Krystle Jones's Blog, page 7

September 4, 2012

Here's another teaser from Dark Horizons!
***Gasping out of shock, I staggered to my feet, looking down in disbelief at the red streams coating my clothes. The smell of fresh blood, full of life with that odd metallic tang, tickled my nostrils, and I inhaled deeply, feeling the desire to feed grow stronger within me.Gunshots fired, snapping me out of the fantasy, and I hit the floor as a shower of bullets hit the wall. From the corner of my eye I could see Paris was also on the floor, covering her head with her hands while keeping her face down. There was a rush of air as a dark shape moved in front of my cell, and then the firing abruptly ceased as the shooter released a strange scream, which was distorted by a gurgling sound, like he was yelling underwater. I jumped as his body landed in front of my cell, his dead eyes turned right at me. His throat looked like it had been completely ripped out.That should have disgusted me. I should have felt pity for him. But as I stared at the growing pool of blood beneath his face, all I could feel was the telltale ache in my gums that said my fangs were elongating, accompanied by the almost uncomfortable urge to lap up his blood.Add to your Goodreads shelf.

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Published on September 04, 2012 08:40 • 38 views

September 3, 2012

I've been scratching my head trying to come up with something to post about. For some reason, my creative well has all but dried up when it comes to my blog. (Probably because all my brain juice is going toward my books right now.) I was reading several articles tonight while doing research over the power of free ebook promotion, and it hit me: Why not talk about that?

So here we are. I'm not going to bore readers with a long spiel about my findings, but for the most part, authors agree that 1 free ebook boosts the sales of backlist titles. That said, most authors agree on one thing - it works best if it's the first book of a series. The idea is to sacrifice one book to draw in new readers who will potentially pay for the others. But that's the catch-22. What if you're training people to expect free things? In my opinion, it would be harder for them to want to pay for the other books because they got the first one for free. Free samplers seem like a better route to me (like Kristin Cashore's esampler). That way readers still get to "test drive" an author, but authors aren't giving away something that's taken months - maybe years - to create, and hundreds of dollars in editing, formatting, and cover costs to produce. That's a lot of money to throw away, and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that yet. I might could see making it free for a very limited time - like 3 days; 1 week, max - but forever seems like you're throwing away too much.

Then again, writers say the increased visibility skyrockets their other books, thus making up for the "loss leader" initiative. I'm going to try samplers first and see where that gets me before jumping to more "radical" things like completely free books. I've noticed the authors who seem to have the most success have long-running series of 5+ books, and none of mine are going to go beyond 4. At least, so far.

Also, is it just me, or are.99 ebooks going "out of style"? It seems more and more ebooks are going up in price, which I feel has been a long time coming. I've seriously been considering raising the price of The Scarlet Dagger and Veiled Innocence to $2.99 as part of a new pricing structure that goes something like this:

$0.99 - short stories
$1.99 - novelettes
$2.99 - novellas or 1st in a series; standalone novels below 100k
$3.99 - ebooks over 100k or continuation of a series
$5.99 - series collections (3-for-the-price-of-2 deal)

I think this sounds very reasonable, given all the time and effort I put into my books. I don't take editing lightly (learned that the hard way. i.e. bad reviews), and I take my readers' interests to heart. I want to make you guys excited to read my books. I want you to forget about real life when you pick up one of my stories. I don't like having typos or sentences that are hard to read. I don't like ANYTHING that could potentially break the spell and rip you out of the story world I've created. I take every second I possibly can to study the art of writing and to actually practice writing and editing and bettering myself as an artist.

So if I'm striving to be a professional, shouldn't I go ahead and ask for professional rates? That means a price increase, or at least, a fair pricing structure. I HATE, HATE, HATE when I see $12.99 ebooks. It's just not necessary. I don't even think that $9.99 is that bad for an ebook, if I know I'm getting something worthwhile out of it. Hell, I've been known to drive all over town hunting down a hardback book if it's something I really want to read (Anna Dressed In Blood). The way I figure it, if someone wants to read it the price won't stop them (short of it being something completely ridiculous like $20 or something). There's also the argument of "perceived value". The theory is that books that are free or cheap create low value in the mind of a reader. They won't be expecting much going in. It's like buying a cheap coffee from McDonald's vs. Starbucks. With Starbucks, you don't mind paying the higher price because you know it's going to epic-freaking-delicious. You're perceived value is higher, thus the price fits.

