The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Book Signing: Kelly Keaton's Darkness Becomes Her

Tuesday night last week, I went to Kelly Keaton's signing of her new YA novel "Darkness Becomes Her." I was so excited to get my copy and to see Kelly. She's such an amazing writer, so combine that with my love of YA, I know I'm going to love this book. Unfortunately, with my book coming out this week, I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it's on my immediate to-do list for this upcoming week!

First of all, let me just say, the cover on this book is AMAZING! The only thing that could have been better is if Kelly's name were a little easier to see. As it is, her name is a little small and blends in with the background. BUT, she has a cover quote from THE Christopher Pike. I almost fainted. He's so my favorite author of all-time for the YA genre. I pretty much worship him. To get a cover quote from him would be the most amazing thing, and I'm sure she's totally over the moon about it! Congrats Kelly!

Kelly is such a beautiful person. Also so sweet and nice when I see her. We both belong to RWA and the local chapter here in Raleigh, HCRW. I wish her all the best success with this book. If you like YA paranormal, this sounds like a great one, so go check it out. I'll let you know what I think of it when I'm finished with it. In the meantime, Congrats Kelly on such a beautiful book and for all the great buzz it's receiving. Thanks so much for doing a signing here in Cary!

Bitter Demons is now available in the Kindle store!

Yes, yes, I'm supposed to be on vacation. But you know I couldn't spend the weekend away from the computer. That would be like cutting my heart out or something.

I just wanted to post a quick update that Bitter Demons, Book 3 of the Peachville High Demons series, is now live in the Kindle store! It took over 36 hours for them to get it posted, but I'm so excited that it's finally up!

Bitter Demons is on Sale Now!

OMG, what an amazing feeling! Bitter Demons, the third book in the Peachville High Demons series, is on sale now at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. I am so incredibly excited about this book. I have put so much time and work in it, and I really hope you enjoy it.

I think part of what I'm most proud of is that I set a goal to write and publish a book every 2 months, and I've actually done it! I caved and decided to give myself an extra couple of weeks for Book 4 because it's got a particularly tricky element to it, but I'm not going to beat myself up over that extra time. Writing a book in less than two months is NOT easy, but I've stuck with it and put my heart and soul into these books.

Please check out all three books in the series! And if you've already bought and read them, thank you so much for allowing me to do what I love to do most in the world. The book isn't yet available on Kindle, but it says it is "In Review" so it should be up by tonight or tomorrow at the latest, I hope! I'll post another link once it's up! Have a great weekend everyone. If you snuggle up with Bitter Demons this weekend, leave a note and let me know what you think!

Bitter Demons Complete!!

Yippeeee!!! I'm shouting for joy over here! Hopefully, I didn't wake the neighbors, but I can't help it. I'm excited! I finished the final edits and formatting tonight, and I've pretty much been working nonstop all day. It's about 2:45 in the morning right now and my husband (whom I love very much) is still awake working on the Barnes & Noble formatting even though he has to work in the morning.

Thank goodness for a beach vacation this weekend. Of course, we may end up sleeping the whole time if the hotel bed is comfy. :) As it stands, Bitter Demons is #206 in the Smashwords conversion queue. Hopefully the upload will go smoothly, and I won't get an error and have to slam my head against the desk all day tomorrow trying to figure out what in the world I did wrong. Smashwords doesn't tell you where you messed up in formatting your document. They just tell you there's an error and make you look for it where's waldo style until you figure it out. KMFX that it goes through on the first try.

I have also uploaded the book to the Kindle store. Yay! It's currently "in review" and will possibly stay that way until sometime tomorrow - possibly Saturday at the latest. One never knows with these things! I am just so excited to finally get it finished and uploaded. I am very proud of this book. I think it's the best of the three in the series so far, because the relationships are getting deeper and Harper is finally getting the answers she's been looking for.

I will post buy links as soon as they are up! Let me know what you think of the book when you get a chance to read it! The price this time around is $2.99. I'm a little nervous about taking the price up, but I'm sure it will all work out. <3 I'll keep you updated as the weekend goes on. Of course, by tomorrow night, I'll be updating from the luxury of a hotel near the beach :)

So Close...

