Saturday, February 22, 2020

Self-Publishing: Lessons From One Who is Still Learning

What I wouldn't have given for a step-by-step guide when I had my first finished book in my hand and not the slightest clue where to go next. So, a year later with twelve full-length manuscripts and seven launched books, many mistakes and starting to see some success (though it's still baby steps!), I'm going to do a series of articles to help others like me. Please keep in mind that I'm still learning as I go, and there are plenty of resources out there that'll give you help with the various parts of the picture!

And with that, I'll state LESSON #1: DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Google should be your best friend and constant companion. Make contacts wherever you can, join online groups and local meetings if you can. Learn, learn, learn, and don't ever get to the point where you feel you know it all...because YOU DON'T.


It's a hard truth for some, but a truth nonetheless.
In some future post, I'll paste a ton of links to help you out in the research category, but not today.
Today is for the first and most fundamental of questions:

Before you consider traditional versus independent, single or series, eBook or paperback or both, you have to have a product. Here's a good checklist to have ticked off before you get too far ahead of yourself:

1) Why are you writing? Is it to enter a contest? Submit to a magazine? Tell your story? Tell someone else's story? Is it Fiction or Non-Fiction? Do you intend to make writing your career? Based on the answers to these questions, here's another: have you done your research? Do you understand what is required?

2) Have you considered your budget? Regardless of how you'll reach your goals, there will be costs. That I can guarantee. Even if you plan on doing everything yourself, you'll need software with which to make your cover, for example. I'll do an entire post on this in the future, as well, because I hadn't a clue what costs would need to be considered in the beginning. Good stuff to know. ;)

3) Have you chosen your genre or do you understand the genre of your project?

4) Do you know your market?

5) What stage are you at where writing is concerned? Ideas, skeleton/map, partial draft, full first draft, full manuscript, full manuscript with proper formatting, grammar and spelling, full, professionally edited (we'll talk more about that crucial element later, too!) manuscript?

6) Have you had anyone read part of your manuscript? Has anyone read it in its entirety? Have you considered their input and incorporated it?

7) Have you recruited beta readers? Received feedback and incorporated it?

8) Have you considered what you require in the realm of editing? How will you acquire the editor(s) you need?

9) Where are you at where your cover is concerned? Have you decided on outsourcing or attempting it on your own? Are you drawing a blank or do you have a fully-formed idea? Or have you gone ahead and mocked it up and just need to tweak? This one's got the potential to be very time consuming for several reasons, two of which are critical: 1) Your cover quality is directly attributable to sales and 2) If you're publishing independently, you want to be aware of cover requirements/formatting required by the various platforms offered.

10) Do you have a blurb? This is another key factor in the success of your launch. Some outsource, some don't. Whatever you decide, you want to end up with a succinct but intriguing set of words to draw people in and motivate them to spend. Ideally, you'll have a very short blurb and a longer, more detailed one for the back cover. Take some time on it, save it in a safe spot - trust me; you'll come back to it many times.

There! Certainly not exhaustive, but you get the idea. At the end of this exercise, the object is to know exactly what sort of end result you'll be working with before you consider moving forward in any way. For example, I write full-length Fictional Thrillers. I have one trilogy and several other books in various stages of completion. I currently publish independently with high quality standards including professional editing and covers, and I've got a growing distribution list through which I keep in touch with my readers. I publish both eBook and paperback versions of my books on Amazon, Ingram Spark( who distribute to independent sellers and libraries) and Draft 2 Digital (who distribute to pretty much ALL online sellers).

That's what I have. What about you?

Next time, I can go deeper into a couple of the questions above or we can move on to WHAT DO I WANT TO DO WITH IT? It's perhaps the most difficult question to answer when you're just starting out, because you probably don't understand all the options available. I like to do things the hard way (like writing a book in two weeks just to learn more about self-publishing on Amazon), so I think I can help at least a little. :)

Please let me know if this is useful!


Monday, February 17, 2020

I Carry My Notebook Around

Words are always playing in my mind; finding ways to describe what I see or feel. So. I like to carry a notebook around to write in. I love putting words together. It's my art.
I remember wishing I could draw, so I could stop in my meanders and capture the perfection of a flower bud or autumn leaf, but now I know that for me, words capture beauty far better than any other medium.
Do you carry your medium around?

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Get Ready for Heather

January 31st, guys! "Heather's Grave will be launched in less than one week!
Still haven't read Rose? Lemme make it easier for ya. ;)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Rose's Ghost by Theresa   Dale

Rose's Ghost

by Theresa Dale

Giveaway ends February 08, 2020.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Heather's Grave: January 31, 2020

Rose is at rest, but the haunting of the Ridgewood family continues in Heather's Grave: Book 2 of the Rose's Ghost series.

Maggie is relieved to have found peace in the Ridgewood family home, having solved the mystery of Rose Maplestone. But with the onset of new adventures as she and Jack prepare for their new addition comes more ominous change.

Max is forced to admit his anxiety stems from more than regret over his role in saving Alice Ridgewood from Rose’s ghost. His body is sick, too.

And the tragedies of the Maplestone family didn’t end with Rose, for after all, the baby she lost was a secret in life – her existence unrecorded and unacknowledged - except by those who’d witnessed it all.

And as her desperation to honor her child grows, Rose determines to help Maggie in the strangest of ways – raising questions around her intent. Does Rose mean to help, as she’s vowed, or do her methods force an ultimatum instead, wherein the life of Maggie’s child depends on the finding of hers?

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Rose Needs Reviews!

99 cent eBook promo on until Christmas! Get it while it's hot!

Thanks in advance to takers! <3


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