End of Year for Authors – A New Beginning

 

dog

Bailey ready for a new adventure.

Welcome to my End of Year for Authors post.  Or better put, a beginning of a new year, with hopes and dreams of better sales!

This post may include a few references to my specific sites.  I apologize.  This is not a sales post.  It is a post to help authors.  Depending on how well organized you are, and how up to date your sites are, this process may take one day, or a week or more, if you have to make many changes,

When an author reaches year end, how do they begin to prepare for the next year?

Step 1:  Make a list of every social media link you use.  (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google Plus, Hootsuit, Tumblr, Linked In, MailChimp, Pinterest, Instagram, and any other you may use).
A. Verify the account is still open and active.
B. Update passwords as necessary.
C. Verify icon is the same on every site, clearly visible.
D. Verify tagline matches.
E. Verify author descriptions match.
F.  Verify book descriptions match.
G. Verify you have the correct sales link to books listed on it.
H. Verify any outgoing links still work. (include links to social media, web site, and  blog)
I.  Update pinned posts as relevant (Twitter).
J.  Update publication years in footer (sample: 2009 – 2017.)
Optional:  Determine if you still use this social media site.  If you don’t use it often, you may wish to close it.  Or, you may wish to leave it open for exposure in a market you don’t often use.

Step 2:  Make a list of every sales channel link you use.  (Might include: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Draft2Digital, Kobo, Smashwords)
A. Verify the account is still open and active.
B. Update passwords as necessary.
C. Verify icon is the same on every site, clearly visible.
D. Verify tagline matches.
E. Verify author descriptions match.
F.  Verify book descriptions match.
G. Verify you have the correct sales link to books listed on it.
H. Verify any outgoing links still work.
I.  Verify prices are what you intend them to be.
J.  Verify keywords and categories are correct.
Optional:  Determine if you have any sales in each market.
1.  If you are satisfied with your sales, you may make no changes.
2.  If a market is not selling well, you may wish to pull your books from it.
3.  Another option is to separate markets.  For instance Draft2Digital sends books to multiple outlets.  However, if you upload directly to Kobo for instance, you may be eligible for marketing opportunities that you will not be able to participate in if Draft2Digital uploads your book to them.  If you have the time and skill to individually upload to Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, you may make more sells.

Step 3:  Update blogs and websites.
A. Verify the account is still open and active.
B. Update passwords as necessary.
C. Verify icon is the same on every site, clearly visible.
D. Verify tagline matches.
E. Verify author descriptions match.
F.  Verify book descriptions match.
G. Verify you have the correct sales link to books listed on it.
H. Verify any outgoing (social media) links still work.
I. Update your Newsletter sign up link.
J. Make sure each book has a landing page.  Include extras – lists of characters, cut scenes, chapters, and even pictures.
K. Verify widgets work and go to correct page (Goodreads and Smashwords).
L. Update publication years in footer (sample: 2009 – 2017.)
Optional:  Determine if you still use this blog or website.  If you don’t use it often, you may wish to close it.  Or, you may wish to leave it open for exposure in a market you don’t often use.

Step 4: Backup your bookmarks, and make sure they match across browsers.  There are programs that can check your bookmarks for dead links.

Step 5: Prepare sorted folders for the incoming years newsletters, emails, marketing efforts, and anything else you may need.

 

Life Lists

Journey Through Life Lists

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Heath Braley

Heath Braley has been a good friend for longer than I care to remember.  I am happy to share links to his art works.

Daniel Heath Braley (or dhbraley on deviantart.com) is a hobbyist artist and photographer originally from Crab Orchard, KY. He currently resides in Lexington, KY with his girlfriend, Cynthia. When he isn’t working, drawing cartoony arts, or binge watching things like Doctor Who, Sherlock, or various other such things, he sings with the Lexington Singers.

Heath’s Art work can be found on:

Deviant Art

Braley Creative

Facebook Braley Creative

Heath’s photography is featured on Trails 4: Trails Through the Garbage Mines

Check out his art pages, and spread the word!

Trails 4 Cover from Heath.png

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Johanna Harness Author of Spillworthy

Johanna Harness is the creator of the successful Twitter tag #amwriting.

Her novel was published in May 2014.  My review is full of spoilers, though it attempts to connect with the characters.

Spillworthy is an upper middle grade novel, perfect for all age readers.  There are spoilers in this essay.

Spillworthy by Johanna Harness

Before you read this, don’t get me wrong.  This is the way it touched me.   This is a heartwarming, uplifting novel of hope for all of those society has left behind.  Abusers, abused, ignored, and children.  Your words matter.   Their words matter.  They will touch someone, even if you never know who, where, or when.  They may never know who you are.  You may never know who they are.

Normally, when I r

ead a novel, I can only connect with one, or maybe two characters.  In this case, I can relate to nearly every character, and even the ones I can’t, I can understand how they became who they did.

