Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Release: The Weight of a Wing by Ioana Visan

After 4 (four!) years, The Weight of a Wing is finally released.

This was the first novel I wrote in English with the vague intent of publication at the time. Being a so-called debut novel, I knew it needed a lot of work, so I kept rewriting it in between writing and even publishing other things. At one point, I started working on the second book in the series, but I couldn’t finish it because the first wasn’t officially completed.

Finally, after four years, I told myself enough was enough. The story was there and getting it through a dozen more drafts was not going to make it any better, so I contacted my editor. Now I could finish the second book, then write the third and final, and figure out how the story ended because, you see, I was curious, too. You’re welcome!

The Weight of a Wing is currently available exclusively via Amazon for the promotional price $0.99 for a limited amount of time, and it's free via Kindle Unlimited. Add it to your Goodreads to-read list, and join me for the Facebook book release party on Thursday to talk about books, magic and have a lot of fun. Giveaways will be available on the blogs participating in the release day blitz scheduled for April 16, and also on LibraryThing and BookLikes. If you read the book, please leave a review.

Without further ado, let's join a wingless fairy in her quest for justice!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Weight of a Wing Excerpt

Manuscript final edits in, files formatted and ready to upload, review copies sent. Ready for the book launch. :)

You know what this means, right? It's time for an excerpt.

The first chapter was posted on Wattpad. The second chapter will be added on Wednesday, followed by the third chapter on Thursday.

This would be a good time to subscribe to the newsletter if you want to read an even longer excerpt.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ebook returns on Amazon

The Nightingale Circus was recently discounted for a week on Amazon, so I thought I'd tell you a bit of what I noticed regarding refunds. Not a glorious subject, I know, when I should brag instead about the number of sales and how it entered Amazon Top 50 Paid (it did!), but this topic needs to be addressed too.

During the 2 and 1/2 years that I've been self-published, I had less than a dozen ebooks refunded on Amazon. Not a big deal obviously so I didn't worry about it. Some buyers' practices did catch my attention though. I will never understand why anyone would ever return a free book. I don't quite understand the return of $0.99 books either. Unless you buy tons of $0.99 books per week, you surely won't get broke because of it.

Still, from what I heard, people do return ebooks quite often and sometimes for the wrong reason. So what would the right reasons be?
1. technological issues - and by this I mean corruption of the ebook file. Of course, the file should be tested on two devices before being returned. It's not Amazon or the writer's responsibility to make sure you own a properly working device.
2. poor formatting - I did see some poorly formatted ebooks that would make the reading experience terrible, but this is usually obvious from the sample available on Amazon, so why buy the book in the first place?
3. non-consistent editing - as in the sample is edited and the rest of the book isn't. I haven't encountered such books, but no doubt there are, though hopefully not that many.
4. misleading description - the book is suppose to be about one subject, but then you discover it's nothing as such. This is a bit debatable because it shouldn't include the quality of the writing.
5. mistake buy - I guess not everyone checks ten times before making a purchase so this should be allowed, but I think the book should be returned in the following 24 hours and not wait for 7 seven days as the current Amazon policy allows.

Any other reason is a big no-no as far as I'm concerned. When you buy a book, you take a chance. You can't return it just because you didn't like it the same way you can't ask for refunds after consuming a meal, watching a movie or a play. The best you can do is write a negative review and warn other potential customers about it.

Now, as responsible readers, we do have to check a few things before making a purchase:
1. title and author - is this the book we want? The release date helps too.
2. book description - would we enjoy reading a book on that subject? Also pay attention to grammar and spelling errors, big red flags when it comes to the editing quality.
3. price - can we afford it? Is it much more expensive than other books in the same genre? Honestly, I saw the other day a $14 ebook, and it wasn't written by a well-known bestselling author. I was like WTF? Unless you publish world wide bestselling books year after year, in which case you can do whatever the hell you want, anything over $10 seems terribly overpriced for fiction. It's different for non-fiction, text books and art books.
4. length - this should also be correlated with the price in most cases. I see many books that are only a few dozen pages long. Don't feel cheated if you haven't done your research before buying.
5. sample - do take the time to read the whole sample. Pay attention to the quality of the editing and the author's voice. You'll be stuck with it for the entire rest of the book.
6. reviews - yes, they're subjective, but they're supposed to be that way. I first check the 1 and 2-star reviews to see if there are mentions of things that would particularly bother me. And then I check on Goodreads to see what my friends thought of the book.

