Tag Archives: Createspace

Doughnut overload and #ROW80

It’s only been since Wednesday that I last blogged, but it feels like it’s been weeks!  Since Wednesday, I’ve made a Rain Boots Required stop at West Linn Public library and spent two long days at the Wordstock festival in Portland.

Dudes and dudettes, so much has happened!

The tour stop in West Linn was fabulous.  We had another great turn out and this time our audience was filled with actual young adults.  They asked great questions – about writing and publishing and technique.  Watch out, y’all, the next crop of writers are gonna be some savvy upstarts!!

Thanks so much to Elaine, the Teen librarian at WLPL. She made us feel so welcome and she is such a dedicated and awesome librarian.  The kids of West Linn are lucky to have her and her bosses on their side.  The teen section of their library is a place that I know I would’ve loved to spend time in as a YA because I’m now having fantasies about escaping to there as an adult.

My apologies to Lisa Nowak and Laura Elliott for my less than stellar AV skillz.  I think we can all agree I shouldn’t be in charge of taping the talks anymore!! 🙂

Saturday and Sunday were spent at Wordstock from 10-6.  We had VooDoo Doughnuts at our table and let me tell y’all, doughnuts are the great equalizer.  We talked (and talked and talked and talked) to so many people who might not have stopped by our booth if it wasn’t for those crazy doughnuts.

I shared a booth with authors Angela Carlie and Laura Elliott. Lisa Nowak was at another booth, but she popped over frequently to hang out.  We had such a blast!

Since I had to register the booth name before we had even named our author tour and I wasn’t sure who exactly was going to share it with me, I named it Pacific Northwest YA Authors.  Good name, right?

Plenty of folks thought so.  In fact, a lot of people thought we were an organization and wanted to join.  At first, we laughed about it and told them we just needed a name for our booth, then, well it occurred to us that maybe we were an organization of sorts.  More of a group, but we had authors wanting to join and librarians and teachers wanting us to come give talks at their schools.

Never one to turn down an opportunity…

I give you Pacific Northwest YA Authors.

The website and e-mail address were created on Saturday night when I couldn’t sleep but for thinkin’.  Today, we signed up four schools/libraries to give talks at and collected over 20 e-mail addresses from people who want to receive our newsletter.

There’s just a welcome post up there right now, but by the end of this week I should have all of our Abouts, videos, reference links, contact info., guidelines for joining, etc. up.

Another awesome thing that happened at Wordstock besides networking our asses off, was that Lisa Nowak noticed the Trends in Publishing panel was the most well attended one of the whole event.  And you know what?  The panelists talked about self-publishing, but didn’t have a ton of experience with it.  So, Lisa and I tracked down the incoming director of Wordstock and pitched her a self-publishing panel for next year.  She seemed into it and said we were the first people to pitch her a panel for the following year.  Who knows what will come of it, but I can’t stress enough that it never hurts to ask for what you want!

ROW80 update:  If you’ve stuck around, I have good thangs to share about this too! (Seriously, I had three doughnuts today and am soooo high on the sugar!!)  I talked about my decent word count for Tuesday on Wednesday.  Yay!  On Thursday, I fired up my new Final Draft software.

Guys, I’m in love.  Yes, I actually heart software.

Although my ultimate dream would’ve been to pick a TV format and then copy and paste what I’d already written directly into it, what I got was pretty close.  I selected the script format that they use on Grey’s Anatomy and copy and pasted line by line what I’d written so far.  Voila!  Formatted script.  So easy to use.  I spent the last hour of my writing time creating new stuff for the script.  It’s such a fun project because I get to rewrite my book without having to actually rewrite my book.  Writing new dialogue for the Rosedell gang made me absolutely ecstatic.  There’s a new conversation between Avery and his best friend Jason that had me laughing my butt off.  It’s fun to be back in Zellie’s world in a new way.

Okay, I’m off to work on the PacNWYA website before my sugar crash commences.  Peace out.

