12 Days of Indies Sale

OWS is hosting the 12 Days of Indies from December 1st to the 12th. Each day they will feature different novels on sale for $2.99 or less. Participate in their raffle for a chance to win a prize for both readers and writers, a coffee mug or a lifetime subscription to Missinglettr, which is a great tool for scheduling social media posts. So check out the sale and grab Angelborn for $2.99 at https://ows-ink-llc.myshopify.com/collections/jk-allen-collection/products/angelborn-by-jk-allen

Here’s OWS’s blog post about day one sales here

Be sure to enter the raffle and enjoy the sales!

Happy reading!

Julia

Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for memes and weekly prompts

On Releases

Hello all! As you know, I released my debut novel on the 27th of last month. I’ve been published previously in anthologies, but this was the first time it was all me all the time. It’s been a great experience so far. There’s nothing quite like having your book in your hands and seeing all the selfies of people with your book. So I thought I’d talk to you a little bit about what it’s like to release and some of the things that helped make mine what I would consider a success. I mean after all, I did set a modest goal for sales in a month and met it in the first couple of weeks. So let’s look at some of what I did.

Obviously this isn’t going to be an extensive list of what I did, but I did want to share some of my thoughts. I used to only use my Facebook author page to communicate on Facebook about my writing. But I realized a few months ago that people on my personal page were excited about my book coming out and wanted to know more. So I started sharing stuff on my personal page and found a lot of support from friends and family. Now that’s not to say I spammed them with buy my book links. In fact, I made sure not to post about my book at all more than once a week. And I didn’t start telling them about it six months or more in advance. I started teasing stuff out like excerpts and my cover reveal two months before release day. And I definitely didn’t include the links to buy each time. I tried to make it more personal and engaging than that, and it wasn’t all about getting people to buy my book. It was more just sharing my book and my excitement with the world, and I really think that translated well. I’m friends with a lot of authors on Facebook, and quite frankly, we all get sick of the book links spamming that goes on every day over and over again. I didn’t want to be that person. So keep in mind your friend list cares about you as a person, and not just an advertisement for you to get their money.

I’ve also been working hard behind the scenes to do local signings. A lot more people than you think like to support local authors and people in their community. Now I deal with a lot of anxiety, especially social anxiety, so this isn’t the easiest thing for me to go out and do. But I know it’s good for me and for the community. The first signing I set up is at a local library branch. I’m offering a Q and A on writing and publishing, since I work for a small press, so I’m hoping to help people better understand the publishing process and not just sell copies. And we are advertising it this way, as an opportunity for others to learn a bit more on how to get published and not just to meet little ole me. I’m also happy that the library will be doing its own advertising for the event. So it’s not just all on me (though you should be prepared if it is). I’ve started to let people know that I have an event in January coming up and will start to seriously promote it as it draws sooner. I find if you invite people too early, they forget about it and just don’t think about it. I’ve also got two more venues asking me to do a signing with them. It’s nerve wracking, but also exciting.

I also did special things to celebrate my release. On the day of, I hosted a small Facebook party where me and some friends talked about Angelborn. My editors and some friends who had read it all participated, but it wasn’t your typical takeover event. The focus was on my debut novel and not just them selling their books to my audience. This gave more people a real idea of what my book was all about and didn’t take the focus off of it. They did still introduce their writing at the end of their segments, along with where you could find them online, but it was really my special day. Not saying that everyone can take that approach. I think these people really loved me to do things this way and have so much to say about my book, but it’s something to consider if you really want to acquaint your friend list to your book. It also really made me feel great on release day. I kept it short, only 4 and a half hours long. I find that things really die off when events go too long. And afterwards, I was able to enjoy my night, going out for sushi with my sissy and spending quality time with the fam. I also made my party feel more like a real party. Since my guests were all talking about my book, I didn’t have to go crazy trying to “sell” it. I posted pictures of the special cake my sissy made for the day and shared some cocktails another friend of mine had designed for my series. Team Angelborn and Team Demonkind drinks special just for me! It made for a more fun environment, and I liked the laid back approach. Think about ways to get engagement up.

But the party doesn’t stop there. I decided to host an in-person event for people to help celebrate my release. It’s on Sunday, and I am so excited for it to happen. I will be selling copies of my book for people to have signed by me, but it’s not the focus. There will be lunch, prizes, games, making bookmarks, and a small reading by me before the signing. It’s a tangible way to have people show their support for you and really celebrate all the hard work you went through to get to this stage. I’m a big believer in celebrating these victories in your writing career. We rented out a hall for a great price (while supporting veterans) and like I said we have prizes! My publisher uses Red Bubble for their merch and my amazing designer came up with some fabulous stuff. (Here’s the link to check out my pub’s merch for ideas, and my specific merch, the Angelborn merch based off my cover and Team Angelborn and Team Demonkind merch so people can pick a side to rep). I’m doing some small and big prizes based on raffles and the games we have going on. It costs a little money, but with people out in the world showing off your merch, that’s free advertising. Plus I’m happy to share this awesome stuff with my family and friends, because I really do love their products. And the best part of Red Bubble is there’s no up front costs. As long as you have the designs, you just upload them. They don’t print until they have an order, so you don’t have to pay to make a bunch of merchandise to have to turn around and try to sell just to get your money back.

Well, that’s all I have time for to talk about today. Maybe I’ll let you know later how my in-person party went and more about my local events. Hope you find this helpful, and if you do want to snag a copy of Angelborn, it’s on Barnes and Noble online.

Happy releasing!

Julia

Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for inspiration, memes, and weekly prompts.

Angelborn Blog Tour Kickoff!

So Angelborn releases on the 27th! In preparation, there’s a blog tour going on starting today with author interviews with me and book reviews of Angelborn. Angelborn is about a girl who thinks she’s a normal teenager until she gets a bruise that won’t heal and starts having strange dreams. She’s thrust into a world she never knew existed and has to stay out of the hands of a powerful half demon while keeping her loved ones safe. Follow along with Ginny’s adventure by pre-ordering for the sale price today at Amazon.

Here are some excerpts from the book

Quote 1 Version 3Quote 2 Version 2Quote 3Quote 4

The tour kicks off with Our Write Side at https://wp.me/p9SAMH-fe

And here are the other stops on the tour. Stop by and check them out!

9/15: Author Interview http://afstewartblog.blogspot.com/p/interviews.html

9/16: Book review: www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com

9/19: Book review: Hines and Bigham’s Literary Tryst | Indie Authors Helping Other …

9/20: Release announcement: https://rebekahjonesy.blogspot.com/2018/09/angelborn-by-jk-allen.html

9/22: Author Interview: https://rebeccarpierce.wordpress.com/

9/27: Author Interview: https://plotmonster.wordpress.com/

9/27: Author Spotlight: https://timothybatesonauthor.weebly.com/

9/29: Book spotlight: https://timothybatesonauthor.weebly.com/

9/30: Book review: Crliteraryblog.wordpress.com

10/2: Author interview: https://rebekahjonesy.blogspot.com/2018/09/author-interview-with-jk-allen.html

Don’t forget to check out these stops to learn a bit more about me and my debut novel. In the meantime, happy writing!

Julia

Angelborn Cover Reveal!

So sorry this is a little late in the day, but the time just got past me today. But it’s here! The final cover reveal for Angelborn. If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ve been privy to each stage of the project (if you haven’t, you can check out my links at the bottom of this post to catch up). So, without further ado, here it is!

AB wrap final (1)

This went through several stages, and I was fortunate enough to be able to be involved in each step. My cover designer was great and really listened to my opinions on colors and other details that really went into making this so eye catching. I was so nervous about the process, since I’m not a designer myself, but it was all a very great process that I was happy to be involved in. Not all authors are so lucky.

Angelborn is also available for pre-order at D2D and Amazon! And it’s on sale. Pre-order today and save some money!

As always, I’m glad to share this process with each of you and shed some light on my experience with publishing. A lot of people advocate for self-publishing or traditional, but it all really depends on your goals for yourself and your book, and on things like what you can realistically invest yourself in the process. This includes time, money, and marketing. And of course, the press makes all the difference with what they do to help or harm you. There’s no one answer, but I am happy to answer any questions, if you have any.

Thanks for sharing in my reveal today and be sure to stay tuned for more!

Julia

Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for inspiration, memes, and weekly prompts.

Cover Reveal Stage One

So I know this isn’t the day I normally post on here, but I wanted to share my cover reveal which I will be doing all week. I may not post each stage on here, but you can see it on my other social media sites, which I will link to at the bottom of this post. I am revealing the cover by posting all the stages and transformations the cover went through until the end where I will post the final version on the first. So here it is, the first stage of the cover reveal.

woman faded

It all started with this figure, which I love and captures some of the emotions of the book perfectly. Ginny, the protagonist, goes through some turmoil and mixed emotions as she discovers she is half-angel and that her father is alive. Here’s the blurb.

High school is all about boy meets girl, girl gets demon mark, and girl finds out she’s half-angel. At least that’s how it is for Ginny Gracehurst.

Sixteen year olds have a lot going on in their lives, and Ginny is no exception. Grades, homework, pimples, oh and now the sudden appearance of a demon mark. And discovering her father, who she thought was dead, is actually the great angel Grace. Who is very much alive.

With unforeseen powers growing, she has to figure out who she really is. While also staying out of the reach of a powerful half demon who is hell-bent on bending her to his will. The Alliance, an organization that is supposed to help people like her, is threatened by her potential gifts. They are more invested in their own hierarchy than in upholding their divine mandate. It’s up to her and a new friend, Aiden, to protect not just herself, but the ones she loves.

And in case you missed it last week, here is a short excerpt from the story I posted on my social media.

Quote 1 Version 3

So be sure to tune in for the final cover reveal on the first!

In the meantime, happy writing!

Julia

Find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for inspiration, memes, and weekly prompts.

Publishing News

So if you’ve been following me on social media, you would have seen my announcement that my debut novel, Angelborn, is being published this year by OWS Ink. I am very pleased to be able to announce this and this post will be a little about the process and where I am right now.

So the process began with edits, which I am currently working through with my editor. Angelborn was extensively edited before I submitted, so we didn’t need to make any major edits, but we did have some tweaks to do. The ending needed to be changed as well as a few other scenes, but I am happy with where it is going. I have also learned to trust my instincts better as some of these changes I had originally planned on writing, but changed for different reasons. I think it’s really important to learn to give credence to what our gut tells us, but it’s also important to listen to and consider feedback. It’s a balance to be made for sure, but ultimately it is your story and you have a certain vision for it.

I am also in talks with my cover designer. To me this is the scariest part of the process as it is such an important part and I have little experience with design. I know what I find pleasant or eye catching, but I am hardly an expert. The important thing to remember is the cover is like an advertisement or movie poster. It’s supposed to sell the idea of the novel and accurately portray the genre, not be something like a scene from the book. That seems to be a common mistake authors make when coming up with book cover ideas that I’m trying to avoid with mine. As Angelborn is also the first book in a series, I have to make sure I keep series branding in mind. My original ideas for a cover were actually better suited to the sequel than the first book, so I had to switch gears. I want them to match and seem like a series, so that’s another aspect to consider in the process.

I am also busy working on getting the sequel ready for publishing next year. Since publishing works ahead of time, it’s important for me to get my book into the queue for next year as soon as possible, so I’ve been working overtime editing that as well. My first reader finished reading it in two days and gave me good feedback, which was great and helped to allay some of those imposter syndrome doubts we all face as writers. So I plan on emailing my publisher the second book sometime this week after I do some final passes.

And that’s where I’m at right now. Busy editing, which can be a trying process, but also excited to see my stories come to life on the page. Keep an eye out for further announcements as we get closer to a release date and let me know in the comments what you’ve been working on.

Julia

Find me on Twitter and Facebook for weekly prompts and check out my new Instagram.