Book Signing!

There’s a time when I didn’t even know if I would ever finish my book, let alone find enough courage to go out in public and do a book signing.

Then again, ‘courage’ here is a bit of a sketchy detail.

I’ll be the first to say that I’m a huge introvert. Give me my pajamas, some cats, and a pot of tea any night over leaving the house and socializing. Add a book to that mix, best night ever.

However, one of the great ironies of writing is that we often are drawn to writing because, although quiet, we like to speak. The thing is that we just do it better on paper where we can think before speaking, than in public or face to face. Yet, take on the mantle of author on top of just being a ‘writer’ and you soon realize that you have to *gasp* socialize in order to get your book out there and sell it.

However, this isn’t meant to be a huge, exponentially deep post.

The news is that – although excited and terrified at the same time – I have my first book signing this Saturday!

Should be an interesting time, if anything. I’ve already started a bit of a discussion on a fantasy group on Facebook, and it’s good to know so far that basically every author feels nervous and awkward at book signings. So, at least I’m not alone.

And really, I’m not alone. Being my first ever book signing, I’m truly thankful and relieved that this is not a sole book signing revolving around me and me alone. This is a “Local Authors” signing event at my local Barnes & Noble, meaning that I won’t be the only author there. And, to top it all off, though we’ve never met in person before, I do already know one of the other authors.

Really, though I am prone to social anxiety, I’m just trying not to think about it too much and pretty much play it as I go. I have a good number of books. I have business cards. And I’m in the process of making bookmarks to have on the table as well.

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Aren’t they pretty? I plan on doing a professional print of these soon, but as it’s hard to find a company that will print within a week that doesn’t charge $30 for express shipping, I had to improvise.

On a final note to all my readers, if there’s any authors out there, have you had any book signings? How did they go? Tips? Horror stories?

Book Signing for “Sparks and Shadows”

Barnes and Noble – Midland, MI

Saturday, April 9 – 2016

2-4pm

 

Time is Running out for a Free Book!

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Yup, that’s right! You’re running out of time to win one of three *signed* copies of Sparks and Shadows!

There are currently only 4 days left to sign up for your chance to win over on Goodreads. I can’t believe that the giveaway is almost coming to a close already. Seriously, where does the time go?

I think that so far, it’s been a relative success. It would be nice to have higher numbers, but as a new and completely unknown author, it’s nice to have any response. So far, I’ve had 173 people sign up, and 76 of those add it to their to be read lists on the site. I won’t complain about that. Each one of those people is a potential fan in the making. Do I wish the numbers were higher? Of course? As artists, we all want our artwork out there, gaining the recognition that we so feel it deserves, but it does take time. Especially when you don’t have the backing of a big name publisher to market. And honestly, as I shy, introverted person, I know that marketing is going to be my biggest challenge. I’m not a huge fan of talking to people I don’t know – though far more in person than online – and I always feel like I’m bothering people when I talk about my book. But, I guess that’s just something that I’ll have to get over.

The good news for you reader is that with only 100 or so people signed up for the giveaway, you have a better chance of winning!

Speaking of winning – I got an email the other day from Goodreads declaring that I won a copy of Red Rising by Pierce Brown. So, I’m excited to receive that in the mail in the coming weeks. I’ve been a member of Goodreads since 2010 and this is only the second time I’ve won, but just like anything else, if you don’t give it a try – in other words, sign up – then you have no chance at all.

And, back to things taking time to build, I was in the bookstore the other day and decided to look at the detail page of the first Game of Thrones novel. I had  no idea that that was first published back in 1996. So, that just goes to show you how long things can take. I don’t know when exactly the series began to grow in popularity, but really it’s only been the last 5 or so years.

I believe that’s all for today… I’ve still got a number of things to do before NaNoWriMo begins in four days. One of those is that I will try to get up a blog post focusing more on NaNoWriMo in the next few days.

So, once again, here’s the link for the giveaway:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26838217-sparks-and-shadows

Giveaway of “Sparks & Shadows”!

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Just a quick post, but just wanted to let everyone know that I’m currently hosting a giveaway on GoodReads for this book. Ends on October 31st – 2015. If you follow the link below and sign up you gain the chance to win one of three signed copies.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26838217-sparks-and-shadows

Synopsis 1:

At the height of the reign of the Sect of Seven, a prophecy was brought forth that depicted an end to the way of life as people knew it – a land destined to be ruled by darkness. In their arrogance it was laughed at, cast aside, and soon forgotten.
Now, generations have passed since it was thought that the Nyte-Fyre prophecy had been laid to rest, but signs point to its resurgence. Destiny refuses to be manipulated.
Against all odds, the fate of Izandüre will fall to rest in the hands of two mismatched teenagers…

Fura: A girl who’s played with fire all her life until it destroys the only home she’s ever known. Thrown head first into a land she never knew existed, she must find the strength in herself to rekindle that fire and pull from the stories she grew up with that she never once dreamt were real in order to make sense of the devastation.

