Exile (Forbidden Things #2) Cover Reveal and Another Con

Tis the season for being thankful, so I'd like to express a great deal of thanks to my cover artist, Raquel Neira, for producing yet another fantastic cover for me. Exile is the second book in the Forbidden Things series, scheduled to come out in December (the season of giving - *wink*). The fantastic folks at Masquerade Book Tours are hosting this tour. Stops are listed lower down, just above the amazing cover reveal!

Before I reveal the cover, if anyone is in the Portland area the 20th through the 22nd, I'll be down there with my books at OryCon at the Waterfront Portland Marriott Hotel. Feel free to come by and say hello. 

Cover Reveal Stops

The Shadow Portal
Paranormal Sisters  
Boom Baby Reviews  
Girl of 1000 Wonders 
Hope. Dreams. Life... Love 
Book About 
The Book Bag  
Moonbeams over Atlanta 
Celticlady's Reviews    
E-BookBuilders  
abookwithbea 
Indie Author How-to
Crystal's Chaotic Confessions  
Masquerade Crew 
DJ's Book Corner  

And now... Exile.

Happy reading!

Clockwork Enterprises Book Two: The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy Grossly Under-hyped Cover Reveal

With all the craziness around getting The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy (book two in the Clockwork Enterprises series) ready for publication before Steamposium, there hasn't been time to set up fancy cover reveals and such, so I'm doing a little under-advertised cover reveal of my own for you here today. If the rest goes according to plan, the book will be available in print and ebook on September 14th. I will be signing copies of the first two Clockwork Enterprises books and doing a reading from both at Steamposium, September 25th through the 27th at Seattle’s waterfront Bell Harbor International conference center. Come join me if you're in the Seattle area. Copies of Forbidden Things: Dissident will also be available for purchase.

Once again, I must give thanks to my excellent cover artist Raquel Neira, and also to Michael McCormack for his photography, Ann Forseth of Romany Rapture for the lovely jacket on the model, and my cat Neko for his fantastic modelling work.

Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think!

Happy reading!

Too Much Editing and Another Giveaway

The previous giveaway has ended and I'm still deep in edits on Exile and Apostate (Forbidden Things 2 & 3) and finalizing details for the release of The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy (Clockwork Enterprises 2) next month. Needless to say, original blog content has suffered. I'm hoping to get some new content up soon. In the meantime, I offer you another giveaway.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dissident by Nikki McCormack

Dissident

by Nikki McCormack

Giveaway ends August 22, 2015.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Happy reading!

Book Release! Dissident (Forbidden Things #1)

I'm very excited to announce the official release of Dissident, the first book in my Forbidden Things series. Visit the Dissident page for more information and links to order.

Also, drop in for the blog tour starting July 13th with stops at Edgar's Books and Independent Authors. The tour runs through August 7th with many opportunities to enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card!

July 13: Edgar's Books
July 13: Independent Authors
July 14: Queen of the Night Reviews
July 15: CBY Book Club
July 15: SolaFide Self-Publishing and Book Blog
July 16: The Avid Reader
July 17: Susana's Morning Room
July 17: Mythical Books
July 20: Books and Other Spells
July 21: Rogues Angels
July 21: Room With Books
July 22: Liza O'Connor
July 22: Tina Donahue
July 23: GothicMoms
July 23: Yeah Books!
July 24: Welcome to My World of Dreams
July 27: Dena Garson - Real... Hot... Romance
July 27: Books N Pearls
July 28: BooksChatter
July 28: Natural Bri - Pursuits of Life
July 29: Danita Minnis
July 30: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
July 31: Dawn's Reading Nook
July 31: Long and Short Reviews
August 3: Unabridged Andra's
August 4: Archaeolibrarian - I dig good books!
August 4: fundinmental
August 5: It's Raining Books
August 6: Straight from the Library
August 7: The Reading Addict

Ascard power can strengthen, heal and create. It also has great potential to destroy, enough to topple entire governments. Indigo’s country places strict limitations on the use of ascard so she must channel her talents into the healing arts or risk severe punishment. An orphan from a disgraced family, trapped by her father’s treason, Indigo struggles to reclaim her place in a society that has driven her into an abusive engagement.

Then a mysterious stranger from a neighboring country contacts her using ascard. He needs help escaping his prison so he can bring an end to his emperor's oppressive rule or die trying. His unshakable devotion to his cause and the passion hidden behind his cool arrogance move her to help him at the risk of being branded a traitor herself.

When the politics of society bring them together a second time, Indigo decides to use her growing powers to help him fight his war. If only she dared fight for her own future with such passion. Perhaps she can find the courage to do so by helping the man she has fallen for win his revolution. She might have exactly the power he needs to succeed.

