Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you had an amazing holiday with your family and continue to enjoy some vacation time or relaxing time as the new year approaches. I am on vacation, but wanted to mention that BEAUTIFUL DEMONS is being featured today on Bargain Books for your Nook! This is a great new site that features good bargains for Nook that are $4.99 or less. Perfect just in time for the holidays when I'm sure so many people received their first ereaders. Please hop over and check it out and if you haven't read the first book in my Peachville High Demons series yet, be sure to pick it up for just $0.99!!!
Last week, I had a long talk with my critique group about the timeline for RIVAL DEMONS. We set up dates for when I need to get the completed book to them, and then when we are going to meet to go through the book with their comments. I'm so excited that there has finally been some movement on this book and that I can finally give you a release date!!!
Rival Demons will be published by January 20, 2012!! I know it's a lot later than I originally planned, but life happens and time slips away from you sometimes. I probably could have put out a lesser quality book a lot faster, but that wouldn't be right for me or for you. I owe it to everyone (even Harper!) to write the very best book I can write. And though there have been some bumps in the road (baby bumps, that is), I am really happy with the way this book is turning out.
I hope you'll all be excited that we finally have a target date to look forward to. I put a countdown here on the right side of the blog to keep me motivated and to let you all keep track of how long until the book comes out. Just barely over a month now! I'm very excited to have you all read this book. In some ways, it's very different from the previous books in that it takes place entirely in the Shadow World. You will meet a lot of new characters and find out some very interesting things about the people you already know and love. I won't give away anything more than that for now, but as we get closer, I might release a sneak peek of the beginning of the book here on my blog.
What do you think? Are you excited to read the fifth book in the Peachville High Demons series?
Hi everyone! I think I have finally hit a much better place in my pregnancy. My energy is coming back, and so is my motivation with writing. Whew, that was certainly a tough first few months! A lot of people told me that I would start to feel better in the second trimester, and now that I've hit the 13 week mark, I really am feeling so much better. I hate to think about the fact that I've left so many of my fans waiting for the next book. I never intended to take so long to get Book 5 out, and I'm so sorry if I've disappointed you guys.
On a happy note, though, for the past week I've been working on the book as if it were old times. 3,000-5,000 words a day of revisions and new scenes, which is super exciting. And I know the question on everyone's mind is: When is the book coming out??
I figured after all this waiting, you deserved to be kept in the loop about how things are progressing and when the book should be coming out. Also, I think it will help keep me motivated if I keep running updates going here on my blog. So here's what is next for Rival Demons:
- First, I need to finish all of the revisions and rewrites. I already have an expected timeline on this, but am not quite ready to share yet.
- Once the book is finished, I will pass it off to my critique group. Because of things going on in their lives, along with the holidays coming up and family time, I am expecting it to take them about 2 weeks to read through the entire book and write out their comments.
- After the critique group goes through the book, we will schedule a long meeting to go through the book page-by-page, talking about any errors, any problems with the plot or things that don't make sense. My critique group is possibly the most amazing group in the world. They are very thorough and help me so much, so this is one of the most important steps.
- As long as there are no major problems with the book, I usually just take about three or four days to go through everyone's comments and make all the changes I agree with. Then, I read through the book a few more times, putting the final touches in.
- Once the book is completely done, then comes the formatting. This also takes a couple of days.
- Finally, release day!!
While I still don't know a final release date for the book, I did want to go ahead and give you a look at the cover for Book 5 of the Peachville High Demons series. I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite covers of the series because it's the first one where the girl is looking straight on to the camera. To me, it fits this book perfectly because as you'll see, in a lot of ways, Harper's eyes are being opened to the ways of the Order and to her own destiny.
I hope you like the cover as much as I do!! Thanks for all the messages over the past few days about your excitement for book 5 to come out. I really can't believe it's December already, but time is flying by as we get closer and closer to the holidays.
Have a great weekend everyone. More updates and blog posts to come next week.
I know I already try to keep track of the books I'm reading through Goodreads, but I thought I would also put some thoughts on these books up on my blog. Especially when what I read is mostly Young Adult fiction anyway. Since I've been feeling a bit less than ideal lately, my husband suggested I spend more time reading. His goal, of course, is to try to get rid of some of the mountain of YA books I have stacked around the house, haha! Our rule is that when I finish a book, I have to give it away or sell it at the used bookstore unless it's one of my favorites, in which case I get to keep it. With that said, I'm hoping to be reading more in the upcoming months.
My latest pick from my shelves was "Once Dead, Twice Shy" by Kim Harrison. This is a relatively short YA and is Kim Harrison's debut YA book.
I originally picked up this book because I was really drawn to the cover. It's got a punk kind of look to it, so I thought the heroine might be kind of bad-ass. Plus, this is another example of a NYT bestselling author throwing her hat into the ring of YA, so I figured it would be worth checking out.
