Who’s Ready for More Kinky Fun in Paradise?

Yes, I mean finally! Can you see how excited I am??? It feels like I’ve been waiting forever to say this:

“Scavenger, Book 2 of the Dark Day Isle series is officially scheduled for Release on May 1st!!!”Β 

When I first released Collar Me Foxy in June of 2016, I already had half of Scavenger’s rough draft penned. I never imagined its release day would be nearly 2 years away! Turns out my first rough draft of Scavenger was 90% rubbish and only 10% salvageable.

I won’t bore you with the gruesome details. Suffice to say, this is NOT the Scavenger I finished a year ago and passed off to beta readers. It’s so much better! The disheartening, yet extremely helpful, beta feedback and struggle with revisions ended up being completely worth it. I hope you all feel the same when you read it! (See how optimistic I am? LOL)

Thanks to the lovely Lauren and Nikki over at Saints and Sinners Book Promotions, I now introduce this pretty banner and sign up link for anyone who would like to host Scavenger’s Cover Reveal and/or Release Day Blitz on their blogs – or maybe you can share with someone who might? You’re awesome, thanks! πŸ˜€ ❀

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β™₯ SIGN UP HERE β™₯

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It’s day two of the exclusive getaway on Dark Day Isle, and Felix’s smoldering lust isn’t the only thing to greet Tessa come morning. A list of challenges awaits her; finding the courage to confront her Master, devious tests of kink designed to push her limits and an unpleasant punishment that effects more than just their temporary dynamic.

Afternoon events provide insight on the getaway’s purpose and leads them deeper into the resort’s naughty, fetish-catering amenities. Tessa and Felix’s individual struggles are interspersed with visiting friends, unexpected triggers and a meeting of competitive spirits during the evening’s activity.

When Tessa’s true feelings about the cage are revealed, so is one of Felix’s well-guarded secrets that leaves her stunned. Now, Master expects to learn something from her in return and Tessa dreads what he might deem an even exchange for a truth he never wanted her to know.

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Welcome to Dark Day Isle, the Ultimate Kink Resort β™₯ #Free eBook

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$10,000 and an all-expense paid getaway to a kink resort? What’s the catch?

Tessa Fauns has but one dream: Move to France and never leave.
So when she’s offered the chance to get enough money, while putting her bilingual skills to use, how can she possibly say no?
The fact that it requires her to join a select group of Club Vitalz submissives for a week-long kinkfest in paradise is just the icing on the cake!

Unless, it’s too good to be true…

Despite all of her experience in the BDSM lifestyle, Tessa isn’t prepared for the extravagant activities their mysterious host has planned–nor the clash of unexpected emotions her new temporary Dom awakens inside of her.
Can a lifelong dream be enough to keep this little fox on her leash,
or will the truth behind her Master’s desires have
Tessa rethinking her place on Dark Day Isle altogether?

#Free all this week on Amazon
(3/19 – 3/23)

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#MusicMonday

Style

by Taylor Swift

Midnight,
You come and pick me up, no headlights
Long drive,
Could end in burning flames or paradise
Fade into view, oh, it’s been a while since I have even heard from you (heard from you)

I should just tell you to leave ’cause I
Know exactly where it leads but I
Watch us go ’round and ’round each time

You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye
And I got that red lip classic thing that you like
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time
‘Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style

You got that long hair, slicked back, white t-shirt
And I got that good girl faith and a tight little skirt
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time
‘Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style.

So it goes
He can’t keep his wild eyes on the road
Takes me home
Lights are off, he’s taking off his coat, hmm, yeah.
I say, “I heard, oh, that you’ve been out and about with some other girl, some other girl.”

He says, “What you’ve heard is true but I
Can’t stop thinking about you,” and I…
I said, “I’ve been there, too, a few times.”

‘Cause you got that James Dean daydream look in your eye
And I got that red lip classic thing that you like
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time
‘Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style

You got that long hair, slicked back, white t-shirt
And I got that good girl faith and a tight little skirt (tight little skirt)
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time
‘Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style

Take me home
Just take me home, yeah.
Just take me home
(out of style)

You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye
And I got that red lip classic thing that you like
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time
‘Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style

I do not own any rights to this video, lyrics or song. All rights remain with the artist(s) and their respective agents. No copyright infringement intended.

β™₯ Aside from the fact that I actually really like this song, today’s music video choice was inspired by Master Felix. For those who have no idea who Master Felix is, you can pick up a copy of Collar Me Foxy for FREE on Amazon all this week! πŸ˜‰

$1.99, 99Β’ or FREE. Free’s good!

It’s official, Avarice and Collar Me Foxy are now enrolled in KDP Select – which means they’re FREE for all you Kindle Unlimited members and through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL)!

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Only 99Β’ or

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AC MEDOLY, Avarice 2016-322

Only $1.99 or

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A little note for my fellow Indies: If you’re considering switching from Smashwords to KDP Select now or anytime in the future, it can take a few days for you book(s) to be pulled from all of the third party affiliate sites, so plan ahead if you have a specific date in mind. Smashwords warned me that it could take 1-3 weeks, but all of the retail sites had my books pulled overnight – except Barnes & Noble who took about 3 days. Then I had to wait for the Kindle Unlimited price of $0.00 to show up on my books’ Amazon pages (a few hours at most). Just wanted to share that with you all for future reference. πŸ™‚

β™₯ Happy Hump Day!

Dear Indie β™₯ Weekly Resource Post

Independent

Good evening [she says in Bela Lugosi’s Dracula voice] – Yeah, I’m a nerd – But, I have an important update for all of you who might still be contemplating where to publish your books: Collar Me Foxy just hit its 102nd full download since going Free on Smashwords! Now, we celebrate not getting paid? YES! That’s 102 readers that may otherwise never have purchased my book, 102 people who might love it and then spread the word to all of their friends, coworkers, etc. – in other words, 102 free ads I didn’t have to pay for. πŸ˜‰ So, is it worth publishing through Smashwords? Yes. Is it worth participating in any sale event that lists your book for free? Absolutely!

Of course, the sale is only through Smashwords, so my book is still selling at regular price on every other retail site. Even though I’ve been trying to advertise the free version, not everyone sees those tweets or posts, and some consumers are under the impression that if they have a Kindle they can only purchase through Amazon, when that’s not the case. Smashwords offers the MOBI edition, too. – Just wanted to let all my fellow Indies know for future reference.

This week, we’re entering the final stages of your publishing process. See that checkered flag up ahead? That’s the finish line, my friend! Let’s recap the steps you’ve already taken thus far: You totally nailed finishing your rough draft, conquered your fears and got those beta read revisions done, then shipped your MS off to your Editor. In the interim, you started building your Author Platform, got your Newsletter started, and have shopped around for – or perhaps, already ordered – your book cover. If you haven’t, now is the time to do that. Depending on how you choose to obtain it, depends on how long it will take for you to get your cover. For those who’ve been following these posts all along, this information is probably starting to sound a little redundant, so to save all of our times, here are the links for my articles on book covers: Post 1 , Post 2 , Post 3.

Here’s a Checklist of what you’ve already accomplished:

  • Author Bio
  • Blurb
  • Final Edited Version of your MS
  • Blog/Website
  • Social Media Accounts
  • Facebook Fan Page – different from a regular user account
  • Goodreads Author Profile
  • (Optional) Teasers, Book Trailer, Playlist
  • Book Cover (self-made, pre-made or professional) Done or Ordered

These are the things that your promoters are going to ask for when you order your book tours, which is something else you should be doing right about now, if you haven’t already. Also, if you’re getting ready to book your tours, that means you’ve already chosen a Release Date – Congratulations! It’s an amazing feeling to have that date circled on your calendar, an obtainable goal within your reach, so take a moment to revel in that feeling of accomplishment. You’re one step closer to becoming a published author. πŸ™‚

Your next step is critical: Interior Layout Formatting. I also covered that a little bit in an earlier post here. Please take a moment to read it over and decide how you’d like to cover this step. I’ll give you my personal experience and opinion in a nutshell: I jumped the gun and hired a professional for my novella, Avarice, and now I’m not even going to be using the two formats I paid over $80 for. I needed to make changes I couldn’t pay the extra money for, and to be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the blahzay title page or chapter headers they used. I wanted to jazz it up a little.

Both Smashwords and Amazon have style guides, but one works just as well for the other, so spare yourself the extra reading. However, they are only for those using Microsoft Word – which, I do not have – so if you’re also using a free word processor like OpenOffice or Libre, message me and I can send you step-by-step instructions on how to apply the right steps to perfect your layout. It seems overwhelming at first glance, but trust me, once you get the hang of it, it’s easy peasy – and you’ll find yourself never using the TAB button again!

If you’re part of the Goodreads support groups, you may have seen an open discussion about this recently. To me, it seems those having a problem with doing their own layouts are not following each step – even though it warns in the very beginning that not following each step will result in failure – so, please have patience young padawan and follow those guides to a T. Collar Me Foxy never saw a lick of trouble in any format (mobi, epub, etc.) and never once got spit out of Smashwords Meatgrinder. If you decide it’s just too much to take on yourself, by all means hire a professional – just make sure your MS is completely done and final so you’re not wasting your money like I did! πŸ™‚

It’s Decision Time, dear Indie. You can’t put it off any longer. You need to decide right now, exactly how you plan on publishing your book. Here’s another look at your options:

  • Smashwords: Who will upload it to every other retail site for you, aside from Amazon – including, but not limited to: Barnes & Nobel, iBooks and Kobo.
  • Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing: Which allows you to still have it listed everywhere else.
  • KDP Select: An exclusive platform that forbids you from selling anywhere other than Amazon, but has a lot of beneficial features that could possibly help sell more of your books.
  • eCommerce Website: Selling directly to customers from your own website at 100% royalties to you, and of course can be coupled with every other option aside from KDP Select.
  • CreateSpace: Amazon’s Print On Demand platform (it’s imperative to know if you’re going to publish here, since it requires a completely different Interior Layout and Book Cover than an eBook).

Keep in mind that you are not limited to your initial choice. You can always change your mind later on and add or remove your book with any one of these programs (KDP Select does have a certain time you’re obligated to fulfill first). That’s the nice thing about being Independent. Your book = your choice. A traditional publisher chooses the sites, sets the price of your book, and you don’t get a say in it. Next week, we’re going to look at more marketing adventures you can take to help pre-promote your book before its launch date!

β™₯ Weekly Accomplishment: I got over a small stretch of writers block and started working on Scavenger again with a new found flow of creativity. Just started Chapter Five with only 1 or 2 more chapters to go! What are you celebrating this week? Please share with us in the comments below, so we can cheer you on!

 

Dear Indie β™₯ Weekly Resource Post

IndependentHappy Independence Day to all of my fellow Americans! The perfect day to get back on track with my Indie posts. πŸ™‚ The last you heard from me, I talked about the importance of Beta Readers and all of the steps that will help you during your Post-Rough Draft, Pre-Publication process. I’m going to pick right up where I left off and move into possibly the most difficult step you’ll ever face in your journey: Dealing with constructive criticism.

First, it’s important to understand what a Beta Reader is, what they do and what you’re essentially asking them to do when you request their help. The easiest comparison is:

You’re the CEO of your own company (Author Name) looking to market a new product (Your Book) and Beta Readers are your test subjects. They’re trying your book out for size and filling out a customer survey (Beta Read Questionnaire) at the end.

Beta Readers are usually experienced and know what to look for, what critiques will help polish your book. Some are more thorough than others, but they’re looking at some or all of these points: Character development, sentence structure, plot holes, flow, grammar, punctuation, style and overall enjoyment. They can be a lot like editors, only from a readership point of view.

Now, that you’ve gotten the results back, your first reactions and questions may be along the lines of:

  • What? They didn’t like it? But how can anyone think poorly about the blood, sweat and tears I’ve put into this precious new creation? Easy. They didn’t put any blood, sweat and tears into it. They are not emotionally invested in the story, the characters or even the success of the finished, published product. Therefore, their opinions and suggestions are unbiased, clear-headed and unfettered. As much as you might loathe or even downright despite them, this collection of outside feedback is crucial to your book’s success.
  • But, I chose to publish independently so that I could write what I want – or – because none of the publishers or literary agents were interested, despite the fact that I know it’s good! – Yes, but now you have the opportunity to make it even better. To polish your story to the point where it’s no longer good, but phenomenal! [insert flashing text and raining glitter here].
  • All of my friends and family love my book just the way it is! – No, they’re either afraid of hurting your feelings or they really do love it, because they don’t know any better. By that, I mean, they’re not familiar with your specific genre, or they aren’t aware of those critical points I listed above (character development, etc.) and therefore have no way of critiquing those things for you.

The important question you should be asking yourself is this: Wouldn’t you rather know these opinions now, rather than in bad reviews after it’s already published?

I completely understand your desire to hold fast and try to protect your hard work. We inherently possess a knee-jerk reaction that sends us right into defensive mode whenever our work is criticized. It’s natural, and it’s okay to feel (not to act on). However, I also know from experience that it’s counterproductive to stay in that mode for too long.

So, how can you get past it and turn all of the criticism into something useful? By remembering that you’re a CEO of a company looking to market a new product. It’s as easy, and as difficult as that. Allow yourself to have your initial, natural reactions – but then step back from the personal, emotional hold of it and put it into a business perspective.

The worst possible feedback you can ever get is “OMG, I loved it!” and nothing else – In no way does that help you. It’s flattering, yes, and we all love to hear that kind of praise, but that sentence alone is not going to help you sell any books. Besides, that’s more of a Review than a Beta Read (we’ll cover Reviews later on).

The best feedback will be a combination of positive and negative points. Most (not all) beta readers like to highlight the things they loved about your book, just as much as it’s their job to point out all of the things that didn’t work well for them. It should be a balance, but you have to keep in mind that beta reading is time consuming, so there may be those who only give you back the critiques without any praise – that doesn’t mean they didn’t like anything, though.

By turning the negative feedback into the positive tools they really are, it will help soften the blow, but I won’t promise it will be easy. Remember that each opinion and suggestion are the necessary bolts and screws that are going to make your book stronger for the marketplace. The fruits and veggies your story is going to need in order to flourish. Call it tough love, if you will, but when you trick your mind into a more positive, constructive and essentially productive perspective regarding your beta reads, you’ll be able move past it faster and get onto the next step you need to take.

Okay, so what step is that? Hopefully, you’ve already shopped around and decided on a professional editor, but if you haven’t, now would be the time. Most editors are willing to do a sample edit for you, so that you can see how thorough they are. They’re usually able to give you a time frame of how long it will take them to get the first pass back to you, as well. Choose the best editor for your needs and send your MS off to them.

Congratulations! You’re now halfway through your self-publishing journey! Take a moment to celebrate and pat yourself on the back for such a job well done! Especially, for managing to get through your first collection of criticism – it never completely goes away, but it might get easier for you over time.

Next week, I’m going to cover some optional pre-marketing steps you can take while you’re waiting for your edits to come back that might save wear in tear in your floors from pacing! πŸ™‚

β™₯ Weekly Accomplishment: I’m happy to announce that this week, I’ve finished the 3rd Chapter for Scavenger, book 2 of the Dark Day Isle series and have moved into the 4th. Hint: When Master Felix orders extra pineapple, things are bound to get a little… messy. πŸ˜‰ What are you drooling… er…cheering over this week? Please share with us in the comments below!