Introducing The Light of Supremazia on Amazon

“You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?”

Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The Light of Supremazia, book #1 in the (after)life lessons series, is dedicated to those who have passed away, but who’s spirit remain with the living.

The book is now available on Amazon (CLICK HERE!).

About the Book

Think it’s difficult to get into Harvard University? Try Vita Post Mortem Academy, a prestigious high school where John F. Kennedy teaches a class called American Ghosts stories, Albert Einstein grades science tests, and history’s most brilliant and deceased minds make up the rest of the teaching staff. Not a problem for Jules Winklevoss, one of the few who can see spirits.

Getting into school was a cakewalk, but Jules learns not all spirits are engaging and inspiring teachers. Fourteen years ago, Jules’s family thwarted an evil spirit’s rise to power. Now, the evil spirit wants revenge on all Winklevoss’s, beginning with Jules. As if evil spirit problems aren’t enough, add best friend drama, unattainable boy crushes, and homework to the mix, and needless to say, high school is going to be dreadful. Jules is determined to protect her family and keep herself alive, even if that means delving into the world of the dead.

afterLIFE Lessons Book 1 - The Light of Supremazia

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My Kindle Scout Experience

My Kindle Scout campaign for my book, The Light of Supremazia ended this week. Unfortunately, my book was not selected to be published by Kindle’s publishing house.

Stay tuned for another blog post with the link to buy the book on Amazon through their Kindle Direct Publishing website (aka self publishing).

I am sad, but as I mentioned in my first post at the beginning of the campaign, it was a great marketing effort and a way to get supporters involved.

As the days ticked by and I reviewed my stats, I had a feeling I wouldn’t win. The are bloggers out there with tens of thousands of followers. When they post their book on Kindle Scout, they automatically have tons of votes. I’m not saying this is unfair, just a reality. Blogging and writing books isn’t my day job, so I was starting from a few yards behind already.

I also wonder if the cover sells the book on these crowd-sourcing campaigns.  How many people actually read the free excerpt from my book?

Or perhaps September is a bad month to market a young adult book since most kids are back in school?

Kindle Scout is vague when it comes to the actual parameters to “win.” For others who are looking to try Kindle Scout, here are the stats from my campaign:

KindleScoutStats2 KindleScoutStats1

GhostFeed and Wikispirit

Its fun inventing things for my novel. I love putting a fantasy twist on existing items. Here are two of my favorite from my book, The Light of Supremazia.  It’s trending as HOT on Kindle Scout!  Three days left to vote for it on Kindle Scout!  CLICK HERE!!!

GhostFeed is a social, content-driven news and media site reporting all things relating to the spirit-seeing world. It has updates on the latest spirit gossip and nostalgic lists of spirit-seeing pasts.

GhostFeed

Wikispirits is a collaborative encyclopedia about all things spirit related. Want to know who was the first principal of Vita Post Mortem Academy?  Look it up on Wikispirits.

Wikispirits

Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout here!

What do you invent for your fantasy novels?

The Proper #Setting for a #MagicalRealism #Book

What is magical realism?

Magical realism takes place in a world like the one we know, but there is one thing that makes it unreal. Perhaps there are lurking vampires, or the main character is cursed, or you can buy magic spells from the store on the corner. The trick with magical realism is the reader has to believe the world really does exist.  The master of magical realism herself, JK Rowling, made us all have hope that our letter for Hogwarts would one day come in the mail.  We believed wizards existed in our world. (believed in the past tense? Some of us still believe).

A World for Your Book Within the Existing World

Writing magical realism might sound easy since most of the decisions about the world are already decided, but I think its the opposite.  Similar to using real people in a fictional story (as I wrote about in my last post), there is a ton of fact-checking that needs to be completed in order to convince your readers the world within our world is real.

Question #1: Where do you build your world?

The proper setting is tough. How many times did you read about Harry taking the Hogwarts Express and wonder where the final location really was? Or read about Percy Jackson heading out to Montauk toward Camp Halfblood and try to picture it in your head?

Vita Post Mortem Academy

When writing my magical realism novel, The Light of Supremazia, my editor and I went back and forth on the school’s location. The world around Vita Post Mortem Academy was exactly like the one we know today, except there needed to be a remote section of the woods, North of San Francisco, where a creepy institution run by spirits was located. We had a discussion about whether redwood trees grew in the area and if it was anywhere near Bodie, a real life ghost town. In the end, we realized that if you couldn’t see spirits, you wouldn’t notice much more than a massive institution surrounded by an endless necropolis.

Can you picture this edifice as your high school?

Vita Post Mortem Academy:

Vita

To see more pictures of The Light of Supremazia’s setting, check out the (after)life lessons pinterest page.

Is the #setting for #magicalrealism more difficult 2 #write than building a new world? @alanasiegel thinks so (Click to tweet)

Author @alanasiegel thinks #MagicalRealism #writing needs serious fact-checking. What do you think? (Click to tweet)

Vote author @alanasiegel for #TheLightOfSupremazia #KindleScout campaign here #amwriting (Click to tweet) #YALit

Using Real People as #Fictional #Characters – #ArtisticLicense and #TBT

Throwback Thursday to John F. Kennedy’s Presidency!  More on him a little later.

Artistic License

There is a fine line between real people as fictional characters adding an intriguing aspect to a novel versus causing it to crash and burn.  Artistic license needs to be applied with caution so readers do not expect a biography, but instead a fact-checked, interesting twist on the person.

My latest book is about a girl who can see spirits, and the school she attends has a faculty of famous dead people. On the one hand, the spirit version of the celebrity may be totally different than the living version of the person. I could make Abraham Lincoln an outgoing, busybody, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, I attempted to write each character in the voice everyone knows, but I then add an exaggeration here and there. [insert coy devil smiley]

John F. Kennedy as a Teacher in Spirit Form

John F. Kennedy is one of the teachers at Vita Post Mortem Academy.  In real life, he was quoted on many topics, but I particularly like the way his quotes show his open-mindedness.  Whether this is true or not, the Kennedy that teaches American Ghost Stories (a version of social studies) at Vita Post Mortem Academy acts as an insightful role model.

The first time Jules Winklevoss (the main character) meets JFK, he quotes himself, “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were and ask “why not?”

Later in the novel, he begins class with the following written on the board, “Ask not what your school can do for you. Ask what you can do for your school. –John F. Kennedy” It’s artistic license, but in the vein of the living person.

The John F. Kennedy in spirit form is charming, well-spoken, gives advice freely, smug, and a bit of a prankster. Close enough?  I think so.

I may have put words in his mouth he never would have said, but the details around his death and family were fact-checked down to the weather in Texas on the day he died.

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”

Art, in all its forms, is an important ingredient to our lives. Since I spend my day buried in finance facts and figures, I use novel writing as an outlet to be creative. It clears my mind of trivial annoyances.

jfk-make-a-difference_i-G-27-2755-DZ9TD00Z

Check out the (after)life lessons pinterest page to see more quotes by John F. Kennedy.

Kindle Scout Campaign Update

Day 1 of the campaign to win a publishing contract at Amazon has been a success.  My book, The Light of Supremazia, #1 in the (after)life lessons series, was trending as “hot.”

Vote here: Kindle Scout Campaign for The Light of Supremazia

Author @alanasiegel quotes #JohnFKennedy “Art is a Form of Truth” Do you agree? #TBT see post here (Click to tweet)

Why is there a fine line when using real people as #fictional #characters ? Writer @alanasiegel has an opinion (Click to tweet)

Vote for @alanasiegel #KindleScout Campaign The Light of Supremazia here (Click to tweet)

Launch on #KindleScout and a #CoverReveal

Beginning My Kindle Scout Journey

For over two years, I have been writing, scheming, and plotting my next book series. I am ready to announce the first book:

The Light of Supremazia, book #1 in the (after)life lessons series

The process was therapeutic. I worked through Juliandra Winklevoss’s highs and lows in a spirit-seeing world and at the same time built my own life in San Francisco, a magical wedding, two finance designations, and other small but meaningful achievements.

Writing this book has been an enjoyment and a distraction. It focused my attention on Vita Post Mortem Academy when I needed an escape. It gave me satisfaction when I spent months editing and then reread chapter one and felt the chills. It gave me a challenge when the plot didn’t align, but it also patted me on the back when a detail worked out just right.

I love this book for everything’s it’s given me, and I can’t wait to finally share it with others. I hope you can feel the love and passion I poured into it.

How Kindle Scout Works

For my new series, I am attempting something different. Perhaps it is because I live in the technology center of the universe, or maybe because I like to try difficult things, but either way, I decided to post my book on the Amazon crowdsourcing site, Kindle Scout.

On this page, readers are the scouts for the next great book. The Light of Supremazia will be posted on the site for 30 days for readers to vote as their favorite book. If it receives enough votes, Amazon will publish my book through their publishing house. So please, please vote!

Vote here: The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout Page

Varying Opinions on Kindle Scout

As an author hoping to find hordes of adoring readers, I had to weigh the pros and cons of launching a campaign on Kindle Scout.  I found articles that berated Amazon for stealing the souls of authors by taking too large a percentage of sales and others that noted self-promotion is difficult and at least a Kindle Scout campaign gets your name out there.

I’m willing to give it a try. Writing is one of my favorite hobbies, but it’s not my day job. What do I have to lose? Plus, I’ve been through a book launch before. I’ve attempted to catch an agent’s attention, and I’ve self-published years and years of passionate writing. I’m willing to give this a shot. Here’s a few links to other’s opinions:

Amazon’s crowdsourced publishing program, Kindle Scout, is now open for voting

Amazon’s crowdsourced ‘Kindle Scout’ program picks first 10 digital books for publication

Cover Reveal for The Light of Supremazia

I would also like to officially reveal my creepy and stunning cover, designed by Kristin Centrella. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kristin.

afterLIFE Lessons Book 1 - The Light of Supremazia

The blogosphere is chock full of kind and helpful authors and readers. I stumbled upon The Book Wars a few months back. It is an entertaining blog for heavy readers with book reviews and all your favorite top ten lists. One of my favorite themes they discuss is cover design. With everything at our fingertips, snap judgments occur more often than ever. Their posts forced me to be thoughtful when working with Kristin on a cover design. Here are some of the things we talked about as important aspects the cover art for my book:

  • Viewable in small format
  • Eye catching
  • Includes pop art
  • Fewer, bolder colors
  • Portrays the book
Some other useful sites:

Yes, We Really Do Judge Books by Their Covers

The Visual Factor: Judging a Book by Its Cover?

Finally, Marketing Blurb for my New Book:

Think it’s difficult to get into Harvard University? Try Vita Post Mortem Academy, a prestigious high school where John F. Kennedy teaches a class called American Ghosts stories, Albert Einstein grades science tests, and history’s most brilliant minds make up the rest of the teaching staff. Not a problem for Jules Winklevoss, one of the few who can see spirits.

Getting into school was a cakewalk, but Jules learns not all spirits are engaging and inspiring teachers. Fourteen years ago, Jules’s family thwarted an evil spirit’s rise to power. Now, the evil spirit wants revenge on all Winklevoss’s, beginning with Jules. As if evil spirit problems aren’t enough, add best friend drama, unattainable boy crushes, and homework to the mix, and needless to say, high school is going to be dreadful. Jules is determined to protect her family and keep herself alive, even if that means delving into the world of the dead.

NOW VOTE HERE!!! https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1PMYID5KFXEY5

Author @alanasiegel believes #KindleScout , a #crowdsourcing site for #books , will be a success, do you? (Click to tweet)

What are the important aspects of #CoverArt for a #book ? See what author @alanasiegel thinks here (Click to tweet)

Do you like #author @alanasiegel ‘s concept for her #book The Light of Supremazia? Vote on #KindleScout here (Click to tweet)

Want to learn how to create these twitter size bites? Check out @Ava_Jae ‘s blog here Click here

Modern Day Books Need Add Ons

As I prepare to launch my next book series, I keep thinking about additional ways to enjoy the story. How many times have you read the details by J.K. Rowling about characters she didn’t mention at the end of the series? Or get excited because they brought the characters of Vampire Diaries to life in a tv series? Or sing along to a song from the Hunger Games movie on the radio?

Like a bag of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans or your very own Mocking Jay pin, I hope you enjoy Jules’s Vita Post Mortem Academy Class schedule!

Vita Post Mortem Acadedmy Class Schedule

The Light of Supremazia, book #1 in the (after)life lessons young adult, fantasy book series!

Check out the pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/alanasiegel/afterlife-lessons/

Check out the book trailer: https://youtu.be/ZfKnXA8oJBE