Raw, a memoir by @Mrs__Mueller

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This is my life, this is my story. There are many like it but this one is mine.

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You can grab this story from:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Joey lives in Sin City with her husband, two rambunctious bulldogs and a very judgmental cat. She loves the Los Angeles Dodgers, Nine Inch Nails, driving fast and taking chances. Joey is an angst-ridden child of the 90s and is cantankerous on a good day.

Find out more:

#PoetryMonth – Free and Cheap Poetry

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Poetry Month ends today, right? Yes, it does. But that doesn’t mean the fun has to end before the month does!

As a bonus post, I want to give you another opportunity to fill up your ereaders will poetry…and for very little money! Sounds good, doesn’t it?

I’m not going to let this message get too long and in the way of the list of books. I’m just here to provide links to FREE and CHEAP (under $5) ebooks of poetry you may like. I’ve read some of them. I own some others. And if you look closely, you can get ALL of my poetry for free. Those coupons last until tomorrow, though, so HURRY! DON’T MISS OUT! From Where I Stand has been free all month, so I’m sure you’ve grabbed a copy already.

And if any poets out there would like to promote a free/cheap collection to go along with this post, let me know. I’ll add it. But today only, so there’s not really much time. I hope you let me know though, or just for the future. I can do a promo if you’d like.

Now, without further distraction, here are the book!

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Free

Cheap

#PoetryMonth – Indie Poetry Recommendations

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It’s the first Sunday of Poetry Month. I thought it might be a fun idea to keep my Sunday Themed Book Recommendations posts going. What better way than with poetry? And to make it more interesting, I’ll be recommending some of my favorite (or probably favorite, once I read them) Indie poetry collections.

Even for me, being an Indie poet, it’s not easy to find many of us around. Yes, we’re around all over the internet, yet I find it hard to find a large amount of us out there who are as easy to find, connect with, and read up on as Indie novelists. Let’s try to change that! Put pride in your work, Indie poets. Get your name out there and build your platform…and say hi to me. I’ll help promote you if/when I can.

I’d love to see some fresh names on this list next time we do Poetry Month. Let’s get more people reading Indie poetry!

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Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

Guest Post by @AuthorLHerman: The Economics of Self-Publishing a Book

The Economics of Self-Publishing a Book

a guest post by Louise Herman

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Hello everyone, and I hope you are enjoying the week.

I have decided to take a week’s respite from writing the third book in my YA urban fantasy series, Split Blood, to catch up with author interview and guest post requests. I am looking forward to discussing my thoughts and opinions on the economics of self-publishing a bookas well as giving some advice on what aspects of self-publishing is essential to a budget and what I have experienced as a waste of time and money.

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Why did I decide to Self-Publish my books?

I would love to say it was a choice, however, after I sent a number of emails to literary agents and received no replies, I decided to close my eyes and jump straight into the self-publishing ocean.

It was nerve-racking at first because I had no idea about self-publishing but after a lot of research and learning from my mistakes along the way, I am enjoying the self-publishing journey.

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What are the common misconceptions of self-publishing?

I think the biggest misconception about self-publishing is anyone can publish a successful book in today’s technological world.

For example, you have a great idea for a story, you get so engrossed in writing it, you take the leap and self-publish it on the internet and then you sit back and wait for the big bucks to start rolling in, along with literary agents fighting to represent you, right?

Not quite!

The reality is only a handful of self-published authors break even (the total cost of publishing against the profits of the sales, after each website has taken its percentage) and if you do not have a regular presence on social media sites then you could find it difficult to be seen and network with influential people who can help potential readers find your books.

These people are bloggers and reviewers.

I have built up a good relationship with many bloggers and have added them to my list of ‘Go to People’ when I need to do author interviews (to discuss my past, present and future. This is not all about promoting my work. It is for potential readers to get to know the person behind the books), Guest Posts (topics related to writing that are important to me) and Spotlights (a full discussion about myself, my work and upcoming projects).