In the end, after you purchased and read the book, leave a review, subjective as it may be.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Nightingale Circus on Sale and Broken People Giveaway

There are lots of goodies in April, and no, this is not an April Fool's joke!

First, The Nightingale Circus is discounted to $0.99 on Amazon between April 1 - April 7.

Then, there's another BookLikes giveaway you can enter to win a copy of Broken People until April 15.

And last, The Weight of a Wing will be released on April 16 with the promotional price $0.99. There will also be a book release party on Facebook with more goodies, but you will have to attend to see what they are.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 March Reading List

Half the World by Joe Abercrombie – I went back and read my thoughts on the first book in the series, and it looks like Abercrombie fixed everything that was “wrong” and got it right this time around. There are some great scenes in there—a good read as a whole. My only complaint is we didn’t get Yarvi’s POV, and I was looking forward to that. 4/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

The Perils of Pleasure by Julie Anne Long – Not as enjoyable as the other two books I’ve read from this series. 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

Glitch by Hugh Howey – Well written but it felt like it was only the beginning of the story and the most interesting part was missing. Plus, I kept getting flashbacks of Real Steel. 3/5 stars Amazon

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead – After reading the first three books in the Bloodlines series and coming to a conclusion that wrapped things nicely for me, I decided to wait until all the other three books in the series were out before reading them. Now that I did read them all three in a row, I don’t remember what the first book was about. What I do remember is that despite Adrian being my favorite character from both Bloodlines and Vampire Academy series, I didn’t care for his POV at all. 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead – I have issues with scenarios in which the characters are locked up and brainwashed, so it was difficult for me to enjoy this book. Plus, towards the end, the plot gets really crazy. 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead – By now, the big exposition chucks, especially the ones retelling events from the past, became too much so I skipped a lot. It all ended wrapped in a bow and highly unlikely. I enjoyed the first three books in the series better, but as a whole, VA is better written and makes more sense even though Rose used to drive me nuts. 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

The Robot Chronicles edited by David Gatewood – I only truly enjoyed 4 out of 14 stories. Several felt unfinished. And why can’t there be any happy robot stories? 3/5 stars Amazon

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell by Brandon Sanderson – An unfortunate title that only makes sense after you read the story. I felt a bit let down by the ending, but it was a good read. 4/5 stars Amazon

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine – I didn’t care for the bullying, all characters behaved irrationally at one point or another, and the romance was awkward, but I did get caught up by the action in the story. 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz – Sex and the City without the humor and utterly boring. 2/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

Castle in the Sky by Dianna Wynne Jones – Howl’s Moving Castle remains my favorite, but this was fun too. 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

Like No Other Lover by Julie Anne Long – It would have been more interesting if the heroes would have spent less time apart. 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

Since the Surrender by Julie Anne Long – This was slightly better, though it puzzles me someone as rich as the Everseas kept allowing commoners to marry into their family. 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

I Kissed an Earl by Julie Anne Long – Highly improbable for anything like this to happen, not one of my favorite despite having a plot for a change, though the banter was fun. 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long – Love me a smart woman any day, a bit of a Cinderella tale, and a rather predictable plot. Loved the cat! 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long – A bit of a hit and miss this one and the vicar left me cold, though it was probably expected. 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long – While portrayed rather silly, with a few exceptions, in the previous books, Jonathan is my favorite character in the series. *grins* 3/5 stars Amazon Bookdepository

This was an atypical month for me, but I'm in the middle of writing book 2 in Broken People series, and when I do that, I find it hard to focus on any "heavy" reading so I'm stuck with romance and YA. Shrug.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Indie Friday Feature

There's a lot of talk about how indie writers support each other, or if they don't, they should, so this is my bit of support brought to our cause. I'm starting a new blog feature called "Indie Friday". As the title suggests, it will be a series of guest posts written by self-published writers in which they talk about one of their books.

