Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Wednesday Word

Wednesday Word

Author To Author’s Newsletter                                                    

October 23, 2013

Writing & Publishing Tips

Quick Self-Publishing Tips

At some point in time all aspiring writers and authors face the question, do I self-publish or go the traditional route of attaining an agent and publisher?

The answer to this seemingly simple question is, at the very least, complicated. Writing an amazing, life-changing novel is one thing, and a huge accomplishment all by itself. However, when it comes to getting published, the amount of blood, sweat, and tears you will put into marketing and promoting your book to agents and publishers will be astronomical. The amount of rejections you will most likely face? Let's just say you better have a super-human ability to shake off negativity.

For the sake of brevity and blog space, let's say you've already decided to self-publish.

What are your chances of achieving success in the book world and what factors will influence that outcome?

Subject matter seems to be of little importance. In all of the research I have done, I have found that any idea is a good idea, because there will always be other people out there who can relate to your ideas and point of view. This is true in fiction and nonfiction. Whether it be an epic tale of love and loss, a “how to” book for projects, a sarcastic comedy, reflections on life, or even a novel about space alien zombies who make cheeseburgers for breakfast, someone, and usually many more than one, will find your ideas and concepts worthwhile and entertaining. So, if you have that evil little voice of self-doubt telling you that your idea isn't mainstream or popular enough, tell it to shut up and move on.

I have found the real issues to be as follows:

Is your work complete?
Is your work edited?
Is your work refined from it’s originally inspired version?
And, for the love of all that is holy, is your work spell checked?!

This last one may seem silly but I have found that I tend to miss errors, not because I do not know that they are errors to begin with, but rather, there is so much work to do and so much going on that an error can be easily skipped over without notice.

If the answers to the above questions are yes, then you are now ready to publish your work. However, the potential reach your book can achieve will depend on many more factors than the ones listed above.

The questions you must now ask yourself is:

Will I have the energy, not just now, but into the indefinite future, to market this book?

And the answer to this question better be yes. If it is no, you will need to re-evaluate your goals and ask yourself why you wouldn't want to work to promote something you slaved away so hard on, probably for many months and even years.

There is not one author out there who writes a book, sends it in, and then simply gets paid. Well, maybe Stephen King or Anne Rice, but other than a select few, every author has to work like crazy to promote their work. Even those well known authors whose books fly off the shelves put in their dues at the beginning, why shouldn't you?

So, now that you realize you have made yourself a slave for the foreseeable future, there are a few more things to consider:

Are you comfortable using social networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Google+, etc..) to self promote?

If the answer is no, refer to the above.

If the answer is yes, there are a great many resources at your disposal to aid you in this venture, one of my favorites being Hootsuite. This is a site that allows you to mass schedule status updates, Tweets, etc… containing links to your books, blogs, contests, and events. It is very convenient and I find that if I devote an hour or so to scheduling posts, I can have the entire week scheduled, which allows me much more time for writing and editing.

In my efforts to self-publish my series, Riverbend: The Collection, I had to do a huge amount of research. To save you time I will post a few links here, at the bottom of this post, that may aid you in your journey and decision on whether or not to self-publish.

First of all, Smashwords is an excellent venue. It is completely free to upload your work and, if edited properly, automatically uploads to Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, iPad, Amazon, and other venues as an ebook. Smashwords has very easy, step by step directions on how to properly format your book. Your royalties are around 60%, which is much higher than most traditional publishing royalties. Of course, you are doing all of the work yourself, so that is only fair and makes sense.

There is also a little marketing opportunity in using affiliates on Smashwords. An affiliate is someone who decides to post your work on their website or blog and, if a purchase is made through someone clicking on their link, they get a certain percentage of your sale. Mine is currently set at 20%. You can set the percentage yourself, the minimum to participate being 11%. I made mine 20% because those who pay a higher rate are likely to have more affiliates posting their links thus a wider reading base, so on and so forth.

Blogging and social networking is key to ebook success. A blog shows the world your writing, that you love to write, and serves as a tool for communication and marketing opportunities.

Hosting other authors and giveaways is another great way to get attention. Not only are you offering your readers more than your own work, but you are actively networking and helping other authors. Let's face it, you might need help at some point and what better way to get that help than to have author and blogger friends that you regularly worth with?

If you are interested in getting paperback versions of your book I would recommend Createspace. This is a site that is owned by Amazon that is easy to navigate, free to use, and your royalties are around 50%, which is again higher than many traditional contracts and more than fair to you, considering they print, bind, and ship your book on demand. There isn't any bulk ordering that you have to do and the sale never even passes through your hands, you just get your royalties from the sales.

Last, but not least, writing contests! Enter as many of them as you possibly can! The more you participate, the more you get your name and work out there. Becoming a member of a writing group is an excellent way to find out about and participate in these events.

Even if you are uncomfortable with editing and cover creation, there are very reasonably priced people out there who will do it for you. Social networking is an excellent way to find these artists and editors.

Usually, my posts are about inspiration and reflective thoughts on life but after all that I have researched in the past few months I felt it would be beneficial to share some information with all of you and perhaps save you some time! There is so much more to learn and believe me, I couldn't possibly cover it all in one post. I'm hoping this is a good starting place for you and wish you all the success in the world with your books. As well as a ridiculous amount of motivation and ambition too!

Useful links below:

By Author to Author Contributor Andrea Goodson. Learn more about Andrea and her books at

Exciting News for Author to Author Group Members

Congratulations to Lissa Bryan

Lissa was recently featured and quoted in a Reader's Digest article about Henry VIII! With all of the research Lissa as been doing for her new book, Under These Restless Skies, who better to go to for interesting facts about all things Tudor? Learn more about Lissa on her website,

Odin's Murder Now Available in Print

Authors Kira Gold and Angel Lawson have released Odin's Murder in print format on Amazon! Click the link to get your copy!



Lissa Bryan Hosts Ghost Story Contest

To celebrate the one year Book Birthday of Lissa Bryan's, Ghost Writer, she is hosting a ghost story contest! You have about 2 weeks left to enter! Visit Lissa's blog for information on how to enter, rules, and bust out your notebook and pen! There are some fantastic prizes at stake and the winner will be chosen on Halloween!

You can also join the TWCS Book Club on Facebook to discus Ghostwriter with Lissa the entire month of October!

Sherri Hayes Hosts Giveaway

Stop by Sherri Hayes' blog to enter the giveaway for a signed set of Sherri Hayes' bookmarks and a Red Zone key chain!

Happy Anniversary, MORE!

Author T.M. Franklin is celebrating the one year book birthday of MORE by making Window, a novella, FREE from 10/7-11/2013! Be sure to get your download, only one week left!


Join Author Lindsey Gray in the Paranormal Palooza

Lindsey Gray will be featuring her novel, Redemption, with a character interview, excerpt, and giveaway. The giveaway runs until October 31st. Head on over and join the fun!


New Release Coming Up for M.B. Feeney

Join Author M.B. Feeney as she gets ready to release Honour. Find out more about the author and her book on her website,

Join A2A Authors at The Texas Book Festival

A2A authors, Sandi Layne, T.M. Franklin, Lissa Bryan, Sherri Hayes, and Lorenz Font will be signing books and swag at the Texas Book Festival! Visit them on October 26 & 27! Find out ore here,

Andrea Goodson to Reveal Cover for To Be Loved

Join author Andrea Goodson on Thursday, November 7th as she reveals the cover to her upcoming YA new release, To Be Loved! You can also enter for a chance to win a signed paperback! Visit Andrea's website to learn more about her books,

Wednesday's Weird Word


Definition: a bad smell emanating from the mouth.

Fancy lingo for bad breath?!

Origin: Greek

Savvy Savings

Amazon is offering a sale - "The Big Deal"- which offers up to 80% off on over 350 titles! Take a look and see what delicious deals you can find. Ends October 27th!

Thank you for reading this week's edition of Author to Author's, The Wednesday Word! Visit us again next week for more news and savings to refresh your bookish pleasures! As always, feel free to share and spread the word!

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