It’s also fun to communicate with these bloggers because it is a two way process. They advertise an author on their blog and social media sites, therefore, as an author, I also do the same (I will post the promotional item on my blog, which advertises their blog to my followers, and on my social media sites).

However, not all bloggers work the same way.

Some specialise purely in reviews but some are open to other forms of promotion.

I have found that trying to get reviews can be quite hard because many are overwhelmed with requests and often close their review request channels until they can catch up with the backlog.

While others will state they do not accept requests from self-published authors, with some going as far as to state that they have a problem with the quality of the self-published books they have previously read.

I used to find this slightly insulting but when you take into consideration that they are doing these reviews for free, they should be allowed to have an opinion on what types of books they want to review.

NOTE: Reviews are usually free and reviewers usually have full or part time jobs but review in their spare time. This means try to give at least three months’ notice to your reviewer. If you are asked to pay for a review, try somewhere else! Not only is it slightly frowned upon in the self-publishing industry but it’s just an unnecessary, extra cost to your ever rising budget!

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What are the advantages of self-publishing?

I like that I have the opportunity to learn about online publishing first hand and that I have the chance to communicate with a range of people with similar interests.

I learn something new every week to help enhance my writing and advertising skills and I really enjoy having full control over every aspect of publishing my books.

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What are the challenges of self-publishing?

Although I enjoy having full control over publishing my books, I do sometimes think that it would be nice to have a literary agent to help take on some of the advertising tasks because having full time job, restricts the time I can dedicate to writing and sometimes the advertising infringes on the writing time.

I have also found that it takes a lot of work and effort to gain a strong following. I write Young Adult Urban Fantasy novels, which is a popular genre and I have found that it is extremely difficult to get new followers interested in looking at my new pieces of work if there are no reviews to give them an inclination of how the book has been received by other readers.

There will be potential readers and followers who will read the synopsis and give the books a try but there are some who use reviews to help them decide whether or not it is the kind of story they would enjoy reading.

It is the latter type of follower that bad reviews can affect your potential sales.

Some reviews that are lower than five stars can be disheartening to an author but if they offer constructive criticism (e.g. “there was too much fighting in it”) then it could be a case of what one person dislikes about the storyline, another reader maybe looking for this type of drama.

However, if they give you one star because they “just couldn’t read it because you should never write again”, it offers nothing to a potential reader about the story and many would not take this type of review seriously.

And lastly, I have given out copies of my eBooks for a review in the past, only to be disappointed to never receive one.

It is disheartening but all these things are part of the learning process and have helped me focus on what works and avoid what wastes time and money.

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What are the costs to publish your own book?

Here are the basics of what it cost me to self-publish my first book (The Orcus Games: Blood Moon):

  • Book cover artist –  This is difficult because it depends on the type of cover you want? You can get book cover images from a variety of stock photography sites and prices vary on each site. For a basic book cover with an image that does not need to be edited and text, I would estimate between £50 (~$70) and £150 (~$212).
  • Proof-reader or Copy Editor –  Between £600 (~$850) and £1,000 (~$1418) (depending on word count, how many hours it takes them to work on the book and how much work the book needs).
  • eBook Conversation Costs  If you cannot convert your eBooks yourselves then it might be worth getting a professional to do this for you. I convert my books myself but I have received quotes in the past for this type of work and the prices were between £50 (~$70) and £150 (~$212).
  • Distribution costs –  (for reviewers who only accept hard copies): I have heard that some websites do give a small discount to authors who buy their own books but I am yet to find these sites. Therefore you would be paying the same price as a customer to purchase your paperback books to send to reviewers. Many authors buy in bulk for this purpose and can spend between £599 (~$849) and £1099 (~$1558) for an order of 100 books.
  • URL for website Having your own website is essential for an author and you can buy domain names from nearly anywhere on the internet at the moment.

I have a website through Fat Cow and bought my URL through them as soon as I set it up.

It cost me approximately £8.99 (~$12.75) to buy the domain name + £60 (~$85) for the year (with added extras).

However, different extensions can either increase or decrease the cost (e.g. com, co.uk, org. Etc.)

  • Publishing sites percentages
    • Amazon – There are two royalty options. (correct as of January 2016)
      • Option 1: Keep 70% of the royalties. However this option is only available to books sold in a specific territory of countries set out by Amazon Kindle. Any books sold outside of these regions will give you a 35% royalty.
      • Option 2: Keep 35% of the royalties. This is the standard royalty rate.
    • Smashwords – (correct as of January 2016)
      • “Smashwords authors and publishers earn 85% or more of the net proceeds from the sale of their works. Net proceeds to author = (sales price minus PayPal payment processing fees)*.85 for sales at Smashwords.com, our retail operation. Authors receive 70.5% for affiliate sales. Smashwords distributes books to most of the major retailers, including Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and smaller retailers.  Sales originated by retailers earn authors/publishers 60% of the list price.”
    • Lulu – (correct as of January 2016)
      • Lulu prides itself on working on a 90/10 royalty split, therefore if you have published your book after 6th September 2011 and it is priced at $1.24 or higher then you can qualify for a 90% royalty revenue.

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What advice would you give to someone wanting to self-publish their first book?

There might be something I have missed out because every week I am learning something new about the self-publishing world but so far I have eight tips that would help a new author get started:

  • Test it out on free sites like Wattpad first to see if there is an audience for it and find Beta readers in these groups to help highlight elements that may need extra attention (e.g. such as continuity issues, plot holes, creating believable characters or scenes, etc.)
  • Build up a following and make amendments based on the feedback
  • Get a professional book cover artist (unless you are good with graphics software or you are a good artist)
  • Get your work proofread or copy edited
  • Publish on the main publishing sites
  • Build up a group of regular reviewers
  • Be active on social media (not just to talk about the book but share your interests and get involved in group discussions)
  • Remember success doesn’t happen overnight (it could take years), so continue with your passion and never give up!

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About the author

Louise Herman is a North London Fantasy author obsessed with pear drops sweets and 80s Fantasy films.

In between reading James Herbert novels and drinking too much coffee, she writes Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance novels.

Louise Herman has currently written five YA Fantasy books to date (December 2015); The Orcus Games Prequel Trilogy and The Split Blood series, which take the reader on a journey of magic, mystery, obsession and forbidden love with seductively dark consequences.

For more information, please go to: www.louisehermanauthor.com

Find out more:

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Re-release: No Attachments, by Tiffany King (@AuthorTiffany)

Today is a very happy day on A Life Among the Pages. There are a few authors who’ve been featured, reviewed, etc more than others on the blog over the last year  or so. One of them, one of my favorite Indie authors, is author Tiffany King. I started following her around the time Wishing For Someday Soon was released. I followed that by reading Forever ChangedUnlikely Allies, and well, the rest is history.

Since then, her books have found an even bigger audience and it continues to grow. It’s grown so much that Tiffany King isn’t only an Indie author. No Attachments, her first New Adult novel, was picked up by Berkley earlier this year. That’s why today is a special day. Today is the re-release of the novel and Tiffany King’s first traditionally published release!

Below you’ll find a little bit about the book. You’ll also find the brand new cover (I may like it even better than the original, shhh) and links to grab a copy if you don’t have it already. Please be sure to check out King’s other work, as well.

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No Attachments

No Attachments is a Woodfalls Girls novel

be sure to check out King’s upcoming release, Cross Country Christmas, a Woodfalls Girls novella, on November 1st.

Ashton Garrison walked away from her current life to escape the one thing she’s unwilling to face. She knows her decision may be selfish, but in the end, leaving will be far less painful for everyone. Now she has one goal: live life to the fullest with no regrets and no attachments. What Ashton doesn’t count on is how fate always seems to find a way to screw up any good plan.

Nathan Lockton specializes in locating a mark. He’s done it over and over again—no attachments and no emotion necessary. What he thought was a routine lost-and-found job has forced Nathan to deal with something he has always ignored—his feelings. He’s never fallen for a target, yet he’s never met anyone like Ashton. Now deep in a dilemma, Nathan must decide to follow his heart, or complete the job he was hired to do.

Love can come when you least expect it. The question is: If the odds are stacked against you, how far are you willing to go for the one you love?

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You can grab a copy of No Attachments from:

Amazon | Kobo | B&N
B&N (will be added when it goes live)

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About the Author:

USA Today Best Selling author, Tiffany King is the author of the Young Adult titles: The Saving Angels SeriesWishing for Someday SoonForever ChangedUnlikely AlliesMiss Me Not, and Jordyn: A Daemon Hunter Novel book one. She also has a New Adult title called No Attachments.

Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

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Top Books & Authors & Summary of 2012!

2012 is now over and the new year of 2013 has begun…big deal, right? Well Yea, for me pretty much that’s how I feel; just another day and all that jazz. But despite that, the year of 2012 was a productive one for me. It’s probably my most productive year so far in my life.

I read a total of 150 books/novellas/stories/etc. That’s 3 times 2011’s total of between 40-50, which is also the first time I’ve read enough books to actually keep track. Aside from just the productive amount of reading I’ve done, so many other great things have happened. I took the dive into the Indie World of Books very early in 2012. That was a great decision. Since then I’ve made so many friends who are readers, authors, bloggers, or just people who smell books to get high. Of these friends I’d like to make special mention on a few Indie authors who’ve been going along with me for many many months and really feel like family at this point.

Thank you to the first two to make it into my bookish “family,” Rebecca Hamilton and S.M. Boyce. I read The Forever Girl (Hamilton) and The Grimoire: Lichgates (Grimoire Saga book 1) (Boyce) and fell in love with both of those books. They were my first Indie releases to read and they disrupted all the stereotypes places on “Non-Traditional” books. They are both well-written, well-edited, original, beautiful and fucking amazing reads. Boyce and Rebecca haven’t only provided me with two great books (each) to read this year, they’ve also be part of the inspiration for me to finally sit down and publish my first collection of poetry, From Where I Stand. If I didn’t see how great of a community they are a part of and didn’t continue to stick my head out a  bit to get to know more and more authors, I don’t think I’d be here typing up this blog post. I’d probably be reading some paperback, and not even have a Kindle, haha.

More authors who’ve made it into this family of sorts are fellow poets Ben Ditmars and Amber Jerome~Norrgard, both of which will be working on an anthology with me, as well as Scott Morgan, due to release in February. (Psst…all proceeds will be going to a no-kill animal shelter!!! Find out more on this project here.) Tiffany King, I don’t even know where to start with her. Since picking up Wishing For Someday Soon and not putting it down until I was almost in tears at the end, I knew “this author won’t produce anything bad.” I was write, I’ve been following along with her writing since and loved it all. Aside from being a great author, her generosity to her fans and huge heart to all is simply amazing. King might be one of the nicest authors I’ve met so far (no offence to all you other nice authors).

Thank you to every author who has become my friend. Thank you to all of my blog readers and general people who creepily follow me around on Twitter and Facebook. I keep doing this because there are people out there who care to stop by every now and then to say hi.

Thank you also to everyone who’s picked up a copy of my book, read it, reviewed it, loved it (or hated it without telling me yet :P). It’s a great feeling to know there are people out there supporting my work and who have pushed me to get it published in the first place.

And now…enough of the mushy shit. How about  few lists of great books I’ve read and authors who need mention? Sound good? Well here they are!

*note: these lists are NOT in any real particular order. I don’t feel it fair to compare one book to the next, especially when I jump around genres a lot. I do have a few HUGE I LOVE THIS BOOK books, but you’ll just have to read my reviews to find out which 😉

Top Books

  1. Treason (S.M Boyce)
  2. Lichgates (S.M. Boyce)
  3. The Forever Girl (Rebecca Hamilton)
  4. Wishing for Someday Soon (Tiffany King)
  5. The Sin Collector (Jessica Fortunato)
  6. Gideon’s Corpse (Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child)
  7. The Devil’s Metal (Karina Halle)
  8. Vaempires: Revolution (Thomas Winship)
  9. Vaempires: Zombie Rising (Thomas Winship)
  10. Slammed (Colleen Hoover)

Top Novellas/Short Stories/Collections

  1. The Night Walk Men (Jason McIntyre)
  2. The Memoirs of a Gigolo series (Livia Ellis)
  3. Walking Away (Adriane Boyd)
  4. The Bassinville Witches series (Miranda Stork)
  5. The Sin Collector: Thomas (Jessica Fortunato)
  6. Being His Favorite (Charity Parkerson)
  7. My Last Blind Date (Susan Hatler)
  8. Dark Spaces (Dionne Lister)
  9. Her Sweetest Downfall (Rebecca Hamilton)
  10. The Allegory of Dusk (Amber Jerome~Norrgard)

Top Poetry

  1. B (Sarah Kay)
  2. Night Poems (Ben Ditmars)
  3. What the Living Do (Marie Howe)
  4. Searching for Cecy: Reflections on Alzheimer’s (Judy Prescott)
  5. Ghost Girl (Laura Madeline Wiseman)

(I didn’t read enough poetry books this year to make a top ten list. Maybe next yet, though.)

Top Authors

  1. S.M. Boyce
  2. Amber Jerome~Norrgard
  3. Thomas Winship
  4. Rebecca Hamilton
  5. Tiffany King
  6. Colleen Hoover
  7. Susan Hatler
  8. Miranda Stork
  9. Charity Parkerson
  10. Livia Ellis

(There were many great authors to put on this list, but there are ten authors who’ve proven their worth through continuing to publish great book after great book, and have really stuck with me. Please, don’t feel bad for not being left out, you know I still love you all 😀 )

Review: Point Of Retreat, by Colleen Hoover

Title: Point of Retreat (Slammed Series #2)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Rating 5/5 Stars

“Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge…how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins.’” (Description from Goodreads)

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Point of Retreat is a great follow-up to Hoover’s Slammed. Everything that made me thoroughly enjoy Slammed is also in Point of Retreat. The characters are all back, and they are also developed more (which is expected in a sequel). I feel this made me enjoy some even more. There are also some new characters, Kiersten in particular, that made this book what it is. Without the addition of Kiersten and her mother, I think some odd moments would be missing.

One of the initial shocks this book gave me was the point of view switch. Slammed was told from the first person point of view of Layken. Point of Retreat is told by Will. This took me a chapter or two to get used to and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to accept this. I was so used to hearing Layken talk that reading a story from Will felt wrong. I’m glad I opened up to him though. There’s no way this story would have been as successful if Layken were telling it.

It also helped having Will’s side of the relationship. He is the “more adult” of the group but seeing his struggles and imperfections makes his character more relatable and likable. Aside from his strange outbursts in Slammed I saw him as almost too perfect. But he’s far from it, and like Layken and everyone else, he’s also struggling to keep it together.

Hoover seems to have mastered the art of blindsiding the reader with many unexpected events. A few plot twists in Point of Retreat are no exception. I can’t tell what they are, but something MAJOR happens in the second half of the book that, although there is some foreshadowing a few sentences beforehand, I would not have guessed would happen. This is just after something great happens. So what better time to throw a curve ball? There is none, I tell you.

Basically if you’ve read/loved Slammed, I suggest you continue the story and read Point of Retreat. I don’t think a fan would be disappointed. If you read the first book and didn’t love it completely, maybe Point of Retreat will still be to your enjoyment, maybe even more than Slammed.

Whatever you do, I do think both of these books are worth a read. The series is butterflying great! (If you don’t understand that, you obviously haven’t met Kiersten 😉 )

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You can purchase this book from Amazon and B&N. You can also find Slammed from Amazon and B&N to begin the series 🙂

I’d also like to congratulated Colleen Hoover on the re-release of both Slammed Point of Retreat through Atria Books, under Simon and Schuster. I’m glad there are Indie authors who are out there getting noticed. Just shows that there are authors who may not be under a traditional publisher but still have great books to read.

Find more on Colleen Hoover: