Monday, 22 September 2014

Pre-Order Fiasco

I recently published my debut novel, Fate's Exchange (Twisted Fate, #1), via Amazon's KDP Select. Initially, I was leery about their exclusivity clause, but after the free promotion, was happy with the sales. So I decided that since I would be publishing Fate's Return (Twisted Fate, #2), on October 27, 2014, I would release the novella, Pulled Away (Twisted Fate, #1.5), between the two novels to gain interest and maintain momentum.
Pulled Away Available for Purchase

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Write Time: 5 Ways to Find out What Works Best for You

One of the biggest things I see being discussed is setting a daily word count. What does this mean? You set yourself a minimum word count (never a maximum) to meet each day - even weekends and vacation - and that's what you strive to meet. I read an interesting post recently where a man actually rewarded himself for each day that he met his minimum word count by putting a toonie into a jar and saving it. After a few months, you've got a couple hundred dollars, and you spend it on something fun. I repeat, fun. Once more - do not pay a single bill with this money. It is your reward.

So when do you write? Do you know the time that best suites your needs? How? Do you know which way is your road to being as productive as possible? Or do you do it wherever you can, whenever you can? I'm a little bit of both. Working full-time and being a single mother . . . well, if I wasn't prepared to snap up a moment of quiet, I'd have never written a word, never mind a novel and these posts. I would be a pain to be around - I seriously get grumpy when characters start yelling at me to stop ignoring them. So whether you are a busy parent, having to work to pay the bills, or so free you can stare at clouds all day, this is my top five tips for where writing can be successful.

Friday, 12 September 2014

5 Ways to Use Book Reviews

In my previous post, 5 Ways to Get Book Reviews, I explained what reviews were and why, as an author, you want more. But knowing where to get reviews is just the beginning.

You've worked hard on writing the best novel that you are capable of creating, and even harder editing and creating the cover, formatting, and repeating the process over and over again until it's perfect. So for the purposes of this post, let's assume that your book is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G., void of typos and unattractive grammar and punctuation errors. If not, go back to the book. You don't want to publish anything half-heartedly and receive negative reviews that will reflect poorly on your future endeavors, forcing you to choose a pen name when you finally decide to become serious.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Book Review - Bait by Kasi Blake

Bait (Order of the Spirit Realm #1)Bait by K.C. Blake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an incredible read - I literally downloaded Kindle just to finish. I can't wait to start the second in this series!

Bay-Lee and Nick (sometimes Tyler) have such great chemistry, and the plot is so well written, it keeps you up well past your bedtime. Reapers (who knew they were ghosts?), monsters, fighting, and oh, the romance. I don't want to say anything to give it away . . . simply read it.

K.C. Blake is the perfect choice if you are looking for the next great series that makes you want to do a toe dance of anticipation waiting for the next installment.

Sasha Leigh

View all my reviews

Friday, 5 September 2014

5 Ways to Get Book Reviews

Let's assume that you have the next great novel that has the potential to become an overnight success for the purposes of this post. Negative reviews can and will reflect upon other novels under your name, so when asking for reviews, make sure that the content you are providing is the best you are capable of producing - your reputation will thank you for it. Use editors, beta readers, proof-readers, and cover designers when necessary. Just because we "can" self-publish doesn't mean we can't be as good as authors who are traditionally published - or better.

Book reviews are a HUGE part of a self-publishing/indie author's marketability and internet presence. Reviews posted to sites such as Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, Smashwords, etc., are essential to building a rapport with readers you are propositioning, which is what happens whenever you publish - a reader clicks on it (thumbnail picture, link, etc.), studies the cover, reads the blurb, and if you're lucky, checks out excerpts, if available. Is it important that your book looks good? Edited thoroughly? YES.

But good content aside, how is a reader going to know they should buy a book when they don't know the author enough to compare previously read books against?

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Vampire Academy Series

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1-6)Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great series to read. I really enjoyed the characters and the problems they faced, and was happy to have waited to read it - when I finished the fifth installment, I took my daughter to the grocery store and saw "Last Sacrifice" on display, so it was the perfect timing! I didn't have to wait.

For me, the best part about this was that the characters - Rose, Lissa, Dimitri, and Christian - weren't "fake". They face real problems that teens and young adults (NA?) would face, human or night creature, and while sex wasn't glorified, it wasn't skipped over, either. You can really immerse yourself in the storyline, which I found to be believable, and not just "another vampire" novel. And while it definitely is about vampires and dhampirs (a half-breed guardian), it focuses more on the magics than the blood, and has multiple storylines running through each book. I loved all six, but the last novel is my favourite.

Bloodlines, the spin-off series, is also pretty great. I would recommend both to anyone who enjoys YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance with kiss-ass heroines.

Sasha Leigh

View all my reviews

3 Things to Consider When Picking a Title

There are title generators on the internet - even apps for phones - but how personal is that?

Aside from a great cover, choosing a title is one of the most important tools at your fingertips (for free!) that can entice readers to pick up your story. It prompts them to read the next great thing - the blurb i.e. the "short pitch" located on the back of the printed cover. But what about when readers are looking through a list which doesn't utilize images? How attractive would Twilight have been if it had been named, "The Vampire" or "Cullen: The Recluse"? Exactly!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

10 Stages for Writing Your Novel

There are so many things that are involved in the process of writing a novel, sometimes it can seem overwhelming. But when you break down the tasks, it becomes more manageable. This doesn't mean that there is less work, only that you can think of it as a checklist--once one task is complete, you start another, and you can take pride in feeling good that you've accomplished something towards your goal. In other words, you stop feeling like there's too much to be accomplished for any one task to make a difference, and more like you're coming closer t the finish line.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

FREE - August 25-29th!

From August 25-29th Fate's Exchange will be free for downloading from Amazon! Get your copy this week, before school starts and the long weekend.
Fate's Return, Book Two in Twisted Fate, will be published in October, and Fate's Demand a couple months after that (approx. December 2014). But why wait? Join Alyssa as the journey begins now!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Reluctant Pen

So many people love to write and can't bring themselves to tell anyone about this passion that they have. For years, I kept my love for writing to myself - even denying it to myself. On one hand, this  allowed for an amazing experience I wouldn't have discovered otherwise: reading. This is the most invaluable learning tool a writer can have. Not only do you get to enjoy a new world, love, pain or information on what interests you, you learn the craft. You know, without having to open a textbook, that you enjoy a good 'voice' or so-called flow. You see the way your favourite authors write and hope to emulate them, not just in their success but their style (without copying it). This works in the opposite way, as well. After reading as much as you can, you know what you don't like, and what style you wish to never be compared to.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Take the Poll

Considering my earlier post, this couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Despite the headache, I am happy it has happened - maybe others will learn from this mistake. Unbound is the third title I chose for my first series, which has two books written to date. I thought I was done making changes regarding its name; however, I found another series written by a well-known author with the same name. Even more, someone else has a series called Forsaken, which was my second choice next to Unbound because it is the name of the first novel. To really ice the cake, the Forsaken series written by another author has a book called Forgotten as its third installment - that was to be the second title in 'my' series.

How It Began

Even before I could write, I was fascinated with words. It amazed me how they could be strung together to form thoughts, emotions, and sometimes, beauty. The way they roll off the tongue or produce such vivid imagery is incomparable. Even now, twenty-odd years later, words still have the ability to captivate me. Wherever I am, whether I want to be there or not, I can pick up a book and escape until it's time to leave.

So how did I pick up a pen and decide to write?