Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sterling hit the Best Seller list

It's worth a blog.

This week ramped up a big promotion for STERLING, Book 1 of the Mageri Series. When it hit the top 100 on Barnes and Noble, I had to sit down.

As of today, it's climbed as high as #16.
Just to let that sink in, that means out of all the books being sold on Nook, Sterling is the 16th top seller.

Yeah. Breathe in, breathe out.


The thing is, I'm not writing for the sole purpose of hitting any best seller list. I'm not as savvy with marketing as others, and simply focus on writing a story that I love and believe in, hoping that readers are in for the experience. Let's face it: PNR/UF books just don't make those top 100 lists unless they're by bigtime authors. The only rushing I'm doing is making my editing deadlines, which thankfully, I've been able to. What's really cool are the readers who seek me out on Facebook who I get to chat with. I love sharing some of the art I make, and giving away books and bookmarks, as well as other prizes, even if the shipping costs are ridiculous.

That being said, I'm still a little stunned I'm sitting on ANY best seller list. Promoting, ads, marketing, price point - it's all a crap shoot. It boils down to what the reader wants to invest in. Word of mouth has helped a lot, as well as reviews and promotion. Book bloggers have been wonderful in supporting the series (and indie authors in general).

It's a little distracting to know that Sterling is having it's moment in the spotlight, because I'm hard at work trying to wrap up editing "Seven Years". My plans are to begin editing "Gravity" this weekend (either Saturday or after Sunday dinner). It's been fun going on my page to find that readers are so enthused about this that I get to see the pictures they're posting of the rank! I think that's awesome, because I might actually miss something during edits, and while at work.

Perhaps someday this gig will be something I can do full time. Until then, happy reading. :-)

Why does it take so long to publish a book?

I get asked this question a lot, mostly from impatient readers. :-) I used to be in the same boat, anxious for my favorite author to release their book, which was almost always a minimum of a year since the last publication. For traditional authors, the process is a lot longer than Indies. I believe that may have to do with the intensive editing, and also the marketing campaigns, and perhaps the publisher selects specific release dates for a reason, based on other book releases within the same genre.

I can tell you my experience.

The fastest I've published a book was Twist, FIVE months after the release of Sterling. I worked hard, and actually little had to be done with this book. But Impulse took EIGHT months. The editing slid back and it was an intensive book to go through. Gravity is taking about SEVEN months. (Seems to be my average)

You may know of some authors who can knock the books out each month. There are reasons behind that. Some are first draft writers. Some don't have editors or proofreaders. And most of those writers also write full time, so they can devote more of their days to writing.

For me, I knock out my first draft pretty quickly, but I really love the revision process that comes with drafting. It's particularly important in my series, because I spent a lot of time on details that connect the book with past and future books, and I have to be careful about how I weave them in.
  • Writing/drafting time: 1-5 months
  • Beta read: 1 month
  • Editor & proofreader: 2 weeks - 1 month


Unexpected things can also occur in sliding the release date back that can't be helped. The thing is, readers want those books quickly, and I totally get it. But some of those books that are released back to back readers also complain about. Too many errors, a rushed ending, the story felt rushed. This doesn't just apply to Indie, but also Tradpubbed authors as well. Once they start rushing those releases (in comparison to their usual release cycle times), I often find that the stories are less rewarding.

But like I said, every author has a different process, and so many variables factor in. I do hope to write full time one day, and if that happens, I am positive that I'd be able to knock out more books per year!

But I'm actually happy with 5-8 months. I think that's pretty great compared to over a year. Last year, I published three books because I squeezed a novella in there. Do I wish I could get them to you faster? Of course. But when I compare first draft to fourth, there's a remarkable difference, so the drafting time is necessary. I'm not referring to typos, but scene structure and flow, character development, and plot outline.

So that, in a nutshell, is why publishing takes so dang long. I don't think a reader will lose interest in an author they love simply because of the time delay in releases. If you enjoy someone's writing, that's pretty much it. Signed, sealed, delivered. I have my own authors I read and follow, and even if it's five years between book releases, you bet I'm the first in line to buy that next book. :-)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sterling on Sale for 99 cents

Huge promo day!!!  