Kiyani: A self-exiled rebel who’s resolved to living life in the shadows. Emerging into the light, he must dig deep within to realize that no matter how dark of a past may haunt you, there’s always a future.

Brought together by fate, it’s up to the two of them to put aside their differences and work together to restore Izandüre back to its glory. Will it be a new beginning or a brutal end?

Like the phoenix, she must pick up the pieces of her life and rise from the ashes.

Like the wolf, he must put aside his solitary ways and learn to lead the pack.

Synopsis 2:

When seventeen-year-old Fura Fueur’s life is torn apart one night in the wake of a devastating house fire, she finds herself left with nothing. Taken in by the only other family she knows – the firedancer group of Pyropheric at the local Renaissance Festival – she quickly discovers a world she never could have imagined. Dropped into a whole new realm, filled with tragedy, myth, and magic, Fura finds herself on the journey of a lifetime. Coupled with a man who acts as if he’d rather have never met her, she’ll learn that darkness lies ahead, for the Nyte-Fyre Prophecy has been unleashed…

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sparks and Shadows by Kendrick von Schiller

Sparks and Shadows

by Kendrick von Schiller

Giveaway ends October 31, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/157426

“Sparks & Shadows: Book one of the Nyte-Fyre Prophecy” – Now Available!!!

Been a busy few weeks since my last post, but it’s been a good and exciting busy.

First off, I want to say that I am almost officially sold out of my first run of twenty-five copies (I have one left, and it’s reserved for someone.) But, don’t worry. The second run of fifty is on its way with an estimated shipping date of October 15th. So it won’t be long before I have them for sale through me again for those that want signed copies.

However, more exciting news:

I DO have the book now available on Amazon.com and on Amazon Kindle as an e-book.

So, spread the word! Even if fantasy isn’t your genre, or if you don’t read much, share it with those that do. I am self-published so word of mouth is my marketing. And it’s truly amazing just how far social media can take you. I’ll say, it’s definitely surprised me in the last couple of weeks. My Facebook page has gone up in likes, and my post with the picture of me and my books reached almost 1000 people! And that was with maybe a half dozen shares on a page with just over 50 likes right now.

The Facebook link is on the side of the page for those that want to follow updates – I probably post a bit more on there than on here. And for those that are interesting in acquiring a copy, here are the links:

Amazon (Physical and Ebook copies – both are linked on a single page):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1517182999/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1517182999&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

So, get on over there and get yourself a copy! Remember, Christmas is coming up. A brand-spanking new book would make a great gift.

Also (I’m going to keep this post relatively short), just want to let it be known that there will be a giveaway for Sparks and Shadows over on Goodreads. Starting this Wednesday – Oct. 7 – and ending on October 31st three copies will be given away.

Here’s the link for that page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26838217-sparks-and-shadows

As exciting as this has all been, I feel like this is only the beginning of a lot of work. Writing it hard on its own, but marketing can be just as hard. Especially when you don’t have a big-name publisher behind you. But I’m not all too worried about that.

I don’t seek fame from this – though I won’t lie and say that wouldn’t be cool – I just want to get my work out there for people to see. It’s so strange finally being able to have people read what’s been specifically in my head for close to ten years.

I just want to say that this last week or so has been so fantastic. I never expected the response I’ve gotten so far – the praise, the excitement, the comments of “Holy crap!” when people see just how long the book is. I feel like I’ve had a smile permanently plastered on my face since the moment I got the first shipment of books and opened the box to see them all staring back at me – shiny, and new, and mine.

Thank you again for all your support!

On a final note – the Renaissance Festival season has once again come to a close, and though I wasn’t able to make it down there to sell books (missed the deadline by a wide margin) I still had a great time. My costume turned out fantastically, and with a little bit of money from my book sales, I was able to purchase a few things that I’ve been wanting for a couple of years. My next post will probably be unrelated to the book and revolve around the Ren Fest and the costume I made – so if you’re following the blog for my other projects, or even if you’re just interested in all that I do, stay tuned.

That being said, the rest of the year will be dedicated to marketing and selling books, and getting back on the writing track. I’ll return to the writing of the second book – Isle of Hell – this November for NaNoWriMo. I’m definitely looking forward to that.

For right now, I leave you with probably one of my favorite pictures ever, and what has now become my author photo:

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The Other Side

As promised, here’s my blog post from the other side of all that work.

I meant to do one much sooner, but I completely burned myself out doing so much in such a short period of time. I started working with the final formatting and grammatical revision on August 15th, and finished – with only a few days reprieve in between to keep from a nervous breakdown – on September 8th. Keep in mind, that this, in total, is a 697 page book with 80 chapters. It was in no sense a small feat, and I’m incredibly proud of myself. That is an immense amount of work in the span of 24 days… probably closer to 20 actual days spent working on the book. And that work encapsulates not only the grammatical edit, but also some additional rewriting – two of my short Zariah chapters were written in their entirety in those last few days. Also, a lot of copying and pasting into one document, and then the formatting. Ugh, the formatting. I really do like the formatting at times – once you know what you’re doing. But it took me one long and incredibly frustrating day trying to figure out specific formatting – page breaks, and headers, and footers, and all that ‘fun’ stuff. However, I got it figured out. I made the chapter titles pretty. I created over half the chapter titles. And I tweaked the cover artwork just a bit. All in all, I ended up with a novel that was 137 pages longer than the first draft printing.

However, I was 15 when I first started writing Nyte-Fyre. The beginning, though acceptable, was on the juvenile side and lacking a whole lot of detail. So, that’s where a lot of the extra writing comes in. The storyline itself has remained the same for the most part, but the first 200 or so pages have been entirely rewritten, and the rest reworked to read more smoothly. I believe now that it’s closer to the story that it was meant to be in the first place, and I’m proud to finally be able to introduce it to the world.

With that being said, I ordered a first run of 25 copies on the 8th of September and received that first shipment yesterday. I had only ever ordered 4 copies at the most of the first draft printing for a few close friends, so that was a rush to open a large (and very heavy) box to find 25 shiny new copies of a newly printed book looking back at me.

And here is me with those first 25:

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Yes, I might have dressed for the occasion, and to match the book cover – though, to be honest, me wandering the house in a ball gown is really not that out of the ordinary.

Now, on to the information that a large number of people are waiting on:

“How can I get a copy?”

First off, I just want to let everyone know that although this might be slow to start, and include a bit of trial and error here, everyone who wants a copy will get one. Be patient, and keep an eye on the Facebook page and on this blog here for updates.

The shipment I got yesterday is only 25 books. I wanted to do a small run first to make sure – with all my changes – that everything looked good before printing larger runs.

I have a list of people who have been wanting one for awhile who have priority, as well as a few people that I have a limited time window to get them to. This first set will probably go quick. But, if you don’t get one, don’t worry. More will be on the way very soon.

For right now, the only way you can get a copy is through me. I have a little bit of tax information to fill out and some investigation into other channels.

However, very soon I will make the book available on both Amazon.com and as a digital download for Kindle.

As each channel becomes available I will post the links on these pages. It shouldn’t be too long.

That being said, even once those options are open, if you want a signed copy, you will have to buy through me. I will keep the Facebook page updated as to when I have physical copies available, and will most likely use Paypal for the payment method.

Books bought through me will be $20, with probably $4.50 shipping. If you want it signed, just let me know. 🙂


Right now, this is the tentative schedule for the next week:

Today: Tweaking a few very minor things on the cover artwork, and a minor thing or two on the interior. Because of those changes, I’ll have to send it back through CreateSpace for review again. It should be back by tomorrow afternoon.

Friday: I have to get to the bank to transfer money that will go to the second large print run.

Weekend: This is the weekend I’m going to the Renaissance Festival. So, I’m taking the weekend off and enjoying myself. I could really use it. Not to mention, that in between all the book work this week – I’m also trying to figure out a last minute costume, which means crafting and making things.

Monday: I will place my second order. Probably another 50 copies. I will probably also try to do my tax information on the CreateSpace site that night so I can get it on Amazon.


Right now, and probably for awhile here, all of my profits from books sold will go right back into ordering more copies.

With that being said, I’ll pose a potential option. Depending on if I get any feedback from this, I’ll let you all know if I go through with this:

For those that definitely want a copy and don’t mind waiting a few weeks (it took me two weeks to get this last shipment from the date I ordered), who would be interested in pre-ordering? Those that pre-ordered and pre-paid would be placed on a list and will be the first to get their copies in the mail when they arrive at my door. If anybody is interested in that, I would be able to order more during this next shipment. However, I would only be able to leave that window of pre-ordering open for a few days.

—————

Overall, I definitely have a lot to work on in the next few days, and probably throughout the rest of the year. My goal is to get everything up and running smoothly for the holiday season.

I want to get the book available on Amazon, Kindle, and maybe even Barnes & Noble.com. I also plan to have it available to buy at my local Barnes & Noble stores in both Midland and Saginaw, MI. I also have the idea to do a small giveaway of maybe five copies on GoodReads.com.

I definitely have a marketing plan – have for awhile, actually. Now is the time to finally put it into action.

I have a feeling that this post is getting long, so, thank you for reading, and I’m off to continue work.

Once again: Just be patient. Everyone who is interested in buying a copy will get one 🙂

And I just want to thank everyone again – those that have followed me for some time now, and new followers – for all the support thus far. I always knew there were people through the years that wanted a copy of my book, but the comments, likes, and messages I’ve received in the last day alone on Facebook has come as a great, but welcome surprise to me. I value each and every one of you. I have a feeling that big things are going to come from this, and that both excites me and terrifies me, but it’s a great feeling to finally have my dreams come to life!

~ Kendrick

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

“Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel is just a freight train coming your way…”

Yeah, sorry, couldn’t pass up the opportunity for the Metallica reference.

Moving on.

But, wow, what a long and trying few weeks. When I said last year that I would never try to edit a full book in a week again, I really should have taken it more to heart. It always sounds like a good idea, until you’re halfway through, going loopy and wondering what you’ve done. Especially when you look at just how much is left to do and you feel that overwhelming weight that there’s no way in hell that the task you’ve undertaken is plausible.

And, in fact, it may turn out that you’re right. However, that’s never kept me from at least trying. Yes, I may have been continuously placing impossible deadlines on myself, but I’ve continued on regardless through each missed one. All the work up to those points is still work. More than would have been accomplished if I’d simply stepped back, evaluated the situation, and said, “Nope, can’t be done,” before walking away for good. I’ve discovered that with many projects, the best thing is to not look at the big picture at all, but to continually pick away at small pieces. Before you know it, you find yourself at the end, able to look back at everything you’ve accomplished.

Now, before I continue to wax poetic, I will let everyone know that this is a post that this book, after so many long years, trying times of frustration and wanting to give up, and numerous self-doubts of if I was even good enough to lay claim to being an author, that there is actually a light at the end of this tunnel. And though I might have said it before, this is the first time that it’s felt real. That I’ve seen an actual end to this long and twisting path.

And by close, I mean that either tomorrow or Thursday this book is being sent to print! No longer just a test copy to look at to keep myself going, or to show people when they wonder about my legitimately being an author to go “This! This is what I’ve been doing”, but the final copy that I will proudly be able to sell to the world. That I’m going to let free to endure people’s judgment. It’s a scary thought, but one I knew I would eventually have to face in this line of work.

I will admit that this last push has not been easy, nor has it gone nearly as quickly as I’d hoped. Then again, though going through ten chapters a day seems completely doable, you begin to quickly realize that it’s not a good idea if you actually want to be able to catch all the mistakes. On average it’s been taking me about an hour and a half to run through a chapter. Coupled with the fact that you can only focus on small writing on a computer screen for so long, it’s honestly just a recipe for disaster.

I might have had a minor breakdown last week, but I pushed on regardless. I’ve left a lot of things behind these last weeks in this pursuit. I even gave up a chance to go to Ren Fest early. As hard as it’s been, I know it will all be worth it in the end.

I had some days where I would go through my writing – the sections between my fantastic rewrite and where it began to filter into my better writing of my first draft, where everything I read looked like complete and utter crap. I had a number of those days where I had to rework sentences to read better, to omit words and a few lines here and there, even add a paragraph or two. And then, I suddenly hit a chapter that hardly needed any work at all. And then, another one after that. I think that was when I was finally able to breathe a huge sigh of relief. The task no longer felt as ridiculous.

From that moment on it’s been better. Though, I will admit that no matter how hard I try, I still seem to get my best work done at night. Late at night. More times than not in this last week I’ve still been awake at 4am. Yet, not fighting fatigue. In all honesty, I haven’t felt this alive in ages. There’s just something about the late night hours that strip away all self-doubt of creativity. The world is quiet, so few people still awake, leaving only you and the project you’re focused on. It’s been a wonderful feeling. Reminding me a lot of NaNoWriMo (Which is coming up soon.)

And it reminds me of one of the most inspiring quotes that I’ve run across is actually from Pinterest, and goes something along the lines of “An author is a writer that has had his work published. A writer is simply someone who has written.” So, essentially, even if you don’t have a book published, you’re still a writer. I don’t have to heft my lofty novel around to claim the title of writer – though it does help.

That being said, as for what’s left to do:

I have a chapter or two left that still needs some minor revision. A small list of things that need to be looked over one last time.

And then, it’s on to the fun part of formatting. And I’m not being sarcastic about that in the least. I love the actual writing. The editing and rewriting makes me want to pull my hair out. The formatting allows my visually creative side take over. That’s not only the sign of the final push to completion, but also gives one the chance to make things look pretty. Something that I have absolute freedom over because I’m self-publishing and doing the formatting myself.

Basically, I have to do all the visual fine-tuning. Making sure all the Chapter titles and page numbers in the table of contents matches – one of my test copy versions didn’t match. Making sure all the spacing is correct. One of the things I’ve been playing with the most is how the chapter titles themselves look throughout the story. In my test copy, I was starved for time – not that I’m not now as well – and only ended up simply typing the names in capital letters. Nothing all that special. Just enough to get the job done. The one thing I didn’t care for was that I couldn’t find a way to make the chapter numbers look good with the title so I simply omitted the numbers. However, I prefer to keep the numbers. Below, is what I’ve been messing with as options. Because it matches the overall darkness and style of my story, I’m leaning towards the second with the Slythra (the winged snake).

  Untitled3            Untitled2

And then, beyond that, I’ve got some tweaking I’ve got to do to the cover artwork, and a possible rework of the synopsis.

Still quite a bit of work, but it doesn’t look so daunting now.

So, back to the grind. And I will see you all again on the other side!

~ Kendrick

Pirate Cove, Fire Shows and archery show offs

As mentioned in the previous post, this is essentially part II of my Tall Ships experience from last weekend. Now, as this coming weekend dawns upon us, I figure I better get this typed out before I forget altogether.

Sunday was the day that we actually paid to get into the festival, and we basically ended up lingering in the same area the whole day, not that it was a bad time. The fact that I was so interested in the area that they deemed Pirate Cove is pretty much why I never left. They had an area set up to test your skills at knife throwing and archery. One thing you will likely learn from this blog is that I’ve recently gotten into archery and I love it, so of course I had to try my hand at that. Not only have I certainly improved from when I first picked up a bow, I think I actually ended up showing up the guy that was actually working there. The booth was quiet when I approached it, so it was just me shooting. He gave me ten arrows to shoot and since there was no one else, picked up two bows and jokingly asked which one of us would get the most bullseyes. I found it a little irritating that he looked at the long bow he was going to hand me and then seemed to think better of it for a moment, asking me if I could pull the weight of it, almost like he saw me as a weakling girl who didn’t know archery. Let’s just say that I probably made him think twice. I got plenty of arrows close to the bullseye, one actually in the center, and all of my ten hit the target somewhere. At least two of his arrows he shot off into the surrounding hay. So, what can I say, I was rather amused with myself. I’m actually really interested now to someday enter into the archery competition down at the Renaissance Festival. Apparently, I’m not half bad.

As for the rest of it, I met the author of Hook & Jill, Andrea Jones. The book is a spin off of Wendy’s story from Peter Pan, and though I’ve never actually read Peter Pan (can’t even say with certainty that I’ve seen the animated movie) I’m excited to start reading it. Not only that, but I talked with Andrea for awhile discussing selling books at festivals like the Tall Ships and the Ren Faire and got some good information on that as well as publishing. It’s always good to talk to authors and research, because one day – hopefully soon – I’m going to be in the same boat. A boat that’s going to be much harder to keep afloat since I plan on self-publishing.

And then there’s my favorite part of the day – the stage shows. All day long there were pirate themed stage shows, and my favorite one, by far, was the A Ring on Fire! fire show. This would be a good time to mention that one of my lead characters in my book – Fura Feuer – starts out in the beginning of the series working at her own local Renaissance Faire as a firedancer. I’ve always thought that that was rather straight forward, but, alas, there still seems to be a smidge of confusion from some people as to what that actually means. Now, I’ll admit, I get excited at these festivals when I catch wind of any stage show that consists of fire. Yet, I’ve been met with much disappointment when the shows get under way and I realize that it’s nothing close to what I’ve had in mind for Fura ever since this story sprung up in my head.  This time, however, I was met with excitement, because this was the first time that I’ve actually seen live exactly what it is that I associate with her. Just to give a visual, I will leave you with the link to the video I took and uploaded to my YouTube channel. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob_9KQZh8oE