Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Please Welcome...Wendy and Charles Siefken!

Hi there awesome readers! Today I have mother-son duo Wendy and Charles Siefken here for your reading pleasure! Check out these fun facts about them, then follow the links to grab their book, currently available for only $.99!

Wendy and Charles, welcome to my blog! We'll start off with a big question: Which comes first the chicken or the egg… I mean the plot or the characters?

I think the plot has to come first. Set the scene and then introduce the characters.

When you set your characters do you use character bios/ sketches or do your characters just land on the page?

Our characters come alive on the page. We do talk about their background and where they come from. To us, our characters are real people.

I completely agree. My characters are always real to me as well. Do you have any advice for the editing process?

Yes, keep going! No matter how much you want to stop. Don’t give up.

Exactly the advice I like to give! Describe yourself in one word – 

Charlie – steady, Wendy - loyal

What super power would you like to have - 

Me, I would like to split myself into multiple people and get so much more done! Charlie would like to have the ability to  run at the speed of light.

Ooh, nice choices! Please share your bios and links where readers can connect with you and your books.

Charles Siefken (1992-present) is a recent graduate of high school. This is his first book of many to be published. He currently resides in rural central Iowa where he enjoys reading sci/fi books and playing video games among other things. He currently works at a local auto mechanics shop and will be attending college this fall to get a degree as well. Christopher Paolini was his inspiration to become a writer.

Wendy Siefken (1966-Present) Currently working full time from home on writing stories and now a virtual assistant to those in need of an extra pair of hands online. Wendy lives on a farm with her family and enjoys reading, gardening and other activities with her family and friends. This is our first publication with many more to follow. This all started as a school project for her youngest son and business partner, Charles Siefken, which has grown into a desire to be published.

The book is a journey into the fantasy realm of what if's. Zombies took over the world? What if werewolves were real? What if dragons were really not from earth but from another planet? I hope you enjoy this YA book. This book is ideal for a young reader who you may not want reading a book with a lot of blood and gore. This book doesn't have that. It has a story without all the graphics of a battle.

Our Blog sites are:


Fantastic! Thank you two for stopping by my blog today! Now, readers, it's your turn to get to work! Follow the link (click on the picture) and get yourself a copy of this fabulous book!

Friday, August 2, 2013

ACX Follow-up!

Hi everybody! On Monday I told you about my initial experience using Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX). As promised, here is my follow-up post now that my first project has been finished.

Wow, where to start? I am so, so pleased with ACX! I love the setup, I love how easy it is to use, and I love how my end product came out! Once I found the narrator I wanted to go with there wasn't much for me to do, but here is what I did need to do:
  • The narrator asked me for some character notes. I was glad he was on the ball with this, because I hadn't even thought of it. Now it is totally, blatantly, ridiculously obvious to me. I gave him a few specific notes regarding characters (i.e. how to pronounce their names, how I wanted them to sound, their personality), but now I see that I didn't give him nearly enough. For my next project I am going to prepare notes on all characters so things turn out exactly how I want. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy how the narrator chose to do some things.
  • Throughout the process my narrator and I stayed in contact via email, messaging through ACX, and by using Dropbox. If your narrator does not bring this up, I highly suggest using some sort of file share so you can hear each chapter as it is uploaded. That way you don't have to wait until the whole thing is finished and listen to all of it quickly.
So, besides staying in contact and listening to each chapter, I mostly just hung around and waited for the book to be finished. Once my narrator was finished there were several things I needed to do:
  • Make sure I had listened to the whole book and either approve or not approve the final product. I believe you can request edits only. I was happy with it though, so all I had to do was approve the audio that had been uploaded.
  • Select a recorded segment to play as the sample on Audible, iTunes, and wherever else the audio book would be sold. That took a bit of thought, for sure, but I finally settled on what I thought would grab listeners and make them want more.
  • Stay in contact with my narrator and make sure we both knew how the process was going.
  • Wait for everything to be finalized.
  • Find the links to my audio book - that was a little bit of a pain. I didn't see anywhere on the actual ACX site that gave me the links. I had to go find them on the Audible and iTunes sites. So ACX could improve a bit in that regard.
  • Market! That's the stage I am facing right now, figuring out how I want to get the word out there. Remember that both you and your narrator should be marketing wherever and however you can! I'm a bit limited this time around since my narrator has never done a juvenile fiction book before, so most of his followers are not interested in that, but we are figuring that out. ACX does provide help for marketing, which is nice.
Well there you go. Hopefully between my two posts on ACX you have learned something. I hope you'll try it out! I already know one author who is using ACX now because of my recommendation and he is also loving it.

Want to check out my finished project? Well here you go! Grab yourself a copy if you so desire. I hope you will. I enjoyed listening to it immensely, and I think you will too!

Also available from iTunes!