Sunday, April 16, 2017

Revenge of the Tiger: COVER REVEAL

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it!

Tyrabbisaurus Rex would like to make several announcements. First, he would like it understood far and wide that he is most emphatically, 100% NOT a cuddly bunny (he's said this before, but no one seems to be listening). He'd also like to point out that contrary to vicious rumors...
Got that? He is NOT the Easter Bunny! That means, NOT cuddly, NOT cute, NOT bringing you baskets full of eggs and chocolate bunnies (in fact, he protests their very existence), NOT hopping to your Easter party anytime soon.

He is a dinosaur, people! A tyrabbisaurus rex, to be exact! And he RRROOOAAARRRS at you with the power of his mind.

Now that he's gotten that out of the way... his second announcement is that he is hosting a Read Along event on Facebook. Activities, question, games, etc. will be posted every day through to the end of the month. So hop on over there to join the fun!

And last, but certainly, not least, DRUM ROLL......

Tyrabbisaurus Rex would like to reveal the cover of his upcoming book Revenge of the Tiger.

Yes, he knows. You're understandably upset about this terrible news. Rest assured, so is he!

Honestly, he can't believe it either, but the terrible truth is...

The tiger is back. 

Rex was certain he had vanquished him for good, but that tiger is wily and clever, and now, yes, HE'S BACK. Even worse, he's out for revenge.

Cover art and design by Jeanine Henning

Good thing the world has Tyrabbisaurus Rex to save it from that dastardly, up-to-no-good, evil tiger-spy!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Power of Choice

Welcome to another stop along the Read Self-Published Blog Tour!

I'm going to take a moment outside my regular, more lighthearted blogging nature, to speak seriously about what it means to self-publish my books.

It all comes down to choice.

There's something truly empowering about choice.

There's a perception that still lingers around authors choosing self-publication. And I say "choosing" deliberately because often the perception is that it wasn't a choice, that instead it was a matter of "settling" – settling for second best maybe. Or not even second best. Maybe just settling for what we could get.

But I know so many authors today who made a deliberate choice to self-publish and I stand proud as one of them. For us, it wasn't about settling. It was about empowerment. It was about taking control of our own careers, of having choice when it came to matters surrounding the art of our souls.

It's no little thing to allow someone else the power to choose the cover of your book, the artist to illustrate it, the marketing it receives (or doesn't), the manner in which it's formatted, even the types of stories you'll write, anything from their length to their plots to their very genres. Having those choices stripped away is like a form of death. To our art. To our visions. To our worlds.

I emailed a traditionally published author, one of my favorites, about eight years ago, asking why she'd chosen to switch sub-genres. I absolutely loved the historical romances she'd been writing for more than a decade, but now she was writing romantic suspense, and I didn't enjoy them anywhere near as much. At the time, I read both genres voraciously and felt that, although this author was exceptionally gifted at creating her historicals, her romantic suspense novels lacked their depth and charm. Her reply to me (and I was thrilled to receive a reply) was that her publisher wanted her writing in the romantic suspense genre because they felt that was where the readership was.

What a tragedy.

I wanted to ask her if it was what she wanted to be writing. Was she happy following this new road? I didn't want to rub salt in the wound, though, in case she wasn't. Maybe she was fine with it, but I was truly disheartened to think that maybe she'd given up her passion to follow the demands of her traditional publisher.

Self-published authors make choices every day that more traditionally published authors don't have to make. Or don't get to make. It depends on your perspective. From my perspective, getting to choose my illustrator is worth everything to me. I have the most amazing illustrator in the world for both my Tyrabbisaurus Rex and Shifter High series. I wouldn't give up Jeanine Henning for the most lucrative, traditional contract in the world. It would be like stripping those books of their life, the characters of their personality. It would be like peeling them down to the barest of bones and leaving them to wither and die.

None of this is to say there's anything wrong with choosing to go the traditional route. After all, that's the point I'm making.

It's our choice. And no matter how we choose, we own it because it's ours. Whether the choice is for a more traditional route, a completely indie one or a hybrid path, we choose.

As for me, I'm thrilled to have made the choice I did. I'm honored to be a part of the self-publishing community. I hold my head high and when people ask about the choice I made, I always tell them it's because I get to make choices that I made the one I did. I choose the length of my books, their subject matter, which taboos I break, which genres I write in, which illustrators I work with, which covers I approve, which book I write next and which book I'm not ready to write (or never want to write).

I choose. There's nothing more empowering than that.

Read self-published works. I guarantee you'll find an amazing array of gifted authors whose choice to break from tradition has meant that their works are anything but traditional. They break all the rules and in the doing, give their readership the gift of unique and varied reading choices.

Thanks for visiting my stop on the Read Self-Published Blog Tour. You can go back to the beginning here or head on to the next stop here. Find out more about events planned during Read Self-Published Month here.

Best wishes and happy reading!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Happy Read Self-Published Month!

April is Read Self-Published Month and as an indie author, this is super important to me. I'm excited to participate in some fantastic activities throughout the month to celebrate and encourage others to read indie authors and works.

I'll be highlighting several indie authors in a number of different genres over the next couple weeks, so keep an eye out for some spotlights there.

In the meantime, here are some things to look forward to in April:

  • Read Self-Published Blog Tour – it all began April 1 (yes, I'm late to the party, as usual) at Zachary Chopchinski's blog. Check back here April 9 for my contribution to the tour.
  • Giveaways – Check out all the exciting giveaways available from April 1 - 14 here and giveaways from April 15 - 28 here (the Audible version of Tyrabbisaurus Rex is only one of many exciting offerings this month!)
  • Facebook Takeover Events – A number of fantastic indie authors will be taking over the Facebook Read Self Published Page throughout the month. Each author has their own events and activities scheduled so be sure to check the page regularly throughout the month of April. My scheduled day is April 22. See you then!
  • Read Alongs – Check out some fantastic indie books here. You can discuss these books with their authors as you read them – what an awesome opportunity! And if you'd like to join me in reading and discussing Tyrabbisaurus Rex (and I hope you will!), please join me on Facebook beginning Easter Sunday, April 16 here
Join the Read Along here
  • Sales, Sales, Sales! Tyrabbisaurus Rex will be on sale during the days leading up to the Read Along event. You can buy it on Kindle for 99 cents from April 10 through April 16. If you don't already have one, grab a copy and join the conversation! Other books of mine will be on sale throughout the month, so be sure to keep an eye on my Facebook page and my twitter feeds @ajculey and @tyrabbisaurus, as I will announce each book as it goes on sale. 

Overall, April's going to be a fantastic month, which honestly, is super good news for me because as a teacher, I can honestly say that April is generally one of the longest and slowest months of the year :) Looking forward to having so much fun to make the month pass by in a breeze!