Leap Day Post

I could have posted this yesterday, but I get a child-like excitement whenever I see February 29th written. In fact, I have a “diary” that I started in 2000 that I only read and write in on February 29th. I’m looking forward to finding it sometime today and reading it.  Enough about that.  Since it’s the end of a rather exciting month, I think I’ll take a moment to sum it all up.

February 5th was Semester Aboard‘s half-birthday. It’s a little surreal to think that it’s been published for half a year. It’s even more unbelievable to me when I think about everything that’s happened in just six months. I broke 500 fans on the Facebook page this month: a goal I thought was unreachable when I was struggling to get my first 25. Not a week goes by when a book on some website doesn’t sell and I keep getting (very kind and amazing!) reviews! 

Barnes & Noble reported their sales to Smashwords yesterday and I’ve already sold 36 (16 in February alone) in 2012.  I sold 66 at B&N from August to December.  My mind is just blown away that I’ve already sold more than half that!  Honestly, it’s just all so exciting that I can’t believe it.

I have official bookmarks now, some have already been mailed out to people who have won them!

And last, but not least, there are a lot of exciting things coming up!  Semester Aboard is going to be a feature on Indies Unlimited on March 7 (I posted the link, but it won’t work until the 7th). I’ll also be doing a guest post for them soon.  There will also be an interview with Charlie going up sometime this weekend – yes, Charlie the character from Semester Aboard.  It was really fun and I’m hoping to do more character interviews in the future.

In other news, the wedding count-down numbers are getting dreadfully small.  I’ll still be about as often as I can, but expect me to all but vanish in mid-April.  Then, although I love you all, I won’t be mucking around on blogger on my honeymoon, so I’ll be gone for a week.

It’s also worth mentioning that I’ve got an on-going pseudo contest on my Facebook Page. Basically, I’ve gotten jealous of all of the beautiful pictures I see on other pages. The only pictures I have are my cover, my writing happy place, and a lonely, lovely piece of fanart.  So, I’m asking people (no artistic talent necessary, just use google!) to find images that remind them of Semester Aboard and post them to my page, along with a comment that explains why you chose the picture.  Once I have enough to make it a decent contest (like 5 or 6) I’ll choose the 3 best and the winners will either get a signed bookmark or a free digital copy of Semester Aboard.  Yes, I realize that last prize doesn’t help people who have it already.  If you don’t have it, you can read the first four chapters right here – I think that will be enough to inspire you to find a picture.

Thanks for taking the time to read my long-winded nonsense!

Updates, Interviews, and Price Drops

First things first: The price of Semester Aboard has been dropped from $2.99 to 99 cents!

So far the price drop is reflected on Amazon, Smashwords, and Kobo.  All of the other sites should reflect that soon.

The longer version of how that came to be is (well, not too long) that I don’t read things carefully.  Way back in August when I published Semester Aboard I choose the 70% royalty option on Amazon and the lowest they would let me set the price was $2.99!   I totally missed that the price could get lower if I went with 35% instead.  Whoops.  The problem there, is that according to the contract I can’t sell Semester Aboard anywhere else at a lower price than Amazon.  Which meant I was stuck at $2.99, where I really didn’t want to be.  Somewhere in all the legal mumbo-jumbo Amazon said that their minimum price is based on file size.  Well, Semester Aboard is a beast.

Side note, believe it or not, I tried to make it shorter!  There were times when I said down and said, “OK, I’m going to go delete an entire paragraph from every chapter.”  And I would!  I went through the entire thing and I’d delete a paragraph from each chapter, I’d set a goal to remove 10 useless dialogue tags, etc etc.  I did that several times.  Eventually, I couldn’t delete anything else!  Does that mean it drags a little in places?  Probably.  Is it really, really too long?  Yeah.  But I’m happy with it and really don’t want to cut it down any more. 

That said, it bit me in the butt when I tried to set the price on Amazon.

Long-ish story short: I edited Semester Aboard several times, but I still had people mentioning typos and even lost a star or two on reviews from it.  I think the beauty of an ebook is that you can fix these things!  I think there’s no excuse for a poorly edited ebook.  So, I went through again last week.  I honestly didn’t find that many typos.  But I found a few missing quotation marks, double punctuation marks, and a couple of misspelled words.  So, I fixed them!

As I was updating my Kindle version it defaulted to 35% and, much to my surprise, I could set the price at 99 cents!  And I did!  I went to Smashwords and fixed it there too!  Which brings me back to my announcement: Semester Aboard is now 99 cents!  As soon as Smashwords sends the new price it should be updated on B&N, Sony, Diesel, and iTunes too!

On to other things.  Last week I posted an interview with Kymberlee Burks-Miller.  She returned the favor and featured one with me yesterday!  You can read it here.

I broke 400 likes on my Facebook page last week too.  I’m planning something big – stay turned for that announcement.

Happy Holidays!

I can’t believe it’s already Christmas!  It really comes too fast sometimes.  That said, I’m excited as always.  Disappointed that we’ll be getting rain instead of snow, but what can ya’ do?

Last year, I started a needle jar and it was exciting to put a second batch of needles in.  What is a needle jar, you ask?  It’s something my parents have been doing my whole life.  We have a large baby food jar (with a pretty tree painted on the lid) and every year we pull a few needles off of our Christmas Tree and put them in the jar.  My parents probably have 25+ years of needles stuffed into that jar.  I’ve been adding to it every year for as long as I can remember.  I always look forward to taking off the lid and inhaling the scent of all my past Christmases.  My jar looks pretty sad by comparison, with only a dozen scattered needles in the bottom.  But, I suppose filling it with memories is part of the fun.

I’m really looking forward to next week, when I can concentrate on More than Magic #2!  Here’s my first little teaser for you: it takes place at a ski resort, a few months after the events of Semester Aboard.  I’m kind of crossing my fingers for a heavy winter so that the snow can inspire me while I write.

Don’t forget, Semester Aboard is on sale for 99 cents until the end of the month!  You can get it for that price from Smashwords, Barnes &Noble, Diesel Books, and Sony!

Later today I’m going to post Chapter 3! You can also read Chapters 1 and 2 right here, if you haven’t yet.

Last, but not least, I’ve got a (rather long) meme that I’ve decided to fill out the way that characters in Semester Aboard would.  Let me know who you want to see a meme from first: Jen, Thomas, Dani, TS, Charlie, or Mariana!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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