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 First Thirty Days

The First Thirty Days

For those who don’t already know, I self-published my novel. When I started this blog, my intention was to share the ups and downs with my readers. If you’ve read my post on the cost of self-publication, then you know I don’t account for every expense. Nor do I expect to make a fortune. My financial goal has always been to make back what I’ve spent out of pocket so I could spend it on the next one.

Recently, someone asked me how it felt being a “published author” and what I was planning on doing with my “buckets of money”. I feel it should be put somewhere on my permanent record that I kept my snarky-self under control, and I didn’t throat punch them. Rather than assault, I said that I loved my book being available for people to read and hopefully love my characters as much as I do, and that when I earn buckets of money I’ll let them know what I plan on doing with it. Then the person told me that they looked my book up on Amazon and felt my price was too high and would I be willing to give them a copy? Really?

It has been thirty days since Golden Opportunity went live, via self-publication at Amazon. I thought I would share with you all the sales and “buckets of money” I’ve made in the last thirty days. Are you ready?

date ebook/paid paperback KENP pages ebook/free
12-Sep 0 0 0 0
13-Sep 3 1 128 0
14-Sep 2 1 161 0
15-Sep 3 1 110 0
16-Sep 0 0 404 0
17-Sep 0 0 0 0
18-Sep 0 0 0 0
19-Sep 0 0 0 0
20-Sep 0 0 0 0
21-Sep 0 0 424 39
22-Sep 0 0 0 25
23-Sep 0 0 0 48
24-Sep 0 0 0 49
25-Sep 0 0 0 25
26-Sep 0 0 0 1
27-Sep 0 0 0 0
28-Sep 0 0 14 0
29-Sep 0 0 0 0
30-Sep 0 0 152 0
1-Oct 0 0 75 0
2-Oct 0 0 72 0
3-Oct 0 0 90 0
4-Oct 0 0 577 0
5-Oct 0 0 0 0
6-Oct 0 0 354 0
7-Oct 1 0 0 0
8-Oct 0 0 0 0
9-Oct 0 0 219 0
10-Oct 0 0 254 0
11-Oct 0 1 0 0
12-Oct 0 0 0 0
Totals 9 4 3034 187
Royalties 25.76 * 12.40 13.65 ** 0 *** 51.81

 

There are my buckets of money. $51.81 is what my book made in its first thirty days. I’m happy with what it’s done so far. I haven’t advertised because I can’t afford it right now. Maybe after book two is ready advertising will be a little less of a financial burden. Right now, I’m more focused on things like utilities, groceries, and the holidays.

I did change my price from $4.99 for the ebook to $2.99, but I refuse to lower the print version from its current price. I think $9.99 is not too much to pay for a physical book by any author, and really what’s $9.99 in the grand scheme of life? You can’t buy a ticket to a movie for less than ten dollars at most movie theaters anymore, you could get a couple of drinks from your local Starbucks, or a meal at a fast food restaurant. Me? I’d rather cook at home and read a book.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, someone read Golden Opportunity and gave it a five-star review on Amazon. When I saw it I screamed like a tween girl at a Justin Bieber concert. The review is the reason I’m a self-published author. To whomever wrote that review, thank you. I hope you’ll read book two and still love my girl and her dragon. Big changes are coming to my world.

V. L. Cooke

* – the royalties after exchange for currency other than USD has been applied.

** – amount based on the last per page payment for KENP (Kindle Edition Normalized Pages) read on Kindle Unlimited and via Kindle Lending from Amazon from the Global Fund and is not accurate as of 10/11/2016.

*** – Free promotion provided as part of the Kindle Select enrollment and available every ninety days of enrollment. Royalties are based on the price paid for the book, thus no royalties for these books.

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

Cover reveal part 2

Cover reveal part 2

I am keeping the reveal event going for the entire week. I will add a new puzzle each day to introduce characters and locations in Golden Opportunity. All entrants will be entered into the final drawing for the door prize of a Kindle Fire and an ebook of Golden Opportunity and the prequel Golden Rule. Winners of each puzzle receive an autographed paperback of Golden Opportunity and an extra entry into the door prize drawing (one for each 25 entrants). Tell your friends I’d love to have as many people participate as possible.

V. L. Cooke

It’s time for a cover reveal!!!

It’s time for a cover reveal!!!

The rules are simple:

1.) Go to the event here

2.) Say you are going (Share with friends the more the merrier. For every 25 people who enter a time I will give away one prize…see below).

3.) Solve the puzzle (the link will be posted on 9/2/2016 at 12:00 PM Pacific time zone).

4.) Post a jpeg of your time just like I did in the comments on the event page.

5.) The winner(s) gets an autographed copy of the book.

I hope you all show up during the event I will post my pathetic attempt at a book trailer.

V. L. Cooke