Welcome to my Blogger page, thank you for visiting. This is where I will share my reviews of books, movies and other things I enjoy. If you would like to see my ramblings, fanfiction and other general posts, please visit my Livejournal: beren_writes. Visit my pages to learn about me and my books.
Top set of links above are external links, second set are pages local to the blog.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

So Who's Doing the #AtoZChallenge This Year?


So Who's Doing the AtoZChallenge This Year?

Just in case there are readers who have no idea what I'm taking about, the AtoZChallenge runs every year during April. It is a challenge for any bloggers who wish to enter. The idea is to make a blog post every day, except Sundays, inspired by the letter of the alphabet that goes with that day, 1st=A, 3rd=B (because 2nd is a Sunday) etc.

The lovely banners/badges were created by Jeremy from Hollywood Nuts. You can find all of them over at the AtoZChallenge blog.

Many blogs have a theme running through all their posts, but some just do individual posts as they go along.

This is my fifth year taking part.

I was having so much trouble coming up with a theme for this year. I just had no clue, but I finally figured it out. I'm not going to tell you not, because there is a theme reveal day on March 20th, so it's a secret until then ;).

Just in case you are interested here are my themes from previous years:
2017 - ???

Reasons to do the challenge:

  • We get to meet loads of bloggers also doing the challenge and make friends.
  • We have lots of visitors from people who aren't doing the challenge, but are using it to find interesting blogs to read.
  • It's good for our discipline having to post every day and makes the rest of the blogging year look like a dream.
  • We find loads of blogs to check out we never would have looked at otherwise.
  • It's fun!

Reasons to have a theme:

  • It gives visitors something to look forward to and come back for if they know what kind of thing we will be posting.
  • It helps visitors remember your blog.
  • It really helps with deciding what to post every day because we're not just picking something out of the air.
  • We get to take part in the theme reveal day, which some people use to decide which blogs to visit first.

Tips on How Not to Go Insane During April:

  • Prepare in advance. I cannot stress how much this takes the pain out of the challenge and just makes it fun. I try to have at least half my posts done before April even begins, preferably all of them.
  • Make a note of the blogs you visit and their URLs - I use Google sheets. I also note which ones I really want to go back to so I can find them again. With the new format this year and no linked list I think this will really help so you don't lose the blogs you want to revisit. You could just bookmark them in their own folder, but I like to be able to sort things, hence Google sheets :)
  • Make a note of all the bloggers who visit you so you can return the favour.
  • Have a signature to go with your comments when you visit other blogs so they don't have to search around to visit you back:
    Tasha Tasha's Thinkings 
    or if the blog doesn't allow HTML, just put in the URL
    Tasha https://tashasthinkings.blogspot.co.uk/

Things I have learned over the years:

  • The more people you visit, the more people will visit you - but there will be people who don't bother. Don't take it personally :). Sometimes they might no gel with your blog, or real life may be kicking their behind and stressing about it takes more energy than it is worth ;).
  • Don't make your entries too long. There are rules for every day blog posts and rules for AtoZ posts. People often like a lot of meat to every day posts, but during the AtoZ people are trying to visit lots of blogs, so to the point, dynamic posts are the way to go.
  • Images always help to keep people entertained and make a post more eye catching.
So who plans to take part this year? Have you thought of a theme?

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Guest: Creating an Alien Werewolf by Patricia Josephine + Abducted Life NEW RELEASE


Please join me today in welcoming Patrica Josephine (aka the lovely Patricia Lynne) to my blog to talk about alien werewolves and he new book, Abducted Life, which launched this week.

Creating an Alien Werewolf

by Patricia Josephine

The dream I had that inspired Abducted Life was about a vampire trying to escape aliens. He had the cliché vampire traits like fangs, but for Abducted Life I wanted Savannah and Evan's looks to reflect the fact that aliens messed with their genetics to make them less human––especially in Evan's case. Not so much for Savannah. I had some ideas in mind and there were a couple real life creatures that really inspired me. (There's going to be talk of some animal anatomy, so I guess I should warn of mature content.)

In Abducted Life, there is a scene were I describe the alien creature Savannah has been spliced with. She sees a bipedal animal covered in white fur with a dog-like snout. The image I wanted to portray was that of a classical werewolf. Although, this one doesn't turn human when there's no full moon. I also describe a certain body part that my beta readers said grossed them out. (That was intentional.) I had in mind cats and the fact that male cats have barbs on their penises for that scene.

For the most part, Savannah's looks don't change. Her physical abilities and mannerisms are what's effected. She's faster and stronger, and gets the urge to procreate during the full moon. Another thing that she hasn't really noticed, and it's not in the story, is she's developed an appetite for meat and often takes her steaks at medium rate to rare. Before she wouldn't be caught dead eating something cooked below medium or bloody.

About the Book

Abducted Life 
by Patricia Joesphine

Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace. When she reappears a year later––alone––she’s a shell of her former self. Robbed of her popularity and her boyfriend, she has no memory of what happened to her. Savannah struggles to move forward as strange, new abilities manifest.

Evan Sullivan never gave extra-terrestrials much thought until the night he and Savannah were abducted. While Savannah’s memory was wiped clean, he remembers every horrific detail. Constantly reminded of the experiments that made him less than human, Evan hides in the shadows and watches Savannah rebuild her life without him. But neither can let the other go.

When their paths cross, Savannah and Evan finally see a glimmer of their old lives return. As they face what happened to them, they soon discover they aren’t safe. There’s more to fear than what’s hiding in the stars.

Available for 99cents at Amazon

About the Author

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Where to find Patricia online:

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Guest: 4 Tips For Writing Short Serialised Fiction by Tiffany Shand


Please join me in welcoming the wonderful Tiffany Shand to my blog to talk about serialised fiction.

4 Tips For Writing Short Serialised Fiction

by Tiffany Shand

Serialised fiction is usually made up of a series of parts of a novel or book series. They aren’t just short stories and are different from novels, they’re more like episodes like you see on TV. Charles Dicken famously released his novels in magazines, newspapers or instalments. So instead of releasing and writing a novel all at once it can be a good idea to release parts of your book in instalments.


1. Hook your readers


You need to hook your readers within the first couple chapters of your serial. These chapters set the scene for the storyline, the series and the characters.


2. Have a good outline


Having a good outline is essential when you’re writing serialised fiction. As the stories tend to be fairly short you need a decent outline to know what you’re going to write in each chapter. Serials aren’t really for pantsers or people who write on the fly.

3. Don’t have too many characters


Having a lot of characters in novels works fine, but it’s best to not have too many characters in serials. Stick to just one or two main characters and a couple of secondary characters. Having a lot of character doesn’t work well in short fiction.

4. Write a lot of action


If you release your stories in episodes, then you need to keep you readers coming back for more.

Serials tend to happen very quickly and aren’t drawn out so keep things interesting. It’s a good idea to have lots of action - this can be anything from solving a mystery, fighting or romance.

~*~

About the Books

Amaranthine Chronicles
Buy on Amazon

Betrayed By Blood Blurb

In a city of lies and deception, only one thing stands between chaos and justice. For centuries, a band of outlaws called the Amaranthine has kept the peace in Ormere and hidden in plain sight whilst the Order of Sorcerers spreads their deadly magic among the city’s inhabitants.

After losing her fiancé in bust gone wrong, Amaranthine Agent Kaylan Avilion returns home to discover that Elijah didn’t die but instead was changed by the twisted guards of the Order, who seek to find a dangerous artefact tied to Kaylan’s past and the murder of her family. When her sister goes missing and a foe from their past remerges, Kaylan knows she must save Freya before she’s poisoned by the very people who took Elijah away from her. But how will Kaylan react when she learns Elijah’s secret and can they come together to stop the Order’s plan in time?


