YA Indie Carnival Spotlight: SUZY TURNER

Suzy in CanadaThis week, SUZY TURNER is in the Carnival’s center ring. Turner is the author of Raven, December Moon, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, Daisy Madigan’s Paradise, and my personal favorite, The Lost Soul.

Suzy is a pretty cool chick. She’s worked as a journalist, a magazine editor, and even a script supervisor on a feature film. She has an awesome sense of humor and a flair for drama. Just read the Carnival Ringmaster’s interview with Suzy below and you’ll see what I mean… Continue reading “YA Indie Carnival Spotlight: SUZY TURNER”

YA Indie Carnival: The Joys of Writing Indie

Just a few quick notes before we begin. 1) Charlaine Harris (yes, the Charlaine Harris) will be at the WV Book Festival tomorrow. See you there. 2) Stop by the Info Booth at the Bob Evans Farm Festival today from 1-5 to see me. Not a formal book signing, but I’ll sign’em if you bring’em. 3) Just confirmed book signing at Silver Screen VII Gallipolis prior to midnight show of Breaking Dawn Pt. II. 4) Headed to Dallas (Grapevine actually) this Monday. Will be there for the week. If you’re in town, drop me a line.

This week at the YA Indie Carnival, the topic is “What opportunities has becoming an indie offered you and/or your writing career?”

The biggest opportunity of course is that I’m not tied down by the restraints of traditional publishing. My time is my own. I can give as much or as little to my business as I want; that decision is mine. I can continue to Continue reading “YA Indie Carnival: The Joys of Writing Indie”

YA Indie Carnival: Do You Audiobook?

I don’t.

My books aren’t published as audiobooks and I don’t listen to audiobooks. Well, not usually, when I got my first kindle I tended to use the text-to-speech function quite a bit, but that’s the closest I’ve come.

Don’t get me wrong, I am intrigued by them. In college, I co-hosted a weekly radio show on campus and I also read the news and operated the soundboard at an AM station on the weekends. I’ve thought through the technique of it many times. If I wanted to record my books as audiobooks, how would I do it?

But it’s not as simple as recording.

For an indie writer, recording the audiobook can be difficult, but it’s not the most complicated part of the process–we’ll get to that later.

First, one must decide if the piece will be author-read or if professional talent will be used. If going the pro route, consider the speaker AND the audience. Keep the gender and age of the voice talent in line with the POV of the story. Keep your ego in check. You may think that as the author, your voice would be best (after all, who knows the work better than you), but I urge you to think about the listener’s experience. If you have no previous experience in voice work; perhaps it’s best to leave that to the pros.

After recording, it doesn’t get easier. Distribution seems to be the project killer. It’s tough to get the right formats, and even then, getting your work listed in top stores like iTunes and Amazon can be a Herculean task. So, your next question is – Do I want to make money? Blunt, but necessary.

If the answer is no, consider podiobooks.com or a similar service. With podio, the author can record the book in pieces (aka serials) with nothing more than a good microphone and a laptop (although you sacrifice quality). Audiobooks on Podiobooks.com are free. Also, Smashwords will list your podiobook on the ebook’s page.

If the answer is yes, than you need to tackle the giant – Audible. Audible supplies audiobooks for the big guys like iTunes and Amazon. Don’t go to audible.com. You won’t find any info there. Go to www.acx.com. It stands for Audiobook Creation Exchange. ACX is to Audible as KDP is to Amazon (roughly). This is the site you must use to get on Audible, unless you go through a production service like openbookaudio.com.

Even on ACX, you can “audition” talent and search for a producer or submit your self-recorded files. Keep in mind that if you use pro talent and production (on ACX or another way), you must be willing to pay for it. A few weeks ago, I got a basic quote from one of the indie-friendly production shops, and for my 250-page novel, Of Sun & Moon, I was quoted $2,575 for talent and production of iTunes-ready files.

ACX does appear to offer tons of free marketing resources, and as I write this, it touts 90% royalties. So, you’ll have to do the math for yourself. Do you audiobook?

Share your audiobook experiences and see what these authors have to contribute on the subject…

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. Melissa Pearl
4. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed

YA Indie Carnival: Words of Wisdom

The YA Indie Carnival topic of choice this week is Indie Words of Wisdom. When I think about it, some of the best bits of wisdom for indie publishing are the lessons that we were taught long ago and perhaps forgot or didn’t know how to apply.

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine – An indie’s reputation is only as good as his/her work. Sometimes authors get in a rush to publish; churning out work after work with little mind to the quality of the work. Even the best story can be destroyed by spelling and grammar errors. A prematurely published novel can unravel an entire career.

Work Smarter Not Harder – A writing plan, proper outline, Continue reading “YA Indie Carnival: Words of Wisdom”

California Dreamin’

After I write this, I’ll start packing for a business trip to San Diego. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling over the US, but somehow I’ve never been to California. I’m really looking forward to it. Which means, there are TWO things that I’m really looking forward to this week and both happen to be based in California.

The first, being my trip of course. The second is the release of Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2) by California author Laura A.H. Elliott. I loved the first book in the series, 13 on Halloween (btw, it’s now free on Amazon).

And Laura rocks, not only as an author, but as a person. She’s so much fun and it shows in her writing. See what I mean with this special excerpt from Shadow Slayer. Enjoy!


I turn another corner in the labyrinth. Every leaf, every twig, and the grass changes colors. Unnatural colors. I startle at a huge rustle beside me and bite my nails.

Two disembodied arms stick out of the bush next to me. My heart beats hard against my chest. I try to wriggle out of his grip but whoeveritis clamps down on my arms making it hard for me to get any leverage.

“AAAAAHhhhhh!” I scream, writhing back and forth. I fight to free my arms but he’s already wrestled them to my sides. I can’t move. He lifts me a few inches off the ground. I kick and stare at my useless hands and spot the long nails with black nail polish that begin to dig into my skin. There’s a tattoo on each finger. All the same. Stars, I think.

“I want to suck your blood!” he says laughing, lowering me to the ground. As soon as my feet get a little traction I kick and try to run away.

“Ouch! Drew, control your woman!” One of the guys says, a familiar voice. A football player steps Continue reading “California Dreamin’”

Coming soon…

I’ve got some fun online stuff planned over the next week or so. Here’s a sneak peak:
  • Celebrating TOMORROW’S release of Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2) by Laura A. H. Elliott. SS is the sequel to 13 on Halloween. You can pick up 13 on Halloween free for Kindle right now.
  • This Thursday we kick off L.M. Preston’s Mini Blog Tour of cool indie authors. The tour will last through the 29th. Details will be posted on Thursday.
  • Headed to San Diego this Saturday! Look for some special Cali-themed posts over the weekend.
  • Friday, Sept. 28, 6-8pm eastern: Twitter Party for the release of The Pack — Retribution by L.M. Preston. #ThePackRetributionParty
  • Saturday, Sept. 29, Facebook Party for the release of The Pack — Retribution. I’m hosting the 8-9 pm (eastern) hour of the party.

Oh, and I was so busy prepping for the Mothman Festival that I totally forgot about my YA Indie Carnival post. Whoops! I’ve only missed one in the past year. Bummer, now that’s two. Anyway, we were supposed to blog about where we write. My husband and I share a desk. Well, he thinks it’s his desk and he’s probably right because it’s loaded with things like corn seed invoices, soil tests,  and soybean weigh slips. I usually let him win that one, and I take my laptop to the picnic table on the back porch. The view is absolutely inspiring.