Christmas Mega-Giveaway!

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Science Fiction and Fantasy Promotion
3-4 December 2016

This monthly event is on again this weekend. Over 100 authors have made their books FREE.

The best part: this promotion is NOT limited to Amazon only. There are pages for books on Kobo, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Smashwords.

This month, we have a contest to win $100 towards your Christmas bills. Get extra entries for referring your friends. Details on the page.

Click on the link above, or go to pattyjansen.com/promo!

Instafreebie promotion!

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There’s a great little site called Instafreebie where you can try out new authors for free. It’s similar to finding free ebooks on Amazon, but it’s more helpful to the author, besides offering Nook, Kobo, etc. I’m part of a big science fiction and fantasy promotion where you can pick just one book or all of them! I submitted a new Christmas fantasy romance called That Christmas You Remember. Enjoy!

Mash Story short list!

I dabbled in flash fiction last month and submitted a piece to Mash Stories (mashstories.com). Much to my surprise, I was recently contacted by the editor to let me know my story made it to their short list and is in the competition for their quarterly prize! Fun! Here’s the link and if you feel like voting for it, that’d be awesome too! (Everything has votes now, right?)

Also, as a teaser, it began as a chapter in my modern re-telling of Jane Eyre which should be coming out this fall!

New Release! Spo novella…

“Self,” I said to myself, “maybe you should try writing short form fiction. People say it’s Evaluate2flatSMALLgood practice and boy do you take FOREVER to write novels. (Yes, you can write one in a month, but then what do you do? You pick your toenails and drink hot chocolate and refuse to edit.) So, self, here’s the deal. Write a short story. Pull that tooth.”

So I started a short story. Which turned into a novella (at roughly 20,000 words), and it took me so long. 🙂 I don’t love writing fast for its own sake, but my life is so hectic that if I lose momentum, the chances of finishing are inversely proportional to the likelihood that a toddler pounding on the keyboard and sucking on the mouse will accidentally delete the whole thing (and all its back up copies). The odds of finishing STINK, is what I’m saying. So, I’m trying different methods to learn how to write faster.

My scientific conclusion: novellas are right out. (<-Read that with a British accent.) Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m quite proud of my little story! Writing a whole character arc in that little space forced me to really delve into tone and theme and character flaws and hit the beats. It’s one of the best things I’ve written, frankly, with one of my favorite characters, because of those constraints.

But man, it was hard. I felt like a baby trying to walk in a sleep bag. Does anybody use sleep bags for their toddler? They’re awesome, provide a good bit of room to wiggle but keep the kid from throwing off the blanket in the night. Anyway, sometimes my eight-year-old liberates the baby from her pack-n-play (’cause we’re cheap and never got the fourth one a crib or anything), and she toddles around in her sleep bag. Step, step, thud. Stepstepstep. THUD.

Where was I?

I don’t know. Anyway, new novella, favorite character, yada, yada, yada.

Thanks, have a great night.

Corrie

Nanowrimo 2015

I’m doing it again. Nuff said, right? 🙂

If you’re not familiar with it, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, when people from all over try their darnedest to finish a 50,000 word novel in November. Now that I’m more familiar with indie publishing, I know that a lot of people do this sort of thing every month, and that blows me away.

I’m a slow writer, and a part-time writer, so for me, like many of you, 50,000 in a month is no small feat! This year I’m a little exhausted, so I’m doing a modern retelling of Jane Eyre. I’m getting all the fun of writing but I don’t have to come up with plot or character motivations! (Actually, I am changing some of that, but it’s SO much easier to mess with an existing story than create my own!) 🙂

I venerate Jane Eyre and almost everything the Brontes wrote, so it feels a bit sacrilegious to do my own version. But… well, there’s no but, it just does. However, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies sure helped me squish that voice down to my subconscious!

Wish me luck. I’m off to desecrate a classic.

Corrie

Captivate release day!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERABook 2 is now available on Amazon!

Survival is sanity, or so they say, but sixteen-year old Akemi has survived in such an unorthodox fashion that even her sister fears for her sanity. As part of an alien computer system, installed in a space station orbiting Earth, Akemi is both uniquely powerful and uniquely isolated.

When the space station explodes in the night sky, sabotaged by unknown enemies, Akemi survives yet again, but this time suspicion for the catastrophe falls upon her. Determined to discover who is truly responsible for the attack, Akemi and her sister set out to track the other suspects to a foreign world far from Earth.

Accompanied by capable Sam and irrepressible assassin Shara, they find themselves drawn into a political game with one of the most powerful aliens in the galaxy. With the perilous feeling that they are playing right into his hands, Akemi and her friends must uncover the truth about the sabotage without jeopardizing humanity’s fragile new status. Or exposing Akemi’s fragile existence.

Top 5: Ensemble Science Fiction

I got to do a guest post a while back about ensemble fiction (books with at least 5 – 8 main characters), and these are my suggestions!

From Lord of the Rings to Ocean’s Eleven to Crash, I almost always enjoy ensemble movies. But my particular favorites are sci-fi ensembles like Independence Day or Inception. So, in their honor, I’ve put together a Top Five reading list for other science fiction (and ensemble) lovers.

(For my purposes I’ve left out classic authors like Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov and focused on newer authors and books you may not have read yet.)

1. Robopocalypse (Daniel H. Wilson)

This book is an explosive collision of I, Robot and The Day After Tomorrow – big, crazy violence and big, crazy heroes. You’ve got conflicted, noble robots and super-scary evil ones, heroes you love and heroes you kind of hate (in a good way). The story starts when the main human character finds a “hero archive” compiled by the arch enemy computer – who, despite the fact that he’s been decimating humanity, is fascinated by the heroes who fight him. I’m bugging my husband to read it so I can talk to him about it!

 

2. The Ghost Brigades (John Scalzi)

This is the second book in the Old Man’s War series (which is generally fantastic) but this novel was the standout in my opinion, and could be read alone (though I bet you read the others, too!). In a cutthroat universe, the human military has developed a way to take the DNA of dead people (who’d volunteered for military duty but died before they could begin) and turned them into perfect clone soldiers. Following a group of these cold ghost soldiers as they come to life is a surprisingly emotional and satisfying read.

 

3. Bruiser (Neal Shusterman)

You might have read this in school in the last few years, but if you haven’t, put it in your to-read list! Yes, right now, I’ll wait…. Okay.

Told from four perspectives, this is the story of Brew, a young man who absorbs the pains and injuries of those he cares about, and almost destroys them in the process…Because without pain, you can’t learn and you can’t really live. And you can’t put down this book, either.

 

4. Agent of Change (Sharon Lee and Steve Miller)

This is the first novel of the Liaden Universe, and although the authors began it in the 1980’s, it’s been kept alive by a small but fanatical fan base and now contains upwards of sixteen books! The books are a mix of regency romance and space opera – lots of dancing, piloting, and matchmaking. (I understand they had some copyright problems, but I see that they’ve just released a new kindle version of this book for free! The cover is a little less awesome here- copyright issues, probably. But it’s free! Go get it!)

5. Revenge of the Sith (Matthew Stover)

It’s hard enough to write a good novelization of a sci-fi movie, but throw in a really lackluster script and angry fans, and you’ve got your work cut out for you. Incredibly, (some might say miraculously) this is an EXCELLENT book. I’ve never been a huge Star Wars gal, but this book converted me. Mace Windu and Yoda and all these people I’m vaguely familiar with suddenly came to life…and took my breath away.

I know this is woefully short, so tell me – what sci-fi ensembles do you love?

Happy reading,

Manipulate Audiobook, now Whispersync! (produced on ACX)

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I took the plunge to use ACX to produce the audiobook for Manipulate, and so far my experience has been great. It was completed a while ago, but just this week it has been approved by the Amazon gods (or whoever sorts through these things) to be a Whispersync title! I’m super excited about that, because now I can promote it to all the people who already bought the ebook and not feel like I’m asking an arm and a leg!
2.99 is just an incredible price for an audiobook and I hope it can act as a good gateway to my series for audibook listeners or Audible subscribers.

I know a lot of indie authors are pondering using ACX, so I thought I’d post a little more about how the process worked for me. I know I searched for all the ‘my experience’ blogs I could find before I pushed the button!

I went with the royalty share option, meaning I asked for audiobook producers who were willing to work for free and then split the future royalties. I put two of my books up on ACX and then ignored them for a month or so while I worked on other things. After about a month, I received an audition for both of my books. The audition for Manipulate was quite good, though not at all the style I’d had in my head for my 19-year-old main character. I don’t really know what voice I had in my head, but after I heard the voice actor (Sergei Burbank) read the audition portion of my manuscript, I was hooked.

I was SUPER lucky to receive such a good audition right off the bat, and I decided not to wait around looking for something better that might never materialize. (That’s just my personality though. If you like to be 100% sure about things, you should probably shop around a lot more!)

After that the process worked pretty much exactly as outlined on the ACX site. I talked to Sergei through email about the timeline before making him an offer, and he told me what dates would work for him. Since I wasn’t in a hurry, I decided to pad those dates by another week. Then I uploaded the full manuscript.

He sent me the first 15 minutes several days before his deadline, and it all sounded good. I do wish at that point that I’d sent him a more extensive list of the names and words with specific pronunciations for my book.
He did a fantastic job with all the alien words, but being from a different part of the country from me and a different background, some names that I thought were completely normal ended up having a different pronunciation. I didn’t feel like it was appropriate to ask him to change all of those at the end of the whole book (since it was my error in not providing a full list), and I’m glad I didn’t as it hasn’t been a problem. (My sister, for instance, said that she’d been saying the names his way anyway!)

The full book was done a week early, and then I had a certain amount of time (10 business days, I believe?) to proof it.

That was actually the hardest part for me! 🙂 You know that weird disconnect of hearing your voice on a recording? It was like that, only worse, in a way, because it was like hearing my BRAIN read aloud. If it had actually been in my voice, I think I would have been completely incapable of handing it. Anyway, that was just my weirdness. I did eventually manage to listen to it, and make a list of slight adjustments that I wanted – noting the chapter and time and whichever word or pause I wanted changed.

And this is getting long, so to abbreviate:

Adjustments made.
Approved by me.
Two week wait.
Audiobook published.

Three months later, ebook and audiobook linked via whispersync.

And that’s it! Sales have been low so far (a few a month), but I’ve been so busy writing the next novel I’ve done zero promotion. After book 2 and 3 are out this year, I’m hoping to see a serious sales boost. I might even see if I can get an ad in the illustrious Bookbub. 🙂

Thanks for reading! If you’re trying out ACX, good luck and I’d love to hear about your experience.