Blurb for Dark Revenge

Darkness is sweeping through the city of Ormere as unnatural creatures stalk through the streets. People are dying and time is running out as a new evil threatens to take control of everything. The Amaranthine Order has been decimated leaving only a few of its people left to fight the coming terror.

Stunned by her sister Freya’s betrayal and plot to take over the city, Kaylan must do everything she can to find out what Freya plans to do when she finds an infamous book linked to the murder of their family. A book considered so dangerous that the last High Lord erased its location from history, the Amaranthine Chronicles are said to contain the darkest of all magics.

Kaylan is happy to finally have her ex-fiancé, Elijah, back in her life but he’s not the man she once knew and loved. After being turned into a shapeshifter, Elijah struggles to control his inner beast and his lingering feelings for Kaylan.

Can Elijah and Kaylan come together to stop Freya and uncover the secrets of the book before it’s too late?


Blurb for The Final Battle

Darkness has claimed the city of Ormere and death has become a certainty for anyone stalking its empty streets. The government is in ruins and lawlessness ensues.

After their last encounter, Kaylan and Elijah barely managed to thwart her sister, Freya’s, latest attempts to find and use the elusive Amaranthine Chronicles. But in her desperation to receive ultimate power, Freya will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Even if it means destroying the last of her family. Kaylan and Elijah must work on their fragile relationship and put their personal feelings aside to find the book and stop Freya before it’s too late. But with their allies growing thin, and a gang of ruthless shapeshifters close on their trail, will they finally find the book and stop Freya before time runs out? And will Kaylan have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her city and the man she loves?


~*~

About the Author

Tiffany Shand was born in Essex, UK and started writing short stories when she was a child.

She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.

Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance during this time.

She writes both non-fiction and fiction, and love helping writers to build their author platforms.

After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s, she is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her two spoiled cats and one very nutty hamster.

Find Tiffany on:

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Flash Fiction: Vampire Valentine by Natasha Duncan-Drake



So I've written a short piece of flash fiction for Valentine's Day and, as you can guess from the title is has vampires in it :). Please be aware the story has mature concepts. It mentions sex, quite a lot, although there is no explicit sexual action, and drops the f-bomb a couple of times.

Vampire Valentine (m/m)

by Natasha Duncan-Drake


"You don't want to do this."

"Oh, but I do."

"I'll taste terrible."

"I beg to differ."

"I'm not a virgin, aren't you supposed to go after virgins?"

"Boring."

"I don't like pain."

"Trust me, it adds a little spice, you'll barely notice it."

Jack's back hit the wall and there was nowhere else to go. He had run out of manoeuvring room and Pietro crowded in before he could escape.

"When did they get you?" Jack asked, looking into the glowing eyes of his onetime best friend.

"Two days ago," Pietro said, mouth opening just wide enough so Jack could see his fangs, "on my way home."

"But you were in the sun today."

"Not all the legends are true, Jack," Pietro said and Jack found himself flattened against the wall as his friend invaded what was left of his personal space. "We had so much of it wrong. Vampires can go out in the sun as long as we've fed, it just zaps our strength. We burn much more quickly than a human too, but factor fifty is our friend."

"You've been lying to me for two days! Why didn't you kill me last night?"

"I was waiting."

"Why?"

"Valentine's day."

"So this is all some big joke, make me a loser at life as well as love?"

His girlfriend had dumped him in a spectacular scene only the previous week. Come to think of it, that was what had caused all this. Pietro had taken him out to blow off some steam and they had seen things.

"No, Jack, you've got me all wrong..."

"You're going to kill me!"

"No, I'm going to turn you. Those are the rules, you know about us so you have to be one of us."

"I don't want to be a murderer."

"We don't kill, Jack, that would be stupid. Imagine how many dead bodies there would be lying around if every vampire fed every night. There are six in the group we discovered and they're only one tiny conclave."

