Category Archives: indie publishing

WIP Wednesday – Eternal Mates Series and Unleash (Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series book 6) with Sneak Peek!

I’m talking about two different series today, and two rather different books. I finished the first draft of the first book in the Eternal Mates series on Saturday, and the completed book is around 94500 words. I wrote this first draft in a record 11 days, which is quite impressive, even if I do say so myself. I haven’t decided what I’m doing with it yet. I’ve been debating the future of the series and whether it will be another one I indie publish. The more I read about NYC and book contracts and publishers at the moment, the more reluctant I am to hand over this book. I’m not sure why I want an NYC deal now. Five years ago, when indie books were few and far between and ebooks were going nowhere slowly, NYC seemed fantastic and an amazing place to be. Now, I’m not so sure. I make a living as an indie writer, I have fantastic readers who are all amazingly supportive and always seem to be chomping at the bit for my next book. I’m not sure what NYC can offer me that I can’t do or achieve for myself. Do you guys care that I’m not a big NYC published author?

There are so many variables when it comes to NYC, and every chance that a book contract with them right now might limit what I can do as an indie, or may mean this series doesn’t end up as I envisaged it, or might end up never seeing the light of day for years, or ever.

It’s a tough decision, and one I’ll be thinking about while I work on the book. It may turn out that I decide to write the first three books of this series and the Guardians of Hades series, and release them in 2014, all 2 months apart or something crazy. Would you like that?

I haven’t worked on this next book this week really… but wanted to update everyone on it…



This week, I’ve been mainly focused on marketing work because I’ve been meaning to tackle it for some time now but never found the time, and I don’t want to go through this whole year without getting a better plan in place for my books and my career.

On Monday, I printed out Unleash (Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series book 6) and I’ll be beginning the second draft of the book next week, after reading this book at the weekend. I can’t wait to delve back into it and I’m really excited to see how it turned out. Hopefully, it won’t require too much work to get it into shape, but I know there are things I need to address in the book. Small things, but they’ll take time to fix up. Mainly description and detail stuff.

The reason I’m mentioning Unleash at all today is because I made a solemn vow on my Facebook fan page to consider posting a sneak peek of the book and since everyone has been so good, and so many of you are desperate for a tease of this book, I decided to post a snippet from the opening chapter…

As with all my sneak peeks, this is first draft, and yes… this is the opening of the whole book. Prepare for a cuteness overload though, as you’ll be seeing Snow in a whole new light.

Continue reading

Posted in Eternal Mates, Guardians of Hades, indie publishing, paranormal romance, Unleash, urban fantasy, Vampire Erotic Theatre, vampire romance, writing | 10 Comments

Why I will pursue an agent and a traditional publishing contract when the time is right

There’s been a lot of publishing doom and gloom over the past year, with countless websites telling us the end of traditional publishing and the big six is nigh, and the ebook boom will change the world. There have also been a few murmurs of the ebook bubble bursting and so forth, and a few people piping up with how once an author tastes the high life of self-published royalties, they’ll never go back to pursuing book contracts.

I, for one, am an author looking to have one foot in self-publishing and being indie, and the other firmly in a traditional contract with a big publisher.

I’m neither a naysayer nor a blind fool. I don’t think the ebook boom will cripple the publishing industry. They were caught on the back foot a little last year and hadn’t anticipated such a sharp rise to power by digital books or indie authors, but they are quickly catching on and will probably provide more competition this year. I don’t think ebooks will suddenly go pop and we’ll all go back to reading paperbacks. I also don’t believe that we’ll all go digital. My money is on half of readers turning to a mixture of digital and paperback books, and the other half remaining firmly away from technology and sticking with paper. If I see a book on offer in paperback format for cheaper than the ebook (not hard most of the time), I buy the paperback.

