Under Jupiter Now On Kindle Scout

It’s there! It’s up and shining in the spotlight. Head on over here to check it out, or click on the link on the right, and read the prologue, the first chapter, and take a sneak peek into chapter two. Under Jupiter will be up on Kindle Scout until May 30th, so you can go back and view it again anytime, or share it with a friend. Don’t forgot to nominate the book for a change to get a free copy if the ebook if it’s chosen by Kindle Press!

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Kindle Scout View

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.

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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.

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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

Novel Title Reveal!

Alright, I’m finally ready to tell you all the title of my new project. This is a Young Adult Science Fiction Mystery the I’ll be releasing in Late April or Early May of 2017. I has a few rounds of rewrites to go through yet, but I look forward to sharing tidbits with you each week as the launch gets closer.

So, here’s a mock cover I did when I drafted the book a number a years ago (yes, years). The actual cover is still being worked on by the amazing Leah Keeler. But don’t worry, I reveal it sometime before the launch.

So for now, the title: Under Jupiter

It’s going to be awesome.

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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

Twisted Currents Cover Reveal

It’s finally here! I was hoping to launch the book prior to getting into NaNoWriMo, but I’m still waiting on the editor (which is my fault as I was slow in getting the book to them). But the cover is here and ready to go. It’s amazing! I would like to say a big thanks to the artist, Leah Keeler, whom you can find over on Deviant Art. This is my favourite cover so far and speaks of what’s to come! The book will be here very soon….

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JEH

Self-Publishing: Or Being Busier Than You’ve Ever Been Before

Well, I’ve finally finished my rewrites and edits on Twisted Currents, and am now waiting for editorial and cover art. Whew! *Take a big breath*

If you read the title of this post, then you already know I’m talking about how busy self-publishing is. The real work that goes on behind the scenes. If you’re a self-published author, you’ll know what I mean about being busier than ever before. Unless you’ve published and made millions (which is so, so rare), then you likely aren’t sitting on a beach in Mexico sipping drinks from coconuts. Instead, you’re probably huddled in a dark corner of your basement, hoping to squeeze in two more minutes of writing/editing/promo time.

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Where I’m Not

If you’re a reader of this blog, then you’ve probably noticed the slow down in blog posts over the past couple of weeks, the lack of book reviews, and the lack of posting in general. And that’s mostly do to those pesky rewrites I’ve been working on. Rewriting is the most difficult part of the writing process for me. It’s that time when I sit down and think: Does this part really make sense? What is the symbology of that? How would this character say it? It’s a lot of work. And it’s even more work when self-publishing because there is no one to help you out. Though, you can remedy that by finding beta-readers or hiring an editor, for me, part of self-publishing is doing it on my own and writing something that is nearly 100% mine, and not 50% mine and 25% feedback from beta reads and 25% changes made by an editor I may or may not know. The editing I pay for is generally typo/grammatical only, which means the creative part of my novels are all mine. But it makes me so busy!

So what takes up all my time?

  1. Writing the Draft – This takes me at least 40-60 hours of straight work for an 80K word novel. I’ve tried to do this all in one week before, but mentally it’s exhausting, so I usually spread that 40-60 hours out over a month or two.

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    And Then There’s Cat Distraction Time…
  2. Rewriting the Draft (at least once) – I rewrite at a speed of 10 pages per hour (on a good day), for an 80K word book, that’s around another 40 hours. Again, this is spread out because yes, I do have a day job, and yes, I prefer to write at night, making it my “night job”.
  3. Editing the Draft – This is slightly quicker, because at this point I’m only making small changes, but it still takes around 30 hours.
  4. Getting Someone Else to Edit the Draft )and making those edits into a Final) – Most hired editors will get an 80K words novel back to you in 1-2 weeks. So there is the waiting time (where you can at least do other things), and then the review of those edits, which takes about another 5 hours.
  5. Formatting – I hate formatting. This is probable the bane of my existence. This takes me anywhere from 1-10 hours (or maybe a million, I’m not sure, but it certain feels like FOREVER).
  6. Blog – This is just a constant process. And fun (I love blogging)
  7. Tweeting – I should really tweet more than I do (15 min per day)
  8. Facebook – I should definitely Facebook more than I do (15 min per day)
  9. Cover Art Design (hire out or do my own) – I currently hire out my cover designs, though I do the text myself. While my artist is working on the drawing, there is a feedback process to make sure the image is going in the direction I need. In total, cover art probably takes around 2-3 hours, and that’s because I don’t draw (if I did, I would love to do my own art but I imagine it would take me another 40 hours at least).
  10. Book Launch Planning – If you’re going this, look at spending 5-6 hours over the course of a month to choose the sections you want to read, what kind of treats you want to serve, sending out e-vites, preparing other promotional material, and practicing your reading.img_3874
  11. Readings/Arts Fairs/Public Events – This is similar to the launch, and a similar amount of time. IMG_0136

Writing a novel is a long, slow process. Writing a series is a slightly more fast-paced process that is just as much work. I have to admit, I’m glad to be concluding the Black Depths Series for the moment, because I need a breather. After a week of getting sampling edits back from potential editors so that I can find the right editor at the right price, I’m just about burnt out. But I’ve timed this perfectly, because now that the book is off to the chopping block, I have time to sit back, read, relax, and blog prior to starting NaNoWriMo in exactly one week.

Join me tomorrow when I post my first blog about my 2016 NaNoWriMo preparations.

Have you planned out  your novel yet?

JEH