ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Release day -- Time and Circumstance by Theresa Milstein -- guest post.

Hi all!

This year I've made a commitment to read and review more blogger books and do the occasional host post on bloggers whose books I've read.

Today I'm hosting a blogger I've known for years, fellow teacher Theresa Milstein. She was kind enough to send me a copy of her book, Time & Circumstance for review, which I devoured very quickly, being a huge fan of flash fiction and poetry. And, great news, it's released TODAY!

Here's my very short review, already posted on Goodreads:

Time and Circumstance is especially interesting, as we don't often see a compilation of both flash fiction and poetry. PART ONE - TEMPO ADAGIO is prose, cutting edge slices of life, beautifully written, at times humorous, at times poignant, at times sad. Theresa captured my attention right from the first story - RESOLUTION - told from the POV of an 18 year old college student. The protagonist is torn between the nostalgic TV shows she finds addictive such as Bewitched and her college attendance. I love the lines: 'Who wouldn't perform magic to make their lives better?' Who indeed?

PART TWO - TEMPO ALLEGRO, is the poetry selection. Theresa's love of poetry shines through. I was taken by her (I'm not sure what they're called in the US,) shape poems, especially the PERFECT STATE OF BEING where she writes about Spirit Mind Body. I love the poem and how it appears on the page.

I hope I've given you the tiniest taste of Theresa's excellent book. I hope you'll support her on her blog tour (go HERE for the times/dates/hosts) and be convinced to buy her book.

So, over to you, Theresa!

The ways these stories came about are as varied as the stories themselves. After writing full-length manuscripts for children and teens seriously for five or six years, I finally started writing short stories. I’d heard I would learn to make every word count. Also, I wanted to start being published, and Stephen King started by getting short stories published.

Around the same time I began writing short stories, I wrote some flash fiction based on some blog challenges and I took a poetry workshop series. Then Jessica Bell began Vine Leaves Literary Journal to promote the vignette. Realizing there could be pieces where the main goal wasn’t beginning-middle-end was freeing for me. I enjoyed taking a small space and expanding on mood, setting, character.

The first part of my book, Time and Circumstance, is dedicated to prose. I included “Daisy,” which is the first story I ever submitted and which got published. It was originally in an anthology 100 Stories for Queensland to raise money for flood victims. It was the first piece I’d ever written for adults, and it’s deliciously dark. The original inspiration is from a TV show called L.A. Law. I can’t say which episode, or it will give the ending away! The pieces included in that section were also inspired by picture prompts, blog challenges, and events in my own life.

The second part of the book is dedicated to poetry. There too is the first poem I ever got published, “Dark Days,” which appeared in Vine Leaves Literary Journal. That poem explores a broken family from the perspective of a teen. I often paired the poetry in this section with picture prompts from a now inactive blog called “Magpie Tales.” Sometimes I wrote the poem first, and when a photo or painting posted that seemed to fit, I connected them. Other times the paintings and photos inspired me to write a poem. But many poems are inspired by my own life.

When I began pulling pieces for the collection, written over five years, this theme of the unrelenting passage of time surfaced.  In these last couple of years as my children are growing, it’s been weighing on me what a short gift I had to have this family of four. People we love come into our lives just as easily as they leave it. No matter how much we want to hold onto time, every moment is just a phase. And we are a product of our time, our circumstance. So my favorite quote by James Baldwin became the title to bring these small pieces together.

Theresa Milstein writes middle grade and YA, but poetry is her secret passion. Her vignette collection, TIME and CIRCUMSTANCE, will be published by Vine Leaves Press on March 21, 2017. She lives near Boston Massachusetts with her husband, two children, a dog-like cat, and a cat-like dog. For her day job, she works as a special education teacher in a public school, which gives her ample opportunity to observe teens and tweens in their natural habitat. 




TIME and CIRCUMSTANCE 

$3.99 AUD (eBook)
Kindle AUS
Kindle US
Kindle UK
Kindle CA
iBooks | Kobo | Nook

$12.99 AUD (paperback)
Amazon US
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​Amazon CA
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Book Depository
Chapters Indigo


Leave a comment  and you’re eligible to win a prize during my blog tour!

1 $25 Amazon gift card
1 signed paperback copy
1 ebook

Answer the question:
“If you could relive any moment in time, what would it be?”

Extra entries if you share on Facebook or Twitter and link it to me.
@TheresaMilstein on Twitter.
@Theresa Milstein on Facebook
#ReliveMoment or #TimeandCircumstance

Winners will be announced on April 5, 2017

Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us more about yourself, your writing, and your book, Theresa. I wish you happy trails and happy sales! 

I'm especially interested in how many of your stories/poems were the product of participating in blog challenges etc. I can say the same thing happens with me.









Monday, 13 March 2017

Travelling the Australian Outback and ... The Fourth Industrial Revolution -- what does that mean to us? ... Selling your book on social media.

Hello, social media tragics. 

This is one of those hated long posts which I actually enjoy reading if there's something interesting going on. You choose. You don't have to read it. I start off with some travel bits, (I promised I'd be talking more about Oz), then I move on to the state of the digital world, then have a chat about selling books on social media. If none of that interests you...phew, I've saved you some time. Lots of other blogs a'waiting a visit.

I'm back from my road trip through the Australian Outback. I drove through western Queensland, western New South Wales, outback South Australia to Adelaide. Then on the way back to South-East Queensland where I live, I drove through Victoria, then the western plains of New South Wales, then back through western Queensland. 2,200 kilometres in all. I survived. And I have lots of stories to write for travel mags!




Love old churches. Saw lots of old churches in the bush. This one still had money in the collection plate and showed signs of use!



Architecture from an earlier era. So much better than most modern buildings.



Only in the middle of what we call Woop Woop would you find a coffee shop like this. 



Finally...after 1,200 kilometres I get to the beach -- Glenelg, an historic beach a tram ride from Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.

The times they are a'changing. Never more obvious than when you drive through the bush and see life how it used to be. Of course, the old ways are dying...sadly. What do you do when your country no longer manufactures goods in your little town?  Hello! Some of these little towns had printing presses! Go figure! But you move on. Leave the towns to die...sadly. Some towns are just hanging on...some are all but abandoned. 85% of Aussies live 50 kilometres from the coast. Not many hang out in the Dead Centre.


Sheep are still driven through towns once a year to be shorn at the shearing sheds. Caught this flock which held up the road for half and hour. Made for great video and photos. Thousands of the cute little woolly blighters.
But, we're living in pretty exciting times, depending on your point of view. Some think this world is moving along too fast and would like to go back to a gentler time, a time when people talked face-to-face more than phone-to-phone. When people wrote letters, not emails. When people had time to waste, (er, create), to ponder, to imagine. Sorry, but those days are gone unless you work for Google, where you bounce around on fitballs, throw outrageous ideas at each other until one sticks. Now we're all frantically tapping our phones, our laptops, instead of tapping each other on the shoulder, saying 'hi!' On my travels, half the time I didn't even have a mobile signal! Satellite phones are de rigeuer in the outback!

Don't you shake your head at the craziness of our modern world, a world where Boris Johnson, ex London mayor and now the UK Foreign Minister, gets turned away from the political love fest that was the Munich Security Conference because he forgot his ID? (Well, I guess it was a security conference.) My point is, that is a modern story. Once upon a time, a handshake was good enough.

I digress...how about this Fourth Industrial Revolution I keep reading about?
"We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold...
The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres."              Extract from the World Economic Forum, 2016.

So now, Luddites and others who have bleeding fingernails from clinging on to the 'old ways.' We're moving into the Fourth Industrial Revolution whether we like it or not, this one is all about technology. Already in this world where nothing is private, what we say online has a forever impact. And I'm not just talking the CIA, the NSA, WikiLeaks et al. Once you post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, your blog and so forth, it's un-erasable. You might think if you click 'delete' your words are gone, but no, you just think they are. And, hello, it's been said that Facebook is the biggest spy agency in the world -- move over NSA. 

