Archive for Kindle

YA Indie Carnival: Smashwords and other e-books—Are they worth it?

Posted in book reviews, horror, indie, publishing, urban fantasy, writing, young adult fiction with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by rachelcoles

Hi Indies,

The question of the week is a hot topic among both indie authors, small publishers, and big publishing houses: Are e-books worth it? And more specifically, are e-book publishing sites worth it?

As an indie author having both self-published short story anthologies, Into The Ruins, and Beyond The Veil, and having my novel Pazuzu’s Girl published by a small genre publishing house, I would emphatically say, YES, they are worth it!

Front Cover Image

12600038BeyondTheVeil

As a self-published author, I have had a huge amount of fun designing covers, and the rush of clicking on the Finish buttons of both Smashwords and Kindle to finish publishing the books were nerve-tingling. Avenues such as Smashwords has afforded authors of all genres a tremendous amount of creativity and freedom to govern their works in whatever way their spirits take them, on their own timetable.

If I delve into particular publishing engines, I do find that there were different advantages to Kindle versus Smashwords. Smashwords gives you the most leeway as to how you do things like giveaways. Any giveaways you want to do are free to you, and all you have to do is include a coupon code in your giveaway. With Kindle, you have to pay as the author to gift copies of the book, and you have to deal with the whole morass of digital publishing rights which is Amazon’s proprietary hook that has booksellers everywhere fuming, understandably so.

However, that said, I am a tech moron. Smashwords does seem to take a higher degree of savvy to format successfully. Kindle is Self-Publishing and Formatting for Dummies, which gave me a measure of relief from heartburn after wrestling with Word.

As a traditionally published author also, I think that the world is moving toward electronic media. There is no turning back. As a reader, there will always be sappy old cranksters like me regaling my tech-conscious seven-year old about the days before remote control, the days when you had to spin a wheel to dial a phone, and yelling ‘You can pry my paper books from my cold dead hands, now get off my lawn!’ I love the smell of a book, I love the feel of the pages in my hand. However, we are currently being buried in good old paper books at our house. It’s starting to look like an episode of Hoarders in terms of the sheer number of books. Electronic media is elegant and efficient. It means that I don’t have to use up all of my carry-on space hauling all of the books I think I might read on the plane. I can stick my tiny little tablet with the library of books contained in it, in my purse with plenty of room for a bunch of other useless things that I imagine I’m going to use on the flight and never do. Electronic media is not going away, ever. It will only become more elegant and compact. Someday maybe, we’ll all carry data crystals that we plug into jacks in our heads. So for authors, publishing mediums like Smashwords and Kindle are an opportunity, whether self- or traditionally published, to get our work out to millions of people in the speed of an internet connection.

See what other author’s takes are on e-books!

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. Heather Sutherlin – YA Fantasy

And here’s What’s New and Upcoming at the YA Author Blog!

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Book Giveaway, and 5 Questions for Author T.R.Graves

Posted in publishing, writing, young adult fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2011 by rachelcoles

Our posts this week each feature another indie writer listed in the carnival. In this interview, they answer five questions we came up with to get a sense of who they are and what inspires them in their writing. On my blog today is T.R. Graves, author of the Warriors of the Cross series.

1. Did you have a particular inspiration for Allison La Crosse?

My daughter’s name is Allison. She has strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes, and lightly-freckled, porcelain skin. She wants to be a doctor. She has an aunt with the same coloring and is almost six feet tall. They are two of the most beautiful people -inside and out – I know. By combining their characteristics, I made the perfect heroine for the story.

2. What made you focus on Allison’s absorption of her patient’s symptoms? That is a real theme in shamanism. Was that theory an influence?

I did not intentionally base The Warrior’s powers on shamanism. After doing some quick research, I now see that Allison’s powers are eerily similar. I will have to do some investigation and see if there are other abilities that I could add to the story.

Actually, I’ve always been interested in situations where people are sympathetic to other people’s pain/symptoms. I’m especially fascinated when their sympathy is so powerful that it causes them to take on those symptoms themselves. In the book, I used the example of men who take on their pregnant wives’ prenatal symptoms even though nothing is truly wrong with them. As a mother, I always take on my kid’s symptoms. If I know they are nauseated, I begin to feel nauseous. In fact, there have been situations where my husband/kids were injured, and I was literally unable to take care of them because I thought I might pass out. My side-effects are not caused by fear of blood. Hello, I was an ICU nurse. Instead, it is because I have an instant concern for them that overwhelms and weakens me.

The power of Allison’s sympathy and compassion are similar. The love of others (even spirits) is transferred so powerfully to and through her that she immediately becomes willing to sacrifice her own life in order to save the dying person.

