A Surprise for Your Patience

Happy evening to everyone! I am happy to finally announce that Preservation is in Hard Copy via Amazon within the next 72 hours (currently pending review). I will be posting the link on the Bookstore page as soon as it goes LIVE.

As with any craft, I am learning to format my books properly. While the cover formatting software has changed on Amazon since Purpose was released, I have spent a number of extra hours to try and make the 2nd book as close to the 1st as possible. Self-publishing and a tight budget really restrict options, so it isn’t the ‘perfect’ final draft that I always envision. My hopes and dreams of becoming financially stable as a full-time author will only be realized by continuing to write and release books. Everyone who supports me truly takes a place in my heart as each sale gets me one step closer to achieving my goal. I deeply thank you! 🙂

As such, I have decided to reformat Purpose and re-release it in both eBook format and Paper Copy at a discounted price. I changed everything to ‘single-space’ with a space between each paragraph, so that has drastically reduced the amount of pages for each book. As long as the woman who formatted the cover isn’t terribly busy, you can expect it very soon! If you don’t already own a copy, get ready to purchase a cheaper version than the original edition.

Now that Book 2 is complete, you know what the next steps will be… writing Book 3! I am very excited to wrap everything up, bring everything together, and fill it will suspense and plot twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Once this is complete, I will be working on my next projects (a small book of short stories *possibly* or the beginning to the outline of a fantasy series).

Again, I appreciate your support from the bottom of my heart! Please check back for an update on Preservation‘s official release date along with a link on the Bookstore page.

Book Pricing Rant (I hope other authors can relate)

I felt like this needed to be addressed and I hope that other published authors can relate. I have been getting some flack about the price of my paper copy book being $17.95 through Amazon. When I set up the book through Createspace and then KDP, the minimum price it allowed me to enter is $17.43. There are two categories with pricing – one is within Amazon and the other is through other sellers. Sure, I make more through purchases on Amazon, but it is not comparable to the EBook version, which I am selling for $4.99.

Part of the reason that the prices differ so greatly is because of the book itself. Obviously, a physical copy is going to cost more to produce than simply hosting an electronic version. And yes, I make more per book than I would if I had traditionally published Purpose. Either way, authors are artists who get very little comparatively.

If you think about it, tattoo artists get paid hundreds for their craft. Don’t get me wrong, it is well-deserved. I have a few tattoos and plan on getting more, gladly paying the money for another piece of art on my skin. Artists who sell stuff on Etsy charge for their time and their craft as well, which is why you tend to spend a bit more than if you were to purchase a similar item on a mass-produced website.

That is to be expected. If you provide a service and hand-craft something, you should charge more than something that a machine makes. Us authors spend years on our own craft, creating worlds, and working diligently to create a story. Hours of drafting, editing, and rewriting for one final copy, and I am charging $17.95 for a Print Copy.

What are your thoughts? I am open to hearing your opinions! 🙂

It’s Been WAY Too Long!!

My deepest apologies, followers, for the prolonged absence. I am currently putting the finishing touches on Purpose, getting the Copyright, and cover created. Also, I have been working on Preservation (Book 2), but decided to scrap it and start over as I do not particularly care for how the story is progressing.

As I continue to write, I prefer to have a decent chunk of action. The degree of action varies, but I prefer to keep things exciting. Unfortunately, Book 2 seemed to have a bit more humdrum than I like, so I’m scrapping it and starting over. In addition to that, I am working on bringing a number of short stories into fruition. While it is still in the early stages, I wanted to let all of you know that I haven’t forgotten about this blog! 🙂

I hope everyone is doing well, staying excited for the release of Purpose. Thank you again for your continued support! I’m posting an interesting Writing Prompt that I found on Pinterest this morning! Enjoy and sorry for the poor resolution.

Image result for writing prompts power to heal mental illness

Self Publishing

Self Publishing

So, you’ve finally made it! You now have a nicely-polished novel. And, boy, are you proud! AND YOU SHOULD BE! Not many people make it to the finish line and writing a 70K-100k+ book is very arduous.

Now what? Well you could either go the Traditional Publishing route or you could Self Publish. I’m going to make a case for Self Publishing because that is the choice I made for The Wanderer Trilogy. I want to cover the reasons I’m Self Publishing and help you make the best choice for your literary work of art!

Benefits of Self Publishing – (In my opinion)

There are a number of reasons I want to Self Publish. The good news is that it’s super easy and more widely accepted than it used to be. In the time of technology, the newer generations tend to read the News, Social Media, and (yes) even Novels on e-format. However, there are some of us Millennials (like myself) that are Purists when it comes to books. I always prefer to hold the copy in my hands. And now, with Amazon CreateSpace, you can sell hard copies of your book through Amazon.

To me, Self-Publishing allows a whole additional layer of creativity. Publishing companies have certain ‘formulas’ that they desire. Some will want you to change your book, and the constant battle to just have ONE company say “yes – we want your book” is way too stressful. Not to mention, you have to adhere to different manuscript formats for each company. It’s pointless, it’s outdated (in my opinion), and adds to the stress already compounded from putting your book out there.

Making sure you have the best book that you can is part of the reason you want to use Beta Readers, contracted Editors, and Freelance Cover Designers. Without breaking your bank, you want to have the “Best of the Best” or close to it. Because you don’t have an entire company providing these services, you have to pay for them yourself. However, you won’t be forced to use a specific editor, cover designer, etc.

If you decide to traditionally publish your novel, the amount of money you will make per book will decrease. I’m not sure the exact percentage, but with Self Publishing, you can make roughly $2.00 per book compared to less than $1.00 with Traditional Publishing. Once you gather a following, you can up the price of your books and make a few more bucks! The way I think about it… if I have $20K in Student Debt (*sad face*) and ~15,000 people purchase my book in either eBook or hard copy, minus taxes, I would be able to pay off my debt! That’s really not that many people 🙂

On the flip side, traditionally publishing a novel leaves the company to do your marketing for you. They take care of getting your book into stores. Sure, you make less per book, but you don’t have to market your book alone. If you choose to Self-Publish, you also have to self-market. This means going to bookstores, libraries, boutiques, and random people to sell your book. You’ll want to practice your pitch and be open to rejection. However, you can negotiate with the store owner to benefit both parties. It’s hard work, but it could work out well for you!

I know… on the surface Self-Publishing seems like hard work. But, you are putting in the work to market your novel on your Blog (like this one) and creating fans from the get-go. You’ve already put in the work for your book, what’s a little more elbow grease? If you are willing, you exclusively reap the benefits.

 

Where to Self Publish

I have already mentioned Amazon for the #1 most important place to publish your book. With any of these websites, you have to format your book a specific way. Using Scriviner, you can easily convert your book into popular formats accepted with the Big websites.

  1. Amazon (CreateSpace) – CreateSpace also takes care of the hard copy of your book.
  2. Smashwords – this website is exclusive to eBook format for independent authors. I also believe this publishes your book to smaller eBook websites to get the best coverage without having to know every url.
  3. Kobo – similar to Smash words.
  4. iTunes – this is to get your book on iBooks. If you end up recording an audiobook, I would also publish that here.
  5. Barnes & Noble – this uses the same format as Kindle from Amazon.

 

I really hope this helps! If you have the extra $$$, I would use a Book Printing website (like BookBaby) and print out a few copies of your book. Then, go around to your local libraries, bookstores, etc. and drop off/sell a few of your copies! Any outlet you can think of to sell your book is KEY! 🙂

 

BEST OF LUCK!

Making Your Novel B-E-A-U-Tiful!

If it scares you,it might be agood thing to try.

This is the step that I find myself with Purpose. Today, I’m going to cover the reason I’m using Beta Readers, questions I’m having them answer for the polished and ready to publish version of my novel, the Blurb for the back of your novel, and the cover. These are all necessary steps to take prior to getting your book published. 🙂

First of all, why have Beta Readers? What are they? Well, Beta Readers are a select, handful of people who you choose to read your final draft for gaping plot holes and content critique. Make sure you don’t have too many Beta Readers, though. Less than 5 people is more than enough.

I have 3 Beta Readers. I wanted people of various backgrounds so I could get different perspectives on the questions I pose to them. My father, my husband, and my aunt-in-law (if that’s a thing???). They are all honest with me and always have been. My father and husband have an obsession with fiction, specifically fantasy. My aunt-in-law loves to read and can pick out any large issues with little effort. One is more detail oriented, the other two see the big picture. Things like this are important if you want a well-rounded critique of your novel.

The following questions that I have listed below are pulled from various websites/blogs around the internet so please enjoy!

  1. Did the story hold your interest from the very beginning? If not, why not?
  2. Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the beginning as to whose story it is, and where and when it’s taking place? If not, why not?
  3. Could you relate to the main character? Did you feel her pain or excitement?
  4. Did the setting interest you, and did the descriptions seem vivid and real to you?
  5. Was there a point at which you felt the story started to lag or you became less than excited about finding out what was going to happen next? Where, exactly?
  6. Were there any parts that confused you? Or even frustrated or annoyed you? Which parts, and why?
  7. Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in time sequences, places, character details, or other details?
  8. Were the characters believable? Are there any characters you think could be made more interesting or more likeable?
  9. Did you get confused about who’s who in the characters? Were there too many characters to keep track of? Too few? Are any of the names or characters too similar?
  10. Did the dialogue keep your interest and sound natural to you? If not, whose dialogue did you think sounded artificial or not like that person would speak?
  11. Did you feel there was too much description or exposition? Not enough? Maybe too much dialogue in parts?
  12. Was there enough conflict, tension, and intrigue to keep your interest?
  13. Was the ending satisfying? Believable?
  14. Did you notice any obvious, repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors? Examples?
  15. Do you think the writing style suits the genre? If not, why not?
  16. Would you read the next two books in the trilogy based off this one? If no, why not?
  17. Which parts resonated with you and/or moved you emotionally?
  18. Are there parts where you wanted to skip ahead or put the book down?
  19.  Which parts should be condensed or even deleted?
  20. Which parts should be elaborated on or brought more to life?
  21. Which characters did you really connect to? (None is acceptable)

Other Questions/Comments:

Use as little or as many as you like! This will help make the finishing touches on your book (if you need any at all)! Value critiques, whether or not you decide to actually make the changes.

 

Next is the Blurb and Cover:

I have already posted my Blurb for Purpose but I’m posting it again for reference. Try to keep it under 200 words if you can. Mine is 138 and I had done about 5 revisions on it. I also had my Facebook group vote on which of 3 options that they liked best and this was the winner:

The only remnants of the Old Times are crumbling cities and desolate streets. Their tales, all but lost. Five hundred years have passed since the Old Time Wars, nearly causing the extinction of all humans.

Descendants of the few survivors have since rebuilt. Power, weaponry, and skill in battle now rule the region where Eva Calloway resides. She protects a colony of Rovers from the two largest Gangs in the region, desperate to atone for her own bloody past.

Everything changes when she rescues brothers, Jake and Tommy McAvoy, from a mysterious vault that has not been opened since the wars. With each step closer to finding the boys’ missing father, the ghosts of her past begin to reappear. Now, Eva will be forced to fight her way out of the darkness or else be consumed by it.

Remember: This is the SECOND MOST IMPORTANT part of your book. This is what grabs the reader to buy your book compared to the rest on the shelf. Aside from the cover, this is extremely important. Ask yourself a few questions when forming your Blurb:

How do I encompass the entire book in a few sentences?

What important information do I want to convey?

What parts of the book will grab the reader?

How much do I want to give away to the reader in the Blurb? (Is there a plot twist I want to keep secret?)

How can I write this concisely yet cover enough to describe my book properly?

Try writing a few paragraphs at first and then narrowing down and combining sentences. Give yourself a few options and have your fans/family/friends choose the best one. Which one would make them want to read your book? Good luck with this 🙂

 

And Finally… *Drum roll* Your Cover!

There are about a thousand different places that you can have your cover created. If you are talented in the visual arts (or Photoshop), you can design your own. Since I am neither, I have to find a different route.

If you outsource your cover to someone else, you have a few options. But first, make sure you have a good description of how you would like it to look (if you’re picky). At the very least, a description of your book so the artist can play around with images.

  1. 99 designs – This website is in the middle in terms of pricing. A book cover design will run you about $299 or more. Basically, you set a price over the minimum amount and receive dozens of designs from various artists. Then, you choose your favorite and they receive the money. They seem to be very high quality, but I do believe there you have to pay separately for an ebook cover.
  2. Canva – This website is helpful if you want to design your own cover. They have templates to work off of, but make sure the photos that you use are stock photos. Otherwise, you may have to pay in order to use them. Canva has a few that you only have to pay $1-5 per photo.
  3. Freelance Artists – you can find a few of these around the internet with their own websites. They tend to charge quite a bit, but have years of experience and produce high quality covers. It really just depends how much you are wanting to spend. If you know a few colleges in your area, you can snag a student working on a portfolio to design your cover for ~$50.
  4. Book Printing Companies – Online Book Printing companies sometimes offer Cover Design and Editing services as well as printing hard copies of your novel. These usually run a bit, but most websites have a fleet of artists and it is well worth the $$$ if you have a design stuck in your head. (#3 is a good option for this as well)
  5. Fiverr – This is the option I’m using. Why? Everything starts at $5! There are a few people who design quality book covers (ebook is $5, but hard copy may run you $50ish). The one downside is the wait time. Since there are a few artists on this website, they have other projects in queue and may take a little bit to get your design completed. If you don’t have a set deadline to release your book, or if your deadline is a few months away, this is a great option!

So there you have it! Hopefully, after these final steps, you have a beautiful polished document ready for print! Stay tuned for the benefits of Self-Publishing 🙂

 

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