Selfies: The Process of Self-publishing

With the first book in the Forbidden Things series coming out soon (July 9th! So excited!), I thought it might be worthwhile to talk a bit about the adventure of self-publishing. This isn’t going to be about writing the book or about editing it. Rest assured, it has been edited extensively by myself and others and was accepted by my agent just like The Girl and the Clockwork Cat. I’d like to think the book is the best it can be, but I’m sure something was missed. I’ve yet to read a book edited professionally or otherwise where something wasn’t missed. I just hope it was a small something.

Moving on. This series is epic fantasy and epic fantasy is a hard sell to publishers these days. Since I’d given traditional publishing a try, I decided, with the approval of my agent, to try self-publishing the series. This post is to give readers a little bit of insight into what it takes to self-publish a finished book and to offer other writers starting that journey some assistance. I will probably forget some things, but I’ll try to cover all the major items.

Select a publishing format

The first decision I had to make was that of format because it has considerable impact on many other decisions. I don’t think any author publishing in today’s market would chose to do print without eBook, but eBook without print isn’t uncommon. I love the feel, smell, and weight of a print book. I also love the ability to do public signings at events. For me, having my book available through print on demand as well as eBook was an obvious choice, but it does increase the cost of the process in several ways.

To ISBN or not to ISBN

Many publishing platforms (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc. – I haven’t researched this for all of them, so you may want to double-check if you’re publishing a book) will provide an ISBN for free. I think this is a fine way to go for eBooks. However, if you’re doing print on demand through, for example, CreateSpace, and you use their free ISBN, they will be listed as the publisher for your book. You can decide if this matters to you or not, but I wanted my books to be published by me, so I purchased my own ISBNs from Bowker. It’s more expensive than it should be, but it was worth it to me. As a side note, for print books you can get a barcode for the cover on Bowker as well.

Copy-editing

This could be set aside as part of the editing process, but I did want to mention it as I feel having a dedicated copy-editor go over the final draft is necessary. I’m somewhat embarrassed by how many misused or simply missed apostrophes my copy-editor found (thanks Brian). I tend to ignore them a bit when I’m writing. A bad habit I’m trying to fix.

The search for great cover art

Cover art can get expensive, but having a good cover is critical. If you don’t know anyone with the necessary skills, there are many resources including online forums (Writers' Cafe, Goodreads, etc.) and art sites (such as DeviantArt, where I found Raquel Neira, the cover artist for The Girl and the Clockwork Cat and Dissident, and Fiverr, where I found Victoria Davies, the cover artist for In Silence Waiting and Making Monsters as well as several other shorts I haven’t published yet) that can help you find what you’re looking for. You need people to look at your book cover, usually in thumbnail form (thank you Raquel for pointing out that my original idea would be too busy for a thumbnail), and know if it’s something they’ll be interested in. A good cover also shows that you cared enough about your work to represent it well. If you are doing eBook and print, you will need a cover that works for both.

Interior design and formatting

Often overlooked, but critical for reader enjoyment and another place where doing both eBook and print can lead to more work and expense. Good interior design and formatting will determine how easy the book is to read and how people will feel while reading it. It’s easier to get more elaborate with print, but both versions should be attractive and easy to read. I strongly recommend reading through a print proof and looking over the eBook in all platforms you intend to publish on if possible. For one thing, reading through the print version, I found a few embarrassing content errors that were missed in all of the editing.

Getting the word out

There are a lot of ways to market online and a lot of people happy to tell you how to do it. After considerable research, I selected Goddess Fish Promotions to help with my cover reveal and with the post-release blog tour. So far, I’ve been very happy with my choice. If you plan on paying someone to do your promotion, research the options and find someplace that fits your specific book and your budget. Otherwise, you can try to go it alone. I didn’t take that route because, right now, I have more budget than I do time to write and edit.

 

So many platforms

There are a lot of platforms out there. If you want to make it simple, you can go with KDP Select and call it good. There are a lot of authors who say that has worked well for them. There are also a lot of authors who say diversifying has worked well for them. For my purposes, I decided to go with Createspace for the print on demand version. For the eBook, I’m going direct through Kindle and Nook then using Draft2Digital for some additional distribution. I may narrow or expand this as time goes on. Do your research and make the decision that is right for you and your book(s).

Those are the major items. I don’t doubt that I’m forgetting some things, so I may revisit this in the future. If you have questions or additions, feel free to comment.

Happy reading and/or writing!



Forbidden Things Book One: Dissident Cover Reveal

UPDATE: Congratulations Jo C. for winning the giveaway. Stay tuned for more giveaway fun in the book release blog tour July 13th through August 7th.

I am very excited to be doing a cover reveal for Dissident, the first book in my Forbidden Things series. After experiencing the ups and downs of traditional publishing with The Girl and the Clockwork Cat (the sequel to which is coming out in September) I decided to try out self-publishing with the Forbidden Things series. It’s been better in many ways, including not having to wait on publisher schedules, and harder in many ways (more on all this in a later post). All that work is now paying off with a book I am very proud to publish. Official release is July 9th. Visit the Dissident page for information on ebook pre-orders (print and additional distribution will be available on release).