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PSA

To the person(s) who has Googled “Glimmer by Stacey Wallace Benefiel PDF” six times in the last week, you can find the PDF version at Smashwords and All Romance e-books.

Sure, you can also find it for free all over the interwebs at sucktastic pirating sites, but I thought I’d give you the benefit of the doubt and let you know where you can get a legal copy. 🙂

In less snarky news, the print version of the complete Zellie Wells trilogy has a cover and is in the review process at Createspace.

I’ll let you all know when it’s available.  It’s priced at $24.99, which is higher than I wanted to price it, but still a discount from buying all three books separately.  It might also help you to know that if you buy any of my print books through Barnes and Noble or Borders, that I make $0.00.

Yup.  Zero dollars.

I do a little better on Amazon and my Createspace e-store.

Of course, right now you can’t get any of the books in print because they’re all in review, but that should change by the end of the week and I’ll post fresh links.

The complete trilogy should be available in e-book form (at a much more reasonable price) at the end of this week as well.

Last bit of info, it’s free Slurpee day at 7-11.  Get on that.

One Year

It’s my indieversary!  And stop haterz, self-publishversary just doesn’t sound as good, okay? 🙂

Whatever you want to call it, I’ve been a published writer for a year! A year that started and ended just before my birthday, so, to me, age 35 will always be the year I got my act together and finally started doing what I wanted with my life.

I’d like to thank my readers for buying my books, writing reviews, and helping me realize my dream of making a living from writing.

A big awkward girlie high-five to all the book bloggers who have reviewed my books, interviewed me, spread the word and held contests.  I appreciate the support you’ve given me and I hope you all know how instrumental you are in helping to build my writing career.

To all the writers I’ve become friends with this year, let’s have a convention or something.  And by convention, I mean a big party where we all drink beers, quote Buffy and get to hang out in person.  You guys are the best.  Thanks for showing me the ropes and commiserating and having my back.  Thank you for writing books that don’t suck and feeding my reading habit as well. 🙂

Soooooooo many thanks to Sarah, my BFF. Thanks for the editing and suggestions and chats on FB and all the Busch Light/ Masterpiece Theatre evenings.  If you like what I write, then I know it’s good enough. 🙂

Eleventy-billion hugs and kisses to my sister for lovingly and repeatedly telling me to get off my ass and write a book already.  Thanks for believing in me!

And to my family – my crazy kids, my long-suffering-at-his-horrible-job-so-I-could-make-a-go-of-being-a-writer husband, my fantastically supportive parents – I love and appreciate you all more than you could know!

I don’t really have anything brand spankin’ new to give away right now, but if you all would like an e-copy of Day of Sacrifice Vol. 1-3, simply leave your e-mail in the comments and I’ll send you the Smashwords code.

Thanks to everyone for making my first year as an indie author a fabulous one and here’s to the next year being just as great!

Thx

I seriously need one of those things that you speak into and it types for you.  After pre-Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas, the girl’s birthday parts 1-3, and finishing Rebellion, I have an awesome case of carpal tunnel. 

Dear Toy Manufacturers:  Enough with the impossible tape and 75 twist ties per item in each hard to get into box.  Enough with the miniscule parts that “click” together (only when I stand on top of them) and the picture directions with confusing arrows that don’t actually tell me how or what order to put things together in. 

 I have enough toys in my house to start a daycare.  My kids are very happy with everything they got, but I’m pretty sure they would have been happy with half as much.

Next year we’re going to give our money to Matt Damon and let him build some wells on our behalf in Africa. 🙂

Of course, all my kindle “next page” clicking could be contributing to my owie wrists.  This is the time of year when I read a lot.  As you may have gathered, December stresses me the fuck out, so escaping in a book for several hours each evening is a must.

Last year I got my kindle for Christmas and by the 29th was probably on the second Outlander book.  I straight abandoned my family for a month reading those.  I needed extra escape last year, I was pretty bummed.  I’d rewritten Glimpse and received about 40 rejections at that point.  I was going into 2010 asking myself, “What happens when you write a decent book and you can’t get anyone to read it?”

