent, Maria, who is everything that Lucifer detests. She has devoted her life to her one true love, God. Unable to resist a challenge, Lucifer sets his sights on tempting Maria away from his enemy. Disguising himself as Lucas Starr, he creates a world that not even Maria can resist. He never planned on having the tables turned on him. Imagine Lucifer’s surprise when Maria brings him to his knees and shows him a glimpse of heaven once more.

Blinded by his arrogance and an unlikely vision, Lucifer falls again, this time forgetting that some lines should never be crossed. When his greatest opponent, Michael, shows up, all Hell breaks loose. Will Maria be able to accept Lucifer for who he truly is, or realize what Michael already knows: some destinies can never be changed?

Review

5 Stars

I was really surprised by how quickly this book had me drawn in. I think I expected a devilish love story where the antagonist is a mysterious villain. But when I discovered the story was told from the devil’s perspective, and when I saw how brilliantly the author created the mind of Lucifer, I was intrigued. Let’s be clear, Luc is certainly a devil. His malevolence is unquestionable. But he also comes across as very human, which I loved. Despite his wicked inclinations, he has human characteristics, like falling in love…with a NUN! If that kind of irony isn’t human, I don’t know what is.

There also seems to be a curiosity in him, a human tendency toward boredom, and an inner struggle that makes him feel so believable as a character.

I really loved this book and look forward to reading more from this talented author.

About the Author

Kat Daemon Pic

Kat Daemon grew up in New York where her imagination always seemed to get the best of her.  When she’s not hanging with demons, she’s usually armed with a strong cup of coffee and dreaming up her next tormented character.

You can find out more about Kat and her books at www.katdaemon.com

Tour Wide Giveaway!

Here’s what you can win;

Prize pack #1 – A Red Heart Necklace & a $15 Amazon Gift Card

Prize pack #2 – Essie “devil’s advocate” nail polish and a $10 Amazon gift card

Prize pack #3 – $5 Amazon gift card

(All prize packs will also include a signed postcard from the author)

Rafflecopter giveaway link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/320ab744/

Review ~ Seasons in the Sun by Kristen Strassel

Seasons in the Sun (The Night Songs Collection, #.5)

Seasons in the Sun Final

My Review

5 stars

I loved reading this novella. Being that’d I’d already fallen in love with the characters in Because the Night, I was really looking forward to reading about Tristan in his pre-vampire days.

Callie is a much more naive character in Seasons in the Sun, but all of that changes when she meets Tristan, the handsome bad boy that draws her in immediately. I didn’t feel like the connection between Tristan and Callie was insta-love, but rather a more realistic view of teenage romance; it starts off with an attraction and the feelings developed from there.

I liked getting to know Tristan. He was a pretty big jerk in Because the Night, but in this prequel, you can see that while he’s always been a rule-breaker, he has (or had) a very likable, sensitive side at one time. It’s not hard to see why Callie fell in love with him.

I think Ms. Strassel did a great job of creating the perfect continuity between Because the Night and its prequel. The characters were well developed through the two novels, and knowing Callie and Tristan’s back story makes me want to read the sequel all over again.

Be sure to get your copy on Amazon

And add it to Goodreads

Other books by Kristen Strassel:

Because the Night, on Goodreads

Because the Night, on Amazon

Seasons in the Sun

Summer has finally arrived, along with a boy who will forever change the life of fourteen-year-old Callie. After growing up hearing stories about Tristan Trevosier and his famous family, Callie finally meets him when he spends the summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Seventeen-year-old Tristan is a hurricane of destruction and rebellion, and he quickly blows a hole right into Callie’s sheltered life. Callie sees a side of Tristan that he doesn’t show anyone else. She’s determined to make everyone see what she sees in him.

Callie defies her parents by leaving the island with Tristan. But when his ugly habits rear their head, Callie realizes maybe she’s the one who’s wrong about him. He’s beyond her help. But it’s too late for her to walk away. This summer, she learns that love can be stronger than reason.

kristenpic 2

Kristen shares a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross.  She spends each day striving to be half as fabulous as they are.  She’s worn many hats, none as flattering as her cowboy hat: banker, retail manager, fledgling web designer, world’s worst cocktail waitress, panty slinger, now makeup artist and aspiring author.  She loves sunshine, live music, the middle of nowhere, and finding new things to put in her house.  Kristen is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.