Before I do my own reveal, I want to encourage you to visit some of the fantastic blogs involved in the cover reveal. The more visits the better!

1: RhiReading
2: Nephy's World
3: The Blog of C.R. Moss
4: BooksChatter
5: Romance Novel Giveaways
6: Unabridged Andra's
7: Mixed Book Bag
8: Cia's Stories
9: The Crafty Cauldron
10: Dina Rae's Write Stuff
11: A Book Addict's Delight
12: T's Stuff
13: CBY Book Club
14: Independent Authors
15: Room With Books
16: Tina Donahue
17: Vala Kaye's "Other World"
18: Harlie's Books
19: Blog of author Jacey Holbrand
20: GothicMoms
21: The Avid Reader
22: StarAngels Reviews
23: Author Amanda KimberleyLB My Writing, My Life
24: Books and Other Spells
25: Queen of All She Reads
26: Fantasy Author Nicolette Andrews
27: Natural Bri - Pursuits of Life
28: Musings of the Book-a-holic Fairies, inc.
29: Romorror Fan Girl
30: Welcome to My World of Dreams
31: It's Raining Books
32: Straight from the Library
33: Long and Short Reviews
34: Books Are Love
35: Tory Richards
36: Tamaria Soana
37: Jodie Pierce's Ink Slinger's blog
38: Harps Romance Book Review
39: Writer Wonderland
40: EM Lynley's Love Shack

I was fortunate to get to work with Raquel Neira, the cover artist for The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, on this cover. Without further ado, I present the results of those efforts.

Dissident-cover.jpg

Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think!

Happy reading!

Breaking the Silence & Book News

It’s been quiet here since early February (cue crickets). February itself was simply lost time due to a bad bout of flu that turned into pneumonia and put me in the ER a few times. Three actually, but I'm better now.

Now I’m making up for lost time with several book projects, two of which I’d like to share with you now.

More Clockwork Cat!

The sequel to The Girl and the Clockwork Cat should be coming out this year if all goes according to plan. Due to the red tape of traditional publishing, I don’t have a release date yet, but I promise to share as soon as I have something solid to offer (including an official title).

Something New!

Having experienced the world of traditional publishing with all its ups and downs and learned a great deal in the process, I am now exploring the world of self-publishing with my Forbidden Things fantasy series.

Taking this project on has sucked up massive quantities of time. Even with all the things I learned working with a publisher, the learning curve for self-publishing is steep. There are many things that I was aware of and even had a hand in with my publisher that I am now managing myself. Quality writing and editing are critical, but there are so many other things necessary to make a book that will draw people in and keep them coming back for more. You need great copyediting, cover art, interior design and formatting, promotion, and much more. You even have to get your own ISBN and bar codes! Every time I accomplished something, there was something new I hadn’t thought of yet waiting around the corner.

I’m happy to say that I am finally far enough in the process to announce that Forbidden Things book one: Dissident will be coming out in early July. Watch for a cover reveal in June. I am now deep into edits on books two and three and hope that taking these on myself will allow me to keep a more aggressive publishing schedule.

more books
more books

In other news:

We saw Mad Max: Fury Road the other day. As long as you aren’t offended by violence, I strongly recommend this move. If nothing else, it is worth seeing for the amazing visuals and the creepy way it sucked me in so I didn’t know how ice cold my toes were until it ended. It’s a non-stop action extravaganza with almost no dialogue that somehow fits in some compelling emotional moments.

Now to finish some promotional work on Forbidden Things book one before I succumb to the temptation of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt again.

Happy reading, writing, watching, playing or whatever tickles your fancy!

Making Monsters and Dancing Spiders

I'm excited to announce that another of my short stories, Making Monsters, is now available through Amazon.com.

Making Monsters

Shai is a girl who has nothing in a world run by men. Her parents are gone. She has no lineage to brag about. No future to hope for. Only her brother keeps her safe, but even he isn't willing to stand up to Kurth, the leader of their little band. Not when it comes to keeping Kurth's hands of off her and not now, when he should be disputing the older boy's plans to involve them all in a dangerous heist.

Shai knew the heist would go terribly wrong and, when it does, she is the one to pay the price. Only this time, what promised to be a tragic end brings her together with a woman secretly practicing magic, a craft forbidden to her gender. The encounter will give Shai the strength and freedom she needs to turn the tables on Kurth, but she may have to abandon her humanity in the process.

 

 

 

In other news, the sequel to The Girl and the Clockwork Cat went to the publisher this week. Fingers crossed they like it and we can get it on track for publication soon. Now I’m ready to start editing another project, assuming I can decide which other project to work on.

Lastly, for anyone who still doubts me when I say jumping spiders are the cutest things, take a gander at this (brought to my attention by the wonderful @ViolaFury).


Happy writing and reading!