Category Archives: book

“Big time authors” vs. “Indie authors”

The line between self published authors (SPA) and traditionally published authors (TPA) also called “big time authors” is as solid as ever. Bloggers have visibly taken sides and things are getting messier than we’ve ever seen before. Authors on both sides of the fence are picking up pitch forks and sock accounts, attempting to ruin any author they see fit.

I was told this morning about another situation that involved a TPA taking it upon herself to trash an indie erotica author’s book because she found the idea of the book offensive. If you’re familiar with the story, please keep the major details to yourself. I am trying not to draw too much attention to the specifics of the matter. Any way, the TPA took to her blog to blast the book and its contents without even reading a single page. She decided that it was awful because the blurb sounded offensive to her. The TPA went even further to encourage her followers to pirate the book if they “simply ha[d] to read it” but that they should not pay a single penny for it. She acted as though her “big time” status gave her the right to pass judgement on others.

Now, the SPA did do something a bit offensive in reaction to the matter. She took to Facebook to say that her book should be in a national museum or something. I am positive that that was done in jest, but when emotions are running high, you don’t poke the bear. The TPA went back to her blog to share the post from the SPA and then encouraged her readers to attack the SPA further by saying “you know what to do.”

This scenario isn’t the first, and definitely won’t be the last. And of course, there are SPAs turning on SPAs. We should be trying to create a unified front by encouraging people to read, regardless of how we publish. However, I think there is a obvious reason for the dividing line. By referring to TPAs as “big time authors” is like giving them an open invitation to get a big head. And before anyone decides to go off on me, I’m not saying that this is an all encompassing sentiment, because it isn’t. My paternal grandmother was a TPA but she was the most down to earth person when it came to that sort of thing. She encouraged my writing. She wanted me to have those same literary opportunities that she had, but you know something? She never once spat on SPAs and I guarantee you that she would be proud that I took the initiative and got published.

The discussion of self-publishing came up between a friend and I recently and she said some pretty insightful things. [She knows who she is, but out of respect for her in this post, I won’t use her name.] She said that you can bash SPAs, even the ones that are prone to editing issues, but at least they did it. At least they took the initiative to put themselves out there… And she’s right.

All authors put their heart and soul into their work. One should not discount the other simply because of the means in which their work is published. But by calling TPAs “big time”,we are all further perpetuating the divide.

Anyway, sorry if this is rambly, but I wanted to say something. We are all working towards a common goal. We shouldn’t go out of our way to perpetuate this fight.

A big announcement or two

On March 8th, 2013, I hit publish on The Night Touched Chronicles Book One: Celine. For those of you that have been a part of the Night Touched universe since the beginning, and for those of you that have just joined, you know that next weekend marks a big milestone for the series. We will be celebrating the two year anniversary of the release of Celine! I will be offering Celine and Jeremy free for Kindle for that entire weekend. Promotional artwork will be coming soon.

On that note, I have another big announcement. Texas (Book Three) is being put on hold for the time being. Don’t worry, I’m not abandoning the series or going on hiatus with my writing. I am actually planning on completely revamping (pardon the pun) Celine. Jeremy is in a league of his own, and Celine is just kind of the dorky big sister that doesn’t get a lot of attention. I want to change that. I won’t give anything away other than the base story will remain the same, but things will be changing. I want to have those changes made and released before I get back to work on Texas. Becoming Silas and Becoming Jeremy are still going to be out soon, but after their release, my work on Celine will commence.

I hope that you all grab your free copies next weekend, if you don’t have a copy already. Thank you so much to everyone that has supported the series since the beginning. Thank you to those of you that are just discovering my crazy little vampire world and find it interesting. I appreciate all of you so very much.

How much is too much?

Thanks to sites like Smashwords, Createspace, KDP, etc., there are a LOT of self-published authors out there. Everyone single one has a story to tell, which is awesome! However, it seems like more and more people are getting in to self-publishing for the wrong reasons. Please note that I am not suggesting that any one should stop writing, I am simply observing. I couldn’t imagine not being able to share my stories with the world, and I would hate to have someone telling me to stop. Please keep that in mind.

I was looking through Goodreads today; partially  searching for a book that I read many years ago that I can’t for the life of me remember the title, and partially because I am always looking for new authors to connect with and new works to read. I noticed a somewhat disturbing trend with many of the authors. Some of them have only been publishing for a little over a year, yet they have 25 or more published books. I even saw one author that had been publishing for 3 years and had 92 published works. I realize, of course, that some of those books could simply be short stories, but even so, that is still a lot. So I started thinking about how long it takes to edit a book, and I mean really edit a book, as well as how long revisions take, formatting, and everything else that goes into it. Let’s assume that those are all short stories, that would mean that they would have to publish a work every two weeks to even kind of keep up with that kind of work. The author would have to jump from one first draft to the next, effectively jumping from story to story without spending any real amount of time on them. I don’t know about you, but that seems nuts to me. How can one even remotely produce a good story if they’re not focused on it long enough to develop it?

We are constantly criticized as a community because so many authors are just vomiting words on to a page, slapping it up online, and calling it a day. I don’t see any possible way that an author that has put out that much material in that short of a time is producing any kind of quality, and it feels like they are just perpetuating the stereotype. There are authors that work hard to be taken seriously and put a lot of time and effort into their work. I know that some of the bulk authors are full timers, and could put all of their focus on a work. Even so, 25 books in a year seems like way too many.

I would really appreciate a counter argument to this, and I am opening the door for a guest post, but I am being very serious. I try to advocate for indie authors as often as possible. But poorly thrown together work makes my side of the argument a bit hard.

Why creating your own covers might not be a good idea

Some authors have other talents. Some can sing, some are artisan chefs, and others are artists. Those that are artists have the talent and the know how to create stunning covers for their books and present their works as the treasures that they truly are. Their high gloss, well polished masterpieces add that certain je ne sais quoi that sets them apart. These authors are fortunate.

Some authors aren’t so lucky. Writing is their one gift and they try very hard to share it with the world. They also might be lacking in funds to buy the prettiest covers on the internet so they are forced to create their own covers, even though they aren’t the best artists. They know little about Photoshop, GIMP, Depositphotos, and all of the other important parts of creating their own covers. However, they certainly do know how to use Google and MS Paint, so they assume that they’re golden. What could be so bad about using some image they found online and hastily pasted into a randomly sized window? There is a LOT that can be bad about that.

As an author, you want to be taken seriously. You want the world to look at your book and say ‘Hey, that cover looks interesting;  I want to know more.’ We always hope that our readers will be drawn in by the summary, or the title, but everyone, and I do mean everyone, judges a book by its cover. In fact, many readers base a large part of their decision to read our books on what our covers look like.

Pre-made covers start at $30 and you can find some decent ones out there. But the better the cover, the more expensive it will be. What if you can’t find a pre-made cover that you like? Well, custom covers can run upwards of $500 if the artist has a lot of clients and does quality work. If you truly want a quality cover, and your book is really that important to you, SAVE YOUR MONEY. It will be a lot more rewarding to save your pennies for a good cover, trust me.

The other problem with using images from Google is that you are potentially using copyrighted images. That opens you and any one that shares your book cover up to lawsuits, which can give you a black mark with bloggers because they don’t want to get mixed up in all of that. I mean, if you can’t afford a cover artist, do you really think that you can afford a lawyer? As someone that has lawyer friends, trust me, you can’t.

Below, I have shared some bad books covers. Below that are some great book covers (with credits to the artists, of course.) I hope that this helps you.

And they just get worse from there. Of course, I assume that not all of these covers were made by the author them self, but you can see the issues. Now, something pretty to end the post:

 

(by Joleene Naylor)

(by Joleene Naylor)

(by Skylar Faith, truenotdreams Designs)

(by Skylar Faith, truenotdreams Designs)

The second set of images make use of stock images that were purchased and licensed correctly. They are so much cleaner and well structured. Those are the type of covers you want to use. They send the right message to your potential readers.

I hope that this post doesn’t come off as bitchy or rude. I am just trying to stress the importance of covers for authors. The “bad” covers were obtained from other websites that highlight bad book covers and were not at all a hunt and pick romp through Amazon for me.

Special Sneak Preview of TNTC Book Two: Jeremy

Are you sitting on pins and needles waiting for me to Book Two: Jeremy to actually come out? While it is still being written, you can check out the prologue plus the first four chapters right now on figment.com for free!! Just click the link below. ((Please note these are first draft chapters))

 

http://figment.com/books/806950-The-Night-Touched-Chronicles-Book-Two

Listen, you can…

Listen, you can think what you want about us. You can hate us, you can condemn us, but honey, you’re one of us. We’re trying to give you a chance to make a difference. We may not be helping humanity out a whole lot, but taking down the Slayers is what we were made to do, like it or not.

Harper (to Father Jeremy)

WIP Blog Hop

 

I was recently nominated for the Work in Progress Blog Hop by Tricia Drammeh, author of  the newly released Better than Perfect. This hop requires that I answer seven questions about my current work in progress, and link back to the person that nominated me.

Jeremy - eBook Cover

 

Let’s get to it!

1.What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Harper is a fictional character. The Night Touched that she is searching for in this novel is named Jeremy, he is also fictional.

2) When and where is the story set?

Jeremy is based in present day New Orleans. 

3) What should we know about him/her?

Harper is still dealing with the fall out of New York. She is feeling a bit more angst in this book than in Celine, trying to deal with the break up with Silas and how they left New York. Without giving too much away, of course.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

The main conflict in the story really is getting Father Jeremy to join their cause. I would say there is a lot in her life that’s messed up at this point so… yeah.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

The personal goal for Harper really is to move on from her feelings about Silas and taking down the Slayers

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The Night Touched Chronicles Book Two: Jeremy

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

That’s a good question. I have absolutely no clue. I’m shooting for the end of the year, but it just depends on when it comes to me.

Authors to Watch giving some love to Becoming Jason

800 Likes Giveaway

800 Likes Giveaway

The rules are pretty simple! Just refer your family and friends to like Author Maegan Provan on Facebook. When your referrals like the page, have them tag your name in a comment on the wall. The person with the most referrals will receive codes to get TNTC Book One: Celine and ALL 6 of the Becoming Night Touched mini-series shorts.

My Writing Process Blog Tour- Me!

Well, it’s my turn to take part in this amazing blog tour! So many talented authors are taking part in the My Writing Process Blog Tour and it’s such an honor to be a part of it. I was nominated by the amazing Dawn Chapman over at Kananudra’s Blog. I have been following her blog for quiet a while now, and I suggest you guys hop over there and take a look

What I am currently working on?

I am currently working on a few projects right now. The top priority is anything to do with my series The Night Touched ChroniclesI have the sequel to Celine, entitled Jeremy, as well as a collection of short stories regarding the main characters of the books. I also am working on a post-apocalyptic zombie novel that is currently untitled, along with a novel involving 3 sisters who find out they’re witches. You can get more information about all of my current projects in the Current Project section of my website

How does my work differ from others of it’s genre?

A lot of novels in my genre are about insanely beautiful high school kids who fall instantly in love with each other and vow to be together forever. My characters are adults (early to mid 20’s) and have things going for them in their lives. Now, I will admit that I have had one of my main couples have an instant attraction to each other, but that doesn’t mean that immortality implies together forever. I have an issue with cliched work, and I try to make my characters stand apart from the crowd in that regard.

Why do I write what I do?

I discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer at a young age and I have been obsessed with it ever since. I loved Joss Whedon’s characters and how the vampires still seemed so human. The show was thought provoking and comical. The dialogue was never stiff and the character were all around awesome (even the bad ones.) I became obsessed with writing my own vampire story after that. Whedon’s vampires were so different than anything I had seen before, or since, and I just remember thinking ‘I want to do that.’

I write what I do to bring a different view point. I know that I have come into an already well developed genre, but I think that my work stands out because my vampires are so different than those in the main stream. They don’t sparkle, they aren’t vegetarian. While they drink from blood bags when they have to, they prefer fresh humans with no concern about hiding the bodies.

How does my writing process work?

In random bursts, to be honest. My writing process has been full of self doubt and me dragging my feet. I am concerned that my sequel won’t be as good as the first so I procrastinate a lot. When I am feeling confident, I sit down, work through it, and I make sure that it flows and doesn’t sound silly. It helps to have people in my life who encourage me, of course.

 

So there you have it!

 

I hope that this post gives a little more insight to me. I love doing posts like this!

I have 5 amazing ladies I’d like to nominate! Please go check them out on May 12th, and see what they have to say to these questions!

Tricia Drammeh– Tricia is a wife, a mother of four children, a coffee junkie, and the author of contemporary fiction and paranormal novels for Young Adult and New Adult readers. She has penned seven complete novels including The Fifth Circle, The Seance, and The Claiming Words Series. Tricia has lived in Ohio, Georgia, California, and Missouri, but now proudly calls New Hampshire home. When she isn’t writing, she can be found devouring books, chasing cats, or interview up-and-coming authors on Authors to Watch

Victoria Barrow–  A Texas native, Victoria currently lives in California with her fiance and their two cats. She has a moderately unhealthy obsession with MMORPGS, and when she is not writing, spends a lot time shooting bad guys. Her bookshelf includes everything from Tolkien to home repair. She’s very fond of anything urban/paranormal fantasy, and has an entire shelf dedicated to zombies.

Shelina (A Writer Inspired)– Shelina runs an incredibly successful blog and also writes the entertaining series “The Interpreter Diaries.” She has traveled the world, is fiercely independent, and does anything and everything she can to keep not only her life inspired, but you as well.

Sophie E. Tallis– Located in the UK, Sophie spends her working hours as a full-time teacher, inspiring young minds for the past 14 years. Her first passion has always been writing and poetry, which she has done since a young age. She is also incredibly artistic and divides her time between writing, teaching and her artwork. She enjoyws travelling when she can and has a profound love of landscapes, particularly those of New Zealand and Dartmoor. She also enjoys stargazing, playing chess, watching films (especially sci-fi & fantasy) and buying yet more bookcases for her growing library! She is a self-proclaimed lover of wild places and the written word. She even admits to being a bit of a nerd, which is always awesome.

Joleene Naylor– Joleene Naylor grew up in southwest Iowa surrounded by soybeans, corn and very little entertainment – so she made her own. She has been writing and drawing since she was a small child, with a particular leaning towards fantasy, horror and paranormal. It is this love of all that goes bump in the night that lead her to write the paranormal fantasy series Amaranthine. Besides writing, she also creates amazing book covers, maintains a large selection of free stock photos, and illustrates a weekly web comic. In what free time she has, Joleene blogs, updates her website and hopes to win the lottery. Until she does, she and her husband live in Missouri with their dog, cats and turtles. However, until she actually starts buying tickets, she may never actually win anything.

I hope everyone checks out their blogs an their books! Thank you so much for reading!

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