Introduction to Audiobook Creation with Audio Creation Exchange (ACX)

The following presentation, Introduction to Audiobook Creation with Audio Creation Exchange (ACX), was produced by me with the help of Beizo Tierno, the narrator/ producer of the Apparitions audiobook.

Apparitions audiobook

The presentation came about after I co-hosted a live event on Facebook as part of the inaugural Indie Author Day on Saturday, October 8, 2016.  Then, one of the questions I answered related to the processes involved in producing her aforementioned audiobook, Apparitions.

While comprehensive, my reply was brief, because of the nature of the event, so after mentioning it to Beizo, the idea for this in depth walk-through of the process quickly took shape.  As you’ll see, both Apparitions and Perfect Timing feature, as does my debut title, Serendipity, which is currently only available in ebook format.

The presentation itself is long, but very in depth, so grab a beverage of your choice and settle to watch it.  If you do get to the end, and would like a FREE copy of the Apparitions audiobook, please leave a comment on the post and I’ll get one out to you.

Free Apparitions Audiobook

Please leave a comment and I’ll email you a code for your free audiobook


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Quick Update

Hello!  It’s been a while since I posted the Apparitions Launch Giveaway Winners, but I can assure you that I’ve been very busy since then, so today’s post is, as it says, a quick update.

If you follow me on social media, particularly Twitter, you might be aware of some of what I’ve been up to.  But if not, I won’t keep you hanging on any longer…

I’m currently doing the final edit for my first full length erotic romance novel!  And I can now reveal the title will be…

Perfect Timing

While the exact release date is yet to be confirmed, it will be released either late fall or early winter this year.  Yep, you’ll have it in plenty of time for Christmas!

In addition to editing Perfect Timing, I’ve also made one visible change here on the website.  Both pages for my previous releases, Serendipity and Apparitions, can now be found under the “My Books” page on the navigation menu at the top of pages.  If you’ve previously bookmarked their links, or have shared them anywhere, they will automatically redirect, so no need to do anything.  And I’ll soon be adding the Perfect Timing page to that tab too.

To keep up with my latest news and updates, if you’ve not already done so, please consider subscribing to the blog, or following me on social media, including Facebook, and my Amazon Author page.

Do you have any advice for me as I complete the edit?  Please leave a comment and let me know.  I look forward to chatting with you.

Thanks!


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Ongoing Writing Process

In the last couple weeks I’ve described the first steps in my writing process, from the conception of the story idea, through to the publication of the book.  Today I share why I believe it’s always an ongoing writing process.

So What’s Next?

While the book is complete, the related writing process continues for me, because, as I’ve said, I see my stories as living things, so the completed book is perhaps only an adolescent.  It still needs nurturing.  The world of books is a scary one and the story needs the author’s and wider family’s help to explore the world.

The wider family of which I speak are not only my family, friends, and beta readers, but in today’s tech savvy world, they are reviewers, social media users, and other authors.  I personally feel that authors, or indeed anyone who writes, should not see our peers as competition, but instead be supportive of each other.  We all need friends and a newly published book is no exception.

Social Media

Social media is a great tool in this ever expanding world and greatly aids the ongoing writing process.  Twitter is one of my favorites and I can be found on there @RebekahSFiore.  The use of hashtags makes both sharing and searching so easy on the site. Here are some I use…

#MondayBlogs ~ For those of us who only post to our blogs on Mondays

#Romance #Romantic #Erotic and #Erotica #EARTG ~ Genre specific. The latter is Erotica Author ReTweet Group

#AmWriting #AmReading ~ Widely used hashtags for anyone who reads or writes, so absolutely everyone

#IndieAuthor #SupportIA #IARTG ~ Specifically for Indie authors. The latter is Indie Author ReTweet Group

#1LineWed ~ Authors share a single line from a work. My One Line Wednesday tweets are currently all taken from Serendipity

#Amazon #Kindle #Ebook #Smashwords #Nook ~ Retailer/ reading

For a comprehensive list of author specific hashtags take a look at this Ultimate List.

What are your favorite hashtags?  Please leave me a comment and let me know.  I’d love to chat


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Next Steps In My Writing Process

In last week’s post I described the first part of my writing process, from conception of a story idea through to the second edit.  This week, I describe the next steps in the process…

First Look

When the second edit is complete, I let others read the story for the first time, either with or without the cover art, which I’ll say more about in a moment.  My nerves always kick up at this point.  I’ve put so much time and effort into the story that letting anyone see it is terrifying.

My husband is always the first to read anything I write, and I’ll implement any changes he suggests.  I then send it to my network of beta readers and friends who are happy to take a look.

If their response is positive, I schedule a publication date.  If, however, they inform of any errors, or have any suggestions, I take those on board and action them where necessary.

Cover Design

Next StepsWhile I’m an artist myself, my artwork differs greatly from what is needed for cover art within the erotic romance genre, so I always outsource cover design.  Whether I go with a custom design or pre-designed cover, I begin seeing the cover imagery in my mind early in the story’s development, and by the time the manuscript is finished, I have a few ideas of what I’d like.

For Serendipity, my first published work, I wanted to keep costs down, so I decided to go with a pre-designed cover.  There are many great designers out there and I used this list as a starting point.  I looked through a number of them, before returning to the first I’d seen, Melissa Alvarez’s BookCovers.us.  The moment I saw the image, I loved it and felt connected to it.  That said, I needed to make sure it was the one, so looked at other images on that site and elsewhere.  I liked some others, so showed my husband three designs and asked him which he liked, without saying which I was drawn to.  He chose the same one and within minutes I’d completed the purchase.

The service from Melissa was exceptional and I knew immediately that I’d work with her again, either for custom work or a pre-designed cover.  The cover of my next publication, Apparitions, is another of Melissa’s pre-designed covers.  Again, I loved it as soon as I saw it and so did my husband, so the decision was made.

The Story Becomes A Book

Once the story is complete, the penultimate step for me is writing the various elements needed to take a story and turn it into a book.  The front and back matter, including the “blurb” or synopsis.

The last step, is perhaps the most important for anyone who independently publishes; formatting everything for publication.  I currently distribute through both Amazon and Smashwords and both have their own slightly different requirements.

I begin by “nuking” my completed manuscript to remove any hidden formatting; by pasting it into Notepad and then into a new Microsoft Word document.  Creating each version from this new Master doesn’t take long at all, around a couple hours.  Each version is then read again to check for any errors.

The submission process for both distributors is easy, and neither take long to publish.  For more control over the publication date, I always allow pre-order period, prior to the official launch date.  Serendipity was available for two weeks ahead of the launch on February 1st.

Seeing the book on a retailer website is a special moment and something that should be celebrated.  It’s another nerve wracking but exciting time in the life of the story as you await the next step.  For me it’s akin to the final weeks of pregnancy, regardless of whether, in reality, you’re physically capable of birth. You’ve nurtured and developed the story for so long and the wait for it’s birth, or launch, is full of emotion.

Part of the fun for me is thanks to Amazon’s thirteen global market websites.  Seeing the book page on each site in the various languages and the seemingly vast differences in price, thanks to the different currency conversions is entertaining for me.

There’s More

While it might seem as if the writing process is complete.  For me there’s still more to it.  In next week’s blog post, I’ll describe the next steps.

Are You An Expectant Parent

Either in reality or as a writer?  Do you get nervous when anyone else reads your story?  Please leave a comment so we can share our experiences of the always emotional time.


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My Birthday Gift To You

Today is my birthday!  I’m one of the lucky people who only get to celebrate their real birthday once every FOUR years!

Celebrating on the actual day is gift enough for me (I usually celebrate March 1st), so instead I’m giving YOU a gift…

Birthday Gift

Birthday GiftSerendipity is available until March 7, 2016 at the celebratory price of 99c instead of the usual $2.99 (or equivalent) in ALL markets…

Amazon: US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain.

Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks and Smashwords

Thanks for helping me celebrate!

 


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Romance Blog Post

Yesterday, St. Valentine’s Day, was billed as the most love-filled, romantic day of the year, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that today’s blog post is about romance.

In the article Porn or Erotic Writing, I mention that I’m both “a romantic and a dreamer.”  I discussed the latter in last week’s Fantasy blog post, so it makes perfect sense, to me at least, to follow that with this one, regardless of the time of year.

Just as we did in both of those pieces, let’s start by looking at the dictionary definition of romantic according to Merriam Webster…

ROMANTIC

of, relating to, or involving love between two people : making someone think of love : suitable for romance : thinking about love and doing and saying things to show that you love someone

In addition to what I’ve already said about the timing of this post, romantic is mentioned in the related words section of the definition of dreamer that we discussed last week.  To use a favorite analogy of mine, the two go hand in hand, like lovers, if you will, and I’ll say more about that in a little while.

Let’s now look at some of the definitions of both the title subject and something that goes hand in hand with it…

Love and romance

LOVE

to feel great affection for (someone) : to feel love for (someone) : to feel sexual or romantic love for (someone) : to like or desire (something) very much : to take great pleasure in (something)

ROMANCE

a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural : a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious : a love story especially in the form of a novel : a class of such literature something (as an extravagant story or account) that lacks basis in fact : an emotional attraction or aura belonging to an especially heroic era, adventure, or activity : love affair

Of course, there are literally countless definitions of love, so I admit that I’ve been very selective here, in referencing those that are relevant to both me and my writing.

Love is…

Love is, itself, the most precious gift that anyone can give another.  The gift of love, is, I believe, absolutely priceless.

For me, personally, the expression of love is much, much more than three little words.  While it is, undoubtedly, beyond delightful to hear my husband say “I love you,” and for me to tell him the same, it is not the be all and end all.  Far from it.  I’m being totally honest when I say that we rarely say those words to each other.  In truth, we don’t need to say them.  Why?  Because we both prefer to show each other how we feel.

Actions speak louder than words

One of the first things you’re taught as a writer is “show, don’t tell.”  And it’s something that goes far beyond writing for me.  It’s a principle, perhaps even a mantra, that I both write and live by.

There are infinite ways in which me and my husband show each other how much we love one another.  Some are more obvious than others, including making love; the absolute connection of body, mind, heart and soul… a kiss, no matter how passionate… an embrace… holding hands (yes, I said I’d mention it again)… a tender touch… an adoring glance.

Others are perhaps less obvious, but just as important and today’s technological world plays its part… checking our preferred messaging app, but not saying anything, therefore indicating, thanks to the “last seen” notification, that you’re being thought of.  It might be hard to believe, but I’m being totally honest, as always, when I say that more often than not we both check the app either at the exact same time, or a split second later.  At other times it might be a quick message, if only to say “hi” or ask how the other is doing.

Aside from technology, it can be doing something that the other needed to do, or doing something unexpected.  The possibilities truly are endless.

Like many topics I’ve discussed in these articles, my personal thinking is also reflected in my stories.  In Serendipity, while their love and affection for each other, as well as their attraction, is evident pretty much from the beginning, only once does Sam actually tell Kate he loves her.  And even then the phrase isn’t limited to just three words.  Instead, referring to an aspect of her personality, he tells her “I love you for it.”  Similarly, much later in the story, Kate says the same to Sam.  Both of them prefer to show each other how they feel, instead of telling.

What does being romantic mean to me?

Most importantly it is not restricted, as I alluded to in my opening paragraph, to just one day a year.  For me, for us and indeed in essence for the characters I create in the stories I write, it is a way of life.

That said, it’s not all hearts and flowers and doesn’t need to involve bought gifts.  As I said earlier, for me, the gift of love is absolutely priceless.  Spending any amount of time with my husband, is, for me, romantic in itself.  That might sound like cliched nonsense, but in a world as crazy and stressed as the one we live in, it’s true.  And I can assure you that he feels the same.

I, personally, feel that everything I mentioned in the section above, not only shows our love for each other, but they are also romantic.  Yes, we do love the more traditional aspects of romance, such as candlelit dinners.  But for us it isn’t just the meal itself that is romantic or indeed sensual.  Actually preparing and cooking it together is too.  In truth, it doesn’t matter what we’re making, it could be prime steak, or breakfast for dinner, the key ingredient is that we’re making it together.  And that, for us, is what romance is about.

What does being romantic mean to you?

Do you agree with what I’ve said here? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please let me know by leaving a comment.


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Fantasy Blog Post

In this post, I’ll say more about my thoughts on fantasy.  It is something I touched on briefly in the Porn or Erotic Writing article that can be found here.

Earlier in that piece, before fantasy was mentioned, I said that I myself am a dreamer, so let’s start there, with the definition, according to Merriam Webster…

DREAMER

one that dreams :  one who lives in a world of fancy and imagination

Picking up on the first definition, here’s the definition of dream, according to the same source…

DREAM

a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep : an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real : something that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time

Of course, dreams don’t only happen at night.  At least mine certainly don’t.  There are many, many times when I drift off into a dreamy state during the day, into a daydream…

DAYDREAM

a pleasant visionary usually wishful creation of the imagination

I’ve always been a dreamer.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t dream in one way or another.  For me, it’s not only an integral part of who I am personally, but it’s also essential to who I am as an author.  Especially when coupled with something else that’s mentioned in all three of the above definitions…

IMAGINATION

the ability to imagine things that are not real : the ability to form a picture in your mind of something that you have not seen or experienced : the ability to think of new things : something that only exists or happens in your mind

In the Related Words sections of both daydream and imagination, you’ll find…

FANTASY

something that is produced by the imagination : an idea about doing something that is far removed from normal reality : the act of imagining something : a book, movie, etc., that tells a story about things that happen in an imaginary world

Yes, I know it’s taken us a little while to get here, but I did say that I was expanding on what I’d said in the other article.  In truth I already have, in a way.  I’ve taken you on what I hope is an enlightening, insightful journey along a couple of pathways, by way of definitions, that interlink.

All that’s well and good, but how do they relate to me, or you, or more specifically to my writing?

Personally, mine and my husband’s life is pretty good, but it wasn’t always that way for me.  When times were tough, I’d escape into a world that my mind, my imagination, had created.  My dreams, my fantasies, took many forms.  Sometimes the vision was location based, where I lived or was visiting somewhere different.  There are times, even now, when I still have that dream.

In other dreams the scene/s that played out were of a sensual and yes, erotic nature.  One of the beauties of dreams or fantasy, as well as being able to explore worlds that are far removed from reality, is that they allow you to do so safely.  Without fear of being hurt, either physically or emotionally.

It is my opinion that fantasies are critical to our development as we get older.  Yes, I’m referring to those of a sexual nature now.  The fantasy exploration can help us develop our intimate identity.  In the Porn or Erotic Writing article, I mention some of my personal preferences.  Preferences that I either include, or indeed omit, from my writing.

How have I come to those decisions?  How do I know, with abject certainty that I prefer to make love, instead of having sex?  How do I know that I dislike anything involving sensual contact that isn’t consensual?  Because I’ve explored those scenarios, safely, in my mind, in my imagination.

Our fantasies are very personal.  Just as each and every one of us is unique, so too are our fantasies.  They are unique to us.  They are also often secretive.  Something that we dare not mention to anyone, including our partner, or the object of our desire.

While there is nothing at all wrong with that, sharing your sensual, intimate fantasies can also greatly enrich a relationship.  Doing so certainly brought my husband and I closer and indeed has added even more depth, no pun intended, to our intimacy.

