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,
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