Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Visit from Nona King

Today my guest is Nona King, and she'd like to talk to you about one of my favorite issues. A great cover.  Nona take it away.  
Book Covers are one of the most important aspects of a novel’s presentation.
For years I have tinkered with designing the covers of my novels, researching designs, taking note of successful book covers in order to improve upon what I already created. The dabbling has afforded me the opportunity to learn how to use Photo Shop as well as introducing me to the intricacies of Corel PaintShop Pro.
But this year I began investing money into an actual cover designer/graphic artist.

“You Get What You Pay For.”

With the onset of the self-publishing revolution, there are a growing number of graphic artists willing to work at affordable prices – and accept payments at that. With that being the case, I could no longer make the excuse of not being able to afford a custom cover. After all, as the English proverb says: “You get what you pay for.”
Take, for example, the two covers below. If given your choice, which would motivate you to pay $14.95 for a paperback? Which, do you suppose, is by a professional cover designer?

Yes, the cover on the right is from a professional. To your surprise – or maybe not – the cover was a “pre-made” selection from For the cost of $45, I simply sent the necessary information to the artist and then they created a non-custom, professional cover for my eBook. Yes, I will need to pay an additional cost for a print acceptable version, but even that will likely fall well below the expected $350+ of custom covers.

“Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.”

You say you love your story, and are devoted to your characters. Well, put your money where your mouth is! What is the wise old proverb? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” Luke 12:34.
I have said I love Sara Little from my new romance, Searching for Sara. Her story has been in process since 2004, and only this year did I finally become satisfied with the final product. Not only did I put this manuscript out for constant critique and editing, I consigned Taria A. Reed to create a custom cover. It cost less than $200 dollars after everything was said and done.
Which would you purchase?

"Dig until you hit rock. Then take out that jackhammer and go a little deeper." - Allison Brennan

When I first began tinkering with covers, I found it an excellent way of encouraging my creative juices about my story. It forced me to create the back cover copy and visualize the main characters. To think about the main conflicts of the story best incorporated into both. Encouraging the flow of our creative sides is the best way of keeping our interest in our own material. But these days I get that inspiration from setting up the title on my fiction site or on my publishing site.
I am an independent writing professional, which means the responsibility falls to me to present as professional an image as possible for my story and characters. I can get the initial ball rolling, of course, because isn’t that what we do with our stories before sending them off for editing?
But the final of anything should not be a solo project. Otherwise, you keep valuable perceptions and opinions out of the final, finished product.
Again thank you, Nona for dropping by, great advise for the Indie Author.   Nona has also said that the first person to comment on the blog today, will get a free Smashwords copy of her novel, or a print version.  
Searching for Sara. 

About Nona King

Nona King is an independent writing professional for Angel Breath Books. She has dedicated herself to writing true-to-life characters, be they villain or hero, so her readers can experience life and its many passions. All her stories focus on faith, honor, and the importance of communication and trust in our relationships with others.

About Searching for Sara

Sara Little has ached to live in America. But being born of a single mother in London’s working class, she could only dream. Drawn to the possibility of a new beginning, she follows God’s whisper into the unknown. But more awaits than the realization of her dreams. Caught in the whirlwind of debuts and dinner parties, she has fallen in love with the one man she believes doesn’t deserve.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Addicted To

Addicted to books. com
I'm taking a short break from Nano to tell you all about a new site that I found. Addicted To  I know, yes another book site. We authors are on so many places that we could never take our books down from all of them if we wanted to because we won't remember all the places we left them. It seems like a nice place to be. I don't think the take eroitca and you can search books by these settings.

No Profanity
Mild Profanity
Moderate Profanity
Heavy Profanity
No Violence
Mild Violence
Moderate Violence
Heavy Violence
No Sex
Some Skin
Mild Sex
Ooh La La 

Join Addicted to books
When you join nomrally the next day your book will be featured on their home page.  I think this is a really cool incentive to joining.  I was happy to be a new member on the site, and I shared and tweeted to all of my friends.

Five Amazon Reviews
They do request that you have 5 amazon reviews, and I'm sorry but they will not accept you if you don't.  They request that you please don't waste their time and yours if you don't yet have five reviews.

Victorine E. Lieske
Started this website in order to try and help readers find good books, so please feel free to share this site with your reader friends. You can read the About page here.  You can also find Victorine's book on How to find Success selling e-books here.

Back to Nano
If any of you are following my Nano prgoress I had a stellar day, Wednesday.  I typed on this years Nano in a 24 hour period over 11k.  That is a best for me and thank God I could get out of the chair when I was finished.

What is Nano 

Thanks for reading and until November is over Nano Nano

Samantha Fury
Author of the Street Justice Series 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNo Day 7

Well how is it going
Don't know what NaNo is? Check here

Wow is it really already day 7 of NaNo 2012?  We are having so much fun at NaNo land, and there are some great numbers coming out of our group that it's just amazing.  Now what comes of them that is yet to be seen.

