Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wicked Ink Cover Reveal and Contest


It's almost time!

This Monday, February 1st the authors of Wicked Ink are revealing the book cover of our first anthology: Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time.

So stay tuned for the big reveal and enter to win our 100.00 giftcard and signed book giveaway.

Contest by Rewards Fuel.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reading and Discussuion: Arapahoe Community College

February 1st at 4:00pm, I'll be here:

The Arapahoe Community College Writers Studio Student Club Presents:
Writing the YA Novel with Rebecca Taylor

Join the winner of the 2014 Colorado Book Award in Young Adult Fiction, Rebecca Taylor, author of Ascendant, Midheaven, and The Exquisite and Immaculate Grace of Carmen Espinoza, for an afternoon discussion and reading of her work.

February 1st at 4:00 p.m. in Room 4730 Main ACC Campus. Free Event for All ACC Students.
Writers Studio Student Club meet the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 4-5:00 p.m. in Room 4730. For details or to get on the club email list, contact Club President Ahja Fox at afox37@student.cccs.edu

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Giveaway--25.00 Amazon Gift Card and Two Signed Books

In case you're not already aware...

I give away a 25.00 Amazon gift card every month to one of my newsletter subscribers and signed copies of my books. If you're not already a subscriber, here is your chance to get in on the action before my January giveaway.

It's simple--sign up for my monthly newsletter here.

I respect my readers and NEVER share their information with third parties or abuse your email inbox with spam. Also, when you sign up I send you a free ebook of Ascendant.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Do What You Love With Who You Love (as much as possible)

Me and Rod, Hawaii 1997. Our second trip together. First was Las Vegas four months earlier.
I was on the computer last night, finalizing plans for our three week trip to Europe this summer, when a moment of personal clarity washed over me.

THIS is what I love to do.

And by THIS I mean TRAVELING. Which, when I look back retrospectively, shouldn't be at all surprising given my childhood (growing up in a military and thus mobile family), the years I spent bouncing from place to place in my late teens and early twenties, the years I spent working as both a domestic and international flight attendant for United Airlines, and all the trips Rod and I have taken both before and since we had kids--seeing the world has always been a huge part of my life and has provided tons of inspiration, and experiences, for my writing.
This last weekend, Rod and I found ourselves in a bizarre and unfamiliar situation--both our children were away, having fun with other people, at the exact same time and for the entire day.

Still in sleepwear, sipping coffee, standing in a silent house, our confused eyes met, "Well what the hell do we do now?" I asked.

Within half an hour we were in downtown Denver at the Union Train Station, sipping Irish coffees and waiting for our breakfast table at Snooze. It felt like a glimpse into our very near future, and it definitely got us talking.

In five years, we realized, many of our days would look much like this one.

And as many parents feel, I'm sure, the prospect was both sad and exhilarating. We imagined the transition out of daily parenthood might be as painful as the transition into it--but long before we had kids, Rod and I had each other--and together we loved to travel.

Short trips, long trips, near trips, far trips--we love to see and experience the world. It's a value we both hold dear and are hopefully instilling in our children as we drag them from planes, to trains, and cars that drive on the opposite side of the road, all the while teaching them to pack light and the enormous convenience of getting it all in one carry-on suitcase.

So this weekend, as we sat, and ate, and ordered Bloody Marys, we conspired about our future and what that might look like when it was again just us. It looked mobile, it looked exciting, it looked like it happened all over the world. But probably most important, it looked like it happened between two people who had lived, loved, and supported each other for 25 years--making many more memories doing what they love best.   

Saturday, January 16, 2016

My 2015 Self Publishing Sales

2015 was the year I fully embraced self-publishing and started to think about my writing from not only the creation perspective, but also from the small business and sales perspective.

It has been, to say the least, liberating.

But along with all the liberation comes the responsibility of managing your business and tracking things. You know, like money. Money spent, money earned--exciting nail biting suspense, let me tell you.

Okay, not at all exciting. But I would say pleasantly rewarding and empowering--I'm sure many other self-publishers can relate.

Having said all that, I recently sat down and ran all the numbers and figured out exactly how much money I have made since redesigning and uploading all my current books under my own imprint, Ophelia House, in 2015. And here are the numbers:

(based on data from 3/2015-12/2015)

Royalties from Kindle sales: 129.06
Royalties from Nook sales: 10.11
Royalties from Kobo sales: 0.00
Compensation from Lightning Source US print sales: 148.00
Compensation from Lightning Source UK print sales: 2.34
Hand sales (after cost): 306.00

Grand Total: 595.51 (This is the total money I earned based on royalties from Amazon and publisher compensation from Lightning Source for books ordered from retailers.)

Yes, I'm rolling for sure!

