Monday, November 21, 2011

Reviews are love...

Even bad ones, because that means people are reading my book. Though, the worst review I've seen thus far was 3 our of 5 stars for The Human, and their chief complaint was that Story acted like a 25 year old, not a 17 year old. Hey, I'll be the first to admit I wrote Story as more mature than a typical 17 year old, so it's a fair complaint. But that's not the point, the point is, eventually I'm going to encounter someone who hated my book (soon to be books) and that's okay! I know my writing's not for everyone. That said, I am just glowing over this review on BigShinyRobot. My favorite bit: The Human is a very fun read, very much in the vein of the Chronicles of Narnia or The Hunger Games. It has a very strong female lead, an incredibly well-developed world, a fiendish villain you just love to hate, and above all: a love story that doesn't actually make you want to gag. But you can go read the whole thing for yourself on the website. :) p.s. Yes, I'm still writing my little heart out! Though I don't think I'll make my NaNoWriMo Goal... oh well!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Geek Media Expo V.3 wrap up!

Last weekend I had the great opportunity to attend Geek Media Expo V.3 (GMXv3) as a writer guest. To say it was a LOT of fun would be an understatement! I think most of my weekend was spent with me fangirling over one thing or another. You would have been hard pressed to differentiate me from the attendees for sure - and I'm ok with that! I'm a geek at heart, and when I'm not a writer guest at a convention, I'm quite happily, a paying attendee! I will say that I went to the convention with some trepidation. You see, I didn't really know anyone! I'm not exactly what you would call shy, but I'm so used to my husband, a friend, or a co-worker going with me on my trips that to go completely alone was odd & a bit daunting. I needn't have worried - within about 30 seconds of arriving in the Green Room to pick up my badge & schedule I was immediately befriended by the wonderful & talented Patricia Alice Albrecht (the voice of Pizzazz from Jem, among many things). She basically took me under her wing for the entire convention. She & her wonderful husband Bruce and son Forest, took me out to dinner on Friday night & then spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with me & giving me some great tips & advice on things. I also have some potentially AWESOME news, but more on that later if it comes to fruition. I'd also like to mention that Jennifer Byrd, the guest relations coordinator was AWESOME. I arrived at GMX, was ushered up to the green room & there she was with my badge and a folder detailing my full schedule for the weekend so that there would be no confusion as to where & when I was needed. Plus, she made a point of checking on me, making sure I had everything I needed all weekend. She is a true pro & made my entire experien [...]

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vintage dresses!

I know I know, NOT a writing post, but hey, let's shake things up a bit (BTW, I DID finish the 1st draft of The Hunter). I was asked by several people on Facebook to post some pics of my vintage dresses (I have a bit of a passion for collecting and wearing them on a regular basis). So I uploaded an album there of them. CLICK HERE TO SEE THEM. This one, from the late 1930s is my very fav of all... click above to see the rest! ~~~~~ Don't forget, physical copies of Songs of the Seasons: Girl are now available.

Goodreads Book Giveaway


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Monday, October 10, 2011

Songs of the Seasons: Girl (a short story)

Milt knew better than to go spelunking alone in his favorite caving system. If anything happened to him, like falling down a deep shaft and breaking his leg, he'd probably die before anyone found him, and that suited him just fine. He expected to be thrilled, and he expected to have a great time. What he didn't expect was to encounter a naked, half-drowned, red-headed woman making her way up to the main cavern entrance. For those of you who need to read something from the War of the Seasons world to hold you over until The Hunter comes out in June, this is just for you. You can download it for $1.99 on your Nook here and on your Kindle here. iBook version will be forthcoming, as will a limited run of signed pamphlet hard copies. Also, the release date couldn't be more perfect (you'll see what I mean when you read it). Happy Columbus Day everyone! Be careful if you decide to go spelunking... especially if you meet up with mythological creatures along the way... ;) ~~~~~ Don't forget War of the Seasons: the Human now has a book trailer:

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Monday, September 26, 2011

A book trailer!

Yes I know my book's been out since June, but I decided to join the cool kids club & do a book trailer for The Human. So, I contacted one of my fav bands The Steelwells and got the commercial license for one of their songs (Our Fabled Little Rabbits) & spoke to a friend of mine (Mary Moline) about putting the vid together. I wanted something simple, mostly text and my book cover and Mary understood perfectly. Anyway, I hope you enjoy! And yes, feel free to repost/share if you'd like. :) ~~~~~~ Don't forget you can still enter to win a free copy of my book!

Goodreads Book Giveaway


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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Where to find me at Dragon*Con

Where you can find me at Dragon*Con 2011: Saturday: Kaleidoscope Track Idol (I'm a judge), Sat 4 PM, Track room. Sunday From 5-7 we'll be at the Kaleidoscope Track Character Meet & Greet. Ron & I are both characters - hopefully the kids approve! Monday: I have my one and only panel on this day - so be there! It's at 1pm in the YA Lit track room and it's on Self-Publishing VS Traditional Publishing, the good, the bad, & the ugly. *At some point during the weekend I intend to catch one of Mike Stackpole's and Aaron Allston's writer workshops. *I also intend to get Kate Mulgrew's autograph. I've been wanting to meet this woman for years! Capt Janeway has been a HUGE inspiration to me. **When I'm not at a panel, I'll be at the Hyatt manning the HPEF/Asciendo table. I've been invited to attend Asciendo as an author guest July 2012, and because I was unable to get a dealer or author table at D*C this year, HPEF/Asciendo has graciously allowed me to help man their table & put out postcards/advertisements for War of the Seasons. I will not be able to sell books at the table but I can sign books already purchased, and of course, I can deliver books that have already been purchased ahead of time on my website, or on, or any bookstore. Money just cannot be exchanged at the table. And don't forget to enter the Goodreads giveaway for my book!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

War of the Seasons by Janine Spendlove

War of the Seasons

by Janine Spendlove

Giveaway ends August 22, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Yes, I know it's been a few weeks, but trust me, life has been crazy busy & I've been spending what free time I've got writing The Hunter. I assume you'd prefer that over a blog post every night, right? ;)

OK, so a few bits of news:

 1- You can now get War of the Seasons, book one: The Human on iBooks. YAY!
 2- The map on the Nook version of The Human has finally been fixed. If you archive the book & then re-download it, it should show up for you now.
 3- @Petullant on twitter has been live tweeting as she reads The Human. I've found it quite funny, but then perhaps I'm a bit biased... You can see an archive of her tweets on this (and other book reviews) here: Example tweet: I'm not saying we need Team Elf! & Team Faerie Prince! tees but I'm decorating mine with glitter & a pic of a threatening dagger on the back and Most valuable thing I have that my dad gave to me is a kitchen aid mixer. Any quests of mine better be successful by the baking of brownies!
 4- Thanks for the shout out SirensCon!
 5- Speaking of cons, I was just added as a guest to GMX in Nashville, this October - hope to see you there!
 6- How about one link about self-publishing (or rather, Entrepreneurial Publishing)? This one's a short one, but I found it interesting...
 7- The Hunter, what I know you all really want to hear about, is coming along nicely. I'm about 25K words in ~ 1/4 of the way done with the first draft. I've got a progress bar on the right side of this website that I update almost nightly, so you can check and see how things are progressing. I also tweet random updates, so check me out there too. [...]

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thank you. :)

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has read my book & taken the time to let me know what they think, whether it be through a comment here, on facebook, or via email. Your support and excitement over the War of the Seasons series is infectious & definitely keeps me writing! 

Just as a heads up, I wanted to let you know some tentative publishing dates for further installments of the War of the Seasons series. I've written a couple short stories that explore the back story of a few of the side characters - namely, Almera, Eánna, Milton, and Eilath. The first short story will come out in October 2011, and the second one in April 2012. These will be digital releases only, available for .99 cents. The Hunter, book two in the War of the Seasons series, should be ready for release, both digitally and physically in June of 2012.

One quick favor to ask of you all - if you liked The Human, please spread the word to your friends via email, twitter, text, facebook, or just old fashioned talking. ;) Also, please consider leaving a review for it on,, and/or As this book is self-published, whether it "makes it" will be entirely due to you, and the awesome power of social media. For those of you already doing this, thank you so much! :)

That said, guess I'd better get back to writing The Hunter!

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Origins Game Fair 2011 wrap up

Fair warning, this is going to be a looooong picture filled post. To start out, I can't think of a better way to have spent my 32nd birthday than as a guest at Origins. If you were following my tweets/facebook updates at Origins, I think you pretty much have a fairly good idea what things were like for me & how much fun I had (plus how much I learned). But if not, here you go: I started out the convention on Thursday morning playing my very first RPG - no, not Rocket Propelled Grenade (which was my first thought) - but a Role Playing Game. I had no idea what to do - something I think the gamemaster quickly realized when she told me to get out my dice. "Why do I need dice?" So, there's something else I learned when playing an RPG - you need dice. The gamemaster kindly loaned me a set of her dice & between her & Mac they very patiently taught me how to play. Thankfully it was a Star Wars game, so I at least knew the "world" we were dealing with, and didn't have to be schooled in that - it was my saving grace/geek cred. ;) I was a wookiee! After the game (which turned out to be a lot of fun!), I had to head up to the author meet & greet, where, I've got to admit, it was VERY surreal to be "peers" with the likes of Aaron Allston, Michael A. Stackpole, & Timothy Zahn. I mean, I've been reading these gentlemen since I was 15, so yeah, this was surreal & awesome! I was also glad for the opportunity to get to meet the rest of the au [...]

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

What's in a name?

First off, all pre-ordered signed books have been signed, packaged, and will be shipped tomorrow. Any books ordered after today will have a 3-5 business day turnaround (longer in the case of a convention weekend, like Origins this weekend). And now onto the point of this post - or rather, the purpose of my ramblings: As I was sitting here, munching on a brick of fudge (don't judge me), and revising the outline for The Hunter (then I went on to write the first 10 pages, wooo!), I received a text from a friend. "Spendlove??? Really??? How did you come up with THAT for your pen name?" "LOL, well, believe it or not, it's the name I signed for 21 years of my life." "Whaaaaaaaat?! Too funny!" So there you have it - my pen name is not a silly made up name (it's silly, but not made up), or just a fanciful name I came up with for the purposes of publishing. It is, in fact, my maiden name. It just so happens that I have a memorable, fun, whimsical maiden name - sometimes you just get lucky and life helps you out. :) Which brings up the question, what exactly is my current last name? Well, does it matter? Not really, no. I mean, it's not a big secret or anything, but part of the reason I decided to publish under a pen name is that I wanted to keep my two professional lives (writer me & U.S. Marine me) separate - well, as separate as possible in this day and age, because let's face it, THE INTERNET KNOWS EVERYTHING! Again, it's no secret that I'm in the Marine Corps, or what my legal last name is - and at conventions, and meeting people, I'm more than happy to talk about these things, but for my author "identity" (especially online) I wanted to create a specific image, because let's face it, that's a lot of what a pen name is for (much like a stage name for a musician): A pen name, nom de plume, or literary double, is a pseudonym adopted by an author. A pen [...]

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's everywhere!

OK, well maybe not everywhere, but darn near! You can now get War of the Seasons, Book One, The Human for your Kindle and your Nook for only $4.99! The iBook version (also for only $4.99) should be due out any day now. That said, I need to bring up a problem the Nook version has been having. For some reason the map of Ailionora is not showing up. The weird part is if you open it up on your Nook app on your iPhone/iPad or computer it works just fine. It's only on the actual Nook that it won't show up. It's baffling the B&N Nook techs, that's for sure. Hopefully they'll have it solved and push an update to your Nooks soon. Until then, here is a clickable thumbnail to the map so you can know where in the world you are... Not into reading digital books? You can purchase a signed copy of my book in my shop. Not into collecting signed books, but still want a physical copy? You can get it on createspace or Amazon. Want to test drive before you buy? You can now read Sample Chapters here. And if you do happen to read my entire book, and feel so inclined, I'd love a review at any of those places - Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, your own blog... Let me know what you [...]

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

War of the Seasons: The Human, Pre-Sale

My book went to the printers yesterday, and it's almost here! And now, you can pre-order your very own signed and personalized copy from my shop! I'm so very excited! Can you tell? Don't worry, very soon you'll be able to order it for your Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and more. One again, the link to my shop: Hope you enjoy it. :)

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Proof & a Song

Not gonna lie, things have been very stressful (I'm sure my editor would agree), but in a good way, because LOOK: I'm VERY excited about my book! I'm less excited about my new haircut. Bleh. At anyrate, hopefully War of the Seasons, Book One: The Human will be available for purchase in a week or so. *fingers crossed* It's be available for purchase on Nook, Kindle, iBook... you name it! And of course, you can still go the old school ACTUAL PHYSICAL BOOK route. :) Keep an eye out - a free preview download of the first two chapters should be available in the next couple days... Now, onto other news, I HAVE A SONG! I've noticed (and had pointed out to me by several friends) that the growing trend is to have a promo vid for your book. So my ever talented webmaster, Rich, is creating one for me. The thing is, you can't just go using people's music willie nillie for commercial purposes without licensing it, so I contacted one of my favorite bands, The Steelwells to work out me possibly licensing one of their songs for my promo vid. They were, thankfully, on board, and so now, I HAVE A SONG! They have many wonderful songs, but the one I felt fit best with the tone of my book was "Our Fabled Little Rabbits." So here you have their fun & quirky music vid - I'll obviously post my promo vid once it's complete.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A last minute crisis averted!

So, as I was reviewing the final FINAL print edit of The Human, I asked my husband (who doubles as my attorney), how I needed to credit the lyrics I'd used in my book - specifically, Merle Haggard's, "Okie from Muskogee." He did some research & happened to mention "I hope you aren't using more than one or two lines - more than that and you need permission from the artist." WUT? I was using 6... Ok, so in hind site I really shouldn't have been surprised, but as I said above, I was reviewing the FINAL print edit of my book when I discovered this. To say that I panicked would be an understatement - I had to get revisions to my editor that night if we were going to get everything done in time for our print deadline. Y'all, those lyrics were a huge part of two major scenes in my book. Perhaps with a few days to brew and think about how to rewrite them without the lyrics I could have done it, but to try to do it RIGHT THEN (at the end of a very long day I might add), my brain was fried, and I was in no state to write. I'll admit it, I cried. I threw a pillow at the wall and screamed. Then I went into my bedroom and stared at my draft trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do. I thought it was the end of the world. I can be a bit dramatic at times... 5 minutes later Ron came to the rescue. "Hey baby?" "Yeah?" "Are you dead set on those lyrics?" "No. I only used them because my dad used to sing them when I was a kid." "Well, if you use a song that's out of copyright you don't need permission." *SUDDEN HOPE* "Like?..." "Well, anything where the writer's been dead 70 years or more I think. Or any traditional songs like 'Danny boy'." So, I went with the traditional Irish folk tune "Whiskey in the Jar" (sometimes known as "Kilgary Mountain"). While it didn't have the same childhood sentimental value for me that "Okie from Muskogee" did, my husband has been singing it around the house for the past 11 years, and it was t [...]

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I have a cover!

YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS!!! I HAVE A COVER!!!! Betsy did an amazing job on the art - I love love love it! Just what I wanted - she saw into my head perfectly! You can see her previous concept art for this here. Kelli (also my editor) did a wonderful job on the layout - I especially love the font she picked for it. SO PERFECT! :) You guys - this is REALLY HAPPENING! Clickable thumbnail of the full cover: Just the front cover:

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Digital Revolution

A couple of interesting things I've come across in the last month, some to do with self-publishing & some to do with eBooks sales: eBook Sales have tripled in the last year. - Which is fantastic news for all authors - well, those of us who have embraced going digital. For those who haven't, well, eventually a tipping point will come... and they'll be left playing serious catch up. I also have to agree with what Mike Stackpole later said in a recent blog post: Trade Publishers: By clinging to the traditional distribution model, they have fallen seriously behind the curve. Their suppliers (authors) and their true customers (readers) realize they don't need them anymore. The idea that they serve as gatekeepers has fallen to the wayside and has been replaced by free sample chapters so readers can make their own decisions. The "legitimacy" offered by Trade Publishers has also vanished because they've turned around and offered contracts to self-published digital stars so the traditional publishers won't seem so terribly out of touch. It's akin to some segregated country club electing an African-American club president so it can seem that they're not still mired in the past. That doesn't mean th e writers aren't good, it just means that Traditional Publishing's crown is seriously tarnished. Traditional publishers lack the money, personnel, vision and drive to become players in the digital market. There is no way they are going to move it in a different direction. Mike has been preaching the digital revolution for years and years - he saw this coming & no one would listen at first. Or rather, [...]

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Monday, May 9, 2011

My Origin's Schedule

As I've posted before, I'll be launching my first YA Lit novel, War of the Seasons: The Human at Origins Game Fair June 22nd-26th, 2011. One of the really exciting things I'll get to do there is be a part of several panels/seminars - now the official schedule isn't out, but I do know the names of the panels I get to be on & when I'll get to do my reading of my book. And of course, when I'm not at a panel, I'll be at my table in the Author's room in between Bryan Young and Mike Stackpole. COLOR ME EXCITED! Dancing 10 SO, what panels am I going to be on? Here you go (be warned, this schedule is subject to change - nothing is official until the convention program is out - and even then something could change): Thursday, the 23rd - My BIRTHDAY, BTW ;) 1 PM: Author Meet and Greet. Origins' Writers' Symposium (aka The Library) has brought together a group of highly talented and bestselling authors who will spend the convention teaching classes, doing readings, hosting meals and gaming. This is your chance to meet them on an informal basis before the festivities begin. 2 PM: Quick Critiques. Did you have a few manuscript pages in your game bag? Fiction or game material will suffice. Our authors will look at up to three pages of it and offer you an on-the-spot critique. Don't pass up this opportunity for some free one-on-one advice. Authors available: Jean Rabe, Janine Spendlove, Bryan Young, VJ Waks. 3 PM: When the Villain is the Hero. Can your main character be something less than a knight-in-shining armor? There's something definitely attractive about a "bad boy." If carefully executed, you can make the star of your story downright dirty. We provide insight in how to handle the anti-protagonist. Janine Spendlove, Bryan Young [...]

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Friday, May 6, 2011

More on covers - how about some sketches?

I spoke with my cover artist, Betsy, today to see if she minded me posting her concept art for my cover. She said to go for it! So here goes, but please keep a few things in mind: 1- These are very rough concept sketches, intended to explore layout and ideas. 2- They are very small (thumbnails) 3- They were taken with an iPhone camera, so not the best quality, but you'll get the idea. 4- These drawings belong to Betsy - any use of them must be done with her explicit permission first. Now for Betsy's sketches/concepts (very mild book spoilers in the text): So here are some ideas I've got flying around. I really think we should focus on the tree. So many trilogies have important knives on the cover (...) I think you really have an interesting thing going with the tree. Images that also resonated with me: Morrigann's fiddle Faerie Ring the rocks where Morrigann met Story. The cave with the portal - 1 aspen tree at the mouth The painting of the tree in the cave The fairy lights Morrigann's wooden throne I don't want to pull too much imagery from the second half of the book, because there's nothing I hate more than reading a story and all I can think about is how the cover art depicts a scene that hasn't happened yet. Thumbnail 1: Wraparound cover. Includes the tree on the spine, overlapping to front & back covers. On the back on the left is the cave with the aspen tree. On the cover you've got Morrigann's fiddle leaning up against the rock he kept sitting on. That swirl you see starting at the bottom left cover and curling around the front up to the title is just a path the fairy lights would take. The fairies themselves would have no distinct character faces, just a few lines and sparkly lights. Thumbnail 1 Thumbnail 2: More art Nouveau graphics. Cover: Tree front and center, but a less literal d [...]

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On book covers

Who knew that actually giving input on your book cover could be both FUN and ANXIETY ridden? Part of the reason that I want to go the self-publishing route is that I am a control enthusiast (or freak, if you will), and like having the final say on, well, everything - to include my book cover. How did I decide on my cover artist? Well, Betsy and I have been friends for a couple years now, and I love her art. I also knew that she'd be able to convey through her art what I wanted on the cover of my book. I'm not saying we're exactly like minded, but we've talked enough, and she knows me well enough by now, that I knew she'd be able to take my ramblings and create something beautiful out of them. So, I called her up out of the blue and asked if she'd do the cover for my book. She immediately said yes, and we went to work from there. Several texts, phone calls, heytells, and emails later - I think we had a solid understanding of what I wanted, and what style she was going to go for. Believe it or not, I wasn't actually that specific (at least I don't think so). My requirements were essentially: 1- No people. I don't like it when a book cover tells me what a character looks like. The reader's imagination & the author's words should do that. 2- The cover for all three books need to stylistically be similar/have a unifying theme. 3- Nothing in black/white/red super emo/angsty that seems to be all the rage & style on YA Lit covers these days (I'm not naming names, but you know what books I'm talking about). 4- Something that makes it clear that it's a fantasy novel/faerie tale. Beyond that, I left it up to Betsy. She's the artist after all. Yesterday I received 4 thumbnail sketches from her. I was so excited because a) HOLY COW THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING! and b) it was really cool to see a visual representation of things from my book. I loved all 4 concepts, but one of them really stood out to [...]

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Final draft - complete!

Or should I say abandoned? ;) I made my first deadline - my editor has my final draft, and I must say, it's both exciting and terrifying. I know I could continue to edit and revise probably forever, but really, it's time. Also, I know I've mentioned that I love to travel - it's a wonderful "muse." I'm currently in Mozambique, Africa & after taking a dip in the Indian Ocean yesterday, I feel a short story coming on...

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Monday, April 18, 2011

How do you...

Original post is at, please comment there.
…revise your manuscript’s final draft in a week and be happy with it?
The answer is, you can’t – and I suspect the same would apply if I had a year to work on it.
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
Thanks for the quote, Bryan. :)
So, I’ve got a deadline – a date where I must finally abandon The Human, or, in other words, get it to a state where I’m mostly happy with it. The truth is, I’m mostly happy with it now. Yes, there are problem areas, and things I know need to be fixed & I will address those before I turn my novel into my editor – but, I think that I could potentially revise this thing for years and never be 100% happy with it. So I’ve decided to turn it in & move on to the next book in the series, The Hunter.
I know the writer I am now is writing a drastically different version of The Human than the writer I will be in 10 years. But in 10 years I’ll be writing other stories. For this one, it’s time.
And just because I’m not about keeping good information to myself, this is the due date timeline that my editor has come up with for a June 22nd release at Origins:
I checked out the CreateSpace community and found this:
The average seems to be 3 weeks for uploading it, receiving a proof (a lot of people skip this step, but I refuse!), okaying the proof, ordering copies, and receiving them.
3 weeks back from June 22 is June 1. I’d feel more comfortable starting that process no later than May 23. Cause, you never know. Memorial Day is in there, and holidays tend to bugger up schedules. So… Yea. My goal for having files uploaded and proof requested is May 23. That means our DROP DEAD DEADLINE for having all files finished is May 22. So there’s a hope that you could have finished books in your hand by June 15.
That said, it’s time to get strict.
Janine, I need your latest (3rd?) revision no later than April 24. My goal is to have the editing and interior layout done and back to you for review by May 8. Since I want to be uploading the final files and requesting a proof on May 23, we have two weeks between May 8 and May 23 to go back and forth approving edits and making final changes. Obviously, if we get done sooner, that’s GREAT, and I can upload files and order your proof earlier.
Betsy, I need your finished artwork that Janine is 100% happy with by May 8.
-I’ll also be posting links and whatnot as I go that you might find helpful. Feel free to ask me any questions about this process & I’ll do my best to answer them.
-Now 19 people “like” me on my Facebook Fanpage. I like all of you too. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

And then something awesome happened...

SO, I posted on on my previous entry that I had a goal publishing date of somewhere around the end of June or beginning of July so that I could have my book ready for Dragon*Con.
Good plan, right? it gave me some time to finish my final revision, and maybe a month or two to play with to make sure everything was ready for D*C.
But then this amazingly awesome thing happened – a couple days later Bryan and I were corresponding with our mutual friend Mike Stackpole, and he invited us to attend Origins as author guests, pending our books being ready by June 22nd.
My reaction to his email went kinda like this:
To say that we were excited would be a HUGE understatement – I think I was unable to speak coherently for a bit there!
I immediately contacted my editor and my cover artist to see if this new timeline was even remotely doable. They both said we could do it… as long as we did NOT delay.
I’ll get into the new timeline, and the whipcracking from Kelli in my next post. But for just a bit I just want to enjoy this amazing opportunity – War of the Seasons: The Human, my first novel, is going to be released at Origins, where I will be among dear friends & mentors.
Also, I have a totally big head now, and made myself a Facebook fanpage… But so far only like 5 people like me! *CRIES ALL THE TEARS* Help?
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Time to get organized!

Originally posted at  Please comment there
I’ve decided to chronicle my adventure/journey through self-publishing my first novel – hopefully you’ll find this useful, or at the very least entertaining. 
So, with my decision made to self-publish War of the Seasons, Book 1: The Human , I realized I needed to get organized – and this, my friends, is where I really see the benefit of going through a publishing house.
While, with self-publishing, I have all the control I could ever ask for (cover, book size, paper, release date, price, etc), it also means I’m ultimately responsible for these thing/for my final product. (I am not a control freak – I am a control enthusiast).
I suppose I could do all these things on my own, but since I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, this was a project that I felt needed other people. Fortunately, I have many talented friends that were willing to help me get organized & to divide & conquer.
Let’s go over the current cast of characters:
Bryan Young, My partner-in-crime for this project. We met camping out for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace back in 1999 & have been friends ever since. We agree on almost nothing (Politics, Fandom, Movies) except for the fact that Star Wars & The Beatles are awesome & self-publishing is something we should try – so we’re doing it together.
R. Thomas Garner, my lawyer, and more importantly my handsome husband of over 10 years now. He’s pretty much awesome!
Rich Sigfrit, my mighty webmaster & one of my oldest friends. We met back in 2003 through the Star Wars FanForce (hmm… I’m sensing a reoccurring theme here) and we attended our first Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention together. Been friends ever since.
Kelli Neier, my editor/book put together-er/all around go-to gal & my friend now since 2008. She’s had the misfourtune of having to read every variation of The Human. Hopefully she approves of the current version now. 
Betsy Waddell, my cover artist, and dear friend since 2009. We met at Dragon*Con & bonded over a shared love of pretty fabrics & Harry Potter villains.
On Friday, April 8th, Bryan & I decided we wanted to have our books ready in time for Dragon*Con this September to begin selling & promoting them. With both our books in the middle of their final revisions, we figured that a June 30th goal date for publishing, while aggressive, was something we could do. Heh, well, let’s just say that things have become a bit more aggressive, but I’ll post more on that later.
So, once I identified my team, and asked all of them if they’d be interested in working with me (they were, YAY!), I had to figure out what needed to be done & who needed to do it. This is what I came up with (after a LOT of their input):
Kelli- Copy editing, ePub formatting, hard copy book formatting, cover graphic design stuffs (I have no idea what the official term for “putting the title & stuff on the cover” is), flyer graphic design/editing, listing the book on all the appropriate websites.
Rich- Website, audio & visual book trailer, audio book
Betsy- Cover artist
Bryan- Help me navigate through this & promoting each other/manning booths/panels together at Cons.
R. Thomas- Draft contracts between the various parties as needed (because even though we’re friends, you should still have a legal contract whenever there’s money involved).
Me- Finish my final revision!
I’m certain I’ve forgotten so many things that need to be done – but that’s why lists are great, right? They can always be revised!
So, as my refrain from the last few days has been… SO EXCITED!
The Beatles Hello Goodbyw
We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Decisions, Decisions...

Originally posted at:  Please comment there
I was hesitant to post this, because I was afraid that people would JUDGE ME, but then I realized I’m being silly.
The truth is going to come out eventually.
And the truth is, I’ve decided to self-publish my first novel.
Yes yes, I already hear the collective gasp of horror from y’all: SELF-PUBLISHING IS A CAREER KILLER!
But is it?
It doesn’t seem to have killed her career… And yes, I know that’s only ONE example, and she did go to traditional publishing in the end – after a bidding war from the major publishing houses for her books!
I’m not saying I think this will happen to me, but I do know one thing – I’ve got a great product. There is definitely a market for The Human, and its sequels (The Hunter and The Half-Blood) – I just need to tap into it.
Good thing I’ve got a plan!
So I suppose this blog will now be more of a chronicle of my adventures in self-publishing – I hope the ride will be fun.
I’ve learned a lot over the last two years about the publishing world, and I know I still have so much more to learn, and I’m looking forward to it. I just feel that for now, this path, the self-publishing path, is the one for me.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost