First Two Fairelle on Sale One Week Only!

Hey Everyone! It’s been a while, both on my blog as well as on my newsletter and I feel like I’ve abandoned you 🙁 I am sorry to those of you that have waited for my next book! I’ve had so much going on! Between writing screenplays and turning a few of my book series into TV series to my son’s auditions, to having to move and all of my conventions in between! WHEW! I have been so busy! And because of that I’ve not posted as much as I’d like. So I decided to make it up to you I’d do a sale!!

The first book in my Fairelle series Red the Were Hunter is FREE for one week! 

What if you were the key to an ancient prophecy that would begin to heal your lands, but fulfilling your destiny meant you had to turn your back on everything you’d been taught to believe in?

Redlynn of Volkzene, a member of the Sisterhood of Red, is heartbroken to discover another girl kidnapped and her best friend slain by werewolves. Defying the head of her order, she sets out to kill the beast she believes responsible.  The King of the Weres– But there are worse things in WolvenglenForest than the wolves.

Adrian, reluctant heir to the throne of Wolvenglen, and his band of wolf brothers are bound to protect the humans; especially the Sisterhood. Finding Redlynn unconscious in his woods, awakens in him a passion he’s never before experienced and a protective instinct that has him ready to turn on his own men. Problem is, a female is the last thing Adrian needs complicating his life.

But all is not as it seems in Wolvenglen Forest and to save the missing girls before time runs out, Redlynn and Adrian must move past their inner demons and learn to trust each other. In the search for vengeance, however, sometimes you have to sacrifice what you desire most.

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And the second book Snow the Vampire Slayer is ONLY .99 for one week!

Lady Snow Gwyn is tired of playing “mother” to her seven Vampire Slaying brothers. For the past two years, she’s yearned to be out there fighting at their side as they hunt for bloodsuckers in the black of night. Snow is as good a fighter as any man, but she wasn’t called to be a Slayer. A mere formality in her book.

Prince Sageren, Son of Lothar has spent the last fifty years in exile, awaiting the day when he can finally avenge his family and take back his throne. Barely existing, he’s forced to face his inner demons and the monster he once was, compelling him to vow to never drink from humans again. A simple enough task–until he crosses paths with a human who makes his fangs ache to drain her.

When Snow runs into Prince Sage on a late night trip to the woods, she’s torn between the urge to kill him and the desire to succumb to the feeling he stirs within her. And when Snow’s life is threatened by the same evil that murdered his family, Prince Sage must enlist the aid of Snow’s brothers to not only help him save her life, but to also regain his rightful place as King of the Vampires.

If Sage can keep the Slayers from killing him first.

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I hope you all enjoy the books! And if you do remember to leave a review on your favorite retailer!! Have a great weekend and be sure to share the links on your social media and your friends!

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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Writing to market – a genre that doesn’t fail!

So many times we hear, “I write to market” or the opposing view “Write your heart”. But what if you could do both? There is a market that never goes out of favor. It has people buying all year long, year after year after year and they buy it by the millions. If you could tap into that market and you could write it on your own schedule, wouldn’t you want to? Heck yeah! And that’s why you need to be writing Holiday Romances!

Holiday Romance is a booming genre. From Christmas and Thanksgiving to Valentines Day and Halloween people love the feel of a Holiday Romance. They love to live it and devour it over and over and over. And Holiday Romances can be written in any genre.

Love contemporary? Maybe a contemporary Valentines Romance might be right for you. Are you devoted to paranormal? Christmas with a pack full of shifters could be your cup of tea. Historical? A witch historical Samhain story could really set you apart. No matter your genre Holiday Romances sell.

The beauty of writing a Holiday Romance is that you can write them anytime you can fit them in and if it doesn’t work in your schedule to publish it this year, the market will still be there next year. Holiday Romances are not going to go out of style. So you don’t have to worry about writing something and then having to sit on it for another seven years until the market comes back around.

While I personally write what I love and not to market- because honestly, I’ve missed every trend in the last 3 years by a matter of months – I love to write holiday romances because I write them when I want and release them when I want. They are the ultimate mashup of both worlds, writing to market and writing what you love. Are there other genres you can do that in? Sure, but not many. Because honestly by the time you find out what is hot- and you write something for it- if you are going traditional and you submit the houses are full of a thousand other books being submitted in the same genre. Or if you self-publish the market has been saturated by everyone else trying to get on the bandwagon as well. But with Holiday Romances you never have to worry about that.

So, where do you start? What components do you need? How do you make sure you are giving the readers what they are looking for? When do publishers send out calls for anthologies? All of these points will be discussed in my upcoming class for the FF&P chapter. It starts on May 15th and is called Romancing the Holidays. You can find the link to register HERE!

So come join me to find out more about this amazing genre and how you can make money all year long and have fun writing what you want, when you want, without the worry of whether you’ve missed the market or not.

SIGN UP HERE!

Rebekah is an Award Winning Bestselling Author and Screenwriter. Her debut novel Dead Awakenings, hit the bestseller list on release day. Her Fairelle Series, released in 2014 and has won several awards in both writing and screenwriting, including the Golden Palm and a finalist for Rone Award as well as Best Fantasy Series of 2014 from the Paranormal Romance Guild. Her trilogy The Society was released by Kensington and her new series Shifter Rising is released in 2016. Rebekah is a prolific author releasing upwards of five books a year and is currently working on six different series.

Rebekah is the President Elect of the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of RWA as well as a member of several local and online chapters. In her spare time when she isn’t writing, you can find her teaching on SavvyAuthors.com or at RWA. Rebekah is also known for her elaborate cosplays with her family and has been a guest speaker and panelist at San Diego Comic Con, Wondercon, Salt Lake Comic Con, Long Beach Comic Con, Comikaze and several other Comic Cons on the west coast as well as LTUE, Romantic Times Convention, RWA, InD’Scribe, Genre LA and Authors After Dark.

Cursed by the Moon Cover Reveal!

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Cursed by the Moon is the second in the New Adult novella series – Shifter Rising

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Cursed by the Moon is Releasing July 11, 2016

Blurb

If they can open up to love, they could save each other from their pasts.

Shifter Rising, Book 2

Noah was bitten by a werewolf in Afghanistan. Now back stateside he finds himself not only with new afflictions and nightmares, but a completely new creature. Noah wants nothing more than to end his pain, when the Night Shift steps in and relocates him to Malibu California to build a new life. The problem is, Noah’s beautiful new roommate Cara and her friends are what he hates most in the world. Werewolves.

Between being attacked six months prior, and her mother’s death, Cara struggles to keep herself together. But when wounded and broken Noah comes into her life she finds safety in his arms and opens herself up for the first time in years to the possibility of healing and moving on.

As Noah and Cara draw closer to finding the love that could heal both their souls, secrets from their pasts threaten to tear them apart. And when those secrets come to light it will take a bond beyond love to keep them together.

Beware: Contains a Hunky Alpha Marine with lots of baggage and a sweet hometown girl hoping to win his heart.

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Excerpt

Noah froze at the feel of her body pressed against his yet again. She looked up, smiled and his heart boomed like artillery fire at her nearness. She licked her bottom lip, moistening it. Her grip tightened on his hips, and her nails pressed into his sides, making his arousal spike.

Her arms slipped around his waist and he pressed into her. Without notice, she raised to her toes and pushed her lips to his. A million thoughts raced through his mind. She’d turned him down at the beach, but now…

She licked his lower lip and sucked it into her mouth. Every nerve in his body sparked, as if jumper cables had attached to his spine. He set the water and tea on the counter and wrapped her in his arms. He let all doubt drift away.

****

Noah’s hand fisted in her curls and he drew her to him. His lips clamped down on hers and she plunged her tongue deep into his mouth as she ran her hands around his back to his butt, pulling his hips into hers.

He groaned deep in his chest and broke away to kiss down her neck to her shoulder. Her bare skin flushed with every sucking kiss placed upon it. He ran his hand down the front of her t-shirt and she moaned as his thumb rubbed over her sensitive nubs. Desire thrummed through her core, pulsing, and begging to be sated.

No. She couldn’t do this. She had to tell him the truth. It wasn’t right.

“Noah,” she choked out. “Noah. I have to tell you something.”

He lifted his head back to her lips. “I don’t care.”

“No. Noah it’s important. Something you don’t know about me. About my past.”

He kissed her hard, his mouth tasting like the butterscotch lollipop he’d consumed after dinner.

“I don’t care,” he panted and lifted off her shirt. “I don’t care what you did. I only care about who you are now.”

He kissed her again and her brain grew fuzzy with desire. His rough, calloused hand squeezed and kneaded her flesh into submission until she was barely able to keep her feet. She stripped his tank top off and ran her fingers over the curved planes of his abs. Starting at his pecks, she kissed a trail over his skin. Scars marked the beauty of his flesh but they only added to her desire. She kissed each one as she lowered herself down and swirled her tongue in the dips between his muscles. He slammed his hands on the counter behind her, making it shake.

“We better get out of the kitchen,” he growled.

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Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books With A Bite

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Waiting out the Wall – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

Waiting Out the Wall

Many of you know that I am a prolific writer. I write daily, sometimes up to 10,000 words a day. I love writing and it loves me. Until, it doesn’t.

I’ve been writing for about six years. I wrote my first book Dead Awakenings at 150,000 words in 30 days. The next month I wrote another book, also at 150,000 words. The third month I wrote Reign of the Vampires at right around 120,000 words. It was amazing. Splendid. And I was on top of the world! I didn’t write any more books until two and a half years ago. In two and a half years I’ve written a dozen books and published ten of them so far. I was told volume was the name of the game. If I wanted to get my name out there I need to write and write and write some more. So I did.

Along the way I had a writer’s block. Nothing big, small ones. Cute little writer’s blocks that I want to name and put on my shelf. I’d take a week off and then be fine. I’d read a few tips here and there and bam! I was back in the game.

Until a month ago.

A month ago I had a major meltdown. A meltdown like none I’ve had in over eighteen years. It was bad. Really bad. And I finally asked myself. What the hell are you doing? Why are you doing all this? What is the goal? And that’s where it started. My first REAL Writer’s Block ever. A hairy ten foot spider of a writer’s block that I didn’t want to touch let alone put on a shelf and care for.

It was like being stranded in the middle of the ocean of words that wouldn’t come together and form beautiful prose anymore.

 

At first I remembered how comfortable I’d been just days before. Sailing on a cruise ship in this gigantic ocean of words. Partying with all my writer friends and chatting about my WIP, and characters, and putting beautiful words on pages. Only to wake up abandoned on a life raft with limited rations, not a soul in sight and words not only no longer in my mind, but no longer in the ocean that surrounded me either. Nothing. There was just… dark ominous water threatening to swallow me down.

So what did I do? I lay in the bottom of my boat till I hit shore and then I started reading articles about writer’s block and how to get rid of it. Try “What If” Questions. Try writing a character sheet. Move on to a different project. Write through it because the first draft will be crap anyway. But every single thing I read had a common theme: Keep Working.

Now I had friends. My wonderful writer friends whom I love and cherish and they said, “When I get blocked it’s because I deviate too much from my plot.” Well, that’s true, for them, but I’m not a heavy plotter. I can’t be. My characters freak out when I tell them what to do and then they throw a tantrum and stop talking to me. So, what’s a Plotzer type of girl to do when all the advice she’s being given makes her brain throb and the hamster on the wheel in her head pass out?

You stop. That’s right. You stop. Not an hour stop. Or a day stop. Or even a week stop. You take a full stop. A month. Two months. However long you and your body need. You don’t even try. Don’t open your word document and stare at it. Don’t read your Facebook feed full of what all your writer friends are working on. You don’t read books in your genre and analyze them. Don’t promote or market anything! You just stop. You pretend you aren’t an author. You do all those things that never get done because you write so much.

You do the laundry and cook real meals. You go to sleep early and sleep through the night. You go to the store or the mall and walk around and enjoy just being there. You take your kids to violin and parkour and fencing and dance and you don’t take your computer so you can write while you wait. You binge watch every show you haven’t seen in over a year. You talk to friends that aren’t writers and go to lunch with them to hear about normal people. You clean your house and organize the spare bedroom and take the time to be a regular person again.

Yes, it’s true that for the first few days your writer’s brain will fight this change. Tell you that you need to write. You have crap to get done. Ignore it. Drown it out with doing those other things that help you remember who you are. Within a week or so you’ll find that everything inside quiets down and you’ll start to breathe again. You might get an idea or two in this time. Jot them down but nothing more. Don’t write. Don’t plot. Just make a note so you have it for later.

Then, when you’re in those quiet moments, you think about what the heck started it all. Were you pressuring yourself to get it done? Were you pressuring yourself that it wasn’t good enough? Were you too focused on selling more than your friends? Were you upset that someone didn’t invite you to a party or that you got a 2 star review? Most likely you will find that what started it all was pressure. Stress will shut down your creativity faster than being run over by a truck. You can at least get some good sensory descriptions and plot ideas from being run over by a truck. But with stress, not so much.

Then when you’re ready, think about your characters a bit. Not a lot. Just a little. Think about where you left them and what they’re doing. Maybe pull out something you need to edit and edit it. Slow. No pressure to be amazing, just reliving it and making it better here and there. Pick up a book in genres you DO NOT write in. (That is key!!) For me it’s non-fiction. Read them. Learn from them. Have fun with them. Maybe write a blog post. Or an article for a newsletter. Try your had at a short story. Very short. Two thousand words or less. Again, the name of the game is No Pressure. Something light and fun just to see where it goes. Do a daily writing prompt and turn it into a thousand word flash fiction for your blog. No commitment. You are a free agent here!

And then when you think you’re ready to start writing again, to dive back into that monster of a novel you’re writing, Don’t. Don’t do it. You aren’t ready.

Take a few more days. Do more things. Go to a play or your son’s soccer game. Make cookies for your neighbors. And just take time to remember who you were before you started calling yourself an author. Let yourself be.

I know you’re asking, okay, so when do I start writing again? The answer is, when holding back will kill you. When that feeling that if you don’t get the screaming characters in your head to shut up that you might put an icepick through your temple. That’s when you write. When the need is so overwhelming that you can no longer hold back that sea of words that has finally come back to you and is ready to help you back onto your cruise ship. That’s when you begin again.

But what if you can’t wait it out? What if you’re on a deadline? Then what do you do? You take as much time as you can and then you start slowly. Do the small things above. Think of your characters in your book. Do character sheets and maybe go on Pinterest and look for inspiration. Make a board for your characters. Do a small writing prompt and pop your characters into it. It doesn’t have to be a scene you will use in your book, but it can be a scene you could use as promo or a freebie in your newsletter. Ultimately, if you are on a deadline you can’t wait forever and sometimes what you’ll need to do most after taking your break is forcing yourself to sit down and write again. After you’ve taken sufficient time out, you need to recommit and dedicate yourself to your writing again. Go back and read the last book in the series. Re-read the chapters you’ve already written. Remind yourself why you loved these characters so much.

But first, give yourself time to heal and to be. And when you are ready, go into it for the love of writing. The love of wanting to just write and create and have fun. For you. Not to get a contract or an agent. Not to fulfill a contract in place or to submit to an anthology. Not to make a million dollars.

Write because if you don’t, your characters will murder you in your sleep.

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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Showing Your Villains a little Love! – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

Showing Your Villains a little Love!

How many times have you read a book, seen a movie or watched a TV Show and loved or absolutely hated the Villain? There is nothing better than a well played, well fleshed out villain who isn’t a cardboard cutout of what evil is supposed to look like. I’ve rooted for the villains since Dracula came along. Darth Vader is my father!

As writers our villain is as important as our hero and heroine. Their story, whether told or not, is also as important.

So what makes a good villain? One that you can identify with and root for? Is it someone who resembles your junior high PE teacher? Or maybe the one who acts just like the undeserving jerk who stole your girl friend in high school? There are a lot of things that can make you love or hate a villain, but the biggest one is that they aren’t evil. They’re humanized.

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One of the villains that I rooted for the most was Sweeney Todd. You say he isn’t the villain? Really? He murders people, cuts them up and makes them into pies. Sound like a good guy to you? Not so much. But let’s look at how he got to that place. His wife was taken from him, he was thrown into jail under false charges and then he finds out his wife was raped and died and his daughter is being raised by the man behind it all. All those things that happened to him, make him so sympathetic that as he’s killing people you are gleefully cheering him on! Sympathy or empathy for the villain is a great way to make people love them.

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Another of my favorites is Loki. Sigh…Loki! He’s the brother of Thor. Always second best and second fiddle to his big brother with the golden hair. Yet we find out that he’s actually adopted. And not just adopted, but adopted from the one race that he’s been taught to hate and loathe his entire life. That sucks. And it makes you feel for him. He no longer has a sense of identity. Does he do terrible things, yeah, he does. But he has one of the best senses of humor I’ve ever seen. And when push comes to shove, he does the right thing–most of the time. Not always, but when it counts. On top of that, did you see the scene when he found out his mom was dead. I cried. He was devastate. He loved his mother more than anything. That right there humanizes him and makes us love him.

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How about Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones? There is a despicable man! Incest, murder, attempted murder of a child. You name it. Yet, after a dreadful injury he forms an unlikely friendship with Lady Breann. He protects her virtue, saves her life and then gives her one of the most precious things he owns. How can you not love a man like that? You know they’ve done horrible things, but deep down, he’s not a bad person. What about the Hound? He protects, Arya Stark.

So what are some things you need to make a great villain? Well, we’ve already talked about humanizing them. Every villain had a mother who loved them at one time. They have kids, maybe a spouse, people who don’t realize what monsters they are. They care for those people. Love those people. And would do anything to protect those people. Or dog, some villains just really love their dogs. Like Woody Harellson from Seven Psychopaths.

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Remember, most villains don’t see themselves as villains. They think they are doing a good thing. Take Wilson Fisk, Kingpin, from Netflix Daredevil series. Wilson Fisk thought he was trying to make Hell’s Kitchen a better place. But he was actually the reign of terror in that city. Displacing old ladies, killing people who got in his way. He was the villain.

Now does that mean you can’t just have a totally sadistic twisted villain who enjoys being mean? Nope, not at all! Cough, cough–Umbridge from Harry Potter and Marie Lalaurie from American Horror Story Coven. Sadistic, twisted and loving to inflict pain. But what did they cover it up with? Smiles, jokes, pink and kittens and parties. Those are some seriously developed villains. Dumpy, unassuming, small voices, yet two of the craziest witches I’ve ever seen made into characters!

Humanizing a villain makes them real, tangible, not just a character. Give a glimpse of those intimate moments when they think no one is looking and they do something nice, caring, loving. Having an evil villain or even one who thinks that they are doing bad things for the greater good, is great, but giving us a villain we are torn about, now that is a great character!

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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5 Things to do Before Your Book Publishes! – Writers Wednesday

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5 Things to do Before Your Book Publishes!

Welcome to the Fourth part of my series on Self publishing.If you missed the first blog post in this series you can find it HERE,
The Second is HERE, The Third is HERE.

So we discussed a few things to look out for when self publishing. And five things you need to do for yourself as an author before publishing. Now I’m going to tell you Five Things your book needs before you publish it.

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1)A Newsletter – A newsletter list is your best friend. The people on it WANT to hear what you are saying and doing. Unlike paid ads where you never know what you are going to get, these people went through the trouble of signing up. There’s a reason and those contacts are invaluable! When you set up a newsletter give people something free. A short story or article or something to help them get to know you and your writing style and to get them hooked. Then send one out every month to two months. Any longer and people might forget they signed up.

2)A Media Kit – Media kits for you and your books are also a must have. They make life so much easier when it’s time to send things out for promo. In your media kit, if it’s about you have your bio, headshot and accomplishments as well as a possible writing sample as be sure to include all your social media links for people to contact you at. If it’s for a book have the cover, ISBN, length and genre of book, links, expert (both long and short), blurb, your bio and headshot. Also include teaser graphics for them to put up. Put it all in a word doc and pdf. You never know which people will want.

3)ARCs – Get them out there! You need people to review your book. In the first week of release you need 15-20 reviews. It will help push your book up through the ranks. Ask bloggers, friends, street team members, reviewers to read and review your book. You will need to have it in different formats for people who read on kindle or nook. Instafreebie is a great website to use for this because people have to add their information to get a free copy. This is great for avoiding pirating and to get contact information to add to your newsletter.

4)Street Team – You need one. A street team is a dedicated group of followers that love your work and want to help spread the word about it. Start gathering street team members early so you can have people help you with promoting your book. Provide them with ARCs and teasers and links and ask them to post them on Facebook groups and pages.

5)Ads and Marketing – You need to market. Why? Because if you don’t no one will. There are lots of free promo sites out there that will blast out your book if it’s free or .99 for the first week. Find them. Use them. If you are going to spend money on ads and marketing, do your research and make sure that you are using people and places that will actually help you grow your fan base and sell books. Do NOT spend 2 weeks straight blasting on your Facebook page that you are SELLING A BOOK! Or on Twitter. People will Not appreciate it. Yes, find Facebook groups to promo in. Yes, you can even buy Facebook ads. But be knowledgeable about who you are using. Some blog tour companies are amazing and will work hard for you, others will take your money. Be sure to get referrals and use them.

Marketing your book should start 3-6 months before release. Cover releases, excerpts, extra tidbits and information, deleted scenes and teasers. All of them can be used to help get the word out there about your book. But it must be done in advance. If you wait till it’s released, your’e already doomed.

So what do you think? What are some things that you have done before release that I didn’t mention?

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Book with a Bite

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5 Things I Learned about Self Publishing the Hard Way – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

5 Things I Learned about Self Publishing the Hard Way!

This is the third in my series on Self Publishing. If you missed the first blog post in this series you can find it HERE! And the Second is HERE!

So this week I want to give you a few tips on things that I learned the hard way when I started self publishing.

I started out 2 years ago with a small indie publisher with my book Dead Awakenings and then moved on and sold my series The Society, to Kensington. But soon realized that the only way for me to release 3 or more books a year in a series was for me to publish them myself.

My series, Fairelle is slated to be 8 books and a handful of novellas with possibly a short story or two as well. If I went to a traditional publisher I’d be writing that series for ten years or more; and with over fifty book ideas in my brain, I couldn’t wait that long.

So, I started reading what I could find on self publishing and what I needed to know and I became a wealth of information. Even so, with all the information out there, there were a few things that no one talked about that I think need to be. Things that can kill you if you don’t do them, or can at least take you a lot of time.

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1) Editing is going to take you ten times as long as writing.

If you are going to self publish you need a professional editor, at least two critique partners that are great and a handful of beta readers. It isn’t enough to edit yourself or have your mom edit for you, unless she is an amazing published author. You need a professional editor to look at your work with an objective eye and tell you what is wrong with it, even though you may not like it. But before you do that though, you need to edit the book at least a couple times yourself and then have two amazing critique partners look at it for you. People you trust who have been published. Then after they’ve edited it, you need to edit it at least one or two times more. I tend to edit my self published works a minimum of seven times. Then you need beta readers who will go through it with a fine toothed comb and find all the mistakes grammatically and typos. This can take anywhere from two to four months. Possibly more. Do not skimp out on this or you’ll pay for it in reviews. Don’t go into this thinking that you’ll be in and out in two months. There is a reason that publishing usually takes six months. So be sure to have many stories to work on so you are consistently rolling them out several times a year.

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2) Format only if you REALLY know how!

Do you have Scrivener? No? Then pay someone to format your book for you. Seriously. I mean it. I am not joking! Formatting your book can take a lot of time if you don’t know how. And I mean, REALLY know how. You are better to pay 25.00 to Marie Force’s Formatting Fairies (No I am no affiliated with them at all) to format the darn thing for you.

However, if you have Scrivener, it’s super easy. So, get Scrivener. And then go on youtube and watch a few videos and you’ll be set. I used to pay Marie Force. Then I got Scrivener and now I do it myself because Scrivener makes it so easy. But before I did, I spent two months trying to format my first book. And in the end, I paid Marie.

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3) Using Draft 2 Digital is a lifesaver in the beginning!

(Again, I’m not affiliated with them)

So again, you can upload your book yourself to Amazon, BN, Itunes, Kobo, ARE and every other outlet on the planet and it might take you a month to do it all. Why? Because each system is different and each system has different errors and each system wants you to upload something in a different format, size, style, but really? Why bother?

You can upload to D2D and they take a small percentage and then click all the outlets (except ARE) and Bam! You’re done! They take care of everything. You don’t have to worry about if payments came in for this outlet or that outlet. You don’t have to fill out a million tax forms. If you want to lower a price you do it in one place, not every one individually. Yes, you could use Smashwords instead of D2D, but Smashwords and I have a hate/hate relationship. I never once got my books to go through their system correctly even when paying a professional and I find their customer service to be non-existent!

So for the beginning, starting out, I suggest you use a service like D2D and save yourself a lot of time. I still make more with them taking out their percentages than I do on Amazon, by far.

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4) It’s all up to you!

That is the good and the bad of it. You can set your own price. When you release. How long the book is. What you put in it. How you market it. It’s all your choice. But ultimately, it’s all on your shoulders as well.

Do you know what to price it at? Have you studied to see what price point is selling best? Do you know which months are the worst for a release? The best? Do you know the typical word count for your genre or what people expect from certain genres? Do you know bloggers? Or Marketers? Where to market and spend your money? Do you know what keywords to use? All of that can be a big burden and you need to learn it before you release, not after.

5) A Million people are doing it. Do you stand out?

I wish someone had told me how hard it was to stand out in a marketplace where there are over a million books a year being self published. The good, the bad, the ugly, it doesn’t matter. When you are self publishing you are competing not only against the other self pubs but the traditionals as well that are getting a lot more marketing dollars than you are. You have to find your niche what makes you stand apart and use it. I’m teaching three classes at Savvy this next year about these very things.

Self publishing can be fun and tremendously rewarding. But you have to go into it with your eyes open, otherwise you will drown. Best of luck! Feel free to ask any questions you might have!

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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5 things an Author Needs to do Before Publishing! – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

5 things an Author Needs to do – (as an Author) – Before Publishing!

This is the second of a series of posts on Self Publishing! Be sure to follow my blog for more in this series. If you didn’t see the first post, look HERE!

If you’re reading this then I will guess that you’ve either written a book, are in the process of writing one, or are thinking of writing one. In any case, Congrats! Welcome to the club! Writing a novel is one of the hardest and most rewarding things you can do. It takes countless hours of imagination, patience and perseverance. And in the end you get to hold and cradle your computer and sing it sweet songs and promise that soon the entire world will hear the words written on it and it will be glorious!

But – Before you get out there and start querying every single agent and publisher on the planet there are a few things you need to do. These five things have nothing what so ever to do with your manuscript. These things are purely for you! The author. You need to work on you. Your brand, your name.

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1) Get a Website!

Get a website. One with your name as the domain name. And get it without a blogspot or .wix attached to it. You need to shell out a few bucks and get your name and only your name as your website. Why? Because it shows that you are professional and serious about the business. But getting your domain name isn’t good enough. You now need a professional looking site. It really is pretty easy to do in WordPress. Not good at website stuff? Do what I do, go to Youtube and look for tutorials! But if you just can’t do it, find a friend or hire someone. You’re putting yourself out there and want people to take you seriously, so you have to look serious. And within your website be sure to setup a newsletter form.

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2) Get a Professional Headshot!

My kids are in the entertainment industry as actors and I can’t tell you how invaluable professional headshots are. They make all the difference. When I have people coming into the industry asking me for tips on how to get started I always tell them to get good headshots. Now good does not equal expensive – it just equals good. I’ve found great photographers for a couple hundred bucks. And you can use that photo for your professional photo for the rest of your life if you want. So invest! A fun one for your website. A good one for the back of books. But again, if you want to be taken seriously, you need to look professional. Save the fun snapchat shots for your Facebook page.

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3) Setup a GoodReads and Amazon Author Page.

You may not have anything to put on there yet, and that’s okay. But you need to become familiar with they systems and get yourself in there. Put up your photo. Write a blurb about yourself. Just get a presence. Get started. Get yourself out there.

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4) Setup a Facebook Page and Twitter Account.

Believe it or not Agents and Publishers do look at this stuff. They want to see if you are getting out there. They want to see if you have a presence and a following. They want to know that you aren’t going to just leave all the marketing up to them while you sit behind your computer screen and wait for the money to roll in. You need to show them that you are willing to put in more work and effort to ensure not only that your book is successful, but that you as a writer are successful in the long run. And not just a personal Facebook account but an actual page for you as an author.

Multi-Ethnic Group of People Planning Ideas

5) Get involved.

If you are reading this then chances are you are a member of RWA and several chapters. Great! Awesome! That’s exactly what you need to do. You need to be a part of writing organizations. Volunteer. Get to know people. Form friendships. Make connections. Get on Yahoo Groups for writers. Join Facebook groups for writers. Find your Tribe! Your people. The ones you can rely on and be supportive of. Those people will be invaluable to you in the future as critique partners, friends and partners in crime. Lastly, get involved with anthologies and book sets with good, reputable people. Submit to magazine calls. Get your name out there and get involved!

Writing is a tough business that gets tougher every year. You have to be prepared to succeed – And not just by having an amazing book! Are you ready?

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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3 Things to Ask Yourself Before Self Publishing – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

3 Things to Ask Yourself Before Self Publishing

Welcome to the first in a series of self publishing posts. Millions of people have flocked to the self publishing boom, which has led to both wonderful and tragic results. Thousands of people jumped on the band wagon of self publishing, followed the trends and flooded the market with stories both long and short in an effort to either jump start a career or make a few easy bucks. But then there are others who genuinely wanted to self publish for their own reasons. Whether it be the flexibility, total control or because of backlist sitting and collecting dust.

When I started writing my only desire was to jot down the stories in my head and maybe print a couple copies to sit on my shelf. Nothing more. However, after my critique group read my first book, Dead Awakenings, and told me that I needed to publish it I got the idea that maybe publishing with a big publisher might be nice. So I pursued a traditional publisher and sold.

After that I sold my series, The Society, to Kensington and I realized something. For all of the wonderful things that traditional publishers could offer me, one thing that couldn’t be offered was more than one, or max two, books being released in a year.

My fairytale retelling series, Fairelle, was due to have nine books and seven novellas and I knew I didn’t want to be writing that series for eight years. With over sixty book ideas in my head at present I needed to be putting out at least three books a year in that series for my own sanity. So I decided to self publish.

Self publishing is a personal decision and different for everyone, but there are several things you should ask yourself before you self publish.

1) Am I ready to do everything it takes? The marketing, formatting, writing, editing, uploading, taxes, ARCs, barcodes, ISBN’s, etc.

You have to be both author and publisher. It becomes a real business when you decide to self publish. Your business.

You wouldn’t open a retail business without expertise or having employees lined up with expertise. You wouldn’t open the doors to said store without having ever taken a business class or knowing your market. Becoming your own publisher is a business. It’s a full time job and needs to have all of its facets looked at before dive in. So do your research and get your ducks in a row first.

2) Am I only doing this because I keep being rejected or because it’s what I really want?

If you are being rejected over and over have you looked at why? Is it because you don’t fit into a genre or is it because your story, plot or characters need work? Any weaknesses your book has will not go away simply because you self publish.

Lots of people self publish for great reasons. Lack of being picked up because of story issues isn’t always a great one. It’s true that sometimes your story just doesn’t fit into the small box that traditional publishing is looking for. But you need to make sure that it isn’t because of other problems. Those problems will do nothing more than lead to bad reviews and poor sales.

3) Do I have the time and money involved in do it all myself and doing it right?

Editors cost money. Good cover art costs money. Ads and marketing all costs money. ISBN’s, proofreading, formatting, and and and… On average it costs me up to a thousand dollars to publish one of my books. You need to plan on at least half that to publish right.

And if you plan on doing it all yourself (see above comment about expertise) to save money, how much time will it take you to do all of that yourself? Hours, Days, Months. It takes a lot.

So before you decide to self publish, ask yourself why you want to and if you have what it takes to get it done. If so, it can be one of the best experiences you will ever have. If not it can leave you bitterly disappointed.

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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New Year New Goals – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesdayNew Year New Goals

by Rebekah R. Ganiere

This last year was an interesting one for me. I published more, wrote more and crashed more than ever before.

For years I’ve told myself I would cut back on writing, spend more time with my kids, clean my house, organize my life, and be a more well rounded person. And every year I have not done it. But this year when I hit a writer’s block big enough to trap King Kong I knew I needed to do something different. Now, I’ve never really been a goal person myself, but I finally said it was time to get my crap together and try to organize my life. But where to start?

Goals are different from resolutions. Resolutions are things you tell your friends you are going to do and then you give up within the first month.

Goals are detailed, they are thought out and written down. And here are a few ways I found help with both goal setting and goal achieving.

 

  • Look Back – The first thing you want to do is look back at all you accomplished over the last year. See where you excelled, see where you might have fallen short, and find out where you didn’t even try at all. Now ask yourself, of the things you have to show for your last year, are you happy with them? Are they what you wanted to do? Is there something else that you could be doing that would make you happier? Once you’ve taken a look at where you were and what you got done, you can start to form a picture of where you want to go and where you want to be a year from now, five years, ten years, and work backwards. What are the things you need to work on daily to reach those goals?

 

  • Be Realistic – So you looked back at your last year and found that you wrote five books and this year you want to write thirty. You didn’t exercise the entire year and single handedly kept fast food chains in business. Now you want to exercise every day for an hour and only eat salads during the week. These goals, while admirable, are probably a bit far reaching right now. Be realistic with your goals. Realistic, smaller, simpler goals are ones you are going to reach. And once you achieve them you’ll be so proud of yourself you’ll set more and before you know it you’ve reached big goals.

 

You wrote five books last year? Great. Try for six this year. Or don’t try for books try for words per day. Didn’t exercise? Okay, make a goal to exercise and start small. Five minutes a day three days a week. Then every week add an additional two minutes per session until you’re satisfied. Being realistic goes a long way to achieving success.

 

  • Break it Down – Goals can sometimes be overwhelming and daunting when looking up the giant rocky mountain that you have to climb to reach them. So break them down into small manageable chunks. You want to write a book? Well, you have to start by writing. Set a goal to write a thousand words a day. Or thirty minutes a day. Then do it. Every day. If you write a thousand words a day and you only work on weekdays, in ten weeks you would have a 50,000 word novel. Not bad. If you want to get a bigger newsletter following, do something every day to put it out there and get more sign ups. It doesn’t have to take a ton of time, small things add up. Every step gets you closer to the peak of your goal mountain. If you want to build a bigger writing community, spend a few minutes a day reaching out to authors you want to get to know better and say hi. Ask a question. Introduce yourself. You can’t eat a whale in one sitting, but if you stay in your seat and chew a little bit every day, you’ll finish it eventually. Goals are for the long haul, not short term. Break it down and stick with it.

 

  • Make it a Priority – Make it a priority and make sure you do it everyday. For me when I commit to change something in my life I have to do it at the same time every day to make it a habit. After a month it’s a habit and then you won’t even have to think about it or force yourself to do it, it will be automatic and you can then see your goal getting closer and closer. You accomplish those things in your life that you value most. If you value social media most, that’s where you spend your time. If you value writing most, you write every day. If you value a clean house above all else, you make sure it’s clean. Figure out what means the most to you and then either follow that or adjust your thinking so you can accomplish what matters most to you in your life. Look at the people you want to be most like and think about what habits they’ve given themselves to help them get where they are.

 

  • Don’t Give Up! – A simple concept right? Not as much as you’d think. There will be days, weeks, maybe even a month or more where you do not do one single thing toward achieving your goals. You may forget to water your goals like a forgotten fern in the corner and by the time you get back to it it’s a pile of brown ash. But you know what? That’s okay. It happens to all of us. Remember the King Kong writer’s block I mentioned? I didn’t write for two months this last year. I almost died at the end of it. I looked back and berated myself for not writing. Told myself how dumb I’d been and how far behind I was now in my writing. For weeks I stressed myself out and made everything worse. Finally I realized it didn’t matter. So what? What was the big deal? I stopped for two months. I have over forty years left to write books, in the huge picture of my life two months was nothing. Once I stopped looking at it as me being behind I was able to move past the block and finish up three projects that had been waiting for me to finish, and you know what? I mapped out my writing goals for this year and found I was actually ahead of the game because I’d finish those projects before the first of the year!

 

You have to set goals if you want to get things accomplished in life. From a To Do list of day to day tasks to a bigger goals that are five and ten years away. Write your goals down. Talk about them with a spouse or friend. Check in with that person or with yourself. Be accountable. Post them somewhere in your house where you will see them daily. Bathroom mirror, fridge, night stand. Put them in planner and look at them every day. I use Franklin Covey online.

If you stumble and fall, or just take a long winter’s nap, get back up and start again. Everyone stumbles or falls asleep, it’s those who keep trying that end up winning.

I found this cool goal setting pdf online that might help you get started figuring out your goals for this year. http://www.thepassion.co/reflect2016#introducing-reflect

So, what are your goals this year?

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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