My Writing Process–Blog Tour #2

I was tagged by author D. R. Johnson to take part in the Writing Process Blog Tour. Debra and I both wrote a short for the horror/paranormal anthology Off the Beaten Path. Debra’s zombie series The Phoenix Curse is getting rave reviews, and the first title, After – Part One is currently free for the grab, if you want to give it a try.

Now, I’ll answer my 4 questions for the second time—I was tagged the first time a few months back:

1) What are you working on?

I am currently writing The Hidden Demon, the fourth title in The Immortals series. At the same time, I am waiting for my editor to send me back the third in the series, while I am preparing the ARC copy of the second. Meanwhile, I am marketing, marketing, marketing my existing titles. Little sleep and tons of espresso.

2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?

The Lost Centurion was compared to Gena Showalter’s paranormal novels, but I guess what makes my stories in The Immortals series different is the Roman setting. My flawed heroes live and fight in modern days Rome, and the city is as much a character as the immortals, vampires, and shifters populating it.

Love is Love Always3) Why do you write what you do?

I love writing about tormented love stories, and passions so pure they are everlasting. I like to dream with my eyes wide open.

4) How does your writing process work?

With The Immortals series, I have changed the way I write. I used to sit down and let the Muse inspire me. Now, I plan the story chapter by chapter, outlining everything from characters’ development to plot. It takes me days, if not weeks, to define the whole project, but when I’m done with the outline, I am able to write from 2k to 6k words a day.

My Writing Process–Blog Tour #2

Permafree: The Voyage, Week 5

 The Priest is still gathering a handful of downloads every day, enough to pop in and out of the free bestseller chart on a daily basis.

84 Downloads in April so far in the USA Best Sellers Rank: #7,434 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

15 downloads so far in UK. Bestsellers Rank: #4,176 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

1 download in Canada Bestsellers Rank: #5,652 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

On Smashwords, 194 downloads so far.

Permafree: The Voyage, Week 5

Permafree: The Voyage, Week 4

I can’t believe a month has already passed by since Amazon matched The Priest’s price to free. The month of April has been sleepy in the downloads department, 36 so far, but even one or two of them at day make a difference in climbing the science fiction and dystopian category. Again, this is a marathon not a sprint.

Following several marketing suggestions I was given by both Julia Hughes and Sean Campbell, I have lowered the price of all my books to $2.99, and they will be soon out of kindle select and available on every platform through Smashwords. Best Sellers Rank: #7,346 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store) Bestsellers Rank: #10,239 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

Permafree: The Voyage, Week 4

Pretty Words: A Practical Guide to Formatting for Online Publishing– The Importance of Formatting #2

Formatting eBooks is very different from formatting for print and has different requirements. When formatting a book for print you know exactly what the end product is going to look like. As an example, for a print book you will know:

· The size of the pages in inches or millimeters

· The size of the font

· Line spacing, indent and margins

· The number of pages

· Where exactly each chapter starts and ends

Since every printed copy of a specific book looks exactly like the others, you can format your work with that in mind and optimize as much as you can for readability. As a formatter you have full control of what the reader will actually see and experience throughout your print book.

This is quite different for eBooks.

In the case of eBooks you know pretty much nothing:

· The book might be read on a small phone or a large tablet changing the size of the page itself and how much text you can fit on it

· The reader might want to pick different font sizes and styles based on her or his personal preference

· The reader might pick different column layouts or multiple columns per page

· The concept of a “page number” loses most of its meaning due to all the factors above

AT this point you might ask “why should I spend any time formatting my eBook?”

Most eBook readers, like the Amazon Kindle devices, will allow the reader to control these aspects of the reading experience providing the user with unprecedented control compared to the traditional paper medium. Readers will expect your eBook to behave in a certain way when changing font sizes or font faces.

On the side you can see an example of the text appearance dialog for Amazon’s Kindle Fire clip_image002[54]HDX. From here you can control the text size, the background, the margins, line spacing and the font face. In some Kindle apps you can also control the number of text columns per page.

Common issues with a poorly formatted eBook are fonts not resizing or font face not changing despite the reader changing the settings, problems with font color like a white font on a white background, problems with pictures being too big or too small, etc.

This is in my opinion a bad experience. Some books might have a need for fixed formatting, with a specific font and font size. In those cases it’s really important to understand that the reader might be confused and due to the extremely large number of devices and screen sizes, you might run into formatting issues that actually make your book harder to read. Not something you generally want.

Formatting an eBook is a crucial aspect of the publishing workflow and needs to be taken seriously to make your product look professional and provide the reader with a great reading experience.

The formatting workflow looks something like this:

· Preparing the content for formatting

· Assembling the book content: cover, front matter, content, back matter

· Adding content navigation

· Adding the eBook metadata

· Testing the eBook

After successfully testing the eBook you will have your content ready for publishing.