I will do my best to keep the spoilers out of this, but still let you know what I thought of the book. I did finish the book, which is saying something for me lately. It seems like I'm constantly in search of the type of book that will draw me in from the start and just not let go. For me, those types of books are few and far between, and unfortunately, Once Dead was not one of those grabber kind of books.
Here's the blurb from the inside cover jacket:
Madison's prom was killer - literally. For some reason, she's been targeted by a dark reaper - yeah, that kind of reaper - intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.
Now she's stuck on Earth - dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.
With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe...), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.
Well, if she believed in that stuff.
Great premise, right? I mean, angels, reapers, a hint of some kind of magic. Sounds great. Unfortunately, the beginning was super slow for me. It wasn't quite slow enough to make me put it down and stop reading, but then again, it was probably not until after page 100 of an only 232 page book that I started getting interested enough to want to stay up past my bedtime to read. Part of it for me was that the beginning was confusing. Wait, she's dead? And what exactly is Barnabas, this light-reaper, trying to teach her to do? I didn't get it at first and had to do a lot of re-reading to figure it out.
Also, I think sometimes the fact that Kim Harrison is used to writing adult novels showed itself pretty glaringly. The language these teens use in a lot of the dialogue (especially for a teen like Madison who is supposed to be kind of punk and off-beat) is very stilted. Other times, she uses teen-speak like freaking, which does sound punk, but then also phrases like 'puppy presents', which sounds more like it belongs on the mouth of a do-gooder Christian girl who couldn't bear to swear. I guess for me, it just seemed inconsistent at times. Sometimes, though, the writing was so beautiful. "Looking up, I was blinded by the sun reflecting upon a moving blade, and I gasped as it sliced cleanly through me with the sensation of dry feathers against my soul." (p. 17 in the hardcover) Beautiful writing, right? Yes, but since it's supposed to be Madison's voice here, why does she use the word 'upon'? That doesn't sound very naturally teen to me. It sounds like the author's voice instead. See what I mean?
Or am I being super picky? Lol. Probabaly too picky, I know, but sometimes that's the problem with adult authors writing YA - I'm not sure I believe the voice. And little words like 'upon' instead of just 'on' throw me out of the teen's head just a little bit.
But like I said, somewhere after about page 100, I started really getting into the story. The conflict suddenly seemed real and I was rooting for Madison to figure it all out and learn to use the amulet she'd stolen from the dark reaper. The last few chapters were by far the best part of the book and kept me reading late into the night. Bottom line? If you can make it through the slower first part of the book, I think you'll really enjoy this read. This is also just the first book in a series. I recently purchased book 2, "Early to Death, Early to Rise", and plan to start it right away. There is third book also, titled "Something Deadly This Way Comes".
Have you read this book? Have you read any of Kim Harrison's adult novels? How do they compare? What did you think of 'Once Dead'?
I have seriously been slacking when it comes to blogging and social networking. I've barely been posting on twitter or facebook recently. Bad Sarra. I promise it hasn't been all happiness and roses here, though. I've been having some major morning sickness (something I have learned is grossly misnamed since it lasts 24/7), which is making it difficult to get a lot of work done. I have never been one to handle nausea well. I'm a wimp about it actually. And my life has been nausea city these days, haha.
Yes, I know, excuses excuses. Where's the next book? LOL. I know a lot of you are waiting for news on RIVAL DEMONS. I get messages every day asking about the book to see how it's coming. I can't tell you how much it means to me to get so many messages of support and so much interest about Book 5. And I know so many of you have been waiting patiently for more news, so here is the latest update:
Book 5 is so close to being done! I have been working as hard as I can to finish the book and get it out to my critique group. I get so hesitant to announce specific release dates, because I've had so many delays lately. The last thing I want to do is disappoint anyone. On the other hand, I feel confident enough that RIVAL DEMONS will be out in December. I'm hoping for a pre-Christmas release, but I will try my best to keep updating you here and on FB and twitter as we get closer to a release.
I know I also said I would show you guys the new book cover for RIVAL DEMONS! I promise I haven't forgotten. I will be revealing the cover art for Book 5 this Friday here on my blog, so stay tuned! I really hope you'll like it! I'm excited to show it to you and excited to get RIVAL DEMONS up on the virtual bookshelves.
I think it's an exciting development. Actually, it kind of makes me want to sign up for Amazon Prime, haha. I used to have a membership several years back, but back then, all that the membership gave you was free shipping. I didn't order enough merchandise to make it worth it. Now, however, there are a lot of perks that come along with an Amazon Prime membership. Free two-day shipping. Unlimited streaming of TV shows, movies, etc, similar to Netflix. And now a free book a month. Considering that some of these NYT bestseller books are $10.00 or more each, it's really a good deal. The Amazon Prime Membership is only $79 a year.
I have a feeling this new announcement will actually spur some people who are already members of Prime to go ahead and spring for a new Kindle. I mean, with the low price point now of only $79 for a brand new Kindle, why not? Especially when you have access to so many free books?
