When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing or in what direction my author's walk would take me. (It's likely that I still don't know.) The important thing was that I took that first step. I promised back then to be true to what I learned as an indie author and to share it here.
In September of 2019, I was working crazy long hours and my writing kept getting pushed to the back burner. I'd earned nothing from my books although the first one had been out for almost a year and a half. I hadn't yet gotten any kind of handle on advertising, but I found something that made a huge difference. I bought Publisher Rocket.
Before I go on, I have to state that I don't get paid by Kindlepreneur, and Dave Chesson has never asked me to speak about his product. What I say about it are my own thoughts backed by my experience. If you want to write and publish as a pure indie author, then I highly recommend this product.
I spent a little less than $100 and have been using it ever since. It's my go-to program before I list every title I post to Amazon/Kindle. When I sat down and had time to understand how it worked and actually put it to use, things changed dramatically. People began reading my books on Kindle Unlimited. I started making money from my books. (October 2019)
They read them all. I was pissed off. If people had more to read, they'd read more. I ran out of books before they ran out of the desire to read them. I needed to fix that. I sped up publishing the backlog while I wrote even more, and I was making gas money each month. It was great!
So what if a devil lost his mind, had a son, and didn't know it? What if the son was Markus Sainte and his mother Amelia Sainte was a hedgewitch who before she died sent him in search of an accidentally turned midnight rider? What if Logan Synner linked his magic with Markus, and they built a harem in a castle on an island surrounded by mist? If you want to know, you'll have to read the book that I was writing when people first began reading my books like I was a legitimate author. Imposter syndrome died not long after that when an unknown reader left a review on Dream Therapy stating that they loved the entire series.
Questions, Questions, Questions
I'd been asked by several readers about peripheral characters from the first book. Notably Frank Grimes and Monty and Olivia. I balked. No way was I writing their stories. I mean Monty and Olivia were in their early twenties. It felt a bit like writing dirty YA, which I don't go in for much. After a lot of arm twisting, I finally admitted that they did have a story to be told. A whole new miniseries had to be written.
Frank Grimes was filth and needed killing as they say in Texas, so I didn't want to write about him even more than I didn't want to write about Monty and Olivia. I actually had to write two other books in order to be able to tell Frank Grimes's story. It felt ridiculous and yet, Filth and Death may very well be the best book of the saga to that point.
So, please ask questions about the books, the trailers, the story tiles, the blog, the writing, whatever. I love to talk about the books. Sometimes the best inspiration comes from a good question. In the meantime, check out the book trailer I made for Draoithe: Filth and Death.
News from Behind the Scenes
The Draoithe Saga is still converting to hardcover so try not to stress about the publishing slowdown. I had to get new covers in the right size ordered for the hardcover editions. Also I entered a Flash Fiction contest so cross your fingers and create some magic. There is some sort of prize, but I was far more interested in possibly being included in the anthology. I'm also working on a new series.
The Brand New series The UnFallen will be publishing on Kindle Vella. The first book is Mephistopheles. It's set in a whole new world. So bear with me as I world build again. But I think you might like this one. Check out the Blurb!
Only Nine remained when the tomb opened, and Mephistopheles walked among the living. The only untainted guardians came forth to rejoin the mission and once again protect those that "He was mindful of" from the Evil One. The loneliness plagued the last of the Arda Fravash. Could the Bene Elohim assassin claim his reward and win his place at the last judgment or would he join the Fallen and burn with the rest of the Watchers? Steamy PNR 18+ HEA! NC!
Want to see the Character List? Okay, I think it will be a nine book series. Bear in mind that this is a preliminary list and I don't plot things out much. So Fair Warning things will probably change before it finishes.
Kimaris, a horse shifter who can locate the truth.
Lerajie, an eagle shifter and an archer who can see the near future.
Flauros, a leopard shifter and hunter with shadow magic.
Eligor, a bear shifter with the power of healing and sleep.
Marbas, a lion shifter, and a destroyer.
Mephistopheles, an owl shifter and assassin.
Lydia McMurphy, ancient language translator.
Purah, the spider shifter necromancer.
Solas, a raven shifter and starlight sorcerer.
Zepar, a wolf shifter hunter with moonlight magic.
All right, that's enough. I need to get some other stuff done. When you read please be kind and leave a review.
On July 29, 2019, I'd spent the weekend reviewing the final draft of Draoithe: The Dark Gift. The long-awaited seventh book in the saga had just been posted to Amazon, and I was waiting for notification that I'd done it all correctly. This was the first book with a branded cover, and it spurred the desire to make all the books somehow look the same.
I shall give credit to Danielle Steel here. Her book covers with her name in metallic bands inspired this look.
As I write this post, the book is available both digitally from Kindle and in paperback from Amazon for those who still love the smell of ink on paper and the glue that binds the pages as part of the whole reading experience. I swear there's something to be said for dogeared pages in a well-loved manuscript. The news now is that I'm preparing to launch this story as a hardcover along with all the books in the saga.
It went through some revisions, was broken down into short reads, proofread and edited a million times, put back together as a miniseries, and will finally be launched as a hardcover edition. I can't tell you how real it feels to have hardcover versions of the books. So watch for them to appear on Amazon soon.
#FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
Bad boy dragon with a heart in need of redemption. A sexy broken vampire with no hope. Sizzling hot magical romance.
Draoithe: The Dark Gift.
#PNR 18+ HEA! NC!
When it's that good, it needs a great Trailer.
Many of you know that I'm pure Indie. I write my own stories, no ghostwriting here. I craft my own audiobooks and build my own book trailers. The storyboard tiles? I invented them. The publishing and promoting? That's all me too.
