Reaper VI: Lust uploaded just now!!!

May 29, 2012 at 2:09 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Cover art for Reaper IV

So…..

……..long time no hear, i know.

I was sick for a week, then i went to Saskatoon for a week, then travelled all over Manitoba for a week, now am back to work doing night shifts.

And TONIGHT, realizing that I haven’t put out any titles in a while, I opted to finish the edits on Reaper VI: Lust and upload it, rather than spend that time on apartment cleaning (the original plan for my down time between shifts! 🙂 ). Uploaded same to Kindle/Amazon, should be up within 24 hours or so. Will take longer to put on Smashwords, I have to re-format ALL the files.  However, the exclusivity arrangements between Amazon and i have all ended, so I can put Reaper I – VI on Smashwords as soon as I have/make time.

Thank you for your patience — I will try to put out Shades of Grey III and Reaper VII within the next few weeks.  No promises though: there may be some changes with my work schedule.

Sincere regards and happy reading!

Amanda M. Holt

Amateur Authoress, Full Time Nurse, Part Time Dreamer

Permalink 5 Comments

Formatting, formatting, formatting…and re-submitting!

April 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So….

……..I’ve spent the better part of this morning formatting and editing files for Smashwords and Kindle.

I’m going to be uploading new versions of Shades of Grey: Prologue and Shades of Grey: Hear No Evil to Kindle (I kinda made a few MINOR changes to the tail-end of SoG:HNE — nothing too significant, just some expansion to the Witigo discovery).

AND AND AND — Her Man, The Deal, Getting Lucky I: Pedro & Eddie, Shades of Grey: Prologue and Shades of Grey: Hear No Evil SHOULD be available on Smashwords in the next 72 hours or so!!!

Provided I meet their standards and all that!

Previously, these titles were only available on Kindle.

Anyway, I must return to said tasks…

Sincere regards and happy reading!

Amanda M. Holt

Amateur Authoress and Editor

Permalink Leave a Comment

Headed to China in 24+ hours!!!

March 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So…

…….here I am at age 32 going on my first overseas trip!

…Winnipeg, Vancouver, Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Thompson…

…going to be gone approximately two weeks, so I will not be putting out any titles during that time.

After I return to Canada, likely over the weekend of April 6 – April 8, 2012, I am going to be releasing Her Man (contemporary romance), Getting Lucky I: Pedro & Eddie (interracial erotica), and Shades of Grey: Prologue & Shades of Grey: Hear No Evil (paranormal/thriller/horror/adventure) at Smashwords.

Currently, they are only available as Kindle titles. I am uploading them to Smashwords so that they can be distributed to Kobo, etc., on multiple formats/platforms. I also have some titles that were previously available only at eXtasy Books (and I believe some from New Concepts Publishing) that I will be releasing at Smashwords and Amazon/Kindle in the near future.

New works are in development, but between my full time nursing career and the editing & re-release of Second Editions, I am finding it difficult to make/find time to give those projects the full attention they deserve.

Up next? Shades of Grey III: See No Evil, Reaper VI: Lust, and the first *brand new* novel in a series I am working on about things that go bump in the night here in Northern Canada…..that’s all i’m saying about that project, it’s very near and dear to my heart, and I am developing it with the kind of slow, cautious consideration and cossetting that one rations for their most worthy of hobbies…

I’m actually very shy about speaking about it, and when I do, I seem to use very reverent language in a sort of breathless incantation resembling whispers of awestruck self-delusion about genius approaching infamy…

Anyway — on to China!

Wish me luck!

Sincere regards & Happy Reading!

Amanda M. Holt

Amateur Authoress, Neophyte Tourist and International Woman of Mystery (?)

Permalink Leave a Comment

Cancelling Amazon exclusivity of books…

March 8, 2012 at 9:48 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So…

……as soon as my arrangements through Kindle Direct Publishing reach their 90-day agreement deadline, I am going to be uploading my books to Smashwords — again.  Shortly after uploading to both Amazon and Smashwords, I saw Amazon’s KDP offer for their Prime program/Owners Lending Library, where for each borrowed novel you recieved a percentage of the total borrows sales.  I now feel that being able to attract readers from platforms other than the Kindle is far more advantageous than limiting my audience to Kindle users (Smashwords uses and distributes to far more formats — readable by Kobo, etc).

Some of the books currently available on Amazon will not reach their 90-day exclusivity until the end of May.  Others have already “expired” and I did not “roll-them-over” for another period/term.

Anotherwords, some of my previously Kindle-only works are going to be appearing on Smashwords shortly.

Also, I have a number of titles that i am going to be issuing as Second Editions and re-releasing in the next few months, as well as some brand-new never-before seen titles that are slowly typing themselves into existence…

I am going to try to release at least 1 title ever 1 – 2 months.

I am no longer going to be making my titles KDP exclusive.  I want to reach a broader audience, and even though Amazon’s market is far larger than Smashwords (at least their reach seems to be wider), Smashwords will make for greater accessibility of my work (which is what I am striving for).

My apologies to any readers I may have alienated for my choices in the past, and to Kindle Prime readers who likely will no longer be able to get my novels for $0.00 after the 90-day terms end.

Thank you for your time.

I look forward to giving you hours of entertainment in the near future!

Sincere regards and happy reading,

Amanda M. Holt

Amateur and Apologetic Fumbling Self-Published-Self-Promoted-Self-Marketed Author

Permalink Leave a Comment

I lied!!!

February 7, 2012 at 10:06 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So…

……in a previous post, I stated that I only had about $650 in sales Dec – Jan.

I just looked up my sales on the Kindle Direct Publishing account website…approx $700 in sales in USD, $70 GBP, and $25 in Euros.  I really must learn to understand the monetary systems a bit better!

I expect that the first week of February will result in approx $70USD in sales and European sales approx $15 in assorted monies.

Anotherwords, off to a slow start, but little progress is still progress, and at least I am building a readership with my $0.99USD priced books and free promotions (where the BIG download numbers occur, in the 10’s of thousands!)!!!

Yes, it would be nice to one day be able to write to support my writing, and write alone, but for now I have to keep my day job! lol It’s a day job I love, so it’s one that I will likely keep until, if, and when my writing income becomes the greater earning power, allowing me the luxury – and priviledge – of being to work primarily as an author whose success (or failure) is at the entire mercy of their reading audience.

That being said, I apologize for my previous inaccurate account of my Amazon sales.  Since this Blog is written in part to chronicle the ups & downs of an amateur author, I was almost certain that someone would appreciate hearing the honest numbers involved in my endeavour (35% royalties for books priced under $2.99USD; 70% royalties for books priced over $2.99 USD through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing). 

I am keeping my single installments of Reaper Series (paranormal/horror for adult audience), Shades of Grey (paranormal/horror for adults), and Getting Lucky (erotica series) priced at $0.99, so I am getting 35% of $0.99 or roughly $0.34 per sale there.  Stand alone titles (such as Her Man [romance] and The Deal [erotica/paranormal]) will also likely remain at $0.99.  I will offer larger collections in the future, which I expect to be priced at approx $3.99 for Reaper I – V and possibly $2.99 or $3.99 for the Shades of Grey I – V collection.

I am going to be selecting a charitable organization with each title, to whom I am going to give a portion of the royalites collected.  I estimate this amount will be between 7% and 10% per royalty.  I will calculate and distribute this amount at the end of every year.

With February/March being the income tax season here in Canada, I am of course concerned about making sure that I accurately report all of my income, expenses, etc. At the moment, my writing income is very small. My expenses have put me in a “loss” situation for 2011 (through the purchase of software, new laptop, printer, filing cabinet x 2, office supplies [i.e. printer cartridge, paper, pens, mouse, keyboard, flash drves, external HD, etc], and other incidentals). 

I look forward to working with the very patient and knowledgable staff at H & R Block to help me figure out those receipts I need to keep track of, and those I don’t — etc. It’s all very…..complex.  Capital losses and write offs and whatnot.  But that’s what the Tax Literate are for.  I fall into the category of Tax Illiterate.  But i’m working on that!

Anyway, my self-assigned break is over, so it’s time to hit the floor and do a round.

Sincere regards and happy reading!

Amanda M. Holt

Amateur Authoress, Night Nurse and Taxation Neophyte

p.s. Reaper V due out on or around February 29! WIll try to promote FREE at that time!  Are you excited? I’m excited! Number V already! Whoot-whoot!

Permalink Leave a Comment

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!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Dragon Naturally Speaking…Naturally, I am AMAZED, DELIGHTED and INSPIRED!!!

November 18, 2011 at 5:44 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

So…
…..I am dictating this blog post with Dragon naturally speaking and so far I am pleased with what I see.there will be some growing pains.but software keeps a fairly quickly with what I have said.and there seem to be minimal spelling and punctuation issues so far.however, now I am going to attempt to use some more punctuation, such as, this, and this, and this, and – this and “I wonder how long it will take before Dragon makes its first error or I make my first error.”

now as I look at what I have dictated I see that I haven’t been leaving spaces after my periods. and I haven’t been capitalizing words after the periods. So, this is a kind of tricky environments, you have to be very conscious of what you’re saying. And space I imagine that once I get dictating with the the wireless Bluetooth headset, there will be even more interesting situations.

That being said, Dragon naturally speaking his have really really space-space read that is really really cool piece of software.I just have to learn how to use it properly.

not bad for a first attempt out!

“I wonder how the software will do when I began preparing dialogue for my characters,” Amanda mused aloud. “I think it’s going to be tricky working out all the dialogue takes thought..although come to think of it, Jay by editor at ecstasy books always told me to avoid the use of dialogue tags wherever possible, as they can be annoying for a reader to navigate.”

wowsers! Pretty impressive so far!

I’ll leave you with this, because I have got some dictation I would like to make, and some serious writing to do!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Happy reading!

