Tag Archives: publishing

Call To Indie Authors!

The blog tour for The Girl In Between series starts in just three weeks (EEK!) and I’m offering Indie Author Spotlights every Sunday throughout the tour in an effort to share the wealth! If you’re interested in swapping spotlights please send me an email at lzkbooks[at]gmail[.]com. I’m pasting my original “Call To Bloggers” post below in case anyone needs more information on the tour.

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The blog tour for The Girl In Between series officially starts on November 1st and runs through the end of December. If anyone is interested in hosting a giveaway, book spotlight, author interview, or posting a review in exchange for a spotlight on my blog, please keep reading!

The Girl In Between is already available for purchase and the second book in the series, The Boy In Her Dreams, will be released at the end of this month on October 31st. The third book in the series will be released by EOY as well. I have Smashwords coupon codes available and am looking to give away a TON of copies so please contact me if you think your blog readers would be interested. I know a lot of my fellow indies like to swap spotlights and may have other memes or features available, so if anyone is interested I LOVE conducting interviews and am planning on featuring every indie author who participates in the tour.

If you have a new release or even just an old release that you’d like some exposure for, or even if you’re unpublished and would just like some exposure for your blog, I’ll be posting spotlights every Friday throughout the tour to an audience of almost 1,000 followers. Each spotlight will include a brief interview and whatever other promo you provide. FYI the last time I ran a blog tour for my novel Breathing Ghosts, my stats were exponentially higher and I was getting almost 100 views a day. That may sound like small beans to some of you with more successful blogs but if anyone else out there is struggling with getting traffic, a spotlight during my blog tour could provide some decent exposure. Also, if you’re just looking to score some new content for your blog, maybe on a day you don’t have time to prepare something, I’m open to writing guest posts or any other content you can think of.

If anyone is interested in review copies I have The Girl In Between and The Boy In Her Dreams available in MOBI, EPUB, and PDF files. Send me an email at lzkbooks[at]gmail[.]com if you’d like to post a review during the tour or even if you’re busy and would like to post one after. My goal is to get at least ten reviews on Amazon by the end of the month so I can potentially experiment with some promo sites like Bookbub, and then relay my results here on the blog of course.

If after reading all of this anyone is interested in participating in the tour, drop a comment here with your email address or shoot me an email at lzkbooks[at]gmail[.]com ! I appreciate everyone who took the time to read this post! Thank you all for your support!

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WIP Wednesday

The Girl In Between is OFFICIALLY LIVE!!!! Yes, book one is done and out in the big scary world, finally ready to be read! In all the commotion of making TGIB ready for pre-order and converting review copies and contacting book bloggers I accidentally forgot to upload the manuscript to Barnes & Noble but since their nookpress editor is so ridiculously easy to use I got the story uploaded yesterday and it is now available online as well as at Amazon and, temporarily, Smashwords. I started writing this novel way back in April of 2013 and to know that I never have to tweak another sentence from it is such a relief, not to mention I’m pretty darn proud of it and can’t wait for the first reviews to start trickling in.

Book two has been copy-edited, formatted, and will soon be available for pre-order! Have I mentioned before how much I love the new Amazon pre-order option? Because I do. It’s so convenient and I love that even though book two won’t go live until the end of October, I can go ahead and get it uploaded and out of my way so I can spend this ENTIRE month focused on book three. There are a few last minute things I want to look over, mostly pertaining to the blurb, but once that’s finalized in the next few weeks I will be revealing the cover, along with pre-order links, and Teaser Tuesday will resume with some of my favorite snippets from book two!

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Book three is in much the same place as it was the last time I checked in. September was not the game changer I’d hoped it would be and I actually ended up taking a week off to recoup from the past seven months of feeling like crap. I came back from that break feeling a lot better but I didn’t properly anticipate how much time promo and blog tour stuff would really take and ended up spending most of the month sending out emails, begging people to review my book. I still have so much more to do now that people are starting to respond and bloggers are sending over interview questions or requesting blog posts, but despite the kick-off to the blog tour slowly approaching, I’m making a commitment that October is going to be all about finishing book three. If all goes well, I’ll finish my current round of revisions in the next couple of weeks and then finish the next round by the end of the month, possibly running into early November. Then I’ll send those edits to my FINAL beta reader and hopefully have the final draft ready to go in December. I say hopefully though because if the past few months have taught me anything it’s that you can’t plan for the unexpected and that working sixty hours a week warrants a little R&R every now and then.

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Book four remains untouched but just like I’m devoting October to book three, I plan on devoting the last two months of the year to finishing the first draft of this novel.

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Once that’s done and I’ve collapsed face first in a vat of something warm and hopefully made of chocolate, I will finally return to the real world. No, not the actual real world, I mean I’ll return to my shelved contemporary novel and maybe by then I’ll only be working one job instead of two and there will actually be people out there who are anxiously anticipating reading it.

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Blurb & Cover Reveal For The Girl In Between

It’s been almost a year since I published my last novel and the time has FINALLY come to share the blurb and cover for my next novel, the first in an upcoming series! I started this novel in April of 2013 and the journey to its completion as been full of so many twists and turns. Originally it was meant to be a standalone with hints of magical realism and today it’s the first of a four book paranormal series. I’m in the midst of editing the third draft of the third book in the series and if this experience has taught me anything it’s to go with the flow. Not only did this story evolve into something I totally didn’t expect but this being my foray into series writing, I never could have anticipated how difficult it would be. It’s been a long time since I shared something new with my readers and it’s definitely terrifying but I can honestly say that I am really excited about this new project and can’t wait for people to read it!

TGIB-WPBryn Reyes is a real life sleeping beauty. Afflicted with Klein-Levin Syndrome, she suffers episodes of prolonged sleep that steal weeks, and sometimes even months, from her life. But unlike most KLS patients, she doesn’t spend each episode in a catatonic state or wake up with no recollection of the time she’s missed. Instead, Bryn spends half her life in an alternate reality made up of her memories. For Bryn, the past is a place, until one day a boy she’s never met before washes up on the illusory beach of her dreams with no memory of who he is.

But the appearance of this strange boy isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Bryn’s symptoms are worsening, her body weakening as she’s plagued by hallucinations even while awake. Her only hope of finding a cure is to undergo experimental treatment created by a German specialist. But when Dr. Banz reveals that he knows more about her strange symptoms than he originally let on, Bryn learns that the boy in her head might actually be the key to understanding what’s happening to her, and worse, that if she doesn’t find out his identity before it’s too late, they both may not survive.

Add The Girl In Between on Goodreads

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What To Do When You Realize Your Idea Isn’t Original

I’ve kept the details of my upcoming release locked up tight, not out of fear that someone would steal my idea but out of fear that some blog reader might point out that it’s already been done. It’s an irrational fear because, let’s face it, there is no such thing as a truly original story. We are constantly recycling ideas from the smallest details concerning character and setting, to bigger ideas like central conflicts and plot points. It’s the unique combination of those familiar elements that creates a new story but even with this knowledge, I’m still terrified that I’ve spent the past year writing a series that someone else has already done better.

Confession: my upcoming series is all about dreams. And what new trend is popping up in this fall’s YA releases? You guessed it. I’ve discovered several upcoming novels that revolve around dreams or navigating dreams or dream boys or dream girls or falling in love in dreams. Each time I stumble upon another book that’s even vaguely similar to my own concept I feel like someone has just punched me in the stomach. I curse like someone has too. Because this is 400 days, thousands of hours, and countless sleepless nights we’re talking about here. I’ve devoted the last year of my life to this project and the thought that  upon publication, it might just disappear, buried beneath the other novels like it, is devastating to me.

Eventually, in the midst of my panic, I started to remember this age old rule of storytelling–that nothing is new, not completely–and this thought spurred me to think about my own reading habits. After all, readers are precisely who I was most concerned about in all of this. I was afraid that after reading three other novels about dreams this winter that people would pass over mine either because they didn’t like those other novels or because they liked them too much and didn’t think anything could top them. Again, another irrational fear. But when I stopped to think about how and why I read books, I realized that when I love a certain genre or a certain archetype or a certain setting, I tend to seek out books that share those qualities. And if the publishing trends of the last decade have taught us anything, it’s that other people, if not most people, tend to do the same thing.

The most famous example of this? Twilight. When I was sixteen they released the first movie in theaters and I remember that whole semester, every girl in my high school was lugging around those giant black books along with their textbooks. Around that time True Blood aired its first season and soon after The Vampire Diaries was turned into a television series as well. Vampire books had always been a popular literary vice among readers but they’d never exploded quite like this. During the height of Twilight’s popularity, not only were people devouring everything they could related to the books, but they were branching out and devouring anything and everything vampire-related as well.

Why? Because when we find something we like we can’t get enough of it. When Kettle Korn releases their holiday drizzle corn every fall I clean out the shelves at Walgreens pretty much once a week and when my birthday comes around and my boyfriend buys me a cake from marble slab I usually eat half of it in one sitting. It’s ridiculous and irrational but we are consumers. We consume things. And when we like something we consume it as much as possible. So maybe the fact that these other novels about dreams are being released around the same time that mine are, is actually a blessing in disguise. I’m indie, which means that I’m invisible. I can’t afford, nor do I have the clout to send out hundreds of ARCs or to put out press releases or organize a street team to share my book cover and host really snazzy giveaways. But traditional publishers do. And if they want to expose and promote this new trend for the sake of their authors, who’s to say that my work won’t be made more visible as well? Who’s to say that someone won’t read one of those other books, fall in love with the concept, and seek out more? Who’s to say that being a part of the emergence of this new trend won’t actually work in my favor?

The key to all of this is perspective. I can either live in fear and believe that everything happening to or around me is part of some cosmic plan to ruin my life. Or I can live in the hope that everything happening to or around me is actually working in my favor to make my dreams come true. I choose to believe in the latter. Why? Because optimism just feels better. So if you find yourself in a similar situation and you’re creating something that other people may have also created or doing something that other people might also be doing, don’t panic.

I repeat, DO NOT PANIC. Instead, breathe, relax. Realize that books are about the journey, both for the reader and the writer, and that whether or not someone has a read a book like yours before, whether or not they hated it, the experience they have with your story will be totally unique. Because you’re unique. And even if the plot may be similar to something that’s already been done, or the characters are slightly familiar, or the setting is just being revisited, your words can never be replicated. Your point of view and your vision are something that no one else on earth has the capacity to create or translate. It’s you. Your book is you and you are one of a kind.

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Indie Authors Quitting Their Day Jobs

I know I spent the majority of July blogging about the harsh reality of being an indie author but after exposing you to the awful truth, I thought I’d expose you  to another truth, this one sweeter and, believe or not, just as possible. I haven’t sold enough books to make writing my full-time gig just yet. In fact, on top of writing every day I also work sixty hours a week between my two jobs. It’s exhausting and I long for the day when I can give it all up and just live in my yoga pants in front of my laptop. But even though that might sound like a pipe dream coming from someone who has sold less than a hundred books in the past two years, the truth is it’s not. The truth is being a successful mid-list writer isn’t just attainable, but if I continue to put out quality books and build my readership one person at a time, it’s actually inevitable.

If you’re a follower of The Passive Voice then you’re probably already aware of their popular post, Indie Authors Quitting Their Day Jobs. It’s pretty infamous among aspiring and experienced writers alike because it’s a running list of indie writers who have had the pleasure of leaving the drudgery of nine to five behind. More than 500 comments have accumulated just in the past couple of months from indie authors who not only make a living wage from their writing but from writers who were able to pay off their mortgage, or bless their spouse with an early retirement, or build their dream home, or get out of debt all because they took a risk. Because they had the guts to publish their work on their own. Because they had the guts to believe in themselves.

I know I’ve often warned those new to self-publishing not to let their expectations get out of control or to craft a dream that relies more on luck than hard work but I also don’t want any of us to stop hoping. Because this is what can happen when we hope. When we believe in something so strongly that we’re willing to risk everything in order to make it happen. Not all of these indie authors are mega-rich. In fact, most of them don’t make much more than what’s required to pay their bills. But whether they’re selling thousands of copies a month or just a few hundred, these authors are still living the dream. Because they’re writing every day and no one is telling them what they should write about or how or when or to hurry or slow down or change this or change that. They are in control of their words and because they’ve stayed so true to them, they are in control of their lives.

Creative and financial freedom can go hand in hand, all it takes is a lot of drive and a lot of patience. For some of these authors it took years to build their readership, their backlists in the double digits before they finally started generating steady sales. For others it took even longer. But they kept going, hoping for success but never wishing for it. And then it happened. It can happen for us too. If we just keep writing, every single day, it can happen for us too.

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