Kindle Scout Campaign Update

 

CJ_FWF twitter promo2 copy

Only six days left! I am using my limited Photoshop skills to create a new graphic for the last three days. Any feedback on changes to improve the above image will be appreciated. However, remember my skills are limited.

Links

The first book in the series, Cordelia’s Journey,  will be on a free promotion from April 28-30 only.

For Want of a Father is up for nomination for publication on Kindle Scout until April 30. If Kindle chooses this book for publication, you will receive a free copy of the e-book. If you like American frontier family fiction, take this opportunity to make your reading preferences known.

To everyone who has already nominated For Want of a Father, thank you. Also, a big thanks to those who have re-tweeted my Twitter posts and shared my Facebook posts. My Kindle Scout campaign has had 195 unique viewers so far. I’ll give a final report at the end of the campaign. Also, Kindle Scout will send an e-mail to all who nominate the book, letting you know whether the novel has been selected for publication.

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For Want of a Father’s Kindle Scout Campaign

For Want of a Father Final Cover

 

In January, 2016, I made a New Year’s resolution to submit For Want of a Father to Kindle Scout by March 29, and to campaign for the book’s publication. I have met the first deadline, my submission materials have been approved, and the campaign will be live on Kindle Scout from April 1 – April 30, 2016.

For Want of a Father needs your vote.

Now it time for the campaign. Kindle Scout gives readers the opportunity to nominate books for publication. Like the current presidential campaigns, a nomination does not guarantee the outcome, but votes/nominations matter in the final selection process. If you would like to see more frontier family fiction, your nomination may help that happen. As I recently told some friends, I’d like to see frontier family fiction become “hotter than Harry Potter.”

What happens after the nomination period?

After April 30, the end of the campaign, Kindle Scout will take approximately two weeks to review the submission and decide on whether to publish. Once their decision has been reached, those who nominated the book will receive an e-mail giving the results: publish or not publish. If Kindle Scout says no, I will still publish the book on my own, so you will be able to get a copy. If Kindle Scout says yes, then you will get an e-book copy free when the book is released.

Hot and Trending

I appreciate any nomination at any time during the campaign, but in order to gain maximum exposure, I am trying to get as many votes as possible during the first five days: April 1-5. A rush of votes during a short period will put the book in a separate category, “Hot and Trending,” and give it more exposure. To encourage readers to do this, I have put the first book in the series, Cordelia’s Journey, on a free promotion during that time. So please nominate For Want of a Father and download a free e-book copy of Cordelia’s Journey April 1-5. Note: You do not need a Kindle to download a free e-book. You can get a free ap on Kindle book pages that will allow you to read a Kindle book on your computer, tablet, or other device.

Nano Novel: Revision Steps

My second course commitment for December

In my previous post, I said I had committed to two new courses. The first is Blogging 201: Branding and Growth, which was the subject of Monday’s post. Today, I’m discussing the second course commitment, Joan Dempsey’s course on revising fiction. Through the course, she has made some excellent suggestions on determining the revising method that works best for an individual writer. While it’s too late to join her course, you can find the videos on YouTube.

How I Revise

Reading for Story

I start with chapter one and read straight through, making notes on each chapter. I list the characters in the scene and make sure their motives are clear and the scene contains conflict that moves the story forward. Since this is the second book in the series, I need to make sure readers do not have to have read the first book in order to fully understand what is happening and why. At some point, I will need beta readers who have not read the first book to ensure I have reached that clarity. Any volunteers?

Checking Character and Point of View

I am using first person point of view in the Pierce Family Saga. That means I must have an intimate understanding of each character’s background and motives. Some characters, such as Cordelia and Lucy, I know from the first book in the series, Cordelia’s Journey. However, these characters are now four years older. The relationships and world views of the characters have changed. Their biographies need to be updated. Since I wrote For Want of a Father during NaNo with only a general idea of the story, I created characters on the fly, characters I know almost nothing about. During the revision, I will be learning much more about each of the characters and deciding which ones will go on to the third book in the series.

Checking Dialogue and Description

For me, dialogue and description are important tools for conveying character and conflict, so I will work on both as I read each chapter. When it comes to setting, I describe only those things that matter to my point-of-view character. If there is no reason for my character to notice a gun or a fireplace or a team of horses, it will not be in the story. I don’t want to slow down story for the sake of providing details. Every detail is important to what is happening at that moment and/or during the final scenes of the book.

Submitting to my Critique Group

Before submitting revised chapters to my critique group, I try to make the writing as perfect as I can. That doesn’t mean I don’t have faulty sentences and needless repetition. It simply means I try to make the writing the best I can do at that moment, so my critique partners aren’t so distracted by sentence level issues that they can’t feel the story.

Deciding the Number of Revisions

There is no set number of revisions to make. The process is complete only when formatting and sentence level errors have been eliminated, and the joy and sadness, laughter and tears felt by the characters are so clearly depicted that they touch readers’ hearts.

Comments, Please

If you are a reader of novels, what makes a story memorable and satisfying for you?

If you are a writer, what are some of your revision methods?

Cordelia_final front_cover copy

Cordelia’s Journey is available as an e-book on Amazon

or as a paperback on Create Space.

 

 

 

 

 

What Do Readers Want?

Here it is, a new month, and I am taking two more courses. The first is Blogging 201: Branding and Growth. That course is the reason I am writing this post. Our first assignment is to set three goals for the blog. Before setting those goals, we are to think about the purpose of the blog and what a successful blog would be in our wildest dreams.

Purpose of the blog

I’m writing a family saga, and I set up this blog to generate interest in the books before, after, and in-between publication. The first book, Cordelia’s Journey, is set in 1855 in Kansas Territory. It was published in October, 2015. I completed a rough draft of the second book, For Want of a Father, set in 1859, during this year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). As I begin the revision of that book, I am wondering what part of the process readers might find interesting. What topics would appeal to readers, and just who are those readers?

Audience

I see my readers as people who enjoy stories about family, faith, and friendship in an American frontier setting. The main characters are young, but I see all ages as possible readers. The main character in Cordelia’s Journey is 13. In For Want of a Father, my novel in progress, there are two main characters, one thirteen, and the second seventeen. They are both female, so girls and women will probably find the book more appealing than boys and men, which means girls and women age twelve and up are the most likely readers of the blog.  However, the third book, which is in the planning stages, will be set in the Civil War and have three main characters, a girl of fifteen, a boy of sixteen, and a young woman of nineteen. In each new book in the series, the characters will mature, so the audience may broaden in age and gender as new books are added.

What do readers want?

I have published about a dozen posts to this blog already, but I don’t have many readers yet, so I haven’t had much feedback. I’m listing some ideas for posts below and would like your reactions. What topics, if any, would catch your interest and cause you to follow the blog?

Possible blog topics

  • Character biographies: What do the characters want and why?
  • Family relationships: who gets along and who doesn’t?
  • Quotations from actual newspapers of the times about the general events the characters face
  • Slang words of the day
  • Research and revision methods: the process of writing historical novels

Help! Do you find any of the topics above appealing? Can you suggest some I haven’t listed? Please leave a comment and let me know.

As for my wildest dreams, let the Pierce family become as popular as Harry Potter.

Cordelia's Journey now available in e-book and paperback on Amazon
Cordelia’s Journey now available in e-book and paperback on Amazon

 

 

 

 

Farmers Market Preparation

Book display practice
Book display practice

I’ve been spending the morning preparing for tomorrow’s Emporia Farmers Market. This is my first time as a vendor, and I’m trying to make sure I have everything. This first thing was to decide on the books to take and how to display them, so I tried out an arrangement at home. One possibility is pictured above. Cordelia’s Journey is in the middle.

I like the order the books are in on the table, but I think I’ll move them back a few inches and put a little more space between books to make room for the business cards in one space and maybe a dish of peppermints in the second space.

In addition to choosing the books, I’ve priced them and packed them in the car. I also updated my business cards. When the cards were printed, I didn’t have this blog, so I used address labels to put new blog and contact information on the back. I got change from the bank yesterday. All that’s left is working on my autograph. Any book signing suggestions?

I almost forgot to tell you: The Emporia Farmers Market is Saturday, December 5 from 10 a.m. to noon at 727 Commercial in Emporia, Kansas. There are two additional market dates this month: December 10 from 8 p.m. to midnight and December 19 from 8 a.m. to noon. As you can see on the webpage, several authors are participating.

Can you think of anything I’ve forgotten? Leave a comment and let me know.

Cover Done and Paperback Published

Cordelia's Journey available in paperback on Amazon and Create Space.
Cordelia’s Journey available in paperback on Amazon and Create Space.

 

Thank you to Bonnie for taking the scenery photo and designing the cover, Arlene for taking the picture of the model, and Vicki for being the model. These same women and Bess, my friend in Boulder, spent many hours proofing my book. Also, thank you to Wes, an online critique partner, for his suggestions during the development of the novel. What? A guy? Yes, there was male input, too.

I am now working on the e-book format, which should be on Kindle by next week.

Coming Soon: Cordelia’s Journey

At last! The Kansas Authors Club convention is over, and I can write about Cordelia’s Journey, the first book in the Pierce Family Saga by title. I had entered the club’s first pages of a novel contest. Submissions were supposed to be anonymous, and my understanding was I couldn’t publish my connection to the book on the Internet until the convention was over, which was October 4. I am proud to say the novel received an honorable mention.

KAC 2015 award

Cordelia’s Journey is a coming-of-age novel set in Kansas Territory in 1855. It traces a thirteen-year-old runaway girl’s 150-mile journey down the Kansas River. Destination: her aunt in Westport, Missouri. Goal: To enlist her aunt in returning home with her in an attempt to save her mother’s life. Fear of discovery and a lack of funds slow her down, even as events on the trail shock her into breaking her word and finding quicker transportation.

My original launch date was planned for October 20, 2015. However, cover issues have made me move that date to October 25, 2015. If the permanent cover is still unavailable at that time, I will go forward using Create Space’s cover creator and shift to the final cover when it is finished. I love print on demand and the flexibility of making changes when needed.