Earlier this year, I applied for a competitive writing grant through the Sustainable Arts Foundation. The winners were recently announced, and though I did not win this time, the jurors who reviewed my application packet had great things to say about Valley of the Bees. The following comments are direct quotes from the very nice rejection email they sent: Continue reading “Sustainable Arts Foundation loves Valley of the Bees!”
Great news! The Kirkus Review for Valley of the Bees is in, and it is pretty good!
Here are a few high points of the review:
Webster has written a richly detailed work whose world feels legitimate and lived-in, letting readers gradually, seamlessly experience it, rather than overwhelming them with exposition. Meanwhile, Valley is an empathetic, compassionate protagonist who feels three-dimensional from start to finish. Her caring for the bees establishes an instant connection with the reader. The complications of her friendship with another teenager, Reyna, who has fallen in love with her, as well as the intricate bonds that tie her to her family make for an engrossing drama. Furthermore, her relationship with her grandmother, as well as the unfolding of a number of buried family secrets that cause her to question a great deal of what she thought she knew, provides a brilliant through line.
I’m giving away a free copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 over on GoodReads. Check it out now!
I got more than 500 entries on my last giveaway, and I’m hoping to hit 1,000 this time. Visit GoodReads now to enter! Continue reading “Enter to win a copy of Valley of the Bees #1! #giveaway”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been busy. So busy, in fact, I never got around to doing an official announcement on here when Valley of the Bees released in print on March 1. Now, that’s busy!
Where to get your copy
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.
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!”
Thanks to the U.S. Postal Service and speedy work by CreateSpace, I am starting off 2017 with a copy of my new book in hand! That’s right, folks! I received my first set of proofs for the Valley of the Bees omnibus print edition in the mail today, and I plan to ring in the new year by reviewing my proofs for errors!
In addition to finalizing my proofs, I am also raising the funds to implement the next step in my marketing campaign. I plan to purchase a Kirkus Review and have my novel listed with them as soon as I can come up with the cash. If you are interested in helping out an indie author/publisher, please check out my GoFundMe campaign and throw a couple of dollars my way. Each $25+ donor will receive a free signed copy of Valley of the Bees upon release (U.S. addresses only)! Continue reading “Look! It’s a book! An actual-factual book! #VotB #publishing & New Year’s #writingresolutions”
One of my favorite things about working at a university is the nice little chunk of paid time off I get for the winter break each year. It’s a little less than two weeks for office staff, but it’s just what the doctor ordered this time of year. Extra sleep, a chance to get over my annual sinus infection, family time, good eats, and a little extra writing time to boot, if I don’t let myself get too lazy!
I don’t use Twitter much, but I found myself yesterday with the urge to narrate my time off on Facebook, where I already probably post a bit too much. So, I got the idea to dust off my Twitter account and started tweeting. Oddly enough, my random posts have netted me several new followers and even a retweet from a Tweeter with more than 3000 followers of science fiction. It will be interesting to see if that generates even more followers. Perhaps I should check out Twitter more often! Check out my Twitter profile to see what I’ve been up to!
At any rate, I’ve been up to random randomness the past two days and am feeling rather accomplished. I literally just ordered my first set of proofs for the print edition of Valley of the Bees! This seems like a good time for a cover reveal, so… TA-DA!
And now… well, I’m just sitting here waiting for the family to show up for our annual cousin cookie baking party and face-stuffing with our favorite finger foods. Continue reading “A bit of #randomness to round out the holiday season”
I’m in the final stretch of prepping my Valley of the Bees manuscript to go to print, and I found this particular chapter so thrilling that I wanted to share an excerpt. I think you’ll want to go right out and buy the book to see what happens! Here’s an excerpt from Keeper of the Bees: Valley of the Bees #3, which you can now pre-order from most eBook vendors:
Excerpt from Chapter 46: On the Bat’s Back I do Fly
In a few short hours, they had loaded the wagons down with as much as they could hold, while still leaving room for passengers. It was only then that Valley looked to the sky and noticed the dark clouds that were rolling in from the west.
“I think it’s time we packed up and headed home before we get drenched,” Valley said. She pointed toward a horizon line that was obscured by an ominous, green layer that moved quickly in their direction.
“I think you’re right,” Brute said. “Green skies are never a good sign this time of year.” Continue reading “Keeper of the Bees: An #ebook excerpt”
Each day, I draw closer to completing my Valley of the Bees book project. My manuscript is in the final formatting phase, and the time has come to make an endless number of decisions that most readers will never think of. Today, I am agonizing over the formatting of my chapter headings, and I’m hoping some of you might have an informed opinion to share on this subject. Here is an example of what my chapter headings look like now:
So, here’s my dilemma: I think the chapter number and chapter name should be set apart in some way. I’m think of bolding the chapter number. What do you think? Continue reading “Wanted: Your opinions, please!”
If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, I hope you’re doing better than I am. With Thanksgiving only a couple of days away, and me at like 2,000 words, tops, I think it’s time to throw in the towel and admit this just isn’t my year. I’ve still been getting writing stuff done though, so I have no regrets. Well, maybe just a couple. But, that’s life, right?
Anyway, I have my full manuscript of Valley of the Bees with a professional proofer at the moment, and I’ve been working on page layout for the print edition of all three eBooks in one big book, which is scheduled to release in March. I printed out the front pages and the first several chapters to get an idea of how things look, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much it looks like—well—an actual BOOK!
I have done a pretty stellar job with page layout, if I do say so myself. I can’t wait to order my first real proof. Then, it will be real. Really real! Continue reading “So, I’ve totally bombed #NaNoWriMo—but that’s okay!”