STERLING (Mageri Series: Book 1) is on sale for only 99 cents. If you don't already own the series, now is a great time to try out the first book in the series. While it is Urban Fantasy meets Paranormal Romance, I have a lot of readers who never read these genres who absolutely love them, because it is character-driven.

If you already own the Mageri series, help spread the word and tweet, blog, post the news on Facebook!
Post a review and share with others what you love about STERLING.

AMAZON:
http://www.amazon.com/Sterling-Mageri-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B005LHI8K6

BARNES & NOBLE
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sterling-dannika-dark/1113121444


Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until late one night, she was brutally attacked and left for dead.

She survived, saved by a stranger who witnessed her undergo a physical transformation. That's not the only thing that's different. Zoë is unable to control an unexplainable energy coursing through her body.

Justus De Gradi is a man who can teach her that control. He's handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. He reveals that she is a Mage - an immortal made of light, not magic. She must now make a choice: Rebuild her life in the human world with the man who saved her, or live with Justus and learn how to use her extraordinary gifts. Justus has sworn an oath to protect her life, but can he guard her from the one man who has a right to claim it?

Zoë learns the price of freedom...
and the value of loyalty.

REVIEWS * * * *



"Sterling was fresh, humorous, and gripping. One of the most balanced stories in terms of darkness, action, romance, and humor that I've read in a long time. I couldn't put it down and was reaching for the sequel as soon as I finished it. Sterling is a GraveTells Must Read!"
- Grave Tells

"STERLING gets a killer endorsement. This one has that spark, that enigmatic something that pushed me forward. It's unique and that's what got my full attention."
- Tamara Rose Blodgett - New York Times Bestselling Author

"Ms. Dark did and amazing job with this, her debut novel. I am so impressed with the level of creative thought that went into crafting the world of the Mageri. This is a departure from, vampires, werewolves, zombies and the like."
- Pure Textuality

"Dannika throws the reader into her unique fantasy world where literally everything you thought you knew is thrown out the door and reinvented in a smart new way.... The world is fresh, unique and compelling"
- Literal Addiction"

"It stands on its own because the story is very original."
- My Para-Hangover


TWIST (Mageri Series: Book 2) was selected as the Reader's Favorite & Reviewer Top Pick on GraveTells


EXCERPT


“You taste as sweet as you look,” he said, tongue tracing lower until it found that annoying fabric of my bra.
Simon could have torn my clothes off in five seconds and I would have been game, but he took slow seduction to a whole new level. We were drunk with spirits and energy, and the rest of the world melted away.
My fingers curled around the leather collar on his neck and pulled away the latch, sliding it free and tossing it aside on the bed.
I never imagined myself with someone like him; Simon was unlike anyone I had ever met. It felt decadent, as if I were indulging in a sinful chocolate that I knew was bad for me.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Gravity Cover Reveal: April 16

The official cover reveal for GRAVITY will be on April 16!

Are you a book blogger who would like to participate in the cover reveal blitz?

Email enchantresstours AT gmail DOT com and include the following:
Subject: Cover Reveal Blitz: Gravity by Dannika Dark
Name
Blog's Name
Blog's Link




Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Winners!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Simon Hunt Bookmark giveaway! The posts and comments were so much fun to read.

Thirty winners have been selected for autographed bookmarks of Mr. Hunt, as well as the brand new Gravity bookmarks! Simon Hunt and Logan Cross's bare chests, to be safely tucked against your spine! Yay


Your emails are coming, so be sure to check your spam folders in case, and send me your address info.
Preceding numbers are the entry number:


Show Info
1170 Robbin Coane
1390 Sandra K Franklin
1200 Kathy Power
140 Traci Horton
1540 Tori Malone
840 desiree
10 Sarah Cope
370 Karen G
1490 Maranda Jones
1760 Kiearieanna Quam
1210 Echo Hill
1180 Tanya Y.
1330 Wilda Sowell
450 Tanja Brewer
550 Kendell Piller
1320 Sarah Jordan
1780 Jaime Steinman Jones
1830 Christy Webb
1580 MaryAnn Hawkins
720 Viviana Izzo
1680 Delena Braithwaite
1270 Corey Wisniewski
1620 Shanna Rankin
1470 Joanette Fountain
350 Daisy Kennedy
240 Alyssa Chen
800 Rachel A Olson
90 Kris Pittman
1290 Tina Hammond
530 Jennifer Vallance


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bookmark Giveaway - Update

Update 3/19 - Winners selected. Scroll down, allow the widget for Rafflecopter to load, and see if you are a winner!


I've got a box of matte bookmarks for Simon Hunt that need a home. I'm also throwing in a Gravity bookmark.

30 winners will be chosen to receive:
1 Autographed Simon Hunt Bookmark (matte)
1 Autographed Gravity Bookmark (glossy)

You won't see your comments on this blog right away because I pre-approve them, but I'll check them as often as I can and publish. :-)

This is my first whirl at the Rafflecopter, and I really wanted to gear it toward my Facebook peeps since you guys are awesome and have been hanging around wanting some of these. Contest ends Wed. 20th and winners will be announced on the blog on March Thurs 21, so be sure to stop by and see if your name is listed!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Mageri Series Books

GRAVITY (Mageri Series Book 4) is scheduled for a May release. Be sure to catch up on the series, and get ready to talk about the books on my Facebook page and Mageri groups on Facebook (Do a Mageri search). Love the books and want to share them with others? Information below!

STERLING: Book 1

Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until late one night, she was brutally attacked and left for dead. Zoë didn't just survive that night - she underwent a physical transformation and acquired unexplainable abilities.Serendipity leads her to Justus De Gradi. He's handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. Through Justus, Zoë learns the truth about what she is and where she belongs.The only way Zoë will understand her power is by putting her trust in a stranger and accepting the protection that he offers. When her immortal freedom is threatened by the one man who has a right to claim her, Zoë learns the price of freedom...and the value of loyalty.

BUY ON KINDLE
BUY ON NOOK
BUY PAPERBACK 


 TWIST: Book 2
Months after moving to the mysterious city of Cognito, Silver is developing her gifts as a Mage, and learning how to live under new laws. Forced to give up her old life, she must now live in secret among the humans. She finally has hope of leading an ordinary life . . . until Logan Cross walks into it. Their chance meeting leads her close to discovering the identity of the nameless Mage who once stole her light and discovered the unique power she possesses. That knowledge poses an unimaginable threat to Silver, fueling her search to find out who he is, before he finds her first. Lives are at stake. Truths are revealed. And an unexpected passion ignites.

BUY ON KINDLE
BUY ON NOOK
BUY PAPERBACK 



IMPULSE: Book 3
Almost one year ago, a Mage attacked Silver and changed the course of her destiny.Immortals exist, and now she is one of them.
Within the dark and supernatural city of Cognito, Silver is living under the watchful eye of her Ghuardian and dating her mortal enemy. Neither man can protect her from a dark secret, one buried within the contents of a box. As rival factions struggle to gain control, she finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old feud that threatens to drive a wedge between her and Logan Cross, the man who intends to seduce her. In an explosive turn of events, one life is saved and another is forever altered. Can Silver trust those around her, or are they hiding a dark secret of their own?

BUY ON KINDLE
BUY ON NOOK
BUY ON PAPERBACK- Coming Soon



Or, buy the whole set for a discount!
 




“What makes you so sure?”
“Because I know it in my bones. You are the only female I desire, the only water that will quench my thirst, the only sun that will warm my skin, the only lips that were made for mine.”


GRAVITY: Book 4
Coming this Spring





Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book White working title Reveal

Project "Book White" is in my last editing stages before it goes to the betas. I'm currently working on the first draft for a potential sequel. This is a bit of a challenge because I'm also going to be writing the last installment of The Mageri Series.

That being said, I do have a working title. In fact, if this thing goes into a series, I also have a series name. If not, I'll probably still stick with the working title, "Seven Years". ;-)   But you can clearly see how the series is going to commit me to a certain number of books..LOL I know I can do it, but I need to see in what timeframe it can be done. After all, I had another kickass Urban Fantasy coming your way after the Mageri Series. So, we'll see if I can work two projects at once. Publication date not set.

SEVEN YEARS is a paranormal romance. It's a book that will warm your heart and make you laugh, but you know I have to throw in a little drama and hot alpha maleness. ;-) This will also not be told the way a traditional PNR is. The book is in 1st person with 3rd person scenes. Additionally, if this moves to a series, each book will be a new protagonist. So I hope you'll be ready for something different, and hopefully fresh.

These are not the actual covers, but placeholders.

Ok, so now I'm not calling it "Book White" anymore. Color coding my projects is convenience when referencing them, but holy smokes, I get tired of not having a name for my babies.

This project will now be referred to as "Seven Years".



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Covers


This isn't the cover for Gravity, just a fun image I put together last night. I couldn't do anything like this because it would completely break the continuity of the series covers, but it does make me wonder if something like this would be popular for readers. I wouldn't mind writing a book or series where I could be more creative and not rely on models so heavily. The model search is always exhausting.

I have pretty much nailed down a cover concept, and hope that readers enjoy it. Regardless, I hope that readers enjoy what is in the book even more. ;-)

I also have the back page image completed. It's something that I planned doing over a year ago, so I already had the image tucked aside.

Scheduled release date: May 22. But please SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER (see the link on my blog or Facebook page). If I move the date sooner or later, then this is how you're going to find out.

If you missed the news on the MAGERI BOXED SET, check it out here: link to amazon

If you already have the series, recommend it, as the bundle is discounted from the stand-alone prices. Or, copy your review over to this page to show some love. :)

I won't lie, this daylight savings thing has messed up my schedule. I am usually up at 5am writing, but that's just not happening. I can't seem to get those extra hours needed because my body refuses to change with the time.

The "Book White" project may also have a name. One came in my head when considering a series theme/name. I didn't have that going on with the Mageri series so much, but if this new book DOES turn into a series (I need to write out book two and see how that goes) then this title scheme may work. It's very different from what's out there because it's not a word repeat, but there is a common factor. I still may go with the title, because aside from the 'series' thing, it seems to work for me. I'm going to wait a bit before making any announcement, but I've already been playing with covers. ;-)

This is an example of what my Goodreads giveaway winners are getting (ignore the Twist book tucked beneath).

I'm really proud of how the bookmarks have turned out, and they were a lot of fun to do. Everyone who has received one seems to enjoy them, so I hope in the future to design more, as time allows.







IMPULSE PAPERBACK coming soon. I'm waiting on another proof this week and still anticipate it should be available later this month. Thanks to everyone who has purchased a copy for your real bookshelf!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Box Set is Live

Wow. Record-breaking time. I think it's only been two hours since I uploaded it. Please share with anyone you know who might enjoy this series. Available on Amazon for only $5.99



MAGERI SERIES BOX SET

I've decided to bundle together the first three books in the Mageri series, as there are a separate group of readers who enjoy purchasing box sets over individual titles due to the savings. Yes, there will be a savings! I know some readers like grabbing one book at a time to make sure they like the series, and then can stop when they want, but my hope is that this will attract new readers into the Mageri world.

I've published the book this evening, so it should be up tomorrow. I'll post the link once available here and on my Facebook page. I hope that you share :-)

I did get some cover work done today, as I've reviewed some of my mock-ups and have narrowed down my models. I really hope to finish this one early and not have it drag out the full month, because I'd rather be productive with writing during that time. Or reading. :-)




Monday, March 4, 2013

Bookmarks

I should be getting a new box of bookmarks sometime this week for Gravity. I had a little free time to design one last week and I'm happy with how it turned out. They've been a lot of fun, especially with the books coming out in paperback, so readers will have a Mageri mark to tuck between their pages. Follow me on my facebook page for giveaways. I will try to host one here on my blog at some point.

I'd love feedback from readers on what kind of bookmarks they enjoy getting. Ones with quotes? Specific characters and their name? If you want to know how to snag one, then stop by my Facebook page and post a picture of your paperback of Sterling or Twist (either you holding it, or it somewhere in your house) and send me a PM with your address. I'll shoot a couple of autographed bookmarks your way. Otherwise, keep an eye out for contests!



 This is the result of me gearing up for the cover design. Right before I begin, you will typically see more graphic art ending up on my blog/facebook page. It's how I start oiling the squeaky wheels. My goal is to have that complete this month, although realistically, I do have two months. It's a tough job, and I want to be sure that the book has a cover that represents the feel of the story. In the end, I hope it's what's inside that counts.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Vacay is Over

This is the last weekend of my vacation, so I'm a little down about it. I enjoyed the free time and decided I need to live a life of spoils instead of working 12-18 hours a day. This morning I made waffles and sat down to design a new set of bookmarks. I think they came out really well and I'm going to be reviewing the proofs tomorrow and ordering the first batch. These will be promoting Gravity!

I've also ordered my 2nd proof for Impulse. I finished up the back text design and my formatter worked on the interior to tighten up a few things. I'm not sure why, but I really love this paperback the most. I'm attached with each design, but there's something about this one that grabs me.

Winners from a Facebook giveaway will be receiving Mageri bookmarks in the next week or so. An autographed Sterling giveaway is coming to a close on Goodreads, but you still have a few days to enter! I'm pretty floored that over 1100 people have entered. I've won Goodreads giveaways, so you should enter these because you never know!

These are aresome koozie/bookend/decor from an awesome fan. You rock, Joliene! I love to see the enthusiasm readers have for the series, and over the course of the last year or two I've seen Christmas ornaments and postcards (ty nina and rachel), received sketched fan art (or just fan art), fanmade videos (ty liliana), handmade card with bracelet (ty rachel), "Closer" frying pans, and I'm probably forgetting things. I sure don't ask for gifts and don't expect anyone to send me anything, so it's been a surprise. I'm simply happy with you guys showing up on my blog and Facebook page and recommending me to friends.

And I love hearing those stories as well, about a reader giving the books to their parents, siblings, or book club. And thank you for posting reviews (no matter how brief) on Amazon/Goodreads, because that counts as a huge show of support. I try to appreciate everything that comes my way, and the love of the series has been amazing.

I've also been nominated for Best Indie Book 2012 on The Bookish Brunnette, so woohoo for that and also for seeing so many book sites supporting Indies in different ways. Be sure to go cast your vote for your fave by April 7.

Timeline:

March
  • Gravity Cover Art
  • Finalizing Impulse in Paperback
  • Reviewing feedback from betas on Gravity
  • Editing the "Book White" project
  • Organizing fun Giveaway on Facebook
April
  • Another edit of Gravity
  • Handing over Gravity to the editor
  • Writing the blurb for Gravity
  • Organizing a book tour
  • Handing "Book White" to the betas
  • Possibly working on the sequel to "Book White"
May
  • Final edit of Gravity post-editor
  • Possibly publishing Gravity (we'll see how the edit goes)
  •  Post-beta feedback edits on "Book White"
  • Possibly working on the sequel to "Book White"
  • Beginning Mageri Book 5

There's a lot of "iffies" above on certain things. It depends on how quickly I finish other projects. The "Book White" project goes to my editor in June with no publication date set. I'd like to actually hammer out a sequel and see if this could be a series before deciding. Also, if things are zipping along amazingly fast, I might start writing Mageri Book Five in April. I probably need to make a checkoff list of some kind for myself because I'm sure that I'm forgetting things up there.

I'm really hoping with Gravity that readers love the book enough to put up reviews, recommend to others, and show their support. It's a long and arduous road to publishing a book, so it truly does mean a lot.

xoxo