Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 15 of 2010!

I'm elated and honored to see The Venom of Vipers listed among the other fine books and authors as one of the top 15 books of 2010 at the Journal of Always!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

3-star review of The Kinshield Legacy

Writers don't usually like seeing fewer than 4 stars for their precious darlings, but in the case of The Kinshield Legacy, I was glad when Google Alerts notified me of this review:

Often, too many 4- and 5-star reviews will make readers suspicious, thinking these reviews were all written by the author's friends or relatives. When a 1- or 2- or 3-star review turns up, it gives more legitimacy to the overall rating. In this case, however, the reviewer hasn't (yet?) posted the review to Amazon or, so it's not affecting the overall score (4.7 4.8* on Amazon, 5.0 on BN), so I figured I'd try to spread word about it myself.

Although it's "only" a 3-star review, it's a good one. The reviewer liked the book, writing, "This is a solid light epic fantasy, if that's not too much of a contradiction in terms.  It's nothing ground-shaking or mind-blowing, but I enjoyed reading it, and I had trouble putting it down by the end." She finished by calling it an entertaining good book. What author wouldn't be happy with that? I am!

*shortly after posting this, another 5-star review was posted on Amazon!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Journal of Always reviews The Venom of Vipers

A while back, I queried author and book reviewer, Robert Duperre, about doing a review for Venom. Like most established reviewers, he was swamped, but he graciously agreed to add my book to his long list and said it might be December before he got to it. Luckily for me, that was great timing since the book wouldn't be out until Dec 1, and I had a Kindle Nation Daily sponsorship scheduled for Dec 14. As with any review request where I'm eager to see the result, I waited with great anticipation for him to finish. Rob teased me with a few comments, like "I'm really enjoying it so far" and "I'm done reading," but I didn't see his review until he posted it publicly on his web site, Journal of Always.

It had me in tears. Literally. Read it to find out why. After the review, Rob interviewed me about the book and writing in general. You can read the interview here.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Two new reviews

Reviews seem to be coming in every couple days lately, which is thrilling beyond measure.

The Kinshield Legacy received an incredible 4-star review at Among other things, the reviewer wrote, "It's difficult to believe that this could possible be KC May's first novel, if I didn't know I would have said she had been writing for years." He called it, "a beautifully crafted fantasy work that works so well, perfect escapism and highly recommended."

The Venom of Vipers received another 5-star review at Amazon, Goodreads & Smashwords (by the same reviewer). He started by writing, "What a fantastic sci-fi thriller from an independent author."

I'm absolutely ecstatic that the books are so well-received. Thank you, dear readers!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wonderful new review of Venom

If it weren't for Google Alerts, I might not have seen this one pop up as soon as I did. I'm ecstatic that the reviewer over at enjoyed the story as much as she did! Get a load of this:

"The Venom of Vipers is a fast paced read with an interesting kick, exciting characters, and a unique story. I really enjoyed the pace and the believability of a future time and place in our possible history. In addition to being a futuristic thriller with a bizarre twist, the book is a great read that will keep you turning the pages and following the characters."

Read the full review at

She was kind enough to post this as a 5-star review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Shelfari, too! This makes the fifth (out of five) 5-star review for Venom so far.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Another 5-star review for Venom!

On his blog, Kindle Books Reviewed, Greg reviewed The Venom of Vipers. He begins by writing, "When I started reading K.C. May’s The Venom of Vipers, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The book does not fit neatly into a specific genre. It has a little science fiction, a little mystery, and a little thriller aspects to it. May neatly combines elements of those genres to develop her story that stands out in its own right." Read the rest at

Indie Books Blog

The Kinshield Legacy and I are featured today on the Indie Books Blog!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Venom of Vipers - SciFi - $2.99

Ryder wants to be more than a lab rat; he wants to be free. Katie wants him to save the world. Purists want him dead.

I am thrilled to announce the release of my latest novel, The Venom of Vipers, a science fiction story about a genetically engineered human subspecies.

A supervirus threatens to wipe out the human population.

The only hope for the future is a cure hidden inside Ryder Stone. Created in a lab and brutalized, betrayed and hated by humans, Ryder yearns for freedom. On the outside, a group of human genetic purists want him dead.

When Katie Marsh, a brilliant young geneticist, discovers his secret, she must fight to protect Ryder, gain his trust...and convince him to save humanity before the purists destroy them both.

This 89,000-word science fiction has been called "captivating" and "compelling." Check out its first three reviews at Motherlode, KindleBooksReviewed and Readers Favorite.

It's available in ebook formats ($2.99USD) at
and in paperback ($9.99USD) at

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Amazon gift certificate giveaway on Facebook

In celebration of the Dec 1 release of my science fiction novel, The Venom of Vipers, I'm offering a $5 Amazon gift certificate to five randomly-selected Facebook users who "Like" The Venom of Vipers fan page. All Likers as of midnight EST on Dec 1, 2010 will be entered into a drawing that will be held on Dec 1 at 12:00 noon EST. Winners will be sent their Amazon gift certificate via Facebook. Tell your friends!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today monkeys. Tomorrow... humans?

Transgenic monkeys help in the cure for Alzheimer's

According to this Nov 1, 2010 article at, "China is the third country in the world, after US and Japan, to have successfully genetically engineered a monkey."

If the genes from one species are being spliced into another species to help cure diseases, it's theoretically possible that we could come up with a new human subspecies that's immune to a disease that would otherwise wipe out Homo sapiens.

That's the premise of my new science fiction novel, The Venom of Vipers, scheduled to be released Dec 1, 2010.

According to the article by Neha Gupta, "So far only mice and rats have been genetically engineered to contain certain diseases which has helped scientists to test their theories before implying them on humans.

However, similar usage of monkeys has been a controversial issue worldwide due to the fear that it could eventually lead to the creation of genetically-engineered humans in future."

The possibility is real. The story is fiction. Look for The Venom of Vipers at Amazon, B&N and Smashwords on Dec 1.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Book marketing tip #2

Join and become a Goodreads author. Join some groups that focus on the type of book you wrote. Introduce yourself in the intro topic, then see if they allow authors to create a promo thread. Be active -- don't just promote and leave. Talk about the books you love with like-minded people. Those who share your taste in books might like the book you've written.

If you have a print copy of your book, consider hosting a giveaway at Goodreads. That's a great way to get a bunch of people to take a look at your blurb! Some may add it to their to-read list, even if they don't win the giveaway.

Join LibraryThing and become a LT Author. Consider hosting a giveaway in exchange for reviews. They'll let you giveaway ebooks, too.

Seek out bloggers who blog about the kind of book you've written, and ask for a review. You'll need to be able to send them a free copy of your book. Some don't review self-published authors, and some don't review ebooks, so you'll need to research them a little.

Encourage those who've read your book to write a review. Doesn't have to be a long essay -- just a couple sentences on why they liked it and/or recommend it. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool ever, and reviews are one form of that. Don't badger them -- people who've written ONE review, on YOUR book, may be assumed by other readers to be your relative, and their review may be suspect.

If you come across bloggers who interview authors, volunteer! Being interviewed is a great way to draw attention to you and your writing.

Participate in forums that discuss books, like -- don't promo there (you might get banned), but do put a link to your book in your signature. When you show up regularly, people will get curious and click. Don't be afraid of posting in the Amazon community -- just don't spam those forums with pleas to buy your book (unless you post in threads specifically created for that purpose).

Create a fan page for the book at Facebook. (If you don't already have a facebook account, create one for your author persona.) Invite all your friends to "Like" the page.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Newbie's guide to publishing

Author Joe Konrath, on his very helpful blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, listed my book along with a couple dozen other "indie" novels. He comes up with all kinds of cool marketing ideas -- anyone interested in self-publishing should definitely check out his blog. He's an example of a success story!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Venom of Vipers - almost done!

After four revision passes and five editing passes, I'm almost ready to stick a fork in this book! It won't go on sale until December 1, though. I'm going to send it around to review bloggers to try to drum up some pre-release publicity. Want a sneak peek? Chapter 1 is available on my web site!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Featured at Bargain eBooks!

The Kinshield Legacy received a new 4-star review on Amazon today. Julie Ann Dawson of Bards & Sages Publishing started off by writing, "The Kinshield Legacy is a well paced, intricately plotted fantasy wrapped in a beautifully crafted setting. Author K.C. May does an exceptional job of breathing life into the kingdom of Thendylath. The lore and history of her setting weaves throughout the plot, tying everything together expertly." Read more at Bards and Sages.

The Kinshield Legacy is also being featured today at the brand new blog, Bargain eBooks. Check it out!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book marketing tip #1

From time to time, someone on one of the forums I frequent asks for ideas about getting the word out about their book. Although I haven't had my ebooks out very long, I've been compiling a list of book marketing tips that I've tried or thought of trying or heard about others trying. Someone suggested I blog these ideas, so here I am!

This first tip is for folks who've published a book for the Amazon Kindle.

The Kindle Boards is a very active community of Kindle readers and authors. Join this community at

Once you're a member, post an introduction at,3.0.html -- people at the Kindle Boards want to get to know you as a person. This is a good time to remind authors to be active at the forums you join. Don't just go there to promote your stuff. Contribute to topics, start discussions or ask questions about stuff you're interested in. As an independent author, we're in a great position to connect directly with readers. Here's a terrific place to do that!

Now that you've joined the Kindle Boards and posted your Hi message, post an introduction for the book at the Book Bazaar,42.0.html  This is the only place on the site that authors are permitted to promote our books. Only make one thread per book -- you can add updates to the thread once per week. Don't "bump" your book's thread.

Next, read this thread:,27235.msg660219.html#msg660219 and follow its instructions.

Finally, put a link to your book in your signature on the Kindleboards (a how-to is provided in a sticky at the top of this forum:,29609.0.html) and post elsewhere on the board. Readers use this board, and they may buy your book based on your posts. Make it easy for them by providing links in every post.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Indie Spotlight

The Kinshield Legacy is today's featured novel at The Indie Spotlight. When I submitted the info, I hadn't updated the cover yet, or moved the paperback printing to createspace, but the rest is current. :)

The paperback is available at Amazon, but it's almost 4 bucks cheaper at B&N! ;)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

New forum for ebook readers

Whether you have a Nook or Kindle or Sony or iPad, this forum is for discussing ebooks of all sizes, shapes and formats! Come check it out:

Book of the Day

The Kinshield Legacy is today's Book of the Day over on the Kindle Boards. If you own a Kindle, or you're thinking of getting one, swing by the Kindle Boards and have a look around. It's full of Kindle fans from across the world!

Monday, October 04, 2010

The End

Last week, I finished all new writing on The Venom of Vipers, my upcoming science fiction novel set in Phoenix in 2023. After working for a year and a half on this book, I finally typed The End. Immediately, I was overcome with emotion: sadness, relief, fear! It's exciting to officially be in the revision stage. I enjoy the writing part. I love the revision part! It's where I get to bring out the detail and get all the ducks lined up. Edits are fun too -- put a nice shine on it and get it ready for the whole wide world. I'm not one of those who writes a pretty first (or second) draft. The revision and edit stages are where my best work happens.

In any event, I'm offering autographed ebooks to all who pre-purchase from my web site. I create an autographed ebook by writing something personal to the buyer on a sheet of paper, scanning it into my computer and adding that image to the manuscript (on or near the title page) before I create the final ebook.

If you're interested, visit

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Top 100!

The Kinshield Legacy made it into the top 100 of Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Fantasy > Epic fantasy novels today following its debut as the Kindle Nation Daily sponsor! Currently it's ranked #24 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ebook pricing

There are two main schools of thought among Indie writers on ebook pricing. Joe Konrath posted a great article on it on his blog. After reading it, I agreed with everything he wrote -- he made a lot of sense.

Then I read this response by Moses Siregar III on his blog. Very thought-provoking! He makes very good points with some interesting data to back them up.

Technically, The Kinshield Legacy is a backlist title; it had been published in hardcover in 2005 and went out of print. I revived it by self-publishing in ebook formats, which really turned me on to the Indie way of life. Now that I'm getting ready to release my latest book, The Venom of Vipers, I'm thinking long and hard about how to price it. I'm still a new/unknown author without a huge following, but the points Moses makes in his blog are well-worth considering.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New review of The Kinshield Legacy

Blogger GraceKrispy wrote a wonderful review of my book on her blog Motherlode. I was a little scared when I got the email notice from Smashwords that a new review had been posted, but it bumped up the average stars to 4.8. What a nice way to start the week! I'm grateful to GraceKrispy for reading it (and so quickly, too) and thrilled that she enjoyed it so much!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Frugal Kindle

My book is being featured on The Frugal Kindle! Want some Kindle cheap-reads? Check it out!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My DRM Philosophy and Policy

DRM (or Digital Rights Management) refers to the encryption that is often applied to electronic media to prevent customers from sharing the files they've purchased, or to keep them from using the files on any but the particular device that the seller wants them to use. The principle is the same, whether it's DRM-restrictions on a music file, a movie DVD, or an ebook. The purported purpose is to protect the copyright—to prevent the purchaser from engaging in misuse of the file, whether it's uploading it to a pirate site or sharing it with Grandma.

The effect of DRM is to alienate the customers, by limiting their fair use of the media, by making it hard to archive their purchases for safekeeping, and by generally getting in their way and treating them like would-be criminals. That's my view, and I believe that many of my fellow writers share it.

I've come to hate DRM, both as an author hoping to reach readers, and as a customer of books or music or movies hoping to use my purchases in the way that best suits my legitimate purposes. Therefore, whenever I have the choice, my ebooks will be available for purchase or download DRM-free.*

* I published The Kinshield Legacy for the Kindle without fully understanding what DRM was. Unfortunately, this cannot be changed once the book is published. Check out my pledge:

My Pledge

If you buy one of my ebooks from a store that uses DRM, and you can't download or read the book on your chosen device—whether it's the reader you originally bought it for or another—I want to help. Email me, preferably with some evidence of your purchase, and I will provide you with a copy that works for you. If you want to share it with a family member or a close friend the way you might a paper book, that's fine with me. If you want to convert the file to work on a different device, feel free. I trust you not to share it indiscriminately. I figure if I treat you with respect, you'll respect my need to earn a living, so I can continue to write. And you'll get to read my book and own a copy of it, which was the whole point to begin with.

adapted with permission from Jeffrey A. Carver

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Writing tips: conditional perfect

We all use this construct, even if we don't know what it's called. Mostly it's used for something that didn't actually happen in the past. For example: If I'd known you had a Kindle, I'd have recommended some books. This sentence implies that I didn't know you had a Kindle, and because I didn't know, I didn't recommend any books. When I know someone has a Kindle, I recommend books.

It's like an If...then statement: If this, then that. Let's ditch those contractions to see what's under the covers.

If I had known you had a Kindle,
This part is supposed to be in the past perfect tense (had known)
(then) I would have recommended some books.
Here's where the conditional perfect goes.

This is where many people err. 

They improperly use the conditional perfect in both the If and the Then parts. For example,
If I would have known you had a Kindle, I would have recommended some books.
The "rule" is that the conditional perfect can only be in the Then section.

More examples of proper usage:
correct: If I had gotten paid on Friday, we could have gone out to dinner.
incorrect: If I would have gotten paid on Friday, we could have gone out to dinner.

correct: If he had proposed, she would have said yes.
incorrect: If he would have proposed, she would have said yes.

And please, whatever you do, don't type would of. It does sound a lot like the would + have contraction, would've, but it's not proper English.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A facelift for Kinshield

I got the new cover art for The Kinshield Legacy, and I am thrilled! I love it. The title and author name pop, and there's just enough of a tease of the mystery within the story without being a spoiler. Ronnell did a great job! Take a look:

He also gave me a 13x9 jpg to use for the paperback cover. I added the text on the back cover and spine, then uploaded it to CreateSpace. Once they tell me it's Good To Go, I can order the proof.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Writing tips: plurals

I critique works-in-progress for other writers and participate on writing-related forums. Typos aside, I see a few common errors made by people using the English language as a tool (to tell a story). In my mind, language for a writer is like the toolbox for the carpenter. He can't build a house without knowing how to use a hammer and when it's better to use a screwdriver. Writers can't tell a story without understanding how to put a sentence together.

Writers, there's no excuse for thinking nouns are made plural by adding 's. More than one author is "authors" and not "author's." This is a rule we learned in first grade. We use this language every waking moment of our lives. Self-published authors in particular need to be diligent about proper grammar and spelling. Their reputations may be on the line.

If you find yourself being corrected by readers on grammar problems, it may be time to brush up. Check out the Guide to Grammar and Writing -- they have some fun quizzes that will test your knowledge.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

New cover art for Kinshield

I've decided to get Ronnell Porter to create a new cover image for The Kinshield Legacy because the cover art I have now is low-resolution and CreateSpace let me know they can print it if I want, but it won't look very good. It's time to freshen up TKL's face anyway, and Ronnell does such neat covers.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Paperback edition coming soon

Today I uploaded The Kinshield Legacy to Amazon's CreateSpace for paperback printing and distribution. Although I only buy ebooks now, as do most of my book-crazy friends and relatives, paperback books still by far outsell ebooks. The Venom of Vipers will be released in paperback as well as ebook formats when it's ready, hopefully later this year.
Also, be sure to visit the Fantasy Book Critic blog and look for Liviu's review of The Kinshield Legacy coming soon!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First impressions are lasting impressions?

The Kinshield Legacy was featured on author Richard Jackson's blog today as a First Impression. Check it out! Thanks, Richard, for the kind words!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The final hours are upon us

The Goodreads giveaway of The Kinshield Legacy in hardcover is due to end at midnight PST! The giveaway is free to enter. Just hit up and enter to win!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kindle giveaway blog tour

Author Scott Nicholson is doing a blog tour Sept-Nov 2010, in which he and Amazon are giving away a Kindle DX and a Kindle 3. In addition, Scott is compiling a list of ebooks to give away to one of his Twitter followers. The Kinshield Legacy will be one of those ebooks. Check it out! It looks very cool.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cover blurb... check!

Thanks to my writer friends at the Critique Circle and the Kindleboards, I've got a great working cover blurb for Venom. I've started compiling a list of review bloggers to contact about getting pre-release reviews. Not ready to actually write to them yet, but when the time is right, I'll know who to contact.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Venom of Vipers cover art

I found an artist to work with on the cover art for Venom. She's quite talented with photomanipulation and digital painting, and I'm confident she can make a beautiful cover for the book. I'm really excited! Check out some of her work: and Guess I'd better finish writing the story. heh.

Sole Sacrifice - new cover

Author and artist Ronnell D. Porter created a most excellent cover for my novella. I think it perfectly captures the essence of the story!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sole Sacrifice

A short story I wrote several years ago is available in various ebook formats at and This is a tragic story of how a character in my novel The Kinshield Legacy becomes who he is.

Using Amazon DTP or Smashwords to publish ebooks is easy (and free). It's a great way to introduce people to my writing without having to put together an anthology.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Free hardcover copy available

I've posted a Giveaway at -- register at Goodreads and enter the giveaway before August 31, 2010 to get an autographed copy of The Kinshield Legacy in hardcover. It'll make a great gift for that fantasy-loving, Kindle-eschewing friend or family member!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Author interviews

Check out J.E. Johnson's blog where she's doing "drive thru" author interviews. Pretty neat stuff!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Kinshield Legacy now on the Kindle!

My now-ex-publisher was kind enough to let Amazon know that I hold all publishing rights to my book now. Amazon picked up where it left off getting my book ready for the Kindle. The Kinshield Legacy is now available to download for $2.99. Although it just became available today (and the behind-the-scenes processing isn't quite finished), I've already got a sale! Of course, that might have been my mom... ;)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Now available as an eBook

My novel, The Kinshield Legacy, is now available as an eBook in several formats. Read the first half for free at and decide if you want to pay $2.99 to read the rest. And if you buy during July 2010, it's just $1.50!

Kindle edition coming soon!

My novel, The Kinshield Legacy, will soon be available for the Kindle! If you're like me, you look for Kindle editions of books before print copies. I'm super excited!

Meanwhile, the second draft of my current novel is coming along well. I plan to have it finished by the end of this year.