Pages

Friday, May 30, 2014

Otherborn Has a New Cover!



You guys might remember my post on the Otherborn series earlier this year. I was blown away by both books. Anyway, Otherborn has a brand new cover which I'll be sharing with you here. Please check out these books. They are totally awesome!

  



   

Author Bio:

Anna Silver is an author and artist living in the greater Houston area with her family, pets, and overactive imagination. Her art has been featured in the Houston gallery Las Manos Magicas. She studied English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. She's freelanced for private clients and small publications like the Hill Country Current. OTHERBORN, her first published novel, has been featured on 2 of Amazon's "Bestsellers" lists. ASTRAL TIDE is her second published novel.



Author Links:


Otherborn

London and her teenage friends live in a reprocessed world.

Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London has done the impossible and the illegal. She’s created something New- a song. But her mentor, club owner Pauly, is not impressed. Since the historic Energy Crisis forced everyone behind walls generations ago, the Tycoons have ensured there is truly nothing new allowed under the sun. Pauly warns London to keep her song to herself, if she knows what’s good for her.

What he doesn’t know is that London is keeping an even bigger secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. London’s band-mates and friends have begun dreaming as well, seeing themselves in “night pictures” as beings from another world. As Otherborn, they must piece together the story of their astral avatars, the Others, in order to save their world from a dreamless, hopeless future.

When Pauly is murdered and an Otherborn goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them down. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their dreams to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them? Will being Otherborn save their lives, or destroy them?

Book Links:


Otherborn book trailer on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fiWzY-jTRg


Cov

Otherborn first five chapters on Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/story/12024518-otherborn

Author Blurbs:

"Anna Silver weaves a dark new world full of taut suspense and characters that leap off the page." –Sophie Jordan, NYT bestselling author of the Firelight trilogy

"Travel to a world where dreaming is a radical act that can save the world… Anna Silver’s post-apocalyptic vision is rich with imagery and metaphysical ideas, grounded by vivid, three-dimensional characters. A truly fresh take on dystopian." –Nina Berry, author of the OTHERKIN series

“Silver built the right amount of conflict and tension to draw readers into her dystopian world, and created characters who are leery, yet determined to embrace New.” –Natasha Hanova, author of Edge of Truth

***

There is also a short prequel called DREAM BRAVE and the second book in the series, ASTRAL TIDE.

Check them out!






Thursday, May 22, 2014

Something Else Amazing Happened

So you guys might remember my What if Something Amazing Happens post which is my second most popular blog post ever. (The first most popular is the one about the Finding Claire Fletcher launch). At the time, I had finally found an agent after 4 years of rejection and I had been on submissions for over a year (and had 6 more months to go!) You can go back and read the post, but basically it's about not giving up even when going forward seems like utter madness. 

As you guys also know, my first two books, Finding Claire Fletcher and Aberration did finally get picked up by a publisher--a new, small press called Sapphire Star Publishing. I was ecstatic to have a publisher, and I've been extremely happy with SSP. I had a third book sitting around, waiting to be revised. I would have happily gone with SSP once more for that title, but last year they closed to submissions. Meaning, I'd have to do something else with my third book.





The success of my first two books, although extremely modest in the grand scheme of things, was still beyond all of my expectations. I felt like I had some momentum with the first two, and I didn't want to lose it. I didn't want to lose the interest of the readers I had picked up along the way. If I went traditional again, it would likely be years before the book would actually come out. There would be months of waiting for my agent to read it and suggest revisions. Likely years on submissions to publishers (I know, you're thinking why would you spend years on submissions to publishers when you've got two books out that are doing reasonably well for an unknown newbie, but let's not forget that this is ME. My history has taught me that whatever it is I'm trying to do--there is a greater likelihood of it taking years than not). Then if I was lucky enough to snag a publisher, I'd have to wait on their production schedule which, again, could be years. I didn't want to wait what could potentially turn into a half a decade to put out a book that was already essentially finished. So after many months of mulling it over and a couple of email exchanges with my agent, I chose to self-publish my third book, Hold Still.



Did I make a big announcement? A proclamation? No, I did not. Was I trying to hide my self-published status? Not at all. Since the most frequent question I got when I did get published by a traditional publisher was, "How much did that cost?" I figured that most people already assumed that I was self-published. When I did actually try telling people that I had decided to self-publish my third book, my announcement was usually met with a puzzled look, a shrug and an, "Oh. Okay. When's it coming out?" (Readers don't care nearly as much about the ins and outs of this industry as writers do. Readers just want a good freaking book. Period.) Since no one seemed to care one way or the other, I didn't feel the need to make a big thing of it. Also, I hadn't entirely ruled out using a publisher in the future, so I didn't want to make a big old declaration of independence since I had no idea what would happen. I might love self-publishing or I might hate it and swear it off forever. At the time, self-publishing was the fastest way to get my book to readers, so that's what I did. I published Hold Still and officially became a "hybrid" author. 

I did like it quite a bit. There's no beating the absolute control of publishing your own work. It's pretty amazing. I would say it's 70% joy and 30% sheer terror. The terror comes from the fact that you have no buffer between you and readers. If something in the book is horribly off, there's kind of no one else involved in the process with you to say, "Hey, you can't do that." You can do anything you want. Of course Hold Still went through a bunch of critique partners, beta readers and a few editors too, so by the time I was ready to hit publish, I felt pretty good about it. I was pretty happy having self-published. I liked it so much I figured I'd definitely do it again. 

Then something amazing happened. 



I got this email from a senior acquisitions editor from Thomas & Mercer, the mystery/suspense imprint of Amazon Publishing. She had read Hold Still, enjoyed it and wanted to acquire it for Thomas & Mercer's 2014 publication list (with an option on my next book). There were negotiations. There was a lot of re-checking my email inbox to make sure that email was still there and that it was actually real. There was some pinching myself. There was some waiting. Then there was a contract. And signatures. More pinching. And now . . .


WOO HOO!!!!

I can't wait to see where this amazing journey takes me next! Thank you to all my fabulous and wonderful family and friends who have been with me every step of the way! You guys are the greatest! And especially all of my amazing writer friends--you guys are the very, very, very best!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Post-Release Post #7: Marketing (Blog Tours)

I've had this post sitting here for a long time, waiting to be published. So here goes!

This post should really be called Marketing for the Indie Author because I'm pretty sure everything I'm about to say does not apply to authors published by Big 5 publishers or their imprints.  Although to be fair, authors pubbed by large houses still have to do a lot of marketing work via social media if they want to be successful.  I was going to do one post on Marketing but it turned out to be way, way, way too long, so I'm breaking it up into a couple of posts.  This one will focus on book bloggers/blog tours.

Anyway, since I am published by a small press that is not a division or imprint of a larger house, I'm considered an Indie author.  As I said in my Post-Release Post #5, most small presses offer little or no marketing. I'm not knocking them.  I'm just telling you.  That is a fact.  Believe me, if they had the budgets, they would want to offer a lot of marketing support, but they simply do not.  They also have limited distribution--meaning that your paperback will not be in bookstores or anywhere else unless you or someone you know goes through a lot of hoopla at each individual store to get them to carry it.  This was never really an issue for me because I think ebooks are where it's at. The only people I know who want paperbacks are my friends and family and that's only because they waited so damn long for me to be published that they like having a physical book in their hands--and almost all of them bought it and actually read it in ebook format anyway.  As I said in my Post-Release Post #6, when I am at signings and events, 9 out of 10 people who stop to peruse my books ask, "Is this available in ebook?"  Of course, royalty rates are higher on paperbacks because they cost more to produce.  Would I make more money if I sold a lot more paperbacks?  Absolutely.  Would I sell more paperbacks if I had them on the shelves of every bookstore in America?  Of course.  But I'm an Indie author.

So, what does this all mean?  It means that you, as an author, will be largely responsible for your own marketing.  I'm not saying small presses do nothing.  Plenty of them offer some marketing/advertising, including my own.  But if you want your book to get into the hands of more people, you'll end up looking at new avenues, new ways to promote it.  Some of these things will be free and others will cost money. If you're lucky to make a few bucks in royalties, I recommend putting it right back into your book.  Use it to buy an inexpensive ad or something.  See what happens.  You have to be careful though.  You don't want to spend more than you make.  At least I don't.

So what's out there for us Indie authors?

Well there are book bloggers.  Many of them can be approached directly by authors.  They will accept a free copy of your book (usually in ebook format) for a fair and honest review.  This doesn't cost you anything, but it is time-consuming to troll the internet for book bloggers and approach them.  Also, there is no guarantee that they really will review your book.  I would say out of 30 book bloggers I approached in the last year on my own (meaning they were not part of my paid blog tour) who agreed to read and review my book, four of them actually did.  Free is great but it can be time-consuming and unreliable.

