eBooks, Valley of the Bees

Fixing your #Smashwords ebook file: The nuclear option isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds!

Many of the most common issues indie publishers encounter when converting Word files to eBook files can be eliminated by properly setting up each Word document and sticking to specific formatting practices throughout the writing process. However, this can be difficult when you format your manuscript with the intent to publish it in print first, and then try to convert your print manuscript file to an eBook file. I learned this first-hand this past weekend when I took the beautiful Word file that I had formatted for the print version of Valley of the Bees and converted it into an eBook.

A Valley of the Bees promotional ad

Luckily, Kindle’s .mobi format is very flexible and doesn’t seem to be quite so picky. With a few simple adjustments, my manuscript became a Kindle eBook with almost no effort on my part. It even retained the cool honeybee icon that I had placed at the top of each chapter! Unfortunately, uploading my manuscript to Smashwords for distribution in other formats wasn’t so easy. I crossed my fingers, held my breath, and let it go. And then, two days later, I received the dreaded email informing me that my book had failed the ePub review. Continue reading “Fixing your #Smashwords ebook file: The nuclear option isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds!”

eBooks, Valley of the Bees

Today is the Day! #VotB #1 is LIVE! #Read now!

Cover Design by Jennifer DeWeese at jendy.threadless.com.
Cover Design by Jennifer DeWeese at jendy.threadless.com.

This is it, folks! My latest eBook has officially launched! With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 has released. If you pre-ordered your copy, make sure it downloads to your device. For those of you who haven’t yet purchased the book, you are in luck! I have decided to keep the 99 cent price open for a few more days.

I am so excited to hear what readers think about Valley of the Bees, so once you have read it, please do me a huge favor and post a review. You can review the book at the retailer website where you purchased it, on GoodReads, or even on your blog. The more reviews the better! Remember, every review you post for a book that you enjoyed makes it that much easier for other readers to discover and enjoy the book as well.

Do you still need to get your copy? Links to buy are posted below. So, grab your copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 today!

With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 is currently available for purchase in eBook format from these and other fine retailers:

Continue reading “Today is the Day! #VotB #1 is LIVE! #Read now!”

Editing, Novel Writing

#YouKnowYouAreAWriterWhen you can flip your own switches. #VotB

Original manuscript of a revision of "Spi...
Even Poe had to revise his work! | Original manuscript of a revision of “Spirits of the Dead” in Poe’s handwriting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At various crossroads on my writing journey, I have often happened upon “road signs” that let me know that I am heading in the right direction. These signs make me think, “Wow, I really AM a writer.” One example was when I completed my very first novel manuscript draft seven years ago. You know how it is. It feels like you will never finish. You often wonder if you are even capable of writing a complete novel. And then, one day, you find yourself typing, “THE END,” and you think, “Wow, I really AM a writer.”

At that moment, it feels like you have accomplished everything you need to do. You have reached the end of your writing journey. You wrote a novel! Woohoo! That’s a MAJOR accomplishment. And you are, rightfully, proud of that accomplishment.

But then, you realize that you need to edit that first draft. You realize that you still have a lot of work to do before you can call it, “done.” (Or, at least I hope you do!) You don’t rush out and self-publish that first draft because you take your writing seriously, and you want to offer your readers the best possible reading experience. Continue reading “#YouKnowYouAreAWriterWhen you can flip your own switches. #VotB”

Blogging, Book Reviews, Valley of the Bees

Valley of the Bees Book Blog Tour: Stop #1

Author T. S. Dickerson
Author T. S. Dickerson

The With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 book blog tour has officially begun! My first stop is taking place today (right now!) over at author T. S. Dickerson’s blog, where she has posted a book review of my latest novel, which will release on September 1, 2016.

Go check out this book review now, and then check back here later to find out where the With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 book blog tour will be stopping next.

Do you want to be a part of this blog tour? Contact Me for details!

Buy The Book

For a limited time, With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 is available for only 99 cents. Pre-order your copy today before the book returns to its regular price of $3.99!

Continue reading “Valley of the Bees Book Blog Tour: Stop #1”

Digital Marketing, eBooks, Novel Writing, Valley of the Bees

Book description, Book 2 of Valley of the Bees #VotB

I am currently working my way through the process of finalizing my manuscript for With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 so I can upload the file to my retailers. It is an arduous process. My latest task was to convert my manuscript to an ePub file so I could read through it on my phone. You wouldn’t believe the errors I caught just by looking at the book in a different file format on a different device!

Valley of the Bees Logo
Valley of the Bees Logo by Jendy at https://jendy.threadless.com/.

Anyway, this afternoon I am working on a description of Book 2 so I can add some marketing copy to the end of Book 1. This is the description I am working on for marketing book two in my Valley of the Bees series:

Would you read this book?

Continue reading “Book description, Book 2 of Valley of the Bees #VotB”

Digital Marketing, eBooks

How to buy and read eBooks from Smashwords

English: A variety of laptops, smartphones, ta...
English: A variety of laptops, smartphones, tablets and ebook readers arranged. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few of my readers have been confused about how to purchase and read eBooks from Smashwords, and I can understand why. How can you know which book format to choose if you don’t know that your Kindle reads .mobi files? One aspect of eBook marketing that I believe Smashwords has failed to recognize is that not all readers are as familiar with our publishing jargon as we publishers are. So, I’ve decided to provide my readers with a quick Smashwords buying guide to help you download and read mine and other indie books with as little frustration as possible.

Formats

The first thing you need to know when downloading eBooks from Smashwords is what format your particular device uses. Of course, you can choose to read online, but a dedicated eReader often offers a more seamless reading experience. The following are a few eBook formats that are available for most Smashwords books. I have listed each of them with their corresponding device/app. Continue reading “How to buy and read eBooks from Smashwords”

eBooks, Publishing

How to expand your audience with Smashwords

Like many indie publishers, I began my publishing journey with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Since learning to publish an eBook was more than enough knowledge to digest on its own without learning to publish on multiple platforms at once, I decided to stick with KDP for a while until I had a better idea of what I was doing. However, with the launch of my latest book project, I decided it was time to finally expand beyond Kindle and Nook and learn how to use Smashwords.

Capture

The leap from Kindle to Nook eBook publishing was a no-brainer. I wanted my print books to be available in brick and mortar bookstores like Barnes and Noble, and I wanted my B&N customers to also be able to access my books on their eReaders. But I knew there was still a vast audience that had no access to my books. Continue reading “How to expand your audience with Smashwords”

Creative Nonfiction, Digital Marketing

Book release & #GIVEAWAY: As Good as a Feast     

As Good as a Feast is now available on Kindle and in print!
As Good as a Feast: Essays on Enough is now available on Kindle and in print!

I am pleased to announce the release of my latest project, As Good as a Feast: Essays on Enough, which is now available on Kindle and in print! To kick things off, I am hosting a couple of book giveaways that I hope you will all enter.

The first giveaway, which is going on right now, is through Amazon. You can enter here. Please feel free to share this giveaway with all of your reading and writing friends!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. This giveaway started March 22, 2016 7:44 PM PDT and ends the earlier of March 29, 2016 11:59 PM PDT or when all prizes have been awarded.

The second giveaway will be through GoodReads, and I will announce that one officially when it becomes available.

I am currently accepting short stories and creative nonfiction essays for my next two anthology projects. For submission guidelines and additional information, please visit the Elderfly Press Submissions page.

Book Giveaways: A How-to

This is the first time that I have done giveaways of actual print edition books, so it has been a learning process. As always, I want to bring my writing readers along with me on this process and share a bit of what I am learning. Continue reading “Book release & #GIVEAWAY: As Good as a Feast     “

Novel Writing

The beauty of writing with an outline

bees in spring illustration
I’m thinking of using this illustration for one of my book covers, but if I do, I need to find additional illustrations for the other book covers that will fit with the theme. What do you think?

Once upon a time… I was a pantser. I wrote by the seat of my pants, outlines be damned.

Once upon a time, most of my stories went nowhere. Or they went everywhere, with no end in sight. But I was adamant that I didn’t need an outline. An outline could only make my novels predictable. I needed to allow the story to unfold on its own without forcing it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t come across as natural. Right?

Well, maybe that’s how it works for some people.

When I got to graduate school, I had to create outlines for all of my novel writing courses. I hated it.

And then one day, I decided to really push myself and write an entire story in two weeks. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I didn’t care if I wrote the “Great American Novel.” I just needed a win.

The best way to make this happen – I thought – would be to make an outline. I used Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey” cycle as a guide and got to work on my 14-chapter outline (It ended up needing 16 chapters by the time it was done.) Then I sat down once a day for two straight weeks (plus 2 days) and wrote one chapter each day until the first draft was done. Continue reading “The beauty of writing with an outline”

Short Story

Now available on Kindle: Rain at Three (with a bonus free download!)

Rain at three, short story
“Rain at Three” is now available on Kindle for 99 cents.

My short story, Rain at Three, is now available on Kindle for 99 cents! Here’s a brief description:

Can you ever really know the man you’re marrying until you’ve really gotten to know him? Vicki is beginning to learn just what kind of man she has married. Is the honeymoon over so quickly? It may be 73 degrees and sunny in Hawaii, but it always rains at 3 p.m.

Download your copy of Rain at Three today! If you like my story, please do me a favor and review it on Amazon.

As an added bonus, for today only, you can also get a free download of my son’s book, Avery Moves. Avery was eight years old when he wrote and illustrated this book for a school project. He had so much fun with it, we decided to take the fun one step further and publish the book on Kindle! He would love to see that people are downloading his story. If you have any words of encouragement for him to keep writing, please post them to the review section on Amazon.  Continue reading “Now available on Kindle: Rain at Three (with a bonus free download!)”