10 Things Every New Indie Author Should Know

1.  It takes time to build a fan base – Go into your journey remembering why you write.  Most of us write because it makes us happy, because we are compelled to do it, and because there are people who love our stories.  People will be attracted to your enthusiasm, but give yourself and your work time to grow a following.

2. The odds are, it will be difficult to sell books, at first – Remember that you are not with one of the big six publishers who would throw money and advertising behind your work.  YOU have to do it all.  However, you will get a longer shelf life being on your own, and get to interact with amazing fans.

3. You will get bad reviews – There are many reasons for this.  Maybe the person just didn’t connect with your work.  There is even a small group of authors who try to sabotage each other.  You can’t make all of the people happy all of the time.  I promise it will hurt, but keep in mind that you evoked enough emotion to make someone take time out to write something negative.  Have a pity part, but move on.

4. Cover art is important I was recently asked by an author if he really needed to hire a cover artist.  The answer is always a resounding, YES! The cover is the face you will present to the world as far as your book is concerned.  A lot of people choose the books they read based solely on cover art.

5. Editing is not the place to scrimp – I made a rookie mistake and contracted with a publisher who refused to edit my work.  In the end, I pulled the book and had it edited myself.  Most people can not edit their own work.  Find a publisher that does both content edits and proofreading because bad editing equals bad reviews.

6. Don’t jump on your first contract without reading the contract – Also have someone you trust review it before signing on the dotted line.  This seems like common sense, but in the excitement of receiving your first offer you can make huge mistakes that take away your rights as an author.

7. Surround yourself with AWESOME – We are very fortunate to have a community of caring and talented indie and small press authors that are willing to help out newbies. These people can make or break you.  Forge genuine symbiotic friendships and you will go far!

8. Research your work – Most of us write fiction, so we are free to create our own worlds and twist and tweak the one we live in. Regardless, it is important to know the subject that you are manipulating. We living in a glorious time when you don’t even have to leave your house to get reference materials.  Use them!

9. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone – Last Halloween, I wrote a horror short.  I usually write spooky, but this story tested my abilities, because I wanted to scare the pants off my readers without being gory.  That short story was über popular, and I got great feedback. Try not to ever pigeon-hole yourself in one genre.

10. Don’t be afraid to give your books away – Keep in mind that the more people who read your work, the more others will hear about it.  You can also write those giveaways off on your taxes! Another quick word about SWAG – there is nothing wrong with doing giveaways, but you will probably be struggling to make money for a while.  Make sure that you are getting your fans addicted to your words and not just what they can get from you.  True fans will want to read your books.  Having said that, I do other types of SWAG giveaways a couple of times a year, but don’t break the bank trying to buy fans.

I hope these little tidbits help, and I’m always available to answer questions or help out.  Most of all, have fun with your writing journey.

Don’t forget to check out Bayou Brew Publishing and give us a like on Facebook.

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Author of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy with Cajun Flavor!

Please check out my latest novel Black Water Bayou on Amazon!

BWB_MoHo

Gabe was raised to trust his intuition and rely solely on himself. Troubled and alone, he’s spent his life haunted by night terrors, and turmoil over where he came from rages in his soul. Always the lonely hero, he never saw Frannie coming. Under the fury of a southern storm, she blew into Gabe’s life and changed it forever.

Can she tear down his walls? Can he save her from herself and the demons that are after her family?

As the past catches up to the present, long kept secrets are revealed and families are salvaged while evil pours into the waters of an abandoned bayou. No one could have seen the dark forces true power, but one man was marked to battle them.
Can Gabe make amends with his past, or will the devil win his soul?

http://www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

http://www.twitter.com/mjames13

http://www.facebook.com/moniqueoconnorjamesauthor

http://www.facebook.com/monique.o.james

Other titles available from Monique O’Connor James – The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Musical Scares, Becoming Jolie and Magia Rising

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Haunted – The Sultan’s house – The Gardette/La Prete House/Burgundy St., NOLA

1240 Burgundy Street, New Orleans, LA

The house was constructed in 1836 by a wealthy creole named Jean Baptiste La Prete.  After some of the wealthy creole families began to lose their fortunes later in the century, La Prete was forced to rent out his beautiful home.

His notorious tenant was a Turk who claimed to be a sultan.  The Turk spent his riches redecorating the home, and it soon became his own eastern oasis.  He chained the iron gates and moved in a harem of girls and young boys.  The house was shrouded in secrecy as the sultan apparently didn’t want the people of New Orleans to know what was truly occurring inside it’s walls.  Of course, all the security–blacked out windows and arab guards–caused the place to become the talk of the neighborhood in no time.

The mysterious Turk kept his doings well under wraps until one morning when passersby noticed blood oozing from beneath the gates.  When the authorities didn’t respond quick enough, the neighbors forced their way onto the property.  It was immediately obvious that something horrific had occurred inside the Turk’s fortress.  As the neighbors searched the house, the were greeted by the sight of human limbs scattered about and corpses with no heads.  The Turk himself was found mutilated and burned in the garden out back.

No one knows for sure who committed these atrocities, but residents and visitors alike have seen dark figures in oriental clothing and heard the sounds of torturous screams in the houses halls.  To this day, the vicious crime is still discussed as everyone wonders exactly who put an end to the Turk and the enigmatic way in which he lived.

Hope you enjoyed!  Sleep tight!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Becoming Jolie & Magia Rising

Coming soon:  Musical Scares and Black Water Bayou

Check out my Amazon page for more fun reads:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=monique+oconnor+james&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Amonique+oconnor+james&ajr=0

Rougarou (Loup Garou) – The Cajun Werewolf

 

Here in Louisiana we have our own were-wolf like creature who stalks the swamps.  The Rougarou is a beast who people have described as having the head of a wolf and body of man.  It is believed that if one is bitten by the fiend or even stares into his evil gaze, they will be transformed into this walking nightmare themselves.  The only cure for this ghastly curse is for the victim to keep his condition a secret for a week and a day.  If the individual manages this feat, then both they and the rougarou who attacked them will be freed from the monstrous form.

Legend says that the best way to protect one’s house from the rougarou is to place 13 small objects in all the windows and doors.  Apparently, the creature can only count to twelve and will have to start again becoming so preoccupied that he doesn’t noticed the coming dawn.  Once the morning approaches, he will be forced back into the swamp to hide form the sun.

French Catholics have often used the tale as a caution to young ones who want to break lent, as it is said that anyone who breaks lent for seven years will be turned into a rougarou. (I think I may be in trouble!!!)  How’s that for a reason to eat meat on Fridays?

Hope you enjoyed a little insight into our very own shape-shifting legend.  Here’s a Halloween surprise for all my readers and fans:

Magia Rising will be FREEEEEE! on Amazon 10/31/12-11/2/12!  Hope you enjoy! Tell your friends and Happy Haunting!

Magia Rising Link

  Blurb:

New Orleans is teeming with warring witch clans. Their world goes unnoticed by
the people of the city,unseen by the masses. Nixon was one of those people,
oblivious to the battles brewing around him. That is, until his eighteenth
birthday.

Abandoned and on his own after the deaths of his parents…he’d
grown used to being alone. Now he’s discovering strange powers, learning secrets
about his ancestors, and falling for the wrong girl–or is she the right one? In
this new world he can trust no one…even the dead tell lies. Friends are
enemies, and enemies hide the truth. Who can he trust? What’s real and
what’s illusion?

 

 

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Author of:  The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Becoming Jolie & Magia Rising

Coming Soon:  Musical Scares and Black Water Bayou

NANOWRIMO…The Making of a Novel

If you’re an author or up coming writer who has never participated in NANOWRIMO, you may be asking yourself–what’s the point? I wanted to share with you my experience and get you excited about this opportunity to come up with a new plot and push yourself to write, write, write.

Admittedly, I didn’t participate in 2011, however, I jumped in feet first in 2010.  On Halloween day, and i still had no idea what I was going to write about.  Earlier in the day, I had skimmed over the news and seen something about a kidnapping that sparked my interest.  I generally write Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, so I knew I’d have to give a kidnapping story a spin that would blow readers away in order to make the thirty days work for me.

I did some quick research and found information about a playground in Alabama.  Several children had been abducted and subsequently, their bodies were all found in this playground.  Morbid–I know! However, it gave me the idea for a novel that was eventually released in September 2012 called Becoming Jolie.  I’m not a plotter by any stretch of the imagination, so I made a few quick notes and decided I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

Before you start making excuses, hear me out.  I was working a full-time job, taking care of my children and husband, dealing with constant migraines and doing all of the things that we all do just to keep things going.  The only thing I required of myself is that I would write at least thirty minutes a day, even if that meant staying up until everyone else was in bed.  This wasn’t difficult for me, because that’s pretty much the best time for me to write anyway.

Here is the great part–I almost psyched myself out in the beginning.  I kept thinking there was no way I could write 50,000 in 30 days, especially with all the balls I had in the air.  I had to keep reminding myself that nothing horrible would happen if I didn’t make it.  A wonderful thing happened though, the more I wrote, the more the words flowed.  I finished Becoming Jolie and met my Nanowrimo goal in 18 days!

That book has turned out to be a fan favorite.  Of course, it went through changes and edits.  In fact, the finished product after Nanowrimo had some major point of view issues, as I was quite green when I set out to finish it.  My point is, you never know what will happen if you challenge yourself to participate.  Have fun with it and relax–no one will beat you if you don’t finish!

So I know you’re going to ask…am I going to do it this year? I am currently working on a novel and a short story.  What better way to push myself to get them completed?

Ready! Set! Go!  Here is the link to the site –Go ahead–Sign up – http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Interested in the novel created during Nanowrimo 2010?  Here’s a link, blurb and the cover just for you:

   Blurb:

Jolie Bourque is trying to finish her thesis on mass hysteria and get on with her life. Enter Follette, Louisiana. The small town has been plagued by ghost sightings and a rash of missing children. She is convinced everyone in town is crazy — except Hutch Landry and his brother Tucker.

The brothers seem to be the only people willing to help when she starts asking questions. Just when
she thinks things can’t get any crazier, she begins to have dreams and visions of her own. Uncovering the town’s ties to her own life throws Jolie into a tailspin.

Can she survive the madness that is Follette, Louisiana? Who is preying on the town’s children? Can Jolie afford to fall in love while drowning in madness? If she does — how on earth will she choose between brothers?

It’s all just part of the journey to Becoming Jolie.

http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Jolie-ebook/dp/B009DHBW26/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_t_3

Comment and let me know if you plan to participate and are reaching your goals!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of  The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Magia Rising & Becoming Jolie

Coming soon:  Muscial Scares & Black Water Bayou

 

Becoming Jolie Huge Giveaway!

Becoming Jolie is going to be FREE for download on Amazon from October 8-10.  We have set up giveaway so that you can win lots of free stuff by helping us spread the word!  Just click on the rafflecopter link below and follow directions.  Hope you enjoy!!!!

Prizes – Original cover – signed copy of Becoming Jolie – (The one with the swing set on it), PDFS of Magia Rising, Becoming Jolie and The Watchers and a $10 Amazon Gift card are all up for grabs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Huge Giveaway – Magia Rising Launch!!!!

Come help me celebrate the debut of Magia Rising by clicking on the giveaway link below!!! You have a chance to win A $25 Amazon Gift Card, Mardi Gras Beads, and PDF Copies of Magia Rising!!!!

Have fun!!!!

Image

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Year in the Life of an Author

I started my first novel in November of 2008.  As most of you know by now, I’d always been a writer.  I still have friends tell me they used my stories to turn in for grades in school.  That thought scares me, because most of what I wrote back then was a little frightening!!

In April of 2011, I was going through a bit depression.  I can remember the day that I got my first contract from Astraea Press vividly.  I’d been at home suffering from a migraine and feeling sorry for myself.  When I opened the email and saw the contract attached tears of joy rolled down my cheeks.  Someone out there wanted to hear my stories!

The Keepers was published in June of 2011.  I can’t even begin to tell you what it feels like to see your work on Amazon or to hold your novel in your hand for the first time.  For me, the biggest thrill was putting that book in my Dad’s hands and saying here, this if for you and me and all we have been through together.  Also, this was a very personal book for me.  One about a main character whose mother had died of breast cancer and the damaged angel that came along to save her.  This tale was so close to home that I was extremely nervous about sharing it, but tickled that I had the chance.

Everything wasn’t perfect.  No, my first novel was quite the roller coaster ride.  Somehow, the edition that was originally uploaded was not the one that the publishing company and I had spent hours pouring over during edits.  I got a lot of great reviews, but then the die-hard readers started to mention editing errors and after much thought and support from Astraea, I pulled the book and it went back to editing.  We literally had to start over!!!

During this time, Astraea put out a call for short stories which would be published with all monies going to the Japanese Tsunami Relief.  This is when the Mulligan Man was born.  I’d had a dream one night that I was standing in my front yard screaming, “I want a Mulligan!”.  My son, Colton, and I jotted down ideas and characters and this fun YA Folk tale came to life.  It is different from anything I’ve ever written, but one of my pride and joys because my son played an integral part of developing it.

The contract for Jamais Vu with Astraea soon followed and it was published in October 2011.  Whirlwind right?  Yes!  And so much fun.  I can’t talk about Jamais Vu without either crying or beaming.  As though the cosmos was trying to make up for all that had gone wrong with The Keepers, everything with Jamais Vu was easy.  There are over 25 5 star reviews on Amazon for this book and several four star reviews.  Knock on wood, not one person has ever slammed it!

This book also had deeply personal meaning to me.  My mother was playing with a gun she thought was unloaded when I was a toddler.  She was shot and spent years recovering.  My main character, Darby, also suffers this fate in Jamais Vu.  I wanted to pay tribute to my mom’s story but give it a huge paranormal twist and I think this book did the job.

In February 2012, the follow-up to Jamais Vu, Deja Vu was also published by Astraea Press.  Blessings! Blessings! Blessings!  By this point not only did I have four book in the marketplace, but I also had developed wonderful friendships with readers, bloggers, reviewers, cover artists, editors and publishers.

It is such a rush.  There are people out there who want to read my books!  Before I ever considered getting published, the one thing I said was, “If I could just have a few fans who enjoy my work, I’ll be happy.”  I’ve far exceeded that goal, and to each and ever one of you, I am eternally grateful and humbled by your love and support.

So that brings us to the middle of 2012, back to the time where I started last year.  On July 9th, Becoming Jolie, my first Adult Paranormal novel will be published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.  Also in July, The Watchers, the sequel to The Keepers will be published by Astraea!

So what else is coming?  I’ve written the first novel in a new series called Magia Rising.  I’m considering self-publishing that one in October.  Next year, I know for sure this book will have a follow-up as will the Jamais Vu series.  I’m also hoping to self publish a novel that I’m currently offering chapters of on my blog, The Awakening.

I’ve had some hard moments in the last year. Sometimes, I’ve been frustrated and overwhelmed, but mostly I’ve been filled with joy and love.  There is nothing like meeting one of your biggest fans for the first time, getting emails from people dying to read your next work, hearing from young authors who just want someone to talk shop.

I hope that I can continue to offer you all stories that capture your hearts and imaginations! Today, I just want to say thanks!  Every time you mention my book to a friend, share my Facebook posts or Tweets you are pumping new life into my crazy brain.

As long as you will all have me, I’ll be around!

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com
Facebook:          https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511255176
Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/moniqueoconnorjamesauthor
Twitter:  mjames13

Author of The Keepers – http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129226&sr=8-6

Jamais Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Jamais-Vu-ebook/dp/B005SG02FE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Deja Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-ebook/dp/B006X3133G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

The Mulligan Man – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Coming July 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing & The Watchers from Astraea Press!!!!

Free Read: The Awakening Chapters 15 and 16

Okay I owe you guys some more chapters~  I’ll get them posted promise…..Love you a bunch!  I think I also owe you some ghost stories!

Chapter 15 and 16

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers – http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129226&sr=8-6

Jamais Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Jamais-Vu-ebook/dp/B005SG02FE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Deja Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-ebook/dp/B006X3133G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

The Mulligan Man – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Coming July 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing and The Watchers from Astraea Press

The Book Demolition Derby!!! Scavenger Hunt! May 5-May 20th 2012

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 A fabulous group of authors has gotten together to offer readers the chance to win lots of signed books and PDFs for their collection!  This is amazing!  We hope you enjoy!

