Finally Published!!!

Looking back on the last who knows how many months… I still can’t believe I have finally finished my novel. Yet, here we are the day has finally come. My novel AWAKEN the first book in the Blood Angel series is finally published. I’d love for you to check it out and get your copy today.

E-BOOK AVAILABLE NOW!

Awaken – Nina Soden : Booktango: http://bit.ly/Oejuff

Awaken

a Blood Angel novel

by Nina Soden

The Blood Angel series is set in a world very much like our own, yet Atlanta isn’t just an ordinary city and Alee Moyer isn’t just an ordinary girl. Having barely survived her childhood it will take the death of her father for the truth of her true bloodline to come out. Even if it means losing her life, or at least her identity she won’t be able to escape her true destiny as the first surviving Dhampir in history. Surrounded by a new world where the horror films she grew up watching have become reality and the most unlikely characters have become her lifeline, Alee will struggle to find herself and her purpose.

Part horror thriller – part tender romance, Awaken will leave readers wanting more!

E-BOOK AVAILABLE NOW!

Awaken – Nina Soden : Booktango: http://bit.ly/Oejuff

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I Want A Vacation!

Yeah, yeah, I know – everyone needs a vacation. But, did I say I NEED a vacation? No I didn’t. I said I want a vacation. There is a big difference. I don’t need a vacation – which implies that I’m over worked, tired, or just plain need a break away from the day-to-day life that is working full-time. In all honesty my job ROCKS! I love what I do. Every day is a new adventure and I get to learn new things and face new challenges all that time. So, I don’t need a break away from it.

More to my point – I want a vacation. I want a couple of weeks, a week, or even just a weekend with just my husband and my kids. We could go to the beach and chill, hit the high traffic pavement of Disney, or just stay home with the phones and internet turned off as we play board games and eat my husbands famous guacamole. Avocado is a “smart” food after all. 🙂

So, what would my dream vacation be? I’m not really sure. It would have to have something for everyone. That would mean – a golf course for my husband (and my kids since they love to go to the driving range), a pool for me (because I prefer the pool to the ocean), the beach for my kids (because they love to make sand castles), an outlet mall for well – all of us (because we do love to shop), and some great local restaurants, because while I’m on vacation I don’t like eating at the same restaurants I could eat at back home!

Over the past three summers we have: (1) Rented a house on the beach, (2) Did the Disney thing, and (3) Took the ocean by storm on a Royal Caribbean Cruise to the Bahamas.

Although I enjoyed all of the trips I think Disney was my favorite. Why? Well, for starters my kids. I loved watching their faces light up every time a new princess walked by, or when Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck gave them hugs. There is just nothing like seeing your child meet their favorite Disney characters to make your heart melt.

Don’t get me wrong the beach had its advantages too. For starters the beach was the most relaxing of the three vacations – and for that I will go back (sooner rather than later). DISNEY IS NOT RELAXING!!! Don’t let anyone tell you that it is. You walk all day and end up carrying your sleeping children the last mile to make it back to the hotel shuttle at the end of the night.

At the beach you chill all day, take a stroll on the beach, and eat light healthy meals. At Disney although you get all the exercise you need to work off your food, the food you do get is greasy mass-produced Buffett style food that tastes like it was cooked two hours before you ordered. Plus – there isn’t a lot of variety when dining at Disney.

Wait, I didn’t mention the Cruise did I? Well, you see – that is because although I did enjoy myself (a lot) I don’t plan to go back. I get motion sickness (ALL THE TIME). Put me in a car for longer than thirty minutes and I feel sick. So, being on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean for five days (four nights) I literally wanted to throw up 90% of the time, even after taking medications to prevent motion sickness, wearing the silly looking sea bands around my wrists, and chewing ginger gum! Yes, I did it all. And did I manage to not throw up? NO! I threw up two out of the four nights. So, for that reason alone, and I think it’s a good one, I don’t plan to return to the ship!

Well, those are my thoughts on vacationing – What are yours? Where have you been lately or where are you planning to go? Share your vacation stories here, because if who else wants to hear them?!

Have a creative day 🙂

Giving Back

Okay, this is off the subject of publishing, writing, etc… As you know I do that from time to time (OFTEN). I want to talk about the importance of giving back – donating – making a sacrifice that could help save lives.

There are people in this world that strive to serve others, help, make a difference – for no other reason then that they care. I know two women very close to my heart (my mother and my sister) who fall into that category that can only be described as extraordinary. This is the second year that they have made the commitment to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-day. Now if you don’t know what the 3-day is let me explain: thousands of women, men, even children gather together to walk sixty (60) miles in three days. Why? Just to show their support and love for those suffering with, surviving, and even those that passed away from breast cancer. In order to participate in the walk they have to raise something like $2300 each ($4600 as a team). That money goes toward finding a cure for breast cancer! Can you think of a better way to help someone?

Well my mother and sister have been training since last fall for this years walk. They are just five (5) short weeks away and they still need to raise more than half of the money needed to be able to walk.  With that said – I am asking for your help.  Together they still have to raise $2,802.00 in the next five (5) weeks.  I know that seems like a lot, and I’m not asking any one person to make such a huge donation, but even a $5 donation will help get them to their goal.

