Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Writers' Wednesday: A New, Fast, Free Way to Make Book Trailers!

Hey writers! You know those book trailers that some people say are cool, others say don't sell books, and still others spend a lot of time and money to make? Well, if you haven't heard of the website Animoto, stop right now and go check it out. I just became familiar with it about a month ago, though it's been around for longer than that. It's basically this oh-so-cool way of creating videos that takes literally minutes.

All you do is upload your pictures, text, and video clips if you want, and Animoto arranges them into a short video for you. That's it! You can play with the organization of your items and change the music too. Best of all, the basic version is FREE and allows you to create 30-second videos that you can download or share on the web or through email.

Awesome, right? Now, the downsides are that you don't have a lot of control over the background/slides/transitions (although you do have some; play around with how you order your items, and the background and transitions will change), and if you want a video that's longer than 30 seconds, it will cost you $. But the next version up is only $5/month. Still a great deal! And in my opinion, 30 seconds is enough time to give readers a taste of your book and leave them wanting more.

Want to see the one I made for my upcoming Cocktail Cruise novella series? This one took me probably an hour total to make, because I didn't know anything about the website and because I wanted to change the music, so I took some time to go through their library of music options, which is pretty extensive. Other than that, it was painless.

Copy of Cocktail Cruise Trailer

Have you used Animoto? Give it a try if you haven't - and share your video if you end up making one! I'd love to see it :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Mentionables: A Trip to Iceland!

Every once in a while, a girl has to take a break from the usual and the familiar and just get away from it all. So last week, during our spring break, Hubby and I took a trip to Iceland.

Yes, that's right, Iceland, the land of fire and ice, wayyyy up there near the Arctic Circle, where about 320,000 people live on a landscape that is constantly shifting and erupting and cracking. And you know what? It was beautiful. We took probably 100 photos, at least, but I'll only post a few here, to give you the highlights :) My advice: GO, if you ever have the chance. It's about a 5-hour flight from the Northeast United States, the flights and tours are very reasonable (check out TravelZoo for ongoing deals) and it's a beautiful place, peaceful and quiet with super-nice people and hot springs/baths to die for. If it wasn't so darn expensive to live there, I might actually consider moving to Iceland one day...

It's called "the land of fire and ice" for a reason - there are geysers, hot springs, and glaciers everywhere! 

Downtown Reykjavik

One of the many massive waterfalls  

Iceland sits on 2 opposing tectonic plates, which means it's actually separating at a rate of 2 cm/year. Crazy!

We got to spend an afternoon hiking on a glacier - one of the high points of the trip

Guilfoss Waterfall, one of the most beautiful sites there!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Fun Facts: New Reviews for Inferno of Love!

TGIF! This is also the beginning of spring break here, so hallelujah! Finally!

Two new reviews for Inferno of Love this week:

Roxy's Reviews said "This was an interesting read with plenty of twists and turns. Lost love was rekindled, old secrets resurfaced, and guilt over a haunting past was shed. This story was different while adopting all the makings of a great romance."

Lindsey Grey said "The combination of suspense and romance kept me turning the pages as fast as possible. This is one book you want to read in one sitting because you can't bear to wait a moment to know what happens next. In all honesty, I wish I could give it more than five stars. I just love how the story enraptured me and I hope to read more of Allie Boniface and the people of Lindsey Point."

And if you haven't been following me on Facebook or Twitter, The Promise of Paradise has also enjoyed a nice surge in free downloads this week! By mid-day yesterday, its highest ranking in the Top Free Kindle store was #32 overall, and for a few hours it was #1 in Romance, Women's Fiction, and New Adult. Super cool! It's since slowed a bit but still in the Top 100 overall and still #1 in New Adult as of this morning.

What the heck is New Adult? I think I'm going to devote a future blog post to this (and how it helped boost me on the Free Lists) but basically it's a newish genre that's growing in popularity and features a main character somewhere in the college-age range to early after. Figure 18-24 or so. New adult meaning older than Young Adult but not yet completely "grown up" and living on their own with careers and homes. More like muddling through the college years and trying to find oneself.

Anyway, I'll be away next week, so no blog from me until April 21st. See you then!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Monday Mentionables: It Was a Cover Reveal Weekend!