Now, many people think that authors who pursue traditional publishing deals are looking for validation. That’s not what I need from a book contract or an agent. I don’t need a publisher to make me feel that my books are worth reading or I’ve made it as a writer. The reviews I receive for my books and the support from my growing number of readers, and the fact that I sold over 155,000 books last year (note: Sold, not gave away for free. I also had over 50,000 free downloads too) is validation enough for me.

I have a plan as an author, and part of that plan includes finding a good agent and getting a great book contract because I want to reach a wider audience, people that I can’t reach at the moment through ebooks and expensive POD paperbacks alone. You know, the people who shop in bookstores or prefer mass-market paperbacks? In order to reach the widest audience possible, I need to have one foot in the indie world and one in the traditional world of publishing. I don’t care that I will probably make less money from the books I sign over to publishers. I care that I will have the power to reach more readers and touch more lives. I write books so I can reach readers and give them a few hours away from their daily lives. It’s the number of copies sold that excites me and keeps me writing, not the dollars and pounds flowing into my bank account.

I would never give up being an indie author though. I have paranormal romance series on the go at the moment, such as my popular Vampires Realm series that I write as F E Heaton or the extremely popular Her Angel series that I write as Felicity Heaton, that I will most probably keep as indie published series. I do have series that I will write soon that will be for the traditional publishing market. My reason for doing this is above, and the fact that I have always wanted to see my books published with someone big and that I believe they will be picked up. I’m not being conceited when I say that I have faith in my books and that my writing is good enough for a book contract with a major publisher. I’m sure all authors feel that to some degree or we wouldn’t pursue book deals at all.

But the time isn’t right for me yet. My four year plan that started last year is only entering phase two right now and it’s not until phase three and four that I intend to rope me an agent and then a publisher and wrangle them into submission. Of course, if a publisher or agent emailed me tomorrow and told me that they wanted to contract my books, I would seriously consider it. I don’t leap into things without looking at it from all angles first. Ask my husband. I took weeks to decide whether to contract my Her Angel series with a Spanish publisher before deciding that it would be a good move for my career. I just hope that this first translation deal leads to others as I’ve found I like the thought of big foreign publishers translating my indie books.

I’m digressing. I think the point of this was to let new writers and old see that you don’t have to join one camp or the other. If an author wants to get a traditional deal for her books, you don’t need to sneer at her and call her stupid. She’ll have reasons for what she’s doing and in the end it’s down to her. The same goes for an author who decides she only wants to be indie. Or someone who says they’ll only publish their books on Amazon Kindle. We all have reasons for doing what we do.

Mine is reaching readers, not making money… so I intend to make my mark in the indie publishing world and then rock the boat in the traditional publishing market.

If you’re a writer, what do you want for your books and what do you want from writing?

Posted in indie publishing, paranormal romance, writing | Comments Off on Why I will pursue an agent and a traditional publishing contract when the time is right

Indie publishing year in review – becoming a top 50 KDP author, signing a Spanish book deal, and more

I don’t often talk about my self-publishing adventure or my life as an indie author of paranormal romance books and the odd science fiction romance, but I thought that I would take a moment to talk about it as we head towards the final days of 2011, because other indies seem to be genuinely interested in it.

I get emails asking about my self-publishing story and I think I’ve spoken enough about it in the past on various blogs that most people know how I got to where I am today, so in this post I’m going to focus on 2011 only, with the odd flashback to 2010 and my life prior to the ebook boom, roaming the wastelands of the book publishing world in search of the mirage that was ebooks hitting the big time.

What happened in 2011?

2011 was the year that I would really begin my journey as an indie author. I didn’t really know it back at the end of 2010, at least not before that crazy Christmas week, and even then I didn’t have a clue as to just how things were going to change for me.

