Posted in My Process, The Writer's Life

Breaking Ranks…

If you’ve followed me online, here or elsewhere, you’ll likely recall that I usually take part in NanoWrimo. It is one of the few times of year that I really buckle down to focus on putting substantial word counts on the page along with other amazing writers. This year, I’m breaking away from the tradition. Not because I have no story to work on, but because I need to break from routines that haven’t served me well.

November has always seemed to me to be a bad month for such a major challenge. I mean, it is the middle of the holiday season and many people have extra obligations on their time with family gatherings, travel, end of the year deadlines looming, and events related to celebrations to attend or plan. Without fail, for me, there have just been too many distractions in the month of November to make the challenge without a significant amount of unnecessary stress. This year, when the Preptober videos started to pop into my YouTube feed, I recognized that there really was no way for me to commit to the challenge.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Life has changed for millions of us with the onset of this pandemic. It would be a lie to say that I’ve not seen some significant changes in my own life. Losing a job in April and now finding that, despite the lifting of restrictions, the job market for people with my skills is simply not bouncing back, well, that’s left me in a real predicament that I will need to remedy somehow soon. Now, add to that the fact that I’ve started back to school with a serious focus on study and there are bigger demands on my time creating more stress that factors in. Taking on a big challenge with a deadline like that is not going to make writing any easier and certainly won’t help my mental state. So, I wish those of you participating this year the best of luck in completing the 50K challenge. I’ll be cheering you all on from the sidelines!

I will say that it is not a matter of not wanting to write though. In fact, I’m happy to say that I am starting something new and what I hope will turn into something quite special for my readers. I say it is new, but it is really an older idea I’ve had floating about for a bit that I rediscovered while going through old files to organize my computer. The excitement of new characters and developing back stories is a fun part of the writing process for me. So, I will happily toil away on my laptop in my home office or in local cafes throughout November for writing and study sessions alike. In fact, I’ll probably be spotted doing just that throughout the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. I have found a great little local coffee spot closer to home. I’ll have to post a review when I get some pictures.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I find myself slipping more lately. I haven’t been completely compliant with the idea of staying home. I can admit that much. However, I don’t get out often either. That’s something that I need to change in my life. You see, I’m one of millions that have depression. Some days are better than others. If I am truly honest, there have been more hard days than good days lately. They seem to come in waves.

For example, I’ve fought insomnia for weeks. I’ve had my days and nights mixed up making it hard to even function normally. I’ve drifted into periods of mindless surfing of social media and videos on YouTube or watching old cartoons on Amazon Prime or Netflix. I’ve read books, played mindless games on my iPad, and started to work on art pieces that never seem to get finished. Then again, I have experienced stretches where I could sleep for days on ened. Get up for just an hour or so and right back to bed for hours. My pup loves these days, mind you. I’ll try setting alarms, even multiple alarms in succession, only to sleep through them. I know that none of this is good for me, but its a viscious cycle and now being out of work, I certainly don’t have the luxury of health insurance to be able to get to the doctor.

I’ve attempted to give myself a schedule. I wanted to find things to do with myself. I think that was partly why I got back on the dating sites. Like maybe if I had somewhere to be, or someone to see and spend time with, it would help me find that motivation. It never takes long before I give up on those though. I’m just not the typical modern gal. What can I say? I’ll blog more on that at a later time though.

One good thing from all of this, I joined a local church and started getting to Sunday School more often. The insomnia has been a problem. Online services have been a blessing for me to keep up with the sermon series when I haven’t heard the alarms. The truth is, I feel like this was a very good decision and that I’m finding a group of people that are like-minded at least. So, that’s a good thing. I’m actually really looking forward to the Fall Fest they are having. It should be fun. But, despite feeling good and motivated when I leave church, it is still a struggle to find the energy and motivation to get up and get dressed to go on Sundays.

