I thought I'd start a podcast, but have decided to try out instructional blogs to see how it goes, so here's the first installment. Gimme feedback.

 

Self PUB

Chapter 1

This article assumes you’ve completed your manuscript. If not, WRITE! After self-publishing nine books, I thought I’d offer a series of comments about my experiences that might be helpful to others. I originally was going to do a PODcast, but thought I’d see what the response to blogs was first, so here goes. (This means you should respond. My skin is thick enough that I can take criticism.)

            History:

            When I finished writing my first book, Sea Species, I tried to go with traditional publishing. The manuscript was BAD, so that went nowhere. Luckily, one agent kindly told me to rewrite. I did and submitted. A few agents and pub houses did send rejection notes, others never got back to me. Sea Species was a time sensitive novel with reality quickly catching up to the science fiction, so I decided to try self-publishing. I checked with a publishing house that charged to publish, known as vanity publishing. For a mere few thousand dollars they’d be happy to publish. I didn’t have a spare thousand dollars hanging about.

Amazon had a self-publishing division called Create Space. For no cost, they’d publish my book. Though the publishing was free, the submission of text and cover had to be complete and correct unless one wanted to pay for editing and cover artwork. Checking graphic artists showed me how expensive they could be. One GA took pity on me and gave me contact info for Steve Linebaugh. What a godsend he turned out to be.

After toing and froing several times, we clicked and came up with the first cover. I had several friends help me out with the editing, and I was ready. Or so I thought. Create Space was helpful in getting the formatting correct, and two weeks later the book was in my hands. I ordered a bunch. Create Space took a heavy percentage of pricing, but they have to make money somehow. Create Space has now become Kindle Publishing.

LESSON 1:

Get the work professionally edited. Whether you are submitting to an agent/publishing house, or self-publishing, it must be correct. I was embarrassed by the number of errors. You name it and it was in there­–spelling, word usage, words omitted, POV changes, way too much rambling, all of it. Shop around, submit samples to see how good this editor is. I actually left some errors in to see if she would catch them. The most expensive are not necessarily the best.

Self-Edit First. After going through the work several times, including back to front reading (That keeps you from reading the story and skipping over errors), I use the Word editing tools. After hat I use Pro Writing Aid as my second line of self-editing. It’s not expensive and a full report means you are going through the work a dozen more times for each topic without reading it. I found myself changing my writing after using Pro Writing Aid.

I want to give my editor the best I can do so she isn’t focused on spelling and punctuation and helps on characters, POV, and story development. Remember, the editor is your friend and makes suggestions. You are the author but you want a great product.

Consider an editing group. I belong to and editing group. We meet weekly, read up to 10 pages after handing out copies to each of the members and each member notes comments and corrections and talks about them. It is critical that the members of your editing group are all helping each other. No room for egos. Carping or snide remarks will hurt your efforts. That means you have to take criticism as attempts to help. If that’s not the attitude, Get out. We haven’t done online editing, but there’s no reason it won’t work. I think it may be better in some ways, the members have more time to go over the submission and note comments and corrections. I did this as part of a writing class for ThrillerFest.

One important thing is that the members must have a commitment. We meet every week. There are times that some can’t make it. That’s understandable we do have lives outside of editing and writing, but chronic absences show a lack of commitment. Oust them.

Sending the MS to my editor is the last step in text preparation; I can accept or reject her recommendations,

 

Here is a review that Amazon wouldn't post on Penelope, so I decided to do it. Thanks you, Kim.

Creating Peace in our outdoor environment with our cooperation!
 
The format of the book was incredibly knowledge based. The message was directed at first about the spider, then the child learning that spiders are welcomed into our world. I liked the mixture of the diseases that mosquitoes carry however; the knowledge was much more powerful about learning about the incredible design of Nature & how we as humans should be paying attention and live in the moment!

Risen from the Dead is out! Got my first copy Monday and have ordered a stock for myself. I checked, and Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble are carrying it. I'm also working with Eric Shumacher of 

seeliestudios-com to put together an audio book of Penelope the Pooting Spider. We'll see how it goes.

Risen from the Dead e-book is out. Don't know who has it on line yet. Print book  will be out in a week or so. Whew! Submitting is always an ordeal because I don't do it all the time.Already working on the next one. Maybe Paradise is Dead.

I'm putting final touches on Risen from the Dead and anticipate it will be available early in August. I will announce it!

I've started on the next Kiki adventure. My plan is to tie this even closer to the Evolution River series. Working on opening and plot now.

Got some rewrites on Risen from the Dead to do as first run at editing from DeeAnna are are in my hands. Steve and I are close on the cover. Here it is. Comments are welcome. Steve & I are thinking of doing a PODcast. Comments about topics and length are welcome.

First 1/2 of Risen from the Dead is at DeeAnna the editor's. I may actually make a schedule of Aug 1. We'll see.

My editing group has me doing a number of rewrites on Risen from the Dead. Thank goodness for them. They make my stories better. Lots of work, though. I'm going through it again also, then off to the editor. August still looks good for a drop date.

My excursion to Pinetop for the White Mountain Nature Center was good, though I really need to work on the talk regarding Penelope the Pooting Spider. It's hard to talk for 20 minutes in a 33 page book. As to the talks at the RV parks titled Write and Publish that Book, interest was flagging, so no talks. Too bad. I was looking forward to that. I'll keep trying. 

I was in Pinetop, AZ last week and gave a talk and sold a few books at the White Mountain Nature Center. It was great fun and I learned some things. The program was on sustainable gardening and the treatment of the soil was the subject of the talk before mine. I enjoyed it as I've got a huge bin of compost. I don't garden, but my wife does. Flowers, not edibles.

The night before was a talk about Apache Scouts. The White Mountain Apache Reservation is close. Ft. Apache is about 30 minutes drive. That Ft. was established to PROTECT the Apaches from the greedy whites. Apache Scouts were based there. The White Mountain Apaches were not the murderous tribe like the southern tribes. They were farmers, ranchers and herders. They did hunt extensively. Critical to the Apaches is the necessity for young men to prove they are men. Today many do that by joining in the military. All-in-all it was a most informative talk. One thing that did irritate me was the amount of reservation land that was withdrawn so that it could be mined or timbered or farmed. It was just taken away without compensation. 

I will be returning to the WMNC to josh with Kathy and John. Thank you for the opportunity.

My editing group is in the last 10 chapters of Risen from the Dead. So I will go through it several more times, then off to the editor. So, it could be out before August. Steve & I are working on the cover design now.

I've been trying to schedule some talks. The title is "Learn to Write and Publish That Book." I've got the outline done and need to practice. I'm no expert, BUT I've been working at this for 15 years and have 8 books out there. It's the self-publishing where I've gained the most experience, and the one that interests most new writers. So I'd like to pass on what I've learned, much of it the hard way. I met with a new writer last week over lunch and tried to help her. One session might not be enough.

Suggestions are welcome.

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