Now I suppose some people may feel depressed by a number like this, but honest to God, I was really excited to see that I had earned almost 600.00 dollars from my self-published books last year. I would add that not all my titles were available in March, that was when I had Ascendant up and ready to go after I got the rights back from my small publisher. Midheaven wasn't up until June and The Exquisite and Immaculate Grace of Carmen Espinoza wasn't available until early October.

2015 was really about getting everything set up and making the books available. That 600.00 was based on practically zero marketing beyond Facebook and a few events where I spoke and sold books.

Furthermore, it may interest you to know that in previous years with my small press, the royalties from them amounted to less than 200.00 in total per year.

And, based on my calculations, 600.00 is for sure greater than 200.00

So what will I do with a number like this?

It's baseline data as far as I'm concerned. Remember when I said earlier that self-publishing was, for me, really the start of taking my small business, Ophelia House, more seriously? Well 600.00 is now my starting point to compare compensation growth for 2016. Yes, in 2016 I have a goal to increase my personal compensation from my book sales by 100%, which would mean that in 2016 I plan to earn a whopping 1200.00 from the sales of my books.

Now of course I would love to massively increase this number much faster--but I thought that a 100% increase in compensation was a reasonable place to start.

And for those of you that really know business--No, this endeavor does not yet earn enough money to support itself. These numbers do not take into account costs that I have incurred (design, editing services, etc, and so forth.) I'm not there yet, but part of my plan for 2016 is for me to be able to stop supporting my self publishing business with the funds from my day job career (psychologist) and be in a place to pay for any needed services from the money earned from book sales.

Baby business steps for sure.

Anyway, I was excited to:
1. Finally have access to all my sales data and see the reality for the first time
2. Use this data to make a plan for future growth
3. Feel for the first time ever like I was in control of the business side of my writing life

So I hope this is helpful for any writers that are self-pub curious or maybe even feeling bad about not making a ton of money from self publishing. In my mind, this endeavor is a marathon and not a sprint--for sure--and I fully expect that MISTAKES WILL BE MADE. But so far, I'm learning, growing, and meeting amazing people on the way.

This is the happiest I have ever been as a writer.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Regis University: Book Reading and Signing

I'll be reading and signing books tonight at Regis University along with three other amazingly talented writers.

Please come enjoy the evening with us!

Tonight! Readings by Mile-High MFA Core Faculty Members, Rebecca Taylor, Khadijah Queen, Andrea Rexilius, and Eleanor...

Posted by Mile-High MFA on Saturday, January 9, 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

Cover Reveal: Affective Needs

Available July 2016--Preorder here

Here it is! The cover for my new young adult contemporary--Affective Needs. Thank you to every single one of my newsletter subscribers who offered feedback, as well as to all my fellow Wicked Ink Writers (see right sidebar for links to their individual sites.)

When my usual cover designer said she was not going to be able to get at what I was really looking for in a concept, well, I'm not going to lie--I panicked just a little bit. She's done ALL MY COVERS.

I considered searching around for a new designer, I mean, it's not like I don't know PLENTY of writers who have good people to recommend.

But then I started playing around in Photoshop--and this happened. Now I know AUTHORS SHOULD NEVER DESIGN THEIR OWN COVERS--they are notoriously bad at it. I know this, truly. Having acknowledged my own writer stupidity, I also realized that this cover was the first impression I really wanted to communicate about this particular book.

It pretty much perfectly sums up Ruth and Porter's circumstances in life and the relationship they have together.

Still--I asked my newsletter subscribers and fellow Wicked Ink Writers for their opinions before deciding this was THE ONE.

AFFECTIVE NEEDS: Preorder here

Ninety-two days. That’s all that’s left. Just ninety-two days and Ruth Robinson, calculus genius, will stand with her arms raised in a triumphant V as the valedictorian of Roosevelt High. With her early admit to Princeton’s Neuroscience program burning a hole in her pocket, Ruth can hardly wait to show her fellow teenage troglodytes that while she didn’t have followers, friends, or “times” in basements, she was the one ending up on top.

All she needs to do is white knuckle her way through this “waiting place” last semester and then, finally, she’ll be “on her way!!” just like Dr. Seuss promised. Except, the first day back from winter break, Porter Creed shows up. Porter is a special education transfer—Affective Needs. And just like all the other desk flippers and chair throwers in the affective needs classroom, Porter has some major emotional problems. He is exactly the type of kid Ruth’s mother always deals with—because Ruth’s mother is the school psychologist. But when Porter strolls onto Ruth’s home turf, Advanced Calculus, and disrupts her axis by being both gorgeous and the only person better at math than her—Ruth begins to realize that maybe John Lennon was right, life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.


In case you didn't already know, ASCENDANT is FREE on Amazon from now until Sunday, January 3rd. Tell your friends!

Happy 2016!!!