Thursday, March 29, 2018

Baby Steps to Publishing

The second season of my podcast Coffee and Catastrophe is underway.  You can check out both season one and the current posted episodes of season two by clicking the Podcast tab above.

As many of you know, I started spending a lot of time on KBoards toward the end of 2016 as I tried to wade through the ever-changing world of marketing for indie books.  Lately I've been seeing a ton of posts by newbie authors asking about what they need to do since finishing their first manuscript.

So this season Brian and I are focusing on talking about various insights into the self-publishing realm.  The latest episode 2.3: Baby Steps to Publishing offers an overview of the steps newbie authors need to take when they prepare for self-publishing that first book.  Since Brian and I tend to yak a lot in between each step, I'm posting the list we discussed below.

1.  Write Your Book - make it the very best it can be

2.  Edit, Edit, and Edit Some More - from self-editing methods to proofing and developmental

3.  Develop a Team of Beta Readers - find people who will give you helpful, solid, and specific feedback

4.  Set Up Website/Blog/Social Media/Mailing List - limit social media initially to what you can keep up with on a regular basis, but be sure to create a mailing list link so readers can sign up for new releases

5.  Get a Professional-Looking, Genre Appropriate Cover - strong legible fonts readable in thumbnail, avoid busyness, and avoid too much flat black

6.  Decide Where You're Going To Sell Your Book - will you stick to one site (KU?), use an aggregator, or go all in wide
- www.kdp.amazon.com
- press.barnesandnoble.com
- www.writinglife.kobobooks.com
- download iTunes Producer
- aggregators www.smashwords.com or www.draft2digital.com

7.  Select Keywords and Categories - study your genre and choose up to 10 keywords and 2 genre classification categories

8.  Prep Front and Back Matter - your formatted manuscript will need a table of contents, legal disclaimers, cover artist information, author bio, dedication, acknowledgements, and a link to that mailing list you've created

9.  Develop an ARC team - don't know what that is, then listen to the podcast

10. You'll have to listen to the podcast to find out this all-important last step

Be sure and listen in to podcast 2.2 on how to avoid scams and scammers.  They're rife in the indie world, so make sure you're prepared for how to deal with them - 'cause you WILL have to deal with them.

Until next time, happy reading!



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Love and Romance??

'Tis the season for love and romance.

Sadly, it's something I'm not very good at as a writer.  Countless times I've been told I should write romance, that romance is where the real income is, that romance is the easiest genre to write.

I've never been very good at taking the easy way.

But I love what I write.  It's what I read!  A good mystery will keep me up reading for hours, figuring out who did it and why.  A thriller full of explosions and the clock winding down to Armageddon gets my heart pumping the way a sex scene just can't (I know, I know - TMI).

Still, from time-to-time I do think about the possibilities of adding yet another genre to my repertoire.  Yet I just can't seem to wrap my brain around what kind of characters or plot a romance would take - at least one coming from my mind.  Every time I start putting together the possibilities of who, what, where, when, and why, I get stuck on the how.  I'll come up with a couple of characters and a basic idea, and then it inevitably turns into a mystery that must be solved, with the accompanying murder, mayhem, and all-around madness I tend to put my characters through in my stories.

I give up.

As an author, you constantly hear the phrase write what you know.  I guess romance isn't something I know much about.  After spending my younger years raising my son, working more than full-time, and then starting on a new career path at middle-age, dating and romance rarely entered my field of vision.  Now?

Fugettaboutit!

These days it's all about family and friends - and readers like you, of course.  Love comes in many forms, even when there is no romance involved.  Love isn't flowers you may get once a year.  It isn't about a fancy dinner at a ridiculously expensive restaurant.  Chocolate?

Okay, that's a different story.

But love is grasping that tiny hand to keep a child safe.  It's a shoulder available for a good cry whenever needed.  A phone call in the middle of the night that sends you rushing out the door in spite of the circumstances.  Trying to sleep in a chair beside a hospital bed - and failing.  A home-cooked meal to say I've been thinking of you.  A difficult, but necessary, conversation.  Holding a withered hand as a soul is escorted from this life.

And doing your darnedest to write what your readers love.

So on this Valentine's Day, I may not have a romance novel to share with you, but that doesn't stop me from sharing my heart with each book I write.  Thanks so much for reading.

Kisses!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Happy New Year Overview

Let me be the first to wish you a Happy New Year!

Hmmm...maybe not the first.

Second?

Nuh-uh.

Third?

Probably not.

Well regardless, just hope your New Year is shaping up to be smashing.

Things are moving along here at DA Bale Publishing in 2018.  I'm hard at work on AIM BEFORE YOU SHOOT, the fifth book in the Bartender Babe Chronicles, and things are about to get hairy for your favorite heroine.  There are just some things you can't take back - no matter how long you stand in the return line after Christmas.  But don't worry!  It'll all come together with Vicki's blend of snark mixed with a little humor to make all those boo-boos better.

After that, I'll be wrapping up the BBC with the sixth and final book before yearend, which for an author will be here before we know it.  I hope you'll stay tuned for the turmoil in SHOOT BEFORE YOU BLINK.

Then at some point (haven't decided when) I'm going to introduce a new series to you.  Yes, that's right.  I'm writing a sci-fi space opera adventure as a homage to that dearly departed-too-soon television series Firefly.  The thing I loved about that show wasn't the technology or military tactics but the camaraderie of this simple band of misfit characters, and that's what I hope to highlight in my upcoming new series The Outliers.

And for all of you thriller lovers out there, I've been percolating a new idea for the past year now and have the opening chapter written out to start a new thriller series.  It's still in its infancy, but if all goes well this year, I hope to invest a bit more time in that one too.  No titles or series names at present, but once I finish the BBC series and get at least the rough draft of the second book in The Outliers finished, I'll probably delve into this one more deeply.

Lastly you can check out the interview I did with author JD Core on his Thrills and Mystery podcast just before Christmas by clicking HERE.  It's a little over thirty minutes long, but we sure had some fun and laughs, though I think I scared him at times.

I seem to have that affect on people.

Then before I forget, this is the last day for a big ninety-nine cent ebook sale with my fellow author Renee Pawlish.  She puts so much effort into organizing this every month, and this time I'm participating by offering DIE BEFORE YOU WAKE for only ninety-nine cents.  But hurry, because these offers are here and gone like Christmas.  Just click HERE to browse the wonderful array of ebooks and find your new favorite indie author today.

So now I lift a glass to you, my dear readers.  Thank you for a wonderful 2017, and here's hoping we'll have a great time together in 2018.  Cheers!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Free - My Favorite Four-Letter Word


Ah free, my favorite four-letter word.

If you're like me and love free books, take a gander at a great collection of free mystery and thriller ebooks offered this weekend.  Many thanks to Renee Pawlish for putting this promo together - and allowing me to participate!

To take advantage of these freebies, click on the link HERE and enjoy a selection of some of the best the indie author community has to offer.  Looks like there's something for everyone.

But get 'em quick!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Days Away From New Release

We're days away from the September 18th release of DIE BEFORE YOU WAKE, the fourth book in the Bartender Babe Chronicles.

You won't want to miss this new chapter in the Vicki Bohanan saga.  As a bonafide legal investigator now, Vicki's struggling with early mornings, co-workers questioning her mental mettle (and her ability to adhere to the dress code), and a forensic instructor who's hot on her tail.

This is Vicki, after all.

Things only get more interesting when her first case brings out the ghosts of her past - and the claws.

And I'm not talking her furry feline Slinky.

So dive in soon - and while you can get the ebook for $2.99.  October 1st, books two through four in the series will rise in price to $3.99 each.

Pick up DIE BEFORE YOU WAKE at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or your online retailer of choice where ebooks are sold.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Bards and Sages eFestival

Hello again, dear readers!

Just a quick note this early morning to remind you I'll be participating in the Bards and Sages eFestival of Words this weekend.  This is an interactive, online festival where you can learn about some up-and-coming authors in the indie-publishing community.

I'll be participating in two panel discussions on Friday the 25th and a Q&A on Saturday the 26th.  The first panel I Only Kill People on Paper will be from 1:00 to 2:00 CDT and the second The Good, The Bad, and The Ridiculous: Female Protagonists in Modern Literature will be from 3:00 to 4:00 CDT.  My Q&A session will be on Saturday from 12:30 to 1:00 CDT, where you can have your questions answered by yours truly.

To participate, all you need to do is click HERE and sign up for the festival or get more information.  All discussions will be in interactive chat format to make it easy, but you do have to have a login to participate.

Come join the fun and learn things you never knew you wanted to know!

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.