My sister and my mother are my beta readers/proofreaders. They're harsh taskmasters indeed. The original website was all me. Only after two years, it became a frustrating nightmare to work with. I had to have help, so I called in the big guns. My brother helped me make this site possible. So without further adieu, allow me to say a heartfelt Thank You! to the people in my life who've supported the dream. Without them, this would never have been possible. My lack of money pretty much guaranteed that.
On that subject, Dragon, are you listening? It's to you that I owe the biggest lightbulb effect moment award. When you told me that the size of your bookshelf matters, I had no idea how very right you were, but I learned! Seriously, that might be the best book advice I ever heard. Thank you!
To the readers, my humblest gratitude. That you would read my stories has been the most uplifting experience. Please, enjoy, and let me know what you think. I love to talk about books. Message me. I like being bothered.
To Keep My Promises!
On August 4, 2019, not long after I first began the blog, I made a promise to always offer a free book once a month. Well, I'm making good on that long-ago promise. I even extended it. Draoithe: The Thread book is permanently free! Be sure to grab your copy before you leave the site.
No time to read it? Check out the Audiobook! It's Permanently Free as well.
I've been where the month was longer than the income and there was no money to buy a book to escape the misery. So I try to offer some free material on my site always.
The Draoithe Saga is still publishing titles. The series is almost totally finished on the writing side of things. It's the edits and reads and covers and formatting that slows down publishing, but I'm hoping to have it all published by the end of 2022. Thank you all for sticking in there with me! I'm still faster than traditional publishing, and I'm focused only on my books and no one else's. Rest assured that I'm moving full speed ahead even if you can read faster than I can produce those magical entertainment packages. Sigh... Someday maybe I'll live the dream and write full-time. Until then, I live for the weekends, holidays, and summer vacation.
All right, feels as if I may have allowed this to drag out too long. Please allow me to shamelessly beg that if you be kind and when you read leave a review. They are so incredibly helpful. I'm always in need of people who might want to beta read an upcoming book to leave reviews on Amazon. If that person is you, message me. But before you ask, the only payment is the book. Authors are prohibited from purchasing reviews. So only serious PNR fans 18+ without triggers, please.
Until Next Weekend,
I've always tried to be very honest about my author's walk. I'm a pure Indie author, publisher, and promoter. I recently solicited my brother's help to transition my website to Word Press, my Mom and my sister have helped with beta reading on occasion, but for the rest, it's really been just little old me. No money has always equaled hard work.
I first published in May of 2018, but I hadn't yet learned how to promote. (Let's be brutally honest, I didn't know what book promotion was.) By Oct of 2019, I'd begun to make changes and focus some of my creativity on book promotion. (Mostly because I wasn't selling any books.)
What I did First...
It started out with keywords, enrolling the books into KDP, and toying around with third party stacked book promotions. (I had originally been published wide and I may yet go back to that.) I garnered some marginal success, and people were reading and purchasing my books, but faster than I was publishing them. I learned two things from that. I needed to publish more and faster. That wasn't a problem as I had a lot to publish.
I reviewed my free promotional tools. (Check out my latest promotional video for A Pack Forms!) As with anything you do in this game, the devil is often in the details. I took a hard look at how I was promoting my books on social media. The blurbs if you will. They needed to get laser focused. So I placed one as an example. Readers might appreciate this even if they've never thought about it much.
The top line is the Hook! This is the sensationalism that catches people's attention. (Keep it short or the reader won't see the next part to keep reading on some platforms such as Instagram) If a book was published Wide it might read "ONLY $.99!" Money matters to just about everyone, and being honest about the price is important. Integrity!
The next teal colored lines are the blurb. It briefly describes the book. (I mean laser focus description here, not the long book description found on Amazon or the inside flaps of the book jacket.) This needs to be the Twitter-style version. You only have a few seconds before the reader scrolls by.
The red line is the call to action. It's the point at which you request the reader to look further at the book, to consider reading it.
The neon green lines are the legal disclaimer and hashtag info that the reader notes, that help people choose your book by genre and specialization. PNR (Paranormal romance) is the genre. The happily ever after, no cheating, and ages 18 and up disclaimers alert the reader to romance descriptors that readers commonly seek. If the book was a reverse harem it might have RH, or if it was a romantic comedy you might see #romcom. These details aid both your followers and also non-followers in seeing your promotion.
(It's okay to sneakily use them inside the blurb if it fits. Don't over do it, or the promo fails because it becomes too complex to review in only a few seconds before the reader scrolls by. For Example, #Free Audiobook Trailers and Storyboard Previews for the Draoithe Saga by Ophelia Kee. Do you love #PNR 18+ HEA! NC! fated mates, immortals, magic, and romance? Check out the Youtube channel and see what you’ve been missing from the dream...)
The last line is the most important piece. It's the direct link for the reader to buy the book, or in this case claim it to read it for FREE! The image above is linked as well. Just in case.
That matters too. Linking everything so that it's not hard to get to the book that a reader finds themselves interested in matters. If it takes too long or they have to hunt the book out, they may decide it is too much work... I admit to having done this.
Behind the Scenes
Shameless Self Promotion!
It's time for me to get back to work, but before I go, I have to say, "I went hard... cover that is, and I'm ecstatic!" Draoithe: A Pack Forms is now available as a hardcover book! Somehow, that makes it all the more real. If you read, please be kind and leave your reviews. Authors love to hear from readers. If you have a question, comment, or suggestions, please don't hesitate to drop me a line. I like to be bothered. I love to discuss my books and the whole writing-publishing-marketing indie author business. I'm no expert, but I don't mind sharing what I've learned. (Blame the teacher that I am in real life.) Until next week...
So I got a chance to publish Draoithe: A Pack Forms in a hardcover format. It's now live and available from Amazon. I should have a copy in my hands shortly. That leads me into a whole new place in self-publishing. I love my original cover imagery. Sadly, it's possible that I may have to part ways with it. Images on the covers need to be HD picture quality. When I first began my author's walk, I wrote a manuscript and tried to publish it. Only to learn that I needed a book cover. I worked on the image above and finally produced what I felt like was the book cover. (the branding came later)
To celebrate, I've also been toying with my commercial making abilities. (I know they're called book trailers, but commercials feel more like what they are to me.) Check this out on Youtube, and if you haven't subscribed to the Youtube channel, please do. More cool stuff is coming!
Trying to publish the book as a hardcover has led me to wonder if I even want a cover image. It's also left me thinking about the covers for all my books. I wonder about silver on black velvet silhouette images. So if you think that there's a possible cover replacement coming when I finally get them all published, well you'd likely be right. I want something strikingly different. Creating Hard Cover editions of the books is a slow painstaking process at the moment. Not quite as slow as building more audiobooks, but almost.
Speaking of Audiobooks, Draoithe: The Thread is now an audiobook. It's live as a video book on Youtube. It's totally free as I always wanted it to be. It will be on the new website as well. I'm super stoked about the changes that are coming. Things are rolling along, and I'm happy to note that my amateur audiobooks will be for sale from my website when I switch to the new platform. They won't be expensive. So maybe that will aid more readers in a new innovative way. As I slowly add more audio content, I want to explore animated shorts as well. I know. I know, I'm crazy, but the creative outlet is always good.
My mother told me when I was a child, "You have a brain. Use it!" So I do. My Father always said, "If you have a problem, go to work!" He was right. I've lived my life by those two principles. No matter what happens in my life, until I leave for the next life, I'll continue to use my mind and get to work. I may never be super successful, but there'll be no chance that anyone could ever argue that I gave up or didn't give it a serious effort.
It's Live! The final part of Lyons Gate: Ghostly Kingdom is now available for purchase or to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited! Find out what happens to Lazlo and Soraya and how the two of them transition into the immortal realm. When you finish the miniseries, let me know what you think. I love to hear what readers think about the stories. Sometimes, I get a completely new understanding of my characters and the realm that they inhabit. So comments and suggestions are always welcome.
I know this one is short, but the day job has sucked the life out of me this last week. What I want to do is get back to writing. I'm unapologetically a tiger, but at half-past midnight, it's been a long day. I still haven't managed to get to the thing I love the most, and the scene I want to write is in my mind desiring to appear on the screen. So I'll run away and slip into the dream...
If you read, please be kind and leave your reviews. There's no better way to thank an author for a good read. There's no higher praise than that a reader enjoyed one of my books. It's truly humbling and uplifting all at the same time. Until next time,
I love to write.... my stories. Until July of 2019, I had never written a blog. Almost 2 years later, I might still not be doing it right. As I build a brand new website, I'm reviewing my writer's journey so far. I have come a long way, but there is an endless road ahead. We'll continue to see how this goes.
Bear with me if you read this post and wonder if I lost my mind. (Maybe I never knew where it was to begin with.) Rest assured that I'll get this figured out. Or I'll simply journey forward, blissfully unaware of all the facts, as I continue to use the creative side of my mind because I'm having fun.
I figured out how to publish as an independent author so blogging can't be that hard. Right? Books are out. I keep writing. My author's walk continues. Come join me on my author's walk. If you enjoy paranormal romance, I hope my stories will interest you. If you want to know more about how I write, publish, and market my stories, you've landed in the right place. Welcome to the dream...
I try to be a good writer and post all the news to all my readers. I have to be honest, sometimes the story presses me to write it, and I get lost in that instead of other stuff. I work a full-time day job so finding time for everything isn't easy. When the scenes are flowing in my mind, what I want to do is write. If there is no time for other things like marketing, publishing, or blogging, I just have to accept that maybe the time for that will eventually come.
When I first began this blog, I asked for forgiveness in advance for all the stuff I'd mess up and my total lack of time. I now have a better day job and have learned enough to be able to juggle some of the writing stuff a bit better. I still don't know it all, and I likely will never figure it all out.
That's okay. Time is money and the only currency I have to pay with, so I've decided that I'm in this game for the long haul. As I did when I began the blog, I'll reissue the promise I made to speak the truth about my author's walk so that others might glean what they will from my journey. I'm not any kind of expert. I'm just offering what I learn freely as part of the backstory to writing the books and in the hopes that other authors might find something useful here.
I would love to make money selling my books. Marketing is hard and I'm afraid of losing my hard-earned day job money. So instead, I've decided to take the time to unravel the secrets of the self-publishing world on my own. I usually do this one tiny epiphany at a time.
That's good. Writing isn't a get-rich-quick scheme. It's rather a creative outlet and an escape. If you are joining me on the ride, I'm glad you stopped by no matter whether it be to learn about writing in general or my writing in particular.
I also promised in my first blog to include cut scenes. So I've been honest about my journey, but few of the cut scenes have been published on the blog. So I wish to change that and meet the standard I myself proposed. Here's a part of one deleted scene that wound up on the cutting room floor. I didn't want the villain revealed all at once. So, meet the Villain.
Deleted Scene From A Pack Forms
1 Frank Grimes
The job with Luke Mendez was good solid money. He had all his guys on every crew but one working on the Mendez site. He'd even expanded his operation and hired more guys and subcontracted the fencing. Mendez kept adding shit that hot little blonde bitch wanted, but Frank wasn't complaining. All the changes only lined his pockets.
The gripe came with Javier MacGuire. That guy was a total pain in the ass. He watched the crew like a damn hawk. Always demanding that the site stay clean and lost his mind if anyone looked like they might touch his precious lake. The man needed to loosen up. How the guy was so uptight with the amount of weed he smoked was just impressive.
It was a construction site for crying out loud. His guys were men who used power tools, not merry maids who came to work with mops, brooms, and dusters. Having an onsite manager made the job drag out which ate into his profit margin a little.
His dream of making money without doing the work himself though looked as if it might be coming true. He had hardly lifted a finger to do anything but to sign for the extra money he was making adjusting the contract to accommodate the changes.
Luke Mendez had the money to burn, and Eli Miller was ensuring that he spent it on everything she wanted. What the hell she needed with half the crap Luke added to the original plan, Frank just could not see. But what made the little lady happy lined Frank’s pockets.
He inspected the foundation pour. The guys had it under control. Everything looked good. He was happy that there had been no changes to that aspect of the contract. Getting the concrete mixers on-site without leaving the area that was designated the construction zone had not been easy. Adding anything to that would have eaten into his profits for sure.
Frank’s phone rang. He nodded at his crew and stepped away to answer it. He would probably have to turn down another job. He just could not get to all the work without hiring a whole new crew. He might have to consider that.
“Hello. Frank Grimes of Grimes Construction. What can I do for you?” He answered the call.
“Mr. Grimes, this is Roger Dunbar. I am a private investigator working for a wealthy client. He is seeking personal information on one Lucas Mendez. I was hoping that you might be able to help me.” The man on the other end of the line didn't want his construction crew.
If you want to read more, You can find the rest of the deleted scenes from A Pack Forms at the end of Synner and Sainte.
Admissions from the Author
I know it's a saga. It's a series of interrelated stories. In my mind, however, I'm still writing my story. Everything in Draoithe is one story. Laugh because at 34 published titles there's no way that's true.
I think most readers see the sections of a book as chapters. I want to make an admission here. I don't write chapters. I write scenes. (Which is why the saga feels like it's all just one story. It's kind of like how all the episodes of a televised miniseries feel like one big story.)
The scenes that play out on the 'movie screen' in my mind are the scenes that are written into the story. I write in scenes. Then I put them to the side and read again later. When the scene I read doesn't reproduce the images I originally saw, I add more details until I see it again. The rewrite is serious and sometimes doubles the size of the original scene. When it's finished, I see the scene in my mind each time I read it and I know it's right. (The cut scene above went through that same process, but it simply didn't fit in the original first book.)
I never have an outline guide because I don't know what the story is about or what the characters will do next. The kind term for this is discovery writing. Mostly it feels like writing by the seat of one's pants, so pantser might be more appropriate. It was the term I learned first. Either way, I freely admit to having no formal training to write my saga at all.
I say this as an inspiration and an explanation. I'm not suggesting that others should write this way. I'm not even sure if this method would work for other writers. I just want the truth out there so that others know that, however they write, that's okay. Also, if you read, and like to understand the author's thought process, here it is.
I'm a high school social studies teacher. I was trained to write non-fiction arguments, essays, and social science research papers. I've designed various curriculums, lesson plans, and written programs of study. Writing to entertain is different, personal, and far more creative and rewarding.
I truly hope that readers enjoy my stories. I am humbled that you would read my stories. I use writing them to aid my escape from reality. I hope that in some sense, my stories might give that same escape to readers.
When you read, please be kind and leave your reviews. I need to get some sleep, my students need me at my best tomorrow. Until the next sojourn into the dream...
That feeling of utter loss from a betrayal by the one you counted the most dear to you. I've been there. That saddest of songs seems to play on the radio of your mind on repeat. Lazlo learns some things in this part, but it's too late. She's gone and there seems to be nothing he can do about it. In fact his loneliness and the darkness in his soul sought to end him in a way he never saw coming. Come on Lazlo. It's not to late to learn the truth, is it? Eli thinks he needs to learn.
If you haven't started reading this miniseries yet, I hope I am not giving anything away. Lyons Gate: Ghostly Kingdom Part six is publishing as I write this blog. It's FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited! Or each part is only $.99 to read as an ebook.
Promotion and Marketing
Sorry about the shameless promo, but well, it's hard when I'm excited about the next book coming out. I have been studying marketing this week. As I promised when I began the blog, I'm not keeping secrets about my author journey. There is definitely an ebb and flow to this work that makes it hard to understand all the ins and outs of things.
Like any career, things change all the time. Once upon a time, authors could write, publish to Amazon, shout it out to social media, and boom, instant success. That no longer works as social media has increasingly become a pay to play world.
The same is also true with the Amazon platform. Once, you published and readers read and authors made a profit. But the organic traffic that was once a serious thing on Kindle has been severely limited and if authors want to earn money from their self published books, they have to pay to play there as well.
Writing my stories was not easy. I had to learn how I do that. Publishing was a bit of a lengthy step by step process that I had to learn and all the parts had to be just so, but one could learn it. Marketing feels like Greek while you thought you signed up for German and neither of them is familiar. I am sure that I even posted in a blog in 2019 that I wasn't sure I wanted to advertise on Amazon as the traffic to read my stories was already there.
Now it's 2021. Even if I finally get the keywords and the blurb right, I still need to advertise just to have a hope that someone will notice my books. I've run a few ads on Facebook and Pinterest in the past. I found that I could drive traffic with Pinterest, but I could not convert that into action. I can advertise on Facebook, but it's hit or miss how much it seems to influence my book sales. Sometimes it works. Other times I think it fails miserably.
I am still running low cost $1 a day advertising on Facebook, but not exactly having great success. (I need to invest more, but not being sales savvy makes ads very difficult for me. I am trying a different tactic and am running several $1 a day ads on Amazon. I shall report back on how well that goes soon. If I hit on something that I am sure I can scale up, I will be sure to post it.
Don't forget your FREE book!
#indieauthors #fantasy #paranormal #romance #bookpromo
FREE Book! Get a free copy of Draoithe: The Thread by Ophelia Kee
18+ Adult Fantasy/PNR
Meet Luke and Eli before they meet each other in this Prologue to the Draoithe Saga.
This book can be found on all of the following platforms:
Check out my story style and step into the dream with me!
Also I need to add in the latest videobook. Draoithe: Drake and Lorelai Chapter 3 is now available!
Check it out over on my Youtube Channel. Subscribe and leave me a message. I love to hear from readers. It let's me know if you like the extra stuff or not. If my readers want more stories and less book trailers, that could definitely be arranged. Also, I am still and always looking for real fans to be ARC readers and let me know what you think before the book gets published. If you want to join my beta reader team, firstname.lastname@example.org send me a message!
The Great Migration
Parts of the new Website are now finished, but the blog portion is still messed up. I can't seem to get the footer or the sidebar correct. Back to the drawing board. Thankfully, I still have time to do it.
It's going to take me a while to get all the books posted up on the new site. When you have a lot of books, moving is a pain in the arse even if they are all digital. LOL.
Speaking of the new site leads me to Google. I think I want to become a Google Associate. I'm already an Amazon Associate. Maybe.
I have to get my Google site works stuff up and running so that Google Ads will work on the new site. It's a lot of work and it's all behind the scenes kinds of stuff.
No one ever tells about the literal thousands of man hours they pour into things like building websites, promoting on social media, or even writing blogs which are all things that are outside of the love and passion of telling the story. The business side of this endeavor is no joke.
If anyone ever says, 'I want to be a writer', please know that while I do love being a self-published indieauthor, I in no way will ever say that any of it is easy without also saying, it's seriously time consuming too.
The marketing is just flat out ridiculously hard for me. The tech is irritating and menial to me. I spend literally hours deciphering how-to videos on even the simplest tech stuff. I do usually resolve the issues with the tech stuff. (Merchandising gave me such a headache that I'm switching platforms, LOL. Sometimes doing it the hard way is the only way.) Marketing is a whole other monster, and I am still trying to crack the code on the solution for how to tame that beast. I could use more help with that!
Cross your fingers for me, tell your friends about my books, take a free copy, read some more on Kindle Unlimited or buy a few books to read. Readers are the best ever promotion and I can never pay you or thank you enough if you love my stories and want to share them, but know that you have my sincerest appreciation. I need to run away and get some sleep. My spring break is almost over and the day job whispers evil vile thoughts of work at me from the future so I know my time of fun with the dream is going back to bits and parts. When you read, please be kind and leave your reviews.
Yeah! I did it. I published another book. It's spring break and I had a bit of time to kill. The backlog of work to be published is serious, so if I sneak one in every now and again, it won't hurt anything. I mean I am the author and the publisher. No need to consult anyone about it. So here is a 'hint at what's to come'- style read. It will also add detail to the scene with Simon, but if you are reading you'll see.
Firic is a Druid king and a dragon trapped in a world in which his dragon sleeps and kings no longer live in castles or rule over peasants. Lacking his Valkyrie or an over king to swear fealty, he suffers from the darkness of Druid magic. He tried living as a man. He even had a mistress, but the magic called him to serve the Ghost High King. He followed the summons to Draoithe.
Estelle Realtree almost got away. She fled the seedy underworld, a petty small-time crime-boss, and drug addiction. She sought a new chance with a personal assistant position and hoped to get lost in the Dallas, Texas cityscape. When she made a wrong turn and ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere, her only hope was to beg help from the wealthy land-owners behind the gate.
Estelle had unknowingly strayed into the Leaindeail, the place Firic was desperate to return to. Accosted by a couple of shifters seeking to target the immortals who lived at Draoithe, she finds herself in a magical trap after one shifter bit her. She was saved by a gargoyle and flown to safety by a vengeful royal dragon knight. Can she escape her nightmare by making a deal with a Druid dragon in the dream? If she thinks he'll turn loose of his newfound treasure, she'll have to think again. Lyons Gate: Nightmare Escape by Ophelia Kee. Only $.99
Behind the Scenes
I couldn't wait until the weekend. I wanted to share the news about the new website. I will be getting Merch! It will be powered by Printful. Finally! I have waited forever. I have to shout out to my brother, EPB. Thank you soooo much for helping me get everything shifted to a better platform. Ophelia Kee will be on Word Press by July 15, 2021. Some other things coming... I am going to try to make more audio/video books available on the site. I don't think all of them will be free, but quite a few will be. Of course audio books on ACX are professionally read and recorded, but I will do my best to offer a good audio format from an amateur level that is worth hearing. Also, I believe that I am going to try to offer signed author copies of the books direct from the website. I'm still working out the logistics of that one. My current setup is a bit tight on space. Having a book warehouse might not workout, so there could be a serious lag time on the shipping side of things. (Like two weeks.) Also, I want to turn the blogs into podcasts. I am thinking about Allears, but I'm a bit leery of my ability to do it considering the background noise factor. Cross your fingers. I may yet get the bugs worked out.
I am not a spokesperson and Twinings doesn't pay me. But I love their teas. I buy the Irish Breakfast and the Earl Grey tea all the time. A reader asked on social media the other day about what it takes for a writer to write. My immediate answer was tea. Lots and lots of tea. I detest coffee. Sorry to all the readers who love it, but I never acquired the taste. Tea on the other hand I have been in love with my whole life. I am sure that it's 4 o'clock somewhere. Tea is the elixir of my life. So I thought to share some of it with you. I hope you will enjoy a cup of whichever great drink you prefer as you read your next book. If you need a pointer in the right direction about a next book, allow me to help and View my Library.
I can't let this get too long as it's Wednesday and you weren't even expecting a message from me. I need to get back to my books. Enjoy the rest of your week. I am going to enjoy my spring break. If you read, please remember to be kind and leave your review.
So I will share a quote from an upcoming book first just so you know i am still writing, and then talk about what is coming up in the behind the scenes for Draoithe right away! I am definitely moving from Weebly to Word Press. I could never figure out Merchandising or email marketing. It got too complex for me. So I called in the big guns and my brother is helping me get the whole website redesigned and migrated over to the new digs. It's going to take a while, but I have some ideas for some freebies along with a new fresh look. We should be all done with the move by Mid-July.
In sadder news, Draoithe and the dream are coming to a close. I know that may seem a bit alarming to those of you who've been with me for the long haul, but it's true. By the end of 2022, it will wrap up. The final chapter will have been published in the epic saga adventure of Draoithe. :( Don't tear up though.
It's okay because I've secretly been writing in a new series already. LOL. Yeah I know it's some kind of obsessive compulsive disorder, but I'm refusing to seek any kind of treatment for it. I prefer to indulge my desire to write. So I think I will. I hope y'all will continue the journey with me when I start on the next books. Beta readers should apply at https://www.opheliakee.com/ I will be ready to share this summer.
More to Come
Lyons Gate: Ghostly Kingdom Part 5 is now available! As always it's FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited or only $.99 as an e-book purchase. If you are looking for forbidden love, a scorching hot romance, a crazy paranormal fantasy miniseries, or maybe some combination of those three, then Lyons Gate should be your next read. At only 8 parts, Ghostly Kingdom will wrap up publishing within the month. Step into the dream and meet Lazlo and Soraya and get a glimpse of the shadowy enemy that Luke Mendez has been chasing for months. "That's going to leave a mark, Greyson!" --Peter Elliot
A Little Secret
As the Draoithe Saga is drawing to a close for me as the author even if it will still take quite sometime to finish the last of the writing, editing, and publishing, I decided it might be time to write the Making of Draoithe. Or maybe it should more properly be entitled Behind the Scenes of the Dream? Well, I can figure that out when I get to cover creating, but I do like this image. Maybe... I mean it's not as if someone else will write the backstory on my author walk with the series saga. So I guess that leaves me to do it.
I don't think I want to sell it though. I think I want to give it away as a website exclusive to those of you who have become loyal followers and fans of the stories. I want it to be a sort of Thank You to the readers and a tribute to the trials and tribulations of writing the books. So when I get the Website officially moved, I'm going to offer that book to you as a gift. You'll all be invited. I would love to have a Final Publish Party, but who knows if that will even be a possibility?
It's a serious question, isn't it? I mean the cover is the first impression a book makes on the reader. Authors tend to spend a good chunk of change on cover design. It should be reflective of the both the story contained within the pages and the genre it's supposed to belong to, right? Maybe. I've read a lot of fantastic hardbound books from libraries whose covers were very plain. It was the book description that lured me in far faster than the cover. So I ask, is the cover more important than the blurb?
As a self-published author who is pure indie, I say no way. Not a chance. (I write, publish, and market my books. I don't outsource very much of anything. If someone else is promoting my stuff, you can bet I wrote the ad.)
I have explained my particular style of branding in a previous blog I wrote about the parts of a book (e-book and paperback). If you have questions ask, and I will be more than happy to explain my book covers. I never thought that they were more important than the book blurb though, and the reason why is both important to the reader and to me as the publisher and marketer of the book.
Simply put, the book description or blurb is the true selling point of a book. I don't know anyone who buys anything just based on the packaging. It's the contents we're most concerned with. (With groceries: Where was it grown, caught, raised, how was it treated, free range, wild, whole grain, organic, nothing added/taken away etc...). For example, the dented cans at the grocery store don't sell unless they're discounted heavily. It's not that we care that the can was dented, rather it's that we worry that the dent has somehow caused the contents inside to be damaged.
Sure the labeling needs to be consistent so that customers can easily identify their favorite products. This is why major brands rarely attempt to reinvent their old familiar logos. Even at a reduced rate, we'll still pay more for an out of date brand name or a used version than we'll pay for a brand new top of the line generic version. Marshall's and Ross Dress for Less are well aware of this fact and sell last years Nike and Calvin Kline at a reduced rate, but it still costs more than going to Rainbows and buying their store brand t-shirt.
In the world of literature, ebooks don't get dented. The only way you get a discount with them is if the author or publisher runs a sale or the author feels that the market is oversaturated and reduced prices will mean more opportunities. A damaged cover at the bookstore on a paperback will get you the manager special, but you won't buy the book if it didn't already appeal to you. You won't buy Nike looking for a ballgown. That means that the contents must be something you feel you want.
"Lazlo Greyson, a millionaire CEO and descendent from a line of kings, is lonely. He's finished with gold digging socialites and seedy one-night stands. He needs something a bit more permanent.
Peter Elliot might just be able to help him find what he needs, but the man is bad news and Lazlo knows it. When Elliot introduces him to Soraya Heffernon, a beautiful, trained orphan girl, Lazlo is sold.
As Lazlo feared, Elliot had a hidden agenda. The woman he fell in love with isn’t what he thought she was. Things take a serious turn for the worse and his whole life is turned upside down when he lands at Draoithe in need of help from the tiger queen to save his life. Meet the Ghost King of Lyons Gate, a newly crafted outpost kingdom in this spinoff story from the Draoithe saga."
