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Tag: Kindle

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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.
    =========
    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.

    ============
    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.

    =============

    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
    www.facebook.com/JinaBacarr.author
    https://twitter.com/JinaBacarr
    www.pinterest.com/jbacarr
    https://instagram.com/jinabacarr/


    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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Sister against Sister in the Civil War: Love Me Forever by Jina Bacarr

April 11, 2015 by in category Blogs tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Love Me Forever is on Kindle Scout

The Civil War ended this week 150 years ago…

We hear so much about how the Civil War was a conflict about brother against brother.

What about the women of the North and South?

Sister against sister?

In “LOVE ME FOREVER,” my story on Kindle Scout, two women with very different beliefs learn to accept each other for who they are.

They’re not only separated by what they believe in, but by more than 150 years when my heroine travels back to 1862.

Here is an excerpt when my heroine, Liberty Jordan, a re-enactor from today disguised as a Confederate officer, meets up with Pauletta Sue Buckingham when Liberty escapes from the clutches of a dastardly sergeant in a Union prison camp. Pauletta Sue sees her running across the field and races after her in her buggy and carriage. Believing her to be a young Southern man, she offers her refuge:

“You must be brave, sir. The cause needs you,” the woman whispered with urgency, startling Liberty.

So that’s why she helped her. She was a Confederate sympathizer. Here? In a Union camp?

Would they both be shot?

“Hurry, get in,” she ordered. “The bluecoats are coming.”

Holding onto the side of the carriage, Liberty lifted herself up when suddenly she felt her feet give way from underneath her. Damn, she hadn’t counted on the slippery step glistening with dew. It caught her unaware and threw her off balance. She lost her footing on the soggy, wet earth, staggered, then with a loud plop, landed on the ground, the wind knocked out of her.

Her officer’s wide brim hat flying off her head.

Liberty heard the woman gasp when her long reddish-blond hair tumbled down her back like a cascade of corn silk popping up out of its stalk.

“You’re a woman,” the Southerner cried out, her hand going to her mouth.

“Haven’t you ever seen a girl in pants before?” Liberty said, a weak smile curling over her lips. She was surprised the woman didn’t faint.

“Dear Lord, the soldiers mustn’t find out you’re a female,” she said, taking charge. “No telling what they’d do, seeing they have the manners of a country hog.” Holding up her skirts, she climbed out of the carriage to retrieve Liberty’s brim hat.

“Then you won’t give me away?” Liberty asked, surprised. The Southern belle was no pushover.

“You fool girl. I admire what you’re doing, but the Yankees will never understand what we women will do for the cause. Even if we suffer from a broken heart, we’ll never give up,” she said with an emotion so deep it surprised Liberty. She handed her hat back to her. “Run! I’ll hold them off. You can take shelter in the old mill down the road till morning. There’s a secret hiding place behind the pantry.”

How did she know that?

Liberty had no time to ponder the belle and her cause. Instead, she pulled the soggy hat back onto her head and muttered her thanks. She lifted her chin, the sun hitting her cheeks with its fading rays and revealing her face. Before she could pull down the brim of her hat, the woman grabbed her hand.

“Wait,” the dark-haired beauty muttered with surprise. Or was it shock? “Who are you, Missy?”’

“Nobody, ma’am—” Liberty began, her breath catching in her chest when she saw blue-uniformed soldiers on horseback racing toward them, kicking up dust. She had to get out of here, now.

“I demand to know who you are, where you’re from.” The Confederate woman pulled the veil off her face framed by dark hair. “And why you look like me.”

Yes, that’s Pauletta Sue on the left and Liberty on the right in the graphic at the top of the page. The two women are twins except for their hair color. Not only are they on opposite sides, but they both vie for the same man…course, I can’t tell what happens…but sparks fly and it isn’t just on the battlefield…

LOVE ME FOREVER is on Kindle Scout — you can read the first 5,000 words HERE. You’ll meet both my heroines and both my heroes in the excerpt. If you nominate my story and it’s published by Kindle Scout, then you’ll receive a free copy! 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.”

This is a book of the heart…any questions? Please ask!!

Thank you for stopping by…………..

~Jina

PS — As I post tonight LOVE ME FOREVER is Hot & Trending!

PPS — COMING next month: a full account of my experience with Kindle Scout.

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2014: Why haven’t you finished that book yet? by Jina Bacarr

January 11, 2014 by in category Blogs tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
© | Dreamstime.com

The clock is ticking…

Tick tock…tick tock…

How many words did you write today? Why haven’t you finish that book yet?

We all torment ourselves with these phrases and then blame our lack of productivity on…

Twitter…Facebook…Instagram…kids…family…the Internet…not enough coffee.

It’s all about focus.

And finding that beautiful space in our minds where we can run free and create and write and write and write.

It can be as elusive as a butterfly.

But well worth going after, no matter what gets in our way.

According to experts, interruptions can put a big damper on our concentration and it can take about ten minutes to get the writing flowing again.

So the next time an email pops into your Inbox, or the phone rings, or someone yells, “Hey, Mom, are you busy?” know that it’s not your fault if it takes a few minutes to get back into the moment.

Then let the butterfly in your mind run free…

Best,
Jina

www.jinabacarr.com  
www.facebook.com/JinaBacarr.author
https://twitter.com/JinaBacarr
http://www.pinterest.com/jbacarr

In case you missed it, here is an 11-minute video with an excerpt from Chapter One in my novella, “A Soldier’s Italian Christmas” available on Amazon Kindle.

You can be sure I had a lot of interruptions putting this together, but I finished it!


A Soldier’s Italian Christmas: Excerpt from Chapter One from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

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A Soldier’s Italian Christmas Video Debut by Jina Bacarr

December 11, 2013 by in category Blogs tagged as , , , , , , , , , ,
UPDATED: A full 11:32 minute excerpt from Chapter ONE of A Soldier’s Italian Christmas!


A Soldier’s Italian Christmas: Excerpt from Chapter One from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

A web debut: I just finished this video trailer for my holiday novella. I’m debuting it here!!

“A Soldier’s Italian Christmas”

O’Casey Brothers in Arms 1

December 1943
Italy

 

He is a U.S Army captain, a battle-weary soldier who has lost his faith.
She is a nun, her life dedicated to God.        
Together they are going to commit an act the civilized world will not tolerate.
They are about to fall in love.    


A Soldier’s Italian Christmas from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

 

Making videos is a labor of love…choosing the photos, the music, editing, cutting, transitions, effects. This one is filled with visuals that I believe bring the story to life in a different way. Giving you a sense of place but it’s the emotion that tells the story…
 
Words or video. You gotta feel it.
 
Writers write to tell a story. At Christmas, that story can make you laugh, sigh, or wish you had that hunky Santa coming down your chimney.
 
My holiday novella takes on a different tone. It’s a sweet romance filled with the spirit of Christmas in a time when soldiers paused to remember the night of the birth of the Christ Child in a time when they wondered if they’d be home for the next Christmas…
 
Captain Mack O’Casey is one such soldier. You’ll meet him in my video and in this excerpt. He first met Sister Angelina dressed in men’s clothes when she was on a mission to steal food from the Nazis. This is the first time he sees her in a nun’s habit:
 
He never spoke about it, how sometimes he didn’t want to keep going. Keep killing. And then they stumbled into this place, giving him the chance to renew his spirit, get back the faith in God he’d lost. He felt whole again, believing there was still good left in the world. That knocked the hell out of him. He’d even whistled a tune this morning he heard in the canteen back in the States about carousels and wishing wells.
Damn, it wasn’t right for a man to feel these things in the middle of a war. It tore at his gut. Men were getting killed or wounded, groveling through mud and booby traps for every foot closer to victory. And him thinking about home and apple blossoms and the smell of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. Rich tomatoes and oregano sifting up to his nose until he couldn’t stand it any longer. His younger brothers fighting over who got the first taste from the smooth wooden spoon.
Mack ached to go home, to sit by the fire and warm his cold feet and have a beer, but that wouldn’t happen until this war was won. Hell, since coming here, he felt like he could win it single-handed. Thanks to Sister Angelina. He felt a bond between them that could only happen in wartime. He wanted to tell how he felt, but when he awoke this morning, Sister Benedetto told him she’d gone to the chapel to pray. He couldn’t leave without seeing her again.
The rustle of heavy skirts alerted him to her presence as a gentle waft of roses tickled his nose. Yellow roses. He sucked in the clean, fresh smell deep into his lungs, praying it would kill the smell of death he’d lived with for so long. A wild anticipation made him sweat and set off feelings he had no business admitting to in a place of worship.
For her.
He uttered a prayer of contrition. He needed forgiveness for what he was thinking. His mind and body scarred and wracked with pain, all that changed when he first saw Sister Angelina that night. Daring, beautiful. An angel with invisible wings. Her presence filled him. Mack felt a stirring in his groin. He prayed he’d be strong enough to resist temptation.
“I assure you, Captain,” he heard her say behind him. His chest expanded, his lips curved at hearing her voice. “There are no Nazis here.”
“Have you checked the rat holes?” he said, turning around. A wild, blinding light hit him in the eyes. My God, who was this saintly creature? He didn’t expect her to, well, look like a nun.
She wore the black habit of her order with the long veil trailing down to her knees, wide white collar, full black sleeves, and skirt down to the floor. A stern white band hugged her forehead, bringing out the beauty of her dark upswept eyes. A rigid tightness locked every bone in his body. The sight of her holy state hit him hard, as if someone had dumped him into a cold river.
He must look like a fool standing here, staring at her.
“They wouldn’t dare enter the house of our Lord without His permission,” she responded in a serious tone. If she noticed his surprise, she gave no indication. “That includes the four-legged ones.”
He grinned. A nun with a sense of humor. He liked that.
Rain pounded on the roof giving him a moment to collect his thoughts. Deal with the insanity that had overtaken him. And, in spite of himself, smile. “You’re right, Sister. No man can compete with the will of God. You taught me that.”
His words made her take a step backward, grab onto the pew. She understood and nodded, though slowly. His heart broke when he saw an amber light in her eyes flicker wildly. Then, as if by sheer determination, the light dimmed.
“You’re a strong man, Captain,” she said, “even if you profess to be a pagan.”
Her words surprised him. Was that what she thought of him? Had he grown so hard that no humanity was left in him?
“You’re the one who is strong, Sister Angelina. This pagan is made of flesh and bone,” he said, keeping his voice calm. “I don’t have your courage.”
He swore her hands trembled before she hid them in the deep pockets of her habit. But it was her face that held his attention. Clean and untouched, her cheeks flamed. She bowed her head, her long eyelashes fluttering. “I have little choice. I must obey His will.”
“Is that the only reason you hid the sergeant and me in the orphanage?” He had to know the answer. Then he could hide his feelings away in the shadows of war and not feel the pain of wanting her.
“No,” she said softly. “My vows prohibit me from saying more.” She stared at him, daring him to cross the line they both knew couldn’t be crossed.
Telling him what he wanted to know, but that nothing could come of it.
 
======================
 
A Soldier’s Italian Christmas (O’Casey Brothers in Arms 1) is the story of a soldier and a nun who discover forbidden love in war torn Italy during the winter of 1943.

It is a sweet romance 35,000+ word novella and is now available as an e-book on Amazon

Happy Holidays!!
Jina


=====================

If your Christmas reading is on the spicier side (as in erotic), check out A Naughty Christmas Carol about a modern day Scrooge named Nick Radnor. A New York Wall Street hottie who has it all…except the woman he loves.


Can three sexy female ghosts save his soul on this naughty Christmas Eve?

Find out in A Naughty Christmas Carol.
Cover Design for A Soldier’s Italian Christmas and A Naughty Christmas Carol by Ramona Lockwood
 
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