If you're using social media because you want to sell books, I've read that what you say on social media can have an impact on your success. There are right and wrong ways to go about it...apparently.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT STATIC

Social media changes all the time. It morphs. I love to blog, but my favourite social media is Instagram. It's so undemanding. I love to travel, I love to take photos and I love to see others' photos. That's how Instagram started out. But now, many author/bloggers are discovering Instagram, and it's fast going the way of Facebook, Twitter and the blogs. It's becoming all about 'buy-my-book'.

Sadly.

I know you've got to go where the fish are, but people on Instagram are there to drool over pictures of food, Paris or Istanbul or some monastery on top of some unattainable mountain. Not to buy your book. Okay, if you have a book to sell (and who doesn't?), you have to learn to navigate the waters and throw your line in at the right place if you want to catch a fish.

I saw this on Kristen Lamb's blog:
"Whenever we decide we might one day sell our book, we are making a decision to be a professional. Being a professional comes with certain rules that don't generally apply to regular people."
And about that...we don't really know what the rules are. At least I don't. I suspect many authors with a book to sell are trying this, trying that, hoping something will stick. Who has the answers to book promotion? Most of us have found out what doesn't work. Who can tell us what does?

SOME SOCIAL MEDIA HINTS IF YOU'RE USING IT TO SELL BOOKS -- or 'what turns me off'...
A simple fact. People buy books from people they know and I guess everyone is trying to get known on the blogs and other social media. Sure, we can easily surf Amazon, but I still love going to bricks and mortar book stores (we still have plenty in Australia--we are backward Down Under, after all) -- and 'surfing the shelves' and supporting hard-working booksellers gives me a buzz I don't get on Amazon. Does my favourite author have a new book out? How did I miss this one? It's in the bag.

However, if you're thinking, darn it, she'll never buy my book, it's only digital on Amazon, my eye is occasionally captured by a book on social media such as Twitter and I'll find out more about it and usually buy it. 

But this is the thing. People probably won't buy a book from someone who's been ranting and raving on Twitter or Facebook, unless they like that particular rant and rave. I read comments on posts on FB. Do you? People are not going to buy books from nasty people who berate anyone with a different opinion, or call them names. No. No. No. Social media is supposed to be social and is governed by the same social rules as any non-digital get-together. Be polite. Be friendly. It's not all about me-me-me or you-you-you.

THE GREAT UN-FOLLOWERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Don't you hate those posts on FB where people threaten to unfollow you (silly word) if you don't obey what they're telling you to do? (((sniff))) (((sniff))) Go ahead. Unfollow me. I care about the Syrians and Iraqis getting blown to bits and the famines in Somalia and the Sudan, oh, and global warming, but I don't care who unfollows me on FB. If someone annoys me too much, I just unfriend/unfollow/block...whatever...quietly, no fuss, no fanfare. I don't have to tell anyone about it. Not in my space. Each of us has a right to set our own boundaries.

I don't mind political rants especially when I can laugh at them, being a political animal myself, and there's just so much political  nonsense to laugh about at the moment, but I hate when the comments turn nasty. I know. Life is tough. We're so easily offended or outraged these days. Let's reclaim the calm.

Try one of the old, pre-Fourth Industrial Revolution quirky things...

Read the Bible or another spiritual tome.

Meditate.

Do yoga.

Do Tai-Chi

Sit at the beach.

Climb to the top of a mountain.

Travel, immerse yourself in another culture then you'll probably appreciate yours more.

Listen to a beautiful audio book if that's your bag.

Oh, that sounds like I'm a Luddite. Funny that so many people are pushing back, trying to reclaim the calm in this screaming world. 

Being calm is a big ask in our world's very strange, dangerous, unpredictable political climate, especially when plenty of people are using social media to stir up their followers, to incite them to activism, but let's be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Want people to buy your books? Play nice. Buy other author's books. Read them right through. Write reviews. Tell everyone when you finish an excellent book.

Okay, I'm currently reading Forbidden by Judy Feather Stone blogger. A great cross-cultural romance. Bit of the Amazon blurb:

Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories

Fifteen American travelers have vanished.

And what do you know...the CIA is involved!

Catch you next time!

What are you reading? Or just finished? Tell us about it...



Wednesday, 1 March 2017

#IWSG post -- March 1 Question: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Here we are again! Another month, another security or insecurity. How this year is flying by!

It's always a good way to mark the beginning of the month by posting/reading for the IWSG. My head is full of other things this month, like heading off on a road trip through outback Australia -- 2.054 kilometres (1.276  miles) each way.

I leave today, March 1st.

Image result for image of australian outback

Thanks to Alex's awesome co-hosts for the March 1 IWSG: Tamara Narayan,Patsy Collins, M.J. Fifield, and Nicohle Christopherson!

Today I'll go with the question:

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it?

Well, sort of. But the 'really old story' I'm talking about is my vampire novella. 'Under the Tuscan Moon' was my indulgence published in 2015 - written with an ancient slant to the language as it was more likely spoken in the 16th century. Some readers found the language off putting, others thought it was exquisite. Commercial viability has won, and after doing two posts on self-publishing I've used some of the feedback to kick start my sales. Probably the most important advice was to think about my target audience (thanks L Diane Wolfe). So I've done this, and have come up with a new title, new author name, and most importantly, new cover, so there's no doubt what lies inside the pages. Currently, I'm re-writing the whole story, galloping along in modern English at a much faster pace.

Along with my good friend Lynda Young, I attended a Joanna Penn lecture/discussion on self-publishing yesterday (basically, why would you do anything else, she asks?) Joanna is a great proponent of reworking her books -- new covers, fixing anything a reader may have pointed out etc etc. She staggered us by saying she does this monthly! Egad!


So, yes, I believe in reworking stories. I'll let you know how it goes when I re-publish.

Hope you have as much fun as I intend to this month!

And thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit little 'ole me. Looking forward to visiting you as wifi and travel miles allow.





Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Write...Edit...Publish February challenge -- Back of the Drawer. My #flashfiction, The Avalanche

Howdy!

January has scuttled off into history and here we are, February 2017! Un-be-liev-able! February is kick-off month for WEP (Write...Edit...Publish) where a friendly group of like-minded bloggers astound each other and random readers every second month with wit, wisdom, talent, sincerity and dexterity, depending on choice of subject.



February WEP is entitled 'Back of the Drawer'. Wide open to interpretation and genre. Everyone's welcome to have a crack at it. It's too easy. 

We accept flash fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photo essays, artwork...1,000 word limit (but who's counting?)

Amazon.com gift card design

We offer an Amazon gift card of $10 to the winner (sorry, folks, that's all we can afford on writer's incomes) and fabulous badges to the winner, runner up and an encouragement award. These visual delights created by Olga Godim, badge-maker and cover-maker extraordinaire, can be posted on your blog to show everybody your brilliance!

As per usual, I've gone the flash fiction route. Sit back and giggle along. I guarantee you'll be reaching for the duster if you make it to the end...

All characters and events in this story are fictitious, and any resemblance to a real person is deliberate. 

The Avalanche

I’m one of those people who can’t throw anything away. You’ve seen me on telly. I'm called a "hoarder". They say I'm suffering from anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Whatever.

They don't understand that having my things around me makes me feel safe, secure, euphoric. Woooooo! But. God. I’m shaking when I remember this, but recently my husband gave away a box. Our daughter was moving out and needed some things.

I was furious.

Ranted.

Raved.

No. One. Takes. My. Stuff. Pfft!

When I came home from work, I noticed straightaway that a box was missing. How, you might ask? Well, every day I check my stuff when I leave and when I return. The coffee cups he gave away were in that bright orange box of six I bought in the sixties. The illustration on the side showed the cups were orange stonewear with lime green stripes. I’ve never opened the box, but one day I might need them.

My husband told my daughter to bring my coffee cups home.

And she did.

Ungraciously.

She’d opened them! I ran for my packing tape as soon as she was out the door.

***

Today I worked overtime at the warehouse when the fork lift driver who relieves me didn’t turn up. 

By the time I get home, I'm in a high state. My stuff’s been untended for ten hours. There’s construction in our street. My boxes will be covered in dust…again.

I drink one restorative glass of bubbly after another, loving the pretty French wine glass from a new set I just opened. My old glasses finally carked it. Well, I do like my after-work swig. But the euphoria of opening that box that was three layers down for, what, twenty years! I recall the trip to the Champagne region where I bought boxes and boxes of the glasses over my husband’s protests.

‘Rachael, Rachael, think of the excess baggage charges!’ Pfft!

He doesn't understand. I have to collect things or I’d go crazy.

Drinkies done, I wobble to the spare room vacated by my daughter and hunt for the stepladder. It’s not easy, cuz I’ve been on a spree. I have this eight by twelve space to fill. There was a linen sale in town yesterday and I went crazy seeing all those gorgeous Moroccan-styled bedspreads. 

I go to the corner where I’ve stored them and pat the boxes. My husband better not think he's giving them to our daughter. I know she doesn’t have much, but she’s not getting my stuff. Why did she have to move out anyway? 

Kids these days.

I slip my hand under my daughter’s old creaky bed and pull out the little box of drawers I hide there. These treasures got me started. My husband would rant if he found it. And my daughter hasn’t done a day’s housework in her life so no chance of her finding them. She says she can’t work in a junk house. Junk house! Youth is wasted on the young! Pfft!

I plonk down on the threadbare carpet and open my box of odds and ends right at the back of the tiniest drawer. I’m not sharing this stuff with anybody. It's mine, mine, mine.

I pull out the napkin, now falling apart, but I can still read the poem my first lover wrote me when we were celebrating Valentine’s Day at Billy Bob’s. The words don’t quite rhyme, but they still make me cry when I read them.

"Will you be my Valentine?
The answer my friend
Is blowing in the wind."

(((sniff, sniff))) I still miss Willie. He blew off in the wind shortly afterwards.

Then I find the "Dear Rachael" note from my next lover who said he’s leaving me cuz I’m not right in the head. That really hurt. Then there’s the rusty old hotel key from that dirty weekend with Krispin. I don’t know why I want to be reminded of that disaster, but that's what happens when you can’t throw anything away.

Without my stuff, I wouldn’t know who I am.

I close the lid and slide it back into the bottom drawer. My daughter’s only been gone a month and already my stuff is growing up the walls, on top of her dresser, even in her bathroom. Soon, I’ll love this room as much as I love my living room, my kitchen and my garage. Surrounded by my stuff, I’m so happy. I’m never happy in the bedroom, though, because my mean husband won’t let my stuff grow in there.

‘We’ve gotta have one room in the house where I can breathe,’ he’s always said. Just yesterday when he left for work, he waggled his finger. ‘If you ever put stuff in there, I’m outta this tip.’

It’s getting late. He should be home. Maybe he’s found the stuff I hoarded in the back of our wardrobe. I tossed out some of his old shoes and suits to make room.

Why isn’t he home?

I need to move some of my stuff off the stove so I can throw dinner together. He rolls his eyes if I haven’t got dinner on the table when he walks in.

Where could he be?

I go to the kitchen, but I’ve forgotten to dust my stuff. Back in the spare room, I pat my new boxes, then drag the stepladder into the kitchen which gets the worst of the construction dust. I move to the living room, but it’s so full of my lovely stuff I can’t quite reach the top of the pile. I stand on a tall box of wooden toys I’ve bought in case my daughter ever has children. 

