Thursday, July 3, 2014

KINDLE WORLDS - GOT STORY?



Ever think of writing fan-fiction? Me neither. It never once crossed my mind...not until Amazon contacted me to see if I was interested in making my Lizzy Gardner series into THE LIZZY GARDNER FILES on Kindle Worlds. The idea intrigued me. The thought that Lizzy Gardner fans could try their hand at writing a story in Lizzy's world made sense. What the heck? What did I have to lose. As it turns out...absolutely nothing!

Recently, I asked one of my favorite mystery writers and good friend, Jana DeLeon, if she might be interested...pretty please...in writing a short story in Lizzy's world. Jana is so awesome, she said, YES! 

Although Jana writes cozy mysteries, she also writes horror and in this short story, Jana's dark humor shines through. Get your copy of UNSAVORY today. You're going to love it! 



Hey, Jana. Thanks for agreeing to talk to me and BIG THANKS for writing in my Lizzy Gardner World. I know you’re super busy and it wasn’t an easy decision to make time to write in someone else’s world. What made you finally say YES?

It was probably three things. First, I love your Lizzy Gardner series and I think you’re awesome. And I thought it would be fun to get WAY outside of my normal box and try my hand at a little thriller. The thought of being able to get in a little dark humor may have also tempted me.

I wrote my own short story for Kindle Worlds in Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines world. I have to say it took more time learning about his world than actually writing the story. How about you? What was the most difficult part of writing in Lizzy’s world?

I’d already read all three books, but my recall is not all that great. I definitely spent time looking things up and asking you questions. J  Heck, I can’t remember my own story timelines when I’m writing, so trying to remember someone else’s well enough to add to it is a lost cause. So yeah, probably more research and fact checking than actual writing.

Your cover is awesome. Can you tell us about it?

I wanted something that looked similar to your covers. I am a hack at Photoshop, but I can do simple stuff. I went with a single image, like your covers, and felt the knife on the black background was the perfect combination of simplicity and foreshadowing. I found fonts for type that were similar to the ones used on your covers. I’m glad you liked it!

How was the process overall? Fun, stressful, horrible? Or let’s put it this way…is this something you would consider doing again—you know, writing in someone’s else world? And please give us details…for instance, were you complaining to your husband every night? Ha.

I am always somewhat stressed because I live at least one month behind on deadlines. I need to just accept that’s the way it will always be and move on. LOL In addition to writing in your world, I am also challenged by the short story format. Until last year, I’d never written one. Ever. UNSAVORY is my third short story and I’m getting better at it. Because I write mysteries, I’m already used to writing tight and fast pacing, but what I have to dial myself back on with short stories is plot. I usually have several twists and turns in my mystery plots, and I simply don’t have the room for that in a short.

I didn’t complain about writing it at all. There are so many other worse things that I wore my husband out with. I had a lot of fun coming up with the characters and the scenario. In one way, it was much harder because they weren’t mine so I had to figure out how to mimic your voice and style. But in another way it was easier because the main characters and the setting were already established, so no creating them from scratch.

If I could find more time, I would definitely consider doing it again.  

I can’t thank you enough for agreeing to do this, Jana. You already know that I think you’re super special, but now I owe you one. Thanks a bunch.

Theresa


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ten Brides for Ten Heroes

Ten Brides for Ten Heroes by NYT, USA Today, and National Bestselling Authors!


Bargain Bundle!


This 10-book bundle features novels by New York times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors at a bargain price. Grab your copy now and save! This is a LIMITED TIME  offer.

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Get ready to toss the bouquet and say, "I do!" as ten brides risk it all to find their happy ever after.

*Here Comes the Bride by Theresa Ragan

*Return of the Runaway Bride by Donna Fasano

*Wedding Fever by Patrice Wilton

*Destination Wedding by Rebecca York

*The Army Doctor's Wedding by Helen Scott Taylor

*Single & Searching by Rita Herron

*Wedding Surprise by Mona Risk

*Summer of Love by Annie Jones

*Tomboy Bride by Alicia Street

*Love Me Tender by Mimi Barbour


Find this book:






Download the companion cookbook FREE at Smashwords!



Featuring 20 delicious recipes that are connected to these wonderful romance novels!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Theresa Ragan and Cheryl Kaye Tardif Compare Their Experiences with Foreign Translations




On June 10th Amazon Crossing, a division of Amazon Publishing, released two German translations: SPIELZUG INS GLÜCK by New York Times/USA Today bestselling author, Theresa Ragan, and DES NEBELS KINDER by international bestselling author, Cheryl Kaye Tardif. Today these authors are going to share their experiences with foreign translations by interviewing each other.

