Archive for the 'eBooks' Category

“What Happened in Granite Creek” is Here!

Oct. 22nd 2011

I’m happy to announce the official launch of my second novel, What Happened in Granite Creek. It’s available on Kindle and Nook. Soon to be available on iPad and in paperback. If you have another e-reader, you can buy the ePub file from Lulu and side load it to your device.

Here’s the product description:

When Koty Fowler’s husband volunteers her to visit Jamie, a quadruple amputee who lost his limbs in Iraq, neither Koty nor Jamie is happy. Jamie resents being “babysat” every day. Koty resents her lot in life: almost 30, mother of three, and trapped in an unhappy marriage in Granite Creek, a small New Hampshire town. But when Koty and Jamie come together in a sexually-charged situation, everything changes.

While Koty continues to explore her relationship with Jamie, her life at home spirals out of control: her sometimes-abusive husband drinks too much, and her middle daughter is on a destructive path, skipping school and getting into fights, while Koty’s other two girls are left to watch.

What happens next, however, leaves everyone reeling, and the Fowler family must learn how to move forward, even as they struggle to understand what happened in their own backyard.

Told in multiple viewpoints and spanning across nearly two decades, What Happened in Granite Creek brings readers on a journey of intrigue and unexpected twists while reminding us that nothing is ever what it seems.

I’m incredibly excited about this book, which evolved from my short story “Support Our Troops.” I’ll be spending the next two months devoting these blog posts to all things related to What Happened in Granite Creek, including how it evolved from a short story to a novel, the soundtrack that inspired me along the way, some in-depth discussions about the characters (which will likely contain some spoilers, so I’ll be saving those posts for December so I can give readers a fighting chance to keep up).

Also, in celebration of this book’s birth, I’ve registered this hash tag for Twitter: #WHIGC.  If you tweet about this book or retweet any of my blog posts or whatever, I’d love for you to include the #WHIGC tag. Let’s get people talking…and curious about the book!

As always, I love hearing from my readers, so don’t hesitate to connect with me here, on Facebook, Twitter, or via email at robyn@robynbradley.com. I’m doing book club visits – local and in person before Christmas – and via Skype for however long people want. (I’ll pick up with in-person visits again in April 2012.)

Thanks for your continued support!

Oh, and here’s the official trailer:

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Three Firsts…

Sep. 1st 2011
  1. I told someone that my second novel is coming out in October. Here’s what he said (via email): “Will I be able to get it on my Nook? Or in store?” (Notice the order of those two phrases.)
  2. I was driving through the winding roads of my apartment complex, and I spotted a young woman walking up a hill, her attention completely focused on her Kindle.
  3. I’m reading Lolita, one of those classics I’d never gotten around to checking out. I bought it from Annie’s Book Stop, a wonderful indie bookstore that’s hosted my writers’ group for the last 6.5 years. The owner closed the shop this past weekend, and he’s had these amazing “everything must go” sales.” I bought Lolita for 50 cents. When I was reading it in bed the other night, sand poured out from between the pages (that’s a first for me…and not something that’s likely to happen with my Nook).

What interesting things have happened to you this week?

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Posted by Robyn | in e-readers, eBooks, Random | 4 Comments »

Introducing My Debut Novel

Apr. 27th 2011

I’m excited to announce the launch of my debut novel, Forgotten April.

It’s available on Nook and Kindle. Use Kindle and Nook apps for iPads. And if you have another e-reader, like Sony, you can buy the ePub here and side load it to your device.

I started this novel back in 2001. It’s seen many, many, MANY revisions since then, including four top-to-bottom, basically-starting-from-scratch rewrites. I buried it TWICE, and somehow it clawed its way back from the dead both times.

At its heart, it’s a sister story, a family story, and a story about secrets — and how those secrets can change people’s lives. The book trailer is below.

What else can I say? Oh, it’s 99 cents right now on Kindle and Nook (a dollar on Lulu and iPad) and will be through May, at least. The print version will be available for order from Amazon soon. I’ll do an update once that’s all set.

If you do read it, I’d love to know what you think of it. You can email me, write on my Facebook wall, connect through Twitter, and/or leave a review on the site you bought it from or on Goodreads.

Thanks in advance for all of your support. Happy reading!

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Marketing a Book

Apr. 19th 2011

The title sounds a little presumptuous, doesn’t it? As if I’m some sort of big-bad publicity machine from a Big 6 publishing house.

I’m not, as you know. But I am a marketing copywriter by day, so marketing is something I live and breathe anyway.

I decided to make a list of all the marketing tasks that need to happen for the launch of Forgotten April, in no particular order because my brain can’t handle putting it in any order right now.