So readers: Would you mind if I adopted the above pricing structure? Do you steer clear of completely free books? Does a lower price create a lower expectation for you?

You guys are my "bosses". Give me your input, por favor.
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Published on September 03, 2012 21:33 • 16 views

August 28, 2012

Let's get to the good stuff, shall we?  

Teaser #1


As we hobbled along, with Aden’s arm draped over my shoulder and my hand at his waist, holding him up, I thought my heart was going to bruise my sternum because it was beating so furiously. “Sloane,” Aden said a little breathlessly, “really, I’m fine now.”“No, you’re not.” I shot a quick glance at him. His forehead was dotted with sweat, and pieces of his platinum bangs were plastered to his skin, which, admittedly, was a good look for him. “You even sound breathless. Breathless, Aden.”He chuckled and tugged me to a stop. Before I could blink or even sort out what had happened, he’d spun me around and had one hand in my hair while the other caressed my cheek. Gently, he lifted the mask and his lips hovered right over mine.My breath lodged in my throat, and for a moment, I forgot how to breathe as I took in his angel blue eyes. “If you give me a few seconds, I could make you a little breathless too. Then it wouldn’t seem so out-of-place,” he said, his voice becoming husky.

***

So what do you think? If you're wondering who the guy on the cover is supposed to be, it's Leo. And the girl is, of course, Sloane. Robin Ludwig once again did an amazing job, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with for Cross My Heart, the third and final installment of this series.

Speaking of which, I'm sorry the teaser is super short, but I guess that's the point of teasers, huh? To "tease" you. =P I'm going to start doing Teaser Tuesdays, where I'll post a little snippet of my book(s)-in-progress. Also, the above might change slightly between now and publication. Just thought I'd let ya know.

I'll also be ramping up contests and stuff as we get closer to DH's official release date - which I haven't set yet. I promise I'll post it here as soon as I know for sure when it will come out.

Related to this, I am holding a contest over at my Facebook page. All you have to do to enter is post a picture of a guy you think looks like Aden Knight. If you haven't read The Scarlet Dagger, you can read a description here, as well as find out the contest details. You can post up to 3 entries. On September 8th, I'll pick a winner and mail him or her a signed copy of TSD. Who doesn't want a good reason to stare at man candy? If your husbands or boyfriends ask, you can just tell them you have to do it to enter a contest. ;)

Hope everyone is having a good night!
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Published on August 28, 2012 20:12 • 56 views

August 24, 2012

Hello everyone,

I hope August isn't too crazy for you. I know a lot of you either have kids returning to school or are going to school yourselves, so best of luck in this hectic time of year! It looks like I should have some more time to be around in September since I won't be working over-overtime (No, that's not a typo. I already work more than full time, and my DJ just instated mandatory OT for everyone until after Labor Day.), and A White So Red will finally be released so I won't have to spend every waking minute combing over the manuscript making sure it's ready. Thank you all so much for bearing with me and for your continued support.

In lieu of this stressful time, I thought it would be fun to have another giveaway. This one's a bit different from my last one. Here are the rules and what you can win:

