Once Upon A Time Editing
Providing affordable Copyediting and Manuscript Critique services for a fraction of the cost compared to large Copyediting Companies.
Check out their website and make up your own mind.
Once Upon A Time Editing
Providing affordable Copyediting and Manuscript Critique services for a fraction of the cost compared to large Copyediting Companies.
Check out their website and make up your own mind.
10 Tips on Self-Publishing
Indie Authors and Books
Over my journey though, I have learned lessons as to what an author should or should not do while self-publishing and wanted to share some of those tips.
Take the tips for what you will. Use them to help you, or toss them to the side like an unread book.
I offer the tips here for anyone that wants to use them to help them in their self-publishing journey. Not every tip will fit every author, but in a general sense they apply to all self-published authors.
Many authors start out the self-publishing journey with very little insight as to where they are heading. Authors contemplate whether they should publish strictly in eBook format or paperback format. Some contemplate self-publishing in both formats.
Each option has pros and cons which much be considered prior to self-publishing that first book.
The pros and cons listed below will be focused on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords (three major self-publishing platforms) as I am most familiar with these three companies.
Pros Associated with both eBook and Paperback Options
Now that we have covered some of the pros and cons (of which I only named a few of each) let’s focus on getting your book ready for printing.
Have someone else read your book.
Writing my book was the most rewarding part of the process for me. I took the time to put what I thought was what readers wanted to hear into something that they could take with them and read on the bus, in an airplane, or waiting for their kids to get out of school.
I gave the book to my wife to read. She looked at me funny a few times and asked me, “Did you know you did……?” Sometimes I replied yes, and other times I went back into the book and made changes.
The romance novel I wrote was more of an erotic novel and eventually ended up being a paranormal thriller. My wife let me know that I didn’t write romance well, and I didn’t want to publish an erotic book.
What I got in the end though was a book that I was truly proud of and was even mild enough that my parents could read it, but wild enough that it would attract readers New Adult and older.
Just so everyone is tracking…..my wife butchered the first two versions of my book.
If possible, find a few people that are “not” friends or family to read your book. Family and friends can be so polite when they read your book. You do not want people that are going to be polite to you. You want people that will give you no crap, down to earth, realistic and constructive criticism. Don’t let someone just tell you it was great or that it sucked. Get them to tell you what was great and what sucked so you know what needs to stay and what needs to change.
This is where the beta read or manuscript critique comes in. I will refer to both terms simply as a critique from here forward. By providing a digital copy of your book for critique you will get an honest assessment of your work. There are companies that will critique your manuscript for free while others will charge for this service.
Take the suggestions from the critique as a way to help you develop your book into the next true bestseller.
Make an investment in your book.
Hire a Copyeditor and a Content Editor to assist you in preparing your book for readers. Many authors make common mistakes in the writing process such as typing the same word twice in a row, misspelling commonly misspelled words, or minor mistakes in punctuation.
Copyediting is probably one of the most important phases in preparing a book to be published. Many readers will lose interest in a book quickly if they are always stumbling across typos and poor punctuation. Depending on the Copyeditor, you may get your word document back with the changes made to spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation. Then again you may get your word document back with notes attached throughout the document and the choice be left to you to change the mistakes or leave them. Copyediting should include two full reads of your book; even the best editors are going to miss a few misspelled words or some poor punctuation.
Content Editors look for consistency in the plot and storyline while focusing on character development and overall readability of the story. Content Editors take notes on each chapter as they go through and compare the transition the main characters in the book make as they progress through the book. No matter how talented an author is, there will always be something that can be changed in the book. You may have written a perfect book, but you need to swap two chapters to maintain consistency or flow of the story. It could be as simple as swapping two paragraphs, but normally there are more drastic changes that need to be made.
Want to go the extra mile? Hire yourself a service that provided Copyediting and Content Editing as a combined package. This costs a little more, but can save you months of pre-publishing time by utilizing one source for all edits.
Prior to utilizing the services of a Copyeditor or Content Editor, ask them to provide you a sample of their work. If possible ask them to edit the first 10 pages of your book. This is normally 3000 words or less in double spaced 12 point Times New Roman font, but will give you an idea of the quality of service they provide.
Make another investment in your book.
Cover art sells books. Yes, what is inside the book is going to keep a reader wanting more. What if they never pick the book up though? A reader needs to look at the cover of the book and know that they want to read the book before they ever touch it. This is even more important with eBooks as the free sample portion at the beginning of the eBook is so short. With physical copies of books they can flip through and read small samples from various places in the book.
