The first draft of Anais of the Protector’s Path is finished.  Finally.   I am putting my drafting pen down and picking up my editing pen.   Writing this book took much longer than I anticipated.  Mostly because I had a perfect beautiful baby in December.  Yes it is all his fault.   He is very time consuming.

That being said, I promised myself no blog posts or anything of that nature until the draft was done.  Now it is finished and you get to hear from me at least until I settle into writing book 5.  Beetiful Graphic provided another absolutely astounding cover.  I highly suggest anyone looking for a book cover to go over and visit Beetiful’s website.  Also, after I go through and edit, I will try to enlist the help of my sister-in-law Sam to proofread and then I will try to get some time on Amber Bungo’s calendar (from to go through a second edit.   I think having both passes helped a lot with the first three books.  I made the mistake of initially publishing with no external editing and there were countless typos.   I am fairly sure that my less favorable reviews were from people who had the misfortune of downloading an unedited version.   My apologies to them.  It is surprisingly hard to edit your own work.

Conversation Topic 1 )  I am trying to decide if I should enlist the new book in Kindle Select / Kindle Unlimited for the first three months.   I did this with the last book (although that was before Kindle Unlimited).  My concern is that there are apparently a large amount of scammers putting up tiny booklets and then setting up borrow circles in order to make money from the program, as you get paid per borrow.   This sort of questionable behavior makes me feel uneasy.   If self publishing goes away, due to people scamming the system, I lose my opportunity to distribute my story.   Obviously I would be over the moon if I was picked up by a traditional publisher, but I’m not an idiot.   It’s not going to happen.   Therefore, I don’t know what to do.  I’m now wondering if I should pull the first three books out of Oyster and Scribd, as they could fall prey to the same scammers who are gaming Amazon.  Does anyone out there who reads my books want me to stay in these subscription programs?

Conversation Topic 2)  I am working on fleshing out my Goodreads page.  I only have one friend on Goodreads.  If you liked my books please feel free to send me a friend request.  I would love to see what other books you are reading.

Conversation Topic 3)  I read the Guardian article that Kathleen Hale wrote about her experience going crazy after receiving negative reviews.   I probably don’t have time to do anything like that so feel free to write honest reviews if you don’t like my work.   I’ll survive.  I like the ones with constructive criticism.   If you point out something I can fix, I will endeavor to fix it.   One issue that comes up a lot about my books is a critique on the length.  I agree that they are too short.   However, I can’t make them longer.   My problem is that if I try for anything too long, I get stuck.  I spent five years on book one.  It was a very long disaster.  In 2012, I decided to break the story into manageable chunks.   It was that or have it remain buried half in my head and half in my computer and never see the light of day.

The Anais Collection - Cover from Beetiful

The Anais Collection – Cover from Beetiful

Anais of Brightshire - Cover from Beetiful

Anais of Brightshire – Cover from Beetiful

For awhile now I have been thinking about what to do about book covers.   As an Indie author, I don’t have access to the same resources available to the traditional publishing companies.   Up to this point, my mother has been drawing pictures for my covers, which are very lovely, and then I have been doing a shoddy job scanning them and manipulating them and adding font.   Suffice it to say, I wanted to experiment a bit on book covers.   So after doing a bit of research, I found that there are individuals/companies who make pre-made covers, and post them on their sites, where you supply the book name and author and they will add your information to their pre-made cover.  This seemed a cheaper route then custom covers and I was a little wary of custom covers, because I wanted to know what I was going to get before committing.   So I searched online looking for the perfect cover.  Easier said then done.   Eventually, I stumbled upon Beetiful Bookcovers, and found a great cover.  I contacted the website and in a very short period of time, with little fuss, I was sent the cover with my information.   This was the cover for ‘The Anais Collection’.   I was so happy about how nice it looked and how easy the process was, that I kept looking back on the site hoping to find pre-made covers that would fit the other three books in my series.   Alas, nothing seemed quite right.   So after some internal debate I contacted the website about making a custom cover for ‘Anais of Brightshire’.  And it was just as easy.  I found a picture on Shutterstock that required some manipulation, and Beetiful Bookcovers supplied me with the perfect cover.   My Amazon ranking and sales are up, and I am a happy camper.   I still need to update ‘Anais of the Stolen Road’ and ‘Anais of Gable’s House’.  I will likely try to do this next year in the spring.   I am looking for the good starting pictures, on Shutterstock and saving my pennies.    Anyway, the message is – if you are looking for an awesome pre-made or custom cover, and you are looking for a company to work with that is fast and effective – my recommendation is Beetiful.



Although I must be mad, I signed up for NanoWrimo this year.   Considering that I am 7+ months pregnant, it seems unlikely that I will finish.   I find myself easily distracted these days.  Nevertheless, I did sign up.   My username is jrobyn.   If anyone else out there is doing it, I need some writing buddies so please add me.   I’m also posting my ‘draft’ on Smashwords for the duration of November.   So go take a look.

I posted Anais of Brightshire on the new website.   I am curious about their analytics capability.   I may wait a week or so and then post a screenshot of the information they provide.  

I gave the manuscripts of Anais of Brightshire, Anais of the Stolen Road, and Anais of Gable’s House to Amber at Editing by Amber, for some help on grammar and formatting.  I’m on the schedule for late July / early August 2013.  I’m pretty excited.  The sample that she edited looked great!

Also, I am hard at work on book 4, Anais of the Protector’s Path.

I just published ‘Anais of Gable’s House’ on Amazon.  Yay!!!   So glad it’s finally out there.  This is also the first time I’m trying Kindle Select.   I realize I probably missed the boat with Kindle Select, but I wanted to try it out.  Who knows, maybe I will like it.  I also just started writing the fourth book in the series.  I’m aiming to finish it in about a year.  Cheers!

Wow – I’m clearly a poor blogger in terms of update frequency.

After some effort I was able to make ‘Anais of Brightshire’ free on Amazon, and have had  346 downloads in the month of May, and 73 so far in the month of June, which is quite a bit higher than my total Smashwords downloads which are at 187 as of today.   See my Smashwords statistics in the graphic below.

I finished a draft of the second book – ‘Anais of the Stolen Road’, which is running about 32,000 words.   It is being edited by my sister in law and brother in law, and my mom is drawing a picture for it.  Keep it in the family – I say.   I’ve been slacking at working on the audiobook for ‘Anais of Brightshire’.  I have to get working on it.  Hopefully, next weekend I can put a few hours in.

Last 90 Days of Statistics for Anais of Brightshire

Page Views

Visits to Anais of Brightshire page at Smashwords.


Downloads of your book in any of the ebook formats it’s available in.

Anais - Drawing 2


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