"But we saw..."

"The man was a hunter, he'd murdered two of the conclave. What we saw was an execution."

"They still killed him."

"It was him or them. You'd have done the same to protect your family."

Jack couldn't argue with that.

"But why today?"

"Oh, Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack, that is the question."

Jack swallowed nervously as Pietro leaned against him.

"I've been in love with you for years, Jacky," Pietro said, leaning close so they were all but nose to nose, "and yesterday evening was very revealing. How long have you wanted me too? How long have we been hiding behind our homophobic brainwashing?"

Jack swallowed again.

"Vampires are very sensitive to sex," Pietro told him, "it makes for a great hunting tool. You throw pheromones everywhere the moment I walk in the room."

It was one of those deep dark secrets Jack had carried around buried inside. They lived in a small town, they were both football stars and football stars in their town weren't gay.

"Years," he admitted.

With death staring him in the face it seemed stupid to deny it anymore.

"It's not so bad," Pietro said, those glowing eyes boring into his own. "The thirst is a bit of a mind fuck to begin with, but you get used to it quickly. I'm gonna miss chilli-dogs because they taste like crap now, but we still get to be us."

"How can we be us if we're vampires? Vampires don't make touch downs."

"Jack, I told you, the sun zaps our strength. On a sunny day we're almost human. Just remember the sun screen."

That didn't make any sense.

"We still get to go to school?"

"First rule of being a vampire," Pietro told him, "hide in plain sight. We don't just still get to go to school, the boss will insist on it."

"The boss?"

"Every conclave has a master vampire who keeps us young bloods in order. You'll meet her later. Lyonie is a bit intimidating at first, but she's cool."

"What if I say no?"

"No choice, Jack, sorry, those are the rules. We had no business breaking into that house; we brought this on ourselves. Besides the advantages are amazing, man. You would not believe how much faster my mind works now. And, wow, the sex, vampires are so good at sex."

"You had sex with..?" Jack wasn't quite sure what he was asking.

"Hunting tool, remember? I had to eat last night," Pietro said and smiled a very fangy smile. "So much fun too. You've never had sex 'til you've had it as a vampire."

"Who?"

It was as he asked the question Jack realised he was hideously jealous, which was ridiculous in the extreme.

"Just some guy I picked up after I left here," Pietro said. "He was consenting and we both had a good time, he just ended up a half pint low and doesn't remember how he got home."

Jack had absolutely no right to feel possessive of Pietro in the slightest, in fact, given the current situation it was utterly stupid, but he couldn't help it.

"Tomorrow night we can find someone together," Pietro whispered in his ear, "share them."

Jack's groin throbbed at that thought. There was just one problem to overcome first though.

"How..?" he couldn't believe he was asking and the question stuck in his throat.

"How do I make you a vampire?"

He nodded.

"First I bite you," Pietro said, leaning in and breathing on his neck.

He couldn't help shivering.

"That'll make a connection between us, you'll feel an echo of my pleasure. Then, if you let me, I was going to suck you off, see how long your legs can hold out. After that I'll bite you again and feed you some of my blood. We can take it to the bed then, just go with the flow. I'll bite you some more and keep feeding you my blood while we play until, just before dawn, you'll pass out. When you wake up you'll be a vampire like me."

"My parents are upstairs," Jack felt he had to point that out.

They didn't often come down into his basement room, but he was pretty sure if they heard strange noises they would.

"Then you'll just have to be quiet," Pietro said and smiled a very not-innocent smile.

"Who turned you?"

"Lyonie. There was less sex when she did it, but I don't wanna waste a perfectly good opportunity."

Pietro pushed against him and Jack let out a small moan. He was already hard, who was he kidding. Praying that his best friend was telling the truth and he would not wake up in the morning and see his entire family as a smorgasbord, Jack turned his head to one side.

"That's my boy," Pietro said.


