Monthly Archives: December 2012

Win an ebook copy of Nevermor!

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It’s that time again: contest time!  This time I’m giving away free copies of Nevermor!

Here’s how it’s going to work: For every 20 entries, there will be one winner. So, if I have 100 entries, I will give away 5 copies. (I haven’t decided on the format yet. It will be either Kindle or Smashwords.) The best news?  This contest is available to everyone! It doesn’t matter what country!  Tell your friends about the contest and they can enter too! (A winner will not be chosen out of every group of 20, but winners will be chosen at random at the end, based on the amount of total entries.)

To enter, I’d like you to fill out the form below, but there’s a catch this time. To qualify, you have you share. Share either this blog page or my book trailer, and paste the link where you shared it on the form. Without proof that you shared, your entry won’t count. You can share it wherever you like. Post it on your Wattpad page (you can even use the image to the side to link back here) or Facebook, mention me on Twitter. It doesn’t have to be this particular link. Just mention me and my book somewhere, and link back to the blog. Anywhere at all!

Here’s another catch: if you want to share it more than once in different places, or on different days, I’ll put your name in the pot again! But! You can only count as an individual once. So, if you share 20 times yourself, you will not be guaranteed a copy, but you’ll just have your name in 20 times, increasing your chances. (Each time you share, fill out the form again and send me the link so that I can verify. And I will!) I’m going to chose the winners and announce them just before I publish the book, so you will be informed before it is available to buy, and you’ll get your copies as soon as it is available.

That’s all.  Good luck!

Entry Information: To enter, fill out the form below.  The contest will run until the book is published (TBA).  Winner will be chosen randomly and will be announced on the blog on the day of release. Please enter with a name you won’t mind being publicly mentioned on this blog. Winner will be contacted by the email provided below and must respond to me within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.  After that, the gift copies or codes will be sent through email AFTER the winner has responded to my initial message. (Rules subject to change)

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2012 in review

I just thought I’d post this up because it’s fun to look at. :p Just got it through email and I thought it was pretty. It’s a nice summary of the blog this past year. Considering that it’s only been going for a few months, I think it’s done nicely. My favorite part is that I’ve had visitors from 36 countries!!

Thank you again to all of you following the blog, commenting, and checking in on this project to help me out! You’re the best fans ever! ❤ ❤

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Editing 101

I think I’m pretty much there! I added 2 new sections yesterday, and while I think there might be a few little holes left, I’m going back to the beginning again to get deeper into the editing. I think all my events are in order, the characters have done what they need to do, and all is in place. (My Dragon software works awesomely, by the way. I used it to record what I’d scribbled down by hand, and it was so quick!)

I’m pretty much done at 138K. I might get to 140, but I doubt I’ll break that. So, now comes the part where I dig in and work on the text, but there is more to it than just making sure grammar and spelling are correct. I have to look at everything and make sure it’s juuuust right.

Very few of my posted stories have gotten a serious edit session. I’ve read them over and if I noticed something, I worked on it, but in my super editing mode (which I think has only happened for a couple of my stories such as Needle’s Eye – possibly Rickety House. maybe Mark of Thorn) I don’t just read it; I look at every sentence to make sure it’s perfect. Then I zoom out and look at the paragraph, and then the section, and then the chapter. It takes quite a bit of work, and since I have so many words with this one, it will probably take a bit of time.  Still, I’m pushing myself for a January/February release, so I’m going to do what I can with the time that I have.

Here are a few tips for you based on what I’m going to be doing:

Make sure all of your sentences don’t begin the same way. If you have every sentence in a paragraph beginning with ‘she’, then you should probably change some of that up. Likewise, if all of your paragraphs begin with ‘she’, you should probably tweak that too.

Look for words and phrases that you’ve repeated often. You may find that you have used the same words over and over again. Readers will notice this too, especially if it’s an unusual word. I’m not talking about common words like ‘the’. For instance, I’ve noticed that several of my characters have been ‘bewildered’. In this case, I’ll want to go in and see how many times I’ve used that word, and then change a few of them to something else – either another word or phrase that means the same thing, just to add some variety.

Look for words you may have used too closely together. This goes with the one above. Just try not to use the same words over and over again. If you notice a spot like that, replace the word with something else. If you can’t, reword the whole sentence. Sometimes all this is tedious, but it will be worth it in the end.

Look at each chapter individually. Is there enough material in your chapter? Does the chapter flow well on its own? If you’re like me and usually write to post a chapter at a time, you already know the importance of this. The reader should get something out of every chapter.

Do you know that I just spent nearly 2 hours (interrupted) adjusting the prologue?  The PROLOGUE!  It’s 600 words!!!  I’m doomed…  But I’m in Chapter One now, and looking at it, I’m pleased with myself, so Yay. :p

Time to get back to it! Maybe once I get the first few chapters finalized, I’ll give you a sample on Wattpad. :O  We’re getting close everyone!

The Official Nevermor Book Trailer is here!

Eeeee! I can’t say how excited I am about this!!!! *ahem* Let me try again:

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!  There, I was able to say it after all.

This may be, perhaps, the biggest thing that will happen before I push the publish button.  Well…maybe. It only feels like that right now.  Anyway, it is, like I said, very exciting.

I’ve been working on this trailer for the past few days, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of work that went into this! It seems so simple and it’s so short, but it took a lot of effort to get everything just right – to find the perfect images and sounds, and then get them to line up! But it’s very cool. It makes me feel all professional and junk. :p (if you want to see the list of sounds I used and where I got them, check out the listing on the Youtube page where I gave credit)

Here’s a little update before you go running off to watch the video: I’m still filling in story holes, but I got two filled in today! That’s an accomplishment. I’m at 136K and still pressing right along. I got some really fun software for Christmas – Dragon Voice recognition. It’s pretty cool. I’m not too good at writing by saying it out loud. I think that I come up with the last part of my sentences while I’m still typing the first part, but this will really come in handy for typing out what I write by hand, because I won’t have to do anything except read it. hehe That will save me a lot of time.

I hope everyone who was celebrating had a great holiday!  Now, enjoy the video! (make sure the quality is set to HD!) And like it and share it if you’re so inclined! That’s very important, since the real purpose of making this is for marketing!

My Gameplan

The time is drawing closer, so I’m going to give you an idea of what to expect for when the book is released, how you can get a copy, what I need from you, and so on.  Please take the time to read this, because in it I’m going to explain why things are going to be as they are in the beginning.  Also, if you are curious about self-publishing, this might give you a little bit of info on that as well.

The First Step

While I know some of you might have been expecting to get your hands on a solid book that you can put on your shelf, I’m sorry to say that it won’t be happening that way right at the beginning. Nevermor is going to begin as an ebook.

This is why: getting books printed is expensive, and it’s not just the printing.  There’s marketing, distribution, isbn numbers, and other things. Print on demand services are usually free, and I may go to that eventually, but I’m hoping for something a little bigger than that.  Also, the cover image I created with stock images is not permitted to be used for Print on Demand services(Lulu, Blurb, CreateSpace and such), but it’s alright to use for representing an ebook, unless I can get special permissions – which could cost more – or unless I commission some art to be made, which is also expensive.

So, think of the ebook version as a sort of fundraising experience.  Instead of attempting to do a Kickstarter where I ask for donations to make this happen, instead, you’re getting an ebook to read in exchange for the donation that will help bring Nevermor into print and take it to a wider audience.

Even though I would rather have a book in my hands personally; as an author, I like the idea of the ebook for several reasons. One, it’s instant. Pretty much as soon as I decide the book is ready, I can make it available to you right away, like posting on Wattpad. And if I decide I want to edit a bit more, I can easily go back in and update the version at no charge to me.  No big deal at all. The buyer can then download the new version, and voila! – mistakes fixed, new content added, whatever. (I hope to have no mistakes before I release it, however.) That way, I can definitely be sure it’s perfect before I put it into print.

Kindle or Smashwords – or both?

There are a lot of good points to publishing with Kindle, even though I would actually get paid more often through Smashwords. Kindle has more exposure and is more respected. By making my book available exclusively through Kindle, I could also concentrate my sales and reviews to try and move myself forward in the selling charts. All of my purchases would happen from one place and this would push me forward in sales on the best-seller list.  I can also enter the book in the KDP select program, which is like a library lending plan, which I also get paid for every time someone borrows the book with Amazon Prime.

Smashwords doesn’t have the prestige, I feel, but it pays better, more often, and no matter what country the buyer is from, all of the money I’ve earned will be paid to me as one sum. With Kindle, pretty much every country is a separate check, and I have to make at least $10 in EACH to get paid. This is one thing I don’t like, because what if I only have one sale in France or something??  I may never see that money.

As far as self-publishing, Smashwords might seem like a good choice, because they promise distribution through other channels, but even though it says your book will be distributed to other book sellers such as Barnes and Noble, the Apple Store, so on, being “distributed” is just about where it stops, because most of those other sellers have to approve your book manually before they will sell it in their store.  I think publishing exclusively on Kindle has better exposure, unless of course my book gets approved…in a long line of books waiting to be approved.

I’m not sure which I’ll go with yet. I sort of wanted to concentrate all my reviews in one place; however, I may go with both and try my luck.

Don’t have a Kindle? No problem. 

There is a Kindle App that you can put on your phone or ipod, or computer – pretty much anywhere. Just purchase the book from the Amazon store and you can put it right on your device with the app.  Reads just like it would from Wattpad – or better perhaps. I prefer the Kindle format to the Smashwords web document ones, but those can be downloaded for other devices as well.

Cost

I plan to sell the ebook for $4.99, at least in the beginning (I decided on $1 per 25K, though if somehow I do reach 150K in my edits, I may not raise the price again).  At a 70% royalty, I’ll get around $3.50 for each copy.  Some ebooks (most from traditional publishers) are super expensive, but I’m trying not to do that, especially since I want to leave you with some money to buy the bound version. =) What do you think of this cost? Is it too much for an ebook? How much would you expect to pay for an ebook?

What I need from you:

Well, of course I need you to read it! 😉 But that’s only part of it. After the book is obtained, I’d like for you to rate and review it on whichever site you buy it from. This is very important! The review doesn’t have to be much, but the idea is that I need the ratings from the sales. (Those who purchased it will be shown as verified reviewers, showing that the site has recognized them as individual people who bought the book.  If you do not purchase the book but try to review, the review will not be verified, on Amazon at least.) After 20+ Kindle ratings (I think) the book will start to show up on Amazon lists like “Those who purchased this also purchased…”. That means more exposure for me and my story!

Also, once it’s published, I’d like you to share it through Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Google+ or anything else you have connections with and can think of.  The book is going to be listed on Goodreads, so if you have a Goodreads account, you can add the book to your reading list and review and rate it there.  A portion of it is going to be posted on Wattpad, so be sure to add that to your reading lists there too. You won’t get the whole book there, only a sample, but hopefully that will draw more attention to it.

I’ll prompt you further about this later on and give more information about how it’s going to work out. Right now, I’m hoping for a January-possibly early February release for the book, but that does depend on my editing progress. Could be sooner, could be later. I’ll let you know of course.

I know I’ve said this 100 times, but thanks again to all of you who have been following the blog and have stuck with me on this!  It means so much to have your support, and have you respond to my questions and ideas for the direction of the story.  I really look forward to sharing this with you, but not only the story – the whole experience of publishing!

Keep checking in for news, contests, writing advice and all sorts of things along my road to publishing victory!

General Update – Still Editing

I’m still hoping that I get my wish of calling the book finished by the end of the year. I still have a week to get it tied up and fixed for the most part, and I think I can do it. I’ve pretty much got the ending finished, and now I have to type it. Bleh, But that and a few other spots should do it!

I’m at 132K now, but that will probably grow even more once I get the entire ending typed up. I’m not really sure I expected it to be this long. Whew!

I’m thinking that the last excerpt I gave you will be the last one you get – that is until I post up a sample of the book up on Wattpad. 🙂 I don’t know if I’ll do that before or when I’m ready to publish it, but I’ve already gotten started setting it up. I might also do a video reading from the beginning, if I feel like it.

I’m going to present you with an idea of my publishing plan soon, maybe in the next day or so. It’s not finalized, but it will give you an idea for how I’m thinking of going about it.

That’s about all the news I have to share for now. Just keeping you updated!

Official Description

I’ve whittled down my official description for the book, and I think I’ve finally settled on a solid one. I had two or three going with different tones (one was pretty much my World of Nevermor description; another was much lengthier) but I think this one probably best describes the flow of the book, how it begins and goes along, and what it’s about.

***

LONDON, 1873 – In the foggy city, polluted by coal smoke from the factories along the river, 15-year-old Wren is clinging to a small thread of hope: the shimmering silver dream of a better life.

Wren and her brothers, Henry and Max, are orphans.  They wish to be adopted, but no one wants to take in all three of them.  Wren won’t be separated from her family, but no matter how hard she fights to keep them together, she fears she will lose them nonetheless.  Henry grows more distant by the day, and Wren worries about how young Max will be affected if he continues along the path of this hard life.

She wants more for both of them – for herself.  She wants an escape.

Prompted by a world she sees in a dream, Wren begins to tell her brothers stories of a place where they can be carefree forever – a place called Nevermor.  It is an island at the edge of the universe, where all dreams go.  There is a boy who guards it, and he is known only as the Rifter.  Wren believes that this place truly exists and desires her own life there, where she can keep her family together without anyone tearing them apart.

But Wren gets more than she bargained for when she is kidnapped by the arrogant and volatile Rifter and taken to Nevermor against her will.  It is not completely unwelcome, however.  The land is beautiful and there is freedom.  The Rifter and his pack of wild boys accept her, and she feels that her brothers will be happy in this place too.

Wren falls in love with Nevermor – and with the Rifter – and yet the more she learns of the conflict between the Rifter and a wicked man called the Scourge, the more she comes to realize that Nevermor is not a place for children.

Nevermor is a dark fantasy based on the legend of Peter Pan. 

 

***

What do you think? Does it flow well? Does it get your attention?

Today I’m working by hand to fill in the “final battle” portion of the book to get that completed. I haven’t been able to concentrate properly on the computer lately so I’m going at it old school again. 130K though, and still getting bigger.

Once I get it ready for my next round of edits, I’m planning to use a writing program called Scrivener, which I’ve never used before. I’m looking forward to that though. I think I’ll like it and I’ll let you know how that goes.

Keep your eyes peeled for more news! I hope to announce that I’m finished soon! (I know I’ve been saying that, but really this time!  I have a deadline! 😛