Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone!

Happy New Year:-)  Long time, I know... it's hard to blog when you're also editing (Book Two, The Key to Tartarus) and starting to conjure a new novel.  But here I am, in 2013, excited to let you know what's been going on with Pandora's Key, The Key to Tartarus, and to thank all of you for your support:-)  And I don't thank you lightly - you guys make writing so much fun and incredibly rewarding.

December and January were fantastic months for Pandora's Key!  On Kindle alone PK sold over 1200 ebooks in December and reached #5 in its category of Fiction/Fantasy/Contemporary and #601 overall for ALL Kindle books on Amazon!!  As Pandora's Key started out #330,000+ for Kindle ranking we've come a LONG way:-)

This month, Pandora's Key is already having terrific ebook sales - YAY!  As an author, that's so incredibly exciting because I'm writing stories that I hope readers will enjoy and it looks like people are really enjoying Pandora's Key:-)

On another front, one of the biggest changes for me is that I'm now represented by an amazing agent named Fiona Kenshole.  To have a partner in this process has been one of the greatest gifts of my year.  Fiona is incredibly smart, savvy and supportive and I truly believe that she will help me bring The Key Trilogy to an even larger audience and that her editing expertise will make each successive book better.

And that's my biggest goal of 2013 - to blow all of you away with Book Two of The Key Trilogy, The Key to Tartarus!

I have a few other goals, too.  One is to say three genuine, nice things to different people every day.  There are so many negative, sad, and scary things happening in the world.  I can support legislation by our government to try to make a difference in things like health care and gun control, but on a much smaller level I can also try to brighten a person's day.  Another goal is to figure out a way to use my book sales to help support causes I really believe in:-)  And finally, I'm hoping to do more Skype in the Classroom calls as it's so much fun to meet my readers, answers questions about the trilogy and give away little secrets from the next book.

So here's to a new year filled with adventure, excitement, fulfilment and fun for all of us:-)  Wishing you a fantastic 2013!!!!!

xo
nan




Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dear Everyone,

If you've been following this blog, my apologies for being such an infrequent blogger!  I think if I was a mathematician, firewoman, or cupcake maker by day I'd be much more likely to need a writing outlet by night to download my ideas, dreams and schemes.  But I'm a writer so by the end of the day, especially if I'm editing or outlining a new book (Book Three of The Key Trilogy is coming along!), I run out of words.  Seriously, I can't even find them to speak!

Anyway, enough excuses, right?

So I want to catch you up on all things Key Trilogy.  BUT, I don't want to bore you so here it is in a nutshell...

1.  Pandora's Key broke the top 20 on Amazon Kindle in the fiction/contemporary/fantasy category.  And PK was ranked #1060 overall (that's for all Kindle books).  When I self-published PK in December 2011 I was ranked #330,000+ and didn't even rate a category ranking so that's a pretty big leap:-)

2.  Pandora's Key sold almost 2000 ebook copies in September on Kindle alone.

3.  A new and very savvy PR agency called Arts Seen and Heard PR in Portland, OR took me on.  As a result I've done radio and podcast interviews, been in several newspapers and even had a story in The Oregonian!

4.  Thanks to Jax Botteril, who started Skype's SITN (Skype in the Classroom) program, I'm going to be chatting with young adults from all over the world who've read Pandora's Key and loved it:-)  This is by far my favorite thing to do - hear from readers and learn what they liked and what they want more of in each successive book.

5.  Best news last...  I now have a literary agent!  Her name is Fiona Kenshole and she's really wonderful.  Fiona was the Publishing Director of Oxford University Press Children's Books and the former Vice President of Development Acquisitions at Laka Entertainment (they make movies!).  The cherry on top?  Fiona loves Pandora's Key:-)  I can't wait to see what we can accomplish together!!

Sooooo....  good stuff, right?  I feel incredibly happy and grateful for all of it.  That's what happens when you self-publish--the great things that result matter even more because you work ten times as hard for them.

People keep asking me why I want to return to traditional publishing and it's definitely not because self-publishing was a bad experience.  It was hard, lonely at times, but always fulfilling.  Self- publishing allows an author to test their book, create a platform, and develop options.  Most of all, once you've self-published you never take the good stuff for granted:-)

So why try to return to traditional publishing?  I guess the main reason is because I'm a social creature and a team player and I miss working with agents, editors, and marketing teams.  Believe it or not, I like expectations, deadlines, and pressure!  I also really want to see Pandora's Key in more bookstores (especially in other countries), and to give Evangeline the chance to have a bigger following because I think her story matters.