There are blog tours.  If you're a regular blogger and blog visitor, you can set up your own at no cost to you with your blogging friends.  We all try to help each other out in this business so this isn't usually a problem.  I've never known any of my writer/blogger friends to let me down in terms of posting things.  I've heard so many conflicting things about blog tours though.  A lot of people say they're worthless.  But I really felt that all of mine were worth it.  Incidentally, I did my own blog tour with blogging/writing friends for my FCF launch and sold a lot of books.  I chose not to do that with my second novel, opting instead for a blog hop which was way more fun and a lot less work but I didn't sell nearly as many book as I did with the blog tour launch.  Can I really accurately attribute the difference in sales to the blog tour?  I don't know.  But I know when I did one, there were sales.  When I didn't, there were not.

Then there are paid blog tours.  I like the ones that offer reviews.  I had two for Aberration, one with a company that only offered 2 reviews in the entire 30 days and one with a company that offered 18 in 30 days.  The first company was all guest posts and interviews.  I had a lot more success with the 18 reviews than with the guest posts.  My advice in terms of blog tours is to ask around and see who has used which companies and whether they were satisfied with them. Shop around.  Look at authors who are currently touring with the company.  Are they in your genre?  Click through to their Amazon page.  What's their sales rank?  If they're halfway through a 30 day tour and their Amazon ranking is 500,000, that's not so great.  There are a ton of blog tour companies out there now.  Just make sure you shop around and do some research before you turn over your hard-earned money to one.  As I've said, a lot of people swear off blog tours, but I've always had success with them.

In my next posts on Marketing I'll talk about ads and then social media.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Shameless Promotion of My Fellow Authors: Nancy S. Thompson's Incredible New Release

This year has been kicking my ass. Lots of stuff going on at home. Lots to keep up with. So I am sorry I haven't been blogging much. Have to narrow my focus to try to keep up with everything. But I wanted to pop back in to let you know that one of my favorite authors and favorite people, the incomparable Nancy S. Thompson has just released her second book. It is a sequel to her brilliant first novel, The Mistaken and it is call LEVERAGE.


Here's the synopsis:

Four years ago, Tyler Karras’ quest to avenge his wife's death led to all out war with San Francisco's Russian Mafia. With the Bratva’s collapse and its king, Dmitri Chernov, long dead, all Ty wants now is to put it behind him and enjoy a second chance at life with his new bride, Hannah, and the child they're expecting any day. 

But Chernov's heir, Grigory Dmitriev, has returned, bitter and determined. He wants his kingdom back, and he's more than willing to leverage Ty's new family to get it. 

First he targets Conner, Ty’s brooding nineteen-year-old stepson, manipulating the boy into a vortex of sex, drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Then he turns his sights on Hannah. At eight months pregnant, she’s the ultimate bargaining chip. With both their lives in jeopardy, as well as his unborn child, Ty has little choice but to do as Grigory commands.

But Tyler swore he'd never kill again. He buried that monster four years ago and means to keep it that way. Grigory, however, makes that vow impossible to keep. 

With his new family on the line, Ty will cross further into the dark side than he ever has before, challenging everything he believes about himself, and forcing him to face the ghosts of his past. Only then will Ty discover if he has the strength to do the unspeakable, to sacrifice his last chance at redemption and save the lives of those he loves most.

Here is my review.

It is hard to imagine a book better than Thompson’s first thriller, The Mistaken, and for me, many sequels to my favorite books and movies fall flat, but with Leverage, Thompson deep sixes both of those concerns. Leverage is absolutely exquisite. As with The Mistaken, this book has it all—romance, thrills, intrigue, action, suspense, poignancy, and even some steamy sex scenes. What I love most about this book though is what I like to think of as The Gasp Factor, which Leverage has in spades. That means that Leverage made me gasp out loud several times while reading. It was one of those experiences where I felt like screaming, “Oh my God! I cannot believe that just happened! Holy #*$&!” and then I would look around, wanting immediately to tell someone what just happened in this amazing book. This book will take you on a wild thrill ride. At times, it is hard to watch these characters I have come to love so much being put through the ringer again, but the writing is so darn good and the plot so fascinating that you can’t help but plunge ahead, compulsively turning pages. The other thing I love about Leverage is that just when you think that Thompson cannot possibly raise the stakes any higher for these characters, she somehow manages to do it—with elegance. It is excellently plotted with several twists, turns and dirty secrets. This book has everything a truly great thriller should have and Thompson pulls it off effortlessly and flawlessly. She just gets better and better. Don’t miss this one. If I could give it 10 stars, I would!

******

Seriously, go get The Mistaken and then get Leverage! These are two of the very finest thrillers I've ever read. You will not be disappointed!

Get them here:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

P.S. Awesome cover, right? Nancy's cover artist is the same cover artist who did the cover for my third novel, Hold Still. So if you're looking for mind-blowing book covers designed by one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, get in touch with Carrie Butler over at Forward Authority Design!