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 Marketing, The Currents, The Writer's Life, Writing & Publishing

Excitement from the #authorlife front…

Where do I begin?

Maybe with Happy Easter!

To those of you who celebrate the holiday, like myself, may you find peace with the season and remember the reason for it. This year is a bit odd for me as it feels like I am personally going through a bit of a period of rebirth and transformation. I couldn’t be happier about this though. There is a real deepening of my sense of purpose, my confidence, and my optimism for what my future holds. I’m writing more, promoting more, and it feels like many things are finally coming together in my pursuit of the “Author’s Life” I’ve always wanted to live. So I’m celebrating all sorts of aspects and themes with this one. And I sincerely hope that all of you are as well.

Last night I was chatting with my best friend Deedra Mosely via Skype while I was checking messages and emails to make sure that all is confirmed for the events I have lined up for April and May. I was expecting the usual confirmation emails of my booth and so forth. That wasn’t to be the case. Instead of the “shout out” about the promo spot on their facebook which I got. I was also asked to do a presentation on “Writing The Paranormal” as part of the convention. The next thing I know, I’m on the schedule and just a teensy bit over-excited. Not good when I really need to sleep and go to the day job the next morning. I must have seen 1:30 or 2:00 AM because I was so wound up and brainstorming what to talk about.

I would love input and suggestions. What are questions that you’d want to ask your favorite paranormal and horror authors?

I get to bring a unique spin to this because I have actually worked with investigations and reseach for years. I’ve made presentations on the subject before. I started out back in the 90s and even founded a local group here before life got in the way of investigating. Not to mention my own priorities changed. I still consult for my former investigators when they need help and reach out but, things have been fairly quiet on that front for years now.  I can’t say that I don’t put experiences into my fiction work. But, you’ll have to read and see if you can pick out those elements for yourself.

Exorcising The Past is firmly planted in the horror genre. In fact, it is sort of a cross genre, if you will. I can’t take it out of the paranormal genre but I am certain that many readers will classify it as horror. I’ll let you judge for yourself though. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it is available right now on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. If you do read it (and I hope you will) do a girl a favor and leave a review. You have no idea how much you can help authors like myself by leaving a review of whether you liked the work or not.

That being said, this presentation is much different. Before I focused on dispelling the myths about the field and actually giving information to train investigators in terminology and understanding phenomena. That’s a much different sort of talk. There will be plenty of presenters from active investigators and groups. I get to focus on how it influences the creative process and what inspirations it conjures up. I have a ton to consider before I take that stage and plenty of notes to make to take along.

If you have suggestions feel free to leave a comment or email me. You can find information in the contacts.

Oh and yes, I got my limited edition print copies in today and they look amazing! I’ll get pictures this weekend for another post. There is nothing quite like holding a book baby for the first time. I don’t think I will ever get used to that feeling.  You can get your hands on one of these numbered and autographed books soon. I’ll be giving away a total of 6 copies in the next 6-8 weeks.

How can you enter the give away? It’s easy. Just sign up for my newsletter. You should have seen a pop up box when you came to this article. If, by chance you already put your name and email in those boxes, you’re already entered. If not, you can sign up via my website as well www.annebelleauthor.com and under the News & Events tab you’ll see a drop down for the newsletter that will take you to a sign up form.

Additionally, if you come and see me at the table. I will have some additional sign up slips that will put you in a drawing as well. Follow me on social media for additional ways to enter. I’ll do two rounds of announcements and will require your email to contact you if you win.

Good Luck!

What else to tell you about?

Lots of content coming up in April both here and on my Vlog/Podcast. I have a whole calendar set up with topics and when to post what. So I’ll be busy this weekend creating content and getting it ready to go.

If you are in the area and coming to Tyler for the conference I would love to meet you. So stop by my booth to pick up a copy of my novels. I’ll be more than happy to sign and take a picture if you like.  Don’t miss my presentation at 12:15PM on April 21st. Comments here are a way to help me choose questions to address in the talk. Q & A time at the event will be limited because there are so many presenters lined up for this one.

Stay tuned for announcements about other events as well. This is keeping me hopping and I absolutely love it!

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

 

Posted in Marketing, The Currents, The Writer's Life

Rainy Weeks & Event Announcements

It has been a trying week for me. The rain that has been stalled over the area where I live has made the usual routine hard to stick with. We had some sun on Monday; which was a good thing. Of course we’re back to the overcast and stormy weather through Thursday. That makes for a long week when you’re dealing with people all day long and all the rain does for your mood is make you want to curl up in bed with the pup. We can’t change it. So, I’m just trying to make the most of it.

It turns out that this week SamBee’s had an order for some cookies for a wedding rehearsal dinner. So my evenings have been mostly consumed with that project. But it is a nice change when I feel like I am struggling through some areas of manuscript revisions. Sometimes a step back and a change of pace will help clear the tunnel vision and make it easier to move forward when you get a chance to do so.