Take the time to research reputable cover artists. Find a cover artist that has designed other covers and find one that matches the style for your book. You don’t want to have a cover that does not match the story of your book. Just because a cover artist made a great romance book cover does not mean that they can create a great fantasy book cover. Hire the cover artist that fits the style of your book.
Better get to Blogging.
Start your author blog and get to work. Readers and fans are hard to come by if you do not take the time to find them. Join a social media group for authors and ask for advice in launching your book.
Post regular updates on your blog as you are writing your book andput excerpts on the blog so readers get a taste of what they can expect.
Pay a few dollars and get your own domain name from one of the many website servers out there. WordPress, Weebly, and Blogger are three of the more popular blog services. Webs.com also provides free websites or the option to pay for your own domain name.
Keep in contact with your readers and fans and ensure they don’t get bored. The last thing you want is for your readers to get bored and wander off prior to your book release date.
Make sure you keep your fans up to date on when to expect your book.
As you get closer to your scheduled launch date you may find a good time to run giveaways for ARC copies of your book, even if it is only in digital form.
The longer you are blogging about your books, the easier it will be for others to find you (or stumble onto you) when using search engines like Google and Bing. Search Engine Optimization starts early when you build your blog and can help you out immensely once you make your book available to readers. (not going into SEO details here)
Reviews are a must.
Some readers will not purchase a book unless it seems fully established and has had twenty or more reviews. Well how are you going to get reviews if you can’t get anyone to buy the book?
Utilize Goodreads Giveaways for physical copies of your book. Goodreads has a massive reader base that is constantly searching for new books to read. Though the purpose is to help authors get reviews, only a small percentage of the readers that win your book will write a review. Every review counts though. For one of my books I have given away over three hundred copies in paperback and digital formats, though I have only received around 15 reviews up to this date for that particular book. Those 15 reviews added up though, and they were enough to get some other readers to purchase the book.
You can also use Facebook to set up events and giveaway physical or digital copies of your book. Be cautious though about sending too many messages in Facebook as some of their policies could land you in Facebook jail for something as unintentional as sending a friend request to someone you don’t know.
Reach a fan base and the reviews will come. To get those reviews though, you are going to need to give away some free books. Do not think of the free books as money that you lost, consider them an investment.
Don’t worry if you get a couple of bad reviews, unless of course most of your reviews are bad. Readers will focus on the majority of your reviews to see what other readers think. If you have ten 5 Star reviews, six 4 Star reviews, a couple 3 Star reviews, and a few 1 and 2 Star reviews, then don’t sweat it. Not everyone that reads your book is going to think it is great and some may even hate your writing style. Consider the reviews that get posted as constructive criticism and evaluate if you could have done something differently.
Book pricing counts as much as the cover art does.
Price in today’s economy is probably more important than ever. I have talked to many eBook readers that will not pay more than $3.99 (USD) for any eBook unless it is from and established author that they have read books from before. Pricing on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords allow you to easily change the price of your books to see if you are able to sell more productively at a different price. At $3.99 (USD) I may make more money per book sell, but at $2.99 (USD) I may sell many more books and in the long term make more money and build a bigger fan base. Some authors make bundles by selling their book for just $0.99 (USD) because if the sheer volume in book sales.
I know of one author that has the first book in one of his paranormal series listed for free at all times for the digital version. He promotes the heck out of his free book and readers come back to buy his other books after reading the first. Technically he doesn’t make any money on the first book, but his free book promotion leads to greater sales for his other books.
Market your book. You do not need to tweet constantly or post repeatedly about your book every day of the week, but it doesn’t hurt to tweet and post to Facebook either. Target your readers by researching popular trends that can help you focus on people who would be interested in your genre of book.
Some authors market their book through free online advertising agencies like FreeAd and Craigslist which allow you to advertise to multiple cities around the word at the same time. This is a good way to get the name of your book out there, but is more viable for physical copies of the book. Be careful though as the category “Boats” is just above “Books” and can get your advertisement flagged for removal.
Another form of marketing is author interviews and book features. There are services that offer author interviews and book features then post the interviews and features on their website so others can see them. The interviews are a good way for readers to meet the author without the author going out to look for more fans. The author is utilizing the fan base of the blogger or website owner that listed their interview or book feature to help build their own fan base.
Write your next book.
Don’t stop writing once you publish your first book. Get working on your second book and start publicizing it on your blog. Put excerpts on your blog just like you did with your first book. Hopefully by this time you have built a small fan base and they are talking about your first book to their friends.
Again, keep them interested in your upcoming novel by providing them snippets and excerpts to read.
Find some friends.
No, not the friends you go out drinking with (though they are good too). What you want are friends that have worked in the self-publishing business. Talk to them and find out what worked for them and what didn’t work as they started out in self-publishing.
There are several groups that have years of self-publishing experience and are able to help new authors in the process of self-publishing their first novel.
Don’t get discouraged about book sales.
Stay motivated and keep working towards your goals. Some authors want to be the next New York Times #1 Bestseller. Some authors want to make a living from their writing. Some authors just want to publish a book that fans enjoy reading.
Stay motivated and keep working at writing the story you want to write. Don’t try to write the perfect novel, or you may never publish it. Just keep at it, and give the best you have.
I am now four hours into writing this set of what started out to be “5 Helpful Tips to Self-Publishing” and I am finally to the resources portions.
My wife tells me on occasion that I talk too much. I guess you could say that carries over into my writing as well at times.
I have not been paid to list the following links. I take no credit for their good work. I take no blame for their piss pore work.
I am simply listing some sources that you as a self-published author can look at to see if they fit what you need to finish your book, or to rework it and republish it as a better work of art.
Some of the companies/people below may offer more than one service to authors.
Amazon for Kindle: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin
Barnes and Noble for Nook: http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home
Smashwords (all eBook formats): http://www.smashwords.com
Amazon CreateSpace for Paperbacks: https://www.createspace.com/Login.do
Author Social Media Groups
Author’s Social Media Support Group: http://asmsgbooks.wordpress.com/
Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/
Indie Author Book Promotion Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/571135069563269/
Once Upon A Time Editing Services: www.onceuponatimeediting.com
Helen’s Editing and Proofreading Services: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wordsmith, Inc: www.proofeditcheck.com
Amalgam Consulting: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com
Shannon McRoberts: http://www.shannonmcroberts.com
Bull Art Media: email@example.com
J.C. Harker: http://www.thinksentient.com/covers/
Independent Book Reviews: http://www.ibreviews.co.uk/
Armchair Interviews: http://www.armchairinterviews.com/
Indie Authors and Books Interviews: http://www.indieauthorsandbooks.com
For more resources stop by the Indie Authors and Books Website and check out our resources page. The list of resources grows almost daily and provides numerous links for self-published authors.
Feel free to check out our web store in regards to the services we provide in house.
Best of luck in your self-publishing journey and we wish you the best from Indie Authors and Books.
Written by: David at Indie Authors and Books
The Fight for Immortality
The Fight for Immortality is a great science fiction read that draws the reader in with great world building, fantastic technology, and intense scenes.
Jack Cousins is a little different that most teenagers and seeks to keep himself from drawing too much attention to himself, until that baseball game where he was the hero that saved the day.
Many science fiction books take you to far off places of the galaxy and pit factions against each other in battle in outer space. Though there is some of this in the book, many events take place on earth.
Be ready to immerse yourself in a world of science fiction but do not expect a super face pace in the book. The author does a great job in detailing the story so you get not just the action but also the background information and all the world building you would hope for. This book is a splendid example of great world building and interaction between the main characters.
5 out of 5 Stars. An epic science fiction novel for readers of all ages.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a detailed world full of technology, lots of action and solid characters.
The Fight for Immortality (The Fight for Immortality Series) can be purchased via Amazon
Review by: David at Indie Authors and Books
Tails of Imagination is a great children’s storybook for kids of all ages. Whether being read to the smallest of children by their parents while they enjoy the colorful pictures or learning to read on their own…this is a must have book.
All children love dogs, cats, or both and they get them in this books.
Be prepared to give your kids the enjoyment of a well written and interactive picture story book.
5 stars for Tails of Imagination
Tails of Imagination: Ordinary Pets, Extraordinary Adventures – An Adventure Picture Book for Ages 4-8 can be purchased via Amazon.
Is My Book a Novel or a Novella
There are many factors for authors to consider when writing and publishing their books. Among these factors is determining whether their book is a short story, a novella, a novel, or epic in length. This is important for self-publishing authors as the length of the book may ultimately determine how much to charge per copy once their book is published.
In this article, I hope to explain the difference in length between the books. Just because I list a book length as a particular type, it does not mean that always holds true. The listings are basic standards but do not fit every book length.
Short Story: 1,500 – 7,500
Short stories get the main idea out, feed the reader the plot quickly, and get to the end of the story. Some readers do not want tied down to a book for a long period and want something they can read in 2 hours or less. Short stories are perfect for this because the reader gets almost instant gratification from the story. Short stories do not pay well published on their own, and are normally found in compilations or anthologies featuring multiple short stories.
Novelette: 7,500 – 20,000
Novelettes are the next step up and are enjoyed by readers who want a quick read, but do not want to start a book and finish it within an hour or two. They are difficult to sell as single books and are normally compiled into an omnibus or compilation. Many readers balk at paying more than $0.99 for a novelette because the book is finished so quickly. By combining several novelettes together though, the author can charge more for the compilation.
Novella: 20,000 – 60,000
The novella is perfect for the digital publishing age. Though we are getting closer to the size of book most publishers look for in traditional publishing, the ebook market is the target community for novellas.
Novel: 60,000 – 110,000 Words
Now we are getting into the meat and potatoes of publishing. Full length novels are what many readers look for and will not buy anything less because they want something that is going to give them hours of enjoyment. The word count varies greatly but is due to the overwhelming span between each of the major genres of books.
Literary, mystery, and romance novels are typically in the 80,000 to 90,000 word count range.
Science Fiction and Fantasy word count increases to between 100,000 and 110,000 words. This is partially due to the world building associated with SciFi and Fantasy and being able to show the reader a whole new world.
Young Adult novels are shorter though and range between 50,000 and 70,000 words. Notice that the word count dips into what is normally considered a novella, but for the Young Adult genre, this still classifies the book as a novel.
Epic: Over 110,000 Words
Epic novels are books that either the author has written a lot of story, background, and world building into, or they stretched the story out to cover many events or a long period. Some books cover way to long of a period or contain way too much detail for the book. These books may be better suited if broken into two or three separate novels and each published as a standalone novel.
Take for instance J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. The final books in the Harry Potter (Harry Potter Book One 320 pages – Harry Potter Book Seven 784 pages “hardback”) series and the Twilight Saga (Twilight 498 pages – Breaking Dawn 768 pages “hardback”) are enormous compared to other books of the same genre. The difference between them and up and coming authors is they have already built their reputation. The publisher knew that their books were going to sell based off of the success of earlier books in the same series so they published these extra long books. Due to printing costs though, many new authors will not be able to get the same backing because they do not have the same size community of fans.
If you have an outstanding novel, then you are able to write a sequel that is a little longer than the first book in the series.
For new authors, I would recommend staying outside of the epic word count categories and staying within the novel size for their specific genre.
eBooks versus Hardback and Paperbacks
Most of the above information holds true in regards to book length based on genre whether you are publishing for eBook or tradition printing. What does change though is marketing cost. Many eBook readers have no issue paying for a novel that exceeds normal word count, so long as the book is priced comparatively with other books in the same genre. If I see two eBooks priced at $2.99 on Kindle with one book being 50,000 words and the other being 70,000 words then I am not going to balk at paying the same price.
Consider the printing cost of an epic novel compared to the printing cost of a novel. Whether using a traditional publisher or self-publishing, each and every page of the book adds to the cost of the final product. Every time you add a page, you have just made the overhead for the book increase. Literary Agents and Publishers look for books that are not only well written, but books they know they can charge a set amount for and still make their profit.
I wish you the best of luck in your writing and publishing journey.
David at Indie Authors and Books
No One Can Know by Adrienne LaCava
No One Can Know is a historical fiction novel about the lives of CIA men after the assassination of Kennedy. The CIA has been turned upside down with allegations that the assassination was an inside job. In the wake of these allegations, trust between agents has dwindled and many closely surrounding the event in Dallas separate themselves from the others. Some, go to their backwoods farms, others hide out completely off the grid, while others continue with their everyday lives.
One Agent, Tucker, goes to Mississippi to carry out a mission for the CIA. The KKK is growing in popularity in the south, but so is the peaceful resistance to the KKK. Before he departs, he leaves his wife and teenage daughter at their farm house and heads off to Mississippi. As he is departing, he contacts Vincent and asks him to make sure Carla, his mistress, does not go to the farm where his wife is at.
Tensions build in Mississippi and at the farm house as things do not go the way Tucker had wished them to go. Intrigue and suspense riddle the pages of the book.
The novel does a good job in covering the distrust concerned with the assassination of Kennedy while also mixing in family issues and tragedy.
The plot was well flowing overall, but slowed down in some areas. The pace would return during the next section and would energize me to continue reading. I would have liked to see more character development for some of the players in the story and possibly a bit more resolution for them.
Overall a well written story that most readers will definitely enjoy.
4 out of 5 Stars.
I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a well written historical fiction about the Cold War Era with suspense, intrigue and some romance.
No One Can Know can be purchased via Amazon.
Reviewed by: David at Indie Authors and Books
Visit the newly established Indie Authors and Books Network Group and connect with other indie authors.
The Indie Authors and Books Network Group was created to bring indie authors together. With a growing community of indie authors, the need for exposure to the vast world of readers is more important than ever.
Join us as we assist each other in publicizing our books.
Membership is easy.
1) Be an Indie Author or published through a very small press.
2) Fill out the membership application at the IAB website. http://www.indieauthorsandbooks.com/iab-network-group
3) Tweet using hashtag #iabng
4) Follow the hashtag #iabng and retweet your fellow indie authors.
Members will be listed on the members page of the website with their Author Page link on Amazon, Twitter Username, and Facebook Page.
Please list your published books in the books section of the membership request.
Once per month, an active member will be selected to be featured in an author interview to be posted on the IAB Website and blog.
Feel free to join the Indie Authors and Books Facebook Group and Like Pages.
Indie Authors and Books Network Group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/565114256917046
Indie Author Book Promotion Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/571135069563269
Indie Authors and Books “Like Page” on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Indie-Authors-and-Books/433719070032202
WordPress Blog: www.indieauthorsandbooks.wordpress.com
Twitter: @indieauthorbook @davidrieckmann #iabng
The Road to Rebirth by Dean F. Wilson
The Road to Rebirth is the second installment of The Children of Telm series. The story begins in the aftermath of the final battle where the first book leaves off.
Corrias is dead after the battle with the Lichelord and the armies of Agon. Many mortals suffered the same fate as Corrias and their souls have been lost forever. Among the dead is Theos, the boy whose body was shared by the god Corrias. Upon the death of the boy, the god could no longer sustain life.
The Cleric Ifferon and Delin the Knight seek to resurrect the boy, but others have a different plan. There is a hiccup in this plan though as they also need to resurrect Corrias. They must test their hearts and souls as they struggle to save the boy and their honor, or save the god and the rest of the realm. Either task in itself would be hard enough to accomplish, but being chased by the Ferian who believe the boy should be put to rest and by the armies of Shadow make this even harder.
Prince Herr’Don has returned to his father’s kingdom in Boror, but only half the man he used to be. He struggles against death as he fights against the damage done to his mortal body. What kind of hero can a man be with only one arm?
Melgales resurfaces as you turn the pages of the book. The magus only played a small but vital role in the first book prior to his death, but he has returned in the second book in the series. The magus is trapped between the realm of the living and Hales; his soul trapped in the realm of the living, making it impossible for him to fully cross over. Simply have the artifact holding his soul destroyed and he could pass fully over as the Gatekeeper in Hales will not let him pass until the magus’ soul has been released. There is a problem with this though, Yavun is now tied to the same artifact. Does Melgales find a way to destroy the artifact and save himself from being stuck between the worlds forever?
This book is a splendid example of great world building and interaction between the main characters.
5 out of 5 Stars. An epic fantasy for readers of all ages.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an intricately built fantasy world with lots of action and intrigue.
The Road to Rebirth: Book Two of The Children of Telm can be purchased via Amazon
The Coolest Way To Kill Yourself
The Coolest Way To Kill Yourself is in itself not a book about suicide, but rather a story about love.
If you are looking for a book about suicide, how to prevent it, how to commit it, then this book has nothing to do with any of that.
The story follows Nicholas through his life starting in his mid-teens. At around age 16 he meets a girl named Lynn and everything follows from there. Their relationship goes through some ups and downs, but they were in love until the end.
The book is portrayed in the first person view for the majority of the story, yet the author uses some unorthodox writing skills throughout the novel. In certain sections, the author actually talks directly to the reader and explains why he may be writing about something that doesn’t seem to fit. In the end though, it all seems to fit together.
There are many references to bands and songs that some readers will find distracting, while others will find that they add to the feel of the story.
Overall, a well put together story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The book was a journey for me, and it was interesting from cover to cover.
5 out of 5 Stars.
I would recommend this book for mature readers due to graphic language and some sexual situations.
The Coolest Way To Kill Yourself can be purchased via Amazon: The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself
Review by: David at Indie Authors and Books