Theresa: Do you mind telling us a little bit about the process of getting your book translated? For instance, when were you approached, and how long did it take to get your book translated?

Cheryl: On August 24, 2011, I was contacted online by an agent who had a client that wanted the Turkish rights to THE RIVER. That deal went ahead and GIZEMLI NEHIR was released about a year later as well. It was actually prominently displayed at the Frankfurt Book Fair. In March 2012, I signed a two-book deal with a Chinese company for the translations of CHILDREN OF THE FOG and WHALE SONG. I believe it took about a year for the ebook editions to come out. However, they are illustrated inside and much went into their production.  


On October 18th, 2013, I was contacted by a representative from Amazon Crossing. Here’s what she said: “We’re launching an invite-only beta program focused on literary translation for select KDP authors to translate their works into German. We think your title, Children of the Fog, would be a good fit for this program.” I was elated! It took just under 8 months before DES NEBELS KINDER was released.

I was paid an advance for my German and Turkish translations. I received no advance for the Chinese editions, but I did not have to pay them. I did pay for the Spanish translation of my non-fiction marketing book.

How about you, Theresa? When were you approached, and how long did it take?

Theresa: In October, 2012, Amazon Crossing translated Abducted which I had sold to Thomas & Mercer. Abducted, IM NETZ DES SPINNENMANNS: THRILLER, hit #1 on Amazon.de and stayed there for over a month. The book did so well I decided to look into finding a German translator and having my KDP books translated. I ended up finding the Libelli Agency in March 2013 and I signed a contract to have them translate HAVING MY BABY, a contemporary romance. Nine months later, in November 2013, Having My Baby (Plötzlich Vater) was released. The entire process for that one title cost me a little over $8,000, but at 70% royalties, I made my initial investment back in the first week! Getting 70% royalties is nice, but it takes money to make money.

By the time Amazon Crossing approached me in July, 2013, I had already signed with the Libelli Agency to translate two of my books. Since I like to try everything, I signed three of my books with Amazon Crossing. I signed a contract in October and eight months later, on June 10th, SPIELZUG INS GLÜCK was released! Two more books are coming soon.

Cheryl, what was your first reaction to seeing the cover? Did you ask for any changes?

Cheryl: My first reaction was absolute joy when I saw the cover for DES NEBELS KINDER. Like most authors, I am very particular about my covers, and since Amazon Crossing was new to me, I was hoping I’d get a cover I liked. Not only do I “like” it, I LOVE it! They perfectly captured an element of the story, the mood and the atmosphere. Then there’s the way they stacked my name. Funny thing, I had once stacked my name like they did, and for some reason I didn’t like it, so I changed it. Yet on the cover of DES NEBELS KINDER it works. Maybe it’s the font, I don’t know. The cover was perfect, so I had no reason to ask for any changes. I am also very happy with the covers for my Chinese, Spanish and Turkish translations.

Theresa, how do you feel about your cover? Did you suggest any changes or tweaks?

Theresa: My biggest problem with being an independent author is choosing a great cover. I go back and forth and I swear I can’t always tell a great cover from an okay cover. It’s so subjective, in my opinion. Anyhow, I didn’t like the font on one of the books, so we played with that for a while and then I wasn’t sure about the color of the font, so I ended up choosing black for the author name. I am so original. Ha! Lucky for me, Amazon Crossing is easy to work with. And patient!

Did you do anything different with the editing process, Cheryl? How involved were you in the process?

Cheryl: Amazon Crossing was very easy to work with and very diligent about keeping my story intact. We had a minor challenge in one chapter where we had to come up with different items as the first letter of each was to spell out a message. But we were able to agree on those items. And there was a poem in the English version that had to be replaced with a different poem so that everything would flow. Other than these, I left it up to my translator. Trust goes a long way to making the process easy. All in all, I would have no problem with them translating any of my books.  


With the Turkish and Spanish translations I trusted the process. With the Chinese ebooks I did have to explain a few times what a character was doing or saying. I had a fair amount of input into the editing and the creation of the illustrations, which are beautiful.

How about you, Theresa? Was your editing process challenging?

Theresa: The editing process for all of my translations have been fairly simple and straightforward. Like you, I did have one problem in that one of my characters, a small child, had a lisp. That lisp did not translate well, so we had to do some tweaking to make it make sense for German readers. I believe the character ended up having a problem with “S” instead of “L”. To tell you the truth, any of these foreign books could be someone else’s story altogether. I don’t mean to scare anyone. I took two years of German when I was very young, but unless you are Tina Folsom and you speak the language, how can you be sure every sentence is your own? It’s called trust. I trust the people at Amazon Crossing and I trust the people at the Libelli Agency. I trust them to care about the books they put out and their reputation. So, overall, it’s been fun.

