Friday, September 28, 2012

Mellow Time

I got a whole lotta nothin' this week. I thought it would be a good week, day job wise ('cause next week will be killer), but I've gotten v. little writing done.


But . . . I did get a chance to watch this:


And this:

That makes a double dose of Chris Hemsworth with a splash of Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo, and a couple of kick-butt girl warriors. 

So . . . the week wasn't a total waste. :)

~K~

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What to Read Next

There's a cool page up on the Indelibles blog that features an "if you like 'this' you'll probably like 'this'" list featuring some of our titles. So . . . if you're in the market for something good to read, this might help.

In other news, I just finished The Veil by Cory Putman Oakes, which was really good (*Heart* Luc), and I'm currently reading Liar by Justine Larbalestier. Coming up next: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.


The VeilLiarThe Glass Castle: A Memoir 

I'm super excited about reading The Glass Castle. I recently heard Jeannette Walls speak at an event, and she was so freaking brilliant and inspiring. Loved her. 

Best advice? Make your demons work for you.



And speaking of demons: Am listening to. . . .



Enjoy! :)

~K~

Friday, September 14, 2012

Favorite Things

So here's what I'm loving right now:


The eighth and final season of Entourage

Dudes: I *love* this show. Probably more than I've ever loved a show before. Probably more than I should. 

The hubs and I don't have HBO, so we missed most of the original "run" of this. But then, two years ago, someone got us the season one DVD . . . and we were hooked. We immediately bought the rest of the seasons that were available. Last summer, we went through season seven.

We just started season eight last night, and ended up plowing through four episodes (and staying up until 1am, which was way too late). I'm sure we'll get through the rest tonight/this weekend.

It's totally ridiculous, but these people feel like "my boys." Like we all hang out together and go to parties and do stupid things and drop waaaaaay too many f-bombs. . . . Things I would *never* do in real life.

Every time a season ends I feel lost for a day or two.

I know this time is going to be worse, because it's the series finale. I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do without Vince, Drama, Eric, Turtle, and Ari. (And God help us all if I ever meet one of these guys in person.)

I don't know what it is: good storytelling, lots of drama, great characters . . . but it worked (for me, anyway).

I've never really been a TV series kind of person, but I've also caught Mad Men from season one, I am *loving* New Girl (Season Premiere Sept. 25!), and I'm catching Melissa and Joey on Hulu. 

After Entourage ends, though, I'm thinking I need a new DVD series. I've heard so many great things about Downton Abbey, but I'm not sure I could talk the hubs into that one. I'm also thinking Game of Thrones. If you have any recommends, feel free to share. 

And, if you happen to adore Ari Gold: Step back. He's mine. ;) 

~K~

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Worst Birthday Ever

I'm writing a new book, and in it the protagonist is trying to make up for his love interest's "worst birthday ever." I can't go into details, because that would give away some of the plot of the story, and I'm notorious for not discussing my projects. :)
So then a friend of mine from the "real world” (as in, not my pen name/writing world) posted the similarities between women who are pregnant and babies (among them: quickly outgrowing clothes, the need for naps, and the need for food at frequent intervals). I came really close to adding "seemingly irrelevant bouts of crying" to the list.
And that got me thinking about one of the times I had one of those crying bouts while I was pregnant, which led me to another crying bout a week after my daughter was born.
I was overwhelmed, and I was tired, and it was my 24th birthday. I put baby girl in the stroller to go for a walk down the road, because, if I didn't get fresh air, my head was going to explode.
But it was my birthday. I had no plans. There was no party. I felt wretched, anyway. I was sleep-deprived. We were in the worst economy ever (post-9/11 college grads), so my husband was out of work. I wasn't working. We were BEYOND broke.
And I remember walking up the street, pushing that stroller knowing I wouldn’t be celebrating that year. I knew the cards that came in that week had been emptied of their money (thank you, family members with good intentions—you paid our power bill that month). I'm sure my mom called to wish me a happy birthday—she might’ve even stopped by. I'm sure *someone* called me. Maybe my husband did something for me—I don't know. I don’t remember.
All I know is that here I was with a one-week old baby I couldn't afford, and I didn't know what the hell I was doing.
And it was my birthday.
(lol) I don't say this to depress anyone. I know this is a *bummer* of a post (especially coming from me).
What I do want to say is this: I totally get it. I understand. But I also know that whoever coined the phrase is a freaking genius, and "this, too, shall *always* pass." 
It won't be dark forever (even if it feels like it at the time).
I just turned thirty in June. That baby girl is seven now. I don't know how we made it through those early years, but we did. We (as a people) are resilient like that. And even though I was making up rules as I went along, it all worked out (somehow).
I remember that walk so clearly, though, as one of the lowest moments I've ever had—scared, confused, sad. . . . Now, seven years later, I'm trying to channel those feelings for the character I'm writing.
I'm not an idiot—I know this is nothing compared to the tragedies others have faced; I know there is no guarantee that this will always be my "worst birthday ever." I'm not na├»ve like that.
But it'll pass. Whatever it is. And we might not come out of it unscathed, it might change us forever—but it'll pass. We'll figure it out. We'll make it through.
And then we'll live to tell our stories so that others will know they're not alone, either. :)
~Katie~
P.S. I don’t know why I feel compelled to share this, and I almost didn't press "send," but I know that whenever I get a gut feeling like this, it’s because someone out there reading this needs it. Then again, at some point, I think we all need it. 
So here it is. That is all. ;)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Formatting/Publishing Links of Interest