 

Exciting News This Week!

Happy Friday!

What a crazy week this has been.

A few weeks ago my hometown newspaper interviewed me about my book. I didn’t see an article right away, so I figured they’d decided not to run it. Then, last night I saw it pop up. From a Writer’s Fantasy to an Author’s Reality

I was so excited to see the article, and then I discovered that I got a whole page feature.

1796957_10153926092550077_139378399_oWhen I was being interviewed I was asked what it’s like to see my book out there and get such wonderful reviews. The first thing that came to mind was something Therin Knite wrote to me a couple of months ago: It’s a process of disbelief.

And it really is. Everything that happens along the way, from the first draft to the cover proof to the actual book in my hands had been a series of moments that don’t feel real.

After I posted the article, Anne Rice shared it on her Facebook page. That was pretty amazing!

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And this morning I woke up to find The Darkness of Light ranked #14 in mythology and #96 in Historical Fantasy on Amazon

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Pretty crazy, eh?

I’m really grateful for the support from my community and fellow authors. Every step of the way still feels unreal.

Anyway, I’d better get back to the revisions on The Embers of Light! More details on that one coming soon!

 

How I Write a Second Draft

Whether you’re a veteran author or new to the writing game, getting to the end of that first draft is a major accomplishment. You’ve spent weeks, months, maybe even years toiling away in a caffeine fueled ocean of excitement, self-doubt, and determination to get a finished manuscript. But you did it! You have a completed, (possibly disorganized) first draft. Now is the time to break out the champagne and celebrate, because in the coming weeks, you’ll learn just how much more work lies ahead.

This is a follow up to the post: How Did You Write a Book?

How I Write a Second Draft

Before I Begin the Rewrites

“Put your work in a drawer and walk away.” You may have heard this tip before, but I’ve come to realize that setting your work aside for a while is VERY important. It’s always hard for me to do this, but I know that taking a step back from it, even for a couple of weeks, will give me some perspective on the story. Plus, it’s a good time to recharge my writing muscles. I read books, watch movies that inspire me and do some research if needed.

Revision Prep

The first read through – This is the part I dislike the most. It’s the part where I realize just how much work I still have to do. After I’ve had a little time away from my manuscript, the first read through can either surprise me or horrify me. I might love a chapter so much that if feels like I didn’t write it at all, and then others might make me cringe so bad that I wonder what the hell I was thinking. I’m sure this happens to a lot of authors, so I’m just gonna go ahead and assume I’m not alone here.

The mantra “Let it Go” – I prepare myself ahead of time to let things go. Nothing is written in stone at this stage and everything is subject to deletion. As a rule, I never write the last few chapters of a novel in a first draft for two reasons: 1. Even though I know how the story will end, I feel like ending it in the first draft is bad luck, and 2. I don’t want to have to cut and ending this early on. By not writing the ending, I am totally open to changing it if need be.

Revisions

Once my manuscript is all marked with red pen and looks like a crime scene, it’s time to start writing. At this point I know what I like and dislike about the story, and I have a good idea what needs to be cut, what needs more work and what needs to be added to round out the book.

Full rewrite – I’m not a fan of copy and paste and once I write a draft, I don’t continue working in the original document (*note – I write each chapter as a separate document). Instead I print off the pages and start a new folder called “2nd draft”. From this point I rearrange the printed chapters into a new order and begin the long process of typing. But this isn’t simply a copy job; this is an elaboration on the existing work. Sometimes I keep many paragraphs without adding much, other times I start from scratch, knowing exactly what’s going to happen in the scene. My favorite part of revisions is the completely new chapters I get to add. These are fun because I know the story well enough to create the chapter with subtle plot hints, more character development, and maybe even some new challenges for the characters. Ever wonder how an author makes so many things connect throughout a book? How they added so many hints? This happens in the rewrites.

For me, the second draft manuscript is still in the development stages. That’s important to remember. I am still “writing” the book, not editing. It is NOT finished yet.

Once I’ve rewritten the entire book to the point that most of it makes sense and most of the plot holes are closed up, I write the last chapters. At this stage I should feel confident enough to let someone else read it. But I also keep in mind that I may still need to cut and rewrite once fresh eyes have been on it. The purpose of a second draft (for me, anyway) is not to have a final product, but to make it readable to others.

 

Beta-readers and the Developmental Edit

This is the scary part. Other people are going to be reading your work. Some writers use beta-readers (other writers or friends who give feedback on your work) or they can also use a professional developmental editor (usually a published author, agent, or someone working in the publishing industry.)

For my sequel, Julie Hutchings will be doing my developmental edit. I will send the manuscript to her and wait. While this can be an anxious time for a writer, I try to use it as a break. I go back to reading or start writing something unrelated to my series. Once I get notes back from the developmental edit I will read through them, consider them carefully, make notes and then, after taking some time to think, I will rewrite for the last time, hopefully.

I hope this helps anyone stuck on a 2nd draft. Just keep in mind that it’s not over yet, but you’re so close you can’t give up now! You have all the pieces to the puzzle; you just have to keep rearranging them until they create a beautiful picture.

Stay tuned for a 3rd draft post, which will include details on the copy-editing stage.

How Did You Write A Book?

I get asked this question A LOT, so I figured it was time to write a post about it.

A Bit of Background

Well, first let me say that I’m not new to writing. I would say I’ve been a writer my entire life. I’ve always written short stories and attempted to write novels. When I was 25 I started writing under the pen name, Dahlia Knight. I had a website and wrote short erotic serials. I even had a few published on a Canadian sex therapy ezine :P. I also became a freelance writer and wrote various business reviews, web content, and ad copy for a few years.

Around the same time in 2008 I started to develop these characters that just wouldn’t leave me alone. They were Mara, Malcolm, and Corbin (the main characters in The Darkness of Light). I didn’t know their story at the time, but I knew who they were and I knew what I wanted them to be. I had no frikken clue how to write a book back then. Twitter and FB were just new and writers forums were sometimes a little sketchy, so getting information was hard. I’d write a chapter and feel like it was a complete uphill battle. I’d wonder how the hell I was going to create an entire novel when I couldn’t even make the chapters flow.

I ordered dozens of books on writing and read them over and over and over. Then, in 2010, while I was still toiling away at my manuscript, my mom passed away and I instantly lost my ability to write. I still can’t say why, exactly. A month after she passed I took down Dahlia’s website and completely abandoned my manuscript for 3 years.

The Reawakening.

For the 3 years I was in writer purgatory, I was back in school studying English Lit and History. I convinced myself that I didn’t want to be a writer and that maybe I’d get my PhD one day and become a professor.

That was the plan.

But then in early 2013 I was struck by a bolt of creativity. I woke up one morning and had such a strong urge to write that I didn’t even make a coffee, I just sat down at my computer and typed out a 7,000 word first chapter (*Note: a 7,000 word chapter is WAY too long). The funny thing is that while I was writing, I felt like I was in a trance and when I finally stopped and took a breath, I realized I’d just written the beginnings of a historical novel. I guess all those years of studying history paid off and I knew then that I’d not only gotten my creativity back, but I’d also found my niche.

How Did I Write a Book?

This is where the hard work comes in. It had been years since I’d written creatively and I’d forgotten a lot of what I’d learned from the many writing books sitting dusty on my shelves. So instead of reading about writing, this time I decided to just write and not care about what was right and wrong.

  1. I got a notebook and started plotting Mara, Malcolm, and Corbin’s story. I scribbled nonsense all through that notebook. I’d plan whole chapters and then scratch them out, I’d write several endings  that never came to be. I plotted and scribbled and plotted until I had enough to keep writing chapters.
  2. Then I researched. Being that I was writing a historical novel, I wanted to have some cold, hard facts to insert as I wrote. I knew I could go back later and perfect it, but for my own peace of mind, I needed SOME information to keep going. I think researching was definitely my favorite part.
  3. Then I wrote. With new ideas fresh in my mind, I started writing. Sometimes I followed the plan, sometimes I didn’t. It wasn’t always easy getting those chapters down, but every day I knew I was getting a few steps closer to a finished manuscript. Instead of thinking of the book as a whole, I thought of the chapters as scenes or mini stories. Every chapter needed a beginning, a middle or a conflict, and an end. Thinking that way helped A LOT!
  4. I took research breaks in between writing. I have a bad short term memory and would have to go back and re-research some of the information. This wasn’t really a bad thing, though, because a lot of the time I came across new info that inspired me.
  5. I wrote until my eyes were raw. Some days I almost went blind, really. But I was so obsessed with finishing the first draft, I couldn’t stop. It was really important for me to remember NOT TO REVISE during the writing process. If I changed things, I was NOT allowed to go back and fix earlier chapters. Sometimes I’d only put a few hundred words in a chapter. I knew what the scene was, but at the time I couldn’t get it out. So I’d write the plan and move on to the next chapter.

8 Weeks Later, I Had a Finished First Draft.

That’s right. It only took 8 weeks to write the very first draft of The Darkness of Light. But let me tell you, it was a complete MESS; virtually unreadable, but I was SO damn excited that I wasn’t about to just give up there.

I Took To Twitter and Googled My Ass Off!

Now, don’t forget that I’d basically forgotten all the ins and outs of publishing that I’d learned before, so I had to refresh. I started googling things like:

  • How many words should a novel be?
  • How long should a chapter be?
  • How to get published.
  • How to find an agent.
  • New author success stories.

I learned a lot from Writers Digest and various other writing websites. Then I took to twitter and started following other writers, agents, and publishers. THIS was probably the single best resource I could have ever found. I soon discovered that the twitter writing community is SO helpful. They tweet tips, articles, info, answer questions and are generally some of the nicest people in the world! Off the top of my head, the ones who have helped and inspired me the most are:

  • Ciar Cullen
  • Leigh Anne Kopans
  • Julie Hutchings
  • Kristen Strassel
  • Jamie Grey
  • Kat Ellis
  • Jessie Devine
  • Summer Wier
  • Caitlin Greer
  • Rayne Hall
  • Nat Russo

I suggest you follow these people if you want to learn a thing or two about writing.

Then I followed agents and assistant agents. My favorite agent tweets usually come from:

  • Eric Ruben
  • Juliet Mushens
  • Pam van Hylckama
  • Terrie Wolf
  • Lane Heymont

I suggest you follow them as well.  They offer a wealth of information when it comes to querying, agenting and publishing.

I Got Back to Writing.

After I nestled into the writing community, I got back to writing and plotting. I went through my manuscript and marked it up, jotted down notes and more ideas and then I wrote the entire thing again. This was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. I actually had a story to work with and the more I revised, the better it got.

When I’d finally smoothed it out enough so that it was actually readable, I started letting friends read it. I got feedback, made changes, and rewrote some more until it was actually a finished novel! It made sense, it had a beginning, middle, and end and every time I read it, I loved it!!!

Now, this is only part one of the writing process. I’ll write another post soon on my experience with querying agents, editing, and publishing. None of that is important now, because you can’t do any of that without first having a polished, finished manuscript!

So just write the damn thing!!! Who cares if it’s any good. First drafts WILL suck. They won’t make sense, they won’t flow. You HAVE to create the puzzle pieces in order to put them together. Just write and don’t stop until you have at least 150-200+ pages of SOMETHING! Worry about rules and all the rest later.

If you’ve already written a book, does your process differ from mine? Share your writing story.

GOOD LUCK!

1597401_10153715021560077_1070423782_oThe Darkness of Light ~ Available NOW through Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Sony, and Select Retailers.

Follow me @TamzWrite

http://www.Facebook.com/TheDiaChronicles

How to get your indie-book in book stores

How do I get my indie-book in book stores?

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A month ago I would have had no idea how to answer this question. But with a little leg work and some incredibly helpful booksellers, I now have the answer.

You might think there’s a secret code involved, some prohibition-era password like “Jimmy two-shoes gets the goats” needed so that booksellers will even give you the time of day. But guess what? It’s actually a lot easier than you’d think.

Here’s what you need to know before deciding to approach booksellers about carrying your book.

1. Independent booksellers view self-published books and small-press published books in exactly the same way.

There seems to be a hierarchy among authors that goes something like this:

  • Author with a Big 6 publisher
  • Author with a small press publisher
  • Self-published authors.

If you are a self-published author, put your fears aside, the playing field has just leveled out a bit. The reason booksellers lump you into the small press category comes down to money. When booksellers order traditionally published books from Ingram and Baker & Taylor they get a 40% discount off the list price and guaranteed returns if the book doesn’t sell.

When booksellers order small press books and self-published books from these same distributors they only get a 20% discount and no returns. This is not very appealing to a bookstore and THIS is the reason you will cringe when your friends and family ask, “So when will we see it on the shelves?”

So unless there is a high demand for your book or you approach stores yourself, they won’t rush to order 20 copies of your book.

2. Many booksellers will carry your books as long as you provide them.

This is where you have to make sure you’re not losing money by having your book in stores. Many booksellers have a consignment program. The usual deal is a 60/40 cut on the book…the same deal the bookseller gets from a traditionally published book. They get their 40% and if the book doesn’t sell, they return it to you.

As an indie-author I get a discount on my books. The list price is $13.75 and I can order them myself for $5.50. When I order my books at cost, the sales are not reflected in sales ranking and I get no royalty. If I bring my books into a bookseller, they are going to sell my book for $13.75. They will take 40% of that and at 60% my cut would be $8.25. Subtract that from my cost for the book: $8.25 – $5.50 = $2.75 profit.

Not very exciting, is it? Also remember that I am getting no credit for selling these books, no sales ranking and no sales tracking. So with that in mind, why would anyone want to get their book in stores?

3. You won’t make a living by selling your books in stores, but you will get exposure.

The $2.75 profit sounds pretty sad, but if I sold that same book on Amazon, my royalty would be…$2.75! …Wait a minute, I think I see a silver lining here. If I’m making the same profit on the same book, what does it matter where I sell it? It doesn’t. A sale is a sale. A reader is a reader. And a reader that loves your book and tells others about it could mean a lot more sales.

Indie-authors spend a lot of time and money promoting their books. Having your book on a store shelf is basically another form of advertising that YOU’RE being paid for. If you took the profit you made from your bookstore sales and spent it on other forms of advertising, you’ve possibly just created a revolving door of marketing funds.

4. Indie-book stores and the ebook revolution.

I made a shocking discovery while talking to booksellers in my town. As it turns out, they’ve jumped on the ebook bandwagon too. One store in particular had a deal with Kobo and a big sign in their front window to promote it. If a customer purchased books using the store’s Kobo code, they would get a discount and the bookseller gets a cut. GENIUS! So if someone sees my book on the shelf and doesn’t want to pay $13.75 for a paperback they can immediately go to the Kobo store and buy the ebook for $3.99.

I know I’ve done this before. I see a book on a shelf, I really want to read it but it’s not one I’d add to my collection. Then I go on my kindle and order the book that I saw on a shelf somewhere. If I hadn’t seen the book in person, I might have never bought it.

How Do You Go About Getting Your Book In the Store And Is It Really Worth It?

This is the scary part–approaching the booksellers. If you’re shy, bring a friend. If you’re not shy, bring a friend anyway! It’s a lot easier for someone else to talk up your book. Ask to speak with the owner or manager of the store. Greet them with a smile and ask, “Do you have a consignment program for local indie-authors at this store?”….Now remember, they don’t care if you’re self-published or small press. It’s not necessary to say any more than this. Also, try to stress the “local” aspect. Independent bookstores rely on local business and therefore want to showcase local talent. It’s a win win.

Chances are they will say, “Yes, let me get you the form.” This is where they might ask you what your book is about etc…They’ll give you a consignment form that you can fill out, you give them the books and that’s it! It’s really very simple. They may even ask you to autograph the books, as one bookseller did with me.

So after you’ve hit the pavement, spent a day or two scouting out bookstores near you, is it all really worth it?

Maybe.

As authors we all dream of seeing our books on store shevles. So that’s good motivation to go stalking booksellers. But keep in mind, having your book (maybe 5-10 copies) in a store won’t make you a bestseller. Chances are you won’t get frantic calls from the store owner demanding more copies because they’ve sold out of your book in an hour. Like any form of author marketing, getting your book in stores is work and it takes time away from the thing that makes us authors in the first place–writing. Once your book is in store, you’re going to have to keep track of who has what and how many. You’re also going to want to check in with these stores every 3 months to see if your book has sold and if they would like more copies.

