Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Book Season

12/14 UPDATE:

Today is my official Seasons of Reading Blog Hop day. So to celebrate, THE WAY LIFE WAS FOREVER is now free at smashwords for the rest of the month. Happy Holidays!!!


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. New Book Season. All year long, I look forward to my holiday break—two wonderful weeks off from work, two fabulous weeks to spend with my family, two glorious weeks to read.

 I love getting books as Christmas presents, almost as much as I love giving them. As a kid, it was one time of year when I would get a brand, spankin’ new book with crisp pages and a glossy cover…and the smell. Is there anything better than the smell of cracking open a new book for the first time? Ok, maybe a rare edition or six.
One of my first Christmases with my hubby, I gave him a limited edition, hardback copy of one of my favorite stories, The Giving Tree. And when I found out I was pregnant I started amassing books for baby first Christmas, everything from older editions of fairie tales to Sandra Boyton board books to gorgeously illustrated classics.

For the Corp family, books are an integral part of the holiday season. Each December, I diligently fill out our bookstore wish lists. I hit the brick-and-mortar stores for gift cards for teachers and friends. Then I canvas the school book fair and load up on books to give my family.    

Kid 1

Kid 2
So what’s on the list this year?

The kids are easy.

My hubby got his new book a few weeks ago (and will be reading for some time—the book is freakin’ huge!):

Me? All I want are: Clockwork Prince & Kiss of Night
And this year, there’s a new twist to New Book Season, my own book!
So, I’m giving away a signed print copy of THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE GUARDIAN to one lucky person and donating one on the winner’s behalf to my local public library. Contest runs 12/4 through 12/31. Winner will be announced on January 1, 2012. To enter follow my blog and leave a comment below. Please read the contest disclaimer here.

YOUR TURN: What' terrific tome is on your holiday list?

to find your way to the next post, click here
  Thanks to Jo Ramsey and all the Seasons of Reading Blog Hop authors!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Honestly YA: High school, like life, is AWKWARD.

Today at Honestly YA, I'm giving MTV's AWKWARD. some love and sharing my own Carefrontation. Stop by and share yours!

12/4 Nikki DeLoach just shared her Carefrontation to her 15-year-old self, read it here:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Left Field Inspiration

When I work up this morning, I didn't know that I was about to be inspired, and validated, and encouraged, and changed...But that's kind of the whole point behind blessings. Tonya Kappes's post changed my course.

For her inspiring post HOW BAD DO YOU WANT SELF PUBLISHING SUCCESS, click here.

I have a new short story out!!! THE WAY LIFE WAS FOREVER
It's  $.99 at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. I'll talk more about the business rationale in a few weeks.

Today I want to know HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sneek Peek ...

of the cover for my new short story: THE WAY LIFE WAS FOREVER

coming Thanksgiving 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More Indie Stuff: Marketing, Money, and POD, oh my!

Happy October!

I'm hard at work on my sequel to THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE GUARDIAN. Which means I've been sucked into the black hole of my own brilliance. LOL! That may be a slight exaggeration. I'm busy. My fabulous agent has my literary fiction manuscript, ECHOES OF NEVERLAND, out on sub, which means I'm in writer's limbo. Basically, I'm scattered and writing my brains out.

However, the wonderful world of Indie Publishing goes on. So I thought I'd share some recent (and some not so recent posts) on sales, marketing and POD.

Theresa Ragan has posted her October Sales Update. She's awesome and I wish I had her numbers!
As usual, Dr. Debra Holland's post on September Sales is impressive. I love her transparency!

Traditional publishing is a very real part of the indie equation. To make an informed decision, it helps to understand what traditional publishers typically pay. So if you haven't seen these posts, they

Romance: Brenda Hiatt - Show Me the Money

YA: Agent Mandy Hubbard - Things You Want to Know & Things You Want to Know II

Other posts of note:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

50 Things Under $50 to Promote Your Book

As a result of some exciting developments, the blogs been a bit quiet recently. Soon I hope to be able to share details.

In the meantime, check out Penny C. Sansevieri's great report:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Going Indie - Is it worth it?

Time to talk results.

I take this giant leap of faith - so necessary to gain forward momentum in my career - and three months have passed. Some authors are selling tens of thousands, some authors are making thousands a month, and a very lucky few are doing both.

And me?

My results have exceeded my expectations. I have recouped my initial expenses. And most importantly, I have taken the next step in my career. No regrets.

So lets talk Dollars and Cents:

THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE GUARDIAN sells for $2.99 eBook and $14.99 print (discounted at B&N but with very little margin for me).


MAY 24th













Smashwords (3mo. total)


A good friend of mine, who published about the same time, has sold in the thousands. While ecstatic for her, for like a second I was jealous of her sales. (LOL Tonya).

Keep in Mind at my Pricing structure: 100 = 700

I considered dropping my book to $.99. While $.99 price point does tend to explode sales, the margin is very low.

$2.99 (70% is $2.093) x100sales = $209.30
$.99 (30% is $.297) x100sales= $29.70;  700sales= $207.90
My choice, earnings at $2.99 or sales at $.99? The authors who are really doing well have a tiered approach (that I plan to model). When their subsequent book releases for $2.99 or $3.99, their current title drops to $.99. That way they are accomplishing both sales and earning. So I'm hard at work on the sequel THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE KEEPER. :)

Here are some other AMAZING indie authors who have transparently shared results:

* Debra also has a great post on price point

Debra's August sales information
Theresa Ragan

Gemma Halliday's results (1 year 600k and counting)
D.D. Scott (on Right side of page)

Cate Rowan on The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood site

Julianne MacLean's promotion experiment (How important are cover and price?)
Know of any other indies disclosing sales? Post a link in comments and I will update this post. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Did I say wonderful?...I meant painfully chaotic.

So rather than post for the sake of posting, let me tell you what's coming up next week.

MONDAY 8/22 I will be launching a new multi-author blog venture where we  talk YA not the business of writing YA. The title of my inaugural post: "What about prom, Blaine? What about prom?"

Swing by Monday morning for a link to the new site. :)

Then on THURSDAY 8/25 I'll be divulging my sales-to-date here: Going Indie - Is it worth it?

For anyone in the Cincinnati area, on FRIDAY 8/26 I'll be headed to the Carrico-Fort Thomas Branch of my local library for the Girls Taking Over the World Young Adult Author Event including NYTimes bestselling author and 2011 RWA RITA winner Julie Kagawa sponsored by the awesome Blue Marble Bookstore.

See you next week!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


And my collection of published RWA 2010 Golden Heart YA finalists grows with Shea Berkley's THE MARKED SON!
Erica O'Rourke's TORN, Carey Corp's THE GUARDIAN, Shea Berkley's THE MARKED SON

Friday, August 5, 2011

First Love Fridays - Shea Berkley

Today, I'm thrilled to be talking with Shea Berkley, one of Entangled Publishing's debut YA authors.

CC: Thank you, Shea, for being a part of First Love Fridays: where we explore the glory and angst of first loves, first kisses, first breakups, and life beyond.

Shea: I’m thrilled to be here, Carey. I wouldn’t miss this chance to talk about the teenage years.

CC: Tell us about your first kiss. To protect the innocent feel free to use an alias.

My first real kiss... oh heck, please don’t think I was a skank.
Age: Thirteen. So young, but I thought I was soo smart.
Time: Mid summer. Humid and hot, hot, hot.
Guy: Let’s call him “Tex”. Older than me by about two years.
Where: Driveway.
Teen motto: When the opportunity strikes, go with it.

CC: I love that! And I don’t think you’re a skank. Heck, I kissed a boy in third grade because his dad and mine had the same occupation. *chuckle* It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Next Question - How long were you together?

Shea: Ours was a summer love. One of those intense two-week inseparable relationships. He was visiting family and I knew his cousin.

CC: Was he a good kisser?

Shea: It was night time so it was black—the ground, the night and all the parked cars were nondescript. Heck, now that I think about it, I could have been kissing anyone that night. I could barely see.
But no, it was “Tex” because he dragged me out there, very insistent I go with him. He was leaving to go home the next day. You see, he was a summer love, there to visit family. So when he dragged me outside for a “private” talk, me being me thought he wanted to exchange numbers and addresses, you know the usual stuff. I don’t actually remember what he said to me, but it was kinda corny. And then BAM! Lip attack… and sadly no world-rocking. It was over before it really got started. I remember him being nervous. I definitely wondered what all the fuss was about after that. Only when I started dating “Jack” did I finally understand what the big deal was. “Jack” was hands down the best kisser. (sigh)

CC: How did you get over him?

Shea: There really wasn’t anything to get over. He was nice and I liked him, but he didn’t live anywhere near me and I think I only saw him one other summer after that, but by then I didn’t care. I was already with “Jack”, a friend of his cousins.

