Business Unusual

Last summer, I parted ways with another manager with whom I was extremely dissatisfied. On one side, I have worked for some wonderful leaders in my career. On the other, I also worked for and under people with zero interest in the business or the employees. Their concern was how to look good on paper quickly for their next role or promotion. The latter frustrated me endlessly, and after this latest parting, I found myself entirely disillusioned with the corporate world I had loved after graduation.

I also enjoyed being a manager and often said “I could do this better.” The last four months have been about me putting my time, money, and effort where my mouth is as I have worked toward buying and executing a new franchise business. Everything comes together over the next six weeks as I attend training, hire employees, and start serving customers.

If I fail, I set myself back five to ten years of savings and will have to spend double that working longer before I have enough to retire. If I succeed, I will make less annually than before from a salary perspective, but there are other benefits. I can still hate my boss (myself), but I will be able to change the things that frustrate me about her. I will be able to create an environment of employee development and culture I’m excited about. I will focus on the things that matter to the employees and business rather than making someone else look good without consideration for the broader implications.

I don’t think it will all go horribly wrong, but wish me luck anyway!

On the Writing Front

My goal is to get the book 100% revised/edited to send to my beta readers before I head to the training class, but I don’t think I will make that timeframe. It will be close though, so I might be able to finish it after class in the evenings of the training week. Either way, I’m still within the buffer timeframe to hit the release date for Hidden Promise in June.

The greatest challenge will be if my betas come back with broad revision recommendations. I’m working through the grander adjustments from my alphas now, so it all depends on if we all missed something big. Don’t worry, though. I gave myself enough time to get through this in addition to working a full-time job.

I will probably place the release date for Hidden Strength, the series finale, another year out to be safe again. I can always move it up, but pushing a preorder date out has penalties I want to avoid.

If you haven’t started the series yet, or if you want to leave a review, you can find the first book at this link: Hidden Memory. The first two are free to read in KU, and the third will go into KU a month after release. Hidden Promise is also on a preorder discount. You can pick it up for $3.99 until after it releases. It will then go up to $4.99, the same price as the second, Hidden Sanctuary.

As always, thanks for all your support, and you can find more by signing up for my newsletter on the home page or following my social media accounts. Have a great weekend!

Snippets and Freebies

I recently set a target of forty reviews on Amazon between my first two books. When we reached the goal, I would post a deleted chapter from book 2 for free on my website. We crossed the rating threshold in December, and I diligently added the document to my book page for your reading pleasure.

I have been thinking of doing something similar for when I hit the fifty review/rating milestone for Hidden Memory. It is currently sitting at thirty-two ratings, and I hope they keep trickling in as they have in the days since the December promotion. I’m not making promises since I don’t have anything prepared, but get me to forty-five, and the tune might change.

The whole thing has me thinking about snippets and freebies in general. I love when my favorite authors have extras on their websites and share teaser snippets. Especially when they have fun, dynamic characters about whom I love reading more into their lives. Usually, this is for the more lighthearted fare I read. I find those extra bits when looking for the next book, Google the author to find out when it is coming out, and stumble through their website.

Many who read my blog followed before I published for the first time, following my author journey, so I wonder if snippets are a draw here. Do others enjoy those freebies as much as I do? How enticing are snippets shared in a blog if you don’t already have a rabid following? Would a potential additional scene or short story related to a book you loved entice you to leave a written review rather than a rating? Do you miss my sci-fi short story installments here?

I have not received an immense amount of engagement on the blog historically, so let me know if there is something you have particularly enjoyed reading in the last couple of years. Maybe I can even figure out how to do a survey for the blog’s two-year birthday coming up! For now, back to editing this draft of Hidden Promise so I can get it to my beta readers!

Wish me luck on my path to 50 reviews/ratings, and have a great weekend!

Anniversary Book Sale!

Earlier this week, my debut novel turned one year old. Hidden Memory came out last December and has since surpassed my initial goal and measure of success. When my husband asked me, pre-release, what a “win” would look like, I told him it would be if fifty people bought and enjoyed my book. While I have to guess at the enjoyment part, the first book sold around four hundred copies in the first year, and the second is already approaching two hundred. 

Achieving the success I wanted, I now dare to dream of even greater goals. I already have another three milestones picked out. 1) Fifty reviews on Hidden Memory. 2) Cover my advertising spend. 3) Reach the point where the books pay for themselves. Each one is a little step toward continuing to write and create stories I love. 

Celebratory Promo!

In honor of this one-year mark and to push in the direction of the reviews goal, I decided to test out the free ebook promotion tool on Amazon. From December 15th-19th, 2022, I have made Hidden Memory free in ebook format in all markets it is allowed. As of this writing, you still have a little time to jump on the deal if you have not already bought my first book. (It is also an opportunity to share the joy with fellow fantasy fans if you already read it yourself.)

This promo is also an experiment of sorts. Do people actually read the books they get for free? Does it generate interest and read-through for the other books in the series? Will it generate additional reviews/ratings? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know, and I hope to gain some insight from this event. With two more books in the series coming out and more books, worlds, and series planned in my head, I have ample opportunity to put what I learn into action for years to come. 

Grab your copy today, and don’t forget to leave those reviews as a thank-you for the free entertainment!

Hidden Sanctuary Release!

Book two of the Hidden Series of Elaria is out now and available in paperback and ebook formats! In this second installment of the fantasy action-adventure series, Annalla and Larron continue their quest to save the people of Elaria from war. Even as new powers emerge to aid their efforts, Kahnlair continues to expand his control and eliminate any opposition. 

Rejoin old friends and meet great new characters as you follow a mage’s old family legend toward either salvation or ruin in Hidden Sanctuary

An old story, a living legend, and a desperate mission.

You can find links to both books in the series on the My Books page, and don’t forget to sign up for my quarterly newsletter on the Home Page

Reminders 

Two reminders/announcements regarding things I have mentioned here and in other places are:

  1.  I will be at the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire for two weekends in August! I set up a Facebook event here if you want that additional reminder. I will be signing and selling books at my booth there!
  2. I mentioned this in my newsletter, but for everyone else… I have a full chapter I removed from Hidden Sanctuary to cut the word count down. When I reach 40 ratings/reviews between the two books, I will make this chapter available as a free extra on my website!

As always, thank you all for your support, and I hope you enjoy Hidden Sanctuary as much as I do.

Another Milestone

This week was full of writing milestones for me across multiple books. All of these are in preparation for upcoming events. 

Hidden Sanctuary 

On Tuesday, the proof copy of the paperback version arrived. With the same font settings as Hidden Memory, the second book came in at about 450 pages and felt a little heavy in my hands. I’ve decided to drop the font down a size to reduce the page count and a couple of other minor changes. 

If it were only the little adjustments, I would have proceeded. However, the font change is big enough that I have a second proof copy on the way. While the proof processed, I worked to finalize the digital formatting. The copyright is submitted, the book is listed in all of my accounts for reviews, and I have put out the call for ARC readers. The first ARC email went out on Friday! Once my second proof copy arrives – hopefully looking amazing – I will move up the release date so I can order author copies for my booth at the fair! 

Hidden Promise 

Hidden Promise is the third book in the Hidden Series. The preorder for the eBook is live on Amazon, with a release date scheduled for June 2023. I know it is a long preorder, but I can always move it up if I want to later.

Books three and four have not gone through as many iterations as the first two did before I decided to publish. I’m becoming a better writer, but I do not want to rush things. Thursday I officially passed the draft to my alpha readers, so we will see what they say. While they work, I will start on the major rewrite of book four!

Side note: to reward my fans for joining me early, Hidden Promise will be $3.99 for the eBook during the preorder period! 

Coming Soon

A couple of other changes will also happen once I push for Hidden Sanctuary to go live. I spoke of it before, but I decided recently to put my work into Kindle Unlimited. Hidden Memory will switch over as soon as the request processes, and Hidden Sanctuary will shift over about a month later. The delay is to give all of my preorder supporters a month ahead of the pack as thanks for purchasing my book. 

If you are in Washington State in August or September and are interested in purchasing a signed copy of my paperbacks, you will have several opportunities! I will be at the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire on August 13, 14, 20, and 21 in a little 5×5 booth selling and signing books. Then, on September 24, I will be back at Page Turner Books in Kent, WA for a book signing event they are holding with several local authors. It is called Fall Festi-Con Fair

I hope to see some of you there or see more great reviews popping up on Amazon! I have a chapter cut from Hidden Sanctuary I will post on my website once I hit 40 total reviews/ratings between the two books. Hidden Memory is currently at 17, and I’m hoping the additional release and KU will push this even higher. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!