I fancy myself a writer.

Posts tagged “Valley of the Bees

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

Valley of the Bees proof 2

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. (more…)


Look! It’s a book! An actual-factual book! #VotB #publishing & New Year’s #writingresolutions

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!

It looks like a real book!

It looks like a real book!

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)! (more…)


A bit of #randomness to round out the holiday season

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!

capture

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. (more…)


Keeper of the Bees: An #ebook excerpt

Severe thunderstorms containing hail can exhib...

Severe thunderstorms containing hail can exhibit a characteristic green coloration Frank W. Gallagher, III. (October 2000). “Distant Green Thunderstorms – Frazer’s Theory Revisited”. Journal of Applied Meteorology (American Meteorological Society) 39 (10) : 1754. Bibcode 2000JApMe..39.1754G. doi:10.1175/1520-0450-39.10.1754. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.” (more…)


Wanted: Your opinions, please!

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:

chapter heading format sample

What do you think: should “Chapter 46” be bold?

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?  (more…)


So, I’ve totally bombed #NaNoWriMo—but that’s okay!

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!

The Valley of the Bees Omnibus print edition is shaping up quite well!

The Valley of the Bees Omnibus print edition is shaping up quite well!

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! (more…)


It’s time to gear up for #NaNoWriMo 2016!

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant

It’s that time of year again, writing friends! Time to prep for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November! This year, I am doing it, and I am doing it right. Anyway, that’s the plan!

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot to do over this next month to prepare. My writing plans for October include: (more…)


Book #Giveaway! Enter to win one of ten free copies of Valley of the Bees #1! #VotB

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post discussing how to set up a Rafflecopter to administer a book giveaway. Well, today the giveaway is live, and I discovered that I did not add a link to the section where entrants can comment on a blog post to enter the giveaway. (OOPS!) So, this blog post right here will be the official post to comment on to enter to win a copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1. Once you have posted your comment below, be sure to click through to the Rafflecopter to check off the box for commenting on the blog post.

You can also click on the Rafflecopter image below for more ways to enter.

Click here to enter!

Click here to enter!

As long as I’m updating you on what didn’t work when I set up my Rafflecopter, I might as well also tell you what I came up with as a work-around for the fact that you can’t embed the widget in the free version of WordPress. It was really simple, really. All I did was take a screenshot of the widget on my Facebook page and add the image to the blog post. Then, I hyperlinked the image to the mobile-friendly link that I got from the Facebook app, y voila! A somewhat functional Rafflecopter giveaway on my blog post. (more…)


How to give your books away on #Rafflecopter

Current book

You can enter to win a free copy of “With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1” for a limited time. | Current book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My marketing plan for Book 1 of the Valley of the Bees eBook serial is moving right along. I got a small pop of pre-orders that assured me of a spike (however tiny) in sales on release day. The final manuscript for book 2 is almost ready to be uploaded, so I went ahead and set up my pre-order pages for that book so I could add links to buy at the end of Book 1. And now that Book 2 is available for pre-order, I’m ready to give away several free copies of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #2 to keep the ball rolling!

Now, you might be asking why in the world I would want to start giving away free copies of a book that just released two weeks ago. Lucky for you, I like sharing what I’ve learned about book marketing, so I’m going to tell you why! It’s very simple, really. A book giveaway at this point will do two things for me (I hope): (more…)


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:

(more…)