CC: Have you connected with him since then?

Shea: Nope. If that kiss had been world-rocking, I’m sure I would have written him and called and kept in touch more, but I think we only wrote a few times and then contact just faded away.

CC: Tell us about your most recent project. What role does love play in the story?
Shea: Love plays a huge part in my book THE MARKED SON—love between Dylan and Kera and love for other people who are being treated unfairly.
I love the way being in makes a person feel different, special…and sometimes out-of-control. It’s those emotions that I wanted to tap into when I wrote about Dylan and Kera. They have a once-in-a-lifetime love. It’s something they can’t deny or run away from.  
CC: Ever since Entangled revealed this cover, I've been a little in love with Dylan. :) 

CC: Do you have any final wisdom to share with us about first loves?

Shea: I was a chronic dater when I was a teenager. I wanted to find the qualities I liked in a guy, so I went out with a lot of boys, but rarely kissed them unless I was dating them. By the time I was twenty, I knew what I wanted and what I wouldn’t put up with in a guy. I knew the qualities that were special and the ones that were a smoke screen. If a guy ever made me feel unimportant, then I knew he wasn’t the guy for me.
Life is too short to put up with a guy who treats you badly. So go with the guy whose eyes light up when he sees you. He may not be the handsomest, strongest, or most popular guy, but then again, he just might. I married the star quarterback of the football team and the golden boy of his high school. (I was shocked when I learned about his past) But you know what? He has never treated me poorly. I know without a doubt, he’ll drop everything and be by my side when I truly need him. And I’ll do the same for him.
So don’t jump into a relationship. Get to know the guy. Don’t get pressured to go fast. If he’s really worth anything, he’ll wait around. The good ones know the right girls are worth the wait. And trust me, they will wait for as long as it takes.

CC: Great advice! And I can’t wait to read The Marked Son. This is especially exciting because it's your 2010 Golden Heart finalist project. I’ve got my copy on order and I’m hoping it gets here soon!!!

Thanks again, Shea, for stopping by to share the love.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

FLF tomorrow

Since I am deep in the revision home stretch, stop over tomorrow for my First Love Fridays interview with Entangled Publishing debut author Shea Berkley. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Got it Covered? I thought I did…

I really like my cover. I designed it myself with a Shutter stock image on PowerPoint. It worked great for digital. For print, it did not. (Read about my cover design, here.)
Being an ambitious DIYer, I determined I could handle the print cover. Just like my digital to print manuscript experience, my digital to print cover experience was plagued with issues. It was complete trial and error and error and error.
Like any good indie, I did my research. I got a cover template. I did my best to absorb info about spines (so Greek to the mathematically impaired girl). I spent a couple of hours laying out my cover and I uploaded to Createspace.

I thought I did a pretty good job until CS kicked it back to me:
Files for THE HALO CHRONICLES: T..., require your attention
The cover file does not meet our submission requirements for the reason(s) listed below.

The cover file contains live elements that may be trimmed during the production process. Please make sure that all text appears .375" away from the outer edges. Additionally, all elements you wish to appear on the cover, such as text and graphics, need to appear within the live graphics area. Only background that can be cut off should extend through the bleed area.

The spine text is too large for the page count. We recommend reducing the font size and centering the spine text so there is at least .0625" of room on either side. Otherwise, the spine text may wrap to the front or back cover.

Additionally, we have noted the concerns listed below. You may choose to move forward with the below issues as-is; however, we wanted to bring them to your attention.

The cover file contains transparency  which will be manually flattened during our processing and may cause a color shift.

The cover file contains images that range from 70 to 93 DPI, which may appear blurry and pixelated in print. For optimal printing, we recommend all images be at least 300 DPI.

So I tried again. I Googled how to flatten the file. I downloaded higher res images. I tweaked my layout, said a prayer, and uploaded.
Files for THE HALO CHRONICLES: T..., require your attention

The cover file contains images at 92 DPI, which may appear blurry and pixelated in print. For optimal printing, we recommend all images be at least 300 DPI.

Better but I still had image issues. It was one of those moments where I grudgingly admitted, “This is why people don’t do cover design on PowerPoint.” I’d spent a lot of time on my cover and still wasn’t getting the results I needed. I was behind schedule, out of my design depth and knew that I needed a professional. Problematic, since I had no budget.
One of my chapter mates, Jennette Marie Powell, is going indie in August with Time’s Enemy, a time travel romance. When she showed me her great cover, she’d mentioned her design background.

So, I approached her for help. I might have begged and pleaded a bit. Now’s the part where I give Jennette my UNDYING THANKS! She quickly fixed my resolution issues and I finally had a cover that CS accepted.
Here’s the digital eBook (my) version:

Here’s the professional print version (Jennette had to make some minor tweaks, mostly in font):

Again a HUGE THANKS to Jennette for rescuing my cover!
Jennette Marie Powell
Author of Time's Enemy, American time-travel romance, coming in August, 2011 | TwitterFacebook
Conclusion: My most important take-away is even if I want to design my own cover, I need to collaborate with a design expert for set up. For the next book, I will not hesitate to work with a professional.

Also, I appreciated CreateSpace rejecting what would be a substandard cover with very specific feedback –for free. J

Mood: Grateful
Related topics: A Cover is a Promise
Next steps: Working on revisions for DOON
Your turn: Do you like to design your own covers?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Self-Pub Journey to Date - My blog version of a clip show

Next week I'll be wrapping up my journey to publication with my final post on process. Then we'll get into the results. Sales, royalties, and such...

Indie Curious? Self Publishing Made Easy: step by step from manuscript to eBook

Edward Cullen has nothing to do with my cover: Designing my digital cover

Digital to Print - Do the math or suffer the consequences: from eBook formatted to Print

POD Part 1 - The Screwup: Why print formatting was harder than I thought.

Got it Covered? I thought I did... How my cover held up my print process

Coming soon: Numbers don't lie

And for fun (in case you didn't see) Lucas-schmookas! I wrote Star Wars: The first book I wrote

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Digital to Print - Do the math or suffer the consequences!

If you have been following my journey, you may have picked up that Print on Demand formatting is giving me FITS. L I expected this process to be simpler than digital formatting. It so wasn’t. It didn’t help that I neglected my due diligence in thoroughly researching the POD process. I spent a lot of time comparing Print on Demand providers (see here), but not the formatting and cover processes.
Here’s my digital manuscript to POD print ready manuscript step by step process:

Step 1 Make a Create Space account
            Create Space give you step by step tasks to follow. Easy Peasy—mostly…
Step 2 Choose a Trim Size
·         Standard sizes range from 5 x 8 to 6 x 9. Most of the YAs and POD books I have are either 5.06 x 7.81 or 5.25 x 8. If you have a book or two you like around the house, measure their sizes.

·         Also choose white or cream paper.
Step 3 Do the math or suffer the consequences
·         I am sooo not a math girl. So figuring out gutter and outside margins made my brain bleed. You see, they are off center, and right side pages have opposite gutters than left.

·         So, I opted to use a preformatted template. Here’s where my lack of math hurt me. I tried many templates and no matter what I tried (Create Space; Lulu; or other) the results were wonky. Crazy headers and footers; ghost lines impossible to remove; and other strange formatting junk. I worried that it was my manuscript, but I tried other manuscripts and even format stripped wordpad documents with the same results. My best results were with these particular CS templates, but even then I had to do some ghetto formatting to make it work (i.e. stripping page breaks and hitting the return like 20 times to create faux page breaks to remedy inconsistent headers.

·         Here’s what I did. I took my Smashwords perfected digital manuscript and deleted “Smashwords” copyright. I mirrored the copyrights of printed books I have.

·         Then I cut and pasted into the CS template for the size book I wanted. I chose 6x9 and although I considered downsizing, the amount of template trauma I experienced dissuaded me from making changes once I had a print ready PDF.

·         Then I “fixed” wonky formatting, crazy header spacing. I added odd/even headers with book title on one side and my name on the other. I added page numbers at the bottom. (You have to format both odd and even page numbers and select “link to previous” EXCEPT on page one.

·         Once your manuscript looks right (keep in mind you may have to ghetto format to get spacing and other thing) save it as a PDF.

·         Review your PDF to ensure continuity of formatting, headers, and footers.
      ·         Mine the Create Space community for answers and general problem solving.
You now have an Internal PDF - half of what you need for POD print copies of your book. The other half is a cover PDF. Next week I will dissect the flaws of my digital to print cover.
Conclusion: POD formatting is harder than it ought to be. If only there were a perfect template out there. *sigh*
Mood: Perseverant
Related topics: To read my POD provider posting click here.
Next steps: Waiting for cover fix… In deep revision on another project.
Your turn: Have you had better success with POD formatting templates? Please share! Also ask any questions you might have. J