Category Archives: publishing

Bound (Bound Trilogy Book One) FREE for a limited time!

I know, I know. Too much promotion here these days, right?

I promise I’ll be back with something else when I have anything interesting to share with you. Right now I’m buckling down, trying to avoid wasting time on social media, and working on getting the first three books I’ll be releasing under my pen name ready for publication. There’s a lot going on here… it’s just behind the scenes.

I do have one bit of excitement to share, though! For the first time ever, Bound is free on all of its regular ebook retailers! Whether you read on Kobo, iBooks, Nook, Kindle, or those smaller ones whose names I can never remember, I’m giving the ebook away.

I wish I could say I had a big strategic reason for doing this, but honestly? It was the end of winter, I was in a funk, and not much lifts my spirits like giving something away. And between this and the paperback giveaway I just wrapped up with my newsletter type people*, I’m having a pretty good time.

Besides, we’re coming up on Bound’s third anniversary as a published book. Why not invite some new people in to explore this world and get to know my beloved characters?

So if you haven’t started the series yet, check out the links at books2read.com/bound. If you have read and enjoyed these books, why not offer a recommendation to a book-loving friend? This offer is only going to be on for a few weeks, and when it’s over, I don’t know whether or when it will happen again.

Enjoy!

Bound free promo rectangle

 

*Newsletter subscribers get the VIP treatment. Giveaways, bonuses, free stuff… want to join in? Visit my site to sign up, then watch your inbox (or spam folder) for the confirmation email. Add me to your contacts so you don’t miss anything, and enjoy!


How I Survived My First Live Reading

I’m just going to say this, in case there’s anyone who hadn’t picked up on it: I’m an introvert.

Beyond that, I’m also shy and socially awkward, and I’m non-confrontational to the point where introducing myself to someone or asking for something over the phone sends me hightailing it for the hills.

So when a lovely woman from the library board called me and asked whether I’d be interested in doing a live reading from my books during our town’s winter carnival, the answer was obvious.

“Of course!”

I mean, I started a YouTube channel so I could get more comfortable with speaking, didn’t I? And I have to get out there and do these things if I ever want to expand my comfort zone (or at least get used to stepping outside of it).

So yeah, I agreed. And then I freaked out, second-guessed myself, prayed for a blizzard, and hid my head in the sand before actually thinking to ask for help from people who do this a lot.

Thanks to help from those lovely¬†people and readers who helped me choose passages to read, I survived. And I decided to pass along their fine advice and tips in a video, just in case anyone else can use it. ūüôā

(here’s the link in case you can’t see the embedded video)


Romancing the Rock EXPOsed… Exposed

I know. I should have posted this last week, right after the event, but better late than never, right?

For anyone who’s as¬†late as I am to the party: As I mentioned in a post here and on my YouTube channel, I was involved in my first live event as a professional author last weekend. Like, LAST last weekend. That’s right. I’ve never done so much as a book signing or a reading at the library. This was a first for me.

And I was… well, I was a bit nervous, as you’ll recall from the video I posted here the day before the event. I don’t like having to mingle or make small talk, and all of that pales in comparison to how much I hate having to talk about my work or (heaven forbid) SELL IT TO SOMEONE.

And yet I agreed to this.

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But the event was good. We had 13 authors from Newfoundland, mostly dealing in romance of one sort or another, under the lovely roof of Magnum & Steins in downtown St. John’s. We each had a table in one room where anyone could come in, talk to the authors, and buy some signed books.

We also had the option to pay $10 for access to readings by several of the group’s authors and four panel sessions on writing and publishing.

And we had a great turn-out. This was the group’s first event, and it went very well. The people who attended the panel I did with Candace Osmond on self-publishing had lots of questions that we were happy to answer, and it sounds like the other sessions were just as great.

Here’s my video recap of the day and my reactions to it. And below that is the link to the CBC story where I WAS ON TV GUYS WHY DID THEY DO THAT.

Here’s the CBC story.

Kind of nifty. ^_^


BOUND TRILOGY SALE!

Hey, everyone!

Just a quick post to let you know I’m running an ebook sale on the Bound trilogy! If you haven’t started this bestselling YA Fantasy series yet, or if you’ve been waiting for a sale to complete your collection, now is the perfect time!

bound-sale-september-blog-2

Enjoy! And if you have any friends who might be interested, your help in spreading the word is, of course, most appreciated. Thank you. You are so wonderful.

Available for Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, Nook, yadda yadda. You can find all of the links on my site, katesparkes.com, or just click the links below.

Bound

Torn

Sworn

And here’s my latest video. This one mentions the sale, but is mostly about the reading order for the trilogy when you throw the prequels in (you knew you could get those free by signing up for my newsletter, right?). And you get to hang out with me on a migraine day, which is only a little like being around a tipsy yet pleasant and absent-minded drunk. So… yay! ^_^


Passion Project

So… I thought I’d post a little update here. Not just a follow-up to what we talked about a few weeks ago (though I would like to thank everyone who jumped in with comments and your own stories, as it’s good to know that sharing was helpful to some of you), but to give you a peek into what’s happening in my wee story workshop right now.

My work has¬†been fairly predictable for the past few years as I focused on getting the Bound Trilogy finished. It was narrow in focus, high-pressure, and a huge learning experience for me as a new author who never really expected anyone to read my first book. Things are changing, and I’m so excited to talk a little about what I’ve got on the go right now.

Into Elurien, my contribution to the very exciting Skeleton Key Book Series, is with a capable editor right now. The same one who edited At Any Cost for me, actually.* This project pushes the upper limit of suggested word count for the series, but keeping it small was still a big challenge for me. I wanted to satisfy my readers’ expectations for worldbuilding, character development, quality writing, and exciting plot while I satisfied the series’ demands of romance, length, and subject matter, and this one didn’t want to be a¬†smaller story. But I did it, and I love it.

I finished post-critique edits for that about three weeks early,¬†which means I’m expecting a bomb to go off during editing that will leave me with massive clean-up to do, but I’ve got time to deal with that. Into Elurien will be available for pre-order mid-May and release in June, along with a few dozen other books by amazing authors. Watch here for information on the cover reveal (though if you know where to look, you might be able to find it early!), and for more details on the story as pre-order day gets closer.

So that brings us to what I’m working on now.

It’s big. Not in word count (I’m aiming for under 100K words), but in the magnitude of the challenge. It’s a story that has its backstory roots hundreds of years before the main plot, told in third person POV–not my first choice, but necessary if I want to make the structure that I want work properly. It’s a little dystopian in mood and theme, basically utopian in practice (except for one wee, horrible detail), and involves a style of storytelling¬†that people are¬†either going to love or hate.

And right now, it’s a massive challenge. I started drafting, scrapped most of the 11,000 words I wrote in that first week, stepped back, and took another week to get to know my characters better through a questionnaire so deep that I don’t think I could answer all of the questions for myself. I am finding it difficult to find their voices when they’re not speaking onto the page (I really miss first person!), but I’m getting there. I’m back to the writing now, and it’s going a bit more smoothly.

This is one of those stories that’s so amazing in my head that there’s no way I’ll replicate it perfectly on the page. That’s been true of every story I’ve ever written, but it’s really staring me in the face this time. I expect this one will teach me a lot during the revision process, and more through edits. That’s always the goal, you know. I have a whole lot to learn about the art and craft of storytelling, and doing it (and getting professional feedback) is the best way to learn.

It’s definitely a passion project, and I’m writing it because I’m in love, not because it seems like it’s going to make me more money than anything else in the idea file. It’s not on a tight deadline. Not hotly anticipated like a sequel to something else would be. It’s something I can take my time with (within reason; edits are booked for February), experiment with, and release because it’s a story I think deserves to be told.

And it’s going to¬†be amazing. In terms of the base idea of the story, it’s probably most exciting, high-concept¬†one I’ve had. I just need to figure out how to make that promise a reality on the page.

(Side note to anyone who has The Best Story Idea Ever and thinks they could write a bestseller if they only had the time: The blockbuster idea is the easy part, and on its own means nothing. I know, I was sad to hear that, too. But great ideas really are a dime a dozen. A CANADIAN dime, even.)

But I can’t think about the end right now, about releasing it and how excited my regular readers will be about this thrilling, heartbreaking, twisty and turny, myth-topian thing. Right now it’s one day at a time, getting the words out. I’m on a bad cycle for headaches, which means my brain’s not working, and I’m still dealing with depression and anxiety (though I am getting them under control). My focus and attention are almost nonexistent. That means taking it slow when I need to, forgiving myself for not hitting my usual 5,000+¬†words a day (yesterday I only got 1800), and letting things develop at their own pace.

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Planners are 
fun ūüėÄ

It’s what I want, right? Less pressure. More time to let things stew and develop. More time for my subconscious to make connections within the story like it did when I was building the world that Bound took place in. But it’s scary, too. Momentum is considered such a desirable thing in this industry that taking time off or slowing down feels wrong.

But it’s necessary for me. I’m learning my limits. I’m learning that I recently pushed myself past them, and I’m still recovering from that. And I’m learning how to do this thing my way. It’s not the “here’s how to sell a million books on Kindle” way, but it’s mine.

Pushing harder isn’t always the answer. We’ll see how getting back to the place where writing was my playground works out for this one. ūüôā

 

 

 

*And thank goodness for Sue Archer, because my regular editor is now booking a year in advance! Hence the February deadline for the new project…


The End of the Adventure.

series

So today is Sworn’s release day.

How am I feeling?

Excited. I’m more proud of this book than anything I’ve done before, and I’ve never released anything I wasn’t 100% in love with. I can’t wait for readers to see how the story ends. Those who have read it have been extremely enthusiastic about it, which makes me even more excited. Sworn is already creeping up the Amazon charts, which is pretty damned cool.

And I feel drained. Yesterday’s release party was a total blast, but eight hours at the computer does take it out of you (thank heavens for guest authors who popped in for giveaways so I could eat!). And I probably don’t have to explain why I haven’t been sleeping well for a while, with everything I’ve had to do to get ready for the release.

And proud. This has been the biggest project I’ve ever taken on, and I’ve done it without a boss or a publisher breathing down my neck. This has been my baby from start to finish, from draft to editor selection to cover design to proofreading. And I did it. Hell yes, I’m proud of my¬†easily-distracted and procrastination-prone and self-doubting self for pulling this off.

And sad. I’ve been working with these characters for five years now, and we’ve grown a lot together. I’m not ready for this to be over. I’m going to miss them and their world.

And thankful. I say this has been my baby, but I wouldn’t be here without my critique partners, my beta readers, my editors, my cover artist, the blog friends who have shared posts and supported me…

…and the readers. I’m so overwhelmed with thankfulness for the readers. The people who buy books, read books, recommend books, review books, share books, and above all LOVE books. The people who bring characters and worlds to life in their imaginations, who carry parts of their favourite characters with them even when they story is done.

My stories would just be words without them.

And okay, I’m a little scared. I feel like I’m standing at the edge of a cliff. I have to jump into a new story (already started and going swimmingly, due out in June… with an actual outside deadline this time). And that’s fine. It’s exciting. And it’s terrifying.

But I’ll get through it. And I’m glad you guys will be here with me to see this adventure through.

And the next.

And the next.

Thank you.

**Sworn purchase links available at www.katesparkes.com 

(PS- thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about the sale!¬†The full trilogy is now available for under $10 USD, at least on retailers that don’t adjust prices upward. Not too shabby!)

sworn release pricing promo


PARTY!!!

One week to Sworn’s big release day!

And I’m throwing a party to celebrate. How could I not? The Bound release party was small (as hardly anyone knew about the book), but a blast. The one for Torn was a little bigger, a little crazier, and STILL a blast.

This one’s going to be even better. We’ll have more giveaways (signed paperbacks, bookish goodies, and special little gifts to go with e-book giveaways), guest authors giving away THEIR books, a big (spoiler-free) Q&A if anyone has questions for me about the books, writing, what’s next, yadda yadda…

It’s going to be fun.

And the best part is that it’s happening on Facebook, so you don’t have to travel to Newfoundland to join us! I’ll be there from 3-10 PM my time (1:30 to 8:30 eastern), but some of the giveaways will stay open overnight for people on the other side of the world who can’t drop in during party hours.

Here’s the event link. Click to say you’re coming (and to get notifications of early-bird posts and/or giveaways), and drop in any time when the party’s on. Grab a fictional friend or date to bring with you (it might be worth a prize, you never know), find¬†a comfy chair and some snacks, and we’ll see you on the 28th!

 

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My prize bucket a few months ago. It’s overflowing now. We’ll see how much we have time to give away during this event…


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