Friday, October 25, 2013

A Little Explanation of Kickstarter

Okay, I've announced our new Ripples Effect Romance series that's coming out in March. 

I posted the fabulous covers and blurbs.

But I've been pretty quiet on one other aspect of this project. Kickstarter.

(Go here to learn  more about Kickstarter.*)

I hadn't had any exposure to Kickstarter before starting this project,and was really nervous about signing up and putting our books out there for people to fund. Isn't that what sales are for? I asked in one of our many back and forth emails with the other authors in the Ripples Effect series. I've never been a part of a project this big, and honestly didn't know how much money would go into covers, editing, marketing, fonts, etc. for six books. Nor did I understand the purpose of kickstarter.
 Rachael Anderson wrote a fantastic post about it here, and I'm going to quote a huge chunk of it because she's the one who helped me understand what a great tool Kickstarter is, and took me from being nervous about it to excited. 

"When it comes to releasing a professional book, it’s not cheap process. Not only do we authors invest a ton of time writing these stories, but we have to pay for things like cover design, editing, typesetting, marketing, etc. And because these are novellas, they will be priced low, which means an even lower royalty rate for us. We’re all entering into this project knowing we probably won’t make much money from it, and because of that, we'd love to be able to offset some of our initial costs. Kickstarter is such a great tool used by so many people in various professions (photographers, writers, artists, chefs, videographers, musicians, etc) for the purpose of raising funds to help with various projects that they feel strongly about but can't afford to do on their own.

The bottom line is this: All six of us authors don’t like how difficult it is to find clean, well written romances in the world today. It's frustrating how so many books contain sex and more sex, not to mention strong language. As a mother and person, I hate that and don't want to read books like that. I don't want those kinds of thoughts, images or words in my mind and definitely not in the minds of one of my children. Because of that, we'd like to keep contributing our small portion of fun and uplifting romances and this series is one of the ways we're trying to do that. But we also can’t afford to pour all this money and time into a project like this that we might not recoup.

That's where Kickstarter comes to play. We're hoping that there are others that feel as strongly about getting cleaner books out there as we do and wouldn't mind supporting our efforts. But at the same time, we don't want anyone to feel obligated in any way.

So, for those of you who are interested, if you would like to donate to our project (and get some free advanced copies of the books in return), wonderful. If you can't afford to donate but would still like to support us by posting about our project on your blog or FB or Twitter or wherever, we'd love that too. If you'd prefer not to do either, no worries--really! This project will come to fruition regardless of whether or not we raise the money. We feel that strongly about this series of books and the potential good it will do."

If you'd like to read more about this project, see what incentives we're offering, or find out how Kickstarter works, feel free to check out our Ripples Effects Romance page by clicking on the picture below:

So, I guess the point of this post is that I wanted to show you a little of my journey on how I came to really appreciate Kickstarter and see the value of it for creative projects which are needed, but have to have funding to come to fruition. If you have any questions about it (believe me, I did) just drop me at email at kayleebaldwin at gmail. If you get a chance, check out the link. For donating money, we're giving you e-copies, paperbook copies, signed copies, etc and going to work hard to get them to you before anyone else.
THANK YOU for everyone who has been excited about this project and has supported us through emails, tweets, blog posts, and kickstarter.

 We're all very excited for these novellas to come out and your enthusiasm has been amazing!

*Here's an explanation of Kickstarter from Wikipedia."Kickstarter is an American-based private for-profit company founded in 2009 that provides tools to raise funds for creative projects via crowd funding through its website.Kickstarter has funded a diverse array of endeavors, such as filmsmusicstage showscomicsjournalismvideo games, and food-related projects. People cannot invest in Kickstarter projects to make money. They can only back projects in exchange for a tangible reward or one-of-a-kind experience, like a personal note of thanks, custom T-shirts, dinner with an author, or initial production run of a new product.There are thirteen categories that are included (with many more subcategories). They are: Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film and Video, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology and Theater."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mile 21 Blog Tour and Interview

From Back Cover:
The singles ward is the last place Abish wants to be. But after the unexpected death of her husband (and after being kicked out of her mom’s place), she has to move into single-student housing to finish up her schooling. Maybe training for a marathon and winning the heart of the handsome executive secretary are exactly what Abish needs to get a personal best.

