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Monday Giveaway

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*TL;DR: Read the bold-ed words.

Phototastic-25_3_2016_3c0a52c3-badb-4ed3-9450-101a4fe90704Prior to the launch of The Battle for Oz, my publisher threw a Goodreads giveaway. 20 copies were up for grabs and over 1,000 people entered. I’m still in shock at the number of readers interested in the book. I know some books get way more participants, but for me, 1,000 is a lot! So anyway… now that it’s a little over six months, my publisher and I have decided to throw another giveaway.

Just like round one, there are 20 paperback copies to be won. And don’t worry, despite the blog title, the giveaway is not just open for today. In fact, it runs from March 28th to April 25th. The only downside is this paperback giveaway is only open to residents of the United States and Canada. Unfortunately, my publisher cannot extend it globally… yet. However, they’re more than happy to give 10 free e-books to my readers living outside of US and Canada.

So, if you’re living in the US and Canada, you can enter the Goodreads giveaway HERE. But if you’re not from either of these two countries, you can leave a comment below stating who you like better, Dorothy Gale or Alice Liddell, and stand a chance to win an e-book! Sounds cool?

I’m not sure if any of my blog followers won the Goodreads giveaway the last round. I saw a familiar name, but I cannot be certain. This time, I hope one of you do win a copy. It would be awesome to hear your thoughts on the book. So be sure to join! You have close to one month to enter, and I don’t advise waiting. What if you forget? Ok, ok, fine, I’ll remind you when the date is nearer. But if you have nothing to do now, enter/leave a comment today!

That’s it! I used a lot of ‘so’s in this post didn’t I? So I better end this here. Happy Monday dear reader! And thanks for always sticking around 🙂

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Sunday’s Wake Up Call #InksharesReviews

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Yesterday morning, my phone rang the cliche Nokia (not a sponsor) alarm at 6am.

I crawled out of bed with the ghosts of my strange dreams and made myself a cup of coffee (of course, only after I’ve brushed my teeth). Then, I got ready for the Inkshares review-a-thon live stream!

Don’t worry, if you didn’t manage to catch the live stream while it was still live, you can watch it below.

My interview starts around the 10:20 mark (I wasn’t nervous at all! Pfftt.. yea right). I spoke a little about The Battle for Oz and The Slave Prince, as well as what I do as my day job.

But wait… don’t just watch mine. Watch the whole thing! We also had Gary Whitta (scriptwriter of The Book of Eli and the upcoming Rogue One) and Adam Gomolin (Inkshares VP) with us. Aside from that, there were mentions of many books worth supporting on Inkshares. So if you have a couple of hours to spare, check it out!

By the way, I know I mentioned in the interview that The Slave Prince is ranked #10 in the Sword & Laser Collection contest, but I just realised it has been bumped to #11.

Vader-nooooo
If you have yet to see what it’s all about, please do 🙂 I’ve added a new chapter too, and will continue to do so as more people come along for the adventure.
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World Builders — Jeyna Grace

Earlier this month, I shared my thoughts on world building and The Battle for Oz with fellow Inkshares author, John Robin.

Read a snippet below and more on the EpicFantasyWriter blog itself.

John Robin: Online Teacher

Today, my World Builders guest is Jeyna Grace, author of The Battle for Oz and The Slave Prince (which is currently in the early stages on Inkshares).

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Jeyna Grace never stopped playing pretend. One day, she decided to document her imagination on paper… And the rest is history.

Her first foray into the world of publishing was in 2011. Since then, she has released six titles. She also writes stories for her blog to practice her craft. She currently works for a children’s publishing house, where she creates a variety of material for young readers. Their letters in response to her stories bring her joy, but her true passion is writing novels. She dreams of becoming a full-time author one day and hopes her journey will inspire others to chase their dreams too.

Born and raised in Malaysia, she often retreats to the world inside her head, where she teaches…

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Let’s Go To War

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*This is a special note to those who have supported The Battle for Oz. If you’ve not supported the book, READ ANYWAY.

1,000 copies sold!

I’ve hit a milestone in my publishing career that I’ve been dreaming of for a long time. Thank you for being a part of this journey and helping me accomplish this feat 🙂 I have never sold this many books before, that’s for sure. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

That being said, the question that begs to be answered now is, will it be possible to sell another 1,000 copies?

I say, yes. If and only if you’re still willing to stand beside me. I need an army to fight my way in this competitive publishing industry, and I could really use your help. Will you enlist?

If you think I’m worth partnering, if you think this war is worth fighting, here’s what I need you to do:

#1 Share The Battle for Oz with your friends.
Conveniently, the book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes & Noble at a lower price. The cover is also green… which makes for an awesome Christmas present! (Look —>)

#2 Leave reviews.
On Amazon.
On Goodreads.
And on your own blog, if you own one.

These are the only two things I need from you. I can only do so much, but you can help me do more. So, I’m leaving it in your hands.

You’re in command of this battle now, General. Should we go for war? It’s your call.

On a side note, The Battle for Oz was pitched to United Talent Agency. This book needs to get more attention should it stand a chance at becoming a movie! This fight might be all it needs, and this fight needs you.

(If you read this and have yet to get your copy of The Battle for Oz, please check the book out! You might like it. You really might. You might end up loving it, for all I know. So please, pretty please, give it a look.)

Writing Journey

The Making of The Battle for Oz

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The making of The Battle for Oz was more than writing The Battle for Oz. Here is the complete production process.

Pre Production

In film making, this is where the script is written, a budget is given, the cast and crew are hired, the locations are recce-ed, the production schedule is set, the costumes are made, and etc. When pre producing The Battle for Oz, I only needed the completed manuscript and $7,700. Seems like a much easier process compared to making a movie, right? Well, it is… except that raising $7,700 was not easy at all.

Since my manuscript was already completed, I simply had to focus on getting the funds. I reached out to my family and friends, and gotten my parents on board to reach out to their friends as well. I Facebook messaged everyone up to five times and thickened my skin during the entire process. I’ve tried different ways in the 3-month time frame and can now conclude on what works and what doesn’t.

What works:
– Spamming your Facebook friends, especially when they don’t respond to your first message. Tell them it’s OK for them to tell you to stop if they find it annoying. Many will ignore you, but some will turn around at the very end and support you because they admire your perseverance.
– Reaching out to family, because they will support you. Ask your uncles and aunts, cousins and cousins-in-law, nephews and nieces, and everyone in your family tree.
– Don’t be afraid to ask mum and dad for help, because mum and dad have contacts and mum and dad will shamelessly support you. Because they are mum and dad. (*Neither of my parents forked out any money, but they successfully convinced their friends to support my dream.)
– Email blog followers. Not all but some will respond. (Those of you who did, thank you!)
– Tweet Twitter followers. Not all but some will respond. (Those who did, thank you too!)

What doesn’t work:
– Messaging book bloggers.
– Promoting your book in Goodreads groups that you’re not active in.
– Spamming Facebook groups.
– Trying to get the support of famous YouTubers. (Not worth the effort no matter how desperate you are. Trust me.)
– Reddit.

Hitting $7,700 was almost impossible for me, especially when majority of my backers were from Malaysia. The currency exchange made it difficult for people to give more. Still, after a lot of convincing and praying, I managed to hit the goal. I would call it a miracle. So if I can do it with an exchange rate of more than 3.0, you can certainly do it too.

Production

Once my book was fully funded, I was introduced to Inkshares’ editorial manager who asked for my manuscript and gave me a questionnaire to fill. We also had a brief Skype chat where she answered all my questions. After that, she introduced me to the project manager from Girl Friday Productions. They took over the manuscript and began the editing process. From developmental editing, copy editing, to proofreading, they walked through each stage with me. It was my first time going through such a tedious editing process of my work and I learned that red lines do not necessarily mean bad.

When the editing was finally done, the project manager started with the cover design process. I was given three rounds to comment and change the design, but I pushed it to four. Once I was happy with the cover, the marketing manager from Inkshares came into the picture. She took the digital proofs and began the marketing process including getting early readers and press interest. Before the official publication date, the digital advance reader copy was passed around, a Goodreads giveaway was set up, and I was given an interview questionnaire to fill.

I think the longest production process was the editing, as reviewing edits for each stage took a while. I also had to reread my manuscript many times. It was worth it though.

Post Production

Now that the book is out, marketing becomes the primary focus. Getting reviews is an important part of this stage. Being that Inkshares is a crowd-funded publisher, both author and publisher have to put in effort in promoting the book. On my end, I have to seek reviews to boost the sales. I’ll have to reach out to people again and wear a thick skin once more. Though, I do believe readers would be more supportive this time around. After all, they’ve already bought the book… right? Right? I can only hope.

So there you have it, the making of The Battle for Oz!

Now, for some important post production work.

Click HERE to visit the book page. Buy the book if it piques your interest!

If you have read the book, please, please, please, leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Especially Amazon. Help me out! It’s difficult to get reviews. So please do lend a hand. I would really appreciate it!

Curious about the interview I did with Young Entertainment Magazine? They called my book a literary equivalent of a masterful musical mashup. Click HERE to read it! I talked about my background, inspiration, and personal favourites in it too.

OK, I’m done with my little post production segment. Thank you for your support in advance. *AND PLEASE LEAVE ME A REVIEW!*

I hope this post has been helpful for those who are considering crowd-funding their novel. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment 🙂 I’ll be more than willing to answer them.

Till my next post, have a great weekend!

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6500 & A New Book

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When was the last time I did a thank you post? I think it was during the 5000’s. I decided not to write these posts so frequently, not because I’m not grateful for having you around, but because I don’t want to water down my gratitude. Hence, I have decided to say thank you every 500 new subscribers. So, here I am again!

A big thank you to all 6500 readers of my blog! Thank you for paying my blog a visit, reading my stories, liking and commenting on them, and for spending your precious time on my little space on the internet. The daily growth of my blog is a huge encouragement. Having you say you enjoy my stories, whether new or old, whether original or fanfic, really makes my day. Thank you so much for being my reader and I hope you will continue to support me as I tread the waters of this big ocean of writers.

Thank you!

Now apart from my little gratitude segment, I would also like to announce that I will be releasing a new book in May. No, this is not The Battle For Oz, but another spin off.

If you have been following me since 2013, you would have remembered the blog series called Dr. Slubgob’s Letters. It was written based off C. S Lewis’ book, Screwtape Letters. This year, I was happy to discover that C. S Lewis officially entered the public domain. Which means, I can now self-publish Dr. Slubgob’s Letters!

Of course, my writing style has changed since 2013. So, I’m spending a lot of time editing, editing, and editing this piece of work. Once I’m done, I’ll convert it into a novella. I also have a graphic designer friend working on the book cover. The moment both parts of the book are ready, I’ll put it for sale. Don’t worry, there will also be a giveaway.

The reason why I decided to ‘re-publish’ Dr. Slubgob’s Letters is because The Battle For Oz is still in the process of publication. It has just completed the editing stage and will take a while before it hits the shelves. I wanted to give you something else to read before that book is published.

My plans for my unpublished works has changed since The Battle For Oz was successfully crowd-funded. I might even crowd-fund another novel in the future but for now, I’m just going with the flow. I hope The Battle For Oz will propel me forward as an author and give me a chance to play with the big boys soon. So, if you’re interested in checking the book out, please do so. It’s on Inkshares, Amazon, and a few other online bookstores if you would like to pre-order it.

791 copies have been pre-ordered so far – only 209 before I hit the 1k mark! Would you lend a hand? It’s a milestone I have yet to achieve 🙂

Anyway, there will be more news to come as time goes by. For now, know that I’m releasing a novella soon. I don’t want to write a short story out of this, so I’ll end it here. Once again, thank you so much for your support and readership. I really appreciate it. I hope you have a good weekend and continue to stay awesome!

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2015, Here We Go!

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The crowd-funding project for The Battle For Oz is over and guess what? It is a success!

I have never imagined raising this much money in such a short time and I’m just so excited! I had a super huge backer a few days before it ended, who practically gave enough to cover the remaining shortage. Thank God! Yes, thank God and that backer!

But they are not the only ones that deserve my gratitude. Firstly, I want to thank my parents for their support. They really went out of their way and helped me seek potential funders among their friends. They were more gung ho than me, boldly getting their friends on board. It’s safe to say, the majority of funds were raised because of their friends. And to be honest, I did not even ask them to do so, they just did. Thanks mum and dad ❤

Secondly, I want to say thank you to every casual adventurer, realm traveller, and chosen one. The project was funded by 147 people, but the actual number is more than that. A lot of people handed me cash, and though their names are not in the system, I’m extremely grateful for their support.

And lastly, thank YOU 🙂 All those who tweeted, Facebooked, reblogged and funded the project, thank you so, so much.

That being said, I promised to do a lucky draw for subscribers who funded a minimum of 5USD to the project during the crowd-funding stage. But since not many participated, I’ve decided to just give a free copy to each subscriber that funded the project. I have sent you guys an email about it, so be sure to hit reply with your details 🙂 *If I left you out, let me know.

If you are new to my blog and would like to know more about The Battle For Oz, you can pre-order the book HERE. It is currently priced at 17.99$, which includes shipping. I would definitely update you on the progress of publication through this blog as days go by. Hopefully, I would be able to hold the book in my hands soon. Gosh, I can’t wait!

The Battle For Oz could finally be my big break. But even though I do not know where this book will take me or how my career as an author will take off after this, I know I could not have done it without the faith I’ve gotten from every supporter. My journey might still be a long one, but I know that dreams CAN come true, if you and I believe 🙂

Thank you once again! Now, excuse me while I digest the fact that this is really happening.

*Shameless plugging time: it has been awhile so… like me on Facebook! Follow me on Twitter!
#TheBattleForOz if you have any questions or would like to find updates through social media. O.k, goodbye!

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We Are Definitely Not in Kansas Anymore!

Check out what this book blogger has to say about The Battle For Oz: Exitium!

Exitium is the first out of three parts in the complete novel. It can be downloaded HERE for free. If you wish to see the complete novel in bookstores near you, be sure to check out the crowd-funding project for it. I need all the help I can get, and your support would mean a lot to me 🙂

*Do note that the artworks in Exitium would not be in the complete novel.

Scale of Books

The Battle For Oz – Book one: Exitium by Jeyna Grace:

I think we have all, at the very least, heard of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. A delightful children’s novel by L. Frank Baum. The novel has had countless remakes, movies and plays, it has inspired new stories and been the focus of many literary commentaries, not to mention its presence in various classrooms.

Is it not then refreshing to find a whole new take on this beloved classic? Is it not intriguing to find out what might have happened after the death of the Wicked Witch and Dorothy’s return to Kansas?

exitium-cover

I thought so, at any rate, when I started reading the first few pages of The Battle For Oz, Book 1: Exitium by Jeyna Grace. And in truth, that thought remained with me throughout. Evil queens, magic, monstrous guards, and a heroine or two? What’s not to…

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Win A Paperback Copy Of The Battle For Oz

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Yes, you heard me right! I have decided to give back.

If my crowd-funding project for The Battle For Oz is a success, I would get a few copies of the book in paperback myself. AND I intend to give those books away to 10 lucky subscribers!

I would write you a personal message, sign the book, and mail it to you. I hate going to post offices, but I will go anyway.

Note: This is only open to the subscribers of my blog, why? No legitimate reason. 

So, how do you enter?

#1 Visit The Battle For Oz crowd-funding page and fund a minimum of 5 USD. (Payable via credit/debit cards)

#2 Once you do so, I will receive an email with your name and contact. Since I get contributions from non-blog subscribers as well, I’ll need you to reply to my email stating you’re a subscriber.

#3 You can fund as many times as you like, which will increase your chances of winning the paperback copy.

Once the project is fully funded and the books are delivered to me, I will do a video with me drawing names out of a box to choose the winners 🙂

Now, you’re probably wondering, is this really a giveaway when you have to put in at least 5 USD?

The answer is yes and no.
Yes, because to get a paperback, you need to at least fund 25 USD, but now you only do so with 5 USD.
No, because your 5 USD goes to supporting me in achieving my dreams 🙂

And who knows, when I make it as a best-selling author one day, that book can be sold as the only 10 autographed first editions in the world! It’s an investment worth considering, no?

This contest will run from now till the book is fully funded. So the faster you guys enter this contest, the faster you would receive the book and the higher your chances are of wining it.

Stop hesitating and visit the project page now!

*Jonas L., Douglas R., Kirsten L., & Michelle P., your names have already been added into this giveaway for funding this project before the announcement of this contest. If I missed your name, send me an email 🙂

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Changing Things Up

chnagingthingsup4,800, yes, 4,800 subscribers! Woo hoo! Just so you know, I’ve never shouted ‘woo hoo’ out loud before… and I probably won’t because it’s a bit strange to do so in front of the computer. So here am I, internally and silently celebrating this new achievement. Come, celebrate with me too 🙂 After all, the number is rather insignificant if not for the the people behind it. Thank you for making that number worth something to me.

I’ve said this many times (saying ‘I’ve said this many times’ have also been said many times), but I’m really thankful for all of you. Your subscription, readership, and support matters a lot to me. I know my words may seem watered down, because I’m posting these ‘thank you’ posts too regularly, but the sincerity is still thick as glue. I really am grateful for your presence. Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂

Moving on, I have something important to tell you guys.

There is going to be a change to the way I release the rest of the books in The Battle For Oz trilogy. Previously, TBFO was a novelette trilogy that I partnered with an artist. However, due to differing goals between me and the artist, he has decided to pursue other projects instead. BUT that does not mean The Battle For Oz is gone. No way! I promised you guys 3 books and I will now give you 1; The Battle For Oz novel!

The Battle For Oz: Exitium will still be up for download, but it will now be a free teaser for you to taste the story before considering buying the novel. You can download it free here! As for The Battle For Oz novel, even though there will not be an abundance of artwork like in Exitium, I will be converting it into e-pub and mobi formats as well. So now everyone with e-readers can read it too 🙂

Honestly, this is not the change I intended to make, but sometimes you got to work with it. Zaquard is very talented (check out his devianart) but the way we see our trade with The Battle For Oz does not gel. Unfortunately, it has come down to this, but I’m still very excited! I’m hoping to release the full novel May next year, so be sure to keep an eye out for it!

Anyway, for all those that downloaded Exitium, thank you so much and I hope you enjoyed it! I also hope you would be game to read the rest of the novel when it comes out. The plot gets ‘twistier’ than the yellow brick road, I promise 🙂

Well, that is all I have to say for this post. Thank you once again for your subscription and have a great week!