Thursday, February 27, 2014

Small updates

There's been a couple things going on, so I just wanted to post a quick update.

Paperbacks were temporarily taken off sale to make some minor updates to cover and front matter. Additionally, the Seven Series will be sold in matte (Mageri series is sold in glossy), and Seven Years has now been switched over to matte. It's satiny smooth, so I want you to be able to pet the Cole brothers. Sorry for the inconvenience; I know there are a lot of third-party retailers who jack up their prices into the hundreds, so I worked to get them back up as quickly as possible.

GERMAN TRANSLATION OF STERLING is still underway. Yay! I don't know if I announced that on my blog, so I'm using this message to post all the news that I might have just mentioned on my Facebook page. I signed with Amazon Crossing for translation rights, and I don't have any information at this time on when the book will be available, but I'll keep you in the loop!


Sterling recently appeared in Sci Fi magazine.

This was tres cool. The issue should still be on newsstands. :-)

I spent today doing some pre-release stuff to get ready for SIX MONTHS. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter if you want me to send you the purchase links.

I've also got the third book in the series, FIVE WEEKS, going to the editor next month. And yesterday I finished writing the first draft for FOUR DAYS. So, we're rolling along! What I'm really excited about is that each book really stands on its own and feels different from the rest. I'm a big series reader in both Urban Fantasy and PNR. Urban Fantasy is a continuing story with the same protagonist, while Paranormal Romance typically focuses on new couples in each book. I've read a lot of PNR and typically each book has the same feel and intensity level. That's what is going to make Seven a wild ride. The characters are truly driving this ship, and it's been an amazing ride as I've gotten to know them. I started writing Four Days and completely scrapped the first draft because that couple wasn't calling to be written. Well, that just threw a wrench in my plans! lol But how it is now just works, and I was really floored by this couple.

I might also have some other interesting news coming pretty soon on the publishing front, but it's not something I can talk about at this time. So let me bang the gong once more about getting on that newsletter. So many of my readers miss out on posts and don't always check my website. Just make sure when you sign up that you add the e-mail address to your contact list so it doesn't go in your spam folder. :-)

Oh, and don't forget to enter the SIX MONTHS giveaway over on Goodreads! Autographed paperbacks and I like to throw goodies in there too. Just check the availability of your country. If it's not listed, then I strongly encourage you to follow me on Facebook or join my newsletter where I have random giveaways.

I feel like there's something else but if I think of it, I'll modify this post. Probably not. I've been busy multi-tasking all day, so my brain is probably having a meltdown.


Oh yeah! CLOSER will be moving to paperback soon. I don't have a date scheduled as there's some work that has to be done (including a full cover), but it will be sometime this year. Hopefully sooner than later. If you aren't familiar with closer and have read the entire Mageri Series, you are missing out. I'll be moving Closer to Kobo soon as well.

Additionally, I'm working on getting the Mageri box set (1-3) up on iBooks and Kobo. Sorry about the delay, but I am a one-woman show!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Book listing

I thought it might be helpful to provide a direct listing of all my titles, including purchase links. You can always find these on my website on the menu link: DANNIKA DARK BOOKS.

Urban Fantasy Romance
THE MAGERI SERIES is an exciting adult urban fantasy romance following the journey of a young woman's claim to immortality and her own identity. Dark, unique, and full of unpredictable twists, the Mageri series provides an original spin to an old concept. Sometimes ordinary people are destined to lead extraordinary lives.

Also available on all Amazon sister sites (UK, DE, FR, etc.) Click the links below to purchase on your favorite retailer website.

      ★★           USA TODAY BESTSELLER



TWIST: Book 2





 SHINE: Book 5 (Final installment)




USA TODAY BESTSELLER. Five amazing "firsts" of a series in this special urban fantasy edition by bestselling fantasy authors. STERLING is included, and this boxed set is currently $0.99 (price subject to change)
Check all other Amazon sites that sell ebooks for availability!

