Posts Tagged With: Self-Publish

How Writing a Book Changed Me

It did. It changed me, not in an enormous way, but I feel different now that it is out there. I have an accomplishment that is tangible and will endure beyond me. It may reside in a used book store or a storage unit, but it’s there. I have the knowledge that I wrote a book and the confidence that I can do it again. That is enormous for me.

Before the book, I was just Kate, a mommy and a homemaker, doing what all mommies and homemakers have done since the beginning of time. Truthfully, I felt lowly and unimportant to others as a mom. My job (and I consider it to be that) is un-glamorous and possible for anyone who can produce or acquire a baby to parent. Don’t get me wrong. I also think it is the most important job in the world, to raise the next generation, and that is why it is my job, and not my hobby or my side-job. It’s just that it is a really easy field to break into.

Writing a book, however, is not something everyone can do. It makes others see me as unique and worthy. Only a week after my publishing date, I feel the rise in respect from other moms who I chat with in passing at my kids’ school. Friends I haven’t heard from in 16 years are excited about my books! My books are getting people excited! They are enthused about the one that is out and eager for the ones to come.

The publishing thing is interesting too. Even though I self-published and had control over when the book came out (har har), that confirmation of publication was a rite of passage that made me a “Real Writer”. Without the evidence they could hold in their hand (or in their Kindle) it was just a cool hobby. I have the paperback. It says my name on it.

The paperback’s arrival was especially important to my kids. To them, books are still objects. Seeing my book in physical form, not just words on a computer or an ereader, made it real to them. The interest expressed by others is what makes the book important in their eyes and not just some thing mom does on her laptop. They aren’t allowed to touch my laptop, and so it is my space. But when others notice and talk to them about it, it becomes important.

I do feel kind of like a cheater here because my writing is not something I planned to do and sat down with sheer determination to accomplish. It did take discipline and work, but that was to make it presentable. When an idea is whirling around in my head and I am looking at it from all angles and poking it to see if it will twitch, it has to eventually come out onto paper, or the screen of my laptop. The night before last, in order to stop thinking about my next day’s schedule, I made up a story about people transformed into strange beasts with a gene-altering parasite. Last night I expanded on that idea and then fell asleep  had a dream about a dramatic confrontation that also could be a story, if arranged properly. There are two potential pieces of books, right there, that oozed out of me without effort.

This writing isn’t an accomplishment of will for me, it’s the manifestation of my thought processes. And it makes me look cool. “Hi, my name is Kate. I’m an author. Here’s where you can buy my book.” That is so cool! Truthfully, you probably can’t sneeze and not infect at least two authors. But I’m an author, and I can prove it, and it has changed me.

Categories: Self-Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Disenchanted Pet in Paperback!

The Disenchanted Pet is now available on CreateSpace in Paperback form! https://www.createspace.com/3657962

It will also be availble on Amazon in 3-5 days, if you prefer that!

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Updating and Screwing Up

Oh the difference one dot can make. I left it out and now my update to The Disenchanted Pet on Kindle will list for $99 instead of $0.99. Where did that dot go? I have no idea. Now I am trolling the Kindle Direct website to catch it the moment I can change it.

If you were thinking of buying my book on Kindle, please don’t pay $99 for it (Haw Haw). I will fix it ASAP I promise!

If you bought my book for Kindle and couldn’t read the quote text from chapter 9, then I’ve fixed that. I hear there are some dropped words, and I’m not sure if they got deleted or if they were off the page or what. Frankly, I can’t force myself to sit down and read the whole book AGAIN to see.

Publishing on Kindle was amazingly easy and quick. I don’t feel like I can easily get answers to my specific questions, and the site does not make their help files obvious. I had better results “Googling” my question. Was it  better to create a “new” book labeled as a second edition or to upload a new file? I have no idea and Kindle Direct website did not have the answer in an obvious place. The forums are poorly labeled and not easy to analyze for the answer I want. But I’m a “wing-it” kind of gal anyway.

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The Disenchanted Pet Is now Available on Kindle!

Click the link below to order The Disenchanted Pet for Kindle!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NXE0F0?ie=UTF8&tag=httpkatepoliw-20&linkCode=shr&camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B005NXE0F0&redirect=true&ref_=sr_1_1&qid=1316452263&sr=8-1&assoc_ss_swlb=1&creativeASIN=B005NXE0F0

If you review The Disenchanted Pet on Amazon, email me at katepolicani@gmail.com and include your Amazon reviewer name and physical address. I’ll send you an “I heart My SaSa” decal!

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The Marketing Idea

I got the decals and tried them out! What do you think?

