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How Kindle Scout set me off on the Road to Oz…I mean, Monterra by Jina Bacarr

June 11, 2016 by in category Jina’s Book Chat tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Have you ever slipped on a pair of shoes that fit perfectly?

Soft, dreamy leather. Straps not too tight.

Heels not too high. You don’t want to feel like you’re about to go over a cliff.

I have.

And get this, it’s a glass slipper. 

When I entered my Civil War time travel romance, LOVE ME FOREVER, in the Kindle Scout program*** I didn’t realize there was a technicolor ending in my future.

I went to Oz.

I mean, Monterra.

When Sariah Wilson asked romance KS winners if we’d like to write in her Royals of Monterra Kindle World, I jumped at the chance. I love princess stories (check out my Princess video!) I wrote ROYAL DARE about Princess Violetta, who appears in Sariah’s ROYAL DATE. Violetta has a drug problem so I sent her to rehab. But getting clean ain’t easy…even for a princess

Can she make it through rehab?

One of the most rewarding aspects of writing Royal Dare is the fact that several addiction recovery

sites have discovered the novel and follow me on Twitter. I hope Violetta’s story encourages those who need help to seek it out.

I loved writing in Sariah’s KW so much, I decided to write another story, but on a much lighter subject.

Magic.

ROYAL MAGIC will launch with Sariah’s next Royals of Monterra book, ROYAL GAMES.

Royal Magic is the story of a girl from South Philly with a dream to become an aerial silks performer, but there’s a dark secret in her past that keeps her from her goal.

Until she’s invited to perform at the arts festival in the kingdom of Monterra for the royal family in Fairy Tales & Magic: Magic, Music & Monterran Cuisine. There she meets a handsome, mysterious magician who’s not what he seems…

Royal Magic will launch along with Sariah’s Royal Games and new Royals of Monterra stories from other talented writers on July 8th!’

I’m almost finished with the cover, so I’ll update this page as we get closer to the launch.

I’m enjoying my road trip to Monterra and plan to do more Royals of Monterra books after Royal Magic. And to think it all started with Kindle Scout…

~Jina

***You can read my previous posts about my experience with the Kindle Scout program by clicking on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5


The Princess and the Stilettos for Valentine’s Day from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.


The Princess and the Magic Shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

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Twilight Zone Day, Time Travel, and Me by Jina Bacarr

May 11, 2016 by in category Jina’s Book Chat tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,

Twilight Zone.

Did you hear the eerie music when you read the title?

Two of my favorite TZ episodes dealt with time travel.

Civil War.

And medicine.

Cliff Robertson in “A Hundred Years Over the Rim” (a father time travels to the future to save his ill son with modern medicine) and Kevin McCarthy in “Long Live Walter Jameson.” (check out an interesting filming note on this one). A professor knows history better than he should because “he was there.”

When I set out to write my Civil War romance, LOVE ME FOREVER, these two TZ episodes crept into my story line in a fun and interesting way: my time traveling heroine is a part time EMT and history teacher; she helps the Union Army physician hero in his fight against “germs” and how to combat disease back in 1862.

And yes, she knows exactly when the battles take place and does her best to save lives. But can she change history? If she does, will she lose the man she loves?


How do TV shows affect your writing?

Do shows we loved as kids have an even more powerful effect on our writing?

I think so.

LOVE ME FOREVER is proof of that.

What TV shows have affected your writing?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Till next time…

Jina


Civil War time traveler, belle…and spy: Love Me Forever from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.


She was an imposter – a time traveler back to the Civil War in 1862 from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

 
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I finally get to be a Princess thanks to Kindle Scout

January 11, 2016 by in category Jina’s Book Chat tagged as , , , , , , ,

I’m finishing up a novel for Kindle Worlds “The Royals of Monterra” called ROYAL DARE — more info coming as we launch January 21, 2016.

I owe this wonderful opportunity to Kindle Scout — I met Sariah Wilson, a fellow Scouter, and when Amazon approached her about turning her novel “Royal Date” into a Kindle Worlds project, she invited Scouters to write for her KW.

I’ll update this page as I get more info — for now here’s the LINK and banner re: our Facebook launch on January 21, 2016  6-10 EST

Thanks to fellow Scouter M.R. Pritchard for this fab banner 
Her Monterra novel is called “Forgotten Princess.”

And here’s a video I made a while back about wanting to be a princess!

~Jina

The story of the princess and the stilettos…and how she found her prince — a poem told in rhyme and pictures.
Photos: Dreamstime.com
Music: Fairytale Waltz Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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Cinderella’s Happily Edit After: My Kindle Scout Experience Part 3 by Jina Bacarr

July 11, 2015 by in category Jina’s Book Chat tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(You can read my previous posts about my experience with the Kindle Scout program by clicking on Part 1 and Part 2.)

Remember when Cinderella was all aflutter getting ready for the ball? Her fairy godmother shows up and poof! Cindy has a gorgeous gown, a carriage, and the sexiest pair of glass slippers. Next, she meets the prince, loses her slipper, gets it back, and marries the handsomest man in the land.

