The Torc Cover Art Reveal

I’ve finally got to a good place with my new project, The Torc, and I’m hoping it will be ready for readers in a couple of months. Do you know what else is ready? The cover! Isn’t it beautiful? The art work was once again done by Leah Keeler. I love it, it might be my favourite so far, though the Twisted Currents cover is tough competition!

Torc Draft 3

The New Thing I’m Working On: The Torc Progress #2

This past week I was focused on getting Under Jupiter up on the Kindle store. So, for a few days, I stopped writing The Torc. And I missed it! But now that UJ is up, I can get back into writing my new obsession. I’m around 1/3 finished the draft, and while I have a general outline, there are enough places where I can’t wait to be surprised by what the characters do. I’m still really excited by this idea. And I’m also very excited for the cover art. See the tiny preview below.

preview2-2

This week I’m giving you a preview of the colour scheme being use. I love it. I adore purple. My absolute favourite colour is orange, but purple is a close second. And probably makes for a better cover. Which do you think is better? I remember as a kid that a lot of little girls hated orange. Like made that sour lemon face whenever they were forced to accept orange as the last option (only marker left). But orange reminds me of fruit, flowers and sunsets, all beautiful things. Purple reminds me of flowers too, but also luxurious fabrics and amethyst, one of my favourite stones.

Writing this week is going to be focused on word count. I’ll give you an update regarding my goal tomorrow, and then you’ll know why.

JEH

A Brief Review of the Kindle Scout Program

If you’ve been following along on my self-publishing journey of my latest novel, Under Jupiter, then you already know that I submitted it to Kindle Scout. Well, the news is in and Under Jupiter was not selected for publication by Kindle Press. In all honesty, I didn’t expect it to be. Why? Because during my 30-day campaign and scout participation, I came to a firm conclusion on one thing: Kindle Press prefers highly popular fiction. And guess what, a teen novel about colonizing the solar system is not popular fiction.

FullSizeRender (1)

Overall, I had a good Scout experience. It was fun and addicting to follow along with my daily page views, and I liked seeing my book at the top of the Hot and Trending list. Also, I nominated books like mad during my 30 day sprint, since I was on the website anyway, and I ‘won’ three new e-books, which should be released sometime in the near future. I found Kindle Scout to be a fun website as a reader, since it takes no time at all to scan and nominate your favorite proposed titles.

img_1085.png

As a writer, I found Kindle Scout to be slightly beneficial to my exposure. My books had slightly more downloads while my latest work was up on Kindle Scout (which I think is partially due to more readers who don’t know me seeing my name). I’m planning to release Under Jupiter this weekend, at which time Kindle Scout will send an email out those people who nominated my book and let them know it is for sale. I’ll post an update after I’ve done this to say whether or not I get a sales boost from that feature.

As for what’s next, I’m working away on The Torc. Would I submit it to the Kindle Scout website? Probably not, because I felt Kindle Scout mostly just added a bit of a delay to my release schedule, and I’m too excited to share The Torc with the world.

What do you think? Do you like reviewing book previews on Kindle Scout?

JEH

Submitting to Kindle Scout

I did it! I pressed submit! And now for a little rundown of what I thought about the whole Kindle Scout submission process.

If you’ve never heard about Kindle Scout, you can read more about it here, and sign up to preview and vote for submitted books. For readers, Kindle Scout is a way to earn free books, because if a book you nominate is chosen by Scout for publishing with Kindle Press, then you get a free copy. For writers, it’s a chance to earn an advance for your book and get a little bit of extra marketing.

UNDER

So why did I decide to try Kindle Scout? Mostly because I’m always on the lookout for new things to try, and, well, that advance does sound nice. So far, everything has been simple and straight forward. I opened a Kindle Scout account, prepared my files (cover, manuscript, blurb, a short bio, and answers to some questions. The Kindle Scout Website says you can submit in fifteen minutes, but it took me longer than that to prepare the question answers and the bio, because I wanted them to be good.

The cover had to be submitted in jpg or png format, and the manuscript (yes, you have to submit the entire manuscript even though only the first 5,000 words or so will be used as an except), has to be .doc or .docx format.

I uploaded everything, pressed the button, and now Under Jupiter is under content review (which means Kindle Scout is checking that there isn’t any inappropriate content or trouble with the files). Next, I should receive a confirmation and a campaign launch date, which I will share as soon as I have it. I’m excited to share this preview of Under Jupiter with everyone, and I can’t wait to hear what people think.

So, what does this mean for the release of Under Jupiter? Well, in the case that the book is selected by Scout, the release date will be up to Amazon (usually within a month of selection, so likely July 2017), and in the case that it isn’t selected, I will have Under Jupiter released by the end of June 2017.

Either way, Under Jupiter is set to land soon!

JEH

Under Jupiter Plans For World Domination (on attempting Kindle Scout)

Okay, maybe that title is a bit extreme, but I like it! I’m working away through the fourth or so revision of Under Jupiter, and making pretty good progress. But once it’s ready, I’m not going to release it right away, as I did with the Black Depths titles. Instead, I’m going to try Kindle Scout.

What is Kindle Scout? you ask. Good question. Kindle Scout is Amazon’s on-going “competition”, where you mostly compete against yourself. Under Jupiter will be up for a 30 day compaign. During which readers can review the blurb, and the first 5,000 words of the book (around 3 chapters). Then, you can nominate the book, and if I ‘win’, (if Amazon selects to publish Under Jupiter with Kindle Press), then you get a free copy of the ebook.

UNDER

I want to try this to do something different. I think it will be a fun way to let more people know about Under Jupiter, and a good way to share part of the book. I’ll let you know when Under Jupiter is up, but until then, here’s a link to the Kindle Scout website in case you want to check out other books that are currently up for nomination.

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/

JEH

Self-Publishing: Formatting E-Books

It’s been a while since I did a post on self-publishing. Most of you are probably here for the book discussions, but hopefully a few of you are interested in the writing and publishing process too.

Recently, I decided to make a pretty major investment. I bought Vellum. And it has changed my life! So what is Vellum, you ask? Vellum is an E-Book formatter, and it’s lovely. No longer do I have to spend hours working out my indentations and page breaks, section breaks, or chapter breaks. I can just import my Word file to Vellum and let it work it’s magic! So far, I’ve reformatted the first two Black Depths books, and I hope to do the others soon. The reformatting does take a bit of time, as my old files were formatted really strangely in order to get them to import onto Kindle and Smashwords correctly. So far, the Vellum files seems to import onto Kindle and Smashwords with ease, and I haven’t come across any problems.

Now, Vellum isn’t perfect. It doesn’t format paperbacks, which means I still have to do that myself. And there aren’t a ton of style options, but there are enough. At least for me. And there are pretty ornamental breaks, drop caps, and chapter headings.

Really, in Self-publishing, it’s nice to be able to save time wherever possible. And if I can save time formatting so that I can spend a bit more time marketing, drafting, or re-writing my next project, then I’m pretty happy. But like I mentioned, Vellum was an investment. But I think it was worth the hole it put in my purse.

JEH