On the plus side, you’ re able to tell your family and friends where they can go to buy your book. It’s a great feeling to know your book is sitting next to books by authors you admire. In one store my book was placed right next to V.C. Andrews, Flowers In the Attic. You also have the benefit of exposure. That browsing customer may not buy your book off the shelf, but they might buy it online. There’s no way to track that kind of sale, but a sale is a sale no matter where it comes from.

If you NEED to see your book on a shelf you have two choices: pull one out of your coat, stick it on the shelf, snap a picture and run. OR…you can just talk to a bookseller. They aren’t dragons. They won’t cast you out of the store for eternity. Chances are they’ll be very receptive to you and your book. Most of this advice applies to independent bookstores, but it can also work for the big chain stores as well. Most big chain stores have policies that vary from store to store. So go ahead–stroll into the Barnes&Noble and ask to see the manager. You never know, they might just say yes. 🙂

Good luck with the book selling!

websizeThe Darkness of Light ~ Available now through Amazon, B&N, Kobo and select retailers.

Writers write because they love writing. Writers publish for the money.

We always hear the saying: “Don’t write for the money. Write because you love it.”

While that’s a nice little saying, most of the time it’s not very practical. If writers could pay their bills and fill their bellies with the scraps of torn up love letters, we would, trust me.

Since the very secret (wink wink) soft launch of my book last week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the “money thing” and what it means to me. I promise you that I didn’t write The Darkness of Light for money. I wrote it because it was in me and it needed to come out. Writers write because they love writing. Writers  publish for the money. So I guess you could say that’s why I published my book, after all, it certainly isn’t listed as a free book. But do I really care about the money?

This week has been a bit crazy for me. Without any real promo and no blog tour, I’ve actually sold quite a few books! More than I expected when I announced it was available. I even ranked well on Amazon for most of last week. It was probably the most exciting point in my writing career so far. I loved knowing that people were reading my book. I loved getting messages saying how much they like it and pictures of people reading it. I’m so grateful to everyone who took the time to contact me and let me know they had The Darkness of Light in their dirty little hands.

Because I had such a great week with sales, that also means that I’ve earned royalties. But here’s the thing…I don’t even care about the royalties! A check in the bank is great, and I certainly can’t feed myself with scraps of paper, but the royalty doesn’t bring the happiness. The readers do! That’s what I care about. I care that I’ve written something that someone wants to read.

So the lesson, my friends, is that writers live off the joy of being a writer, and survive off the money that (hopefully) comes with it.

Sharing my book after publication is called lending. Sharing my book prior to publication is called stealing

I wish I was writing a “Happy Holiday” post, but there is something that’s been bothering me, and I need to get it off my chest.

It has come to my attention, a few times, that my book has been shared with others, by those I trusted to read it. I know the reason for this isn’t malicious, it comes from excitement. But let me assure you, that sharing my book (at any point prior to publication), and without my consent, is essentially stealing. After publication, sharing a book is fine. Loaning it to a friend, signing it out at a library, or lending the ebook on Kindle are all acceptable. It’s a finished copy available to the public, so I have no problem with loaning books. But doing any of these things with my rough drafts, or ARCs (advance reader copy), is NOT okay with me.

I have shared The Darkness of Light with others throughout the writing process. Some have read first drafts, while others have current advance reader copies. Not one of the drafts I’ve shared is the absolute final copy. The first drafts differ greatly from the ARCs I have now, and the ARCs given out still have some changes to be made. I don’t want these copies shared around like a youtube video. This book has taken me a long time to write. I have spent countless hours working on it. This book is not free, so why is it okay for someone to share it around like it’s some short-story I wrote in an hour?

By sharing my novel without my consent, you are also taking money right out of my pocket. Authors make money by SELLING BOOKS! If those I’ve trusted with my work share it with someone, who then might share it with someone else…and so on…they are taking potential sales right out from under me.

And it’s not just me that’s affected by this. What about all the hard work put in by all the other people who’ve worked on this book: the editors, formatters, proofreaders, and cover designer? Their work does not deserve to be passed around like a cat meme.

For any artist, writer, etc…there is nothing worse than knowing your work is being seen–without your consent– before it’s complete. It really is a terrible feeling.

Whether you have an ebook or print version of my novel, I feel compelled to remind everyone that it was given to you, by me, for you ALONE! Please DO NOT share it with anyone.

I hate to say it, but this has given me a bit of anxiety about sharing my next novel before it’s completely ready. I think I’ll have to keep it to myself longer, and be very selective about who reads it.