Hey Y'all!

In case you haven't seen the tweets, Susan Kaye Quinn did a whole series of posts last week on epubbing and formatting. If you're new to the indie game or are thinking about formatting your own ebooks, check out these links. 

So super helpful! :)

~KK~

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

August Sales Numbers

August numbers are crunched! And the grand total is. . . .

6,156 


The Guardian
            Amazon US: 583, Amazon UK: 8, Amazon DE: 1, BN: 163, iTunes: 14, Kobo: 1
            Total: 770           (24.8 sales per day)

Cross My Heart
            Amazon US: 2,857, Amazon UK: 316, Amazon DE: 49, Amazon FR: 10, BN: 577, iTunes: 671, Kobo: 17
            Total: 4,497        (145.06 sales per day)

Vendetta
            Amazon US: 323, Amazon UK: 3, Amazon DE: 1, BN: 70, iTunes: 9                     
            Total: 406         (13.09 sales per day)
           
Revelation
            Amazon US: 327, Amazon UK: 4, Amazon DE: 2, BN: 68, iTunes: 8                     
            Total: 409         (13.19 sales per day)

Trilogy
            Amazon US: 38, Amazon UK: 1, Amazon DE: 1, BN: 24, iTunes: 9, Kobo: 1
            Total: 74           (2.38 sales per day)
The $.99 price point is working really well for The Guardian, I think. It's harder to break the rankings barrier (I'm hovering around 4k on Amazon right now), but since my read-through rate is between 40-50%, this is also carrying over to Vendetta and Revelation sales. Vendetta, especially, saw a nice bump this month.

So, yes: this was a great way to say goodbye to summer! I saw a slight increase in sales from last month, which made August 2012 my all time high for Cross My Heart sales.

I'm seeing a noticeable decline in September already, though, with back to school distractions. I'm predicting a drop/plateau until November/December. Christmas is always a fun day, so, for now, all eyes are set to the holidays.

Barnes and Noble sales are still pretty strong (especially compared to this time last year). Whatever they did to their algorithms at the end of spring is paying off.

iTunes is also picking up. I can't believe I dragged my feet for so long in getting my books uploaded there. It's sad, actually.

(Remember, I never distributed through Smashwords. I've always uploaded directly.)

The additional platforms are a huge help, imo. If you're not on them yet, get moving. Spread yourself out. Even Kobo, at 1-2 sales a day, helps--and you never know when a book or platform will take off. Don't rely on Amazon or BN alone.

What else helps? More titles. Even though Cross My Heart remains my big seller, the 15-20 copies of both Vendetta and Revelation (priced at $3.99 and $4.99) sold a day are pretty nice. In the event there's ever a CMH lull, it's good to have these other titles to pick up the slack.

What's also nice? The two Trilogy copies I'm selling a day. Seriously guys: if you have a series or multiple titles, consider bundling them (add a few extras for incentive: bonus short stories, an interview or Q and A section, playlists, etc.). 

Again, this is nothing that hasn't been stated before. I'm just here to show that it works. And the truth is, there are indies out there who are blowing my sales out of the water. I've been at the indie game almost two years now, and I know I'm not an anomaly: there are plenty of authors out there doing even better than I am.

So . . . wherever you are in your journey: on the fence, at the start, blowing me out of the water . . .

More titles/options
More platforms
Good prices
That is all. ;)

~K~


Monday, September 3, 2012

Hot New Releases!

Blood Soaked Promises (Blood and Snow 4)

 

"Lips red as rubies, hair dark as night. Drink your true love's blood, become the Vampire, Snow White."
 
Blood Soaked Promises by RaShelle Workman Summary: Snow White must come to terms with her bloodlust. It's one thing to drink the blood of her Hunter, something else entirely to drink the blood of a human.
My Paper Heart by Magan Vernon

My Paper Heart


There are worse things in life than failing out of college- such as having your parents receive the letter that you’ve been kicked out.
Now to appease her parents self-proclaimed sorority princess Libby Gentry is packing up her Prada bag and heading to work for her great aunt’s newspaper in tiny Elsbury, Louisiana. She’s pretty sure she can tackle the swamp and deal with her great aunt and tom boy of a little cousin, but what she doesn’t know is if she can handle the local town playboy, Blaine Crabtree.


As Libby's feelings for Blaine grow, so does her need for acceptance and all of the insecurities she has kept inside are coming out. She may have survived the Louisiana swamp, but she may not survive Blaine's reluctance to say the 'L' word. When Blaine finally commits to the three words Libby’s been waiting for, she only hopes they haven’t come too late.

**This book does contain some mild language and sexual content. It is meant for upper YA readers**
the scribe by Susan Kaye Quinn

The Scribe: 

A SHORT NOVELLA

Twenty-three-year-old Sasha is in search of a mindjacking Clan that won’t force him to use his unique skill—he can’t face the prospect of erasing any more souls. A revolutionary Clan leader offers him a chance to serve a higher purpose, but Sasha’s wary that it’s only a trick to use his ability. When a beautiful female jacker seeks refuge with them, and her former Clan leader wants her special skill back at any cost, Sasha has to decide if there are any causes worth the cost of using his ability one more time.

The Scribe is a short novella (12,000 words or 40 pages) in the Mindjack Origins series, which are companion stories to the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy. The Scribe is Sasha’s story and takes place in the time period between Open Minds and Closed Hearts. It contains (minor) spoilers for those two novels.

The Scribe is $0.99 on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Kaye-Quinn/e/B003TTJRXU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346343306&sr=8-2-ent

BLOOD AND SNOW

volumes 1-4: Blood and Snow, Revenant in Training, 

The Vampire Christopher, Blood Soaked Promises

 

Blood and Snow Vol. 1-4
  • BLOOD AND SNOW: Snow White lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her dad, stepmother, and her cat, Gatsby. Her entire life she's been teased for her fairy tale name, and the fact that her seven best friends happen to be guys whose names begin with the same letters as the seven dwarves. Everything changes on a trip into Boston, where an unseen stranger bites her, and she's transformed into something not quite human.
  • REVENANT IN TRAINING: Snow has been transformed into a revenant - not quite human and not quite vampire. She must discover how to live with the changes, hopefully without killing anyone.
  • THE VAMPIRE CHRISTOPHER: As a revenant, Snow White craves blood. Especially the blood of her Hunter. But will drinking from him save or enslave her?
  • BLOOD SOAKED PROMISES: Snow White must come to terms with her bloodlust. It's one thing to drink the blood of her Hunter, something else entirely to drink the blood of a human.

the handler by Susan Kaye QuinnThe Handler:

A SHORT NOVELLA
 

It's time for Julian Navarro to fulfill the mission left to him by his dead parents: to spark a revolution that would allow mindjackers to live freely in a mindreading world. While his ability allows him to mentally control the instincts of others, Julian wants to win jackers to his cause with words, not weapons. But when his first recruit has a secret—and bloody—history, Julian has to decide how far he'll go to ensure his revolution isn't snuffed out before it starts.

The Handler is a short novella (9,000 words or 30 pages) in the Mindjack Origins series, which are companion stories to the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy. The Handler is Julian's story and takes place in the time period between Open Minds and Closed Hearts. It contains (minor) spoilers for those two novels.

The Handler is $0.99 on: