Reaper Redux: Reapers See Dead People the Reiki & Aura Chart

How do reapers know when a soul has passed or is about to?

reaper aura 1

Reapers are adeptly tuned in to human auras. While reading the emotional state of the humans they deal with on a regular basis can be helpful, the white aura is the most important color for reapers. White is the death aura.

A few hours, or sometimes even days, before a human passes, his aura will become void of color and radiate a bright white glow around his body.  For reapers on regular rounds, this is very helpful. Most reapers cover basic circuits of death, searching for their next soul: graveyards, funeral homes, hospitals, and accident scenes etc. They collect souls as they pass and ferry them to Purgatory for processing by Rashnu, an angel so arrogant he duplicated himself to maintain complete control of Purgatory.

Not only are the colors of auras important, but the manipulation of those auras through Reiki gives reapers a distinct advantage in their jobs. Reaper Reiki is the manipulation of a person’s life-force energy to either heal or alter another’s injury or emotional state. The result of such efforts is visible to reapers but not most humans. It can be used on humans to push their minds or heal but too much can fry their fragile psyches and is utilized on the masses with extreme caution. Reapers routinely practice energy sharing at full force.

Interestingly, reapers do not manifest an aura themselves unless under extreme circumstances or agitation. Otherwise, any aura manifestation is temporary and dependent upon the Reiki being shared or administered.

The following guide was adapted from and credited to http://thiaoouba.com/see_aura_color.htm if you’re interested in non-fiction study of auras.

For the purposes of The Reaper Series, they are as follows:

Aura Color Quick Glossary: credit to http://thiaoouba.com/see_aura_color.htm

Meaning of Clean Colors of the Aura

White: Serious disease, impending death. Increases in intensity and brightness the nearer to death.

Blue: Sustaining life, transmitting forces and energy. Electric blue can override any other color.

Turquoise: Dynamic, highly energized, capable of projection and influence.

Green: Restful, modifying energy, natural healing ability.

Excerpt & Example from Reap & Repent:

Ruth could see the glow from Deacon before she felt it. His entire body lit up, and he placed a warm hand over her forehead and another across her stomach. As his hands hovered over her body, a warm gush of green energy flowed through her entire body before settling inside her injured leg.

Deacon’s light radiated so bright and clear that it stung her eyes to look at him. A tear slid down her cheek.

In an instant, the pain began to fade. A mantra played through her mind: Thank God, thank God, thank God.

Deacon held her in his light energy for what seemed like hours, letting it massage its way through her. It was so blissful and intimate that she didn’t want it to end. Her leg began to itch and cool, and when she opened her eyes and glanced down at it, the swelling had dissipated and the color was back to normal.

chakras

Yellow: Joy, freedom, non-attachment, freeing or releasing vital forces.

Orange: Ability or desire to control others, exercising power.

Excerpt & Example from Reap & Repent:

A soft orange glow radiated from Deacon’s hands. It shimmered and rose from him in waves like the heat off an amusement park’s asphalt in August. But instead of heat, a cold, edgy blast built around them, increasing until the ground trembled and shifted. The next thing she knew, she was looking at a husk of gray light glistening and forming into something that looked remarkably like her father. The apparition hovered over the grave before them. Deacon had somehow wrenched her father from his grave—or at least a part of him.

His soul?                                            

 

Gold: Indicates a spiritual teacher.

Red: Materialistic thoughts or thoughts about the physical body.

Pink: Love, perfect balance of spiritual and materialistic awareness.

Meaning of Dirty Colors of the Aura

Brown: Unsettling, distracting, materialistic, negating spirituality.

Gray: Dark thoughts, depressing thoughts, unclear intentions, presence of a dark side of personality.

Sulfur (color of mustard): Pain or lack of ease, anger.

Excerpt & Example from Reap & Repent:

Nate was sitting in his wing chair drinking coffee, which smelled like a piece of heaven in a cup. He was clearly waiting for them, and his aura radiated from him in spicy mustard waves. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to guess that he was pissed. She couldn’t blame him. She wondered for a moment if he was angry because they’d been making out in his bed, or if the whole strange situation had gotten to him. It didn’t take long to find out.

Want to read more? You can get Reap & Repent March 2015.

 

Reap & Repent:  Book One – March 2015

Repent600x900Reap & Repent blurb

They see death. Can they share a life?

Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

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New COVER REVEAL for REAP & REDEEM

It’s time! New COVER REVEAL for REAP & REDEEM.

This is the second book in the Reaper series and will release May 2015.

Redeem600x900

Well? What do you think?

Reap & Redeem blurb

He’s a reaper who has given up on saving souls. Will a dying woman be his salvation?

After a century of enslavement to pure evil, Kylen Larson is finally free. But he’s long past caring. The only woman he ever loved is dead, and he’s tormented by memories of the horrors his demon parasite forced him to commit. Now, he lives for nothing more than hunting down the infernal creatures invading Meridian, Arkansas, and destroying them.

Olivia Evans is in the final stages of cancer when Kylen accidentally saves her from demonic possession. When he rescues this innocent soul, Kylen rediscovers his mission—and his heart. All he wants is to help Olivia stay alive. He’ll just have to fight off an invasion from Hell first…

Pinterest book board here.

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A roundup of Haunt My Heart posts you may have missed

Whether you’ve already read the book or are interested in how it came to be, here’s a roundup of Haunt My Heart posts you may have missed.

Happy reading!

How a ghost hunt became a book

A ghost at Chatham Manor? The Lady in White and Haunt My Heart

Fallen and fettered in Haunt My Heart

Could magic win a war? Witchcraft and grimoires used in battle in Haunt My Heart

Secret codes and magic texts in Haunt My Heart

Ghostly encounters and spooky spectrums: A Civil War ghost gets a second chance in Haunt My Heart

Ghost scripts in Haunt My Heart: Love letters from the other side

Supernatural weapons and magical battles: Behind the scenes of war in Haunt My Heart

Virginia is for lovers. Haunt My Heart heats up Fredericksburg

Haunted Objects and Horrifying Hexes Haunt My Heart

A souvenir turns out to be much more in Haunt My Heart

Want to read? Haunt My Heart is available on AMAZON now in e-book and print.

HauntMyHeartFinal (533x800) - CopyBook Description:

A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

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The importance of beta readers and editing for self-publishing

Red pen

My post last week on The costs of self-publishing one book. By the numbers., elicited some passionate responses and more than 900 views so far. The response proves to me that authors, new and seasoned, are curious to know if they are on the right track.

All I can share with you is my experience–the good, the bad and the ugly–of my first effort at self-publishing Haunt My Heart.

One of the biggest points of contention in that post last week was the discussion that I spent too much on editing (or in the case of the copy editing too little). Some suggested I could have used beta readers for the editing or a critique group and saved that expense altogether.

I consider the building of my writing career to be the same type of investment one would make with any new business or franchise. No one starts a new business for absolutely no money. It cost money to make money and cheap is not always the best way to go. Sure you can rely on beta readers for your editing and make your own book covers in Canva or Word or whatever program you manage to manipulate successfully, but is that the best course? Does the quality truly reflect the image you want readers to have? Is it your best?

For the record, I do utilize beta readers but their input comes well before I ever send my work to an editor. Once I finish the first draft, I follow Stephen King’s advice from On Writing and let the story rest for a week or two. Honestly, the longer the better. As an author, there’s always another story to be working on or a book to promote, or other authors’ works waiting patiently on my Kindle to be read.

When I go back to that story, I reread it with fresh perspective. It really is like the King says, almost like reading someone else’s work. Next I scour through the manuscript for my personal demons: ly words, just, that, only, feel (show, don’t tell), was and all passive voice. I pay close attention to my POV and make sure I haven’t slipped out of character. I comb through those pages with care until I know I’ve done everything that I can from my biased perspective.

Then I send it to six of my trusted beta readers. One is my first reader and not a writer, but she tells me what I need to hear, not necessarily what I want to hear. She tells me when my characters are whiney and unlikable or do ridiculous things that make no sense. She points out when I’ve had three days and no nights or my timeline is so wonky there’s no way it will work without time travel. The other beta readers are also writers.

Their time is especially precious because I know they have their own projects as well but their input via Word track changes is priceless. They catch things readers overlook or are oblivious to like dialogue punctuation and POV head hopping.

After I consider the changes/suggestions from all six, I pour through the manuscript yet again, polishing and shining until it’s the best I can make it.

Then I send it to my editor. And she makes 1,091 comments of suggested changes. Not. Even. Kidding.

Some of the changes, on Haunt for instance, were things like simultaneous actions. Two things that are physically impossible to do at the same time. Like these examples:

Sarah joined her in the car, shutting the door against the cold.

(How did Sarah join her in the car if she shut the door at the same time? One thing happened first: Sarah joined her in the the car, then shut the door against the cold.)

Floating up and then out from his body, he stood beside it.

(Pretty sure you can’t float and stand at the same time: He floated up and out from his body, then stood beside it.)

Apparently this is a pretty common rookie mistake I make when trying to vary my sentence starts. I had 62 simultaneous action comments from my editor to correct. I challenge you to find one in Haunt My Heart now, ha!

My editor makes both structural edits for me and light line edits in the first round. More line edits in the second round. And usually a third run through before we call it a done deal. At that point, I send it to my copy editor/proofreader for a final run through. My copy editor is an eagle-eyed grammar Nazi. For real.

The final stage is formatting.

I do not have the patience for formatting so I hire it out and it’s back in 24 hours. I could spend a week on it and still not have it right. I know my limitations.

The last step for me is a final read through for any last-minute typos or formatting weirdness.

By this time, I’ve read through my work eight to ten times. All the way through. Honestly, I sort of hate it a little by then, but I do it. For you.

Nothing turns me off quicker than to find mistakes in a book. It happens to everyone. I found several in the latest edition of The Stand  by Stephen King and other bestselling novels. No one is immune.

But I do my best to avoid it with several layers of editing. Every time. And when I do find something wrong, I fix it.

No one is perfect but that doesn’t mean we can’t aspire to be.

Want to read my first self-publishing effort?

Get Haunt My Heart here: Amazon Kindle     


3D Haunt my HeartBook Description:

A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

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Reaper Redux: The rules of reaping

Every job has rules employees must follow. Reaping is no different. Wait, yeah, it’s a lot different. But there are still rules.

A reaper’s sole job is to collect and carry souls to Purgatory for sorting. They have territories they cover. Most work alone. Occasionally, there are complications, and that is how The Reaper Series was born.

In book one, Reap & Repent, reapers must adhere to the basic tenets of reaping, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • There are reapers for every species supernatural and otherwise, not one Santa Claus of Death, although Grim is a real reaper.
  • Reapers are immortal as long as their life energy isn’t completely diminished beyond recovery, and they keep their heads. Literally. Decapitation is a deal breaker and permanent death.
  • Reapers are the perfect vessel for demons because they can hold many, many more souls and don’t burn out from the toxic demon essence. It took a while for this to be discovered.
  • Reapers can share Reiki light energy to heal one another or manipulate the auras/actions of humans when necessary. Not recommended for extensive use on humans as it fries their brains and psyches over the long term.
  • The more energy shared with/by reapers, the stronger the bond
  • Reapers are born to supernatural reaper parents. They are in effect their own species like angels or demons etc. but appear human with enhanced abilities, which continue to manifest throughout their lives.
  • Reapers stop aging at the time of their first successful solo reaping and continue virtually immortal.
  • Reapers cannot procreate if they have been traveling the consecrated subway or reaping souls. Must be inactive on both accounts for many, many months (up to a year) before they are fertile again, and then reaper mothers must refrain from traveling/reaping until the child is born.
  • Reapers are raised and trained from birth to fulfill their job and destiny. 

Being a reaper isn’t all rainbows and unicorns on a good day. But when demons invade the realm? There’s a good chance it could all go to Hell.

Want to read more? Reap & Repent coming March 2015.

Repent600x900

 

Reap & Repent blurb:

They see death. Can they share a life?

Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

New COVER REVEAL for REAP & REPENT

One year ago March was the first release of Reap & Repent, my first novel. Since then, it’s been released in a box set and then as a single title with a traditional publisher. I’m happy to report that I just received the rights back to all of my Reaper series books and will relaunch the series over the next few months.

Here’s the schedule:

Reap & Repent (Book 1) March 2015

Reap & Redeem (Book 2) May 2015

Reap & Reveal (Book 3) July 2015

Reap & Reckon  (Book 4) in progress!

Without further ado, here’s the new cover…

Repent600x900

Well? What do you think?

Reap & Repent blurb:

They see death. Can they share a life?

Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

Spotlight Post: Grave Vengeance by Lori Sjoberg

Today, I’m happy to spotlight author Lori Sjoberg. I met Lori at the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City. Lori writes reapers. The grim kind.  You’re going to love her world!


Grave VengeanceGenre: Paranormal Romance

Words: Approx. 93,000

eISBN-13: 9781601832696

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1C5j7Kx

B&N Nook: http://bit.ly/1snD8vu

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1yWCk3g

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1xSH4oK

Google: http://bit.ly/14JPJPq

www.lorisjoberg.com

www.facebook.com/AuthorLoriSjoberg

Blurb:

The past doesn’t like to play dead…

Handsome and haunted, he’s a reaper who prefers to work alone. But Fate has other plans for him and the sassy secret agent who shot him in another life—if their pasts don’t catch up with them first.

Dmitri Stavitsky has never played well with others—a Soviet KGB spy in life turned reaper after death, his work of bringing souls to the other side is best done alone. But orders from the top soon place him alongside fellow reaper Gwen Peterson, the American counterintelligence agent who took his life so many years ago. Now, as a ghost from Gwen’s past resurfaces with the power to steal reapers’ souls, the two have no choice but to set aside their differences and apprehend the rogue together. But their cross-country mission soon ignites feelings Dmitri thought he was no longer capable of—for the woman who helped destroy him. With an ancient force and a small army against them, he’ll have to let go of old grudges or risk his future with Gwen…as Fate hangs dangerously in the balance.

 

Excerpt:

Some men were nice to look at. Others, you couldn’t look away from. And then there was Dmitri Stavitsky.

He was taller than her, around six foot four, and had the powerful build of a gymnast. The shirt he wore did nothing to conceal his thick, corded arms or the broad expanse of his chest. His thighs strained against the confines of his jeans. He carried himself with an air of confidence that most men found intimidating and most women found irresistible. And even though Gwen despised him as much as he despised her, she had to admit he wore it well.

Gwen could feel his eyes moving over her while she drove, and she resisted the urge to squirm in her seat. “What?”

The passing streetlights played over the planes of his face. He hadn’t shaved in a day or two, and his jaw was shadowed with stubble. It made him look almost as dangerous as he was.

Almost.

Back in the day, he’d been one of the KGB’s top agents. For nearly a decade, he worked within the borders of the United States, stealing some of the country’s most valuable secrets. What he couldn’t steal he usually destroyed with calculated and ruthless efficiency. He killed defectors before they could spill their secrets as well as killing anyone else deemed an enemy of the Soviet Union. The full extent of his treachery was never determined; he’d taken those secrets to the grave.

“You cut your hair.” During the Cold War, he spoke with a flawless American accent to mask his true identity. The habit died when the Iron Curtain fell, and now his rich, deep voice contained a blend of both Russian and American, with the former growing more pronounced whenever he got pissed off.

Like now.

“So nice of you to notice.”

One corner of his mouth twitched. “It makes you look like a boy.”

Bastard. Her grip tightened around the steering wheel. “Like I give a damn what you think.”

He laughed under his breath. “I think you do.” The smirk on his face vanished when she ground the gears. “Careful! It took me two days to rebuild the transmission.”

“Sorry.” Not really. She totally meant to do that. “Third’s a little sticky.”

Author Bio

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Growing up the youngest of three girls, Lori never had control of the remote. (Not that she’s bitter about that. Really. Okay, maybe a little, but it’s not like she’s scarred for life or anything.) That meant a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy. Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits – you name it, she watched it. It fed her imagination, and that came in handy when the hormones kicked in and she needed a creative excuse for being out past curfew.

After completing her first novel, she joined the Romance Writers of America and Central Florida Romance Writers. Now she exercises the analytical half of her brain at her day job, and the creative half writing sensual paranormal romance. Grim reapers are her specialty, but she loves to write about all creatures of the night.

#8Sunday Sentences from Haunt My Heart: Some days, nothing goes right.

This week’s selection is from Haunt My Heart, which is available on AMAZON now in e-book, print and FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Haunt My Heart is the story of a hexed Civil War soldier who gets a second chance at life and love after he’s freed from a fetter in modern-day Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Our heroine, Sarah, is in a tight spot. Have you ever been in a situation you didn’t know if you’d get out of? Comment below :D

 

HauntMyHeartFinal (533x800) - Copy

Thinking of that led her straight down the squirrel path in her mind to their night together. Or few hours, if she wanted to get technical. She’d had the best sex of her life with a virtual stranger and was now a prisoner with her supposed ghost lover in the back of a Men-in-Black car being taken to a secret government location.

Yeah. That seemed about right.

What she wouldn’t give to have Ellie here right now. She’d have this mess sorted in no time. Sarah fingered the necklace around her throat.

 

That’s all until next week, folks. Thanks for visiting.

Click on the WeWriWa link to check out the other participating authors. So many tasty samplings!

Want to read? You can get Haunt My Heart here: Amazon Kindle     


3D Haunt my HeartBook Description:

A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

Don’t miss a thing! Sign up for my NEW RELEASE NEWSLETTER.

The cost of self-publishing one book: By the numbers.

my bookshelf with Repent and HauntHaunt My Heart is in the world and exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Haunt is my first independently published book and I’m pretty dang excited!

The best thing about indie publishing is that you get to make ALL of the decisions.

The worst thing about indie publishing is that you have to make ALL of the decisions.

There were a few trying moments. My friend and fellow author Cara Bristol talked me down from more than one ledge. Ultimately, it was the best decision I’ve made so far in my publishing career.

I honestly thought that publishing with a big-name traditional publisher would sell more books for me via their brand than I ever could  on my own. This past year has proved to me that’s not necessarily true.

I know lots of authors don’t like to talk about the financial side of things, but I think it’s important for aspiring authors to know what they’re getting into. Sure, there are a few publishing miracles and books (and authors) that rocket to the top of bestseller lists but most of us are here working in the trenches just trying to tell our stories and get them read.

As a reader, I never considered what it took for a book to make it to my shelf or e-reader. Now that I’m on the other side of that curtain of Oz, all has been revealed.

I kept a list of expenses thus far for Haunt My Heart and share them now.

What self-publishing costs. Breaking it down…

Haunt expense wp

So, $1,315 to get this one book published in digital and print. I suspect it cost around the same for a traditional publisher. Obviously some books have a much bigger budget and get tons of marketing/advertising/special photo shoot covers etc., which would have to be added in. I’ll spend more on marketing myself over the coming weeks and months.

I snarkily mentioned that the actual writing of the book is incalculable. Maybe not entirely. Haunt My Heart is 68,000 words. I average–during active writing–500-1,000 words an hour. Let’s say then, Haunt was written at an average of 750 words per hour.

68,000/750=90 hours of active writing x $20 per hour (day job wage) = $1,813

Of course that doesn’t count the undocumented pile of hours it took for research, editing, more editing, marketing and promoting. That truly is incalculable.

Still, you get the idea of what goes into a book in time and money.

What can you expect to make? By the numbers.

The next questions everyone wants to know is how much am I making per copy. Well, let me tell you, for my traditionally published books, I’ve earned less than a hundred dollars for all of the combined editions and incarnations this past year and sold a total of 420 copies since March 2014.

Do that math…don’t worry, I’ll wait :D

Now, it’s true I had very little upfront financial output for the traditionally published books. The burden of publishing costs lay with the publisher. I also did not receive any advance money. What I did get was the coveted CALL, and FANTASTIC editing. Those things were very valuable and overall it was a good experience. I have no regrets and how have three well-honed stories.

I bought some promotional cards, banners, advertising etc. for each of those publications. Plus all the other ‘stuff’ it’s taken to be published. I also attended the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention two years in a row to network and market myself and my book. That cost me around $1,500 per convention. I’m skipping it this year.

Since I began this journey in July of 2011, I’ve kept receipts of my expenditures. Nearly all of them. And now that I’ve finally received a paycheck, I can deduct my expenses from my taxes. Wonder how much those receipts have added up to?

Are you sitting down?

$7,156.35.

So now, perhaps you’re wondering–I know I would be–how much I expect to make with my indie published book.

For the print copies I’ll make approximately $2.48 per copy sold on Amazon at $10.99 each. For the e-book edition, I’ll make $2.75 cents per copy sold on Amazon at $3.99 each. I make considerably more selling print copies out of my trunk and at appearances. For each hand-sold book at $10 each, I pocket a little over $5. BUT, those hand-sales do not help your Amazon rankings one iota. So there’s the rub. Earn more, but hurt your algorithm potential.

See why I’ve gone indie?

The benefits of exclusivity.

For Haunt My Heart, I’m going exclusively with Amazon and KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) for the first ninety days. Maybe longer. The immediate benefits I see are these:

  1.  Haunt My Heart will be available through Kindle Unlimited‘s download service.
  2. Ninety percent or more of my readers are reading through Kindles or Kindle apps (or could).
  3. I have more of an opportunity of exposure through Amazon marketing and lists

For each KU (Kindle Unlimited) download for which the reader reads at least ten percent of the book, I’ll get a royalty of approximately $1.50. KU downloads are ‘free’ to KU subscribers ($9.99 a month subscription for virtually unlimited reading from their available selection).

In conclusion, to ‘break even’ on Haunt My Heart, I’ll need to sell approximately:

531 print versions… or

479 e-book versions…or

878 KU downloads…or

263 hand-sold print copies…or

some combination of those three to recover the costs of publishing. That doesn’t include any profit or compensation for the time I’ve spend writing/marketing/promoting/ or thinking about this one book.

I’m not quitting my day job. Not just yet. In my mind, the end goal is clearly to write and publish for a living and replace my day-job income.

I turn 50 in 2018.

I’d like to spend the second half of my life doing this crazy thing for a living from the Big Cedars.

For a girl who’s adverse to math, that’s a lot of numbers. I hope it helps guide you on your writing journey. And may the words be with you.

Have you ever tried or succeeded in working your dream job?  What happened? What’s your second act dream?

Want to read my first self-publishing effort? Lucky you! You can get it here: Amazon Kindle     

HauntMyHeartFinal (533x800) - CopyBook Description:

A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

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EVENT: USE YOUR WORDS Friday, January 16

Join me to tomorrow night in downtown Springfield with three local authors for a ridiculously fun night of romance books and improv. Improv actors will be using selections from Haunt My Heart among others to perform skits. It will be mortifyingly hilarious.

Don’t miss it!

Join the FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE HERE!

Use Your Words Jan 16 (1)

You can get your very own copy of Haunt My Heart here: Amazon Kindle     


3D Haunt my HeartBook Description:

A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

Don’t miss a thing! Sign up for my NEW RELEASE NEWSLETTER.