🏵 Spring Book Festival 🏵

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Navigating Indieworld’s first annual Spring Book Festival kicks off today! This is a multi-genre event spanning Childrens, YA, Christian, Contemporary Romance, Horror, Mystery, Erotica, you name it. There is something for everyone and a lot of the books will be on sale or free.

Make sure to go check out this Indie Festival and find your new favorite author. There’s also a giveaway with $150 worth of prizes for multiple winners, so don’t miss out!

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Have you started my Hell on Earth series, yet? If not, Avarice (bk 1) will be 100% FREE on Amazon for this entire week (March 27-31). The 3rd and final book will be coming out on April 30th so get a jump start on where Kami’s crazy, sexy story begins now!

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Happy Reading!

 

 

#HappyNewYear2017!

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Dear Indies, Bloggers, Readers and Friends:

This is a virtual toast to express my wishes for you in the coming New Year. Maybe, 2016 was unkind, frustrating or held regrets for you–I hope not. I hope looking back, you will find more joys, moments of gratitude, or achievements to celebrate than anything else.

In 2016, some of us became Indie Authors and released our first self-published book(s). We hopped on the learning curve, taught ourselves how to navigate this bumpy ride through all the various levels of writing, publishing and marketing. One of my greatest fortunes was finding a new job when I desperately needed it, which *bonus* I absolutely enjoy. But my greatest achievements this year have been the amazing connections I’ve made with so many creative, supportive and brilliant writers, bloggers, artists and readers.

Some of you I met here, through my Dear Indie articles, or on one of the awesome blog shares hosted by others. Some of you I met on Goodreads. Either way, we’ve formed some kind of kinship along our journeys and these are things I am very grateful for. I look forward to all the things we will accomplish in 2017. I hope to continue sharing in all the struggles and successes, watching the way our little online community rallies around one another in support.

My greatest wish for all of you this coming year is that you find more reasons to feel happy, accomplished, grateful and loved than you did in 2016 – even if it was a spectacular year for you – may 2017 be that much more fulfilling…

…and may the book boyfriends be extra spicy! 😛

You may now commence with the guzzling of virtual (or real) bubbly.

Cheers & Have a wonderful–safe–New Year’s Eve!

The Other Side of The Coin

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We all started as readers, didn’t we? Long ago, back when books could only be purchased in print and the idea of corresponding with our favorite authors was a pipe dream that earned us generic letters written by fan club volunteers–yet, we cherished them anyway.

All the late night hours, oversleeping for school the next morning, because we just couldn’t put that book down. We didn’t know how much money the author made, what they preferred for breakfast or the name of their beloved pet, until someone was lucky enough to get an interview with them. Authors were as distant as the stars and we worshiped them for their creative brilliance. We were awed and spellbound by the masterpieces they were able to create with words. We would wait months, years for their next novel, because that was normal.

Now, we’re the authors and we’ve come into this fast-paced, on-demand, high-tech industry with the same hopes and aspirations as the writers who came before us. We have the advantage of a self-publishing market and being able to personally connect with our readers through various social media platforms.

What’s a fan club? (I think she meant Street Team) Oooh, gotcha.

We aren’t distant or mysterious. Our readers not only know what we prefer for breakfast, they get before, during, and after photos on Instagram.

The disadvantage, is that the reader mentality has adapted to these modern times. Instant gratification has become the new norm and they’re no longer willing to wait months or years for your next novel to come out.

Are you?

Now that you’re on the other side of the coin, has it changed the kind of reader you are? Do you find yourself more sympathetic to the time and cost, or is there a switch in your brain between writer and reader?

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You know exactly what goes into each and every one of your books. The writing, the beta readers, re-writes, blurbs, covers, the editing, promoting and tours. No matter how small your budget, you publish at a loss, unless you’re skilled enough to do 100% of everything by yourself.

Do you wince at paying $2.99 for an eBook? Oh, I don’t know about that, I think I’ll wait for it to go on sale. You know that cover alone cost at least $45 if it was pre-made or author made (royalty free stock photos can cost that much for the right size). Upwards to $499 if it was custom ordered by a top professional.

“Yeah, but $2.99 is half the cost of my favorite espresso or 2 cheeseburgers off the dollar menu at McDonalds and I already know I like those, no risk of being disappointed.”

Instant gratification is worth the cost, but a new author we’re not sure we’ll like…um…maybe not so much.

Plus, there’s no resale value on an eBook, but you can always sell a paperback used on Amazon, at the flea market, yard sale, or trade it for credit at the paperback exchange – yes, they still have those.

And this isn’t a dis on technology, our spending habits or the new times. The world changes and we adapt. We have a lot of things to be grateful for as authors, that our predecessors only dreamed about – I’m just curious if becoming a writer has changed the way you behave as a reader? Are your reactions more lenient when you find a typo in someone’s book or harsher? Do you find yourself reading as a writer; critiquing plot, flow and character development as you go – or can you still fall into these things from a reader’s perspective alone?

Do you find yourself reading more or less? Do you have writer envy? Do you find yourself discouraged more often than not by other authors’ successes?bestwriter

Want a free book?

Uh…..

Bet you never thought you’d pass up on a free book, huh? These days, there are so many free book promotions that a good 50% never get opened in emails; click-delete, delete, delete, because we already have 1,000 free novels bogging down our Kindles from the last 25 promotions and we’re not even sure we’ll ever read them…like ever. 90% of them sounded good at the time, but they’re not even on our TBR list. They’re just sitting there, collecting cyber dust.

Do me a favor and look at the bookcases in your house, you know those beloved shelves you treat like a shrine, and tell me – is there a single book on them you haven’t already read at least once?

Does that make you feel guilty? Do you wonder if your own novel is sitting on someone’s Kindle, where it will go unread…possibly forever? Ever fear that karma’s gonna bite you in the ass if you don’t go above and beyond to support as many fellow authors as possible, even at the sacrifice of your own precious writing time?

Is your mind filled with:

“Read? Who has time to read?! I’m not writing fast enough, my readers are going to leave me for all those other authors, because they’re publishing books once a month, attending signings, giving out SWAG (where do you even buy that?) and still find time to post a new Tweet every five minutes!” (?)

Or do you actually take the time to stop and think:

“Oh my God, I did it. I’m a published author, and there are people out there, right now, reading my book and I don’t care that they downloaded it for free and may never review it or buy the next one – they’re reading something I wrote – That’s all I ever wanted. I never thought this day would come!” (?)

Curious minds want to know…

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#BigBookSale

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Hey Indies! Sorry I’m getting this up so late, but: Today’s the last day to sign your book up for this event! If you’re having a Reduced, Countdown or FREE book sale Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 25-28) then you can promote your book through this event, just fill out the submission form here: https://nicolerlocker.com/bigbooksale/bigbooksale-author-submission/

There’s already 50+ authors who will be sharing and spreading the word of this event, exposing your book to hundreds of people.

Event Locations:

Main Event Page (works best with Chrome. Firefox may not show all available books!): Nicolerlocker.com

Goodreads

Facebook

Google+

Avarice (Hell on Earth #1) will be FREE on Amazon that entire weekend (Nov. 25-29) so will be part of the event. Come support your fellow Indie Authors and take advantage of all the great sales!

#IndieAuthorsAreAwesome

Dear Indie ♥ Weekly Resource Post

Independent

Hello Indies!

If you’ve been following these posts right along with your self-publishing journey, than congratulations! You’re getting ready to launch your book to the world! I hope you have a huge celebration planned, but before we bust open the champagne bottles, your work isn’t done yet…

It’s your book’s launch day. The moment you’ve been dreaming about since you first sat down in front of that blank white document and turned a blinking courser into a spellbinding story for all the world to read. Through blood, sweat, tears, coffee spills, #$%@@#^%! moments, hair-pulling, head banging against the keyboard, too much chocolate and not enough sleep you have created a thriving, living, breathing world filled with characters you now know more intimately than most of your real life friends! They’re your babies and it’s a bittersweet moment to let them go out on their own into the big bad market. You’re not sure how they’ll get along, how they’ll be received, and you already know that no one could ever love them as much as you do, but you’re hoping against all the odds someone will love them almost as much. Take a deep breath mama and/or papa, because here they go!

Depending on how you prepared for your launch day, will determine how quickly you can get to that champagne. It also depends on who you booked your tour with. Some promoters are more thorough than others. Goddess Fish Promotions, for example will send you a spreadsheet listing all of their tour hosts where your tour will be posted and keep it updated with those who’ve already gotten their posts up and running. Other promoters won’t provide this and you have to go hunt your posts down.

Twitter and Facebook are the best places to find those links – but don’t assume that one equals the other. Make sure you check both. You’ll either find a link to their blog, or that they’ve only shared it on Facebook – either way, make sure you thank all of your hosts for sharing or posting, however you want to word it – and keep in mind that they’re not all in the same time zone, so your 1 day tour might actually last 2-3 days! If your Facebook is like mine, it doesn’t always notify me when someone new ‘mentions’ me in a post, so check your notifications every once in awhile to make sure you haven’t missed anyone.

If your tour includes a Giveaway, play that up in Tweets and Facebook statuses! Usually, your giveaway will last longer than your tour, so I highly recommend following the link to see when it’s due to end, that way you can be on top of your tour promoter to get the winner’s names so they’re not waiting for their prizes!

Okay, I’m done tormenting you – bust open that champagne! You can drink in between Tweets and status updates, what was I thinking?

Oh, you thought you were done? Hehehe – If you included ARCS in your tour, you might want to head over to Goodreads and Amazon to check out all of the reviews being posted now, or maybe you don’t want to read those yet, and that’s fine – but don’t forget to thank your tour hosts for reviewing, even if it wasn’t sparkling. It’s just the polite thing to do. I also “like” reviews on Goodreads, but again, that’s entirely up to you.

Things might start slowing down toward the end of the bottle day, but now you need to start thinking about marketing! All of those reviews are now advertising bits you get to Tweet and Facebook about over the next couple of days while people are still hyped about buying your book and spreading the word. Of course, they’re always there for marketing later on, as well, but this is definitely the time when you’ll want to highlight all of your book’s praise. Remember, there’s no such thing as too much advertisement! Shamelessly promote yourself. No one else is going to do it  – unless you’ve got a publicist in your pocket, in that case… sharing is caring, don’t be stingy.

Okay, now you can relax and give yourself a huge pat on the back! (If you’re not too intoxicated to accomplish it) – You’ve made it, sugar. You are now a

。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆*:・゚✧PUBLISHED AUTHOR*:・゚✧。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

Congratulations! 😀

 

Catching Up & Changing Routes

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Yes! I’m happy to announce that I finished the rough draft of Scavenger, got it cleaned up and shipped off to my beta readers! 😀 I’d do a happy dance, but I woke up with a kink in my neck this morning. Ugh, hate those but I don’t exactly practice proper ergonomics, either – my bad.

I’m also happy to say that I got the final cover for Scavenger done. It’s so hard keeping it to myself, I can’t wait to share it with you! Since I made Collar Me Foxy’s cover, I just decided to stick with it for the rest of the series. The nice thing about Canva is that you can make a copy of your complete cover and that way the same color theme, fonts and everything are already in place, all you have to do is replace/adjust the photo and choose the proper filter setting (if you have any) and tweak it to your liking. No need to start from scratch – so, that’s just a little insight for those thinking about making their own covers. Of course, it’s more complicated if you’re using vignettes or multiples layers.

Another little insight I’d like to talk about with my fellow Indie’s is regarding publishing platforms. First I’ll start off by stating that everyone’s experience is different, so this is in no way a guideline on what you should do – I think we all should try everything for ourselves and come to our own conclusions on what works best for us. I’m going to be unpublishing my books from Smashwords and enrolling them into the KDP Select program at the end of this month (the end of Smashwords’s quarter).

I love everything about Smashwords, why it exists and everything it provides for Indie Authors – this is admittedly a business decision, not a personal one. Unfortunately, Smashwords’s Reporting & Payment policies are not competitive to Amazon’s. I’ll break it down for comparison:

Smaswords Reporting & Payment Policies:

  • 3 months per quarter + 30-40 days for payment, so for the quarter of July/August/September an author gets paid around the end of October, beginning of November.
  • A 30-60 day lag between end of quarter and when third party retailers send payments for sales (if any) to Smashwords. (according to their FAQ)
  • Smashwords purchases reported right away.
  • Third party retailer sales updated every 48 hours under Daily Sales.
  • A $75 minimum for payment by check. A $10 minimum for payment by PayPal, no exceptions.

Amazon KDP’s Reporting & Payment Policies:

  • 60 days after each month you make a sale, you get paid. (i.e. I got paid in August for June’s sales.)
  • Your sales are updated 24 hours after they happen – worldwide.
  • A $100 minimum for check or wire transfers. NO minimum for EFT payments (direct deposit) – whatever you make, you get.

So far, I’ve only sold 1 of each book available on Smashwords, a total of under $3.00. So not only am I unsure of how many books I may have sold at third party retailers, I don’t even know if I qualify to get paid at the end of October/beginning of November. Yet, my books have been selling fairly regularly on Amazon. So, for me, this is a smart business decision to take my books to where they’re selling. Also, since both of my books fall under the 35% royalty range, rather than the 70% royalty range, going Select could be more lucrative than staying normal KDP. Here’s why:

Amazon KDP Select Reporting & Payment Policies:

  • Sales reported 24 hours after they happen – worldwide – for regular, non-KU/KOLL customers.
  • Sales reports generated the 15th of every month for Kindle Unlimited & Kindle Owners Lender Library customers.
  • KENP reports as it happens (number of pages read through Kindle Unlimited or the Kindle Owners Lending Library).
  • You get paid your regular sales 60 days after the end of each calendar month for non-KU/KOLL purchases.
  • You get paid from the KDP Select Global Fund for all books read through the Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Owner Lender Library programs – from my understanding, this is paid the same way KDP payments happen – 60 days after the end of each calendar month – if this is wrong, please let me know in the comments below!

Like I said, this is a choice I’m making for my own books, not something I’m recommending for yours, unless you want to. Another new experience I will happily share with you in a future post to let you know how it works out. In the meantime, I hope everyone is doing great and making progress on their own beloved projects and I have so many blogs and emails to catch up on, I better get back to it! 😀

In Scavenger, Tessa faces a typical sub conundrum more than once. Which is: giving Master too much information, because you’re forbidden to tell lies.

“You don’t like yellow, pet?”

“I hate it, Master.”

“Good to know,” he smiled deviously.

Personally, I think Master Felix just likes having a full arsenal of future punishments at the ready. Which do you prefer in books: blatant attacks, subtle unravelings or a good mixture of both?

 

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COVER REVEAL

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Book Title: In the Best Interest of the Child
Author: Felicia Denise
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Psychological
Release Date: September 17, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

Ten-year-old Olivia Chandler has a school she loves, good friends, a nice home, a talented mom, and a successful father she adores. Tragedy rips all of this away from her, and plunges Olivia into the foster care system, where for eight years she is neglected, humiliated, abused, and nearly raped.

Fate smiles on Olivia shortly before she ages out of the system, allowing her the means to attend college and law school.

Years later, Olivia is a successful child advocate attorney, giving a voice to children who are so easily ignored by those claiming to act in their best interest. She has little time for personal relationships, and her lifelong fear of abandonment reminds her never to get too close to anyone.

The successful attorney stumbles though when she’s assigned a case by the court that too closely mirrors her own haunted childhood. Olivia never gives her minor clients less than her all, and the only way she can help her eleven year old client is to face down and acknowledge her demons. This same case also brings a man into her life who sees her for who she truly is, and will not allow Olivia to push him away.

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excerpt

Olivia wasn’t sure how long she had been standing in the doorway to her office, lost in memories from so long ago. Willis Benson had been true to his word and kept her father’s estate intact. Because of Willis, she had this home…the home her daddy had built for his family. Willis’ dogged efforts had also made Olivia a wealthy woman. She still had issues with spending money on herself, and usually found a way to discreetly spend it on others in need.

She turned and glanced at the closed door across the hall. She walked over and touched the cool cherry wood. Her father’s office. While Livvie had made a concerted effort to redecorate the entire house after she graduated from law school, Ben’s office remained untouched. Everything was nearly exactly the way he left it the morning before the accident.

Livvie only entered the room once or twice a year to dust or…during a thunderstorm. Terrified of storms as a child, Ben first tried to console Livvie with the explanation that thunder was just the angels bowling, but his baby girl was entirely too sharp for that. Talk soon turned to cumulonimbus clouds, gusty winds, heavy rain and sometimes hail. Whether she was calmed by science, or simply just being with him, Livvie never figured out. But now, all these years later, she could feel his presence closest when she curled up in his favorite chair and watched the rain dance across the window.

She lovingly ran her hand over the headrest of the chair. Closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply and was sure she could still smell hints of his aftershave, woodsy and pine with just a hint of citrus.

Daddy.

Livvie sat down in the chair and covered her face with her hands. Why couldn’t she just be normal? She had a life Ben would approve of. Well, she had a profession he would approve of since she followed in his footsteps. But she didn’t have a life. She didn’t have friends over for gourmet dinners and game night. She rarely visited anyone’s home when invited, always begging off because of a work overload. Once or twice a month…at Margo’s pleadings, Olivia would stop into Overruled, the local watering hole frequented by the courthouse crowd. She would have her usual one glass of Sweet Red, while fending off advances, propositions and quick feel ups by an assortment of tipsy attorneys, judges and clerks. She never took offense, nor did she take any of them seriously…which of course, Margo said was her problem.

“Olivia, if you don’t even open up your mind to the possibilities, how will you ever make a connection or find The One?”

“Oh Margo, please! We’re talking about Happy Hour with the same circle of people we work with. I fail to see how someone I want to run over with my car at 10:30 in the morning can become the one I want to spend the rest of my life with at 6:30 in the evening.”

“That’s because at 6:30 in the evening, alcohol is involved. Um…wait. With some of these guys, alcohol is involved at 10:30 in the morning too!”

Olivia allowed herself to smile remembering one of countless conversations with her dauntless assistant.

She glanced around the room and her eyes fell on the cherry oak book case next to the desk. Moving before she realized it, Olivia was out of the chair and heading for the book case. She knelt before it and open the doors below the shelves. Olivia pulled the large black photo album out and ran her fingers over it, almost reverently. Sitting down on the floor, she slowly opened the front cover. The first photo was of her parents on their wedding day. ‘Benjamin Foster Chandler and Sarina Lenora Baker, united in marriage, November 3, 1966.’ They looked so happy. Her father seemed to radiate male pride, his arm curled around the waist of his new, beautiful wife. Olivia had seen this photo hundreds of times over the years, but for the first time, she really looked at her mother. Her joy was obvious, but there was a look in Sarina’s eyes that Olivia had never noticed before. Frowning, she tried to define it and could only come up with…relief. Resting her chin on her hand, Olivia’s mind raced as she wondered why her mother would be relieved on her wedding day. Maybe nervous jitters, all the pre-wedding preparations and endless to-do lists. That had to be it.

Turning more pages in the album, Olivia saw photo after photo of her parents celebrating each wedding anniversary, always smiling…always hopeful. She knew what was coming after the ninth wedding anniversary photo. Olivia broke into a wide grin while she stared at the page. ‘Olivia Louise Chandler, born June 22, 1976, 3:14 AM, 6 pounds, 0 ounces, 22 inches long, Parents – Benjamin F. Chandler & Sarina B. Chandler.’ Even as a newborn, the features she received from each of her parents stood out. She had her mother’s light brown eyes with flecks of gold and dark brown with her dad’s thick, bushy eyebrows. Her high ‘chipmunk’ cheekbones screamed Sarina Chandler just as her thick full lips said Benjamin Chandler. Olivia wondered what they saw when they looked at her. Had they seen themselves? Had they seen the future? Were they looking forward to school dances, graduations and grandchildren? Slamming the album shut, Olivia returned it to the shelf and quickly stood. She had been cheated. Her parents had been cheated. Her daddy always told her that life was not fair…he told her a lot of things. It was as though he knew he wouldn’t be there for her.

Giving herself a mental shake, Olivia walked to the office door, but turned to glance around the office. I wish I knew what I’m supposed to do. Raising her eyes heavenward, she smiled. “Sure could use a bit of your wisdom now, daddy.”

Pulling the door closed, she padded across the hall to her office and settled in for a long evening of work.

Little Livvie

meet the author

An avid reader from a very early age, Felicia would re-write the stories she read, making the women a little bit tougher. Not to outdo the men, but raised by parents who taught their six daughters to always stand up for themselves, and to always “be a lady”, Felicia has very little patience with ‘crybabies’ – female or male. Introduced to creative writing in grade school, Felicia amused herself by creating stories, poems, and song lyrics…that she never showed to anyone.

Now embracing the concept of sharing, Felicia’s first published novel, In The Best Interest of the Child” debuts in September 2016.

Felicia left the harsh winters of Michigan and now resides in Arizona with her husband of more than thirty years, who’s always trying to read over her shoulder. Their three adult children are scattered around Arizona. She is looking forward to having grandchildren, but feels she may win the lottery first…or get struck by lightning. Though she enjoys a good rain storm, Felicia no longer goes outside when it rains. She’s not taking any chances.

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8th Annual Summer/Winter Sale!

Collar_Me_Foxy_Final-chained_JPEGHi everyone! I’m back… kinda. I’ll be here a little more often, at least. Starting today and going all through July, Collar Me Foxy will be FREE on Smashwords! So, tell all of your friends, family and even your frenemies (I’m not biased). 😀

This is a major event with LOTS of participating authors, so make sure you also check out their promotional page HERE and get busy supporting your Indie Authors while collecting a ton of FREE and discounted books!

Have a Safe & Awesome 4th of July weekend!