A Quick Update

A Quick Update

Hello  My Lovelies,

I promise no ranting today. Today is just a quick update about Seas of Gold and maybe a couple other things. Like my main character, I have a hard time sticking to a plan. So let’s get this show on the road.

giphy (5)First, Seas of Gold is available for pre-order and goes live on September 1, 2017. I can’t believe it’s just two weeks away! I’ll have links to the pre-orders available at the bottom of this post. Second, my new editor is about halfway through the edits on Golden Opportunity, and I think you’ll really enjoy it. I promise far fewer mistakes, though I’m sure one or two might get through since no one is perfect. Third, I will have the cover for Golden Parachute in November, and I expect it to release in December of this year. I’ve placed the orders for covers for books 4 (Black Gold) and 5 (Golden Girl). I expect these to be released in March and April of 2018.

giphy (3)Now for my final piece of writer type news. I am working on a new series set in the same world as the Golden Assembly series. This one is a paranormal romantic suspense, and I really hope you’ll enjoy reading it. I don’t have a release date scheduled yet, but I would expect it to come out somewhere between book 4 and 5. A lot depends on my editor, my betas, and my cover designer. I’ll keep you posted. I will give you a couple pieces of information about the series, it’s a retelling of tragic love stories throughout history, like Tristan and Isolde, Paris and Helen of Troy, or Heloise and Abelard, and will take place in modern upstate South Carolina. It focuses on daimons who are also operatives for the Golden Assembly’s artifact retrieval team. A team that my sister wants me to name the Surreptitious Heirloom Investigations Team. The acronym seems a bit risky, so I responded with Tactical Artifact Retrieval Team. Its acronym seems a bit more safe, though far less amusing. We’re still working on it (translation: arguing daily). If you can think of an acronym that might be a little less offensive, feel free to share it in the comments I’m open to suggestions. Bonus points to anyone who can come up with the name for a similar team of bad guys who steal the artifacts for nefarious purposes. Also, there will be crossover from the Custodian series but not necessarily in every book.

I love you lots,

V. L.

giphy (4)P. S. Here are the links for the pre-order: Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and Apple

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Ninja Writers Giveaway

Ninja Writers Giveaway

As many of you know, I’m active in a group on Facebook called Ninja Writers. The brainchild of Shaunta Grimes, Ninja Writers is one of the most amazing groups I have ever been a part of, especially on Facebook. There are no egos in this group, every person whether new author, self-published, or traditionally published goes above and beyond to help each other. Today, nearly forty authors from the group are doing a group giveaway of free science fiction/fantasy stories. They will only be available for a week, just click on the cover images of the stories you’re interested in and follow the instructions to receive the books. My cover is in the second row, but it’s actually the cover of Golden Opportunity, not the book I’m giving away Golden Rule which has a plain boring cover designed by me and is not as graphically interesting and professional as the one for Golden Opportunity.

Golden Rule is a 14,000-word novelette that takes place just prior to Golden Opportunity and gives the reader a little insight into the over-protective grumpy dragon partner of Siobhan Flannery.

If you’re interested the giveaway is on Shaunta Grimes’ blog. I really hope you’ll all go give a few new Sci Fi/Fantasy authors a try.

V. L. Cooke

 

Creatures…

Creatures…

Anyone who knows me well knows I love all things paranormal. I love it so much, I collect gnomes, dragons, and fairies. It makes me easy to shop for when holidays or other gift giving occasions happen. Add to my collection, give me smelly bath stuff, or paper products and I’ll follow you around like a lovesick puppy (Yes, I’m pathetic).

One of the things I do in my novel is try to turn the stereotypical creature on its ear. My gnome looks like a surfer, my dragon’s human form is gorgeous, and my vampires don’t sparkle or drink from people’s necks. In the second book, I try to use creatures that aren’t commonly seen in paranormal/urban fantasy novels. I thought it would be fun to give a little background on the prominent characters in my novels and tell you a little about them. Some of this even my female main character doesn’t know.

So let’s start shall we?

The dragon:

toothless

Name: Donal Draic                         Age: 999                          Relationship status: Widower

His dragon form is massive, in various shades of green. His hair is black, even when in dragon form. He has emerald green eyes. Siobhan calls Donal Grumpy Dragon. He’s typically quiet and reserved, but he loses it when his need to protect is challenged. He doesn’t like being reminded of his weaknesses or failures.

The gnome:

gnome

Name: Norman (last name unknown).     Age: Unknown        Relationship status: Taken

Norman is about eighteen inches tall, with light brown hair with blond highlights. He has brown eyes.

Norman is the quintessential ladies man, a fact that boggles Siobhan’s mind on a daily basis. When he talks his language is chauvinistic and lecherous. Currently, Norman is involved with a brownie. He is also Siobhan’s personal assistant, a computer genius, and part of her family. He loves junk food and television, but hates Siobhan’s addiction to the television show Supernatural. Norman favorite mode of transportation is on a hell hound. If you want to offend Norman, make sure to ask where his pointy hat is.

A vampire:

vampires-don-t-sparkle-critical-analysis-of-twilight-11792319-400-300

 

Name: Nikolaus Schaffer                   Age: 600                 Relationship Status: Unknown

Nikolaus is Siobhan’s first solo mission. He’s approximately six feet tall, blond, with blue eyes (yes, I just made the description up because I never actually describe him in Golden Opportunity).  His enamored with literature in all forms and an aspiring author. He hates sparkly vampires and loves Siobhan’s horrible Twilight jokes.

So I’ve told you a little about some of the paranormal beings in my book, tell me a little about your favorites. What do you think needs to be seen more in paranormal writing?

V. L. Cooke

P.S. I’m getting ready to start a new blog series of author interviews. It will be starting soon so keep an eye out for it.

The Cost of Self-Publication Part Two

the-cost-of-self-publication-part-2I know this may come as a surprise to some, but I’m not a pushy person. I prefer to sit back quietly, while others may prefer to be an in your face salesperson. So when my novel went live, I had a very minor plan in place. I would post on my personal Facebook page and write a blog post. The blog post goes to both my author Facebook page, and my author Twitter account. I don’t have a huge following, so I didn’t know how much good it would do or what type of sales I would see. Remembering my post on the cost of self-publishing, and listening to several fellow authors about the necessity for a solid marketing plan, I knew this decision is a huge risk for me, but let’s be honest I’m broke LOL. I don’t have the funds available to pay for a huge marketing campaign. I’m certain I’m not the only author in this boat. My money has to go for fun things like utility bills, groceries, animal care, rent, etc.

After careful consideration I chose Amazon as my primary distributor for my book. I have a Kindle version, and a paperback via CreateSpace. I set my prices at what I feel is reasonable, if a little high for a freshman author, my only true goal being to make back what I’ve already spent out of pocket (want to know how much see here).

I know this post is kind of boring and pointless, but here’s where it gets interesting. I had one sales goal in mind for opening day. I felt it was a reasonable and attainable goal, because I come from a huge family. Are you ready to know what my goal was? Ten books sold is all I wanted to see. Want to know how many I sold? Four. Three Kindle copies and one paperback sold on opening day.

So let’s do some math. I made a single post on my personal Facebook page which reaches 334 people. A blog post on this blog where I have 35 followers, and the cross post reaches 34 followers on my author page and 361 followers on my twitter account. totals to 764 people. However, I know there are crossover followers so let’s assume 25% are duplicates and remove them from the equation 764 x .75 = 573. So 4 copies of my book sold, divided by 573 individuals reached equals 0.0069 or .69%. Believe it or not I didn’t know the numbers until I was writing this, but a .7 % return seems decent to me, especially since my original goal was 1.75%.

the-breakdownDo you want to know how much money those four books made me? Don’t worry I’m about to let you know. First, you need some important information. I set my prices at $4.99 for a Kindle book, and $9.99 for the paperback. A little high for a first novel, but I believe you have to  believe in your worth. My prices are based on what I put into it, not the finances which I will discuss in a moment, but the time and effort I spent writing, researching, revising, crying, laughing, and everything else. I receive a royalty of $2.48 for the paperback, and one of the Kindle copies sold in Australia (Thank you to whoever it is!) so I receive a royalty of $4.58 AUD ($3.43 USD) and the other two were sold here in the U.S.A (thank you Aunt Teresa and whoever bought the other one!) I receive a royalty of 3.44 per book from the channel they were purchased through so I made $6.88 for a total of $12.79. I’ve spent $1,769 dollars for editing and the professional covers which means I’ve made back .7% of what I’ve spent.

Believe it or not I’m okay with the way it turned out. Yes, I know the numbers to the average person look pathetic, but to me it’s important to know somewhere out there four people think enough of me to buy my book. I hope they read it and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Except for my Aunt Teresa, under no circumstances should you read the book. If I’d known you were going to buy it I probably wouldn’t have made as many eye candy comments, talked about Donal’s body, or used as many swear words. Under no circumstances should you buy book two, it’s even worse.

So what have I learned? Next time, I will have a better marketing plan in place including the necessary funds in place to make it a reality. I will not post it on my personal Facebook page, in order to make sure that my aunts don’t buy it. Finally, I will try to have a lot more fun on opening day. Maybe I’ll go to the beach and watch the ocean. It will be more productive in the long run.

V. L. Cooke

Dreams

Dreams

For as long as I can remember I’ve had one dream…to be an author. When I published my first novelette in July, I didn’t feel like a “real” author. This could be because I did it on a dare from my sister, or because I went from idea to publishing in four days.Today, things have changed. Today, I approved my proof through CreateSpace and it is now available through their online store here. It should be an additional three to five days for it to be available through Amazon’s store, and is available on Kindle here.

It amazes me how that simple of act of letting the book go live, has made me feel like I achieved my dream. What makes you feel like you’ve successfully achieved your dreams?

V. L. Cooke

Introducing Four of the Characters from Golden Opportunity

Introducing Four of the Characters from Golden Opportunity

By nature, I have a very visual mind. I need to see things to fully understand them. This can be a bit of a problem when it comes to my main characters. I know all their flaws, likes, dislikes, etc. Why they are the way they are; but I don’t feel truly connected until I can see them. This little dilemma has been solved through an online character generator at Autodesk. So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to my version of Siobhan Flannery the MC of Golden Opportunity.

Siobhan

That’s right, my MC is curvy and older (44 when the book opens). She looks pretty good for a slightly past middle age woman doesn’t she?

Now on to Siobhan’s best friend from childhood. Charlie is her Witchy BFF. They’ve been through a lot over the years and remain best friends.Charlie

It’s the boys’ turn. First up, the Dragon in human form, Siobhan’s grumpy, mostly mono-syllabic partner, Donal. I think he looks really good at his advanced age of one thousand years.Donal

Last, but certainly not least, is my favorite subject to torture with suburban nightmares. He accuses Siobhan of being a racist at least once a day. He’s the eighteen inch tall ladies man of the supernatural world … Norman.Norman

My sister and I though he looked a little like a California surfer type. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my characters for the first time, let me know what you think.

V. L. Cooke

P.S. No, I don’t know where Norman buys his clothes. He keeps that tidbit of information really close to his vest.