Monday, June 24, 2013

Do Page Counts Matter with Ebooks?

Boy is this a moving target now with the rise of the ebook revolution.

Let's take a peek at what the standard word count range is for Print Books - especially if you are trying to pursue a Literary Agent then a publisher.

However, its best to break it down by genre - in PRINT Books:

Overall for Adult books:
80,000 – 89,999 words

Chick lit
70,000-75,000 words

90,000-100,000 words

32,000 – 40,000 words

55,000 – 69,999 words

80,000-89,999 words

500-600 words

NOW with the rise of the ebook all of the above is different if you DON'T PLAN ON PRINTING the book.

Short Stories: 

With short story formats in ebooks rising many authors don't need to hit the higher word counts above for adult books in order to make the reader happy.

WHY THE STRINGENT cap on word count?

Well as authors we love to get lost in the story, but for a publisher to PRINT a book and EDIT a book the cost to benefit rises by page/word count. Therefore the Publisher has to pay more to print the books which means the PROFIT hurts with the larger word novels if the publishers wants to COMPETITIVELY PRICE the book for sale with other books in the genre.

As a SELF-PUBLISHER or SMALL PRESS does this matter?

Yep, it does, because you still want your print release prices to be competitive and the lost in prices as the page count rises isn't worth it for a small press just starting out. HOWEVER, if you only plan on releasing a book in ebook you have much more flexibility.


Friday, June 14, 2013

More than a Trope

As a New Adult author I'm used to the typical New Adult storyline that has everyone rolling their eyes.
Bad Boy
Virginal good girl with a dark past
Mind blowing sexual love story

The dark past, in many books, has been that the girl has been raped. There have been countless New Adult books with this theme. And...(Mild spoiler, but it's kind of obvious) I wrote a book with a girl that was raped.

I was really scared on how people would respond to it. I didn't want people to think I was just cashing in on the trope, but then I knew that I needed to tell this story.


Because not all of the events in The Only Exception are fictional.

This is the first time I've talked about it in an open forum. My cps knew about it, my friend Katie knows about, my husband, and some other resources like YWCA stepping stones.

No I didn't get involved with a governor's son, or have to get the Morning after Pill. But I did deal with the slut shaming, the constant looking over my shoulder, and the isolation. I didn't think I could write about my experience. I still can't talk about all of the details. I actually didn't even think anything of it for a long time.

I was a senior in college. I went out for my friend's 21st birthday. We were all drinking and then took a cab over to a party. I was engaged at this time, but my fiancé stayed home. I wished he would have came, but I thought I was fine in a group of friends. The party was at a fraternity house in which I was friends with a lot of the guys. I remember it had been awhile since I'd gone and was excited that I had lost so much weight in the past few months and could wear a short skirt and dance around like my other friends.

I thought it was my fault that I was drunk.

I thought it was my fault for wearing my short skirt.

I thought it was my fault that I even sat down on the bench next to the guy.

I didn't talk about it for a long time. I didn't think it was a big deal. He didn't "rape" me I thought. Then I started to hear other girls' stories and that was when I got to courage to talk to my fiancé and my best friend, Katie, about it.

Katie told me, "what he did to you is considered rape."

I never reported him. I still felt guilt after that night. My "friends" who were with me looked the other way.

Writing The Only Exception was like digging the hole again. I didn't think I could do it. My critiuqe partners wanted me to go there. They said that I couldn't dance around the issue. Then I read stories like the Stubenville rape case and Lizzy Seeberg's story. I knew the story that had to be written. I knew that my character wasn't going to just heal by having a sexual encounter with a guy. That's not how the real world works. I had her go to counseling. I had her deal with real life scenarios. I wanted her story to speak to people and hopefully help someone.

Rape is more than a trope and that's how I wrote it. I love what writers like Colleen Hoover have done in which they do put resources for people struggling with the same issues, in the back of their book.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with rape or sexual assault, there are a number of resources. You don't have to feel like you are a trope. You don't have to feel helpless.

RAINN they have resources, including state and federal ones and where to get counseling and other help.  You don't have to do this alone.

Magan Vernon is an international bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband and two little girls. You can find her online at

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

INDIE LIFE: Overwhelmed by Marketing and Promotion? I am! (and what to do about it)

by Elle Strauss

You've written a great book, polished it up, got a cool cover.

Now what?

How do you get your baby into the hands of all those zillions of people dying to read it? They can't read something they've never heard about, right? How do you get your book in front of your readers?

I wish I had an easy answer. If you've been in the self-publishing world for any length of time (for me, it's been 1 year and 9 months, an eternity in self-publishing years), you'll know that the rules keep CHANGING. And I mean fast.

What worked last month  doesn't seem to work this month. Just when you think you have a handle on the "how to's" of promotion, it changes. It's enough to drive an indie author mad.

For instance last year I price matched Clockwise free. I let Pixel of Ink know, they picked it up right away, and voila, major sales push on the other Clockwise series books that lasted for months. Great! I thought. I'll I have to do is put the first book free, let POI know, and I'm rockin' it.

Except, it's not that easy to get picked up by POI anymore. In fact, it's quite hard. And you can't buy spots. It's a total crap shoot, now, and you can't count on it.

Also, at that time the Amazon monkeys tallied a free sale with the same weight as a paid sale. They've since changed it to 10 free downloads = one sale, which means it takes far more free downloads to get the same high speed traction as it did a year ago.

Like I said, change.

So, you put your ear to the wind. What is everyone else doing now. The clamor gets loud, quick.

Twitter, Facebook pages, google+, tumbler, pinterest, newsletters, giveaways, blog tours, street teams, paid advertising, teasers, picture teasers,  reviews, reviews, reviews! You must do it ALL!

Join me as I hide under my covers.

Okay, I'm going to give some practical advice.

1. Breathe
2. Give yourself plenty of time. There's a lot of pressure for indie-authors to produce and publish fast.
3. Realize that each book you write is different, and the publishing scene at the time of each release will be different.
4. Understand that some things take time, like building a twitter/facebook following and a newsletter list.
5. Don't panic.
6. Take a step back and make a list of things you feel you could/should do for the title in question and make a marketing/promo list. It will probably be different from the last book you promoted and different from the next one.
7. Work the list.
8. Take another breath and write the next book.

What kinds of things can be on your promo list?

Well, something that gets the word out, right?

1. Find early readers who will leave a review. Sometimes you might want to hire out, ie: a blog tour service, and other times you will want to take the time to contact book reviewers yourself. A good way to find book reviewers is to join a blog hop. Kathy at I Am a Reader, hosts a lot. If you want to hire a blog tour service, Giselle at Xpresso Tours, does a great job at organizing tours and cover reveals at reasonable prices. Reviews are especially important on Amazon.

2. Paid advertising. Lots of authors have had good results with Bookbub (though I've heard it's getting harder to book a spot) and Kindle Nation Daily/BookGodzilla. 
These kind of paid sites can be on the pricey side, plus you usually have to qualify with a certain rating and number of reviews.

A cheaper option is to pay for promotion on Facebook. You don't reach the same kind of numbers, but for the price (5-20.00), it's good exposure.

3. Let your followers know. As long as you mix your tweets, facebook posts, etc, up with other news, it's okay to tell people you have a new book for sale. They are following you (as an author) for a reason, right? Being part of a writing group really helps with this. When you post for each other, your reach grows exponentially. If you can't find one to join, then start one yourself!(link to Galley Cat)

4. Contests. An easy way to start is to offer a book on Goodreads (make sure you list your books there, even if you don't offer a contest). For the price of postage, you are getting word out about your book to a lot of potential new fans. This option is only available for books in print.

Use rafflecopter to offer prizes that will entice potential fans to follow you on twitter, facebook, etc, and sign up for a newsletter. Don't have a newsletter? I recommend Mail Chimp. It's pretty user friendly and free until you reach 2000 sign ups.

Those are the basics.

For more advanced advice on getting your book noticed, I recommend LET'S GET VISIBLE, by David Gaughran.

INdieReCon Marketing Mania is on right now! IndieReCon brings you a mini-marketing know-how blitz! Featuring articles and workshops from CJ Lyons, Georgia McBride, KP Simmons and Penny Sansevieri. Check it out!

How about you? Have you tried something that really worked for you? Please, do tell!

Elle Strauss writes fun, lower YA fiction (time-travel and fantasy). She's married with four children and divides her time between British Columbia, Canada, and Dresden, Germany. She also writes upper YA (historical and science fiction) as LEE Strauss. To find out more about Elle and her books check out her facebook page, and follow her on twitter. To find out about new releases sign up for her newsletter at .

Check out other Indie Life posts on the list below.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Why James McAvoy Should Play My Character

I don't normally cast characters. In fact, I've had many interviews with questions like, "Who would you cast to play Simon in the Mindjack Trilogy?" I would awkwardly answer, "Um, I picked an anonymous hot guy off the internet as my visual aid. Maybe we can track him down?"

But as soon as I dreamed up Lirium, the titular character in my Debt Collector series, I immediately thought of James McAvoy.
I created a Pinterest page just to post this picture.

My character, Lirium, is a tormented debt collector, a good man with a bad power in an even worse world. Plus he's ridiculously sexy in his angst-ridden way.
Tell me you can't see James McAvoy in that tub!
(photo by the insanely talented Martin Waldbauer)

He even has the clothes already.

My love affair serious artistic respect for James McAvoy started with Penelope, which, for a light-hearted rom com has a seriously hot kiss.
He even has TWO NAMES in Penelope (just like Lirium/Joe; see what I mean? DESTINY.)

My love respect was deepened by the charming rogue he played in Becoming Jane, with more hot kisses and scenes that left me sobbing.
Gods, man, you can't dress like that an expect a girl not to kiss yea.

And then there's Atonement...
McAvoy. In a LIBRARY. With hotness. 
(I may have combusted right there.)

There were others. Delightfully awkward in Wanted and a romantic gnomlet in Gnomeo&Juliet (yes, even animated James works for me). 

But his recent turn in Sci Fi flick XMEN: First Class...

...and now Trance...
(Holy Hotness, he's channeling Lirium already!)

...seal the deal: McAvoy and my future-noir are meant for each other.

Don't you agree?

If you know someone who wants to option film rights to Debt Collector, tell them I have the perfect cast already!

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling YA SF Mindjack series. Her sexy McAvoy-inspiring future-noir Debt Collector serial is her more grown-up SF. Susan's steampunk fantasy romance is temporarily on hold until Season One of Debt Collector is finished. Plus she needs to leave time to play on Facebook. Susan has a lot of degrees in engineering, which come in handy when dreaming up dangerous mind powers, future dystopias, and slightly plausible steampunk inventions. Mostly she sits around in her pajamas in awe that she gets make stuff up full-time. You can find her at

What's your life worth on the open market? A debt collector can tell you precisely. Delirium (Debt Collector 1) is now FREE on AmazonBarnes&NobleKobo, iTunesSmashwords. See the Debt Collector FB page for random picture teasers and the upcoming trailer.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Inteview With A Reader (You)

by Michelle Muto 

I’ve been on tour lately with The Haunting Season. Tours are always fun. There’s snippets and playlists and interviews! Oh, my!

Today, I’d like to turn the tables a bit. I’d like to interview YOU, the reader. This could be fun, don’t you think? Sure it will! Go grab a drink, pull up a chair. I'll wait. All comfy? Then let’s get on with the interview.

Oh, and no fair peeking at your fellow readers  until you’ve answered the questions for yourself.

  1. What genres do you read most? 
  2. What attracted you to the last book you read? 
  3. You wish you saw more of… 
  4. You wish you saw less of… 
  5. What’s your favorite time and place to read?

 And no interview is complete without some fun, non-book questions

  1. Weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse?
  2. Favorite TV show?
  3. The dessert most people love, but you don’t?

My answers:
  1. Paranormal, thriller, suspense, horror.
  2. The subject/blurb/genre.
  3. Humorous stories.
  4. Erotica (It's just not my thing.)
  5. Evening, curled up in bed or on the sofa.
  1. Dean Winchester. ‘Nuff said.
  2. Supernatural. Are you sensing a theme? 
  3. S’Mores. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May new releases by Indelible Authors!

May releases by Indelible Authors
Debt Collector 6 & 7
by Susan Kaye Quinn

Episodes 6 and 7 of the future-noir serial Debt Collector by Susan Kaye Quinn have been released, as well as the Volume 4-6 collection. Try the first episode, Delirium, for FREE:

What’s your life worth on the open market?
Delirium (Debt Collector 1) FREE on  Amazon, KoboSmashwordsiTunes.

Touching Melody
by RaShelle Workman

  • Inspired by real events...
**Due to its heavy subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 17+**

Praise for Touching Melody:
  • "I loved this story of two lost souls, toughened up and emotionally closed off by their circumstances, who opened up to each other and themselves through music." ~ Stacey Wallace Benefiel, author of Crossing
  • "Touching Melody is a haunting love story filled with thrills, chills and secrets that keep the pages turning right up unto the breathless finish." ~ Kate Ashton, author of Every Little Piece.

Maddie Martin's first weekend at college is nothing like she's used to. It's wild, like the wilderness on which the University of Bellam Springs sits. Roped into going to a fraternity party, she literally runs into Kyle Hadley. The boy she's loved since she was nine. The boy she promised all of her firsts to. But that was before his father killed her parents.

Determined to stay away from him, she throws herself into her music. Practicing piano eases her heavy heart, calms the sadness, and pushes away images of Kyle's face.

Until it doesn't.

Her music professor asks her to play a duet for their annual Winter Gala. Doing so means she'll be assured another full ride scholarship. It's an opportunity she can't pass up.

But Kyle is the other half of the duet. And that means hours and hours of practicing.

Weeks of seclusion - just the two of them. And it's more than just music. It's passion like Maddie never believed was possible.

The inevitable happens. She falls in love with him all over again.

But, will loving him be enough to erase all the hate in her heart for his father? Can she look at him, and not see the evil in his family tree?

And maybe it's all a set up. Maybe Kyle is only pretending to care so he can finish what his father started, and kill her too.


Collateral Damage
by Katie Klein


True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Parker pretending not to care. . . .
Parker Whalen and Jaden McEntyre are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past—a reputation—and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there’s no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love.

What they have? It isn't real. Because the truth is, Parker Whalen is a liar. This has never mattered…until now. Because lying to someone you care about—someone who matters, someone who believes in you—that's when people get hurt. And Parker is about to hurt Jaden in the biggest way imaginable.

COLLATERAL DAMAGE is the companion novel to CROSS MY HEART, which spent more than 100 days on the Amazon Teen Top 100 Bestseller List in its first year of release, and was a 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best YA Fiction. COLLATERAL DAMAGE, a 76k word/300 page novel for Young Adults, is CROSS MY HEART told from Parker's point of view.
**Though this is not a series, the author highly recommends reading CROSS MY HEART before COLLATERAL DAMAGE**
Rated PG-13 for violence, adult language, and some sensuality.
The Seer (Desolation Diaries #2)
by Ali Cross

She's always been the one protected, shielded from the darkness in the world. But Miri wants to be as capable and strong as Desi and James. She wants to control her visions so they can actually be of use, actually give her friends an advantage over the dark.

When her visions reveal an enemy fixated on James, Miri must face the evil alone, and risk everything to do it.
Amazon | Goodreads

TAKING BACK FOREVER (Book 2 of The Kindrily series)
By Karen Amanda Hooper

Release Date: May 31, 2013
Starry Sky Publishing

*Recommended for ages 15 and older due to mature content.*

Forever is worth the fight.

Maryah erased all memory of her past lives, but she couldn't erase her soul mate Nathan, or his undying love. Now, Maryah and Nathan have a second chance at a future together, but first Maryah must remember the person she used to be and embrace her supernatural gifts--more than one kindrily member's life depends on it.

Maryah's power is Harmony's best hope of finding her kidnapped soul mate, Gregory. But Harmony isn't big on asking anyone for help, and she's tired of waiting, so she's taking matters into her own hands. Heaven help anyone who stands in her way.

Several of our Indelible Authors will be attending the UtopYA conference in Nashville Jun 28-30.  If you're going to be there, make sure you look them up!
Addison Moore
Chanda Hahn
Chelsea Fine
RaShelle Workman
Susan Kaye Quinn
S.R. Johannes