Posted in Lessons Learned, My Process, The Writer's Life, Writing & Publishing

It is never too late to begin again…

I always have good intentions when I begin a new thing. But there comes a point when you have to step back and gain some perspective on where you are in life and where you’re going. And like many others out there, 2020 dealt more than a few blows for me to deal with. I was dealing with writer’s block and trying to keep myself motivated to show up and write. Just when I was starting to get back into the groove, crippling self-doubt decided to show up. That caused me to think about what I was doing with my life. And I decided that it was time to change trajectory a bit.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I didn’t want to stop writing entirely. I love it too much to ever give it up entirely. Yet, I am not the marketing guru that many successful authors are. Frankly, I’m not the social butterfly and I don’t have the self-confidence to think that anyone really cares to hear what I have to say. So I’m a social media flop really. And apparently, it takes quite a bit of social savvy to make a writing career prosperous. I love creating characters, giving a little escape from the mundane (which I think we can all agree is needed right now), and even creating a story that people take something away from. I even love helping people to do just that. So, it stood to reason that I began to question how I could take my passion for stories and turn it into something that could sustain me financially.

In April I was laid off thanks to Covid-19. It took far too long to get on unemployment because, at first, it seemed like it would only be for a couple of weeks. Then it was extended further and by the time I was told to file by the agency I was working for, the websites were so bogged down that it took weeks to even get an application for it put in. In the meantime, I’d made applications concerning financial aid and returning to school. As it turned out, I was able to do just that. So, I enrolled at Western Governors University in their Education Program to complete my B.A.

Life is a journey though. And starting school at 41 years old seemed a little crazy to me. It’s a total career change from the office work and customer service work I’ve done in the past. Change is necessary though when you find a purpose and a goal that you feel is worth pursuing. Helping people find a love of story and perhaps pursue writing themselves is a worthwhile goal. And I know it’s not an overnight career either to get to my ultimate goal, but I can start by working with young children helping them find adventures between the covers of books that inspire them. Eventually, though, I want to teach others to write as well. Help aspiring novelists find their own voices, create characters, and twist a plot that keeps readers coming back for more.

I did a great deal of soul searching in this process. I looked at options. I thought about throwing in the towel with my books. They don’t seem to be getting any traction really. I realized that writing for the money wouldn’t make me happy. I’m not aiming to be the New York Times Bestseller. I want to be comfortable, just like everyone else, of course. That doesn’t always mean big houses, fancy cars, or lavish vacations.

At 41 and being single, I’ve made my peace with the idea that I’ll never have a family of my own. At least, it won’t be kids running around my feet. I’m likely to have a small herd of pups at some point though. I don’t even know that I’ll meet anyone to share my life with. I love kids though. And I remember how much I was influenced by amazing teachers throughout my education. I remember seeing first hand the impact a teacher can make in a community when my Great Grandmother passed away when I was young. I couldn’t even give you a number on how many former students came to pay respects. It’s a legacy of caring and generosity that she left behind. Maybe they weren’t able to pinpoint specific things that she taught them, but they never forget how she cared and tried to teach them well. I’m a part of that legacy and I want to carry it on in my own way.

So, I started the journey to getting that degree and being in a classroom of my own. I took time away from writing to adjust to academic life again. In a way, I’m glad that I’ve been out of work like this. It’s given me a chance to find a purpose again and start fresh.

I don’t want to stop creating though. But it’s time for something fresh and new to add to my catalog. Something that will showcase the progress in my writing and maybe attract a new audience.

I pulled out a partial manuscript that I was playing with before. Fresh characters, set primarily in East Texas, and with a supernatural mystery that is challenging on many levels. The concept is sound and I’m excited to get back to work on it as I await my next term to start.

Oh, that’s right, I completed a full term of my studies so far. So, we’re well on our way to that degree. And I found a new local coffee spot to make my little home away from home to work on this project. That’s promising for me. To go with it are new horizons for social interaction, putting down some roots in this community, and new attitudes for me.

For those of you who have stuck around through all my ups, downs, and lack of posts; thank you for being here and reading. I hope to be more consistent, but I make no guarantees. This is a journey worth sharing though. I hope to do just that.

Posted in The Currents, The Writer's Life

Welcome to 2019!

In every story, there is a point where the protagonist has an epiphany and things begin to take shape into something we are hoping for them. In romances, this is usually the part where the guy makes the turn around to go and be with the heroine so they can seek out their little slice of happily ever after. In mysteries, this is when a key clue comes into play and suddenly things start to become clear. You get the idea. The point is, I feel like I have crossed one of those thresholds in this book I call life.

Turning 40, entering a new decade of life, gives you pause to consider where your life is taking you. I know that I enjoyed seeing my family over the holidays. I also enjoyed seeing my best friend and being able to help her plan her upcoming wedding. There will be more of that via Skype this year as we get closer to her big day. My nieces are growing up way too fast on me. And all around me are constant reminders of a dream I once had of having a family and home of my own one day. However, it would appear that God had other plans for me. So, I’m looking at how to shape my life and accept that won’t be part of it.

Writing is, for me at least, a solitary life. I have my pup and I spend time with family but, I need to spend some time this year putting down some roots, branching out socially, and networking more. It occurs to me that to keep from becoming a total hermit in life, it is time for me to start living and doing more outside of the usual home and studio comfort zones. While 2018 was a good and productive year, it wasn’t until the last few months that I got out and really started mingling with people. That’s something that I want to change in the coming year.

It is time for me to start doing more to pay it forward. And I’ll be branching out into new creative endeavors. I’ve taken stock enough to realize that I have a lot more skills to use than just in writing. I think I’ll take on a few coaching clients and help others make their dream of writing and publishing a reality. I also want to put my performance skills to use and help put audiobooks together for indie authors as well. Let’s not forget the need for book trailer videos as well.

This means some changes here on the blog. I really want to have more fun this year and share that with all of you. So maybe you’ll see more about the little trips I take, fun times out as I make new friends and take part in local events. What I want to bring here is more happiness, motivation, and inspiration. That may mean I review more books, movies, or even post music that moves me when I hear it.

In that vein, let me just say that I’m really digging this new track I heard on the trip back from Kentucky. Maybe you’ll like it too.

Posted in Family Life, The Writer's Life

Holiday Mayhem and 2018 Closeout!

I’ve been cut off from civilization for two weeks! We had no internet for the duration of our trip to Kentucky to see family for Christmas. But, it proved to be a good thing. Lot of time to talk and spend time with people that I don’t see but every couple of years. Also lots of time to think about where the new year will take me and how to best live my own life.

Getting back to Texas was interesting. The trip back always seems to take longer for some reason. Maybe it is the let down of it all being over with and knowing that the humdrum of real daily life is just around the corner again. Anyway, we came back and I took a day to relax and rest up before getting my mindset all back into the work ahead of me.

While I was away I crossed a major milestone birthday and turned 40.  Crazy right?! I know I’m having a hard time believing that I am officially middle-aged. In many ways, I still feel like I am in my early 20s. I suppose that’s true for most of us though. I spent the actual day with friends for a bit in the early part of the day. My god-daughters made cupcakes and my bestie and I got to sit around chatting like old times and planning her upcoming wedding. So, yep, I’ll be making another trip north in the next year for that.  Then my nieces and grandparents all went out to dinner. There was lots of cake and ice cream for two days since I have my sister-in-law’s birthday two days after mine and we celebrated my niece’s birthday which isn’t until mid-January as well. But it was great to be able to enjoy time with everyone for a change and celebrate.

I have more planning to do since I got back. It’s time to set some goals for the new year on a personal and professional level. However, it also warrants me saying a heartfelt thank you to those of you who have joined my journey as an author. From your encouraging messages, comments, and social media interaction to the amazing reviews left on my books over on Amazon. I count myself truly blessed in 2018.

I’ve seen doors open and others close. I’ve found myself questioning my choice to publish at all, only to have someone pop up at the right moment and encourage me to keep going with it all. And keep going I shall!

