Posted on April 2, 2015
SAND DOLLAR: A Story of Undying Love ebook is on sale for 99¢ (reg. $4.99) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes & Kobo. If you haven’t read it yet, now would be a good time to check it out!
Posted on September 16, 2013
I’ll be giving away 30 autographed copies of my debut novel, Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love, at Book Reporter. Click here to enter to win. Good luck!
– Sebastian 🙂
Posted on February 22, 2013
Hey, guys. I’ll be doing my first radio interview to discuss my debut novel, Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love, on Saturday, February 23rd at 12:00 p.m. E.S.T. on BlogTalkRadio. Please feel free to call in to speak with me and the hosts, Michelle Cornwell-Jordan and Jamie B. Musings. I look forward to speaking with you!
Sebastian Cole 🙂
Posted on February 10, 2013
★★★★★ “Many reviewers have compared Sand Dollar by Sebastian Cole to Nicholas Sparks. To be fair I want you to know that I have never read a Nicholas Sparks book nor have I seen a related movie. I don’t ordinarily read books that are classified as romance but I was interested in Sand Dollar due to its fantasy romance genre.
For the first half of the book it seemed more like a lost love type of story and although that is interesting, I wasn’t quite sure what the fantasy aspect was. As I continued to read though, that became increasingly clear. From the beginning it is clear that Noah is a great person with a great desire to love and be loved. I have never been in a position where the person I am destined to be with – my soulmate – is just not someone it is possible to be with. But the premise is quite heartbreaking and I found myself wanting so much more for Noah. Robin is his soulmate. That is clear but for some reason it just never seems to work out. The reason it doesn’t work out is eventually made clear and then my heart broke for the two of them and how they had so much stacked against them and their relationship.
The fantasy becomes evident toward the end of the book, and it was one of those “Oh my God, that can’t possibly be” types of moments. I read most of this book in one day/sitting. That wasn’t my intent but once I made it past the first half of the book I really just could not find the perfect time to put it aside for another day. Every chapter’s conclusion was not a conclusion at all – it left me hanging for the next and I just couldn’t step away. I give this story a five-star rating and would definitely read future novels by Sebastian Cole.” — The Stuff of Success
Sand Dollar Book giveaway ends February 17th. To enter, click here and scroll down to Rafflecopter.
Posted on December 22, 2012
I’m the type of guy who believes you can achieve anything you set your mind to, as long as you give it your all and don’t give up. So when I decided to write a novel, it didn’t matter to me that I had never done anything like that before. What mattered to me was that I had an amazing story looming in my head, a story that needed to be born. With no experience, training, or education in creative writing, I figured I’d pick up the skills along the way, which is exactly what happened. Besides, I thought, how hard could it be to write a book? Well, I’d soon find out.
What I thought would take a couple of months, took a couple of years. After five months of writing everyplace and everywhere, I finally reached the “finish line” of my manuscript – that magical day when you type, “THE END.” Okay, so I wrote a manuscript; now what? The first thing I did was to copyright it, followed by sending it out to those of my friends who read a lot. This worked out great, providing me with honest feedback in various aspects. Then it was back to rewriting the story, and when I was done, I rewrote some more. Next, I hired a professional to critique the story, who gave me invaluable advice, which meant more rewriting. I soon learned Lesson One in writing: writing is rewriting. There’d always be room for improvement.
By this point in time during this process, I felt that the story had risen to a level of brilliance. But what about my writing style and voice? It needed to be just as good as the best-selling authors’, because they don’t put an asterisk next to your name along with an explanation about your education. So I spent months combing through the manuscript, trying to bring the level of writing up to the level of the story.
When I felt I was ready, I tried soliciting literary agents with a one-page query letter, synopsis, and whatever their submission guidelines called for. Oh, did I mention the Catch 22 in traditional publishing? Apparently, you need a literary agent to get traditionally published. However, in order to get a literary agent, you need to have already been published. So it’s nearly impossible to get an agent unless you’re a famous celebrity, politician, sports figure, etc. Certainly, they’d give me more credence if I had a BFA or MFA in creative writing, which I had not. Like all roads to success, this one’s paved with rejection. And after tons of rejection letters from literary agents, I had a choice to make: give it up or step it up. Since giving up is not really in my vocabulary, I stepped it up.
So I hired an editor, and the first thing she did was to cross off 5,000 unnecessary words. For instance, you shouldn’t write, “run fast.” You should simply write, “run”, because obviously if you’re running, it’s fast. Who knew?? Besides copy-editing, my editor did developmental editing, too, telling me where the story needed to be improved. It was kind of like digging for treasure – she’d tell me where to dig, and I’d come up with something remarkable, as if she knew I had it in me before I ever did. I learned a lot simply by reading her edits and comments, and I became a better writer for it.
I had rewritten the manuscript time and time again for a period of two years, and in the process, I learned how to write. Looking back, I had no idea how long it was going to take or how hard it was going to be. Writing the manuscript, however, was the easy part. Navigating my way to a successful book, now that’s the hard part.
After getting the go-ahead from my editor, I hired a cover artist, designer, and formatter; and I was on my way to self-publishing my first novel, SAND DOLLAR: A Story of Undying Love. Now it was time to find out how good it really was. I set up a website, SebastianColeAuthor.com, entered contests, gave away free books to reviewers, and waited for the reviews to start coming in.
And the results? Well, the reviews have been mostly outstanding, with an average rating of 4.6 stars (out of 5 stars) on Amazon with over 60 reviews. People who have reviewed SAND DOLLAR have even called it the best love story they’ve ever read, with many of them comparing me to Nicholas Sparks. I was also a finalist in ForeWord Firsts debut literary competition for first-time authors. Who knew?!
But my greatest reward lies not in any number or rating. My greatest reward lies in the effect I’ve had on the lives of others through my writing. People who’ve read SAND DOLLAR, especially those who have lost a loved one, feel that the book was written just for them, as if the author expressed in words what they have always felt. One person wrote that the story “touched the very depths of her soul,” and she’ll “cherish the book forever.” She loved the book so much that she even had the book made into earrings!
I only wish more people knew about it so they could read it. I honestly feel the world would benefit, if they only knew… What I need is exposure. But how do I do that? It would be great if I had a YouTube video with millions of hits, or if Oprah were to pick SAND DOLLAR for her book club, but neither is likely to happen at the moment. So I sent out press releases to local newspapers and got a couple of articles written about me. I’ve done several book signings, and I’ve talked at different venues about my experiences. Despite my success, my book is currently only available online, not in bookstores, and very few people have ever heard of me.
So it’s back to the literary agents I go. I’ve somehow made it full circle. But will I have a different result now that SAND DOLLAR has gained traction? Stayed tuned to find out. Regardless of whether or not SAND DOLLAR ever makes it big, touching the lives of others through my writing has been the single most gratifying thing I have ever done in my life. And pursuing my dreams has made all of the difference.
Life’s a journey. I can’t see what lies ahead, but I know one thing for sure: when I look behind, I see the things that I’ve accomplished… and I smile with pride.
Posted on December 16, 2012
Win a signed copy of my debut novel, SAND DOLLAR: A Story of Undying Love at The Romance Reviews. The contest ends December 30th, so don’t miss out!
Posted on December 10, 2012
★★★★★ An Absolute Must Read! AMAZING LOVE STORY!
“This book is absolutely amazing. The best love story I think I have read in a long time. You will cry like a baby, I know that I did. This story is so incredibly well written, you will find yourself immersed in this one. The characters are so true to life, I felt like I was right beside them. This is truly a love story you will remember for years to come. I can’t wait to read more from Sebastian in the future. We all have a soul mate, I was lucky enough to find mine after many years of us going back and forth. To the real life Noah, never give up on your one true love. Please, please, please people , read this book, it is an extraordinary story of undying love. This is a read you can not miss out on. Get it, read it, love it! I know I did! AMAZING! THANK YOU TO SEBASTIAN COLE! I look forward to the next one. ABSOLUTELY COMPELLING!” — Deb B
Posted on December 10, 2012
★★★★★ Great book for the romantic
“Mr Cole wrote a lovely sad bittersweet love story that you will not want to put down!!!! For anyone who has been in love with their forever soul mate. You cannot go wrong with this story.” — Lisa
Posted on December 10, 2012