  • Proofread and finalize files: Mobi, ePub, PDF
  • Proof and finalize interior print files, spine, and back cover for Createspace
  • Request book reviews
  • Refresh email, refresh email, refresh email while waiting for responses from said book reviewers
  • Create book trailer
  • Draft the product description
  • Breathe
  • Create page for book on website
  • Add book info to other relevant pages of website
  • Update website home page
  • Write blog posts supporting the launch
  • Swap in new profile picture on Facebook
  • Do Facebook status updates around launch
  • Do status update in LinkedIn
  • Tweet, tweet, tweet — but don’t be obnoxious
  • Eat chocolate
  • Update Twitter bio
  • Exercise off the chocolate
  • Take part in blog tour
  • Make a pitcher of margaritas; drink
  • Update Kindle Boards signature
  • Feed the cat
  • Announce new title on Kindle Boards
  • Bathe, at some point
  • Write and distribute press release over the wire (for back links, mostly)
  • Brainstorm creative ways to get press
  • Solicit and set up cross-channel promotions with clients/vendors
  • Brainstorm ways to reach out to mommy book clubs
  • Solicit people to take part in Forgotten April Shout-Out Day
  • Say thank you. A lot.

I have no doubt I’m forgetting items. But this is a good list to work with at this point. I have a bunch of stuff done, like the cover art, final digital files, banner ads, and the book trailer. Still a lot to do…

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Book Descriptions

Apr. 15th 2011

As my regular readers probably know, I’m a marketing copywriter by day. Writing punchy, pithy copy is my THING. Except, apparently, when it’s for myself.

In this post, I talked about my struggles with book titles. Finally past that hurdle, I had to tackle the all-important book description.

Writing a good book description is one of Jesus Joe Konrath’s commandments for eBook success. I found a great blog post by author Karen McQuestion (love that last name) on how to write an effective book description. So armed with her primer and my own marketing chops (in theory), I set out to write mine.

Here are the three versions I sent to my beta readers:

V1

For April Sullivan-LaMonica, the last ten years have been hell: she lost her husband and young son in a grisly car accident, and soon after, she watched her mom descend into the darkness of Alzheimer’s. So when a famous broadcast journalist named Maggie Prescott claims to be April’s long-lost half sister and hopes to capture their reunion on film, April outwardly regards Maggie with much suspicion and derision. In reality, she’s simply afraid to grow close to someone yet again, only to have that person leave—or worse.

Maggie, meanwhile, is battling her own demons: figuring out why her biological mother gave her up, facing a secret she’s kept from the one man she’s loved all her life, and giving herself permission to follow the dream she’s had since she was a child.

Separated by nearly two decades and different life experiences, April and Maggie must decide if pursuing their sisterhood is worth it…or even possible.

A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who’s experienced the pains—and riches—of an unexpected friendship that emerges from family ties.

V2

Meet April Sullivan-LaMonica. April is thirty-four years old, a nursing home activities director (read: Bingo Bitch), and the only child of Kate Sullivan. Or so she thought.

Meet Maggie Prescott. Maggie is a famous broadcast journalist on a mission: to find out why Kate Sullivan gave her up for adoption over fifty years ago. Problem is, Kate has Alzheimer’s disease, and she never told April about Maggie’s existence.

That doesn’t stop Maggie from trying, and it doesn’t stop April from thwarting Maggie’s attempts. Separated by nearly two decades and different life experiences, April and Maggie must decide if pursuing their sisterhood is worth it…or even possible.

A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who’s experienced the pains—and riches—of an unexpected friendship that emerges from family ties.

V3

A famous broadcast journalist, Maggie Prescott has spent her whole life seeking truth. Her latest mission, however, is personal: finding out why her biological mother gave her up for adoption fifty-two years ago. As she embarks on her journey, Maggie walks headfirst into chaos: her biological mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and is forced to live in a nursing home. Her half sister, April, doesn’t want anything to do with her. An unexpected reunion with an ex-lover forces Maggie to face a dark period from her past. Then, Maggie discovers an old woman named Hazel whose lifelong secrets affect them all.

A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who’s experienced the pains—and riches—of those unexpected friendships that emerge from family ties.

##

Each one had votes, but version 1 edged out the others by a hair. Edits were suggested as well. Here’s the version I’m going with for now (and for the print version). I can, of course, change up the eBook versions, which is a nice thing about the format.

The Winner? I used version 1, with edits:

For April Sullivan-LaMonica, the last ten years have been hell: her husband and young son were killed in a car accident, and soon after, her mom descended into the darkness of Alzheimer’s. So when broadcast journalist Maggie Prescott shows up claiming to be April’s half sister and tries to capture their reunion on film, April outwardly regards Maggie with much suspicion. In reality, she’s simply afraid to grow close to someone again, only to have that person leave—or worse.

Maggie, meanwhile, is battling her own demons: figuring out why her biological mother gave her up, facing a secret she’s kept from the one man she’s loved all her life, and giving herself permission to follow the dream she’s had since she was a child.

Separated by nearly two decades and radically different life paths, April and Maggie must decide if pursuing their sisterhood is worth it…or even possible.

A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who’s experienced the pains—and riches—of an unexpected friendship that emerges from family ties.

###

By the way, I’m open to comments from readers and writers alike on these. 🙂

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Posted by Robyn | in eBooks, Self publishing | 4 Comments »

Gratitude & Shout Outs

Apr. 13th 2011

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention all the wonderful, talented people who are helping to bring my little book to life. I highly recommend these folks. Here they are, in no particular order:

1106 Design: I’ve mentioned them before, but they did the cover art for Forgotten April (as well as all of my other books). They’re based out of Arizona, and they’re incredibly nice, pleasant, helpful, and prompt — all those things you dream about in a vendor but wonder if it’s possible to find anymore.

Laura Matthews at thinkStory.biz: copy editor and story editor extraordinaire. Get her while you can, folks. Laura has a novel she’s releasing this summer, and it’s good. DAMN good. I think great things are in store for her — and that she won’t be doing copy editing of others’ work for too much longer. (But, Laura, if you’re reading this, you’re still committed to editing my book #2 in August, ok? :))

Jennessa Durrani at Celebrate: Jennessa is one of the most creative people I know…and she’s also one of the nicest. Seriously, I’ve never seen her get annoyed or irked…and we work together on some of my copywriting clients’ stuff, which ain’t always easy. I’ve been using Jennessa for a bunch of things, including banner ads that I’m running on various sites.

And she’s created a cool bookmark, which I’m stuffing into about 500 gift bags for The Exceptional Women Awards, an event Magic 106.7 in Boston hosts. I worked for Magic for a long time, so I’m exploiting leveraging this connection.  You may be wondering why a bookmark for eBooks…well…I’m releasing a print version as well. And it *should* be ready and live by the time these hit the goodie bags.

Cold Spring Design. These are my fabulous web dudes. They designed and built the site (including the CMS [content management system] so that I can have total control over updates. Me likes to be in control…muahahahahahah). They also are my go-to resource for when files need to be crunched to a certain size or when I have other questions.

eBook Architects. I can’t stress this enough to self-pubbed writers. Unless you’re a total tech geek, you should outsource your eBook conversions. Formatting is critical (many of us indie writers receive flack for poor formatting, and there’s really no excuse for having it). Take pride in the appearance of your words as much as you do in the words themselves. I know it might seem easy to do the conversion yourself, but it’s so, so, SO easy to miss something or screw up a couple of pages or whatever.

I just contracted a designer who specializes in interior book design (for print books), spines, and back covers. She was recommended on Joe Konrath’s blog. She seems great so far; I’ll report back with her info and will include images of her work when it’s done.Enhanced by Zemanta

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Cover Art for eBooks

Mar. 10th 2011

Here’s the cover art for my novel.

One of the pros of self-publishing is you have control over the cover art process. One of the cons of self-publishing is you have control over the covert art process. 🙂

It’s mostly a pro, I think. I use the folks at 1106 Design out in Arizona. I’ve been reading up on cover art for eBooks and worshipping at the altar of Joe Konrath who is kinda like the Jesus of self-publishing. He has strong opinions about cover art, but also good insight (here’s an eBook cover he loves).

Creating eBook cover art is a bit different than creating cover art that appears only on books you’d find in brick and mortar stores, although many of the basic principles still apply, of course. (And since almost all books in bookstores are also sold online, designers need to consider how their designs translate to digital covers.)

All covers need to communicate a story and fit with the title and genre. People judge books by their covers all the time, and this still holds true for eBooks.The biggest difference is that eBook covers need to reduce well and still “pop” in thumbnail size. No easy feat.

I think the best cover out of my short stories is for “The Object,” which, interestingly enough is my least favorite piece.

That probably sounds weird, I’m sure, but whether people are willing to admit it or not, I imagine most writers have favorites when it comes to their own work. My issue with “The Object” isn’t the story; it’s that it’s flash fiction. I’m finding so many people are wary of short stories. To throw flash into the mix, well — it truly is a niche (and not for everyone).

One of my favorite bloggers, Ghenet, had this great post on YA covers — she includes images from some of her faves, and they’re all brilliant. She makes a good point in her post — she doesn’t like covers that show faces because she likes to decide what the character looks like and is irked when the cover art doesn’t match the image in her mind. I was VERY aware of this issue (even before I read Ghenet’s post) when working on this cover with my design team. I’m hoping I give just enough face — green eyes and red hair are relevant to this story and mentioned a bunch of times — without ruining the imagining part for the reader. We’ll see.

(Although as I write this post, it’s funny to note that I violate the face rule with “The Object” and a couple of my other short stories…for some reason, the issue feels more urgent to me with the novel.)

I also opt to keep my name small. Unless I’m Jodi-Picoult huge, my name isn’t going to carry much weight — the title and the image have to do all the work, for now.

How ’bout you? Can you think of some recent covers that dazzled you? Did the book live up to the cover’s promise? Or have you encountered a great story with a mediocre cover? Share in the comments — include links if you want.

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Posted by Robyn | in eBook cover art, eBooks | 5 Comments »