Please consider making a donation.

The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2012:

  • About 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 63,300 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 39,510 women will die from breast cancer

With numbers as shocking as that how can you not want to give?

So, thank you for taking the time to consider this issue and if you are gracious enough to open your wallet or even your change purse to donation $1, $5, $20 or any amount you feel comfortable giving my heart goes out to you.

LINKS TO DONATE:

Click here to view the team page for Step by Step If the text below does not appear as a clickable link, you can cut and past the web address into your browser: http://www.the3day.org/site/TR?team_id=195040&pg=team&fr_id=1765&et=RSy2-w3szXc2EEg8n2D5aA&s_tafId=478169

Awaken – a Blood Angel novel – by Nina Soden

Awaken

a Blood Angel novel

by Nina Soden

 The Blood Angel series is set in a world very much like our own, yet Atlanta isn’t just an ordinary city and Alee Moyer isn’t just an ordinary girl. Having barely survived her childhood it will take the death of her father for the truth of her true bloodline to come out. Even if it means losing her life, or at least her identity she won’t be able to escape her true destiny as the first surviving Dhampir in history. Surrounded by a new world where the horror films she grew up watching have become reality and the most unlikely characters have become her lifeline, Alee will struggle to find herself and her purpose.

Part horror thriller – part tender romance, Awaken will leave readers wanting more!

E-BOOK COMING SOON!

FROM IDEA TO SELF-PUBLISHED NOVEL ~ STEP BY STEP!

Step One (1) – The Idea

Okay, lots of people have ideas… I have about 50 at any given moment, but that doesn’t mean any of them are worth a dime. They might be, but if you don’t get them down on paper (or computer) then how will you ever know? YOU WON’T! That’s my point. So you have an idea? Great – Go home sit down at a desk, table, couch, bed, or just a comfy corner and put your thoughts on paper. I started with just a few disorganized sentences – they turned into what I am proud to call Awaken, the first book in the Blood Angel series I am writing.

What are you waiting for – go try. You’ll never know if you can until you try. Okay, wait don’t go yet… read the rest of this article first. 🙂

Step Two (2) – The Outline

Not everyone writes an outline before jumping into their novel. Is that smart? I really don’t know one way or the other. I can tell you this – I skip this step. I don’t do an outline. When I write my characters just kinda speak to me and tell me where they want the story to go. They lead it – not me.

Okay, that sounds a little crazy – I don’t mean that I actually hear voices or anything… I just… I follow my gut. That’s what I do, I follow my gut.

That doesn’t mean I don’t keep track of where my story is going. Basically I write an outline (Excel is my friend) as I go. I keep track of family trees and chapter details in an excel spreadsheet as I go. That way if I need to move things around I have a quick glance as what has already happened. I can move full chapters or just sections whenever needed.

Step Three (3) – Writing

Like I said – I skip step two or at least do it with step three. WRITING is the key. Don’t focus on getting everything perfect at first. Just focus on getting your thoughts down on paper. Don’t focus on word count – seriously I think there is entirely too much hype about “word count”. How is a 80K word novel any better than a novel with only 69K words? The answer is that it isn’t any better. Honestly, if the book is just full of fluff it isn’t going to be good no matter how many words it has. So, my point – just focus on writing – get all your thoughts out there and then weed through them in the editing process. Trust me a lot hits the editing room floor in the end.

Step Four (4) – Editing

The all hated EDITING process. I can honestly say I have a love hate relationship with the editor of my first book. I hated the day my manuscript arrived in my email completely red-lined and torn to shreds with “constructive” criticism. It took me about two weeks before I was mentally and emotionally able to read through all of her notes without taking them personally. You know what? THAT IS A GOOD THING! Your book is your baby – you should be emotional about it, especially when someone is pulling it apart one page at a time. However, you also have to be able to get past that emotion – step back and realize that this person has an outside eye and that he/she is trying to help you. It won’t be easy, but in the end the editing process is what helps you get your novel to become the best reflection of your “idea” your “dream” your “creation” that it can be. So, find the best editor you can. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg – it can be your husband, your wife, your best friend, even your mom. Just make sure whoever you pick is willing to tell you their true opinion. If they are just going to bullshit you and tell you, “it was great” “I loved it” “I wouldn’t change a thing” then they aren’t the right editor for you. GET SOMEONE ELSE.

Step Five (5) – Rewrites

Yes – rewrites come next. After the editing process you don’t just go back and fix a few small grammatical errors and BOOM you have a book. I wasn’t kidding when I said my manuscript came back from the editor completely red-lined. I will tell you there was literally only 3 or 4 pages that didn’t have notes covering the page. So, editing seriously led to rewrites that changed major story plots within my book. Don’t get scared – if you make it to this step then you have the drive it will take to make it through the rewrites. You’re already fully invested in the project – KEEP GOING!