Schedule: every Friday

Eligible Participants: self-published writers

Featured Works: novels published in the past 12 months

Accepted Genres: fiction only, sci fi and fantasy preferred, no erotica and religious books

Guest Post Guidelines:

- format - essay touching several of the following points:
  • What is your book about? Tell me in your own words, not the book description.
  • How did you get the idea for the book?
  • What does your book bring new to its genre?
  • What struggles did you encounter while writing this book?
  • What was the most satisfying moment while writing this book?
  • What do you hope to accomplish with this book?
- length: 400 - 1,000 words

How it works:

1. Send me an email with the Subject: Indie Friday: [Book title] by [Author name] at ioanacvisan[at]gmail[dot]com.
Include Goodreads link and a link where I can read a sample.
I reserve the right to decline any requests concerning books I don't find fit for this blog.

2. If I accept your request, I'll tell you the next available date or we can agree on a different one (still a Friday).
Two days before the scheduled date or sooner, you need to email me:
- guest post text (.doc or .rtf file or pasted in the body of the email)
- book cover (.jpg or .png)
- author website and/or blog link
- book purchase links
- twitter account or other social media presence

Once the post goes live, you will be notified via Twitter or email.

Each post will be tweeted to 20,000 Twitter followers, shared with 1,800 Facebook fans and 260 Google+ followers.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Story: Fata Racheta

Well, well, well, Rocket Girl made it into print. The Romanian version of Rocket Girl is included in Romanian magazine Paradox, issue 25-26.

How did it happen? Simple. Mrs. Genescu asked me if I wanted to submit a story for the magazine, and I thought Rocket Girl would be a perfect fit. The English version is included in The Nightingale Circus short story collection.

You can check out this issue's table of contents on the Paradox magazine website. I assume a pdf file will be added at some point, like there is for the previous issues, but I don't know when.

I'm very proud of my not-so-little girl. You can read more about Fei Lin in Broken People novel, and she will also make an appearance in the second book in the series that I'm writing right now.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Weight of a Wing Release Day Blitz Invitation

Attention book bloggers!

The Weight of a Wing will be released on April 16.

If you're interested in posting a book promo post on your blog on release day, please fill in this form.

A giveaway will be included in the post for the readers to enter, and the book bloggers will also receive free review copies upon request.

Readers, you're all invited to join The Weight of a Wing Facebook Release Party event. We'll talk about books, toss in some giveaways, and hopefully have a lot of fun.

Thank you all!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Librex Book Fair 2015

And it was Librex book fair 2015. Because of the rain and a funeral, I only made it to Palas on Sunday, late in the afternoon when some of the participants were already preparing to close. Plenty of books still, but I didn't find the offer as rich and diverse as expected. It particularly felt like the sci fi and fantasy genre was poorly represented. Nemira didn't have the one title I was interested in, I guess they're saving it for Final Frontier book fair, both Trei and Paladin had brought only a handful of SFF books, and for once we didn't find anything interesting at Corint. It doesn't mean we didn't buy anything. We returned home with a bag full of books that should last me for a couple of weeks, but the entire experience was rather disappointing.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Impaler Legacy Omnibus 1 Year Anniversary Giveaway

It's been a year since The Impaler Legacy Omnibus was released. Since then, it's been part of a blog tour, received positive reviews, and it's been re-edited in January when my budget finally allowed it.

While the novellas and short stories included in the omnibus edition were first published separately, together they can be read as a stand alone novel. This was my first big self-published book, and after spending a whole year in the company of these characters, they will always hold a special place in my heart.

Yes, it's a book about vampires, but before you turn up your nose and move on know that there are no vampires in Romania, there's no Dracula, and the heroine doesn't fall in love with a vampire. This is not paranormal romance, YA, or erotica. It's a political thriller with vampires. Intrigued yet?

To celebrate the one year anniversary, I'm not dropping the price, but I'm offering you the chance to win free copies in a giveaway. Well, two giveaways actually. One is here on the blog, and you can enter it via the form below. The other one is taking place on BookLikes where you can find the book listed in the Paranormal/Fantasy/Action and Adventure categories. Both giveaways will be open until the end of March. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway