romance author

Old cover vs new cover!

So, the last time I posted here was about two months ago and I said at the time I was coming to the end of my endless stream of delivery men, etc, and yep, you know it, I jinxed myself totally.

My new house (new to me, since it’s 50+ years old), has now had every appliance in the kitchen replaced, also the washer and dryer, and a new water heater. The roof is still on the list, but with all of the former items and a few other mundane things not related to the house, my plans have outrun my cash reserves. The roof is coming soon for sure, but I am hoping my book gets re-released first LOL!

So, I opted to pay a company to redo my original cover, mainly because there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day lately AND I got this coupon code for 50% off on both ebook cover and print cover and interior formatting too, so I’m paying $250 for this makeover, and I’m hoping it will be worth it. I figure that if I’m supposed to be treating this writing thing as a business, then I have to be willing to invest in this business and if the book looks good then that will really help.

My original cover looked like it was made on the KDP cover creator, and that’s because it was. I did purchase the background art from Dreamstime.com, and I sent that to the cover designer and said for them to try that and to try something of their own making too. In the end, that background art just happened to be available on Shutterstock.com too, which is the service they use for their images, so it worked out great as I was able to send them the link to the image I had bought elsewhere.

So this was my original cover:

As you can see it looks a little blurry around the edges of the writing, and even in reality, printed on a book, it just wasn’t as sharp as I was hoping.

Now, for the big reveal of what should be the final cover (give or take a few tweaks here and there):

I mean, hello baby, you’re looking GOOD!

The same background artwork in the hands of a talented cover designer at http://www.100covers.com and wow!

By the way, I get nothing from this company for promoting their services, I just think the improvement in the cover design for the ebook speaks for itself, and if you just do an ebook cover it’s $100, and then you can get 50% off sometimes too, so $50 for a great ebook cover that looks professional and will definitely help you grab a reader’s attention? Can you say no-brainer?!

I’m hoping to get the interior reformatted too and be able to re-release the ebook and print version on KDP by the beginning of November and I’m getting very excited as I want to enter it into a couple of competitions too and the better it looks, the better my chances of getting someone to pay attention.

Now, I must go do more mundane things, like laundry and grocery shopping, then later, a final walk through edit before I send the manuscript off to be re-formatted!

As always, questions and comments are encouraged!

Peace out!

romance author

It’s been almost 4 months since my last post!

Well, four months ago my house was about to go up for sale and life was a crazy mess of activity, and then in just FIVE DAYS my house sold and we were packing like crazy, storing stuff because we had no new home to go to, and wondering if we could find a new home in time for the new school year.

WE DID IT!

Boy, was it hard work. We moved out of our old home in the last week of June and into a hotel in Fairfax, VA. We stayed in that hotel for a week initially and then extended the stay there because the hotel was so nice (Hyatt Fairfax). We ended up being there for about a month because we made an offer on our new home basically the week we closed the sale of our old home and then we were able to close on the new home in a little under 4 weeks – it’s amazing what can be achieved when you’re motivated enough.

So we moved in, in late July, and it’s 4 weeks later and we are still not totally unpacked and we are doing the thing everyone does, finding stuff that we didn’t even realize we packed, donating so much stuff we should never have brought with us, and finding creative ways to find space in the new house which is about 1500 square feet smaller than the old house.

The office is my favorite room – loads of book shelves built in and a desk for my writing and lots of drawers for storage – I have to say I haven’t gotten back to my writing yet – but I’m working on a new cover design for the first book, and already in the planning stages for the second book in the series.

My daughter is in her new school, and so far, it seems like a great fit for her, so that makes my heart happy.

Apart from the house needing a new roof, I think I am at the end of my endless stream of delivery men and installation people and electricians etc. Just need to get all the unpacking done and all the donating finished and then I can concentrate again. I find mess and boxes very detrimental to my creativity, LOL!

I think I said in my last post, that the world seemed to be spinning so fast around me with so much to do, that it was hard to keep up. Well, the world is spinning a little slower lately, and things are settling down.

I hope this move proves to be THE pivotal move in my life – I really want to feel settled and I want for my daughter to feel like she belongs and that this is her home now.

So far, so good – let me know how your life is going – what are your challenges?

And finally, happy reading everyone!

My next post will feature the new VS old cover design!

Later Dudes!

author, family, manuscript, romance author, Romance novel, romance writer, Self-published, writer

Do you ever feel the world is spinning too fast and you might fall off?

My life at the moment is going at full pelt and there are so many things going on right now, that have nothing to do with writing, that I’m just not mentally capable of creating anything.

My house is about to go up for sale – finally – so it’s all hands on deck to make sure everything is ready for the photographer to come in and take photos that will help sell my home.

I just finished painting, carpeting, cleaning, etc, etc, and it’s basically the end of the prep work and then onto the maintenance while we sell. It will be official this weekend and I have no idea how long it will take to sell, although it is a very nice, large home. It’s too large for my little family and perfect for someone with a much larger family, so I hope it won’t take too long.

We didn’t find another house yet anyway, but we will be actively looking from this weekend on and I just cannot wait to be in my new home because then I will be able to think again and the world will start spinning at its regular rate again.

Does anyone else find it hard to be creative when there is just so much other stuff going on? It’s like all this mundane stuff just sucks the creative right out of me, leaving me with my ideas and my planning but no juice in the tank to do anything about it.

And what is going through my mind right now? I am using my creativity to imagine my life about 6-8 weeks into the future where I’m sitting in the kitchen of my new home, eating breakfast in the nook, looking out at the yard. That’s not too outlandish a leap, is it?

So, whatever you’re doing in your life, however hectic it is, let’s rejoice in the fact that we are all here, living our best lives, creating stories for others to read, and just trying to share positivity with as many people as we can.

Life is good, (crazy busy, but good)!

romance author

I am losing my mind!

Have you ever seen The Scream painting? Or Home Alone, when the kid grabs his face and screams? Yep, that was my face about an hour ago when I realized that no one, NO ONE, spotted an enormous gaffe in the manuscript. A name got changed early on because it was someone else’s character name and too much similarity etc, so the name gets changed. Except it didn’t get changed in the entire manuscript somehow, probably because of the fact the entire manuscript got disappeared by my husband briefly, and we likely restored a version that was halfway done in editing.

It is VERY embarrassing to discover this AFTER the thing has been published on Kindle and the print version is ready to print.

It has been corrected, but if someone has ordered it in the meantime I will make sure they get a signed and corrected copy directly from me.

What bothers me most is, after so many proof reads, I just happened to spot this today by chance, and I was like, argghhhh, noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Wow, this self-publishing is a learning curve. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t seen similar typos in other people’s books and even in some printed by large publishing houses. Mistakes can be made, but I just hate it when I make them, and even though this might not entirely be my error, I take 100% responsibility because it’s my book.

Luckily, my Amazon promotion isn’t happening until next week, and I haven’t sorted out a Bookbub one yet either, so it’s not a disaster, it’s just freaking annoying.

CANDY, grabs her head and bangs it repeatedly on her desk.

CANDY:

This self-publishing business is a lot harder than I thought.

End scene, LOL!

 

 

 

romance author

My book is LIVE baby!

This is SO awesome.

The book is live on Amazon.com

This is the link for the Kindle edition for $2.99 (or Kindle Unlimited FREE!)

Finding Home by Candy York    KINDLE VERSION

And, this is the link to the physical printed book – which I have not yet seen or held in my own little hands yet!

Finding Home by Candy York   PAPERBACK VERSION

Today, I had a basketball game to attend, so I didn’t get to do any marketing for this book, or work on the next book in the series. On the plus side, the team won in a close fought battle, so way to go Sharks.

Check out my Facebook page, my Twitter (under Candyyorkauthor) and my new Amazon Author Page

I wonder if all newbie self-published authors are this excited about absolutely everything, even when they haven’t sold a single copy, LOL!

 

Finding Home Front Cover

author, Author Guidelines, Groundhog Day, Harlequin, KDP Select, Kindle, Kindle Direct Publishing, manuscript, romance author, Romance novel, romance writer, Self-published, writer, Writing Guidelines

Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water…

OMG, I just realized the wrong file got uploaded to Kindle, by yours truly, oops! I have since fixed that and I doubt anyone bought it in the meantime, so by tomorrow it should be correct again, and here is another thing I have learned. Pay attention and also, make your file draft names really different from each other.

The book file is also wrong and is still in review, so I have to wait until I can submit the corrected file there and it’s making me antsy!

And, what is today’s lesson? Check it, check it and check it again!

Boy, do I feel like an idiot now!

 

author, Author Guidelines, Harlequin, KDP Select, Kindle, Kindle Direct Publishing, manuscript, romance author, Romance novel, romance writer, Self-published, writer, Writing Guidelines

Finding Home is in Amazon’s hands now!!

Finding Home Front Cover

I am so totally excited, I am in fact beyond excited, because Amazon has my manuscript for Kindle and for print and it’s in the final stages before being published!

I could have agonized over the editing for weeks or maybe even months longer, but six edits in, and I have to at some stage be happy with it, or else I will never get it out there.

I missed my January 2019 self-imposed deadline by a few days, but all-in-all, I’m a very happy woman right now because I did what I said I was going to do!

I am already working on the next book in the series, but it doesn’t have a title yet, because those usually come to me as I write. It is book two in the Lake Thomas Romance series, so that is how I think of it right now.

I will be launching an Amazon advertising campaign as soon as I can, but you can’t do that until the book is “live” and available for purchase.

I am going to be checking my KDP account every few hours, like a crazy woman, hoping for it to be live. I can’t sign up for an author page until the book is available either, oh the agony of trying to be patient!

So, to conclude, I am SO FRICKING EXCITED RIGHT NOW!!!!

Look out for Finding Home by Candy York, available on Amazon soon! I will update this blog with a link once it’s actually for sale!

 

romance author

That panicked moment when you think your manuscript corrupted!

Oh yeah, that happened on Saturday. My husband used my computer, and right after, my manuscript had vanished. Then I find a weirdly named file that was saved at the time he was using my laptop and luckily it’s my novel, basically intact, apart from some gibberish that somehow got added.

Can you say relieved? I actually felt physically sick. It’s not like I don’t have another copy, but it wasn’t the up-to-date edited novel, and there had been a lot of revisions.

And, what did we learn from this screw up? I learned I need to get my own computer that HE is not allowed to use, LOL, and I learned to make triple backups of my file. I mean, there’s no way he could mess up three of them, right?

I still don’t know how he even messed this one up, but after denying he could possibly have done it, he was faced with the time stamp of the save and even he couldn’t deny that proof.

His apology was accepted and I’ve moved on. Lesson learned, people!

 

romance author

My new writing start time is midnight!

It’s not like I haven’t been up since 7 am, but this is the time when I can get peace and quiet and get some stuff done.

Final proof reading of the manuscript is happening, final approval to the cover design is going on, blurb tweaking is being done as we speak, (well, not literally of course since I’m typing this).

I’m trying to decide on a release date, and although I’d love to say that was tomorrow, I realize I don’t have to rush this, and maybe I should pick a symbolic date?

I promised myself 2019 was the year I publish not one, but at least 2 books. I also have a bunch of other resolutions that I want to happen too, but those aren’t related to writing, so I won’t bore anyone with those.

I don’t want to be one of those people who keeps crapping on about how they want to be a writer, but never really does anything about it. We all know those people, don’t we? Yeah, you know them, they talk a great game, but never actually achieve anything.

It’s time to throw caution to the wind, seize the day, be the best that I can be – ugh, all those clichés have made me want to vomit!

So, it’s a little before midnight, and it’s off to work I go, like one of the seven dwarfs, and I’d fit in well with them, since they’re all taller than me.

My next update is publication date information.

Later dudes (and don’t get offended, that was the unisex dude).

author, Author Guidelines, Harlequin, manuscript, romance author, Romance novel, romance writer, writer, Writing Guidelines

When an Abba song helps you decide your future!

You gotta love my blog headings, but this one is totally true. Today, I decided NOT to submit to a traditional publisher because I’m going to take a chance on me.

Now, if you’re a fan of Abba, you know that Take a Chance on Me, is one of their big songs, and ever since I made this crazy decision I have been singing this song over and over in my head, and it’s not like I know all the lyrics either.

So, why did I come to this decision after agonizing so long over what I should do with my romance novel? I just realized that I wanted to see what would happen and find out if I could do this by myself. The song title is the exact reason. It has taken me a long time to get to a point where I feel like I’m writing something that is on the same level as Harlequin, but I don’t want to have to fit a mold created by someone else. The fourth book I plan in this small town series has a plot line that I don’t think I could sell to Harlequin because I don’t think they would go for it. The heroine of that story is kind of the villain in the first story, or at least, she’s not a very likeable character. But I have to write her story because I have to!

I have been given information from other authors who do work for the mainstream publishers, and they have said they earn between $5-8K if they’re lucky from their books. So, it’s true, the big guns, make a whole lot more than that, but there are a limited number of those authors. The others, once successful are making a decent living, but many of them are working another full-time job too.

I figure if I’m willing to put the work in to market the book, advertise it, get it into the hands of readers, then I can succeed at this because I’m one person representing one person, myself! Surely, I’m going to work my ass off to make myself successful as I’m my only client and the only writer I need to promote is me. Can the same be said for a traditional publisher?

I’ve also just proved to myself that I have what it takes to not only finish a novel, but to complete a second draft, a third draft and a final fourth draft (after it was edited for grammar and other issues).

So, what do I have to lose, honestly? Once I have my formatting for KDP and print done, I’m going to update my blog with – da da dah – the cover image and links to all kinds of stuff.

My timeline is roughly 7-10 days from now. The cover is ready, and looks professional, the blurb is ready, the only thing not done is an author photo for the cover and I’m not sure if I will put one on or not. I’m going to go to BAM and B&N and scope out all the similar books and see if they have photos or not, because I’m fairly sure not all of them do.

Phew, I just took a deep breath in because I just realized that I’m about ready to publish and it’s very exciting!

Happy writing everyone – may the words fly off your fingers onto the pages of your books.