After I finished the Outlander books I was on the lookout for other things like it-something with romance and adventure that was kind of sci-fi/fantasy.  I didn’t realize this was an actual genre.  I delved into the House of Night books and Vampire Academy.  Great books, but YA and at $10, kind of expensive for e-books. (To her publisher’s credit, the Outlander books are all about $5 for an 1,000 “page” e-book, a more reasonable price I think.)  That’s when I found Kept by Zoe Winters.  It was 99 cents.  Devoured it.  Loved it.  Needed more. 

But who published her books?  I couldn’t figure it out.  I stumbled on e-publishers and submitted Glimpse to a couple of them. Met a great author named Ashlynn Monroe who helped me navigate the submission process.  More rejections, but nicer ones and this time with notes!  Apparently, Glimpse was a YA novel in the making, not a family saga like I’d thought.  Query redo!  More submissions!  More nice rejections with contradictory suggestions!  I started writing Glimmer to get my mind off the madness.  Then, yay! A publisher requested specific rewrites for resubmission…and then turned it down.  By this time I’d figured out that Kept was self-published.  Really?  But self-published books supposedly sucked and Kept most definitely didn’t.

I started reading Zoe’s blog posts (I caught her at a time when she was super rah rah indie and on the internet constantly) and gleaned everything I could from what she was saying.  Damn.  I was inspired.  So, I took my 8 times revised Glimpse and I self-published it as an e-book.  A month later I put out the paperback with Createspace and I waited.

Twelve people bought my book.

I could not effing believe it.

I started posting the blurb on the kindle message boards (only in the appropriate places!!) and got a Goodreads account.  A writer named Jess C Scott and I traded review copies.  This one chick, Amanda Hocking, and I did the same. (How funny to think that there was a time when either of them had to ask for reviews!) V.J. Chambers randomly found my blog and liked Glimpse-I geeked out on her books. I signed up for Twitter and met Susan Bischoff, who knew my roomate from college, Christel, who knew Zoe Winters and Kait Nolan, who knew Claire Farrell, and Belinda Kroll, and Lauralynn Elliott, and Reena Jacobs, and Imogen Rose.  It just keeps spiraling, I’m meeting and reading more awesome authors, like, every freaking day.

So, this December 29th is a lot more hopeful.  I published two novels and a short story this year.  Wrote another short story that will be out next week.  Signed up to be a sponsor in ROW80. Met a ton of wonderful writers and book bloggers that I now consider friends.  Found a community.  And as of this morning, I’ve sold nearly 2,500 books.  Sure, other writers sold more, in some cases A LOT more, but when I think of myself at this time last year, having not sold a single book, 2,500 is a great figure.  (This sentence is dedicated to Sarah for my extreme and probably inappropriate use of commas.)

When my husband gave a long rambling toast at our wedding, my first duty as his wife was to interrupt him and say, “What he’s trying to say people, is, thank you!”

Readers, writers, bloggers: What I’m trying to say people, is, thank you.

Buy Indie this holiday season!

*I wrote this post on Monday and I’m going to leave it up for the rest of the week.  I’m having thirteen people over for Thanksgiving this year, so I gotta clean and cook! (Turkey with rosemary/ pancetta/ orange butter anyone?)  Then on Friday, time to bust out the Christmas tree! I’ve also been managing to write 300-500 words a day on Rebellion.  No, not impressive word count, but it’s what I can do at the moment.  I’m hoping to get a lot done this weekend.  Happy holidays!

This morning I got some of my holiday shopping done on the internet and I ended up buying a lot of indie authored books for people on my list.  It occurred to me that last year when I was shopping for gifts, I hadn’t gone indie yet and didn’t even know about indie authors, and therefore didn’t have nearly as many excellent and affordable books to choose from.  The experience of purchasing something that was created by someone who will chat with you on Facebook or comment on your blog or even thank you for supporting them is great!  I think for most of us indie authors the dream is to get to write full-time and I know that it made me feel good to contribute to other writers achieving this dream.  So, I thought I’d compile a list of indies I enjoy in the hopes that you might support them this holiday season.  In most cases the books are available in several formats, including paperback. 