Some of us are not really pacing or trying to get the 1666 words a day that you need to get in order to finish Nano by the end of the month. Most of us are so far ahead of that goal we don't need to worry about it. There are some that are still keeping a normal pace then there are others that are already have way done.

My Count.
I haven't really kept up with a good daily count. I'm just looking at that big number at the end of the day.  Just a few minutes ago I hit 33k.  I'm looking to hit 40 by midnight but I might not make it, but I am over half done.  I just love Nano it really pushes me to get those words down on paper.  LOL, Well M word.

Word Wars.
In our face book group we have been having surprise word wars, and that is really pushing us to compete with each other and in the end helping out our word counts. I know not everyone is a Nano fan, but I just love nano and this year I am writing book 5 in the Street Justice Series. Now if I could just edit as fast as I write and I would be happy.

Come join us Here
We are having so much fun you should drop by the group and join in. You can be a Nano rebel and just work on some story that you already started, or you can do what we did and start from fresh.  To enter the contest you need to start on a story that you have never worked on before and just start writing.  You will try to hit the 50 thousand word count goal by the end of the month.  It's so much fun and we are all going to have a good start on a new novel by the end of November.

NaNo Nazi's 
There are plenty of those little fellas around.  I've had them all month. The house needed to be cleaned I had company drop by I've had days I was on the phone way to much. That's just a part of the whole Nano process. But it will teach you to get in there and write write write.  If you have to just set the computer up in the kitchen and write while you are cooking or take it out side you will find time to do so.  Especially if you ave a competitive bone in your body. :) 

Back to NaNo
I'm sure that you will find an error in this some where, or that I said something not quite right, but that is a part of nano. You are not allowed to edit, you are supposed to ignore those little lines that say something is spelled wrong.  Nano teaches you to get into writing mode and move on. Here we go back to Nano.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Indie Authors Forum

Indie Authors Forum
I'm happy to say that I'm apart of the new and revised Indie Authors Forum. I'll be running the site along with two good friends.  It's a beautifully made site, with all kinds of information for the Indie Author.  We are growing and adding new topics weekly, drop by and check it out, here.

Forums v/s Facebook
Forums have been around long before Facebook and they will always be around even after Facebook is gone, and there is a reason for that.  There is nothing like a forum for organization of facts, helpful information, and it's a great place to learn people and share creative ideas. I love Facebook but I cant count the times I've wanted to refer to a certain topic or comment, and I just couldn't find it.

Indie Authors Forum has many helpful threads, and we hope to keep growing and adding more Topics to help the Indie Author learn more about their craft.  Feel free to join us. We have a place where Authors can show off their own books in our Book Shop Here.   Feel free to show off your website, or share resources here.

We have a Blogging Community here.  In our Indie Discussion forums you'll find everything from helpful threads on Book Trailers, Cover Design, Editing Services, and general Writing Topics, such as Nano Wrimo, Stock Sites, and so many others.

We have an Off Topic Discussion, where we talk about everything from Netflix, to Sports. Drop by and check us out.  We're adding more members and topics weekly.  We also have our Official Nano Word Count thread started and a cheering section. 

Also, we have a sister site, Christian Writers.  Both forums have a Critique section, have special groups, and have a family like atmosphere.  If you want to be a better Author and you want to learn everything there is to know, these two sites are a great place to start.

I think that as an Indie we need to learn everything we can and join many groups and forums, that will help us get the ideas, facts, and resources that we need to be successful.  Check out Indie Authors Forum I think you'll be glad you did.

Samantha Fury
Author of the Street Justice Series

Friday, October 5, 2012

Christian Indie Authors

Want to join the CIA
Before you get all excited, it's not really the CIA as in the government office. Instead it's Christian Indie Authors.  We are a group of authors that just love to write Christian Fiction. 

CIA has a great website and we are growing every month. We offer a place for each of our Authors to post an Image, Link, and brief comments about their work.  Check it out Here    We have Romance - Women's Fiction, Young Adult Authors,    Children's Authors and everything in between.  Fantasy, Thriller, Non fiction, Crime Drama, and more. 

Most of our day to day conversations take place on our busy Facebook group.  We are 103 members and growing every week.  We welcome advertising of your new books, of your blogs, of questions about anything to do with writing.  Though we are all Christians we don't normally discuss religion, but we don't shy from questions that anyone might have, especially if it has to do with their Novel. We have documents too, for sharing our links samples of our work, and we often have Like My page, Tag my book sessions.  We are very supportive of our members.

Covers Artist
Our Christian Indie Cover Design Facebook group was created for the Christian Author that is trying to find an Artist for their Cover.  It's a way of connecting Authors and Artists.  It's very important that we have the best cover possible so if you're in need of a Cover Artist, or if your an Artist that wants to join, check us out.

You don't have to be a Christian to be one of our Artist, but you must be willing to not advertise any images, be it your profile image or a image you share, beyond anything of a pg13.  We have on the website a Pre-made cover section where you can offer images.  There is also a page where we advertise for our Cover Artist, and you as an Artist can show off covers you've made for other Authors.  

Christian Indie Editing Service  is a brand new group.  We are small right now, with only 19 members but I expect that this group will grow also. There is also a place for our Editors on our website, here.  You're more than welcome to join this group, if you are looking for an editor or you do editing.

We're open to allowing Sponsors. Right now you can join us for free.  If you have a product we think would be good for our Writers, then we'll post a link and an image and a small feature about your site or product.

Christian Indie Authors Daily Paper
The CIA paper is filled daily with blogs and book trailers from our Christian Authors.  Please feel free to subscribe.  We can carry about 25 blogs a day in the paper, and we are very fair about letting our authors have spots in the daily paper.  

Ever Changing Group
We are always growing or changing, so please check back often.  We are all about the Christian Indie so if you've been writing for years, or if you are just starting, you will find a place here among other authors just as yourself.  The best way to contact us is through our Face Book Group Here.

Samantha Fury
President and Owner of Christian Indie Authors

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nano - Forum Threads and Face Book Group

I love Nano
You may ask why do I love Nano and promote it so much.  Well, I'll tell you.  It's what started my path to self publishing.  Most of the time if you complete the contest you win a free proof of the book that you worked on that year.  I won the contest. I typed 50 thousands works in the month of November on a brand new story that I had never worked on. Once I uploaded my word count to the Nano site, I won, and I got my proof.

Create Space 
I can not guarantee that Create Space will once again sponsor a free proof at the end of the contest but they have for the last for years.  They normally wait until the contest is over and then they will announce that the winners will receive a free proof of their winning Novel.  This past year Create Space offered us 5 free proofs.  Yes I said 5.  That was shipping and all for those of us in the States.

Two places to join in on the fun

Indie Authors 

Nano Face book Group

Official Nana Word Count Thread
This will be on the Indie Authors Forum.  Come in and join in on the fun and see what your fellow Nano Authors are doing.  There will also be lots of chatting and cheering sections if you need some help. Then there will also be the Word Count thread, were each of us can post our daily word counts.  In that thread there will be no chatting just counting.

Indie Authors Face book Group
I'm sure there will be word counts tossed about here too, but the forum is best to keep up with a daily word count.  If you have a competitive nature as I do, you will want to see what others are doing on the forum.  Then I'll also check in on what everyone is doing on the face book group.  Hearing their goals for the day and how they are enjoying or hating their nano experience.

Nano Preparation 
Come join us on the forum or the face book group if you want to learn more about Nano or how to get ready for Nano. I also suggest that some people love and do better with a support group.  It can really help when you are not getting the word counts that you need.  Drop by and say hello!

Samantha Fury
Nano Head.. lol

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Wattpadd Fans

Free book offer
If you're one of my faithful readers on wattpad, from now until December 25th, I'm offering a coupon for the entire book Street Justice Charlie's Angel on Smashwords.  You'll just need to contact me through my website to get the free book coupon.  I know I've had lots of reads so I'm hoping some of my fans will take me up on this offer.  Just go to my website and click the Email Samantha and I'll get you that Smash Coupon in your email.

I think Wattpad is a great website where you can upload samples of your work. I just love the kids over there, they are so supportive of each other.  Some of them are very talented when it comes to making covers.  If you're a member be sure and look me up and we can fan each other. If you're an Author and you'd like to share some of your work just head over to Wattpadd.  I always warn folks just beware it is mostly teens so rate your work accordingly.

Book Trailer
There is even a place for you to share your book trailer if you have one.  I just uploaded my trailer today I think it will help to get the attention of more readers.  I will have to change the trailer when I get the new cover uploaded but for now this is still the Official Trailer for Charlie's Angel

Reads - Votes  - Comments 
I've had over 500 reads and considering I don't upload the whole book to the site, that's really good.  I have updated just today and now there is 28 free chapters, and that offer of a free read from Smash until December 25th is my Christmas Present to my fans and readers.

Fan Me
It's not a requirement to get the free book, but I will appreciate it very much and who knows I might be hosting some drawings for a free read for the Second book in the series Tidal Wave at some point.  I do appreciate my Fans and would love to hear from you. 

Contact Me.
If you'd like to send me an email just go to my website and click on this link and go to the Email Samantha. 

