Archive for the ‘Self Publish Progress’ Category

Continuing Self Goals

Participant-2014-Twitter-ProfileAfter being self-published for so many years (mine started around 2008), the train’s steam could start to wane…or just be a trickling consistent stream.

That’s where I am.

There’s a lot of writers who’s steam has run out. The Gold Rush for self-publishing, and making lots of money, seemed to almost now end. There’s no longer those amazing, immediate stories out there like there used to be.

Nothing to keep you PUMPED UP!

These days, all the news is about Amazon and its deals, and how all of this will effect the future of the sales and prosperity of the written word. But the world of the distributors and sales, though quite important for today and the future, isn’t as heartfelt, and close to home, as the news and stories of your fellow authors.

Here’s to changing the way of thinking about these days!!

Today, things have just settled down to the normal life of an author, which is being the Lone Self-Publisher. And that’s alright. Just keep remembering to look forward to each completion of the next book, and be happy with, yet again, that one, single, next buy.

And, more importantly, continue to keep the fires burning with socializing with your fellow authors….like NaNoWriMo.

Even with NaNoWriMo, I’m not quite up to par with the word count. I still continue to set my own personal goals, and that would be just to get past that 10,000 word count (which I’ve done. HURRAY!!!). Of course, the main goal is to complete the 50,000 word count by November 31, which is similar to the goal for most authors which is to be famous and/or make a living from writing alone. But sometimes, life makes sidetracks where you can’t quite reach the goal….for now. The main goal is still there, but to get there just might take a bit more struggle and much more hard work…and time.

With time, one does achieve one’s goals.

I did reach the 50,000 word count my first four years; and, at one time I received thousands of downloads of my book; and, at one time, I had a steady buy of three (3) books a month, but that is all now done…for now.

The good days come and go, and they come again. The bottom line is to continue on to reach them all.

Until Next Time!bite





When You Don’t Give Up…

GoogleAlertMy previous post talked about all the doom and gloom that’s been going around with self-publishing, so I wanted to give a little pick-me-up about what happened to me recently.

As those of you know, I can’t scream and shout about big numbers of sales or how I can even pay a single bill. I get about three (3) sales a month, which, I’ve always stated, is a great steady and wonderful thing for me because I’ve surpassed family friends and I’ve got people buying and reading my stories–without even really marketing, mind you. I always wanted strangers to read me, and that’s what continuously happens with my peanut sales. 🙂

Then there’s those months that might go by when I didn’t get those three (3) buys, or maybe just two (2) or one (1) or none (0)…something happens that makes those down months very uplifting!

See my picture up top? That’s my Google Alerts email. Google Alerts is something that will send you an email based on text someone would type in the search engine. I’ve put my pen name in there–something that was advised to do some time ago when I first started self publishing–just to see when someone is talking about me. Well, an alert popped up doing one of my down months and made my day! It was a Science Fiction website that put my 3rd book of the Calling Series as a suggestion for people to read. I don’t know who looks at this site, but someone took time to post my book’s image on it and it’s a link to something I’ve created.

And That’s Awesome!

Then something else came about. I found out from the Kindle Boards of the Writer’s Cafe that there’s a season where novels sales are really low or where novels aren’t bought at all, and that season is Summer. From Mid-May to Mid-September is that time period where new self-publishers shouldn’t fret about sales, and it’s talked about by an experience author, Dean Wesley Smith. This is knowledge that should be passed on, and that’s what I do with this blog. Because having that extra help of information always creates that sigh of relief.

From one Lone Self-Publisher to another….

Until Next Time!




Is my Book Cover included in the copyright protection of my book?

I just went through the CopyRight Office for my last two books, and they are now buckling down on their procedures. Before, I just had to send electronic works, but now, if there’s a paperback version of my work available to buy, I also need to provide two (2) physical proofs of that as well. If my novels were selling in eBook format only, I wouldn’t have to mail the CopyRight Office proof of the work just upload the digital format.

So, then there was this thing about my Book Cover and if I Own it. I had two choices, which they emailed to me and let me know how I should answer.

CHOICE ONE: If I didn’t make the Book Cover, then the registration record must contain an explanation of how I obtained the copyright book cover designer. I can then say it was transferred “By written agreement”.

CHOICE TWO: Alternatively, if the artwork was done on a work-for-hire basis, and that I, the author of the text, was the employer, then I can say that. When a work is made for hire, the employer is considered the author, and not the individual(s) who created the work. I can then authorize the CopyRight office to name me as the author of the “for hire” artwork.

So, if you pay someone to do the cover for you, just let the CopyRight office know that the artwork was “for hire” and that says that you own it and it will also be copyrighted, belonging to you, along with your novel.

Just wanted to pass along that bit of new information. I always learn something new in this business.

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On a personal note…. Yeah, yeah, I haven’t been posting like I used to. I’m working on a novella and as well as a sideline of marketing, which is also fun for me. I’m still doing some testing on this marketing, which I really don’t do much of, or rather very little of–marketing, that is. So, I’ll let you know how it works.


Until Next Time!



OK With Not Recovering Costs

Money. Money. Money. That’s what some potential novelists think about when they enter into the decision on trying to get their book next to a BUY button.

The first thing an author does is to research how to get their books published. And the first thing that they see are these someones. Then, they make a chart of: “them” versus “me“.

They hear all about how much someone else is making; how someone else was able to leave their day jobs; how someone else’s novels are soooo popular; how someone else is getting hundred and thousands of hits on their blog sites a day…. But then when they get into the arena, they’re bombarded with disappointment because their books aren’t selling, or not selling as well as the someone else’s, and they’re not as popular, and no one sees them. They then sulk in a corner, degrade themselves for being failures or tell themselves that they weren’t good at writing anyway, and they disappear from the scene, never to achieve their dreams at all.

I’ve talked about this before, and I wanted to talk about it again. I wish there was an entire blog on the How To Be Successful…Actual Answers. In fact, I wish every single author would write the honesty of being a success. And at every online site there should be a statement as follows:

Their numbers will NOT predict MY success

That statement should be branded into every new author’s mind and have temporary tatooes stamped on the back of both of their typing hands for one week of every quarterly period of the year.

And, again, if you hear writers stating that they don’t write for the money and they don’t care who reads their work and that they’re writing for THEMSELVES, then they are NOT authors…they’re writing DIARIES. An author has something they want to say and they want to say it to someone, a group of someones, or to the entire world. That is what an author is. That is what defines a novelist.

And Money Is Just The Icing On The Cake.

Yes, I spend a lot of money getting my books together and putting this business (and yes, it’s a business) together. I spent a lot more money than I will get back in sells. However, as I stated before as to the WHY I decided self-publishing, I feel that putting money into something you LOVE to do is not a waste at all. Heck, I spent more on my wedding day, for ONE day, than I have on my novels, and my wedding day was in 2008! Also, grant it, I’m not the type of woman who shops, or get my hair “did”, or get my nails done, or wear make-up. I only shop for clothes maybe once a year, and I wear the same pair of shoes to work daily until I have to replace them. So, for me, spending all this money on my novels and not recovery costs is okay. I put my money into buying something I enjoy just like everyone else who spends money shopping. It equals about the same anyway.

So, in the end, one has to think about the WHY they are putting an effort, and your money, into a novel. Think about a realistic goal, and remember that the J.K. Rowling’s and the Amanda Hocking’s are really Lotto winners…and we know how much of a chance it is to win the Lotto, right?

Remember those statement that you made to want to reach just one, just ONE reader, “…and I will be happy!” And when you reach that goal, then what you need to do is try for one more….just ONE.

Currently, I’m up to three buys a month. Yep, just three. For two years I had no buys. But now, somehow, ONE more person has found me. And then another. And then another.

When I have more items on my virtual book store to sell, I’m hoping that will increase. Until then, I will travel the road of the Lone Self-Publisher and be Happy!





What Do I Need To Do Next Again?

I love written down instructions. When there’s A LOT of steps to do, then “words that stay” (as mentioned in The Dark Crystal on defining what “writing” is), written instructions, are there to help when you need them.

I’m back to doing my self-publishing steps for two more books which I have finally finished writing and self-editing. Now, the 2nd and 3rd books of The Calling Series (Jetta and Creations) are ready to go for my editor. She has Jetta right now and we’ll start on Creations in a little over a month from now, after Jetta is done. I’ve also contacted my Book Cover Designer, and she’s off to creating the cover for Jetta as well.

I kept forgetting, “What do I need to do next again?” and I’m so glad that I have this blog to go back to figure out what I missed. My Step to Self Publishing has those necessary layers that I just forget how to do:

  • BookTrailers – Got to get my pictures at Dreamstime and music at AudioJungle
  • Copyright – Will go to website after getting Book Cover and Editing done
  • ISBN – Check! Already have a block of them, BUT, I got to update the title with the associate book for Bowker
  • Format for Paperback – Will do Steps here. And Uploade to CreateSpace
  • Marketing – I wanna do the PRLOG again, just because I want to DO EVERYTHING!
  • Update Social Media Sites – Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Facebook Page – once everything is uploaded and submitted to Amazon Kindle and Smashwords

Hmmm. Is that it? I th-think so…. Oh well, if I missed something, I’ll just go back to the blog page and retrace my steps.

Until Next Time!



Need an Editor? Need a Book Cover Designer?

Pst! Pst! Hey. Over here? Need something? I got you covered.

The place to go to help you on your book designing and self-publishing path are sites where other self-publishers hang out. They’re the “been there, done that” crowd who has paved the way to make it a bit more easier for yourself.

I go to KindleBoards.com.

You can ask any question and you’ll get a slew of opinions and different point-of-views and different tastes in tea and coffee. And getting various types of ideas and opinions always helps me on making a decision on what to do.

All types of opinions help you formulate your own way and your own path.

You can take a piece of idea here, and take a piece over there, and a piece right around the corner, and a teensie, weenie piece from that person you just don’t like (but that part of the idea was pretty good). Just post and ask your question and you’ll get answers.

It’s like looking into a crystal ball.

Until Next Time!






Eggs in One Basket — Amazon?

Fear.

I hear a lot on the internet about Amazon and that ole saying of “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” type of thing. And it makes me pause and think.

What’s all the FEAR about?

Okay. So. Yeah. There’s several authors who are making their living getting their checks and payments from Amazon.

Ok. And?

Isn’t that what we do with our day-to-day jobs EVERY DAY?

Uh. YEAH! Of course, we do. Every day, majority of people are depending on their ONE PAYCHECK from their Day Job. EVERY DAY.

How many people feel trapped every day at their jobs because that’s what “pays the bills”? How many people stay at a job they can’t stand because “they have to”. Uh huh. Yeah. We put our eggs in one basket all the time.

Sooooooo….what’s the FEAR all about?

Sometimes, you just have to do the: LET’S STOP AND THINK (something I hear on the TV cartoon series DORA a lot, giving that I have a toddler in the house and I’m subjected to it. Heh. Heh.).

So yea, Let’s Stop And Think.

Thinking is what helps you conquer fear. And we forget to do that sometimes.

So, yeahhhhhhhh, there are authors who are getting their living from ONE COMPANY, but, if anything happens, you have to pick yourself up, and find another way of living to supplement the income you lost or replace it all together. Think Enron people, where employees, not only lost their jobs, but lost their savings/retirement plans as well. That’s a drastic and very heartfelt and sadden case, but you get where I’m coming from.

What you depend on today, may have to change tomorrow. That’s just the way of life.

I don’t see any problem with authors who decide to quit one job and concentrate on getting their paycheck from another–especially a job that they LOVE to do! Write!

If things change, which they do, then they’ll make adjustments accordingly.

Stop all the SKY IS FALLING statements, and the watchful eyes so that you can point a finger and say, “See! I told ya so!” Even if things do go sour, it will be okay.

What’s that other saying?: Sh*t Happens? Yeah. It does. And life goes on.

Be HAPPY for your fellow man, er, author, and let them enjoy their lives.

You can very well become one of them.

Until Next time.



Do I Need An Editor?

EditorsBack in the day, we use to dread that red ink that corrected our English papers. We even described it has “bleeding”. So, what was it about that “bleeding ink” that caused so much anxiety?

CORRECTION! YOU’RE WRONG!!! REDO!


Yep. Redo. And A LOT of it! Along with that blaring kick-in-the-face statement that YOU’RE WRONG!

That about sums up the anxiety of editors, but let’s look at the bright side.

Editors gives that shiny new car that JUST RIGHT polish, which makes it shine (twinkle! twinkle!). They also can notice things that the actual author would not. I mean, we all are individuals and haven’t we been mistaken a few times in our lives? Yeah. Miscommunication. That thing. An editor can look at something that makes absolute sense to you, but may not quite read well to someone else.

It really doesn’t matter how well you’re versed in your language. Doesn’t even matter if you have a PhD in your language. Even the brightest of us needs a second pair of eyes on our work. And if it happens to be perfect, you need someone else to let you know that. I mean, come on, if you happen to be a cutie, you wouldn’t know that unless someone told you, right?

So, yes, I believe that an editor is needed, BUT I absolutely, positively, completely, for certain, understand those who can’t afford one. And I’m gung-ho for those who still want to self-publish and do all the hard work to make sure their master pieces are as well written as possible. You have a dream and you want to achieve it like everyone else. But you still, at least in the beginning of any writing skill, should have your work critiqued.

A lot of people have said Critique Circle was a pretty good place to go to. For those horror, science fiction and fantasy writers, there’s the Critters Workshop. These places are completely free! But, yes, it does take some time to get your work done (A LOT OF MONTHS AND MORE MONTHS), but you would at least learn what you should be looking for in your writing craft.

AND, NO! NO ONE IS GOING TO STEAL YOUR WORK!!

If that concerns you, it’s just $35.00 to upload your work to the CopyRight Office, and you’ll be worried free.

Critiques can be very scary at first, and you might run into a few “rude” reviewers, but mostly critiques are constructive and are therE to help you. You learn which are just opinions and which you really need to take a look at and do a rewrite. There’s a skill in critiquing and being critiqued as well, and it will most definitely help you improve on your storytelling. You want to give your audience an enjoyable read.

AND YOU DO WANT THAT WORK OF PURE AWESOMENESS, RIGHT?!

Bottom line, another pair of eyes, is needed. And NO you can’t use family and friends. They’re bias and won’t tell you your mistakes. It’s strangers that you need because strangers, in the long run, will be your audience. And strangers are the ones who will let you know if your novel is horrible and post it in reviews if it is. And strangers will let you know your novel isn’t worth it because you won’t get hardly any sells. And it’s strangers that will spread the word if your storytelling is AWESOME!

So, yes, let go of your protected and loved child, and send it out into the education system to learn what it needs to learn to succeed in the world. Being in school does take a long time, but it’s so well worth it once you get your degree!

Let it grow. Let it be measured for the awesome skill that it has achieved.

And make that dream come true.

Until next time!



Forgotten Cobweb Stuff

Doing the Self-Publishing thing, you end up doing a lot and being in a lot of things–especially when it comes to the internet. And some things just, well, just fall to the side and accumulate cobwebs.

That’s what happened to my LuLu account.

I started my self-publishing journey on LuLu in 2009. Three of my novels are there. Just sitting there. Nothing happening with them. They just sit. There. Forgotten.

Then, I just happen to hear something on a LinkedIn discussion that LuLu charges for uploading. It does? I asked myself. They didn’t charge for uploads when I started way back when. Hmmm.

So, I went to my account to see what the rates were. I never found it. But I’m figuring it must be something to do with the eNovels. And while I was looking, I noticed my “dashboard” had changed and that one of my eBooks, The Made, was $8.99.

$8.99!!!

I don’t have my eBooks at $8.99!! That’s insane!

I dug a bit deeper and found that my paperback novels were automatically converted to eBooks.

Hmmmm, I said to myself. I think I remember LuLu sending me an email about that.

Oh well. So, I changed the pricing and while I was there, I noticed that same eBook was being distributed to iBookstore and Barnes and Noble.

Huh?

I already have my books there through Smashwords. I didn’t need LuLu to do it too.

I went to Barnes and Noble and, sure enough, that $8.99 pricing overwrote my Smashwords pricing at Barnes and Noble. And they have LuLu as the Publisher and not MY NAME! Dab Nab Bit!!!!

I turned off the LuLu distribution thingy, and now I wait to see if my Smashwords would take back over. If not, I’ll have to contact Smashwords to distribute my novel back to Barnes and Noble, which would have the NORMAL and RIGHT pricing for an eBook.

I also added the Preview feature to my eBooks on Lulu and updated my Author profile. The Author page was something new that wasn’t there before…or, at least I didn’t think it was. It wasn’t there the last time I visited it, which was some cobweb time ago. It’s pretty neat and I liked that there’s an Author profile.

Sigh. I tell ya. The things you have to keep up with in this business. But…I wouldn’t change it for the world.

It’s still fun!


Until Next Time!



The Secret of Self Publishing Success

I posted earlier about if Self Publishing Worth It?, and the first question was: Is it profitable?

I know there’s a lot of numbers out there of people stating how much money and how many books they are selling, but you must remember something, and keep it clearly in your head: their numbers won’t predict your success.

I was reminded of that on a Kindle forum. And I wanted to reiterate what success REALLY is. In my posting on How To Find Readers For Your Novel–ACTUAL STEPS! Honest Answer, I made some statements on success and I’m just going to copy and paste them again in this posting.

STEPS TO SUCCESS

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My numbers are small potatoes to some, but these small potatoes met my life-time goal of actually having strangers reach into their pocket and consider paying their hard-earned cash on one of my stories. I just wanted to share, and I always kept wondering if someone, anyone, would enjoy what I wanted to tell. And that goal was well met.

You might say, “Well, you’re not successful! You’re not selling thousands of books!” To me, that’s the same thing as saying, “Well, you’re not a millionaire! So, you’re not successful!” And to both of those statements I’ll say, “Successful? Why, yes I am!” Because I met my goal to being successful in life. I have a house. I’m debt free (meaning, no credit cards and everything paid in cash); both cars paid off, student loan is history, a little savings, a daughter, a cat, and a wonderful husband who cooks my breakfast, lunch and dinner (I do the cleaning); and I can travel twice a year for vacations; and we’re not living from paycheck to paycheck. Now that’s successful in life for me. And it took years to build it–from elementary to college to temporary jobs to professional experience, to giving up cable, to saving and not spending on things that are not “needful”, and doing a lot of stuff myself (my hair, my lawn–though now we can afford someone else to do the lawn–ironing instead of dry cleaning, etc. etc.). Today I can afford to pay an editor and a Cover Designer, when I couldn’t 12 years ago with my current day job career.

This is the same as self-publishing.

My novels? I have a few strangers buying…and it’s slowly building. And I got a few more books that I’m working to release. I’ll let you know if I’m still not successful in a few years, and even then, I’ll tell you the same thing: “Why, yes I am!” Because I wrote my first book in 1997 (finished two years later) and didn’t decide to self-publish and do the “Do It Yourself” project and get it out there until 2008. I wrote more books over the years, and now can see them in print and on Kindle, Nook, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Book-A-Million, Sony eReader Store, Kobo, and Apple iTunes. And my books are being bought! Something that wasn’t happening several years ago.

You understand what I’m saying now? Remember your first job? I do. Mine was at Del Taco. Am I still working there? Heh. Heh. Not in your life. So that’s why I can honestly say, if you ask if I’m successful in a few years… my answer will still be: “Why, yes I am!”

Your goal is to be successful, and to do that, you have to make your own way and find and define your own answer, because it’s the uniqueness of things that are popular.

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And that’s it. Basically, you have to look at success differently and be happy with each step and progress that you make.

Again…Take the time, take the STEPS, to your personal success and be happy.

Until Next Time!




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