Monthly Archives: January 2013

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE? INDIE-PUBLISHING WITH CREATE SPACE AND KINDLE DIRECT PUBLISHING.

Throughout the whole writing and indie-publishing process of my first novel there was an ever-present question in the back of my mind…”How long?”  How long will it take me to write my novel? How long does it take for it to get edited? How long from the point of finishing my novel until it gets published? How long does it take Amazon to have my book live for sale? How long? How long? How long? I don’t know why this was so important to me or why I even cared except for the fact that I am a person that likes deadlines and guidelines and rules, etc. because it helps me to become that much more motivated. And it’s also very exciting to daydream about the day you will actually see YOUR book that YOU wrote FOR SALE and available to millions of people!

There is no rule book on how long it will take you to write your novel or how long it takes the big “ZON” (Amazon) to have your book ready for sale. As a first time published author, I wish there had been some sort of literature or something, anything that I could have refered back to through this whole alien, confusing and sometimes stressful experience. That is why I have documented my journey through self publishing from point A to Z to hopefully give some idea of a general time frame so it just might ease the nerves of my like-minded author buddies. That’s you!

FEBRUARY 2012- I started writing my novel and gave myself a goal to be finished by the end of October of 2012 and have my book for sale by December 25th.

OCTOBER 2012- A little less than nine months later my novel was finished. (Sort of. Haha!)

OCTOBER 2012- It was a week or so before Halloween when I sent my manuscript to my editor (I found someone local and it was nice to actually sit down with her and go over editing notes in person!) Some editors work very fast. Mine took about 5 weeks though. I went over my manuscript one last time and then handed it over. Then the editor did a first run-through and gave it back for corrections. Then I went through it again and handed it back with corrections made. The editor went over it for a last time and then I did again for a last time. (I think I probably went over it again a few more times! Editing is not very fun. LOL!) I HIGHLY recommend an editor if you are self-publishing or at least another set of trusted eyes. No one wants to read a book that makes them stop listening to the story and start focusing on errors. Although I am very good with grammar, spelling, and such, we still found many discrepancies, even in the last run-throughs!

NOVEMBER 2012- Still knee-deep in editing. Blah, LOL! Also working with the book cover designer, and the ones I worked with were FAST!

DECEMBER 2012- Editing is finished in the beginning of December! YAY! But not on schedule for publishing by the 25th yet. 😦 I would have been closer to hitting my goal had I not had a last-minute change of heart and added some things to my novel, which extended my time frame due to further editing/formatting/cover designing, etc. Don’t ever feel rushed! Your book needs to be the best it can be. So if you feel there are changes needed, just do it!

DECEMBER 30th, 2012- DONE! Edited: check.  Polished: check.  Formatted: check.  Cover design: check.

DECEMBER 31st, 2012, 8:30 p.m.- Submitted my novel to Create Space and Kindle Direct Publishing! Woo Hoo!

JANUARY 1st, 2013, 10:45 a.m.- I received an email saying “Congratulations for publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing!” or something along those lines. I checked and sure enough the kindle version of my book was available on Amazon! Happy New Year to me! BUT there was some funky stuff. It said, “MER by Jade M. Phillips, Marguerite Wainio, Juan Heinrich, Tatiana Vila.” Now… my book is titled MER, my name is Jade M. Phillips, but who are all these other people who apparently wrote the book along with me?! LOL!  I actually do know who they are. That is my editor, artist, and cover designer that I had put in as contributors during the KDP set-up process. And although I love them and they deserve credit, It gives off the impression that MER was written by a team rather than just one author, ME. Haha! Just a word of wisdom: Unless you want the description of your book to look the way I described it, I would recommend you ONLY put yourself, the author, as a contributor. But that’s up to you. SO, I went back into my KDP set-up and changed the contributors, then received the all-too-well-known “We have to review you book, blah blah blah, can take up to 12 hours, blah blah blah,” message.

Now for the Create Space submission. A message appeared on my dashboard saying that my paperback book would be available immediately on the Create Space estore, but it could take 5-7 days for it to be available on Amazon.

JANUARY 1st, 2013, 2:30 p.m.- I filled out my author bio and set up my Amazon author page, which is called Author Central (you can only do this after your book is live on Amazon.) Crazy, right? And at 2:45 I got an email saying that it would be a while before it was live. Then at 8:00 p.m. I get an email saying that my author page is live. It looks great, so I finish it up by adding pics, RSS feed from my blog, twitter, etc..

JANUARY 2nd, 8:00 a.m., 2013- Received an email congratulating me again for publishing with KDP and that my book is now available, AGAIN. Hahaha! I check it out and it now says “MER, by Jade M. Phillips.” Now that’s better. 🙂

JANUARY 5th, 10:00 a.m., 2013- It is has been five days since submitting my book to create space, and sure ’nuff, I check Amazon and there it is! My paperback available for sale! Yay! Whew! You will NOT get a notification from Create Space or Amazon when your paperback becomes available, so just do like the rest of us and check Amazon every day. LOL!

And THAT was the process. MY process. I’m sure it will vary from person to person, but hopefully this will give you an idea of what you’re up against!

To sum it up. It usually takes your kindle version less than 24 hours to become available on Amazon, and your Create Space paperback 5-7 days. Now don’t mark my words, as Amazon is always changing things and it could possibly change. But that is what I got from it.

A FEW WORDS OF WISDOM from my experience:

*When you set a goal of when you would like your book to be published, and I mean actually AVAILABLE for purchase on Amazon, make sure you are done writing your novel a few months before that deadline to allow time for editing, formatting, cover designs, and any changes that may pop up (and believe me, there will be changes!)

*Don’t stress! This is a meticulous and lengthy process. Take it one day at a time, one step at a time.

*Research. Check out other people’s experiences, suggestions and advice by googling any and every question you may have as you go along. Knowledge is power and it will definitely help you get the job done faster and more efficiently.

You will also learn little need-to-know tidbits that no one will just come out and tell you. Like, for example, did you know that your book cover HAS to be the absolute LAST thing you do? Because the cover designer needs an EXACT page count of your formatted manuscript in PDF for your create space paperback in order to format the cover to the right size. SO you must have your book formatted first before you can have your paperback cover! And in turn, to have your book formatted, it has to be in its final stage; edited and polished. NO MORE CHANGES! (Ah! That was the scariest part for me!) There is a chain of events that has to happen in a certain order, and because there is no hand-book of rules for indie publishing with KDP and Create Space you will only learn this by doing research and living through the process yourself.

*Good Luck to you all and I wish you the best!!! And feel free to comment here if you ever have any doubts and/or questions about the whole process or any advice to add. I’m no wizard on it, having only been through it once, but I might be able to help. 🙂

Thanks again for reading and may the power of words be with you!!!

xoxo- Jade

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Categories: Indie Publishing, Writing Tips | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

AND THE WINNERS ARE…

We have winners for the MER BOOK RELEASE EXTRAVAGANZA GIVEAWAY and the FACEBOOK ALL DAY GIVEAWAY!

Mer book release!

AND THE WINNERS ARE…

At midnight last night we calculated all of the captions and the page # guesses and here are all of the FACEBOOK ALL DAY GIVEAWAY winners for the MER BOOK RELEASE EXTRAVAGANZA!

“CAPTION THIS PHOTO” Game winners will receive a signed paperback copy of MER or a kindle version:

* Kyla Ballard with 7 likes for her caption “I’ve seen things I can’t unsee…hold me tighter.”

*Stephanie Frankenfield with 11 likes for her caption “Did I leave the stove on…did I?…I think I left the stove on..did I leave it on?”

*Amethyst Kinney with 8 likes for her caption “My staff’s bigger than yours.”

*Jessica Hull Sotelo with 11 likes for her caption “When this ship docks I’m going home to register on Match.com.”

*Laura Faust with 8 likes for her caption “Mud and blood won’t stop me. I will catch them if its the last thing I do.”

*David Deen with 6 likes on his caption “Ha! Look at that guy. He’s yelling at a tree.”

LOL! I think everyone had a good time. I know I laughed my booty off all day and night with these games! Thank you so much for the fun and support. Winners please Private message MER with your name and street address so you can be mailed your signed copy of MER. If you prefer a kindle edition, just your name and e-mail address will be needed!

“TRIVIA QUESTION” Game Winners will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

*Dana Jan Bartelt won a whopping FOUR times and will receive (4) $10 Amazon Gift Cards!

*Amber Bates won a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

*Jessica Hull Sotelo also won a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

Congrats to the winners and Thank you for the participation!

AND NOW… for the “Guess how many pages are in MER” winner(s) who will receive a signed paperback copy or kindle version of MER and their name will be featured as a character in MER book 2.

THE # IS 315 and we had a tie!!!

*Heidi Hale and Michael Fennena both guessed 315! Good job guys!

Heidi and Michael, please Private message MER your FULL names (first, middle, and last) and your street address if you want a paperback book, or e-mail if you want a kindle version of MER!!!

AND the GRAND PRIZE WINNERS of the MER BOOK RELEASE Raffle Giveaway (which was hosted on Jade’s blog http://www.jademphillips.com) are:

*1st Grand Prize, a $50 Amazon Gift Card- winner is Kuljit_2991@hotmail.com

*2nd Grand Prize , a $25 Amazon Gift Card- winner is Adriana Delval

*3rd Grand Prize , a $25 Starbucks Gift Card- winner is Tricia Drammeh

WOW! What a fun giveaway! We are totally doing this again for the MER book 2 release later this year! Thank you again for everyone’s support and participation. We just wish everyone could have won!

Lots of love and hugs! -Jade M. Phillips

Categories: Contests, Events, Jade | 7 Comments

REVIEW: DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT by Laini Taylor (No Spoilers)

…And add a cherry on top!

If you read my earlier review of the first book in this trilogy, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, you will remember I called it a treat. More like vanilla ice cream dripping with hot chocolate fudge sauce. And now I say add a cherry on top. Or an entire jar for that matter!

I can’t get enough of this series and will be biting my fingernails awaiting the release of the third book in the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE series!

Ok, so we got to know Karou quite well in book 1. And the strapping Akiva as well. -I think I have a crush, by the way. *blushes* Anyway, the characters, who had fully developed into amazing “people” in the first book, only go on further and take you into the depths of their minds and souls. My heart aches that Karou and Akiva, soul mates for sure, are torn apart by unforseen reasons and pulled to opposite sides of the war of the realms!

I had also stated in my first review that it was like author Laini Taylor uses her beautiful words to paint a masterpiece, and this one, like Romeo & Juliet, except totally twisted in a fantasy world. Well it’s funny that in book 2, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT, Laini references the story of Romeo and Juliet quite a few times, therefore solidifying my connection. Have you ever watched Romeo and Juliet the movie with Clair Danes and Leonardo DiTap-that-ass? Oops, I mean Dicapalicious, I mean DiCaprio. LOL. *blushes again.* That is the exact movie that came to mind when reading both books in this series. It wasn’t even that the story structure was the same, which it is similar, but Laini’s intricately carved words artfully depict the scenes in her book like the cinematography director Baz Luhrmann did for the 1996 Romeo and Juliet. Stunning! Dazzling! Gorgeous! I wish I could show you the inside of my head while I read through the trials and tribulations of this gripping and addictive story!

A little bird told me that this will be made into a movie as well! (actually Laini said it herself on twitter!!!) That would be awesome if Baz Lurhmann, director extraordinaire in my opinion, would do the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE movies. I know he’s not, cause I think I heard the name Rupert Sanders, who directed Snow White and the Huntsman, but don’t quote me on that.

Anyways, without spoiling the book, I feel like all I can say is you will  absolutely not be disappointed if you pick up and read DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT. But of course you must read DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE first!

A definite 5 stars out of 5!

When you do read it, come back and we’ll have a chat. One which will include giggling and crying, laughing and screaming over this book series and a bunch of “when the heck is the third one coming out!?”

Have a nice week everyone! And may the power of words be with you!

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

MER book trailer!

MER by Jade M. Phillips

MER book trailer directed by Jeremy Womac

and produced by Monsoon Productions

Categories: Jade, MER book trailer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

MER Book Release Extravanganza and Giveaway!

THE TIME HAS COME LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! THE RELEASE OF MER!

LAUNCH DATE: 1/13/13

And in celebration we will be doing some MERtastic giveaways!

GRAND PRIZE CONTEST WILL RUN FROM SUNDAY JAN 13th- THURSDAY JAN 17th!

FACEBOOK GIVEAWAYS WILL BE THURSDAY JAN 17th ONLY!

GRAND PRIZE RAFFLE GIVEAWAY!Online release flyer mer

*GRAND PRIZE

$50 Amazon Giftcard.

*2nd GRAND PRIZE $25 Amazon Giftcard.

*3rd GRAND PRIZE $25 Starbucks Giftcard.

FACEBOOK GIVEAWAYS! (Must LIKE MER on Facebook here and join the Mer Book Release Extravaganza!)

*A chance to have your name (first, middle, or last) be featured as a character in the next book, tome #2 of the MER series+ an autographed copy of MER tome#1!

*We will also be giving away a total of (5) copies of MER, your choice of print or Kindle throughout the day and

*A total of (6) $10 Amazon gift cards will be given away throughout the day.

RULES:

FIVE WAYS TO WIN THE GRAND PRIZES:

1. Comment on this post between Sunday Jan 13th – Thursday Jan 17th (leaving your name and e-mail address) to receive 1 entry for the GRAND PRIZES.

2. Purchase a book between Sunday Jan 13th – Thursday Jan 17th and receive 5 entries for each copy purchased! Go here for kindle or here for a print book to be sent to you, forward the receipt to authorjadephillips@gmail.com with your name and contact info.

3. Go to MER’s Facebook page here between Sunday Jan 13th – Thursday Jan 17th and LIKE it ( if you haven’t already) to receive 1 entry.

4. Watch the MER booktrailer here on YouTube, then comment with your name and email address and like (on youtube) and then share it on Facebook to receive 5 entries! Or just watch it below and comment to earn 1 entry!

5. Tweet to win. If you are on twitter, copy and tweet any of the 5 tweets below between Sunday Jan 13th – Thursday Jan 17th. Each tweet will earn 1 entry. You can only tweet each once per day, so you can tweet 5 times a day and earn up to 5 entries a day. So if you tweet all 5 tweets all 5 days that’s 25 entries! (Make sure to keep the tweets exactly how they are so I can keep track.)

Like Starbucks coffee? WIN $25 GC and many more prizes. Join the MER book release party! Now until the 17th! @JadeMPhillipshttp://wp.me/p2PmSa-26
MER BOOK RELEASE PARTY EXTRAVAGANZA! WIN a $50 AMAZON GC and many other prizes! Now until Thursday 17th! @JadeMPhillips http://wp.me/p2PmSa-26
#FREE $50 & $25 AMAZON GC, $25 Starbucks GC! Join the book release party for MER and WIN! @JadeMPhillips http://wp.me/p2PmSa-26
 Contest going on now! WIN $50 & $25 AMAZON GC’s $25 STARBUCKS GC, and free books! MER release party! @JadeMPhillips http://wp.me/p2PmSa-26
 #WIN #FREE #PRIZES Check out the MER BOOK RELEASE PARTY! $50 Amazon GC $25 GC and many more! @JadeMPhillips http://wp.me/p2PmSa-26

*You will have 5 days to get in your GRAND PRIZE entries. The entries will only be given from Sunday Jan 13th – Thursday Jan 17th. They will not count if done before or after. Now if you haven’t quite got it yet (HaHa!) the contest runs from 1/13/13 through 1/17/13, where it will end with a bang with the Facebook event on the last day!  Winners will be announced on Friday Jan 18th.

Mer book release!

Happy Birthday MER!
Balloons, party hat, and wine glasses not included.

WAYS TO WIN THE ALL DAY FACEBOOK GIVEAWAYS AND MINI PRIZES: You must go to MER’s Facebook page here and LIKE it (which will award you 1 entry towards the GRAND PRIZE if done Jan 13th-17th) and you must join the event MER BOOK RELEASE EXTRAVAGANZA! There will be contests, games and trivia all throughout the day for a chance to win the mini prizes, and even from the comfort of your own laptop, i-pad or smart phone. You do NOT have to be there all day, just check in every so often to join in on the contests. (Rules will be posted on the event page during the mini contests which will be posted randomly throughout the day of Thursday, Jan 17th.) And the winners will be announced the next day (Friday the 18th!)

Thank you so much and good luck! And may the power of MER be with you!!

Categories: Contests, Events, Jade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

HOW TO CREATE A MAILING LIST OR FORM FOR YOUR BLOG!

HOW TO CREATE A MAILING LIST OR FORM FOR YOUR BLOG!

 

I wanted to create a couple of different forms for my WordPress blog and am going to go over the process step by step and I’m pretty sure it will be the same process for blogger or any other blog hosts. If you aren’t a techie-type person, not to worry, I am not either. Far from it, frankly. Haha! This is actually quite simple.

I needed a submission form so other book bloggers could sign up to host my novel, MER, on their blog. I also wanted to create a mailing list so readers can sign up to be notified about the next book release, contests and events. I did all of this using Google Drive (Google Docs).

I documented step by step, my “journey” through creating my mailing list and here it is. (But you can follow along to create any questionnaires, quizzes, or submission forms you like.) Sorry if the screen shot pictures are a little blurry. But you’ll get the general idea 😀

 

MAILING LIST SET-UP USING GOOGLE DRIVE

1.CREATE A GOOGLE ACCOUNT

In order to create a form or document you will first need to have a google or g-mail account. Most people do…but if not, it’s super easy to sign up. Do that here.

Create an Account

2. DOWNLOAD GOOGLE DRIVE
    Go to the google home screen and you will see lots of options at the top. Search, Images, Gmail, YouTube, Drive, etc… (See Picture below in step 3).
    Choose Drive. It will prompt you to download Google Drive. Go ahead and do that. Now you are ready to start creating!
3. CREATING YOUR FORM/DOCUMENT
     a. Shown in the picture below on the left hand side is the red “create” box and that will give you options for which document you’d like to create. For this mailing list example we will choose “form.”
GoogleDocs2
Then you will see a new window pop up. This is where you create your form.
GoogleDocs3
b. “Untitled Form.”As shown in the picture above, there is a dialogue box named “Untitled Form.” This is where you will type that you will call your form. Mine will be “MER’s mailing list.”
c. “Question Title.” Next is to type in your question in the “question title” section. My first question will be “Email” where the reader/customer is prompted to add their email address.
   
d. “Help Text.” Below the “question title” is a “help text” box. This is where you can expand or further explain your question. I usually leave this blank.
e. “Question type” is pretty self-explanatory. It gives you options on how to ask your questions. Text, check mark box, multiple choice, etc… Since I am doing a simple question and answer I am choosing “text.” To  see  an example of the other question options and what they look like, go here to my document page, “Host MER on your blog!”
f. “Make this a required question.” Now if you want your first (and any others throughout the process) question to be a required question, just check the cute little box. Easy!
g. Hit “Done”! Now your first question in your mailing list (submission form, questionnaire, quiz, etc..) is done! Yay! Easy, right?
Check mine out below! (First Question: Email address box)
GoogleDocs4
h. “Add Item.” Now that you have finished your first question, you will start on the next by going to the left upper hand corner and select “Add Item.” Then choose from the options accordingly like you did earlier. Now just keep adding items, repeating the process we just covered, until you have all of the questions needed.
GoogleDocs5
i. “Add description” Now don’t Forget, you need to add the description of your document underneath where you titled your document. Now don’t ask me why I waited to do this until last (i tend to do things ass-backwards. Haha!)
GoogleDocs6
FINISH IT UP
Now that you’re done with your mailing list/document there are just a couple of steps left.
4. SAVE
Save your document
5. SHARE
At the top right hand corner there will be a red “share” box. Click it and then a new window will pop-up. There will now be a green “share” box at the bottom left of the new window.

Run your mouse over the green “share” box and select “public.” You will not want to select “private” as you would be the only one able to see it.
GoogleDocs7
5. Embed Then you will go back to your form and go to the “more actions” at the top right. Click “more actions” and select “embed.” Yay! A box with your very own embed code will pop up. Right click the code and copy it.
GoogleDocs8
6. PASTE
Almost Done! Now for pasting your document’s embed code into your blog!
Go to the page or post in your blog for which you want your document in (or create a new one if needed.) I am going to paste my “mailing list” document into a page I have already created called “Contact.”  Make sure that you are in edit mode and if you have any other info that is not in your google drive doc that you want on that page as well, make sure to type that first, and then paste your code/document.  Also before you paste, make sure that you are in “text” mode, NOT “visual” mode. This will NOT work if you are in “visual” mode. (Side note: if you do not see the “text” tab, you may have an “HTML” tab. If so, use that one.) The “text” tab will be alongside the “visual” on the upper right hand corner of your dialogue box.
GoogleDocs9
Paste your code into your blog page and hit “update” for an existing page or “publish” for a new one that you just created. Your code will still be there. “What!?” Don’t worry. Just go to “view page” and Walah! there it is! Your beautiful new mailing list!
GoogleDocs10
7. GET NOTIFIED (last step!)
You will need to set your Google Drive document notifications so that you will receive an email when someone submits your form. To do this, go back to your Google Drive document. (If you have closed it out and go back in it will show as a spread sheet. Not to worry, whenever you embed it somewhere it will still be in the format you originally created your form.
Now go to “tools” and select “notification rules.”
GoogleDocs11
Then you will see “Notify me at ‘your email’ when…”
       so then select- “a user submits a form”
You will also see “Notify me with…”
      so then select- “email, right away”

And then “save” your options.

GoogleDocs12
DONE!
You are now all done with creating and embedding your document into your blog and it looks so professional! All of the submissions you will get will be kept in your google drive home and put into a spread sheet. You will also be notified whenever anyone submits the form. Yay for you!
*If you are indeed creating a mailing list, you can export or upload your submissions spread sheet from Google Drive directly to an email marketing service like MailChimp to handle your e-mail newsletters, etc. I believe they are free up until 5oo subscribers.
Thanks so much for reading today (if you made it through this monster of a post! Ha!)
And may the power of words be with you!
-Jade
Categories: Blog Tips, Writing Tips | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

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