GeekendI am excited to tell you that I am going to be at another local (to East Texas anyway) event.  Kilgore, Texas is hosting  Geekend which coincides with Free Comic Book Day! The event dates are May 5th and 6th. Along with cosplayers, gamers, and other authors I’ll be set up with books and swag items. The excitement doesn’t stop there though. This will be the first time I’ve been on an Author’s Panel at an event like this. So I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining long-time friend and fellow author Edward Hancock II to talk shop and answer audience questions.

You can find all sorts of information on their Facebook Page HERE. Including links to their event site, schedules as they are available, and all of the other participants and vendors who will be in attendance.

Easing back into the touring part of marketing my work is a bit unnerving. It has been way too long since I’ve been in front of people. But, I’m also very excited about it. I love to meet readers and enjoy talking with other aspiring writers.  You never know who you’ll meet in the process of going to these events. And I’m looking forward to adding more before the end of the year. I have my eye set a couple of events that are held in the Dallas area as well. So we shall see what I can add to the schedule.

Do you know of local events near you that have space or are looking for author’s or speakers on creative writing? I’d love to hear about them so drop a comment to let me know how to find an event in your neck of the woods. You never know when I’ll want to take a trip and I’d love to make those trips worthwhile.

Keeping it simple tonight. As I said, cookies are keeping my evenings busy at the moment. But I wanted to drop a line to announce about Geekend so you can mark your calendars.

Posted in Industry Insights & Rants, Marketing, My Process, The Currents, The Writer's Life, Writing & Publishing

Events & Other Writerly Things

Being a writer has perks.

Yes, it is a pretty solitary existence. We spend most of our time alone with a screen and a keyboard for company. However, there are the rare occasions when we get to step out and really enjoy the spotlight.

For me, I have always enjoyed the process surrounding a book signing event. I meet people who share a similar interest and have a chance to talk with them and sometimes it leads to friendships.  Now I haven’t done an event in, what feels like, forever. It’s been a few years. But, I’m excited to announce that I will be a vendor and attending at the Tyler Paranormal Conference. Click on the link and it will take you to the facebook page with all the information. And if you are in the East Texas area and can pop over to Tyler for one of the three days of the event, I would love to meet you. Maybe even sign a copy or two for you.

In other news, I’m entering the rewrite phase of the work on Slauson Cove Book Two. Second drafts are for working out plot holes and deepening the story. This one needs some TLC. That being said, it is time to really get to work on it. And I’m ready to get this one into the hands of all of you who enjoy my fiction work.

The irony is that I’m also working on the final editing phases of a short novella that I will be formatting soon to put out. It isn’t related to the Slauson Cove story line but is something unique that could be a start to a sort of collection of stories based around a group of characters if the feedback indicates that there is a demand for it.

Sort of a short post today folks. I have a ton on my To-Do List. So keeping it short and sweet is practical for me. But, I’ll be back with more insights from the studio. Maybe even with a cover reveal for the novella later in the week. Guess you’ll have to subscribe to stay tuned and not miss that.

In the meantime, tell me what sort of book-related or fiction-related events you enjoy or would like to attend in the comments. I am curious about how I can make these sorts of appearances more appealing and give you all more than just me sitting at a table signing books. Would you enjoy a reading styled event? Maybe a Q & A would be better. You tell me!

Posted in Family Life, Lessons Learned, The Currents, The Writer's Life

Monday & Thoughts On Living

Hello my readers! I hope that you’re all fairing well in this wintery weather. Here in Texas it was a crazy day. As I was leaving the office the temperature was 52° F and as I got home 30-45 minutes later it was 38° F. I took my umbrella and my coat and gloves this morning when it was about 64° F. It is no wonder that everyone I come in contact with is sick. GermX is my friend lately.

I have a couple of things I wanted to put out there tonight. It is no secret that I have a YouTube channel that I’ve been preparing for. I’m happy to tell you that my first video will be posted on Monday January 15th, 2018. In fact, there will be two! One is a static invitation and about the channel type of post and the other will be actual content post. So, I’m going to backtrack on Monday to post links to those videos for you to easily access them. Why? Because I’m a total Newb at this and have no idea how this is all going to work out until I actually finish editing and uploading. So, please, be patient with me in this process.

I have been blogging off and on for years. I am a writer. It is what I do well. So, you may be asking “why have I decided to jump into the video realm? It’s a fair question. So I’m going to address it here, for now.

This is me. I’m a heavy woman who has always had a big heart. There’s no need to go into the details of why or how I ended up the size I am now. It is just a fact.

Every year, I make a list of resolutions. Like many others out there they include losing weight, eating healthy, drinking more water, and the usual things. But 2017 was a hard year in many ways. The latter half of the year left me doing a great deal of soul searching and dealing with the reality of my own mortality. I started to question myself on a much deeper level. I prayed for clarity and direction. To my surprise, I actually got what I asked for.

I’ve spent most of my life being concerned with what others thought about me. I hid from view in group photos and avoided full body shots. It is something a lot of bigger women (and I assume men) do. We want to look, act, and feel just like everyone else. But, we stand out no matter how much we try to hide away. Then we become painfully aware of any situation that even hints at embarassment for those we love. Subconsciously we read far more into things that are said, many times, than is really there. The result is even further seclusion from the world. For me, something has finally clicked. And I realize that there is something much bigger at play here than just me.

