Friday, July 4, 2014

Just Enough Knowledge to be Dangerous

June was an incredibly busy month.  There was editing, planning, creating messes, and then cleaning up of those messes.  A book was completed and a whole new series idea was born.  All that and I didn't even get to the beach!

Let me get you updated.

The final book in the Asylum Tales was revised and handed in to my editor.  She's pleased with the changes and we're plowing forward.  We are currently on schedule to make the first release date of October 14 for DEMON'S FURY, with the other two parts to follow on October 21 and October 28, respectively.  A short time later a short print run of the entire book will be released.

I have seen the covers for all three pieces of the serial and they are lovely.  We're still debating some wording on the covers and finalizing some little bits.  We are currently aiming for an official cover reveal for all three covers in late July.  I can't wait for you to see them.

While working on the book revisions, I have also been working on a complete website revamp.  I am planning to migrate the entire site to a Wordpress format because I've fallen in love with many of the plugins and other cool gadgets that just make everything easier to plan.  (Would you like to see what I've created?  Go to JocelynnDrakeblog.com)  It still needs some work and I'm trying to decide if I want to move everything on the original site over to the new one.  I'm hoping to have the new site officially launched before the end of summer.  So far, it's not been running as smoothly as I would have hoped, but then I'm kind of teaching myself this web stuff as I go.  At this point, I have just enough knowledge to be considered dangerous.  Wish me luck.

As I've revamp the website, I've come to realize that I've written a lot of content for both the Dark Days series and the Asylum Tales that have never been gathered in one place.  This weekend, I think I'll pull it all together and see how much I've got.  If it's relatively impressive, I might consider compiling it as extra e-books for each series -- though I would write some new content for the collection since I would be charging a $1 or $2 for it.  Maybe a couple new short stories for each series.  It's something to consider.

When I'm not working on the website, I have been tinkering with a new book idea.  I've been taking it slowly, getting to know the main character and her interesting quirks.  The first chapter came to me last night as I was drifting off to sleep, so I think I'm going to get some serious words on the page this weekend.  Along with that book, I'm going to try to finish Stefan's story this weekend.  I'm down to the climax and denouement -- less than 15,000 words.

When I'm not writing, I'm going to try afternoon thunderstorms while having a little fun.  I'm sad that I'm not back in Kentucky with my family where they are planning to create some awesome explosions, but I have a business trip in a couple weeks to look forward to.  If I can sneak away, I will try to leave behind some signed books.

For all my American readers, Happy Independence Day! Be safe and have fun!  To all my readers, have a great weekend.  Read a good book.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Details for Asylum Tales: The Demon Stories

I am editing and editing and editing... and I'm nearly done. I've turned in the revised copies of DEMON'S FURY and DEMON'S VOW to my editor this weekend. I am now steadily chugging through my changes to INNER DEMON.

The change in format for the Gage books has created a lot of questions and I'm going to try to answer them as clearly as possible.  Let's go:

1. Are there going to be more Gage books?

The stories released in October 2014 will be the last Asylum Tales books from Gage's point of view -- at least as I see it now.  All the Gage stories are (in chronological order):
The Asylum Interviews: Bronx
The Asylum Interviews: Trixie
Angel's Ink
Dead Man's Deal
Of Monster and Men (in the Blood by Moonlight anthology)
Demon's Fury
Demon's Vow
Inner Demon

2. Are the Demon stories 3 different stories?

No. The Demons stories are part of a serial. In other words, it is one final book that has been broken up into three parts.  If you'd like to read more about the rise of serial stories, click here for a great article from Literary Escapism. When combined, the Demon stories will be roughly the same length as Angel's Ink or Dead Man's Deal.

3. Are the Demon stories only available as an ebook?

No. I just received the news that after all three parts have been released, you will be able to buy the Demon stories in one combined print book. It will be similar to what my publisher did for Bound to Me. It is my understanding that the book will be available in brick-and-mortar stores as well as online.

4. Why are you releasing the last book as a serial?

My publisher has seen the growing success of serials among the different genres and they decided to try it with my book to see if it would attract more readers.  A large number of authors have tried serials and I am excited to see if readers enjoy the different format.  For more serial stories, click here.

5. When are the stories being released?

The ebooks for :
Demon's Fury is out October 14
Demon's Vow is out October 21
Inner Demon is out October 28.
I don't have the release date for the print version yet, but I believe it is typically released about a month after the ebook versions come out. I will update you on the release date as soon as I know.

6. When are you going to release a cover?

As soon as I see one! I am hoping to get a peek at the cover within the next month.

7. If you're done writing Asylum Tales, what are you working on next?

I've got a few projects that I'm close to finishing, but not sold yet. After I complete the edits on Inner Demon, I am turning my attention to finishing my website redesign and then finishing two projects that need about 25,000 words combined.  After that, all my attention goes to working on a new urban fantasy series. I've got some ideas and I've started making some worldbuilding notes.  I can't wait to get some words on the page!

Got any more questions for me? I'd be happy to answer them.  Happy reading.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Contest Winner, Book Deal, and Weekend Fun

Welcome to the weekend! It's time for book deals, contest winners, and fun times.  Let's get down to business.

To celebrate the release of the final Asylum Tales story, I am giving away the entire series. And the winner is ...

Jenny Clemmons!

Jenny, please shoot me an email at JocelynnDOTdrakeATgmailDOTcom. If you want the print prize pack, I need your mailing address.  If you'd like the digital prize pack, I need the email address you'd like me to use.

In the meantime, I've got a great book deal for you! Dead Man's Deal, the second novel in the Asylum Tales series, is on sale for only $1.99 for the digital ebook.  If you haven't tried bit yet, now is a great time to get caught up before the release of the final book.

What's more, if you have a tablet, now is a great time to consider trying a different ebook vendor. Yep! Did you know you can get an app for Kindle, Kobo, or Nook books for free?  Sure.  That way, if one bookseller doesn't have what you're looking for, you're always prepared with a back-up.  (If you'd to read more about all your reading and  book buying options, click here.)

Dead Man's Deal links:
Nook
Kobo
Kindle
iBooks
Google ebooks

I understand when money is tight! Did you know I've got some other stories available for less than $2?  How about:

The Asylum Interviews: Bronx
Kindle   Nook  Kobo  iBooks   Google ebooks

The Asylum Interviews: Trixie
Kindle  Nook  Kobo  iBooks   Google ebooks

The Dead the Damned and the Forgotten
Kindle  Nook  Kobo  iBooks   Google ebooks

Bound to Me
Kindle  Nook  Kobo  iBooks   Google ebooks

There you go! You're set for the weekend.  While you're busy reading, I'm going to finish my edits on the final book of the Asylum Tales for my editor and then I think I will watch a little Doctor Who.  I'm on the third season and adjusting to the Doctor's new companion.  It's a slow adjustment period for me.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Empowering the Reader in the Book Battle: Where to Buy Books Now

Amazon vs. Hachette: The first battle in a larger war between Amazon and traditional New York publishing. Sides have been staked out and there's plenty you can read online from either point of view.  I have listed a few examples below:

New York Times: Amazon vs. Hachette: When does Discouragement become Misrepresentation?
Hugh Howey: Amazon and Hachette Go To War
Publisher's Weekly: Much at Stake in Amazon-HBG Fight
Huffington Post: Amazon vs. Hachette: A Custody Battle of for the Future of Books
Fortune: In a standoff between Amazon and Hachette, the customer comes last
The Atlantic: How the Amazon-Hachette Fight Could Shape the Future of Ideas

And on and on and on.  If you don't like those sources, a couple minutes with your favorite search engine can turn up a few dozen more articles.  In this fight, authors have become bargaining chips and cannon fodder.  Reader are collateral damage in the fight for what's "right and fair." As an author, I'm obviously biased and I'm not going to try to define what's "right and fair" for authors, publishers, booksellers, and readers. (Hell, if you locked the four groups in a room together for the next 20 years, we still couldn't agree on exactly what is "fair and right" for everyone.)

I'm not here to debate any of that -- interesting though it may be.  I'm here to put the power back into the hands of readers. Do you know you have options beyond Amazon for ebooks? Do you know you have options beyond Barnes & Noble for brick-and-mortar stores?

(Now don't get me wrong.  There are plenty of great deals, options, and perks from each of them. But as they fight their wars with New York publishers, each has hurt the reader - Amazon has made it difficult to get Hachette books and Barnes & Noble has created difficulties getting Simon & Schuster books.  And I sincerely believe that these are not going to be isolated incidents.)

I know that I got into a rut with one source for books. My favored source was quick, easy, and had good prices. But should that bookseller be my only source?  With this battle continuing, it doesn't appear to be a good idea any longer. As a reader, are you aware of all the options you have available to you? (I'm going to assume you have enough respect for me and other authors not to download illegal copies.)

I invite you to go on an adventure with me.  Let's dig for some killer sources of books - both print and digital.

Unlimited Reading -- free or for a monthly fee

Public Library

For access to free books, your best source is the public library.  When was the last time you checked out your local library? Did you know that most now have ebooks, many loan out ereaders, and you can get on a book waiting list online?  If they don't have what you want, a lot of libraries now make it possible to submit suggestions for books you'd like them to get online.  Next time you're longing for something new to read, take a minute to pop onto your library online and see what options they have available.

Scribd and Oyster: the Netflix of Books

How about unlimited access to digital books for a flat monthly fee?  Scribd and Oyster both boast libraries of more than 100,000 books each.  For either, you pay a flat monthly fee and have access to all the books they have.  Not bad.  Sure, there are holes in their libraries, but both are relatively young services. (Remember Netflix in the early days -- particularly their streaming service -- there was a lot missing there too but it improved as new deals were made.) I have a feeling their offerings will continue to grow as time passes and demand grows.

If you would like to see some unbiased reviews, check out:

All Things D
CNN Money

And if you're still not sure, it looks like both allow you to do a free trial.  If you love ebooks, it might be worth your time to give them a try.

The Wide World of Electronic Books

Amazon certainly became the center of the Electronic Book World fast, but they're not the only game in town. One of the benefits with Amazon was that no matter what tablet or ereader you had, you could always add the Kindle app for free, allowing you to buy books via Amazon and read them in the Kindle app.  It took a while, but many other developers/booksellers caught on to this game.  If one bookseller is going to make it hard to get the book you want, is it such a bad idea to have a back-up in place so you can get exactly what you want? Here are some options:

iBooks -- only available on Apple products
Barnes & Noble Nook app
Kobo app
Google Books app
Kindle app

Are these your only options? Heck no! But it's a good starting place. There are plenty of articles out there about ereader apps, such as: 10 Best Reader Apps.

Print Books: When You Long for the Feel of Paper

When I was living in Kentucky, I fell in love with my local Borders store. It was close, had a great selection, and had good prices.  And then it closed, breaking my heart.  It wasn't long after that Joseph-Beth Booksellers moved in and I was in heaven once again.  And then I moved.  Whether you prefer to have a physical copy in your hands or just like browsing through a bookstore for new books, you should know what your options are.

Indie Bookstores: A Hidden Treasure

Independent Bookstores can be a secret treasure.  They are usually staffed by people who love reading as much as you, can suggest authors you might not have heard of, and have the added bonus of benefiting the community that you call home.  One added cool thing is that many specialize, such as Indie book stores that specialize in crime or romance.  Does your area have an Indie book store?  Do a quick search online.  Consider stopping in and checking one out when you're running errands this weekend. You might be pleasantly surprised.

What if you prefer to do you book shopping online but still want to support Indie bookstores?  Well, my dear reader, I've got a site for you.  IndieBound.

IndieBound can help connect you with hundreds of independent bookstores that can get that book you're looking for in your hands. Next time you're thinking you'd like to buy a book or two, check them out. What's more, a number of Indie booksellers also sell ebooks and ereaders.


Brick-and-Mortar Stores ... and More

With the closing of Borders and even Barnes & Noble shuttering some of its locations, it can seem a daunting task to find alternative places to buy books, but there still are plenty of options out there and so many are more than happy to ship to you.  What's more, many place offer ebooks as well as print books. Have you tried:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Bookish
Books - A - Million
Book Depository
Powell's

What Options Have You Tried?

As you may have guessed, this is only the tip of the iceberg of what's out there when it comes to finding avenues to obtaining the types of books you love.  With the battles continuing between the booksellers and the book publishers, there are going to be times when it is hard to find the author that you love or the book you've been waiting months to get your hands on. Don't let yourself get screwed by being caught in the middle.  Have a back-up plan. Try out some other avenues now. If you like ebooks, have a few apps at your fingertips so you're never without your favorite book. If you like print books, try out several vendors.  Put the power back into the hands of readers!

A Special Request for Bloggers

Book bloggers provide special and valued services. You have the ability to reach out to hundred and thousands of avid readers.  You help readers discover authors and books they may never have heard of.  You convince readers to try books they may never have considered on their own. You entertain, inform, and guide readers through the publishing jungle.

Now I have humble request. With the ongoing war, I submit that now is a great time to try out new avenues of acquiring books and tell your readers about it.  Is there a bookseller you love?  Why?  Have you completed the free trial of Scribd or Oyster?  What did you think?  I know many get advanced reader copies from sites like Edelweiss, but what do you do when you actually buy a book for yourself?  I think your readers would really appreciate the information from a trusted, impartial source.

And for my blog readers, is there a source for books that I didn't mention that you love?  Do you love to buy books from eBay? Or is there a bookseller you think I should have mentioned?  Please leave a comment. Other readers would love to know.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Titles for Asylum Tales Serial

It's time to find out all the book titles for the Asylum Tales serial that is released in October!  I will also be announcing the winner of my last contest and kicking off a final contest to celebrate.

So, the winner of the signed Dead Man's Deal giveaway is: BN100, who said that he/she would like a butterfly tattoo if he/she was to get a tattoo. BN100, I will send you an email later today.

Now, on to the final title of the three-part serial that will be the final book of the Asylum Tales series.

The titles are:

Demon's Fury
Demon's Vow 
and
Inner Demon

As I've said before, I think the demon theme works with the Angel and Dead Man from the first two books.  You'd think I'd planned this or something. (he he he!)

I'm excited for readers to get their hands on the story in October but I'm sad to say goodbye to dear Gage and the rest of the gang.  I've had a lot of fun writing the series and exploring his world.  As for the last book, it will be filled with action, adventure, surprises, laughs and heartache.  But then, you've come to expect that from my books, right?

Let's see what I can say about the final books without giving too much away:

Following the events of Dead Man's Deal, Gage is working with Gideon to track down a dangerous serial killer as he works his way closer and closer to Low Town. At the same time, Gage has been drawn into a TAPSS investigation after a tattoo artist is murdered in Low Town.

By the end of the book, Gage answers the question of how far will you go to protect the ones you love...

Interested?

In the meantime, let's have a contest to get you ready for the release!  The contest is open to international and domestic readers.  To enter, tell me your favorite romantic couple in literature.  The contest closes on Thursday, June 5.  The winner will have a choice of prizes.

Prize A: A signed copy of Angel's Ink, a signed copy of Dead Man's Deal, and a signed copy of the Blood by Moonlight anthology.

Prize B: Ebook copies of Angel's Ink, Dead Man's Deal, the Asylum Interviews: Bronx, the Asylum Interviews: Trixie, and Blood by Moonlight. (The ebook copies will come from either Amazon for Kindle or Barnes & Noble for Nook -- unless you can provide me with an alternative that allows me to gift. Also, if an international winner picks this and I am unable to provide electronic copies due to international complications, then the winner will automatically receive Prize A)