The Reader's Perspective
The blurb can't just hang out by itself. It comes with the packaging. The book jacket is like a candy wrapper. The cover is the image on the front, the brand and item logo. The Book description is like the information on the back of the candy wrapper and what is found on the back cover or inside the flaps. Just like the candy wrapper has a list of ingredients with some ingredients always listed vaguely as spices, a book description always hints at the story without giving away the ending.
Just like the wrapper has the nutrition label on it, the Book description includes information about the author, the genre, and the story that is background information helping the reader decide on a good fit for their mood. (Chocolate versus peanut butter versus cinnamon versus caramel, etc... or Sci-fi versus fantasy versus romance versus mystery, etc...)
Book descriptions are better than candy wrappers though because they get to add details that might matter to the reader that they might otherwise miss, like the idea that there are other books by the author (series numbers or noting that the book is part of a saga). Extra information about the magic, tech or world building that might be just what the reader was looking for or so intriguing that they now simply must know more about whatever might be in the pages of the book.
The Marketing Perspective
This is the reason why the blurb is still more important than the cover from the self-published author perspective. A well-developed book description aids search engine optimization. If the book is published on KDP, Kindle tells the author that the keywords he/she chooses should be words not already included in the title or obvious to the category (genre). If your book is entitled Bear Mate and is published as a Paranormal Romance, then you should not need to use those four words in your key words list. "Search keywords help readers find your book when they browse the Amazon site. You can enter keywords or short phrases that describe your book and are relevant to its content. The best keywords are those that do not repeat words in the title, category, or description, as these are already used to help readers find your book. Some types of keywords are prohibited and may result in content being removed from sale."
The book description blank on Amazon is 4,000 characters. So my blurb gets added with other things my reader might need to help them choose my book (the nutrition facts and ingredients list). This way I offer as much opportunity as I can to increase organic traffic for not just one of my books but all of my books if a reader pauses to browse even one. So this is an example of what gets put in my book description space:
Lazlo Greyson, a millionaire CEO and descendent from a line of kings, is lonely. He's finished with gold-digging socialites and seedy one-night stands. He needs something a bit more permanent.
Peter Elliot might just be able to help him find what he needs, but the man is bad news and Lazlo knows it. When Elliot introduces him to Soraya Heffernon, a beautiful, trained orphan girl, Lazlo is sold.
As Lazlo feared, Elliot had a hidden agenda. The woman he fell in love with isn’t what he thought she was. Things take a serious turn for the worse and his whole life is turned upside down when he lands at Draoithe in need of help from the tiger queen to save his life. Meet the Ghost King of Lyons Gate, a newly crafted outpost kingdom in this spinoff story from the Draoithe saga.
!HEA! NC! PNR Adult Content
Ghostly Kingdom is a spinoff miniseries of short reads set in Lyons Gate in the Draoithe Saga by the Adult Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Author Ophelia Kee.
Fantasy world-building on a grand scale woven together with multifaceted magical characters to create a tapestry of thrilling stories all interconnected in the Draoithe Saga.
Steamy hot, wickedly delicious paranormal romance and adult fantasy stories set in a dream to live for. It became a retreat and a sanctuary for immortals and gifted humans as Luke and Eli discovered love, magic, and danger. They find friends helping dragons, shifters, vampires, wizards, and stranger beings from the nine realms of the dream overcome their problems in exchange for different magic and skills to aid in protecting the sanctuary that is Draoithe. Those who come to Draoithe add to the balance and aid in the fight to restore that balance to the dream. Grab a good drink, curl up in a good seat, choose a book from the Saga, and escape into the dream while you meet the men and women who call it home. A place where myths, legends, and fairytales walk unmolested among the strange and wonderful, where the balance is often found in a lifemate, where the magic from the past lives again! Welcome to the dream...
Titles by Ophelia Kee
Complete Volume Miniseries
Draoithe: Tantalu *Prequel
Draoithe: A Pack Forms Volume 1
Draoithe: The Council Volume 2
Draoithe: Magic Calls to Magic Volume 3
Draoithe: Dragons Come Volume 4
Draoithe:The Ruiri Complete Volume 5
Draoithe: Light and Dark Magic Volume 6
Draoithe: The Dark Gift Volume 7
Draoithe: Elementals Volume 8
Draoithe: Fire and a Gryphon Volume 9
Draoithe: Synner And Sainte *Forbye
Draoithe: Dream Therapy Volume 10
Draoithe: Filth and Death Volume 11
Dread Allies: Shadow King Miniseries *Spinoff
Eyrie Iolair: Prodigal Sons Miniseries *Spinoff
Eyrie Iolair: Sky Dreams Miniseries *Spinoff
Draoithe: Dragon Masters Volume 12
Draoithe: Precious Treasures Volume 13
Draoithe: War Dogs Volume 14
Draoithe: Past in the Present Volume 15
Draoithe: The Library Volume 16
Draoithe: Midnight Magic Volume 17
Draoithe: No Negotiations Volume 18
Draoithe: Shadow Master Volume 19
Short Reads Set in the dream
Draoithe: The Thread *Prologue Volume 1
Draoithe: Arctic Fox *Prologue Volume 2
Draoithe: Drake and Lorelai *Excerpt Volume 17
Eyrie Iolair: Dragonesque *Sky Dreams Tangent
Draoithe: Weaver’s Tale Miniseries *Novela
Draoithe: Smoke of the Fire *Short Read Trilogy
Eyrie Iolair: Risky Rewards *Short Read Trilogy
Draoithe: Still Waters *Short Read Duet
Draoithe: Wizards and Grotesques *Short Read Duet
Draoithe: Fairytale Shadows *Short Read Duet
Notice the breaks allow the reader to read the book blurb then see information about the writing style, related other materials, etc... All the words in this one book description helps increase the chances that any of my books get seen beyond the scope of any keywords I might add. This allows me to use different keywords like shifter, vampire, alpha male, bad boy etc.. without repeating book description terms so that I am optimizing the search engine on Amazon as much as possible not just for one of my books but all of my books.
Shameless Self Promotion
Lyons Gate: Ghostly Kingdom Part 4 is releasing this weekend! It's coming to a reading nook near you! Lazlo get's sucker punched, but he really should have seen it coming. If you haven't started reading this miniseries yet, what are you waiting for? Each part FREE with Kindle Unlimited! Or only $.99 each to buy as ebooks. Y'all know I'm crazy and could get tired of publishing it in parts. Spring break is coming up. I might get time to sneak in an extra part or two.
I hope I didn't bore my readers with the technical jargon. If you stuck it out this long, the rumor is that I have begun work on a new series. I will validate the truth of the rumor. Sorry no details yet. Draoithe will wrap up production by the end of 2022. No time like the present to get a head start on what's coming next. And yeah, I know. I'm gonna finish writing those last three books in the Draoithe Saga. Unless God calls me home, I'm finishing this crazy dream. The slow move to Word Press has begun. Cross your fingers. I made a video book rough draft, but it was trash. I am getting better though. It's going to be super cool when I finally get it good. When you read, please remember to be kind and leave your review. It will make an author's day if you do. I gotta run. Lot's to do and never enough time to do it all.
If you need to do this, select the book you need to look at, click the three dots to the right of Promote and Advertise. Then choose the first option edit ebook details. The screen that will appear next is the one with the books title, author name, book description, etc..
We checked his keywords to be sure he hadn't misspelled anything or included terms that could be misconstrued. Next we verified that his categories had been selected correctly. They were. That was when I spied the culprit.
Just below the categories box is a box entitled Age and Grade Range. I took a screen shot so you could see. It's just before you decide if the book is a pre-order or not. This box is specifically for Children's Literature. I don't mean just picture books. If the target audience is a child under the age of majority and the content or reading level of the book is not suitable for younger children, this is where an author should note that. Some terminology and phrasing is not okay for 5 year-olds, but is fine for 14 year-olds. For example: To a 5 year-old kissing a frog is funny. Kissing a boy/girl is gross. To a 14 year-old that is reversed. A five year old has serious difficulty with reading/understanding adult vocabulary. That's why adults spell out complicated things that that they don't want a five year-old to know about while he/she is in earshot. A 14 year-old usually has an excellent grasp of adult vocabulary, can spell, and understand even complex sentences, and will even invent their own lingo.
As an Amazon purchaser, you should be an adult. Having said that, it's important to note that this box is intended to aid adults who need to purchase books for children to know if the book is suitable for their child's age and reading level. If you aren't writing a Children's Book, you shouldn't be clicking on anything inside this box. It's auto-assumed that by not clicking on anything inside this box, that you are intending the book for an adult reading audience (the Amazon purchaser being your intended audience). If you open the age range box and click on 18+, Amazon will dump your adult book into erotica almost by default. (Why would a children's book ever have adult only content in it?) To avoid this, simply leave this box alone if your book is not a children's book.
The second section is U.S. Grade range which stops at twelfth grade. So, if you are targeting a children's book, you can set the age and reading level for the book so that parents searching for it can choose wisely.
I hope that helps clear up that ebook issue.
If you publish paperback, and your book has graphic violence, adult situations, or explicit scenes, you should click the "yes" under adult only content, but that is because once sold, paperbacks are more easily accessed by little ones and the purchaser should be aware that your title might need to be kept in a less accessible place. Remember that Amazon Advertising specifically focuses on ebooks, not paperbacks. (That is why the exclusivity for Kindle Unlimited is required to do countdowns and limited time giveaways.)
Shameless Self Promotion
Part 3 is now available for only $.99 or FREE with Kindle Unlimited! Oh he's in love with her alright. But he's deluding himself about it. It's never too late to start reading. Lyons Gate: Ghostly Kingdom is a spin off miniseries from the Draoithe Saga of stories, and this one is juicy. A forbidden affair, secrets, shrouded past, gifts and near death experiences. Lazlo Greyson and Soraya Heffernon are about to embark an a life of epic proportions and their smoking hot love affair is only half the story.
Behind the Scenes
The Webpage and Blog are slowly migrating over to Word Press. I never could get Printful to work on Weebly and get the merchandise up and running, so I called in the big guns and got my brother to help me. LOL. My tech skills are seriously challenged. He suggested I move everything to a new platform, so bear with me while the construction dust continues. I should have it all up and running on Word Press by July.
In the meantime, Video Books are still coming! Check out the audio read tracks on the shorts and audio page and let me know what you think. There will be music and imagery when I finish it all. I'm seriously excited. I think I got this.
I haven't stopped publishing. A new short read is scheduled to publish every week between now and Christmas so hold onto your hats. It could be a bumpy ride.
You may see less Facebook ad presence as I play with Amazon Advertising some more. Limited budget and all, but I just wasn't getting the results from Facebook that I had once gotten so I'm going to try something different and see how that goes. The whole series is winding down on the writing side of things. There are only three books left to finish. Lots of editing still to do.
I gotta head out and get the errands run. Shopping with a facemask for classroom supplies and laundry detergent with a dragon. This Saturday could only get better if the mask was no longer necessary. Wishing for Covid-19 to be wiped out like smallpox and the bubonic plague. If you read please be kind and leave those reviews. It means more to authors than you will ever know. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, I may be a tiger, but I am real and I love to hear from you so drop me a line. Until then,
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