Prior to this year, I had been waiting for ebooks to make it big and for the world to sit up and take notice of them. I have been self-publishing my books since 2006, when I formed Alinar Publishing with fellow author Alexandra Marell / Candy Nicks. Our vision was to create a friendly umbrella company for a select few authors that we knew so we could publish our books on places like Fictionwise. The idea was that we would work as a cooperative, helping each other promote our books to a wider audience. Every year we heard that ebooks were going to make it big and every year we waited for it to happen. I sold well back in those days. Probably more books that most authors who were e-published. It’s nothing compared to what I sell now, or what most indie authors can. Times were hard, and they were difficult times to work through. There wasn’t a chance that a self-published author, or even most e-published ones, could live on their royalties. Of course, it’s a whole different world now for indie authors. It’s really not that difficult any more to make some money on your ebooks because there is now a platform and a market for them, and indie books are more widely accepted by review sites and readers.

To get a feel for why 2011 was going to be a monumental year for me, I need to go back to 2010 and a decision I made.

In July 2010, I sold a whopping 2000 books on Amazon. Considering that I had released nothing new for around a year because I had been pursuing finding an agent with a book I had been working on the previous year, this was impressive to me. That translated to around $2000 earned. I figured that I could just about scrape by on that and the royalties I received from Smashwords per quarter, and with new books coming out in August, October and November 2010 and then a steady flow after that, I would be able to survive with perhaps only a small amount of contracting as a web developer to top up my earnings. It would have been a definite drop from my £40,000 a year salary as a developer without the contracting but all of a sudden being a full-time writer was a possibility. I had always joked with my husband about staying at home and writing all day, and it was meant to be nothing more than something we would laugh over. It wasn’t supposed to become a reality. Sales went up and down, but by November I had crunched the figures a thousand times and decided that they were steady enough to provide a small income and that I could take a shot at it. If it all went wrong, I would go back to contracting and then eventually back into a full-time developer position.

So, in December I handed in my notice at the company I was working for in London. I was on a three month notice, so would have to wait it out until the end of February 2011 before I became a full-time indie author. I set aside what I could each month as a contingency fund to see me through the bleaker months. I am a realist after all. I don’t expect the ebook boom to last without a little backlash at some point. I’m still waiting for it to happen. I sit here every morning grabbing my daily sales figures, watching them like a hawk, and have done that since early 2010 when I first put my books on Amazon.

I don’t think anyone could have predicted what happened over the Christmas week in December 2010. Sales on Amazon tripled, and sales at other retailers I sell at via Smashwords also shot up. I think many indie authors on Amazon KDP were left gobsmacked by the sky-rocketing sales figures they were seeing and as we went into the New Year we were all left waiting for the bubble to burst. I know I was watching my figures wondering when they were going to return to normal.

Well, they didn’t. I went from selling around 2700 in November, to 4400 in December, and then 8300 in January 2011. It didn’t go down as I had expected. In February I came close to selling 10,000 books in one month on Amazon. Considering this was also the month where I was out of action for two weeks because of my ear operation, I was surprised to see the numbers still rising. I put it down to the fact that in January I released Love Immortal, a vampire romance novel, and in February Hunter’s Moon came out, which is the ninth book in my Vampires Realm series.

In March 2011, I became a full-time indie author. I had visions of just working a few hours a day on writing, as I had when working as a full-time web developer, but that just isn’t the way I work. I think I have worked around 8 to 11 hours a day since going full-time. That may seem crazy to some people, but it works for me and it allows me to do my writing and do everything else that I have set out to do in order to build my author platform. Believe me, even with that many hours put in each day, I am still behind on a multitude of things. March was also the month that I broke the 10k barrier of sales on Amazon.

I was receiving around $13,000 in royalties each month. I don’t tend to talk sales figures because I don’t like to feel I’m throwing it in people’s faces. I feel extremely fortunate that readers enjoy my books enough to keep buying them, and that all my hard work over the past five years as an indie author has begun to pay off. I try to tell myself that I have worked damned hard to achieve what I have and that I should probably be a little more proud of my achievements than I am. I know that some indie authors like to see how others more established than them are doing, so I hope this buoys them up and gives them a reason to keep pursuing their dream.

