Book Days Abound

We have a few book-related days lined up and squashed together right around this week. First up was National Tell a Story Day in the USA on April 27th. Today, the last Saturday in April is Independent Bookstore Day! Finally, tomorrow kicks off the start of Get Caught Reading Month in May!

National Tell a Story Day 

On Wednesday, I decided to celebrate this day by posting a few shorts on social media about the various realms mentioned in my Hidden Series. Depending on if and where you follow me, you might have seen one of these three blurbs pop up in your feed: 

  1. The Realm of Elaria, homeland to the elves, used to exist in balance. Growth and destruction. Life and death. Good and evil. Kahnlair has broken this balance. For the first time, evil fights united. A merciless army spreading and overwhelming the allied forces until even the immortal elves face extinction. 
  2. Centuries ago, humans came to Elaria from a realm known to the elves as Aryanna. The two crossed briefly, less than a mere hundred years, for the human realm is governed by the physical world around them. Laws of math and science hold sway, and the humans developed to a point incompatible with Elaria. The realms drifted apart once more. Small human settlements remained within the mystical realm, but in Aryanna, all the elves left behind were legends and folklore. 
  3. The magai of Scorcellen know a great deal, and entirely too little, about the existence of other realms. Scorcellen exists in a magical bottleneck of sorts. In one direction, the realms become lower magic, floating around each other in a nearly linear pattern. In the other direction, the realms fan out, spinning and bouncing off each other, generating a stew of high magical energy, energy the magai need.

I have been getting more questions about the realms and how they interact from readers.

For the Hidden Series, broad information about the realms is not central to the plot, so I have yet to find a way to bring it into the story without it sounding like an out-of-place lecture. 

To resolve this, I have decided to kick off a series of blog posts about the realms as a perfectly placed lecture instead! Readers who follow my blog here or later check the website will be able to get some of those answers to questions I will likely not be fully explaining in the books for quite some time. 

Independent Bookstore Day

For this day, I am going to highlight Page Turner Books in Kent, WA. Earlier this year, Wayne at PTB gave me a table in his store for the Meeker Street Nerd Party event for my first book signing ever. 

PTB has a great selection of books, new and used, and things like Funko toys. Next door, PTB recently expanded into a second location for comics and manga. Between the two, they likely have something to satisfy your reading needs. They also participate in Meeker Street events and have additional nerd-related signings. 

Do they stock my book(s) yet? No, because I’m not yet on expanded distribution on Amazon, and I have not reached out to see if he is interested in buying a couple directly from me. 

Eventually, this will be the most likely bookstore to find signed copies. Once I’m in demand enough for expanded distribution, PTB will be one of the closest indie bookstores to me and easiest for me to stop by and tag a few. 

Get Caught Reading Month

I have decided to issue a challenge to you all for this month: 

In the month of May, anytime from the 1st to the 31st, post a picture or video of yourself with my book (cover visible in either format) on social media and tag my relevant account. It could be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok (@tiffanyshearn_author), and all of my accounts except TikTok are at the bottom of my blog, newsletter, and website. 

If just ten people do this, when I do my Hidden Sanctuary giveaway of a signed paperback later this year, I will giveaway two instead of just one, AND everyone who makes a post will automatically receive one entry. 

The giveaway will be done the same way as the first time through the newsletter with the same fine print (mostly around not being able to guarantee international), but you do not need to be signed up for the newsletter to receive this social media entry. I will also allow the winner(s) to pick which of my two books they want me to sign and send. 

Have fun getting caught reading in May!

Available for Preorder!

My book officially drops onto e-readers in just over ten weeks and is available for preorder now! I hit the submit button on Amazon this morning and was so nervous that something would go wrong. They say it can take up to 72 hours before it is live for preorder, so I was bracing for a long wait. I can’t even tell you how much I have been grinning since getting the notification that it went through just fine, but you can probably imagine. 

Before I delve into some publication sharing, I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me get this far. The interest and support of family and friends helped me push past the fear and imposter syndrome and make it to this stage. The professional support for artists, editors, and readers is crucial to realizing a vision. I tried to name all of the direct contributors in the back of the book, and I know I missed some of you. Please consider this for you as well as the additional thanks I’m sure to write when the book is published and available. 

Hitting Submit

I know there are some fellow authors following me or looking in on these, so I also want to share some of the steps I have been taking recently to get to this point. While I am not going to say the Amazon publishing tools are perfect, I have found them all relatively easy to work with. A lot of these steps I set up and started playing around with a few months ago just in case I had any issues understanding what was happening. 

First, I set up a KDP account separate from my personal Amazon account. I’m not sure exactly what might happen if I mixed them, but I made sure they were separate just in case. One that was set up, I went to my “Bookshelf” and started setting up Hidden Memory in the tool as a draft. I wanted to see how it looked and what options there were. I’m still not sure about the categories I selected, but I can adjust those by contacting Amazon later, so those are not a deal-breaker for moving forward. (They could be critical to sales, so do not discount the importance of categories.)

I also decided to use the Kindle Create tool to turn my Word doc into an ebook format. There are pros and cons to this. I will probably use it again, but I will keep in mind the limitations. 

Pros: 

  • Following the instructions, it read and formatted the file well.
  • It includes tools for frontmatter and backmatter (see this blog post for great links) which were simple and useful.
  • It allows nice preview of the document in multiple formats. 

Cons: 

  • The KPF files are not able to be used on other tools. This is impactful because I plan on using BookFunnel for ARCs (post probably next week on this). 
    • The frontmatter/backmatter does not translate.

I shifted to Calibre for BookFunnel to create a mobi. KDP no longer accepts mobi files, so it is something to keep in mind.

Once my book was published, I was able to create my Amazon author page, and I also submitted for a Goodreads author page. The latter is still pending, so TBD on how that works. My next steps are a Bookbub author page, a BookFunnel account, and gathering ARC readers to submit early reviews. I plan on getting to some paid advertising next month or closer to the release date to generate some additional interest, but I have no idea what that looks like yet. There is always something more to learn and do.

I hope you are having a great weekend. Go Sounders! Go Mariners!