Once Upon A Time Editing Services

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 by Indie Authors and Books

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

  •    Easy to modify content and upload a new version.
  •    Easy to change cover art and upload revised artwork.
  •    User friendly interface for uploading your manuscript and cover art.
  •    Book sales reports – There may be a delay in updating until the buyers credit card clears the bank.
  •    Digital marketing through social media networks.
  •    Sell price is easily changed through any of the major retailers.


eBook Pros

  •    Ability to send free digital copies to help increase word of mouth marketing.
  •    Ability to provide free digital copies of books to Read 2 Review groups on Facebook, Goodreads, and other social media networks.
  •    No overhead cost once the eBook is edited and cover art has been created.
  •    Target a community that seldom reads traditional paper books.


Paperback Pros

  •    Ability to attend author book signings to market your book in local book stores.
  •    Qualified to conduct giveaways of physical copies of your book on Goodreads (must join the author program on Goodreads)
  •    Ability to market you book on your own website with minimal setup.
  •    Target a community that does not use digital readers.
  •    Ability to place your book on consignment in local bookstores.


eBook Cons

  •    Impression that you are not fully established if your book is only in eBook format.
  •    No physical copy of your book to provide autographed copies for giveaways.


Paperback Cons

  •    Overhead cost is increased due to maintaining physical copies to sell through your website and for author book signings.
  •    Profit per book is minimal due to cost of self-publishing through print on demand services.
  •    Books must be printed prior to shipping to customers. Slows down delivery process once the book is purchased.

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.

Tip #1

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.

Tip #2

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.

Tip #3

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.

Tip #4

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)

Tip #5

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.

Tip #6

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.

Tip #7

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.

Tip #8

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.

Tip #9

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.

Tip #10

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.

Self-Publishing Platforms

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/

Editing Services

Once Upon A Time Editing Services: www.onceuponatimeediting.com

Helen’s Editing and Proofreading Services: helenmoule@hotmail.co.uk

The Wordsmith, Inc: www.proofeditcheck.com

Amalgam Consulting: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com

Cover Art

Shannon McRoberts: http://www.shannonmcroberts.com

Bull Art Media: ray@bullart.com.au

J.C. Harker: http://www.thinksentient.com/covers/

Book Reviews

Independent Book Reviews: http://www.ibreviews.co.uk/

Author Interviews

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



Indie Authors and Books

Indie Authors and Books

5 Star Review for Conduit by Angie Martin

Conduit by Angie Martin


Conduit is a great paranormal suspense novel and the next installment in the Emily Monroe series.

Emily is a private investigator that is not all that she seems to be upon on just her appearance; she has a gift if psychic ability. This ability normally helps Emily to solve her cases, but in this instance, it could be exactly what puts her in danger.

Emily is taken by a serial killer and held hostage as he believes her to be the woman of his dreams. Her best friend and partner Cassie must find her and save her. Jake, Emily’s boyfriend, joins Cassie on the dangerous and suspenseful search.

The technical qualities of the story are great. The plot pulls you right along then just as you are about to get a little satisfaction, the author slams on the brakes and makes you wait a little longer. The suspense is definitely rewarding and worth it in the end when you finally get everything you have been waiting for.

5 out of 5 Stars. A great paranormal suspense novel.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a paranormal suspense novel that draws them in and makes them feel like they are part of the story.

Conduit can be purchased via Amazon.

Review by: David at Indie Authors and Books

5 Star Review for Breakdown at Clear River by Eliot Parker

Breakdown at Clear River by Eliot Parker


Breakdown at Clear River is a wonderfully crafted mystery novel set in West Virginia. The story brings you into the world of college football with all of the drugs and issues you would normally encounter, but on top of it all you get a murder as well. Mystery and suspense await around each page as you turn progress through the story.

Cullen Brewer is the centerpiece of the football team and the team’s quarterback. After a murder on campus things get a little tense, and even tenser after Cullen is attacked. Are the murder and attack related? If so, why and to what end? Strange happenings continue to occur as other students are pulled into the mix. Someone has to find out what is going on, and why.

This book is a great example of an author creating a realistic story around a believable plot and well defined characters.

5 out of 5 Stars. A great sports fiction mystery novel.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a mystery suspense thriller. Whether you have a love for mystery, or a love for football, you will find a great story here.

The only downside of the entire book is the price being $9.95 for the Kindle edition.

Breakdown at Clear River can be purchased via Amazon.

Review by: David at Indie Authors and Books

4 Star Review for Sheep’s Clothing by Elizabeth Einspanier

Sheep’s Clothing by Elizabeth Einspanier


The author does a great job in this novel or portraying vampires in the sense of old stories and mythos; no one sparkles in this book. When most people think of vampires, they think of coffins, garlic, and driving a stake through their hearts. In Sheep’s Clothing, we are back to those basics.

The town of Salvation is the center point for this novel. Don’t let the name trick you though as vampires, skinwalkers, and more lurk in the shadows in and around this western town.

Evil abounds in this story as the humans, skinwalkers, and vampires all intermingled with each other. The main characters in the story struggle through adversity, love, and hatred all at the same time.

Can Doc Meadows and the skinwalker Wolf save the day before the vampires take over completely.

The technical aspects of the novel are well written and edited.

The biggest downside of the novel is the price versus page count. At almost $6.00 on Amazon.com, most readers will want a novel that would provide them with more pages to turn. All in all, a good read, but way to short. A couple hours after starting, most readers will be finished and looking for their next book.

4 out of 5 Stars.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to read about vampires that are based on the vampires of old.

Sheep’s Clothing can be purchased via Amazon.

Review by: David at Indie Authors and Books

5 Stars for Swift Reprisal by Ian Blackport

Swift Reprisal by Ian Blackport

Consider yourself a noble at peace in your homeland while your armies are away at war. Now consider your castle being attacked and all of your relatives and the rest of the nobles being killed. This is no simple attack though, it is a betrayal, conducted with finesse; well almost anyways. Finally consider that the only noble to survive is you, the King’s daughter.

The quest begins as Layera searches for her father who is off at war. Your brother stands by his side as they battle the sworn enemies of your kingdom. Can you find them?

Swift Reprisal is an epic fantasy that centers on world building and detailed descriptions. In the novel, the reader will find themselves immersed with great detail about the world around them and the characters in the novel.

The author did a great job in portraying very solid and believable characters within the novel. Whether you enjoy a male lead or a female lead in a story, this book is sure to please as it has very strong male and female characters that interact well within the story. The description is so vivid that the reader actually feels like they can see the movements of the characters. When the author describes the characters, I was able to picture the high cheek bones, the characters ear lobes, and their movements. For some readers, this is too much detail. For me though, I loved every page of the detail.

The technical qualities of the book are fairly seamless and show that the author took his time in not only writing the story, but also ensuring it was well edited prior to publishing.

The novel is much longer than most eBooks; for some people this might be a drawback. The novel could be split into two distinct novels, but I believe many readers will enjoy the complexity of the novel and its length. This is not a novel that you will get through in one sitting. Prepare to get several days worth of reading enjoyment.

5 out of 5 Stars.

An epic fantasy story. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a very descriptive fantasy world.

Swift Reprisal can be purchased via Amazon.

Review by: David at Indie Authors and Books

Book Feature! “Rivulets of Blood” by CS Forster

“Rivulets of Blood”

A simple matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time turns into a terrifying nightmare.
A Sheriff who is past his prime, an inexperienced Deputy and a temporary one who knows all about deadly dangers.
Advertising Executive Jason Hadley’s wonderful life is plummeting into an abyss. Will he and his beautiful wife Shelby be able to overcome their problems despite all the horrifying obstacles in their way?
Throw in the mix a ruthless, savage rapist/killer and you have a thriller and suspense novella you will not be able to put down.
Not suitable for readers under 18.

Amazon US Kindle: Rivulets of Blood
Amazon UK Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00IF1VTHY

Rivulets of Blood


About Author CS Forster

CS Forster has a great love of reading and had been writing stories for friends and family since a very young age. It was just a hobby then and never went any further. Life intervened and after lots of different jobs, travels and the passing of many years, the author decided to revive the passion for story-telling, but this time for a wider readership.
CS Forster lives on a property in a rural area, surrounded by dogs and books.


“Rivulets of Blood – An Excerpt”

The drive to the Miller’s home, a log-cabin, situated in the surrounding woods on an unpaved road, was not an easy one in the downpour.
Evan and Mary Miller were one of the younger long-time residents of Arrowhead. The moved here ten years ago when Evan struck it lucky on the financial markets, decided to quit the rat-race at a fairly young age and rather live a peaceful and quiet life with his wife Mary, surrounded by nature, something that both of them had always enjoyed.
The drive which normally takes about twenty minutes took Brad close to an hour, slipping and sliding in the mud.
Good thing he took the Jeep, the Sheriff should really press for a second four-wheel drive vehicle for the station.
As he approached the Miller’s property he saw lights on in, what he knew from previous visits, to be the living room.
Brad stopped the car in between the trees, switched off the engine and head lights and decided what to do next.
“I am close to the Miller’s cabin now” he informed the Sheriff over the radio “going to check on them now”.
He got out of the car pulling the brim of his Stetson down for more protection against the rain and let out a string of swear words as he stepped into the mud up to his ankles. Putting his hand on the gun he slowly approached the cabin.
‘Everything looks fine, I reckon I will look like a fool disturbing them at nearly midnight’.
As he got closer and not seeing anything suspicious, he started to relax even more until he caught a glimpse of the front door standing half open.
‘Now that can’t be good’ he thought, considering his next step.
“Sheriff, something is not right, the front door stands open, on a night like this with the rain still pissing down”.
“The Marshall has already sent two of his Deputies, better wait for back-up” Bill Logan replied.
“Ten-four Sheriff, but I am just going closer to have a look-see”.
“Be careful Brad”.
Deputy Spencer took out his gun and approached the open door carefully, while looking left and right.
‘Damn it all’ he said to himself, ‘the rain is not helping, I can’t see or hear a thing’.
He stepped on the porch and called through the open door “Deputy Spencer here, Mr Miller, Mrs Miller are you ok?”
Nothing, not a sound. He felt the hair on his neck raising and his palms getting sweaty.


4 Star Review for Salinor: The Beginnings by Samuel Alexander

4 Stars for “Salinor: The Beginnings” by Samuel Alexander

Salinor is an epic fantasy tale that is sure to bring a world of enjoyment to any lover of the fantasy genre. The author did a great job in tying in the aspects of war, adventure, love, hate, prophecy, and mythology into this detailed work.

There are two parts of the story, that of Leo and Danais, which you could say is present day, and the story of 1000 years earlier which has an important role in the journey that Leo and Danais undertake many years later.

The author did a great job in weaving together not only the development of the characters, but also their history and world building upon which many aspects of the book rely upon.

Leo and Danais struggle through adversity, aided along by their friends, and follow the path of the prophecy which can disrupt the power of the Tyrant.

The story is well over 700 pages and will give even an avid readers hours upon hours of reading enjoyment. With the story being so long, both parts of the story (the past and present) could be standalone portions and be edited into two separate novels.

There are some typos and misspellings in the book, not so much that they distract from reading, but the average reader will spot them.

4 out of 5 Stars

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an epic fantasy tale full of history and world building with well-developed characters.

Salinor: The Beginnings via Amazon

Review by: David at Indie Authors and Books

4 out of 5 Stars for The Favorite by Franklyn C. Thomas

The Favorite by Franklyn C. Thomas

The Favorite was a great read about a boxer taking his shot at the IBF Light Heavyweight Championship while struggling with his past and his out of the ring box.

Michael Dane’s boxing career seemed to end too soon in life as he served time in prison for a weapons charge. After emerging from prison, his boss Dante has him playing strong man with Boone as they collect on outstanding debts. This leads to controversy for Michael as he witnesses Boone murder two men on a roof top. He struggles to maintain his relationship with his boss and still not get put back into prison, but Dante doesn’t make it easy on him.

Michael confronts Dante and tells him he wants his title shot. He gets his title shot, but Dante throws him a right hook; he wants him to throw the fight.

He stays headstrong and continues on through both the adversity of his personal life, the struggle of right and wrong working with Boone, and what happens to him if he doesn’t throw the fight as Dante has instructed him to do.

The author does a great job in mixing the storyline up between the present day title match and the events from the weeks just previous to the bout. Although the author goes back and forth from past to present, the plot is very easy to follow along.

4 out of 5 Stars. A great read for mature readers due to some violence and language.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a story filled with action.

The Favorite

Review by: David at Indie Authors and Books