YA:

Susan Bischoff, Imogen Rose, Amanda Hocking, Sarra Cannon, Jess C Scott, V.J. Chambers, Jason Letts, Elizabeth Isaacs

Paranormal/Supernatural/Romance:

Zoe Winters, Kait Nolan, Ashlynn Monroe, Claire Farrell, Belinda Kroll, Tarrant Smith, Nicole Zoltack, Lauralynn Elliott, Amber Scott, H.P. Mallory

Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror/Thriller:

David Dalglish, Daniel Arenson, William Meikle, Cristyn West, Mari Miniatt, David Wisehart, Scott Nicholson

This is by no means a comprehensive list.  I’ve either read these authors or had them recommended to me.  Also, the categorization…many of these people write across all genres.

For more comprehensive lists, please check out:  Indie Reader and Indie Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.  Also, all the book bloggers I have listed in the sidebar read indie, it would behoove you to check out their blogs for even more indie goodness!

Please feel free to share the websites of any indie authors you would recommend in the comments.  I’m sure every author listed here could contribute at least 10!  Writers are readers, after all. 🙂

Typoe’s

Nobody likes them, everybody makes them.  Even though I’m gonna read this blog post four times before I publish it  there will be typos in it, it’s almost guaranteed. (Maybe in that sentence I just wrote.)

Two things happened to me yesterday: I got an e-mail from Emily at Super Reader Girl Reviews with a list of typos she’d found in Glimpse and another e-mail from the owner of Orange House Press, a letterpress business in Seattle, hoping I would stop publishing under that imprint because she’d just bought the Orange House Press domain name.  My first thoughts regarding both e-mails were, F**K.

Then I got my head on straight.  The list of typos Emily sent me weren’t just some misplaced commas, but several missing words and screwed up tenses.  Stuff that needed to be changed.  Now Glimpse has been edited about a billion times-by me, by Sarah, by betas, by agents, and small press publishers.  It doesn’t even resemble the book it started out as.  The similarities between the current version of Glimpse and the original are the character names and the climax of the story.  That’s it.  The original was written from every characters point of view.  That’s why I have mountains of backstory, because it used to be part of the book.  So, I assumed that it was fairly typo-free when I self-published it last April.  Then the e-mails started coming in.  And believe you me, I have a love/hate relationship with those kinds of e-mails.  I wanna know, but I don’t wanna know. I revised it.  Then I revised it again.  Then I said, “F**K it, this baby is done.”  Then came the Great There/Their Controversy of Summer 2010.  I revised that mutha AGAIN.  You get it, right?  You understand that for me reading Glimpse makes me want to claw my eyes out?  But I know you all don’t feel that way and you deserve to have the best version of Glimpse I can give you.  I owe that to you.  I also get that.  Therefore, I went through and edited Glimpse this morning with Emily’s notes and reformatted it and republished it on Smashwords, Pubit, Amazon, and in print. (The print version I was actually happy to do because it needed a refreshing format-wise.)

And here’s the thing: I found a couple more typos that Emily had missed and also forgot to change one in all of my e-book formats.  If this doesn’t effing prove that I’m the most fallible human of human-y humans that ever walked this planet, I don’t know what will.  So, please, if you find any typos in Glimmer and feel like telling me about them, I would appreciate it very much.  My e-mail is staceywb@frontier.com .

As for the Orange House Press name?  I’m in the process of removing it from all my books-Amazon is going to take the longest because, well, they just take the longest, but I feel like my good deed for the day is done.  Sure, I could have screwed her over and told her that the name is splashed all over everything I’ve written in the past year, but why?  It’s on there because I live in an orange house and thought it was cool, not because it was my life long desire to have a business called Orange House Press.  Plus, guys, letterpress is pretty kick ass and this lady is just an artist like my sister trying to make interesting and aesthetically pleasing things.