Then comes a reality check.

Cindy is a princess with a hundred and fifty room castle to manage, servants galore, royal obligations, and a demanding mother-in-law who can’t wait to show her off at high teas.

First, she must learn how to be a princess.

Kinda like putting out a good book. It’s a lot of work. Period.

After my 30-day campaign with Kindle Scout for LOVE ME FOREVER, my Civil War time travel romance, being on and off the Hot and Trending list, then waiting to see if I made the cut, came my reality check.

Edits.

Most writers would rather clean bathrooms for a week than open the Editorial Letter.

I was shaking in my slippers when mine came. I worked more than two years on “LOVE ME FOREVER,” getting the research right, the romance, settings. Not an easy task. My story is over 150,000 words.

Which brings me to one of my favorite things about Kindle Scout: the Kindle Press Team. With everyone jumping into the self-publishing arena, it’s easy to want to write, write, write and get it out there. Do-it-yourself, especially if you’ve been writing for a long time. I can wrap my head around a story pretty well. I’ve written several novels for trad publishers, non-fiction books, kids’ TV scripts, and plenty of magazine columns and stories.

But no writer is an island.

A good editor is as important as Cinderella’s fairy godmother. She/he can wave their magic wand and give you that extra spin on your book, make you dig deeper, cut excess. One thing that drew me to the Kindle Scout program was the idea of receiving editorial input.

I wasn’t disappointed. The editorial guidance at Kindle Scout/Kindle Press is awesome.

I’m thrilled to say that my editor at Kindle Press was thorough, gave excellent suggestions, made me think, and complimented me along the way when she particularly liked something. She’s definitely one of the best editors I’ve ever had. The turnaround was quick: a week to complete the edits. I admit I hardly slept and I maxed out the balance on my Starbucks gold card, but the KP Team gave me a heads up three weeks before as to exactly what day to expect the email with the attached files and they delivered.

So here we are at a new juncture in my Kindle Scout experience. Edits done; book in production.

Preorder begins: July 13, 2015. 

On Sale at Amazon: July 28, 2015.

Am I nervous? You bet I am. I put my heart and soul into this story, laughed and cried with my characters every step of the way. I’m anxious to get it out there. But the best part is, I feel confident that as part of the Kindle Scout program, LOVE ME FOREVER is the best it can be.

~Jina

Website: www.jinabacarr.com
Blog: www.jinabacarr.wordpress.com

Next month: Part 4: what happens when my Kindle Scout book, LOVE ME FOREVER, goes on sale.

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The Slipper fits: the fairytale come true. How my Kindle Scout book LOVE ME FOREVER was selected for publication by Jina Bacarr Part 1

May 11, 2015 by in category Jina’s Book Chat tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Note: Links to ALL my posts re: my Kindle Scout experience:

***You can read my posts about my experience with the Kindle Scout program by clicking on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6,  Part 7

Hi, everyone,

Wonderful news: my Kindle Scout book, LOVE ME FOREVER, was selected for Papublication!

What is Kindle Scout? you ask. How does it work? Is it right for me?

The best way I can answer that is to tell you my story. Adding tips and observations along the way that I hope will help guide you, whether you’re a reader or a writer—so here we go!

Once upon a time I had a book of the heart, a story I loved like a comfy, fave pair of jeans. I just couldn’t throw them away…

That book is LOVE ME FOREVER, a Civil War time travel novel that takes place from 1862-1863. It’s a big, family saga with two feisty heroines and the military men they love, coming in at 140,000 words. But as everyone knows, trad pubs don’t want Civil War…no problem, I’ll self publish it, right?

Or, and here’s where temptation comes in, like circling the pastry case at Starbucks, should I try Kindle Scout? The Amazon publishing venture where readers pick the books they publish:  https://kindlescout.amazon.com/about 

So I did…and for thirty days I was on a wild roller-coaster ride during my campaign for LOVE ME FOREVER.   I’d check the “Hot and Trending” List all hours of the day and night on my cell phone, fretting when I wasn’t on the list and cheering when I was.

Bonus: if you nominate a book and it’s selected for publication, you receive a free advance copy before it’s published.

Here are some tips re: submitting to Kindle Scout:Format your book as if you’re going to self-pub it. I renamed my original .doc and then took out the copyright page and TOC, links to my other books, no header needed (you can add the copyright, links, and TOC back in later if you’re selected). I left in the page numbers (not needed for self-pub), but they don’t show up on the excerpt. If your book is selected, you’re ready to begin your final read-through. If not, you have your original .doc if you decide to self-publish your m/s.

  1. Format your book as if you’re going to self-pub it. I renamed my original .doc and then took out the copyright page and TOC, links to my other books, no header needed (you can add the copyright, links, and TOC back in later if you’re selected). I left in the page numbers (not needed for self-pub), but they don’t show up on the excerpt. If your book is selected, you’re ready to begin your final read-through. If not, you have your original .doc if you decide to self-publish your m/s.
  2.  Don’t wait until you’re ready to submit to Kindle Scout to answer the questions, write your bio, description, etc. It took a lot of preparation to answer the questions in a way that highlighted who I am as a writer (3 questions), bio, description, logline all have character length restrictions. I’d recommend getting that out of the way before you finish your book or do a final read-through.
  3. Cover:  I did a dreamy Civil War lady cover with a beautiful rendering. It says romance right away so you can attract that reader. Also, keep it clean and simple with a strong focal point to grab the eye, but not confuse it. Be sure to adhere to the required size: 4500 pixels high and 2820 pixels wide (or a 1.5 height/width ratio). PNG (.png) or JPEG (.jpeg or .jpg) format, no larger than 5MB.
  4. Read the contract carefully:  The percentage is 50 percent royalties instead of 70; you have to ask for your book back in writing if they don’t publish it after the 45-day exclusive; the $1,500 advance is against royalties; Amazon owns the exclusive digital and audio worldwide rights for 5 years in all languages, renewable.Your book is published by Amazon Kindle Press in e-book, not print. Here is the breakdown from the Kindle Scout website:Royalty Table:
    E-Book: 50% of Net Revenue
    Digital Audio: 25% of Net Revenue
    Translation in e-Book format: 20% of Net RevenueI believe they have 6 months to publish it or you get your rights back (you have to ask in writing).I see Kindle Scout as a new, exciting venture that combines both self-pubbing and traditional. You write, edit, copy edit, format your book and submit your own cover, but if you’re selected, you have Kindle Press as your publisher with an additional copy edit, PR, etc.For me, it was also the opportunity to put my story out there during the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. I blogged every day with stories and excerpts about the Civil War. I added graphics I did myself with Royalty Free stock I bought a while ago. I enjoy designing the graphics, so that’s a plus. You can see my graphics on my blog: www.jinabacarr.wordpress.com 

    All in all, I’m extremely happy with the professionalism at Kindle Scout. I submitted my package online (very easy to fill out and submit) and my book was accepted within 2 hours and went live 2 days later.

    Here is the link to my Kindle ScoutWinner.
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    The selection process:

    I was on the Hot list more than half the time during the 30-day campaign. I would get on the list, jump around for a few days from first to last (about 10 books average are on the list at any one time), drop off for a day or two, then pop back on.

    I blogged, tweeted, etc. every day, which helped me get the message out on a consistent basis, but I believe support from good people like you was very important to staying on the Hot list. Again, thank you.

    I’m not sure what other criteria KS uses to make their selection. I submitted the cleanest m/s I could. I spent a lot of time checking it after it was written and giving it a thorough copy edit before I submitted it, checked the timeline, looked for inconsistencies, etc. It’s vital to give them the best book you can.

    ==========
    The next step:

    After my 30-day campaign ended, it took only two days for me to receive word my book was selected. My book cover was up on the KS header almost immediately along with the other selected books. I have 30 days to make any changes. I’m going over my manuscript again for content, punctuation, spacing, etc. I also print out a hard copy and give it a quick read-through. You’d be surprised what you see on paper that you don’t see on a computer screen.

    Next, after you submit your Final m/s, your book receives a Kindle Press copyedit. I’ve heard fabulous things about the Kindle Press copy edit from KS authors, everyone is pleased about the entire process.

    The contract becomes active as soon as you receive their email. It also indicated the accounting team will contact me. I’m already self-pubbed with Amazon, so I have an account with bank numbers, tax info, etc. in place, but I believe this may be a different entity. I’ll report back on that aspect.

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    What I would have done differently:

    I wouldn’t have waited so long to reach out to groups for help and support. I’ve always been a shy kid and still suffer from good girl syndrome after attending numerous parochial schools, but I credit the Sisters of Mercy with teaching me good tradecraft re: writing. I can diagram a sentence with the best of them and that’s helped me as a writer.

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    That’s it for now. I’m here for questions about Kindle Scout and anything you’d like to ask about the process. I really enjoyed writing LOVE ME FOREVER, about two very different women, Liberty Jordan and Pauletta Sue Buckingham, who are thrown together in a mad, crazy scheme of spying, lost love, and passionate desire for what they can’t have.

    The men they love.

    Do they get their men?

    Well, it is a romance, but it’s also a wild dramatic journey based on actual events in the Civil War. Liberty and Pauletta Sue will make you cheer, then cry, then hold your breath when it looks like all is lost!

    Thanks for stopping by and check out Kindle Scout!
    ~Jina
    blog: www.jinabacarr.wordpress.com
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    Women Soldiers in the Civil War from “Love Me Forever” from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

    Love_Me_Forever_500x798

    LOVE ME FOREVER

    She wore gray.
    He wore blue.
    But their love defied the boundaries of war.
    And time.

    You’ll meet both my heroines and both my heroes in the excerpt. It’s a saga of love and romance and war. Believe me, I walked every road, fought every battle with my characters, even walked around in a hoop skirt to get it right. Any questions? Please ask!!

    ~Jina

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