Hey gang, in case you didn't see my shiny new covers on my Facebook page this weekend, here they are! These are the official 3 covers for my upcoming Cocktail Cruise novella series, due out this June. Do you love them??

Three ship...lose yourself on the waves...

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Writers' Wednesday: Inferno of Love Blog Tour Starts Today!

Hey gang, my blog tour through Black Lion Tours starts today! And along with reading reviews and interviews with Yours Truly and a few fun blog posts, you can win prizes: a $20 Amazon gift card OR a copy of Beacon of Love! Here's the main tour page, and I'll try to post the links from each day so you can tour along with me.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Mentionables: How Much Do You Make, Anyway?

Ah, it's a bit of a taboo question, isn't it? Asking anyone how much money they make equates to treading into murky waters. When it comes to authors, some are forthcoming with their earnings, while others prefer to keep mum about it. Someone asked me the other day, "If your book is 99 cents on Kindle, how much of that do you get?" And I thought other non-authors might wonder the same thing, so here are some numbers for you. **I am NOT going to get into specifics here. What follows is general info only:

For books self-published on Amazon that are under $2.99, the author will get 35% of that price for a royalty.

For books self-published on Amazon that are $2.99 and up, the author will get 70% of that price for a royalty.

Example: When Beacon of Love was on sale for 99 cents, I earned 35 cents for every book sold. When that price went up to $2.99, I now earn $2.09 for every book sold.

Note: most small presses offer somewhere from 35-40% royalties on the price of their books. When Beacon of Love was published previously, on a list price of $4.99, I received approximately $2.00 for every book sold. You can start to see why authors who feel comfortable going through the publishing process themselves prefer to put the $$ out up front for a possible 70% royalty for the rest of that book's life.

Now, although I currently have 7 books in print, 4 with Samhain  and 3 as self-published titles, I don't sell particularly well. I will chalk this up to many things, including the fact that I don't spend enough time marketing, there was a period of almost 3 years when I didn't release a title at all, and my books fall somewhere in the PG-13 to R rated range, which is less popular among romance readers than the really hot stuff. I do, however, have all but 2 of these books also available as audio books as well.

I will say this: before I self-published any title, AND before most of my books were available in audio, my monthly royalty income fell anywhere from $10 to $50. Since releasing my 3 additional books as self-published titles, adding in the audio book royalties, my monthly royalty income falls somewhere between $75 and $200.

(I will also add that last month I made one of my titles free, The Promise of Paradise. I've had about 11,000 downloads of that title in the first month, and while its downloads have slowed to around 20-40 a day, that still means people are putting it on their Kindles. Also, I sold 50 copies of Beacon of Love in that same month (up from 20 copies the month before), which I will partly attribute to readers being introduced to the characters AND my putting the buy link for Beacon of Love into the back of The Promise of Paradise)

My sales are not stellar, by any stretch of the imagination. However, I put those numbers out there today for a few reasons: to show that the more titles you have, the more you will likely make; having multiple streams of income helps (go for audio books if you can); making a title free can drive readers to purchase your other titles; and if you're willing to put forth the effort and the money on your own, before the return, self-publishing CAN bring in more money than publishing with a traditional press.

And now...I'm off to write and add to that monthly check!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Fun Facts: An Awesome Review of Inferno of Love

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm so thrilled that the folks over at For the Passion of Romance review site loved Inferno of Love and gave it a heart-warming review. Here's just a snippet - follow the link to read the entire review. Big thanks to the reviewers! Readers, remember that reviews sell books - so many buyers read those reviews over at Amazon and other sites when they are deciding whether or not to spend $$ on a book. So if you're read a book you really enjoyed, take those few minutes to leave a review. The author will be sooooo grateful!

Boniface will make readers fall in love with novels all over again with her latest release Inferno of Love!

This novel was such a huge surprise for me because it contains everything that made me fall in love with reading in the first place! Mystery, suspense and wow is it hot!

It is always so refreshing to myself as a reader to discover an author who can impress me by taking traits that are considered classic to novels especially that of romance and grasp my attention from start to finish and Boniface does this for me as a reader!