Archive for the ‘self-publishing’ Tag

Anything Better than Ingram Spark?   Leave a comment

I am trying to get into the brick-and-mortar Barnes & Noble here (the manager is soliciting local writers), but I need to go through a wholesaler to distribute my paperbacks.

No problem as I had things set up on Ingram Spark for The Willow Branch … until I got to the pricing and … my heavens, they want the book priced out of the market. That’s how it is with Createspace too. If I choose to forego any profit, it would still cost $20 retail. Who would pay that for a great book by a well-known author let alone a great book by an unknown indie?

So, I’m going to B&N tonight to troll the Alaska author section and see what is standard pricing. Could be I’m wrong. But the question I have is — are there any alternative out there?

The Long Trail   Leave a comment

I’m involved with a book promotion thread on Facebook, which has its own website. From time to time, I might run articles from there as part of my author promotions.

I have spoken with some authors impatient to see promotional efforts produce instant results, rarely give it the time to blossom, or see little or no fruit, decide the tree is dead, and uproot it.

Stop Burning Bridges – Paula’s This and That Blog

PictureThis is burning bridges by lopping off tails, trails, or roots by leaving groups because of disagreements, or because the group is perceived to be ineffectual.  This is not to say there are times, one must fold one’s tent, pack the bag, and head off, but think before exiting.  I have watched books snatched from selling sites because their stats were not up to author’s expectations, the baby out with the bath water syndrome.

Selling a story is a job, one of salesmanship, and customer service.  No matter you want to eviscerate critics of your creation, sit on your hands until the rage passes or until you can write that emotion in an upcoming story.  I would recommend one sits on the urge to bolt and run from selling sites, too.  Chalk up reselling of your book as promotion, not as a rejection or as a loss of revenue.  Few people have the room to shelve every book, bought and read.

Learn to listen to your customer needs, in this case, wants to read, and supply the products/books.  This ties in with being a writer, and becoming a better, or a more effective writer.  However, there is a market for all types of stories and the point of The Long Tail for me was learning  my niche.  The Long Tail will point you in the direction you need with little to no cash outlay, only motivation, determination, and perseverance.  This is internet marketing 101, if you will, and is slightly less than 300 pages.

Business 2.0 ~ “If you are selling anything that can be aggregated, such as books, music, film, software, and digital products that don’t need distribution centers, The Long Tail could be your guide to becoming the next big dog.”

The Long Tail                                    Your Local Library                                     Chris Anderson on Amazon

Preparing to Print   1 comment

Front Cover UpdateI’ve spent the last two weeks formatting The Willow Branch for print.

I’m not a perfectionist. As I’ve said before, I worked in the mental health field for 15 years and professionals tell me I have a high commitment to quality that does not quite tip over into perfectionism.

If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right because I want my readers to enjoy not just the story, but the process of reading the story.

That was a lot of work!

Today, I finally got to see the digital version of The Willow Branch in print.

I knew I had it in me to design a professional quality cover without resorting to a professional designer. Not everyone can do this, but I’ve been involved in desktop publishing in a professional capacity for a long time. I just didn’t expect it to be so hard to meet CreateSpace standards and it turned out, it wasn’t, but that their auto vetter was confused for reasons they aren’t explaining. So, after three uploads that threw errors and an email asking why I kept getting the same error message that didn’t make sense (no, really, my front cover image is really truly on the right and my back cover image is really truly on the left), I got to see the result today. It’s one thing to see it in a flat image on my computer and another to see it in 3-D view.


Full Cover for CS

I’ve ordered my proof copies and hope the paperback will be available by Thanksgiving!

Publishing Checklist   Leave a comment

Most people think the big thing is writing the book – and it is! You can’t publish anything if you don’t write it.

But then there’s …

Editing, which requires enlisting alpha and beta readers or paying loads of money that broke writers don’t have until they become published authors and probably not even then. (CHECKED DONE)

Cover art – I’m not really an artist, but I’ve got great Publisher and decent Paint skills (CHECKED DONE)

Then there’s promoting the book. Notice I put this BEFORE publishing, because a self-published author needs to build a network BEFORE putting a book out there so that someone will know when you publish. (CHECKED IN PROGRESS)

Formatting for publication. Smashwords and Amazon have standards and since there’s nobody checking my work, I have to check it myself. Getting the Word (or equivalent) document to conversion readiness was a new skill. (CHECKED DONE)

Buying the ISBN. I’m an independent author, so my publisher (me!) has to buy an ISBN for the book I am publishing. I bought 10 because my calculations say I’ll need more before the Daermad Cycle is complete. (CHECKED DONE)

Create a Press Kit (CHECKED DONE). Upload it to my website (IN PROGRESS)

Converting to the various formats required to upload to Smashwords or Amazon (CHECKED IN PROGRESS). If my laptop screen hadn’t broken, it would be accomplished now, but it isn’t. Maybe the screen will arrive today and I’ll report tomorrow that I’ve reached this goal.

Announce online Launch Party via Facebook (COMING TO A LAPTOP NEAR ME THIS WEEK). Party to be held October 20 (barring unforeseen circumstances)



Author Interview with Bill Leviathan   Leave a comment

Today, I’m visiting with Bill Leviathan, the author of Set Me Alight, a conspiracy thriller.  Tell us a little about yourself, Bill.

I’m a twenty something kid who thinks a little too highly of himself, trying to see if there’s any room for me in the crowded world of fiction writing. I write what makes me happy, and pray it won’t cause too much pain to anyone willing to read it.

Set Me Alight occurs in a dystopian world where the U.S. economy has collapsed. Work is scarce and the protagonist Pete travels west to fight forest fires, only to find himself embroiled in the politics of a mining town. Where did you get your inspiration for each angle of the story?”

I have a friend who until recently was bumming around the country, moving from place to place working crap jobs. A few of my other friends and myself began joking around with him about his new vagabond lifestyle. At one point I created a short (about two paragraph long) plot outline starring my friend as a Snake Plissken wannabe character fighting forest fires out in the Rockies. It was filled with cheesy action-movie clichés and ended with my friend fighting the President on the top of the Freedom Tower in NYC.

A few months later I was visiting family over the holidays and was getting a little bored. I found that movie plot outline, retooled it to be a bit less outlandish, and quickly wrote the prologue.

A lot of the inspiration for the story just came from watching some older action movies about down-on-their luck guys overcoming odds to try and save the day, whether willingly or no. I re-watched a lot of John Carpenter movies while writing Set Me Alight.

I was also reading through some Jim Thompson books at the time. He was great at writing these depraved and twisted characters all from the first person. For Set Me Alight, I wanted to try and write Pete as a character who may have saw himself as being a Jim Thompson character, but really was just a lonely bitter kid.

You do a really excellent job of drawing the character of Pete. My step-father was a rubber-tramp during the Depression and some of the descriptions you give are very on-point with his memories of shanty towns, hoovervilles and mining towns where you might scrape up a bit of work here and there. Did you do a lot of research?

I didn’t do a whole lot of research specifically for this book. The Depression era is something I’ve always been interested in and knew some background information going into writing this story.

Back in high school, for US history I had a project/field trip where our class had to create our own hooverville in a field behind the school. We were allowed to bring in whatever building material we wanted, which was mostly cardboard boxes and tarps. We spent all day outside “living” in our hooverville homes. It was towards the end of February and it had just recently snowed. For lunch we were each given a single boiled hotdog. Looking back on it I’m surprised the school let our teacher do that project. It was definitely one of the most enjoyable  things I ever had to do in terms of school work.

You self-published Set Me Alight. Did you start out to self-publish. Why self-publish?

When I first started writing I had not put any thought into publishing the story. It was simply a personal project I was using to prove something to myself. Once I finished, I then started researching a bit into the world of publishing. Traditional publishing seemed like a dark and scary place. I just simply wanted what I wrote out there to see if anyone would appreciate it. I then researched self publishing, and really liked the idea of owning everything regarding the story. If I fail, I have only myself to blame.

Do you have any advice for others who are seeking to self-publish their own writing?

Spend more time than you think you need to editing, and find some beta readers if possible. I wrote my story in complete isolation. I didn’t tell anyone I know about it until I had already hit “publish” on Amazon and Smashwords. The initial product I put out suffered from it, and was quite rough. It’s slowly improved since I first put it out there, but I feel I would have been much better off if I’d given it time to settle after completing writing before I published. The excitement got the better of me, I guess.

What are your plans for the future with regards to writing?

I’m currently writing a story about a lonely, bitter, pseudointellectual, and extremely paranoid type character who’s hearing a voice in his head saying someone is following him and that he needs to do crazy things like jump out of windows and blow up cars. I doubt I get many points for originality with the story, but I’ve enjoyed writing it so far.



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