If you follow us on facebook or read our newsletter, you have read most things in this blog post, human, but there are a few new things we want to tell you about! (There is a new Q&A answer at the bottom of this post for those who have read it on FB or the newsletter already.)
First, I love to sleep on my living bed. The female does a very good job of staying still for my enjoyment.
I thought you might want to know about this critical fact of life.
Now, onto business!
The House Lost at Sea is now available! You can purchase it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, and Google Play. We appreciate all contributions to our treat fund. We also hope you enjoy the book.
Hint: it involves pirates. It’s more urban fantasy than paranormal romance, but we think anyone who likes pirates, uf, or pnr should like this one.
It has an octopus in it. And tiger sharks.
Not everyone will like this book, however, because it’s not the normal ha-ha funny stuffs the female often writes. (Think about it this way: if she wrote the same old same old every damned book, everyone would get bored. She hates being bored.)
She’s never going to just write the same old same old. She needs variety. That’s why sometimes she writes a male lead. Sometimes she writes a female lead. Sometimes she writes a confident lead. Sometimes she writes a character with more self-esteem issues than National Geographic. Sometimes writes psychologically themed titles. Sometimes she writes action-adventure titles.
Please don’t try to shoe horn the female into writing the same damned book every time. If she wanted cookie cutters, she’d learn how to bake.
Client from Hell: A Magically Hellish Comedy (with a body count) is now available for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo. It will release March 2, 2021. (In the original newsletter, we mistakenly typed 2020. We’re sorry.)
In case you missed what the book is about.:
Step one: add some gasoline.
Step two: light a match.
Step three: watch the devil’s house burn.
As far as plans go, Sandra Moore rather likes hers. It’s simple. It gets the job done. It reduces the devil’s house to smoldering ruins.
Life is good—at least for the year she has left of it, assuming the devil doesn’t kill her first.
Instead of the quick end and the retribution she deserves, Sandra gets the client from hell for the case of a lifetime, one that could forever change the war between the heavens and the devil’s many hells.
Thank you for writing in and messaging, humans. We’re sorry we made a goof!
But, since we have you here anyway, we’re going to answer a few questions for you! Some questions are ones we’re received. Others we’re making up because we want to answer them. Humor will be found, and so on and so on.
1: Why do you set preorders up a year in advance?
The female is an anxious and depressive beast, and money is a very real worry where she lives. (They must live in a certain area because of the male’s work.) As such, setting up preorders in advance accomplishes several things. It lets her have a good idea of how finances will look in upcoming months.
For example, not many readers are interested in the Dae Portals books. So, as such, she knows that June 2020 will be a really lean month. May 2020 has Grave Humor releasing, which is a more popular title, so she knows May will be a decent month for income. As such, she will need to reserve money from May to cover June’s lack of income.
It’s a pure issue of economics. Setting up preorders early also gives her a chance to hit something like USA Today with a new release. It’s very unlikely she will make it on her releases, but it’s a goal of hers to do this.
It’s a purely practical reason. Also, knowing which books are releasing when allow the female to better plan her work days.
In 2021, she is setting up a limited number of preorders to see how it goes, but she is expecting a great deal more stress because she won’t be able to tell which books may do well and which ones may not do well.
Because the Dae Portals first book has such low preorders, the second book will be edited only as she has time and on days off, so it will be a long time in the making. (At current preorder count, it has only paid for a fraction of the new cover art. Until the book pays its minimum expenses, there’s basically zero chance the updated second book can release.)
This is, once again, pure economics. She can’t realistically afford to pay the editor(s) for a book that just isn’t projecting to earn any money at all. Once the first Dae Portals book earns back, she will edit the second one.
Preorders help her figure out what readers are interested in buying. Readers aren’t interested in Dae Portals. Readers also aren’t all that interested in The House Lost at Sea–and that’s okay.
Should the book earn back and support itself, there will be a second one. Until that point, it goes into the pile of passion projects worked on as time and money allow.
(Writing books is expensive. On average, each book costs $2,500+ to produce, and that’s assuming the female is not paid for her time/effort. That’s only paying her staff.)
And her staff gets paid before she does.
If you don’t like preorders, that’s totally okay! She ultimately uses first week sales to judge the health of a book/series, but realistically? The preorders are a very strong indication of how well the book will perform its opening week. And after the opening week? Sales are rarely strong unless a new reader discovers her and goes on the blessed book binge. (We appreciate book binges so very much.)
2: What books are coming out in 2021?
There will be limited preorders in 2021, and they include the following:
- Client From Hell: A Magically Hellish Comedy (with a body count)
- Catnapped: A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) (Week of May 16.)
- Serial Killer Princess 2: A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count)
- Leashed I Could Do: A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count)
- Runaway: A Royal States Novel (Susan Copperfield.)
The bad news about limited preorders? Outside of Dirty Deeds (the anthology collection releasing in January,) there may not be any other books. The preorders guarantee the release. The female may very well become lazy at the cost of income. We’ll see how it goes.
The female very much wishes she were popular enough to release only a few books a year, because she works hard with few breaks.
3: What’s for dinner?
Soup of a beast.
4: What’s going on with the audiobooks?
Note: this question includes behind-the-scenes realities of being a writer, the expenses of writing, etc, if you’re not interested in that sort of stuff, please skip! Next question will be funny to make up for the blehs of this one.
List of most recent audiobooks released:
- Ginger Snapped (Bernadette Franklin)
- Bat out of Hell (Bernadette Franklin)
- Claustrophobic (Bernadette Franklin)
- Burn, Baby, Burn (R.J. Blain)
- Shammed (Bernadette Franklin)
- Bonds (Susan Copperfield)
- Storm Called (Susan Copperfield)
Note: we are aware of the dialogue issue in Chapter 18 in Burn, Baby, Burn. ACX has had the fix for weeks. We were never notified if the file was fixed or not, but they acknowledged reception of it. So, we’re sorry for the error. (As a future note, we will never be producing a dual-actor audiobook ever again as a result, so either all male/female readings will be by the same actor, or the audiobook will be skipped.)
Bringing BBB into production was hugely expensive and a logistical nightmare.
- Cold Flame (Susan Copperfield, ETA April-May)
- Water Witch
- Double Trouble
- Blood Bound
- Water Viper
Note: Water Witch is the pilot audiobook experiment for the Witch & Wolf series. If it doesn’t do well, we won’t be bringing the rest of the Witch & Wolf novels into audio. (We’re sorry. Those books will cost us $2,500-$3,500 each to bring into audiobook, so if Water Witch doesn’t do well, we can’t afford to bring them into production. We love our hearing impaired readers, along with readers who enjoy listening to books while doing chores, driving, and so on, but it’s a huge financial burden on the female and the Blain household. They need to start earning money, or that money is better spent on food, paying the rent, etc.)
The same also applies to Blood Bound and Water Viper. (Water Viper is closer to $3,500+ to bring into production.)
So, while we understand this decision may be upsetting, there’s only so far the female can justify going into the hole on audiobook production.
At current, the audiobooks are carrying somewhere around $25,000 in debt they must earn back.
So, please don’t be surprised if audiobook production is halted until the currently released titles start earning back some of that money.
5: What is the dumbest damned purchase the female has made recently?
The female loves foaming hand sanitizer by Bath & Body Works, but they typically only sell it in store. She goes to Bath & Body Works maybe once a year. As everyone was talking about hand sanitizer, and she realized her last little bottle of foamy hand sanitizer goodness was almost out, she… went on Amazon.
Three impulse purchases from the same damned vendor, and she now has ten bottles on the way.
She will be going to Bath & Body Works again in November. There will be many purchased.
Note: she buys hand sanitizer like three times a year at the grocery store, and she already had four mostly filled bottles. (One bottle a month, roughly, between hands, some cleaning tasks, etc.)
