The book publishing world has gone through a revolution in recent years that is similar to the one that happened in music ten years ago when it became easy for bands to publish their own music and have their fans download it, instead of dealing with the middlemen – the record companies. With the rise of e-books it’s easy for authors to self-publish, rather than go through the laborious process of trying to get a book contract with a mainstream publisher.
But is it worth it? There are many pros and cons to self-publishing, and if you’re thinking of doing it, these are the questions you should ask.
How long am I willing to wait to get published?
If you have a story or idea that is just gnawing at you and you feel compelled to publish it, you’ll definitely get it into your readers’ hands a lot quicker if you self-publish. The traditional publishing route can take years, from the time when you send out your first manuscript to when the book actually gets on the market. If you self-publish an e-book it will be a matter of months from the time you write it to when you can publish it.
Am I willing to promote and market my book, or do I want somebody else to do that?
Traditional publishers do a lot of the marketing for their books, which takes pressure off the authors. If you self-publish, the marketing begins and ends with you.
Do I want to do all the editing, cover design, formatting, etc. myself, or do I want somebody else to do that?
Again, traditional publishers have the manpower to do the jobs involved in the book’s presentation. If you self-publish, you’re responsible for all that.
How much of a royalty do I want?
Self-publishers get to keep up to 70 percent of their book’s income. The royalty offered by publishers is usually in the single digits. Self-publishing is a viable option for some authors, but for others, it’s not as attractive as going the traditional publishing route. It’s a question you need to research and think about, to determine if it’s right for you.
R. Lynn Archie
Has there ever been a time when you wanted to get essential thoughts down on paper but just could not get yourself moving to do so? Whether you are a writer, student, or simply someone wanting to inscribe a thank you note, it can happen. The magic question is what can be done to get out of the rut?
Think about what you are trying to write about in the first place. Start by focusing on the task at hand and then begin mentally de-cluttering your mind of everything else.
Put your thoughts down on something tangible like paper or a computer. If you are anything like me, as soon as a great inspiration pops into my head I have to immediately write it down. When you have a busy schedule, it’s very easy to forget things. With this method, you then have the option to go back to your notes later on. It’s a helpful way to kick-start your creative juices to get it flowing again.
Select a means to push your productivity. This can be a special room, a selective piece of furniture like a bed or chair, a special music playlist, or even something straightforward as a change of scenery like sitting in the park or going to a coffee shop. Whatever you decide to do it should be something that is refreshing, and will give you the ability to concentrate.
All it takes is the decision to get started, and as long as you stay motivated and passionate you have the foundation to work through getting out of a rut.
R. Lynn Archie
Sunday was a busy day, but I made time to work on Trial of Marriage 3. Slowly but surely, I’m making progress. Since this is the final book of the series, it’s kind of sad to have the story ending because I’ve really enjoyed the characters. Nevertheless, I’m striving to make sure that all loose ends are cleared up and thoroughly explained. I really wanted to have the book ready by Mother’s Day; however, I’m afraid that’s not going to happen. But, I’ll keep you updated, and I’ll have a better feel about the release date around the middle of May.
The fact that someone other than myself enjoys reading my books means a lot, so thank you for your support. Oh before I forget, I wanted to mention that you should sign up for my website mailing list at www.rlynnarchie.com. I plan on doing spontaneous giveaways and freebie stuff for my mailing list participants.
Talk soon, and enjoy your day!
Do you know the protocol of having duplicate books on your Amazon KDP Select bookshelf? I didn’t before, but I do now. First off, as much as I would like to keep my bookshelf tidy by deleting unwanted things, unfortunately, there is no option to take that action. Maybe there is a way internally through KDP, I’m not sure, but what I am certain of is an author is not able to make it happen.
The alternative solution is to change your active book to an unpublished draft. And, if you want to start off fresh still using the same book title, but not wanting the baggage that goes along with it (e.g. reviews, editorials, etc.) you would then use the option “Add a New Book” to create a new book with the same title but under a different ASIN. To be frank, my thinking was the old, unpublished draft would be closed and obsolete, however, that wasn’t the case.
What I came to learn was if you have the same title book their detail pages automatically link within 48 hours after an additional edition or version is published as long as the content, title, and contributors are exactly the same. The only way to avoid this automatic action in the future is to change a small detail in the title by adding a subtitle or a change to the form in which the author’s name is written as desired. You might perform this with the unpublished draft so the system doesn’t feed and match details for similarities.
Though in my case, since it had already happened, it took a few times going back and forth in correspondence with KDP representatives to get things corrected. Things ended well, but it was a headache getting to that point. Hopefully my experience prevents you from making the same error.
I thought I would do a Black Friday special for the weekend. My romance novel Trial of Marriage is free for the entire weekend. Go grab you up a copy!!
Edited Version – Second Edition
Trey Moretti has it all, dream job, loving wife Angelique, and finally a baby on the way. What he does not plan on is his past sneaking up on him. Gradually things start to unravel as Trey fight to keep his family intact. But when that last big skeleton is finally out of the closet will it mean the end for Trey and Angelique?
**Warning, story contains profanity and scenes of sexual content. Intended for mature readers only.**
US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AP5NQ4C
India – http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B00AP…
UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0…
DE – http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00AP…
FR – http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B00AP…
ES – http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B00AP…
NL – http://www.amazon.nl/gp/product/B00AP…
JP – http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B0…
BR – http://www.amazon.com.br/gp/product/B…
CA – http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00AP…
MX – http://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/product/B…
AU – http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B…
R. Lynn Archie
Yesterday I attended the cover reveal for The Falling of Grace by Marisa Oldham. I’m sharing it with you today.
Here is a behind the scenes look at how the cover came together, in Marisa’s words:
Shooting The Falling of Grace cover…
As a photographer, and the writer of The Falling of Grace, I had a definite vision in my mind of what I wanted the cover to look like, down to the colors and mood. I knew pretty much what I wanted the model to wear, what I wanted her hair to look like, the time of day to shoot so that I got what I wanted, and what elements I would use to bring in the concept from the original book cover.
My first obstacle was getting in contact with baby Grace. Although, I did think I needed someone older to play Grace’s part this time around, once again my mind was stuck on one idea. Thankfully my dear friend Heather Smith ended up being the angel that she is and helped me move. This sounds weird, but as a photographer I watch people and when I looked at Heather from behind and at her side profile, I knew she would make the perfect Grace.
The second obstacle was finding the perfect outfit. I dream cast Candice Swanepole as Grace and there was one particular photo of her that really stood out to me as “TFOG Grace.” When we start TFOG Grace is no longer a naive seventeen year old girl, she’s a successful woman of 24, she should dress with style, but in such a simple way that it comes off stunning. I pictured her in leather pants. Heather didn’t own leather pants. That didn’t stop us. The day of the shoot, which neither of us even planned on shooting that day, we stopped at several thrift stores and found the perfect pair of faux leather pants…complete with little G’s – for Grace (really it’s cause they are Guess). I literally paid $5 for these perfect pants…which BTW you don’t even see in the shot I chose for the cover – LOL.
So, like I said, we had no idea we were shooting that day. I just called Heather and asked, “Are you busy? Want to shoot today?” Something in my gut told me it was the right day. I was a tad disappointed because I had decided that the mood for the cover should be dark, this book is not all hearts and flowers, and it was sunny, but the clouds were abundant and I knew this would make for a killer sunset.
After very little preparation, off my sister and I went to the “oak tree” to meet the model. Heather got stuck in traffic due to an accident and the clock was ticking and the light was fading.
As I was shooting, laying on the ground, trying to get the shot right, I can’t deny how disappointed I was. None of the shots looked right. I had Heather too far away from me for one, thanks to my sister Carraine this was quickly corrected, but the light was simply hideous. The colors that were bouncing off the field were reflecting onto the tree and making it yellow and I was just downright pissed. I’m pretty sure I got a little teary.
Then…off to our left we saw lightening and heard the thunder. I’m not kidding, it was like a miracle. I’ve never seen a storm like that in the 9 years I’ve lived here and never in my life have I seen a sky like the one I saw that night. I really don’t have words to describe what the sky looked like and how intense it got as we kept shooting. The wind picked up and the sky seemed to bleed (perfection) and Mother Nature gave me exactly what I was looking for. While her pose didn’t come out how I envisioned it, I think it really expresses the angst Grace feels in this book. As you saw I brought in the star element from the original book concept to signify The Falling of Grace.
Here are some STRAIGHT OUT OF CAMERA behind the scenes shots to show you what the sky looked like without post processing.
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The Falling of Grace is in the process of re-editing and coming soon. Here’s a teaser from the book.
You can connect with Marisa on Facebook
When I first began writing, I wasn’t aware that stories were written in points of view. So, what is a point of view? Simply put, it’s a way that writers allow readers to see and hear what’s going on. Point of view in books will contain detail, opinion, or emotion the author wants to accentuate; therefore, a point of view catches the attention of the reader.
The Three Major Kinds of POV
First-person point of view involves the use of either of the two pronouns “I” and “we”. The advantage of this point of view is that you get to hear the thoughts of the narrator, and see the world depicted in the story through his or her eyes. A good novel selection would be Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. The main female character Bella Swan is the narrator; we see things from her point of view.
- (Example) “I loved Phoenix. I loved the sun and the blistering heat. I loved the vigorous, sprawling city.”
Second-person point of view, the narrator tells the story to another character using “you” and “your”. This is the least used POV. You will see this used more in literature such as a cook book. Although a perfect selection of a novel used this way would be Jay McInerney’s, Bright Lights, Big City.
- (Example) “You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy.”
Third-person point of view is the most popular of the three and uses pronouns like “he”, “she”, “it”, “they” or a name. The narrator isn’t present as a character. The writer may choose third-person omniscient in which the thoughts of every character are open to the reader, or third-person limited, in which the reader enters only one character’s mind, either throughout the entire work or in a specific section. A good third person POV book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
- When Jane and Elizabeth were alone, the former, who had been cautious in her praise of Mr. Bingley before, expressed to her sister how very much she admired him.
- “He is just what a young man ought to be,” said she, “sensible, good humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!”
My preference is third person point of view because it’s what I feel the most comfortable with, and it allows me complete freedom in telling my story. I would like to hear from you. Tell me, what point of view you use in your writing?
I noted in my prior post that it’s been a year since self-publishing my first romance novel, and I have to admit that my journey on becoming an indie author has been an enjoyable one. Throughout the year I’ve received so much useful writing advice and information; all which has helped me grow as a writer.
In this post I’m giving back in hopes of helping others; my advice for new indie authors starting out would be, have patience and stay committed. Everyone has hopes and dreams of becoming rich and famous, but realistically there’s a chance that might never happen. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in what you love doing, and what I mean by that is whatever you’re passionate about just stay focused on executing your goal from start to finish. When you can accomplish that then you will always succeed by coming out on top.
Lastly, one final point I’m going to share is do not burn yourself out. I did that writing my first and second novel by not allowing any downtime in between — that was such a bad idea and a big no-no. Nowadays, it’s mandatory that I take breaks in between writing projects. Trust me, even something as small as doing nothing for a weekend but being idle will do you a world of good.
Just remember when it comes to your writing routine make sure you choose a non-stressful schedule that works best for you. All things considered, being an indie author is great, and the best part for me is there’s no one to answer to because I’m the boss!
Talk to you soon,
Come December 2014 it will be two years since I began writing. All in all, I’ve enjoyed sharing my thoughts and stories, but one thing I’m still struggling with is getting book reviews on Amazon.
It puzzles me because my books get a decent amount of sells. In addition, even with giving away free copies I still only manage to get between five to ten reviews. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the ones that take a moment of their time to leave one. Yet, I remain amazed when I see other self-published authors such as myself getting huge numbers of reviews and it really peaks my interest in learning what their secret is in achieving such a productive response?
I do know that Goodreads is a good source and they have groups that offer read for reads or book swaps in return for an honest review; unfortunately, with my busy schedule that option just won’t work for me.
Honestly, I don’t think readers realize just how valuable their input is for authors. Their response helps a lot because it reaffirm if an authors book have gone in the right direction or not. In reading up on this topic I came across a few great tips that readers should know:
- Don’t be afraid of being honest. Do, however, remember to be helpful (and not mean). Don’t just say “it sucks” but tell everyone why it sucked.
- Don’t give away the ending of the book. You can allude to it very vaguely (“the ending surprised me”) but don’t say specific plot details.
- You’re not being graded. Write a review as long or short as you want. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece of art—think of it more as a conversation or what you might tell people you know about this book.
- Make sure that you read the book before you review. This seems like it should be obvious but… it’s not.
I can only speak from my standpoint but if you’ve experienced the same or can shed some light on the question I would love to hear from you.