Monday, April 11, 2016

Advantages & Disadvantages of Self-Publishing

Happy Monday!
I'm thrilled to have author Heather Blanton with me today with a special guest post.
also, Please don't forget to check out her book below: HEARTS IN DEFIANCE

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Publishing,
(In My Humble Opinion) by Heather Blanton

Way back in February of 2012, I put my book, A Lady in Defiance, on Amazon to use as a fundraiser for an American Cancer Society event. I cleared this move with my lit agent first, as he was actively shopping the manuscript. We all thought that with nothing but word of mouth, I would struggle to meet my $200 goal.

By the end of 2012, A Lady had sold nearly 8000 copies! At first, I stood frozen like a deer in the headlights as the book climbed the charts. When a friend said to me, though, “Hey, you should save your money, quit your job, and write the sequel,” I knew immediately that was my path.

Since I was five years-old, I wanted nothing more than to be traditionally published. I thank God every day for the re-route. In the past few years, I have released two novels, two novellas, four audio books, and been included in two bestselling collections with other bestselling authors.

Naturally, I’ve weighed the pros and cons of indy vs. traditional publishing. Indy is working for me and here’s the way I see advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

1.      My deadlines are mine.

2.      I write what I want. I’m all about writing the story that’s haunting me.

3.      There is no pressure to impress the editor or agents, only my readers.

4.      The cover looks exactly like I want it to.

5.      Obviously, I make more money per book than traditional authors.

6.      There is no constant pressure to pitch a story to agents and editors

7.      I forge my own alliances, working with other authors that I want to work with.

8.      Success is all on me.

9.      I have the freedom to try new marketing tactics.

10.  I create and build the team I work with, from editors, to designers, to beta readers, etc.

11.  Self-publishing does not have the stigma it once had, therefore I am able to market my books in places that, early on, were closed to the Indies. For example, blogs that once featured only traditionally published authors.

12.  I don’t feel the need to enter contests. Being indy allows me to focus on my writing as a ministry, and I try not to “compete” with my fellow authors. I want this to be about God.

Disadvantages:
1.      Failure is a very real possibility and I can’t blame anyone else.

2.      I create and build the team I work with, from editors, to designers, to beta readers, etc. I’d better choose wisely.

3.      Marketing is hit and miss and, in the beginning, based on no experience.

4.      You foot the bill for everything.

5.      Being indy doesn’t do much for your ego, when compared to saying, “I’m published by X Publishing.”

6.      Standing out is difficult. There is a lot of competition today. A book is uploaded to Amazon every 4 minutes. (I think nearly all of them are Western Romance.)

7.      Networking with other authors is harder.

8.      I personally feel the pressure to deliver a top-quality read, and obsess over edits and typos.

Of course, some of these plusses and minuses are subjective. Depends on your work style, your personality, your level of passion, etc. I’m very motivated, self-directed, and I’d rather write than eat pizza (that’s saying something). But ask yourself, what have you got to lose by going indy? If the price is too high, then pursue a traditional publisher with every ounce of your being. It’ll pay off. Passion always does.

Hearts in Defiance
 photo hearts_ebook_zpsl3rhgybx.jpg
Charles McIntyre sat down at his desk in his saloon and stared at his Bible.
He almost laughed out loud but in the silence, the sound would have been deafening. He knew plenty of people who would laugh. A former pimp, saloon owner, and gunman reading the Bible.
       Do you really think you’re worthy to come before Him?
       The subtle rebuke pricked his soul. But he was determined and reached for the book. Naomi had said several times during his convalescence that all the answers to his questions would be found there. Rolling mental dice, since he didn’t know exactly how to start, he opened the book and read the first words his eyes fell upon:
Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe;
let her breasts satisfy thee at all times.

      McIntyre’s eyebrows shot up. That wasn’t what he was expecting. Intrigued, he read on.
And be thou ravished always with her love.
And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

      He sat back and pondered the Scripture, chastised by it. He had spent a shameful number of nights embracing the bosoms of strangers, and it had never led to anything like what he felt for Naomi. Perhaps this was what God was trying to tell him. There would never be anything as passionate and pure in a man’s life as loving and honoring the one woman whom God chooses for him.

Available at Amazon 
You can contact Heather several different ways. She always responds and is happy to answer questions:  FACEBOOK   TWITTER   INSTAGRAM 

Thanks so much, Heather!
Your perspective is really interesting!

Jennifer
XOXO

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Another change in publishing

Hi, all!

Funny how even though there was an extra day in February, I still didn't have enough time to blog!

Oh well. Happy March!

So by now you've probably heard the news that Samhain Publishing will be closing its doors.

This is especially sad for me to hear because Samhain sold my very first book, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME.
Although I never did submit another book to them--more because I didn't feel they had a strong enough "sweet romance" brand--they were always professional and easy to work with.

Ironically enough, my contract with them was fulfilled a few months ago and I had already asked to have my rights reverted back to me, which they have done.

Soon my book will be given a new look and some additional editing with new scenes added! I'm hoping for a June re-release!

                                                                  ****


In other news, Wednesday, March 2nd is READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY! (Today!) Volunteers from my community will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday and will read to students in the Primary School. Supporting the Friends and Volunteers’ goal of literacy, each student will receive the gift of a book to read, to cherish, and to share.
I was asked by the Friends & Volunteers to read to a kindergarten class. I finally decided on "Green Eggs and Ham" my second choice. I actually wanted to read "The Giving tree" but every time I read it, I cry like a baby at the end. (Don't want to scar the children!)

That's all from for now, but I have some cool news coming that I can't wait to share soon.

Happy reading!

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Happy New Year! And a thought on Blogging

Hi, peeps!

Wishing everyone a healthy HAPPY NEW YEAR--even if I am several weeks late. :)

But I'm sure I caught several of you through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Which brings me to my New Year's thoughts on my blog...

No, I have not abandoned by blog. Not entirely. I will continue to post a little update about myself or writing once a month. But that's all I'm afraid.

With so many other social media platforms out there, blogging (for me) doesn't hold the appeal as it once had several years ago. I've made great friends and met awesome writers through blogging, but now I follow them on other outlets so I don't always feel the draw to catch up with them by blog now.

Plus, it's a time thing, really. ROI. (Return on Investment) How much time I put into blogging vs outcome. And I can say, other social media venues take MUCH less time (for me) and I get back MUCH more in return.
What is "Return"? It can be engagement with readers/writers or just plain sales.

The web and the whole writing environment is constantly changing, so for me, I need to change too.

So why blog at all? you might ask.

Well, a few reasons:
1) I have my blog listed on my website. Some new readers who find me might be interested in something I'm saying or have said.
2) My blog is listed and seen on Goodreads, where readers can get information.
3) My blog still has a following on blog sites and new people are still discovering it through Google and the tags I've listed in my posts.

So that's all from me. Until next month...

Jennifer


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Hey, all

I actually am ahead of the game for the holidays (except I still need to shower) so I'm sipping a cup of tea and relaxing now.

I have been busy cooking since family is coming to my house for Christmas.

What's on the menu?

Prime Rib (my first time making!)
Horseradish cream sauce
Scalloped Potatoes
Spinach cheese squares
Cole Slaw
dinner rolls

Christmas cookies
White chocolate bread pudding
Chocolate Peppermint pie

WHEW!!!

I feel very blessed to be able to afford to have people over at my house and have such nice food on the table for them.

Hope all who celebrate this glorious holiday have a lovely and blessed Christmas as well.

God bless and Merry Christmas!
Jennifer

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi, all!

Hope all is well!
Wanted to wish all my fellow Americans a
Happy Thanksgiving!

We are going to a neighbor's house for a "hood" brunch and then I'll be spending Thanksgiving with my side of the family.

So much to be thankful for this year. I have a lot of things happening next year as well and if you are a newsletter subscriber, you already know. Ha!
So feel free to subscribe. There are free monthly giveaways just for being a subscriber!

And in case you wondered, here is a little bit about the origin of Thanksgiving (courtesy of the History channel):

The tradition of celebrating the holiday on Thursday dates back to the early history of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies. A famous Thanksgiving observance occurred in the autumn of 1621, when Plymouth governor William Bradford invited local Indians to join the Pilgrims in a three-day festival held in gratitude for the bounty of the season.

Thanksgiving became an annual custom throughout New England in the 17th century, and in 1777 the Continental Congress declared the first national American Thanksgiving following the Patriot victory at Saratoga. In 1789, President George Washington became the first president to proclaim a Thanksgiving holiday, when, at the request of Congress, he proclaimed November 26, a Tuesday, as a day of national thanksgiving for the U.S. Constitution. However, it was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated nationally.

With a few deviations, Lincoln’s precedent was followed annually by every subsequent president–until 1939. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt departed from tradition by declaring November 23, the next to last Thursday that year, as Thanksgiving Day. (He was just trying to boost the economy)Considerable controversy surrounded this deviation, and some Americans refused to honor Roosevelt’s declaration.

For the next two years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation, but on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake (it was a real turkey) and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.



"Give thanks not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of your life. Appreciate and never take for granted all that you have." Catherine Pulsifer


Monday, November 2, 2015

99 Cent Sale!

Happy Monday, all!

Today is a fun week because my publisher, Entangled Publishing, is having a BLISS BLITZ today thru Friday.

What does that mean?



Bliss has a new look and to celebrate they are having a huge sale plus an amazing week full of Blissful events. Join us and fill your e-reader with these fun and flirty romances for just $.99 each!

PLUS...

Chat with Bliss authors and other readers, kick back with an #EPMovieNight and more. See the list of events below here:

11/2 to 11/6 - Join us Bliss authors for tips on avoiding the Black Friday madness, holiday recipes and more over at Entangled in Romance.

11/2 to 11/6 - Bliss author Facebook page takeover. Each day a different Bliss author will be taking over the Bliss Books Fan page. Ask those questions you’ve been dying to ask an author, chat with the group and get peeks inside to find your next fun and flirty romantic read. I will be taking over Tuesday!

Tuesday, 11/3 at 8pm ET - Kick back, relax, and join Entangled for an #EPMovieNight. Follow @entangledpub and the #EPMovieNight hashtag and chat with us as we watch The Wedding Singer together. It’s available for streaming on Netflix. We will also be giving away several prizes throughout the movie to lucky chat participants!

Thursday, 11/5 from 8pm to 10pm ET - Fall into Bliss Facebook party. Join Bliss authors, readers and the Bliss team for a night of fun, treats and giveaways.


We hope you can join us for one or more of the events!

Check out all the Bliss books on sale here.

 

Happy Reading and have a great week!

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

COVER REVEAL! Dragons Among Them

Hey, all!
 
Do you watch Game of Thrones?
Because my fellow author bud, Kyra Jacobs has a COVER for her upcoming series that TOTALLY reminds me of that show!!
 
Check it out!!!

Book Title:                 Dragons Among Them
Series Name:              Kingdoms of Fire and Ice
Series Number:          1
Author:                      Kyra Jacobs  
Publisher:                   Samhain Publishing
ISBN13:                     978-1-61923-440-6
Publication Date:       April 19th 2016

 

Two worlds. One unstoppable passion. A fiery secret that could destroy them all.

 


Kingdoms of Fire and Ice, Book 1

Prince Zayne Godfrey, heir to Edana’s throne, is betrothed to the lone princess of rival kingdom Forath. While his heart is not in the arranged marriage, he will do his royal duty.

When he finds a beautiful stranger cornered by a pack of wolves, he doesn’t hesitate to shift into his golden dragon form to save her. She thanks him by taking one look at him and fainting dead away.

Photographer Adelaide Miller is in England for a career-making shoot when a bizarre jogging mishap lands her in a dangerous, medieval-like world of royals, wizards and dragon-shifting men. Her first instinct is to find her way back, but the fire-breathing prince intent on protecting her threatens to melt her heart.

Zayne’s burning passion for Adelaide not only jeopardizes the fragile peace between two kingdoms, it uncovers a ruthless plot to destroy his family. Remaining together may change Adelaide’s very definition of home—and expose one searing secret that could forever shift the balance of power in Zayne’s world.

 



Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love, humor and mystery in the Midwest and beyond. When this Hoosier native isn’t pounding out scenes for her next book, she's likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to read, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan. Be sure to stop by her website www.KyraJacobs.wordpress.com to learn more about her novels and ways connect with her on social media.