Questions writers get asked that drive them to drink

I’m sure any writer reading this might already know what I’m talking about. It’s those well intentioned questions non-writers ask us that turn our insides into puddles of flaming hot lava. I know those who ask me these kinds of questions mean well. And before I continue, let me say just how much I appreciate the support. I really do. But for the love of GOD! Please stop asking me these questions!

Question #1 – How is the book coming?

I’m never quite sure how to answer this one. I usually say, “Good,” and my stomach does a flip-flop. When writing a novel, it’s almost impossible to judge progress in the first draft phase. More than half of it could end up in the trash by the 2nd draft. So if I say, “Great!” Then I am setting myself up for disappointment.

The God’s honest truth is, I have no damn clue how the book is going. I’m not building a shed. It won’t be finished by the end of the week, or the end of next week, or the week after that. I have no idea when it will be done or how many drafts it will take. I JUST DON’T KNOW! I know I write every day! I know my keyboard is soaked in tears! I know I feel like half the stuff I’ve written is crap and maybe I’ve accidentally inserted a line from Dr. Phil while I was watching it AND WRITING –‘Just ’cause you put kittens in the oven, don’t make ’em biscuits.’

Asking me how the book is coming feels akin to someone standing outside the bathroom door and going “So how’s it coming?”

It’s shit! It’s coming like shit at the moment.

So the simple answer to this questions is: I DON’T KNOW HOW THE BOOK IS COMING. BUT THANK YOU FOR ASKING. When I have something exciting to report, trust me, the whole entire fucking world will know about it.

Question #2 – Can I read it yet?

The short answer to this is: NO! Asking me to read it before it’s ready is like asking to watch a surgery in progress. Writers get really excited when they feel like their draft is readable. We WANT people to read our stuff. We love that people care enough to want to read our stuff. But there are many, many stages to writing. This is a long, uphill battle. It takes a long, long time. So you can rest assured that when we get to the top of that hill, holding a readable manuscript in our hands, we are NOT going to refuse to let others read it. We WANT you to read it….WHEN IT’S READY! Trust me, we’ll let you know!

**I also warn new writers to be careful who you send your manuscript to. I know for a fact that mine was sent out to others without my authorization! Never underestimate the excitement of those you trust.

Questions #3- You HAVE to send me a copy!

Ummm. No. No I don’t. I have a lot less compassion for those who ask this question. Saying I HAVE to give you a copy is like me walking over to Joe the Roofer’s house and saying, “You HAVE to do my roof…for free.” No…no he doesn’t. If you wouldn’t tell your roofer friend he has to work for free, why are you telling me that I have to?

I think if people realized how much work went into writing a novel, they wouldn’t say this…I hope. Selling books is how I get PAID for the WORK I’ve done in WRITING this novel. Some authors don’t even get free copies of their books, others get a discounted rate. So are they supposed to pay for you to have a copy? No. No. No.

The simple answer is: NO. I won’t be sending every person on my Facebook friends list a copy of my book. I might have giveaways, I might send some copies to certain friends and family, but no, John Smith, who sat behind me in 9th grade English, I cannot send you a copy.

Question #4 – How many books have you sold?

I find this question a little uncomfortable. It feels the same as being asked how much my salary is or how much I earn an hour. It’s not hard to figure out that, on average, authors make somewhere between $1 to $3 per book (not including any kind of royalty advance). So if I say I’ve sold 100 books or 100,000, you’ll either think I’m broke as hell or rich (depending on how you define rich). Unless the author is a New York Times Bestselling author, who’s sold millions of copies, asking this question is a bad idea and will almost certainly make the author cringe inside.

A more appropriate question might be, “How well is your book selling?” This gives the author a wide range of answers to choose from. They can say how many books they’ve sold, they can tell you whether they’ve made any kind of best seller list, or they can simply say “Good” or “Not great.”

So before you go asking a writer for the details of their tax return, maybe consider how you’d feel if you were asked how much you make in a year?

I’m sure there are many more questions writers get asked that makes their skin crawl. These are the 4 that have affected me. As I said earlier, I am grateful for the support and people that believe in me. But I’m telling you with the utmost certainty that if you ask me any of these four questions one more time, my eye might begin to twitch.