This week’s Author Blog Challenge is ‘My Publishing Journey’. I’m a writer. I like words, so I looked up the definitions of journey and a couple of them really resonated with me.
This is so true of my publishing journey. Firstly I was in my early fifties when my first book was published. I’d enjoyed writing since I was in my late teens but my writing journey stopped and started so many times. Some would say I just wasn’t dedicated enough and that’s true. Writing is a guilty pleasure for me. Something that’s profoundly personal. I’m not good at putting myself at the top of the list, there are so many other people that I consider more important. Looking after my family and earning a living were my focus for many years and writing was something I did when I could find a few minutes.
Secondly, even though I now have three books published, I know I am only at the beginning of my journey and I just hope I have enough years left to establish myself in the writing world. I have no illusions of best seller success but I do want to write books lots of people like reading.
I am a novice writer I still have so much to learn. I have recently been told by a couple of publishers that I have a’real’ talent as a writer but that I need to work on my grammar and punctuation. This has always been a blind spot for me and one that I wonder if I can master this late in life but who knows?
My publishing journey has been a learning experience, after the initial euphoria of becoming a published author , I realised the work was just beginning. Can you write another book? Is it as good or better than the first one? Can you make your potential readers love your books as much as you do?
My first book inspired by the Lakes
My publishing journey to date is relatively short. The Dragon Legacy, my first book published December 2013. The Dangerous Gift, my third book published February 2016. Book number 4 Past Shadows is yet to be published. I have been asked to revise and resubmit by one publisher so I may do that. Whatever happens you’ll be the first to know.
As many of you know my third book is released next week. The Dangerous Gift is a romantic suspense, a new genre for me but one I enjoy reading, so I thought I would write one and see what happened. It is also with a new publisher – Limitless Publishing so these are exciting times.
Since the release of the second book in ‘The Dragon Legacy series’ in December 2014 I have concentrated on promoting other authors, through spotlight posts, book reviews and social media posts. I love doing this. So I should be well placed to promoting my own book.
In many ways I am. I have a good social media following but getting the balance right is difficult. It’s easy to recommend the work of others, not so much your own. Writers are by nature I think self-critical and introverted so ‘blowing your own trumpet’ is well out of their comfort zone.
That said overcoming your barriers to self-promotion is essential if your book is to get noticed. The biggest hurdle for authors is to get your book seen, by the people who would love to buy and read it. So with this in mind I have been promoting The Dangerous Gift across all my social media platforms and I have been touched by the support from my social media and blog followers. Thank you.
I have supported a number of ‘Thunderclap’ campaigns in the last couple of weeks and thought I would give it a go for The Dangerous Gift. It’s a chance to reach new supporters and readers but only if you get the required number of sign ups.
The minimum is 100 people and since The Dangerous Gift campaign went live yesterday evening I have 9. 🙂 So there is some way to go, before I reach my target. If 100 supporters sign up; one Tweet, Facebook Post and Tumblr post will made on 9 Feb 12.00 pm to support The Dangerous Gift
Ask most indie authors and they will say ‘it’s tough selling books, electronic or print, today’. The ‘new’ accessible publishing world has undoubtedly opened up the book selling market to all.
The downside? It’s created a stampede of writers and small publishers flooding the market, particularly with eBooks.
The chances of becoming a runaway bestseller are minuscule. Even making a living from your book sales is unlikely unless you can stand out from the crowd.
Price is one way of getting noticed.
If you price your e book too high, after the initial friends and family sales, it’s likely your Amazon rankings will tumble and your book sales stagnate. Surely, that only happens if you fail to market and promote your book effectively , you might think?
In my experience, which admittedly is limited , no amount of promotion, a self published or indie published author can do, will compensate for a book that is overpriced.
Why are book prices set so high?
The overheads for small publishers and self -publishing authors can be high. The cost of editing, proof reading, formatting, cover design and promotional blog tours, all adds up and needs to be recouped from the book sales.
What you need to remember is there are unlikely to be many sales if the price is too high. Especially for a new or relatively unknown author, selling in a saturated market.
With this in mind I asked my publisher to reduce my book prices, to put them more in line with similar eBooks,marketed by larger publishers. It will be interesting to see if a competitive price has an impact on sales. I will let you know.
I thought I would share two reviews The Revenge Masquerade has received on Amazon in case any of you are thinking of reading it. I would like to thank the two lovely ladies who took the time to read and review my book , it’s really appreciated. 🙂
Susan Reads Romance on Amazon.com
‘Book 2 in the Dragon Legacy and where to start. Okay, I know where…this is one hotter than Hades ride. Seventeen shades of lust, suspense, revenge, twists, turns, and nuclear-powered sexy scenes. If you like wolf shifters, spell casters, DRAGONS (!!!), and taking a trip to VENICE! Then baby, hop aboard this flight into fantasy. Jasmine is back and it’s her destiny that’s on the line. With two hot shifters pursuing her, she’s got the power to forge her future…but the face of evil is coming for her fast.
Revenge Masquerade will leave you breathless! Recommended for those who like a romance that’s fun, flirty, and razor-paced. All aboard!!’
Tracey on Amazon UK
‘The Revenge Masquerade is very aptly titled. This fast paced story is packed with intrigue and suspense, with more characters making an appearance who you have to question which side of good versus evil are they actually on! With the dragon infant still at risk, the story gets deeper and much more dangerous.
I must admit I had a fondness for Zane and witch Jasmine in book one of the series, so I was eager for them to get their own story. It begins with Jasmine abandoned by her wolf lover, but assaulted by nightmares and a feeling of Zane being in danger. It’s through her visions that she tracks him down to Venice and finds herself gaining the attention of more friends, or are they foe?
Zane needs to ensure the safety of Lukas, the dragon lord and the dragon infant. It should be his sole purpose. But how can he ignore sexy witch Jasmine, especially with her new admirer there to give her the attention that only he wants to give. Lucky for him she did arrive for Jasmine helps to uncover more secrets. The sizzling attraction between Zane and Jasmine proves they weren’t done at all. And things sure do get hot and steamy in this latest book!
Beautifully written. Book 3 please! ‘
If The Revenge Masquerade interests you can find it here.
When I wrote my debut novel I didn’t think past the initial story. I wanted to write about a dragon in the twenty-first century searching for the last dragon egg. His motivation? To save the dragon race and ultimately the human race from domination by evil. I wanted my fantasy/paranormal characters to have a human appearance in our world but also be part of a secret paranormal world, not normally seen by us.
When people started to read my first story most commented on two of the secondary charactersJasmine, an independently minded young woman, destined to be guardian witch and Zane, the street wise wolf shifter.
They were together in several scenes of ‘The Dragon Legacy’ and people wanted to see how their fledgling relationship played out.
Readerswere the main motivation behind ‘The Revenge Masquerade’ , it was great to know I’d created two characters they wanted to know more about. 🙂
Having decided to write Jasmine and Zane’s story, what came next? Defining my characters is important to me but I’d already done this with Jasmine and Zane, as they featured in my first story.
TheSettingwhere my characters travel on their emotional journey is an important part of what motivates me to write a story.
With ‘The Revenge Masquerade’, deciding on the Plot was the last of my motivations. At the end of ‘The Dragon Legacy’, Jasmine is separated from Zane. I wanted to explore what happened to her emotionally in the months that followed. Zane left to act as an ambassador for the infant dragon with the supernatural world, what happened to him? Does his still think about Jasmine and how he treated her, or is he really the player he appears to be?
Lost love, Reunion and facing one’s destiny are all explored in the story. The story starts one year after Zane leaves. Jasmine is in the Lake District with a new companion and strange mystical dreams.Whilst Zane reaches the final stop on his mission – Venice and is confronted with a new evil. Can he save Larna (Lukas’ the dragon lord’s sister)? Should he contact Lukas and risk the safety of the infant dragon Tarriannah? Has he really seen Jasmine in Venice?
After the first couple of chapters I let the characters tell their own stories whilst I buckled up for the ride , peeking through my fingers whenever it got too scary. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed sharing some of my motivations for writing and thoughts about ‘The Revenge Masquerade’. If you want to know what happens next it’s available at the following outlets:
The English Lake District: Just over a year ago in Hallows House’s garden.
Zane shook his body until his fur lay flat against his broad back. His shift into his wolf completed, he padded across the silent garden, eager to be on his way. He paused and looked back at the house. A movement at a downstairs window drew his predatory gaze. He stood transfixed as the artificial light illuminated Jasmine’s titian hair. Jasmine leant against the kitchen window and stared into the moonlit garden. His silvery-eyed stare moved lower and devoured her hourglass figure’s perfection, barely concealed by the emerald robe she wore.
His ears flattened as a shrill whistle assaulted his acute hearing. Jasmine disappeared. Instinctively he edged further away from the house to where the garden merged with the dark hills. He waited. A turquoise streak of light momentarily dazzled him. He followed its progress and recognized the baby dragon as it flew into the room occupied by its guardian, Fleur. Zane assumed Lukas, his friend the dragon lord, was there too. He growled softly, pleased by Lukas’ happiness. Jasmine’s image flashed into his mind. Zane shook his shaggy head–she wasn’t for him.
The shrieking noise quieted and the unmistakable creek of the heavy door alerted him of someone’s approach. His hackles rose and then flattened in recognition of the scent: a mixture of flowers and spice unique to Jasmine. He resisted the urge to shift into his human form. As a wolf, their encounter would remain platonic. His mind and heart warred over the morality of his desires. He couldn’t stay. His mission necessitated he leave immediately. Was it fair to take Jasmine’s heart and leave her alone with needs mere memories wouldn’t satisfy? The wolf ignored his human conscience. Time was short and the instinctive need to brand the flame-haired witch with his mark too strong. He shifted back into his human form.
Zane leant against the jagged stone wall. His naked body barely registered the rough-hewn rock, which imprinted his skin. His abrupt shift into human form didn’t include clothes. The cool night air soothed his fevered body as Jasmine appeared. A faint blush stained her pale skin everywhere his gaze rested.
“I saw your wolf through the window,” Jasmine said, perhaps to explain her presence in the garden.
“I wanted to talk to you.” Zane enclosed her small hand in his. She offered no resistance.
“Just talk?” Her gaze darted away from his erection, taunt against his abdomen. He sighed and pulled her tight against his hardness, enjoying the contact with her soft curves. “This isn’t talking, Zane,” she said, her voice breathless.