Monday, March 23, 2015

How to Switch Publishers

...or, Going Self-Pub




When my publisher went out of business, I had no choice in the matter. I had to find a home for my books.

Musa Publishing informed its authors on February 20th that it was closing its doors. On March 1, all publishing rights reverted to us. So now, what to do with my books?

Submit to another small publisher. I never seriously considered this venue. 

Small presses are great. Loved mine for example. But, since bad ones plague our business, research is paramount and I didn’t have the time. 

Besides, I was already half-way to self-publishing so why blindly look for another small press like a desperate petitioner.

Self-Publishing. I’d tested these waters with Out of Magic so I wasn't totally naive. Only 95%. Luckily, I had help in the form of KMDwebdesigns.com.  Kelly Shorten and Michael Mand were a part of the Musa team and we are all very familiar with our relative quirks. I highly, highly recommend their services.

I bought the cover photos and Kelly re-created them perfectly. KMD formatted the interior for print and e-book.

I had an account with KDP and Createspace. I named my publishing company Shamira Publishing and moved through the various decisions on size and marketing. I bought my own ISBN for print but let KDP chose the Kindle versions. For now, I’ll go with Amazon as my only format. I sold a dozen or so at B & N etc and wasn’t really impressed. Besides, Amazon has all formats available for Nook and Apple so why bother.

Wilder Mage and Mage Revealed are live, print and e-books, joining my first short story, Out of Magic in that self-pubbed goal. 











Amazon - Wilder Mage

Amazon - Mage Revealed




Nothing is permanent in this life. Especially computers and business ventures. 


But good friends are forever.


Friday, March 20, 2015

L. Blankenship. An Epic Writer of Epic Fantasy

One of my all-time favorite author and genre.

War is coming. Kate Carpenter is only a peasant girl, but she’s determined to help defend the kingdom and its bound saints against the invading empire. Her healing magic earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the master healer; now she must prove herself ready to stand in the front lines and save lives.


She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though. This is no time to be distracted by romance — the empire’s monstrous army will tear through anyone standing between them and the kingdom’s magical founts. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.

Disciple
the six-part gritty fantasy romance series is now complete!
Disciple, Part VI on sale at AmazonB&NMore retailers

Disciple-6covers-300.png

Download Disciple, Part I for free!
Email me if you can’t get it for free: blankenship.louise at gmail

Excerpt from Part I
“You couldn’t sleep either?”

At the whisper, I looked up from struggling to lace my boots with trembling hands. My master stepped into my dormitory room, adding his lamp’s light to my candle.

“Why must I dress as a boy?” I whispered back. Perhaps I was not so buxom, but I doubted I’d fool anyone. “This makes little sense.”

“Patience.” Master Parselev placed his lamp on my writing-table and checked my packed bags. “They’re gathering at the chapel already. None of us got much sleep, it seems.”

The straw mattress creaked when I stood, boots laced and the woolen hose sagging between my thighs. I ran my fingers around my waist, under my layered cotes, to check the drawstring. “Are these right, Master?” I’d strung the hose and braies together as best I could guess and as memory was my Blessing I had no excuse for failing. Men’s underthings weren’t much concern to me — if I saw such, or more, it was while the man lay bleeding on the surgery table.

“If they stay up, it’s right. Good. This too.” He slung a heavy felt cloak across my shoulders and pinned it on. The hood buried my face in shadows; my blonde braid, even wrapped around my head, would give me away.

I asked, “Master, this journey will be long, won’t it?” Parselev had given me more clothes than I’d ever owned to pack in those bags. All heavy winter woolens, too. “Shouldn’t you go, then?”

He looked down at me, mouth quirking to one side. Master was a greybeard, said to be over a hundred years old, but his kir kept his eyes bright and his face lightly creased. I had only been his apprentice two years. Surely I could not be ready for this.

“It must be you, Kate,” was all he said.

Disciple Omnibus
collects all six books • save big!
Doorstop paperbacks at Createspace • Amazon to come

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Friday, March 13, 2015

One Good Catch - Author Heather M. Gardner

Sometimes an author stands out from the rest, makes a mark that hurries the rest of us to meet.

Heather is one of those authors. She gives us crystalline worlds created from her own imagination. And I am jealous. 

Here is her latest, a sequel to Maquire's Corner.


One Good Catch, A Maguire’s Corner novel


Title: One Good Catch
Author: Heather M. Gardner
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Release Date: March 13, 2015

Buy Links

~~~)(~~~
Ignoring a recent trauma that is affecting her everyday life, ER Doctor Kate Maguire engages in some high risk activities, but putting herself in these dangerous situations isn’t enough to feed her edginess. She needs something more. When her brother’s high school best friend comes back to town, it’s her chance for a ‘no strings attached’ fling with the man who still headlines in all her best dreams.

Rhys MacGrath’s days of one-night-stands are long over. The pro-football player might be side-lined at rehab for a shoulder injury, but that doesn’t mean he can’t admire and desire the all-grown-up, so-damn-hot, version of the tomboy he once knew. His sudden interest in Kate might be aggravating his best friend, who doesn’t approve, but it’s her indifference that’s driving Rhys crazy.

Everything heats up when Kate’s nosy nature sets her in the line of fire of an arsonist forcing them to deal with more than just the sparks igniting between them.

~~~)(~~~

Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where
her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips. As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit.

Heather resides in New York with her best friend who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats. Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.



Blog:
The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Twitter: @hmgardner


Goodreads: HMGardner 

Facebook: HeatherWritesRomance Bottom of Form

Excerpt:

Moving back he caged her against the wall with his arms and body. Leaning in, his lips hovering over hers, he stopped.
“What are we doing?” he asked, his voice hushed.
“I don’t know.”
“Tell me you want this.”
Kate shrugged. “You think I’m complicated.”
“You are complicated. This whole thing is complicated. It doesn’t mean I don’t want it.”
Rhys lifted one hand from the wall and placed his palm on her chest, over her heart, which tripled in speed under the warmth and weight of it.
“Mac.”
“No,” he said, “You never call me Mac.”
“Rhys.”
“Better.”
Kate licked her lips, enjoying the way Rhys’s gaze followed the movement of her tongue. “Everyone calls you Mac.”
“You never do.”
“I didn’t know you noticed.”
“I’ve noticed lots of things.” Rhys closed the gap between them, kissing the corner of her mouth.
“Like what?”
“You taste amazing.” He kissed her lips lightly, drawing the bottom one between his own before releasing it. “Your eyes glitter in the sun.” His lips glided along her jaw. “You’re vulnerable right here.” He found the spot on her neck that had her holding her breath and biting down on her own lip.

Monday, February 23, 2015

When a Small Press Closes its Doors

...or how checking your email is better than caffeine or an alarm clock at waking you up.


I woke last Friday to the news of another small publisher closing down. What made it unique is that it was MY publisher.

On March 1st, 2015, Musa Publishing will be no more.

Over two years ago, Musa took a chance on this dream-laden writer. The small press showed me the ropes, how to publish, download, edit. I learned what a line-editor does, the meaning of the term Galley Proof, and how to format. When I stressed over nothing, they gave virtual pats on the back and laughed with me when goofy things happened.

In other words, the Musa was family, friends, and colleagues. They shoved me down the right path and gave me the chance to succeed.

So what happened?      
                                                    
Don’t know and I’m not going to speculate in public. That only feeds the rumor mill. What I do know is how we were treated at Musa.

Paid on time. Every paycheck was there for us. Other publishers aren’t so quick, withholding funds especially after they go belly-up.

Contract for everyone to see. Their website had a link to their contract, out there, in the open, in front of God and everyone. No hidden legalese to muck things up.

Rights revert to authors. If you’ve done your research, you know the stories about defunct small presses selling the rights to others, withholding paychecks to fund themselves, splitting without informing authors. Musa is doing none of that. On the same day we received the email, Musa sent the letter to revert our books rights back to us on March 1st.

This is Closing-the-Doors done right.

Musa Publishing might be leaving town, but from start to finish, they are a class act.


“May God grant you always...a sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.” – Irish Blessing.
“May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.” – Another Irish Blessing


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Plucking Nose Hairs

Or, ain't marketing fun.


I am not good at this stuff called marketing. Grandstanding is as foreign to me as sailing a boat on the ocean. And since I’ve never been on the ocean, that’s like saying vacationing on Mars is my next goal.

But here I am, writing books and waving my arms and yelling, hey! Look at me.

*sigh*


Today Wilder Mage goes on-sale for $1.99 at all markets, including Amazon. Out of Magic, the prequel to The Magic Withheld series is free. And if you like all of the above, Mage Revealed is beckoning you on with a decent price of $4.99.

So have at it. Check out my series, and I’ll blow out my cheeks knowing this round of tooting my own horn is done. For now.


 Oh, the agony an introvert goes through.

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