Reviewing Restrictions – What’s taking so long?

Time flies when you are having fun, correct? Well, I am having fun but the past month seems to be dragging a bit. I keep telling myself that “The Blood” has only been available for twenty-three days so what do I have to be concerned about. I know ten e-books have been purchased – yeah! And the print version supposedly became available today, May 30th so I should not expect any type of increase in sales, yet, correct? What should my expectations be? I have not delusions of grandeur – I am fairly certain I am not the next Andre Norton or J.K. Rowling so, again, what should I expect?

I want to expect one hundred books a month. That’s just a bit over three books a day. How do I get that? I’m told to invite my friends to purchase, to read and to post their reviews of “The Blood” on Amazon, on Goodreads, on Facebook, on whatever else they are connected to. How long should I give my friends to read and then post a review? I can’t demand any action I can only request, nicely, that when they get a chance to post something honest about their reaction to “The Blood”. I’ve gotten one so far; thank you Nancy. Have the other nine readers of the e-book not finished yet? When I see a review on other books there is a statement that “This is a verified purchase”. Now, I’ve received a few e-mails from extended family members who have read it but I don’t know if they have tried to post their comments on any kind of forum. Is there a restriction on Amazon against family members commenting on my book? If yes, would this mean that any one with the last name of Riggs cannot post a review?

What about the over sixty people who have purchased “The Blood” directly from me? So far most of them have offered comments face-to-face. I love the reactions! Can they post a review on Amazon if they have not purchased a book from Amazon? I am certain that they can post reviews on Goodreads but I only have eleven ‘friends’ on Goodreads so I don’t necessarily understand how that all works. Can people comment on my book on my LinkedIn page or my personal Facebook page or my ‘business’ Facebook page (www.facebook.com/timberdarkpublications)? Do these personal sales get added anywhere other than the list I have? According to exterior social media etc. only ten people have actually acquired my book – that’s not necessarily a great showing (though it has not yet been a full month). I am planning to set a limited time sale on the e-book starting sometime in June so perhaps I’ll see an increase then.

Now that I’ve written all this I think I am overreacting. No one knows me or the story begun in “The Blood”. It takes time to build an audience and I’ve only just begun. I am technologically challenged and can only handle a bit at a time – which it probably a good thing. One step at a time, girl. I also want to wait until after the EVVY Awards in late August. “The Blood” has been entered in five categories and it may place in at least one of them so I could use that to jump start another round of advertising based on that, correct?

In the meantime check out the e-book at http://alturl.com/fbn43 if you haven’t already. Use the “Look Inside” to read a sample. Let me know what you think. Do you have any questions? I have one for you: What’s taking you so long?

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Reviewing from the middle

It has been a couple of years since I’ve read one of the Gear’s books.  I am currently reading “People of the Morning Star” by Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear. I am continually fascinated how they tie all the science neatly into great stories. I am about half way through already and enjoying every word. Actually found myself taking notes this time – the one drawback to reading as an author now. Learning something new whether in real science or in fiction techniques is a good thing. Plus I’m having fun!    

How often do you return to your personal favorites? Are they in your preferred genre or some other? Why do you re-read for the umpteenth time or read the newest book out from authors you read ten or more years ago? What drew you back? Was it the setup, the writing style, the topic, the story, or all of the above? Do you take notes, write down questions and observations about writing techniques? Are you reading for pure escapism? Can you escape?

The Blood is finally off the ground.

Image Today I received the proof copy from CreateSpace for approval before the print version becomes available on Amazon. I am so happy with the cover and interior designer, Nathan Fisher. His files are so well done that I can hardly tell the difference between the copy from CreateSpace and the copy from my POD printer, Snowfall Press. I am delighted that customers who order from Amazon will receive the same quality product as I can from Snowfall. It really pays off to expend time and money to find the perfect fit for your cover and the interior design of your book. I know each author who is trying to publish on their own is trying to save money but this is not the reason to do so. Treat yourself with respect – respect the work you have put into your book. Hire a great editor who is willing to coach you. Hire a great artist to create your cover. Hire a proofreader and an e-book conversion specialist to get the jobs done well. Be patient and maintain control. If this is your first or if it is your hundredth – congratulations! I am delighted to be in great company.

So, as of May 30, 2014 go to Amazon.com, type in my name, Allynn Riggs, and purchase your choice of paperback or e-book. P.S. the e-book is available right now, no waiting! If you live in the Denver, Colorado metro area you can find The Blood at the Tattered Cover Book Store in their Rocky Mountain Authors shelf or in the science fiction section. You can also find it at The Bookworm in Gunnison, Colorado.

Book signing at square dance class

Book signing at square dance class

Signing Nancy Koos’ book at the Plus class May 6, 2014. The e-book went live the next morning on Amazon.com. So exciting to have print copies in hand! Copies are available direct from me (Allynn) at any dance or class that Bob & Allynn Riggs are attending – Getting it direct allows me to give you a 20% discount on the print version. And you have to get a print copy because the cover is phenomenal!

If you can’t wait to read The Blood, you can download the e-book at http://alturl.com/fbn43.

I hope to have the print version available through Amazon soon. But you don’t have to wait. Just track me down at a scheduled square dance event in the Colorado front range area – look for Bob and Allynn Riggs. I will have a stack with me at special events such as the Colorado State Square Dance Festival at the Crowne Plaza DIA Hotel in Denver on June 13-14, 2014 and The Shaw Folk Rendezvous at The Outpost, 10101 E Colorado Avenue, Aurora on July 11-12, 2014. Also check the summer dance schedules for The Sunflower Squares in Castle Rock, The Red Hot Country Squares in Centennial, and Heather Twirlers in Aurora for when Bob & I will be there.