The morals of this tale are these:  I can’t spell or punctuate, but I can write. I’m not a total bitch. And, I’m so not gonna make my word count for NaNo today.

A cry for help?

I got my proof of Glimmer today and I must say it looks fabulous! You can buy the paperback here. We did a little something different with Glimmer and actually put stuff on the back cover this time…like a real book.  Hey, it’s a learning curve.  I didn’t know any of the awesome indies that I know now when I put out Glimpse, so I didn’t have anyone to tell me that it needed a blurb on the back, nor did I have anyone to blab a blurb on the back.  You do better when you know better.  Something that I didn’t learn not to do after releasing Glimpse into the wild was to avoid posting dorky pics of myself with my books.  Behold, a couple of shots from the Glimmer photo shoot.  And, yes, that is a salad dressing stain on my sweatshirt.

This time I took the pictures in my kitchen because I still haven’t changed the burnt out lightbulbs in my office (going on 3 months now) and the glare from the flash was obscuring the title on the book.

Here I am pretending to be shocked at meeting myself under such strange circumstances.

And those are the two best pictures.  Yup.

Today was the first day of NaNoWriMo and so far so good.  I managed to get a bit over the word count I was aiming for and I know what I’m going to write tomorrow.  I think you all are going to like Cara and Abel just as much as Flora and Julian.  Lots of good majicky stuff happening.  The first thing I have to do tomorrow is get all the characters for the series figured out and name them.  Actually, I could use a little help with this.  So far I have Guardians-Abel, Caroline, and Reginald and Sacrifices-Alex (vamp), Meagan (werewolf), and Damian ( shape shifter).  I need 9 more Guardian and 9 more Sacrifice names.  Post some in the comments if you feel so inclined.

Now I’m off to put the kids to bed and eat their Halloween candy while they sleep.  Good times.

Giveaways, myths, toddlers with scissors, and orange frosting.

Good morning!  First and foremost, after you’ve read what’s going on here, head on over to Zombiepalooza.  I’m the guest blogger today and I’m doing a big ol’ giveaway.  All you have to do is comment and you’re entered to win!  The giveaway runs through November 5th. I’m giving away copies of all three of my books!

Another awesome giveaway to check out is happening at Susan Bischoff’s blog.  Susan sold 1,000 copies of Hush Money, so she’s giving away a signed copy.  Again, all you have to do is comment!  (We try to make this easy on you all.)  Susan also talks about how she thinks she came to sell those 1,000 copies in just 12 weeks.  Part of that is the mythical 20 reviews.  Legend has it that when you reach 20 reviews, Amazon starts paying attention to you and will possibly list you in “Hot New Releases” and this kicks up your sales.  Okay, you all, you know I don’t like begging, but Glimpse has 18 reviews.  Can you help a girl out?  If you read Glimpse and liked it, could you please write a short review on Amazon?  Three sentences will do!  Click here to go right to the Glimpse page.  And if it behooves you, throw that review up on Barnes and Noble as well.  Click here to get to the Barnes and Noble Glimpse page.

Did you all listen to the Indie Book Collective ladies on blog radio last night?  I missed the first 15 minutes, but caught the rest of it.  I called in for a bit at the end and tried very hard to listen to all the good advice they were giving me, but the girl decided while Mommy was on the phone was a perfect time to stand on a rotating office chair with scissors in one hand and Sharpie in the other and bang on my keyboard.  Still, I think I got most of it.  Basically, they were giving me good ideas on how not to fail at Twitter like I have been.  If you would like to listen to an archive of the show, here’s the link.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!  I’m helping with the Harvest Party at the boy’s preschool today.  Wish me luck!  Thirteen 3-4-year-olds hopped up on orange frosting should be interesting.

Rain makes me happy. Sorry, rest of the world.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  It is definitely Fall here- it poured rain and was super windy yesterday and I fell asleep at 9 pm in my recliner while reading The Passage and watching Caprica.

