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Book Reviews, FotH Book Jacket, and Vintage Computers...

Hey all! Today's post is sort of random, as I will be talking about book reviews in general, recent book reviews from my readers, designing my new book jacket for 'Fragments of the Heart', AND a secret hobby that I have been doing lately.

First off - Book Reviews! I happened to open Facebook today and saw that a reader tagged me in their post. (Photo credit: Jae.) My two books are on the right of the reading journal. Pretty cool! I love seeing readers' bookshelves with my books gracing their shelves. It always makes my day. I can never get enough of these types of posts. This leads me to what I crave for the most as an author...

Do you see that review? I seriously was crying proud tears when I read this. This review was specifically for my second novel (this same reviewer also gave me a solid review on my first book as well.) I don't have a lot of reviews or ratings on my second book, so getting this review was gold. You have to understand, as an author, getting reviews equals more readers trusting to purchase my book on a whim. The more reviews and ratings, the more credibility to my book that readers might want to give my book a go. For those who are readers, please remember to always rate or review a book on Amazon or Goodreads. If you are in a hurry or don't like reviewing, ratings are just a simple '5-star' button to make it easy (or whatever star you deem the book worthy.)

On the topic of books, here is a sneak peak of my book jacket for my upcoming novel. I kept the layout consistent with the first two books, keeping the same fonts, design, etc. The only things that are different between the designs are the colors of the fonts, the slight hue difference of the background of the back of the jacket, and of course, the front cover. I also had to register the barcode and figure out the pricing...even logging onto the bowker site. It's been awhile. I do want to say that you might notice the increase of price for this book. There are two reasons: 1. Amazon and Ingramspark (Barnes and Noble) raised their printing rates - specially due to paper costs. This happened roughly back in 2021, and it applied to all current and future titles. I did NOT want to raise my book price for my first two books. Because I chose to do this, I get far less money in royalties - but I kept true to the pricing for my readers. For my third novel, I raised the pricing so it will be fair for me and cover the printing costs.

2. There are more pages than the first two books. To put it into perspective, my first novel was 213k words, and my second was 230k. This book is 260k words. As I stated above with the paper cost increase at the press, I had to raise the cost to cover not only the printing, but the editing cost as well.

There are many assumptions that authors make a lot of money off their books, or royalties are good money. Let me assure you that is not the case. If only people knew how little authors get, especially off major sites like Barnes and Noble. The best thing that supports me as an author to help cover editing and art costs per book is author copies for paperback books, Amazon paperback (they are very fair to authors), and eBooks. It's a hard road for an author, and covering costs of just producing a book is a hurdle to overcome. But that being said, it's all worth it in the end when I get an email from a new mega fan, or someone obsessed over one of my characters or story.

Okay, now onto my secret hobby. Restoring a vintage computer! This is not just any computer - it's a Zeos 486, my childhood computer! Technically, we had a Zeos 386 as our first family computer (MS DOS and Windows 3.1x.) Later, we ended up getting a Zeos 486 (MS DOS and Windows 95.) I want to eventually restore both models, but I started with a 486. As you can see in the photo, the computer came CRACKED on the corner. This is a huge problem, and honestly, I was crushed that night when it arrived. It wasn't cracked when it was shipped, and in all fairness, the shipper did pack it extremely well. I blame FedEx. But regardless, the computer is damaged and I need to repair it. As of right now, I am bleaching the old plastic (in second photo) and then will tackle the crack. I found a few blog posts that make old PC cracks look like new, so that's the route I am going to take. Meanwhile, I purchased a new fan (exact same model and year) and am looking for a hard drive, sound card, and a 5.25" floppy drive. Welp! That's it for now. As always, feel free to drop a comment below. Until next time! #vintagecomputer #zeos486 #book #books #bookreview #goodreads #fragmentsoftheheart #thespectrumofmagic #fantasybook #epicfantasy

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