Next article will start looking at how to prepare your content for formatting and make your life easier. See you soon. If in the meantime you have any questions, feel free to hit me on Twitter @robertoruggeri

clip_image002_thumbAbout me: I am a technology freak, that’s pretty much it. I spent pretty much all my life in Information Technology. I started working for Microsoft in 1998 and I am still there making up the future of Xbox. When I am off work I play videogames, but every day that goes on I feel more like a videogame collector, I wish I could play them all. I am an amateur photographer, a Canon guy really, and a comic book collector, X-Men FTW! You can find me on twitter, Xbox and PlayStation Network and I have some photos up on Flickr if you want to connect.

Pretty Words: A Practical Guide to Formatting for Online Publishing– The Importance of Formatting #2

Permafree: The Voyage, Day Five

Although The Priest is losing positions in ranking, day 5 went better than day 4 in terms of downloads.

It started with 907 downloads:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,105 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

It ended with 992 downloads:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,207 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

There were also 2 new downloads at Smashwords, for a total of 145.

Permafree: The Voyage, Day Five

Linda of the Night: Free Promo

My sweet, YA short love story, Linda of the Night, will be free for three days, starting today. Advertising a short isn’t easy. Although people love stories that can be read in one setting, very few sites are prone to feature them. So far, I have heard back only from Great Books Great Deals and eBookSoda. This morning, I woke to the pleasant surprise of Linda entering the 100 free list in the Teen & Young Adults Romance category, which it means that other sites must have accepted and promoted my short as well. Cheers.

Linda First Day Promo Valentine 2014 Detail

Linda of the Night: Free Promo

Omnibus Cover for The Ginecean Chronicles #1

Outside is foggy and grayer than usual. I’ve been waiting for a few sites to answer me back so I can plan my next book promotion, and so I had a few hours of idle time and started working on a possible cover for an omnibus. This is the first attempt.

The Ginecean Chronicles

Omnibus Cover for The Ginecean Chronicles #1

Blurb Time for Gaia


I was going to call this post a Friday Snippet, but then I reconsidered and decided to be honest about the content of today’s blogging endeavor. Gaia is ready for proofreading and I am having abandonment issues. Plus, I had to write Gaia’s blurb, which for an author is the equivalent of giving birth without epidural, a long and painful affair. After several hours of deep cogitation, this is what I could manage. I expect to work on it some more, but that is always the case with anything I do.

Gaia & Elios

While vacationing in Greece, Gaia locks eyes with a stranger, twice. Two years later, back in Rome, she should be enjoying college life, instead, the memories of his lapis lazuli eyes and Mona Lisa smile still haunt her. Gaia longs to meet him again and unwittingly sabotage her romantic life by refusing to move on. Only her anthropological studies about the mysterious Etruscans make her feel alive. A chance to breathe new air is presented to her when she wins full scholarship to study abroad at the University of Washington. In rainy Seattle, Gaia finally meets the man of her dreams, but he proves to be… otherworldly. Meanwhile, in her field of studies, what starts as an interesting archeological finding about a six-fingered human image, soon evolves in the discovery of the millennium, but not where Earth is concerned.

Blurb Time for Gaia

The Priest: Fifth Day of Promotion

Ranking Fine Promozione Settembre 2013*

Five days of asking, begging, cajoling people into downloading The Priest for free have ended. Free promotion isn’t for the faints of heart, but my final numbers* are worth the 24/7 tour de force, which started with the planning of the promo and lasted for almost four weeks. Eventually, 4500 copies of my book were downloaded in five days. During those days, The Priest reached top 100 bestsellers and maintained that position for almost a day. It was first in Dystopian and second in Adventure, and stayed on the podium in both categories for the last three days of the promotion. It reached first position in Science Fiction/Adventure on, and second and third on and Four 5* reviews were left on Amazon, and Pax and Prince, currently $5.99, sold several copies. As suggested by my betters, The Priest will be temporarily $0.99 to ride the tail of the promotion, and I already saw the benefit of such strategy. Now, it’s back to writing and editing.

The Priest: Fifth Day of Promotion

The Priest: Third Day of Promotion

#4 in Dystopian with Wool by the side on Settembre 2013

Still alive and reporting for duty. Today, The Priest’s promo is featured on Ereader News Today, ENT. Authors who have been picked up by ENT swear it makes a huge difference in the downloading department. I will tell you later. At noon, The Priest is still #4 in Dystopian on, and those are my numbers in terms of downloads:

USA         1598

England   56

Germany 37

France      0

Spain         1

Italy          15

Japan         0

India           4

Canada       10

Brazil          0

Mexico       0

The Priest: Third Day of Promotion