So often, I read in FB groups, authors who want to (or think they can) do it all. I have been a small business for over twenty years and one thing you learn - Do Not Wear All The Hats. I know we all want to save money, but most authors are not good at things like: cover art, book layout, ebook conversion. It is similar to a small business trying to be their own accountant or lawyer, most of us have no business doing that. Plus, it is a lot of work just doing what you do know how to do without adding all of the other hats. When my husband and I had our small contracting business, I would tell people that my 'official' title was CEO, but I was the Janitor and everything else in between.
I recently read this great article:
No, You Don't Need to Be Great At Everything–And Why You Shouldn't Try
In his article he states the following:
In fact, when we insist on doing tasks that we’re only halfway skilled at doing, we’re actually hurting ourselves. And it’s a one-two punch. Why?
This is so true. An author who tries to do their own cover art, book layout, ebook conversion, are spending a lot of time in the learning curve phase, only to forget most of it by the time they go to do the next book, which means, they start all over again. Hire an expert, not only because it's what they bestt, but it will also frees you up to do what you should do best–WRITE.
When Fifty Shades of Grey came out, it made some people really take notice, especially Traditional Publishers. The book, and the author, received a lot of criticism from the literary world, but the most important thing about the book, the main thing that everyone should have paid attention to: The READERS. The popularity of the book spoke louder in volume than any of the critics. And, quite frankly, it should.
The article, Fifty Shades of Grey: the series that tied publishing up in knots, touches on how Fifty Shades of Grey not only turned things around for self-publishing and caused quite a stir with Traditional Publishing, the article also addressed the most important factor in selling books - The Reader.
“The Fifty Shades phenomenon has shown the entire industry that huge amounts of readers just want a really good story and they are not that fussed about how it is presented to them,” said Scott Pack, a former head buyer for Waterstones and publisher for Harper Collins, who now runs the Aardvark Bureau imprint.
I see this question in writing forums and writing groups all the time, "Would you rather be a so-so writer, like, E.L. James of Fifty Shades of Grey and make money, or be a literary genius and only make a few cents?" Why do we have to choose? Not al of us are going to be E.L. James or Stephen King. Not all of us are going to Hemingway. But we can be ourselves and write, follow our passion, and if others take pleasure in reading what we wrote and we make a few bucks along the way–That is Fantastic.
Self-publishing has opened doors to all kinds of writers and would-be writers. Some do it just for the pleasure of writing, some attempt (and some succeed) to make money at it. What is important to you? Do you just want to write and share it with some friends and family? Or, do you hope to make a few bucks, even become the next big sensation? Either way, just write. The Self-publishing world is open for both.
by Karla Locke
As writers, we oftentimes, channel our characters. It was Memorial Weekend and I was possessed, so much so, after two days of intensive writing, I was exhausted. Apparently my character had a lot to say that weekend.
Worn out, I took a break, it was during that break when my character disappeared. Where she went, I have no idea. Not one peep did I hear from her for over two weeks. Then she snuck back, passing on small hints of what was going to happen next. Just little tidbits to tease me with.
I am getting close to the end of book (hopefully, unless she changes her mind some more), and so I started thinking about the ending. I had an idea or two of what might happen, my character must have been close by and listening, because she informed me of the ending.
It was then that I realized we must be getting close. Soon we will write – THE END.
The Shelburne Escape Line was chosen for the cover of Publishers Weekly's August 25 issue.
Lifelong Francophile Reanne Hemingway-Douglass tells the true story of audacious secret rescues of Allied aviators stranded in WWII France in this, her most recent book.
Cover Design by our own, Tony Locke.
For me, the self-publishing explosion presented an opportunity of a lifetime, a chance to finally fulfill a dream. With the publishing industry changing so drastically over the last few years, now was my chance.
Yet, I hear of so many authors who still want to get “published.” What is it about getting published with a publisher that validates who we are as authors? Personally I don’t see the appeal, probably because I don’t feel the need to have a publisher approve of my work.
I just read, Writing With The Master by Tony Vanderwarker. It was entertaining, witty, informative, and so far, one of the best books on writing I have read in awhile. Vanderwarker writes about how John Grisham mentored him during the novel writing process. What I enjoyed most about it was it was written by the point of view of a struggling writer, someone like me, and what he went through to write a book with the help of a bestselling author. It was something I could relate to.
The following quotes from the book really struck a chord with me.
"Few authors hit it out of the park the first time at bat. It's taken me twenty years just to get to base."