My Review: 
I LOVED this book. I could not put it down. 

I've been in kind of a reading slump lately--where the last 4 or 5 books I've picked up, I either stopped reading about -way through, or finished them but was left feeling "meh."

When I started reading Mile 21, I had no idea what it was about, but it immediately suckered me in. It is so emotional and heart-wrenching and I had to see what happened to Abish. The back cover blurb makes it sound more romancy than it is. I wouldn't necessarily call this a romance... more an LDS women's fic with a strong romantic subplot, because ultimately, this book is not about the love story with Abish and Bob, it's about whether or not Abish will finally find healing in the end. 

I love a good healing story. So, so much. This book was right up my alley. I cried for so much of it--but I didn't feel trashed at the end. Kind of cleansed. Do you ever feel like you just need a good cry? The day I picked this up, I was having a hard day, I cried for Abish, and I set the book down and felt happier--like I'd needed this emotional purging and this book gave me the outlet to do it.

Would I recommend it? Yes. Already have and I know of one person who has bought and read it off my recommendation and really liked it.

The Interview:
Kaylee: Where did the idea for this story come from?

Sarah: Well, I have gone through some difficulty in my life. At one point I was pretty stressed out trying to manage everything expected of me in the aftermath of some pretty intense events that lead to me being a single parent, full-time employee and student at the same time. Let me just say, I was not always the most friendly or normal person to be around! I look back on that time with regret, but at the same time, cannot think how I'd change anything. Sometimes people just have stress and do the best they can, and need some slack as they work on recovering. So part of the reason I wrote this book was to give people a glimpse into the mind of someone who has dealt with unimaginable tragedy & isn't coping too well. I feel like we need to see each others' pain a little so we can understand and appreciate each other better.  I also love the process of healing, and I feltl like experiencing a healing process along with my main character, Abish, would be an inspiring thing for people. 

Tell me a little about your writing process. (Are you an outliner/pantster/hybrid, how long does a ms take you, do you edit as you go or plunk out a first draft then go back and edit)

I outline, and then my characters take over sometimes and I re-outline, and then I go back and cut out large chunks of the first third of my story and re-outline... I guess you could say I let my story grow but I have a general direction I want it to be. But sometimes that changes, and I go back and figure out what that means by planning again. So definitely a hybrid. 

 Are you a part of a critique group? If so, how does your group work.

I am, though I have not been able to attend regularly for the past several months, which I am very sad about.  They are an amazing group of people with a lot of knowledge about different types of writing and style. I have become a much better writer, having associated with them. Sorry, I'm gushing. I just love my critique group. We all bring 7 pages/10 minutes of material, read our own & pass out copies for others to mark up. Then each person will take a moment or two to say what they like & what they feel could be improved.  

4) Are you planning any sequels? Are you working on a new book right now? If so, what genre?

Yes. I am writing a sequel to Lightning Tree right now. That's historical fiction. I've considered taking some of the characters from this story, Mile 21, and following up with sequels about them eventually as well.  

 What are some of your favorite books?

I love children's fantasy literature. Joan Aiken, the Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Madeleine L'Engle. I also love Elizabeth Peters. She writes such strong, interesting, and hilarious female characters. I tend to be drawn to books with a strong flavor, or great character development. I also love Harry Potter.  

Tell me about your first book.

It's a story about a French-Italian girl who traveled from Italy with her family to join the Saints in Utah after their conversion. The parents die on the trail, and she & her sister are adopted by an American family. The story comes into play four years after their deaths, when she finds a secret that makes her doubt and fear her foster family. There is a lot of historical background--the Mountain Meadows Massacre, being the main thing.  It's a historical mystery story.  

Thanks for letting me read it!

Thank you!!   

Check it out on Amazon and Goodreads.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Awesome Writing Conference

Have you heard of this conference?

I went to it a few years ago, and it was great. It has a boutique conference feel--very intimate, small class sizes--and has amazing editors and agents to pitch to. Scroll down to see who's going to be there this year.

I just signed up for this year. I hope to see you there!

Go here to sign up.

Valentines Contest to Win $75 and 7 Books!

I'm a part of an amazing Valentines Giveaway to win $75 or these seven e-books: Her life had just begun, but his had already ende...