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What works in self publishing by Katie Salidas @bk36 @quixotickatie #blitz

Katie Salidas explores her success in Self Publishing

Self-Publishing wasn’t an easy decision, that’s for sure. Like all new writers, I originally envisioned J.K. Rowling-like fame. I was going to write a series that would have readers clamoring for more. The reality is so much farther from the truth but it’s those initial fantasies that had me chomping at the bit to get my debut novel, Immortalis Carpe Noctem out into the world.

I started, as many new writers do, sending out queries way too early. We’re all blind to our faults and I certainly was (and still am) no exception. After some initial harsh rejection, I decided to turn to critiquing groups for help.  Six months later after a few more rounds of revisions (and research into the publishing world), I was ready to go at it again, this time with a more realistic approach. I learned that my initial dream of millions and millions of dollars and people lining up for miles to attend my book signings, was much more the exception than the rule.

Still, the reception was lukewarm at best. I would hear compliments about the story and characters, but still be told, no.  A common theme in the query responses I got was that the market was already too flooded with vampire stories. They’d love to publish me (or take me on as a client) but there are just too many vampire books out there.

My research told me too, that even if I had gotten a publishing contract, my book wouldn’t see store shelves until 2 years later. Vampires may be hot now, but what if they have cooled by then?

That last bit was what spurred me on to self-publish. I didn’t want my story missing the opportunity to hit the market while it was still hot. I had spent a total of five years working on Immortals, from the time I penned the first word, until the final draft. There was no way I was going to let it collect dust. It was (and still is) my baby.

So I turned my research to indie publishing and spent months learning all I could about ebook formatting and ways to get my work into print. Let me tell you, there’s a lot to learn there.  It took me another four months to finally pull the trigger and publish Immortalis Carpe Noctem. Since then I have released many more titles, like the newest one available today: Pandora’s Box.

Am I making millions off of my books? No. Self-publishing is not the gateway to fame and fortune. (Most artists are starving, right?). Sure it would be nice to get rich from my work, but that’s not the goal. Writing is my passion, and eventually, sure I’d like to pay the bills with it, but for now it’s a slow build. I’m finding new readers every day.  The best part, for me, is seeing others enjoy my work. I cherish every fan email I get and every comment on my blog.

You, the reader, make me happy in the choice I made to self-publish.

Thanks for reading, and if you want to check out my work, you can find me at

http://www.katiesalidas.com

Immortalis Carpe Noctem (Book 1)

Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition… that’s the hard part.

Bleeding to death after brutal mugging, twenty-five year old Alyssa is rescued by the most unlikely hero: the handsome and aloof vampire, Lysander.

His gift of immortal blood initiates Alyssa into a frightening, eternally dark world filled with: bloodlust, religious fanaticism, and thousand-year old vendettas.

With Lysander as her guide, Alyssa will have to learn what it takes to survive in the immortal world. She’ll have to find the strength to accept her new reality and carpe noctem; or give in, and submit to final death.

Hunters & Prey (Book 2)

Becoming a vampire saved Alyssa from death, but the price was high: the loss of everything and everyone attached to her mortal life. She’s still learning to cope when a surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum’s most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the friend she’s missed more than anything.

Alyssa breaks vampire law by revealing her new, true self to her old friend, a fact which causes strong division in the group that should support her most: her clan.

Pandora’s Box (Book 3)

After a few months as a vampire, Alyssa thought she’d learned all she needed to know about the supernatural world. But her confidence is shattered by the delivery of a mysterious package – a Pandora’s Box.

Seemingly innocuous, the box is in reality an ancient prison, generated by a magic more powerful than anyone in her clan has ever known. But what manner of evil could need such force to contain it?

When the box is opened, the sinister creature within is released, and only supernatural blood will satiate its thirst. The clan soon learns how it feels when the hunter becomes the hunted.

Apparently powerless against the ancient evil, the clan flees Las Vegas for Boston, with only a slim hope for salvation. Could Lysander’s old journals hold the key? And what if they don’t?

And how welcome will they be in a city run by a whole different kind of supernatural being?

Werewolves…

To purchase the Immortalis books (In print and ebook):

Amazon USA
http://www.amazon.com/Katie-Salidas/e/B003APXXWO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1 Amazon UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Katie-Salidas/e/B003APXXWO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1 Amazon DE (Germany)
http://www.amazon.co.de/Katie-Salidas/e/B003APXXWO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1 Barnes & Noble
http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=katie+salidas&page=index&prod=univ&choice=allproducts&query=katie+salidas&flag=False&pos=-1&box=katie+salida&ugrp=2 Smashwords
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KatieSalidas

Epiracy and ebooks. Have you been hacked?

Thea’s Three Mashup

June 24

There was a lot of rumbling early this week about ebook piracy. Most notably, a good colleague and friend Mel Comley mentioned it in a group I belong to and started a frenzy of great discussion. It put me to thinking: Would I be upset if someone stole my work? Would I think, hey, now I’ve made it? Epiracy hasn’t much hurt JK Rowling, has it? If I get pirated, that must mean I’m popular.

I can afford to think these things because so far, I’ve not been pirated enmasse, and I’m quite sure I’d be furious if I found out I was…especially since my sales are not stellar. I’d REALLY be ticked if folks were d/ling my work in droves and I was getting 70% of 2.99 once a day. Grrr. Ok. Now my blood is sufficiently boiling. Grin.

The Mashup has some links on epiracy info. I thought it prudent to at least keep a tab in case I needed to research more in the future. (hope not.)

So: Thea’s Three (plus a bonus track today) are:

So: what are your thoughts on stealing ebooks? Reader to reader? Writer to Writer? Writer to Reader? Reader to Writer?

Thea’s 3 Mashup. :It’s all about me, baby @guineapig66 @booksandpals @siblehodge

June 17, 2011

First of all, I woke up in a frenzy this morning. Had a heap of things to do before I had to run off to work and do all those Friday errands that have spilled over from the last Friday when I didn’t get the errands done. So. I forgot the mashup.

But:

Ha Ha! Joke’s on me cause I ended up finding 2 really great reviews today! Yippee! So In honor of the really generous folks who review us poor dejected indies, this one’s for you! (and me of course; it’s all about me.)

I really want you to go over and comment if you can, if you find the time, if you care at all about indies and their support system cause reviewers are part of it, baby. I don’t care if you read the review, but as writers, it’s nice to show any reviewer support. So without fanfare and excitement, here are my three:

  • Sibel Hodge is a stunning writer and she reviews too. She posted a review today for One Insular Tahiti. Thanks so much Sibel
  • Big Al is probably the best known and I really love his site. It’s full of great, insightful reviews of tons of books. You could drown in the reading list. He reviewed Anomaly a month or so ago

happy reading!

Thea’s 3 Mashup. :Take advice from Kristen Lamb and get er done

June 10, 2011

In honor of finishing Kristen Lamb’s book We are Not Alone I’m using her as a theme for my mashup this week. If you haven’t visited her blog and you are a writer trying to find ways to make sense of this whole social media thang, you really should subscribe. You should buy the book, in fact. (Just don’t take the advice of creating a MYSpace profile. She will tell you that after the book released MYSpace went ballistic.)

Speaking of Kristen Lamb, I’ve been working on advice from her blog to create posts that invite comment. Not working for me yet as I haven’t managed it successfully, but Vivienne Tuffnell’s blog is rich with comments. Each post she writes is full of people writing back to her and to each other. How does she do it? It’s worth the visit for investigation.

Mark Williams and Saffina desForges admittedly used Kristen’s (hope the first name’s ok, hun) advice to move into the top 10 – and one of them will correct me on the numbers I’m sure if it’s higher, and I think it is. They read Kristen’s book and applied the advice. They took off. I’m sure it has something to do with the writing, but readers have to find a writer first before it can become a sensation. These two even received mention on Kristen’s advice blog. I’m sending you to Mark Williams International because it’s wonderfully picture heavy and comment laden.

So how many of you have read and employed the advice in the book? Tell us about your successes and your failures. I’m listening.

Can you use Star trek for inspiration? @shayfabbro tells us how

Shay Fabbaro author of The Chosen: Book One of the Portals of Destiny

brings GonzoInk:

Thrusters On Full, Captain!

As I sit here watching The Wrath of Khan for about the thousandth time, I am still overcome with that same feeling I had watching the original Star Trek with my dad as a kid. It hasn’t waned, nor has it changed at all over the years. I still love the idea of other life in the vast universe (after all, if it was just us, wouldn’t it be an awful waste of space? Thank You Jodi Foster), each evolving according to a different set of rules than those that govern Earth. Many things would be different: their body shapes and compositions, intelligence levels, core values, cultures, religions. Would they have recreational activities similar to what we do on Earth? What about their values and customs?

Imagining all of the possibilities has given me endless hours of enjoyment, ever since I was a kid. Star Trek (and of course others since then) fed my imagination. And when Next Generation came out, I was hooked! Imagine it: humanity no longer at war with one another, no poverty, no need to work to for monetary gain. I often wonder what people would do if given all of the necessities of life and the ability to do whatever their heart’s desired.

I would like to think that if given that opportunity, humanity might do some very worthwhile things. And Star Trek gave us a hint of that. Exploring the galaxy, meeting and studying alien life forms, and getting into all sorts of mischief. Now, they do encounter danger, and often times have to resort to violence to get themselves out of it, but it’s nice that they aren’t just running amok in the universe using their technology to take over other worlds and subverting the populations.

The technology of Star Trek has always been awesome. I mean, who wouldn’t want a holodeck for crying out loud????? A room that  become anything you wish, from a pristine mountain lake complete with cabin, to a island paradise on some far-away planet. And replicators??? Hell YEAH! Just speak into the computer and it will make anything you want. You want shrimp and steak dinner? You got it! Or is Klingon blood sausage more your style? It can do that too!

I often wished that we really could travel into space and explore all of the worlds out there. Just punch a few buttons and whisk off at faster than light speeds to arrive a few hours later in some distant quadrant of the galaxy, orbiting a strange and unique world.

Can you imagine the excitement of the first person that proves life exists in space? And what that will mean for us here on Earth? I, for one, will be thrilled even if its nothing more than a bacteria. Because it will mean that we aren’t alone out here on this beautiful watery jewel. And if there is a bacteria, then couldn’t there also be plants of some kind somewhere? And perhaps some kind of creature the likes of which we can’t imagine?

I realize that this kind of news will not be greeted with excitement from everyone. Many will be scared of what this might mean, and some may even have their faith shaken to the very core. I mean, I can’t think of a single religious doctrine that mentions life on other planets. For some, the existence of life elsewhere may cause them to abandon everything they believed in. And that can make them very dangerous people.

But even with this danger, science must move forward. It is in our nature to explore the unknown. How I wish my math skills and stomach had been much better! I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to fly the space shuttle (hell, to just ride on it!!!), to watch as the blue of our atmosphere slowly gives way to the inky blackness of space, to watch as Earth falls further away from the ship, to come upon the moon and other planets, and see Earth from far away.

Perhaps this is why I like to write in the scifi/genre so much. I get to travel to these places in my mind, to create worlds so unlike Earth, and yet harboring life forms that have some very human characteristics ;) Since I can’t travel in space to see other worlds, I will simply make them up and populate them with anything I wish, and hope to give readers that same taste I felt when I first saw movies about other worlds :)

Shay Fabbro was born in Longmont, CO and moved to the town of Grand Junction, CO in the early 1980′s. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mesa State College before earning her doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO. Dr. Fabbro currently lives in Grand Junction with her husband, Rich, and their two cats. When not writing novels, she teaches biology classes at Mesa State College.

You can also pick up her second novel: Dangerous Reflections: Adventures of Alexis Davenport, Book One at Amazon.com

You’re giving away #ebooks? how do I get one? @tracyriva

Yesterday a great reviewer (Tracy Riva) whom I really actually respect for some great honest book reviews interviewed me on her blog. She asked if I’d be willing to gift a few copies of my newest release: Formed of Clay.

I’m always up for being interviewed, being the silly little nobody that I am so of course I said YES! YES! a thousand times yes. (I have so little excitement these days)

So how do you get said copy? very easy. you visit. you comment. you are automatically entered to win 1 of 3 copies. Easy Peasy!

so why are you still here?

Who is this Thea chick anyway? #thriller #fiction

my hero: Alice MunroOnce upon a time, I thought I was a litfic writer. Tough sell, I know. I’m no where the caliber of writer that Margaret Atwood is or my fav: Alice Munro. Jane Urquhart? No way. So I assumed I was just a bad litfic writer.

It took me a long time to figure out my preferred writing genre was psychological thriller. Once I understood that the label meant character driven stories where the ‘thrill’ just happens to be some pretty interesting mind play, I was confident in labelling myself. Characters resolve conflicts that are more mental than physical; more internal than external: some aspect of themselves is in conflict with another. If the conflict is character against character, it’s often in an arena where one is trying to destroy the other’s emotional state.

To me, that’s life, baby.

Here straight from wiki  is a good description of the genre I write in for you edification:

  • Psychological – Elements that are related to the mind or processes of the mind; they are mental rather than physical in nature. Sometimes the suspense comes from within one solitary character where characters must resolve conflicts with their own minds. Usually, this conflict is an effort to understand something that has happened to them. These conflicts are made more vivid with physical expressions of the conflict in the means of either physical manifestations, or physical torsions of the characters at play.
  • Thriller – Generally, thrillers focus on plot over character, and thus emphasize intense, physical action over the character’s psyche. Psychological thrillers tend to reverse this formula to a certain degree, emphasizing the characters just as much, if not more so, than the plot.
  • Psychological thriller – Characters are no longer reliant on physical strength to overcome their brutish enemies (which is often the case in typical action-thrillers), but rather are reliant on their mental resources, whether it be by battling wits with a formidable opponent or by battling for equilibrium in the character’s own mind. The suspense created by psychological thrillers often comes from two or more characters preying upon one another’s minds, either by playing deceptive games with the other or by merely trying to demolish the other’s mental state

What genre do you write in and where can we find your books?

Thea’s Three Mashup on reading #amblogging

Thea’s Three Mashup

May 20, 2011

This week is all about reading and reader reaction.

1. Mariyta’s Musings: Why She’ll only buy indie authors

2. Big Al’s Books and Pals is a review site. (Big Al gave Anomaly 5 stars) and Big Al has a very active forum thread on Amazon.com. I really enjoy how he puts reviews together. You might want to check him out and see what he’s read lately.

3. I’m pretty sure i fail still at the tips on this posting, but it talks about creating great content that readers can read with ease. I just kind of happened upon it, so I’m not sure of the blog name (I think it’s 1st web design). but you see the linkie thingie, right? click, read, and learn.

That’s it for this week. I’m having fun doing these mashups. If you’ve found a place you liked this week, feel free to add the link below in the comments section.

of virtual nods and finding yourself on someone’s blog @goblinwriter

Quite unexpected, and really, quite thrilling. I started to see an uptick in visits to my blog late today from another link. I thought: “Hmmm. How intriguing.”

Well, in truth, I thought, “WTF?”

Of course, I immediately clicked and read the blog post that my visitors were linking from, which turned into a really great posting about what kinds of things to keep in mind if you’re a writer writing a blog. Please go read it. It’s truth, plain and simple and very much worth the two minutes of my time to read. It’s at Ebook Endeavors, a blog kept by Lindsay Buroker (who tweets as @goblinwriter..give a follow, will ya?)

So I can’t do much by way of thank yous, but I can list some things here at GonzoInk and tell you the cover art is drool worthy. (as I’m sure you can see from the pic I just stuck in) It links to the amazon page, btw, just in case you’re inclined to check it out or sample.

Go on. Do it.

Christmas Presents

I’m holding a tagging campaign on Amazon. If I can get 150 tags by Christmas eve on One Insular Tahiti or Secret Language of Crows, I’ll be gifting 3 indie books to a random list of readers who comment below.

Steps:

Click the links. type tt to bring up the ‘tag window’, copy and paste the list of tags you see into the window and save.

Return here, type a comment with your name and the indie book you’d like to receive then email me with the email address you’d like the book gifted to in case you win. (2.99 and under please, I’m a poor writer, remember?)

Spread the word i f you like to your Amazon friends.

Voila! Entered into the contest. Books will be gifted through Amazon on Christmas day!

Easy Peasy

AND! Just for coming round to my dusty corner of the net, I’m giving away a Kindle short story: “God in the Machine” a literary tale in the slipstream genre. (fyi: the link brings you to a download site at dropbox)

Stay tuned for more contests for Christmas goodies. for now, here’s some other links to Christmas yummies: