Unnormal Normalcy

Just News and Ramblings From Your Average Author

Life’s Little Updates

I haven’t been trying to neglect the blog, but it just happened. I’ve been doing other things, including writing and trying to get ready for transferring colleges. I was honestly going to post a music video yesterday, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything that I wanted to post that I hadn’t posted lately. I’ll fix that at the end of the post, because I stumbled on another fem-metal European band that I now adore.

Anyway, I’ve been posting past short stories on my DeviantArt, and I wanted to nudge my readers over to that site. DA is really awesome, and I suggest checking out some of the people who have left comments on my stories. My way of spreading the love, I suppose. Hey, it’s almost Valentine’s Day, right?

Speaking of, I wrote a V-day story for a writing challenge on Goodreads. It ended up being too long for the challenge, but I’ll be posting it here on the 14th. So come visit then!

Update on Meant to be Broken (henceforth called MtbB): I uploaded it to Createspace yesterday, and was able to order the proof tonight. I’m thinking of a release date of March 1st. I just need to get a cover image…

I think that’s everything… So, I leave you with a song.

And… my favorite ad from Sunday’s big game.


February 6, 2012 Posted by | Life, Meant to be Broken, Monday Plug, Soundtrack Sunday | Leave a comment

Expenses and Revenues of Self-Publishing

Over the course of 2011 I incurred $113.94 in expenses related to my publishing. Most of that was from buying copies to sell in person.

I received $10.00 in royalties from Amazon for Kindle sales.

I also received $21.04 in royalties from CreateSpace for print book sales.

I sold books in person for a total of $60.00.

As of now, I have $1.37 in unpaid royalties from Smashwords, $4.19 in unpaid royalties from CreateSpace, and $8.24 in unpaid royalties from Amazon.

This puts me at $-22.90 for 2011. However, I have done very little in the way of promoting, and I only have two novels at the moment. This is better than I did last year with only one novel. I’m still content to continue my self-publishing adventure.

January 9, 2012 Posted by | Monday Plug, Promoting, Writing | Leave a comment

Monday Plug – NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month (or, NaNoWriMo) starts tomorrow! This is a very exciting event for writers all over the world, who have been waiting and planning for this since last year. I will be participating this year – sort of. I am already working on a book, as you know, so I won’t be going by the rules and starting a new novel tomorrow. Naughty me. Instead, I will be focusing on completing WIP by November 30th. My goal is to make WIP at least 50,000 words, without throwing in scenes that aren’t important. I realize I have a head start, so I will not be uploading the novel at the end of the month, because that wouldn’t be fair. I’m doing this because I won’t have time to start over, since I need to keep a 3.5 or higher GPA, apply for jobs, work, and meet with people at the school I’m planning on transferring to before it gets too close to the spring quarter. Plus, my birthday is this month, and turning 21 will either help or hinder the creative process…

What is NaNoWriMo anyway? For those of you who don’t know, it is one month (November, always) when participants focus on writing 50,000 word novels. The goal is to do it all from scratch, but there is nothing against planning or plotting for months in advance. But you have to do it all yourself, and it has to be a work of fiction. The deadline is 11:59:59 on November 30th. There are community forums and live meets in most major cities, so participants can support each other. Even if you don’t quite make it, it’s still a lot of fun to try.

Visit the website to participate: http://www.nanowrimo.org 

October 31, 2011 Posted by | Monday Plug | Leave a comment

Monday Plug – Goodreads

To be honest, I probably don’t even need to say anything about this awesome site. But I will anyway. I love Goodreads so much. I love the groups. I love how you can keep track of your reading progress. I love how you can challenge yourself to read a certain number of books and the site keeps track of how many you finish. I love how you can rate books. I love how you can review books. I love the giveaways. I even love the recommendations, even though it means I will never have to look for new books to read ever again.

Here’s more from the site itself:

What Is Goodreads?

Goodreads is the largest social book discovery and recommendation site for readers in the world. We have more than 5,600,000 members who have added more than 180,000,000 books to their shelves. A home for casual readers and bona-fide bookworms alike, Goodreads users recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they’ve read and would like to read, find their next favorite book, form book clubs and much more. Goodreads was launched in December 2006.

Our Mission

Goodreads’ mission is to get people excited about reading. Along the way, we plan to improve the process of reading and learning throughout the world.

Why We Do It

Every once in a while you run into a friend who tells you about this “great new book I’m reading.” And suddenly you’re excited to read it. It’s that kind of excitement that Goodreads is all about.

How We Do It

Most book recommendation websites work by listing random people’s reviews. On Goodreads, when a person adds a book to the site, all their friends can see what they thought of it. It’s common sense. People are more likely to get excited about a book their friend recommends than a suggestion from a stranger. We even created an amazing algorithm that looks at your books and ratings, and helps you find other books based on what fellow Goodreads members with similar tastes enjoyed. Ultimately, it’s all based on our foundation of true-blue readers. Our members also create trivia about books, lists of the best books, post their own writing and form groups and book clubs.

A Letter from Our Founder

When I was in second grade, I discovered the Hardy Boys series. Ever since, I’ve loved to read — both for fun and to improve my mind. And I’m always looking for the next great book. Reviews on Amazon and other sites are helpful, but I thought there might be a better way.

One afternoon while I was scanning a friend’s bookshelf for my next great read, it struck me. When I want to know what books to read, I’d rather turn to a friend than any random person or bestseller list. So I thought I’d build a website — a website where I could see my friends’ bookshelves and learn about what they thought of all their books.

Goodreads is that site. It is a place where you can see what your friends are reading and vice versa. You can create “bookshelves” to organize what you’ve read (or want to read). You can comment on each other’s reviews. You can find mind-blowing new books. And on this journey with your friends you can explore new territory, gather information, and expand your mind.

Knowledge is power; and power is best shared among readers.

— Otis Y. Chandler


September 26, 2011 Posted by | Monday Plug | Leave a comment

Monday Plug – CreateSpace


I am so happy that I found CreateSpace. It is such a great way to self-publish. It is very affordable, and easy to use. Not only does it give you a way to publish books yourself, but music and film, too. It is print-on-demand, so you don’t have to pay for inventory, and printing costs are deducted from the price of the product. Royalties are decent, and you set the price you want to sell for. CreateSpace also provides your book with a free ISBN, so you don’t have to buy them yourself. I like that.

CreateSpace offers editing and other publishing services, but they are not required in order to publish. You do need to purchase a proof copy of every product, but it is well worth it when you use the proof to catch errors. For higher royalties, you also have to option of purchasing a pro-plan for each product. This also pays for itself. With the pro-plan you pay less for books you have printed for yourself, meaning that you make more off of selling them in person.

For anyone looking to self-publish, I recommend CreateSpace.

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Monday Plug | Leave a comment

Monday Plug – NetGalley

I don’t know why it took me so long to join this site. NetGalley is an awesome site where you can request ebooks that you can download or have sent to your Kindle. And it’s free! Readers are expected to review the books that they are selected for, however.

The only complaint I have is that none of the ebooks are actually formatted for Kindle, so the different lines of dialogue get mushed together on the same line and sometimes there are random spaces. But it doesn’t take away from the books themselves. I still love it.

From the website:

NetGalley LLC is a joint venture created by Firebrand Technologies, a publishing software and technology solutions developer, and Rosetta Solutions, Inc., a global publishing services company, to manage the NetGalley service. NetGalley is an innovative and easy-to-use online service and connection point for book publishers, reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers, bloggers and educators.

NetGalley delivers digital galleys and promotional materials to professional readers and helps promote new and upcoming titles. Using NetGalley, publishers can build communities, invite contacts to view galleys and promotional materials, and track who has viewed their titles.

Professional readers–reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators–can join and use NetGalley at no cost.

September 12, 2011 Posted by | Monday Plug | Leave a comment

Monday Plug – Ebates


(click logo to go to site)

Ebates is an awesome site, in my opinion. I don’t use it all that much, but only because I’m living on a budget. When I need to buy something, though, this is the first site I check through.

One major concern of sites like this is whether or not they are trustworthy. Well, Ebates does what it says it does, by giving you back a percent of the money you spend shopping online through them. I have only been a member for a few months, used it for one purchase, and I recently received my first check. It was only for $2.80, but it made me very happy.

About the site, from the site:

Ebates is the pioneer and leader of online Cash Back Shopping. The company was founded in 1998 by two Deputy District Attorneys in Silicon Valley who used to prosecute online fraud & identity theft before starting Ebates (so you can be sure we are very into secure online transactions!). So go ahead, sign up and start shopping now. Joining Ebates is always free – you’ll never pay us anything. And four times a year or more, we’ll mail you a Big Fat Check, or transfer the money to your PayPal account if you’d prefer. We can even send the money to your favorite charity. All 100% free.

People often ask: “This sounds too good to be true, how are you able to do it?” It really is quite simple. Just like almost every other online shopping center, we get a commission from the stores when you make a purchase. Instead of keeping that money – like almost all other sites do – we share it with you!

So, as long as 1200+ of the world’s top online stores are happy to pay a bonus to attract the new, valuable customers we send their way, Ebates is going to continue to send Big Fat Checks to our satisfied customers across the globe.

September 5, 2011 Posted by | Monday Plug | Leave a comment

Monday Plug – DailyFeats

In this new weekly feature, I will be taking a moment to promote websites/blogs/games/events/anything I find interesting or useful.

This week I am promoting DailyFeats, a cool site I just joined. On this site, you sign up to do certain things – certain “feats” – and each time you do a feat, you get points. These points can then be used to get prizes. Here’s more from the website itself:

What is DailyFeats?

DailyFeats is a site and app that helps you do good things for your health and happiness. It’ll guide you in doing small but significant actions — or “feats” — that add up to big change. Along the way, you’ll earn points, share with friends, and treat yourself to real-life rewards, motivating you to go do good — every day.

How does DailyFeats work?

DailyFeats helps you build the motivation and momentum you need to make positive change in your life. Whenever you do a feat — from eating fresh fruit to climbing a mountain — check it in at DailyFeats by visiting dailyfeats.com, using our smartphone apps, or just sending a text message. You’ll earn points for every action you check in. Those points add up to real-life rewards, which you and your family can enjoy to celebrate the good things you’ve done! Awesome.

How does DailyFeats help my health and happiness?

Sometimes it’s hard to see the value in small, positive actions; our brains don’t always make the connection between eating a boring salad today and feeling better about ourselves tomorrow. DailyFeats give you that positive boost right away. Then, through challenges, social encouragement, and rewards, DailyFeats keeps that momentum going, so you can build new positive habits. We’ll help you eat better, exercise harder, get more work done, smile more often, and make any other positive change you’d like.

Why does DailyFeats offer rewards?

Rewards are a great way to celebrate the good things you’ve done. Trust us, redeeming your hard-earned points for real-life cash savings is very satisfying. Rewards from DailyFeats’ partners also help us sustain our business, allowing us to offer you the experience of checking in and sharing feats without ever charging you money or blasting you with ads.

How can DailyFeats use social connections?

Social connections are a powerful motivator and an important part of the DailyFeats experience. You can build a Team of friends and family at DailyFeats, who can see your check-ins and give you “props” — positive, encouraging, funny comments that earn you one point each. You can also share your feats on Facebook and Twitter, showing the world the most epic feats you’ve done (it’s rather more meaningful than tweeting about the latest entertainment news). Most importantly, you can give props to others; the DailyFeats community thrives on positive feedback, and by exchanging encouragement with people from around the world you can help build motivation for yourself and others.

Website: www.dailyfeats.com

If you want to be teammates, my name is Nastasha.

August 29, 2011 Posted by | Monday Plug | Leave a comment