Readers’ Choice Awards: The Voting Starts Now

B&P Readers' Choice

Click on the shiny badge to take you to the voting page. It’s SO easy!

Some of you may know this already, but among the world of indie authors, getting a review from BigAl’s Books and Pals is no small accomplishment. According to statistics released by the site, “In the twelve months ending February 28th, 2014, BigAl and the Pals will have received over 1,400 books to consider for review and published 368 book reviews.”

I’m wicked excited that one of those titles was mine: Sliding Past Vertical has been selected as one of the books they felt stood out as an exceptional example of indie writing. (Their words, not mine, and they’re enough to make a girl mix up a pitcher of virtual margaritas and dance. No, not on the pole. Not since the last time.)

SlidingPastVertical300Anyway…B&P divided these books into thirteen categories. Sliding Past Vertical has been nominated for Contemporary/General Fiction. Starting now, you can vote for your favorites in each category. If you think the book is worthy, I hope you’ll swing by and give me your vote; I’d appreciate your support. Thank you! Voting enters you into a drawing for some cool prizes, and I hope you win!

Voting automatically enters you into B&P’s giveaway. You can learn all about that here. Voting ends at midnight, March 12, and final results will be announced the morning of Wednesday, March 15. Winners get a shiner badge and some cool exposure on the B&P website. Exposure (not the kind when you’re swinging around on the pole) for indie authors is a really good thing.

PWC3 - Tapped - small

Some of my friends and colleagues have also been nominated. Lynne Cantwell’s Tapped, the third book in the Pipe Woman Chronicles, has been nominated in the Fantasy category.

BADBOOK
Bad Book, a wickedly funny combo-genre novel written by Stephen Hise, KS Brooks, and JD Mader, has been nominated in the Humor category.

coverJulie Frayn has been nominated in the Women’s Fiction category for her novel, It Isn’t Cheating if He’s Dead.

blind-sight-2Nicole Storey has also been nominated in the Fantasy category for Blind Sight, the first book of her Celadon Circle series.

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DV Berkom’s wild ride, Yucatan Dead, sixth book in the Kate Jones series, was nominated in the Thrillers category.

Good luck to all the nominees and remember that if you vote, you can win!

[Voting notes: The form doesn’t like Internet Explorer. Once you click on this link that takes you to the site, log in with Facebook or your email address. Click on the downward-facing arrow in each category to see the books nominated. Click the open circle to the left to make your selection and “Enter” to register the vote. Clicking on the title will give you more info about the book.]

An Indie Smorgasbord in First Chapters

First-Chapters22-ocean-sampleI’m so excited about this release from Indies Unlimited!

First Chapters provides 1500-word excerpts from the work of twenty-two cutting-edge indie authors (well, twenty-one plus me!). Some of them are award-winning, some are bestselling, and they all, at one time, joined forces at IndiesUnlimited.com: a site dedicated to the indie author movement. This volume includes a wide array of genres and unique voices. From elegant vampires to former assassins, from drama to comedy, from science fiction to nonfiction, you’ll find something to please every palate, along with brief author bios and a purchase link, should you decide to read more.

Why did we do this? Because sometimes the “look inside” feature of a book you’re interested in buying online isn’t enough. You might have to wade through a bunch of front matter, leaving only a page or two of the story. How frustrating is that, especially if you’re looking at a number of books?

This volume includes first chapters from authors DV Berkom, Melissa Bowersock, Laurie Boris, K.S. Brooks, Lynne Cantwell, Martin Crosbie, Jim Devitt, A.C. Flory, Yvonne Hertzberger, Stephen Hise, Mark Jacobs, Chris James, LA Lewandowski, TD McKinnon, Rich Meyer, Melissa Pearl, Lin Robinson, Kathy Rowe, Carolyn Steele, Krista Tibbs, Dick Waters, and Carol Wyer.

I hope you enjoy it.

Here is some handy linkage:

Amazon US:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E8RWYXW/
Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00E8RWYXW/

My Year of Living Indie

poetry_readingJacqueline Hopkins-Walton, a member of a Facebook group I belong to, recently asked us to kick in our “top ten” favorite books we read in 2012. Five immediately came to mind, several others I can’t name because they’re not officially published yet or I had a hand in editing, and the rest resulted from a quick consultation with my Kindle.

Only one book was put out by a large publisher.

In fact, a further consultation with the K-dude revealed that with the exception of The Maltese Falcon, nearly every book I read in 2012 was written by an indie author.

Curiosity? Solidarity? Poverty?

Yes, all are true. When, in late 2011, I started testing the waters prior to self-publishing my second novel, Drawing Breath, I met a bunch of great, funny, quirky, generous authors who’d decided to chuck pitching to the Big Guys and go their own way. Curious, I read a bunch of affordable—and frequently free—books that didn’t have a flightless waterfowl on their spines. Some needed some work. Some were good. Some were pretty amazing.

I didn’t consciously make a choice to avoid the big names. A few of my favorite trad-published authors, like Michael Chabon, Joyce Carol Oates, and Ian McEwan came out with books this year and I will read them, eventually, when the budget allows. (Before you suggest my local library, I am a big fan, although Marion the Librarian does not care for my slow reading pace, which resulted in my returning Ian McEwan’s Solar only halfway done under threat of large fines and manual dispossession.)

My TBR indie list sort of…evolved. Friends came out with new books. Other authors recommended their favorites. One thing led to another. My involvement with Indies Unlimited brought me closer to inspirational, heartbreakingly talented, funny, smart authors from around the world.

Doesn’t mean I won’t sink into a big-name book again. In fact, two are waiting on my nightstand: Jeffrey Eugenides because I’ve adored him since Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides, and Jane Green, because I won her latest in a Goodreads Giveaway.

This year in reading just happened. And I’m very happy about it. It’s a lovely feeling, looking down my Kindle directory and seeing so many friends’ names.

So, in no particular order, these were my favorite books I read in 2012:

Jimmy Mender and his Miracle Dog by Leland Dirks
Joe Café by JD Mader
Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip by David Antrobus
My Temporary Life by Martin Crosbie
Upgrade by Stephen Hise
Bad Book by Stephen Hise, KS Brooks, and JD Mader
Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines by Carol E. Wyer
The Sable City and Death of a Kingdom by M. Edward McNally [from the same series; The Norothian Cycle, so it counts as two!]
Charmed Life by Susan Bennett

What were some of your favorites?

Disclaimers:

1. I am a relatively slow reader, and it’s been a busy year.
2. Which means I probably read about thirty books.
3. So I do what I can. And this only one reader’s opinion.
4. There are many, many wonderful authors I’ve yet to read.
5. Even ones I know.
6. Your actual mileage may vary.

So Long, 2012, and Thanks for All the Fish…

happy-new-yearLoss, love, joy, grief, rebirth, pain, triumph: it’s been a rich and melancholic salad of a year for me. That canard of ancient wisdom, “Be careful what you wish for,” is definitely not one to toy with. For a while there, every shiny penny on the sidewalk, it seemed, came with a foot waiting to stomp on my hand as I reached for it.

My professional goals (Thank you, Jim Devitt, for reminding me of the importance of goal-setting) for this year were to publish two novels and continue building up my editing business. I’ve accomplished both. I’m very happy about that. Drawing Breath and Don’t Tell Anyone are both out. I’m helping some wonderful writers get their manuscripts ready for publication. Took me almost fifty years, but I think I’ve finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up. Being up to my elbows in words—my words and those of other’s—is definitely my happy place.

But this year, two additional books came out with my name attached to them as contributing author: Indies Unlimited’s Author’s Snarkopaedia Volume 1 and Indies Unlimited: Tutorials and Tools for Prospering in a Digital World. This would not be possible without the passion and dedication of Stephen Hise and K.S. Brooks, the evil geniuses behind Indies Unlimited. I sit in a little pink room filled with toys in a house in the woods, typing on a keyboard, a recluse by nature, and at times this gets isolating and a bit sad. Being a part of IU and having a virtual extended family of kindred spirits across the Interwebs gives me great joy and at times so much laughter I spit tea across the keyboard. I have actually pulled muscles from laughing. It’s much more entertaining to go to the chiropractor with a good story of how I hurt myself, rather than the usual snow-shoveling or long-car-ride excuse. I do like to be considerate of my healthcare professionals whenever possible. They want funny stories to tell people at parties, too.

So thank you to you all for supporting my writing, for sharing it with your friends, and for trusting me with your work and your words.

However 2012 has treated you, whether you’re gazing fondly in the rearview mirror or bidding it off with glee while saying, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out,” I hope 2013 is bursting with health, peace, love, happiness, and prosperity, in whatever form that means to you.

Onward!

Indies Unlimited: New Book Marketing Strategy

Press Release: INDIES UNLIMITED TO REVEAL NEW BOOK MARKETING STRATEGY

March 26, 2012; Phoenix, AZ – On April 1st, 2012 at 8 a.m. Pacific time, Indies Unlimited – the premier multi-national, multi-author web site for the Independent Publishing industry – will announce a new and innovative ‘reverse marketing’ book promotion tactic developed by founder Stephen Hise.

“Mr. Hise is an innovator and mastermind,” Indies Unlimited co-administrator K. S. Brooks said in a written statement. “This new method is definitely not for everyone, but I believe it could start a new trend in the marketplace. Indie book promotion will definitely be impacted, and quite frankly, may never be the same again. We’re looking forward to sharing Mr. Hise’s perspicacity with the industry.

”Stephen Hise founded IndiesUnlimited.com in October of 2011 to provide a platform for independent authors to share and exchange ideas, knowledge, expertise and frustrations; and, for readers and reviewers to become exposed to the amazing depth and array of talent in the indie community.

For more information, go to http://www.IndiesUnlimited.com

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Contact: K. S. Brooks
Co-Adminstrator
Indies Unlimited
ksbrooks@ksbrooks.com