Mistress of Legend, the final book in the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, will be published September 15 – exactly 19 years to the day when Guinevere first spoke in my head and I started writing the prologue of Daughter of Destiny. (Which is still in tact, minus one paragraph BTW.) Here’s the back cover copy:
Legend says Guinevere spent her final days in penance in a convent, but that is far from the truth.
Having escaped death at the stake, Guinevere longs to live a peaceful life in Brittany with Lancelot, but the threat of Arthur’s wrath quickly separates the lovers. Guinevere finds herself back in Camelot, but it is not the peaceful capital she once knew; the loyalty of the people is divided over Arthur’s role in her death sentence. When war draws Arthur away from Britain, Mordred is named acting king. With Morgan at his side and a Saxon in his bed, Mordred’s thirst for power becomes his undoing and the cause of Guinevere’s greatest heartache.
In the wake of the deadly battle that leaves the country in civil war, Guinevere’s power as the former queen is sought by everyone who seeks to ascend the throne. Heartbroken and refusing to take sides in the conflict, she flees north to her mother’s Votadini homeland, where she is at long last reunited with Lancelot. The quiet life she desires is just beginning when warring tribal factions once again thrust her into an unexpected position of power. Now charged with ending an invasion that could bring an end to the Votadini tribe and put the whole island in the hands of the Saxons, Guinevere must draw upon decades of experience to try to save the people she loves and is sworn to protect.
Pre-order print and ebook
Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo pre-orders will be available in July.
Right now I don’t know if audio will be available at the same time or slightly after print and ebook. I need to work that out with my narrator.
Guinevere’s Tale Box Set
I will also be releasing all three books in the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy in a box set on September 15, both as an ebook and a huge print book. Cover, ordering info and details to come.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to learn more about writing, finish your book or maybe even to self-publish, you’re in luck. I’m now offering online courses on writing, business and publishing for authors of all experience levels, from aspiring to multi-published, at Professional Author Academy.
Here’s a look at the courses:
Audio Books for Indie Authors
Audio books are the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry and are a relatively easy way to make money on books you’ve already written. The process may seem overwhelming, but Nicole Evelina will guide you through a few of the ways of getting your book from page to earbuds. She’ll help you understand your options for production, the cost involved, how to audition narrators and guide them once you’ve selected your talent, what the recording and editing process entail, and how to get your books out to your audience.
Basic Branding for Authors When we hear the word “branding,” most of us automatically think “logo.” While that is one part of it, branding is actually so much more. It includes the way people feel when they interact with you, your “voice” both in your writing and online, and the image you project online and in person. In addition, branding encompasses your logo, author and book taglines and the fonts and colors you choose for your web site and marketing materials. Drawing on 15 years of professional experience in marketing and a master’s degree in public relations, as well as her own experience as an author, Nicole will help you understand branding through case studies of authors who do it successfully, as well as offer tips and exercises you can employ to discover your own brand.
Business Plans for Authors A business plan is a roadmap to success. Whether you’re published or not, indie or traditional, a good business plan helps you in defining your goals as well as action steps you can take to reach them. In this course, you’ll learn an 11-step process for writing yours that will take only an hour or two to complete. Plus, you’ll get to see a real-life example of a business plan from your instructor. You’ll also learn how to set your budget and think through your long-term and short-term goals, uncover additional merchandising opportunities that could lead to income, and plan for your next year’s worth of book releases.
Legal Issues for Indie Authors Being an indie author is more than just writing and publishing a book. Regardless of whether or not you choose to formally start your own publishing imprint, as soon as you make your first sale you are a business in the eyes of the law. This means you’ll have to pay taxes and make sure you follow local, state and Federal laws. In this course,* award-winning author and owner of Lawson Gartner Publishing, Nicole Evelina will walk you through the ins and outs of copyright, PCIP information and Library of Congress numbers, things to consider when starting your own publishing imprint, taxes and proper business record keeping. *This course should not be taken as legal advice. Please consult an attorney and/or tax expert before taking any action.
Marketing Plans for Authors In today’s publishing world, it’s not only indie authors who have to handle the lion’s share of marketing their book. Increasingly, traditionally published authors are being asked to shoulder the burden. So where do you start? Drawing on 15 years of professional experience and a master’s degree in public relations, as well as her own experience as an author, Nicole Evelina will lead you through creating your own marketing plan. You’ll learn how to:
Get an idea of the market for your genre
Research competitive and comparative books
Identify your strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats
Identify your target audience
Develop key messages about your book and yourself as an author
Plan what tactics you will use before launch, during your launch and after to gain and sustain sales:
Distribution – online and physical stores
Your web site content
Guest posts/writing articles
Tapping into online and real-life organizations
Using giveaways and ARCs to build buzz
Supplemental materials you’ll want to have on hand
Measure for success and evaluation of ROi
Nicole will share her own marketing plans with you, so you can see how one looks when complete, as well as provide handouts you can use as templates to create your own plan. Nicole has won international communications awards for her marketing plans and regularly writes them for her day job.