Here at the end of another year, it is time to think about an upgrade to aspects of my platform. That newsletter is coming this year. There will be more blog posts on writing, life, and all the creativity that I do. I think at 40, I’m finally finding my feet on this living life thing. I’m excited for what lay ahead of me.

That being said, I’m getting on the ball here to make plans, do some writing on the next book, and get some blogs ready to go for the new year! There’s much to catch up on since I was cut off for so long.

Posted in The Writer's Life

Gifts for the creator in your life…

The holiday season is upon us again.

Thanksgiving is a week away and that means that Black Friday Sales deals are on the horizon for many of us. If you’re like me, you probably have a few people on your Christmas list that are hard to buy for beyond the usual gift selections in the aisles of your local Walmart or Target. So, I thought I would take a moment and give you some great gift ideas for the creative people in your life.

I’m going to keep this fairly general. Nothing specific for writers, artists, or crafters will be included in this post. However, I will likely do something for each niche in the next few weeks. My goal here is to give you some general ideas for how to inspire and empower the creative people in your life. You know, make sure they know you appreciate and encourage their creativity, quirkiness, and maybe even help them see that side of their personality in a new light.

I don’t have to put any disclaimers here. I’ll provide some links to sites that I think are great, of course. But, buying from these businesses (some of them small businesses) will only support them. I’m not one of these bloggers who have affiliations and get kick-backs from your purchases. So I can recommend them without a reservation on the simple premise that I like them and buy from them as well. That being said, let’s get started.

The first thing I would recommend for any creative person is so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think about it first.

A Journal

Yes, it is the simplest tool that any creative person can put in their arsenal. For the writer they are essential. A place to capture ideas, keep track of progress on projects, empty the clutter of the mind, and to refer when we need clarity. It is the same for visual artists. A blank sketchbook is an equivalent of giving an artist a world of their own to play in. And the truth is, this can be the most inexpensive gift option you could give.

A blank notebook is simple and inexpensive at Walmart. In fact, for less than $10.00 you could put together a set of journal and pens. Want to get fancy? Try heading to a stationery shop or a local Barnes & Noble or BAM for something a bit more sturdy and fashionable. Couple that with a fountain pen and you’re good to go. It’s a classic gift that will help any creative mind figure out what to do next.

Want to shop online? Try out sites like Levenger.com or Jetpens.com for options. Amazon is always a great resource as well. And I’ll give one more option at the end of this blog that will let you add a personal touch.

Bonus Idea: If your creative person is more tech-focused, you can also look at giving memberships to blogging communities like Livejournal.com or deviantArt.com that will give them a year of ad-free usage with a few other perks. There are also paid apps that you can give as well.

The next gift idea is something I have given to creative friends on numerous occasions.

Books On Creativity

There are loads of these out there and all of them have their merit.  For me, there are two that stand out on my shelf. (Hint: I’ve blogged about them before.)

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This book quite literally has the power to change lives. It certainly did mine. A self-study course on how to unblock your creative self, I return to her process over and over again. It is something I have done not only on my own but with a group of others that has given my creativity a boost even when I thought it was buried. And you have several options with this because there is the original which will run you about $13.00 for the paperback, but there are continuations of this that are also included in a lovely hardback compilation edition that includes her additional books in the same process.  You can find it here: THE ARTIST’S WAY. And there are companion books, journals, and tools that you can also opt for.

Another book on creativity that I love and find inspirational is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Your Creative Career by Anna Sabino. (Which incidentally, will be going with me on my road trip home to see family this Christmas.). There are others and I’m not going to make a list of titles for this post. However, if you’re interested in a more comprehensive list and review of this type of book, I’d love to know. Leave a comment and make sure you subscribe so you won’t miss out on those posts. Maybe we’ll make use of the Creativity tag and category for these. Let me know.

 

And my last idea for this post is …

A personal planner or accessories for one that they already use.

I’m going to do a more in-depth post about this one closer to the start of 2019. But, all creative people need a way to keep things going, organized, and figure out what to do with their time. We’re all a little scatterbrained these days. A place to keep track of appointments, tasks, accomplishments, birthdays, and goals is essential for me. And I don’t think I know a creative person who is serious about getting projects done and out there to the public who doesn’t use some variation of a planner.

Now I’m a planner addict. I’m one of those color-coordinated people that has a case of stickers, colored pens, and stencils. I use a combination of an Erin Condren Life Planner and a Bujo that I personalize. But I’m not going to tell you that it’s a cheap gift to give. You can get cheap planners at Walmart. And you can find all sorts of accessories. Some people use travel journals for this purpose. (Yes, I have one of those too.) There are digital options, as with everything. And there are versions that range from being a very utilitarian calendar to more like a workable journal experience.

Erin Condren offers highly personalized options. I’ve collected custom covers over the years. 2019’s is a paisley design that features my initials. Last year’s looked like antique lace overlaying a pretty shade of blue with my name on it, and my first one three years ago also featured my name but was geometric and colorful with the quote “I Want to See You Be Brave” on it. That last one served as a reminder to keep going with the pursuit of my dreams.

Erin Condren also offers a lot of accessory options and they even have notebooks that also fit their custom covers which, by the way, are interchangeable throughout the year. One of these personalized notebooks would make for a great journal in my opinion! And I love the options for stickers, their pens, and their stylized sticky notes.

 

Posted in book news, My Process, The Writer's Life

Rainy Days & Fun Times: A Nanowrimo Update.

After 7 days of Nanowrimo, I’m coming on here with an update!

No, it is not going as well as I want on the word count goals. However, I’m happy to report that getting an outline together is proving a fruitful endeavor. I have clarity in the direction of the story now. So that’s a good thing. But, I think I should have done more for Preptober. I was engrossed in releasing Beyond The Storm then though. So I won’t complain.

November is usually a busy month anyway with a major holiday and then preparing for the Christmas rush. This year is no different for me. I’m excited because for the first time in 4 years, I get to be home in the mountains, at my grandparents’ for Christmas. With my mom, my brother, his wife, my three nieces and my grandparents. I also get to spend a little time with my best friend since high school that is long overdue. And there is a lot that needs to be done before we leave Texas for that.

I was out and about with my mom yesterday and snagged these awesome elf house shoes for making holiday memories. I think my nieces are going to love them. They’ll be a source of amusement for a while. I imagine that my grampa will eventually tire of the jingle bells ringing through the house but, it will be fun while it lasts.

We’re planning to do a holiday bazzaar on the 1st of December with our cookies and candies to sell. So, that’s going to be fun but a lot of work. Everything with Sambee’s is handmade from old recipes that have been passed down. Well, except our cake pops. Those are a fairly new invention. But, I’m sure it will be a success with our paint-your-own sugar cookies, and holiday gift boxes. I’m actually fairly excited about it. I mean who doesn’t love cookies and sweets?

After a day of being out and about, it is time for me to get back to the work of writing the next book. I still have a few things to map out though. There are a few new characters entering the series in this book. And writing sequels is a difficult task guys. So many details that you have to line up. I am definitely learning the importance of creating a “series bible”. So, making that is a big deal for me at this point. But, if you were a fan of The Fallen, you’ll be happy to know that the next installment of that series will be happening next year.

So just a quick little update before I dive in and get some words on the page. Fall has officially arrived here in East Texas though. I turned off the air conditioner and am donning the sweatpants and socks today. Comfy clothes for a cozy day of writing and working.

Posted in book news, My Process, The Writer's Life, Writing & Publishing

Let’s Go Wrimos!

Yes, I know, it is insanity to the outside world. However, the month of November is when writers from all over come together to kick the blank page’s rear and produce what could very well be your next favorite book. What’s more? It could be by your next favorite author who, after this year’s success, decides, at last, to stop waiting for people to tell them it’s worth a contract and publish it themselves. There is so much talent in the Indie Community. And it is, all too often overlooked in my opinion.

 

Are you a writer? Do you have a novel sloshing around in that big beautiful skull of yours? Have you ever wanted to try to write a longer story or turn that campfire ghost story into something that others can enjoy? Well, then come to join the rest of us! You’ll find amateurs and professionals alike who take part in the challenge to pen 50,000 words in November.

Yes, it’s a lot of words. But you won’t be alone. Writing every day, it is a goal of 1,666 words per day. Though, (here’s my NanoWrimo trick to preparing for interruptions of the holidays) I always strive for 1,800-2,000 instead. That usually puts me ahead of the game for winning the challenge. But, I don’t always win and I don’t always participate.  Last year, I started and then found that with my job, and the other obligations I had, getting that many words in just wasn’t going to be possible. I still managed over 30,000 for the month though. And that’s 30,000 I didn’t have before.

For many of us, we already write on a daily, or almost daily, basis. So adding a new project to the mix is a change. The added perks of local write-ins with other writers, forums and groups on social media dedicated to discussion and cheering one another on, and after parties to celebrate the wins and successful addition of words make it a unique time of year. In fact, it has been so beneficial that National Novel Writing Month (lovingly called NanoWrimo) has created Camp NanoWrimo events throughout the year to accomplish the same sense of camaraderie and motivation as the original. Some of us set bigger goals. Some of us are happy to hit that 30,000 or even 20,000 mark. The point is to get writing!

Today is Day One! The idea that you have to spend months preparing is rubbish. You start where you are. Novels are typically longer than 50,000 words anyway. Consider this your crazy way of getting all that story out on the page and then you can spend another session, or the rest of the year, adding to it and refining it into something that is amazing.

What am I working on this November? Well, I’m going off the beaten path a bit with something completely new. New characters, new setting, and a new plotline than I usually write. If you want the details, you should join me over on the NanoWrimo site: Here’s your link!  You’ll find all the information I have available for this one and I’ll be sure to update it.

Also, I’ll post weekly updates here on the blog.

Before I dive into the writing pool; let me just say that I had a great time at the East Texas Booktacular taking Beyond The Storm for its’ first spin on the events table. Copies are available in paperback and Kindle ebook on Amazon. If you’re interested in signed paperback copies; I have news. I’m working on a way to have you order direct from me. For now, if you’re interested you can email me at annebellewrites@gmail or you can PM on Twitter or Facebook for details. I’ll be happy to invoice by Paypal and get them to you in time for the holiday gifting season! You know, readers never have too many books.

Posted in book news, My Process, The Writer's Life, Writing & Publishing

COVER REVEAL TIME

As promised, I’m back with an update on the next installment in the Slauson Cove Saga.

Now, I refuse to give away details just yet on the story. Teasers and trailers will come soon. But today you get a peek at the cover design.

Drum roll, please!

So details are as follows: It is set to release in October. Exact date will depend on how quickly I can manage all of these changes with KDP and Createspace. So my original plan for this may alter a bit. My hope is to have it available for you to pre-order or order and have in your hands in time for Halloween. We will have to see how this all goes though. I’m a one woman show after all. I don’t have a team of people working on edits, marketing, formatting, etc. But, I am so near the finish line here that I can absolutely see this one in my hands very soon.

My goal is to be able to have copies of this one available at the East Texas Booktacular event in Henderson, Texas. That is being held on October 27th. And you can get details by visiting the event link on Facebook either through my page and events or theirs. Click HERE for more information. This is a ticketed event due to limited venue space. However, tickets are free and I know there are swag bags happening for this one. Plus, you’ll get to have your picture taken with me in full witchy costume. So, it should be loads of fun. As always I will be happy to sign your book at the event! Or any other time.  (I have yet to experience having someone just come up and recognize me when I’m in public. However, when it does happen, it will be a blog-worthy experience.)

Also, I realized that I’m up to over 600 subscribers. OH MY GOSH!! You guys! That is totally organic growth and I’m super excited to see it. I’m going to have to do something super special when I get to one thousand.  But I am striving to be more present on other social media as well. Let me tell you, that’s a difficult thing to do when facing a deadline. So, if you want more daily, behind the scenes and creative motivation, be sure you’re following me on Facebook or Twitter as well.

I would love to know what you think about the cover! I’ll be updating things with The Secret of the Storm which is the prequel for this upcoming book. So if you aren’t familiar with Elora Castain and Walsingham Manor yet, I highly recommend picking it up so you are up to speed on the predicament she finds herself in at the start of this book. The e-book is still on sale for $4.99 so get it while that price lasts!

Posted in Industry Insights & Rants, Lessons Learned, The Writer's Life, Writing & Publishing

Minor Setbacks..

Well, then! Welcome to another episode of “Change Is The Only Constant” or, if you prefer, “Planning Is For the Weak” (insert sinister, maniacal laughter in the background here).

This blog is primarily a personal one. I strive to make it a window into my world rather than just another “writing blog”. However, being that I am a writer, there will always be an occasional industry related post that goes beyond the scope of “Hey I have a new book coming out.” It is time for one of those posts.

Many independent authors, including myself use Amazon’s Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP for short). Essentially this is who does our printing and fills orders when you order through Amazon or request it at a bookstore. For as long as I’ve been publishing books, this has been a very accessible way for writers of any genre to get stories into your hands. We all have developed systems for how to get the words on the page, formatted, create covers, upload files, and, of course release books. Then, we also publish to KDP to allow you to read on Kindle. While the format process is different, it has been a relatively short jump from one to the other to allow our readers to have a seemless experience.

In the past 6 months there have been all sorts of rumors floating in the community about Createspace becoming obsolete and KDP taking over the print version option as well. We all know that the kindle, and e-readers in general, have revolutionized the way people read books today. That this change would eventually happen was really not that far of a stretch. Change is a constant in this industry. You have to learn how to roll with the punches and adapt. It isn’t even limited in scope to what a publisher or printing-house is doing. From trends in what people are reading, styles, topics, and delivery methods to how we reach people in terms of marketing; it can be entirely overwhelming.

Two days ago, the official email came from Createspace. They are indeed merging with KDP. Surprise!! (or not…) The question becomes, how does that affect readers or potential readers? And how is that going to affect my current deadline and release?

This is where many authors are frustrated. Some are even in a bit of a panic about it. Which I find isn’t helpful at all. But, I digress.

There are many things happening behind the scenes with books that readers are never honestly aware of. For most readers, if you’re looking to buy a paperback in the next few weeks, then, your best bet is to buy direct from an author. The Amazon listings for print copies are likely to go down and be unavailable through the transition. Many of us will have to reformat or do new covers resulting in a second edition. Signed copies are great gifts or collectibles. Many authors have stock on hand, even if it is limited, to fill those orders. They’re usually very happy to do so. There is something fun for us about inscribing and signing a copy of a book we’ve written. Most of us dream of having a steady stream of readers who want those signed copies. So, by all means, buy direct from your favorite author’s website. That on hand stock may be your last chance to have the original cover on your shelf.

Yes, I have copies on hand to ship out. You can get them on my website at www.annebelleauthor.com where there is a red button that will change to blue when you hover taking you to a Square Shop where those can be purchased. Yes, you’ll pay shipping. But, if you’re ordering gifts for friends and more than one copy, contact me direct and I’ll give you a bulk ship rate as opposed to paying per book for shipping & handling.

Otherwise, there isn’t much else to say on that except that there will likely be some changes in pricing as the migration happens. Yes The Secret of the Storm will have a new cover going forward, but, that won’t happen immediately. I’m still trying to finish its sequel to release in October and right now, my full attention needs to be on that manuscript and formatting etc. So, I’ve mad the decision to ride out the glitch-filled migration for now. I’ll finish and release this new book and then I will fix all of the transition-related necessities.

Now the GOOD NEWS is that we’re only two days away from the cover release for the new book! I am so excited about this one. Elora and crew really have their hands full in this new installment. So, I hope that you’re just as excited about all of the launch-related things as I am.

Cover reveal is happening on the 1st of September. The book will release in mid-October with some pre-order options available. And I’m scheduling events for online and offline launch celebrations. More news on that later! For now, just bear with me through this craziness.

In the long-run, I think this will be a good change and I hope that it will help to streamline the process of putting books out there.

In the meantime, I’m extending my e-book sale to help keep readers happy. Currently all of my e-book novels are available on kindle for $4.99. You can find those by shopping Amazon and my Amazon Author Page.

Thank you all for being so supportive and encouraging as I attempt to make all these things happen. I sincerely hope that you all enjoy Elora’s story and continue to follow along. I have so many things in the works for you. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.

If you have questions or concerns you can always email me at annebellewrites over on gmail . Just allow me time to respond since I am in the middle of a tight deadline. It might take a me a bit to come out of the cave in order to answer but, I will.

Okay back to work for me.
Have a great day everyone!

And for my fellow indies… just breathe! Don’t panic. Let them sort it out and then make adjustments. This too shall pass and we shall overcome this hurdle just as we have all the others before it.

Posted in The Writer's Life

The Best of Plans…

Monday and Wednesday nights of my week have quickly become gaming nights. This means I actually get out of the house and drive about 40 minutes to a game shop in Tyler called Geek World and play with a group of people on Mondays and on Wednesdays, I am the GM or Game Master for a new group of players in the same shop. This is a new adventure for me and an excuse to get out and be more social. I am such a hermit by nature that I have to force myself to get out more. And I tell myself that it is good for me and my career as a writer. Tonight was a bit of a wash though.

I was actually on my way to the shop. I enjoy the drive over actually. But I was on a main highway and someone had a blow out before I came through this stretch. There was debris of what seemed like a shredded tire all over the road. There was nowhere to go to get away from it either. So, I had to drive through and hope for the best.

The best, is not what happened. I was met with the unmistakable flapping of something smacking the wheel well of my little car on the passenger side. So, I pulled off onto the shoulder and was thinking my lucky stars that I had a towel in the back. I was hoping that I just had a piece of all that rubber stuck in my wheel well and I could pull it out and be on my way. For a moment it looked like that. Of course, then I tried to pull on the mass of wires and rubber and I realized that the tread of my tire was peeled back. Yep, my tire was shot. And my car doesn’t have a spare, only this stupid little inflator kit.

I called Dad. He came and put the spare he had in his on. We actually drive the same make of vehicle. His is just a few years newer than mine. Otherwise the only defining features is his Harley Davidson sun screen and decals. But he got me on my way. And the tire shops were closing by the time I could make it to either Tyler or back to Gilmer. And given that game night usually means I am getting home closer to 11:00 pm I decided it was best not to risk it and to just go home and call it a night. I’m going to be running another game on Wednesday I know. So, I played it safe.

Honestly, this gaming thing is good for me. I’ve met new people and discovered something that I enjoy. Honestly, I don’t know how I didn’t discover this when I was younger. My teenage years might have been much more interesting if I had. All I can really say is that it isn’t anything like what we all thought it was growing up.  Showing my age a bit here but, I grew up when there was the whole “satanic panic” thing going on. What people failed to realize is that something like Dungeons & Dragons is a collaborative story-telling effort that can teach valuable lessons if monitored and played correctly. I won’t wax philosophical about it but, I will say that I definitely have seen the appeal now and have happily delved into the adventure.

So things didn’t go as planned. I did get some things accomplished though. This includes some extra editing and writing time which is a good thing. More of the same tomorrow is on the agenda. Of course, so is getting a tire replaced, map making, graphics design, and recording. Lots to do so I need some rest to do it all and it is already 3:45 in the morning. Boy it will be a late start to the day for most. But, I’m a night owl if you haven’t figured that out by now.

So, readers, tell me what’s going on in your world. What creative endeavor are you undertaking at present?