Small news

Long story short: It’s the holidays. I’ve seen more sales in Kindle than any other format of my books, including print for all the traditionalists. :)

So!! If you have a Kindle, read Kindle books, or just plain want to help a girl out, all three of my books are now at 99c each! I will keep this sale going through the holidays, and maybe a bit longer.

Link here: http://amzn.to/ogCVcl

Happy shopping!

K.G.

Announcement!

I am delighted to announce that Book 3: Lineage is finally approved for sale, and is available via CreateSpace, and soon Amazon (US, UK, Germany) as well.

Also, my major thanks to Bill Zafiros and Sam Kimball of Spirit Cruises, for a most wonderful show with Bobby Caldwell, which I’ll write about…tonight!

And extra-special thanks to everyone who was an influence on this volume. :)

K.G.

Back to the Drawing Board…almost!

The proof for Book 3 had just arrived, and at first glance, it’s absolutely beautiful. Marion Meadows’s artwork on the cover was an ideal touch, and the general concept works.

Except the fact that it’s largely off-center. Whooooooops! It’s an easy adjustment, though, and the cover is back for re-proofing.

Meeting Jenna tonight, to check on ad imaging, and the original back-cover prototype. I could well be re-submitting the files with a brand-new back cover to boot…

One down, one to go!!!

K.G.

Whew. This has been a very nutty three days so far.

Here’s the skinny, in short form:

– Gayle has interviewed me. Yes, she’s also my editor. I’ll also interview her. That link is coming up.

– Jamie DeBree of the Variety Pages will post another chunk of Book 1 for your reading pleasure.

– I have revived my account on Goodreads! And, lo and behold, Books 1 and 2 have been on there for some time. Those links are added, and updated. Addendum: Shelfari page for Book 3 is also up.

– The About The Index Series page is updated also, with precise book-buying links. Previews included.

– The proof copy for Book 3 will arrive earlier than scheduled! I expect it tomorrow, in face.

– Same goes for the postcards. If you’re not a New Yorker, and you spot the ‘cards..well, I have minions everywhere! *evil cackle*

…ahem.

And so it begins…

K.G.

This just in…

My books are now also available in Smashwords format. If you have a Kobo or a Sony E-Reader, I wouldn’t think to keep you out of the loop!

Coming up: interviews! Reviews! Work to do!

Let the good times roll!

K.G.

LINKS:

Book 1: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/69557

Book 2: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/69566

Book 3: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/69571

ETA: And this just in – the Nook copy got approved!

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Index-Book-3/Katherine-Gilraine/e/2940012800237

And ETA 2: Amazon Kindle is up!

http://amzn.to/mfAC1a

Cover, Cover…

Now, this is an interesting twist.

You guys know that the cover is the first eye-catcher of any publication, especially for a self-pub like myself. When I first started the book, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted them to look like. When Jenna Bacci stepped forward and, at the age of14, drew me the first cover, I got a crash-course in the importance of a good cover. Jenna’s cover for Book 1 was very, very well-received, and even now, two years after it got released, I get a lot of compliments on the cover art.

Book 2 – same reaction.

So now, the cover of Book 3, which you see here.

This is what I kept under wraps since late 2010: my guest cover designer is none other than Marion Meadows, who doubles as a digital artist, photographer, and web designer in addition to the overall Hurricane Soprano Sax thing. You know him best for the latter; I know him for the fact that the Photoshop-related contents of his computer put the same contents on mine to shame. Seriously, I kid you not. The man is a brilliant designer.

And also know this: the fact that Marion was the contributor this time has absolutely no bearing on Jenna’s art. This is my first full-wraparound cover, and Jenna’s task this time was to design and draw around Marion’s art.

The idea of a joint cover came about accidentally, and it mostly came about because, at the end of the day, I still had no idea what to do for Book 3. My original idea was to have my main character share stage with another, on a select background. However, life happened, and the concept, while still there, was relegated to the back burner. I started thinking of other concepts, and Jenna did too. We hashed, hashed, and rehashed…nothing came to fruition enough to say, “Yes, this is it!”

Enter Capital Jazz Supercruise 2010.

To preface this, I will say first that Marion and I have known each other a few years. Heck, I met him before I got Book 1 out the door! After one show in Jersey, he let me take a look at his unofficial portfolio (read: contents of his hard drive). Believe me when I say that this is a designer of prodigious skill, with a particular gift for fantasy art.  Aboard the cruise, lost for ideas still, mid-editing grind, I  asked if I could use a piece for a potential book cover.

The hunt was on. He and I found a piece  out of his portfolio, and over two hours, transformed it into…well, what you see here. I blanched out the background, touched up some small bits and pieces, and coordinated the fonts, and the cover was complete.

When Jenna and I reunited after the cruise, this piece had been sitting there for some time, and I knew one thing firmly: that I don’t have to have just one artist. I can easily have both.

Voila!

I will say this, guys: Book 3’s back cover is in progress, and if I know Jenna, it will be absolutely stunning.

This, ladies and gents, is how Book 3 cover came to be, and special thanks to Marion Meadows, owner and sole proprietor of RedTele Design, for his contribution, and for inadvertently inspiring an excellent overall concept for the full cover.

K.G.

Lessons

As The Awesome Gayle and I work hard to get Book 3 ready for preliminary proofing, I find myself thinking – a lot – about the lessons that I learned as a self-published author. Particularly on marketing.

I won’t lie: self-publishing is not for you if you’re looking to make a huge, massive profit immediately. While yes, I do hope that the series will evolve into a primary means of income for me, when I started looking for an agent, I realized that if the traditional route won’t work, then self-publication would be my only choice. But along with that, I knew that if I was going to self-publish, it was not going to be about the money, because that came with massive sales, and I was not naive enough to believe that I’d sell very well, very fast. I had two choices: keep looking for an agent, or self-publish and work like a dog with the hope of my books reaching enough acclaim and forward momentum to make up for the lack of traditional publication.

Of course, life didn’t work out that way.

I won’t say that’s a bad thing, though. The reason that things that were related to the book had taken a back seat – Book 2 did not at all sell well – was still a good one: I got heavily into the music world, and graphic design had taken off. Still, the lost momentum showed. Distraction in consistent book marketing when you’re a self-pub can and does reflect on the long-term success of your work. And it’s a lesson I learned the hard way.

But the beautiful thing is that in my work with music, I learned the ins and outs of marketing – and it’s a tool that is invaluable for a self-pub author. That is the skill I will be taking with me as I am prepping to proof Book 3

All of this I’m keeping in mind, and hope to keep the momentum going before I begin the rewrite and prep of Book 4. The next arc – 3 books long – will wait, but in getting that out, I hope to keep the lessons that I have learned from the first one.

K.G.

PS: A chunk of Book 1 for your reading pleasure at Jamie DeBree’s!

Phew! At last!

I finally wrapped up the editing/rewriting job on Book 3: Lineage. The fully-edited (as in, Gayle had gutted through the line and the content edit) manuscript is complete through Chapter 12. So six more chapters to touch up, and then, we are good to go!

While this is by no means the first time I’ve written or published a book, every time I do one, I look back and think of what happened when I first conceived the plot for this part of the series, and the effort that it took to produce it. This book, however, is a joint effort on many levels, and although I’m the sole concept copyright holder for the series and the content, it belongs equal parts to everyone who contributed to the manuscript, whether directly or not so much.

So, now that I’ve wrapped it up, I’m looking back to November of 2008, NaNoWriMo. I’ve had my one-year anniversary of working at the Day Job. By then, I had my first tax season. And I booked my very first jazz vacation, the All Star Cruise 2009. And I was rereading the past two manuscripts, even in their woefully incomplete state, and asked myself, “What should I do with the third book? I don’t quite have the Big Picture of the overall series plot. And I know I want to introduce a character or two…or five.”

You read correctly: I didn’t have the full series, or at least the arc, plotted through just yet. I just didn’t! Books 1 and 2, respectively, while related, could’ve clearly stood as separate books, but I wanted to have something maybe a little bit a la J.K. Rowling, at least in the sense that as the series progressed, every book became connected. I just had no idea how to make it happen at that time. And it was November 1st! You know what that meant: time to write. The what to write part…I clearly recall saying something like “screw it, I’ll wing it!”

Except, um…I was still editing Book 1.

Oh yeah. That was an interesting time. For those of y’all who didn’t know me then…and that’s a lot of you…I wrote, edited, prepped, and published Book 1 completely on my own. This was before Gayle took the reins of editing. I sent the draft to several friends who pointed out whatever small errors they could find, but the bulk of ferreting out plotline errors, phrasing, scenery, etc. fell to me. And it was a grueling task. I wrapped the first manuscript in Christmas 06, spent most of 2007 rewriting the beginning half, and the bulk of 2008 editing the rewrite. To say that choosing that time to start writing Book 3 – while Book 2 stood on the sidelines, awaiting an edit – was a bad idea is an understatement.

But I did it anyway. And before I knew it, the characters were writing themselves. And, as I kept going back and referring to Books 1 and 2 to help me set the stage for the Book 3 plot, I realized that the overall plotline was getting clearer too. The arc was now set up to the point where I knew I could at least scene-block the opening bits of Book 4, which would help me immensely later on, when it came time to write it.

I won NaNo that year, went on the cruise in January of ’09, finished the edit of and released Book 1, and dug back into Book 3’s first draft full force.

That’s when I realized that I’ve had some key contributors that I couldn’t ignore.

One of my best friends, a fellow writer, and most crucially someone with one of the wackiest senses of humor I’ve ever met, had been my sound-board for a lot of the fun scenes. I will tell you this: suggestions on shenanigans involving Jason Watson involved things like, “Turn him into a chicken!” and “Put him into Underworld? If you wrote Kirare as you did, he’d kill him first!” The infamous s’mores scene came about in a plotting conversation with her, when I exclaimed, “If Jason were to experiment with his powers, he’d make s’mores, knowing him!”

My friend’s response: “WRITE IT!”

And so I did, right then and there. And I still chuckle whenever I think about it!

I can’t forget Jenna either, and her you may know already: you see her artwork on the first two covers. The first cover, she did at the age of 14, second cover happened shortly before her 16th birthday. Now, she’s 17, and has been continuously evolving as an artist and graphic designer in her own right. And you know – she gave the characters a face. You may see The Index Series Facebook page, it has all of her artwork related to the series, and even with the sketchpad cover art, she had contributed every bit to making the books come alive. It’s fair to say that without her, I would really not have “met” my characters.

Of course, then, there is Gayle. By now, I no longer remember how we connected, but I do know this: I will never hire another editor if I can help it. So far, she’s been a key counsel on various plot points, hashing them through over the phone, via chat, via email, or otherwise.

The other contribution came very recently, and came well after I began the official rewrite of Book 3, and about this one…well, I’ll tell you the who, the what, and the how after I release the book. But suffice it to say, this contribution, which came around almost accidentally, is an interesting one. For one, it made the cover of the third book a joint effort across three individuals. For two, it kind of tied my music and my writing in an entirely different way; while I write at jazz shows, this one is clearly a new twist on a creative link.

This series isn’t just mine anymore, and few things make me happier than to say that. Creatively, it is very much a joint effort, and it brought together a lot of influences from friends and creative counterparts alike.

And now, it’s a slow slide to release…which will happen soon!

K.G.

The finish line for Book 3 is in sight!!

In news:

– Got interviewed by my fellow author, Jamie DeBree! Interview here. You can find out more about Jamie at her blog, The Variety Pages.

– Chapters 12-16 are in the hands of my beloved editor, Gayle, and are percolating.

– Which means that only Chapter 17 and 18 are left!!!

This is a very special book to me, on many levels. It was kind of waiting in the background, while Gayle, Jenna, and I clocked away at making Books 1 and 2 happen. Book 3 is a joint effort in a lot of ways…and I’ll tell you more about it once it is done. :)

Which – if things go as planned! – will be soon!

K.G.