I heart My SaSaI got the decals for my inkjet printer from Office Depot. It was kind of a pain to get them because they were out of stock in most of the stores in my area. They also don’t always print the first time and simulate a paper jam, ruining the first half-inch of the paper. Blue ink for the words did not work well.

My plan is to give these to anyone who reviews my book on Amazon and emails me with their Amazon name (so I can read their review) and address to send to.

I also got some iron-on transfer for cloth also, and I’m not sure what to make out of them except T-shirts. A book bag maybe? Bookmarks would be cool too.

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Things I Learned Yesterday About Amazon

  1. Hunt for your book using the top search bar, using your book’s category every day, two or three times, and select it when you find it. The more times it is chosen from that list, the higher it will appear. http://207-171-168-58.amazon.com/kdpforums/thread.jspa?threadID=15774
    Thank you Traci Hilton (tracihilton)!
  2. Once you have a book for sale, you need to use Amazon AuthorCentral to advertize yourself as an author!https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/landing?ie=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0
  3. You can use the Amazon Associates Program to make money while you promote your own book on your own website! (Plus other things) https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join/getstarted_eighth?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_t=501&ref_=amb_link_7464442_3&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=&pf_rd_s=assoc-center-10&pf_rd_r=&pf_rd_i=assoc_join_getstarted_seventh
Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Notes on Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

Rarely do I like a nonfiction book enough to read it from cover to cover and take notes voluntarily. I did for this book because there was some stuff I just didn’t wan to forget. This is good stuff! My notes were as follows:

Close reading: Reading a book “closely” allows you to see beyond the plot, characters,
and ideas in the book.

Words: Word choice tells the reader about the author and shapes the tone of the story. It shows why certain writers endure.

Sentences: Look at the really great sentences! Sentences are what writing is about.

Paragraphs: Paragraphs are the completeness of the work and give it a musical quality, a rhythm.

Narration: Who is listening? On what occasion is the story being told and why? Is the protagonist projecting this heartfelt confession out into the ozone, and, if so, what is
ithe proper tone to assume when the ozone is one’s audience?

Character: Characters are defined by how you describe them, what they say, and what they do.

Dialogue: You can’t and shouldn’t try to make fictional dialogue sound like actual speech.

Details: God is in the details. They make the story and drive it.

Gesture: The description of gesture sets good writing apart from common. Common writing describes common gesture while good writing shakes things up.

Learning from Chekov: Books are still the best way of taking great art and its consolations with us on the bus.

Reading for Courage: The fear of writing badly, of revealing something you would rather keep hidden, of losing the good opinion of the world, of violating your own high standards, or discovering something about yourself that you would just as soon not know, prevent people from writing. Literature is an endless source of courage and confirmation.

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Contracts. EEK!

I know that they are necessary and good, but contracts scare me. There is so much in them and so much that could be hidden in there or left out when it is needed. Also your language could be less specific than it needs to be. Anyway I still do them because even though everybody is nice and reasonable, misunderstandings occur and contracts protect everybody.

When I wanted one for my cover artists so that we all could keep things clear, it was really really hard to find. I could find plenty of lawyer-ish blogs about how to write one, but I don’t know how to do that! I just wanted a sample form letter-type contract that I could adjust and print. I ended up finding one on another author’s site and re-writing it for my own purposes. http://www.vajraenterprises.com/artcontract1.htm Thank You, Brian King and Vajra Enterprises, for posting this for us, the unprepared and inexperienced. I took this (Copy, Paste) and pared it down, taking out his name and company name, removing the conditions that didn’t apply to me and my artists, and then putting in my own.

It is kind of amazing that it is SO hard to get a plain old hard copy of something. Email makes us lazy! Erik, one of the artist dynamic duo, came here to use our camera and we didn’t even remember about the contract. All the more reason to get together and grill!

 

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Getting Here In The First Place

I mentioned my “Think Tank” in a previous post, and I wanted to go a little more in-depth on what that has been for me. I simply emailed and Facebooked some friends and family off of whom I mercilessly bounced my ideas. Some bounced back, some did not, and some bounced back a whole lot. I have the scars to prove it! (Just kidding…) They were invaluable in pointing out problems and asking me questions about all the nonsense I wrote. For The Disenchanted Pet, I emailed the poor wretches every chapter as I finished it. In hindsight, that was super annoying. For How To Win Friends and Influence Magicians, I plan to email the whole chunk once it is done and then ask.

Either way, they helped me hammer out the gross, slimy lumps in my story, and I got the idea to do it from a useful article online, which I can’t now locate. Sorry! The article suggested 4 to 6 trusted people who like writing and reading and who enjoy reading things in the genre you are writing. (This last one is important if you want them to finish it! I chose a few family members who couldn’t finish it or didn’t have anything to say because they didn’t have any experience with those kinds of books.)

I will give you a link or two about book cover design as a consolation. I supplied these to my wonderful cover artists, Heidi and Erik Barnett, and they did an amazing job on my cover art!

The links are for AuthorHouse’s Resources on Book Marketing, specifically Book Covers:

http://www.authorhouse.com/AuthorResources/Design.aspx

 

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This is the way we write the book, write the book, write the book…

Writing is a newly acknowledged obsession in my life. Before I got my laptop, which makes it possible to organize my kookoo thought process, I wouldn’t have been able to finish a book. I NEVER said I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid and it was a complete surprise to me. I was generally a Jack-of-all-arts-and-crafts until I had too many kids to do most of them. The survivor of Kate’s Great Arts and Crafts Drought was the writing and it stuck. This is how I became a writer. It helps me to stay sane and distance myself for a time from the chaos. I have a love/hate relationship with each one of my ideas which helps me decide what to continue writing.

I wrote my Faq page and got a little nuts about how I write a story, but it got way too long so I summarized it there. This is the whole thing:

1.   Ideas I have an idea and I NEED to write it down as soon as possible. They end up as several sentences to several paragraphs in my Microsoft One Note “Writing Ideas” tab. (I am in love with One Note.) I can’t really count all of these. It goes down somehow in whatever detail my inspiration can endure. In my basement are around 15 notebooks and journals with snippets of my writing. I use journals when I need the tactile sensation of writing, but they all get transcribed onto my laptop now so they are safe from houshold hazards (my kids). At one time many of these were used for bible study notes or as actual journals (haw haw).

2.  Documents The ideas I love get attention and grow to several pages and more. They become a Word document. There are over 100. I switch around higgledy-piggledy as inspiration strikes, loving and hating them randomly. Some of these I still won’t even think of publishing for any number of reasons. I love to try to smash themt together to get a different story altogether. When I realized that I was a writer, I greedily searched for and gathered all of these snippets I could find all over my house and amassed them onto my computer. I felt like I was hoarding treasures (one man’s trash and all).

3.Developed Documents Ideas most interesting to me get further attention and get their own tab in my “Kate’s Stories” Notebook in One Note. Some of these also have a folder full of Word documents with revisions and re-writes. A few have several ideas that I mash together successfully to make a few stories. All of these, I plan to finish and publish. There are 12 right now. There is no rhyme or reason to this, just how I feel. When they reach several chapters with most of the story already planned out in my head, they get their own tab in Microsoft One Note. These guys are worthy of completion according to the Kate-o-meter. All of these have their own Word document and some have a folder. A few of my stories have been heavily revised or rewritten. Others are conglomerations of snippets that go well together and form their own story together.

4. Manuscripts Finally I choose a special one and write it from beginning to end (usually in the summer) and it gets combed over until I feel confident, then given to my “Think Tank”–friends who love reading who give me excellent feedback and some editing. I got the advice to do this from a website (http://jaynie2000.hubpages.com/hub/Publishing-Tips-for-First-Time-Authors)  and it is A+ advice. Facebook polls gave me a lot of good feedback. Based on those, the votes of my Think Tank, and my own estimation of what is publication-worthy at the moment (which means I don’t hate it today), I choose one to work on. Last summer and this summer I “pounded out” the story, getting all the bones put together and making sure the whole tale is all written out. This is hard because I am fickle and frequently get disgusted with a story and want to delete the whole thing. I don’t, because I know it would make me sad later, but I still want to.

5. Published Book I haven’t reached this stage yet, but as soon as my editor is done and my cover artists have finished their work, I will! This step has taken longer than I estimated, but then again usually when you hand something over to others you need patience. I am also a disgustingly positive person, and so one week didn’t seem like an impossible time frame for them to finish. Oddly enough, I have a solid practical side that only chuckles at my positive side and how naive it was to think this wouldn’t take all summer. So I blog and dream of the day when my editing and my cover jpg shows up in my email inbox and I can PUBLISH!

I am fully aware that this is complete TMI but I don’t care. This is my blog :P.

Nyah Nyah!

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Waiting, Waiting, Waiting…

What do I do when I am waiting on other people? Research, publicize, network, encourage the people who have what you are waiting for, and write MORE STUFF,! I already have my next book in the works. There is no need to wait around cooling my heels since there is so much to do between now and PUBLISHING DAY! My new pen name email address is filling up with delicious traffic from all the research blogs to which I am subscribing. I am meeting new authors all the time and helping current author friends to all the juicy information I am finding.

Here is a tidbit for you! This one helped me figure out about pricing. I am a big proponent of the cheap ebook. Everybody should be able to read it and not think twice about the price since it is so small!

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2009/06/amazon-kindle-numbers.html

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Self-publishing Checklist

My chores list for self-publishing my book (X indicates finished):

  1. Write the book (this took 5 months but it was bare-bones)  X
  2. Get 6 or more friends to read the manuscript and give me feedback and work the book over (8 months) X
  3. Find an editor and give her the manuscript–I posted a request on Facebook and a social website and found several within a few hours! Thanks Kathleen and Kathryn! X
  4. Find a cover artist–my social website was full of these guys and I found two great artists who are working as a team on my cover. I can’t wait to see what you are cooking up Heidi and Erik! X
  5. Choose a pen name X
  6. Establish an email address, a WordPress site, a Facebook profile, and Twitter account for my pen name and a Facebook profile for my book.(3 days) X
  7. Sign up on CreateSpace with my pen name and new email. X
  8. Work with my cover artists to fine-tune the cover. X
  9. Once my editor has finished, implement her changes to my manuscript. X (This took a lot longer than I thought. I reccommend having a deadline whether or not you need your book quickly.)
  10. Finalize contracts with my editor and cover artists. X
  11. Publish my book on CreateSpace. CreateSpace provides an ISBN number for my book. X (Complicated and easy at the same time!)
  12. Register my copyright at http://copyright.gov/ . This can be done online and there is a small fee. X (Still have to mail in a copy.)
  13. Publicity, publicity, publicity. (This is what the WordPress site and Facebook profile are for!)
  14. Submit my book to popular book blogs for them to review.
  15. Possibly publish my book on additional publishing sites.
  16. Resarch appropriate websites and expand my web presence for publicity.

Here is a great checklist (simpler than mine) and a comprehensive website about self-publishing complete with extra services you can buy if any of this is too much for you.

http://www.self-publishing-coach.com/self-publishing-books.html

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Self Publishing: What now?

So once I decided to self-publish what did I do first? I researched a whole lot. There are countless blogs and websites all about self-publishing. There are even books published on self-publishing! Don’t worry, though. There are plenty of people out there who are more than willing to give you all that information (and opinion) for free.

Also I found a great suggestion from a blogger: get 6 “booky” friends/family to look over your book before you turn it loose on the public. I have a bunch of people that I bug all the time and forward endless revisions of my book. I call them my “Think Tank” because I love stupid labels. One of my Think Tank has even been inspired to start her own book!

An important bit of advice that I really appreciated was to have any book EDITED before it is ever seen in public. That means publishers also. Some people recommended that you find your own editor, rather than relying on one from whatever company you decide to publish with.

Finding an editor was insanely easy! I posted on Facebook and on another large community website I am part of, and I found two editors within 24 hours. One of them was a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a while. I now have the opportunity to employ and promote a friend while promoting my own work! I am working on this for my cover art also. These are two things that I am willing to spend money on, even at the beginning (and totally unprofitable) stage of my writing.

Here is my link for this post:

http://www.wikihow.com/Self-Publish-a-Book

See: everybody wants to give you free tips on how to self-publish–even Wiki-How. I am going to go the lowest-cost route with my first book. Even though I am aiming strictly for the web-publishing market, there are fantastic tips in every article I have found. Don’t miss them by focusing only on the ones that fit your intended market.

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Beginning My Journey As A Self-Published Author

Why did I decide to self-publish? I guess the basic answer to that was that it was easiest at the place I am in my life. With three kids, I wasn’t prepared for lots of travel or meetings, which could result from getting published. I could wait until my youngest went to school, or I could start now on my own.
I couldn’t do it without my laptop and my tech and web savvy hubby. Don’t try this if the internet seems like a fathomless jungle to you. To succeed, I have read in every blog and website on self-publishing I could find, you need to self-promote.
I really wouldn’t have finished any books without my laptop. If I had to do it all with actual paper and a clunky typewriter, it never would have happened. My laptop makes everything easy and I can see, over the top of the monitor, what kind of trouble my kids are getting into. (This is vital).
My hubby researched and so did I. I looked up Amanda Hocking’s blog. Hearing the self-publishing story from a new sensation in Amazon Kindle ebooks, I thought, “I can do that!”
I am really excited right now because the grind is over and I am ready to risk it!
At the end of each installment of my saga, I’ll insert a link or two (or more) from places I liked with good advice. My “Publishing” folder in my web browser favorites is packed and growing.
Here you go:
http://reviews.cnet.com/self-publishing/
I put it in the “links” section too.

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