How true! As an author, the only validation I need are readers who enjoy reading my stories. I’m not a famous literary author, but I can spin a great tale. I don’t need literary critics telling me if my writing is worthwhile.
Should an author self-publish, or continue on the journey to find a traditional publisher? That is a question that only the individual author can answer. Both have the possibilities of rejection. Both have the abilities for greatness. I can only answer for myself; I chose to self-publish. It fits me. Like, Tony Vanderwarker, I may not hit it out of the park, but I would be very happy just making it to base, even if I am walked.
Everyone has a talent, a passion, a way to express themselves; I express myself through photography and writing. I enjoy being surrounded by creative people - they are truly an inspiration.
You can find some of my writings here on this website.
Some think that now that the book is ready to publish, it will be quick and painless to put it all together. That is not usually the case. There are quite a few details that need to be hashed out, especially when working with a book designer. And, invariably, there is always more edits to be done.
It is not a quick, lay-it-out-format-slap-a-cover-on-it-and-publish type of process.
It is more of a collaborative-back-and-forth type of process.
Expect delays. Expect revisions. Expect multiple revisions.
There is something about taking a written piece and converting it into a book that changes it. The look, the flow, the arrangement - it is during that process that an author can expect to notice things they have not noticed before. Edits that were missed in the editing process. It is the one last chance to tweak it before it is out there for the world to see.
This book took approximately six weeks to complete. The artist would catch something in the artwork that needed a little polishing, edits were made, edits were made again. Proof ordered. Fix a few more things. Proof ordered again. Just like writing and then rewriting (revision), then editing, then rewriting (revision), the design part of the project has its own process of revising.
Working as a team to bring it all together.
When it is complete - it is a heady feeling of accomplishment.
Buy your copy at Cave Art Press
Her stories weren't just words on a page - they were pieces of her.
When an author passes away, they leave behind a piece of themselves in their books – a legacy.
Stories that take the readers on an adventure, we fall in love, we experience strength and weakness, books filled with history lessons, and stories about finding oneself. The author lives on in our hearts and in our minds.
As readers we feel great sorrow, our favorite author is gone, there will be no more stories to come. Their books then become a treasure, our last link to them. We feel grateful, grateful they took us to places we can only visit through their imaginations.
Luckily for all, their stories continue on.
Rest In Peace Barbara Bickmore. You will be in our hearts for years to come.
"Barbara Bickmore died in Anacortes, Washington Feb. 23 at age 87. She began teaching English in NewYork and in 1985 she turned to writing, which she had wanted to do all her life. Barbara went on to author nine best selling novels published in 23 countries. If her books have any common theme, many of them being based on historical instances, it is that she took an average woman and threw slings and arrows at her, forcing her to rise to heroic heights."
Barbara Bickmore's Website
Self-publishing can be quite stressful sometimes, but the after party makes it all worth it.
When we work with an author we include them in the self-publishing process. We want them to be a part of the team. All of our authors especially enjoy being a part of the creative process for the cover art. Some take a little while to warm up to it, but once they do, they jump right in.
But it is what happens after the book is complete that I really enjoy.
One of the things I ask for when working on a book with a client is an autographed copy. We both worked so hard on the book during the self-publishing process that by the time it is over we have become a finely tuned team. It feels like such a honor to get that autographed copy.
The other thing I really enjoy when working with authors is when we are invited to their book signings. The pride and joy you see on their faces makes it all worth while.
Welcome to the After Party. When months or years of sweat and tears pay off.
My Muse went missing for a while. Abandoning me for what felt like months. While she was gone, my creative soul could not create. Was this writers block?
A health issue interfered with my creativity, causing my Muse to stay away. Not only was my writing suffering, all of my creative outlets were turned off.
After a bout in the hospital, while I was home recovering, there was a moment when I felt her presence. It was subtle, more like a twinge. It had been so long, I almost didn't' recognize her. Then one day, unexpectedly, she surprised me and dropped in for a long visit. Oh, how I missed her. I welcomed her with open arms and open heart. She was a old friend returning and it felt great. We made up for lost time, catching up on all that we had missed.
Life still distracts me most days, preventing my Muse from just dropping in. But now, I make time just for her. She has become a critical part of of my well-being and happiness. She drops in more often and sometimes for longer periods of time. All is creative with the world.
When my Muse drops in, the world slips away, taking with it all of life's distractions and stress. I can now play and let go.
My advice - leave your door open, you never know when she will just pop in for a visit.
The Author in all of us
There is a story inside. One that needs out and to be read by others. It's there and now it's time for it to flow from author to the reader. Join us as we celebrate Indie authors.