Ulysses Samuel Finch – The first character introduced.  A homeless 10 year old boy who already understands the importance of sharing thoughts with the world without expectation.   An easy character to connect to.

Long-legged Janetta –  Ulysses’s mother.  The one parent who didn’t completely abandon him.  She is a long term drug addict, among other addictions.  And yet, she

values her son.  While I have never been a drug addict, I have known some.  Well portrayed character.  Many people say they never understand how anyone can become an addict.  My recent experience with the “medical” system we have in our country has given me a more in depth understanding of why.  Women need medical care without false accusation.  And to be respected, as Janetta likely never was.

Samuel Finch – Ulysses missing father.  He likely never knew he had a son.  The reader eventually finds out why he left home before he knew.  What is this missing character like now?  No one knows.

Gem Isobel Rost – A twelve year old girl who wants to find her missing mother.  She eventually finds out many secrets of her birth that her father didn’t want to tell her. She

learns the importance of not keeping secrets, and what can happen, when a person does.  I often wish I knew the truth of who I am.  And yet, does it really matter at this point in my life?

Estella – A sixteen year old girl who knows her father, and despises him.  She deals with this every day.  She has an apparent strong exterior, with a soft heart.  She would likely have found

Ulysses father if given enough time.  I was lot like that at sixteen.

Estella’s mom – Referred to as a “Sally.”  Someone who stands up for others, especially children.  She is strong, and left the man who had abused her. The reader never finds out if the abuse is physical, mental, or emotional.  They all leave scars.  Often, the mental and emotional leave more permanent scars, as other people can’t see the original scars, and frequently (and often unintentionally) rip them open and pour salt into the wounds.  Yes, I’ve done that as well.

Blake – The seventeen year old boy who left an ugly home and tried to escape abuse.  He returns each day to check on his mother’s welfare, as she will not leave the man she married.

The reader never finds out if she knew about the abuse, or, if she too were abused and could not admit it.  He rescues the little girl, Crystal Barnes.  An easy to connect to character who has a rough exterior, and a heart of gold.

Crystal Barnes – A six year old girl who rarely spoke, and who had been kidnapped and hidden on the Wildlife Refuge.  She would escape most days, and return to her hidden cell.  Like many abused children, she returned out of fear to her abuser.  Also easy to connect to character.  A starved child, only one outfit, and no ability to communicate her needs or wishes.  In fact, many abused children go home to their abuser everyday.

Norma – the dog walker.

A person who had once survived an unknown abuse, and never recovered.  She was afraid to reach out to others.  Easy to relate to.

So, the question becomes, was there anyone in the story I didn’t relate to?

The kidnapper?  Well, I don’t personally relate to him.  I have seen how power can easily become abuse of power though.  Ulysses grandmother?  No.  She kicked out her abuser.  She stayed with him for too many decades because of social requirements.  She finally determined what was important in her life.  I think, she’d search for her missing son.

Are there any characters left?

Gem’s dad.  He was a nice person.  He kept secrets for many reasons.   He learns that eventually, he has to share them.

The other characters in Portland?

They are mostly unique, and each come alive on the page.  The reader doesn’t really learn their stories, though they can sense what a few of those stories might contain.  Sally, Doogy, the music store owner, and a few others were part of his “family” network.  Those who listened and cared.  Every person of every age needs people like this.

All in all, a great novel of hope for those society chooses to leave behind.

Merri Halma

Author Merri Halma

I have followed Merri Halma on Facebook for about a year now.  She is a good friend, and a good writer of middle grade, early YA novels.

Merri Halma’s Bio

I was raised in Sunnyside, Washington the youngest of three girls. I always had an active imagination. As we drove across country in the summer, I would see the Indians on horseback on the mountain ranges. Sometimes I would even see them riding down towards the open range. My parents and sisters would laugh. But to me, I really saw the Indians. They were real.
I had a severe speech impediment, so as I approached my teen years, I had few friends. I felt alone, lonely and like no one really understood me. Writing became my outlet for sanity. I wrote in journal, started writing my first novel at 12 or 13 and also wrote poetry.
I went to college after high school, denying myself what I most wanted to do. I wanted to study writing and drama. My mom had assured me if I went into writing, I would lose my mind, because all writers go crazy. I was afraid of losing my mind.
I am real, Because I felt pain deeply, I knew I was real. I had to stay in touch with me. I had to feel the deep hurt I did, otherwise I would be denying myself. It was difficult for me to get into a character because I was afraid of losing my mind. Also, most drama professors wouldn’t accept me for speaking roles because of my speech impediment.
I ended up with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Social Services and the Humanities.  Later, a Master’s of Science in Counseling-Psychology.
All my life I have sought God or some reason why no matter what field I endeavored to go into, the door was slammed in my face.
My search for God and reasons why my life sucks eggs so much lead me to want create characters who also search for why their life is the way it is. Writing called me so strongly, I couldn’t ignore it. My mom wasn’t too happy about it. At 56, I still have my sanity. I live what I want to. I just would love to find readers who really can identify with my characters.

Links to books and blog
Spiritual Muses

Indigo Traveler: Book I (Indigo Travelers 1) by [Halma, Merri]
Indigo Traveler – Paperback
Indigo Traveler – Ebook


Keys to the Shadowlands – Paperback
Keys to the Shadowlands – Ebook

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Krysten Lindsay Hager YA Author of True Colors

The Landry’s True Colors Series: Funny, Fresh Teen Fiction by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Krysten Hager Series

Series Info: The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image. It’s a clean reads book so it’s suitable for ages 11 and up.

True Colors (Book One in the Landry’s True Colors Series) is on sale for 99 cents in ebook format and has just released in paperback!

Blurb: Landry Albright just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round.

However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically “unfriend” her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.

What people are saying about the Landry’s True Colors Series:

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

“Krysten captures the teenage girl today. The struggles are real, the issues are something children have been dealing with since before I was a teen, and oddly-Krysten captures the readers! I was prepared for another “Mean Girls” story. This is NOT that. This is the real story of teenage girls! You watch Landry flower into a young woman who finds out trust is an invaluable item to find, and friendships are hard to seek genuine realism in. You will learn about relationships with not just friends, but peers, boys, and others. The details put into the book will draw you, and make the story so much more realistic. Krysten expresses emotions beautifully through her writing, and the story flows flawlessly…” By Candice J. Conway Simpson

“True Colors, is just a dazzling story of how middle school kids show their true colors of jealousy, drama, loss and gains of friendship. However, the way Krysten wrote her story; she wrote it with passion, creativity and honesty that this story line could be placed in anyone’s life at any age.” Review by Double Decker Books

“Krysten Lindsay Hager understands what it means to be a teen today, and she writes with an authentic voice. Landry, the main character, is funny, lively, and very real. Readers will relate to her struggles with friends and family, self-esteem and self-discovery, boys and school and life in general. It’s fun to read about Landry’s blossoming modeling career and the changes it brings.” Review by Author Diana Jenkins

Excerpt:

The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.

“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.

I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.

“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.

Tori was next.

“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.

Book Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96jxcUH54hU

Best Friends…Forever? (Book 2):

Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.

Landry gets her first boyfriend (her crush, Vladi), but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue TV show modeling competition. Will she get a second chance with her friends, fame, and Vladi?

BFF book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ

Landry in Like (Book 3):

Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes.

Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cup-cakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with her best friend Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?

Landry in Like book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CsGREKFQco&feature=youtu.be

Author Bio:

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, the celebrity world, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? Landry in Like, Next Door to a Star and Competing with the Star. Best Friends…Forever? was ranked at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction and True Colors is an international bestseller. Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Bellbrook Times, the Grand Haven Tribune, and on the talk show Living Dayton.

Author social media links:

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

Purchase:

Amazon US paperback: http://amzn.to/29gsqPw

Amazon US ebook: http://amzn.to/29tp2EF

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29ilH8v

Amazon UK ebook: http://amzn.to/29mv46L

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/29gCDe2

Amazon AU ebook: http://amzn.to/29umy7d

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/29xKc3k

Amazon CA ebook: http://amzn.to/29umCUm

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/29oFynI

Barnes and Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/1S5wUuk

itunes: http://apple.co/1Ue5lNm

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/true-colors-17

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Tony Noland – Verbosity’s Vengeance

Tony Noland is a long time writer friend whose writing encourages me to long for a simpler time.  The super hero, Alex Graham, harkens back to the memory of a time long forgotten, though gladly preserved in comic books.  And yet, it is a modern, or even post-modern tale.
“Tony Noland lives and writes in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. A lover of language, wordplay, and complex thoughts, Tony nevertheless limits himself to 140 characters at a time on Twitter as @TonyNoland.”
 “Verbosity’s Vengeance“From the Amazon page for “Verbosity’s Vengeance”:
“Alex Graham’s genius designing video games brought him happiness and made him a fortune, but he never expected to see his work misused by military scientists. The collapse of the mysterious Project Unicorn left Alex with scars, nightmares, and strange powers unlike any other superhero. Years later, as the Grammarian, he uses the strength of supple syntax and the power of perfect punctuation to fight for justice on the mean streets of Lexicon City. “

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Uncovered Myths has a new website!

Uncovered Myths has a new website!  http://uncoveredmyths.wix.com/uncoveredmyths

More pages.  More meet the characters section, with more to come!

More pictures.

More complimentary authors!  With more to come!  Marian Allen and One Stop for Writers have been added to the Uncovered Myths page.  Tony Noland and Merri Halma will be added soon.

Follow Uncovered Myths for updates.