Damn. 

It’s flimsy. 

Everything comes from China these days. It wobbles under me. I lurch to the side, but there’s nothing to grab except boxes. I end up horizontal under a ton of stuff with boxes raining down on me.

Plop! Thud! Flop! 

How will I ever pack them right again? Ouch. That hurt. My poor head. Probably the box of tools I’ve been hoarding for my husband in case he turns handy. Then more boxes, and more... Another bang on my head. Oh, sweet boxes, don’t do this to me.

I’m completely squashed. I’m buried in an avalanche like those poor people in Italy last week. I hurt. All over. I can’t...breathe. I’ll have to conserve oxygen until my husband comes home.

I’m drifting into unconsciousness, then a terrifying thought hits me.

‘What if he found my stuff in the bedroom?’ 

Pfft.


WORDS: 1091 - sorry, but it was so fun you didn't notice, right?
FCA

With thanks to songwriters: Chely Wright / Liz Rose, for your inspiration. And a young friend who told me the coffee cup story (her mother is a hoarder).


CLICK on the list in my sidebar to read more entries...

Thank you for reading!



Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Self-publishing continued...Your responses to my post. What works. What doesn't...and the cost of self-publishing.

Recently, I posted about my blog focus for the year. Posting more about Australia was hailed as good stuff by many. 

So, these are my conclusions about blogging in 2017:

  • My posts will have more of an Aussie flavour, as when I started out in 2008 with my travel blog.
  • I'll do some travelogue-style posts. I've been asked for more info on Tasmania, so I might start there. Tasmania is interesting. I lived there for nearly 2 years, so I'll be talking about a state where I have personal knowledge. Well, actually, I've travelled every state and territory of Australia, so I will be sharing first-hand experience.
But this week it's different. For the IWSG, I posted about self-publishing. The comments were interesting, and I am sharing some here hoping they might help someone. I'm not going to link them all, that takes too long, but here is the link to the post so you can see the links yourself. They're in chronological order except for the final one...