Is there anything else you’d like to add, Cheryl?

Cheryl: Just my extreme gratefulness to my translator, Ingrid Könemann-Yarnell, and my Amazon Crossing representative, Katrin Mueller, for making my first German translation such an enjoyable experience. I hope to have more works with Amazon Crossing soon. I love that my works are available to those who speak/read other languages. Now if only I had some French translations—half of Quebec might buy them (all the Tardifs). J

Any last words, Theresa?

This has been fun, Cheryl. I’m so glad we’ve had a chance to meet and blog together. I must say I do love your cover for Des Nebels Kinder. Very eerie…which I love. Congratulations on your success in the foreign markets. I would also like to thank Katrin Mueller with Amazon Crossing, and Birte and Ute with the Libelli Agency. I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with.


One last thing…I also had a book translated in Spanish. The book is doing great. I have 15 five stars, which tells me that my translator did a great job. También es hijo mío has been doing well in the U.S. and Spain. For anyone interested in having a novel translated in Spanish, feel free to contact Angeles Aragón. Her website is http://www.elregalodesuvida.com. You can email Angeles at geleraragon@gmail.com and ask her for a quote on what it would cost to have your book translated.



Author Bios:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Theresa Ragan grew up with four sisters in Lafayette, California. She has garnered six Golden Heart nominations in Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart Competition for her work. After writing for twenty years, Theresa decided to self-publish in March, 2011, and has sold over one million books since that time. In 2012, she signed with Thomas & Mercer and is having the time of her life. Theresa writes medieval time travels, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and thrillers under the name T.R. Ragan. OBSESSED, the fourth book in her bestselling Lizzy Gardner series is available for pre-order. To learn more about Theresa you can visit her website at www.theresaragan.com.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author represented by Trident Media Group in New York. Her novels include Divine Sanctuary, Submerged, Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, Lancelot’s Lady (written under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo) and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls "a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel." Cheryl also has three Stephen King-inspired works: Dream House (short story), Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories and Remote Control (novelette). Cheryl is also the owner/publisher of Imajin Books, a hybrid publishing company.

Booklist raves, "Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border."

Cheryl's website: www.cherylktardif.com
Imajin Books: www.imajinbooks.com


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Theresa Ragan Self-Publishing Update



Recently, I attended Romantic Times in New Orleans. More than a few authors thanked me for my Sales Ranking Chart and my Self-Publishing Tips for those authors who are considering self-publishing and don't know where to start. 

I can't tell you how grateful I was that they took the time to stop me and tell me that I helped out in some small way. After struggling for so long, doing everything I could to get published and finally finding readers, it was and is very gratifying to know that I might have actually helped someone else on their publishing journey.

Somebody at RT also suggested that it might be time for an update. I thought that was a good idea! 

Sales - As of this month, May 2014, I have sold over one million e-books! Hooray! As for money earned, you do the math. 

Foreign Sales - I have had three books translated for foreign markets on my own--two in German and one in Spanish. My german translated book, Having My Baby (Plötzlich Vater) cost $8,000 to have translated, but I made all costs back within the first week. The spanish version (También es hijo mío) cost less than half that to have translated, but took three months to recoup initial costs. My other german translated time travel romance (Die Rückkehr der Rosecost closer to $9,000 and will take six to nine months to recoup costs, which tells me that contemporary romance sell better than time travel romance novels in Germany, but who knows. Another time travel novel could hit #1 and I wouldn't be surprised. All three books will earn nearly 70% royalties for life. Because I like to try everything, Amazon Crossing will be publishing three of my romance novels: Taming Mad Max/Spielzug ins Glück, A Knight in Central Park/Ein Ritter im Central Park, and Finding Kate Huntley (no link available yet). Although the royalties will be less than the books I have translate on my own, Amazon Crossing is great to work with and they do all of the work--covers, translations, editing, and promotion. 

Support Groups - In 2013, I joined together with nine other bestselling authors to form The Indie Voice and together, with a boxed set that is no longer available, we hit the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling lists. What a thrill. The best part is having nine new author friends. Together we published The Naked Truth about Self-Publishing and we used the royalties to throw a wonderful party at the 2013 RT in Kansas City and also to buy a booth at the BEA. If you're in New York between 5/28 and 5/31/14 stop by Booth #DZ1761 and say hi!  

Boxed Sets - My newest boxed set, Hearts Out of Time, will only be available for a limited time, but I am going to frame the cover! I can't tell you how exciting it is to be included in a Time Travel Boxed Set with Jennifer Blake, Christina Skye, Dee Davis and Monique Martin. I am seriously pinching myself because in 1991, when I decided I wanted to be a writer, I thought I would write time travels and nothing else. Return of the Rose garnered me many awards in the past and snagged me my first agent. It just happens to be one of those books that means the world to me.

Amazon/Thomas & Mercer - In July, 2012, I signed with Thomas & Mercer, giving them control of my Lizzy Gardner series. I like to experiment. I listen to what other authors have to say about their experiences, but I like to try things for myself before I decide what's best for me and my books. I suggest you do the same. Although I love having control of pricing, promotion and marketing, working with Alan Turkus and the rest of the Amazon group has been an amazing experience. I published ABDUCTED by TR RAGAN in May, 2011, and sold 150,000 copies before I gave up control to T&M. Since July of 2012, T&M has kept the readership growing, reaching over 200,000 additional readers since that time. Remember, I am only talking about one book--Abducted. The other books in the series have also done very well. Book #4, OBSESSED, is available for pre-order now and I just turned in Book #5! So, in conclusion, and in my opinion, my decision to work with T&M has been a great success so far. BTW, Abducted, Dead Weight and A Dark Mind are on sale thru 5/31/14.

Okay, that's it for now. Keep writing and never give up!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Want to travel through time?

Now's your chance to travel through time with Jennifer Blake, Christina Skye, Monique Martin, Dee Davis and me for the low price of $.99. This deal won't last forever! 




Sunday, May 11, 2014

OBSESSED

Book #4 in the Lizzy Gardner series is available for pre-order!



And Books 1, 2, and 3 are on sale through the end of May! Don't miss your chance to follow Lizzy and her assistants as they go after some of the most unsavory characters in Sacramento.



Buy Now for $.99









Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Lizzy Gardner Files WANTS YOU!


The Lizzy Gardner Files in Kindle Worlds is now open for submissions! 


Join me in this adventure and be the first to submit a story to The Lizzy Gardner World!


Go HERE and then click on the Lizzy Gardner Files to get started. 


Go HERE for FAQs.


When Lizzy Gardner was only seventeen, what should have been the perfect night became the perfect nightmare. Kidnapped just blocks from home after a romantic evening with her boyfriend, Jared, she woke up to find herself at the mercy of a depraved serial killer. Imprisoned and tormented for months by the maniac she came to know as Spiderman, Lizzy narrowly escaped, the only one of his victims to survive. But Spiderman escaped too, outwitting police and cursing Lizzy to spend her life looking over her shoulder…

Fourteen years later, Lizzy is a private investigator who teaches self-defense to teenage girls in her free time. She does what she can to help others protect themselves and to forget the horror of her ordeal, yet fears she will always be known as “the one who got away.” Then she receives a phone call from Jared, now a special agent for the FBI, with grim news. The killer has resurfaced, this time with a very specific target—Lizzy. And he’s made it clear that she will not escape him again. So begins a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, a terrifying, heart-pounding hunt that only one will survive.


Private investigator Lizzy Gardner knows a thing or two about living in the past. As a teenager, she was terrorized by a serial killer, an ordeal that haunted her for more than a decade before the maniac was finally stopped. So when terminally ill Ruth Fullerton begs Lizzy to reopen the cold case into her daughter’s disappearance, it’s hard to say no. More than twenty years have passed since Carol Fullerton vanished, abandoning her car by the side of a California freeway. The police wrote her off as a runaway, yet something tells Lizzy the truth isn’t so simple…

Carol’s cold case has barely begun to thaw when Andrea Kramer shows up at Lizzy’s door. Andrea’s sister, Diane, has been missing for months, and she’s convinced a charismatic weight-loss guru—part Tony Robbins and part Richard Simmons—is responsible. Diane was obese, but could her obsession with losing weight have led to her disappearance?

As if two active missing persons cases weren’t enough, Lizzy is also trying to manage her two teenage assistants, including one as wounded and haunted by her past as Lizzy.


A serial killer is terrorizing Sacramento, preying on happily married couples and unleashing unspeakable cruelties upon his victims. The ordeal rekindles disturbing memories for private investigator Lizzy Gardner, who barely escaped a serial killer’s clutches only years ago. But while most Sacramento residents are hiding in the shadows, paralyzed by fear, Lizzy is compelled to go after the Lovebird Killer.

So it’s no surprise that, when a routine workers’ compensation case suddenly leads her and her two young assistants onto the killer’s trail, she welcomes the chase, determined to bring him to justice before he can claim another victim. She never imagines he could be two steps ahead, watching her every move and plotting his bloodiest, most triumphant conquest of all.





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