Fantasies, in some form or another, are a key part of my stories.  It is my hope that all of them, including Serendipity and others yet to be released, allow you, the reader, to escape to a world that is, perhaps, far removed from your reality.

Fantasy blog postIn Serendipity, Sam Meyers meets Kate, his high school crush, the object of his teenage fantasies, some thirty years later.  Back then, in his senior year, he had been too shy to even ask her to dance, never mind take things to the next level.  Unbeknown to him, sophomore Kate felt similarly, yet kept her feelings secret.

During the school’s Homecoming Weekend, they chat and admit their attraction.  Then, as their relationship develops, in scenes that are sensual, pleasing and erotic, they explore their long held intimate desires and fantasies.

You can read Chapter One of Serendipity here. Or if you prefer to download a sample, you can do so here.

Are you a dreamer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, please leave me a comment and let me know.


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Serendipity Launch Giveaway Winners

Serendipity Launch Giveaway Winners

Many, many thanks to everyone who entered the Serendipity Launch Giveaway.  It is my honor to announce the winners…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1st prize: $10 Amazon Giftcard

Ellie Wright

2nd prize: Copy of Serendipity

Jason Watson

3rd prize: Discount Voucher for Serendipity from Smashwords

Lisa Brown

 All winners will be contacted and have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Thanks again to everyone who entered and spread the word about erotic romance Serendipity


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Serendipity is Available Now and Win Prizes

The long-awaited launch day is finally here and Serendipity is available now!

Serendipity is available nowSerendipity by author Rebekah S. Fiore, is a heartwarming, steamy romantic tale about a couple who finally reveal their secretive adoration for and attraction to each other.

Sam Meyers, a successful businessman in his late forties, spots his high school crush, Kate, as the crowds gather at the beginning of the school’s Homecoming Weekend.  Will he be able to overcome his shyness after so many years and get his girl?  To his relief the answer is yes!

Help spread the word. Win prizes

Giveaway open between February 1, 2016 and February 6, 2016

1st prize: $10 Amazon Giftcard

2nd prize: Copy of Serendipity

3rd prize: Discount voucher for Serendipity

Three ways to win

Visit Author Rebekah S. Fiore on Facebook

Follow Author Rebekah S. Fiore on Twitter

Tweet your support

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Serendipity is available now

You can purchase Serendipity for Kindle in all Amazon markets… US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain.

It is also available globally from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks and Smashwords

 Do you have any advice for me as I launch Serendipity?

Please leave a comment, I’d love to chat


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Pre-order Serendipity Now

Pre-order Serendipity Now

It’s literally taken years to get to this point and the release of Serendipity is just a week away!  Wow!  But you don’t have to wait a week, you can pre-order Serendipity now from all good ebook retailers.

I’ll give you the links shortly, but before I do, I’d like to take this opportunity to say…

Thank you…

Thank you, my ever loving husband and family for your unending love and support, without which Serendipity wouldn’t have come into being.  I love each of you more than you’ll ever know and words are not enough to express my thanks and gratitude.

I would also like to thank the wonderful Melissa Alvarez of BookCovers.us for her work on the cover design and excellent customer service.  You can be sure that I’ll work with you on future projects!  Thank you!

I also have to thank my beta readers, without whom Serendipity could have been a hot mess.  Much like myself at various times during the writing process!

What They Are Saying…

After reading Serendipity, this is what one of the beta readers had to say about it…

“I loved that the character Kate was as sexually empowered as Sam and broke away from the typical storyline of man seduces woman. It’s a great love story with some hot scenes! So good that the sex was consensual too. Overall, an easy-to-read fast-paced spicy novel.”

Free Samples

If that review has whetted your appetite, you can read Chapter One in last week’s blog post here. Or for more of a sample and to pre-order head over to Smashwords…

Pre-order Serendipity Now

In addition to Smashwords, Serendipity is also available to pre-order from Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Amazon… USA, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain

And the Apple iBook store… USA, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. For all other locations, please visit the App Store.

Thank you!


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