Step Six (6) – ISBN

I’ve complained about this one already in another blog. When buying your ISBN number for your book keep in mind that you have to get an ISBN number for every format of the book. That means if you are going to have it printed and formated as an e-book then you need two ISBN numbers. In that case – you’ll need to buy the ten pack because its cheaper than just buying two individual ISBN numbers. This is CRAZY – What if all I plan to do is write one book? What do I do with the other ISBN numbers? Its like wasting if I don’t write more… Okay, sure I have two more books planned in the Blood Angel series, and I have a children’s series planned out, and another adult series… okay I’m gonna need more than ten, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs that many. Besides – I don’t need them right now – It’s going to take me years to use them all. Hello, I work full-time, I’m a mom, I’m a wife – I don’t have much time to write.

Step Seven (7) – Format and Cover Design

The cover really does sell the book. So, don’t go cheap here. find someone who designs book covers for a living and pay them to design your book and format the layout. A great book can sit on the book shelf untouched just because the cover isn’t eye catchy enough. In the same token a poorly written book can be gobbled up and sell out just because the sexy guy on the cover draws all the ladies eyes. You know what I mean! Make your cover POP!!!

Step Eight (8) – Self-Publish

Sure, we all want some publisher to hear about us, call our number (who knows how they get it – but they do), and tell us we are the next big thing and they have a million dollar contract for us to sign. What are the chances of that happening? NOT LIKELY. Okay, sure it happens, but for it to happen to someone who hasn’t published anything yet, or proven they have a fan base already – it just isn’t likely. So, stop waiting for that call and DO IT YOURSELF! If you want to be published, if that is one of your life’s dreams – then make it happen. There are literally tuns of self-publishing vehicles online these days. Find one that works for you and just do it. If your writing for the fame and money then you’re really not writing for the right reasons. If you’re writing for the love of your story then you’ll find a way to get yourself published! Good luck.

Step Nine (9) – Marketing and Promotion

Yeah, I got nothing! No, seriously I have no clue how to do the marketing and promotion for my book. I am still on Step 7 – Formating and Cover Design. That doesn’t mean I haven’t already started Step 8 because I have. I am researching all the self-publishing sites to figure out which one is best for me. And, I have even done the basics for Step 9 – you know contacted all my friends and family to give them a heads up about the book coming out. Other than that – I am using my blog, Facebook, and twitter accounts to publicize my soon to be released novel Awaken a Blood Angel novel.

So, do you know how to market and promote a new release e-book – from an unknown author? If you have suggestions please leave a comment and share them. There are lots of great authors out there that just aren’t getting read because they don’t know how to get seen. Please share, not just for me, but for all of them.

Have a creative day 🙂

Publishing…

Why is it so difficult? WHY? Seriously, it should be easy. Write a book, edit, re-write, edit, re-write, edit, re-write, edit, re-write and on and on for months (okay, so it was more like a year and a half). Then you should just be able to publish! That is my thought. I get that you can just format and publish online, but I don’t want to just self publish online. Okay, I do, but I don’t just want to self publish online.

I WANT A BOOK!!! A book to hold in my hand. One that has my photo on the back cover – you know, as proof that I actually spent time, sweat and blood giving all of my creativity to my book. I want to share that with my kids as they get older. Something to give them to show them mommy did something. You know – really did something.

I’m not a big time lawyer with her own law firm (like my sister). I’m not a teacher molding young minds (like my brother-in-law). I don’t work in the medical field (like both of my parents did before retiring). I’m not an amazing, could have gone pro golfer (like my husband). I’m just me – a could have been actress (who left Los Angeles just as my career was ready to blossom) – an artist who hasn’t had time to pick up a paint brush in years – a wife and a mother who would do anything for her family and to tell you the truth my family is my most important accomplishment. But, this book – this book was for me. I wanted this for me – to prove to myself that YES I CAN!

So, WHY IS IT SO HARD?????

* Deep Breath*

I wanted to be published by the end of last week. I had a plan – get the ISBN package. About that – Why do you have to buy them ten at a time? Not every author can commit to writing ten books. I get two at a time. I mean you are required to have different ISBN numbers for print books and electronic books. So, you know most people publish is both formats right? So, two makes sense, but TEN? Really? Come on! I mean, I’ve written two and a half books. Book two is still in the rewrite – edit – rewrite – edit phase, and book three is only half way done. I have a long way to go before I need ISBN numbers 3-10.

The real issue I have with all of this is that once I shell out the $$$ for the TEN ISBN numbers and pay the formatter to design the cover and format the book for both print and ebook… then what? Most self-publishers sell copies to their family and a few of their friends (not even all close friends ever really shell out the $2.99 – $9.99 to support their friends). WOW, come on people – it’s less than $10.00 you spend more at the local fast food place for a hamburger, fries, and a drink. Then after you do buy the book the author only gets like 10 cents for every dollar spent – The chances of a self-publisher ever making back the money they spend on self-publishing is slim to none.

Does that mean I’m not going to self-publish? HELL NO! I have to. Like I said this is something I need to do – for me. I have to prove to myself that I can. It just seems to be taking me more time than I had hoped. GOTTA SAVE THE MONEY. If only I could find a money tree.

Okay, that was my little rant – Sorry – I just needed to vent!

Have a great day!