F Scott Fitzgerald, a self-published author
  • 'You've had some of your work on Wattpad. What's your take on that? - D.G. Hudson
    • I'm no expert on Wattpad. It has worked for some writers who publish their chapter/s and seek feedback. I'm not prioritising it at the moment, and I've heard there's some hacking of authors' work, but I don't really know if that's true. And an acquaintance found 75,000 readers for her romance, but still can't get a publisher interested, so what's that about?
  • 'Self-publishing is a "Learn As You Grow" path. It is simply a marketplace that is too over-crowded to stand out unless you are a Name. Persistence and Evolving are the only things that will see us through. The more books you self-publish, the bigger your backlist will be should you ever gain fans. That thought is what keeps me going.' Roland Yeomans.
    • I'd be more comforted if I knew Roland was happy with his sales, having published over 20 books. I'm the tortoise, Roland. You're the hare. 
  • Raimey Gallant has a template for marketing your book (keeping track of street teams and everything else) on her blog today for IWSG. And BadRedHeadMedia has a lot of info on building your author brand (for that all-important name recognition). Ronel Janse Van Vuuren
    • Very interesting. Check it out.
  • 'How about doing an additional recipe collection relating to each of your books - Tuscan, Parisian ... then you could add to that ... French, Italian etc refer to the place/ happening in the book ... ?'  Hilary Melton-Butcher.
    • I love this idea. Do you?
  • 'Self-publishing demands all your time and energy when you decide to go that route.' - Pat Garcia
  • 'I have a whole book of ideas and there are so many more new ones available now. Ask yourself - who is your target reader? Where do those people hang out? Now, find a way to put yourself in front of them, via a book club, a conference, articles for websites and blogs, fan sites, etc.' L Diane Wolfe
  • '...we stay with Amazon and KU and KDP etc. because that's where pretty much *all* my sales come from.' - Pepper Words
    • I've read that 75% of all books are sold via Amazon and I haven't bothered formatting for the rest, but am looking into Draft2Digital who do all that for you in exchange for 15% of your royalties -- oh, goody, just heard on the weekend that an actual Amazon office is coming to Australia. I wonder what that's all about? If it leads to lower prices (you wouldn't believe how much extra we have to pay compared to our US friends!), I'm happy.
  • 'As you know Denise, marketing comes easy for me. I help authors market their books. And I also upload for other authors, so I do know some authors are making good money from self publishing.' - Nas Dean
    • Yes, Nas and others like Mason Canyon provide an editing/marketing service. Let me know if you do! I think the cost runs over $300, but I'm open to correction. You can't always book these services as they're very busy. Not many self-pubbed authors can afford these services. But it definitely widens the scope if you hate self-promotion.
  • 'A lot of those statements you made can also be applied to traditional publishing too. Which, if I'm honest, is kinda depressing.' Lynda Young
    • Yep. I'd heard that traditional publishers don't help much with marketing. You have to convince them you have a marketing plan before they accept your manuscript. *chews thumb*
  • 'If you join Payoneer, they provide you with a US bank account that you can give Amazon, which makes royalties *SO* much easier. And I use it myself, so I know it works. Misha Gericke.
    • Whoops. Then I remembered I'd signed up for Payoneer and forgot why. Doh!!
  • 'I’m on the Writer Unboxed Twitter team and my duty is to scour the internet for information on promotion. I post links on both indie and traditional promotion under #WUPromo. This isn’t intended as a plug, but there’s a lot of good information there,' VR Barkowski
    • I love Writer Unboxed. Must check out this twitter feed. Sounds good.
  • 'It's not that I don't want to share publishing/marketing tips, it's that I haven't found anything that works. Nada. - Lexa Cain
    • That is SO DEPRESSING!!
  • 'While I have read many good works that were self-published, I'm disappointed by the number that are sloppy. People who rush the process and don't have their work properly edited. I'm slogging through one now.' Faraway Eyes.
    • This is also depressing. Many of the self-pubbed books on my Kindle I've read 6% and can't go on...I like to read really, really, good stories and aspire to write that way, too. Maybe I'll never get there, but it's a good goal.
  • 'I'll let you know how long it takes me to recoup the cost of editing, formatting, and design. Hmm...' - Yolanda Renee.
    • This is the thing. It's not 'free' to self-publish like some people think. If you do it right (pay experts for different kinds of editing - structural, copy editing and so on, then there's formatting and a professional cover at a minimum), you're looking at $3,000+. You might also hire someone to write your blurb, do illustrations etc. And then there's Print on Demand. Traditional publishing, if you can be so lucky to hook such an animal, helps defray these substantial costs.
Lisa Genova, who self-published Still Alice, then got picked up by traditional publishers.
I just finished reading her Love Anthony. Best read for some time.

So there it is, peeps! I've learned a few more things about self-publishing by throwing it open to discussion last week. I'm hoping more of you will respond to this post and the comments of various bloggers.

  • After reading this and/or my previous post, are you still planning on self-publishing?
See you next week!!

And if you think this post is helpful, please hit the social media buttons! Much appreciated! (I'm going to be posting about social media SOON!)

And here's another plug for Write...Edit...Publish. Please think about joining us. A new challenge comes out every second month. Check out the schedule at the top of my sidebar. There might be something that catches your imagination. You can sign up in my sidebar. Also, you can delete your link if you run out of time/inspiration.

THIS MONTH, FEBRUARY...Back of the Drawer (not your average Valentine's challenge). Tell us your interpretation in a poem, a flash fiction piece of 1000 words or less, a non-fiction piece detailing your personal experience or someone else's experience, write a script, draw your dreams, or post a photograph or a photo essay. The genre is up to you. The artistic choice is completely yours.