Sincere regards,

Amanda M.Holt
Awestruck Dragon NaturallySpeaking user, aspiring author and truly inspired Creatress

Permalink Leave a Comment

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

Permalink 2 Comments

*sigh*

October 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

*sigh*

Sadly, I haven’t worked on anything new (writing-wise) in a few weeks. I haven’t really worked on anything old either. Unless the ongoing cycle of editing counts! It doesn’t help that my desk had assorted clutter on it (cleared off now), that I was working additional shifts at work and that I left town for approximately a week to visit family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday season (Canada). Thank God for my journalling (on Volume Seven at the moment), otherwise I may not have gotten any writing done at all!

You may or may not have noticed that this Blog has been untouched by yours truly for a while now, and is in TERRIBLE need of updating…

Snapshot of the last few months: left my job in Public Health for a far more gratifying job in Long Term Care, started dating again after a too-long hiatus, switched apartments – love the new one!, friend who knows me best moved back to Canada, looking forward to a trip to China in the spring (thank YOU Chamber of Commerce), ended intimate relationship with “M” to whom I can credit a lot of inspiration and also the hunger for more than what i was entitled to, recieving small reminders that I have a dozen-plus novels and novellas published (these take the form of $40 – $50 royalty checks every so often, not a lot, but a nice little reminder that someone SOMEWHERE is reading my stuff), lost approximately 25 pounds (probably from leaving a desk job for one where I do a lot of walking/pacing), and am looking forward to having a delightful Halloween party for some old friends & new ones!

Recent writing accomplishments: next to nil. Revisited a series I began writing circa 2005 about a young woman who is transported to a dimension where she begins to turn into a dragon and is expected to lead a resistance against the powers that be; revisited my tale of a father haunted by the ghost of his murdered daughter – probably going to focus on this tale for a while; revisited “Lucky” about a girl who is lucky in all things but love; revisited “Friends Who Come Over for Dinner…and other tales of adults misbehaving appropriately”, a collection of naughty adventures starring a fearless young woman with an insatiable appetite for all things tasty; revisited a series of shorts about people who win the lottery but lose the quality of their lives in the process; revisited a tale about an enchanted cookbook and the woman/women it chooses. Also trying to get a start on a nerve-wracking horror novel, but it just won’t get off the ground: every start seems like a false start.

As for romance novels? I’m kicking around some ideas. There’s the story i keep picking up and putting down about the comic book artist inspired by – and infatuated with – a supermodel with mommy/insecurity issues. May work on it soon, i feel the timing may be right to light a real spark between these two characters. There are a variety of others, but since they were written with “M” in mind, I feel somewhat uncomfortable with stirring that pot right now. There’s a new romance brewing in my life at the moment, and this has inspired me. However, I think I should do a little more research *lewd grin* before I begin breathing life into that particular Gollum. Some of the things I write seem more authentic when i am experiencing them first hand…and since art reflects life, and one should write what one knows, well frankly I need to know more before running with scissors down the hallway of love/lust/infatuation/pheremones.

That being said: in the last several months, nothing published, nothing submitted for publication, nothing finished, nothing noteworthy started.

Ye Gods! Time to get cracking!

Sincerely,

Amanda M. Holt
Amateur Author, Neophyte Nurse and Sometimes Productive Person

Permalink Leave a Comment

A day off from nursing practicum….

May 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm (eXtasy Books Releases, General News..., Grumble, Introduction to the Imagination of Amanda M. Holt, Literary blunders..., Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

So………………….
…………………….I had a few days off of my nursing student practicum, and I spent it grocery shopping, visiting, studying (there seems to be no end to studying) apartment hunting, and bill paying.

Now, I am blogging, and then will be baking – a Gateau a la Orange!!!! (Yes, I am trying to learn French – Gateau a la Orange means orange cake).

I regret to inform you that I have not been writing much of late – in fact, I have neglected my laptop so long, I don’t even recall which project I was working on last! An unfortunate thing, oui oui. Last night I spent a sliver of time editing a tale for eXtasy Books – an adult romance featuring a hot-headed strong willed young woman trying to find her true calling, as well as the best sex that rural Manitoba has to offer! This spirited young woman doesn’t hold back, nor shy away from a challenge, and comes to find both men and women as suitable lovers. Believe it or not, despite the “tame” rural setting, she has many a wonderful adventure, finds love, loses love, and…well, whether or not she gets love back is for the reader to know!!!!

Expect the tale out around October 1st or 15th, as there are a number of Halloween themed chapters that my editor has agreed makes this an ideal Halloween read.

I will post excerpts as I make the last of the editing/alterations.

I hope that you find something delightful to read this summer!!!

Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt

P.S. If you like modern-day vampire erotica, you might like to try my short eBooks “In His Thrall” and “Of Crimson Blood and Ivory Skin” from New Concepts Publishing (www.newconceptspublishing.com). If you like vengeful vigilantes of the Nephalim (angel human hybrid) variety, try my Reaper Series at eXtasy Books (www.extasybooks.com). If you like stories about headstrong heiresses and the bodyguards assigned to them, try my tale “Guarding Miranda”, a full length romance novel from NCP.

Permalink Leave a Comment