You can also check the science fiction/fantasy shelves at The Tattered Cover Book Store (any of their three Denver metro locations) and The Bookworm in Gunnison, Colorado.

If you have read it would you please post a review on either amazon.com or Goodreads.com websites? What was your favorite scene and why?

NOW!! The Blood is here.

NOW!!

Yes, the e-book is available as of May 7, 2014 – very early in the morning. Here is the direct link:  http://alturl.com/fbn43

I would love to hear what you think about The Blood. Ask me questions here at Timberdark Writer. Write reviews on Amazon.com and Goodreads. If you enjoy the story let your friends know how to get the book. The print version with its magnificent cover will be available soon.

This is an unbelievable moment. Well, perhaps not really unbelievable as I have always known The Blood would be published. Until late in 2011 I thought it might get the traditional treatment with one of the medium to large publishers. Then in February of 2012 I was encouraged to join the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. This group has been fabulous. I have learned more than I thought possible about the publishing industry. Instead of someone else deciding what the cover was to look like I was able to connect with an artist who made my imagination visible. He was my personal choice. I can with him about how important covers are, to those who are buying a book, to the author and to the story between the front and back cover. Nathan Fisher (Nathan@scifibookdesigner.com) understands the impact of the cover. Several weeks of visual research focused on certain aspects of his proposed design finalized subtle elements such as seeing two of the characters from behind, designing a specialized font for the title, using the crossed blades to divide the cover into quadrants at the same time pulling the front, spine and back pieces together. If the cover is not appealing then few readers will get beyond glancing at it and shoving it back onto the shelf. By using the crash scene he chose the pivotal moment when the lives of the characters are truly changed. After reading the original manuscript Nathan had several ideas on possible covers and, though the others were good, he kept coming back to the crash. He felt it was the beginning of an epic story. There is an air of mystery about this scene. You want to find out who the girl and dog are, what are they thinking as they observe the crash site, how will this impact their lives, why did the ship crash and did anyone survive. I won’t answer those questions here – you will have to read the book.

If you are considering publishing independently you must be willing to spend time and more than a few dollars. You should have enough respect for what you have written to hire editors/writing coaches to help you hone your words as well as cover artists, proofreaders and beta readers who understand your chosen genre. I once spent hundred of dollars on an editor who told me that rocks can’t talk and I should cut that part out – turns out she had never read a science fiction or fantasy book and had no interest in either of those genres. So don’t necessarily choose the first one available. Again, respect yourself and your work. Take the time to find the right team. Don’t be in a hurry – it took you a while to write it and it will take you a while to publish it. Listen and learn from fellow writers, small independent publishers, photographers, graphic artists, editors and writing coaches. Surround yourself with experts who can do things you are not comfortable doing – they will help you create the best possible product.

Again, I invite you to read The Blood. Join me on this adventure. Leave me comments. Do you have questions?

E-book going live on May 7, 2014

One of my beta-readers told me that this story reminded him of the science fiction and fantasy books he loved reading when he was in college (in late 1960’s and early 1970’s) before those genres became harsh, cold and violent – that The Blood was just a really good story.

Endorsements from the back cover:

“I love crossover genre fiction, and Allynn Riggs’ new SF/Fantasy delivers in both categories. Through a satisfying read that’s well thought out, well-paced, and strongly character-driven, the tale combines the best of space opera with an intriguing paranormal twist that has the feel of a whole fantasy epic. That’s a good thing for us, since this is the first book in a very promising series. Sure to find an enthusiastic audience.” — Dr. Mark Todd, program director of Western State Colorado University’s MFA in Creative Writing and author of SF and fantasy, including the award-winning Silverville Saga series

“If you’re looking for alien romance, telepathic talking dogs, and other-worldly culture/religion, this story delivers . . . along with a few unexpected twists.” — Terry Wright – author – editor – publisher

My side: It has been a delight to write the stories of Renloret, Taryn, Ani and Kela. These characters have been around me for a while and I am so pleased that the first story is now available to be shared with you. The best part is knowing there are more stories coming as each character discovers what the Stones have planned. I am excited to find out if they will embrace their futures or take some other road as they have a tendency to insist on having it done their way.  Drinking cinnamon-orange tea while writing certainly puts me in the mood. You’ll have to read the Acknowledgement to find out how to get your hands on some.

Though I have been working on The Blood for what seems like years and I have reread the manuscript uncountable times, I still get drawn in and involved each time I open it up. Join us to discover two worlds with a secret and surprising connection.

Check out my Goodreads review of The Blood, which will hit Amazon as an e-book sometime in the next twelve to twenty-four hours. I will post the exact link as soon as I can. Print version will also be available soon.
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<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/25077995-allynn-riggs”>View all my reviews</a>

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First box of THE BLOOD has arrived!

First box of THE BLOOD has arrived!

Now available directly from the author by e-mailing timberdarkpublications@gmail.com. Soon to be available in print and e-book version on Amazon.com. Still finalizing those files. If you can’t wait contact Allynn at the above e-mail address. You can go to http://www.timberdark.com to read the first chapter. Once on the page click on the Fiction tab then on The Blood. Let me know if you have any problems or want to purchase the book.