Getting in front of this camera is terrifying. I know that there are going to be people out there who will attack me solely because of the way I look. I deal with that every day. And I’ve often used writing as a way to cope with the emotions that go along with that. This has to get beyond the fear. It will get easier for me. There are going to be posts about writing, creative living, plus size living, and I want to allow all of you a bit of a window into my world. I think it is going to be an exciting thing once I move through the initial jitters. I hope that you will too.

Why now? Because I am tired of living my life on the sidelines waiting to be the perfect size, have the perfect smile, hair, or make up. Life is imperfect. We are all flawed. And I think it is so important for other bigger people to see someone being real, honest, living life, and reaching for a big dream. I’ve been inspired by other writer and youtubers out there who have shared their own journeys. And I feel like I have a unique perspective to offer that could help others find their voice and encourage them to start living their fullest lives as well.

So much in my life is changing. I’ve realized that writing a book isn’t enough. I want this to be a career for me. I want to entertain people with great stories and characters. I want to travel and meet readers, give readings, help and inspire others to reach for their own creative dreams. To do that, I have to get out of my shell. I have to undo years of conditioning. I have to be healthier than I have ever been before and strong enough to say, “You know what world, HERE I AM!” And I am finally there.

Conquering the fear isn’t easy but, I’m just going to go on blind faith that the right people will connect through these means. Blogging, Vlogging, and other social media are tools that will allow me to reach far and wide. This year, is about learning about them and then using them to live my dreams.

So, will you join me?

Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’d be delighted if you would join me in subscribing to my new channel as well. Info will be live on Monday as soon as there is a video to share over there.

See ya soon!

 

Posted in The Writer's Life

Life Events & The Writer…

It’s no secret that writers keep journals. We have them everywhere; online, in our purse, in our car, in our backpacks, our desk drawers, and you can even bet that there is likely one hiding in the bathroom. Yes, we’re odd like that, keeping pen and paper within arms reach at all times. But, this little habit serves us well. It allows us to capture our thoughts, put down ideas for characters or plots, and it even allows us to record life events that we don’t want to forget. I had such an event happen to me this past weekend and I was so excited that I had my handy-dandy planner with me so that I could write the details down while it was fresh in my mind.

The month of May is turning out to be pretty eventful for me. Not only will I be releasing my first novel under my pen name (Anne Belle) but I also got engaged this past weekend on Mother’s Day. All these changes in my life are one of the main reasons that I decided to write under a pen name to begin with. I think that readers need consistency so, a fictional name is ideal given the fact that I don’t want to put my career on hold. In fact, I am very motivated to forge ahead with my plans to build up a readership and get this show on the proverbial road.

just-engaged-bridgette-bartlett-op-ed-on-black-bridal-bliss-1I took the time to write down my account of the proposal. It really was memorable and the roses that my ring was tied around are still beautiful in a vase where I can see them. And while I don’t think I’ll ever forget it, I still wanted it on paper so I could read it all over again and smile. And now, I’m signed up on http://www.theknot.com and thinking about planning a wedding and getting things organized while trying to start promoting the new book being released this weekend.

The truth is, I don’t know where to start. I’ve set up all these accounts and am feeling overwhelmed that there are so many things for me to update. I came upon Hootsuite once and then I promptly forgot about it during all the craziness that was the end of last year for me. Now that I’m back to trying to build my writing career and organize my life in general, I find that Hootsuite might just be the marketer’s best friend. I certainly intend to make good use of it. I am starting to live by my planner again. That’s very likely a habit I should have never gotten out of in the first place.

TSOTS COVER ADSo, in other news, the book is about to release in print and ebook format. So I am rushing about to finalize all the little details and create some sort of plan to market it. I’ll be doing a major post on the book in the next few days just to commemorate the release. But, I’m sort of just jumping in feet first to figure out the best way to reach potential readers.  I have read all sorts of things on platforms and marketing but the fact is that most of what is out there is information geared for non-fiction work.

It is easy to build a platform when you have a set subject. To write a book on a particular topic you have to be something of an expert in your field or have some unique perspective on it. I don’t claim to be an expert in anything. I have too many interests to really be an expert in any one thing. If I am well-versed in any one topic it would be the paranormal. That topic shows up quite often in my work but, every piece is different.  For example, this book is about a woman with a supernatural power and a mystery to uncover with a bit of romance thrown in. My next book/series deals with apocalyptic scenarios and angels. While another project is more steampunk. I’m sort of all over the map and I don’t want to hinder my creativity for the sake of putting myself in a marketing bubble. So, I’m going to have to start somewhere and just build on it and see where I end up.

I am excited though. There is so much happening all at once for me. There is a wedding to plan and an amazing man by my side to share the journey with me in all of this.  It seems like things are really taking off and I find myself wondering if I dare try to get back into singing on top of it. I think that might be a bit much on my time though except for the occasional karaoke night or singing at church. But, you never know with me. We’ll just see.

At any rate things are going super in my neck of the piney woods of East Texas. We’ll see what else comes my way in the weeks to come. So, stay tuned!