Jasmine Angell's Blog

Imagination is freedom…on writing, self-publishing and all things fantasy


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Top 10 Things I’m Going to Do Now That My Sequel Has Been Published

Those of you who have published a book know how many long, arduous months go into preparing it for publication. For me, only the few priorities in daily life get done during that time and everything else gets pushed aside to a later date. Even though I took the time to celebrate the release of Prism with family and friends and I’m currently in the promoting/marketing stage, my stress level has decreased drastically and I have more time in my day for real life. So I thought it would be kinda fun to list off all the things that I’ve been putting off for the last six months and maybe it would help focus me so I could accomplish them all before I got too busy with my next writing project.

 
Here Are the Top 10 Things (in no particular order):

 
1) Catch up on my blog. I have a backlog of blog topics. My problem is not that I don’t have ideas for blog posts, I write plenty of them. My problem is that I don’t have the time to read back through them, edit and polish so that they’re suitable for posting on my blog. I hope to start posting them regularly this summer, especially about my creative cakes!  Yes, I’ve been baking!

 

2) Redbox. I’m going to catch up on all the DVDs I’ve been wanting to rent, especially since summer started. I haven’t had time for much entertainment lately.

 

3) Clean out my closet of clothes. Having had two kids in the past five years, I have all sizes of clothes clogging my closet: pregnancy clothes, post-pregnancy clothes, my pre-pregnancy clothes I’ve been holding onto and now that I fit into them again, I find that they are outdated and not worth wearing. Most of my clothes need to be donated to Goodwill. Once there’s more room in my closet, I can start the arduous task of buying new clothes. Shopping doesn’t come naturally to me, at all.

 

4) Make a really nice dinner for my husband. The preparation of dinner undoubtedly has fallen near the bottom of the priority list and I’ve fallen into a rut of cooking fast meals like hot dogs, frozen fish fillets, spaghetti, frozen potstickers…you get the idea. It’s time for something special.

 

5) Create more storage space on my cell phone. I’m horrible at deleting the pics and videos I take on my cell phone since they automatically download to my computer (but it’s not set to automatically delete them once the download is complete, mostly because I’m a tad paranoid. I might have to update that setting though). For the past few weeks I haven’t been able to take any pics on my cell because it’s too full. Definitely time to free up some room.  I also need to free up some space on the hard drive of my laptop.  Haven’t had a spare second for that either…

 

6) Potty train my son.  It is something that is time sensitive and requires mom (that’s me) not to be distracted by the myriad of things that have to fall into place in order to have a book published.  Now that I’m less distracted, I’m ready to give him my full attention, get him out of diapers and make my husband one very happy dude (diapers are expensive!).

 

7) Finish unpacking! We moved a year ago and I still haven’t hung up all of the framed family photos. With kids and writing and everything else going on, it just hasn’t been a priority. My younger self would be shaking her head at me!  I hate bare walls!

 

8) I’m always doing crafts but I’m not organized at all, so there are bags of this and bags of that—EVERYWHERE! Well, not everywhere, just in the guest room and when we do have an overnight guest, I throw the bags into several plastic storage totes. Afterward, I can’t find anything! Very frustrating. I just need to get organized and life will become so much simpler.

 

9) Make time to try out all the new recipes my daughter thinks look interesting. I’m grooming her to be a fantastic baker and cook in hopes that I won’t have to step foot in the kitchen ever again. It’s a diabolical plan, I know!

 

10) Finish the baby book I’m making online for my son who is two and a half years old. I’m also auntie to some smart and amazing nephews and nieces and I’ve done baby books for each of them over the years. I’m also very excited to meet #6 and #7 which means more baby book making is in my very near future!

 

That about sums it up. For those authors out there, what do you do after you publish a book?

 

 

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2013: The Year of Firsts

I know it’s been a while since I last posted anything – over three months to be exact!  But I’m still here and I’m excited about all the adventures that 2014 holds regarding my writing and my books.  I decided to give myself time off during the holidays to recuperate from the breakneck pace I’d been keeping before and to get some perspective.  Now that it’s March, I’m left wondering where did the time go?

I know it’s a little late but I want to reflect on the year that was 2013:  the Year of Firsts.  It was the year that saw my first book become published and a life-long dream realized.  Yay Luminous!  But it was a long road getting it to publication, as many self-publishers can attest to, and in the process I’ve met some incredible people who have also become close friends.  I had my very first website created and took my first foray into the world of blogging and social media.  I got to autograph my paperbacks, which is the coolest thing ever (and yes, I had to practice my signature several times in advance).  I had my first online author interview (thank you Sarah C. Snider!) and got the word out about my book at the local Steamfest Convention.  I went on a book blog tour and had Luminous reviewed by complete strangers (something that was both exciting and frightening) but an incredible experience overall.  I went to the local Comic Con and talked to other local authors (many self-published), some of whom I’ve corresponded with since.  I connected with other self-published authors online and unexpectedly acquired a dear friend in the author, A.M. Winters, who resides in South Africa.  I attended a book club meeting where I got to talk about my book Luminous and everyone there bought a signed copy.  I even enrolled in an 8 week public speaking class (my first), where I learned skills that I hope to employ in the future when promoting my books.

2013 was the Year of Firsts for me and I’ll always remember it fondly.  But time keeps moving forward and we can’t stay stuck in the past.  And why would we want to?  The future is wide open, the land of potential and I’m filled with anticipation at what 2014 holds in store.


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Lessons in Self-Publishing – The Money Side of Things

This post is dedicated to my experience with the “money side of things” in regards to self-publishing.  I hope to answer any questions you may have about why my paperback Luminous is being sold for different prices depending on which website you buy it from.  I will be the first to admit that accounting and money matters are not my forte and I was a quite a bit shocked when my coordinator at Lulu emailed me the manufacturing cost for producing one of my paperbacks.  Most paperbacks are sold for $8.99 or at the most $14.99 but my manufacturing cost was even higher than that.  The main reason for the high cost is because my paperback is 6” x 9” and 534 pages which is twice as big as the average paperback.  No wonder publishing company editors whittle novels down, it just costs way too much to print large manuscripts!  Another reason for the high cost is that unlike mass market paperbacks that stock the shelves of bookstores across the country, self-published books aren’t mass produced by the thousands and so there is no mass printing discount.

But that’s just the manufacturing cost.   After I learned what it cost to produce the book, I was given the formula used to calculate the actual retail price and I was in for a real heart attack!  Typically, retailers like Amazon and Lulu multiply the manufacturing or wholesale cost of the book by two to cover their overhead costs such as paying their printers and making certain they collect a profit.  Well no one in their right mind was going to buy a paperback that cost more than a hardcover which typically runs between $18.00- $25.00.

It gets even worse.  At this point, I hadn’t even factored in my royalty.  If I wanted to make any sort of profit off the sale of the paperback, I’d have to raise the price even more.  Granted, as a writer, I’m not in this business to make money, that’s not why I’m doing this, there are much easier ways to make money than venture into self-publishing which takes an incredible amount of time and we’ve all heard the saying, “Time is money.”  But I’d invested my own money into getting the paperback ready for publishing and to learn that I was not in a position to make much of a royalty was devastating to say the least.  I decided that above all else, I had to make the paperback as affordable as possible so that I could get it into the hands of readers in order to grow my fan base.  Publishing is nothing without the fans.

With this in mind, I was able to work with my coordinator at Lulu and get the retail price down to $24.36 by waiving my royalty from Amazon all together.  This was the lowest they could possibly go on the retail price and still offer the paperback as a viable product that a retailer like Amazon could sell and still make a profit.  Retailers are in it to make money, bottom line.  Distributors will not sell a product that they can’t make a standard profit off of because they have their own overhead to pay in order to stay in business.  If the book is purchased through Lulu’s website, I will make a small royalty, it’s worked into their equations since I’ve published my book through them but I’m realistic.  I know that only a small percentage of books, if any, will be bought through Lulu.  The majority of buyers will look to Amazon since it’s the most popular online source for books.