I am truly on the final stretch here! I've been working non-stop all day to do one last read-through of Bitter Demons and make sure it's ready. I am still working on a few pages that I feel need to be stronger, but I am definitely going to finish tonight. I'll maybe take a short break for dinner and then come back to do the formatting for Smashwords. After that, I can finally start sending out review copies! So excited and nervous!

Then, I'll pass the ball over to my husband, who is a genius. He does all the epub and mobi formatting for me, so hopefully he'll finish that tonight so we can go on a very-much-needed romantic weekend away at the beach! Yipppeee! Hopefully when I come back on Monday, I'll have sold lots of copies of my book. :)

Anyway, that's my update from the trenches. So close! Stay tuned...

Minor Delay on Bitter Demons

I had planned to upload Bitter Demons today, but the edits aren't quite ready yet. I'm still optimistic that I can get it out tomorrow at the latest. My husband and I have a beach trip planned for the weekend, so I'm going to be working super hard to get this done so we don't have to postpone our trip, haha. I need a vacation :P

My amazing, best-in-the-world critique group has already been through the entire book and discussed it with me, so I feel really good about the overall content. At this point, I am just doing one last run-through for spelling errors, little details and formatting things. I'm always so exhausted when I get to this point, but it's oh so worth it when the book finally goes live!

This third book is longer than the other two by about 10,000 words. I'm not sure pages-wise how it really translate. Maybe about 40 pages longer? I have a feeling as I move into the final two books of the series, they will start to get longer and longer. I'm excited about the direction the story is going in, though, and I like that the character relationships are getting deeper. Harper is finally starting to connect more with her power, which is also fun. I can't wait to get the book uploaded tomorrow. As always, it's up to the distributors as to how long it takes to actually go on sale, but I'm guessing Friday afternoon at the latest. Fingers crossed!

I am a Slacker, Plus 2,000 Books Sold!

I have been a total slacker on my blog lately, and I'm sorry! I really want to be writing a post every single day, so I'm going to work harder, I promise. Truthfully, I'm not really a slacker. Not completely. I have been busy working on Book 3. I originally hoped to upload it by Wednesday, the 23rd of Feb, but it's looking like it will be Thursday now instead. Not terribly late, but this book has been pushing me, that's for sure.

I am a little nervous about the release of BITTER DEMONS later this week. I'm pricing this one at $2.99 instead of $.99 and while I feel like it's a great book, I'm nervous about how people will see the new price. $3 is still not a huge stretch compared to the $10 or more most traditional publishers are charging for ebooks, but as an Indie author, I want to make sure to keep a handle on what my readers are expecting and willing to pay. I hope everything goes great and sales continue to grow!

On another note, I've officially sold over 2,000 ebooks this month! And there's still a week left in February! I'm floored by how much my Kindle store sales have increased this month. BN has actually sunk to less than half of what I sold there last month, but Kindle has more than made up for it. I hope this growth in total numbers is going to continue. It's so exciting to be a writer right now! I love that I can put books out quickly and get feedback on sales right away instead of waiting months to know what anyone thinks of it or how many copies I've sold. Self-publishing is awesome. Just sayin'.

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive and has read my books. I really appreciate every single sale!

Hush Money by Susan Bischoff


As an Indie Author, I'm always anxious to read fellow YA Indie's and see if I can find some talented writers to support and follow (or possibly stalk online). My most awesome find lately is HUSH MONEY by Susan Bischoff. Doesn't the cover just grab you right from the start? It did me, so after admiring it for a while, I purchased the book for my Kindle and got started reading.

And I didn't stop.

The book was amazing! Here is the product description from amazon's site:

They call their abilities Talents, and that's what they call themselves as well. Talents are people born with supernatural powers, feared by the population at large. Possession of an "unregistered ability" has become illegal, and those who are discovered are forcibly removed to government-run research facilities. They do not return. And so the Talents try, as best they can, to keep their abilities secret-some more successfully than others. For some, keeping that secret begins to define who they are. That's where Hush Money begins... Be normal, invisible. Don't get close to anyone. Those are the rules to live by for seventeen-year-old Joss. She spent years as an outsider, hoping to hide what she is, until the new girl, Kat, decides she's friend material. Kat doesn't realize her mistake when she stands up for Joss against Marco, a guy who's been giving Joss a hard time since freshman year. Joss is horrified when these heroics lead to the reveal of Kat's Talent. Now she has an unasked-for best friend, who is the victim of an extortion plot by the school bully, who used to like Joss. And if that wasn't all complicated enough, Dylan, Joss's long-time crush, is finally starting to talk to her. But as Marco's best friend, can Dylan be trusted at all? Can Joss keep her secret and still save her friend? And what's more important, staying safe or doing what's right?


Sounds interesting, doesn't it? Kind of a Young Adult Heroes-in-hiding. (Don't even get me started on them canceling that show. OMG.) Well, the book does not disappoint. Told from the points-of-view of both Joss and Dylan, the book explores what it must be like for a teenager to keep such a dangerous secret. I couldn't put it down, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read YA Fantasy / Paranormal books.

It always makes me so happy to read an Indie Author who is truly talented. It makes us all look good. It proves that there are some self-published authors who absolutely could have been published through traditional means if we wanted to be - but with all the choices available these days, have chosen a different route. HUSH MONEY is one of those books for me. It would easily fit in on the shelves at the bookstore with all the great YA books from traditional publishing houses.

This is the first book in The Talent Chronicles series, and I am anxiously awaiting the second book. From now on, Susan Bischoff is on my must-buy list.

Top 1000 in the Kindle Store!

Yesterday, BEAUTIFUL DEMONS hit another milestone by breaking into the Top 1000 Kindle Books. That's the entire Kindle store, which includes traditionally published books as well as self-published. In December, I hovered around 20,000-30,000 sales rank. Last month, I was up between 10,000-16,000. So, seeing those numbers, you can understand my excitement at finally cracking the Top 1000!!

According to Novel Rank, my highest sales rank to date occurred yesterday around 6PM. It was 916 in the Kindle store. Right now, it's at 949. I'm so incredibly excited that my sales in the Kindle store have picked up this month. I've already sold more books through the Kindle store in 9 days this month than all three previous months combined.

I think one of the most exciting aspects of this success is that even though it's relatively slow, it's all my own. I worked hard and I did this. I accomplished something I always wanted to do by writing a book and publishing it. Some people diss those of us who self-publish - saying that we're not good enough to be published traditionally and that our novels must be lesser quality if we're selling them so cheap, etc. There are a million arguments out there in defense of traditional publishing. I say it's not a competition. These days, there's room for both. If you don't believe in self-publishing, don't do it. But for some of us, self-publishing is the most exhilarating, life-saving, dream-making opportunity out there for writers.

Thank you so much to all the people out there who have bought my books. I appreciate every single sale, and hope will all my heart that you are enjoying the Peachville High Demons series. Currently, Book 2: INNER DEMONS, is at 1900 in the Kindle store (with an all-time highest rank of 1319). That's huge progress for me, and I'm so incredibly grateful. I can't imagine what it might feel like to actually get into the Top 100. That must be one of the best feelings in the world. For now, I'm extremely happy with this latest milestone and the opportunity to continue doing what I love most.

Book 3 Official Name Change

When I published Book 2 of the Peachville High Demons series, I was sure the title of Book 3 would be SHADOW DEMONS. As I was writing the rough draft, it became clear that the title didn't quite suit this book. It turned into something different from what I was expecting. SHADOW DEMONS seems now to fit better with what I have planned for Book 4.

I have been brainstorming a new title for Book 3, and I have finally made a decision. BITTER DEMONS. I need to go back into Book 2 and make the official change. I'm hoping it won't confuse anyone, but I know the title needs changing to fit the book.

I should have the cover art for the book soon. My designer, Ken Vahn, is working hard on it. He's already given me some concept art, and I'm so excited to see what the new cover will be. I will post it here as soon as it's finalized!

For now, BITTER DEMONS is still scheduled for release on Feb. 23rd, just a few short weeks away!

This is Why I Write

Dear Ms.Cannon,
My name is amber and i love your books. I bet you get that everyday but i have re-read the peachville high demons over and over again. I think your really pretty and a fantastic author. Your writing consumes me. I love it so much. I wanted to say thank you for writing these books so i can enjoy them!
Thank you,
Amber

I received this message through my website last week, and it made me cry. It was the sweetest, most genuine message, and it made me realize that I have finally reached a lifelong goal of touching someone's life with my writing. I remember being a teenager and devouring every book by Christopher Pike. He was the master of horror and paranormal and sexy romance. I loved every book he ever wrote and wanted to be just like him. Today, I know I owe a lot of who I am to the authors I love. The fact that my books could actually inspire someone and make them love reading is amazing!

Since I made the decision to self-publish, one of the best parts of this journey has been how quickly I was able to get out there and get my books in front of people. If I had continued to look for an agent (I only submitted to one btw, lol), I might still be looking. I might still be doubting myself and wondering if anyone would ever like my books. Instead, I'm out there and people are already reading my books - and even rereading them! It's a dream come true to get a message like that, because it reminds me why I'm writing and it only makes me love it more.

Thanks Amber! You Rock!

Beach Writing Retreat

Ah, I love the beach! A writer friend of mine from RWA, Lori Hayes, invited me to join her this weekend on Emerald Isle, NC. Three of us set out on Friday for a relaxing weekend at the beach.

It poured down rain all day and night Friday, but it was nice because it kept us inside and working. Lori made whole wheat spaghetti (delicious!) for dinner with garlic bread. On Saturday, we ventured out to a local coffee shop called "Beans and Screens". I had a strawberry/banana smoothie with added whey protein. It was yummy! I loved sitting on their big comfy couches and writing for the afternoon.

Saturday night we went to dinner at a restaurant called Ruckerjohns. OMG, best honey mustard I've had in a long time. I'm kind of a nut for honey mustard, so that's saying something! We ordered these croissants too that had honey butter dripped all over them. Whew, that was amazing! But the weekend wasn't about food - it was about writing. And boy did we write! I finished my rough draft of Book 3, worked on the entire plot and got the kinks worked out, then started on the second draft. I got about 5000 words written before it was time to head home on Sunday. Definitely a successful and relaxing weekend!

Thankfully, the sun also decided to come out on Sunday and we got a chance to walk on the beach. It was so amazing! I talked a couple weeks ago about the writer's well? This filled me up, let me tell you! The only thing missing was the company of my amazing husband, who I missed very much while I was away. I think it's important as a writer to get out of your house and your normal everyday desk setting. It's inspirational to take a trip and focus ONLY on writing for a few days. I'm so glad I did it, so thank you Lori for inviting me! I had the best time!

Quitters Never Win

I am a huge fan of reality tv. It's my guilty pleasure. My favorite shows? The Biggest Loser, Survivor, The Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model, and The Bachelor. Yes, I know some people think these shows are awful, but there's just something I love about them. It's all about the drama, I think. I enjoy seeing how people behave in different situations. Plus, I like the aspect of picking favorites and rooting for them. Like, right now I'm rooting for Chantal on The Bachelor. There's just something about her that I like.

But lately on some of my favorite shows, there has been a terrible trend. Quitting. Seriously? I want to scream at the screen every time I see someone quit. I want to yell, "Don't you know how many people wanted to be on this show? How many people would have given anything to be in your place?" But of course, they can't hear me. It just makes me so angry to see someone come onto one of these shows - get a one in a million opportunity to win money or change their lives - and then walk away because they couldn't hack it.

On Survivor's last season, two girls quit. One of them being purple Kelly, which made me just argghhhh! So mad! Then on the Biggest Loser, twins Dan and Don actually gained weight, threw their weigh-in and got sent home in consecutive weeks. Why? Because they're big ol' babies. They couldn't stand to be away from their family. I can sort of understand that. I mean, I hate to be away from my husband. He's my best friend and there's no one in the world I'd rather spend time with. But I'm still going to Emerald Isle this weekend for a writer's retreat. Why? Because writing is incredibly important to me. It's a priority, so therefore it's worth a little bit of sacrifice.

Okay, so maybe it isn't fair to compare one weekend away to months at the ranch. But in the end, if Dan and Don were dedicated to losing weight, they would have been willing to make that sacrifice. I don't think they left because they missed their families. I think they left because they couldn't handle the hard work. Plain and simple. I'm sure it's hard. Life is hard. Being healthy is hard. Reaching for any major goal in life is hard freakin' work.

In everyone's life, there are times when we're forced to go uphill. To work so hard that it hurts. What separates winners from losers is the determination and willpower and dedication to keep going, despite the pain and hard work. Quitters don't make good reality tv. I hate to watch when someone quits because it's too hard. To me, those people are losers - in so many ways. I'm definitely not perfect by any means, but I don't ever want to be a quitter. I feel like there were times in my life when I was a quitter. A loser. Less than I wanted to be. But now is not that time. I'm determined to be successful, no matter how long it takes.

With Survivor and ANTM and The Amazing Race starting up again this month, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there will be some inspirational players. No quitters, please.

January Sales Numbers - Month #3

I had an amazing month in January! I was half expecting my numbers to go down from December since everyone said the holiday rush is what was behind the big ebook sales. Either the holiday rush continued on through the month and will start to die down soon or, as I'm hoping, the numbers will continue to grow. Only time will tell. My third book is scheduled for release in Feb. so that will change things somewhat as well. January was my first full month with 2 books out and it paid off!

Here are my sales numbers for January. For me, this is my 3rd full month of being an Indie author:

BEAUTIFUL DEMONS - Book 1 of the Peachville High Demons series (Released 10/30/10):

  • Amazon's Kindle Store - 242 US sales and 5 UK sales = 247 books sold
  • Barnes and Noble - 589
  • Smashwords - 2
  • TOTAL: 838
INNER DEMONS - Book 2 of the Peachville High Demons series (Released 12/22/10):
  • Amazon's Kindle Store - 166 US sales and 6 UK sales = 172 books sold
  • Barnes and Noble - 666 (eerie number for a book with the word demon in the title, eh?)
  • Smashwords - 3
  • TOTAL: 841
January's total sales: 1679

Overall, I'm super excited about my success so far. I know there are dozens of other Indie authors doing the same or much better than I am, so I think there is a bright future for any good author to strike out on their own and be successful. The best news is that my Kindle sales increased exponentially this month. Last month, I only sold 84 books in the Kindle store and my sales rank hovered at best around 16,000. In January, however, I sold 419 books and my sales rank has been sitting happily in the 2,000-3,000 range ever since. Right now, I'm actually at an all-time high of 1,928, but I'm sure it will soon slip back into the 2k's. I'm excited to see that kind of growth in the Kindle store and hope that it continues!!

I'm also anxious to see what releasing book 3 will do for my sales. I am considering raising my price to $2.99 since this is the third book in the series. It's a tough call, but I think this is the right move since I've already started making a name for myself with some readers. Hopefully the price point won't send my sales plummeting. Of course, I'm not going to change the price of the first two books, so hopefully those sales will at least continue to rise.

I continue to be excited about being an Indie author. I know that I made the right decision by self-publishing, and am happy to say that 2011 started with a bang! My hope is to cross that 2,000 books in a month threshold in February.

Possible Title Change and Pushing Myself

When I finished Book 2 of the Peachville High Demons series, I decided to call Book 3 SHADOW DEMONS. My thought at the time was that since I introduced more about the shadow demons in book 2, then naturally book 3 would take that a little further. I also had one specific plot plan that just hasn't made its way into the book yet. I'm thinking that what I originally thought book 3 would be about is going to be pushed a little bit more into Book 4.

Sooooooo... I'm thinking that the title SHADOW DEMONS doesn't quite fit anymore with the actual book. That's one peril of choosing a title before I've written the book, haha. I'm thinking of possible titles for this book, but I don't want to write about the plot since it needs to stay a secret until after the book actually comes out. But, what I'm thinking is that instead of keeping the title as _____ Demons, maybe this time it would be good to make a title that is Demons _______. Like Demons Spirit. or Demons Pride.

I'm so close to being finished with the rough draft of the book, and then comes the hard part - revisions to make it really shine. I've been stretching myself as a writer trying to keep up with this rigorous schedule I've set for myself. Releasing a new book every 2 months? Sure, if I had them all already written that would be much easier. But the hard part is that I'm writing these books as I go. When one book comes out, the next book needs to be written. I know I don't have an editor or a publishing contract telling me I have a set deadline, but I have set my own deadlines. Where a regular publisher hardly ever expects more than one or two books a year, I'm demanding five or six books from myself a year. But I know I'm capable of writing them. If I ever feel like the quality isn't up to my own standards, I won't push forward with publication just to make the deadline.

Anyway, my point is that I'm pushing myself to be the very best writer I can be and to write the best books I can as fast as possible. Book 3 is on schedule to be published by February 23rd. It's probably going to have a different title than I originally planned, but it's what inside that counts, right?

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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