Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ozarks Indie Book Fest in One Week - Plus a Ticket Sale

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today, let's talk about OIBF! Eep! Get your clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!

Ozarks Indie Book Fest is having its inaugural event starting on Thursday, October 19, 2017, and running through Sunday, October 22, 2017!


There's a ton of awesome stuff planned, and you can find the full schedule on the OIBF website here. See any names you recognize on there?

Of course you do!

Our weekend will kick off with a keynote speech by the one and only Christina Benjamin, and then the fun shall begin with treasure hunt fliers being passed out! This treasure hunt includes several of the attending authors, and readers will get to seek out the authors during the signings, Friday and Saturday, and quiz them to find out what to put on the paper. A huge gift basket full of goodies is up for grabs.

Saturday opens with a keynote speech from the always awesome BJ Sheldon before readers swarm the signing hall!

Want to be one of those readers?

Use the code oibf2017
on this link for $15 off a two-day ticket! 

That's right, two day passes are just $20! With the single day passes being $10, and no t-shirt or bag being included, this is one HELL of a steal. With your twenty bucks, you get entry into the keynote speeches, all the panels, entry into the signing hall, entry into the Saturday night awards program, and both of these goodies:



That bag is FULL of alllll kinds of author stuff. Wow, am I right?

Plus, you get to listen to my keynote speech Saturday morning, and you'll get to come to the princess party Friday evening from 5-6:30pm! Three of the War and Pieces ~ Frayed Fairy Tale authors will be there! We have a ton of cool games and prizes for you all.

At the awards, you can dress up as your favorite book character. That's right, it's a COSTUME PARTY! Huzzah! So very fun, and so close to Halloween, you can reuse your costume to go trick-or-treating just a week and a half later.

You know you wanna come, so get to clicking that link!

Drop a comment in below if you're coming and will see me, and I'll have a special prize waiting for you at my table. ;)

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Utterances Available for Pre-order Soon!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! So, last week was all jacked up. I had a blog post I started on Wednesday, and I got so into my own head, I quit writing it and just stared at it until today--when I deleted it and decided to post this instead. Don't ask. There's certainly more of that tendency to dwell or hem and haw over a blog post than a novel for me. *shrugs* I have no idea why. Might be because I want to bring you all things that are relevant and helpful. Anyway, today, I'm gonna give you the release date for my upcoming book and rehash all the details I've provided so far (including excerpts).

Ready? Let's get going!


Title: Utterances
Author: Jo Michaels
Genre: Paranormal Coming-of-Age
Length: 77k words
Release Date: 12/10/2017 (will be $2.99)
Pre-order date: 10/13/2017 (will be $0.99)

Blurb:
Simone spent the last two years by her cancer-ridden mother’s bedside. Taking care of her was the number one priority. When Mom suddenly goes into full remission, Simone is left bobbing in an unfamiliar ocean with a young man named Tristan. What happens next is the stuff of fairy tales—and nightmares.

Shocking, heart-wrenching, and insightful, Utterances will make you question everything you thought you knew about self-sacrifice. Award-winning author Jo Michaels pulls reality and the paranormal together in a way never before seen, intensely examining what we call the human condition by diving into the innermost workings of one young lady’s mind.

Sneak Peeks (unedited):

Prologue

“…and they lived happily ever after.” Simone closed the book and lifted her eyes to her mother’s still form.
Frail.
Deathly white and blue.
Breathing shallow and erratic.
Tubes sprouted from her arms and neck, and the machines in the room kept up a steady beeping as though trying to create a beautiful melody amid the morbidity of the place.
Yvette was going to die. After fighting so long, the cancer eating her once vibrant body would complete its deadly feast and release her from the pain.
Simone’s eyes watered, and she stood to leave for the evening, eager to wash off the antiseptic scent clinging to her clothes and hair. Carefully, she placed the book of fairy tales in her bag, whispered a promise of something better to read next time as she kissed her mother on the forehead, and shut the door softly.

Chapter 1

Banging ensued as bags were carried through the door and dropped in the foyer on the threadbare mat. Yvette spun around with her arms extended, nearly knocking photos off the walls. “It’s so good to be home.”
Simone laughed. “It’s good to have you home.”
They embraced, and the woman kissed the top of her daughter’s head. “I never thought I’d see this musty old apartment again, that’s for sure.” “Me either.”
Sniffling, Yvette let go, took a step back, and put her hands on her hips. “I forgot how dismal it is. At least you managed to keep it clean.”
“Of course I did. I’m not a slob. You raised me better than that.” Simone winked and pulled two slim, red, plastic containers out of her purse. “How about you get the movies ready while I order the pizza.”
While her mother danced and whistled her way across the living room, Simone carried the bags down the hall, put them in the master bedroom, and slipped into her own room, shutting the door behind her. Carefully, she pulled the old book out of her bag and ran her fingers over the infinity symbol’s embossed edges. She then slipped the thick tome under her pillow before picking up the phone and dialing the pizza parlor’s number.
When she made it back to the couch, twenty minutes later, dressed in yoga pants and a tank top, she was much more relaxed.
Yvette patted the cushion. “Sit by me. Did you get the pizza ordered?”
Simone nodded as she plopped down and stuck her bare feet on the coffee table.
Her mother frowned.
“What?”
“Have you been putting your nasty toes on my table the whole time I’ve been gone?”
“Mom. Come on. Don’t start on me the first day you’re home.”
One side of her mouth wrinkled back into her cheek a moment before she softened and patted her daughter’s knee. “Okay. You’re right. I shou—”
A knock at the door interrupted the moment.
“I’ll get it. You pour the drinks!” Yvette was off the couch in a fluid movement, ponytail swinging as she bounced toward the entryway.
Simone sighed before pushing off the cushions and heading for the kitchen. As she filled two glasses with ice, tendrils of panic weaved their way up her spine. She checked to make sure her mother was occupied before running down the hall and shoving a hand beneath the pillow, feeling for the book’s leather-bound edges. Satisfied it was there, Simone snuck back up the hall to continue her task—her mind still attached to the feeling of the book on her fingers.

Chapter 14

When the doc finally left, he was as white as his coat and moving fast.
Simone sat on the floor and watched as the fabric billowed in the breeze.
“Alexandra, honey?”
“Yes ma’am! Coming!”
Mrs. Shandy smiled. “Oh, good. I thought you’d done gone and left me!”
“No way, no how. We have a story to finish.” Simone dropped back in the chair, opened the book to where she’d left off, and continued.
That afternoon, she left a little early, with three chapters done, and decided to go to Tristan’s house to surprise him. On her way to Shady Pines, she’d texted him, but hadn’t said she had the evening off. After checking her makeup in the mirror—a new addition to her wardrobe thanks to Mom saying how tired and old her daughter looked, she started the engine and shifted into reverse.
It was twenty minutes before she got to his house, and she started to second-guess herself on the way up the driveway. He’d been off school that day, and she hadn’t pestered him to hang out. If he found out she’d been off work…
His truck was in the driveway, so she parked behind it and got out, suddenly nervous.
As she moved toward the door, she kicked herself for being impulsive. He was sure to ask questions she didn’t have answers to. She knocked three times and waited, a cold sweat breaking out on her forehead and palms.
He opened the door, his eyes got wide, and he stepped out, keeping hold of the handle. “Hey. What are you doing here? I thought you had to work.”
“Well, I knew you were out of school and had the day off work today, so I thought I’d drop by and surprise you.” She smiled, but her hackles rose. Something about the situation wasn’t quite right, yet she couldn’t put her finger on what.
Rather than pull her into a hug, he closed the door and grabbed her arm, guiding her off the porch toward her car. “How about I come to your house in a little while?”
“Um, why can’t we hang out here?” It was getting weirder, and he was being pretty obvious about wanting her to leave.
“My, uh, mom isn’t feeling well, and I wasn’t expecting company.”
She jerked her arm out of his grasp, turned, and sprinted toward the house, throwing open the front door and rushing in, looking everywhere. He was half a step behind her, yelling at her to stop.
A gorgeous, long-legged brunette with barely any clothes on was passed out on the couch, whisky bottle still in her hand. There was only one word to describe her: flawless.
Simone stared, her mouth dropping open. Every fiber of her being went into shock then flew into blind rage. Her world tinted blood red. She rounded on Tristan, spit at him, and bolted.
Words were being shouted at her, but all she could hear was the fury screaming at her to leave and not come back. Ever. Once in the car, she jammed the key into the ignition, turned, shoved the car in reverse, and spun around in a perfect one-eighty. Tears gathering in her eyes made the driveway blurry, but she managed, somehow, to make it to the base of the hill before she had to pull over.
There was another driveway about fifty feet up the road on the opposite side, covered with a lush growth of leafy branches that would hide her car, so she gunned the accelerator and pulled up far enough to avoid being seen. Once sure no one had followed or seen her, she shut off the engine and curled into herself, letting the tears loose. She cried, she screamed, and she beat the steering wheel with her palms until they hurt.

~~~~~~~~~~ End excerpts ~~~~~~~~~

What do you think? Are you excited yet?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What the Hell is an Author Platform, Anyway?

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today, we're gonna talk about that little thing called an author platform. Everyone uses the term, but few take the time to tell you exactly what it is and how to build it. Well, I'll rectify that! Get your coffee or tea, and let's get going!

When you think of a platform, you think of something you can stand on, right? Either to get a better look or to boost you up, support you. It's the same when referring to an author platform; only for authors, this also entails reach, or how loud your voice is in the social sphere.

Your platform is that which you may climb upon and scream a message to the masses that gets heard. Obscure sites don't really count when you're calculating reach--unless those obscure sites have rabid book fans that belong to you and you alone.

Social media sites, personal websites, blogs, and newsletters all add up to author platform, but a couple have more impact for you personally. Here's an example:
  1. Twitter--4k followers
  2. IG--13k followers
  3. Blog--2k subscribers
  4. Website--200 visitors per day
  5. Newsletter--20k subscribers
  6. Quora--2k followers
  7. Facebook Page (public)--4k likes
  8. Facebook Page (personal)--3k friends
  9. LinkedIN--300 connections
  10. Google Plus--2k connections
  11. YouTube Channel--150 subscribers
Now, you're probably looking at that and saying, "Wow. That's an amazing catch of numbers at around 105k!" You'd be right, but let's break it down further. Out of those followers, subscribers, and connections, how many people actually engage with your content?
  1. Twitter--5 to 10
  2. IG--50-60
  3. Blog--20-30
  4. Website--2-4
  5. Newsletter--100-200
  6. Quora--2-4
  7. Facebook Page (public)--2-5
  8. Facebook Page (personal)--20-30
  9. LinkedIN--1-3
  10. Google Plus--2-5
  11. YouTube Channel--50-70
That hit pretty hard, huh? On the lowest number, that took you to 254. Out of 105k. Well, you can break that down even further when you look at sales generated from each method. IG has high likes, but how many true sales?

Your bottom line number is your true platform. For every comment, click through to buy, share, plus one, like, or question asked, that's an engagement, but not a sale. You can't simply count opens of a newsletter--it needs to produce clicks. That's where the value of your platform lies.

As you can see, you need a HUGE platform to get enough sales to make a difference. This is why cross-author promotion is so helpful--but it only helps if your base platform and theirs are interested in the same genre. Imagine doubling or quadrupling those numbers above.

I know, right?

Anyway, I hope this helps to clear some of the fog off that vague "platform" term. When an agent asks about your platform, they wanna know how loud your voice is--they're looking for that second set of numbers.

What number would you say your platform is at?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, September 25, 2017

Pre-Formatting Your Book - The Dos and Don'ts Your Formatter Wants You to Know

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'll be talking about something that not many folks discuss: How you should format your word document before you send it off to your formatter for typesetting and digital readiness. Ready? Grab your coffee or tea, a notebook and pen, and let's get going!

I'm just gonna hit you with a couple of lists. Easy peasy.

DOS
  • Use "normal" style always.
  • Add some indicator when creating a scene break (most authors I work with use *** for this).
  • Keep it simple. If there's a place you'd like a photo, don't embed it, mark the spot and include the photo with the manuscript.
  • Everything set in one font, and don't use anything that's not standard on a computer. I suggest Times New Roman in 12pt.
  • Use paragraph styles for your indents.
  • Include a title page, copyright page with all relevant info, and author bio page at the end.
  • Break your pages between chapters ONLY. Use Ctrl (or Cmnd) + Enter (or Return).
  • If you have a section you want set in a special way, note it in BOLD and use [brackets]. Tell your formatter beforehand that it's there. 
  • Title all your chapters the same way (whatever you want the end result to be: Chapter 1, Chapter One, Ch1, etc...).
DON'TS
  • Do not use tabs (see above note on paragraph styles).
  • No LARGE or special fonts. This will get stripped out anyway.
  • Don't hit enter a bunch of times between chapters to force the next one down.
  • Don't just add extra carriage returns between scene breaks. This looks like a mistake and could be removed on accident by your formatter.
  • Nothing fancy. Your MS should just be words on the page.
  • Do NOT use TABS. Yeah, it bears repeating.
  • Don't make assumptions that the formatter will know anything you intended in your head. Give them instructions. Be specific if your book calls for special treatment.
  • No colored fonts, please.
  • No wingdings or emoticons. If you want a smiley, let the formatter know in the email where you attach your manuscript.
If you follow these guidelines, it'll speed up production of your book tenfold. Special things the formatter misses the first time around causes a re-do, and it just leaves you both stressed.

I hope this helps in some small way. Your formatter is there to make your dreams a reality. They're the ones that polish your baby before you show it to your friends, family, and the world. Help them help you!

If you're looking for formatting services, take a gander at IBGW.

Are you guilty of any of these?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, September 22, 2017

Barnes and Noble Yanks Books - Smashwords Offers Solution

Happy Thursday, everyone! Well, what an interesting month it's been, eh? Let's get to the publishing news, just in case you haven't seen it. Strap in, grab your coffee, and let's get going!

Over the last month or so, B&N has pulled several Indie erotica titles off their platform. Authors who were hybrid experienced an interesting effect when their Indie titles dropped off, but their publisher titles stayed up. What are they worried about? Well, if you caught my post from a while back that tackled the subject of what content would be allowed in books, you'll know. If you missed it, take a look here.

So, it seems the taboo topics are under fire. Namely:  Age play, bestiality, dubious consent, incest or pseudo-incest, non-consensual sexual slavery, rape for titillation, underage, snuff, scat, necrophilia.

Some of those have "never" been allowed.

Or have they?

According to the Smashwords blog, few retailers will take incest or pseudo-incest, and iBooks won't take them at all.

I beg to differ. After a quick search on B&N, I found the time-honored (even made into a movie) Flowers in the Attic series. I read that series. Not only do the children locked in the attic (the elder brother and sister) experience a coming-of-age sexual happening, but their mother slept with her uncle to conceive said children (which is why the grandmother wanted the kiddos to disappear). Sorry for the spoiler for those of you that haven't read it and had planned to.

Once I checked that out, I went over to iBooks. Guess what?






Yeah. There it is, but iBooks doesn't take books with incest in them?


By the way, it's also available on Amazon.

Doesn't it seem an awful lot like it's just Indie published books that are being targeted? Why not yank V. C. Andrews' books from those same platforms? If there's a taboo topic, she covered it. I've read several of her series, and MANY of them have incest happening across all arms of the family.

Guess what else? There are no "warnings" of sensitive material on ANY of those.

But JO! Those are referring to EROTICA titles.

Are they? Now, since the Great Blocking of Indies, if your book is erotica or not, you have to say whether you used one of those taboo topics. Yeah, even for sci-fi or paranormal.

HOW IS THAT OKAY? 

Do the publishers get to skirt all that? They do. It's obvious by what I've shown above. I'm positive there are others.

Smashwords is trying to provide a solution for Indies and restore trust with their retailers. Read about it on their latest blog post here, which is where the list of taboo topics above came from.

But, the bottom line is, Smashwords shouldn't have to. It's getting out of hand, and something needs to change.

If you publish fiction with one of the taboo topics listed above, please go update your books on Smashwords. It's now part of their ToS, and if you're caught not labeling them, you'll be banned from using them as a distributor.

*facepalm*

Can you name a trad pubbed book with one of the above topics?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Is it Wrong to Expect Readers to be Active Participants in the Story?

Happy Thursday! Today, we're gonna talk about description, how it might impact the reader, and what authors might or might not expect from the consumer. Ready? Grab your coffee or tea, and let's get going!

So, I'm on the phone yesterday with an author friend of mine, and we got into talking about what we expect from our readers. Both of us agreed that we write with the assumption that the person picking up the book has a brain and understands the basics of the world they live in.

For example: If you say someone walks into a bedroom, do you need to write out to the reader that there's a bed, or is that something you can expect them to infer by telling them it's a bedroom?

Several writers will go into great detail about the room's furniture, but those machinations are usually reserved for the times that it matters, right? Say, if there's something "off" about the decor, or if the bed is an antique and should be admired for a moment. Even if the scene calls for a description to tell the reader it's a male's room or a sex cave, that's okay. But if the character is just walking into a bedroom, is it really necessary to bog the reader down with minute details right off the bat?

Here are some other ways to work those details into the story without having an information dump--again, unless the character is actively admiring, or scrutinizing, the decor:
  • As the person is active in the room, they run their hands over things like the brocade on the chaise lounge.
  • When they tell someone else to sit, it could be noted they made the choice of where to place the person based on potential comfort level.
  • If the character lies on the bed naked, the satin sheets could feel cool on the skin.
  • While they're being made to wait, they can then notice one thing about the room and scrutinize it to give their brain a distraction.
There are several ways of describing a room's contents without going into infodump mode, as you can see above. Unless you're actively trying to slow the story down, is it really necessary to tell the reader everything that's in a common room (bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen, etc...)?

I think, perhaps, we should give our readers a little credit and assume they have brains in their heads. If I read that someone is sitting at the bar in the kitchen, I have a pretty good idea of what that room will look like.

I've gone into description and when it's useful in this post, and I went into how to paint the scene in this post. If you're looking to heighten tension with description, here's a post I wrote a while back that breaks it down (this post also compares showing and telling).

What do you think? Do you expect a more active participation from your readers, or do you spoon feed them all the things?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Writing Sprints - What and How

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today's post is informational. If you already know what writing sprints are and how to do them, then feel free to scroll on down to the bottom for the 411 part. For those of you that aren't familiar with sprints, let's get going!


With NaNoWriMo only a month and a half away, authors are gearing up to write furiously for the thirty days of November by plotting their novels and planning how to write 50k words.

Writing sprints are a solution! What's a writing sprint? Well, let's go into that.

A writing sprint is when you write as many words as you can in a set amount of time. Usually, they're set up like so and are done on some form of social media so everyone can comment their word count:
  1. You find a group of authors willing to sprint.
  2. Someone volunteers to be timekeeper.
  3. You set an amount of time (usually 15-30 minutes).
  4. Whoever the timekeeper is tells everyone to GO and starts the timer.
  5. Everyone writes like crazy people.
  6. Timekeeper posts STOP and requests word counts from participants (and posts their own).
  7. There's a five to ten minute resting period, and it happens again.
  8. Whoever has the most words gets a huge thumbs up (there are no prizes usually).
  9. It repeats for one to two hours (usually--I've seen folks do three or four).
That's it. So easy, right? I've seen people log upwards of 6k words during these sprints, so I know they work. Your word count isn't really the target. This is to get you writing, to get words on the page. Progress is progress.

So, to make it a little easier to sprint, I created a group over on FB. It's kinda quiet, but I'm hoping that will change--I have big plans for that group!

If you'd like to join up, here's the linky: Writing Sprints Group on Facebook

I hope to see you there!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CRAY-Z Weeks - Updates and Such

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Holy crow, what a nutty few weeks it's been. Today's post is just a little what-not about what's been going on and why the blog has been so everloving silent. Ready? Grab your coffee (or tea), and let's get going!

So, after my London trip, I know you've noticed things have been rather quiet around here. It's hard to get back into the groove after being bombarded on all sides by people, but that wasn't the only issue. My husband was overly stressed, and he had to travel to another state to be with his father in his last few days.

Let me tell you what, trying to concentrate on anything when you wish you were with someone you love while they're going through a hard time isn't easy. I'd just come "down" from the overseas trip, and I thought I was ready to get back on the pony, when all this started.

Sad to say, my father-in-law took his last breath on September 11. I jumped right on a plane, and just returned home Saturday. Now, I sit here, wondering if I'm going to be able to get back on my schedule. I believe I'll be tweaking it today and starting fresh tomorrow. Some things worked, and others, not so much. But you never know until you try! I did well for a month or two, but a couple of things just weren't given enough time (like my blog), and I found myself scrambling to get it done in the short time I'd allotted. If you have suggestions for new topics, drop them in here.


That all changes this week. If you've been following me a while, you'll know I have two events at the end of October. I'll TRY to post during that week I'm on the road, but I'm making no promises. Keep up with my Facebook page, because I intend to have live video happening when I do my keynote speech. Yeah, it won't be me manning my device, but I promise it'll be live--October 20 at around 9am EST. WHEEEEEEEEE!!

On another note, Utterances is about 20-25k from being complete. That story is draining as hell. Very emotional. I'm gonna try like hell to have it out before Christmas. Send me good vibes! LOL!

One upside to all of this is that my road trip is with another author, Tia Bach, so we'll probably spend a good amount of time writing in the evenings. Maybe even plot new novels together. How exciting would that be? *grin*

As for events, these are my last for a lonnnnnng time. I'm only doing Roanoke Author Invasion next year, so if you wanna see me, you'll have to either come to OIBF or GLBB this year, or RAI next year. After that, I'm giving it a rest for a while and getting back to what I do best: WRITING.

November is NaNo month, and I'm planning to get back on my serial killer novel then. Anyone else going to write all the words that month?



Drop your NaNo name in the comments, and I'll give you a friend request/follow before then. Or, you can friend me here.

Well, I've chatted your ears off long enough. Time to get to revamping my schedule! That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Great Lakes Book Bash 2017 Ticket Sale

Happy Saturday! Now, you know I wouldn't be bugging you folks on the weekend unless it was really important, right? If you're planning to attend GLBB in October of this year, you'll want to read this! Ticket prices are insanely low! Get your clicking fingers ready, and get going!


 ✬✬✬ ➡ TICKET SALE ⬅ ✬✬✬

Are you planning on attending Great Lakes Book Bash this October? Have you purchased your VIP tickets yet? Single day tickets?

Take advantage of our FINAL ticket sale of the year to save 50% off your purchase.

That makes your VIP ticket only $10!!!

VIP tickets gets you…
* A GLBB 2017 tote bag
* Admission to the event on Friday
* Admission to the informational sessions on Friday
* EARLY admission to the event on Saturday

Ticket link: http://bit.ly/GLBB2017

Discount Code: BOOK

Sale price only valid 9/2-9/4/17.

Great Lakes Book Bash
October 27 & 28, 2017
Radisson Plaza Hotel
Kalamazoo, MI

For more information visit www.greatlakesbookbash.com

Attending Authors…

Abigail Grey
A.D. Saddler
Alora Kate
Amazeballs Book Addicts – 2017 OFFICIAL GLBB SPONSOR
Anjela Renee
Anna Reanult
Becca Vincenza
Bev Davis
CC Dragon
Charles Stern
Christina L. Barr
City and Book
Cover Me, Darling – 2017 OFFICIAL GLBB SPONSOR
D.B. James
Deedle Miyares
Delphina Henley
Diana Plopa
Donald Levin
Dora Badger
Elisabeth Popolow
Elizabeth Meyette
Ellie Wade
Emily Goodwin
Emma Shade
G.S. Scott
Heather Mullins
Indie Books Gone Wild
Janet Brown
Jen Cousineau
Jennifer Friess
Jimmy Leonard
✬✬✬ Jo Michaels ✬✬✬
Kacey Hammell
Kathy Coopmans
Kelsey Fox
K.L. Roth
KS Adkins
Kyleigh Castronaro
Linda K Sienkiewicz
Lindee Robinson Photography
Mark Love
Meg Farrell
Melanie Jayne
Melissa Keir
Misty Provencher
M.R. Polish – 2017 GLBB Keynote Speaker
N.J. Ember
Rachael Brownell – 2017 GLBB HOSTESS
Sanzaki Kojika
Samantha Cole
Sara Fiorenzo
Sarah Grimm
S.E. Brown
S.E. Summa
SF Benson
SJ Maylee
Skye Falcon
Stacey Rourke
Sylvia Hubbard
Sylvia Stein
Terri George
Tia Silverthorne Bach
Victoria Scott
Zoe Blake

As you can see, I'll be there! LOL! Will I see you?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, August 31, 2017

99 Cent Sale - All Three Books in the SoulTracker Series

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, I'm telling you all about a wonderful deal on a boxed set by a lovely lady, T. G. Ayer. Get those clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!

99 cents for now! Grab it here!

About the books:

Title(s): Blood Magic, Demon Kin, and Blood Curse
Author: T. G. Ayer
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fiction
Length (print): ~668 pages
Buy Link: Amazon Kindle $0.99

Blurb:

If you hear a bump in the night, you'd better stay under your covers. In the DarkWorld it may not be something you'd like to meet.

Problem is, the creatures of your imagination aren't sticking to night's shadows anymore. They are everywhere; the people you work with, your teachers, even your friends. And they've been living that way for a long time.

You haven't noticed because they don't want you to.

You're much better off not asking any questions.

Unfortunately for Mel Morgan, master teleporter. She asks too many questions.

BLOOD MAGIC
Mel Morgan is a Master Teleporter. She can move through the Veil into the otherworldly planes. A handy skill when looking for missing people. It’s a lonely job, but with her gargoyle partner she’s never minded lonely.

Until a certain super-hot Djinn walks into her life. He needs her help to find someone he loves. And Mel can never say no to someone in need. But the road to helping Saleem is fraught with secrets better left uncovered.

Can Mel and Saleem dodge demons and sorcerers long enough to save the ones they love?

DEMON KIN
When a business tycoon hires Mel Morgan to find his missing daughter, the SoulTracker is thrown headlong into twists and turns of unexpected deaths and unusual killers. But to find the girl in time to save her, she has to first understand the killer. Demonic or human killers? Mel can't decide which will be worse.

Things get a little complicated when she has to help find both a Panther Alpha's mother, and a reluctant Djinn Queen. Add to the mix an evil spirit plus her mentor Samuel sending her terrifying messages in the Ether. Save him, or else.

It's just all in a days work for a SoulTracker.

BLOOD CURSE
Mel's journey continues down dark paths as she is forced to find who put the curse on her. The closer she gets to the one responsible the more her health deteriorates and the worse the evil behaves.

Mel has to battle loneliness, illness and despair . . .

As well as fend of the evil dead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What are you waiting for? Go get it!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

London, Paris, and Chapter.Con

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Wow, was it ever an amazing week. Yeah, I'm gonna talk about a "few" (haha) things that happened, but I'm also gonna share photos. Not sure I've ever walked that much in my life, and I had a ton of experiences I'll never forget. Ready? Grab your coffee or tea, and let's get going!

I apologize in advance for the long post. So much happened. Not even sure I'll be able to do all this in one day, but I'm gonna try. If it says Tuesday up top, but it's actually Wednesday, ignore, please. hahaha!

Here we go!

As most of you know, I turned forty back at the end of July. Well, my husband and I decided we'd celebrate my birthday by running around Europe and attending Chapter.Con. Here was our itinerary:
Saturday
  • Fly out at 9pm
Sunday
  • Land at around 10am, check into the hotel and get settled
  • Tour Buckingham Palace and have afternoon tea at 1:30pm
  • Eat at a London farm-to-table restaurant at 5pm
  • Go on Jack the Ripper walking tour at 7pm
  • Back to the hotel and in bed by 11pm
Monday
  • Board Eurostar to Paris at 7am
  • Tour the Louvre at 11:30am
  • Explore Paris a bit
  • Dinner at Chez Francis at 6:30pm
  • Tour Eiffel tower at 9:45pm
  • Back to the hotel and in bed by midnight
Tuesday
  • Tour Notre Dame at 10am
  • Tour Versailles at 2pm
  • Board Eurostar to London at 9pm
  • Back to the hotel and in bed by 11pm
Wednesday
  • Best of London tour at 8:30am - Included St. Peter's, Changing of the Guard at Buckingham, Tower of London, Greenwich, and the London Eye
  • Have food at a local pub
  • Back to the hotel and in bed by 11pm
Thursday
  • Tour Shakespeare's Globe Theater at 11am
  • Watch production of King Lear at 2pm
  • Unofficial meetup for Chapter.con attendees at the Hogarth pub at 7:30pm
  • Dinner nearby
  • Back in bed by midnight
Friday
  • Chapter.con at 8am
  • Did a little self-guided walking pub tour and had dinner at a pub
  • Film screening for the Lovely Witches Club at 7:30/8pm
  • Back in bed by midnight
Saturday
  • Chapter.con at 9am
  • Public signing
  • Butterfly ball at 8pm
  • Back in bed by midnight
Sunday
  • Fly out at noon
  • Land at 5pm
As you can see, we did a lot, and we saw a LOT, but it was absolutely amazing. I think we probably walked around thirty miles during our trip, but we're both in pretty decent shape now, so it wasn't too bad. Here are a few photos of our running around things (yes, we're a bit goofy sometimes):

Now, I want to talk about Chapter.con. I have so many things to say about this event, so try and be patient with me, please.

On day one, I wasn't sure what to expect. I set up my table with all the required things: books, sample booklets, swag, etc... But then, I didn't know what else to do until the keynote speaker, so my husband and I mingled and chatted with folks.

Opening the day was keynote speaker Samantha Young. She'd come all the way from Ireland, was so inspiring, and her story was so genuine. I loved when she teared up because of something a fan had said to her. It made her feel as though I could relate to her and showed her humanity in a very vulnerable way. After she spoke, we started the panels. There were so many people there that I didn't know, it was a little intimidating. I'm one of those people who will come over and shake your hand, but inside I'm totally cringing, wondering if you're going to reject me right away or listen too intently to my words and dislike me later--I have strong opinions, and I tend to voice them loudly (as you all know). It's strange being in a place where no one has heard of me or knows what I do. I get a very out-of-my-comfort-zone feeling.

But I met some of the most interesting people. Folks I'd known online for a long time, like Sophia Valentine (who arrived on day two), were there, but most of the people I'd never had much interaction with, if any. Let me tell you what, my fears were unfounded. Everyone was fabulous. There were people from all over Europe, yet I felt right at home. These folks instantly became forever friends, and we had a number of good laughs and some more serious discussions about books and publishing.

It was amazing.