But that Bath & Body Works foaming stuff got her *good.*
She got Frozen Lake (Which smells like a wintry pine forest) and Winter, which smells like snow and some other wintry goodies.)
6: How long does it take to write a book?
It took the female 35 days of hard work to draft The Run Around, which is 116,000 words. (It went to the editor yesterday.) (And yes! The female does track her progress with the book daily in her spreadsheet. It’s very useful.)
Some of those days were partial days. Probably 5, and partial days being only 2-5 hours of the day being dedicated to the book. Let’s call it 5 days at 3 hours to be fair.
Average work day: 7-12 hours. We’ll call it 9 hours to be fair.
15 hours of work on the partial days, 270 hours on regular work days. 285 hours of work to draft the book.
She wrote 20 pages by hand. It takes her ~45 minutes to handwrite a page. That’s another 15 hours.
She probably spent 10 hours working on concepts. Another 2 hours dealing with cover design work.
The editing process will cost her another 24-48 hours of hard work. We’ll call it 36 to be fair.
That’s 346 hours on the basics to get a book from ‘concept’ to ‘ready for final proofreading.’
The final proofreading takes another 10 or so hours, so, that’s about 356 hours of work on the book preparing it for publication.
Formatting, uploading, and a bunch of little side tasks will cost her about another four hours, so for a book the length of The Run Around, it’s 360 hours of hard work to bring a book to life.
The preorder price for The Run Around is $4.99, and the book will be raised in price to $5.99 post release due to its length.
For the curious, assuming she was paid minimum wage for her area for the work, she needs to sell 1,579 copies of a book just to cover her expenses.
She averages $2,000-$2,500 per book on base expenses.
Most books she releases cover her base expenses in the opening week of its life. All staff are paid before the book releases.
It usually takes a while for the books to pay her wage for having written the title.
So, when you wonder why the female distinguishes labor of love projects and ‘pay the bill’ projects, this is why.
7: Wait… why does it only take 24-48 hours to edit a book that took you 285 hours to write?
The female does a most of her editing in the drafting phase of the writing process, so those hours are her breaking the book, fixing the book, adjusting characters, writing dialogue, fleshing the book out–it’s so much more than just ‘writing.’
It works for her, and she really, really hates rewriting a book. Hates it, preciouses.
8: What is the deal with chicken nuggets?!
The female loves them so much she growls while she eats them as a warning to others death is imminent should you touch her nuggets.
And yes, the nugget incident in Ginger Snapped was modeled from something that happened to the female when she was a teenager on a road trip.
Those nuggets really ARE made with chicken, y’all…
There was basically no research required for that one. However, Ginger dove right back into the fray against her nugget nemesis. The female… refused to touch nuggets for a period of several years after.
The female does now seek revenge against her nugget nemesis as often as possible.
Sweet and Sour Sauce or Honey, please.
P.S.: Please ignore any typos you may find in this missive. The female is having a rough day, as she is struggling to switch to writing full-time on Grave Humor rather than picking at it here and there around The Run Around.
Oh, one last thing. … will now be forever addressed as DRAMA DOTS!
That’s quite a bit more entertaining than ‘ellipses.’
Bonus Question: Why aren’t you in Kindle Unlimited?
The female doesn’t like the terms, she dislikes restricting where she may sell her books, and she gets paid substantially less. If you’re a Kindle Unlimited user and you want to read the female’s books, we recommend you request the titles from your local library. She’s in most library systems, and if they don’t use one of the digital library systems she can’t access because they’re restricted to large publishers only, they can order print books for you.
We’re sorry, but we have no intention of enrolling the books into Kindle Unlimited. It is unfair to the readers who use Barnes and Nobles, Kobo, or Apple books.
There are plenty of excellent kindle unlimited authors out there who are happy with the restrictions, so if you are unable or unwilling to purchase books, and you don’t want to make use of your local library, we recommend you go read their books instead.
Yelling at us about how we’re too expensive and how we should be in Kindle Unlimited doesn’t make us at all inclined to cater to you.
We like to eat, too.