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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 Archives 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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Women in the Civil War: North and South by Jina Bacarr

March 11, 2015 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My favorite things are anything vintage.

Stuffed away in my closet I have a blue parasol trimmed with white lace, a pair of old lace-up, pointy boots.

And a hoop skirt.

As flighty and unpredictable as any belle from the Civil War.

But the reality of the role of women during the War Between the States is more than flirty belles twirling a pretty parasol. Women worked as nurses, volunteered as soldiers, risked their lives as spies. They were The Women of the Civil War: North and South.

This is the 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War. I’ve always loved this era since I first saw Scarlett sitting on the front porch at Tara with the Tarleton Twins and pooh-poohing the idea of war coming. So I’ve just finished my own Civil War novel–a time travel…more about that coming up. I’ll update as things progress.

One thing the women of the North and South had in common was their love for the men fighting. They became nurses, took wounded into their homes, sewed blankets and uniforms, baked breads and jellies, and fought beside them. They did everything they could to help their cause.

Can you imagine living in a time when wearing a corset day and night was required? Women found themselves not only hampered by stays, but petticoats and those hoop skirts.  I got my hoop skirt from the costume department in a theater where I worked years ago…they were throwing it away!! No, I couldn’t have that. I was thrilled to take it off their hands. Since then, I’ve worn it under a Civil War era gown to commemorative events, book signings, and costume parties.

When I was writing my CW time travel, I put it on again. Just to get the feel of what it was like.

Floating…is how I would describe it.

It’s so important to walk the walk, talk the talk of the time. I’m fascinated with the women who fought as soldiers. Imagine trying to keep your identity secret among a bunch of rowdy troops. Not easy. According to reports, many women signed up to get a regular paycheck. How about being a nurse? You had to be over thirty and plain.

And what about being a spy? Sounds glamorous…but dangerous. Imagine hiding a letter written in cipher in your pantaloons.

Thanks for stopping by…and as I mentioned, more about my Civil War time travel when I have news!

Best,
Jina

http://jinabacarr.com
@JinaBacarr

UPDATED:

I’m very excited to announce that my Civil War Time Travel “LOVE ME FOREVER” is up on Kindle Scout website for a month long campaign beginning Sunday, March 29, 2015.

For more info on the Kindle Scout Program CLICK HERE. This is where you, the reader, can choose which books are published. A super idea and fun for both readers and writers.

 LOVE ME FOREVER 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 of more than 500 pages. 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!!

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National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day by Jina Bacarr

January 11, 2015 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , ,

The picture says it all…

Now if it would only rain here in So Cal!! Perfect for romance.

~Jina

jinabacarr.com
@jinabacarr

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Who’s ever seen a Christmas Piano Tree? by Jina Bacarr

December 11, 2014 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,

I asked myself that question when I was looking for ideas for a cover for my holiday romance, A Christmas Piano Tree.

You can’t stick a picture of a Christmas tree on a piano…and the story is a romance. Got to have gorgeous hero and pretty heroine on the cover…but where to start?

That’s when I decided to take a cover class from Andris Bear www.andrisbear.com and Lily Smith http://www.coversbylily.com through the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.

http://heartofcarolina.org

Andris and Lily critiqued and gave suggestions to my cover until I got it right. Thank you, ladies!! I highly recommend their class if you want to do your own covers. Lily and Andris are awesome!

I love www.Dreamstime.com for stock photos, and since I have somewhat of an art background, I enjoy the process of cover design (once upon another life I studied design for the theatre). Here is a Spanish-theme sketch I did for a Vegas-type extravaganza.

Jina Bacarr's photo.
 

I’ve always had a love for design since I was a kid and I drew pictures in my dad’s encyclopedias (remember those?).

Here’s a sketch for a dress design I did at age 11. Somehow it has survived numerous moves around the country and overseas…

What kind of covers do you enjoy for Christmas books?

I totally enjoyed putting the cover together for “A Christmas Piano Tree,” the story of a pretty young war widow who re-discovers the magic of the holiday season with the help of a homeless vet and an old piano. I hope you like it.

Check out my Christmas Piano Tree Pinterest board!

 Cyber Santa is asking for your vote…

The Christmas Piano Tree” is included in the December Cover Wars on Masqueradecrew.blogspot.com!

Check out all the wonderful covers and vote for your favorites… 

Thanks for listening! 

~Jina

Vote for The Christmas Piano Tree or one of several others: http://buff.ly/1vD4xsW

www.jinabacarr.com

http://www.pinterest.com/jbacarr   

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