In March, I also made the decision to leave Alinar Publishing. It wasn’t an easy one to make because I had grown with the authors there but I felt it was time to focus on my own career so I could really make a go of it and wanted to move on. I don’t regret it. Life is too short for regrets. It was great while it lasted but it was also a lot of work and time for me that I felt was better spent on my own books and career. I no longer had the time to run another website. Not if I wanted to improve my own and do all the other things I had written down on my plan for the year, such as touring blogs with my books.

Settling in to life as a full-time indie author was hard at first. I remodelled my office, strove to find some harmony in working from home and headed to cafes whenever that wasn’t working, and often lost focus due to the internet. The internet is the bane of a writer. It sucks up your time and your productivity bombs.

In April I released my next book, Ascension, and kicked off my first official blog tour. I had done a few posts at blogs prior to this for my previous books, Love Immortal and Hunter’s Moon, but this was the first time I would be writing posts about my books, character interviews, and a ménage of other things all in a concentrated period. My blog tour basically lasted a year. I arranged dates throughout the entire year as I knew I would be releasing at least another three novels, one of which was the next book in a popular series of mine, Her Guardian Angel. I met some wonderful people at the book blogs and it was great working with them and getting to know them as I toured with each of my books, and touring their blogs again in 2012 is part of what I’m looking forward to most about the coming year.

It took me quite a while to find my balance as a full-time writer. I’m still not sure that I’ve found it but things began to improve in May, even though my sales figures had dipped again because I removed some books from sale in April.

In June, something incredible happened and I still smile whenever I think about it now. I received an email from a large Spanish publisher who were interested in translating some of my books. We discussed them all and they were quite settled on publishing my Her Angel series in Spanish. They had a few paranormal romance authors on their books already, such as Christine Feehan and Kresley Cole, and wanted my angel romances for the same imprint as the Christine Feehan books. I agreed and then we did the usual contract back and forth. I don’t have an agent at the moment, but I was lucky enough to have my friend Maria’s husband offer to take a look at the contract and his advice was invaluable.

We agreed on everything in the end and the first book, the anthology of my Her Angel novellas Her Dark Angel, Her Fallen Angel and Her Warrior Angel will be published in February 2012 with Booket. It’s very exciting not only because this is the first time I have received an advance from a publisher, but because I’ll get to see my heroes speaking Spanish and will see the books in large retail stores whenever I visit Barcelona and on top of that I designed the front cover image for the book too. I supplied a design idea for it when we were discussing the cover design they had come up with and they loved it.

So my life as an indie author was on the up. To celebrate the release of Her Guardian Angel at the very end of July, I put Her Dark Angel on offer at 99 cents on Amazon Kindle and some of the book blogs I had been working with were kind enough to promote the offer for me. Her Dark Angel sold 2000 copies in that first month, and went on to sell 3000 in the next two months. In total it sold close to 14,000 copies between January and November 2011 on Amazon Kindle, making it my best seller for the year and also pushing it into the best seller positions on Amazon. It was number 1 in paranormal romance on UK and US.

By the start of November and the release of Heart of Darkness, my sixth novel of the year, I had worked my way into the top 50 Amazon KDP authors and had sold over 100,000 books in 2011 under my two names of Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. I hadn’t really considered how well I was doing before this point. I wasn’t thinking about my book sales in terms of the year. It was a monthly thing for me and I wasn’t adding up the figures as I went, rolling one month into the next. I wasn’t even keeping track of how well particular books were doing. My focus was on total daily sales and trying to keep those on track.

I think the sales figures don’t just show my hard work and the benefit of new releases, but they reflect the increase in ebook sales in general too. In the whole of 2010, I sold 22,000 books at Amazon. Bearing in mind that I didn’t have my entire backlist of books added until summer 2010, I thought this figure was rather good. If December ends up like November, then I have experienced around a 550% increase in my book sales this year on Amazon alone. According to people like Bowker, ebook market share has increased by 10% this year. If a 10% increase in market share, plus the amount of hours I put into promotion, marketing and writing, and the steady number of releases I put out, equals a 550% increase in sales, then I think I shall probably do the same again next year! I only wish I could break into the Apple and BN market more. At the moment, around 79% of my book sales come from Amazon, and 21% come from other retailers. Around 10% of that is Apple, and probably around 5% is BN. I put the low BN numbers down to the fact that as a UK indie author, I can’t use their Pubit! scheme and that they promote Pubit! books more than they promote books from Smashwords etc.

But I digress.

In November, Forbidden Blood was nominated as Best PNR Vampire Romance 2011 at The Romance Reviews. I couldn’t compete with the authors I was up against, but was honoured to see my book there alongside Lara Adrian, J R Ward and Gena Showalter. It’s at this point I began to feel that I really was close to making it and living the dream I’d had about being an author. I adore those authors, and Christine Feehan. They are some of the top paranormal romance authors and it was thrilling to see my book there competing with theirs, and it will be thrilling to see my book in Spanish bookstores next to Christine Feehan next year.

As we head towards the New Year, I do feel as though I’m on the verge of making it. I have big plans for next year, for the next few years in fact, and will continue to pursue my dream and do all I can to make it happen. I’m realistic. I’ve never had fantastic luck like some people and a lot of making it big in publishing is luck. That isn’t going to stop me. With a lot of hard work and effort, good old fashioned elbow grease, I feel I can achieve anything that I put my mind to or set my heart on. I’m never one to back down from a challenge, so I’ll be striding into 2012 with my head held high and determined to beat the system and snatch a shot at my dreams.

What I’m taking away from 2011 isn’t about book sales or royalties though. It’s the sense that I can make it, that I have what it takes and I write books that people want to read and even fall in love with. That knowledge inspires me and gives me the strength to keep going, to keep pushing and keep trying. What I’m taking away from 2011 are all the kind words people have sent to me, whether it’s in emails, on Facebook or Twitter, or in reviews for my books. It’s all the laughs I’ve shared with the people I’ve met on Facebook. All the friendship offered to me by bloggers around the world who have taken a moment out of their busy schedules to host me on their blog or help me promote my books. I’m taking away the kindness I was shown by everyone I met, the appreciation and praise for my books, as that’s what gave me the most pleasure this year and that’s what will keep me writing in 2012 and for a long time to come. Being an author isn’t about book sales and royalties. I spent four years without much of those, but kept going because of the people I met and the love they showed my books. I write because I want to reach readers, not make a fast buck. I want to give something to people, a world full of possibilities and romance, and fantastic heroines and heroes they can fall in love with. I am thankful to everyone who has read my books, and doubly thankful to those who took a few minutes to let me know they had enjoyed them. I am grateful for all the friends I made in 2011, and I’m looking forward to stepping into 2012 with you all at my side.

If you’re an indie author with a question, or anyone with a question, feel free to leave it in the comments section and I’ll reply to you as soon as possible.

Posted in 2011 releases, indie publishing, writing | Comments Off on Indie publishing year in review – becoming a top 50 KDP author, signing a Spanish book deal, and more

270000 words written and 680000 words released as an indie author in 2011

I was thinking about how many words I had written since turning my hand to writing original fiction (around two million as of this moment) and how many of those I had released this year, and was curious about how many I had actually written this year. It turns out a lot less than I released, but that makes sense as I had a lot of books waiting in the wings for me to edit them and then publish them.

I know many will find the figures a little odd, but I don’t always rush to get books out the moment I have written them. Yes, I write fast, but I that doesn’t mean I’m in a hurry. I can easily write a 120,000 word novel in under a month, but that’s only because I have written a lot of books and my speed has picked up over the years and the stories. I often take around two to three times as long to go through the various editing stages of the book as I do to write it. A 120k novel normally takes me around 3-4 months from start to finish.

Technically, I wrote 270,000 words in 2011, and around 160,000 words of those are actually for books I’m releasing in 2012. Only one of my releases in 2011 was written this year, and that was Her Guardian Angel, the fourth book in my best selling angel romance series Her Angel.

The first drafts of Heart of Darkness and Hunter’s Moon were written in 2010, and the first drafts of Love Immortal, Ascension and Forbidden Blood were all written in 2009. I like to take my time when it comes to editing so I can do a quality job on it and really polish the book until it shines. There always tends to be a backlog of books in my editing pile, because my muse likes to throw new books at me and sometimes I give into his wicked whispers to write the book straight away, especially if it’s a novella.

So, while I may have only written 270k in 2011, I did publish closer to 680,000 words this year. The reason the figure is so high is because I published several paranormal romance novels whose word counts were in excess of 100k.

I think that 680,000 words is probably a record for me in terms of most words released in one year, and is probably a very high figure for any author to release in one year, even an indie author like me.

In 2012, I will probably be releasing two to three novels and four novellas, which will total around 350,000-400,000 words. I will also be writing other novels and novellas for 2013, so expect my writing figure to be a lot higher next year as I will be doing my best to get more books down in first draft for editing in 2013. I think my figures will probably be somewhat reversed next year, with the writing figure higher than the published figure.

Here’s a breakdown of my indie published releases this year, their genre, a little about them, and their word counts:

2011 Paranormal Romance Books

Felicity Heaton
Rescued from werewolves by the most breathtaking man she’s ever seen, Lauren is dragged into the fight of her life and a dark world she never knew existed. There, she discovers that she’s the latest reincarnation of a goddess and must drink the blood of her immortal protector, Julian, in order to reawaken and continue her three thousand year old mission to defeat Lycaon, the original werewolf.

With the help of Julian and an organisation of people with supernatural abilities, Lauren fights for her life, their future and the fate of mankind against Lycaon and his deadly army, but can she succeed when Lycaon has killed all of her predecessors?

Can she crack the armour around Julian’s heart and seize her happily forever after with him? And can Julian bring himself to trust Lauren with the fragments of his heart after everything he’s been through?

genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 157000 words
released: January 2011

Read a sample or find out where to buy @

F E Heaton
The horror of the night he failed to save his werewolf pack from the cruelty of their vampire masters has haunted Nicolae for one hundred years, driving him deep into the Canadian wilderness in search of peace. That peace is threatened when unfamiliar hunters and the scent of blood lead him to a beautiful woman and a hard decision—face his past and help her or risk losing everyone he cares about again.

Bearing a heart filled with grief and with vengeance on her mind, Tatyana is intent on killing the hunters she’s tracking and returning to her vampire bloodline, but her plan didn’t include being shot with poisoned arrows or rescued by a glowering alpha werewolf who stirs forbidden hunger in her.

When the hunters make their move, will Nicolae be able to stop them before it’s too late? Will he be able to overcome the darkness in his heart and embrace his desire for a vampire? And can Tatyana face her fears and risk her life for the sake of forbidden love?

genre: paranormal werewolf romance
length: 65000 words
released: February 2011
Book 9 in the Vampires Realm series

Read a sample or find out where to buy @’s%20Moon

Felicity Heaton
A witch on the verge of achieving phenomenal power, Lealandra must turn to her half-breed demon ex-lover Taig for protection from the dark force that is after her and also from her own magic.

With her Counter-Balance dead and her coven against her, Taig’s blood and power is the only thing that can help her control her magic and survive the ascension and gain the strength to defeat her enemy.

Old feelings come flooding back as Taig allows her into his world and Lealandra finds herself fighting not only for survival but to win his broken heart again and heal the pain in their past. Can he forgive her for walking out on him all those years ago and will he ever believe her when she tells him that he’s not a monster but the man that she loves?

genre: paranormal / urban fantasy romance
length: 91000 words
released: April 2011

Read a sample or find out where to buy @

Felicity Heaton
In a dark world where vampires exist and where Source Blood, a rare human blood type, can bestow godlike powers upon them, the vampire Venators of the Sovereignty fight to protect the humans by banishing those who drink it to the endless dark.

Exiled from his family and with only his duty to sustain him, Kearn has been on the trail of an elusive Source Blood abuser for three years. When he saves a beautiful human female from the vampire’s grasp, it turns out she’s the lead he’s been waiting for. Amber is a Source Blood and the perfect bait, but for who?

As they race to catch the vampire and survive the cruel games he plays, Amber is pulled deeper into Kearn’s world and discovers the painful secrets he hides behind his handsome but emotionless exterior—hurt that she has the power to heal if she is brave enough.

Forbidden Blood is a dark, sensual tale of betrayal, revenge and a love that knows no bounds.

genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 126000 words
released: June 2011

Read a sample or find out where to buy @

Felicity Heaton
A simple mission becomes a fight for survival in this fantastic instalment in the Her Angel series.

A guardian angel dedicated to his duty, Marcus will do whatever Heaven asks of him, but even his loyalty has its limits. When his superior orders him to gain Amelia’s trust through seduction, Marcus starts to question his mission and his feelings for the beautiful woman he has watched over since her birth.

Amelia has gone from one bad relationship to another, so when a gorgeous guy moves in next door looking like Mr Right, she hopes he doesn’t turn out to be another black knight in disguise. But there’s more to Marcus than meets the eye, and when he rescues her from three demonic men, Amelia is thrust into his nightmarish world—a world where God and the Devil exist, and only one angel can save her from death—Marcus, the angel she’s falling in love with.

On the run from demonic angels and the Devil himself, aided by Marcus’s angel friends and their amazing women, fighting for survival against the odds, Marcus and Amelia discover a love that will last forever.

A love so strong it will shake Heaven and Hell.

genre: paranormal angel romance
length: 110000 words
released: July 2011
Book 4 in the Her Angel series

Read a sample or find out where to buy @

Felicity Heaton
A vampire prince on a four hundred year old mission to avenge his murdered sister…

Aleksandr Nemov won’t stop until the last of the vampire hunter’s progeny is wiped from the Earth. Each kill has stolen a piece of his humanity, pushing him towards the black abyss all vampires hold within their hearts. Now he is teetering on the edge, close to devolving into a beast, and time is running out as he tracks the last hunter to Prague. There he finds a beautiful woman who could be his one chance for salvation, but is it already too late for him?

A vampire guard who will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves…

Elise is dedicated to her duty. It’s the only thing she has left. All that changes when she meets Aleksandr in Prague and her master grants him permission to stay at her bloodline’s mansion. She knows all about Aleksandr but none of it prepares her for how she feels when the legendary prince’s hunt becomes one for her heart. Elise battles him with all of her strength but can she stop herself from falling for the handsome hunter? When he reveals the depth of the corruption in his soul, will she have the strength to face the pain in her past and do whatever it takes to save him?

genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 130000 words
released: October 2011

Read a sample or find out where to buy @

Posted in 2011 releases, 2012 releases, indie publishing, writing | Comments Off on 270000 words written and 680000 words released as an indie author in 2011

indie authors and the digital publishing revolution

I’ve been thinking about e-books recently and the digital publishing revolution. The market is picking up so fast this year that it’s dizzying after the slow pace of the rise in ebook sales over the past five years.

Back in 2005, I started writing original fiction, and I was e-published with a now defunct publisher. Five years ago, we were apparently poised on the brink of the digital publishing revolution. We waited, but it didn’t happen. E-book sales were good if you had the readers or wrote the right sort of story, but it was nothing compared with now, and distribution was poor. Not many sites dealt with e-books. Readers mainly had the choice of the publisher’s website, Fictionwise, Diesel or Mobipocket.

E-publishers came and went, indie authors started to sprout up more and more, and the big distribution companies still argued about e-book formats and their e-readers, and publishers argued whether e-books were worth it at all. DRM debates were commonplace.

I became an independent author in 2006. Back then, we were labelled more commonly as self-published, and we were often outcast for it. Independent authors four years ago weren’t welcome at a lot of review sites, or on distribution channels. Myself and another author grouped up, and we formed Alinar Publishing with some author friends who were also looking to go indie. We believed that we could get our books edited just as well as the e-publishers were managing, could make covers that were just as good, and could sell more copies by ourselves, reaching a larger audience. It was true. We have had our ups and downs but we’ve managed to source editors, cover artists, and have built ourselves readerships. We even got ourselves distributed on Fictionwise. Back then, Fictionwise was everything. It was the best place to sell e-books, and it still contributes heavily to my book sales and market reach.

When Amazon opened its doors to indies and publishers alike, things moved swiftly and the digital revolution truly began. Smashwords joined in, bringing us a wider reach by allowing us to sell books on places like Kobo, Sony, and Barnes & Noble. Other places sat up and took notice. The indie revolution was well underway.

At least, it was if you were in the US.

Unfortunately, authors and publishers outside the US weren’t able to participate in the Kindle programme until earlier this year. The moment I could, I distributed a selection of my books on Kindle and Smashwords. Results were good once my pen names got off the ground in those two places, and they’re only getting better. E-books are going strong and even outselling hardbacks on Amazon.

iBookstore joined the Smashwords ranks, and Diesel, another large online ebook seller, has signed up too. I’m yet to see good results on iBookstore. For all the shouting about it, sales haven’t been amazing there, or at Barnes & Noble. Amazon is still the best place to be at the moment, with second place going to Fictionwise, and third to Kobo.

I haven’t been very active in promotion or marketing over the past year, so I’m yet to truly corner the market for paranormal romance books or science fiction romances. My focus on writing has taken me out of the game and I am only just starting to work on improving my platform and reach on the social networks that play such an important part in an authors marketing these days. Heck, I only signed up to Facebook in July and didn’t really start using it fully until August!

I think that digital publishing will grow, and that e-book sales will rise, but at the same time we face a bigger dilemma than lack of distribution now. Ease of distribution has led to many more writers deciding to self-publish. Unfortunately, with the good come the bad, and the terrible. Poorly edited stories are rife, as are books that are blatantly first drafts that haven’t even had a read through, or novels written by authors who have never studied the craft of plots, dialogue or creating characters that are more than one dimensional (or carbon copies of their favourite character in their favourite author’s novel). We’re all allowed our starter stories, but even those were edited.

Independent authors continue to struggle against the stigma attached to being self-published because of this reason alone. While we’ve been accepted at more review sites and blogs, and readers are giving us a chance to prove our worth, there’s still a lot of people and places out there who wouldn’t touch us with a barge pole. It’s something that we have to put up with for now and hope that in time the authors who give it their all and care about the product they’re producing will be noticed for what they’re worth. Hey, maybe if we’re lucky the bad writers will realise that those low sales and consistently poor ratings they get mean they should hit the drawing board and read some books on how to write, as well as a lot of novels, if they’re serious about being an author.

Another side effect of this rise in indie authors and indie publishing are those wanting to take advantage of our desire to reach a wider audience. Publishers Weekly recently announced that it would look at independently published novels and even review some if we paid a ridiculous sum of money. Of course, if they do feature or review you, you’ll be in a separate section away from the real books, as though you’re something that needs to be contained or you’ll contaminate the proper authors and their releases. There are distribution sites that want to charge you a similar sum for the pleasure of selling your e-books on their site, but they’ll still take a cut of your royalties too, and you have to make all the book formats. Why would an indie author pay to be distributed by a site when we can do it for free at so many places now? I just don’t understand that one.

I think there are still many hurdles to jump or fences to break down, but we’ll get there in the end, and I think that we’re here to stay now. Indie e-book authors were on shaky ground for years but it’s beginning to feel pretty solid beneath my feet. The future is bright for those who do things right and produce something good (and edited to the best of their capabilities/funding), and with 2011 pitched as the year e-books outsell paperbacks on Amazon, I can’t wait to see what it holds for independent authors!

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