Posts Tagged With: indie

Awesome news! Imminent Danger is officially available for purchase!

Today is probably the best day of my life, because I can officially announce that my debut novel, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It, is now for sale everywhere books are sold!

Imminent Danger_blog_soft cover

Woooooooo!

Right, calming down now. I suppose links might be helpful at this point, so let’s see what I can dig up …

Click here to buy a softcover from Amazon.com.

Click here to buy a softcover from Amazon.ca.

Click here to buy an ebook from Kindle (US).

Click here to buy an ebook from Kindle (CA).

Click here to visit my website and see the complete list of online retailer options.

I’m trying to think of witty things to say here, but I’m just too gosh-darned psyched that I can finally call myself a published author. Many thanks in advance to the people who decide to give my creation a shot, and many thanks also to everyone who has supported me through this whole publishing adventure. You guys rock my proverbial socks, and I can give no higher praise than that.

To Imminent Danger! To publishing! To VICTORY!!!!!!

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: iUniverse, My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 88 Comments

Book Review: 2 Novellas by Keri M. Peardon

In this latest self-published book review, we turn our attention to fellow blogger Keri M. Peardon, who has written two delightful little novellas–The Last Golden Dragon, and The Widow.

The Novella

The Last Golden Dragon

The Genre

Fantasy/Romance

The Author

Keri Peardon graduated from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA in 2001 with a B.A. in History and a strong background in creative writing. She is a life-long resident of Tennessee and is currently employed as a legal assistant to a private-practice attorney. In addition to writing, she is active in medieval re-enacting and does too many handicrafts.

The Plot

Aine, a young Irish peasant girl, is looking for the last golden dragon. Whilst wandering about the mountains, she meets a handsome man named Eammon, who offers to take her to the dragon’s lair.

The Review

I thought this was a quick, sweet little love story. And the ending was adorable! I had great fun following Aine into the dragon’s cave and experiencing the adventure with her. Eammon was delightfully enigmatic, and his banter with Aine was quite funny. My one issue with this novella is that I saw the big plot reveal coming from literally the first page. Maybe I’ve just read too many fantasy stories, so I knew what was going to happen long before it did. Regardless, I definitely enjoyed The Last Golden Dragon, and recommend it to anyone looking for a light, romantic read.

The Rating

4 out of 5 stars

The Novella

The Widow

The Genre

Romantic Drama

The Plot

Ever since her husband died, Carol has been cooped up in her house. Her best friend solves this problem by signing her up for creative writing classes at the local community college. After her first class, Carol runs into a handsome local artist named Daniel, who offers her both coffee and sympathy. They begin to meet every week after her writing class, and eventually Daniel asks Carol to model for his next painting.  She accepts, and he proves to be the perfect balm for her wounded heart.

The Review

I loved this story. Unlike most romances, this one actually had a legitimate plot that kept me flipping the virtual pages to find out what happened next. I loved the author’s descriptions of the painting/modelling scenes. I could easily imagine Carol there in Daniel’s studio, posing silently as he brought her to life on the canvas with each brush stroke. Their romance is gradual, believable, and just wonderful to read.

The Rating

5 stars out of 5

Congratulations to Keri for writing such awesome novellas! Head over to her Smashwords page for more information.

Random tip of the day:

Forgot to lock your car, and don’t want to walk back? Car too far away for the remote to work? Try pressing the remote against your skull and pushing the Lock key. It gives your remote extra range, and I have no idea why.

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

“Poetry of a Madman” Book Review

So I was scrolling through my “Blogs I Follow” page yesterday, and I found this post by Jason Alan. In the post, he mentions that he’s had his book of poetry, Poetry of a Madman, up on Amazon for over a year with no reviews. And I thought to myself, “I can review things”. Hence this post. Oh, and check out that link, because he’s offering the kindle edition for free (for a limited time), so snap up a copy before it’s too late!

The Book

Poetry of a Madman

The Genre

Poetry

The Author

I don’t know much about Jason, so instead I will quote the blurb on his WordPress blog: “Short stories, rants, poetry, unfinished novels, and look! Cows!”

The Plot

It’s a book of poetry. It doesn’t have a plot. Sheesh.

Basically, it’s a collection of poems, most of them by Jason, with the first section devoted to guest poets.

The Review

Poetry of a Madman was a very interesting read. My experience with poetry is mostly limited to what I read in English class, so I didn’t have any expectations going in. And I was quite impressed with what I found.

Many of the poems are about serious topics — current issues, the human state, etc. — but there are also a selection of more light-hearted pieces that really drew me in. One of my favourite poems was “i am, part one”, which Jason wrote years ago, lost, and is now trying to recreate. I loved the cadence of the poem and the imagery he used — when I read it, I found myself kind of singing along in my head. I think this poem would make an excellent song.

Another favourite was “digital heartache”. I don’t want to give away too much, but to give you a taste of the awesome:

“my farmville crop is sprouting weeds

these angry birds have too many needs

my mafia family has ceased to get paid

and my warcraft warrior never gets laid”

The book has a lovely blend of poetry. There are sad poems, happy poems, quirky poems, funny poems, and thought-provoking poems. I’m a bubbly person by nature, so I enjoyed the funny/quirky ones the most. But overall I thought Poetry of a Madman was a great poetry collection, and I definitely recommend it to all you poetry lovers out there.

The Rating

4 out of 5 stars

Click here to purchase a copy of Jason Alan’s Poetry of a Madman.

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Be Still — Book Review

Me with my copy of Be Still!

The Book

“Be Still”

The Genre

Romantic Drama

The Author

Tania L. Ramos. This is her second novel, which is self-published through iUniverse. Check out her blog and her website for more information!

The Plot

Plastic surgeon Jack Silver thinks his life is perfect – until he loses his daughter and wife in a series of tragic events. A decade later, Jack discovers that he is dying. He desperately wants to reconnect with his estranged son Travis, but Travis wants nothing to do with his father. Enter Dr. Christina Amity, Jack’s protégé and dear friend, who strives to help father and son work out their issues before Jack’s disease claims him. But even as Christina and Travis grow closer, Jack finds himself inching towards death, drawn by what he thinks is the spirit of his dead wife. Will Jack make peace with his son before he rejoins his wife and daughter in the afterlife? Will the emotionally-damaged Travis ever find love? Read Be Still to find out!

The Review

Let me start by saying that, despite the genre of this book being the polar opposite of what I usually read, I really enjoyed Be Still. The plot was engaging and well thought out, the characters relatable and believable. It’s a tragic story that’s at the same time uplifting, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes the romance/drama genre.

I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t the hugest fan of Jack Silver. He basically gives up on living after his wife dies, withdrawing from the world and from his son, all of which really irked me. I have a hard time connecting with parent characters who emotionally abandon their children. At the same time, I totally understand why he did what he did because his plot arc was beautifully written, so even though I didn’t really like the character, Tania still got me to sympathize with him.

On the other hand, I loved Travis and Christina. Their romance is sweet, and realistic, and flawed, because when does love ever go smoothly? I actually found myself caring more about Jack because I was seeing him through Travis and Christina’s eyes, and it was bittersweet because their shared grief over his impending death is one of the things that brings them together.

I quite enjoyed Tania’s writing style. It flowed nicely, and it was very easy for me to lose myself in the story. One criticism I would make is that the description sometimes got a little flowery, but for all I know that’s the norm for this genre of writing. It certainly didn’t detract from the story, it just made me pause and think, “Goodness, that’s a lot of adverbs”.

The Rating

4 out of 5 stars, plus an “Awww!” factor of 8 puppies.

Remember that blog tour I mentioned?

If you have an excellent memory, you’ll remember that I’m participating in a blog tour next week – the blog tour of Tania L Ramos, to be specific, aka the author of Be Still! Whoa. Crazy coincidence, right? Anyway, here’s a reminder of the blog tour dates:

July 19 – http://katherinenader.tumblr.com

July 20 – http://nerdybookreviews.wordpresscom

July 21 – http://freebies4myfamily.blogspot.com/

July 22 – http://davidmcgowanauthor.com/

July 23 – https://michelleproulx.wordpress.com/ ((ME!))

July 24 – http://www.youtube.com/user/tramossnvvc/videos ((video blog))

Tania is also holding a sweepstakes right now, which can be viewed on her Facebook page. Basically, for every 100 books she sells by August 30th, she will donate a copy of her book to a high school of the winner’s choice. It only works for U.S. schools (something about foreign policy), and she promises to donate a book even if she doesn’t hit the 100 books sold mark. And if you’re poor like me and don’t want to buy a copy, you can still go to the Sweepstakes tab on the Facebook page and enter anyway.

So come back next Monday for my leg of the blog tour!

Tania will be writing a guest post about … about … okay, we really don’t know yet. If you have any ideas, sound off in the comments! She’s a self-published author, so maybe you have some questions you’d like her to answer? Just relay them in the comments section here and I’ll forward them to her.

Cute and addictive game:

http://www.silvergames.com/nyan-cat-lost-in-space

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I’ve finally submitted my manuscript!

This image has nothing to do with the post. I just like it because it’s awesome.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s official. I have finalized the manuscript for Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight into It. It is written, edited, revised, and submitted to iUniverse via their incredibly complex submission form.

So what does this mean?

Step One: Editorial Evaluation

To quote Rebekka, my iUniverse “Check-In Coordinator”:

Your project is now ready for its Editorial Evaluation. Your project will be assigned an Editorial Consultant and you should hear from them within 2 – 3 weeks (once your Editorial Evaluation is finished). It’s helpful for you to understand that the Editorial Evaluation is a general overview of your manuscript, which focuses on key industry-standard areas, based on your genre of book. Some of these might include: point of view, grammar, plot points, etc. At the end of the Editorial Evaluation, you will receive a 10-15 page form, which highlights areas of possible improvement in your manuscript and gives you pointers regarding how to make your manuscript more marketable.

Now, my hope *fingers crossed* is that there won’t be many suggested changes. I hope this because I have had approximately 15 people read the manuscript and made a zillion revisions based on their suggestions, so there really shouldn’t be all that much left in the book needing fixing.

Of course, these are professional editors reading the manuscript, so they’ll probably catch something or suggest something that my myriad proof readers missed. I’m cool with that. As long as they don’t tell me to “re-write the entire book” like one super-helpful reader did (*sarcasm*), I’m good.

While I wait for the Editorial Evaluation …

I bite my nails and hope it turns out well! No, seriously, I will probably get back to editing the sequel to Imminent Danger. When last I checked in on it, it was titled Interspecies Relationships and How to Make an Already Complicated Situation Worse. As that is somewhat of a mouthful, the title will be one of the first things I change.

My big thing with a sequel is making sure it’s as good (or nearly as good) as the first book. Because is there anything worse than reading a sub-par sequel to a book you love? Famine is worse, probably. Poverty. Child soldiers. Slavery. But you get my point!

And what is there in store for us, your loyal blog followers?

I just switched to “FAQ” mode. Whoops. Anyway, I really want to start posting excerpts from the book, which y’all may or may not read at your leisure. That won’t happen until the Editorial Evaluation gets back, however, so until then … expect pretty much the same. Random thoughts on writing, links to various photos/videos that probably no one but me enjoys, etc.

Woo!

Thanks, as always, for letting me ramble on. Speaking of Ramble On, that song has an entire verse about Lord of the Rings. Talk about awesome.

Right. So that’s my news, as well as my random link of the day. Happy Thursday!

PS: Can I even say PS in a blog? Right. Moving on. Does anyone have an opinion on vlogs? Good? Bad? Annoying? Would anyone watch an unknown author ramble about her publishing experience for 3-4 minutes? I won’t force you to watch any vlogs if you say yes.

Categories: My Works | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Shelf Space for your Self-Published Book + SpaceX

Publishing an eBook is awesome, no doubt about it. But for me, the ultimate goal of a self-published author is getting your book onto a bookshelf in an actual brick and mortar book store. Imagine walking into your favourite book store and watching as a complete stranger picks your book off the shelf. Heaven!

I’d love to just walk into my local Chapters (Canadian book store) and ask the manager to put my books on their shelves, but tragically it’s more complicated than that. Big book stores don’t want to deal with random little indie authors – they have international best sellers to push. So where can we get our shelf space fix?

Good news for Wichita, Denver, Louisville, and Chico!

First of all, check out this article. Basically, there are a handful of indie book stores in the USA that have started programs that enable local self-published authors to sell their books in the stores. These stores operate mainly on “consignment” – meaning that you give the book store copies of your book for free, and if the books sell, the book store pays you back an agreed-upon price. So, if I were to bring in my made-up-on-the-spot book, Tuna on a Cloudy Day, that retails at $20, the book store would give me a set consignment rate (let’s say 50/50). My book would then go on the shelf for a limited time, and whenever a book is sold, I would get $10.

Some of the book stores listed in the article also have programs where you can do book signings, or they will help you create promotional materials for your book campaign, etc. My personal favourite is Lyon Books in Chico, California, which holds an annual Local Author Holiday Open House. They run ads in the newspaper featuring thumbnails of the local authors’ books and short blurbs, then get all the local authors together in the store for a huge book-signing event. How amazing does that sound?

Unfortunately, I don’t live in Wichita, Denver, Louisville, or Chico. This somewhat limits my options. I’ve tried the obvious Google search for book stores near my house that offer such a program for local authors, but all I got was an eHow article on How to Get a Self-Published Book Into Bookstores. Not very helpful, internet.

My “solution”, such as it is.

There is a self-publishing company called iUniverse. I signed with them and sent them a boatload of money back in April. Now, I don’t want to recommend them to anyone just yet, because I haven’t even gotten as far as the submitting my manuscript stage. More updates on that as the publishing process progresses. Anyway, they have this really neat program called the Indigo Chapters Publishing Package that is only available in Canada. It’s your basic self-publishing service – they edit your book, design the cover, format the interior, create print and eBook versions, and distribute them on all the major book-selling sites. However, there is the added bonus that they will put 8 copies of your book into a Chapters book store of your choice for 8 weeks. The best part is that, if the books sell, Chapters is obligated to re-stock the book so long as the 8 week period is in effect. This means that if you can generate enough interest in your book, Chapters will keep re-ordering even past the end of the 8 week period. Exciting stuff! I’ll let you know if it works XD

Know any good indie book stores?

Obviously my “solution” only works if you live in Canada and have $2,999 to spare. Okay, I didn’t exactly have it to “spare”, but you get the point. Does anyone know of any local/indie book stores that offer programs like the ones I mentioned for self-published authors? It doesn’t have to be only for Canada – I’d love to know about any/all of them!

Also, does anyone know anything or have tips about getting your book into a physical book store? I’m sure at least one person in the big, wide world of WordPress has accomplished this feat!

And now for a change of pace – SpaceX!

Not technically on the topic of writing, but still noteworthy – SpaceX has successfully launched their first commercial spaceship. It’s unmanned, and is currently in orbit around Earth and preparing to dock with the International Space Station (ISS). Read about it here. Why am I so excited about this? Because NASA shut down the spaceshuttle program, and have been relying on Russian rockets (not the most reliable form of transportation) to get up to the ISS. SpaceX is the first private company in the world to launch their own rocket successfully. And they aren’t the only company doing it, either. I envision a future (hopefully within the next few decades), where space tourism will be a real thing. How awesome would it be to go up into space for a few hours and float around in zero G? If SpaceX succeeds, this could very well happen, hence my enthusiasm.

And for those of you who don’t want to read the article, here is my personal favourite tidbit from the very bottom:

“The rocket also blasted into orbit around the Earth the ashes of more than 300 people, including Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on Star Trek. The ashes were in a section of the rocket that was jettisoned during the climb into space.”

That’s right, you can now send your ashes up into space to orbit the Earth for eternity, in the company of astronauts and Star Trek actors. Anyone else intrigued by this concept?

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

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