Another Day, Another Book

It seems I’m always apologizing for my absence and then listing excuses for why I haven’t posted in so long. I’ve been busy trying to rewrite and edit Firebound (book two in the Spellbringers series), and I’m happy to announce I was able to publish the book to Kindle last night. Hopefully, I’ll have the paperback formatted this weekend and it will be available by mid-September. 

I’ve published three books this year. Sounds like I’m a fairly prolific writer doesn’t it? Well, I’m not. I haven’t written a book this year. Better than Perfect was written last year and published in May. Spellbound was previously published and Firebound was written three years ago, but on hold due to circumstances beyond my control. While I’m pretty excited to finally get these books out there, I’m also anxious to get back to writing. I have a feeling book three in the Spellbringers series is going to give me ample opportunities to stretch my creative muscles. I re-read the book a few weeks ago and it’s a mess. It’s going to require some extensive rewrites. 

It has been interesting returning to books I wrote three years ago. I’ve changed a lot as a writer. I’ve kicked some bad habits and developed new ones. My earlier works tend to be very wordy with scenes that add nothing to the plot or to character development. I don’t know if my writing has gotten better or worse, but it has definitely changed over the past few years. 

For now, I’ll cease my rambling and get to work on CreateSpace formatting. If you’re interested in grabbing a copy of Firebound, here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Firebound-Spellbringers-Book-Tricia-Drammeh-ebook/dp/B00N5G8WFG/

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Monday Madness

Tricia Drammeh:

I just had to share this inspirational post from Misty Harvey. There’s some great advice here. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. Don’t compare your progress on your current WIP with your first book. Just write and celebrate your accomplishments.

Originally posted on Creative Inspiration:

Good morning, readers! It’s Monday. I hear the grumbles from the crowd all ready at that. 

While the world despises Monday’s I rejoice in them. Or at least I do this Monday. It is the beginning of a brand new week. A brand new chance to spend days chasing those dreams. We can reach for those goals, and dreams easier by putting last week where it belongs. All the rough days, and head scratching as we stare at blank screens, just leave it behind. 

Drink a cup of coffee, listen to upbeat music that puts you in a great mood. Or even listen to inspiring music. 

Once you have that cup down, get a fresh cup. Before you ask, yes, I live off coffee like a diet while I’m writing. Tons of the stuff every day. It might be recommended not to drink it during my diet, but oh well…

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Get Spellbound for Free

SMALLER COVER SPELLBOUND

I haven’t done many freebie promotions in the past, mostly because I’m not sure it really drives sales or helps with reviews. With my latest release, I’ve decided to do several days of free promotions, and here’s why:

Spellbound (Spellbringers Book One) is a re-release of a book formerly titled ‘The Claiming Words.’ For those who have already read it and would like to read the new version, I’d hate for you to have to pay for it again. My goal is to get Spellbound into the hands of as many of those readers as possible.

If you’re one of those readers who read the original version and are wondering how much has changed, there is quite a bit. And since it has been SO long since the original publication of TCW, it might be worth refreshing your memory. If you decide to skip Spellbound and plow on ahead to book two, you might experience a few “What…wait, I thought…” moments. Yes, there are new scenes, new chapters, and some significant changes in the ending. Overall, it’s the same story, but I think the changes I made will provide a smoother reading experience. At least, that’s the goal.

Spellbound will free on Kindle today, Saturday August 16.

Grab a copy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Spellbound-Spellbringers-Book-Tricia-Drammeh-ebook/dp/B00MCZ23WY/

The end of an era

Tricia Drammeh:

Please read this post by Jane Dougherty, author of the Green Woman series. She is a wildly talented author and a wonderful friend. The third and final volume of her trilogy is set to release, so if you haven’t read the first two books in the series, now would be the perfect time to get started. Jane has also published a few short stories about some of the secondary characters, so if you’re looking for a quick read, these stories provide an excellent introduction to the world of the Green Woman.

Congratulations, Jane, on the completion of Beyond the Realm!

Originally posted on Jane Dougherty Writes:

Today I have been formatting the final volume of The Green Woman series, Beyond the Realm of night. Tomorrow it will all be done, blurbs and acknowledgements written, and ready to go. This should be a moment of great excitement. I should feel a great sense of acheivement. Do I? Not really. For one thing, like all good stories, it isn’t over. I am still writing stories about incidental characters, and have written 100k words of the follow-on series.

