Friday, May 29, 2020

The Story of Hollyhocks.

To my dearest friends and followers,

I hope this week finds you well and on the look for something to read...because I am extremely happy to announce that my book is on sale TODAY!!

For anyone who is new here, my book is titled The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1). It is a light fantasy novel with fairies, a unicorn, spirits, a young king, and a murder most foul. The story explores what it is like to be a child again, and the act of growing up - of coming to terms with the world and seeing it for what it is. For more about my story, feel free to check out a few past blog posts:

I would like to share that I have already sold nearly 50 copies of my book, so a HUGE thank you to everyone who purchased one!! Here's a link to Amazon for anyone who would like to make a purchase or check it out. XD
Also, if you do happen to purchase my book on Amazon, I cannot say enough how important it is that you leave a review. It really helps me out and gives other people a chance to see what people like you have said about the book. Your support means so much more than you know.

Thoughts For The Future...
For so long now, my blog has been about my book. I know I've posted on plenty of other topics, but the primary focus has been on what my book is about, what my progress with writing it is, editing it, etc. I've been asking myself the dreaded question, now what?
My book is published, it's available, I will continue to market it, but what can I post about now on a weekly basis? I've been thinking about doing something creative and fun, and I just want to throw out some ideas and hopefully get some feedback from YOU (you can message me through the Contact Form).

So I'm thinking about doing a Book Club online (with my book of course). I know there are good platforms out there for that, but I'm not very familiar with any of them. I would then send out invites, letting a select few of you join. We would have video calls or maybe just audio (depending). Some thoughts and discussions would then be shared to the blog.

OR what I'm thinking I might do is a private video call with someone I know (my husband, or maybe a friend...) and we would read the book out loud, doing maybe a chapter or two every week. Maybe the two of us would then discuss the book and share that to the blog, or maybe I would have an open chat for you (my readers) to share your thoughts. 

Whatever option we go with, I will be sharing the discussions and/or thoughts to the blog. I think it would make for a fun read for those who would not join the book reading/club.

Please let me know your thoughts through the Contact Form!! Also, remember to check out my book on Amazon
Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,

Friday, May 15, 2020

Book Giveaway!

To my dearest friends and followers,

As the title of this blogpost suggests, I am doing my first ever book giveaway!!
The book is The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1) written by me. XD
It will be available for purchase on May 29th, but I will be sending it to the winner before that date!!
Let's get started...

About the book.
The year is 1483, and Hollyhocks is a sprite without a care to be had. The Forest is her home. It protects her, and all the other fairies, in the Invisible World behind the veil. Oh how she longs to be on the other side of the veil, to be seen by those wonderful creatures - humans.

When Hollyhocks is given the opportunity to make her dream reality, she steps into the magical world of mankind in a time when Edward V is about to be crowned. But is the world beyond all that it seems? Is it as beautiful as she thinks it is?

In my own words and why someone may be interested in it:
The Story of Hollyhocks is a fantastical story of fairies and humans. It is loosely based around the events of young King Edward V. It is filled with fairy lore, and vivid details that bring the story to life.
At it's core, I believe the book is about the beauty of childhood innocence. It is also about growing up and coming to terms with the good and evil in the world. It is about friendship and going through hardships, but learning to overcome those and to keep living.
The book is appropriate for young adult readers, anyone above the age of 13. I believe it would also be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone who loves fantasy, fairies, and historical fiction (especially the medieval period).

How to enter.
It's pretty simple. All you have to do is click below >> a Rafflecopter giveaway 
It will walk you through the steps of what to do and exactly how to enter. Basically, all you have to do is follow me on Twitter, and tweet "I entered". It's easy. XD I will then be choosing the winner at random 1 week from today.

I have the right to end the giveaway at any time. I will notify the winner after the giveaway closes via Twitter DM's. The winner has 48 hours to contact me unless otherwise stated. I will select a new winner after the 48 hour period expires if no one responds. If under the age of 18, parent consent is needed to enter the giveaway/claim the prize. No cheating will be allowed whatsoever. Your personal information will remain private and will be deleted after the prizes have been rewarded. It will only be used to verify entries and contact a winner. It will not be sold or be given away. Once a winner claims their prize, I will announce the winner on the giveaway post. Only US entries will be accepted.

Thank you so much!!

Yours truly,

Friday, May 8, 2020

The Cost Of Publishing.

To my dearest friends and followers,

I can't believe it's been exactly one week since my book was published!!
If you'd like to learn more about my book, click here. You can also pre-order it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!!

So, this week I want to talk about the cost of publishing. I'm sure everyone who publishes a book will find that these numbers are not exact, depending on who you publish through and how you decide to go about it, but I want to share my experience and show just how expensive or inexpensive self-publishing can be.
Several weeks ago, I wrote about my journey in choosing a publisher and why I chose IngramSpark. You can read about that here: Publishing with IngramSpark.

Setting up my book.
After I wrote my book, which I typed out in OpenOffice, it was time to format it. I had to use Adobe InDesign, as IngramSpark required that I do so. The cost is 20.99usd a month. I payed for 1 month and was able to format my book with the help of a YouTube tutorial.
I then made the decision to purchase my own ISBN through Bowker, instead of using the one IngramSpark provided. This is because Bowker is cheaper in the long run (since I plan on writing several books). IngramSpark provides 1 ISBN per book, each at 85usd. I spent 295usd for 10 ISBN's, making them each 29.5usd. Since I am doing a print and ebook, I spent 59usd for two ISBN's.

Designing the cover.
In the early days of writing my book, I wanted to design it myself. However, once I had finished writing it, I wanted to hire someone to design the cover. In the end, I designed it and created it all myself. The actual art, I created using watercolor and pens. As for the editing of the photo and the font, I used Canva and BeFunky. I spent 12.99usd to use Canva, and 6.99usd to use BeFunky. I also spent 1.00usd on a graphic design. Once I had uploaded the cover to InDesign, I spent another 13.00usd on the font I wanted, which I purchased from Creative Market.

Uploading my book to IngramSpark.
So, in choosing IngramSpark (IS) I knew that it would be more expensive than some other publishers out there (like Amazon). I was ok with this, simply because IS distributes the book to brick and mortar sellers, which is extremely limited when publishing with KDP. I knew I wanted to be in stores.
 The cost of uploading a book with IS is 49usd. Luckily, this was one cost I got to avoid, as I used a promo code that offered free title uploads.

Proof Copies.
Once it seemed that my book was complete, I ordered a proof copy which cost me 37.01usd. Granted, I payed for rush print and shipping. XD
Anyhow, I ended up having to upload new revised files. It costs 25usd for each upload!! Again, IS had a promo code for free revisions, so it didn't cost me anything. I then ordered another proof copy, which was another 37.01usd. I didn't order anymore proof copies after that, but I did submit several revised files, each with the promo code, so I never had to pay for it.

Once my book is actually on sale on May 29th (right now, it's only available for pre-orders), I want to have it featured in IngramSpark's catalog, which gets sent to a number of retailers and libraries. It costs 85usd per catalog. I might have my book featured in the "Advance Catalog", since it is a work of fiction, but also in the "Christian Advance Catalog", since it is written by a Christian author and has some Christian themes in the story. That would cost me 170usd for both catalogs.
Something else I want to include in the cost is, once my book became available for pre-orders, I ordered 20 copies to give away and to have on hand. That cost me 130.96usd.

The total.
To make things a little bit easier, I listed each cost that I have made and then put the total:
Adobe InDesign: 20.99usd
ISBN: 29.5usd
ISBN: 29.5usd
Canva: 12.99
Canva design: 1.00usd
BeFunky: 6.99
Creative Market: 13.00usd
Proof Copy: 37.01
Proof Copy: 37.01usd
Large Order: 130.96usd
Total: 318.95usd

There are cheaper options out there, but honestly, IS is definitely on the cheaper side of things as far as self-publishing goes. It really just depends on what you're looking for and what kind of services you want, how you market your book, etc.

I hope this was helpful or at least interesting. XD
Thank you so much for reading and don't forget to check out my book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!!

Yours truly, 

Friday, May 1, 2020

A Book For May Day.

To my dearest friends and followers,

It's been one crazy week!!
I was going to publish my book The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1) last week, on the 24th. However, that didn't happen, as I stated in my blog post last week, due to several issues concerning my account with IngramSpark. 
Thankfully, all of those issues have been worked out!!

Yesterday I downloaded the final eproof. After one last inspection by me, I was able to approve the book and enable it for distribution!! My book is being published TODAY!! It took an extra week than I initially thought, but it's happening!! It's kind of fitting I suppose. I can't think of a better way to celebrate May Day. XD
I am really excited and nervous all at once though. This project has taken me years to complete, and it's finally about to be shared with EVERYONE.

I would like to point out, that it could take a few days or a few weeks for it to appear on Amazon. At that point, my book will be available for pre-orders. The sale date is May 29th. Hopefully next week, I'll have the link to share with you, my faithful readers. Keep a look out on social media too if you like, as I'll be posting on Twitter and Facebook when the book is available. XD

The next few things I'll be working on are putting my book on KDP as an ebook, and marketing.
I actually sort of started with the ebook. Let me say, I am NOT impressed with KDP or Kindle Create.
Kindle Create is, to my understanding, Amazon's / KDP's (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform for authors to format books published through them. It's extremely basic and really easy to use, but for me, that's a problem. It's almost too basic, no, it IS too basic. There are close to no options. Only four options for chapter headings, only three fonts to choose from...
I have watched several videos of people using Kindle Direct, and each person is doing the exact same thing, which makes me think, wow, the options really are limited. I'm really disappointed. It's possible I'm not using it right. It's possible there are more options, but if there are, they're hard to find.

I am going to continue with it and publish the e-version of my book through them. Maybe I'll learn a thing or two about using the platform and I won't be so disappointed.
As it stands though, if I was going to publish another book, I would just do the paperback and ebook through IngramSpark.

Anyhow, I'll stop complaining now. XD
I just wanted to give you all an update and to let you know that my book is almost available to you!!!!!!!!
Next week, I think I'll be posting about the cost of publishing with IngramSpark, so if that's something you're interested in, please make sure you read that. 
Thank you so much!!

Yours truly,

More about my book:
The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1)