Till next time
Samantha Fury

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Sales Slump

Crashing Sales
I've heard from so many authors that this month has been bad for them.  It really shocked me when I checked in and seen how low my sales were.  I checked as I always did and there was that BBOS.  The brown bar of shame, that we all see at the first of the month.  You might not call it that, but if you're an author you've seen it, and you may have even kept checking back to see when that first sale of the month comes in. 

Down Down Down 
My sales over the months have been anything from 50 books to 80 books so when I checked in this month and I kept seeing that brown bar of shame, and low sales I started asking. Is my run over. Is this it?  Well, that is yet to be seen, but I have heard from many authors saying their sales were down.  Some of the Authors that have been doing this for a while say that sales are always down in September.

Sorry folks, but I don't have one.  I could guess. Maybe it had something to do with School, Fall Activities, and folks generally trying to save money. I said on one of my FaceBook groups Indie Authors Unite, that maybe people finally realized that gas was almost 5 dollars a gallon and they decided they needed to cut back somewhere.

Final Numbers 
Tonight, the last day of the month I hit 17 books for my final sales for September.  I don't think I've hit this low in over a year, but that is the way the cookie crumbles, or the ebook crumbles. Now on to next month, and we'll see what happens.  If I have another bad month like this one, I'll drop Charlie's Angel back down to .99 cents and see if that spurs sales once again. I'm hoping this is just a September slump that will end tonight at midnight. 

Maybe October will bring more treats than tricks. 

Talk soon
Samantha Fury

Friday, September 28, 2012

Changing E book Pricing

A time for a change 
I always wondered from the day I set my first book to 99 cents, should I ever change it to 2.99 to see what would happen.  I have my novels on Amazon and Smashwords so  I assumed all I would need to do, would be go to Amazon and Smashwords and change my prices.  As I've said in the last post, boy was I wrong.

Amazon Price Matching
Amazon was easy to change, I just switched it to 2.99 and went on my way, but what I quickly learned was that they price match. Street Justice Charlie's Angel was still coming up as 99 cents.  I had no idea why because I'd changed my prices on Smashwords and Amazon.  Well Smashwords had not contacted all of their retailers and it seemed like they were taking a long time to do so.  I decided after a few weeks to start contacting them myself.  

Red Tape
I emailed Smashwords about four times over about a two month period.  I even contacted several of their retailers, some of them changed the price for me and others said no.  They told me that although that was my book on their shelf, they couldn't change it until they'd heard from Smashwords. I don't recall who told me what, but it was not a happy experience.

Finally 2.99
I know it took them some time, but finally one of my emails to the fine folks at Smashwords hit it's mark and my book magically appeared on line at all Smashword retailers and it then appeared on Amazon for 2.99.  I'm not saying that the folks at Smash did anything wrong, it's just a tedious process and I'm sure they have lots of people wanting their prices changed. I'm just saying be careful when you set a price anywhere. Think long and hard about what you want your book to be sold for, because if you change your mind it may take you a while to get the price to change.

The new price
After all of my hard work at getting Street Justice Charlie's Angel up to the price of 2.99 I'm more than likely going to lower it back down to .99 cents.  It is my first novel, and I really consider it a giveaway to get noticed, and to be found among all of the authors that are out there.  

Sales did drop in half
Though I am making the same amount of money that I was while I kept the book at 99 cents, I am not gaining the same amount of readers.  I think at this early stage in my career, it is best to gain more readers, than it is to worry about revenue. 

What has been your experience in sales?  Feel free to comment and share your experience.

Samantha Fury
Author of the Street Justice Series

A lesson on E-Book Sales


As long as I can remember I've told myself stories.  When I turned eight,  I started writing on paper along with telling myself stories. As I got older I kept writing, and writing.  I have hundreds of novels hidden and written in various stages, on anything and everything from Floppies to tons of notebooks.

I always love reading my own stories, but never really thought others would.  I entered the Nano Contest see here in 2010, I won and they offered me one free book. I thought, why not get it and see what it looks like.  I worked for 6 months making my own cover, got the proof and fell in love with the idea of Self Publishing.

Sales 101
I'm writing this to help those that are just getting started, those that are seeing sales so low they are thinking about giving up.  I'm selling anywhere from 17 to 80 books a month now.  That was not how it started. 

When i first released Street Justice Charlie's Angel on Amazon, I thought this is going to be good.  Locally I was selling fair at 10 dollars a book.  I thought I can sale a lot of novels at 2.99  Boy was I wrong.

2010 Sales
August nothing.
September One book  @ $2.99
October nothing
November nothing

Price Change
What I didn't know back then was no one knew me.  No one wanted or cared to read my novel, they didn't know who I was. I lowered my books to 99 cents.  Things started to change, a little.
December I sold 4 books at .99 cents and since the change took effect this month I sold one at 2.99. I thought okay this is better I even managed to sale one in the UK.

In 2010 in 6 months I sold 6 books. Not impressive. But I didn't give up.

2011 Sales Still slow Staying at .99

Jan        4      3 in the gbp
Feb       1    
March   1  
April      1    
May      6  
June      5   
July       5   
August   7

Book Two is released 
Here is where things started to break.  I was shocked right out of the gate book two Street Justice Tidal Wave  sold eight books it's first month.  Slowly sales starting rising also on book one, but I still left it at 99 cents.  I don't know why book two did this.  I don't know why it still out sales book one.  Maybe folks like the cover better, maybe the blurb is better, but I did learn to have patientce and give it time.  I don't do a lot of marketing either.  Sales are what they are because one book sales the other. 

Sept     1   Charlie's Angel
Sept     8   Tidal Wave
Oct      3    Charlie's Angel
Oct      7    Tidal Wave
Nov      3   Charlie's Angel
Nov    17   Tidal Wave
Dec    12   Charles's Angel
Dec    17   Tidal Wave 

Book Three Coming Soon 
I really can't wait to see what book three does.  It amazed me how much having a second book out there helped.  If you only have one book out there, don't waste your time trying to market it, or push it.  Work on book two, get book two out there, and maybe even book three.  

Five Book Plan 
I personally don't plan on doing any heavy or real marketing until I have five books out. Then you may see my name in the paper or on the local news station.  I want people to have some choices out there before I try to really become known.  I don't want them to think I'm a one book wonder.  As long as the good Lord allows me to stay on this earth, I'm here to stay and here to write. 

In a few days I'll blog about 2012 Sales. 

Samantha Fury 
Author of the Street Justice Series.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Cover Face Lift

Hello Everyone! 

I know it's been a while since I blogged and I'm sorry but I've been so busy.  I've been working on book three, and my new covers.  I am not finished but I thought I would let you see what I've been up to. 

Street Justice Series
I think that it's time for a face lift for my Street Justice series. I love this series and thank God that he gave me Angel and Charlie and all of these wonderful people that live in this in this ongoing series.  I just love the first Angel, but since he's not modeling anymore, I'm going to change models.  I don't think the models that we place on the covers usually suit most readers, but I like to find the best image I can for the front cover and the book trailers.

Angel Morganson
I searched through thousands of images and I've finally settled on Jimmy Thomas for the new model that will portray Angel Morganson.  He's handsome, he's fit, and he has a gun. :)  I don't know how many covers he'll grace, but I love the new image and here is the first peak at the new cover for Charlie's Angel.  This cover will undergo a few changes before it hits the Amazon Pages.  I've not bought any of the images yet so all of the lines, circles and such will fade with time.

Making a cover is not an easy task, and I've always been an artist/musician, so I can't help but tackle the task of making my own covers. That said there will be some Artist that joins me on this venture to help iron out a few issues that I'm having. 

The new downloads of Charlie's Angel will also contain the first five chapters of the second book in the series Tidal Wave, which is also getting a face lift.  Thanks for being patient and I'll try to blog a more often.

Samantha Fury
Author of the Street Justice Series.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Editing Pictures or Video Part 1

Making A Book Trailer

You may look at me and say there is no way I can make a book trailer.  Trust me, it's easier than you think.  The hardest thing is finding the right pictures, and then getting permission to use them.  Every picture site can be different.  A lot of the free sites don't care if you use their pictures, but always read the fine print.  Some photographers want credit, others just say they don't want anything.  I always prefer to thank the person in print at the end of the book trailer for sharing their images.

Keeping up with everything  can become tedious. If you are like me and have a lot of images it's best to save the name of the photographer, and the site on the thumbnail for later use.  Then, at the end of your video, you can thank anyone and everyone for their contribution.  Everyone likes to see their name on the big screen, even if it's only a book trailer on u-tube.

My advise is pretty much the same when it comes to music. There are free sites that offer music, and some that charge a small or large fee.  Always read the fine print, and save any links or sites that you might possibly need in the future. 

There are so many ways to make a book trailer or a family video.  I have personally used, Windows Movie Maker, and Wondershare DVD SlideShow Builder Deluxe.  You can also Google movie maker and find all kinds of results.  Again some are free, some not so free.

I bought Wondershare, a few yeas ago for close to eighty dollars. I just love it.  I've made about fifteen videos with it.  Some of them have been for the family, some have been promo videos for the new Hangout Networks show hosted by Jason Matthews & AC Cruz, called Indie Authors

It's simple and easy to use.  I'll post links below to some of the videos I've made with theWondershare software. Also, let me say I am not being paid by them to advertise, and if you buy their product I don't guarantee anything, nor do I receive anything, when, and if you purchase one of their many products.  I just really think it's a very useful software. 

Full Hard drive ?
I will say that if you're computer is like my older computer, and your hard drive is filled with thousands of pictures, this software will not work very well at all.  I thought the software was defective, and it didn't use it much for about a year.  Then I got a new computer, moved the software to the new Lenovo, and was amazed at the difference.

It takes about fifteen to thirty minutes to make a short video. Right now I'm editing an hour long video and it's about 44 percent.  I'm guessing it will be about another thirty minutes or close, until it's done.

Known Bugs
I have one complaint. The upload button that is supposed to upload my videos directly to u-tube doesn't seem to work. I'm not sure why.  I haven't done much research but did learn others were having the same problem. 

You can save your videos in all kinds of formats, and even post them straight to Facebook, which I've not done yet.  Today I'm bringing my thought to a close. I'll get part two up in a few days with screen shots and more details on how the Wondershare software works.

My first Book Trailer  Street Justice Charlie's Angel
Promo for Indie Authors Here

Samantha Fury
Author of The Street Justice Series
Book 1 & 2

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Attention: Subscribers to Christian Daily Paper

Hey this is short and sweet!  The Christian Daily Paper has a new LINK.  This should be our
one and only change that we will be making.  We hope that you will click on the new link here
Christian Authors Daily Paper, and keep enjoying what our Christian Authors have to say.

Thanks for your patience in this matter and we apologize for the inconvenience.

CIA Team
Samantha Fury 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

50,000 Words in a month?

How many of you have ever entered a contest?

Well, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a writing contest. Thousands of writers and authors participate, play, and persevere through the month-long challenge - including many of the Indie Authors show guests.

I normally enter this contest in November, so to be honest, I don't know much about the June version. I do know the contest is all about writing and trying to write 50,000 in a month.

Win Prizes and Pride through NaNoWriMo

I've entered and won this contest in November about four times. Each time in November, I have won a prize. Four years in a row, I won a free book for participating and winning the contest. Now, of course, there is no way for the good NaNoWriMo folks to know if you are cheating or not, but they hope that you won't.

Words, Words, Words

It's not easy to write 50,000 words in a month, but it can be done. For me now it comes down to a contest against my last year's record. I try to get in one really good day with about 7000 words, so if I have a bad day, I don't get so far behind. Last year I hit 9000 words in a 24 hour period. I was stoked.

I don't think I had ever written that many words in one day. I also don't know if I will ever beat that record or not, but you can bet that I will do my best when November comes around.

June Challenge

As I said, this is NaNoWriMo in June, so I'm not sure that I will do as well at this time of the year. There are gardens to tend, grass to mow, and dogs that want to go outside and play in the grass, but I'm going to try. I'm not doing great so far, but I hope to get going soon and get some serious word counts out there.

I will add that this writing is supposed to be on a brand new story that you have never written about before. You can get writing buddies, and have word wars, and it can really be great fun. I'll be sure and let you know how I do this month. Right now, I'm just up to 7000 words.

I haven't been writing that much yet, and I must say that the fact that I don't know if there will be a prize at the end, has affected my word count. Last year the contest rewarded winners 5 free books from the company CreateSpace. Did I mention NaNoWriMo can be life changing?

This small contest is what got me started on the road to self publishing in 2009, and I'm so thankful for a good friend Tommie Lyn, who talked me into entering the contest, and to NaNoWriMo and CreateSpace for running and sponsoring the contest. Winning that first free book showed me that I, too, could self-publish and be an author, so for that, I'm very thankful.

Samantha Fury
Author of the Street Justice Series
book 1 & book 2

Learn more at the NaNoWriMo official contest/challenge web site -

Friday, June 15, 2012

My New Office

My New Office.

I wanted to share my new office with my followers. I love to spend time outside, but I hate bugs, and I didn't like not having a nice table for my laptop. so we went shopping.  There was also a good reason to get a gazebo for me, miss forgetful.  A few weeks I was working outside in my swing, and it started to storm.  Well, when it storms the dogs go nuts, and I forgot all about my poor little laptop. It was out in the rain all night.

I know my new office is not a good excuse to leave my laptop out in the back yard, but if I'd had this, a month ago I'll bet my laptop wouldn't have even gotten wet. By the way everyone told me that my laptop was done for, I might as well toss it out. True it wouldn't come on, it wouldn't boot up, and it was pretty much dead.

I took it inside let it dry out for a few days.I told all my friends about what I'd done, some said to bury it in rice, but I didn't have that much rice. I contacted our local computer store East Ky Computer Sales and Service and they told me what to do. For a few days I was to let it just sit.  Take out the battery, and see if it would dry out. It was hard to not go in there over and over and try it, but I didn't.

I think it was about four days, when I finally decided to just go plug it in again, and see if it would come on. Thankfully, and of course after saying a prayer I plugged it in and sat down waiting. It was a bit slow but thank GOD it finally came on. It taught me a very valuable lessons and hopefully I won't leave my laptop out in the rain again, but with me it's really hard to tell.

Samantha Fury
Author of The Street Justice Series Tell next time

Monday, June 4, 2012

My New SEO Hat.

The newest hat in my collection is a SEO hat.  Until a few months ago I'd never even heard the word SEO, but once I did I figured I'd better learn all I could on the subject so I did what I don't do often.  I bought a book and started reading it.

If you've known me for very long you know I'm not an avid reader.  This month I bought I think my first ebook that I actually paid money for. I've gotten many free e-books, but never plunked down my hard earned cash for one. So what did I buy.  Get on Google Front Page my Jason Matthews.

First, I'll say for those of you that don't know me well. I don't like to read.  I know I'm strange that way.  I just feel that it is taking time away from my editing and writing.  Also, I suppose it has to do with the fact that it takes a lot to hold my attention.  By the way, this book held my attention. I only put it down because life kept calling.  The dogs wanted to be fed, hubby thought he needed clean clothes, you know things like that.

Why did I buy this book?  I want my blogs and web sites to be found not just because people type in my name. I want some day for my web site and novels to show up when someone types in Christian Romance.  Right now that does not happen, so I thought I need to try and learn how to achieve this new goal.

That said, I bought a book on the subject of SEO. Search Engine Optimization.  I've talked to Jason Matthew's, and I've heard him discuss topics on the new show Indie Authors, so I knew he could explain things well.  I'm not the easiest person to teach.  I need something written out in plain English, and by the way this book does just that.

Did I understand everything first time around.  No, of course not. Jason's a great writer but he's not a magician.  I learn slowly and it will take me a while.  You may be different. If you don't have a reading disorder you may read this first time around and just breeze through these steps with ease.

For me there were so many new terms to learn and ideas to grasp onto.  Jason Matthews provides in the book many links and suggestions. I can see this book helping me in so many ways, but it will be a process of taking each step one at a time and learning how to implement the new changes.

You can even purchase a pdf file, to make things easier to follow while you start taking the first few steps in the process.  I've started with step one, creating good content, and I'm sure that as I take these steps and I learn more about this process I'll blog again and let you know how things are coming along.

In short there are so many helpful tips in this book, on blogging, social media, tips for your web sites, that I think you will take something away from every chapter you read.  I did, and I will soon start with step one in working my way up the Google ladder.

I know that this will not make me an over night success and that with my schedule it may take me months, to get through all the steps, but as they say Rome wasn't built in a day.  It's like blogging or writing a book, or even planting a garden. 

The garden aspect works best for me.  If I just go out into my back yard and toss out some seeds and stand there watching, waiting, nothing is going to happen. It takes months and years of knowing what you're doing to reap a great crop.  You have to till, then plow, fertilize, sew, get rid of the weeds, water your plants, you maybe even do some bug dusting.  In the end you'll have a good crop if you get enough rain.. 

If you just toss your seeds on the ground, and pay it no mind and never think about it again until you want something to eat, you're not going to get anywhere.  I look at writing, blogging, and even SEO in this same matter.

I've got to work hard, I've got to put in a lot of hours, and learn new terms, and learn not habits, in order to be successful.  As I mentioned earlier being successful means wearing many hats.  Sometimes I wear my writing hat, or my editing hat, or marketing, or blogging hat.  Well now I have a SEO hat to go with the others.

It may not fit right when I first put it on but with the help of  Jason Matthews book I'll get it on straight after a while.  He gives lots of links and ideas, and if you don't understand something he even gives you the opportunity to contact him about the matter.  What more can you ask for.  How many hats do you wear? Do you have your SEO hat on yet?

Here is a list of topics, you can see this and more in the free preview on Amazon. Click on the image for a larger image.

Samantha Fury
Author of the Street Justice Series

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Time Management

Today’s post is about my nemesis, Time Management. I’m learning more and more how important it is to have a schedule, and that I need to stay on it. Thursday, I sat down and wrote out a new schedule for household duties and writing assignments. This time, I am going to do my best to follow the list and try to cut down on wasted time.

One of my problems is that I don’t look at my writing as a true occupation. I don’t devote enough time to actually sit down and focus on writing; that can be hard to do when you are also running a household. I may be up and down doing tasks like laundry, supper, or playing with the dogs, during my writing time.

Do any of us really treat our writing as a occupation?  Do we just write when we can, putting it to the back burner more than we should. Friday night, we, at Christian Indie Authors had our normal meeting; it starts at 9 p.m. Eastern in the chat room.  Author Pastor George took some great notes on time management, if you'd like to take a peek here they are.

Back on topic, this week we talked about Time Management, and we even started a thread in the forums for members to post new goals they were setting. It’s our job as friends and co-writers to also do the same, and check in and see how others are doing.

I really hope to change the way I look at writing. Sure, chores will need to be done, but instead of doing them while I’m writing, I will be setting time aside to write. I will be doing the chores in the morning and, since I like to write in the evenings, will try to get everything done on my list for the day so I have my mind and thoughts free to work on my job: That job is being an author.  Though at the moment this new job of mine is not paying many bills, it is starting to add to the money I have to spend on groceries. If I start following my schedule and start treating writing more like a business than just a fun past time, maybe things will get even better.

I know we all have different goals, and one of mine is to be able to make a living as being an Author. But, if I don’t treat my occupation as just that, (my occupation) I don’t think I will get much further than I am now. That said, for me, it’s time for a change, and that change may start with baby steps, but it will start and grow and my schedule will become second nature after a while.

The schedule is written, the plan is laid out. Now all I have to do is follow it. What are your plans?  Are you like me just doing things when you think about it?  Maybe it’s time for you to write out a schedule or maybe you’re on one that’s really working and would like to share some thoughts.
I don’t normally ask for comments but today I’m going to. Are you on a schedule, do you have a plan that works, or are you just happy with writing be a fun past time?  Can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say.

Till next time
Happy Writing
Samantha Fury

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Making a book cover lesson four: Buying a bookcover

Lesson four Making a book cover: buying your book cover with guest Mary Campagna Findley

Today we are moving back to book covers, and the next few blogs will be about those folks that want to buy book covers rather than make them. Making a book cover can take a lot of time, and if you don't know what you're doing there can be a large learning curve that you will have to contend with. You may think your time is better spent in writing or taking family outings or marketing your new novel.

If you are a self-published author you can always buy your own cover. That is one of the great things, and the downfalls, about being an Indie. You don't have someone telling you what kind of cover you have to make, or you don't have someone doing the hard work of picking out your book cover for you.

I spoke with a friend of mine this week who makes covers. Mary told me that when she is making a cover for someone she wants the author to know that they are the boss, and whatever inspiration she has, the author can always say,. "Nope. I want this instead." Mary always wants to know what's most important to the author about the story, what the author thinks will make people pick it up and read the book she's making the cover for.

You can see a few covers below and even more covers, and learn more about Mary's work here. I'd like to thank Mary for her time today. She does great work so be sure and contact her if you like her covers.
Mary has been making covers about 5-6 years for her own books, about a year for others. Ebooks prices range between 30 and 50 dollars, print books with banner (digital and printable), ebook cover and bookmark between $100 and $150 but her rates can be negotiable depending on ability.

Each of us must think about our book cover as being our novel in a quick picture. When we can, we need to bring out some aspects of the story in our cover. Readers need to know everything possible. Is your novel a Romance or is it Steampunk? Does a murder take place in your novel? Is someone shot or stabbed? Maybe a gun or a knife would be a great addition. The options and ideas can seem endless.

We want to get the attention of the reader but we don't want to mislead them about what's inside the book. Making a cover is so important, so it's best not to just jump in and throw something together. Study other covers that are in your genre, and give the person making your cover everything you can think of that will help them build you the best cover possible.

There are some sites, that also offer ready-made covers. We'll talk about a few of them later on in the week. Thanks for dropping by.

Samantha Fury
Author of the Street Justice Series
More lessons in this series
Lesson one Making a book cover with create space
Lesson two Making a book cover general helpful ideas
Lesson three Making a book cover with a create space template
Lesson four Making a book cover buying your book cover with guest Mary Campagna Findley

Monday, April 30, 2012

Indie Authors on Google Hangout

Hey Authors! I'm a part of a great new informative show called Indie Authors. It's on the new, very cool, Google Hangout Network. Each week we record a show, on Monday. We are up to show eight.

The shows are packed with information from Indie Authors. Some that have been on the Indie Trail for a couple of years now, and some fresh off the press. That way you get to see this process from many angles.

The show varies from week to week on what we discuss and suggestions are always welcome. Each panel member will be asked a question by our great host Jason Matthews, or co host AC Cruz, and they will, along with other panel members, give us their take on a given subject. I truly think this is a new wave of broadcasting that could possibility one day be picked up by some cable companies.

Here is a shot from one of our shows.

The information is free, informative, and I myself learn something new and creative every week. Tonight's show will be about marketing. We'll talk about marketing locally, and also about marketing online. The show always lasts about an hour, and it's so much fun. I think it would be good homework for any Indie author, to take time out of your busy day to watch the show.

If you want read more about the show check here to watch some past shows check them out here . Panel guest and information here.

If you like the show please like and share on the U tube link.

The show is still new and growing, for more up to date information go here. To be a guest on the show contact our host. Jason Matthews

Thanks for watching
Samantha Fury