Here’s the scoop!  Below is a list of web addresses for each author and a question from their website.  Most of the questions come from the first page. (If a question comes from another page we will tell you where to look).

We made the questions as simple as possible.  The idea is just to visit each website.  Once you have answered all the questions email your list of answers to nique313@yahoo.com.  On May 20th, we will do a random drawing from the correct answers and you can win signed books or pdfs from these authors.  (See prizes below.)

Questions and websites:

1. http://www.moniqueoconnorjames.com/ – In what state does Monique live?

2.  http://www.kristinecheney.com/ – click on bio- what is the name of Kristine’s labra-doodle?

3. http://www.ginikoch.com/ – Making the world safer one _______ at a time.

4.  http://sellery.weebly.com/– What is the name of the anthology Miller’s Daughter was published in?

5. http://jfjenkinswrites.wordpress.com – Click graveyard – what does Jillian keep track of here?

6.  www.elainecantrell.com – Hope. Dreams.

7.  www.frederickjarceneaux.webs.com – Where is the setting of Mirrored?

8. http://eawest.mcphitty.com – What are her unusual pets?

9. http://www.lisakumar.com/ – Escape into fantasy and _______.

10. http://www.breaessex.com/ – Shadows and ________.

11. http://www.briclarkthebelleofboise.blogspot.com/oise.blogspot.com – _____ from the life of an author and speaker.

12. http://www.thesupernovasaga.com/– Who is the publisher of Supernova?

13. http://murdersandmysteries.wordpress.com/ – What kind of dog is that on Lindsay’s blog? (hint – Lassie)

14. http://www.iris-b.blogspot.com/ – Dare to live your _______.

15. http://feliciarogersauthor.webs.com/ Click on about me. For what is love without _______.

16. http://www.lisaorchard.com/ click on bio – Where did Lisa grow up?

17. http://www.nancygideon.com/ Romance by any other _____.

18. http://www.loraleelillibridge.com/ – Ordinary People….Extra-ordinary ______.

19. http://www.sherrygloag.com/ – The ______ of romance.

20. http://joselynvaughn.wordpress.com/books-sucker2.htm – The things that give me joy (and _______).

21. http://www.patriciakiyono.com/ – Escape into a great ______ _______.

PRIZES:

FIRST PLACE: 7 Signed Print Books & 3 PDFS

SECOND PLACE: 5 Signed Print Books & 3 PDFS

THIRD PLACE: 2 Signed Print Books & 3 PDFS

FOURTH PLACE: 10 PDFS

FIFTH PLACE: 7 PDFS

SIXTH PLACE: 3 PDFS

Cheers and Enjoy The giveaway!

*** PS:   I did everything I could to get the covers of the books to pull into this post and for some reason the preview button wasn’t working in wordpress!  So here is a list of the books that are being offered just in case it doesn’t work!

Print:  The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Spartan Heart, Secret Santa, Alien in the Family, Her Kind of Man, A New Dream, Mirrored, Sucker for a Hot Rod, Foreshadow, Eternal Witch, Supernova, Seeker of Shadows and All that Matters

PDFS:  His Chosen Bride, Aegean Intrigue, The Legacy, The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Spartan Heart Part One, Spartan Heart Part Two, Spartan Surrender,  Secret Santa, Unfiltered, Legend of The Oceina Dragon, Legend of the Inero Dragon, Vala Agenda, Vala Heritage, Battlefield, The Sentence, Imperfect Beauty, Through the Rabbit Hole, Foreshadow, Eternal Witch, A Body In the Attic, Emily Dahill CID, A Dog Gone Christmas, Journey to Her Dreams, Painted Lady, Love Octagon,The Super Spies – Cat & Lady Killer.

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man

& Coming Soon:  Becoming Jolie and The Watchers!!!

Win a Copy of Jamais Vu (signed) on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Jamais Vu by Monique O'Connor James

Jamais Vu

by Monique O’Connor James

Giveaway ends May 21, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

Enter to win