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November 6, 2015

If You’d like to know when a new book in the Preternaturals world is out, please subscribe to my new release list:

My Serial, Arcana, Available for Pre-order!

January 29, 2016

Aurelia has rejected her magic. She’d better un-reject it fast and learn how to use it, or she’ll be a very old and powerful vampire’s permanent meal!

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FINALLY, I have Arcana episode 1 available for pre-order. So there are no surprises, here is how it will go:

I will have pre-order available at Kobo, Google Play, and iBooks (links below). The Pre-order price for the episode is 99 cents. If you wait until it’s live, it’s $2.99. (See Note at the bottom if you want to understand why there is no Amazon pre-order at this time)

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DESCRIPTION:

Aurelia Cunningham has ignored her magic too long, and now everything might fall apart. She must choose between being a citizen of one of the controlling magic cities or trying to make it in the wilderness.

The city contains the secret to her magic and answers to a mystery she must untangle to survive. The wilderness has Bast, an old, powerful, and mysterious vampire intent on making her his permanent meal.

Arcana is a serial that follows the Fool’s/Hero’s journey through the major arcana of the Tarot. Readers need not be familiar with the Tarot or the meanings of the cards to appreciate the story, but those who are familiar will find many Tarot Easter eggs hidden throughout the series.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ARCANA

PRE-ORDER LINKS: (All three of these are available internationally. These are the US links)

iBooks

Kobo Books

Google Play

THE PRE-ORDER EXPLANATION:

I will do a pre-order on Amazon briefly for 3-4 days to just get filtered into also-boughts (Amazon pre-order screws up your algorithms because unlike the other stores they don’t count all your sales on release day and count that toward your rank, they count sales as they happen. And long story short it REALLY screws anybody up at Amazon who isn’t already REALLY BIG as an author.)

There WILL be an opportunity to get a “slightly” reduced price at Amazon during the short pre-order period. It will be $1.99 for those few days there, and then $2.99 after that once it goes fully live there.

So bottom line… it’s cheapest and live earliest everywhere but Amazon. I am not doing this to snub Amazon readers but it’s important to understand that Amazon is REALLY instituting policies that are starting to hurt authors and make authors “so dependent” on this ONE retailer that they are otherwise fucked if they don’t do well at Amazon and I want to build my other outlets and SERIOUSLY encourage shopping at them. I do not want to be Amazon’s serf. I don’t want to be “owned by Amazon”.

Certainly I want to do well at Amazon, but if things go badly at Amazon, I want to still have an income and an audience. That’s just the economics of this. When Amazon stops jerking authors around and trying to force them into Kindle Unlimited and exclusivity, and when they stop making pre-order a type of punishment for anybody not already famous, then we’ll talk about them getting pre-order when the other stores do.

Also, unfortunately there is no pre-order at B&N due to the fact that they don’t allow authors to set up pre-order direct. I’d have to go through a third party distributor and no thanks.

PLEASE NOTE: This is the most important part… I have NOTHING against my readers who shop at Amazon and you are welcome to shop wherever you want, but for many readers Amazon is starting to become like Walmart… you hate it but you’ll go there if you have to. And so I want to encourage other options first THEN Amazon. You can still shop wherever the hell you want. And I’m certainly grateful for any sales I get on Amazon because it still is the retailer I’m most reliant on. I just want to start shifting those eggs across more baskets. It’s what will ultimately be necessary for me to survive this business.

Thank you for understanding!

If you have any questions either about the serial or about the pre-order you are welcome to contact me via my contact form (see the links bar across the top of the site.)

Thanks!

Z

Where We Are

December 31, 2015

I know I don’t update frequently because I suck. I spend most of my time “being” my other name. And so… I do most of my social media and interacting there. Anyway, the Preternaturals box set did way better than I expected. I was also fortunate enough to have a Bookbub with it, so that was awesome. And I got some nice sell through on my other titles which I think are overpriced given the rabid reading habits of romance readers so I’ve adjusted those prices downwards a bit just to see how that goes.

Sure, it isn’t “fair” other authors can sell books at a higher price, but romance is a tough market. (And who said life was fair? I don’t want to devalue the work, but I also don’t want it to sit there and do nothing. Keeping prices high when it’s not selling at that rate is just foolishness.) It’s a big market but it’s highly competitive and readers are so voracious that they want lower priced books so they can read more. I would have to be a BIG name in my genre to command $5.99 and $6.99 per title. I feel like that’s a more ‘respectable’ price that is more in line with mainstream traditionally published work. BUT… I would bet money that new authors with traditional contracts selling at that rate are having a MUCH harder time competing in the marketplace. Because it’s name recognition and big fanbases that command those sorts of prices now. So it’s not an indie vs. trad. It’s just that indie authors actually have the flexibility to lower their prices if something isn’t working.

And also, to be fair, this series is complete, and it’s been complete for a little over a year and every title runs it’s course. I know people say that you build this big backlist and things sell forever. But… that’s sort of true and untrue at the same time. A lot of backlist stuff WILL sell seemingly forever, but usually at a much lower rate than when it was a new release. That’s just the nature of the beast. It is beneficial to have a lot of titles out there, but you have to keep publishing new stuff or everything sort of just withers and dies on the vine. That’s not me bitching, just me actually having lived this publishing journey long enough to more or less know “what’s what” on subjects I couldn’t have known about when I started because everybody has a pie-in-the-sky vision and it’s hard to separate truth from bullshit.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate in this business to do as well as I’ve done. Part of that was jumping in back when everybody said you were a loser who’d never go anywhere if you self-published. (I honestly believe I’ve done much better than I would have done if I’d sought a traditional publishing contract.) I spent way too much time arguing with those people when I could have been building my brand stronger, but the fact that I jumped in and did it while everybody else was acting like this was something that even mattered in a world-ending way, was a smart move.

Also, new work IS coming. I have not abandoned this name. I’ve just been focusing more strongly on the erotica name because I get more ideas for that and more weird plot lines and my fan base on that name is a bit more “into me”. But with my other name, I got in there when my subgenre was just starting out, so there was some hope for name recognition at least within the genre. For paranormal romance it is SO competitive. I “might” have somewhat of a name if I’d actually been focused entirely on this name, but it’s hard to manage more than one name.

But anyway, the serial I was going to release last spring IS happening. It should start releasing in February. I’m already writing it. So stay tuned for that!

Thank you for reading and supporting my work!

The Preternaturals Collection Black Friday Sale 3 FULL BOOKS 99 CENTS LIMITED TIME!

November 25, 2015

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The Preternaturals first three books are now in a box set. Regular retail price for the ebook version of all three books individually is $18. Regular retail for this box set itself is: $9.99. But Now through Sunday the 29th only, the box set will retail for only 99 cents!  3 FULL books in my preternaturals series for 99 cents. Now is an excellent time to introduce a friend or family member to the Preternaturals series.

Please see your preferred retailer below for full book description. If you’ve read and enjoyed this series, a review at the retailer site (particularly Amazon) would be much appreciated.

CURRENTLY LIVE AT THE SALE PRICE:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble UK

Google Play

Kobo

Apple ibooks

 

 

Status Update

November 7, 2015

A reader emailed me because I haven’t updated in a while. And I don’t want you guys to think I’ve fallen off the planet. Part of me not updating is that I haven’t moved this blog yet to an independent hosted wordpress site. And I HATE wordpress.com The interface is horrible now. It’s worse than Blogger. So it just annoys me to have to deal with it and I haven’t had a chance to get a self-hosted blog site set up for this name yet.

Anyway, here is where we are: I’m writing a lot on my other name because it’s the one that sells better and that people seem to care about most. However, one thing I notice is that it has become less an “experimental name” like it started out and more fraught with worry over “if this or that will sell.” When I started with that name I didn’t really care if it sold. It was stuff I was just writing for me.

Ironically the more I wrote “just for me”, the better it sold. But now the Zoe name is in this “Zoe who?” place and so now this is the experimental “just for me” name.

I AM working on the serial on the Zoe name. I’m hoping to start releasing that after the first of the year. Sorry for lack of update. But I am working. It’s just hard to manage two names. If I had it to do over again I would probably only have one name. But I have no time machine.

Besides I think the creative tension and being able to write things without pressure where I don’t feel “watched” (like on this name now), is a good and healthy thing. As long as you are subscribed to the new release list (go to the home page here and you’ll see it at the top), then you will know the second I have something new out.

Big Sale: The Catalyst 99 cents Today Only, Rest of the Series $2.99 each Limited Time

April 18, 2015

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I’ve got a Bookbub ad today, so The Catalyst is 99 cents today only at multiple venues:

Amazon

Amazon.uk

Amazon.ca

Barnes and Noble Nook

Kobo

Google Play

The rest of my titles in the series are on sale for $2.99 at Amazon, Nook, and Kobo. (Prices vary on Google Play).

The 99 cent sale for The Catalyst is today only. The $2.99 for the other titles will be a bit longer. Maybe a week or so. I want to give readers who grab the Catalyst at 99 cents a chance to work their way through the series enough to know if they are interested in buying all of them while they can still get it at the sale price.

A Story of Two Pen Names

April 16, 2015

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The original plan was to release the first season of my new serial in Spring 2015. Here we are and no serial. Here’s what it is… When I started publishing, I started with this name. I made not all of my mistakes, but many of them on this name. (Kind of like how the parents learn on the first child.)

Then I created a second pen name and released a book on that. At the time, it seemed super logical to have more than one pen name for brand differentiation. Also, this name was supposed to be my “more commercial” name. And the other name was just going to be… experimental. Like… it didn’t matter if it succeeded or failed. It was mostly for me, and if other people liked it, well awesome.

In a twist that probably surprises nobody but me… my other name is the one people care about. It’s the one that sells the best. It’s the one where authors inside my genre actually know who the hell I even am. Whereas here it’s like “Zoe Who?” This is not me “complaining”, it’s just getting you up to speed on things.

I also found it very difficult to maintain and manage two blogs, two facebooks, and two twitters. It’s extremely difficult for me to be social under two different names. I’m an introvert, so it’s hard enough under one name. But I have ended up being social mostly under my other name. I do my facebooking and twitter over there and pretty much ignore the social aspect of this one unless I have a new book.

I know it’s the wrong way to do it, but it’s too weird for me to manage two social media profiles so it is what it is. If I had things to do over, I probably would have started the other pen name instead of this one, kept my head down, written my books, and expanded into multiple genres (with different branding on the LOOK of the books to differentiate and labeling on the books themselves), that way I would not be running on a treadmill to stay in the same place.

I had thought about making a third pen name, but screw it, I’ll put anything new I create even in a different genre than what people are used to from me, on my other name. This doesn’t mean I’m abandoning Zoe. I’ve basically created a world here and want to continue writing in it and I want all that to happen under the Zoe name. It’s just that things have shifted in the opposite direction where the other name is the main brand and this one is the “experimental one” that has no pressure and can rise or fall, whatever.

But being that name, it means I have to really focus hard on the other name before this one. I am in a stage where I need to rebuild/reboot both names a little bit and get more serious about work. I can’t realistically do both at the exact same time. It’s a ton of work just to build ONE name so that anybody cares about it. (This is a tough business and it’s not getting any less competitive.) So continuing to split my focus is not working.

So I am planning new Zoe stuff. I’m VERY excited about this serial and rebooting Zoe into a slightly different direction (same world, just less focus on romance. It will be more dystopian urban fantasy so the main plot is the main plot and any love interests are a secondary concern rather than being what everything revolves totally around.) But since Zoe has now become the “experimental, meh whatever” name and my other name is the main one now, it means I can’t pretend this name still has priority.

I think my fear in relinquishing that is I think… what if the serial does AMAZING somehow and people love it and I’m basically not getting it out there faster and the name really could succeed and blah blah blah. But honestly, it doesn’t matter, it’s the bird in the hand thing. The other name has a real chance and Zoe right now is a pipe dream. But we’ll see. I’d love for both names to be moderately successful. And I’d love it even more if I had a time machine and could just write under ONE name. But live and learn.

That’s where we are. Right now the serial is on the publishing chopping block for mid to late fall. So it’s not like it’s a million years from now, but without the sales and interest from readers, I can’t focus so much energy and attention on Zoe while letting opportunities for the other name slip away.

Thank you for your patience. If you somehow don’t know my other name and would like to know, you can send me a message on the contact link at the top here. It’s not a “secret” but my family is uber religious and they have little church friends, and I would prefer not to throw that shit in their face since many of them know about this name. (That’s another thing I would have done differently, not tell ANYONE in my real life about the writing thing. It’s taken time and experience to realize how much I don’t want to talk about the writing life in real life.)

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