Saturday, June 21, 2014

Why call it "Nerd Girl"?

One of the things I continue to read in book reviews of Nerd Girl, is that people don't understand why I titled the book  "Nerd Girl".  After all, Julia is smart, pretty, but not quite a nerd in the traditional sense.

Well, I have a very good reason.  The availability and easy accessibility of eBooks, has revolutionized the world of publishing.  However, no matter how convenient eBooks are, there are also some limitations.  EBooks don't support footnotes, endnotes, and embedded images (i.e. graphs/charts) very well. 

When my manuscript was finished, I worked with a professional editor.  At that time, I hadn't decided on a title yet for my book.  As my editor, Erin, and I continued to go back and forth, Erin helped me to demonstrate Julia's personality more by suggesting that we include footnotes for some of her more anal and professional references.  I loved the idea and we started having a lot of fun with it.  For example, Julia works at Megasoft (which if you haven't figured out, is actually a cover name for Microsoft).  There are a lot of Microsoft acronyms in the book, that originally were referenced by a footnote and a sometimes accompanied by a small humorous anecdote.  Julia also referenced a few more charts as well that were intended to demonstrate her anal way of thinking and how she organized some facets of her life.  The end result was that Julia's whole personality was highlighted and brought out more clearly with the use of footnotes and charts.  Yes, she is an attractive, funny, smart woman.  But she's also anal, loves science fiction, technology, and has some very nerdy tendencies.  When the editing process was done, the title "Nerd Girl" jumped out at me and my editor was in enthusiastic agreement.

After the editing process was completed, the formatting process began.  I was heartbroken to learn that eBooks did not support footnotes, images, or endnotes very well.  You could force it but then the formatting of the book would be compromised, and readers would be lost and irritated.  At the editorial expense of some of Julia's more nerdy personality traits, I had to make a heartbreaking decision to pull those pieces out.   In the final version of Nerd Girl, you still get a good idea of Julia's personality, but not the parts that I thought made her an adorable nerdy woman <big SIGH>....

That being said, this was my first experience with indie publishing and lesson learned.   Since the book cover had already been designed and since I didn't have unlimited funds, I kept the title "Nerd Girl".  It works for some and not for others. 

And for those of you wondering....well, now you know.   At some point, I may end up publishing a paperback version of the original Nerd Girl manuscript.  We'll see....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Marketing 101: A New Author's Voyage of Discovery

As a first time author, this whole experience of putting a book out there continues to be a journey.  Like any first time adventure, both the thrill and fear of it is facing the unknown and figuring out a way to get past the bumps while enjoying the rest of the ride.  I thought I would share with you my book marketing journey.  It continues to be a voyage of discovery...

Nerd Girl was released on December 1, 2013.  With some trepidation, I reached out to my friends and family, letting them know what I had done.  Many of them didn't even know I had been writing a book, let alone had just self-published it.  I then reached out to my local community which included neighborhood bookstores, local newspaper, school community, and old Microsoft colleagues and friends.  Nerd Girl continued to be well received.  My local Queen Anne bookstore ordered some copies, the local community paper wrote a feature article on Nerd Girl and self-publishing in general.  Girlfriends keep telling me about how they've suggested the book for their book clubs.  The outreach, support, and encouragement has been uplifting.

I decided then to be brave and reached out to a select list of book bloggers.  The thing with Indie authors, especially those written for the romance genre, rely heavily on book bloggers to write reviews and get the word out.  I follow several book bloggers on my own and of course I reached out to them first.  I randomly found many others on Goodreads.  I think I probably sent out about 15 requests for review and received about a 50% response back. Not too bad, given I was a no name. Many of them told me they wouldn't be able to get to the book for 6-8 weeks due to their extensive 'to-read' lists, but that was fine with me.  Some read them right away.  The 48-72 hours of waiting time from the time the blogger says they've started your book to the time when they finally reach out to you to give you their review, is nail biting.  I hate it.  Someone has my book, the one I worked tirelessly for over a year on, and they will summarize their feelings in a few paragraphs, either telling me they loved it, hated it, or thought it was just... meh.  

Fortunately, bloggers have been supportive and on the most part positive.  I'm so appreciative that they were willing to invest their time to read Nerd Girl.  Their enthusiasm for the art is awesome.  They are passionate, silly, critical, and the best cheerleaders one could hope for.  I am forever grateful.

And then there are the not so good reviews.  These hurt.  In fact, they're downright mean and cruel. I've learned quickly that authors need to have a very thick skin.  I've chosen to not read these reviews because unfortunately, most of them are hurtful and not productive in any way.  Fortunately, they are the outliers, that 10%.  I appreciate that people like different books, so I'll leave it at that. 

The next part of my journey is a book blogger tour.  What is that you ask?  I wondered the same thing.  This is just another new leg of my journey.  Bloggers sign up to feature Nerd Girl on their blog.  They provide reviews, book excerpts, author interviews, and guest posts.  I'm doing a blog tour for Nerd Girl, with the support of Indiesage.   The blog tour dates will be Jan 27 - Feb 7.  The following is the list of participating bloggers.  Wish me luck!!

Date Blogger Url
January 28th
January 28th
January 29th
January 29th
January 30th
January 30th
January 31st
January 31st
February 3rd
February 3rd
February 4th
February 5th
February 6th
February 7th
February 8th
February 8th

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Book Bosses

I've been following The Book Bosses (Hildy and JJ) and their FB page for the past year.  They're one of my favorite book blog sites.  These two ladies crack me up.   I am honored and so grateful that they took a chance on Nerd Girl and provided my first book blogger review.  You can check out there review here.

The Book Bosses rate books on two scales.
1.  1-5 stars based on overall perception of the book
2.  Panty Changing Rating System based on the hotness of the sex and love scenes  (Chris thought this was hilarious)

I was graciously given a 4 in both categories.  Gotta love it!  


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nerd Girl is now available on Amazon!!

Nerd Girl is now available on Amazon!!!  Within the next few days, it will be available in paperback and all other e-book sites. It's hard to believe that I started this journey almost 18 months ago and now we're finally here.  Squee!!

If you're willing to provide a review, please contact me directly at and I will send you a free copy.  The success of Indie authors is the result of reviews, bloggers, and social media.  I would appreciate your support.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway!!!

Sign up now for a giveaway on Goodreads!   I will be giving away 10 free copies of Nerd Girl, if you sign up between November 20, 2013 - January 5, 2014.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Nerd Girl by Sue  Lee

Nerd Girl

by Sue Lee

Giveaway ends January 05, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nerd Girl Alert!

Nerd Girl alert!

I'm really digging the paranormal genre.  What I wouldn't do to come up with a really good paranormal love story as a my next book.

I think this is because I grew up with an older brother and through him, I was introduced to science fiction, strange creatures, and great fantasy stories.  I remember seeing Star Wars for the first time when I was seven and then many times after that.  I remember my brother dressing up as Luke Skywalker for Halloween.  I wanted to be Princess Leia but couldn't quite pull off the look.  Nevertheless, I remember loving the Lord of the Rings, Star Trek and all those cool Star Wars action figures. 

My love of science fiction and fantasy stories took a backburner through my teens as I focused mostly on love stories.  As a young adult, my reading selections expanded and I enjoyed non-fiction, fiction of all different themes... and then Twilight came out.  After Twilight, my love of books took on a whole new meaning and my obsession with books and reading reached OCD levels.  This year alone, I've read 100 books (according to my Kindle).  

Why do I write a blog post on this?  The last eleven books I've read these past two months or so, have been Paranormal books.  I've recently completed the following:
  • Red Hill - by Jamie McGuire -- a Zombie apocalypse book.  I'm not really into zombie stories, but I love the author's other books so I thought I would give it a try.  Not bad...
  • Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead (6 books) - Vampires, humans, and those half breeds that protect them.  Loved it!  Great story about friendship with a kickass heroine.
  • The Lux series from Jennifer Armentrout (4 books -- I can't wait for the last installment which won't be released until next summer! Argh!) - this is an awesome action packed alien love story.  Yes, sounds corny, but it's sooo good!
  • The Fall of Five - this is the 4th in the Lorien legacy series - Teenage aliens that hide on earth and possess superpowers to fight off a global invasion.  The movie "I Am Number Four" was the first book in the series.   Too bad they're not making another movie.  The later books are totally action packed.
  • Bloodlines - this is another series written by Richelle Mead and I'm currently reading the 1st of I think four books?
  • Harry Potter - One of my all time favorite series, but I'm now reading them with my girls.  We are on book #4 The Goblet of Fire.
Anyways, each of these books bring me into a whole new world created by the author.  There is love, action, and cool science fiction and fantasy elements.  I love it. 

What can I say?  I'm a total nerd.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

On the brink...

Do you ever get that feeling you're on the brink of something?  You know.. you get that sixth sense, that thing you can't put your finger on, you're not really sure what's going to happen, but you wait... and you wait... and then you jump!  Or someone pushes you to fall off the cliff.  That's how I feel right now. 

My kids are happy, it's two days before Halloween, the sun is shining outside, and the leaves are on fire with red and orange, I love my husband, and life is good.  I drove home yesterday from the office and I actually smiled thinking how great I have it.

I spent the last 18 months of my life writing a book.  I researched the world of self-publishing and decided to go for it.  It might end up being a miserable failure.  I have no idea if I can write.  But I was passionate about it from day one and frankly, I became obsessed with the idea of getting, Nerd Girl, out there.  Well, it's almost out there.

I don't know what the fuck I'm doing, of course.  I've done what I think all indie published author's are supposed to be doing... I've created all the social media sites, I have a blog, a FB page, a Twitter account, and a Goodreads author page.  I've got a book cover from one of the best indie book cover designers ever, a formatter is currently making my book look beautiful.  And in a couple of weeks, maybe less than that, I'll be uploading my book onto e-book websites like Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and iBook.

.... and then I wait. 

Of course, I'll do some self promotion, have a giveaway on Goodreads, beg people to read my book for free for a written review.

.... but then I have to wait some more.

Some people will hate my book.  Some people will love it.  What will all of this mean to me?  I'm not sure yet.  Maybe it will be anti-climatic.  Maybe my book will just sit there on e-book websites and it will soon be forgotten.  I'll know that I tried my best and then so be it.  I'll write another book and learn and grow in the process. 

But then maybe it will do well?  That's the exciting part.  That's the unknown.  Do I want to take the risk?  Hell yeah.... 

It's almost time....