2021 is shaping up to be a busy year for me! I landed a spot in the YA January Bookworm Box for What Moons Do, I signed a publishing contract for Enigma and started the year releasing a boxed set (The Hallowed Realms Trilogy), and for February, I’ve got a SUPER AWESOME giveaway planned for February those who live in the US!

FEB-GIVEAWAY- To help celebrate the day all single people loathe, I’m giving this away: The ABCs of Dee Party Pack! The party pack includes a signed paperback, kiss me socks, a fun wall hang, two chocolate heart lollipops, and lipstick earrings!

Win me!

I’ll pick the winners on 2-14-21 on my Facebook Page Danielle Bannister Books.

Danielle Bannister, author, and giver away of all the things!


Live on Audible

For the last few months, I’ve been working with a recording artist from ACX to prepare an audio book option for The ABC’s of Dee. This was my first time using ACX so I had no idea what to expect.

At first, I thought, well, I’m an actor, I can record it myself. I even bought a nice shiny mic. Then I realized: I have no idea what I’m doing. Which is often the case where I’m concerned. Sure, I may have the acting chops to read my own book but did I have audio editing equipment and knowledge to cut the track together? Did I have a sound proof room and hours of recording time to spare? Um, no. No, I did not.

Nor did I have the piles of cash needed to hire a narrator up front. Which left the Royalty Split option. This means that you, as the author, get half of all the sales (after ACX’s cut) and the narrator gets the other half. They do the work without pay, with the promise of royalty payments in the future. Sounds GREAT from a poor author’s perspective, but not so ideal for a narrator’s. Think about it: they have to devote weeks to recording/editing your work without seeing a dime and hope that it sells once it’s done. Naturally, there aren’t as many narrators willing to take that option as I learned when the auditions for Dee trickled in. I listened to auditions for months, more horrified by each one that came in. My favorite was a woman in her late 60’s that sounded like a sweet grandmother even while reading the foul things that come out of Dee’s mouth. Priceless, but not so great for this book. I was starting to lose hope.

At long last, I found a narrator who had risen above the others. We chatted, made arrangements, and a few months later, an audio book was born.

I hope you enjoy!

The ABC's of Dee - Audio book cover




Well… I did it again.

Today I’m doing something I vowed I would NEVER do again. I swore to myself up and down that I would never go through this, or let my readers go through this again. Apparently, I lied.

Just what did I do? I changed a book cover. I know, I know. Don’t I remember the 5 cover changes I made on Pulled? Oh, I do. I do. That is the very reason I told myself I’d never change a cover again. (See this post for a refresher) Not to worry, the Pulled covers are staying just as they are. Those ladies are not to be touched by my hands again.

You ladies are safe.
You ladies are safe.

On the re-vamping block, this time around is The ABC’s of Dee. My snarky rom-com that is part comedy, part drama, but saying a snarky rom-com-dramedy is a wee bit of a mouthful. So in my brilliant writer mind, I thought the cover should play up the drama part of the book and the humor would be a bonus. So I went with this cover here. Somber, serene and satisfied. A sort of soft smile and warm glow after the roller coaster comes to a stop.

The Old cover

See how peaceful she looks? So calm, contented…and young…crap. She’s not supposed to look young. She’s 40. And hmm, the image really doesn’t match the sarcastic description on the back of the book. Double crap. My gut had been wrong! I should have been aiming for a comedy cover. Curse you gut feeling!!!!

It was about this same time that I went to Penned Con and heard Mark Coker (head of Smashwords-an e-book distributing company) talk to us authors about the importance of cover design. He showed us soooooo many covers that authors had used that just didn’t make sense for their books. Needless to say, it got me thinking. Was I conveying the right image for the book I had written? Was my cover, although pretty, letting readers know this was a comedy? As much as I liked my soft green cover, it didn’t match the book’s feel. Whoops.

For weeks I searched, played with different concepts. Asked friends what they thought of the old cover, debated, at length, about what to do because I really didn’t want to change the cover. It’s a pain in the butt. You have to find a design you like, be able to afford it, get rid of the books and swag you already have on stock, buy new books and swag and then you have to load it to all your distributors, make new promo images, ask people to share it…it’s a lot of work. Not to mention the guilt I carry for those people who have a print copy of the old cover. It was all too much to even consider doing.

Then, out of nowhere, when I wasn’t even searching for an image, a friend, who is also part of the design team who came up with the original cover art for Dee sent me a pre-made she was working on. She sent it to me just because it made her think of Dee when it was done. And wouldn’t you know it… I got that vibe, too. I sent the mock-up to my agent (since she’s trying to sell the movie rights) to get her opinion. She too, thought it was far more marketable and fit the feel of book much better. So I messaged the designer and asked if she’d sold it yet. Wonder of wonders, she hadn’t. I bought it that day and the preparations for a new cover reveal were put into place.

To make a long post short (too late) here is the new look for The ABC’s of Dee.

The ABC's of Dee - wrap (with logo) (1)

And, for fun, I put it on sale this week for .99 cents. 🙂

So…tell me. What are your thoughts on the new cover? Does it convey rom-com now? (Please say yes. I don’t want to do this again! haha)


Danielle Bannister, Author and cover changing liar



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) 



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)
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1yepCuS
iBooks: http://bit.ly/15VxUgL
B&N: http://bit.ly/1w12AXm

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. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52

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.