Self Publishing

All posts tagged Self Publishing

First Post of the New Year!

Published January 10, 2014 by G.L.

If anyone hasnt noticed, we’ve bought out domain!

We love the great work done by Blogovation Design!

Now that we have a new look,and the year is young, we wanted to go over some of the goals we wanted to achieve for 2014!

  • Release two self published titles at the very least. Two multicultural fantasy titles(Including our anticipated “The Mark of Noba”)and if we manage our time well, a contemporary Young Adult title featuring all Latinas(of all races).
  • Chronicle each learning experience from our first 3 critical reviews.
  • Highlight each self publishing experience, good or bad. It will definitely help for anyone unsure of self publishing with specific ventures.
  • Highlight ways to incorporate diversity in anyone’s writing who may be skeptical of touching a marginalized group they’re unsure.
  • Attend one multi genre convention, martial arts convention and writer’s conference(It’s based on our finances).
  • Create a special blog hop for promoting diversity in fiction.
  • Start up a multicultural virtual blog tour company(First year it may start out slow to maintain amazing service).
  • Produce three web series pilots for multicultural themed Youtube shows.(Should be interesting. If the response is positive, perhaps they can go further.

Many of these goals, once they’re achieved, we wont worry about whether it’s a huge success. We just plan to keep it moving to the next goal.

Anyone else have any goals for 2014?


Five star reviews and the lazy author

Published August 29, 2013 by G.L.

I’ve been lucky enough to be apart of strong communities of both traditionally published, and self published authors.

I recently read, liked, and re blogged a post from fellow blogger ABookWyrmWrites.

In this post, it stated that authors, specifically indie ones, are often targets of online harassment, trolling, and other ways of putting that perhaps they were unhappy with the way a review was given. My question is, as long as given constructively, why are authors allowing “perfect” reviews to validate their writing, while questioning the intelligence of reviewers whom are(or at least should be) giving them the tools they require to improve their skills as a writer.Recently I read Tiger’s Quest. It is a sequel to a book with the same theme, a teenager whom must help two brothers break a curse that turned them into tigers. I loved both the first in the series, and it’s sequel. However, there were quite a few inconsistencies in the first book, especially in regardless to culture(It is set mainly in India, and both the brothers are Indian). I will not say the sequel was perfect. But it did however, fix a few of the potholes I had problems with in the original. Obviously the author took any criticism and improved some of the aspects I would have otherwise found inconsistent. As a traditionally published author, she has both the tools and means to be a bestselling author. And even she has to work on her mistakes.

I wholly support Independent authors. Especially because I plan to become one of the thousands whom have rushed to become “published” authors. But a trend I am noticing, is that many indie authors do not put the time or money into properly editing a book. And I’m not just talking about grammar. I’m referring  to the structure of a storyline, proper development of characters, development, development, DEVELOPMENT. Editors can be a writer’s greatest ally. A book not properly edited could be the one thing standing in your way of gaining notoriety. And there are several kinds of things an editor can do.

Developmental Editing- Guides an author in planning the overall structure and developing an outline to a manuscript. It can mean helping an author chapter by chapter. This can improve pacing, dialogue AND marketability.

Copy Editing- Basically just proofreading. Typically checks for typos, spelling, minor grammatical errors.

Line Editing- Line by line evaluation of your work.

And these are just to name a few.

I know one may say “I don’t have the money or the resources” , or “I’m self publishing, I cant afford this.” This what I think you should ask yourself. “Is your book worth it?” “Would you buy something you knew a person didn’t put the time to perfect, or is lacking sufficient knowledge or ability?” My guess is probably not. What makes matters worse is, as an author, the more five and four star reviews one might receive, the less concerned one finds themselves about 1 and 2 star reviews. I get it. No one wants 1 and 2 star reviews. But it’s going to happen. It happens to the traditionally published and it’s probably going to happen to you. More than once. Probably more than a dozen times. I know that 1 and 2 star reviews seem vicious (and can be) especially without explanation, but they happen. And individuals give them for several reasons.

1. Your storyline is inconsistent.

2. Your manuscript is not edited well enough.

3. They didn’t enjoy the genre it was in.

4. They’re A-holes.

The fourth statement is a tempting thought, but not all people leave bad reviews because they hate you. They probably just don’t like your way of storytelling. All things an editor can help with. I know when I get my first bad review, I will be disappointed. Writing fiction is no simple task. Writing multicultural fiction however seems even more difficult, as our default in strongly identifiable characters tend to be white. But I hope I can find the maturity to take what is said and make the next piece of work stronger. Indie publishing takes such a big hit for being the easy way out for publishing a book. I think if authors want to be taken seriously as writers, they need to hold themselves and their work to the same standard as the publishing industry. If money is an issue, if your manuscript is completed, consider taking a temporary part time job to pay an editor. Consider gaining profits from things that you might otherwise overlook. If you can create buzz on your work, consider creating an etsy store, and promote things related to your book. If you are genuinely apart of online book communities, consider creating a crowd funding account. I’m sure people you genuinely connect with would be happy to help donate the money to improve your project. But I find editing necessary. You are welcome to disagree, but self editing I am weary of. We as writers do not posses the ability to judge our own work objectively. Any thoughts?

The Author’s Platform….Is it really necessary?

Published April 21, 2013 by G.L.

Let’s talk about The Author’s Platform. For those of you that don’t know what an Author’s Platform is, Allow me to explain it to you in the most simplest of terms. An Author’s Platform is a foundation in which an author makes themselves more credible and visibly known. It’s hard to be specific on what it is exactly, but there are lots of factor’s that go into building an Author’s Platform. These days it’s almost essential to begin building a platform before you decide that you want to be a writer.Why? Because if you decide to go with a major Publishing house, there is no guarantee that you will sell any books.

Publishing houses expect YOU to get the word out on your book. That means for the most part you will get little help on selling your book. Just when you thought the worst was over and all you had to do was write, then you get slapped with a sledgehammer 😦 I have to point out that once your book is out, It’s really hard to sell it, ESPECIALLY without some kind of social presence to your audience.When you self publish, I can’t stress this but you need a strong Author’s Platform. Without it, you will get lost in the sea full of well established writers. Let’s explore some of the factors that help build an Author’s Platform.

1.Having a blog. And not just having a blog, but having a blog where you talk about things other than the self promotion of your upcoming or latest book. Potential readers like to get in the heads of their favorite authors. It helps them connect and relate to you as a person and not some untouchable entity who sits at a laptop writing all day. Yea you may get the urge to promote you book every once in a while, but let that be the secondary content. Our potential readers want to know what inspires us, what our interests are and how relatable we can be. This can be one of the most important ways to establish an audience. If I were you I wouldn’t skip it.

2.Having an online presence. That means being active on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and any other online social media network you can be a part of. In this day and age, Online presence is soooo important.  The latest generation of people rely heavily on social media and technology. You have to experiment to see what works for you. In my personal experience I’d say Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads are your best bet. But there are so many. LinkedIn is something I’ve recently signed up for. It’s a bit confusing and I haven’t fully worked out the kinks but I’m sure once I master it, It could be a great tool to involve myself in the writing community and possibly connecting to the audience that we write for.Some others included Tumblr( A picture blogging site), StumbleUpon, Webook and Authonomy. Some of these sites you can post excerpts, connect with other writers and gain insightful input on what can work for you.

Now with that said, I have to make it known that it’s not really helpful to abuse these outlets. Do not and I REPEAT DO NOT approach every chance you get to connect with someone as a way to “sell”your book. You’re only going to alienate yourself from your potential audience  and be seen as a spammer. My advice? Make friends and gain meaningful relationships. Join groups. Observe what others are reading.Share your opinions on the books that you’re reading. Look for ways to contribute or help the communities that you’re involved in. This may mean proofreading someone else’s potential manuscript or giving advice on what route you took to publish your book. It’s important to build trust with your community BEFORE you need it to make a difference for you.

3.Author Website. I admit.We don’t have an Author Website.Mainly because I think we do just fine connecting to people on our blogs. But I know there is going to be a time where we’re going to need one to share news and updates about our book and future releases.

4.Guest Blogging. Try to see if you can do a few guest posts on another person’s website or blog. I could be a great way to reach their audience as well as driving tracking to your own blog.

5.Knowing your Target Audience. I don’t think I really have to go into detail about this. You have to know WHO your book appeals to. Try to connect with others who write or read the genre that you’re writing in. If your book isn’t finished yet, offering samples of what you already have and get feedback on what’s working and what isn’t working in your story. If your book is finished, share excerpts. If the money aspect isn’t an issue, send out copies, ARC’S, e-books, whatever you have to anyone who openly wants to give you feedback on your work. Knowing your target audience will help you decide on which bloggers, reviewers and readers to politely ask for help and if your book appeals to them, they may just tell their readers about it.

6.Personal and Professional contacts. If you have them,GREAT! If you don’t you may have to start mingling at some writing conferences.Enter writing contests.Try to get some creditability to your name. Sometimes a Credible reference can make all the difference when it comes to pursuing a traditional publishing house or planning to, like us , Self Publish.

7.Making public appearances which include but are not limited to guest speaking, book readings, book signings and interviews . This can help get you local exposure, as well as giving you a leg to stand on when you send out press releases to more National publications. If your book appeals to younger kids, volunteer to do a book reading in schools.Adults? Offer to read it as part of a book club. Anything that makes you stand out from others can’t possibly be a bad thing.

Below, this author gave some really good tips on building an Author’s platform.

Helpful tips about Building an author’s platform

And for the time conscious, this blogger breaks down how you should be spending your time if you only have two hours in the day to devote to it.

Build your platform in 10 hours a week

I hope this helps remind you that having an Author’s Platform is both necessary and essential if your ultimate goal is reaching as many readers as possible as a self published author. If you’re going the more traditional route, It may set you aside from all the other hopeful writers who wish to have traditional representation . C’mon let’s face it, no one sells books anymore by just word of mouth alone, so that’s why it’s so important to be as marketable and seek as much visibilty as you possible can.

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