Surviving the Purge.

No, I’m not talking about the movie that came out recently; The Purge. I haven’t seen it. And not just because scary movies aren’t cool to watch when you live alone where every shadow tries to kill you after said movie. Okay, mostly for that reason.


Um, nope. Not watching that.

I’m talking about surviving a different sort of purge. There has been some talk among writers in the indie world that a great purge is coming. A cleansing of the market of indie books. A cleaning readers sorely need.

When I started writing back in 2010, the indie market was fairly new. Vanity Presses like Createspace were considered a pathetic way to get published, but I still did it. I sent out a fair share of queries, don’t get me wrong. I just felt I had a story worth sharing and didn’t want to wait around for some person behind a desk to find me, so I swallowed the Kool-aid and hit publish.


Nowadays, being self-published is common place. Even some big names opt to go on their own and skip the middleman who wants them to change their title, get a new cover or even turn their western into sci-fi. Some indies made a fortune going it alone! Everything changed when those dollar signs showed up. Everyone wanted to be the next Amanda Hocking. 

And thanks to self-publishing, they could try their hand at it. Money could be made! Fame obtained! “It worked for her, it will work for me!” became the mindset.

A great flood of ‘writers’ emerged. I place the word writer in quotes because not everyone who self-publishes a book really deserves that title. If you’ve read any of these ‘writer’s’ work then you know what I mean.

Now, I’m not trying to say that my work is any better than those ‘writers,’ in fact, for some, my style is probably the worst shit they’ve ever laid eyes on. I am not a perfect writer. I haven’t been doing it that long. Hell, I wrote PULLED before I ever took a writing class or read anything besides children’s books to my kids at night.  Since PULLED came out, I’ve gotten my Masters in Literary Education, written four novels, tons of short stories, read a small library of books about the craft and have committed myself to the art in the same way I pursued theatre when I was in college; with everything I have.

The Great Purge (as I understand it) is that readers, who have had to endure the tidal wave of shit authors these last few years, are finally growing weary of us. Readers are holding fast to those indies that have proven their worth or going back to traditionally published books where the work tends to be stronger, cleaner and well edited. (Good editors in the indie world are REALLY hard to find by the way. Just as the flood of ‘writer’s came out, so too, came the flood of ‘editors.’ I know. I’ve used a few of those ‘editors.’)

The market is saturated with shit books. Visit any facebook page that does indie book promotions (and there are a ton of those, too) and you will see the mass of bodies trying to be seen. Cap locks shouting how their book is the best ever, that you NEED to buy their book. Everyone is vying for a spot on your kindle or added to your Goodreads TBR pile. I include myself in this unfortunate mix. What else can we do but hope someone will choose our work over the millions of books out there? It’s kind of sad, actually. Not only do we have to put our heart and soul on the page, but we have to ‘sell’ ourselves as well in the marketing arena. Not an easy thing for typically introverted artists to do. (The flood of PR companies for indie authors has tried to ‘help’ in this area but I’ll save that for another day)

Facebook has changed how the game is played, too. It used to be you posted something, and those that followed you saw it. Brilliant design. Now, you have to pay to play. Posts need to be boosted, there have to be enough likes or comments to reach others, things need to ‘go viral’ to be seen. Gone or the days that people who wanted to see your posts actually will. It’s hard to play a game when the rules keep changing.

I have spoken with a lot of indie authors this year. Sales are down with everyone. New releases don’t get the purchases they once used to. Bloggers (many who have turned into writers) don’t have room on their pages for your books anymore, reviewers schedules get crammed with new releases that aren’t yours. The marketing options dwindle. It leaves the struggling author in a state of utter disheartenment. Full Disclosure: When I released The ABC’s of Dee, I was actually really excited. I thought I’d done everything right. I thought people were generally excited about the release. All the feedback I got from my beta readers and Advanced Copy readers said ‘this is the one that was going to make some noise on the charts!’  I thought people were ready for a funny romantic comedy, that people wanted a good laugh. That I’d be the little book that could. I was wrong. I’ve barely moved 100 copies. Yeah. That doesn’t even come close to covering the costs that went into publishing it. I’ll be honest, I took that release pretty hard. Just ask those close to me. It’s challenging not to feel like a failure when a book you had so much faith in just falls flat.

But then I started hearing the same thing from every indie I spoke with. Their pathetic sales mirrored my own. (Unless you write erotica, sex will always sell) Update: I’ve been contacted by several Erotic authors. They too are feeling this wave. You know it’s bad if you can sell erotica!). Authors were desperate. Many were giving up. They were discouraged. I get it. I am too.

I think that may be what the purge is. This wave of too many bad books is overwhelming the market. Readers are tired of buying crap. They long for the good old days of when indie writing was at it’s best: Passionate writers who needed to share their story with you, not just make a buck off you.

I don’t think this will be a quick purge. It may take a few years to starve out those ‘writers’ who think they can vomit words on the page and get a movie deal out of it. In that process, I fear, we will lose a lot of the great indie writers, too.

There are some dark days ahead, I fear, for the indie world. The test will be to see what indies are still floating when the storm subsides. As for me, I’ll be clutching on to my life jacket, and keeping my fingers on the keyboard, waiting for the tides to finally shift.

Danielle Bannister, Author and doggie paddle extraordinaire 

Ten images that make me laugh.

Okay, I thought it might be fun to show you ten images that give me a good hearty laugh, because, sometimes we need laugh, don’t you agree?

First up, one of two Star Wars funnies, cause, well, it’s Star Wars.


What sort of writer would I be if I couldn’t poke fun of myself? (It’s also a GREAT excuse to post a Captain Jack Sparrow pic. ;)

2.johnny d

Even though I’m allergic to cats, I’ve had my fair share of them. This could so have been one of my cats that has since passed on.


This is an image out of an Ikea instruction manual. I MAY have added a tasty beverage for them. Come on, Ikea, who doesn’t build shelving units without wine?

4.ikea helps

Oh come on, this next one is funny, and you know it.

5. poop

This one reminds me of the very cruel winter we just had. You had to laugh or cry. Always choose laugh. It’s funnier.

6.die winter

This one goes out to all my grammar friends who live on correcting my posts. I will enjoy knowing that they are twinging reading this.


I would be remiss if I didn’t post a Potter pic in the bunch.

8. nevil

The second of my Star Wars funnies. And no. I have no regrets posting it.


And lastly, these two make me laugh every day. This picture was taken when my daughter was only 3, and she decided to cut her own hair while I was away at a signing. Sigh. Kids.

shaved head

Danielle Bannister, Author of a funny book (see how I connected that?)

buy me

Hello self-doubt my old friend…

You’ve come to be with me again.

(Readers and writers, I have a question for you at the end of this post, if you can muddle through my long-winded way to get to it, I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.)

So, I’ve been an indie author since 2011. At this time, the Indie world was still pretty young. There was a bit of shame in admitting you self-published, because CLEARLY that meant your work wasn’t good enough to get traditionally published, when in reality, it was more that I didn’t want to waste years looking for a publishing house. I wanted people to be able to read my work, untouched by what publishing houses thought would make a better book. So I dove in. Now in those days, some indies raced to the top and made a lot of noise (and some mega bucks). That noise did two things:

1. It validated indie authors as being REAL writers; and

2. It showed people ANYONE could publish a book.

And it’s true. It’s really very easy to publish a book today. It just takes a few clicks of a button and you’re good to go. So, while this is WONDERFUL, it’s also HORRIBLE. Wonderful, because, yeah! Writers can finally have the opportunity to get their work into readers hands. Horrible, because many of these new writers need a bit of… polish? I know you’ve seen or maybe even read some of the books I mean. Everyone wants to make the next 6 figure book deal. I get it. I certainly wouldn’t turn that down! Ha! But I wonder if all these books may have hurt the indie market instead of helped it.

With this FLOOD of new authors I’ve noticed that the facebook boards, where I used to be able to post the buy links to my books and interact with readers, have turned into pages where readers don’t frequent anymore. So who does? Indie authors and then only long enough to post their buy links before they run off to the next page to post. News feeds are being jammed with “BUY my BOOK!” posts (myself included, I’m afraid.)

buy me

Bloggers have felt this shift too. When I first started out, there used to be a few bloggers I could share my books with and they, out of the love of books, would post for me. I’d send them some swag to give out or keep for themselves as a thank you. Today, Bloggers are inundated with a new crop of authors all vying for spots on their pages and these poor bloggers can’t keep up with the demand. Instead of understanding the overcrowding, they get to endure the ‘entitlement issues’ of some of these newer authors of why their book needs to be posted over another. (I’ve heard the horror stories.) Many bloggers I used to work with have stopped; overwhelmed and underappreciated for all of the work that they used to love to do for fun, but quickly became stress. I can’t blame them. I myself, get daily e-mails from authors, thinking I’m a blogger, asking me to sign up for this release or this cover reveal. I’m no different, I ask too. We have to. It’s part of being a writer. Marketing. Blah. The WORST part of being a writer. Yes, even worse than editing!

My marketing plan. Good? Huh?

My marketing plan. Good? Huh?

It will most likely be a few years before the thinking turns from: Yeah! I can publish my book!! To: Just because you CAN publish a book, doesn’t mean you actually SHOULD. I mean, I know how to play on Picmonkey. That doesn’t mean I know the first thing about cover design. (As my post here proves.)

What’s an author to do?

I honestly can say I have no clue. I can tell you that it feels like we are entering the arena of ‘pay to play’ exposure. Gone are the days when you could post to facebook and your friends would actually SEE what you posted. You have to pay for ‘boosts’ which, I’m not convinced does much good unless you can sink some bills larger than a twenty spot their way. I tried a few boosts for Dee’s release, and I was unimpressed with the ‘results.’ 40 bucks garnered me 2 clicks. Not a great use of my limited funds.

I’ve been told I need try Book Bub. This is one of the bigger places to go to spend your advertising dollars. Check out their prices though: The arrow is where I guess Dee would live since there is no Romantic Comedy section. My book is $2.99, which isn’t a lot.


Um, yeah. I don’t have $1,700 just lying around. Nor, do I want to drop my current release to FREE so I can pay them $340 of my dollars just to get some downloads that I won’t make any money on. I can do that on my own, without their help and for free.

That’s what brings me back to the self-doubt title. (Never thought I’d circle back to that, did ya?) The self-doubt isn’t necessarily doubt about my writing. I’ve slowly come to terms that I can’t please everyone and for some, I write well enough that many will buy my next books. The doubt comes with the wondering if my writing will ever help feed my family, or if it’s just a really expensive hobby. (Trust me, most of us spend way more than we make trying to be seen).

Now, I’m not about to throw in the towel or anything dramatic like that. I’ll be writing til my dying day. But I AM curious about what you, as readers, or fellow writers, see becoming the trend in the indie world? Will indies, frustrated by this onslaught of new writers, go back to the traditional market? Will the overload of ‘new writers’ level itself out as readers demand better quality work?  Will indies, like me, be forced to work the streets to get exposure (see what I did there????) Something else? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


Danielle Bannister, Author and ponderer (yes, that’s a new word. I’m a writer, I can do those things) 


It’s live, it’s live, it’s live. The ABC’s of Dee is LIVE!

The ABC’s of DEE

Release Day Blitz


It always starts out so innocent. A drink, a laugh, a bet. For forty-year-old Dee Harper, her hum-drum life is about to become…educated.
Dee has just turned 40. She has no children, no husband, a job she’s been in for most of her life. She needs a change. So when her rich friend offers her a bet on a drunken night, Dee accepts it. She has to date 26 men, in alphabetical order, in one year.
What could possibly go wrong?


CAUTION: This book contains adult language.

CAUTION: This book contains adult language.

Purchase Links


Full Cover Wrap 

dee full wrap


It’s ten minutes to seven and my underwear has already climbed up my ass more times than people have climbed Everest. I would love to blame Victoria’s Secret for selling me faulty ‘3 for $25.00 panties,’ but let’s be honest, I’m the one trying to cram my 40-year-old fanny into underwear meant for people who don’t eat food. They just looked so good on the stark white, half-butt mannequin that I thought they would totally cover the square footage of my backside. I was grossly mistaken.

As I yank the neon pink cloth from the depths no undies should go (again), I debate whether I should change them or not. On the one hand, it is only a first date. Wearing these will pretty much assure he’ll be getting some because I don’t intend to wear this torture device all night long for nothing. On the other hand, it is only a first date. Wearing some good old ‘period panties’ would guarantee that there would be no traveling South of the Elastic Band Border and my cheeks would actually be comfortably contained. Decisions, decisions.

That’s it. I’m becoming a nun. Nuns don’t have to deal with this shit. They don’t have to question how much wedgie-control is adequate for a first date. They can just sit in silence with no judgment about who they’re dating, why their legs aren’t shaved, or why they haven’t had sex in two years. I know. I have issues. And a lot of toys.

Author Bio:

stright on bw


Danielle Bannister is a work at home mom of two small children living in rural Maine. She has her BA in theatre and her Masters in Literary Education and working hard on several other novels. She has written PulledPulled, Pulled Back and Pulled Back Again, .as well as a collection of short works entitled Short Shorts. Her work can also be found in the 2012 edition of The Goose River Press Anthology and the 2012 Maine Writing Project’sAnthology, Writeous.


Social Media Links

Amazon Author Page:


Twitter: @dbannisterbooks

Sharing is caring! Any shares of anything on this page would mean the world to me!!
The ABCs DEE promo

What’s the scoop on The ABC’s of Dee?

I haven’t been neglecting you, dear readers, honest. Okay, maybe I have. Things have become a little hectic in the Bannister Books area. The ‘Snarky Romance’ as I am officially dubbing it, otherwise know as The ABC’s of Dee is in full forward momentum. I thought I’d take a moment to enlighten those of you not familiar with this whole releasing a book nightmare.

The ABCs DEE promo

♥••*´¨`*•.☆• PRE-ORDER •☆.•*´¨`*••♥
The ABC’s of Dee, By Danielle Bannister (Avail. April, 2015)

Although the self edits are by far the worst thing about writing a novel, the getting it ready for print is a close second.  Currently, it is with my paid editor. It has already seen a large handful of Beta Readers, then I self edited it three times. Now, it’s Jessica’s turn. After she is done with it (the next few days) I have to make my changes FAST.

Why so fast, you ask? Well, this is the first book I’ve done a pre-order for, and I didn’t anticipate the requirement of loading the final manuscript 10 days before its release. This means I have to have it loaded by April 2. It’s March 27th people. That doesn’t leave a lot of time. Once I get my edits back from there it will be a race against the clock. I’ll need to consider her suggestions and accept or reject them accordingly. I am praying I have left no major plot holes. If so, I’ll have no choice but to postpone the release. IF everything is merely grammatical and I accept all those changes, I can just hit the ‘load’ button and be done, right? WRONG.

Once all edits have been finalized, THEN I have to send it to an e-book formatter, because there is a special way to do that. In fact, there is an entire e-book on how to do it right! And that’s just a Smashwords upload! Got extra time, download it someday, it’s free.

I know how to format in paperback and e-format, (I’ve read the book). What I don’t have, is the speedy turnaround that I’d need for this release,  which is why I’m hiring out for this one.

Once the book is loaded to Smashwords, I can rest easy, right. Oh, how I wish that were true. Once that’s loaded for the pre-order, I have to start paperback formatting (because that’s a whole new ball of wax) and then the whole marketing piece begins. UGH.

Even though this is my fourth release, this never gets easier. The sharing piece is so hard. Asking people to share your work (and trust me, I’ll be asking you to do that on April 12th) is not easy.

In theory, the Amazon digital download SHOULD be the easiest. I’ll load the final version to Amazon the day before and pray that it doesn’t mess up like it did with my last release. Sigh. An entire WEEK late on that one. Thanks, Amazon.

I have a book signing April 11th, the day before my ‘official’ release. (I didn’t plan that one well. Ha!)

This is where I'll be if you're in the area. :)

This is where I’ll be if you’re in the area. :)

Fans are already asking if I’ll have Dee out in paperback by then. Odds aren’t great on that. The turn around time just isn’t there. I’ll try, but I can’t make that promise. The time to print and ship the books alone is already a major strike against me, let alone relying on everything else to fall in line first.

THEN once that is all done, I have my next novel to dive into…I’ve already got the cover done. I swear, this one isn’t changing. My agent would kill me. It’s perfect just the way it is. And no. I’m not sharing that yet. Dee needs the spotlight for a little bit, then I can reveal what I’m cooking up next. :)

So if you don’t see me around much on Social Media these next few weeks, it’s not because I don’t love you dearly, it’s because I’m up to my eyeballs trying to get this book out on time.

Danielle Bannister, Author and anxious new-release-er. 

A book and friend birthday!

I met Elizabeth Loraine (virtually) when I used to work for Red Coat PR. She was one of my clients that I helped spread the social media word about. After I left Red Coat PR to focus on my writing (which had sort of taken a back burner) Elizabeth and I continued to chat and we pimp each other out when we can. Well, today is one of those days. Not only is it a book release day for Elizabeth and her co-author, Tim Frasier, but it’s also her REAL birthday. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate her birthday than to share her latest work.  I have yet to read any in the series because, well, the covers alone, although brilliant, will give me nightmares. haha. I am a self-professed wimp, and Elizabeth knows this about me. Even so, it may be just the thing for some of you, and so, I share.

Happy Book and Real Birthday, Elizabeth! 



FactionsRelease Day Factions


Nearly a year after the Pathogen’s release, the world around the surviving few has been decimated. Few factions remain and those must compete for their right to survive. Jackson and Lexy search for a cure, but their hope dwindles when they witness the true extent of the Pathogen’s influence across the entire spectrum of life. As each Faction vies for their help to stabilize those exhibiting extraordinary strength and skill, tensions mount and fears are unleashed. It’s time to chose a Faction, or start one of their own.


“What do you think, Jackson? Should we take a chance and see how they’re doing it? Maybe it is a safe place to do our own research.”

“I don’t think we should all go,” he said. “What if is just another trap? If we’re all in there, there won’t be a chance to get back out. Lex, you have to let me do this. I’ll check it out. If I don’t contact you in twenty-four hours, it’s not legit. I’ll find a way back out and meet you in Montana.”

Lexy grabbed his hand. “Jackson, no.”

“It’s something you know I need to do. Maybe it’s fine, right?” He squeezed her hand. “If it is, we can work together, but I can’t chance it. We can’t both be taken. I know you realize that.”

Tears formed and she blinked them back. “All right. But we’ll stay close, and we will get you out if need be.”

“I’ll go with you to contact them, Rico.”

Jackson leaned into Rico. “Get Lexy out of here and keep her safe. I’ll get out on my own if I need to, understood?”

“Yes, of course, but Jackson, we’re all in this together. We have been since you asked us to go get her. We’re a team, and this team doesn’t leave men behind. You got that? You’ve been trying to separate yourself for a while now. That’s on you. You got some kind of guilt trip going on, fine. We’ll do what we have to do. Nothing you have to say is going to change that.”

They stared at each other for a moment and then stepped into the Stryker.

“We have one taker for your offer. The rest of us have somewhere to be, over.”



Pathogen Beginnings (Prequel)













author photo

I grew up in a small northern Minnesotan town, married my high school sweetheart, had two beautiful children and as soon as we could, we moved to a warmer climate. I have worked with my husband building and decorating custom homes for years. After loving every kind of vampire book, movie, and series, I decided that I wanted to know more. I can write a book I thought, how hard can that be? Well, very hard. But I stuck to it and finished my first book Royal Blood Chronicles Book One, Katrina, The Beginning, in August 2009. There are now nine books in that series; The Protectors, The Dark Prince, Cain, the Quest, Bloodline and Legacy, Redemption and Destiny, and book nine Sabine, with book ten- Power of the Secret -out this fall.

I’ve also started to write mystery/suspense contemporary adult romances under my E.L. Loraine brand. The first release is Corporate Ties, A Silken Ties Novel, the second a sweeter romance – Western Escape. A second Silken Ties Novel will be released in August 2014.
The feedback has been great. I have also released Phantom Lives – Collier, and new paranormal series, book two of that series Phantom Lives – Power, book three to be out around Christmas. I also have just published book one of my Shifter Chronicles – Green River. My parents always told me that I could do anything that I wanted, work hard, study, and do it right. I believe that and live that way every day.

I started writing this new vampire series for teens and their moms because I myself wanted something different to read. I was tired of all the modern versions of vampire books, there had to be more to these long-lived beings. Where had they been, what had they seen? I wanted, no I NEEDED to know more so Royal Blood Chronicles was born! Strong female characters and action and adventure mixed with romance, friendship, and a historical backdrop. Phantom Lives continues with another strong female character, which is very important to me. Phantom Lives is a modern day, paranormal romance, filled with mystery, magical places, and beings.



Twitter: @bloodchronicles


News on Netherworld.

So, if you haven’t followed the saga that is the co-authored novel, Netherworld,  you can catch up here.

Our baby.

Our baby.

For your memory, as well as my own, I’ll tell you that a fellow author friend, Amy Miles, and I decided a few years ago now (wow, time flies) to write a book together. She is a wildly read fantasy author and I am (a lesser read) author human emotions. We thought it might be fun to mix the worlds together. She  would handle the fantasy parts and I the human. The premise was simple:A human teen would run into and see a banshee (a creature from the Netherworld who ferries the dead to their final destination). He would see her when he shouldn’t be able to and they would form a connection and all hell would break loose. So that’s what we set out to write. For a year we worked on this book, she from her state, me from mine. It was done entirely online until Amy surprised  me with a trip to the Bahamas where we finished the novel (yes, we worked while on a cruise. I highly recommend it). We also plotted out the next two books on that cruise.  Fast forward to August of last year, 3 days before it’s intended release mind you, and a promo image for the book caught the eye of an agent at Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management. They wanted to try to sell Netherworld for us which meant we’d have to pull the plug on our release. With three days before release, Amy and I had a LOT of talking to do. We decided to take a risk and see if this could be done traditionally. Once we were settled in with the agency, they had a few suggestions to make to the manuscript, so the once finished book was back in re-writes. It meant I had to read the book again! And edit it. Again! You know how I adore editing.  But we did it. We re-worked it. I flew out to Amy’s for a week and stayed with her family and we hacked the shit out of the manuscript and put it back together, stronger this time. There was a lot of excitement.

The agency sent it out to the Big Six (biggest publishing houses there are) and we all waited. And waited. And waited. Traditional publishing is s l o w. Finally, a reply.

Fantasy was no longer hot, and they didn’t anticipate it being hot again for a long time. However, they did like the human world I had created and wanted me to re-submit the book, without the banshees.

Um. huh? How do I re-submit a book I co-authored on banshees without the banshees?

Needless to say, the agent, Amy and myself all had a long chat. Our agent suggested we split the book. Amy would take all things banshee and tuck it away until fantasy was hot again, and I should take the human element and resubmit to those same publishers who really liked my writing style. Amy and I begrudgingly agreed.

Now, while I’m happy that the big 6 editors like my writing, I am a tad gutted that they didn’t want the baby we’d worked so hard to develop.

The ABC’s of Dee is set to release in mid-April and my agent wants me to focus on this re-re-rewrite as soon as it’s out. A lot to process.

netherworld facelift

This image makes me sadder than it probably should. I won’t say the time Amy and I worked on this is wasted, because I think she will make a kickass banshee novel with what she’s developed without my human world slowing her down. We learned a lot about our writing styles and about each other. Time I wouldn’t trade for the world. No writing is wasted writing. I’ve always believed that. I guess it’s time I put that mantra to the test and rework this book, yet again.


Danielle Bannister, author and really bad photoshop editor.