I had a fun and productive weekend. We went to a pumpkin carving party on Saturday night at my friend Julie’s house.  Every year Julie opens up her awesomely decorated house for all of her friends kids to come over and destroy.  A good time was had by all!  Kids +candy+knives always equals fun, don’t you think?  I also FINALLY settled on a web site design that I think will stick for at least 6 months.   If you don’t like it, don’t tell me or I’ll hold you responsible for the 10 pounds I gain worrying over it further. 🙂  I also added a few things to the blog, like my books!  With links to purchase them!  Duh!

Day of Sacrifice is continuing to pull in great reviews!  Michelle from Indie Paranormal Books Reviews gave it 5 stars!  I gotta say, I didn’t expect DoS to do as well as it has been.  I just wanted to write a fun story, but everyone’s enthusiasm for it has got me seriously pumped for the rest of the series.  I started Rebellion yesterday and I’m into it, y’all.  It seems my laundry room door is going to have to wait a little while longer.

The Glimmer e-book is selling well, definitely better than Glimpse had at this point.  I got a great (what I would consider) compliment yesterday-my friend Lori downloaded Glimmer onto her husband’s phone for her daughter to read in the car and Lori said her daughter was quiet the rest of the car ride home.  When they would ask her for updates, she told them that she was reading and they would just have to read it themselves to find out what happened.  I’m always stoked when kids are engrossed in reading and even better when they’re reading one of my books!

The Glimmer print version was sent off again this morning.  I screwed up the interior file, so I had to redo it.  Apparently I thought it needed to be the size of a coffee table book.  (Not really.)  Once again, I was showing off my awesome computer skillz. 🙂

On Wednesday I’m the featured post on Amanda Hocking’s blog.  Check it out-I’m giving away all kinds of bookage.

Time to go pick up the boy from preschool.  Have a great rest of the day!

Stacey’s choice

How do you like my purple-fied blog?  After the girl and I wore our purple for Spirit Day the other day, I decided I needed more purple in my life.  I also changed my website layout again.  Meh.  Someday I need to pay someone to design it for me, because it is obvious to me that if I’m changing it so frequently it is because I hate it.  My choices are cool/too dark for me to read it or boring/readable.  Suck choices, right?

I’ve been a publishing fool this week.  Glimmer is available as an e-book on Smashwords and Amazon.  It is STILL processing on PubIt and I don’t know what the heck is taking so long.  I submitted the files for the paperback this morning, but I think I already need to change them.  In order to get expanded distribution (basically to be able to sell the paperback other places besides Amazon) I had to make the price $11.  $11 of which I get zero royalties.  Hmm. Not good for you or me.  I changed Glimpse to expanded distribution yesterday and I managed to only have to raise the price to $9.99 (because it’s shorter) but I don’t know about $11. I either have to cut some of the pages out, which would mean asking my sister to redo the cover template, or not go with expanded distribution.  I think the second choice might be the one to choose for now.  That way Glimmer comes out on time and I can use Glimpse as my test subject to see if the expanded distribution is really worth it.  I plan on redoing Glimpse for its one year anniversary in April, so if the expanded distribution does turn out to be worth it, I can redo Glimmer at that time too.  Thanks for stickin’ with me while I figured that all out. 🙂

Now that Glimmer is almost completely out in the world and all I have to do is promote the eff out of it, I can concentrate on writing Rebellion: The Outer Territory and working on some projects around the house.  We still don’t have a door on our laundry room.  It’s in the garage waiting for me to strip and stain it.  Also, I need to whitewash the ceiling where the old panty used to be and put another 4 coats of paint on the dining room walls.  Never mind that the boys 4th birthday is coming up and it is probably time to get all the baby stuff out of his room and the girl needs to transition out of her crib before her birthday in December.  It is always crazy times in these parts.  Someday maybe I’ll get used to it!

I hope you all have a great weekend!  I’ve got a craft sale and a pumpkin carving party to attend tomorrow and so far, nothing scheduled for Sunday.  Maybe I’ll finally get around to watching the 4 Vampire Diaries that are lingering on my DVR.