Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Reader Question: Why Do I Write?

I have an active relationship with my readers and try to respond to every one of their questions and comments about my books and/or writing in general. One of the most recent that a subscriber to my mailing list asked was: "Why do you write?"

I think there must be a ton of reasons why people gravitate towards writing books. There are also all sorts of judgments that get placed on those reasons, as if some reasons could be more worthy than others. But here are mine, starting with why I don't. 

I don't write because I hope to be famous some day...because I honestly think that being famous must suck--seriously suck. I'm a pretty private person. I realize this might seem like a contradiction to my actions seeing as I do more than the average person when it comes to putting myself out there for the public to see (teaching, signings, facebook, twitter, blogs, wattpad, goodreads, mailing list) but if you want anyone to read your books, and I do, these are really the essentials unless you're a well known writer with a huge fan base buying your books shelved in the giant box stores (and, um...I'm not.) So while I do quite a bit on social media, I'm still in the real world showing up at Target looking like I'm on my way to or from the gym. Who wants to be recognized while looking like that?

I don't write because I hope to be rich some day. Now I do think being rich would have some amazing side effects on my life (I would travel all the time and everywhere) but I'm smart enough to realize that this is a highly unlikely thing to ever happen. And yet, I write anyway.

I don't write because I hope to feel more important or more accomplished...seriously. I have enough responsibility between being a parent and working in special education to ever doubt myself in those arenas. Furthermore, once you realize how many people HAVE written a book, or multiple books even, this particular milestone starts to feel a little, "me too!"

So, it's not about being rich, famous, or important. What is it? Because I spend a ridiculous amount of time pursuing a writing career for these things to not matter.

I write because I enjoy it. I enjoy thinking up characters, settings, conflicts, and then working to piece them all together--like a puzzle really.

I also write because I have always been a huge readers--I LOVE BOOKS. I love the experiences I have with other writers through their work. I have cherished being on the receiving end of those experiences and I want to be on the giving side as well. I swear to all that is holy, when I read a comment, email, or review that says something like, "OMG, I loved this book!" my heart melts. Not because I think it means I'm an extra special writer (because I'm not) but because the book I thought of, created, and sent out into the world gave another reader an experience that they treasured.

The same experience that I'm always hunting for as a reader.

That is why I write.

Do you have any questions for me? Send them to: rebecca (at) rrtaylor (dot) com or just put them in the comment section below.

Are you on my mailing list yet? I give away a free copy of Ascendant to every person that signs up. You will be entered in my gift card giveaways every month and will be among the first to know when I have a new book, event, or special going on. Sign up here No spam, EVER. Spam is evil.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

It's Here--Midheaven is on Sale

That's right! Finally you can get book 2 in the Ascendant Trilogy.

It's officially on sale in Kindle and Nook at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes and Noble, just click your preferred link above.

For my paperback lovers, that's going to take just a weee bit longer (uploading files, and getting proofs takes more time) but I'm thinking those will probably be available next week.

All my newsletter subscribers found out yesterday. If you would like to be "in the know" you can sign up here .

Happy reading!



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Giveaway: $25.00 Amazon or B&N

In celebration of Midheaven's imminent release, I'm doing a giveaway for all my newsletter subscribers this Sunday, June 14th.

Two lucky winners will receive...

  •  A 25.00 gift card to either Amazon or B&N (winner's choice)
  • Signed copies of both Ascendant and Midheaven
So YES, free things (I do so love free things ;-)

Entry is sooooo simple, just sign up for my newsletter below (We value your privacy and would never spam you--I swear.) And if you're already a subscriber, then you're already entered in this giveaway and every other giveaway I ever do for ETERNITY (unless you unsubscribe, of course.)

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Cover Reveal--Midheaven

It's almost here! (and by "it" I mean MIDHEAVEN!!)

Yes, finally, finally I have had days of uninterrupted work, work, work and I expect all the "buy" buttons to be up and ready by the end of next week.

I can hardly believe it.

So I can now share the gorgeous cover for the second book in the Ascendant trilogy.

I lurv my cover designer--seriously. This is our 4th cover together and we have the BEST working relationship. Lucky writer girl.

Oh, and here's the back copy:
As Above, So Below

As the direct descendant of Francis Bacon (aka Shakespeare) Charlotte is the next Ascendant. She is destined to teach mankind the secret mysteries of alchemy.

If only she knew what those were.

With her father’s stone box, and her mother’s first key, Charlotte will quest around the world to solve the puzzle and reveal its secret.

Unless Emerick gets her first.  

Short, sweet, to the point. I will let you know as soon as it's available for purchase.

Of course, my newsletter subscribers will know first, so please don't forget to sign up. I'll even make it easy for you, you can do it right here!

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

What I'm Writing This Summer



Sorry, I just get a bit excited about this.

I love my work as a psychologist, and I'm good at my job, but I love working as a writer as well. Reconciling these two careers, as in TIME, can be challenging. Not impossible, clearly, because I DO IT. But I always love when this time of year arrives because I don't have to try and balance two roads--I erect a road block in my brain for my day job and drive one hundred and twenty miles an hour down Writer Road.

It's pretty awesome :-)

Thursday night I was meeting with one of my two book club groups and I was asked, "So, now you have all this time, what are you working on now?"

Now usually, summer is the time for me to knock out most of the first draft of a book. And, I have three solid new book ideas that I am DYING to get started on. I love them all--seriously.

However, I am not allowed to even glance in their direction until a few other things happen first. What are those things? Basically, I have to clean up after my other projects.

1. Finish laying out Midheaven and kick that baby out of the fricken nest (like within the next week)

2. Get the print version of The Exquisite and Immaculate Grace of Carmen Espinoza set up in InDesign and uploaded to Lighting Source (by the end of June) so the physical book can be ready for purchase

3. Finish edits for Affective Needs and decide what is the right thing to do with this book (a few editors are quietly considering this title--we are VERY hopeful about this but also not holding our breath--so we'll see) 

I have promised myself, nothing new until all of these things are squared away. This is soooo hard because I LOVE starting new projects--very exciting times!--but this also gives me a huge motivation for shoring up these loose ends.

And I now have ALL THE TIME--we are delirious with joy.

I'll keep you posted so you know when Midheaven is ready but, I'm still really trying to grow my newsletter audience. So, if you'd like to get an email as soon as the book is ready to buy, please sign up for my MailChimp list (top of the right side bar--------->>>>>>^^^^^^^^^) Thanks!

As an incentive, I will be running a 25.00 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card giveaway next week (winner's choice) only for my newsletter subscribers--so if you like book money, sign up!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Share Your Short Story With My Readers

Would you like to share your short story with my readers?

Starting this week, I am looking for short stories to share with the amazing, supportive, book loving, subscribers of my newsletter. I will select one story per week that will be delivered on Saturday. Here's the deal:

  • Preferably Young Adult
  • Preferably less than 1000 words (although I'm flexible with word count)
  • Submit only one story (or book excerpt) per week
  • Deadline is Thursday at midnight
If you're interested, send your story as a Word doc (attachments are fine) to:

Rebecca (at) rrtaylor (dot) com with "Short Story" in the subject line. Please be sure to include your author name and any of your social media links that you would like included.

If this works out, I will be sending out one selected story per week every Saturday. 

Love to read fresh and entertaining stories for free? Not a subscriber yet? No problem! We can take care of that here. (never, ever, ever spam--because spam sucks!)

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Also! The Exquisite and Immaculate Grace of Carmen Espinoza is only .99 cents--This week only :-)
Get your copy here.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reedsy--Connecting Indie Writers and Freelance Publishing Professionals

Hiring freelance editing and design services can be a huge stress for many self-publishing authors. 

Many indie authors I know (including myself) are really struggling to find quality freelance editors and designers that are within their budget. Usually we hear about someone from someone else, and we might eventually track this person down and try to communicate our basic needs while hoping we aren't going to be completely taken advantage of by an "editor" who is not really that great of an "editor" in the first place.

Never mind the fact that when hiring contract work of any kind, you really should be getting multiple quotes from a variety of professionals--are you kidding? Do you know how hard it was for me to just find and contact ONE freelance editor?

My thoughts on the matter were this, "Wouldn't it be great if it was easier to find and hire good editorial help? Something like Angie's List...yes, that's it I think. Is there something out there, a connecting place where independent writers could research, connect with, and possibly hire an editor that was great instead of floundering around in the dark relying on personal recommendations from other writers?"

Sometimes when I ask, the Universe answers right away. Seriously, within hours of me thinking about this problem I received an email from Thomas du Plessis. Thomas is in charge of publishing, marketing, and communications at Reedsy.

Right away Reedsy had my attention. First off, because I had just been wondering if there was a service like this on the market, and second, the business model looked like it was actually designed to help indie authors, not take advantage of them.

So what is Reedsy?

In a nutshell, Reedsy is a curated marketplace where authors can go to shop for industry professionals. Right now their listings are for editors and cover designers.

Editing services include:
  • Content Editing
  • Copy Editing
  • Editorial Assessment
  • Proofreading

Design services include:
  • Interior Design
  • Cover Design
  • Illustration
  • Typographers
What is a curated marketplace? Ricardo Fayet, co-founder of Reedsy along with Emmanuel Nataf, explains in an interview on the Triskele Books Blog that, as of September 2014, they had received approximately 3000 applications from freelance editors, proofreaders, and designers--as of January 2015 they had accepted only 200 to be included on their site.

"The broad vision behind Reedsy is to invent a publishing model that combines the quality of traditional publishing while keeping the freedom and business model of self-publishing." 

Basically, not just any "publishing professional" can be included. Freelancers apply to be listed on the site and those applications are reviewed. Each professional includes examples of work they've done in the past. Many, if not most, of the current freelancers listed have extensive experience in traditional publishing.

What does this mean for the already spread thin indie author? Basically Reedsy can serve as a one-stop shop for editing and design in a simple to navigate platform. Even I was able to figure it out without getting stressed! :-)

How does it work? First you set up a basic profile for yourself.

Next, you can browse the marketplace by filtering for what you are looking for (editorial or design) and you can tighten that filter further by selecting the specific type of editing/design you need as well as genre (freelancers that have more experience in working with romance, sci-fi, YA--you get the idea.)

Then, select up to five professionals you're interested in possibly working with and request a quote from them.

The entire process is handled within the site's platform and it was seriously one of the easiest I have yet to encounter in all my self-publishing endeavors.

I tried the site myself and requested quotes from three editors for copy editing services. Within twenty-four hours I had two professional quotes with free examples of their work based on the small writing sample I had uploaded. As of writing this post, I have yet to hear from the third editor, but because I had set the quote deadline for next week, he still has time. 

How much does it cost? Reedsy charges the freelancers 10% of the freelancer/author agreed upon rate. There are no other costs for using the service at this time.

So what were the quotes I've received thus far? The first quote came in at $1600.00 for a 100,000 word manuscript. The second quote suggested that I didn't need full copy editing (which is more expensive) but rather proofreading--their cost for this came in at 500.00. I'm still waiting for the third. Both quotes also provided me with a time frame for being able to start and complete the project based on their current workloads/schedules.

Honestly, if you're looking to self-publish and don't already have an experienced team of editing and design professionals that you love working with, Reedsy might be a good place to start looking for them. 

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