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21 September 2013 @ 09:33 pm
What I did on my summer vacation  
AKA Adventures in self-publishing...

So a few weeks ago I wrote, edited, formatted, created cover art for, and published an e-book. Wednesday at 8:03 p.m. I posted that my social media and email were going dark, because I had an 8-hour challenge to complete. Sometime in the next hour I started a timer for eight hours and bought a stock photo that I just knew would fit the cover, because I loved it.

That's the cover art I ended up using, because I'd bought it and I ran out of time at the end. If I'd had another 8 hours to search stock photography sites, I might have done the cover a little differently.

Anyway. I've been working on an epic fantasy novel this summer, tentatively titled The Weather War. I know those characters, and I know several of them are good friends. I've even related a couple of "remember when" type stories in the first draft of TWW. But a couple of my favorite characters in TWW aren't getting as much screen time as I would like. Enter the 8-Hour Ebook Challenge.

Two days ago, my friend Laura sent me a link to the blog post where Joe Konrath issues the 8-Hour Ebook Challenge. I didn't have any idea what to do with it, but the notion sat in the back of my mind for a while, and I got an inkling of a plot idea.

I spent the bulk of those 8 hours writing. I drank a bottle of wine during those 8 hours (Sleepy Creek Vineyards' Three Amigos, for the curious) and listened to a heck of a lot of whalesong. Because magic whales.

Sometime around 2:30 am, I realized I really needed to wrap up the story and figure out how to format an ebook. Jane Friedman's Writing Advice Archive came in handy there. I used styles in Microsoft Word to create a filtered HTML file that I imported into Calibre. I used Photoshop Elements to create a cover, and then I spent some time figuring out Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

Not a lot of time.

Amazon KDP actually makes it really incredibly easy for the author to upload her work. So sometime between 4 and 5 am, I finished formatting and uploading the file. I stumbled off to bed and slept for the next nine hours.

 photo StormsingerThumbnail.jpg

When I woke up...I was a self-published author who'd already made one sale. (Okay, so it was to a friend, that still totally counts!)

"Stormsinger" is available on Kindle. Regular price is $0.99, so it shouldn't break the bank. It's 8,400 words, and it gives you a little glimpse into the kingdom of Amethir, where I anticipate hanging out for many years to come.


Captain Arama Dzornaea thought she was just supposed to transport Crown Prince Vistaren Doth'Mara to meet his contracted bride. As the king's top privateer, she thinks she can handle anything. What Arama doesn't anticipate is storms out of season, an unruly stormwitch, and a strange witchery echo that puts Arama, her ship the Dawn Star, and everyone aboard smack in the middle of a mystery.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Girlfriend Resplendent Valentine: tony/steveimkalena on September 22nd, 2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
Crap, I don't have a Kindle! Does that format have some kind of "read a kindle book on your pc" thing? No, that's stupid, then they wouldn't likely sell many kindles. I mean they do allow you to read on other devices, but only once it's been dl to your Kindle.

I've been teaching people how to dl library books onto their Kindles for way too long.
Stephanie A Cain: mestephaniecain on September 23rd, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
Actually there is a Kindle Web App that works whether you have a Kindle or not, because I don't actually own a Kindle. :D I have the Kindle app on my phone as well. If you have a nook, I'll be publishing it for nook in a couple of months. Because I was on a time-crunch due to the 8-Hour Challenge, I went with the Kindle Select, because I needed to schedule a free promotion and didn't know any way to do it without using the Select program. Anyway, all that means is that I'm exclusive to Kindle for the first 3 months, so come December 1 I'll be publishing with Smashwords, nook, Drive-Thru Fiction, and probably some other places I haven't heard about yet. :)
Girlfriend Resplendent Valentine: bobcat loveimkalena on September 22nd, 2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
Anyway, congratulations!!!
Stephanie A Cain: mestephaniecain on September 23rd, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
Hee, thanks!