The New Novel Is Called…
The Cold, Bending Light
The Cold, Bending Light is one of those projects that was in production for a long time. When I recently looked at the source file, the creation date was surprising. Early 2015! Although I can’t say it was being written the entire time, I can tell you it’s conception began around then.
A form was taking shape. Notes were being made. Research was being done. Eventually, a rather extensive outline came into being. After that, I began to breathe life into a story close to my heart.
The Cold, Bending Light is a novel that wasn’t easy to write, but I’m glad I did. It’s gone through the betas and editor, and all of you will be able to nab your copy very soon.
Stay tuned right here, because the next few days will bring more information about the novel, such as the official cover art from Hillhouse Graphic Design!
Monsoon Morning has officially been released! To celebrate my release event, I’m offering the book at a discounted price on Amazon! I’m really excited to find out what all of you think of Selena’s new adventure!
Want a little bit of insight into the books creation? Sure you do. Here you go!
Even though this book takes place after the events of Runaway Train and The Truth About Alex, it was written before either of those were even thought of. This is an unusual step for me, but there was a method to my madness.
You see, about five years ago I made the decision to stop writing science fiction and focus my literary efforts on a different genre. My wife recommended mystery, so I went with it. As the story developed, I took countless notes and began researching. I even befriended a medical examiner who helped me with some of the technical details. After it was completely written, I had another idea.
I should introduce Selena Marrenger to audiences in a separate story, a short novella. The Runaway Train was released, and was pretty successful as far as novellas go. Sure, some folks out there considered the short length to be a fault of the book, but I knew that it’s length was completely intentional. What followed almost immediately after was another novella, a story close to my heart, The Truth About Alex. With it, I wanted to tell a larger story within the restraints of novella form, and have the emotional impact that I tried to achieve with Monsoon Morning. Both novellas were separate stories, different cases, but gave you insight into Selena’s growth as a character.
Now that Monsoon Morning is finally released, I hope that all of you will now have a more rounded experience with Montana Marrenger, and will continue to follow her, case by case, as she pieces together the puzzle of her past.
Grab Your Copy Of Monsoon Morning Today!
There are a lot of indie authors out there who have written a book, published it through KDP, and have been sitting back waiting for the money to roll in. After a few months, they most likely come to the realization that it’s not quite that simple. If it were, I’m sure that most of us would be napping within piles of gold like Smaug the Stupendous. Unless you are capable of leveling entire towns in order to get people to take notice of your book, it’s going to take a little bit more effort. Writing a book is only half of the work.
Do you have a website? If not, I hightly recommend that you remedy that. People want to stay up to date with what you have to offer, especially if they liked your book.
Do you have a newsletter? This one, I admit, I’m guilty of not having for quite a while. A newsletter is a great way to spread the word about your book and upcoming titles, as well as offering your readers a chance to get a little something extra. It could be sample chapters, or free ebook copies. You will want your reader to be engaged.
Do you have other books planned? Speaking of keeping your readers engaged, writing a book series will keep them around a lot longer than a single book would. Be sure to include excerpts at the end of your first book, or make them aware that there’s more to come.
Do you use social media? Sure you do! You wrote a book, and you have every right to shout it out to the world! Let everyone know! Don’t be shy about it. I can’t tell you how many awesome people I’ve met through social media just because they found my books enjoyable.
Are you enrolled in Kindle Select? There are some authors out there who swear they will never offer their book for free no matter what. That’s fine, they can do whatever they want to. However, if you’re a newly published Indie author with your first book on the market, I highly recommend enrolling that book into Kindle Select. Utilize it’s free promotional periods to boost sales of your work. Don’t worry so much about paying other companies to advertise your book just yet, wait until you have a few more out there. If you are writing a series, you will create a funnel effect by advertising your first book for free every once in a while. Eventually, enough people will have your book that Amazon will start selling it for you. What I mean by that is the more people download it, the more likely you are to pop up in the wonderful “other readers have also bought” area, and you raise the chances of your sales significantly just by having more out there to offer!
Be Active And Humble This is a big one. Keep readers up to date with intruiging blog posts, make friends and take personal charge of your followers in all of your social media outlets. These people are your fans, and you have the unique opportunity to interact with them! If they buy your book or follow you on social media, be sure to thank them and welcome them! By treating people right, you know, being nice (it’s not that hard) instead of treating people like dollar signs or only talking to them to get something from them, then you are not only making friends but building your following. Plus, you’re proving you are a decent human being.
If you want exclusive content and all kinds of other awesomeness, you have to sign up for my newsletter!
Just in case you didn’t notice, that’s me holding an actual copy of The Truth About Alex! Many of you already know that I prefer ebooks over physical ones. They’re easier to shop for, more economical, and one Kindle can hold a gazillion books on it, which is a lot better than cluttering my house with stacks of novels because I’ve run out of shelf space. None of that means, however, that the appeal of a print edition is completely lost on me. I love the smell of books, and that very special unnamable sensation of holding what you created in your hands.
What I’m holding there is the proof copy of Alex. CreateSpace has a FANTASTIC online proof reviewer, which I did make good use of. It has a 3D cover/back view, and the pages turn and look as close to the real thing as I’m sure is possible. Still, I ordered the proof copy just to see if everything would match what it looked like on my computer screen. It did. So, I went ahead and accepted the proof.
The next step involved assigning distribution channels. I assigned The Truth About Alex to six channels. The first three had to do with distribution through Amazon and it’s various foreign branches. The other three were for availability on CreateSpace directly, as well as national public libraries and academic institutions. No harm in broadening my horizons, right?
The transition to all of these areas, Amazon in particular, can take up to eight days. Within the first few hours, Amazon was picking up my ISBN. A few hours after that, it had a page declaring the book is currently unavailable. Six hours later, it was available for purchase, but the book description was all blocky and wonky. I’m not sure if this is just some overlooked glitch with CreateSpace or not, so I logged into Author Central to change it to something more legible.
Next, I logged into KDP and signed The Truth About Alex up for Kindle Matchbook. That means if someone were to buy the print version of my book (for 8.95) then the Kindle version would be discounted. I chose to make the Kindle version free for anyone who buys the print version.
As far as the price goes, you can change how much you are charging for your book at any time using CreateSpace. I settled on 8.95 due to pricing trends for novellas, a quick search through Amazon showed me what people were charging for books around the same length as Alex.
As of this publication, Amazon has still not displayed the “other format” box on The Truth About Alex’s page. I’ll have to wait a few more days before contacting them, because these things really do take time.
[EDIT] Amazon just now put the “other format” section onto Alex’s page. If you would like to purchase a paperback copy, or pick up the Kindle version, click HERE!
When a reader browses the shelves at a bookstore, they examine book covers, titles, and blurbs in the section of their interest. Readers on Amazon, Kindle owners in particular, will often type phrases or words into the search bar expecting to find a book of interest in the list of results. Independent authors are given the unique opportunity to select up to 7 Amazon keywords to use in hopes of attracting potential readers.
It helps to type in the words or phrases that you want to use in Amazon’s search bar to get a list of suggestions. Another approach would be to simply google your keywords to judge the popularity of the topic. There’s also a more direct method, and it involves putting your keywords IN your book title or subtitle.
Don’t forget that Amazon provides quite a few categories designed to be linked to keyword suggestions. These are separated into genres, with the intention of helping your books sales rank. Here are a few:
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Teen & Young Adult
Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense
Comics & Graphic Novels
For the full list, clicker HERE
The better the keywords, the more places you can show up in the Kindle store, which means better chances that your book will be seen.
These might help to land your book in more obscure categories, and better your chances at hitting more top 100 lists in the future!
My next book has gone through my betas and my editor! Not to mention the cover artwork is nearing completion through the spectacular Hillhouse Graphic Design, LLC. This story has gone through three different drafts, and I’ve enjoyed each of them during the revision process. The first draft was a blast to write. When I originally wrote the story, it was quickly and without reservation or concern about what other people would think. Of course, it wasn’t suitable for anyone but myself to read. Isn’t that what first drafts are for?
The final version of the book is polished and shiny. I can’t wait for you guys to find out what’s in store for Montana Marrenger in this one!
For those of you who are patiently waiting, I hope to have my next novella completely written by the end of this week. No promises are going to be made, no secret handshakes. Sometimes, a tale moves at it’s own pace while writing it. Keeping that in mind, The Truth About Alex is really moving along faster than I had anticipated considering the fact that I’ve had to face the end of my fall semester in school, finals and all.
Does that mean that by the weekend, you will get to join Montana Marrenger on another adventure? Well…almost. The Truth About Alex has to go through my beta readers, proof readers, my spectacular editor C.H. Hart, and of course, the glorious cover design process done by the miraculous Hillhouse Design Inc.
Now, before you go tossing rotten fruit at me, just know that I’m aiming for around Christmas time for The Truth About Alex. If that deadline isn’t met, it will be very soon after, but I’m hoping for Christmas.
Which brings me to another matter. Do you remember that little progress ticker plastered to the side of my website? Yeah, it detailed the progress of Montana Marrenger’s first full length novel, Monsoon Morning, and I’m very excited about it. The novel is completely written, I’m happy to say. There are some things about it that I’m having to go back to and work with. However, I’m aiming to have this novel published by spring of 2015!
Stay tuned, and don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date with all things Montana Marrenger!
Grab Your Copy Right Here!
I’m very happy to announce that The Runaway Train is now available to purchase! Yeah, it’s moved out of that preorder stage and right into the BUY ME NOW stage! Of course, if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, this Montana Marrenger Mystery is absolutely free for you. Not that 99 cents is much of a big deal anyway, right?
What’s that, you say? You don’t have a Kindle? No problem. The wonderful people over at Amazon have a plethora of apps that you can download on your phone, PC, Mac, or Tablet! Seriously, just click here for the Free Kindle Reading App, and you can start reading The Runaway Train in a matter of seconds.
Thank you all for your support! The Runaway Train was a blast to write, and I can’t wait to hear what all of you think of Montana Marrenger’s very first adventure!
I do enjoy first drafts. There’s nothing like hammering out a tale and getting caught up in the whirlwind! Oh, the places they take me! Of course, the reality of the first draft hits once the whirlwind stops and drops you out of the sky. It hurts. Then, it has to undergo surgery. Slice and dice and replace and rearrange, like a madman laughing all the while. Hopefully, something suitable to the masses will emerge from all of the agony.
I am writing The Runaway Train’s first draft in a class that requires me to write at least five pages a week. It really whips me into gear, and demolishes any tiny bit of laziness. One thing, though, is that it’s not the only course I’m taking this semester. With that in mind, sometimes the deadline draws a bit too close for comfort, and I find myself rushing to get the words onto the page. It’s actually quite liberating, albeit a bit panicked. The material actually has to be good because I submit it to a workshop for crits, like a bloody carcass being tossed into a shark tank no doubt, but in actuality, this story is getting quite a bit of positive feedback. I look forward to sharing it with all of you.