PrizeA signed paperback of The Scarlet Dagger How to enter*This is a Facebook only contest*Like my page on Facebook and post either a photo of a model/actor/etc. you think looks like Aden Knight from The Scarlet Dagger on my page. That's it! On September 8th, I will pick the winning photo and message the winner via FB. Open internationallyMust be 18 years or olderContest ends on Friday, September 7th, 2012 If you haven't read the book, here's a short excerpt to help you get a feel for him. ***The man stooped on his hands and spun low toward my knees, trying to knock me off my feet, but I leaped the second I felt his boot touch my calf, and his leg soared beneath me. “You’re fast,” he said, sounding amused and maybe a little impressed. “But I’m faster."In a move quicker than lightning, he stepped in so we were chest-to-chest, wrapping his hand over mine and pinning the dagger to my bosom. He stepped behind my right leg so our knees were directly behind one another’s. In a textbook move, he pushed me backwards, causing me to fall over his leg. He used the momentum to flip me onto my back. I landed in a pool of moonlight, dazed as he knelt before me and pressed one hand down on my shoulder. The other held the Scarlet Dagger, which he had jerked from my grasp the moment I’d started to fall, to my throat. I sucked in a tight breath, eyeing the dagger. Scarlet Steel might not exactly be deadly to me, but the dagger itself certainly was. I looked up at his moon-bathed features, and I momentarily forgot all about the dagger as my eyes widened in awe. He was an angel. His hair was such a light blond, it had to be almost white, though the red moonlight made it difficult to pin down the color. It hung in loose, sweaty wisps around his narrow face. Thin lips siphoned in large breaths as he panted, and his eyes, though laced with pain from his wounds, were a brilliant, sharp cerulean. The black trench coat gathered around him, but I could tell by the shape of his shoulders and by how small the sleeves were that his frame was skinny, giving him a deceptively breakable appearance. If I had to guess, I’d say he was about my age, maybe a year or two older. Frozen in time, like a statue.For a moment, we held each other’s eyes, breathing hard and lost in our own thoughts. His eyes drifted to my collarbone, where my blouse had come undone, revealing a flower-shaped birthmark right above my heart. I saw the change in his eyes, felt his surprise and shock. “It is you,” he whispered. “You carry the Mark of the Creator.”“Excuse me?” I asked, blinking. What Mark? What was he talking about? It was just an ordinary birthmark, the same one my brother and I both shared. It was normal, nothing special. Wasn’t it?His face darkened, and his mouth closed into a thin, grim line as he met my eyes again. They were filled with regret. “Forgive me for what I’m about to do, but I have no choice.” Without warning, he grabbed a fistful of my hair and jerked my head back, exposing my neck before he sank his fangs into my flesh. Have fun, and I can't wait to see what your imaginations dream up for our dreamy vampire hero. 


P.S. - Check back on Tuesday for a teaser from Dark Horizons.[image error]
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Published on August 24, 2012 21:22 • 95 views

August 19, 2012


Veiled Innocence is now back up for sale! Below are links if you'd like to download a sample or even buy it:

Amazon || Amazon UK || Barnes & Noble || Smashwords

As always, if you liked the book (or even if you didn't), please consider leaving me an honest review on any of the above sites. Authors need reviews for two main reasons: 1) To know how they can better serve readers on the next installment; and 2) To help them be seen in the site's search engine rankings. If people searched for the title, it will probably pop up as the first result. But if people type in, say, "epic fantasy," it will most likely be buried under everything else out there because it doesn't have that many reviews yet. (Reviews + sales = a book's popularity) So, yeah, if you would please consider leaving an honest review for any of my books, it would be MUCH appreciated. =)

Here's what's new in the 2nd ed.:

Pretty, new cover art by Robin LudwigMore editing to fix typos and errors2 "expanded" scenes and some extra clues to try to help readers tie together the different plotlines earlier in the book. The first chapter of A White So Red is in the backNothing about the story has changed. When I said "expanded scenes" or "extra clues," I didn't want people to get the idea that I went back and drastically rewrote a lot of things. The story is exactly how it was, scene by scene. So if you read the 1st ed., you're not missing out on anything by not reading the 2nd ed. But since about half of my readers said they were confused about how it all fit together, I decided to toss in a few extra clues and expand a couple of scenes to try to help future readers make sense of things earlier on in the story. (Later, it's kind of like "oh, okay"; hopefully now the "oh, okay" moment comes sooner!)

If you've been eyeing this one trying to decide if it's right for you, then here's your chance to read it for free. For one week, I'm making VI a free download from Smashwords with this coupon: CL92X. Just enter it at checkout. The offer expires on August 26th, 2012. This offer isn't valid at any of the other sites, but Smashwords gives you the option to download it in a variety of formats (mobi, epub, pdf, etc.).

Again, I apologize for not being around very much. Life threw several curveballs at me, and I'm adapting as best I can. So thank you for your understanding, and your continued support. =)

Happy reading,
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Published on August 19, 2012 09:14 • 31 views

August 15, 2012


I'm going to go ahead and say this out loud: The Internet is a huge time-suck. It's incredibly "noisy." Interactive websites like Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and even Youtube can consume a great deal of time if you're not careful.

Which is exactly why I'm taking a step back from social media and the Internet, in general.

I used to think that if I wasn't constantly updating my Facebook status or tweeting about something, then I was going to disappear from readers' minds and sink back into obscurity (or greater obscurity or whatever). After all, it was what a lot of other authors I admired were doing. They seemed to be online 24/7. So I tried to be everywhere all the time, and it stressed me out to the point that I stopped writing because I was trying to "keep up with the Jones." (HA!)

Then I realized something: A lot of these writers were either stay-at-home moms turned writers or full-time writers, so of course they were able to be online all the time, if they wanted. Things is, I'm not there yet. I'm going to keep fighting every day until I do get there, but right now, I just can't be everywhere and work toward my goals at the same time. Aside from a full-time day job, I also have family responsibilities and normal day-to-day things to take care of, like running errands, going grocery shopping, etc. All of these things cut out of my writing time, and at this point in my career, I need all the practice I can get if I want to produce as many books as I have in mind for this year and the next. I don't know how long it's going to take me to get to the point where I can do this full-time. The scary thing is, there's no guarantee of success in this industry. Do I ever wonder if I'll make it, if all the sacrifice and hard work will be worth it? Yes, but I don't dwell on it. I can't, because that's how fear can take over and kill your creativity. Despite the obstacles, I do think a lot of hard work and sincere effort at reaching for my dreams goes a long way in determining whether or not I'll get to do this for a living. Though it sounds kind of "new agey," I think there's a grain of truth in the belief that the universe opens up for you when you let it know what you want. And I want to be a writer, entertaining people with stories, and be in control of my own life for once.

Some other things that need to be said...

Don't get me wrong; I do like interacting with people. This decision hasn't come out of some desire to "hole myself up." But I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I want and where I want this to go, and if I ever want to make a living at this someday, then I need to put writing first before anything else.

So, you won't be seeing me around as much, except for here. I want to make my website/blog THE main center of my online activity. I'll keep Twitter around, but I probably won't be on it very much, maybe a few times a week, if that. I've been debating on dropping my regular Facebook profile in favor of just a fan page, but I still want to think on that one. It's mostly that I haven't been on Facebook very much lately because I've been working overtime and several other things have come up, and I don't want Friend X's feelings to get hurt because I missed her invite for Farmville or whatever else I get sent on FB. When you have a fan page, I don't think you have to deal as much with those things, which, admittedly, sounds very inviting and goes along with my "making time for writing" thing.

I've already told you about Goodreads in the last post and why I won't be around there as much unless directly messaged. Really, email and my contact page are the best ways to reach me. Even then, I ask you please give me 24 hours to respond. Just because I've decided to take a break with social media doesn't mean I don't like hearing from readers. =)

I do hope someday my schedule isn't so jam-packed with obligatory day job and day-to-day things that I actually can have more time outside of writing to be around social media more. But right now, for my own sanity, it's just not plausible, and the stress is not desirable.

To clarify what I'm making time for, here are my goals (roughly):

This year/early next year

Finish The Red Sector Chronicles and release the first book in my new trilogy, a PNR series about a banshee hit woman. Publish A White So Red.Next year

Get out the second book of The Soul Cycle.Finish my banshee trilogy.Get out the first book in my new superhero series. (That's a BIG maybe.)Right now, that's it. As with any goals I make, they will probably change as I accomplish them and other opportunities arise. Sometime between now and the end of next year, I want to pitch a book to a small publisher. I want the chance to get the traditional publishing experience, because I think I stand to learn a lot from it. Plus, it's one more way to advertise my brand and get my name out there to a different audience.

I'm not afraid to tortoise this along, because I want all my books to be good. I know it's impossible to please everyone, but I don't want to be one of those authors who's rushed to write something she doesn't really want to write, and then as a result, the work ends up being sub-par. Good books generate word of mouth, which is ultimately what sells books.

Speaking of which, I need to build a backlist. More books = more shelf space = more ways to be discovered.

I'm going to sign off from here, and go work on that right now.

Happy August,


P.S. - I meant to mention this the other day, but if you've signed up for my newsletter and you haven't been getting any of my messages, then please add MailChimp and Krystle Jones to your safe domains list. Otherwise, they'll just go straight to the trash or spam bin. [image error]
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Published on August 15, 2012 12:26 • 21 views

August 14, 2012




Hello, everyone!

I apologize for not being around very much this past month. Anytime I disappear, please know it's not because I'm trying to be antisocial. It's always either because something's come up, or I'm trying to get a book done. (More on that in a moment.)

Giveaway Winners

I can't express enough how thankful I am to all of you who took the time to enter and help spread the word about the giveaway(s). Here's a little something to put things in perspective: For the very first giveaway I ever held, I had one entry. Enough said. Every single one of you are awesome. Things have come a long way, and I hope they'll keep growing from here.

I had three giveaways; one here, one at Goodreads, and a secret one for my newsletter subscribers.

The three winners are:

1) Carlye (Goodreads) *book sent
2) Tt (website) *book sent
3) Allison Russell (newsletter) *waiting on an address

Congrats!

I still have signed paperbacks to giveaway, which I plan to do in the near future. The next giveaway will be a little different, and I think participants will have a lot of fun with this one.

Along with giving away more signed paperbacks of The Scarlet Dagger, I'll host a giveaway for signed paperbacks of Veiled Innocence within the next few weeks. Edits are done, and the ebook should be uploaded by the end of the week. The paperback version will follow a few weeks after. (You should check out the pretty bookmark I'll be giving away, too. It's at the very bottom of the page.)

Dark Horizons

... is halfway done. That is, "the first draft is halfway done." It will still be a little while before it's published, or before I'm ready to even post teasers or full chapters. I will say this: This is the first book that I won't have to go back and do a massive rewrite. Which is REALLY exciting for me. That's going to trim weeks off production time, as well as saving me loads of stress and anxiety. If you're an author and don't outline, I suggest you stop whatever you're working on and take some time to plan things out. Believe me, you WILL be thankful you did.

The next update on it will be the new cover. I appreciate that a lot of you love the old covers that I made, but I know they could look better and more professional. When I reveal the new cover in a few weeks, I'll also post a teaser.

This is the book that most of you have written to me about, wondering where it is, and all I can say is I apologize it's taken me this long to get this far. I hope when it is finally released, you will think the wait was worth it.

Goodreads absence

After a lot of thinking, I've decided I'm going to stay off of Goodreads. Unless someone private messages me, at which case I'll hop on to respond, though I still urge you to use the contact page or send me an email. Those are the quickest ways to reach me.

This decision was largely due to 2 reasons: 1) I've decided not to read my reviews, or at least, to not obsess over them. Reviews are a double-edged sword for writers; they both uplift our spirits, and crush our souls. I know the soul-crushing sounds dramatic, but no matter how good-intentioned and eloquent the review, if someone doesn't like "your baby," it stings a little. That said, I've had the pleasure of coming across some absolutely fabulous and well-written negative reviews. These are incredibly useful to an author, because they point out your flaws and allow you to grow. And while these reviews have helped me and made me think of things I otherwise might not have noticed, they do take a punch at your self-esteem, and make you start to question your capabilities. Which, in turn, leads to less productivity, because you're so busy doubting yourself. That's one big reason why I'm staying off of Goodreads.

2) I think Goodreads largely belongs to readers, and because of this, authors should be very wary of how they approach/interact with readers. I was a reader on that site long before I became a writer, and I know I would have been uncomfortable if approached by a writer. Especially if said writer was PO'd I'd said something negative about his or her work.

In case anyone's wondering, I stand firmly on the side of the argument that writers have no business responding to reviews, whether good or bad. The only time you should respond is to say a polite "thank you" to a book blogger for taking the time to review your work, regardless if that review is positive or negative.

I've seen too many writers get worked up over bad reviews, which only gets them blacklisted by readers, and thus, spreads gossip of their assholery over the Internet quicker than a match can ignite a stream of gasoline.

I'm largely a no-drama gal, and thus, I'll be keeping my mouth shut about reviews, thank you.

I'm also going to be taking a step back from social media, though I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to handle some of those changes yet. I'll post more soon, when my eyes aren't burning from staring at a computer all day.

Hope everyone's had a good summer. It looks like we might get an early winter here in Omaha.

Take care, and I'll be in touch soon.
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Published on August 14, 2012 21:05 • 57 views

July 11, 2012


WIN A SIGNED PAPERBACK OF THE SCARLET DAGGER!
Contest details:
You must live within the United States or Canada. (I'll do an international giveaway soon!)The winner will be announced on 8/12. If chosen, you must send an email to writekdjonesbooks@gmail.com within 5 days to claim your prize, or another winner will be picked. Title it something like 'Scarlet Dagger Giveaway' so I'll know what it is. Oh, and be sure to include your mailing address, or where you would like your book sent to.Thanks for entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Published on July 11, 2012 12:03 • 89 views

July 9, 2012

July 6, 2012

So my print proof for The Scarlet Dagger finally came today. And I lllloooooovvvveee it! I'm such a cover slut. Since I don't have a digital camera (yet), here's the jpg version of what the cover looks like:


Click on the image to expand it.Minus the barcode, that's it! In all its digital glory. Once again, Robin Ludwig of Robin Ludwig Design Inc. has mad skills. I seriously can't wait to see what she comes up with for Dark Horizons.

In case you're wondering, the paperback version will be $9.99 and it's 362 pages. It was important to me to keep the price down (I HATE $14+ paperbacks that aren't super long) so my readers wouldn't cringe if they wanted to splurge on a hard copy, so I opted for bigger dimensions (5.5 X 8.5). Soon as the book goes live at Amazon, I'll host 2 giveaways, one here and another over at Goodreads. I've been kind of quiet on the promotion front, which I plan on amping up soon as I have more books out. This decision came mostly from the standpoint of having more readily available for you to read when you're ready to read it. Right now, it's really important for me to build a good, solid backlist, so I'm busting my rear to get out more books by the end of the year.

Speaking of which, if you didn't see it in my sidebar "progress stalker tracker," Veiled Innocence is with my editor and I'm on my final freaking sweep of Snow White before turning it in to her as well. Snow White went through a lot. What started out as a 50k novel became 173k, became 120k after I hacked 53k out. It was for the best, though. So many things are better after the "trimming," and it's all thank to my betas' brutal honesty. I'm very much in love with all of you.

I'm hesitant to set a release date for Snow, but I can say it will be soon. Once it's gone through the editor and I have it back in my hands, THEN I'll set a release date. (I'll also be re-releasing Veiled Innocence with it, but more on that later.)

I'm also going to start Dark Horizons next week. Like, for real guys. And I'm not going to stop until it's done because I know a lot of you have been waiting for its release for a while now. I can't thank you enough for sticking with me and being patient and telling other people about my books. You guys are my "rocks," and you make me want to try that much harder to be a better writer for you.

I'm very excited for what the future holds. I'll post up links when the paperback TSD goes live, and will announce on Twitter and Facebook when the giveaways begin.

Thanks for all your support.


xxx,
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Published on July 06, 2012 23:31 • 9 views