CLOSER: Novella 
He is a prisoner of pain who cannot endure physical contact. She is a victim of a violent crime whose time is running out. His fate lies in her hands…and her life rests in his. If you read the Mageri series, then you'll want to read this novella that was written just after Impulse, that's an extension of this world.

Paranormal Romance 
THE SEVEN SERIES is a light paranormal romance that portrays Shifters living in secret in the modern world. A blend of humor, darkness, heartwarming romance, drama, and real-life issues. This series is for those who love a good love story - be it humorous or somber. Cliffhanger-free.




Coming March 25, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The editing process

I get asked a lot what my steps are in regards to edits. What's my process, what software do I use, what demons do I conjure from the dark underworld. No book is perfect, and that includes traditionally published books. They ALL have errors. It's so horrifying to have read your book 900 times, have had it sent to editors and so forth, only to stumble upon errors. But in the author community, we often joke that typos are like roaches. You just can't get rid of them.

But I can tell you that I'm not a one draft writer. If that were the case, I might be pushing out books a lot faster, but I enjoy the revision process. So, here are the steps I take in my publishing adventures!

1. THE FIRST DRAFT. When you see me referring to word count, I'm usually on the first draft of a book. My target word count is 90,000 for every novel, but I typically exceed 100,000. Average word count varies by genre, but many books seem to be going lower. I'm a wordy girl. Sorry.  
Average process time: 1 month.

2. REVISIONS. The second draft has the most work going on, while the next are more or less "heavy edits". During this process, I have added what I call "back-end editing". I will also do this on the first draft. So after writing/editing a few chapters on the computer, I'll go back and edit them on my Kindle. Mostly this is highlighting stilted dialogue or awkward sentences.
Average process time: 1-2 months.

3. FINAL PRE-BETA EDIT. Prior to my book going to betas, I self-edit. I do this maybe two times? The first round I'm using my editing software. I personally use Stylewriter Pro. Then I'll do anywhere from 1-2 Kindle edit.  
Average time: 1 month.

4. BETA READ. During this stage, my manuscript is passed off to a team of beta readers. They will not only provide me specific feedback that I request from them, but they also make any corrections to the manuscript where they find errors, inconsistencies, or sentences/paragraphs that need work. My betas do a fan-freaking-tastic job.  During this time period, I'm usually designing my paperback cover.
Average time: 1 month.

5. POST-BETA EDIT. This is the stage when the betas give me back the manuscript and their feedback. I make corrections as needed, and then review all the detailed feedback I've requested from them. I compare their suggestions and make notes of what I need to work on. The type of feedback varies.  
Average time: 1 month

6. EDITOR. The manuscript goes to the editor and no matter how proud I am to turn in my paper, it bleeds red ink upon return.  If it doesn't bleed, it hasn't been loved hard enough.
Average time: 2-3 weeks.

7. POST-EDITOR REVISIONS. After the manuscript is returned, I review every single correction and suggestion. There's back and forth dialogue between us.  
Average time: 1 week.

8. PROOFREAD. This is the stage where the book goes through a proofread. I will also go through it again using text to speech software. I used to use Natural Reader, but now I've purchased Ivona voices because they sound less robotic. I will also do a final Kindle read.  
Average time: 2 weeks

9. FINAL PROOF REVIEW. I submit my document back to the editor for her girl to do a final proof review.  
Average time: 1-2 weeks

Now, if there's time before publication, I might even read it again. How many times can I read my own book? Well, now you know why it's so important for me to write an engaging story. If I have to read something that many times, it BETTER be entertaining. lol I'm also fortunate that upon publication, if anything has slipped through, that readers will alert me. I make the corrections immediately. So if you were one of the first to purchase a copy of Sterling, for example, there is a revised copy out there. If you manage your kindle and don't see an option to update, you can contact customer service and let them know you want the latest copy and they should be able to help with that.

So if there's anyone who thinks I don't care about my books or I rush through them, then this post should dispel that myth. That's why my books are spaced apart usually 5-7 months. I'm literally working on that book that entire time, and I can guarantee you that I won't publish a book unless I've put my entire heart and soul into it. While I do work with editor deadlines, I will push those dates back if I feel the book is not ready.

Could I kick out books faster? Yes. But one of the processes above will end up being skipped, or you'll end up with a book that is much shorter. I love the revision process only because it allows me to add all those little details readers enjoy, and I feel like once I've gotten to know the characters the first time or two around, I can really "fine tune" them.

I've often made the comparison of publishing to sending your child to school and hoping he makes friends instead of coming home with a black eye.

No matter what happens, I'll love my kid.

MS Word
Ivona Reader

Now, while I use the above, I wouldn't recommend them. My recommendation to any author is to try out all the different options for yourself and decide what's best for your needs. Not all editing software is the same. Some like Scrivener but I prefer Word. I also use an old version of Word because I find it more user friendly with cleaner conversions.

So, maybe this will help the curious get a peek a the process, or give new authors some direction on processes they can put in place. Every author works differently. Some are first draft writers, some have the betas do the proofing after the editor, so it's whatever works. Betas spot a whole lot of things a professional editor will miss, and vice-versa. This also applies for a proofreader.

If you're an author seeking an editor or proofreader, then shop around. They should have a website, credentials, a client list, testimonials, and prices. Yes, they will cost several hundred to $1000+ depending on the level of editing, your word count, and their price.

And during all the above, I'm designing my own covers, formatting my e-books, and participating in blog tours and giveaways.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Six Months Giveaway

If you want a chance to win an autographed copy of SIX MONTHS, you can enter the giveaway HERE. Please note the countries eligible; future giveaways on Facebook or my newsletter will be available to more readers.

Writing the Seven Series has been an interesting experience. April is in her early twenties, and it was a different writing experience to get into her head. In fact, it's one thing that's been keeping me on my toes.

Three beta readers so far have gotten back with me on Five Weeks and LOVE it. Yeah, hearts and flowers and all that. I'm currently writing Four Days and these characters are blowing my mind. There are a number of deadlines I'm targeting, so I have a lot going on right now between book releases, cover design, writing, and editing. I'm not kidding: I am currently juggling three projects.

For those who don't follow me on Facebook, Sterling will have an ad featured in the April issue of Sci Fi magazine. I received a copy and yeah, it's tres cool. So you'll have to go grab a copy or even subscribe (Sci Fi  is the official magazine for the SyFy network) because they have great content.

I worked through the weekend, so today I'm trying to take some time off. I plan to catch a movie and grab some lunch. Hopefully both are good. Need the batteries to recharge as I need to finish writing this WIP and jump on edits and cover design. I have a full paperback jacket to work on for Six Months so I can order the proofs and get that ball rolling.


FYI I'm having a ball designing the covers for the Seven Series. The third book is going to be hot - already have my model picked out. I probably should update my resume to include my current job duties, including spending hours looking at male models on the Internet.

You guys are seriously blowing me away with all your reviews on Seven Years. THANK YOU THANK YOU!! <3 I'm thrilled to be able to write something in a different sub genre with a different writing style and have readers connect with the characters in the same way with Mageri. Everyone in Seven has a distinct personality that shines in each book, so they've been a blast to write.

Mageri fans - I love you guys! The reviews for SHINE, as well as the other books, are just "wow". There's a side project I want to work on, but let me catch up with some of these current projects so I can work on that and see what comes of it. The re-reads are always there, and those of you who have re-read the series I think enjoy it the second time around because of the connections made. Plus, it's also great to see characters in the beginning, knowing what awaits them. And we all love when Logan waltzed through that front door, arms at his sides, long hair hanging to his shoulders, and a predatory look in his eyes as he took a seat at Silver's table. The way he could draw in her scent and read her emotions, and the knowledge that we discover later that the whole time, he had known from the time she opened the door that she was his....

Well, you'll just have to read the books to find out.