Self-published authors are more than just writers. We’re our own business managers, sales force, distribution team, marketers and more. This course will teach you everything you need to know to self-publish as a professional and produce books of equal or greater quality than traditional publishing houses.
This course is actually several courses in one, as I offer many of these modules separately. Here’s what you’ll learn:
The benefits of self-publishing
How to write a business plan
How to handle editing/proofreading
How to get a great cover design
Options for interior book formatting
Distribution: Ebooks, print and audio
How to sell your book to libraries and bookstores
Legal issues for indie authors: copyright, Library of Congress, forming your own imprint, taxes, recording keeping and expenses
Marketing and PR basics
Your digital media strategy: website, social media and branding
Steps to Self-Publishing Self-publishing a book is more than uploading it to Createspace and clicking “publish.” There are several steps necessary in order to produce a book that is equal to or better than those from traditional publishing houses. In this course, award-winning self-published author Nicole Evelina will walk you through everything you need to know about professional editing, cover design, interior formatting, production, sales and marketing in order to make your book as professional as possible. She’ll also teach you how to budget for the expenses involved and cover the advantages and disadvantages to choosing to publish independently.
Web Sites and Social Media for Authors By now we all know that web sites are a must for anyone who wants to be taken seriously in any field. This is especially true for authors whose sites function as not only as virtual calling cards, but as portals for sales and interaction with fans. In this course, award-winning author Nicole Evelina will walk you through everything you need to do to set up a site of your own, from choosing a hosting company and buying a URL to deciding what information to include and how to organize your pages. She will also show you how to incorporate branding and marketing best practices into your social media. In addition to using her own site and social media examples, Nicole will offer best practices from famous authors and show you how to emulate them.
Self-Editing Editing. That one little word conjures a range of emotions in writers. Some love it. Some hate it. No matter how you feel about it, it’s a necessary step to get your novel ready for publication. Nicole Evelina will teach you some tips and tricks she’s learned over the last several years that will make self-editing a much easier step. Highlights include how to:
Break your editing into rounds so that you don’t have to tackle everything at once.
Examine dialog, description, characterization and action.
Use a beat sheet to check pacing and balance of power.
Make every word count without having to agonize over every sing word.
Use advice from beta readers and contests to strengthen your novel.
Setting and Description in Fiction Setting and description are key to immersing your reader in the world of your novel. But how do you accomplish this without overwhelming your readers with pages of flowery prose? Nicole Evelina shares her tips for writing description that will leave your readers wanting to live in the world of your book without sacrificing pace.
Writing Historical Fiction Ever wanted to try your hand at historical fiction but didn’t know where to start? Award-winning historical fiction author Nicole Evelina will show you it’s not as intimidating as it may seem, even if you’re not a fan of research (though it helps if you are). She’ll cover research methods and sources, how research informs plot, how to handle characterization in other time periods, how to bring the past to life, mistakes to avoid, and more. Whether you’re just dipping a toe in the historical waters or have already published in this genre, you’re sure to learn something new.
Convenient and Reasonably Priced I know what it’s like to try to fit learning into a life already filled with work, family, writing and other responsibilities. That’s why these courses don’t require any homework and can be taken at your own pace. All courses include a welcome video and narrated Powerpoint slides. Many also include a recommended reading list and other handouts for reference or use as a worksheet or template.
Plus, they are cheaper than your average college course, which runs about $1,500/course (at $500/credit hour), or even many Writer’s Digest Online Workshops, which average between $200-$600+. I offer a tiered pricing structure based on the amount of information in each course. You can pay all at once or installments.
Basic – $100/course
Legal Issues for Indie Authors
Writing Setting and Description
Standard – $200/course
Audio Books for Indie Authors
Business Plans for Authors
Advanced – $300/course
Branding for Authors
Website and Social Media for Authors
Steps to Self Publishing
Premium – $500/course
Marketing Plans for Authors
Writing Historical Fiction
Premier – $1,000/course
Self Publishing 101 (This course is several courses in one, including Steps to Self Publishing, Business Plans, Marketing Plans, Legal Issues, Web and Social Media. If you bought the classes separately, you’d pay $1,400.)
Stay Up to Date
I’m planning to add new courses several times a year, so if you’d like to be notified when there is a new course or a current course goes on sale, please sign up for my course newsletter.
Future Planned Courses
Advanced Author Branding
How to Use Pinterest to Develop Your Story and Career
How Acting Can Make Your a Better Writer
Public Speaking for Authors
Starting Strong: Tips for Honing Your Novel’s First Chapter, Page and Line
Resources for Self Published and Hybrid Authors
Working with a Publicity Company: What You Need to Know
Building Strong Characters
How to Write a Query Letter That Goes You Noticed
If you have any suggestions for future courses, please email me at nicole[dot]evelina[at]att[dot]net. I’d love to know what you want to learn about!
And please spread the word about this new resource to all the writers in your life.
At long last, I’m pleased to tell you that Camelot’s Queen is available on audio book! Narrated by Serena Scott Thomas, who also narrated Daughter of Destiny, this book covers Guinevere’s life as Arthur’s wife and queen of Camelot.
At the moment it is available on Amazon and Audible. iTunes usually takes a few months to approve books, so I’ll post that link when it becomes available.
So excited to tell you that the audio book of Been Searching for You is now available on Amazon and Audible. (iTunes tends to take about six months to approve them, so when it’s available there, I’ll add the icon to the book’s page.)
I LOVE this audio book. I mean, the Guinevere ones are great, but Ashley Clements did a phenomenal job in her narration. Her reading makes the book even better. I mean, when I listen to it, I feel like Nora Roberts. And there are so many places where I feel like she pulled the tone and voices straight from my head, so you get to hear it exactly as I intended it.
I am beyond thrilled to announce that the audio book of my romantic comedy Been Searching for You will be narrated by Ashley Clements! She’s best know as the star of the Youtube series The Lizzie Bennett Diaries (and its book and audio book spinoffs), for which she won a Streamy award for Best Actress in a Drama. She has also narrated an audio book by Gemma Halliday and appeared in the series Muzzed, the Musical. Soon she’ll be starring in the romantic comedy Non-Transferable and playing Charlotte Bronte in the series Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party.
If you’ve seen The Lizzie Bennett Diaries (or listened to the audio books) you know she’s a one-woman powerhouse of voices and characters. If you haven’t, get to Youtube or Amazon Prime now and watch this series – it’s a hilarious modern-day retelling of Pride & Prejudice in vlog format. You will NOT regret it. That’s how I fell in love with her.
I originally had a British actress in mind when I wrote the character of Annabeth in Been Searching for You, but when I saw Ashley, I actually said out loud “Oh my God, that’s Annabeth!” And she’s been my dream choice even since. Who knows it if will ever be made into a movie, but at least I’ve got my dream Annabeth doing the audio.
We’re working with Deyan Studios and ACX to bring this audio book to you. I’m hoping to have it available on May 10 when the print and ebook versions are released, but you never know what may come up. More information as I know it.
Ashley, thanks so much for agreeing to work with me on this book!
Finally, after a month of wrangling with SAG, the audio book of Daughter of Destiny is out! Here are the links for Amazon and Audible. I don’t think it’s up on iTunes yet, but it should be soon. Because of my deal with ACX, those are the only three places you’ll be able to find it. If you join Audible and buy my book first (free trial doesn’t count), I get $50, so that’s the method I selfishly recommend, but please use whatever method is best for you.
The book is narrated by Hollywood actress Serena Scott Thomas. If her name sounds familiar, it’s because she is actress Kristin Scott Thomas’ sister. Or you may have seen her in the Bond flick The World is Not Enough, the Oscar-nominated Inherent Vice, Nash Bridges, Nip/Tuck, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s a native of England, so her accent is not only perfect, it’s authentic! I hope you enjoy her performance as much as I did. She’s got all the characters down just like they sound in my head!
Serena has already signed on for the other two books in the trilogy and we’re in the early stages of production for the audio of Camelot’s Queen. More to come as that unfolds.
Netgalley Those of you who want a free look at Daughter of Destiny (in exchange for an honest review) should check out Netgalley this month. It’s available for download all month. Please, please, if you take this option, leave a review if you liked the book. That’s the whole point of making the book available there.
Web site Updates Between coughing fits, I’ve been updating the site to include things of interest to those who have already read Daughter of Destiny. You can now read deleted scenes and help me cast the book over on Iflist. I’ve filled in who I picture for the characters, so I can’t wait to see how you see them!
A reminder that if you’re in a book club, I’m happy to visit with you in person or via Skype. Here’s the link to all the resources for book clubs.
There’s been so much going on that I’m afraid I’ll miss something. But I think that’s everything for now. Once book stuff slows down, I will go back to blogging about history, I promise. There’s plenty I haven’t told you about Victoria Woodhull…
One of these days, I will get back to historical posts, I promise. But right now there’s so much exciting stuff going on that I feel like it’s more interesting to talk about that, especially as we’re getting closer and closer to January 1, when Daughter of Destiny comes out.
If you follow me on social media, you may have already heard, but last week I signed a three book deal with Serena Scott Thomas through ACX to narrate and produce all the books in Guinevere’s Tale. I am super excited! Serena is a seasoned actress – you may have seen her in the Oscar-nominated movie Inherent Vice, in the Bond film The World is Not Enough, or on Nash Bridges, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Nip/Tuck, just to name a few.
But I didn’t know any of that (other than she’s an actress) when I auditioned Serena – I only knew her voice seemed just right for Guinevere. Let me tell you, she nailed her audition! We signed the contract and I have listened to the first 15 minutes of production (which is the first step in the approval process). I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect Guinevere! She is sooooo talented. I love how she manages to emphasize just the right words and give a special spark to even small, secondary characters. Anyway, I’m sending a few notes back to her today, and then she will record the rest of the book, which I’ll get to hear around the first of December. That means the audio book will be ready to go on sale January 1 with the print and non-Kindle ebook formats! (Plus, Serena is super nice to work with!)
Amazon Crossing (the foreign translation division of Amazon’s publishing arm) has opened its submissions to indie authors. This is a major coup because foreign rights are one of the hardest for an indie author to sell. Yes, a lot of the world speaks English, but who wouldn’t want to read a book in their native language? (It’s got to be easier.) So, I submitted Daughter of Destiny today for consideration. I have no idea if they will accept it or not (partly because it hasn’t even been published in English yet, but then again, some traditionally published authors have gotten foreign deals before their US/UK versions came out). But I feel I made a compelling case as to why Arthurian legend is appealing to a worldwide audience (thank you Tyler T. for your post on King Arthur in Turkey, which helped me make my argument) and why this book in particular would do well around the world. I’m supposed to hear back in 5-8 weeks, so cross your fingers!
My cover artist, Jenny Q., begins work on the cover for Daughter of Destiny on Monday. Hopefully I’ll see something by the end of the month and you’ll see the official cover in early November.
While all this is going on, I’ve been editing Camelot’s Queen, the second book in Guinevere’s Tale. It’s not due to my editor until the beginning of December, but I’m doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November, so it and Been Searching for You need to be pretty much ready to submit by the end of the October so I can make the December editing deadlines.
My NaNoNovel is going to be the other side of the coin to Guinevere’s story – it will tell Morgan’s story. Once you read the first two Guinevere books, you’ll see why that is important. Because my books are all first person POV, you only see Morgan through Guinevere’s judgmental filter. There is so much that you don’t see because Guinevere was either wrong (but sometimes she was right) or she wasn’t there and so didn’t know how certain things went down. I will release this one only after the last Guinevere book is out because it gives away the plot twists in the three Guinevere books. I would advise that you read it only after reading the Guinevere books for that reason, as well.
Why didn’t I choose to work on Guinevere Book 3 during NaNoWriMo? Well, for one, that one is mostly drafted and doesn’t have another 50,000 words in it (which is the goal of NaNoWriMo), and also Morgan is demanding I tell her story. Once I’ve got her story at least drafted, she’ll be quieter, which means I’ll only have Isolde and a historical woman fighting in my head over whose book is next. Plus, if I get the residency I applied for, I’ll be working on Guinevere 3 at Hedgebrook next year.
If all this wasn’t enough, I’m currently taking a Margie Lawson class on being an independent author. Next week, I am one of 8 authors who will pilot an online mystery writing course through Hedgebrook taught by legendary author Elizabeth George. (Fun fact: 5 out of 8 of the pilot authors were in my Hedgebrook class with Deborah Harkness!) “But, Nicole,” I hear you say, “you don’t write mysteries. Why are you taking this class?” Ah, good question. Besides the fact that it’s an incredible opportunity to learn from one of the best, there is a mystery in Isolde’s story, so I want to learn how to do it right. And you know, I’m crazy and have to fill up my-non day job hours with as much as possible!
So, enough about me. What are all of you up to? Any thoughts/questions on the above? We’re getting closer and closer to publication, and 2016 has many exciting things in store, so I can’t wait to share it all with you. And thank you all again for all of your support!