Happy release day, Brightened Shadows!

My youngest is out in the world!

*throws confetti*

Today is the day: Brightened Shadows is out, and I couldn’t be happier <3 It’s had the largest number of pre-orders out of all my books, which bodes well for its future.

The price is in the process of going up to $2.99, but if you’re quick, you might be able to still get it for 99p 😉

Just like Darkened LightBrightened Shadows will also be available on Kindle Unlimited. Unfortunately, there’s been a delay with the paperback, but such is life. 

Thank you SO MUCH if you were amongst those who pre-ordered. Seeing the numbers go up higher than my previous books has made my month <3 And if you didn’t pre-order but would like to support me on release day:

Buy Brightened Shadows

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go eat my weight in chocolate and gingerbread 😉


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The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT’S GO TIME)

This has been the most exciting week yet! In short: IT IS DONE. The full version is below, but first…

New here? You can start following my audiobook experience from the beginning.

Want to catch up or remind yourself what happened last? Here’s last week’s entry.

Now, onto the excitement…

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT'S GO TIME)

Proofing the Audio Files

My priority this week was to continue proofing the uploaded audio files. I made a good start last week, but I really wanted to wrap it up this week.

On Monday, I received this email from Findaway:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT'S GO TIME) |  the email from Findaway Voices telling me my audiobook is ready for review.

Since I had already been listening to the chapters as my narrator uploaded them, I was pretty much caught up.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to listen and provide feedback on your entire audiobook within ten days, I strongly recommend you do the same thing. Let’s be honest, chances are you won’t be able to wait anyway.

On Wednesday, I listened to the last chapter and provided the last two bits of feedback (one sentence read twice and one word misread, if you’re curious).

That same evening, my narrator uploaded the new file and told me that we were good to go.

So I did this:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT'S GO TIME) | I submitted my audiobook for review!

Which resulted in this:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT'S GO TIME) | Audiobook submission confirmation

Wednesday evening was exciting, I tell you!

(I’m also super relieved to once again know for sure how much money I have in my account)

My audiobook is now being processed and checked to make sure everything is good to go and we didn’t miss any mistakes. Once it’s passed quality control, it’ll be uploaded to every online store known to listeners.

Which means the marketing can begin for real! *throws confetti*

Pricing Your Audiobook

Every author I know has struggled at least once with pricing their book. Fret not – FindawayVoices suggests three prices, and you simply pick the one you want:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT'S GO TIME) | how to set your audiobook's price

This makes it really easy and hassle-free!

You can also set your own price, but let’s not forget that FindawayVoices knows what it’s doing. I went with the recommended price and thanked the gods of fiction that this option exists.

Once you’ve set your retail price, they also make suggestions for the library price/the price libraries pay to stock your audiobook. I went with the lower price here, because many libraries are struggling (I know mine is!) and I want my book to be easily accessible to people supporting libraries.

Your Complementary Social Marketing Toolkit

FindawayVoices emailed me a bunch of handy resources that explain how to market my audiobook, how royalties work, etc.

One of those resources is a social marketing toolkit I can use to, well, market my book on social media!

To be honest with you, this is the first time I’ve seen one *blushes*

I had no idea it was so simple o.o

I will use this as a template for all my books now, that’s for sure! I might also write a post on how to create your own *imagine that cute little thinking emoji here*

Summary:

This was THE week, friends and Sparrows! It’s go time! I’ve submitted my book, and the quality team at FindawayVoices is making sure it’s good to go as you’re reading this post.

What’s Next?

Once the quality checkers give the green light, Findaway will upload RISE OF THE SPARROWS to all online stores (I believe there are around 40 they work with), including Audible and wherever else you might prefer.

I’ll also get 100 download codes to hand out, so if you want to listen to this book for free… Let me know 😉


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The Audiobook Diaries | Week 13

Happy too-hot Friday, friends and bookworms!

Thank kittens for fans and ice cream in this heatwave *melts*

It’s been a busy week of listening to my audiobook’s chapters. I’m nearly there, and am hoping to finish early next week. (having said that, I won’t have time on Tuesday, so I’ll either double down on Monday or finish on Wednesday)

You might think that this means I don’t have anything to share, but I have a few insights today about how to provide your narrator feedback and what should go into your audiobook’s outro.

If you want to remind yourself what happened last time, check out Week 11. If you’re new here and would prefer to start at the beginning, start here with Week 1.

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 13

Quality Control

Since Monday, I’ve spend one or two hours every day listening to the chapters while reading along with my paperback copy. This does get a bit same-y, but it’s important to ensure everything is as it should be.

Most chapters have been fine, but I’ve found a few smaller problems like a sentence read twice or a word missing or changed. I’m not actually too worried about the latter unless the missing or changed word changes the meaning, so I only point out the ones where it makes a difference.

It’s important to remember here that unlike me, my readers (listeners?) won’t read along with the paperback. They’re highly unlikely to know if my narrator reads ‘as’ instead of ‘since’. (bad example because this specific substitute didn’t happen, but I can’t think of one that did :|) The meaning is the same, so I’m happy.

How to Give Feedback

On your FindawayVoices Production page, you have the option to add a comment to every uploaded chapter. When you find something that’s not right, the best way to present it is like this:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 13 - An example of feedback for my narrator on an audiobook chapter

This tells your narrator when the error occurred, the exact sentence you found the error with, and what the problem is.

You get this comment box for every chapter, so any feedback you provide will already be in the right place provided you clicked the right chapter number.

It can be tempting to highlight everything, but the best thing to do is to not be nitpick-y.

As authors, we naturally read the book a certain way–we wrote the things, after all! Of course we read everything our way. Your narrator, however, will not read your book your way but their way. That doesn’t make their interpretation wrong, so don’t get hung up on it.

I know I’ve said that before, but I think it’s important to say it again and again. The last thing you want is a negative relationship with your narrator! They are professionals, remember? They know their stuff–and in this case, they probably know it better than you do; having written the book doesn’t also make you the expert narrator.

Your Book’s Outro

I got an email from FindawayVoices this week. My narrator reached out to them about the outro–what did I want her to read for it? What about the production copyright–what should she say?

Now, in case you’ve forgotten, this is my first time, so my reaction was something like:

‘… like, the acknowledgments? Production Copyright? If you don’t know…’

I replied and asked for clarification. It’s probably something super easy and I’m just not coping well with this heatwave, but in the first instance, I was clueless.

As usual, they got back to me within a day. This is the common structure FindawayVoices recommends:

‘This has been [Title], Written by [Author Name], Narrated by [Narrator Name], Copyright [Year of Manuscript and Name of Rights Holder], Production Copyright [Year of Audiobook Production] by [Rights Holder]’

To use my book as an example, it will be:

This has been Rise of the Sparrows, Written by Sarina Langer, Narrated by Leanne Yau, Copyright 2016 by Sarina Langer, Production Copyright 2020 by FindawayVoices.

If you’ve ever listened to an audiobook before, you’ve likely heard this structure right at the end of the book and will be familiar with it.

Summary

This week, I’ve listened to most of my chapters and have left feedback where necessary. Most ‘errors’ I’ve found were either a sentence read twice or a missing/changed word that alters the meaning of the sentence.

What’s Next?

Next week should be exciting, because I’ll finish my part in the quality control stage. I’m assuming my narrator will add the words she’s missed, and the twice-read sentences will be cut in editing – she might even already be on it!

If all goes as extremely well as it does in my head, I’ll approve the audiobook by the end of next week, which makes the next stage payment and uploading, I think *mild freak-out*

FindawayVoices might also do their own quality control, and of course they chapters will need to be fused together to form one book – right now, they’re uploaded individually.

Either way, I imagine next week’s post will be exciting!

If you have any questions about this process, leave a comment and I’ll reply asap.


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June Goals | WIP Milestones and Booking My Audiobook Narrator

Happy June, Sparrows and bookworms!

After I’ve burned myself out in May – badly – I vow to do better this month *high five*

The below may not read like much, but they’re all big milestones across all WIPs!

Brightened Shadows

My first priority this June is to go over the rest of my critique partner feedback and make some changes to my draft. Once that’s done, it’ll go to my editor for its line edit. I might also read over everything again before that to make sure I’m happy with the changes and that everything flows well.

Blood Wisp

As I mentioned in the May update, this book is a right mess. Once I’m done with Brightened Shadows and it’s in my editor’s capable hands, I’ll restructure Blood Wisp. I’ve already started, and it’ll be a fairly simple process of copying chapters from the current draft and pasting them into a new draft, without any of that repetition and now-unnecessary chapters.

I’ll have quite a bit of rewriting and adding to do afterwards, but it’ll be much stronger for it when I’m done.

The Rise of the Sparrows Audiobook

I won’t say too much here because details are what my Audiobook Diaries are for, BUT I’ve chosen my narrator and am ready to book her.

I’m a little unclear right now as to how the next steps work (mostly admin-y things), but I’m hoping to wait with production until July to make sure I leave myself enough for living costs.

I’ve gone slightly over budget, but this narrator is perfect for my book, so I’m okay with that.

If they are happy to wait, too, I’ll be booking my narrator this month. I imagine it’ll be fine, but as someone who’s never done this before, I don’t want to make any assumptions.

And that’s my little big update! What are you all up to this June?


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Darkened Light is now available on all major online retailers!

These really are strange times we live in. Like so many of you, I’m back to working from home. First I worked from home, then I went back to work, now I’m working from home again… *makes strong tea to cope with this confusion*

I always try to look on the bright side, so I’m focussing on how I’ll be able to power through my last editing jobs over the next few weeks and make some progress on my own books. I want to go after a BookBub Featured Deal from next week and have been preparing my books (boring stuff like making sure all the links go where they are supposed to) for this.

Long story super short, Darkened Light just joined Rise of the Sparrows on Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble – you name it! And of course it’s still on Amazon, too.

This is for you if you…

… couldn’t afford / didn’t have room for the paperback but don’t own a kindle.

… love dark epic fantasy.

… love a slow-burn boy-on-boy romance.

… love a misfits-need-to-save-the-world story.

… love your fantasy with a good dose of sarcasm and banter.

Still unsure? Here’s the trailer:

Happy reading, friends and bookworms <3


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The Relics of Ar’Zac Trilogy: 17 Reasons You Should Read It

In case you missed it, my first box set is out in just two days! I’m super excited and have talked about it quite a lot, especially on Instagram, but I wanted to tell you a little more about it in case you’re not sure if it’s for you.

The Relics of Ar'Zac Trilogy: 17 Reasons You Should Read It

You should read this box set if you like:

Dark epic fantasy

FLAWED CHARACTERS

No perfect happy endings (and the occasional cliffhanger ending)

Strong female characters throughout

A slow-burn romance THAT’S NOT THE FOCUS OF THE STORY

Prophecy (and a MC who couldn’t be less impressed)

good-vs-evil battles

Gay representation

Prequels where everyone dies (not a spoiler–it’s in the blurb!)

A large fantasy world

NO BURIED GAYS

Shadow monsters and dragons

You might cry by the end (my editor and I did)

GORGEOUS cover art by Design for Writers

ALL THE FEELINGS

Comic relief

And this beautiful beast:

This trilogy means everything to me. It started so small, but it’s grown into so much more than I ever imagined. I’ve created something I’m truly proud of, and I hope you’ll enjoy it too. If nothing else I think it’ll make you laugh a few times and feel for Rachael, Cephy, Cale, Reeve, Ludo, and everyone else.

This box set is out in two days, but you can pre-order it now and it’ll be on your kindle at midnight of the 24th.

In the meantime, you can subscribe to my mailing list for updates and a related exclusive freebie that’s coming soon, add the book on Goodreads, and follow me on Instagram and Facebook. If you know someone who would love this box set, you can tell them about it too.

Thank you so much to everyone who’s already pre-ordered, written early reviews, and otherwise spread the word. You’re support means everything to me <3

Now, WHO’S HYPED FOR RELEASE DAY?


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December & 2019 Recap | The end of an exhausting but good year

What a packed year this has been, friends and bookworms! I possibly got more done this year than in any other, and I felt the end-of-year exhaustion this month when a few things didn’t go to plan (private things I won’t bore you with), Word crashed and lost my afternoon’s work despite autosave being on (what did we learn? don’t trust autosave. it’s a lie.), and I trapped a nerve badly in my shoulder/neck when I stretched one morning last week, which forced me to slow down a tiny bit earlier than anticipated.

BUT all that was nothing Christmas couldn’t fix, and I’m back at my desk today and as motivated as ever 🙂

Today’s recap will look at what I’ve achieved this month, but it’ll also look back at my goals at the start of the year.

Relics of Ar’Zac

You ready? This’ll be tiring to read. Make a tea now–don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This year, I…

*ahem*

… re-edited and re-published Rise of the Sparrows.

… finished and published Blood of the Dragon.

… finished and published Shadow in Ar’Sanciond.

set up the box set for pre-order.

had a book trailer made for Rise of the Sparrows and booked the trailer for the box set.

Lists sure make everything look easy, don’t they? o.o My main goal this year was to publish the rest of this series plus publish the box set before my 30th birthday next month, so I’m exactly where I wanted to be (despite what the next points might have you believe).

Having said that, publishing three books over three consecutive months is exhausting, and I don’t think I’ll do it again. There’s just no need, you know?

Now the marketing can begin for real! *pushes up sleeves*

Brightened Shadows

I wrote the sequel to Darkened Light and wrapped up the first draft during NaNo. It’s currently proofing, but edits will start next week and I’m aiming for an October 2020 release.

And, of course, Darkened Light also got a book trailer this year!

Blood Wisp

Things didn’t work out as planned at all for this little trilogy. Back in January, my goal was to publish the first novella in October, Novella 2 in November, and Novella 3 in December. Instead, what used to be three novellas is now one novel thanks to critique partner feedback, and I had to re-plot books 2 and 3 from scratch.

So, while I published none of these, they’re in a better place now and I feel much more confident going forward. Sometimes, we have to take a few steps back before we can go ahead, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Publishing the individual novellas would have a been a mistake, and I’ve learned so much about plotting a whole series in one go!

I’ll decide which WIP to work on next this week, and will announce it in my January/2020 post. I’m torn between Blood Song and…

Dreamer

This trilogy came out on top this year! I first wanted to write Book 1 during the July Camp NaNo, but I had so many editing jobs at the time that it didn’t happen, plus I wasn’t happy with the plotting.

I set it aside until next year, but then I struggled to get into Blood Song during NaNoWriMo once I’d finished Brightened Shadows, and since I didn’t want to force it (which would have meant unnecessary painful rewrites later on) and had a good idea of where Dreamer might go, I chose Esta’s story.

And it flowed, friends and bookworms. It flowed.

I now have a finished first draft, which is proofing until I’m ready to write books 2 and 3.

Sarina’s Sparrows

My Facebook Reader Group was born this year!

This was quite a big step for me since I left Twitter shortly before due to having too much social media to catch up on every day, but I have no regrets.

We talk about books, worship cats (and other animals), get early teasers and all other announcements before everyone else, there are exclusive giveaways, and I have a lot of other fun planned for next year, too, so come join us!

I believe that about sums it up! It doesn’t look like much, summarised as it is, but I assure you I was quite tired before my Christmas break XD

How was your December? How was your 2019? Grab some biscuits to go with that tea and tell me about everything you have achieved <3


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RELEASE DAY: Shadow in Ar’Sanciond | The Relics of Ar’Zac PREQUEL NOVELLA

My youngest is out today and my heart is SO FULL.

Rise of the Sparrows had the best promo days last week, and I’m excited to repeat that success this week with my newest baby on virtual shelves <3

My dark epic fantasy prequel novella Shadow in Ar'Sanciond on my mantle.

One ARC has compared this little one–and possibly the entire series–to Brandon Sanderson, which has been the highlight of my year. Check it out:

‘If you are a Brandon Sanderson fan, then Langer is a writer of high fantasy who you should enjoy with layers of world building and indepth backstory.’

From Goodreads review

Get Shadow in Ar’Sanciond here.

Blurb:

In the beginning, everyone died.

Sanciond is the magic capital of the North and home of the sorcerers watching over the country of Ar’Sanciond. With a library covering every subject imaginable, only one line of research is forbidden:

The study of the Mists, cradle of all evil where no light can dwell.

Sorcerer Eldon is granted permission to lead pioneering research into the Mists, but what he finds there—and what he unleashes—threatens the very fabric of Ar’Sanciond.

Sorcerer Vail, Seer Mavis, and Head Sorcerer Felan are the only ones who notice their friend’s changed energy. Only quick covert action can save Sanciond…

… But not all plans are meant to succeed, and not every story has a happy ending.


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December Goals | Release Day 2/3 & Two Potential WIPs

Happy December, friends! <3

This half of the year is my favourite. First, autumn arrives with its beautiful leaves, foggy mornings, and warming flavours. Then comes Halloween, when the veil between worlds is thinnest, and then NaNoWriMo comes right after that!

But then, after so much excitement, comes Christmas–and for me, that holiday lasts all month. Everything just looks so magical with lights everywhere, and there’s an undeniable buzz when I go into town. At home, everything gets a little more comfy. The house smells of cinnamon and vanilla a lot, because I love baking.

It’s also a time for me to slow down and reflect. I look at what I wanted to achieve this year back in January, and what I have achieved. I remind myself not to be hard on myself when one thing or another didn’t go to plan–I know it’s not because I was lazy this year, but because other things outside my control came up or because some things simply took longer than I expected. All that’s fine.

But there’ll be time for that at the end of the month. Right now, I still have a whole month left to get stuff done!

Relics of Ar’Zac

Shadow in Ar’Sanciond will be out in one week, so I’ll be booking a few promotions this week. If you want it on your kindle as soon as it’s out, you can pre-order it before the price goes up!

Soon after that’s live, pre-orders for the box set will follow. It’s pretty much done, so this shouldn’t be too stressful–just a few clicks here and there.

I also have a surprise later this week, so watch this space!

Dreamer

I’m half-way through the first draft, and since it’s only a short book (or I planned it that way, anyway) I should be able to finish the first draft this month.

Once that’s proofing…

Well, I’m torn. I could jump into plotting the sequels and start writing Book 2–I’m here now, after all–or…

Blood Wisp

I haven’t forgotten about this trilogy. I want to read over Blood Wisp again before I write Blood Song, but if I do it halfway through December and then take my Christmas break, will I need to read over it again in January? Should I just wait for the new year and do it then?

Or should I finish the Dreamer series first?

I wanted to stick to writing one series at a time, but things have worked out in a strange way and now I have two first drafts from two very different series, and I’m not sure which one to continue first. The one I’m currently invested in, or the one I started and promised first?

I’m hoping December will bring some clarity.

Beyond the above, there are Christmas catch-ups, boring but necessary tax stuff, and some last-minute presents to buy. I won’t bore you with the details.

What are your plans for December? Do you wind down, too, or is this your busiest month?


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