direct publishing

Time Keeps on Keeping On

In my quest to craft my new work I have, admittedly, forgotten about Black & Red. It has been a very long time since I sold any units and most of that is because a) It’s not my best work and I know that plus b) I haven’t been promoting it as much as I probably should.

I’ve been so wrapped up in writing my shorts for TAK as well as my everyday life of being a full-time working mum Black & Red has fallen by the wayside.

I woke up this morning to something interesting, however.

Apparently, in January, I sold 2 units! This caused me to log in to my dashboard with KDP and I realized something.

Black & Red has been out for nearly two years now! Isn’t that amazing? It’s amazing for me!

I have a friend who is anxiously awaiting the release of TAK. In fact, she is probably the only one who looks at my Facebook page and every now and then she will post that she wants the book. She doesn’t come and read the shorts because they are not enough for her, as she’s said.

I can’t stop writing the shorts, however. I am finding myself spread very very thin and I don’t have the time I want to devote to writing the chapters. I am trying to save myself from forgetting about my characters and their lives completely by writing the shorts. I find it is a good way for me to flesh out the characters and their personalities in ways that would maybe take too long to do in the actual story.

Today I will be writing one of the shorts while I am at work during my breaks. I brought my outline so I can look at the maps and remember what my characters look like (because I can forget these things I have descriptions and such written down).

Stay tuned. This short I’m working on is about Aldric, one of the main characters in TAK. I believe it’s the first time I’ve written a short that includes one of my leads; who are surprisingly both male.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

The Sunshine is a Lie

Today at lunchtime I was talking with some of my international colleagues about the sun.

The weather right now in lovely Manitoba, Canada is very misleading unless you look at the numbers. From my office window I can see a brilliant sun shining down upon the ground. It dazzles my eyes as it sparkles on the frozen earth. The tree branches dance ever so softly in an almost non-existent wind. Snow is still dusted on their outstretched arms as they rise above towards that brilliant sun.

At first glance, it seems like a warm winters day.

But the seasoned Canadian knows that that is a lie. Even someone who has lived in this country for a year will know that this picturesque scene is fraudulent.

One quick glance at whatever weather app we have firmly affixed to the main page of our smartphones confirms this.

It is 1pm where I am. Should be closing in on the warmest time of the day.

My app tells me it is -21°C. Feels like -34°C.

Of course, I knew that already. I have braved this weather and ventured from my nice warm home so that I may get myself to work. I have bundled up my small children in defiance against this chill and hurried them to the waiting and warm vehicle so that I can whisk them away to their day home while I trudge off to work.

I will repeat this for every day of the winter and cringe as the temperatures dip lower and lower. I will rejoice when the weather app tells me it’s -10°C outside and it FEELS LIKE -10°C as well.

In order to stave off the madness that can creep in when one is locked indoors for days on end I entered a contest! I highly encourage all my writer friends and followers to check it out as well! It is the Indie-Visible Publishing Pack! Click the link to find out more:

http://indie-visible.com/giveaways/indie-visible-publishing-pack-giveaway/?lucky=250

You know you wanna. I know I wanna. I would love to score this for my upcoming work TAK. You know you would like me to score this for TAK as well. Because, well, let’s just face it: it’s going to be AH-MAY-ZING.

Why?

Does “Because I Said” count? 😛

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 1 comment

Lines, lines, dropping lines

Hello!

I know I’ve been away for a long time now. Life kind of gets in the way when you’re a mother of two and you work.

I commemorate my return, I’ve discounted my book permanently. You can now purchase Black & Red for 99 cents! Cool right? I realized it’s not about the money. It never was. I don’t know why I thought I would sell my first book at $2.99. Thank you to those who purchased it at that price! I appreciate it.

I don’t have much time today to write anything too in depth. I just wanted to let all my followers and readers know that I am still around. I’m still working on TAK and I look forward to the day I can publish it. It is a huge step up in terms of development for both the characters and the story. I am really proud of what I have written so far. It’s hard for me not to fall in love with these characters. That’s not to say that I didn’t love all the characters in Black & Red.  I did, and I do, love all of them. That was why I wanted to publish that story because even though it’s rough around the edges and even though there is probably lots of room for development and refinement of my technique and basic skills, it was still a story I wanted to share with the world.

I hope I wasn’t missed too much. I’m back now. I doubt I’ll be able to go back to writing a post every day like I had before, but I will do my best to post more than once a month 😉

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

TAK

So I have decided on the name of my next work and I’ve been reading it over again. I had only written slightly over 100 pages when I went to work editing and dressing up Black & Red.

