Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Adventures in Epublishing - The Numbers

Even though writing is an art, it's also a business.  Some people are very interested in numbers.  I know I am.  I'm always curious to see what people have done to help measure what I'm doing.  Obviously, everyone's situation is a little different.  Some people have little in the way of friends/followers, but have still sold a ton of books.  I'm interested to see if my 'numbers' will actually translate into more sales or if it has no effect.  Some people say you need to have a 'platform' to sell a lot of books.  If I do actually have a platform, it's all because of social networking, something everyone can easily replicate.   So here are all the stats for this ebook project.  I'll post sales numbers monthly, just to keep you updated on its progress.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Into the Shadows Giveaways!

We're almost there!  It's only one week until the official launch of Into the Shadows!  Remember, I'm asking everyone to purchase on November 1st.  Posting even small sales on one day helps push the book up the Amazon Best Seller list and makes it more visible to other readers that don't know me.  For non-ebook readers, don't forget there will be a paperback available later in November/December.

In honor of my awesome friends, fans, and followers, I'd like to announce the giveaway!  Here's what you have to do for it...NOTHING.  Leave your name and your email in the comments of this section and you are entered.  You have from today through Sunday, October 31st at noon CST to add your name.  I will literally write the names out, put them in a hat (more likely a plastic pumpkin) and draw the winners.  Good old fashioned prize winning.  You could win one of these cool prizes:

5 copies of the ebook Into the Shadows for your ereader.

3 signed copies of the paperback Into the Shadows, mailed to your house.  They won't be ready for a couple weeks, but I'll put them in the mail as soon as they're ready!

Thanks again for all of your support, it's appreciated every day!

Good luck!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 20

Just a quick note to those that have read this all the way through on the blog...thanks!  And I hope you enjoyed it. *hugs*

Chapter Twenty
The Road Less Taken

In the early light of dawn, Paivi could see the bridges across Lake Superior that would take them from Wisconsin to Minnesota. The clouds had cleared and it looked to be a sunny day. This was quite deceiving, as the air here was far colder than it had been in St. Andrew. Paivi wished she had a blanket, as the SUV had become increasingly cold, despite the fact that the heater was turned all the way up.
Paivi was surprised that she remembered where Tim and Alissa lived. She had only been to their house once, about two years ago. Tim was her dad’s cousin, and he and his wife and daughter, Monika, had come to visit them in St. Andrew many times throughout her childhood. They wound their way through the hilly streets. Little San Francisco, as Duluth was sometimes called; it was not far from the truth. Turning right on Seventh Street, Christian slowed down.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Interview on Roxie's Blog!

The lovely Roxie Hanna interviewed me on her blog.  I'm so excited because this is the first interview I've had leading up to Into the Shadows' release!  Thanks again to Roxie for having me and hope you all enjoy the interview!

Into the Shadows - Chapter 19

Chapter Nineteen
Escape Plan

Paivi wove Torsten through the maze of backyards and alleys, avoiding the main streets until they reached downtown St. Andrew. They needed to cross the river, unfortunately there were only three bridges across and each of them was extremely busy, being the only way over the Fox River for miles around. There was also no chance of hiding in much of the downtown area. They would be completely exposed. Paivi decided they should just act natural, like they had full rights to be out walking around. This wouldn’t have been true even if they weren’t subject to EOS rules, they were still out past the city curfew.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Adventures in Epublishing: Step 4

This is the fourth article in my Adventures in Epublishing series.  In just two weeks, my first ebook, Into the Shadows, will be available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com and Smashwords.com.  Ebook guru Joe Konrath has an article discussing his plan for ebook success with How to Make Money on Ebooks.

This week I'm focusing on the face of the ebook...the cover.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 18

Chapter Eighteen

Paivi didn’t remember much about the ride home. She spent the entire time sobbing into Jason’s shoulder. He walked her up the steps to her front door. On the porch, they stopped for a moment. Both of them were at a loss for words.

“I’ll call you tomorrow,” Jason whispered into Paivi’s ear as he pulled her into his arms. She nodded. He kissed her on the cheek and gave her a squeeze, then walked down the steps back to Devon’s waiting car.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 9

Chapter Nine
Game On

Paivi’s leg bounced anxiously through all of her classes, finally calming down when she arrived to Current Events. Only two more periods until basketball tryouts, not that she was worried. She was confident she’d easily make the freshman team.

She could hear the students whispering as she plopped down in her seat. Most of them hadn’t watched the debate, which was bound to disappoint Dr. Hasenpfeffer, who seemed more frazzled than usual. She knocked an entire stack of tests off her desk, sending them flying in a flutter to the floor. A girl who sat near Dr. Hasenpfeffer’s desk jumped up to help her pick up the mess.

When everything was in its place, Dr. Hasenpfeffer settled herself into her leather chair. Paivi noticed a large coffee stain down the front of her ruffled cream blouse and her hair was haphazardly pinned down by a large gold barrette on the top of her head.

Into the Shadows - Chapter 8

Chapter Eight
The Debate

Paivi Anderson
Current Events p.6
Dr. Hasenpfeffer

This week I read another article in the St. Andrew Herald by Jerome Knowles. It was called “The Final Debate: It’s too late for Senator Stevens.” He writes that Moira Kelly has already won the election. According to the polls, Kelly leads Stevens 64% to 46%. Knowles says it means Kelly will definitely win because in history very few candidates come back from that kind of margin. Kelly also has bonus points with voters because she got the head of the Righteous Front, Malcolm Davis, to agree to talks after the election. Knowles thinks only a miracle will save Senator Stevens and his campaign at this point. I am planning to watch the debate on Sunday because I think it will be interesting and because it is a class assignment.

Paivi, enjoy the debate! B+
Dr. H.

Into the Shadows - Chapter 7

Chapter Seven
A Most Unwelcome Guest

Amanda’s backyard was a little cozier than the front, what without all of the gravestones, fog, and scary leaf monsters. The night was very clear, which made the yard bright, despite the moon only being at half strength. Paivi and Michaela walked towards the fire. There were already some partygoers seated on the outdoor couches, extending marshmallow-laden branches over the open fire. The flames crackled and licked the marshmallows, as if it wanted to eat them itself.

Into the Shadows - Chapter 17

Chapter Seventeen
Winter Wonderland

Paivi returned to school the next day after the incident in Dr. Hasenpfeffer’s class. She tried her best to do as her father had asked. She flipped through the EOS policy book, making sure she was following all of the rules correctly. She moved quickly and quietly through the halls, dragging Jason or Michaela by the arm. She didn’t want to be late for classes, especially not for lunch. She tried to keep to herself in class, and didn’t raise her hand or ask any questions. She would respond politely, if ever a teacher asked her a question, which was very seldom. She wished she wasn’t there, that no one could see her. Oh, to be invisible!

As for Dr. Hasenpfeffer’s class, Paivi dreaded going there the most. Instead of open and friendly, the class had taken on a dreary atmosphere, as if someone had died. They were not told where Dr. Hasenpfeffer was or when she would return. Instead, they had the ultimate pleasure of being taught by Mr. Finch, a squidgy looking substitute teacher in his twenties who bored them to death with his endless lectures. Paivi sat with Tyler at her assigned EOS table and attempted to avoid everyone’s eyes for the long fifty minutes of class. She could feel them anyways.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You Interview Me!

So this was your big chance!  Ask me any question and I'll answer.  Let's dive right in, shall we?

From Victoria Ikpoh Slone (via Facebook):

How did you decide to write in the YA genre?  Do you see yourself writing adult fiction at some point?

When I started writing, I had just finished reading the final book in the Harry Potter series.  Prior to the Harry Potter, I hadn't read YA much at all.  They didn't have much in the way of YA when we were in high school, so I'd pretty much been reading 'adult' books from the age of 12 on.  But that series changed it all for me.  YA was also an easy choice in terms of material.  I enjoyed high school so much that I went on to be a high school teacher, so all of the relationships, drama, and insanely funny stories of high school were with me every day.  I think there's a certain element of escape in it as well that I really enjoy.  In high school you don't have bills, a house, a car payment, etc.  Everything was very exciting and very tumultuous.  And although I don't miss the drama, I enjoy reliving the excitement.

I think I might one day write adult fiction, or at least give it a go.  I've written a couple pieces of Flash Fiction with adult characters and I did plot out a couple adult novels.  I think if I do write something for adults, it will have to be funny though.  I won't be writing anything serious.

Draculas by J.A. Konrath (Jack Kilborn) and Friends

I don't read a lot of 'adult' fiction, let alone horror, so this was a bit new to me.  I read a lot of Stephen King when I was younger, but that is more horror-thriller, if you will.  But I, like many others, love vampires and was interested to give this a go.   Mind you, I do like horror movies that include humor, like Zombieland, Scream, and Shaun of the Dead (and even not so funny ones like 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later) so I really appreciated the humor in this book.  The first week I was reading it, I had just gotten over the flu and had to actually stop reading it while eating dinner one night because the descriptions were making me a little queasy.  Once I got my strong stomach back, I was good to go, merrily reading about spleens, livers, and limbs being eaten. Nom nom!

And though I'm exactly the kind of vampire reader this book is not for, I loved it all the same.  I think the thing I liked the most was the fact that these were almost zombie-vampires, my two favorite supernatural villains.  It was a great marriage of the both.  It was high in action as well, lots of guns and gore on every Kindle page.  The story line reminded me of many of the zombie stories, where a bite transmits the 'disease.'  I enjoyed the characters as well and was really caught up with them by the end.  All in all, a cool story and a fascinating project as it was written by 4 different people.  It was quite seamless, blending together very well.  If you're looking for a great horror read this Halloween, I think you'll really enjoy this one. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 16

Chapter Sixteen
Phase Two

Paivi Anderson
Current Events p.6
Mr. Finch

I read an article in the St. Andrew Herald by Mimi Snodgrass titled ‘St Andrew Herald reporter Jerome Knowles arrested by ATC.’ Mr. Knowles was arrested Saturday for using the newspaper to turn citizens against the ATC. They also found that he commonly associated with people in St. Andrew known to be Enemies of the State and felt that he could be using his access at the newspaper to aid terrorists. Fellow reporters stated that Knowles was known to be a troublemaker and that they were not surprised. I was surprised too, because I always thought he was a good reporter who always stuck to the facts. I guess I didn’t really know what he was like at work, but it’s really too bad he was arrested.

Ms. Anderson, you should concern yourself with more significant matters, such as how the ATC program has been a success or the drop in terrorist attacks and not about criminals. Very weak.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 15

Chapter Fifteen

The mood at home was solemn. As bad as her first day back to school had been, she hadn’t even thought about what things had been like for Torsten or her parents.

Torsten’s day had mirrored her own, with the added bonus that the junior high students were more than prepared to hassle anyone who was slightly different. He had to endure shouts of ‘Freak!’ as he walked down the hallway, to pennies being thrown at their ‘special’ table at lunch. The ATC guards at Torsten’s school made no effort to stop his harassers.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 6

Chapter Six
All Hallows Eve

“Now can anyone tell us the positive aspects of globalization? Why is it a good thing?” Dr. Hasenpfeffer stood before the class. She was oblivious to the fact that most of the students in the class were not paying any attention to her. Some had snuck their headphones up through their sweatshirts and were listening to music. Some were passing notes. And some had even succumbed to a sweet mid-class slumber, brought upon by the consumption of too many Tartan burgers at lunch and the overly warm conditions in the classroom. Paivi turned to look at the clock and couldn’t help noticing that Michael Giannotti was in such a deep sleep that he was emitting a snore every so often and a large puddle of drool was spreading slowly across his notebook, causing the few notes he had taken to run. She was astounded by Dr. Hasenpfeffer’s lack of attention to this fact. She felt it was quite possible that the good doctor had just stopped caring whether they listened or not.

Into the Shadows - Chapter 14

Chapter Fourteen

Paivi carefully packed her gym bag for basketball practice that crisp, sunny Tuesday morning. She looked her outfit over in the mirror, carefully affixing her new silver badge with the red glowing letters and numbers to her purple hoodie. She studied her reflection carefully.

It’s not so bad, she thought. Maybe people won’t even notice.

She tossed her long, blond hair over her shoulder. She could still see the red light glowing through the strands, but it was much less noticeable. Paivi headed downstairs for a piece of toast, though she didn’t feel very hungry.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 13

Chapter Thirteen

Paivi Anderson
Current Events p.6
Dr. Hasenpfeffer

In the St. Andrew Herald article ‘Nation anxious for action’, by Jerome Knowles, he interviews people in and around St. Andrew to see what they are hoping the Anti-Terrorism Coalition will achieve. Everyone is looking forward to a meeting on Sunday, when the ATC will announce their plan for stopping the terrorists. The ATC has already recruited thousands of new officers, helping the poor economy by getting the unemployed young people off the streets and back to work. Knowles found that the community appreciates the opportunities that the ATC offers those who have gone so long without work. Also, he reports that most people are positive that the ATC will make a major impact on the war on terrorism. I agree and feel that it is important that we support the government in hopes that they can make this country safer.

Interesting article

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Interview ME!

So here's your chance...ask me anything!  Post a question in the comments and ask me anything about me, my writing, Into the Shadows, future releases, epublishing, whatever, and I will answer it in a blog post next week!  I'll even post your name with the question!  I look forward to all the awesome questions you come up with!

I'll also be taking questions on Facebook and answering them here!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 12

Chapter Twelve

Paivi was able to relax at Lolly’s Ice Cream Shoppe. It all just felt so comfortable. Jason and Mr. Anderson were discussing baseball over their hot fudge sundaes. Paivi and Michaela were reminiscing about things that Torsten had done when he was younger. Mrs. Anderson and Aimee were laughing along with the girls. Torsten could only shake his head in embarrassment, and sink lower into his seat.

