Posts Tagged With: publishing

Bye-Bye Examiner, Hello new direction

Yes, I let my Examiner credentials run out and I am no longer the Seattle Writing Examiner. If you want that position, be my guest.

But why?

Writing for Examiner was a great exercise and a way to expand my platform while showing that I possess the credentials to write web content. Unfortunately it did not bring me money for all the effort I put in. Frankly, I couldn’t think of anything else to write about Writing that hadn’t already been written. (Hehe)

Which brings me to the “new direction”:

I will now be switching gears from the carefree self-publishing-only focus. Now I plan to focus more on writing and getting paid.

I’ve sold a short story called Vampire Thrall to and have found a great fit there with my writing style. I have great hopes to do business with them into the future. I am scrubbing Horarium till it is nice and shiny to submit to for their short-story feature. We’ll see.

Another biggie: I will be seeking a traditional publisher for The Stray, my second story in the ShaZha World. I had planned to finish over the summer but I had to jump on the Silkwords opportunity first. When it is done, off to publishers I go!

As for my site and what I have been doing online for the last two years, you’ll just see less. I still plan to participate in lots of online groups and push Discover Authors forward as far as I can, but I will not spend time scouring the web for self-publishing pots o’ gold. My new “gear” will focus on the changing traditional marketplace and what I find there.

Why am I switching gears like this? I really want to push my writing career into the next level. My family deserves to benefit financially from my writing and not just lose my time and gain nothing. I need to see if I can earn a living off of my writing or learn that it is just a hobby and treat it as such. Self-publishing is wonderful and my preferred method, but I have to try the other path to see if I can succeed that way.

I still plan to self-publish! I write a lot of stories and not all of them will fit the publishing world.

“What if you crash and burn, Kate?” You’re probably not thinking that because you’re too polite. But I am. If I can’t make it pay and contribute to my family finances with my writing so I can help my oldest son become a robot designer, my daughter to become an artist, and my younger son to become Spiderman, then I will write for fun, publish for fun, and give up seeking payment and promotion.

Face it: writing is one of my excretions. (EEEEWWWW!) But it is. I write and it doesn’t stop. Realizing this was the reason I published and I don’t see that stopping now that I can complete a story. Now all I need is a little Vrevzirma to see how it will turn out.

Wish me good fortune!

Categories: About me | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Book Marketing Companies Update

I’ve been crazy busy lately! Sorry about the infrequent posts but I’m refinancing my house, doing taxes, enrolling kids in school, and other paperwork. Midwinter is also doing a number on my Coffee Equalization Coefficient. But here is an update on book promotion companies. I heard about a stinker recently and found some sites with personal testimonies, so I added those.

**These ratings for book marketing companies are all based strictly on customer experience and opinion. This is a running list and I will be happy to add other customer opinions of book marketing companies to this list. To include your ratings, please comment on this post or email me at katepolicani@gmail (dot) com.


Company Name Type of service Pass? Costs Comments
99 cent Network Listing Fail $45 No obvious return for money and no visibility of book on site. No answers to emails inquiring about where to find the book
AtoMr Book Blog Tours Tours, Book Buzz Pass $99 Did ” an awesome job” “super happy with the results” “booked blogs that get awesome traffic and have a lot of avid readers”
Archway Publishing Self-publishing, marketing, bookselling/promotion services     See author Solutions
AuthorHouse Self-publishing, marketing, bookselling/promotion services     See Author Solutions
Author Solutions Self-publishing, marketing, bookselling/promotion services Fail   Additonal names: Trafford Publishing, AuthorHouse, iUniverse Inc., Xlibris,

Ripoff Report

“I simply cannot get anyone to respond to my e-mails on a book I am publishing with the company. The company says my book has already gone on sale, though they are obligated to provide me with a sizeable number of free books for my book launch – they have not and are not responding to e-mails….”

Bewitch-ing Blog Tours Tours Fail   “half the people who signed up didn’t post and only 3 did reviews even though it was supposed to be 15”
Book-Daily Listing Fail $49 “amount of sales doesn’t seem to be worth cost”
Book-Whirl SCAM Fail    Scam Report Another Scam Report
Goddess Fish Promos Tour Reviews Neut. $30 “didn’t break even” but supplied publicity
Inno-vative Online Book Tours / Reading Addiction Tours,  Amazon Reviews Fail $100 “A big flop, didn’t follow through as they had promised” “Three blogs didn’t post at all. The ones

who did post had very low followings, and NONE of them posted their review on amazon. Lame excuses from staff.” Bloggers posted ebook giveaway when customer didn’t offer them/wrong day. The ones who did post the correct giveaway all posted separate rafflecopter forms, preventing a fair winner or forcing customer to send 20 prize packs

“Hasn’t given me any sales OR amazon reviews. Stay away from them.”

iUniverse Self-publishing, marketing, bookselling/promotion services     See Author Solutions
Kindle Daily Nation Listings Fail $160 “no results” (used to be great but saturated with too many books)
Kindle Promo Indie Book Listing Service Tweets Pass £15 “actively promotes books”
Nurture Your Books Tour, Promo, Nat. Press Release Fail $995 Paid for services and “nothing happened” Multiple calls and emails got no reponse. Emails to everyone in the company finally got a response and offer  of the book tour but couldn’t make the other person contact me. Customer resorted to refund through the credit card company.
Orange-berry Summer Splash Tour Tours TBA $25 Slots at tail end of month-long tour with 99 other authors, At least one event didn’t happen, never saw promised review, Orangeberry currently compensating author with discount second tour.
Partners in Crime Tours TBA    TBA
Pump Up Your Book Tours Fail   Ripoff Report
Promo. Book Tours Tours, Release parties Pass x2   Facebook Page Increased by 700 fans, Twitter increased by 450 Follows, newsletter increased by 150, “booked blogs that get awesome traffic and have a lot of avid readers”
Schiel & Denver book publishing, editing, marketing, printing, distribution Fail   Ripoff Report

“I did not get one on one author support.  I did not get a quality product.  I did not get the immediate response that they promised.  As a matter fact, every time I called the main line and requested to speak to a manager, they were always in a meeting and the call was never returned.”

Shades of Rose YA Tours Fail $7.50, $15 Newer company with small following, had trouble filling tours, do refund when cannot fill tour.
Sizzling PR Tours Pass -1

Fail -1

$15 -$75 “Nice people and very affordable.”

“90% of the blogs were adult blogs/romance/erotica for a YA book”

Smith Publicity Var. Neut.   “Stellar results, high prices.”
Trafford Publishing

*See also: Author Solutions

Self-publishing, marketing, bookselling/promotion services Fail -1   See Author Solutions (Trafford was acquired by Author Solutions on April 2009.)
Xlibris Self-publishing, marketing, bookselling/promotion services     See Author Solutions


Here are some useful Links: This was a fascinating one on what seems to work/not work for author promotion.

Categories: Publicity | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Last Author Blog-in this Friday

Five more Days!

The author blog-in is less than one week away! To get your choice of days, please sign up now. Feel free to share the page with your author friends too. Spread the word and widen our audience about our wonderful books!

All the information is here:

Also be sure to check out Author Blog-in’s new look! Discover Authors starts in February with the same easy format and more benefits.

Categories: Author Blog-in | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Choosing how to publish

Choosing how to publish. An Examiner article about questions every author must answer.

Categories: Examiner | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are Self-published Books a Good Choice for Readers?

When you look for a book, do you want something popular? Do you want to read all the latest and coolest stories? Or do you want something that pushes the boundaries?

If you translated your buying experience with SP (self-published books) versus TP (traditionally-published books), you might say that TP books are like major brands purchased at a national chain store, such as Cheerios. Conversely, SP books are like a farmer’s market bag of organic rolled oats. Both have their benefits and their drawbacks. Which cereal would you choose?

There are several things to consider when choosing whether to pick a TP book or go indie: Continue reading

Categories: Reading | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Things That Upset Authors

I’ve finally plugged into a few online author communities. It took me awhile, but I’m part of the conversation now. During my forays, I’ve noticed that there are some things that really infuriate authors.

Continue reading

Categories: Publicity | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

You Might Be A Writer If….

Is it possible for you to be an author?

That is a question most people think they know. I know I did for fifteen years, and my answer was “no”. But I was WRONG! I had been an author all along but had dismissed that idea because I couldn’t see it. It would have been helpful for someone to ask me a few questions. One of my policies is, if I see a need for it but don’t see it online, I make it. So here you go!

  1. Do you write? This also seems like a dumb question. Of course you write. You write grocery lists, notes, emails, maybe even blog posts. But do you write for your own entertainment? When an idea hits you, are you compelled to write it down? Do you like to research things that won’t increase your paycheck? Then you just might be an author! Continue reading
Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Do You Choose What to Write?

How does an author choose what stories to devote their energy and time to finish? Most of us have many ideas floating around based on what interests us from the world around us. But how do you choose what to work on next?

Here is how it works for me. I made a pretty picture!

The books that I’ve devised an outline for, in my head or in writing, get chosen and filtered through the Think Tank for the order I choose them. Things that have progressed naturally to near-completion also get chosen this way. Some subjects that “write themselves” are stories I have intense feelings for, or things that are really relevant to me at the time. These ideas erupt out on their own and I find time to write them because I HAVE TO! These get published too and sometimes without choice from the Think Tank. The Lustre was one of those “feeling” stories.

A story doesn’t get written because it is in the Box of Shame, which means I’ve overdone it for myself and dislike the story because it is Abodid (this is a very appropriate baby word for “hateful” coined by my son Corbin the Philosopher at age 18 months). The rest of the unfinished rabble exist in the idea cloud, which means they have at least a few sentences to remind me of the concept. These could be one of the four completion categories some day if they eat their Wheaties.

Ross Gale has this interesting take on the books writers choose to write:

Categories: My Books | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Looking Back

A wonderful new author recently emailed me after reading Compulsively Writing Fiction, my free ebook on Smashwords, and asked me what I would recommend for a burgeoning author to read before embarking on the scary world of publishing. What would you recommend if this question were asked of you? It felt really good to go back over my research to give a good, comprehensive run-down of my recommendations. Here is my list:

Some books I liked were:

These are all free! But the ones below aren’t. (I found this one in ebook form at my library website) (this one too)

and these articles were good:

Categories: Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How Not to Publish a Novel Yourself

(The Lustre is set to release Thursday!!! Please get back to me by Wednesday, you last-minute-ers, if you want to get in on the Launch Party action!)

I can’t say that I know exactly how TO publish a novel but I definitely know some things you shouldn’t do:

  1. Don’t write your novel/short story/poetry collection, edit it, release it and THEN publicize (blogging, online communities, networking). Do publicize as soon as you decide you are going to finish it and publish. If you are psychic or have been given a peek into the future and find you might want to publish someday, start promoting right away. Even if you are planning on going the “traditional publishing route”, you should publicize. You will have to do it anyway.
  2. Don’t write one book and expect it to take off on its own and make you rich within months. That would be a Holy Miracle. Do expect to make chump change for quite a while unless you know more than me. Legend has it that authors used to make it big by self-publishing back in “the day” before everyone realized how easy it was. It isn’t that way now. Sorry.
  3. Don’t expect that you are professional enough to produce quality work as an editor for your own work unless you are an editor, and even then, don’t. Also, don’t expect your Uncle Joe is either unless he is certified or has worked in that capacity for years. Do have lots of people read your book to make sure other people understand what you are saying. Do hire/employ a professional editor if you want a quality work.
  4. Don’t try to follow every bit of marketing advice you see online. It won’t all work for you and it isn’t all right for what you are promoting. Do follow the advice that works for you and focus on that so that you have time to write.
  5. Don’t try to avoid other authors and push them aside thinking they are your competition. Other writers are your biggest audience and resource. Do treat them as you would like to be treated.
  6. Don’t think that self-publishing will be the easier route. It is just a different kind of work. Do expect to learn a lot and do a ton of work.
Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Author Blog-in: 2 weeks until start!

Sign up now!

The author blog-in is coming up in just two weeks! To get your choice of days, please sign up now. Feel free to share the page with your author friends too. Spread the word and widen our audience about our wonderful books!

All the information is here:

Categories: Author Blog-in | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Had to Link This Post!

I completely agree with Tahlia about the future of ebooks and print books, and had to share her thoughts with you whether “To Eread or Not To Eread“. Check it out!

I am a little irritated that the spellchecker still underlines ebook in red. Hasn’t it been out and used long enough to be included in the spelling database?

Categories: Self-Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tag surfin’! Tag-tag surfin’!

They should really call it “Tag Fishing” because it is like finding some that are whoppers, some that are minnows, and some old boots.

Here are my faves from today: I love the hard evidence, and I’m encouraged that though I am not making wads of money, the odds are in my favor. This one was short but fat with goodness.

Also there is a long one but interesting Maybe this one is an eel. I liked her progression through the book writing process to fame.

Categories: Self-Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Premium Distribution on Smashwords!

It’s a small achievement, but I finally tweaked my ebook version to qualify for premium distribution on Smashwords! As I’ve said before, they have a great formatting guide and have a lot of good advice and tips about good ebooks. Lets see if this increases my sales, as they claim it will…

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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