Jack gasped as Pietro simultaneously bit him and rubbed a thigh hard between his legs. There was no turning back now.

~*~

If you would like to read some more of my vampire fiction, my new novel is available from Amazon and Smashwords in paperback and eBook.

Dead Before Dawn: The Vampire Curse

by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Max Statton's life will never be the same again.
While in Moscow for the premier of his new movie a terrifying encounter reveals some nightmares actually exist. Attacked by one of the city's resident vampires, Max is bitten and infected. Only a team of local vampire hunters prevent him being dragged into the violent underworld of the undead.

Fighting for his very existence, Max must resist the vampire curse with the help of Yulia, the hunter's doctor. But with his humanity slipping away, Max only has two choices: ask the hunters to end it, or risk becoming a monster.

When Yulia offers him a final, desperate, kill or cure option, Max must decide if he has the courage to take it. He wants his life back, and the idea of telling his friend and co-star, Gian Bossard, he's sort of in love with him, doesn't seem so frightening after vampires. However, Yulia's solution could just as easily send him to a worse hell than the one he's living.


Amazon(ebook & paperback) | Smashwords (ebook only)

Monday, 6 February 2017

The #AtoZChallenge 2017 - Changed, but only a little. It will be awesome!


The #AtoZChallenge 2017 - Changed, but only a little. It will be awesome!


For those who don't know what it is, the AtoZChallenge is an event that happens every April with thousands of blogs participating. Every day in April, apart from Sundays, bloggers post using the letter of the alphabet for that day (1st = A etc) as an inspiration. Many blogs have themes that run through their monthly posts. I've done it for four years so far, this will be number five and it is a great way to meet other bloggers and find some wonderfully interesting people.

It used to run on a huge list, which everyone signed up to and everyone could go through to find the blogs they wanted to visit. However, with so many people taking part this has, apparently, become unwieldy, so the powers that be have come up with a new system for this year.

It sounds like it is going to be a blast. I won't go into the changes here, because they have it set out very clearly, and very nicely in there post:


The theme reveal will be on the 20th March, so at least that gives me some time to figure out what on earth I am going to post about this year :).

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Paperback Here I Come! The Tribulations of Going From Kindle to Print

Paperback Here I Come!

The Tribulations of Going From Kindle to Print


I am really excited today because, for the first time I have a novel out in paperback! I have had short stories in other people's paperback, but never one all to myself.

Happy Dance!
Having been publishing in eBook form for several years now I am very used to the rigmarole involved in that, but preparing for print is another step up again. We still need the description and a killer title etc, so I won't go into those here, but these are steps I went through in addition to that.

It is possible to pay for all the formatting and cover work, but of course that incurs significant costs. This blog post is all about DIY and a few of the things that had me scratching my head :).


Where Shall We Publish Our Paperback?


If we are already using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) to publish our books we really only have two choices:
There are other options out there, but I only looked into these two.

KDPCreateSpace
Pro
Con
Pro
Con
Kindle & Paperback are linked (still waiting for mine to link, they say it takes up to 48hrs)Don't have lower cost proof copiesHigher royalty when bought directly from CreateSpace site.Paperback is displayed on Amazon, but is not linked to the Kindle version if you set up the Kindle version first.
If you are a prime member postage is free.
Don't have member rates for author copies
Offer lower price proof and author copies.
Postage is quite high if you want it before just under 2 months is out.

Lower royalty rate.
Distribute to other vendors.


It worked out cheaper and quicker for me to publish on CreateSpace, wait for it to appear on Amazon.co.uk and order a copy from there because I have Prime than do it direct from CreateSpace.

These are the prices for my book:
Author copy price = $3.63
However, postage was:
Standard Shipping $4.88 Estimated Delivery Date: Mon, Mar 20, 2017
Expedited Shipping $7.99 Estimated Delivery Date: Tue, Feb 14, 2017
Priority Shipping $14.38 Estimated Delivery Date: Mon, Feb 06, 2017

Since this was a proof copy I wanted, I wanted it quickly, so my only option was the maximum and then it still wouldn't arrive before next Monday, total cost £14.42.

As it is, I ordered from Amazon.co.uk for £8.99 and it was here yesterday.

For those living in the US, theses costs may be considerably cheaper, I'm sorry, I have no idea.

However, if I go up to say 10 author copies, for a promotion or something, then it is cheaper to go through CreateSpace, especially since I hope I would be organised enough to order in advance :).

Since I could change my book to be KDP later, I went with CreateSpace to begin with, in case I wanted author copies. Then CreateSpace was having a problem with my TAX number and was telling me it was going to withhold 30%, so I gave up and switch my book to KDP. If I want author copies I'll create a new edition on CreateSpace later with a new ISBN.

KDP documentation also says it doesn't have author copies yet ... so they may add them.

Once a book is transferred to KDP it is no longer available on CreateSpace because of ISBN issues.

Next time I will just go straight through KDP.

Formatting the Book - Not As Easy As Kindle


It might seem a pain sometimes for us to format our books for Kindle, but, trust me, that is plain sailing compared to what needs to be done for a print book. Luckily for you and me, KDP and CreateSpace offer very nice templates to help.

However, before you can download a template, there are some decisions to be made:
  • Print type: Black & White or Colour
  • Paper type: Cream or White
  • Trim Size: They have many, they recommend 6x9 in as the most popular, but you can pick a different one if you would like.
  • Bleed Settings: needed for images and illustrations.
  • Cover Finish: Matte or Glossy
I used the KDP templates because I started setting my book up there first before I realised about CreateSpace. CreateSpace offers you a particular template when you pick the trim size.

The easiest option for us novelists is to pick the formatted template with sample content. We then have to replace the content within the template, but it makes it a lot easier to see what we are doing!

So we have are template, now we have to get our book into it.
  1. Save the novel manuscript as plain text. We do not want any of our current formatting to get into our new template.
  2. Copy each piece of content into the correct place in the template. i.e. front matter to front matter, chapter to chapter, back matter to back matter.
    If there are too many chapters, delete the spare.
    If there are not enough chapters copy one of the template chapters and paste it in until there are enough.
  3. Make sure all the chapters are numbered correctly.
  4. Manually enter the table of contents with page numbers for each chapter. Now many novels do not have tables of contents and the advice I saw and went with is that if our chapter headings are just numbers, a toc is unnecessary, but if our chapters have titles, it is usual to have a toc.
The template deals with margins and opposite page positioning, and chapter title spacing and everything like that, so it makes life much easier for us. We can get a professional looking finish without knowing everything about the setup.

The Cover - Also Not As Easy As Kindle

A normal book has a back and a spine as well as a front, which makes the cover for a paperback trickier than that of a Kindle book.


The really tricky bit is the spine and making sure it is the right size. There are formulae for calculating the size, but luckily for us, KDP have templates again. So, if we are designing our own cover, poping along to the KDP templates page and downloading the correct one is by far the easiest solution.
Tip: The 'Page Count' is the number of document pages in your book, not the number of leaves (physical book pages with a back and a front), even though when KDP tries to explain page count it uses 'page' for both the number of pages and the number of leaves and is utterly confusing.
Then we just use this template to build our cover, taking account of the guide lines.

As is says under their instructions we need to save our covers as print quality PDF. In Photoshop this is easy:
  1. Choose 'Save As'
  2. Pick 'Photoshop PDF' from the Format options.
  3. The 'Save Adobe PDF' option dialog will come up - choose '[Press Quality]' from the Adobe PDF Preset list.
  4. Click 'Save PDF' and it's done.

Proofing the Book

Right, so now we have our cover and our manuscript, so we can upload both into KDP or CreateSpace. We have to have both to convert and then proof the book, even though the downloadable proof doesn't have the cover in it :).

In both cases we can preview the book proof online, including a 3D rendering of our cover, so we can check how it looks. This is all well and good, but definitely download the PDF proof as well.

In KDP there is a link to download this right in the previewer. There is a PDF icon at the bottom of the screen which when clicked allows us to download the proof.

In CreateSpace, we have to wait until our files are approved and then there is an option to download the proof in the same place as the online launcher.

Now here is the most important thing I learned when proofing my book:

Print out the proof.

Not kidding, you would not believe the number of errors I found because I went through it with a red pen on paper. They were only tiny errors, like one wrong letter on a 'his' or an 's' on something that shouldn't have been a plural, but they were there.
Tip: To make it easy to find the errors again when we are making the corrections, noting down the page number on the front of the proof every time we find one is the way to go.
Some things to look out for that you normally wouldn't in a Kindle doc are:
  • blank pages - the only place we should have blank pages in in our front matter to make sure everything is in the correct place and that our first chapter starts on a page facing us.
  • page numbers in the table of contents - mine were all a page out from about 2/3rds through because I had moved a piece of formatting and forgot to recheck the numbering before uploading the file.
Once we have made all our corrections to our master manuscript and re-uploaded it, we are ready to move on to pricing.

Pricing the Book

There is really only one way to know how to competitively price our book, and that is to check to see what other paperbacks in our genre are being priced at.

Unfortunately for us, print on demand is more expensive than mass market paperback production, so we are never going to be able to be competitive with all those big names who have their paperback at ridiculously low prices when they first comes out. Don't stress over this, there are plenty of other authors, self-pub and tradition pub who also don't have this advantage.

When we have set up our book on KDP or CreateSpace it will have a cost to print per unit. This is how much it costs to produce the book and depends on size, print, paper and number of pages. This cost is taken right off the top when the book is sold.

Then there is the percentage KDP or CreateSpace will take as their cut. I tried to understand how they worked this out, but I have no idea where the number came from, so I just believed them. This is added on to the cost to provide the minimum book price.

If we sell our book at the minimum book price we get no royalties. Possibly useful for having a sale at some point, not much for making a living.

What we need to do is pick a price for our paperback that has how much we would like to earn tacked on the top. Both KDP and CreateSpace helpfully tell us what our royalty will be for any price we pick, so it is easy to see.

I went with $10.99,/£8.99 because it left me some wiggle room if I want to take it down to do a sale etc. later. KDP and CreateSpace will calculate prices for us just based on the dollar amount, but it looks more professional to have the more expected numbers.

Press the Publish Button

All that remains is taking our courage in our hands and clicking that publish button.

On CreateSpace there is the option of ordering a proof copy before publishing, which can be a good idea if the shipping doesn't take forever or cost the earth.

On KDP we can only get a copy after it is published, but never fear, it is going into a huge pool so the sharks shouldn't find it too quickly. Order a copy as soon as it is live and check it as soon as it arrives.

Then market like there is no tomorrow.

~*~

Dead Before Dawn: The Vampire Curse

by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Max Statton's life will never be the same again.

While in Moscow for the premier of his new movie a terrifying encounter reveals some nightmares actually exist. Attacked by one of the city's resident vampires, Max is bitten and infected. Only a team of local vampire hunters prevent him being dragged into the violent underworld of the undead.

Fighting for his very existence, Max must resist the vampire curse with the help of Yulia, the hunter's doctor. But with his humanity slipping away, Max only has two choices: ask the hunters to end it, or risk becoming a monster.

When Yulia offers him a final, desperate, kill or cure option, Max must decide if he has the courage to take it. He wants his life back, and the idea of telling his friend and co-star, Gian Bossard, he's sort of in love with him, doesn't seem so frightening after vampires. However, Yulia's solution could just as easily send him to a worse hell than the one he's living.

Paperback: Amazon (smart URL)
eBook: Amazon (smart URL) | Smashwords

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