“And remember,” howled Michaela, “when we were at Taco Caliente that one time? We were waiting for our food and Torsten was gone. All of a sudden we heard this mooing sound. We turned around and there was Torsten, hiding in the plants next to the counter, mooing like a cow!”

She pretended like she was separating some invisible plants and stuck her head through.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 5

Chapter Five

The gym was decorated with Christmas trees and large, wrapped presents. Snowflakes hung from the ceiling along with clear twinkle lights. There was a dusting of fake snow on the ground. A large reindeer with a glowing nose stood in a small grove of evergreens in a corner. A snowman, along with Santa and his sleigh were displayed in another.

Students were heading towards the dance floor. Girls were dressed in elegant floor length dresses in rich colors of velvet, some with long white gloves. The boys sported freshly pressed shirts and pants, with festive holiday ties.

Into the Shadows - Chapter 4

Chapter Four
Open Seas

Paivi Anderson
Current Events p.6
Dr. Hasenpfeffer

For my assignment I read an article in the St. Andrew Herald by Jerome Knowles. It was called “Moira Kelly takes the lead in the polls.” He states that Kelly, a member of the Liberal party, is ahead in the polls because Americans think she’s personable. That means she nice. He also says that her policies on the Righteous Front terrorist group are helping her. She hopes to solve the terrorist crisis by sitting down and talking to the members of the Righteous Front. The current administration has been fighting the RF with the military, but the RF keeps blowing up more restaurants and shopping malls. According to Knowles, Senator Stevens represents the same ideas as the current President who is also from the Conservative party and will not have much of a chance with the voters. I personally think it’s because he’s not very nice, but that’s just because he looks like a jerk when I see him on the news.

Paivi, interesting opinions, but try to keep them relevant to the facts. B-
Dr. H.

Into the Shadows - Chapter 3

Chapter Three
Back to School

Paivi was up before her alarm, both nervous and excited about the first day of high school. She got ready quickly and made her way down to grab a bowl of cereal before heading out to the bus stop. She stepped around bags and people in the aisle, finally finding a seat near the middle of the bus. Being the first day back, no one had found older kids to ride to school with just yet. There was no air conditioning on the bus, just a hot, humid rush of air through all of the open windows, which caused Paivi to rethink her wardrobe choice. Her new jeans were sticking to her legs. She just kept reminding herself that the school would be like a meat locker, so it would pay off in the end.

Into the Shadows - Chapter 2

Chapter Two
Birthday Surprise

Paivi couldn’t have been more excited. Friday, the fifteenth of August, was a special day. It was not just her fourteenth birthday. She was also finally getting her braces off. In all honesty, she was more excited about getting the metal contraption removed than she was about the birthday. As far as she was concerned, birthdays come around every year, but it’s not every day that you get a new face.

She considered briefly that her new gleaming smile would attract a few boys, maybe a boyfriend? Okay, she didn’t want to get too carried away. There were more obstacles to getting a boyfriend that a mouthful of beautiful teeth couldn’t solve. At six feet tall, Paivi hoped there were more tall boys at St. Andrew High School than there had been at Riverview Junior High, otherwise she would be out of luck.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Help me Blogsplash and FBsplash for Into the Shadows!!!

A few people have asked how I plan to get the word out there about Into the Shadows and its release date (Monday, November 1st, just in case you forgot!).

But instead of sending out bookmarks and cards and swag and all nature of tangible things (which are all wonderful, of course), I'm going to stick with my strength, the one thing I'm really good at.  And that's using Facebook and my blog!

I happened upon author Talli Roland's article where she explained this awesome idea that she is using promote her new release.  It's called a Blogsplash.  It's a funny thing with ebooks, if you sell even a small number of ebooks on a given day on Amazon, it'll help your ebook move up the bestseller list.  How awesome would it be if we could give Into the Shadows a boost on its first day out?  I SO want to get into the top 100 for children's ebooks on Amazon!  My hope is that some of you will participate in my little experiment and help me get the word out.  If you'd like to participate, in addition to a Blogsplash, I'm also going to do a Facebooksplash! 

Into the Shadows - Chapter 11

Chapter Eleven
A Star Is Born

Butterflies crashed around inside Paivi’s stomach. St. Andrew High School was hosting the biggest girls’ basketball tournament in the area, and her team had made it to the championship game. The night before, Paivi had a vision that showed people cheering for her, but she was unable to see the events that led up to it. She woke up briefly and tried concentrating really hard on the game, like Christian had told her, but it didn’t work. She was a little nervous about her abilities as well. She was supposed to tell Christian the score of the Chicago-Green Bay game tomorrow, and she still hadn’t had any luck there, either. She had been a bit preoccupied with the tournament all week and in addition to that, her mind had been clouded with thoughts of Jason.

Maybe tonight after the game, I can focus a little more, she thought.