It's interesting to me that some authors already have their defenses up about this lending library. They are worried that they will not get paid for books that are lent through this new library. But to me, that's really narrow thinking. Free books have always been available, whether through borrowing from friends or borrowing from a physical library or from stealing or whatever. Authors still have always been able to make a living writing books. Readers still buy books, even when there are free ones to be had. I personally think it's a great announcement. I don't think it will have a huge impact on books sales except that it will be another way to connect readers with books and authors they love.
My only question is how do I get Beautiful Demons into the lending library? So far, I don't think they are letting a lot of Indie authors into the lending library. All I know is that if given a chance, I would definitely put the Peachville High Demons books into the lending library. Any chance I have of introducing my series to more readers is a huge opportunity. I have a feeling that right now, Amazon is sort of hand-picking books and authors, which currently doesn't include that many Indie authors (if any), but I would be incredibly excited if my books were to be included in any way.
What do you think of the new Kindle Owner's Lending Library? Are you an Amazon Prime Member? Would this new perk make you want to sign up for Amazon Prime? I'm interested to hear what you think.
This is going to be another personal post, along with a brief update on RIVAL DEMONS. First of all, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who left comments and sent me messages when I opened up in this post about my personal journey with PCOS and infertility. As I said before, I have wanted to have a baby for a very long time and even though my husband and I had been trying for quite a while, we had not been successful. I told you that we were preparing for our first round of IVF (in vitro fertilization) in October. I know many of you have been checking up on me to see how everything was going, and I appreciate the support with all of my heart.
I'm a little late with this happy birthday celebration, but as of October 29th, it's been exactly one year since I first published BEAUTIFUL DEMONS!!! The decision to become an Indie author and self-publish my books in ebook format was a huge decision for me. Like most writers, I had always wanted the validation of seeing my book in a physical bookstore and having an agent or editor tell me they loved and believed in my work. It took a lot of time and hair-pulling to finally move beyond that false idea of validation and realize that my future was staring me right in the face.
When I first self-published Beautiful Demons, I was scared, but excited. I had no idea if anyone would want to read it. The idea of bad reviews made me insane, haha. Luckily, a year later, the results are way beyond what I ever expected. Since last year, I have published the first four novels in my Peachville High Demons series and have sold a total of 45,641 copies between them. Beautiful Demons leads the group with 16,404 copies sold so far, and I couldn't be happier or more grateful.
I honestly feel that my decision to become an Indie author and take my career into my own hands was one of the best decisions I could have made. I love the creative freedom I have. I love feeling closer to my readers. I love being able to make the final decisions about the plot and characters without someone in New York telling me what I have to cut. Now, I'm not saying my books are the most amazing in the world or that I couldn't benefit from an editor or agent in some way, but in the end, I know this was the best route for me. I'm loving every minute of being an Indie author, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who has supported the Peachville High Demons series, either by writing reviews, buying the books, or telling a friend about the series. I appreciate you all so much. It's been an amazing year, and I'm looking forward to hopefully many more years of success!
Wow, I'm so sorry I've been annoyingly absent from the interwebs for a few weeks. If you read my earlier post, Pouring My Heart Out, you know I've been taking some time to deal with a very personal issue. After some self-reflection, I feel that I am ready to rejoin the writing world and start blogging again! For anyone who is interested, I will hopefully have an update about my personal life and my journey toward having a baby sometime in early November.
In the meantime, I thought I would post a few updates about what's been going on with my books. I'll make it in bullet points, because hey, bullet points are fun.
- First of all, I'm working on RIVAL DEMONS again. I had a flash of a new idea and I think I've figured out something that was missing from the rough draft that will pull this whole thing together. I've been feeling much more creative lately and excited about the series. Even though the book was slightly delayed, I am still hoping to have it out by mid-November!!! So only about 1 month left!
- I have book covers for both RIVAL DEMONS and DEMONS FOREVER!!!! Robin Ludwig did an amazing job on the covers and I can't wait to show them to you. You'll have to wait until December for the reveal of Demons Forever, but I am planning to reveal the cover for Rival Demons next Friday. I might do a fun giveaway in honor of the new cover. I have to say, it's one of my favorite so far, and I hope you'll like it!
- Today, BEAUTIFUL DEMONS hit its highest ever sales rank for the Amazon UK store. It jumped all the way up to 626. Even though my sales have sadly been slipping in the US store lately, it's exciting to see my books taking off in the UK.
- I am currently working on a complete revamp of my main website. Right now, my site is completely designed by my husband from scratch, using HTML 5. I like it, but to me, it does look a little bit homemade. I am working with my cover designer to put together a cool banner that will match my PHD series. I'm going to be converting both my site and my blog to wordpress, but it's taking me some time to learn how to do it. Hoping to have a new site up and running by the time Rival Demons is released!
