Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Writing Life Update

Here I meant to get back into the groove of things, and I stumbled. It's been one of those years I've fallen down a lot on so many levels, but I'm starting to get back on my feet. Little steps, right?

Writing has been slow this year. I managed to get out my Samhain story in good time, but I haven't finished any of the novels I've worked on. That has to stop. A serious writer needs to complete projects. I must stay the course and follow through. To help with that, I'm going to do NaNoWriMo next month. I may lose about nine or ten days due to family stuff, but all those other days can add up big time. I'll be working on a new project for my pen name. A fae story involving a cursed carousel and who knows what else! I'm going to let it surprise me. If you'd like to be my buddy on NaNoWriMo, I'm CRains.

I'm doing great with my reading goals. Mind you, I'm way behind on reading everything I want to read since my TBR list is huge, but I'm nearing 100 books on my Goodreads challenge. I've hit 85!

I just returned from a trip to Canada to visit my family. There are a ton of seasonal events happening this month, and every weekend is busy for me. Life hasn't slowed down all year.

But I have my game nights on Fridays! This has saved my sanity tremendously this year. I finished running The Rise of Tiamat earlier this year. And just this past Friday, we started Curse of Strahd. I'm playing a bard, and I'm obsessed with this new adventure. Good friends creating a story together... There's nothing else like it.

Here's to a productive last quarter of 2019 for all of us!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Samhain treat: Bound by a Ban-sidhe

On Samhain, the veil between the realms of the living and the dead is at its thinnest.

No feast, treats, or costumes for Dusana. She’s stuck watching over the village’s flock alone again, like she’s done a thousand times before. Her quiet night is shattered when she must defend the herd from three huge wolves who turn out to be something much more frightening: three gorgeous shifters. The shifters are under the spell of a fearsome ban-sidhe, and Dusana is eager to help them. But what can a simple shepherdess do against a ban-sidhe on a night that her foul magic will be at its strongest?

This treat of a read is now available from my pen name. It's fantasy with a few marvelous twists and a layer of romance.

I had such fun writing it as I played with the ancient legends of the ban-sidhe and Samhain. I'm also curious to see who can figure out the twists before they're sprung!

Monday, September 23, 2019

We Know The Truth, Do You? - Area 51 anthology

Don't bother with the raid. Stay home and learn all about it from the comfort of your own home.

What's in Area 51? Is the government hiding aliens? Elvis? Maybe the set of the Apollo moon landing? Do you know?

We do.

Join this multi-genre group as they explore the hidden recesses of Area 51, which up to now have only been whispered conspiracies. Don't bother with the raid. Stay home, read these awesome stories, and learn all you need to know.

The truth is just a page-flip away.

All proceeds will go to US Veterans.


Universal book buy link

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

New covers, website, and lessons learned #writerslife

First new cover!

Fearless finally has a cover it deserves! Though I'm already itching to make another. I'm telling myself to wait until next year. I need to get some writing done!

The book got a little boost in downloads when I changed the cover on Amazon, but it has settled back into its normal rank. It does all right. It always has downloads every month, but does it convince readers to buy my other books? I don't think so.

Writer Lesson #1: Times have changed. Free books do not lead to sales of your other books.

The TOTEM series!

I LOVE these new covers for the TOTEM series. I spent much more time on them than I anticipated, but it was worth it. The covers are much more urban fantasy than the previous ones.

There have been no bumps up in sales when I changed the covers and the keywords on Amazon. Yet I haven't done any promoting either.

Writer Lesson #2: A great cover and a fantastic story aren't going to sell books. Promotion is key. If you have the means, buy ads.

Feeling quirky!

For the Sasquatch Susies trilogy, I was inspired by my cozy mystery friends. I love their simple and fun covers. These were easy to make and I really love them. I'm going to do up new covers in this style for my other erotica titles. But next year. Need to write.

Writer Lesson #3: Write first. All the other author business can come later.

I've also been fussing around with my website. I left the hosting company and that was a mess. They'd been perfectly fine until I expressed my desire to leave and take my domain name with me. I finally managed to get my domain name from them and registered it with another host. It was half as cheap, and I was feeling good. Then I discovered that if I want to actually use my domain name with my new host, I'm going to have pay more for it. They didn't say this upfront. I had to go digging for it. And the price to use my domain name with them was much more than my former host.

I'm not paying that much money just to attach my domain name to a site. BUT my domain is registered with them, and I can't change that fact for 60 days. I can't even get a refund.

So I've currently moved to a free site on Wix. It will likely be my permanent site from here on out. I like the way it's designed, and it's easy to use. I'm also going to stay here on Blogger for a while. I need to get around to catching up with everyone!

Two lessons learned here.

Writer Lesson #4: Always read the fine print, even when you have to dig for it or ask. Ask for the details even if you don't think there is anything else to know.

Writer Lesson #5: I surveyed several author friends, and many feel that readers don't go to author websites anymore. It isn't essential to have your own site these days. (Don't waste money on your own domain name!) Usually only writers check out other writers' websites. Being present on social media is important, but an Amazon page or a Facebook page is enough as a home base.

It's been a while, but I'm writing again. It's a short Samhain story for my pen name, but at least it's something!

What lessons have you learned lately that you would like to share?

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Fantasy and PNR Summer Book Fair

Over 100 authors are participating in this awesome promo!

FREE books and book samples from every sub-genre of Fantasy and PNR. This includes my edgy paranormal, The 13th Floor Complete Collection.

Fill up your e-reader and enjoy the last days of summer with wonderful stories!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Garden of Ravens is unleashed!

A collection of dark poetry that journeys through folklore, twisted tales, mental breakdowns, and depression.

We hide in shadows
We wither under layers
Sunlight is for beautiful people
Darkness is for us

Store Links: 
Krystal is a writer of paranormal and supernatural fiction residing in the Tennessee Valley. When she’s not writing, she can be found sipping matcha frappucinos and searching for unicorns in the wild.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Back to Business #writerslife

After a very busy summer, school is back in session, and I have my writing time back. Woot!

Not that I've done any writing. Very little happened in front of the computer this past season. It's put me even farther behind schedule, but it has also give me a lot of time to think.

I thought I had a pretty good handle on this writing career thing. Loose as it might be at times, I had done my research. I'm smart. But nothing is working. Why isn't it working?!

Perhaps I've been too loose. I need to be tighter with my time management and what I put my time into. I need to seriously get down to business.

First, I'm going to put time limits on what I do and stick with them. Usually when I'm on social media, time gets away from me. No more. It takes away from writing time, and as a writer, the number one thing I need to be doing is writing.

Write in the mornings and write in the afternoons. Write. (Includes revising and editing!)

I need better covers. I created a new cover for The 13th Floor Complete Collection earlier this year, and it has perked up interest in it. (Anything from zero interest is an improvement!) My next task is to make new covers for the majority of my books. Yes, I realize there are a lot of them, but it makes a difference. It will be slow going, but one by one, I can do it.

I will be fixing my social media. First, this will mean a new website. I dropped my provider and I'll be setting up on Wix. I'm working on how to keep my domain name and transfer it over. Wix is not only free, but easy to use. I use it for my pen name and love it. I may move my blog to Wix too. I like Blogger, but it would be convenient to have everything in one place. Has anyone had experience with Wix's blog? Any info would be helpful, please.

Promos do help get new eyes on your books, and I want to participate in more. Yet after years of having books for free in promos, I realize it doesn't help. It's a momentary boost in my Amazon rank, but then it goes back down after the promo is over. It doesn't nab me reviews. Readers are much more likely to leave a review if they pay for something. 99c sales are better or 50% off. That way the readers feel they're getting deals, but they're still paying.

Write. Then write some more.

That's the plan. Rule the world. You and me. Any day. I mean, uh, consolidate, strict schedule, new looks, and write.

How do you handle the business of being of a writer?