Friday, October 28, 2011

My Favorite Things

Do you know what I like best about epubbing?

Knowing my sales, and getting paid on time.

If you've published a book to Kindle or Nook, you've already gotten an email letting you know that August royalties will be dispersed soon. (If not, it's on the way!)

One of the biggest complaints I've heard from traditionally published authors (and have experienced myself) is the lack of information available to writers.

I just had to email my former publisher because I realized I haven't seen a statement in a while. I know I haven't "earned out" from my traditional deal, but I'd kind of like to know where I stand.

Simon and Schuster is working on this, and is now offering its authors a portal where they can see their sales numbers. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

Still, it's nice to know that, at the end of each month (if I've sold enough copies), those BN and Amazon emails will hit my inbox and, within a few days, the money will be dispersed. I don't have to wait six months for the house to crunch numbers. I don't have to wait for a check to be cut. I don't have to wait for an agent to crunch numbers, take his/her cut, then send the rest my way. . . .

Whether they want to admit it or not, Simon and Schuster is following Amazon's lead in this. Information/Knowledge is power. Now that the information is available, maybe we'll start to see better royalty rates, and then maybe authors will get paid on time.

Anything that shifts the favor back to the writer is a good thing, and I'm glad to see Simon and Schuster adapting. :)


Monday, October 24, 2011

Reading and Writing

So, despite the busy weekend, I still managed to churn out 3k words on the WIP. Probably more, but I did some deleting, too. 

I also spent some down time reading. I was completely sucked into Courtney Summers's SOME GIRLS ARE. 

I'm familiar with Courtney's work (I read her other books earlier this year), but I'd forgotten how completely immersed in her character's lives I get when I'm reading. It's not hard for me to put most books down, but I *never* seem to want to stop reading hers. They embody what it means to be a "page-turner."

I also admire Courtney's ability to put her characters through the muck. As authors, I think we're guilty of sometimes protecting our characters. We don't want bad things to happen to them. Bad things happen in Courtney's books, and then, just when you think it couldn't possibly get worse for the characters, it does.

I love how she pushes the boundaries. It makes me want to "up the ante" in my own writing.

Her books aren't for the faint of heart/spirit, but I *highly* recommend them.

I hope you had a productive weekend! :)


Friday, October 21, 2011

It's the Weekend!

I dare you not to smile. . . .

funny pictures - itteh bitteh  camping trip commiteh
Yeah, that's what I thought.

I'm going under for the weekend. I'm hoping that I can get some new words written on the WIP, because, quite frankly, I haven't opened the file since last week. I had no clue the day job was going to keep me so busy this year. (cries) I miss my summer!

Whatever your plans (writing, revising, plotting, promoting, formatting), I'm sending productivity vibes your way.

I'm going in with 16,900 words. We'll see what I have when I return.

See you on the other side. :)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brief Update

It looks like the previous issue I blogged about is slowly working itself out, so the other post has been temporarily sent to "draft" status. I'm sorry if you missed the drama (but not really, because I'm sure we could all use less drama in our lives).

Again: I'm incredibly thankful for the friends and family members in my life who stay on these things. Wouldn't know what to do without y'all. I'm surrounded by the coolest people in the world, and I don't take you guys for granted. <3

As for me: Moving on, because the day job calls. Looking forward to *another* late night.:)

(At some point I'll be able to write full-time, and then I'll have so many books out you'll be sick of me!)


Friday, October 14, 2011

YA Indie Spotlight: Liz Reinhardt

Hi Everyone!

I *finally* have another spotlight for you! Today, I'm featuring Double Clutch, a YA contemporary romance by Liz Reinhardt.


What happens when you fall for the perfect one day?
Brenna Blixen spent her freshman year homeschooling in Denmark; now that she's back in the States, she's determined to make her sophomore year unforgettable. And by unforgettable, she imagined awesome classes, fun friendships, and maybe a little romance. 

What she got was a whole lot of romance, and all at once.

The same day that dark, brooding Saxon Maclean charmed her with his killer good looks and whip-smart wit, Jake Kelly stole her breath away with his heart-wrenching smile and intelligent, thoughtful focus.

But Saxon is a proud player who makes it clear that he doesn't know why he can't get Brenna off of his mind and out of his system, and Jake's sweet and humble attitude hides a secret past life that might be darker and more complex than Brenna is willing to deal with.

Complicating the matter is the fact that Saxon and Jake were once best friends and are now arch-enemies...and the more Brenna finds out about their connection to each other, the more intrigued and worried she becomes.

Between keeping the peace with her lovingly over-protective parents, designing t-shirts for her high school's rising punk band, keeping up her grades in classes split between academic and technical high school, and running the track like a maniac, Brenna has enough to worry about without juggling two guys who make her heart thud and drive her crazy all at once.

She has to make a choice, but how is she supposed to do that when giving her heart to one of them might mean breaking the other's?


Liz Reinhardt was born and raised in the idyllic beauty of northwest NJ. A move to the subtropics of coastal Georgia with her daughter and husband left her with a newly realized taste for the beach and a bloated sunscreen budget. Right alongside these new loves is her old, steadfast affection and longing for bagels and the fast-talking foul mouths of her youth.

She loves Raisinettes, even if they aren't really candy, the Oxford comma, movies that are hilarious or feature zombies, any and all books, but especially romance (the smarter and hotter, the better), the sound of her daughter's incessantly wise and entertaining chatter, and watching her husband work on cars in the driveway.


"A realistic contemporary romance that held my attention from page one right to the very end; it is sweet, romantic and the drama is detailed and entertaining."

"A wonderful debut . . . one sizzling love triangle, and a great romance."

"Reinhardt's portrayal of high school romance is so captivating that I couldn't help but be swept up in the heart-pounding, butterflies-in-the-stomach fun of it all."

(A few reviews mention some PG-13 romance, so this might be more appropriate for the older teen—we'll say 14-up.)

Double Clutch is priced at $2.99 and is available for Kindle and Nook.

You can read Liz's blog, like her on Facebook, or email her at

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Interview and Another Milestone

Hi Everyone!

A quick drop in. I swear. This will be a FLY BY post.

First: thank you to everyone who's written to tell me you're enjoying The Guardian series. The answer to your question: I'm writing the third book right now. Promise. Though I can't predict the exact date it will be ready, I'm going to throw early 2012 out there. Fingers crossed.

Second: The Cybils is open for nominations! Categories include: book apps, easy readers, fantasy and science fiction, fiction picture books, graphic novels, middle grade fiction, non-fiction picture books, non-fiction: middle grade and young adult, poetry, and young adult fiction. Nominations close Oct. 15, so head over and nominate your fav. title!

Third: I am *SO* excited to be a guest blogger on Michelle Zink's site today. Michelle is the author of the Prophecy of the Sisters series, and is just an all-around fabulous writer/person. I'm talking epubbing/being an indie, and would love for you to stop by and say hello.

Finally (and I should've posted this sooner), I have another number to throw out:




Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Reads!

Hi Y'all!

Outside of my YA Indie Spotlight (I'll have a new one for you next week! Promise!), I rarely mention other Indie titles that have caught my eye. (Too many blog topics, never enough time to tackle them all.) So . . . for your weekend, I thought I'd throw out some potential reads. There are thousands from which to choose, but these are all recently released and on my radar at the moment:


Erin and Grace are pretty, popular and firmly ensconced in the In Crowd at Morgan High. Looking forward to a summer of sleeping late and hanging by the pool, the best friends don’t think twice about the suggestion that they spend time volunteering - until they come across Clare, a bohemian misfit more into environmental awareness and yoga than parties and clothes. Grace pushes Erin to consider Clare their own personal charity. The way Grace sees it, remaking Clare into one of them puts the "good" in "good deed". Before Erin knows it, she and Grace are engaged in a secret campaign to change Clare. As the summer - and their friendship with Clare - progresses, Grace's audacity turns into an escalating recklessness when she learns her dad is back in rehab and Erin suspects things aren't exactly wonderful between her parents. Through it all, Clare is there. Her peasant skirts and clunky sandals are slowly replaced by a more fashionable wardrobe, and without realizing it, Erin and Grace change, too. Pretty soon, Clare is more than a good deed - she’s the friend Erin and Grace never knew they needed. But when Grace's self-destructive behavior takes a dangerous turn, the good deed is revealed. To find their way back to Clare - and each other - Grace and Erin come face to face with the reality that things, and people, aren’t always what they seem. 

***Julia Jamieson is a traditionally published author and fairly new to the YA Indie scene. The Good Deed Diaries is priced at $2.99 and can be purchased here for Kindle. She is definitely someone to keep an eye on. :)


Sometimes in war... there are no winners. Peyton Brentwood is pretty, popular, and Harvard-bound. Or so she hopes. Her only distraction from AP classes and entrance exams is the prank war with her ex-best friend, Jess Hill. Peyton is used to getting what she wants, and she's not about to let a loser like Jess gain the upper hand. For Jess, the prank war is an outlet, a way to get revenge on the best friend who left her behind. As if Peyton has the guts to do what it takes to win. Please. There is no way in hell Jess is going to lose this one, even if she has to hit Peyton where it hurts. These two girls are about to discover it's best to keep your friends close... and your enemies closer.

***This novel is co-written by Mandy Hubbard and Cyn Balog (both are traditionally published). It is priced at $.99 and can be purchased here for Kindle.


