Reaper V due out by February 29, 2012

February 5, 2012 at 10:53 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So…

……I solemnly swear that I will do my amateur author’s best to have Reaper V: To Skins out for my wonderful reading audience by no later than February 29, 2012 — Leap Year!

I’m trying to get two shifts juggled around at my real-world-day job, not necessarily so I can get more writing done (although it WOULD be nice) but because I need a bit of a break after my stretch of 8 nights (some of which are 12 hour shifts).  [Side Note: Never in my life have I felt more kinship with the mythology of the vampire….up all night, sleeping all day (with as little sunlight to interrupt said sleep as possible)… makes it appropriate to be writing about Samantha Bennet, supernatural cop with a night-time vigilante gig —- ya, that’s a mouthful, but it’s an INTERESTING mouthful!…]

I’ve got a lot of work to do to make Reaper V as amazing as I envision – and want – it to be.  I aspire to reach or exceed this goal.  Thanks to the reviews left by readers on the various websites (and Amazon’s own website) I feel more able to navigate the gauntlet of writing woes….and also, may have learned from your input such things as how to avoid offending you & repulsing you.  Also such things as how to succeed at keeping you interested, intriguing you and entertaining you!

I’m an amateur.  Possibly one who is a little delusional if she thinks that she can pull off a writing career sans editor and Big 6 publishing house. That being said, I’m still surfing the learning curve and likely will be for the rest of said writing career.

Gladly, i can report that I’ve been making sales!

The majority of my book downloads from Amazon.com have been “FREE” downloads.  This is roughly 35,000 copies’ worth by my estimate.  Approximately 1,500 have been sales of between $2.99 – $0.99, resulting in royalties of between $2.10 and $0.34 (the majority of which have been of the $0.99USD variety, so let’s just say approx $600 in sales across USD, Euros, and Pounds). $600 will help cover some of the expenses incurred, such as the Office 2010 software and Dragon naturally Speaking software (which, sadly, I have not been using as much as I had hoped — great software, I just have a lisp from my braces which makes for a steep learning curve for commands and other features!). Another 100+ sales have not been sales but “borrows” from the Amazon Prime program.  The borrows translate into (s0 far) approx $1.70 USD per borrow.

I have yet to see an actual red cent from Amazon (cheques are mailed 60 days after publication, apparently), and I published in early December. Also, you have to accumulate to $100USD before recieving USD funds, $100 Euro before you recieve Euro funds, etc.  Then, there is the 30% witholding tax that the IRS maintains….

Suffice to say, that area of ye olde self-publishing learning curve is also relatively turbulent.

Ok.

My psuedo-break at work is over.

Time to do a round.

Sincere regards and happy reading,

Amanda M. Holt

Amateur Authoress, Aspiring Household Paranormal/Horror/Hero Literary Icon & (Tonight) Night Nurse

p.s. – I intend to keep all of my single Reaper installments at $0.99USD.  When I release 5-installment collections (coming soon!) I will be charging a modest $3.99, so it’s basically like getting one installment free.  This price may change as I assess consumer interest…er…reader satisfaction. 🙂

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A not-so-secret secret…

January 21, 2012 at 9:47 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

 

photo by Jimmy Thomas, RNC

So….

……..I’m uploading Reaper III: Rookies tonight! As in, within the next hour!

I have to work night shifts this weekend, so i’m staying up later tonight to adjust and am using my time wisely, being productive….

ANYWAY, just gotta write the blurb and whatnot, and Reaper III will be available for download on Amazon within about 48 hours.

As soon as I get my ducks in a row, I will figure out a good “free promotion” period (I’m thinking from Monday January 23 to Friday January 27….what do YOU think? I’m allotted five days, and am thinking maybe it’s best to get Reaper III out and known while there’s still interest brewing for Reaper I & II???)

So what will a reader find in Reaper III?

That Samantha Bennet has some very human feelings, concerns, and needs.

And that when she gets angry, she gets ruthless…

Anyway, hope you’re loving the series so far! I am!

Sincere regards and Happy Reading!

Amanda M. Holt

Amateur Authoress, Aspiring Household Horror Icon & Fairly Decent Human Being

p.s. – there’s romance too….just in time for the (love it or hate it) Valentine’s season…

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Shades of Grey: Prologue released on Kindle and Smashwords.com…Charity Selected

December 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So…

…….this week I formatted and uploaded Shades of Grey: Prologue to Kindle Direct Publishing and smashwords.com.  It was accepted for publication at both places and is now retailing at $2.99 USD.

For every sale I make from Shades of Grey: Prologue I am donating $0.07 CAN to Child Find Manitoba, a charity that provides support, intervention, and education for families with missing child(ren).

Coming soon (in say…the week it will take me to finish editing it, if all goes well):

Shades of Grey: Hear No Evil (Book Two in the Series), which carries readers further into the story of the disappearance of Crystal (the teenaged member of the Grey family) and the effect that it seems to have on the mental health of her older sister (Eve). Eve’s humanity is also in question. The voices that she hears, are they the symptom of the psychiatric illness of her past, thought to have been succesfully treated by a team of medical professionals – or are the voices something far more sinister?  Something vengeful? Something…hungry?

This novel, intended to retail for $3.99 USD will result in a donation of $0.25 CAN to Children of the Street Society (British Columbia, Canada), a charity whose work I really admire.

(Taken pseudo quote from their website) the mission of Children of the Street Society is to take a proactive approach through public awareness, education and early intervention strategies to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and youth, while offering support to families.

Their vision is a world where children and youth are safe and free from all forms of sexual exploitation.

Children of the Street Society takes a collaborative and comprehensive approach to preventing the sexual exploitation of children and youth. They know that investing in preventative measures means a decrease in the need for intervention and enforcement services, and is cost-effective over the long-term. They offer a variety of preventative programs which engage a diverse range of individuals and groups. Their primary prevention tool is education and awareness workshops – they facilitate over 500 workshops, in approximately 30 B.C. communities, with more than 25,000 participants annually.

For more information on their services, you can visit their website at http://www.childrenofthestreet.com 

It is my intention to donate a portion of all of the proceeds of my novels sold through self-publishing to charities that strike a chord within me.

Since my Shades of Grey Series follows the devastating effects of child prostitution on a Canadian family, I felt that it is entirely appropriate to donate the proceeds of Book Two to Children of the Street.

I have yet to select a charity for Book Three (See No Evil) and Book Four (Speak No Evil), but I am kicking around some ideas.

As for my donation strategy, if you have any suggestions for non-profit charities that wouldn’t turn away a well-meant donation, that serve youth and women who are at risk, high-risk, street-involved or needing support through mental health issues, please let me know. I am open to reviewing the mandate/mission/vision of charities outside of my immediate scope/awareness.

Thank you for supporting my work and my ambitions!

Sincere regards and happy reading,

Amanda M. Holt

Full Time Nurse, Part Time Philanthropist, Aspiring Household Horror Icon

You can preview the first book in the Shades of Grey Series at either:

Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/108194/1/shades-of-grey-prologue

or, Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Shades-of-Grey-Prologue-ebook/dp/B006ECW86W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1322922938&sr=1-1

Thank you for your interest!

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Official Grand Re-Kindling of My Writing Career: TODAY!!!

November 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

So…
…..after reading some articles and links to articles on Charlotte Dillon’s website (which has a HUGE section devoted to aspiring and established authors), I found myself going: “Why has my writing career gone stagnant? Why haven’t I sent anything in for publication lately? Why haven’t I been producing those k’s and k’s of word count that i used to?”

There are a few simple statements that can answer the above questions in absolute truths:

– procrastination/laziness on my part.
– new “real” career as nurse.
– termination of 4-year fling.
– lack of organization in work-life balance, meaning sporatic poorly planned writing sessions, and rare ones at that!
– too many ideas, not enough sit-down time to develope them.

So what was my solution to my little problem?

Do.

Not think, but act – do.

And do in an organized, damned-near professional approach.

See, my theory is this: if I want to be a successful author, I need to treat my writing career as just that — a career. Which isn’t to say I’m going to quit my day job (which is really a night/day job 🙂 ), it just means that I am going to buckle down and use some of Charlotte’s strategies and Plain Jane common sense to take those bountiful ideas and turn them into fiery electrons on my laptop – treat my writing business like a business, and hopefully be rewarded with hundreds of thousands possibly millions of words worth of sellable, marketable, publish-worth tale-telling!

One of Charlotte’s strategies is to use a “Get It Done” chart…a simple 7-day a week log of your activities, i.e. word count writted, edits, research, promotional activities you’ve done. I have printed this out and am going to give it a test run — try it for a few months and see if my productivity increases.

I have also started a series of journals where I outline my expenses (i.e this morning’s purchase at Staples — 30% off of everything in store, guys and gals! Closing out sale! — and yesterday’s purchase of six licenses for cover art for six of my novels from Jimmy Thomas’ site romancenovelcovers.com); my writing income; my communications with i.e. publishers, agents, other writers, cover artists; my writing To Do list; all stories to date (gotta keep track of those possibly best-selling first chapters of works-in-progress somehow); and what/where/when of published works.

I am keeping track of all of my receipts, and soon applying for a US IRS tax number, and trying to navigate my way through an understanding of the US tax system and how it will affect my Canadian Income Tax return when/if I begin to accumulate more US sales (which is my hope when i self-publish my work to Kindle and Smashwords, for starters).

I am also soon going to be hitting the library to make inquiries as to whether or not there are any writer’s groups in my area (i.e. critiquing circles, reading circles, author’s lounge, etc) — and if there aren’t any, I am damned well going to start one, as i see a purpose and need for it! Just the other day, I was chatting with a restaurant server who at 10K words of her story expressed a similar concern about keeping on task, writing wise – and wondering how to break into the industry, potential markets, the processes, the formatting of manuscripts, etc. I really feel that she is not alone in this City — I know more about the publishing process than the average Amanda, but I have a lot of unanswered questions too. Plus, it’s nice to bounce ideas for stories off of a nice live person instead of emailing or blogging or posting… Which is why I was totally thrilled when one of my co-workers read and gave feedback on a first four pages I’d just gotten excited about (gypsies getting their tongues cut out and exacting revenge for it — thanks JPS for your input! “Suspense” wasn’t what I was shooting for, but damn — what a compliment, i always consider suspense a very difficult thing to write! Thanks!).

Long story made shorter — if an author’s group doesn’t already exist here, i am going to start one. Even if it’s just a group of a couple of us lone wolves….at least it’s some input/support to benefit the pack.

OK.

So that’s about it for now….my fourth night shift is beginning to catch up with me.

time to head to bed before I start dotting my t’s and crossing my i’s.

I’m crossing my eyes as it is…

🙂

Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt
Neophyte Author With Nebulous Talents and Improving Ambition

p.s. charlotte dillon’s website can be found at
http://www.charlottedillon.com

I found http://www.charlottedillon.com/ArticlesTwo.html to be of particular use.

The Get It Done log chart can be found at http://www.charlottedillon.com/GetItDoneChart.html

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