Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Smashwords vs Amazon for Book Sales Survey

I've decided to conduct a little survey. Call it curiosity. As an indie author, naturally I'm curious which online retailer gives the best sales results.
Some authors sell well on Smashwords, others on Amazon.
The former distributes to other online book retailers, while the latter controls up to 80% of the online retail market. Most ebook readers I know would rather wait for a book to be available on Amazon rather than go to Smashwords.

So authors, help me out here. Tell me which site provides you with the greatest number of sales?
I've placed the survey in the right hand margin.

Happy clicking!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Craft of Writing, Or How to Avoid Those Dreaded POVs, Adverbs and Purple Prose!

Writers write. Right? (excuse the pun) But, how often do we get that first important draft of our current WIP down on paper (or on our PC screens), re-read it and it sounds like crap?
Did I really use those many adverbs that simply weren't necessary?
How did I manage to mixup those POV's? My character had their eyes closed, so how did they know what another was doing at the time? (They may be cluey, but omniscient??)

Oh, and here's another unintentional disembodied body part floating across my screen!
          "Her legs unwittingly led her out the door, and his eyes followed after her."  
Ouch, not only is that painful for my characters (who'd like to keep all their body parts in tact), but it reads oddly.What it should say is:
          "As she walked out the door, his gaze followed after her."

And, where did that passive voice come from? Did I just write: "I was sitting on the sofa, staring out the window"? Noooo... It should be: 'I sat on the sofa, and stared out the window." Active voice sounds much better.

Here I am, showing and and not telling!   
Infodump anyone?

How easily these mistakes can slip in undetected and spoil the flow of our story. But then, no first draft ever sprung perfectly formed from the head of a deity - unless of course you're a genius, like Mozart, and they come along only once in a millenium. If you're one of those, well, good luck to you! The rest of use have to write and rewrite until we get it right. Right? Absolutely. Which is why we need to constantly (good adverb) work at improving our skills.
I do that by reading blogs dedicated to writing and editing. And there are many excellent ones I subscribe to which help me hone my craft.

Here are my favourite four.  I'm sure there are others out there I haven't yet discovered.

1. Janice Hardy  (Brilliant all-round blog on the craft of being a writer)
2. Kristen Lamb's Blog  (I love just about anything she writes! Fabulous and informative)
3. Romance University  (Janice Hardy contributes to this site, as do a host of other experienced writers. They share the best tips on improving your writing that's not exclusive to romance writers)
4. Donya Lynne  (Author and expert on the craft of being a writer)

So, that's it for this week. If anyone knows any other sites, please share it here. The more we know, the better writers we'll be and our readers will thank us for it.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Bloodgifted. The Ebook Is Out.

It's taken months, but my debut novel, Bloodgifted, has finally made it onto its first online retailer - Smashwords. Although my official release date is still several weeks away, it's nice that it's already available to buy for those who'd like to purchase an early copy. Just click on the link above.
But, until then, I'll be posting a series of promo pics featuring lines and extracts from Bloodgifted in, what I'm calling, my "Bloodgifted Banners," little teasers to raise the appetite and introduce readers to the characters in my book.
And, here's my first one.

Let me know what you think. Does it work?
And for those who purchase the ebook before the release date, will have the chance to pick a favourite line and I'll include it on the next Bloodgifted Banner.
Happy Reading!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Interview and New Release Date for Bloodgifted

I've just been interviewed by the incredibly talented, Lindsay J Pryor, author of the dystopian Blackthorn series, over on The Hot Pink Typewriter.
Thanks, Linds.
The interview was meant to coincide with the release date of my debut novel, Bloodgifted, the first of a series I've entitled, The Dantonville Legacy.
Unfortunately, my release date had to be extended as I found a typo on the back cover. Grrr! It's a pain in the proverbial butt, but (funny how two "buts/butts" can have totally different meanings?) I'd rather my book was released a few weeks later, than have such a glaring error - and in plain sight, too!
Call me a psycho perfectionist perhaps, but as a writer, I want to provide my reader with the best, possible product. That way they'll come back for more.

I should be receiving my proof-copy of Bloodgifted, in the post tomorrow, and right after pressing the "Approve" button at Createspace, the paperback will be available on Amazon within 5-7 days. The e-book will follow three weeks later.
So, there it is.
Publishing my first book has been an amazing experience as well as a steep learning curve. At least I'll know what NOT TO DO, with my next one.
Meanwhile, I'm 50,000 words into book 2 of the series -  Bloodpledge - and hope to have it completed by the end of October (if I stick to my goal of 1K/day).

A big thank you to all my family and friends who've patiently waited for this book to finally be out there. The end is nigh!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Summer Sunshine - In the Middle of Winter!

I've been blog tagged by the lovely and talented Lindsay J Pryor for the Summer Sun Award this week. Does it matter that I live in the southern hemisphere and it's the middle of winter? Nope!
So, this is how it goes -
I display the logo and link back to the blog of the person who nominated me. Then I answer the following summery questions before nominating other lucky bloggers. Then I must tell those lucky ones and name and display their blog link.

The questions…
Favourite song with summer in the title or the words (give the line)

A Summer Place, although strictly it's a movie theme. But, I've always loved the melody. It reminds me of sand dunes, beach-side bungalows and listening to waves crashing on the shore.

Favourite book about summer

Now this one took some thought, and drew me back to my teenage years! It has to be the Anne of Green Gables books. They're all set on sunny Prince Edward Island in Canada.

Favourite hot summer film

Donovan's Reef. It's become a summer ritual in my family. Every January, we watch that film while sipping on banana coconut smoothies!

Favourite summer memory

Spending summer holidays with my cousins in the Hunter Valley - fishing for yabbies in the river  and climbing trees.

Favourite summer holiday destination

The north coast of New South Wales. It's a place of inlets and hidden coves and some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Why would I want to go anywhere else?

What books will be in your suitcase this summer?

Well, Lindsay J Pryor's, Blood Torn, as well as Gena Showalter's latest release, The Darkest Craving.

What’s your likely destination this summer?

I only live seven minutes drive from the beach, on the Central Coast. It's also known as the Holiday Coast. No need to go anywhere else!

What hottie would you most like to be sharing the hot days and long nights with this summer?

Mmmm, decisions, decisions...  If I had my pick of hotties, top of the list would definitely have to be Chris Hemsworth. Yum! And, he's Aussie, too!

And it’s nomination time…

This is always the hard part as my list of blogger friends is still growing. But, here's who I'd love to nominate, and who are guaranteed to interest.

Dionne Lister

Clarissa Cartharn