Grief-stricken by the murder of her twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her ticket to eternal peace and a chance to reunite with her sister. When Keely succeeds in taking her own life, she discovers death isn’t at all what she expected. Instead, she’s trapped in a netherworld on Earth and her only hope for reconnecting with her sister and navigating the afterlife is a bounty-hunting reaper and a sardonic, possibly unscrupulous, demon. But when the demon offers Keely her greatest temptation—revenge on her sister's murderer—she must uncover his motives and determine who she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, both reaper and demon are keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true—that her every decision will change how, and with whom, she spends eternity.
***Don't Fear the Reaper is YA Indie Author Michelle Muto's second novel for young adults. It is priced at $2.99 and can be purchased here for Kindle.

Bex Blixen is an elite high school cadet trained in deadly Apian Dance combat, living in an accelerated-physics academy designed to win the arms race of the second Cold War. But as conflicting clues surface regarding the whereabouts of her sister Beatrix, Bex becomes convinced her sister has been kidnapped by rebel government agents seeking to turn her breakthrough teleportation research to treacherous ends. Bex must enlist the help of her friends and a mysterious powerful ally to stop the evil Dr. Andronicus and save not only her sister, but her homeland as well. 
The Rival is Bethany Joy Carlson's debut novel. It is priced at $2.99 and can be purchased here for Kindle.   

This should keep you busy for the weekend, right? 

Remember: don't trust the Amazon "Look Inside" feature: there are too many formatting errors. It makes me nauseous. Always try the free sample, instead. If you like what you see, check it out. If you like what you read, don't forget to rate and review. 

And *always* tell a friend. :)

Happy Reading!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another Reason for Indies to Proofread Carefully

There is a developing story I wanted to post this week: Amazon might be weeding through and pulling ebooks that contain errors.

The post begins: "For those of you who've missed the latest, Amazon initially yanked and wirelessly replaced, and then removed entirely from sale, a book (Neal Stephenson's Reamde) after a reader posted a scathing, virulent review of the errors she found in the book."

(You can also read the review via the blog post.)

There was also this response, posted by author SM Reine.

You may want to scroll through the comments, too, to get an idea of what people are saying about this.

And actually, this isn't the first I've heard of this. A few weeks ago I was following a thread on the KindleBoards where this happened. The author received a notice from Amazon saying that his book was being pulled because of errors. The errors were listed and . . . guess what?

No, you don't have to guess.

All of the errors were stylistic choices (and, if I recall correctly, they were punctuation and jargon-related). The author wrote to Amazon, and, while it was confirmed that the book was never removed from the site, it was still a very frustrating experience. (It would have been even MORE frustrating if the book WAS taken off sale and sales were lost during the time.) I really wish I could find the thread now, but I lack the time needed to search for it. (mutters: Crazy Day Job)

My thoughts? I'm glad Amazon is trying to police ebooks. These are two specific cases I know about: one involving an Indie author, and the other a traditionally published author. (I'm sure there are others.)

The problem I'm having, though, is where is the line drawn? Do I want to read an ebook filled with typos and structure or formatting errors? No. Should the author be notified? Yes. But then I think it's up to the author to do something about it. The fact is: reviewers are quick to post info about typos, and it's pretty easy to gauge "frequency and depth of errors" in a sample. There's too much competition, and these books are going to sink, anyway.

And by the way, I've seen more formatting errors in the traditionally published ebooks I've read than Indie books. I swear, they're paying people to slap books up as quickly as possible, and there is little quality control.

Dear Publishers: please check your ebook editions before you list them for sale!

In all cases, I wrote it off because I paid less than four bucks . . . but still.

Dear Indies: make sure you proofread, hire an editor, hire a content designer, whatever, and double, TRIPLE check your formatting.

Dear Readers: PLEASE don't run out to report me for errors.

I know how to construct a sentence. The fragments are a stylistic choice. My characters? They struggle to finish their thoughts. I do, too. That's just how we roll. And that thing with the ellipses? I know it's a problem. I'm in search of a 12-step program to rid them from my life. Okay, well, not RID them, because I *love* my ellipses. They say so much without saying . . . anything at all, really. But I’m trying to use them less frequently. X my <3!

Better yet, if you find an error or two (or twenty! EEK!), shoot the author an email. I saw a KB poll not too long ago where the vast majority of Indie writers welcomed reader corrections. It's *so* easy to fix them, y'all! We don't have to bring in the Big Dogs. They're *so* busy these days, what, with world domination and all. 

So . . . this is definitely something to keep an eye on. There's the potential for a lot of good here, but there's also quite a bit at stake, too, and I would never want to see a feature that's meant to help people abused.

That is all.