BTRONKindlecover

But there is another reason for not feeling particularly excited about the ending of this particular chapter: a great sense of frustration. I look at how other authors promote their books, I read their promotional blurbs, their frantic tweets and FB posts. I sometimes even dip into some of the ‘awesome’ stories using Amazon’s nifty look inside feature. What do I find? A morass of mediochre, badly-constructed, unoriginal writing. I know…

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Work in Progress Feature

I’ve been invited to participate in the Work in Progress blog hop by Juliet B. Madison, author of the popular and well-reviewed crime series which follows DI Frank Lyle. In order to participate, I must link back to her excellent blog which you can find HERE, answer a series of questions, and nominate other participants (which I will do at the end of this post). Here are the questions:

What is the (working) title of your featured WIP?

Firebound: Book Two in the Spellbringers series.

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What genre does your book come into?

Young adult paranormal romance.

Provide a short blurb or an idea of what the book is about.

Rachel’s thirst for knowledge about the family she never knew drives her to keep a secret from the Alexanders that shatters Jace’s trust in her. With her renewed dream-relationship with Re’Vel, she walks on a razor’s edge, putting the entire Alexander family – and Alisa – in terrible danger.

Alisa and Bryce are more in love than ever, but his jealousy and possessiveness threatens to push Alisa away. With his Claiming Words ringing in Alisa’s ears, she tries to reconcile her sense of independence with her desperate yearning for Bryce.

A dark enemy from the Alexanders’ past is out for vengeance and uses Rachel as his target to get to the family he despises. When Alisa is caught in the crossfire, Bryce is willing to sacrifice anything to save her – even his own soul.

Is your book part of a series? If so what is the series called and what volume number is your featured WIP within this series?

Yes. This is book two in the Spellbringers series (formerly titled The Claiming Words series).

Who is your MC and what do you think is his/her greatest challenge in the featured book?

This book is written from alternating POVs from the two main characters, Rachel and Alisa. Rachel faces several serious challenges–discovering the truth about her past, an identity crisis of epic proportions, trying to keep secrets from her family and friends, and trying to keep her brother safe not only from the truth, but from the Demon who claims his magic.

Alisa is struggling with self-esteem issues while trying to find balance in her relationship with Bryce. Since Bryce is magically gifted and extraordinarily powerful, Alisa is at a distinct disadvantage. She is determined to maintain a sense of independence even while she’s falling head over heels in love.

What do you think is the most important lesson your MC will learn as a result of this book?

Rachel will learn the dangers of keeping secrets. She’ll also learn to accept help when it’s offered. Alisa will learn the meaning of true courage.

What social issues does your book series touch on/avoid and why?

This book is fantasy, but it does explore racism and prejudice.

Will you be writing any more books about this particular MC?

Yep. Firebound is almost complete. Just doing a quick rewrite and a tuneup before I unleash it on the unsuspecting public. Book three (Unbound) is next in line for a major makeover. There are other books, but they’re in bad shape. I might scrap them and start all over.

Have you written in other genres or do you plan to do so in future?

I’ve written teen horror, new adult romance, and literary fiction. Since I seem to have a hard time finding a genre and sticking with it, who knows what the future might hold?

When do you think your featured WIP will be released?

I’m shooting for September. Early September if I can manage it. I released Spellbound (Book One) a couple of weeks ago. (Surprised? Yeah, that’s because I didn’t tell anyone. Well, until now.) If edits go well, I might be able to eek out Firebound a little sooner.

SMALLER COVER SPELLBOUND

Okay, folks. Now I’m going to break the rules just a bit. Since I’ve already tagged authors in other posts similar to this one, I’m going to tag a few authors I haven’t picked on in a while, but I’m going to leave the invitation open to everyone. For those who would like to participate, please feel free to do so. The more, the merrier, right?

Tag, you’re it…

Maegan Provan

Jane Dougherty

Gregory A Hart

Please stop by and visit these amazing bloggers. And don’t forget to visit Juliet B Madison!

Insecure Writers Support Group: Get Positive

iwsg

I’m posting a little late, but better than never. Yes, it’s that time again. Time for the monthly IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. I really couldn’t think of anything to talk about, but after a meeting today at the day job, I’m feeling inspired. The boss talked about having a winning attitude and how this can inspire you at work. In sports, teams take the field expecting to win. This approach might not always work, but they have a much better chance of victory if they approach the game with a winning attitude rather than a losing one. In the workplace (or in writing), it’s the same thing. Approach your job expecting to be successful and to make a contribution. Approach your writing expecting to write a masterpiece. If you tell yourself, “Everything I write is crap,” you’ve got a good chance of fulfilling your own negative prophecies.

This got me to thinking about positive affirmations and how they can make a huge difference in your life. I’ve been utilizing positive affirmations for about a year and I can feel the difference in my life. And in my writing.

If you’ve never tried positive affirmations, you might be skeptical. You might feel weird talking to yourself, but give it a try. If you don’t feel comfortable using structured affirmations, try thinking in a positive way. Each time you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, turn it around to something positive. Instead of “I can’t,” say “I can.”

Okay, for those who are laughing at me and calling me a drum-circle-tree-hugging-Pollyanna, answer this question – How has negative self-talk helped you?

Exactly. It hasn’t.

So why not try some positive affirmations? Here are a few to get you started:

  • I am completing my manuscript
  • I’m a fantastic writer
  • Today I’m one day closer to completing my manuscript
  • Today I’m one day closer to being a bestselling author
  • I am successful
  • I enjoy the process of editing and perfecting my manuscript*

*Okay, I can definitely hear the laughter now.

WRITERS – BEWARE OF SCAMS by Author Florence Osmund

Tricia Drammeh:

This post needs to be reblogged everywhere. A must read for EVERY writer.

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog..... An Author Promotions Enterprise!:

The self-publishing industry has become one of the fastest growing industries of the century. According to R. R. Bowker, the self-publishing industry has grown 287% since 2006, with close to 150,000 self-published books released in 2011, an astounding 43% of all new books released.

Unfortunately, this self-publishing growth spurt has also created a haven for scam artists to take advantage of aspiring authors—authors who have decided to self-publish as opposed to taking the traditional publishing route, authors who are anxious to get published and naïve about the seamier side of the industry.

You must be an informed consumer when it comes to purchasing publishing services. Here are some things to watch out for before you choose a service to help publish, promote and sell your book.

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PUBLISHING HOUSES

Letʾs start with some definitions.

Self-publishing has been around for a long time, but until recently, most authors looked to traditional

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This week’s Summer Reads guest is…me!

Tricia Drammeh:

It’s week eight of the Summer Reads Blog Tour. Find out which books Kay Kauffman recommends for your summer reading fun.

Originally posted on Suddenly they all died. The end.:

This week, it’s my turn! I hope you’ve enjoyed everyone’s recommendations so far – this has been a whole lot of fun, and I’m tickled to share my summer book picks with you. Read on to find out what they are, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post! There’s lots of awesome prizes, including a copy of my poetry collection, Tuesday Daydreams!

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Eight

Kay Kauffman

Tick tock, tick tock, it’s week eight in our Summer Reads Blog Tour and I’ve come to welcome Kay Kauffman to our madness!  Kay is another lovely online friend from Authonomy who I’ve been chatting with now for a number of years.  She’s fun, has a gentle spirit that I simply adore, and will be the first to gather her popcorn bucket when Sam and I start our online battles!  Let’s hear it…

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Better than Perfect by Tricia Drammeh- Book Review Thursday

Tricia Drammeh:

Warning: Shameless Self Promotion Ahead. I’m sort of overdosing on self promotion this week, and for that, I apologize. But, holy cow! I just have to share this. Maegan Provan just reviewed Better than Perfect on her Book Review Thursday feature! If you’re not familiar with Book Review Thursday, Maegan has found a very creative way to review books. She vlogs about them. Yes, vlogs. She does written reviews as well, but I happen to find her video reviews to be a lot of fun. Check it out.

Originally posted on Maegan Provan, Author:

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Throwback Thursday: Fear of Formatting

It’s Throwback Thursday again, and today’s recycled post goes back to May 2013. As I endeavor to format and publish a new book (wish me luck), I’ve been thinking about those self-publishing fears that prevent some of us authors from going it alone. Don’t let your fear of formatting keep you from achieving your dreams. If you choose to sign on with a traditional publisher or small press, more power to you. But don’t make any publishing decisions out of fear. Every aspect of self-publishing is do-able. If you’re a technophobe, it might not be easy, but I promise you can do it. Take your time. Do your research. And find people who will help you.

Read on…

Fear of Formatting

babe ruth“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” ~ Babe Ruth

If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve read this quote. If you’ve ever seen A Cinderella Story staring Hillary Duff you will remember this quote from the movie. It’s a great quote–and we’re going to use a variation of this for today’s post.

Never let the fear of formatting keep you from publishing your book.

Any author who has considered self-publishing has suffered from the fear of having to do a whole bunch of stuff they’re not accustomed to doing–marketing, editing, commissioning a cover, formatting. I understand this fear. Some authors let these fears prevent them from ever publishing at all. When fear is in the driver’s seat, you’re going to make bad decisions.

Let’s expel some of our self-publishing fears:

Marketing: This is a normal fear, but unless your name is Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, or Nora Roberts, prepare to do lots of your own marketing regardless of which publishing method you choose. If you can write a book, you can tell other people about it. That’s all marketing really is–telling other people about your book. (I know – easier said than done.)

Editing: You’ll need to outsource. You can hire someone, but if you can’t afford to do so, enlist some trusted beta readers to help you out.

Cover Art: You’ll have to have a  cover. Your book will look silly without one. Commissioning a cover isn’t as scary as it sounds. It doesn’t have to be super expensive. A good cover artist will help you come up with a concept, and once you’re caught up in the excitement of your cover art, the scary feelings will go away.

Formatting: This is by far the easiest part of your publishing journey. Seriously, if you can write a whole book, you can do this. There are free guides available to help you through this. Formatting and uploading to Kindle and Createspace is free. If you can afford to do so, you can hire someone to format for you, but it really is something you can do for yourself–for free. When I self-published The Fifth Circle, I had a deep-seated fear of formatting, but after giving it a try, I found out it’s not only doable, but one of the easier aspects of publishing.

Here are some formatting tips and tricks I hope will help you:

  • Give yourself a day. Find a kid-free, cat-free zone and prepare to spend lots of time formatting. If you try to format thirty-minutes before you have to rush out to pick up kids from school, you’ll end up frustrated and angry. Plan a day. Brew a pot of coffee (or send the hubby out for Starbucks). Prepare for several hours in front of the computer. Formatting is way less frustrating if you aren’t dashing out to pick up kids from school or extracting attention-seeking cats from your keyboard.
  • Format directly from Microsoft Word if possible. For a standard novel without lots of pictures, there’s no reason to invest in a complicated program for Kindle formatting. KDP is very user friendly. So is Createspace. These programs are designed for self-publishing authors just like you and me.
  • Don’t get frustrated if your first try doesn’t work. On Kindle, you have an option to view your file before publishing. On KDP, you have the option to view your book on the screen using different Kindle versions. You also have the option to download a mobi file which you can upload to your Kindle. I highly recommend doing this because it’s very helpful to look over your book on your own Kindle. And, you’ll have a mobi file you can send to reviewers later on. My first Kindle attempt wasn’t entirely successful. I didn’t like the way the Chapter headings looked. So, I made a few adjustments to my Word doc, re-uploaded to KDP, and all was right with the world.
  • Createspace templates are your friends. Createspace has templates for the interior and exterior for your book. Use them. My Microsoft Word skills aren’t the best. I get upset and frustrated over margins and tabs and such. I used the pre-formatted template and I’m glad I did.
  • Order the proof. Createspace lets you order a proof. A real live book to hold in your hands! It’s very inexpensive. With shipping, I paid about seven dollars for my proof. You can even order more than one! Though you can preview your book online, I recommend ordering the hard-copy proof to have and to hold. After all, don’t you want to be the first to hold your printed book in your hands?
  • If you publish with Createspace, you have the option to let them format your Kindle file and upload to KDP. I didn’t use this option, and from what I’ve read, it’s not recommended. Format your own Kindle file for a regret-free experience and let Createspace do what they do best – your paperback.
  • Ask for help. KDP and Createspace both have forums where you can ask questions. It’s likely those who came before you have already asked the same questions, so you can read those threads and find the answer you’re looking for. Self-published authors are notoriously helpful people. Ask your author friends. They’ll be happy to help you.
  • Kindle and Createspace aren’t the only games in town. I’ve signed up for KDP Select, which means I can’t publish in any other ebook format for ninety days. For some people, KDP Select is the way to go. With the option to have five free promotional days per ninety-day period, KDP Select can be a great marketing tool. I’ve decided to publish on Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords after my ninety-days have expired. Whether or not you decide to sign up for KDP Select is a decision only you can make. If you don’t want to use Createspace, you can consider other companies such as Lulu. I have friends who have been very happy with Lulu. Consider all your options before publishing. Many of the same options available to publishers are also available to self-publishers.
  • Note: Since the original publication of this article, I’ve branched out a bit. Formatting for Nook was super easy. Smashwords, not so much. Smashwords has a free formatting guide and I highly recommend you make use of it. Basically, on Smashwords, you’ll want to save your document as a new Word 1997-2003 document, erase ALL formatting, and rebuild from scratch. It’s the only way. Trust me.

We all must choose our own paths on our publishing journeys. Self-publishing isn’t the right path for everyone. If you’re seriously considering self-publishing, don’t let the fear of formatting hold you back. If fear is the only thing standing between you and your dream, read on…

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” ~ Vincent van Gogh

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” ~ George Burns

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~ Confucius

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” ~ Michael Jordan