In the end The Key Trilogy is about fulfilling your own destiny, becoming the hero in your own life's story, and hope.  These aren't new concepts, but considering all the atrocities people around the world commit against each other, and a political climate that's embarrassing for all involved, I think that's a message worth sharing.

xo
nan


Monday, June 4, 2012

Yippeeeeee!!

Hi Everyone,

So guess what?!  Yesterday Pandora's Key won first place in the IndieReader Discovery Awards (IRDA) for YA Fiction!!!  The winners were announced live at the Book Expo of America (BEA).  Seriously - PK WON!!

I want to thank the IndieReader panel for all the time they spent reading and reviewing submissions for the IRDA's.  Your work in support of Indie Authors is really important and much appreciated.  I also want to thank all the readers, reviewers, and bloggers who have supported Pandora's Key.  Without you, it would be super hard (if not impossible) to garner attention for independent authors and their work.  You guys are AWESOME!

But here's the thing I most want to say...  When you're an indie author it is incredibly... quiet.  Other than the phone ringing, the dog barking, or conversations with my husband, there's not a lot of interaction.  I write this blog when I'm not working on a book.  And I message my Goodreads and Amazon buddies (without them I'd feel very isolated).  But it's quiet because writing, in general, is a solitary profession.

When you don't have a traditional publishing house behind you, or a marketing team and PR specialists to chat with, it's just you, your ideas, and the tap-tap-tap of the keyboard.  And a lot of times that's AOK with me:-)  But once in a while, especially after a negative review (and just like every author I get those... that's why ice cream comes in so many flavors, right?), I crave some sort of independent validation of my writing.

And that's what awards provide an author.  A panel of professionals with amazing credentials, who don't know me, decided that Pandora's Key is a great book.  I can't possibly express how much that means!  For my fellow indie authors - I get it, and I'm hoping that today you receive an amazing review from a terrific, impressive blogger, or reviewer, or that you win a contest that makes your day:-)

xo
nan

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hello there:-)

Hi Everyone!

Sorry it has been awhile since my last post.  I want to welcome all the new followers to The Key Trilogy's Fanpage on Facebook.  I've noticed that a lot of you are from the Middle East - how cool is that!  I'd love to hear how you found out about Pandora's Key and the parts in the novel that resonate with you!

On another note, I'm doing a blog tour on Goodreads this month.  I've never done one before, but I've been told by the moderators that Pandora's Key has been the most popular tour to date!  I just hope that the blogger/readers really enjoy PK because, at the end of the day, that's why I wrote the book.

I do have to admit, though, that it's nerve-wracking having so many potential reviews about to hit Goodreads.  I take all the great 4 and 5 star reviews as a HUGE compliment, and I get super BUMMED when someone doesn't enjoy PK.  Thankfully there have only been a handful of negative reviews, and it's impossible to please everyone (that's why they make so many flavors of ice cream), but I feel like I wasted the reader's time and let them down when they don't enjoy my story.  So for anyone who didn't love PK, let me just say that I worked super hard and tried my best and if you let me know what books you love, I'll try to recommend something that fits the bill!!

And finally, I just want to thank everyone who has been supporting, reading, and telling their friends about Pandora's Key!  Kindle sales have been steadily rising, as have Barnes and Noble, and everyone's super kind offers to help promote PK have been enormously appreciated (ie. Hazel:-).

Have a great day!!!!

-nan

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hi Everyone,

First, a HUGE thanks for both reading Pandora's Key and telling your family and friends about it!  Together we've sold more than 500 ereader versions of PK this month alone.  That's so cool - especially considering that there's no big marketing or PR campaign to help with sales.  Just you guys!!!!

Second, if you haven't checked out Ellen Degeneris' "reading" of Fifty Shades of Gray, sent to me by my Goodreads friend, Maghon, then click this link:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/ellen-degeneres-reads-from-50-shades-of-grey  It's hysterical!

Third, if you weren't sure why I wrote the last blog, here's a simple clarification. I've seen authors get really upset by unkind reviews.  And I've seen readers get really upset when they feel ripped off by their book choice.  I'm just saying that it's all okay - authors and readers can learn from every situation and make better choices next time. Start with the assumption that no one is trying to be a jerk and everything after that will fall into place:-)

Fourth, check out RadioActive Bookworm's: The Young Adult Challenge Group on Goodreads.com.  Her site is devoted to reading and talking about YA books and her first giveaway is Pandora's Key!  I'll be doing a Q&A with readers at the end of May:-)  So if you want to join a super cool group and potentially win a free copy of PK, go to: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/68481-the-young-adult-challenge    and join!

And finally, I hope everyone had a lovely Sunday.  Henry and I went to the park with Boone (our Vizsla), met some friends and their kids and enjoyed the sunshine.  Lucky girl, lucky dog, fabulous friends, great guy:-)  Yay!

xo
nan