If any of you have been on the fence about whether to buy an ereader or a new tablet, now is the best time ever to jump into the ebook revolution. Amazon announced a while back that they were going to do a press conference this morning and everyone was anticipating their unveiling of a new tablet, but Amazon actually announced 3 new offerings today.
- An ad-supported Kindle at only $79. What?! Yes, I'm serious about this. For less than eighty bucks, you can have a Kindle. And don't worry, the ads aren't scrolling while you read your books or anything. The ads are just the screensavers when your Kindle goes to sleep. Trust me when I say the cheesy pictures of dead authors they use for the regular Kindle screensavers aren't all that exciting, haha. I might actually prefer the ads!
- New Kindle Touch! This touch-screen ereader is only going to be $99, with a 3G version at just $149. (Just to compare, the Barnes & Noble touch is $139 just for the wi-fi version, so that's a huge $40 price difference.) The Kindle Touch is going to be much slimmer and will have no external controls - only touch screen controls.
- Kindle Fire Tablet - Cnet calls it a "color ereader on steroids". Lol. It looks similar to the Nook Color and will retail at only $199! (Again the nook color is currently $249, which is showing how much Amazon wants to be on top of the ereader market.) You can play games on it, watch movies, read books, nearly everything you can do on an ipad. The tablet also comes with a 30 day Amazon Prime membership, and with Prime adding tons of streaming video this fall, I think this will be a huge advantage to the Fire Tablet. Exciting news! Now I want one!
Sorry for the delay in blogging. I've been taking some time off to focus on my family and getting ready for IVF. First off, I want to just say thank you to everyone who read my previous post and has supported me. I got such an outpouring of love and hugs from comments, email, twitter, facebook, everywhere. Thank you so much everyone, you have no idea how much that means to me!
I have been taking the time I need to just relax and de-stress, so I've been staying away from my blog and from my novel for a bit. However, I just couldn't resist talking about the G105 Pick Your Purse! I feel like I have been waiting for them to do this again forever! This is definitely something that makes me very happy, so it's awesome that they are doing it starting October 3rd. I've blogged about this before, but the way the contest works is that they have 20 designer purses up for grabs. Every day at 7:50 am and 5:40 pm, they will announce that it's time to call. The 105th caller gets to pick any purse from the list that hasn't already been taken. The contest lasts M-F for 2 weeks.
I have lived here in the Raleigh area for four years now, and every single time G105 does Pick Your Purse, I am like a calling-in maniac. I want one of those purses so bad! We're talking Prada, Gucci, Chloe, Jimmy Choo, Valentino, all the most beautiful bags. And I'm such a purse person. I have never had a designer purse, but I love them. I love to look at them and drool over them. When we were Vegas earlier this summer, I think I spent more than three or four hours perusing the designer stores looking for the perfect bag. Unfortunately, most of the ones I fell in love with cost over $1000, lol. So no bag for Sarra.
Anyway, it feels like forever since the radio station did this contest, so I couldn't be happier that they are running this during one of these very tough times in my life when I'm super stressed and emotional. It would be AMAZING if I got to pick a purse!
Here's the grid of 20 purses from the G105 website:
- #2 - Chloe - I love this bag! It's big and beautiful and very me. I like to carry bigger bags because I've always got a ton of stuff with me. This is definitely my first choice.
- #8 - Valentino - Their patent bags with the bows are so beautiful. Valentino has this same bag in red, but I actually like the black even better. I looked at this bag when we were in Vegas and it's to die for!
- #6 - Jimmy Choo - Even though I love big bags, this small Jimmy Choo clutch would be perfect for a night out.
- #12 - Rebecca Minkoff - I'm actually not familiar with this designer, but I love this blue leather bag. I like the tassle and the chain and the zippers. It's modern and perfect for fall.
- #11 - Diane Von Furstenberg - This bag is called the Harper. How could it not be on my list?
Ah, faithful blog readers, I have been keeping things from you. I have been trying to act like things are normal and that I am one hundred percent focused on writing. I have been trying to pretend that even though I'm going through some tough personal things, I can still be superwoman when it comes to churning books out. Unfortunately, it all caught up with me this week at the beach.
The week I thought would be a huge breakthrough week for me, one where I would write 40,000 words and get ahead on my book deadline, actually turned out to be one of the most emotional weeks I've had in a very long time. (and trust me when I say, that's really saying something). Since technically this is my 'writing' blog, I haven't spent much time lately talking about my personal life. I used to do that more here before I had self-published. You know, back when no one was really reading, hehe. But I have been feeling like maybe it's not right to dump my personal issues on my readers and fans. After all, you come here to learn about my books, right? Not to hear about my problems...
On the other hand, I feel like my fans are my friends. You guys are always there to support me and hear me out. You celebrate with me and you understand when I'm upset about something. So why would this be any different? So, I have decided to share something with you. I promise I won't be talking about it a lot or whining about it on here on a regular basis. I just feel that since I went out there saying I would have a huge writing week - and have so obviously failed - maybe you deserved an explanation.
So, with all that being said, here is where I pour my heart out. For a long while now, my husband and I have been trying to have a baby. There aren't even words to express how very much I would love to be a mother. Unfortunately, I have a condition called PCOS that has caused infertility and made it a very difficult journey. For the past year, I have been going through various fertility treatments, doctor appointments, medications, acupuncture, you name it. After many failed cycles, we are now preparing to start IVF (in vitro fertilization). I won't go into all the fun details there, but I'll just say that if you aren't already familiar with what this entails, it isn't the most glamorous and fun thing a woman can go through. There have been a lot of tests and appointments leading up to this and now we are just 3 short weeks away from starting injections.
For me, this will mean 3 shots a day in my upper arms, which my nurse is saying may make it difficult to type for long periods of time. Almost daily appointments. Lots of hormones and other fun stuff. I'm ready for all of this, but if you know me at all, you know I'm an extremely emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleeve pretty much all the time. For me, infertility has been one of the most devastating and emotionally draining experiences of my life. And my writing is, of course, very closely tied to my emotions. Lately, because I'm having so much anxiety and worry and spending so much emotional energy on IVF, I haven't had as much to dedicate to my writing.
This is where the beach trip was supposed to come in. I had planned to leave my worries at home and come to a beautiful place to just write, write, write! I've used beach trips before with great success, so I expected this to be the same. Unfortunately, this emotional rollercoaster I'm on just wasn't something I could turn off and leave behind. I would love to say that I'm superwoman and can write through anything, but it's just not the case. This is a time where I really need to be nice to myself and do my best to take my time and write when I can. I hope you, dearest readers, will understand this.
So where does this leave Rival Demons? Hopefully, nothing will change as far as my schedule. I hope to still have the book out by the end of October if I can. The rough draft is really solid and I'm truly loving this story. And believe me, I can't WAIT for you to learn some big things about Harper in this next book. I promise that I will do my best to stay on schedule and to keep writing. At the same time, though, I'm going to ask for your prayers and your support as I go through this very difficult and emotional time in my life. I wish I could keep my writing and my personal life separate, but I honestly think that if I could do that, it wouldn't make me a very good writer. I have to feel whatever it is I feel. I have to live through it and deal with it in order to come out on the other side. This isn't something everyone understands, but I'm sharing it with you, hoping that you will.
Thanks for listening to me today. I'm actually leaving the beach early. My husband is currently on his way to come get me so we can be together. He is my rock and my heart and he just gets it and grounds me and makes me better. So, the beach trip ended with just under 8,000 words. A far cry from my goal of 40,000 words, but I'm going to pat myself on the back anyway and just keep chugging along over the next few weeks until the book is finished. In a way, my books and my characters are almost like my children, hehe, and during this time, I'm so grateful to know that no matter what, I'll always have them.
To be honest, it's been a struggle to get into the groove so far this week, but I feel a change coming from deep inside. I have a feeling the next few days are going to be exactly what I was looking for.
Anyone who has been checking back to view my progress has probably been sorely disappointed by the lack of movement on my word meter, ha! I promise, I am working! Just right now, I'm still in the whole looking-over-my-rough-draft-and-trying-to-decide-what-sucks-most stage. I'm working through the plot, doing some soul searching - both mine and Harper's - and organizing my thoughts so I can write the best possible book I can write. There are some pretty huge answers coming in this book (at least I think they're huge), so I want to make sure I write them into the story in the most organic, natural way. And, of course, I always want to make sure to stay true to Harper's character, even if she is in another world at the moment. She's still the same Harper.
So, that's my update. No words yet in the 40,000 goal, which is scaring me just a tad, but I'm working hard! Words WILL be updated tonight. I feel like I'm close to finishing this first stage of the revision process and am hopefully about to move on to the next part.
And, on another note, here's the view from my front porch.
(Oh, and just as a side note, I created this free word meter on my own website at www.sarracannon.com/wordmeter. My amazing husband designed this word meter for me so that I could keep my fans up to date on my progress. The word meter is free for anyone to use. You can go to my website, create and design your own word meter, then stick the image onto your blog or website. Then, instead of having to re-create the word meter each time, you can simply visit the website and update your word count. The word meter will automatically update on any websites where you have it posted.)
Woohoo! I'm doing a dance over here, because I just finished my rough draft for RIVAL DEMONS! Yay!!! I can't believe it's finished! It feels so amazing to have the rough draft of my fifth book completed just shy of one year since I started the first book in the series! Wow, it's amazing how much things have changed for me in this past year.
So what's next? Ah, the rewrites begin! For me, a rough draft is more of an exploration of where the story wants to go. I rarely use very much of it in the final book, which I know sounds weird, but it's true. Now begins the true version of the book now that I've (hopefully) gotten most of the kinks out and am ready to write. For now, I'm heading to the gym with my plot cards and I'm going to jump on the treadmill for about an hour listening to music and thinking about what I want to change in the next draft. I love this part! It's where the story really starts to come together for me!
Then, on Monday, I am lucky enough to have the entire week at Kure Beach with two of my good friends. We are all three writers and are planning to get so much done! We'll be there until Saturday with nothing to do but walk on the beach and WRITE!!! I have set some huge goals for myself, so in order to keep myself motivated, I am going to keep posting my progress here on the blog. I hope to lose myself in Harper's world - or actually more like Jackson's world, come to think of it!
My goal for the beach week: 40,000 words. That would mean about 8,000 words a day on average, so a very lofty goal. It might not be possible, but I'm going to give it 100%. I always feel so inspired by the ocean, so when I feel burned out, I can just go for a long walk on the beach and get rejuvenated! I'm excited about the trip and excited to be done with the rough draft for Book 5. It's definitely looking more and more like an October release date for RIVAL DEMONS!
Wow, so they weren't kidding about a summer slump. My sales definitely slowed down in the month of August, and it was scary! Overall, I had a good monthly total simply because I now have four books out instead of 3. On the other hand, each book's individual sales were the lowest they've been since February, which is disappointing. That's one of the hardest parts about self-publishing. It's a lot of ups and downs and you never truly know what to expect from month to month. The only true way to guarantee growth is to keep writing books.
August Sales Numbers:
- Amazon Kindle Store: 855 US + 234 UK + 2 DE = 1091
- Barnes & Noble: 296
- Smashwords: 2
- Total: 1389
- Amazon Kindle Store: 702 US + 157 UK + 1 DE = 860
- Barnes & Noble: 244
- Smashwords: 2
- Total: 1106
- Amazon Kindle Store: 671 US + 118 UK + 1 DE = 790
- Barnes & Noble: 219
- Smashwords: 1
- Total: 1010
- Amazon Kindle Store: 1146 US + 111 UK + 1 DE = 1258
- Barnes & Noble: 284
- Smashwords: 3
- Total: 1545
There are two very exciting things about my August sales, despite the slowing numbers. 1. My UK sales got a huge boost this month. It's the first time I've sold over 600 books in the UK, so that was super exciting. 2. I passed the 40,000 books sold mark! I never dreamed I would be able to sell that many books in less than a year! And I still have until the last day of October to try my best to hit 50K in a year. Of course, with the huge slow down, that's definitely not a guarantee. Already in September, the numbers have continued to seriously drop. For example, Beautiful Demons hovered between 1000 and 1500 sales rank for months, but lately has been seen closer to 4000 and 5000 in the kindle store. I ended last month with an average of 162 books sold per day. Yesterday, I only sold 84 books. To be honest, it's scaring me. And since I started this sales number report in order to be honest and give a true picture of what an Indie author's sales look like, I have to tell you how I feel.
I have thoughts that go through my head about what if I've reached the maximum numbers for this series? What if it's all downhill from here? There are a million scary thoughts in my head. Still, I do understand logically that if I continue to put out new books, there will be spikes and then things will begin to drop again. It's a pattern. It's natural. It happens to everyone. I think it's scary because it makes me feel a little bit out of control. I'm not sure what to do to boost my sales back up - other than writing more books. I plan to release the 5th book in my series, RIVAL DEMONS, in October. Then, if all goes well, the 6th book, DEMONS FOREVER, will come out just before Christmas. Perfect timing to end the series just before the biggest boost of ebook sales, right? I hope so. For me, that's the only marketing strategy I can come up with, and I think it's a good one. I'm a writer. So I'll write. As for sales, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Have you seen a lag in your summer sales? What have you done to boost them? How do you get over the fear of seeing sales drop? If you're an Indie author, please let me know how you handle these lags if you've seen them.
There are several things I wanted to announce today.First of all, I am almost finished with the rough draft of Book 5! This is, actually, why I've come to a very big decision about the series that I sincerely hope you will be excited about.
When I first started writing the Peachville High Demons series, I thought it would be a trilogy. Possibly four books at most. Then, in the middle of writing the rough draft for Book 3, I realized the story was much bigger than I ever imagined. The series grew to 5 books. Now that I'm almost finished with the rough draft of Book 5, however, I have realized that Harper's story isn't over just yet. There's still more to tell.
Book 5 is NOT going to be the final book in the Peachville High Demons series. In fact, most of the book takes place in the shadow world and there is still at least one more book needed to finish Harper and Jackson's story. Book 5 is also getting a new name. I really feel that the LAST book in the series needs to be DEMONS FOREVER, so I'm saving that title for when I'm completely sure the book I'm writing really is the last book. I know everyone has been waiting for DEMONS FOREVER and thinking that was the next book, but as a self-published author, my main goal is to be true to the story and let it unfold that way it needs to. If that means another book, I'm going to go with it. That's one of the biggest advantages to being an Indie author, actually. I don't have an editor telling me the series has to end with Book 5 or telling me what the title of the book has to be. I can let my imagination take over. And I have the power to let the story go where it wants to go.
About halfway through this rough draft, I realized there was so much more story to tell. There is a HUGE surprise in this new book and it sent the story in a direction even I wasn't expecting. Because of that, I started to realize I would need for this to either be a very long book (ha!) or it would have to be broken into two separate books. In the interest of getting the book published quickly and not making fans of the series wait several more months to get the story, I decided on the second option. I'm going to just write more books!
Book 5's new name is RIVAL DEMONS and it is going to be the story of Harper and Jackson's time in the shadow world. What they learn there will change them both forever.
I'm still not ready to give an exact release date for the book yet, but I can tell you that I plan to have it published before the end of October at the latest. I will post an official release date as soon as I have one for you! And for fans of the series, I'm going to need your help in spreading the word about the new title and the new direction of the series! As far as I see it now, DEMONS FOREVER will now become Book 6 and will be the end of the story, but I'm somewhat at the mercy of the story, to be honest. I'm willing to write what I feel is true to the story and let it go where it wants to go. Still, I'm sure there will be some confusion because people will be looking for DEMONS FOREVER to come out in October, not a book called RIVAL DEMONS, so help spread the word about the new title and the extra book now in the series!
I sincerely hope you are as excited as I am about the addition of another book to the series. I have to admit, I've been a little nervous about announcing it! I'm hoping fans of the series will be happy there is another book in the works and they won't have to say goodbye to Harper and Jackson just yet.
Back of the Book Reviews!! This month will be full of exciting author interviews and amazing giveaways! They are having daily giveaways as well as one big grand prize giveaway at the end of the month that will include one of the very first free signed print copies of my book, BEAUTIFUL DEMONS. They also have put together an amazing September Extravaganza Programme that has all kinds of awesome discounts, coupons and free book download codes. The programme is 49 pages long and includes exclusive interviews, featured authors, a full list of featured books, lots of discount coupons, and an exclusive offer from Dorchester Books. Go to the Back of the Book Reviews website and look for the programme 'buy now' button on the right side.
Inside the program, there is a coupon for a FREE smashwords download of the first book in my Peachville High Demons series, BEAUTIFUL DEMONS. If you've been wanting to check out my writing or the Peachville series, this is a great way to try it while also getting lots of other great information and discounts!! The programme is only $2.99 so I highly encourage you to check it out!
I'm excited to be a part of the September Extravaganza and I hope everyone will stop by their website and participate this month! It should be lots of fun!
In the traditional publishing world, word count for young adult novels is all over the place. The Twilight Saga books are each over 100,000 words. Books like Kate Brian's Private series are more around the 65,000-75,000 word count. Most websites and agents place a typical YA manuscript between 45,000-80,000 words. Here is what Agent Colleen Lindsay says about YA:
YA fiction = For mainstream YA, anywhere from about 45k to 80k; paranormal YA or YA fantasy can occasionally run as high as 120k but editors would prefer to see them stay below 100k. The second or third in a particularly bestselling series can go even higher. But it shouldn't be word count for the sake of word count.
Labels: word count
It's just shy of 2:00 AM and I'm calling it. Write-a-palooza is officially over! Originally, I stared with a word count yesterday afternoon of 10,593 words. I was feeling down about how far behind I was on my rough draft, but now, I can say that I'm right back on track.
Yesterday, I ended with a total word count of 15,644, meaning I wrote just over 5,000 words yesterday.
- Tomorrow is the official event.
- Goal #1: 5,000 words. Prize: 3 Hello Kitty World adventures Collictipaks (or the equivalent monetary value for the pack, currently $3.00). I LOVE these packs! They have these super cute little tiny hello kitties dressed up in different country-specific attire. Also, they have stickers and lots of trading cards with pictures of her dressed in the outfits. I have all the kitties except India. So basically either 3 packs or $9.00 for 5,000 words.
- Goal Level #2: 10,000 words. Prize: 10 HK Collectipaks (or $30 to spend at the sanrio store in Crabtree Valley Mall)
- For every 1,000 words written today, I get +1 pack added to my 5k reward tomorrow or +2 packs added to my 10k reward. So, if I get 2,000 words written today, my rewards tomorrow go up to 5 packs for the 5k reward and 14 for the 10k reward. Get it? (or monetary value still, of course)
- If I get 10,000 words, I get BOTH the 10k reward AND the 5k reward. For example, if I get 5,000 words today at pre-palooza, that's +5 packs to the 5k reward for a total of 8 packs (or $24). THat's +10 packs to the 10k reward for a total of 20 packs (or $60). Add both of those rewards together, so I get either 28 packs or $84 or some combination of the two.
Hi everyone! I'm coming out of deep writing mode to say hello and let you know that I have was interviewed by the fabulous writers at Cabinet of Curiosities today. My guest interview is up, so please stop by, ask questions, say hello and learn more about me! Their questions were really fun and I got to say a lot about myself and my writing, so I hope you'll join us on their blog today!
Labels: guest interview
Hi everyone! Sorry I've been slack on posting. I also still haven't managed to separate my self-publishing blog from my regular writing blog, so I apologize to fans who don't really care about this stuff, haha. Hopefully there are some of you writers out there still finding value in seeing what my numbers have done each step of the way. I feel like as self-published authors we should stick together and help each other however we can. This is just one small way I hope to help.
- Amazon Kindle Store: 1698 US + 134 UK = 1832
- Barnes & Noble: 398
- Smashwords: 1
- Total: 2231
- Amazon Kindle Store: 1373 US + 92 UK + 1 DE = 1466
- Barnes & Noble: 333
- Smashwords: 3
- Total: 1802
- Amazon Kindle Store: 1243 US + 72 UK = 1315
- Barnes & Noble: 278
- Smashwords: 3
- Total: 1596
- Amazon Kindle Store: 2824 US + 87 UK = 2911
- Barnes & Noble: 600
- Smashwords: 10
- Total: 3521
Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't updated the blog much this week, but on Monday I had to go in to the doctor because I'd been having dizzy spells and feeling super tired. Turns out there was fluid on my inner ear causing some equilibrium issues. Yuck! I'm still feeling a little bit off today, and this week has been mostly about resting and trying to get healthy. I also found out today that the reason I'm so tired is that I'm severely deficient in Vitamin D. Fun! No, no, not fun. At least I know there's a reason behind it, which means it's fixable. I already take Vitamin D supplements, but now I'll be taking a prescription strength Vitamin D for a while to increase my levels more quickly.
My work on DEMONS FOREVER has really just begun. I haven't actually written a word of it yet, to be honest, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working on it. Mostly, I've been going over my notes and working on the story-line. I think of all the books I've written so far, this one makes me the most nervous. Knowing the series is coming to an end is difficult. I want to make sure to wrap up all the loose ends. I want to answer all the questions that need to be answered. And I want to give all of the fans of the series an ending they can love. It's extremely important to me that this be one of the best (if not THE best) books in the whole series. That's a lot of pressure to put on myself!
Anyway, I hope you'll keep up with my progress as I go along. Once the rough draft is complete, I'll start revisions (which for me, usually means nearly completely rewriting the book), then critique, then formatting, and then finally publishing! Getting excited about DEMONS FOREVER!
Life has been so busy with the release of Shadow Demons that I haven't had time yet to post my June Sales Numbers. I had a fan ask me why I was posting my sales numbers, and I wanted to just talk about that for a minute. When I was first thinking about self-publishing, I spent a lot of time reading the blogs of other self-published writers. I was so grateful when they would post their sales numbers so that I could see what was possible. I decided to share my own sales numbers for that specific reason and also as a public record of one self-published author's journey to success.
- Amazon Kindle Store: 1704 US sales + 93 UK sales + 1 DE sales = 1798
- Barnes & Noble: 518
- Smashwords: 4
- Total: 2320
- Amazon Kindle Store: 1323 US Sales + 54 UK Sales + 0 DE sales = 1377
- Barnes & Noble: 363
- Smashwords: 2
- Total: 1742
- Amazon Kindle Store: 1180 US sales + 37 UK sales + 0 DE sales = 1217
- Barnes & Noble: 291
- Smashwords: 1
- Total: 1509
Labels: Monthly Sales Numbers
I have a friend who was telling me about her brother's short film, called STOP. I kept meaning to watch it, but just finally got around to it today, and WOW. I should NOT have put it off, because it totally blew my mind. OMG, this short film is amazing! I wanted to share it here today, because I think it's the type of things fans of the paranormal will like to see. It's only a few minutes long, but it still manages to tell a great story.
Now, I'm back and getting into writing mode again. I thought I would give a quick update on everything that's going on. First of all, SHADOW DEMONS is on Fire!!! It's been holding steady between 400-500 in the Kindle store for the past week, reaching a top so far of 413! I couldn't be more excited! I'm sending out a huge thank you to everyone who supports the Peachville High Demons series and has bought the book. I've gotten such great reviews that several of them have actually brought tears to my eyes. I feel so incredibly grateful for all the support and love and messages from fans.
DEMONS FOREVER, the 5th and final book in the Peachville High Demons series, is now officially underway. I want so much for this book to be an amazing ending to a great series. The thought of saying goodbye to Harper and Jackson and all these amazing characters in my head makes me sad and scared. I want to do the series justice with the right ending. That being said, I am going to dedicate so much of my life over the next couple of months to making sure this book is the best possible ending to the series. I'm not going to give a specific month or date for the release at this point, but I can say that I plan on getting it out at some point this Fall.