Now that Black & Red is really out there and there’s not much else I need to do to it, I can focus my attention on TAK. I’ve received some great constructive criticism for my writing style from a few people who have read/are reading Black & Red which will help me make TAK that much better. I know I have a grammar problem and I’m working really hard on fixing that. Since I’m not putting a deadline on TAK I feel like I can take my time and pay more attention to it.

The reason I didn’t do that with Black & Red  is because the fundamental story is something I had written many years ago. The story itself has received amazing feedback and I feel very tickled inside that people like it that much.

I feel I’ve done all I can for Black & Red. Sure, I could go back and fix up the little grammatical things that are nagging, but I just feel like it’s out there now, why do that? Why change something? What about all those people who have bought or read it with those errors? No, I’ve told Kalan’s story and I’ve let the world meet Terentya. They are out there now and I’m not about to change that.

For now, I will focus my writing skills on TAK and the story of Brexton and Aldric. This will be the first time I’ve written a story with two male protagonists. Yes, there were male main characters in Black & Red but TAK focuses mainly on Brexton and Aldric and the adventure they have.

Once it’s out there, I hope you will enjoy it as well! Please look forward to it!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Reading, reading, reading

I’ve done what I like to call a “Story Swap” with a couple people from the Twitter and WordPress who are writers as well and I just started reading the books. I’ve got 4 to get through and I’ve promised to write reviews for these people as well.

I think it’s only fair and they’re helping me while I help them. Nothing wrong with that at all!

I didn’t start anything this weekend though because I wanted to play my video game, Tales of Graces f (I strongly believe the ‘f’ stands for ‘Foreign’ since it’s English Dub :P) and I got really involved in that game this weekend. I really like the Tales series and I am really looking forward to the next one which is due out in August as it was supposed to come out in JANUARY of this year but got pushed back.

The first book on my plate is: A Seer Ended by Michael Hale. You can find his work at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seer-Ended-The-novels-ebook/dp/B00CQBYLQ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368296410&sr=8-1&keywords=A+seer+Ended

I just loaded it up on my tablet but it’s sitting at 400 and something pages. That actually makes me really excited because that means it’s probably really involved! I like stories like that. He’s got a profile over at GoodReads too so you should check him out. I’ll touch base on the other books when I get to them.

Happy Monday! I’m alllllllllllllllmost done my Day Job for at least a year. I can’t wait!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

The Tiny Progress

Well, I’ve not even been published for an entire week yet but I’ve made some progress!

On Amazon.com I’ve sold 2 units. On Amazon.ca I’ve sold 3! All the Amazon.ca ones are probably people I know, but I feel so grateful they’re willing to spend the $3.10 it works out to in Canadian Dollars to read my book.

On Smashwords 8 people have downloaded the sample of my book, but no one has purchased it yet. But that’s okay! It still means at least 8 people were interested enough to read the 20% sample I’ve made available!

No one has taken me up on the review offer yet, but I’ll keep trying! Maybe next week I’ll write a post only for offering my book free in exchange for a review *insert evil grin*

In other news, I’m super-stoked to get back to work on the story I was writing when I decided to publish. I think I’ll call it either Three Abandoned Kingdoms or TAK. When I started re-reading it to sort of remember what was going on when I stopped I remembered that it takes place in the world of Tessera where 3/4 kingdoms have been plunged into war. Since the closing off of kingdom #4, the remaining became to be referred to as Three Abandoned Kingdoms, or TAK for short. I think that’s a good title for now. I can always change it later.

I’ll talk more about TAK in the coming days 🙂

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 3 comments

The Journey

Someone on the Twitter asked me how I decided to publish and what steps I took as they are thinking of doing the same thing.

I’ve written before that I’ve been writing since about age 13, so for 17 years now. I had always secretly wanted to be published, but I am afraid of rejection and didn’t want to send my story, my piece of myself, out there all over the place and have people say “no, it’s not good enough”.

In the days when I first thought about being published ebooks and ereaders were not as huge, or even existed, as they do today.

In the last 4 or 5 years I started looking into it a bit more seriously. I started writing on this website this year in February 2013 after meeting a singer through my job who has done so much for herself. She’s Nuela Charles and you can find her link on the right hand side of my page if you’re interested in checking her stuff out.

So I started small. I took a story I had already ‘finished’ and that I liked and went about editing and dressing it up. I posted on this website every day and tried to seek out other authors and read about their adventures in the publishing world. I knew about KDP but I had never heard of Smashwords before. So I did some research on the Smashwords website and reviewed all the terms and policies for both (ugh. My eyes hurt from reading so much text).

At first I thought I had to choose one, but then I realized, through reading about others, that I could do both. A few of the ‘web-friends’ I have published with both, some have even done the paperback copies with CreateSpace. I’m not sure if I want to do that, but it’s an idea.

These people are far more advanced than I am, because most of them have been working at this for YEARS.

I set myself a flexible deadline for editing and formatting. I missed my first one as I was very sick in April and didn’t have the time to work at my Day Job, let alone work on my story, but I managed to keep my second deadline.

For those looking for any sort of advice on what to do: RESEARCH. Check out all there is to use. Talk to other writers, follow the blogs of those that have done what you want to do and read their posts and comment on them. Most likely, they will reply! I didn’t think they would have the time for someone like me, but they did! Makes me feel special 🙂

And don’t be afraid. I am my own worst enemy so that was the hardest thing to overcome.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

AND WE'RE LIVE!

Last night at about 9 pm (when I really should have been sleeping) I was checking my e-mail and discovered that Collections Canada had gotten back to me! I was able to log in and assign an ISBN to my book!

WELL! That meant I had to do it RIGHT AWAY and that also meant I had to upload it through KDP as well.

And I did. Now I’m live on both Smashwords and Amazon/Kindle! I am sooo stoked about this! You have no idea.

I’ve updated my book page to reflect the links directly to the book on both websites, but I’ll put the links here as well:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/321718

Amazon/Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D68GV7E

This is the Amazon/Kindle for Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Black-Red-ebook/dp/B00D68GV7E

I’ve noticed the price is a bit higher due to the conversion :S I hope that doesn’t put people off.

In the next few days I’m going to develop a coupon for the Smashwords version and I will be issuing it to those who are interested in writing a review either on Smashwords or on Amazon. I’m looking for OBJECTIVE reviews. That means no sucking up just because I know you (use an alternate name when you write the review please) and no being an asshole just because you don’t like it.

If you think you might be interested, please e-mail me directly at:

sarahjaynenantais@gmail.com

The coupon will enable you to get the book for free and Smashwords has it in a variety of formats so it should be able to be read on any e-reader you might have.

That’s all for today! Now I have to focus on my Day Job!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

Waiting is the hardest part

So now I’m waiting to hear from Collections Canada about an ISBN so that I can be a part of the premium catalog and to publish with KDP.

I’m also waiting for my story to be reviewed by Smashwords to make sure everything is done right. Once that’s done, I’ll post the link. I’m also waiting on the art piece for my avatar/profile picture.

Good thing I am patient 😀

6 people have already downloaded samples of my story. That makes me happy. I hope someone will buy a copy and write a review. Even if it’s bad, I still want someone to review it. I can’t get better if I don’t know what’s wrong with my writing.

I’ll most likely start talking about my next WIP in the next few posts. I haven’t touched it yet because I’ve been giving my brain a rest. I also don’t have a title for it. Right now I call it “Escape” because in the first chapter/prologue thing that’s what the characters are doing: escaping.

I’ll work on it 😀

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Review, Review!

My book is still under review but that’s okay. I might link to it soon anyhow.

I’ve already had 4 downloads of the sample that I made available! :O SO COOL!

I plan on creating a coupon as well so that I can do some give-aways. I’m waiting to hear from Collections Canada about an ISBN before I put it up on KPD as well. I’ll need the ISBN to make it available in the catalog for Kobo, Sony, and iBooks. It can take a while, but I hope it doesn’t. I’m impatient!!!

In the meantime, I’m going to get as much done for KDP as I can so that it’ll be one-click uploading there.

Now, I have so much time to do…..NOTHING! No editing, formatting, brain-wracking!

One thing I can do, though, is work on my next piece. I’ve had a few good ideas for it since I started editing Black & Red. I’m also waiting on my art piece my friend is creating for me to use as my online avatar, if you will. She’s been sooooo busy so I’m totally cool with waiting. You need to wait for a good product!

This is why, if you search me on Smashwords, you will see I don’t have a profile picture. I don’t have one on my Facebook page either. I put a temporary picture on Twitter so that I wouldn’t look like a robot, but I don’t want to use it everywhere. It’s just a place holder at the moment.

I promise once it’s been reviewed I’ll link to the book on my Books section plus I’ll probably do a post on it. I’m excited to read the first review. SOMEONE’S going to review it, I’m sure. As to whether or not it’s nice, that will be a different story. I must steel my heart and not take it personally 🙂

That’s going to be the hard part!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments