End of an Era

I’ve struggled with writing this post for a bulk of the year. 2016 didn’t start off great and I kept putting off writing this until a better time. But a better time never came and now with 2016 coming to an end, I thought it was time to rip the Band-Aid off.

On February 16, 2012, Paper Crane Books was born. It was initially supposed to be an imprint for my own books. It was never supposed to be an actual operating small press with authors and scheduled releases. It was mostly supposed to be a name–a brand, really–that said these books that I’ve written belong under this umbrella of YA books. And somehow it ended up being a bigger thing with the prodding of some family and friends.

But one person can only sustain so much energy for so long before they become exhausted. And exhausted I did become since Paper Crane Books was a one-person operation. There was just me doing all the editing, formatting, cover designing, marketing, and admin work. Yes, I did receive some help from time-to-time. Yes, the authors also did their part in marketing. But at the end of the day, it was just me late at night, finishing some task I should have gotten to earlier that kept getting pushed back.

By the end of January 2016, just a couple weeks shy of the press’s 4th anniversary, I knew deep down in my heart that the press was done. At least in the version of it being a small press. I was tired, my family was in financial trouble and though I loved the press dearly, it was just barely making enough to sustain the operations of the press every month. If I wanted to pay my bills on time, I took on freelance work on the side. Since the end of January, I’ve worked with all my authors to get them in as great a place as I could so that they could continue to produce quality work in an environment that they were comfortable in.

Holly Barbo has moved her work to Paper Gold Publishing. She’s republished her work over there and also published her short stories individually into a “Quick Reads” series of stories. She’s doing phenomenally well there.

Michelle Franklin has self-published two new novellas this year. Her most recent novella, The Ship’s Crew, just released! Twisk outdid herself with the absolutely beautiful cover!

Morgan Straughan Comnick has self-published the third novel in her Spirit Vision series, The Power of Mortals! Suzy’s illustrated cover are always breathtaking and we finally get to know what in the world happened after that cliffhanger of an ending in Book 2!

I don’t call this a failure. In fact, because of the press, my knowledge of the publishing industry has grown by leaps and bounds. I had never been confident in my editorial skills before the press, but after the press, I feel more assured in my skills as an editor.

So what will Paper Crane Books become? I think at first it will become what I originally intended for it to become: an imprint for my books moving forward. In a perfect world, I’d also extend to produce anthologies where proceeds would go to various charities. Whether that will happen in 2017 or not is still up for debate. I want to focus on rebuilding my author platform because while Paper Crane Books was fully functional and running, I stopped writing for myself and for the readers I had following me. I didn’t feel I had the time to focus on me and every time I did anything promotional for me or did some writing for me I felt guilty for not putting that time for my authors. So I’m teaching myself how to write again and not correct, and it’s exhilarating and scary all at once! I’m also putting my attention on my freelance work, which is going to become an actual business with its own website in the first quarter of the new year! I’ll be offering design services with the option of other author services later in the year.

Finally, I want to thank you, the reader. Thank you so much for hanging out with Paper Crane Books and reading my authors’ works! I couldn’t be more proud of what was accomplished in the years the press was operational. And though I’m sad to see this phase of its existence come to an end, I’m also excited to start out in my new venture as a freelancer and author/creative! I hope that you continue to follow and read everybody’s books, because I know that they’ll have some amazingly new work in 2017. Though this end is bittersweet, I look forward to hearing and seeing from you once again in the next phase of Paper Crane Books.

From the bottom of my heart: thank you, thank you, thank you. Without readers like you, I wouldn’t have had the energy to keep this press afloat for so long. And to my authors: I’m so, so proud of all of you. Your growth these past years has been such a privilege to witness and I can’t believe that I get to say I had a small hand in all of it. I’ll always be there, rooting for you in the corner. And if you ever feel down and need a cheerleader, I’ll grab my pom-poms and wave them high in the air.

With love,
Sheenah Freitas

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop 2015

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop 2013

This giveaway hop is hosted by BookHounds.

Hello! We’re taking part again in a giveaway hop this holiday season. Be sure to check out all of the blogs participating in this hop. There will be a huge list at the end of this post.

The authors here at Paper Crane Books have decided to team up and give you a giveaway full of reading! So if you plan on cozying up with your favorite ereading device this winter, this is the perfect giveaway for you! Also, this giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.

The Prizes

  • $10 Amazon giftcard OR PayPal Cash
  • 2 signed Spirit Vision bookmarks from Morgan Straughan Comnick
  • Set of signed bookmarks from Holly Barbo
  • eBook copy of Damson’s Distress by Michelle Franklin*
  • eBook copy of Sunstone by Holly Barbo
  • eBook copy of Tendrils by Holly Barbo
  • eBook copy of New Beginnings by Morgan Straughan Comnick
  • eBook copy of Fallen Star Dust by Morgan Straughan Comnick*

*Note: I’m working on the marked books right now and they should be out before the end of the year. If they need to be pushed back, you will be receiving an advanced reader’s copy, or ARC.

Terms and Rules

Giveaway is open internationally and ends on December 31, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and announced on the widget, Facebook, and Twitter as well as emailed; winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. They will have 48 hours to respond. Failure to respond will result in a new winner being selected. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Number of eligible entries received determines odds of winning. Giveaway hop was organized by Bookhounds and I Am A Reader; individual giveaway organized by Paper Crane Books. Void where prohibited by law. Your information will not be sold or shared and will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winner.

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Episode 2: A Reading from New Beginnings

Because New Beginnings is on tour this week, I thought I’d take the time to do a little reading from the book.

New Beginnings is the second book in the Spirit Vision series by Morgan Straughan Comnick. From now until December 7, you can get the first book in the series, Spirit Vision, for only $0.99 at Amazon!

Quick overview of New Beginnings:
Spirit Warrior Stary Moon is prepared to begin her sophomore year of high school with a better understanding of the powers granted to her from the Lord. But the path set out for her is uncertain. Stary never imagined what a challenge it would be to get her fiends and family to accept her true love, former spirit, Umbra, whose Ultimate Weapon powers are resurfacing mysteriously. On top of this, a dark presence is possessing spirits and ghosts, haunting Stary’s dreams, and wanting revenge. As Stary dives deeper into the world of the spirits, she begins losing her connection to the world of mortals. Does Stary have the strength to overcome this darkness alone, or will she need to dabble in some ancient magic? Can she continue this path no matter what the cost?

You can follow along on the tour by clicking here.

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes! Subscribe to our podcast on Stitcher!

New Beginnings Blog Tour Schedule

Thanks to Enchanted Book Promotions, New Beginnings, the second book in the Spirit Vision series by Morgan Straughan Comnick, will be on tour this week! Hop along! We’ll be keeping this page updated with all the stops, so if you want to stay on top of all the posts, you can bookmark this page.

Also of note: Spirit Vision will be available for $0.99 all week long in celebration of the tour! Grab your copy today if you haven’t done so already because by this time next week, the price should be back up to $2.99!

November 30: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading
November 30: Promo Post @ Indy Book Fairy
November 30: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Literary Musings
November 30: Promo Post @ Solafide Book Club
December 1: Guest Post @ Jessica Larsen’s Blog
December 1: Promo Post @ 5 Girls Book Reviews
December 2: Special reading of New Beginnings @ Paper Crane Books Podcast
December 4: Book Review @ PRATR
December 6: Interview @ Pandragon Dan

Spooktacular Giveaway 2015

Spooktacular Giveaway

I feel like summer 2015 has lasted forever. Which I guess was needed since the winter season of 2013-2014 lasted FOREVER (thanks, Frozen). But autumn is finally upon us! As I’m writing this, it’s finally cold enough to justify me wrapping up in a robe and enjoying a cup of hot cocoa as I put this together. Don’t believe me? There is a picture of my hot cocoa on our Instagram feed. And yes. I have a Disney princess mug that’s usually designated for tea because the mug that’s usually designated for hot cocoa was on a higher shelf and I didn’t feel like reaching for it. And no, there is no picture of me all snuggly and warm in my robe, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Autumn also marks the start of our end of the year giveaways! For those of you who don’t know: every Halloween, we like to participate in the Spooktacular giveaway hop and give something awesome away. We gave a ton of stuff away last year, but this year, we’ve downsized. We’re all a bit busy and Halloween crept up on us this time (in our defense, it was a long summer).

What in the world are we giving away THIS year? Just a $10 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash. Your choice. And some bookmarks. And some ebooks to keep you preoccupied. And CANDY. Because I had a light bulb moment and realized this is a HALLOWEEN giveaway. Who doesn’t want to win some candy? Saves you a trip from knocking on strangers’ doors.

Basic things to know about the giveaway:
This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
You must be 18 years or older to enter. If you’re younger, please have your parent sign up for you.
This giveaway will end on October 31. We’ll choose a winner on November 1. The winner’s name will show up on the widget and we’ll make an announcement about it on Twitter and Facebook.
All other legal info can be viewed by clicking “Terms and Conditions” on the widget.

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Hop and Find Other Giveaways!

Episode 1: Interview with Michelle Franklin

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Welcome to episode 1 of the brand new Paper Crane Books podcast! Our RSS feed might still mention our old podcast and it might end up being that way forever because I didn’t want to mess up any feeds that were pointing to our original feed (like the one on iTunes).

In this episode, you’ll get to know a little bit about Michelle Franklin.

You can follow Michelle by visiting her website, following her on Twitter, or liking her Facebook page.

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes! Subscribe to our podcast on Stitcher!

New Release: Tendrils

Tendrils New Release

After taking a bit of a break from the press, I’m ready to get back. And I think the rest of the authors are as well. As such, there are 2 more books ready to be edited and they should be out no later than Winter 2015.

Today, though, I’m really excited to tell you about Holly Barbo’s newest release: Tendrils. Tendrils has been an interesting project. I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but Holly and I were talking one day about short stories and she mentioned she couldn’t write them. Or maybe it was she didn’t know how to handle the shorter work. After handing her some advice, she wrote her first story, which is still one of my favorite short stories from her: The Tin of Honey. And then she wrote her second…And then a third…And then I don’t think she’s been quite able to stop. (Short fiction tends to do that to a writer.)

Over the course of a year (maybe two), Holly has written 14 short stories for various things and she’s been featured in a number of anthologies. We decided to put those stories in a collection. 4 of the short stories are award-winning.

TENDRILS is now available on Amazon and Smashwords for only $2.99. You can also buy direct from us. The paperback will be available soon (we’re waiting on the proof) and the ebook will be available on other ebook retailers very soon.

Add the book to your Goodreads shelves today!

Stories come from any number of places. One could start from a memory, a photo in a magazine or from pondering a news item and wondering, “What if?”

This collection arose from that sort of random stimuli. Some are pure imagination of science fiction or fantasy. Others, though, developed from random historical facts or the disturbing news stories of war-torn regions.

Each of the 14 short stories in this collection have coalesced from “what if” to “what is.”

News + Cover Reveal: Tendrils by Holly Barbo

You might have noticed that things have slowed down a bit here at the press. Every member has been a bit busy and I know a couple of us are sleep-deprived. One of us is now a new citizen of Canada. One of us has left. And one of us got a new job. So yes, we’ve been busy and I think we all needed to take a month or so away and recharge. But we’re getting back and we’re ready to give you more stories! And we want to give you more of us!

For those of you wondering what happened to the podcast, I prematurely stopped it. I felt the format was a bit clunky. I’m taking the time right now to properly plan out episode content. When the podcast returns, it’ll be re-named, re-shaped, and we’ll have spiffy new music and a new intro. More on that later when the time comes.

For those of you who voted on our last poll which was a poll to determine the name of our upcoming street team: the winning name was Cranies. Our street team concept still has some kinks that need to be worked out, but we’re hoping to unveil that soon as well.

If you go and navigate through the website, you might notice that a lot of our book pages are down at the moment. We are aware of it. We’re ever so slowly moving things around to get things set up for our new store platform. If everything goes well, all of that will be up just in time for the holiday season.

NOW onto some exciting story news! Holly Barbo is getting ready to release a collection of short stories called Tendrils. There are a total of 14 stories in the collection, including one flash fiction. I’m so proud to say that the collection will be released within a couple of weeks. 4 out of 14 of the stories have won in short story contests, one of which has won first place!

Here’s the official blurb:

Stories come from any number of places. One could start from a memory, a photo in a magazine or from pondering a news item and wondering, “What if?”

This collection arose from that sort of random stimuli. Some are pure imagination of science fiction or fantasy. Others, though developed from random historical facts or the disturbing news stories of war-torn regions.

Each story has coalesced from “What if” to “What is.”

Sound exciting? Want to make sure you’re notified of the release on the day it’s available? Be sure to sign up for our newsletter over in the sidebar.

And here’s the book cover that JC Clarke created for us:
Tendrils by Holly Barbo

What do you think of the cover? Doesn’t the glowing letters look cool? Love short stories? Because we’re going to have yet another short story collection released after Tendrils, so stay tuned!

Fans: What Do You Want to be Called?

We want to put together a street team, but we’re having a hard time trying to figure out what to call them. The street team will consist of our super fans, so people who leave a review on every book they read. We’ll give them some freebies every now and then on top of advanced copies of our books.

And then we wondered: Should we call them Super Cranies? Or Super Cranesters?

That’s where you come in. Do you consider yourself a fan of Paper Crane Books? What do you want to be called? Let us know by voting! Voting ends on June 14.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 24-05-2015 00:05:53
End date 14-06-2015 23:59:59
Poll Results:
What Should Our Fans be Called?