3. On what did you base Satan’s Sect?

I don’t want to be too dark, but I’ve spent years working in ICU, taking care of sick people, supporting their family members, and reviewing medical records. Because I’ve seen almost every horrible thing that can happen to someone, I have been forced to acknowledge that evil is more than a myth. Much to my dismay, Satan’s Sect’s malevolence is based on real-life tragedies…those you hear about every day on the news.

Fortunately, the naming of Satan’s Sect is a less morbid story. After I wrote Warriors of the Cross, my family and I had a fun family meeting. Everyone created a list of names they envisioned for the book, the groups, and the characters. My husband is the one who named Satan’s Sect, Warriors of the Cross, The Guardians, and The Disciples. My daughter voted for her name as the main character which meant my son, Trevor, expected a character to be named after him. In the end, everyone was happy with the results.

4. What was it like to create a series, something that spans a large portion of your main character’s life?

I fell in love with the characters of The Warrior Series and realized I would never be able to confine the story to one book…or even two. My challenge now is to make sure the series ends before it becomes boring and redundant. Since I think of great new storylines every day, I don’t believe I’m anywhere near that point. When writing becomes a challenge, I will retire Allison La Cross and move on.

5. Why did you choose the Galveston/Louisiana area?

I was born and raised in Louisiana. My upbringing in the mill-town of Bastrop, Louisiana embedded small-town values, morals, ethics that have shaped who I am and what I do.

I love…love…love Galveston. After working on the island for more than ten years, I know a lot about the city and its residents. Something about the tropical atmosphere just feels like home. In fact, I adore Galveston so much that my family rents a beach house there every summer (even though we only live 30 minutes away)!

T.R. Graves’ books can be found on the following links:

Warriors of the Cross is available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Guardians of the Cross will be released December 2011.

Enemies of the Cross will be released late summer of 2012.

You can connect with T.R Graves (Fan, Friend, Follow, ‘LIKE’) on these links:

Facebook Fan Page

Goodreads

TRGraves Blog

Twitter

Shelfari

Now for the giveaway details!

TODAY’S GIVEAWAY [for people over 13, internationally]: Winners announced Sept. 16 at the next YA Indie Carnival. Just comment and include your email address (so we can gift your book) on any Q & A post ALL DAY TODAY and tweet the carnival [#yaindiecarnival] to win ebooks from the carnival authors. Here is the list of books you can win!:

Kindle copy of The Understorey by Fisher Amelie

Kindle digitally-signed edition of Winnemucca by Laura A. H. Elliott and a Winnemucca signed Coffee Mug.

Kindle copy of Breathe by Abbi Glines along with an autographed canvas Breathe tote.

Kindle copy of Solstice by PJ Hoover

Kindle copy of Between by Cyndi Tefft

Kindle copy of PineLight by Jillian Peery

Kindle copy of Filter by Gwenn Wright.

Kindle copy of Eternal Eden by Nicole Williams

Kindle copy of Fallen Eden by Nicole Williams

Kindle copy of Soul Quest by Amy Maurer Jones

Kindle copy of Run and Hide by Patti Larsen (YA thrillers, 1 and 2 in a series of 4)

Kindle copy of Fractured by Cheri Schmidt

Kindle copy of Warriors of the Cross by T.R. Graves

Kindle copy of Into The Ruins by Rachel Coles

This list of books can be found at http://www.goodreads.com/event/show/129738-ya-indie-carnival-q-a-giveaway

So now that you’ve seen what you can win, go check out T.R. Graves and her compelling new series Warriors of the Cross! And here are some other authors and reviewers worth exploring today!

http://www.refractedlightreviews.com Danny Snell’s Refracted Light Reviews

http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com Patti Larsen, Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, the Hunted series, and the Hayle Coven novels.
http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com Courtney Cole, Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com Wren Emerson, Author of I Wish and a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://laurasmagicday.wordpress.com Laura Elliott, Author of Winnemucca.
http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com Nichole A. Williams, Author of Eternal Eden, and the upcoming Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/ Fisher Amelie, Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://amyjonesyaff.blogspot.com Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com T. R. Graves, Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://ctefft.blogspot.com Cyndi Tefft, Author of Between
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com P.J. Hoover, Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis.
http://www.aliciamccalla.com Alicia McCalla, Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free.
http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read Heather Cashman, Author of Perception.
http://www.abbiglines.com Abbi Glines, Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys.
http://cidneyswanson.blogspot.com/ Cidney Swanson, Author of Rippler.

Indie Authors to Look At

Posted in indie, publishing, writing, young adult fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by rachelcoles

In the sparse time I’ve had to read lately, I can say that Laura Elliot’s Winnemucca was an intriguing read. It was a passionate little book that explored the traditional female role and coming-of-age in a very poetic and consuming way. It didn’t pander to wish-fulfillment or the Disney need for purity and complete happy endings. It portrayed the young protagonist in a very real and relatable way. And so when you start watching indie authors, you should watch Laura Elliot.

I was also intrigued by T.R Graves’ Warrior Series. Having a husband recently in medical residency spoke to me on this one. Her opening is powerful and gripping, and the stories encompass the desperation people feel in the face of our last real predator: illness, and our need to have a secret weapon against it, if not conquer it. It appears to be a story of wish fulfillment, but not in an adolescent longing for love kind of way. Instead it is a more mature version, engendering hope and the desire to become something more than we are, and serve our species in the ultimate way. No small dreams to be found there. When T.R. Graves does something, she goes big.

Other books I have not yet started, but am slavering to begin are Between by Cyndi Tefft, and Solstice by P.J. Hoover. They are both sweeping novels, which I love. Solstice takes place in a world reminiscent of Octavia Butler’s dystopia, mixed with Neil Gaiman’s world of myth. Irresistible to me. As most readers know, I am a huge sucker for mythic stories. And as a lover of myth, Between captures the tale of one of the most enigmatic figures in history, not often told from that figure’s point of view, the Grim Reaper. This promises to be an awesome read.

In addition, I have added to my list, M. Leighton’s book For Love of a Vampire. As noted by my previous post, I am also a sucker for vampire lit. And this right away captured me with its tongue-in-cheek humor, as the story takes place in a town called Harker! Totally awesome. It reads, so far, with a compelling romanticism that is both appropriate for young adults, yet not maudlin or prissy, as many vampire novels can be.

Perception by Heather Cashman is wildly interesting and original with her tackling of a combination of totemism and human-animal eugenics in a future I intend to visit.

Alicia McCalla has also captured my attention with Resurrected Obsidian, a West African tale of good and evil from a very unique perspective concocted in a powerful imagination from stories not so well-known in the European-dominated world of fairy tale. I look forward not only to devouring this book but to her new upcoming sci-fi novel Breaking Free.

The Soul Quest trilogy by Amy Jones, not the anime-based online game, also looks like a powerful new-world myth focusing on a teenager’s struggle with nothing less than her part in the entire world animus!

Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole portrays an intriguing character woven through the threads of history close to one of the most awe-inspiring female symbols of power ever, Cleopatra. Using the legendary figure’s hand-maiden, I think we will get an interesting glimpse into both theoretical history, and the relatable story of real people caught up in the sweep of massive world events, with a fantasy twist.

Eternal Eden by Nicole Williams has piqued my interest as the young girl catapults into a world of immortals and danger from a world of the mundane.

I Wish by Wren Emerson promises to be a great read as a tweaked catastrophic look at what might happen when a young woman could create anything she thought about. Be careful what you wish for…

The Understorey by Fisher Amelie leaps right out of the gate with breathtaking visual imagery from the point of view of a young supernatural couple, and complicated story threads.

Finally, Cat City by Patti Larsen is going on the list. I don’t care if it is ‘middle-grade’ fiction and I am almost 40. I want to read a story about a city of enchanted cats battling enchanted rats. It’s what I would have drooled over reading when I was a kid too, but she hadn’t written it yet. Maybe I was an ancient Egyptian in a past life.

All I can say is, it’s a good thing my husband got me an e-reader. Because I feel like a kid in a candy store, especially since this YA Indie Carnival has made me aware for so many talented authors out there with the kind of novels I like to read.

Visit them here, microwave up the popcorn, and get ready to be late to work and sleep-deprived after you look up at four in the morning and realize you disappeared into their books the entire night:

http://www.refractedlightreviews.com Danny Snell’s Refracted Light Reviews
http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com Patti Larsen, Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, and The Diamond City Trilogy.
http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com Courtney Cole, Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com Wren Emerson, Author of I Wish and a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://laurasmagicday.wordpress.com Laura Elliott, Author of Winnemucca.
http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com Nichole A. Williams, Author of Eternal Eden, and the upcoming Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/ Fisher Amelie, Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://amyjonesyaff.blogspot.com Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com T. R. Graves, Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://ctefft.blogspot.com Cyndi Tefft, Author of Between
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com P.J. Hoover, Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis.
http://www.aliciamccalla.com Alicia McCalla, Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free.
http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read Heather Cashman, Author of Perception.
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