Somehow I Escaped Unscathed

From National Novel Writing Month that is.  At the beginning of November I answered the call to untether my writing spirit from my inner critic, and set down 50,000 words in thirty days (or less) during the month of November.

It can seem like an insurmountable task. You have to be a little bit crazy to even want to do something like this. Broken down, NaNoWriMo means that you commit to writing an average of 1667 words each day of the month. But on October 31st, I laughed in the face of this adversary.  Why?

Because I’ve done it before. Twice.  (Full disclosure: I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo four times before this year. 50/50 are pretty decent odds if you’re the gambling sort.)

My first NaNoWriMo novel, The Reunion, took me 23 days in 2004. (I was pretty proud of that effort although my heart breaks a little every time I read the story.  Those poor girls need a lot of help.)

Facebook page for more details on when The Soul Garden will be available!

But for now I will bask, for a few moments anyways, in the NaNoWrimo 2011 Winner’s Circle.

What’s the craziest goal you’ve ever attempted?  Did you accomplish it?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

The Art and Science of a Newbie Book Launch: Planning

I’ve been a planner since way back.  I didn’t need to take the Myers-Briggs to know that I have a strong preference towards data-based decisions and am very time-oriented. I experience a high level of stress when I leave the house without my watch on.  I am constantly thinking about how to best utilize my time and maintaining an efficient schedule.

Yes, I’m that person.
So it may surprise you a bit to know that I fell into my book launch schedule more than I actually planned it.  I think that is because I recognized that there were a lot of things that I didn’t know, and if I set my expectations too high and some went off the rails unexpectedly, I’d be in trouble.
I had to strike a balance between planning and being able to remain nimble.  Here’s where I landed on the things that I identified as “necessities” in the plan and how it worked out.
  • Timeline: I decided to bring Edge of Shadows"" “>Edge of Shadows still hasn’t been accepted into Smashwords Premium Catalog which is a requirement to get it distributed to B&N, Sony, and Kobo among others.  And once it’s accepted, it can take up to another week to before it’s submitted as Smashwords only distributes to those outlets once a week.  I definitely need to take this into consideration before I publish my next novel.
    • Gathering the Troops: By far the biggest complaints I’ve seen on the self-publishing front from readers are either a) lack of editing or b) poor cover design.  I knew I was going to have to invest some cash and hire these out.  So I had to make some decisions fast. Outcome: I posted for an editor on eLance the day I made the decision to publish, and selected my editor, Christine LaPorte from the 40+ bids that came in.  I found Scarlett Rugers through the Nano site and she was running a scary good promotion on cover design that I snapped up. Both delivered on time with no problem.
    • Sounding the Horn: Book promotion is supposed to start well ahead of the actual live date of the book.  I had this site up and running, but it wasn’t current. I had a Facebook page set-up, but I didn’t even have 25 fans yet to be able to customize my URL. I had let my Twitter handle languish in favor of my other one given my most recent area of interest.  I knew this was by far the area that needed the most work. Outcome: I’ve been spending a lot of time here, and will continue to do so to grow my fan base.  This is mission critical, so there’s no other way.  What I need to do though is be very careful not to let my book promotion take away from my writing time.
You don’t have to have a complete business plan drafted to self-publish a book.  But I do think that you do have to have realistic expectations of what you can do with the time and money you have available.  It is your job and your reputation that you are putting on the line, so it’s worth the time to slow down and flesh a couple of the finer details out.
(photo credit andyp uk)

You asked for it- You Got It!!

I have been overwhelmed by the amount of love, support, and encouragement I’ve received from my little tribe of fans over the last week.  I know that I still have a long way to go in my writing journey and a lot still to learn, but the feedback I’ve received is making all of it so worth it!

By far the most popular question I’ve gotten so far though is: Where can I get a physical copy of the book?

I admit this surprised me.  With ebook sales exploding and everyone diving into the tablet market, I thought for sure my digital versions would be the most common request.  That may be the case soon, but as of right now, people want the paperback!

So I am delighted to share that the paperback version is now available on Amazon!!

But I wanted to do a little something special with the holidays right around the corner, knowing that you may be purchasing a book for someone special on your list. So I’m offering:

FREE Shipping for Autographed Paperbacks!!!

Here’s the deal.  From now until 12/2 you can buy as many autographed copies from me (for the same $9.99 price that you would pay on Amazon) as you want and I’ll ship them to you for FREE.  Here’s what to do:

  1. Send me an email at with the subject line: HOLIDAY OFFER.
  2. Include your name, shipping address, # of copies, if you want any personalized autographed copies (e.g. “Please sign the book to my grandma Rose”), and your preferred Paypal email address if different than that email address you are sending from.
  3. I will send you a Paypal invoice once I receive your order for you to complete the transaction. ($9.99 x # of copies ordered)
  4. I will be placing my inventory order on 12/3 and will be shipping the copies out no later than 12/10 to ensure a timely pre-Christmas arrival.  (Depending on demand, I may place 2 orders so you may get it sooner.)

That’s it!  It’s that simple.   And don’t forget that if you just want to purchase a regular paperback copy, you can do that now on Amazon.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Thank you and Happy Shopping!!

Edge of Shadows is now available!

It’s hard to believe that today has finally arrived!  After weeks of planning and years of preparation, Edge of Shadows is finally published and available to readers.

Often accomplishments like this feel like they take an army to make happen, and so there are a few people that I definitely need to recognize who helped me get to this place today.

This first is Christine LaPorte, who took on the task of editing my manuscript.  Even when you feel like you’ve scrubbed the words a thousand times, there is still room for improvement. Christine worked with my deadline and delivered my manuscript full of suggestions and tweaks to make my story stronger.  Hopefully the quality shows through to anyone who reads the book.

Second is Scarlett Rugers, who designed the book covers for both the ebook and the upcoming print version.  Scarlett was responsive and inquisitive and gave me some great concept ideas right out of the gate for me to consider.  I think the final product is beautiful and will hopefully catch the eye of browsing potential readers online.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my husband Jason for giving me the freedom and latitude to make publishing this book a reality.  He was always there to give me a different perspective or advice as I agonized over some of the big decisions, and I know that I couldn’t have done this without him.

Things are going to start being a lot busier on the blog in the coming weeks as I start promoting not only my book but work of fellow authors that I think would be interesting to my readers as well.  Along the way I will sprinkle in more Edge of Shadows news and lessons I’m learning from the self-publishing trenches.

If you are interesting in purchasing your own copy of Edge of Shadows, just click the  Tagged ,

The Art and Science of a Newbie Book Launch: Beginnings








Has this ever happened to you?  One day you woke up and said to yourself, “Self- I want to publish a book.”

You could have many reasons behind that simple desire. Maybe you’ve had a story brewing deep down in your gut for what seems like ages.  Maybe something happened to you in your life that you always wanted to put down in writing so that it would be remembered forever.  Perhaps you simply wish to leave something of yourself behind forever.

Whatever your motivation, it all starts with that simple expression of intention that you sent out to the universe.

I was 12 when I declared that I wanted to be an author. I could give you my laundry list of excuses why it hasn’t happened yet, but it doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t take the necessary action to make that dream a reality until recently.

Oh, I wrote a book.  I’ve written two novels in fact and I have three more in varying states of completion.  But what you discover is that the actual writing of the book is only about 40% of your overall journey to getting your work into the hands of any reader.

After that, you enter this confusing realm of book publishing and it is very easy to get good and stuck right there.  In fact, that’s where I’ve been for the last three years or so.  But not for much long.

Next week I’m launching my first novel, jetheriot)