In my opinion, the price is still way too high at $24.36 but the only way I could get the price lowered was if I started cutting chapters out of my book and we were way past that point.  I also wasn’t prepared to just walk away from Lulu when I learned how the pricing worked.  I had already spent 12 weeks working with their production departments, sending them cover image files, reading through galley and cover proofs, sending edits, etc.  It wasn’t until I was fully invested, after the process was complete and we were ready to send the book to be officially published that I was informed of the pricing.  I thoroughly enjoyed working with Lulu throughout the entire process and my coordinators kept me informed every step of the way.  It was a great first experience with self-publishing, up until the pricing shock.  But that’s life, you live and you learn.

On my website at http://www.jasmineangell.com, I’m selling the paperback for $15.99 plus shipping.  When I started this self-publishing adventure, I hadn’t planned on selling my books on my website or packaging and shipping them myself but alas, if that’s what it takes to get my book into the hands of readers at a reasonable price, I will gladly do it.  Unlike online distributors such as Amazon and Lulu, I have little overhead and when I buy my paperback in bulk, I get a slight discount which means I’m able to sell it for much, much less than other retailers.  Again, I’m not in this to get rich, far from it.  Every penny I make from any sales goes right back into the Psyne series so that I can get the sequel into paperback format, promote my series, etc.

Lessons learned:  In the future, I strive to publish a paperback that is half the size of Luminous which will cost less to manufacture and consequently, will be more affordable in the competitive marketplace.  There are many self-publishing companies out there with seemingly affordable packages for writers that want the global distribution services to get their books noticed.  Unfortunately, sometimes the author doesn’t see much of any royalty from the sales of their book.  From my research, the self-publishing companies that do support higher royalties for authors offer packages that are just plain too expensive.  So it’s a double-edged sword depending on what services you are looking for.  I realize that all authors self-publishing today have had different experiences, this is mine.  I hope my experience sheds light on this process for writers looking to self-publish for the first time.  No matter what, keep dreaming, keep persevering and above all, keep writing!  Never give up!


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Luminous now available at Amazon.com!

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Being a complete newbie to the Blogosphere, I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 48 hours learning all there is to know about my new blog and let me tell ya, my head is spinning!  But I didn’t want to go another day without posting about my book so here it is!  The Kindle Edition is now available at Amazon.com and the paperback is slated for release through Amazon.com this October/November as well as the ebook for the Nook and on iBookstore.  As it gets closer to the release date I’ll update everyone.  Over the next several weeks I’ll be blogging about all things Luminous but in the meantime, you can learn more about me and my book at these sites:

My website: http://www.jasmineangell.com

Link to my book on Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EIHFC7W

Link to the Free Reading App on Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771


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Dreamer

Hi!  I’m Jasmine Angell and I’m a dreamer.  Up until a few weeks ago I was like many of you – an aspiring writer.  All of my life I’ve wanted to be a published author and that goal was realized less than 2 weeks ago.  Goal?  Who am I kidding?  Dream!!  My dream of becoming a published author was finally realized and two weeks later I’m still jumping up and down!  I’d read once that for most people when you publish a book, nothing really changes:  the Earth keeps spinning, you don’t become famous in that instant and fireworks don’t go off every time you’re in public.  All of those things are true for me (I’m especially glad the Earth is still spinning) but in actuality, everything has changed!  I’ve realized a goal I’ve been working tirelessly towards for the past 6 and a half years and now I’m wearing a rather large, rather heavy, and rather gaudy hat called Marketer/Promoter/Publicist.  I don’t want my novel to be like one of those DVDs you rent with some big-name actor/actress in it that is surprisingly good but you didn’t even know was in theaters months prior because there was no marketing campaign behind it.  You know what I’m talking about.   I don’t want my novel to be a best-kept secret.  So this is my blog about my continuing journey as a writer, my new adventures as a published author and all of the things I’m passionate about.  I hope you’ll join this fledgling blogger for future posts.  Long live your dreams!