Self Publishing

Posts about self-publishing. Obviously.

Slowly but surely, we’re getting there (with the sequel)!

August has dawned sunny and hot, and work on Chasing Nonconformity proceeds slowly but surely.

All the beta reader feedback is in and has been incorporated into the manuscript. The book is currently with my editor/manager/mother Linda Schneidereit, who’s doing a final read-through of the story in case she wants to make any last-minute suggestions. She really, really likes to make last-minute suggestions. We’re putting her on a 10-step program. (Just kidding, mom, you know I appreciate you!!!)

Once she gets done that, I give it one more read-through, then format it for print and ship a proof copy to myself. Read it through one more time, make any necessary changes … and voila! Published sequel ready to go!

So I’m still aiming for an end of August release date, although my plans were slightly discombobulated by mother’s trip out East to visit me. Which was awesome, actually — we did all the Nova Scotia touristy things, like see Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, the Bay of Fundy, etc. But it did push the sequel stuff back by two weeks, so now we’re attempting to get our ducks back in order.

In conclusion, the timeline for Chasing Nonconformity‘s publication is slightly delayed but hopefully will happen by the end of August. If not, we’re talking early September. But I’m working my hardest on it, and I promise I’ll get it out to you guys as soon as humanly possible!

Stay awesome, and have an excellent Tuesday.

 

Unrelated media of the day:

A fun song for all you Castlevania / video game lovers out there.

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Categories: My Works, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments

Imminent Danger Sequel Update

Great news! Revisions for Chasing Nonconformity are coming along quite nicely. I’ve got all my beta reader feedback in, save for two folks who are sending it my way soon. And I’ve incorporated all the feedback I already have into the story. I’m now in the process of re-reading the book and making random edits here and there as I go.

Once I get the last two remaining beta reader comments back and get their suggestions worked in, I’ll send the novel off to my editor/manager/life coach/mother, who’ll read it through and make her own random edits. Then it comes back to me for another read through. And maybe a few more random edits. Definitely a few more random edits.

Next up, formatting time! The book goes into my Createspace book formatting document, where I add pretty chapter headers and put in page numbers and whatnot. Then I send off the page count to my graphic designer so she can whip me up the paperback version of the cover. Then I print off 2 copies of the book — one for mother, one for me — and we do more reading and editing.

Finally, once we’ve read and edited the proof copies to our hearts’ content, and I’ve gotten the fancy paperback cover from my designer, it’s publishing time! Ebook goes live, paperback goes live — victory!

So that’s the game plan. We’re looking at a mid to late August release date at the moment, depending on when I get that beta reader feedback in, and how long mother’s multiple read-throughs take. She’s busy with house renovations, so she’s low on free time, whereas I’m totally unemployed and have all the time in the world! Huzzah!

Have an awesome week, everyone, and thanks for reading the update!

 

Unrelated media of the day:

I have a weird feeling I already shared this one, but I never removed the bookmark, so maybe not. Either way, enjoy!

Categories: My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Cover Reveal! A Vampire at Christmas (Anthony Renfro)

Today I’m happy to help out fellow self-pubbed author Anthony Renfro with his cover reveal for A Vampire at Christmas. 

Here’s a brief synopsis:

A short story about a Vampire who uses his riches and immortal skills to bring joy to those in need during the Christmas Season.

And here’s an excerpt:

Talan Gawayn became a vampire in the 15th century on a cold, starry, full-moon night just after the first big snow of November. He was walking a less traveled path, on his way home from seeing his fiancé, whom he planned to marry the following spring, when three men stepped out of the shadows to rob him. He fought them at first, but they soon overpowered him, beat him ruthlessly, laughing as they did it, drunk and looking for someone to rob. They had found it in Talan who was so hopelessly in love he hadn’t seen them sneak up on him.

While he lay there in the snow dying from his injuries, one eye shut and swollen, the other able to see only a blurry vision, he thought he saw something, something moving quick and fast. The men who had beaten him were counting out their stolen money when this thing attacked them. It tore through their flesh, ripped out their throats savagely; and didn’t just drain the robbers of their precious blood, but this thing seemed to almost be bathing in it while it fed.

Talan tried to stay focused, tried to see what this thing was, but his will gave out and his good eye closed. He passed out into an injured slumber.

Weight.

Something heavy was straddling him …

And here’s the cover:

Vampire at Christmas - High Resolution (1)

Check it out here!

US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KRCCTU0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00KRCCTU0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00KRCCTU0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

CA: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00KRCCTU0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Imminent Danger Free to Download this Weekend!

Hey peeps! Just popping in to let you know that Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It is free to download again this weekend. So if you haven’t picked it up yet, now’s your chance!

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

It’s actually available on all the Amazon sites — so if you’re not American/British/Canadian, hop over to your favorite Amazon site and search the book name. Happy reading!

Unrelated media of the day:

Source: http://imgur.com/gallery/TJb3H0Y

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cover Reveal for “The Sky-Child and Other Stories” (Danielle E Shipley)

Today is the cover reveal for The Sky Child and Other Stories by Danielle E. Shipley. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Sky-Child CoverThe Sky-Child and Other Stories (The Wilderhark Tales #6.5)
By Danielle E. Shipley
Genre: Fairytale Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: July 7, 2015

Blurb:
Born into a world his heart knows as beneath him, an extraordinary boy becomes a man of music, hopeful that someday he’ll find a way higher.

As the first day dawns, a world comes awake, order and disorder striking a dangerous balance.

Under the stars, a princess and tailor trade age-old lore, little dreaming of the future that could trap them in the past.

All of it in, around, and far above the timeless trees of Wilderhark, the forest whose secrets reveal themselves slowly, if ever at all.

Tales of beginnings. Tales of quests for belonging. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew something of Wilderhark’s tales. Now for the stories that fall in between.

The Sky-Child and Other Stories
A Wilderhark Tales Collection

You can find The Sky-Child and Other Stories on Goodreads

About the Author:
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she’s probably blogging about it.

Writing credits include: “Inspired” (a novel); short stories in paranormal, fantasy, and Steampunk anthologies via Xchyler Publishing; and, of course, her series of fairytale retelling mash-ups, “The Wilderhark Tales”.

You can find and contact Danielle here:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest
Amazon


Lola's Blog Tours

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s Spring! Time for a Bumper Sticker Giveaway!

After the longest winter of my life, I am ridiculously happy to announce that spring has OFFICIALLY HIT HALIFAX, CANADA!

Phew. Honestly, you cannot imagine my relief. Things were getting pretty grim for a while there. I’m looking at pictures from Celeste DeWolfe over in South Korea, who seems to spend all her time going to Cherry Blossom festivals and eating giant cotton candy balls, and then I look out my window, see seven-foot-high snowbanks, and think “Aw man.”

But today it was above zero and the snow’s finally melting and everything is glorious! Therefore, I have been inspired to run a …

Imminent Danger bumper sticker giveaway!

***

The prize: 

1 bumper sticker, as follows …

bumper sticker 1I have one on my car, and it’s super fly. You will be literally the coolest person in the galaxy if you have this bumper sticker on your car.

***

How to enter:

Since I’m feeling whimsical today, in order to enter I want you to write me a haiku. Post it in the comments on this blog post, or post it on my Facebook page, or, heck, even tweet it to me (@michellishelli).

The haiku can be about anything you want — my book, sheep, the dichotomy of good and evil, whatever floats your boat. I’ll pick my favorite, and the winner gets an awesome bumper sticker!

In case you don’t know, a haiku is three lines, with the syllable scheme 5/7/5. Here’s an example:

Holy cow, it’s a

super awesome giveaway

I sure hope I win

Terrible? Yes. Technically correct? Also yes! Haiku me, people!

***

The deadline:

Let’s make it … 9 am EST on April 13. So that gives you the weekend to think up an awesome haiku and send it my way.

***

Happy haiku-ing, everyone!

***

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: My Works, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Imminent Danger free to download Monday + Tuesday

As we reach the end of Imminent Danger’s first 90 days in KDP Select, I realized that I’ve only used 3 of the 5 free giveaway days! Gasp. Thus, I am pleased to announce that …

Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It

will be free to download on Monday & Tuesday (April 6-7)

Here are assorted links for your clicking convenience:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

It’s actually available on all Amazon sites, so just head over to your Amazon site of choice and it should be there!

If you want to share the news of the free downloads days, you’re awesome. If you don’t want to share the news, you’re still awesome. Either way, thanks for reading, and happy downloading!

* * *

Unrelated media of the day:

Today for your enjoyment I have a series of humorous Tumblr posts.

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Self-Publish Stats & Sales for Jan + Feb 2015

Happy Saturday, everyone!

I know I always find it super helpful when self-pubbed authors post their sales stats, so I’ve collected my stats for January and February and detailed them below.

A couple of notes, and a couple of takeaways:

NOTES:

  • This is all ebook-related — I think I sold maybe 1 print book, so I didn’t include that in the stats
  • “sold” means an actual sale
  • “borrowed” means the book was borrowed as part of the Kindle Unlimited program (basically an online library) — if they read past 10% of the book, I get a certain amount of money based on that month’s Unlimited Fund (about $2 per book, I believe)
  • “free” means a free download (from one of the free download days I ran as part of KDP Select)

TAKEAWAYS:

  • The number of books borrowed almost doubled the number of books sold — which means that 2/3 of my money is coming from KDP Select — so, in the eternal Smashwords vs. KDP Select war, I’m a fan of KDP Select right now, as those borrows are really doing work for me
  • I made about $100 a month (approx), on a first title by a new author, with not too much advertising — which is great! Hopefully A) that continues for future months, and B) the amount will rise when I eventually publish Chasing Nonconformity
  • Denmark randomly buys/borrows/downloads my book a lot more than other European countries — no idea why

That’s all the analysis I can manage on a snowy Saturday afternoon. I’m off to get tasty, delicious pizza now. Below are the stats. View and enjoy!

January

.com 17 sold, 31 borrowed, 1063 free
.uk 5 sold, 9 borrowed, 89 free
.denmark 1 sold, 2 borrowed, 22 free
.france 3 free
.ca 143 free
.italy 1 free
.in 5 free
.aus 1 sold, 1 free
~~~
February
.com 12 sold, 38 borrowed, 690 free
.uk 6 sold, 11 borrowed, 124 free
.den 1 sold, 2 borrowed, 60 free
.fra 5 free
.jap 2 free
.ca 3 sold, 3 borrowed, 31 free
.it 2 free
.in 2 free
.aus 16 free
.neth 2 free
~~~
Total stats for 2 months
Sold: 46
Borrowed: 96
Free: 2261
~~~
January
.com $76.52
.uk $20.45
.den $4.52
.aus $2.12
TOTAL $103.61
~~~
February
.com $77.50
.uk $25.34
.den $4.70
.ca $9.08
TOTAL $116.62
~~~
Grand total for 2 months: $220.23
~~~
Unrelated media of the day:
(forgive the blurriness)
Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

Stealth Giveaway + Vacation Photos

About a month ago, I did a free giveaway weekend for Imminent Danger. For that giveaway, I went all out, leveraging all my social media sites to promote the free giveaway as much as possible. The grand total was 2800+ downloads.

Last Sunday, I did a 1-day stealth giveaway. No social media mentions, no promoting the book anywhere. I didn’t even tell my own mother about it. The grand total was 118 downloads.

What does this tell us?

  1. Telling people about your giveaway is a good idea (duh)
  2. Two day giveaways are (probably) better than one day
  3. People will still stumble across and download your book by random chance

That’s pretty much all I’ve got to report. Stay warm, everyone!

Unrelated media of the day:

As you may know, I recently went on vacation with my mother and brother, and I thought I’d share a couple of pictures. View and enjoy!

20150220_130319 - Copy

Jesse and I at the gates to the new Fantasyland addition in the Magic Kingdom. I believe I’m supposed to be flapping my arms like wings, although with us, it’s hard to be sure.

20150220_140644 - Copy

Mom and Jesse inside the Beast’s castle. Note Jesse’s “Family Reunion” badge.

20150220_144122 - Copy

Mother tries the “grey stuff”. It’s delicious.

20150221_115841 - Copy

Mother attempts to stop the hose from unraveling while Jesse fills up the tires of our rental car.

20150221_115911 - Copy

Jesse contemplates tire filling.

20150221_153239

Myself on the cruise ship, attempting to schedule our days so we hit every single trivia game. Eating and sleeping be damned!

20150223_102538

Mom and Jesse on their way to snorkeling off the coast of Cozumel.

20150225_112907

A fisherman in Nassau showing us his catch of the day.

20150225_140030

Selfie in Nassau!

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Musings on my first two KDP free download days!

Last weekend, I took advantage of the KDP free days promotion and put Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It on free download for the entire weekend. I’ll start by showing you the results, and then I’ll walk you through what I did to promote the book, and how effective I think said promotions were.

Ready? Steady? Go!

Here’s a screencap of the downloads graph:

kdp free days graph

So over the course of 48 hours, the grand total of downloads was: 2,861 

Now, I’m pretty darn excited about this. I know some authors get upwards of 4,000 downloads with zero promotion, but heck, it’s my first free weekend!

 

Part 1: Pre-promotion marketing tactics

About a week before the free promotion started, I signed the book up with about a dozen of those “free book blast” sites.

Here’s the site I used: http://authormarketingclub.com/members/submit-your-book/

If you scroll way down, there’s a bunch of website icons. The idea is you click on an icon, and it opens up to that site’s submission form. Most of the sites on there offer free book promotion if you’re doing a KDP free book day, but they do specify that it’s first come first served, so your book isn’t guaranteed to show up on their marketing blast. There are of course paid options to ensure your book is featured, but I just signed up for the free stuff.

Of all the sites I signed up for, the only one I saw actually tweet about my book was http://www.book-circle.com/. Others might have also promoted my book, but if they did, I didn’t see it.

All in all, it’s hard to judge the effectiveness of these sorts of sites. However, they are free, so there’s no real downside apart from time expended. So I’d say I recommend using these sites, as long as you’ve got spare time and won’t be too disappointed if nothing comes of it.

 

Part 2: Saturday (Day 1) begins!

I started off the first download day by doing the standard social media thing — tweeting about it, writing a blog post, posting on Facebook, etc. I’m part of a few writer groups on Facebook, so I posted in there as well.

Downloads started off slow — by noon on Saturday I was at about 200. Not too shabby, but not where I wanted to be! So I thought to myself: Michelle, there has to be another way to promote your free download days. But where?

 

Part 3: IMGUR

Here’s where the story really kicks off. If you haven’t heard of IMGUR, go check it out now. It’s basically just a site where people post funny photos or GIFs, and then people look at them, upvote or downvote them, and comment on them. Kind of like Reddit, except way less complicated — and way less specialized.

I love IMGUR. I go on every day and catch up on the latest memes. There’s some truly hysterical stuff on there. And I’ve tried posting a few photos on there (mostly of my roommates’ adorable cats), but those photos never made it out of “user sub” — basically, they only got maybe 20 upvotes each, and you need at least 300 upvotes to boost your post to the front page (which is the part of IMGUR that most people look at).

So I thought, what the heck. Might as well post my book — what’ s the downside? Even if it only gets 20 upvotes, that’s 20 more people downloading the book!

Thus, I posted this:

imgur postThis was posted around midday Saturday. Apparently that’s a good time to post, because over the next few hours the upvotes gradually rose. 100 … 120 … 150 … 200 … For a while, it sat around 250, and I was obviously psyched, because 250 people saw it and liked it! But I was also a little disappointed, because supposedly 300 is the magic number to get to the front page, and I was so close!

Then I stopped checking IMGUR for updates and went off to do something else for a few hours. When I came back, I saw the upvote count and nearly had a heart attack — it was over a thousand!

By Sunday, the final upvote count was ~3,000. I was beyond the moon by that point. I got a ton of awesome comments, people asking questions about my book, or about self-publishing, or about writing in general. There were obviously some trolls, but for the most part everyone was really supportive. Click here to check out the post and the comments. (And note that the top comment is a reference to a meme that’s currently popular — it has nothing to do with my book, lol.)

After my post hit the front page, free downloads skyrocketed. Victory!

 

Conclusion:

All in all, I’m really happy with my first free download weekend. I won’t say sales increased a great deal in the wake of the free days (or at all, really), but I did net 5 new reviews, so that alone is fantastic!

I wouldn’t suggest IMGUR as a good promotion platform for indie authors. It’s not an advertising site — it’s just a place to share funny photos and cool original content. I think I got away with it because I posted at the right time of day, I posted a photo of both myself (a young woman) and a cute dog, and the fact that the book was for free (i.e., I wasn’t trying to sell it, just give it away). However, if you want to check out the site and give it a try, go for it! At the very least, you’ll see some funny posts and get a good laugh out of it.

 

Thus concludes my report. Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

 

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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