Saturday, June 24, 2017

Plans, Pathways, and Pre-orders

You know, sometimes plans have a way of taking their own pathway and screwing up yours.

I'd hoped to have the fourth book in the Bartender Babe Chronicles ready for your reading pleasure before the end of June.  However, I had some last-minute ideas I wanted to incorporate into this particular story to provide hints at the overall larger story of Vicki's journey through this series.  So what did that mean?

Yup - back to the old drawing board.

However, I'm so much more excited about the twists and turns the storyline is now taking and am so much happier with the resulting flow, even though that means it's taking longer to get ready for release.

But that also means perhaps you'll better enjoy it too.

Being an independent author is sometimes a lonely journey where every single decision - large and small - rests solely on the writer, and we have to daily juggle so many hats.  Between writing, research, editing, manuscript formatting, cover work, pre-publishing preparation, post-publishing follow-up, marketing, communications, bookkeeping, etc., etc., we're a single person encompassing the varying departments of a large corporation.  As Vicki would say, this life ain't for the fainthearted!

However, in the overall scheme of things, nothing matters if as an author I have not worked my butt off to provide readers with my very best work.  My very reason for doing this is to provide you, my patient and devoted readers, with an entertaining story that will give you a chuckle, allow you to shed a tear or two, keep you up reading late into the wee morning hours (even though you'll curse me when your alarm clock goes off), or simply offer up an opportunity for a few uninterrupted hours to yourself.

So even though I've had to come to terms with the fact I will never be one of those authors who churn out a new book or two every month, I hope you'll rest with the patient assurance that when a novel with my name on it is finally published, it will be the best story I could possibly write.

And that's all because, to paraphrase L'Oreal, you're worth it!

Stay tuned for a release announcement of DIE BEFORE YOU WAKE with special pre-order pricing before summer's end.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Psst...A Super Secret Reveal

Psst...I've got something I want to share with you.

It's something fun.

It's a new book.

It's upcoming.

It's a revelation.

Only for you, my faithful readers, an unveiling of my latest cover for the upcoming release of the fourth novel in the Bartender Babe Chronicles DIE BEFORE YOU WAKE.

This is the cover I've been dying to uncover since starting this series.  It's been in the works since day one.  It has special meaning not only to your favorite bartender Vicki Bohanan, but to me as well.

And maybe Garfield.

So without further adieu, see below for the very first peek at BBC 4 DIE BEFORE YOU WAKE, coming soon to an Ebook near you.



Friday, March 10, 2017

2017 Writing Schedule Quarterly Update

It's been a busy writing year thus far in the DA Bale Publishing universe - and it's time for a quarterly update to key you in on where things are headed for 2017.

First item on the agenda, I've got some good news to share with you in relation to my publishing schedule.

The first book in my upcoming space opera series (think that old TV show I still miss, FIREFLY) has cleared the first draft hurdle and I've started working on the storyline for book two in that series, the working title being THE OUTLIERS' WAY, though I'm considering something more along the lines of Outliers' Pact or Outliers' Accord for the final title.  Who knows?  I may use all three in the end.  My plan is to get two books in publishable shape before releasing book one.  That way I can put up a pre-order for book two and release it within thirty days.  Be looking for the book one cover reveal coming later this spring and release dates announced for sometime this summer.

For those of you who are dying to read the next chapter in the Vicki saga, I'm nearing the halfway point of the fourth book in the Bartender Babe Chronicles DIE BEFORE YOU WAKE.  Last night I cleared twenty-thousand words toward my fifty-thousand word first draft goal.  If you've followed Vicki's antics up through book three, you know some major changes are getting ready to take place in her life.  I can't wait to bring them to you!  Seems lately I wake up and go to sleep (and sometimes dream) with Vicki's voice in my head.  My bedside notebook is getting pretty full about now, which is a really good sign to me.  I've no problem coming up with more crap to hit the fan in Vicki's world this time around.  By the end of this month, I should have a release day locked down and a cover ready to reveal.  Stay tuned!

Now for those of you who want the dark stuff, I've started on a new series that will take some time to dig down deep and fully plumb.  Originally I'd planned to approach it in a different way, sort of a dark romance perhaps (this from a non-romance reader who got tired of the strong-arm tactics of my fellow writers).  However, after allowing myself to ruminate on it for several weeks now, I've decided to give it a dark mystery bent since mysteries and thrillers are a better fit for me.  Sorry, gang, but my brain just isn't wired to be all gooey and mushy - bleh!  Tentative working title is UNAPPROACHABLE, but don't look for any form of release announcements on it until sometime in 2018.  This one is gonna be a slow burn to get all of the strings laid out to eventually weave together.

So for this fall, I'm allowing myself a chance to see which final book for 2017 I'll be in the mood to work on.  Will it be AIM BEFORE YOU SHOOT, the fifth book in the Bartender Babe Chronicles?  Or will it be the third as yet unnamed book in the Outliers' series?

I guess we'll all have to wait for that one.

Next item on the agenda, don't forget to check out some of the silly discussions we get into on the Coffee and Catastrophe podcasts.  For all of the other writers in the audience who seek to improve their writing, fellow author William Brian Johnson and I have spent the better part of this year thus far in our Nuts & Bolts series, discussing various mechanics of novel writing.  If you'd like to catch up on some of it, just click on the "Podcast" tab above and take your pick to listen in right here on the blog.

Last item on the agenda, be sure and sign up for my new newsletter.  On the far right of the blog here, you'll see a sign up box.  Don't worry.  I won't continually hound you about all things through the newsletter - that's what my blog, Twitter, and Facebook accounts are for!  However, my newsletter will now be the first place to go to get specific news on releases and special sales of my books.  You won't want to miss the pre-order pricing you'll only hear about there and notices when prices are about to change.  Since I'm now also direct-selling through Kobo Books, I get to take advantage of their promotions from time-to-time, so you'll want to have the newsletter to stay abreast of those deals.

In the meantime, watch for the cover reveal and release announcement of DIE BEFORE YOU WAKE coming soon.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Year In Review and a Thank You

Hello again, dear readers!

I've been remiss in posting regularly to my blog this year, mainly because I've been so focused on getting as much writing done as possible.  And I succeeded in hitting my goal of releasing three novels this year in my Bartender Babe Chronicles series.  Yay!!!

Another 2016 milestone target was to start a podcast, which I have done with fellow author William Brian Johnson (see Podcast tab above).  We've been having a blast just feeling our way through some of the in's and out's of that whole mess, but I think we're beginning to find our stride (finally).  I was pleased to hear from a listener about how helpful he found Episode 6 to be, where we talked about reviews, how to find reviewers, and how to professionally ask for reviews.  Since I forgot to post the data mentioned there, I will do so below for the indie authors in the audience:

Review List Sites:
1.  indiebookreviewer.wordpress.com
2.  theindieview.com
3.  bookrevieweryellowpages.com
4.  bookbloggerlist.com
5.  tweetyourbooks.com

Also in said podcast Episode 6, I mentioned my top ten pet peeves of things authors do wrong when requesting a review from reviewers.  I talk about this repeatedly in the podcast, but the first thing to remember is to always, ALWAYS follow each individual reviewer's guidelines on their website/blog when sending out that initial request for review.  Then be professional in your request.

Top Ten Pet Peeves:
10.  Not addressing your email request to a real person - instead using Sir/Madam/To Whom It May Concern, etc.
9.    Asking for an "honest" review - as if all reviews we've written before yours are less than honest
8.    Piles request with positive comments of other reviewers - we'll make our own decisions, thank you
7.    Listing personal accomplishments that have absolutely nothing to do with NOVEL writing
6.    Sending the book and/or a bunch of other attachments with your initial request - some want it up front while most don't, and you can find this out by reading each reviewer's guidelines (see above for a reminder if you've already forgotten)
5.    Including a bunch of links for reviewers to discover your book blurb, cover, author bio, etc. - you want the review so don't expect the reviewer to do your work for you
4.    Unrealistic expectations - i.e. expecting a reviewer to read and review your book within days or even weeks of submitting a request when we're usually running months out on our TBR piles
3.    Not including the book title, author name, or book blurb - and the sender's email address gives no clue as to who they are because it's cutsie or disturbing
2.    A request to review a novel outside of specified genres - again, read the guidelines of every reviewer
1.    Expecting reviewers to BUY their book to review - ain't gonna happen

So with those out of the way, podcast Episode 7 is now live if you'd like to listen.  Again, find it under the Podcast tab above.

Another thing I really wanted to do in 2016 was to begin treating my writing more like a business instead of a hobby.  One of those ways I succeeded this year was to write and release more books. Even though this took me away from my more in-depth stories, it did allow me to branch out into other genres I enjoy reading and writing.  However, even though I'm going to spend time in 2017 writing these lighter books, I'll also be working behind the scenes on some deeper and more complex stories I've got percolating around in my head.  When they'll release is uncertain at this time, but for those of you who prefer something more along the lines of the Deepest Darkness series, trust that I'll have more for you again from my publishing quiver.

So continuing with the business model mindset, though I have yet to incorporate, I did begin to keep better track of income and expenses, created a variety of spreadsheets, tracked promotions and their effectiveness, and have started a newsletter in 2016.

I realized a little late in the game how important newsletters are to keeping in touch with fans and followers and the impact that has on growing sales of new releases.  When I ran a BookBub promotion back in 2014, I could've been much more ahead of the game by now if I'd have had this one little piece in place.  So instead of spending so much time and energy on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads this coming year, I'm going to expend more energy with my newsletter.  Just remember to be patient with me as I better learn these rather complicated ropes.  Hey, I'm teaching myself as I go (and for an older dog, it's a little harder to learn new tricks).

The other thing I've done is to start updating front and back matter of my book backlist.  One thing I'd never done was to incorporate a page at the end of each book asking for reviews. After talking with several more successful authors through Kboards.com (if you're an author and haven't spent time there, I highly recommend you do), I figured it was high time I grit my teeth, swallow my squirms with this well-used trope, and go ahead and do this too.  It goes back to that aspect of treating my writing like a business - and like a business, I need reviews to sell books, and to sell books I need reviews.  This makes it easier for a reader to click the link and leave a few kind words if they are so inclined.  Already I've gotten several new reviews these last couple of days (and a couple of signups for my newsletter too).

All in all, I'm still not exactly where I wanted to be by the end of 2016, but I have accomplished most of my goals for this year - and I have you, dear readers, to thank for what successes I've achieved.  From the bottom of my heart, please know I appreciate you sticking with my writing and thank you immensely for your support and for the encouraging words so many of you have passed along.

Now I'm on to finalizing new goals for 2017.  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cover Reveal - Knock Before You Enter

The story writ.  The release nears.  The cover made.

The cover you ask?

Ah-ha!

Your favorite bartender is headed on vacation - and this time it isn't all handsome hunks and high heels.  More like grumpy gators and a grandmother on the side as Vicki heads to Louisiana for the holidays.

So with neither fanfare nor frolicking and with nary a nudge (okay, maybe a little), catch the first glimpse of the brand new cover for KNOCK BEFORE YOU ENTER, book three in the Bartender Babe Chronicles coming December 15th.



Thursday, November 10, 2016

Catastrophic Coffee New Podcast Episode


Hey, readers!  If you aren't yet aware, I've partnered with fellow author William Brian Johnson to host a podcast on writing and self-publishing - and we've got a new episode posted on D A Bale Publishing.

Click on the Podcast tab up above or HERE for the link to all four episodes thus far, including the most recent Episode 4: Marketing for Idiots, Complete Idiots, No Not You.  Some of the promotional websites we discuss during this episode are referenced below:

Free
www.mybookcave.com

Low Cost
www.readingdeals.com
www.thefussylibrarian.com

Mid Cost
www.ereadernewstoday.com
www.bookgorilla.com
www.booksends.com

High Cost
www.bookbub.com
www.freebooksy.com 

If you like what you hear and have a specific topic you'd like us to pursue, email us at catastrophiccoffee@gmail.com.  Stay tuned for more episodes!

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Halloween Announcement

Happy Halloween!

On this auspicious day of candy and capers, I offer up an announcement guaranteed to rot your brain better than a year of candy bars.

There's a podcast going on.

Yes sirree.  After months of working out the details and tripping over ourselves through the whims of the weather, I've partnered with a fellow writer to put together Coffee and Catastrophe...Writers on a Caffeine High, a podcast on novel writing and the ever-changing realm of indie publishing.  We'll converse about general principles, the important rules of novel writing, my personal experience with many of the marketing websites out there, NaNoWriMo, and what it's really like to visit the Vomitarium.

You read that right - but you'll have to listen to find out more.

If you've visited the site within the past week, you'll notice a new tab at the top labeled Podcasts.  Or you can click on the link HERE and follow the few episodes posted thus far.  Each episode is just under thirty minutes, and the plan is to post new episodes weekly.

So join me and co-host William Brian Johnson as we explore this world of novel writing and self-publishing.  Or just laugh at us as we try to navigate our way through the podcast experience. Either way, we promise a wild and interesting ride.