Day two brought forth the fans and some of the other folks I was SO looking forward to meeting in real life. Gaynor Smith (from SASS and IBGW) and Chillie Martindale (from SASS) were there, and I had some real time to chat with the lovely ladies on Katie's Chapter.con team. Catherine Stine was the keynote speaker, and I learned several new things about her! What an interesting lady. Her bio could be 5k pages long, and it still wouldn't be enough.

By the time the Butterfly Ball rolled around, I was feeling one-hundred-percent at home and comfortable.

Even with the intimate number of people (authors, readers, etc...), there were several I didn't have a lot of time to speak with and wish I'd had more.

Then, something amazing happened, I won an award. It wasn't just any old award, and it wasn't an award for anything I'd written. No, this award was for the person who gives of themselves to the writing community, the person who goes above and beyond to help anyone in need, without expectation of anything in return but a smile. It was for the Most Inspiring Community Leader.


To say my surprise was genuine is an understatement. You see, I'd been lobbying for someone else to win that award. And I'd lobbied HARD. Why? Because she totally deserved it. Besides, I'm used to being nominated and not winning, so I wasn't gearing up for a big "holy crap, I won" type of speech. This led to me rushing up and grabbing the thing and running away like I'd been lit on fire. My words were stolen. I'm a little mortified, to be honest.

Now, I sit and look at that award, and I'm so tempted to put it in a drawer where I can't see it, so I don't give up or slow down in my efforts. I find that, oftentimes, human nature works against us, and when we win something huge, we tend to say, "Okay, that's it. I've done enough."

I sit here and tell myself, it's never enough. There's always someone out there in need of a helping hand. If I quit, will someone else step in? I'd hope so, but I'm not one to take that risk. Besides, it wouldn't be fair to expect someone to shoulder ALL of that alone.

I'm beyond humbled.

So, as I look back with fondness and tears welling in my eyes, I also have a heart filled with hope and joy for what the future will bring with all these lovely new people in my life. They're amazing individuals. If you ever have a chance to be groundbreaking and get in on something that will give you a lot of personal time with new authors, don't turn it down. Do everything in your power to make it happen. To attend years beyond the first isn't the same as being there when it all begins.

I hope you've all enjoyed my little post, and if you're new, welcome to the blog! I'm looking forward to getting to know you all better!

There are so many people I didn't mention above, but you're all in my memories and in my Facebook life! Depend on me stalking the ever-loving crap out of you!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, August 24, 2017

First Time Sale and Huge Giveaway - 7: The Seven Deadly Sins

OMG happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! EEK! I can't even tell you how freaking excited I am for the news I'm about to share with you. Not only do we have a first time EVER sale on 7: The Seven Deadly Sins, but we also have a huge giveaway for you! Get your clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!

Here's a bit of a bonus: IF you buy the Kindle book today at $0.99, you can then get the audio at a discounted rate! Much less than buying the audio outright. The audiobook is SO GOOD. I was blown away!


First up, a little information about the book.

Title: 7: The Seven Deadly Sins
Author(s): Casey L. Bond, Jo Michaels, Tia Silverthorne Bach, Kelly Risser, and N. L. Greene (the Ferocious 5)
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Length (print): 404 pages
Buy Links: Kindle  ~ Paperback  ~ Audio
This title is also in Kindle Unlimited!

 
Blurb:
Seven marks upon a wall.
Tom may rise, but he may fall.
Through five lives, no one dares mention,
of the sin for which he seeks redemption.
Fates will meet, and you will see,
what will thus become of he.



Here are some graphics you can share today, if you'd be so kind!







And last, but in no way least, here's the prize pack information and the rafflecopter entry form!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

That Ah Ha! Moment When Writing and Utterances Excerpt

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Yes, I missed two days this week, but it was for good reason. I'm not only getting ready to leave for London and the awesome Chapter.Con, but I've also been writing Utterances! Today, I'm going to share the details of the book once again and a little snippet from further on. Grab your coffee (or tea), and let's get going!

PSA: This blog will be mostly silent until August 28th. I have a big surprise for you all on 8/24. Keep your eyes open for that post.

Yesterday, I had an ah ha! moment with my WIP. Here I was, struggling with the next big step in the book, and I hit upon the idea to just let the characters go with the flow of the story. I discovered they're smart and resourceful.

My characters are also pretty funny.  

Favorite quote:  "If crazies come a knockin’, guns come out a cockin’."

I started the day at 37k words, and I ended with 42.5k. Win!

Do you ever have that moment in your novel writing where you're just like I'VE GOT IT! and things flow?

Title: Utterances
Author: Jo Michaels
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Length: TBD
Release Date: 2017

Blurb:
Simone spent the last two years by her cancer-ridden mother’s bedside. Taking care of her was the number one priority. When Mom suddenly goes into full remission, Simone is left bobbing in an unfamiliar ocean with a young man named Tristan. What happens next is the stuff of fairy tales—and nightmares.

Shocking, heart-wrenching, and insightful, Utterances will make you question everything you thought you knew about self-sacrifice. Award-winning author Jo Michaels pulls reality and the paranormal together in a way never before seen, intensely examining what we call the human condition by diving into the innermost workings of one young lady’s mind.

~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt (unedited) Chapter 14:

When the doc finally left, he was as white as his coat and moving fast.
Simone sat on the floor and watched as the fabric billowed in the breeze.
“Alexandra, honey?”
“Yes ma’am! Coming!”
Mrs. Shandy smiled. “Oh, good. I thought you’d done gone and left me!”
“No way, no how. We have a story to finish.” Simone dropped back in the chair, opened the book to where she’d left off, and continued.
That afternoon, she left a little early, with three chapters done, and decided to go to Tristan’s house to surprise him. On her way to Shady Pines, she’d texted him, but hadn’t said she had the evening off. After checking her makeup in the mirror—a new addition to her wardrobe thanks to Mom saying how tired and old her daughter looked, she started the engine and shifted into reverse.
It was twenty minutes before she got to his house, and she started to second-guess herself on the way up the driveway. He’d been off school that day, and she hadn’t pestered him to hang out. If he found out she’d been off work…
His truck was in the driveway, so she parked behind it and got out, suddenly nervous.
As she moved toward the door, she kicked herself for being impulsive. He was sure to ask questions she didn’t have answers to. She knocked three times and waited, a cold sweat breaking out on her forehead and palms.
He opened the door, his eyes got wide, and he stepped out, keeping hold of the handle. “Hey. What are you doing here? I thought you had to work.”
“Well, I knew you were out of school and had the day off work today, so I thought I’d drop by and surprise you.” She smiled, but her hackles rose. Something about the situation wasn’t quite right, yet she couldn’t put her finger on what.
Rather than pull her into a hug, he closed the door and grabbed her arm, guiding her off the porch toward her car. “How about I come to your house in a little while?”
“Um, why can’t we hang out here?” It was getting weirder, and he was being pretty obvious about wanting her to leave.
“My, uh, mom isn’t feeling well, and I wasn’t expecting company.”
She jerked her arm out of his grasp, turned, and sprinted toward the house, throwing open the front door and rushing in, looking everywhere.
He was half a step behind her, yelling at her to stop.
A gorgeous, long-legged brunette with barely any clothes on was passed out on the couch, whisky bottle still in her hand. There was only one word to describe her: flawless.
Simone stared, her mouth dropping open. Every fiber of her being went into shock then flew into blind rage. Her world tinted blood red. She rounded on Tristan, spit at him, and bolted.
Words were being shouted at her, but all she could hear was the fury screaming at her to leave and not come back. Ever. Once in the car, she jammed the key into the ignition, turned, shoved the car in reverse, and spun around in a perfect one-eighty. Tears gathering in her eyes made the driveway blurry, but she managed, somehow, to make it to the base of the hill before she had to pull over.
There was another driveway about fifty feet up the road on the opposite side, covered with a lush growth of leafy branches that would hide her car, so she gunned the accelerator and pulled up far enough to avoid being seen. Once sure no one had followed or seen her, she shut off the engine and curled into herself, letting the tears loose. She cried, she screamed, and she beat the steering wheel with her palms until they hurt.

~~~~~~~

Uh oh. Looks like our couple is in a bit of a pickle, huh?

Hope you enjoyed that!

My fingers are crossed I find the time to give you all a post tomorrow about something I discovered while browsing Facebook. It's interesting, and it's infuriating. Ha! Way to be vague, Jo!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, August 11, 2017

Readers, Sensitivity, and Mob Mentality - How Much is Too Much?

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm on yet another discussion. There are several things that have popped up over the last few weeks about right and wrong things to put in a book. Get your coffee or tea in hand, your typing fingers ready to respond, and let's get going!

We all have opinions, right? I plan to open discussion on both sides of the board with this post, and I won't be standing on either side of the fence. You all know me too well if you've been around here a while. I like to hear what you think, I'm going to try my best not to influence you with my own words, and I enjoy the verbal exchange of ideas and viewpoints.

*****That being said, please be nice when you comment. This is my blog, and I won't tolerate hatred, calling-out, or vitriol here. Got it? Okay. Let's move on.

There are a number of books that have been released lately that have spurred some pretty serious reader blowback. To be 100% transparent, I haven't read any of them. My work has revolved around writing my own book, and it's been emotional enough.

But I've seen posts and discussions on Facebook, and I know the titles of the books under fire. No, I'm not going to share those, either. If you want to know, you'll have to do your own research. This post isn't about that.

For centuries, books have been the catalyst to change in many countries. If you don't know the history, do a quick search. There isn't enough space here to discuss them all, and you should be informed. But what I'm seeing now deals directly with what the authors write.

Incest, racism, hate.

Those are the topics under fire.

From my reading experience, either an author is trying to change your way of thinking, trying to bring to light something that's horrible that needs to have light shed on it, or they're trying to tell a story that has nothing to do with their own thoughts or beliefs (a true escape).

It's difficult to tell the difference sometimes, but that doesn't stop me from reading books I don't know what's inside of. This thing where authors have to disclaim horrifying details of their books in the blurb is unsettling.

Why?

Because the things that bother one person, won't bother another. We see this with all the reviews from all the books everywhere. Some people loved the Harry Potter series, and some folks wanted to burn all the books for promoting witchcraft.

See what I'm saying?

I can see labeling it 18 and up, but I'm talking about all the other things. It's worrisome that someone might just grab a book and "read" it only so they can trash it in the review later on and have that little verified purchase ribbon to back their words. But I'm backsliding.

Anyway, the problem here isn't just that labels are being applied, because I know at least one of the novels under fire was labeled, but that it's expected in the first place.

Who are we to know what someone else is going to feel when they read our books? How are we the authorities on how something we've written will be comprehended by the reader? 

Authors may be the worst people to add warnings to their books, but then, so might readers. What some find intense, others will merely scoff at.

Let's discuss by the three topics above then.

Incest.
This isn't a new trope used in books. It goes way, wayyyyy back to novels published in the 70s even. Before you go bananas, let me say, I can see both sides of the issue here. 1) It's something that happens in real life, ergo, it can be applied to a book for real-world additions. 2) It's disturbing to read about, and the fear is there that it'll incite someone to do something they hadn't considered before. It's a touchy subject, to be sure. If an author writes about it, does that mean they're encouraging it, bringing light to an ugly, or merely writing a story?

Racism.
This also isn't a new topic. I could list several books that were racist in nature, but they've become literary classics all the same. I can, again, see both sides of the issue. Do you want to see through a racist's eyes? Get their viewpoint on things? How their brains work? Maybe. Maybe not. 1) Racism is something that's real. It's a serious problem, but it can be used as a mechanism to show what might be in a racist's mind, giving others a unique insight. 2) It's bothersome to read, and it may fuel the already present racist heart of another, making them think of doing something they'd only considered before reading it. Again, what was the point of the author writing it?

Hate.
This applies to genders, races, siblings, government, etc... An older than time topic. Dystopian worlds were borne from hate of a ruling class or laws. You could also say hate applies to books with rape in them. Both sides have weight. 1) Hate is a true problem in our society, and shining a spotlight on it can be used as an effective fuel for the proverbial fire in a novel plotline. 2) Reading about a character hating on people from any walk of life is hard, and it may, again, reinforce that the reader's mindset is the correct one. Do we care about the point if the book makes us uncomfortable?

Historically, we're strongly influenced by books (again with the search recommended above), but does that mean if we read about it, we're going to act on it?

Has the fine line between reality and fiction blurred, or are we just more attuned to the crossovers now? Do the disclaimers even matter at that point?

What bothers me most about all of this is the mob mentality that's taken hold of the world. When someone writes something that's not considered PC, they're attacked by backers of the antis. While I believe in having an opinion and stating it, isn't that what reviews are for? Why do we feel the need to attack the person (in public, no less) behind the words without understanding (or caring) what it was they were trying to say? Is that really the case, or is something else going on here?

Is this censorship?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the matter. Remember to be nice and don't name authors or books directly. This isn't a bash-fest.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Value of Words - How Cheaply are Authors Willing to Work? Boxed Set vs. Individual Novel Sales

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I know it's the middle of the week and all, but today, I'd like you all to get your brains cranking. There are some things I'd like your thoughts and opinions on, and we're gonna crunch some numbers (you all know how I love that)! If you're ready, get your typing fingers ready, your coffee in hand, and let's get going!


I know you've all seen the huge boxed sets floating around the book world. Sixteen books for just under a dollar sounds pretty dang good, right? Well, it is. That's only around six/seven cents per book. Each novel included is usually around 60k words, so that means a word is worth 0.000001 (or one penny per ten thousand words [math: .99 divided by 16 divided by 60,000 multiplied by 10,000]). One hell of a deal for your reader, right?

Now, let's look at the typical full-length novel. They're priced between $0.99 and $5.99. If they're from a big five publisher, you can bet they'll cost a bit more (say $7.99 to $12.99). We'll say those books are the same length as the ones above, and I'll give you the cost per word for a few (gapping so this post of numbers isn't quite so long). At $0.99, a word is worth 0.0000165 (or $0.17 [rounded up] per ten thousand words [math: .99 divided by 60,000 multiplied by 10,000]). At $5.99, a word is worth 0.00009983 (or $0.99 per ten thousand words). And, at $12.99, a word is worth 0.0002165 ($2.17 per word). To readers. This isn't what you make. Stay with me.

I don't know about you, but I write about 2k words per hour. Most of the people I know do 1k or 1.5k per hour, and others do even fewer than that. Let's figure out how much authors are making per hour selling their books, shall we?

At a rate of 2k words per hour, selling a 60k word novel in a boxed set will put the author making less than one penny for every five hours of work put in writing the book (0.00066 per hour). A 60k word novel should take 30 hours to write at that pace. Few of us work 5 days a week, so we'll say two weeks. You would've made a whopping $0.02 for your two weeks (or 30 hours) of labor for each sale (because you don't make the whole $0.99 on a sale, it's more like $0.32 -- divided by 16 people -- divided again by 30 hours). Less than a penny for all that work. But then there's another (at least) four weeks of editing and proofreading that take another (let's say 6) hours. Your pay just got cut. You're now at $0.00055 per sale per hour because you're at 36 hours of work without adding words (goods) to the value of your time.

But wait!

You paid to get into the boxed set, likely paid for a cover and an editor, and you pay for marketing, right?

Before you get into the "it adds up over time" clan, let's really crunch those numbers. Stay with me!

Let's say your buy-in for the boxed set was $200 (just FYI, this is on the low end). Your cover was another $200, and your editing was $2k. Marketing also cost you $200 (being reserved here).

You're up to $2600 at this point just for the extras.

Your end number for each sale is $0.02. You have to sell 130k copies of that boxed set to break even. You haven't even "made" a penny yet because you pre-spent the money to get into the set and market. But then there's dear Uncle Sam...

Now, if you look at the average novel outside of a boxed set, the author has to sell only 8,125 books to break even if their book is priced at $0.99. They'll make $0.09 per hour per sale once they've covered their out of pocket costs (left in the buy-in as it could be used for other things). At the higher payout of 72% and a book priced at $5.99, the author has to sell only 618 copies to break even, and they'll make $0.50 per hour per sale afterward.

Of course, readers want the boxed sets, but how cheaply are we, as authors, willing to work? What would you buy, nearly 1M words at $0.99, or 60k at the same price?

Are we screwing ourselves?

Are these boxed sets undervaluing our time?

Talk about it!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nominations are Open for the First Annual OIBF Awards!

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I have the most exciting news for you all today. No intro. Get your typing fingers ready, and let's get going!

As you may know, the first annual Ozarks Indie Book Fest is happening October 19-22 in Springfield, MO. If you'd like to pick up tickets or an author table, here's the links you need: OIBF Website  ~  OIBF Tickets

Reader tickets are just TEN DOLLARS per day, and you can choose Friday or Saturday. If you purchase a thirty-five dollar ticket (which includes the awards and such), you'll be automatically entered to win dinner with several best-selling authors and the OIBF 2017 keynote speakers.


That being said, it's time to nominate your favorite authors' books for awards! There's only one caveat to winning: They must be present at the book fest to win.

If you want to nominate, you must be logged in with your email address, and you only get one shot at the form. Once you hit submit, that's all she wrote. You're done. Here are the categories (you get one nomination per category, and it cannot be yourself):

Best Indie Publisher
Best Editor
Best Formatter
Best PA
"Author of the Year (Aug 2016-Aug 2017)"
"Best Debut Author (Aug 2016-Aug 2017)"
Best Anthology
Best Book Cover
Best YA Book
Best NA Book
Best Hero/Shero
Best Villian 
"Best Overall Book Series (Has to be a complete series)" 
Best Fantasy/Paranormal Book 
Best Inspirational Book 
Best Contemporary Book 
Best Romance Book 
Best Mystery/Thriller Book 
Best Horror Book 
Best Dystopian Book 
Best Sci-Fi Book 
Best Children's Book 
Best Historical Book

Here's the link!

How awesome is that? Anyone can nominate anyone except themselves. If you have a large or enthusiastic fan base, get on it!

Did you fill it out? Will I see you at the conference?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, August 7, 2017

5 Things to Make You a Happier, More Productive Human and Writer

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic, relaxing weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead. I have so very much left to do in order to be ready for Chapter.con, but I have it worked into my schedule for next week. Yay! But that's not what this post is about. Today, I'd like to give you a quick list of ten things you can do that will help you become a happier, more productive individual. Ready? Grab your coffee, and let's get going!

1. Take Care of Yourself
This might be the single most important thing you can do. If you're not functioning at 100%, you're doing yourself a disservice. Need a mental health day? Take it. Trying to find a way to not go crazy every day? Find an outlet. Do something for you each and every day.

2. Stop Stressing About What Other People Think
If there's someone you don't want to interact with, stop. No one should own you or your mental space. Don't let those people eat your time. You have more important things to do.

3. Schedule Yourself
New to the blog? You can find my tips on scheduling here. An old hat? Y'all know exactly what I'm talking about.

4. Let Things Go
Don't let others' actions nag at you, and don't beat yourself up over mistakes you've made. Apologize and move on. If that means moving past that person, go back and read number two. Let it go. Sometimes, "it" is a person.

5. Write (or be Creative) at the Same Time Every Day
This way, your muse knows when to show up. If you're asking her to pop her head in on odd days, chances are, you'll end up staring at a blank screen (or canvas) pretty often, not knowing where to go next. And if it's not working, go do something else for a minute then come back, but don't give up.

Got anything to add?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, August 4, 2017

Paperback Giveaway on the IBGW Blog

Happy Friday, everyone! Nothing says lovin' like a paperback, am I right? Let's get into the deets of the book, and then I'll provide you with a linky to the OP and the giveaway. Get those clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!

Title: Snow
Author: Mikayla Elliot
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Length (print): 224 pages
Buy Link (paperback): Amazon - $8.99 (as of this post)

Blurb:
Taken from all she has ever known and loved, Neva finds herself swept into a world of vampires where she learns she will determine their future. Yet she quickly discovers she is the target of a vampire, Zachariah, seeking to stop her from altering the vampire lineage. She must decide which path she will take while trying to protect the family she left behind, and discovering a past she cannot escape.

This book was edited by Karen Robinson, proofread by Jennifer Oberth, and formatted for print and digital by Gaynor Smith (all of INDIE Books Gone Wild).

Here's the link to the post and the entry form on the IBGW blog today:

ENTER HERE

What do you think? Sounds like a pretty groovy book, eh?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Chapter.con London - 2 FREE Tickets to Saturday Signing Available

Happy Thursday! As you all may know, I'm headed to London to not only celebrate my fortieth birthday, but also to attend the first annual Chapter.con! Each of the authors have been granted the ability to give away three tickets. Here's your chance to snag one of the other two! Get your clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!



There are three things you must do to be eligible:
  1. Join the group, Heading to Chapter.con on Facebook
  2. Give my Facebook page a like or a follow
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter below where it will ask you to do those things listed above hehe
There's a bonus entry option!

Ready? GOGOGO!! Here's the entry form:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope to see you there, even if you don't score a ticket with me!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Beware the Distribution Arms if You're in KU

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I know I'm late, but I'm HERE, and that's what matters. My schedule fell on its head today. haha! But still managing to make time to get in here and blog. Today, I'm going to talk about something that happened to a friend of mine. We can all learn from it, so get your coffee and let's get going!

So, for a long while, my friend had her books wide (being distributed to all vendors everywhere). She decided to pull her books from wide and go all in with Amazon KDP Select. This enrolled her stories in Kindle Unlimited automatically, and she started getting paid by the Global Fund pot for pages read.

Everything was going fine for a good, long time, until one day, she discovered her titles had been pulled from Select. There was no email telling her why. Nothing.

She freaked out (wouldn't you?).

You see, this friend of mine is always on the up and up. She's done everything by the book and to the letter of the rules. So, when this happened, she was completely taken aback.

After a LOT of digging around, she discovered those titles that had been pulled to go into Select were available via one of the distribution arms of a popular distributor.

No, I'm not going to say which one. That's not what this post is about. I'm just issuing a warning here and showing you how you might want to delve more deeply if you're pulling from wide distro to go into Select.

Let's move on.

These books weren't pirated. Amazon doesn't yank your books for that. They were legitimate arms of distributors that simply neglected to remove a title that was no longer available.

Needless to say, she's still fighting it. No one at Amazon will get back in touch with her, and last I heard, she was planning to reach out to the distributor to see if they could help.

But the damage is, sadly, done. Her royalties for pages read have come to a screeching halt, and she doesn't know when or if she'll be able to get back into Select. When Amazon bans you, it's usually for at least a year.

So, there's one situation to be hyper aware of. If you pull your books from wide, be sure you check everywhere before clicking the "Enroll this book in KDP Select" button. She thought she did, and it's really messing up her money right now.

Have you heard of something like this? Anything strange happen to you?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo