Monday, June 20, 2016

Jody Smyers and KJ Waters -- Episode 18 -- Blondie and the Book Cover

My book cover business partner, Jody Smyers, and I spent a little time chatting with Suzanne Kelman on our very first podcast recording. It wasn't our first podcast aired but it was the first one we recorded when we were just setting up the podcast last summer. We've improved a lot, but it is still an interesting look at how Jody and I work together in my book cover business, Blondie's Custom Book Covers.




Jody Smyers and KJ Waters — Episode 18 — Blondie and the Book Cover

January 16, 2016
Ever wonder what it takes to create the perfect book cover? In this week's podcast Suzanne Kelman (the Brit) interviews photographer Jody Smyers and our very own KJ Waters (Blondie) about their company Blondie's Customs Book Covers. In this special podcast we explore all the elements that make up the perfect cover and how important first impressions are. If you are an Indie published author or considering going Indie with your book, you don't want to miss this episode













Connect with me:
Instagram: @kamajowa
iTunes:

Other Twitter: @BlondieandBrit @Blondiebookcov


BLOW -- A SHORT STORY

Linker link: myBook.to/BlowbyKjWaters
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Blow----Short-Story-Waters-ebook/dp/B01DYDFO6Y/
Barnes and Noble:BN
iTunes: iTunes
BLURB:
Caught between a hurricane and a deadly secret, Rick Harris struggles against a ticking clock when the wrong people show up at his door looking for shelter. As the storm closes in wreaking havoc on Pensacola, Florida, he has to make a choice between saving their lives and exposing a secret that could cost him everything.
  
STEALING TIME

Barnes and Noble: BN
iTunes: iTunes
Blurb:
Stealing Time is a "Breathtakingly original" time travel adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. As Hurricane Charley churns a path of destruction towards Orlando, Florida, Ronnie Andrews and her best friend, Stephanie McKay, scramble to prepare for the storm. Ronnie seeks shelter at her boyfriend’s weather lab while Steph heads back to her house.

During the peak of the storm Ronnie is hurtled back in time to eighteenth-century London where she is caught in a web of superstition, deception, and lies in a life and death struggle to return to her own time.

Steph is thrust into the middle of the hurricane, but it quickly turns into a living nightmare as she is faced with losing everything. Stealing Time: Book 1 in the Stealing Time Trilogy. 


Friday, June 17, 2016

Happy Father's Day From Blondie and the Brit



HAPPY FATHER'S DAY from Blondie and the Brit 

 
Great Books For Father's Day
 
Stealing Time  
By KJ Waters
As Hurricane Charley churns a path of destruction towards Orlando, Ronnie Andrews and her best friend, Stephanie McKay, scramble to prepare for the storm. Ronnie seeks shelter at her boyfriend’s weather lab while Steph heads back to her house.

During the peak of the storm Ronnie is hurtled back in time to eighteenth-century London where she is caught in a web of superstition, deception, and lies in a life and death struggle to return to her own time.

Steph is thrust into the middle of the hurricane but it quickly turns into a living nightmare as she is faced with losing everything. Stealing Time: Book 1 in the Stealing Time Trilogy.
Purchase your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and more.
           
 
 
Killer City
By Seumas Gallacher
The discovery of a woman’s mutilated torso in a rubbish bin in the north of England sparks a twisting series of events for Jack Calder, a former SAS officer, and his colleagues at their specialist security firm, International Security Partners (ISP).

Jack’s offer to help an old buddy’s son escape a framed murder charge, leads ISP from Manchester and London, across Europe into Lithuania and the mountains of Tajikistan hunting down the peddlers of illicit synthetic drugs, murder, and prostitution rings.

Corruption at the highest levels in European police forces and political hierarchies call for the ISP’s black ops skills to combat the growing global menace of drugs on city streets.A sentence or two describing this item.

Amazon

                                                           
Wrong Place Wrong Time

By David P. Perlmutter

The following story is based on true events about my trip to Marbella, Spain, where having lost everything, which was all self inflicted, including my job, apartment and self respect, I leave memories of a London police cell behind me and head for Spain with its promise of adventure and fun. Little do I know that I'm about to be thrust into the most terrifying time of my life.

WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME is a gripping true-life story of an unimaginable nightmare and how my ticket to a new life turns out to be a one way ticket to hell.

Amazon





Nasty in Nice 
By Claude Bouchard
Four months of peace and tranquility have gone by since the last attempt on their lives, leaving Maya and Matt increasingly confident their enemies are truly part of the past, their biggest worry, deciding their next destination as they travel Europe with three year old Hannah.
Vacationing in Paris with her long-distance partner, Dominique, Canadian operative, Leslie Robb is thrilled to receive a call from friend and colleague, Chris Barry, inviting the two women to join him and his wife at a lavish rented villa in Nice.

On the Deep Web, a covert meeting takes place, twelve of the world's most efficient assassins, brought together to eliminate Maya and Matt, once and for all.

As the dozen killers begin their quest to locate their targets, a chance encounter takes place in Nice, turning the quasi-guaranteed biggest payday of their careers into their biggest nightmare.
Amazon 


 
Necromancer
By Graeme Ing
A primeval fiend is loose in the ancient metropolis of Malkandrah, intent on burning it to a wasteland. The city's leaders stand idly by and the sorcerers that once protected the people are long gone.

Maldren, a young necromancer, is the only person brave enough to stand against the creature. Instead of help from the Masters of his Guild, he is given a new apprentice. Why now, and why a girl? As they unravel the clues to defeating the fiend, they discover a secret society holding the future of the city in its grip. After betrayals and attempts on his life, Maldren has reason to suspect everyone he thought a friend, even the girl.

His last hope lies in an alliance with a depraved and murderous ghost, but how can he trust it? Its sinister past is intertwined in the lives of everyone he holds dear.

Can only evil defeat evil?

Amazon 

Podcast Schedule 

June 2nd - Rachel Thompson
June 9th - Ian McKenzie
June 16th - Kerry Schafer
June  23rd - Ellie Alexandra
June 30th - Kim Hunt Harris


LISTEN NOW → http://www.blondieandbrit.com

GUESTS IN JUNE

Lots of Great Writing and  Publishing Tips this Month   

Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson is the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in both the Los Angeles and San Francisco Book Festivals), and the multi award-winning, bestselling Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed 

Ian Mackenzie

Ian Mackenzie was born in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa and grew up in Johannesburg. He was educated at Queen’s College in Queenstown and Parktown Boys High in Johannesburg. He studied business administration and accounting and enjoyed success in his early career in the financial industry.
 

Kerry Schafer

Kerry Schafer writes fantasy with its teeth sunk into reality, mystery that delves into the paranormal, and, as Kerry Anne King, women’s fiction that embraces the dark and twisty realms of humanity. Fueled by massive amounts of coffee, she spins her tales in the early morning hours before beginning her day job as a clinic RN.

Ellie Alexander

Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.
 

Kim Hunt Harris

Kim Hunt Harris is the author of the The Trailer Park Princess comic mystery series, featuring bungling amateur detectives Salem Grimes and her octogenarian partner-in-crime-solving, Viv. Kim uses her past work experience as a dog groomer to color her books with warm and funny animal stories, and uses the books as a vehicle to ponder deeper spiritual and faith issues as well. 
 
Copyright © 2016 Blondie and The Brit
All rights reserved.



Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Kerry Schafer -- Episode 39 The Queen Misfit Books

Kerry Schafer -- Episode 39 -- The Queen of Misfit Books

Kerry Schafer -- Episode 39 -- The Queen of Misfit Books



This week on Blondie and the Brit we bring you hybrid author Kerry Schafer. Kerry calls herself the Queen of Misfit Books and writes women's fiction, paranormal, fantasy, and mystery genres. She shares with us her experience using Kickstarter to self-publish one of her books and how another book was acquired by Lake Union Publishing. A highly entertaining interview covering a lot of aspects of the writing and publishing process.

Suzanne and I had such a great time chatting with Kerry about her writing. She is published with two different publishers and also has indie books. Kerry had to record this interview from her truck outside of a coffee shop so it was a work of art just to get her on the podcast. 

For more please visit our website at www.blondieandbrit.com.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Ian Mackenzie -- Episode 39 -- Write from the Heart



Ian Mackenzie -- Episode 39 -- Write from the Heart



Really enjoyed this interview with Ian MacKenzie. Click above to listen to the Blondie and the Brit podcast. Ian is a very talented author with a story full of rich South African history. He also is very candid about the difficult situation he encountered when a predatory publisher worked their sales

Ian Mackenzie on Amazon


You can connect with Ian here:

http://www.amazon.com/Ian-Mackenzie/e/B00ICC6J4O

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Five Awesome Reasons For Going Indie

THREE YEARS AGO I sat down with a friend who worked for a publishing company. I had gobs of questions for him about how to publish my book. The picture he painted for me was very discouraging–two years of sending out manuscripts with stacks of rejection letters. Even if a publisher signed me on, since I am an unknown author, they would provide little if any cash advance.
Plus, I would mostly have to market the book on my own until I had shown my ability to sell. Only then would the publisher step in and help more. Even though legitimate publishers have established distribution channels, I left the coffee shop with images of my garage chock-full of books waiting to be sold and a feeling of hopelessness. It definitely halted my rush to finish the book.
Lucky for me it took a few more years to complete my book and in that time a totally different publishing world has emerged. Today a successful independent author is no longer an imaginary creature like a unicorn or a fairy. The key element to this success is putting out a polished and professional product to be able to compete with the traditionally published books that are in the marketplace. It is crucial in this market to hire an editor and create a high-quality book cover. For more tips see this post.

Picture of Indie Author Unicorn
A successful independent author is no longer an imaginary creature like a unicorn or fairy.


Five More Awesome Reasons for Going Indie:

1. Independence – I’ve always worked better with a big-picture goal and no one breathing down my neck. As an Indie author I have no one asking for a draft or cramming deadlines down my throat. This whole journey has been a free creative process without outside pressure to perform or deliver. I think my novel is so much better for it, too.
I hear authors talking about writer’s block. I can honestly say I’ve never had writer’s block because if I wasn’t in the mood to write, I’d work on the plot outline, or character backgrounds, or something related to the book. I have worked hard at every turn of my novel to surprise my readers, to keep them on the edge of their seats. For me that is a craft that takes time, takes thought and bursts of writing and pausing to develop the next layer.

2. New Ideas – There is a marketing term that researcher use – Innovator – and describes someone who is at the forefront of their peer group for trying new products regardless of the price. I think this describes me to a tee. I have been very innovative with my writing, with my marketing and the spin-off projects I’m working on. A majority of my jobs have been working closely with new technology, new ideas, and or new practices. I love change and can turn on a dime to take advantage of a new way of doing something or a new technology offering solutions in a unique way.
It is the same thing with the indie market. Look at the market just six months ago. We now have the traditional publishing market turned on their ear scrambling for market share against the rising tide of indie authors. See my guest blog that outlines our recent climb to the top of the heap of the e-books market here. What it will be in another six months? The big publishers will continue to fade away if they don’t change their business practices and big players are developing as we speak. I couldn’t be more excited to be in the heart of the Indie tide. In fact I’m innovating something as we speak for my novel, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. It is still in the development stages but I cannot wait to get working on it.

3. Diversity – Being an Indie author takes a diverse set of skills to succeed. First of all you need to be a good writer. Pretty much a deal breaker – if you can’t write well you’re in for a rough ride. Another crucial element to being an author is marketing skills, because once your book is done the work really starts to get your book in the hands of your reader. You are completely in charge of that as an indie author. To succeed you need a giant serving of perseverance and a thick skin.
Understanding the book market – eBooks and otherwise – is also as important as any of these other skills. I love the challenge of being and indie author. My destiny is in my capable hands and my success will be measured by my actions not anyone else’s. My efforts, or lack thereof, are the key to making it and to me there is nothing more exciting than to create something out of nothing with my skills, my blood, sweat and tears and succeed at it.

Cover of Stealing Time
4. Instant Gratification – I still can’t get over the fact that I can write something today and have it out in the world in a few hours. Conveniently I can also take it down and fix it without a lot of hubbub. Not that I’m planning on doing that but it does take away some of the pressure when you go to release the book. I love the flexibility of being an indie author. One thing that excites me about this flexibility is that you can make a few edits to your novel to take advantage of trends.
For example, my short story Blow I wrote in a month and published in days of getting it back from the editor. It was really exciting to have something in the market so quickly and within a few days it reached #6 on Amazon. 
5. Endless Possibilities – The learning curve for publishing your first book is steep, but once you’ve mastered the basics of Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the other e-book providers, marketing, promoting, social media, print books, etc., the skills are there and you’ll only get better as you go along. The potential to use these skills for other projects is boundless. Here are some of the projects I’m working on are using the same skill set.

  • Books – My novel Stealing Time is the first book in the series covering Hurricane Charley in 2004 in an action packed time travel thriller.  My second book in the series, Shattering Time halfway written and book three partially mapped out. When I get the chance, I want to focus on this stupendous idea for a children’s book. I’ve been chewing on it for about ten years and I think it will be completely unlike anything out there.
  • Book Covers – As an Indie author I was really bothered by some of the covers my cohorts were using for their books.  Last winter I decided to partner with a professional photographer, Jody Smyers, to start a business to provide custom covers for authors. Check out our site here: Blondie’s Custom Book Covers. We are excited to provide a highly professional alternative at a reasonable price for indie and other authors. See here for a guest post on how to create a winning book cover. In the process of creating covers for authors I had to find models. Since then I’ve signed on fifteen people of all ages who are ready for anything that may come up. I’ve become quite good at approaching strangers to ask if they want to be on a book cover, much to the chagrin of my children. Over the summer, Jody and I shot six of these models for stock photos.

Picture of Crouched Man
Blondie’s Book Cover Model: Lee Pat

Picture of man aiming pistol.
Blondie’s Book Covers Model: Zach
  • Fitness Calendar — One of our models is a physique show competitor and he introduced us to a number of other men in competition. The models were so good we are now in the process of finalizing a fitness calendar called ‘Men of Steel.’ We shot and sold the calendar in 2014 and it was great fun. 

Picture of Blondie's Books Muscle Model
BCBC Model Zach Featured in the “Men of Steel” Calendar Coming Next Month.

  • Podcast. Last fall I created a podcast called Blondie and the Brit with Suzanne Kelman. We interview authors of both traditional and Indie publishing and talk about writing, publishing and social media. You can find more.Here. or on our website at www.blondieandbrit.com.


Please take a minute to tell me your Indie thrills and spills in the comments section. You can see how enthusiastic I am about this market, I’m very curious to hear more about your experiences.

This was published on www.jeriwb.com in 2014. Thank you Jeri Walker for once again allowing me to write a guest post for your blog. My last post was picked up by Where Writers Win for publication on their site. It has been a great honor to meet the other authors and bloggers that visit your site regularly. Jeri is my  editior and I highly recommend her. Her blog is full of great information as well.