How I Wrote My Book/ Books

Writing! What can be said about it? Are there enough words out there to describe the feeling?

I wrote the ”beginning” of a series when I was 14. I was clueless on how to proceed, lacking the ability to take it further and somehow, in the back of my mind, I always knew one day, I’d publish this book!

At the tender age of 7, I visited a castle in my mom’s home town in Italy. The ever lasting impression that had plagued me then, and still does to this day, had compelled me to start writing in my teens.

I fell in love with knights, history, fictional characters I gave life to, and a story line so descriptive and tantalizing, that I knew I had to give the world this story.

In my later years, that story was lost due to moving from home to home, but the basic story line had always stuck with me in the back of my mind, like riding a bicycle for the first time and letting that hobby go for some time, then taking it up again, although (rusty) we still never forget, as it slowly comes back to us.

Many years later, after watching series, documentaries, history channels and their shows, an idea so brave and scary came to mind!

How I wrote my book/ books

I thought, well, ” it’s time to bring your story back, Lory!” and make it count.

Read the whole article here.

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How To Self Publish From Someone Who’s Been Through It

For those of us who have already self published a book or three, we had our reasons for doing so.

For those of you thinking of going this route, you may have the same reasons: you don’t want to wait that long to hear back from a traditional publisher, you don’t know where to begin, or if you’re like me, you aren’t happy with your current publisher.

There are several reasons why you may to go the self publishing route, and whatever your reason, it’s worth it in the end.

How To Self Publish From Someone Who’s Been Through It

Once you’ve decided self publishing is the right thing for you, you may wonder where to start.

Researching different outlets for self publishing is definitely something you should consider. There are several places you can use, like CreateSpace, Lulu, Kindle Direct, and PubIt (Barnes and Noble).

Essentially, you can use one or all of them, but in my experiences, I use Lulu because you have the option to publish eBooks as well as hard copies to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. EBooks can be published to iBooks, as well.

You set the prices and control what content goes where and all your sales can be monitored from one place.

Lulu also has several different services you can choose from that will help you with editing, cover design, interior layout, and marketing. Putting your title on the site is completely free and is free to publish.

They only take a small percent from each sake to cover their costs of printing and distributing.

If you want to order a copy for yourself you have the option of paying the printing cost, which is often times less than half of the cost of what you can usually sell for. (One of my titles lists for around ten dollars and I can buy a copy for about four dollars.)

This option is good if you decide to do a book signing or sell them your self. Keep in mind you won’t be paid for these kinds of sales because you’re getting the book at cost.

I know there are other self publishing companies out there, but Lulu is the one that has worked the best for me.

Read the whole article here.

My Journey In Writing – A City Without Walls

As long as I have been able to write, I have always imagined becoming a famous writer one day.

I fell in love with the written word and in the places that the stories took me.

I published my first work in a literary magazine while in high school, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I finally held my first book in my hands.

MY JOURNEY IN WRITING – A City Without Walls

My books are of a Spiritual nature and I believe were inspired by God.

I knew that I wasn’t writing in order to get rich; I just wanted to get my message out there in hopes of helping or inspiring someone else.

When it came time to actually publish my book, I searched different avenues in order to get it done.

Most sites that I went to wanted to charge me large fees, which I didn’t have at that time.

I even found sites that wanted me to sign the rights of my work over to them!

Finally, I discovered createspace.com. It took a few tries to get my book just the way I wanted it to look inside and out.

I had to edit it myself, however, and that was the hardest part.

We all know that, when we read our work, our minds usually see the words the way we think it is and not how it actually is. It is always good to have someone else edit your work for grammatical errors before you self-publish.

Another big thing is that you will have to do your own promoting if your intention is to sell your books for profit. One more thing I like about createspace.com is that you can set your own price and it breaks the price down to show you exactly where the money goes and how much your profit will be. I also enjoy the fact that I can order as many copies of my books as I choose to at a much lower rate.

Read the whole article here.

A Quick Guide to Self Publishing on Createspace

The hardest part is putting all the information in the order you want as a manuscript.

I think you will probably want to make a book with photographs 8.5 x 11 inches size. Novels are usually printed in 6 x 9 inch size.

If you create your manuscript in the actual size you want the book, it is easier to proofread and edit it as you go along. It won’t stop you from making mistakes, but it helps.

Start with a blank page as they print the book exactly as you send it in.

I then put a sketch I made of my old cabin as the next page with copyright date, Publisher (my self or whatever you want to name your new publishing company) and I usually place a quote of some sort.

The 3rd page has the technical stuff, photo credits, thanks to proof readers, all rights reserved, liable disclaimer (for my autobiography, posted here as an example) “This is my point of view of my life, told from my perspective and totally my own opinion.

It is not politically correct, nor is it prettied up to suit anyone else. If we learn from our mistakes, I should be just about the smartest person on earth. Obviously that isn’t true.”

Then I list other books I have written which may take another page if you have been busy or want to give a wonderful dedication.

If you are going to separate your book into sections, you will want to add a Table of Contents here and possibly an index at the end of the book.

Finally, you are ready to start the actual book itself. Make a title page, using larger font usually. Make your font an easy to read font.

Garamond is a good font as it is compatible with the publishing system we are using.

Then, usually the start of each chapter is a set number of spaces down the page from the top, I usually center and bold the font for chapters.

A Quick Guide to Self Publishing on Createspace

Chapter 1

Try to be as consistent as possible so the book looks fairly professional. Each chapter should start at the same distance down on the page.

If you are adding photographs, place them either evenly throughout with their descriptions, if you wish or make a separate section of only photographs.

Personally, for the books I made each Grandchild for Christmas, I interspersed family history with photographs as I started having photos to illustrate the family members being told about. I usually do each chapter as a separate file while working on it, unless it is a novel, then I just write. Once I am mostly done, I copy/paste the whole thing together.

Once you have the body of the book fleshed out and are fairly happy with it, save the entire book as one file. Then make another copy by saving as a PDF file which no one else can edit or change and is the easiest one to upload to Createspace for publishing.

You can join Createspace at any time, it is free. It’s an affiliate of Amazon. When you sign up, it will ask what your new project is, book, video, cd, whatever. You may choose to make it a combo Kindle and paperback book.

You can skip making a choice about whether to buy an ISBN number or using one of their free ones until later in the process.

There is the option of using a free ISBN number from them, but that gives them partial control over your book which I don’t like, so I choose to buy the ISBN number used on each novel and cookbook. Those are $99 each and other than paying for whatever books you want to purchase for yourself of the books you make, that is the only expense to do this, it is print on demand.

My personal choice is not to publish on Kindle. It was a personal decision after reading the entire Agreement.

Living where I do, with no phone and usually try to only come to town once a month, less if possible, it was impossible to really find a regular publisher willing to work with me.

Createspace gives me total control of my project and it is ready and on the market just as fast as I want to work at it and get it ready.

There you go, a self publishing guide for createspace.

Take care and have fun writing,
Rosalyn

Set It Apart

One of the easiest book genres to write is children’s books. Children’s books do not have to be lengthy or got into a lot of details.

The vocabulary used is simple for young children to understand.

You can fill some pages with illustrations and some pages with a sentence to a short paragraph. Writing it is easy.

Nothing is Easy

Somewhere down the line, a difficulty arises. That difficulty with children’s books is not completing the project but marketing it. With a lot of writers trying to reach a young audience, there is a lot of competition.

It’s not impossible to succeed with a children’s book since a large number of authors do succeed with them.

The thing to keep in mind with children’s books is that it has to set itself apart from the rest. For example, Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” has very colorful images that appeal to children and draw them into the story of a tiny caterpillar’s bottomless pit of an appetite.

They see the caterpillar eat through a bright red apple and then through a lot of colorful foods.

Carle’s illustrations also use colored tissue paper as opposed to images colored from paint, crayons, pencils, or even computer-generated images.

Carle’s pages contain a simple sentence or two that hold a child’s attention.

Marketing the book is another difficulty for the self-publishing author of any genre. Unless the author has hired a marketing firm to promote the book, there is a lot of hard work involved in coming up with a marketing plan to reach a target audience, get potential customers interested in buying the book, and getting potential retailers interested in selling it in their stores.

Read the whole article here.

Destroy The Block

After conversing with many fellow aspiring authors over the years I’ve come across a common issue.

You would think that the issue was getting started.  Actually the real problem its getting passed that block that rears its’ ugly head a quarter into the process. Many authors have problems getting passed the first act.

I’ve successfully self-published two books and working on my third. Why am I saying this? Is it because I’m a show off?

At times, maybe I can be. Is it because I’m proud of the fact that I’ve accomplished what I’ve always wanted to since I was a child? Most definitely. But the main reason I’m writing this today is I’m here to aid in breaking down that wall that we writers refer to as “The Block”.

Destroy The Block

Understand, what you’re about to read works for me.  I hope that this can be of some assistance to someone out there.

Most of the time, at the beginning of the writing process, we know how we want the story to end, but we just don’t know how to get there. We start down the road and find ourselves at that block.

One of my preferred techniques for getting passed this dilemma is becoming more acquainted with my main characters, before I start writing the story. Yes, as the creators we may think we know who these people are, but half way through we lose our way and often don’t know why.

Read the whole article here.

Outlines Are Wonderful

“Well hi there! So your probably reading this because you are a curious new author or an aspiring author. Your here because you want to widen your mind on tips for writing from other authors who have been down your path.”

My name is Juss Stinson and YES I am a proud author!

Many authors can offer advice to you and a lot of it may even be different than another author.

Don’t ever feel trapped since there really are many ways to go about writing! Here are just a few general tips.

Writing a book and need some tips?

Outlines are wonderful!

I scribble down characters I want to introduce, events I want to happen, and little details I don’t want to forget to incorporate in my work. I write all of it in order so I can just cross it out once I finally have it in my book! Keep your patience is the biggest advice I have for anyone.

Personally when I am in that horrible block I just open a blank page and type a bunch of nonsense, poems, or even short stories and all of these can detour my mind enough so I can get back on track.

Losing your temper can really slow your will to write down so make sure to stay calm and collective and just walk away for a little bit if you have to!

So you have written your book what’s next? You need to edit the heck out it! Read it over and correct all that you see is wrong or places where you lose your flow while reading.

Once you are happy I highly recommend beta readers.

These people of your choosing will read through your book correct awkward sentences, check spelling and grammar, and write notes of what they truly think. Choose those you believe will be brutally honest and who pay close attention to detail.

Once your finished and you feel your piece of work is exactly where you want to be you venture into publishing. You can find a publishing company who would love to have you and sign with them or you can always self publish.

Read the whole article here.

From The Editor’s Desk

After graduating from high school I went directly to a job in the newsroom of the Vancouver Sun, one of the city’s big daily newspapers. It was a dream come true.

“I wanted to be a crime reporter” and the thrill of being accepted as a copy runner (that is, an apprentice reporter, nowadays called an ‘intern’ which back then meant someone studying to be a doctor).

I was the only girl ‘copy-boy’ working with one or two other young fellows who had the same dreams and aspirations as me.

We’d stand at our post in the center of the big newsroom amidst the sound of clacking typewriters and bustling reporters busy at their desks banging out the day’s news.

When one would shout “COPY!” I scurry as fast as I could to grab the sheaf of 8” x 6” newsprint on which the story was typed and race over to the editor’s desk.

From The Editor's Desk

The editor would take it, scribble a few things, and minutes later yell “COPY!” and the paper would be picked up from the editor, rolled inside a tube and shoved into a pipe-like gadget that would suck it up to the composing room where the story would be typeset for printing.

“What a thrilling time it was!”. The reporters were exciting characters to be around, all of them smoking up a storm, their coffee cups not always full of pure coffee (Often we’d discover bottles of whiskey stashed in the coke machine or filing drawers).

In the midst of deadline they could be furious as angry lions and we didn’t dare tarry when they shouted “COPY!”.

Once deadline was over, things would settle down, and often there were parties in the newsroom. Sometimes buckets of fresh oysters would appear, and plates of goodies and cases of beer. Even the lowly copy-runners were invited to join in.

One of the top women writers on the news desk wanted to train me for her job taking police calls and following up the stories. But the news editor wouldn’t hear of it and eventually I was encouraged to take a position in the news library.

That proved interesting, because I was put in charge of the crime files and bios. And in the news library I honed my research skills.

“Now, years later I find myself working as a full-time writer. What is also interesting is that these days, because of my own travel website, TRAVEL THRU HISTORY  I am sitting on the other side of the desk in the chair of the editor.”

This week I’ve been spending quite a lot of time editing stories for my website and editing my own work, or stories from the people in the writing classes that I teach. It’s interesting being on the other side of the desk, wearing the editor’s hat.

Now I understand why editors are strict about the submissions they receive, and how easy it is to get your work rejected if you are not careful to submit ‘clean copy’.

I used to wonder, when I was a kid back in the newsroom, exactly what ‘clean copy’ meant. It didn’t mean a piece of copy paper with no coffee stains or cigarette burns. It means a piece of work well written, with a strong lead, informative body and satisfactory conclusion; no spelling errors; tight sentences; clear writing.

Writers must learn to edit and send ‘clean copy’ to our editors/publisher.

Never send a first draft, it will only get rejected. And accept the suggestions that are offered to you for improving your work. It’s a learning process, all part of being a writer.

Read the whole article here.

The Road to Creativity

Creativity is a topic that has been studied and debated for many years and from many perspectives.

Any attempt to identify the essence of creativity raises questions about the nature of human thought, rational or irrational, and consequently, its relationship to language.

“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” (Werner Heisenberg) The main idea is not to “resolve” the issue of creativity for it is, by its own definition, open ended.

Rather it is to raise awareness that the issue exists. So many times technocrats and scientists, neuroscientists in particular, state that there are ultimately answers for everything including the beginning of time.

In schools, instead of inspiring children to question, the learning process has been reduced to answering test questions. How do these two issues relate?

While the arts are slowly and progressively pushed aside as being less significant, science is taught in such a way as to have children think that for every question, there is an answer.

This may lead the child student to believe scientists know or can know everything. A better education for children might focus on what scientists do not know and why they do not know it.

Sometimes there are no answers. Metaphysical, hypothetical, and/or abstract questions need to be addressed. Perhaps because I am older, I recognize what we have encouraged our children to lose is precisely what we need to develop, not only in our schools, but in all realms, from science to art to diplomacy.

Under attack is creativity. While still in childhood, we naturally begin to shed the ability to express wonder and surprise and are encouraged to do so by our instructors. Analysis sets in and instinct/spontaneity/creativity is squelched.

‘Creativity’ may be viewed in this new age of fiber optics and cyberspace as an oddity, half feared and half distrusted but surreptitiously peaking its head out demanding attention.

The sixth sense needs to be heeded. Perhaps that is the most important function, the goal, of the artist.

That is, to “transport the mind in experience past the guardians – desire and fear – …to the…rapture of seeing in a single hair ‘a thousand golden lions.” (Joseph Campbell)

Or to translate this idea into the classroom, we need to learn how to teach accuracy while preserving imagination in our students.

Self Publishing Advice

Hi, I’d like to start by saying I am an indie author, going on a year and a half now. And granted I don’t know a lot.

But what I do know may help you NEW AUTHORS out there. First thing is first. You need a story, something original.

My first book was about a soldier, his life during the war, and then coming home and readjusting to civilian life. So I had some basic knowledge.

Then there comes research. And I did A LOT of it. Google will be your best friend for all things research.

Now you have to pick a POV. Which is your favorite to read? Is it FIRST person, or THIRD? There’s also second POV but it isn’t used a lot. Play around with it and see what’s best for YOU.

While you are writing, make connections. I do NOT advise you to contact people for the sole purpose of advertising your book. I repeat DO NOT reach out for other authors to help YOU. This will get you unfriended real quick.

There are some that will share your stuff, but it’s bad form. I would advise to try to form some friendships, yes you can ask for advice (in a nice way). Find some authors that inspire you. Now there are blogs that are MORE THAN WILLING to help you, by promoting you, your book, your future book, as well as teasers.

Okay, now you have your story outlined and it’s wrote. Now what?

It won’t cost you millions, thousands or even hundreds to write a book. Nope! The only thing I can say is that editing CAN be expensive and it CAN break the bank. But there are some cheaply priced editors out there, it will take some searching.

Do you have a friend that’s good at English, or even an English major that can help? Reach out to them and see if they can proof your book. Maybe you have two friends who can catch your errors.

BEFORE it’s edited though, you could probably use a few beta readers. What are beta readers? Well, they will read your WIP, critique it, and give you feedback on the story. There are some awesome people out there ready and willing to this for you…….and it’s FREE.

Some might even catch some of the misspelled words, or notice something in the story line you didn’t realize at the time. Getting some beta readers on your team is a GOOD THING.

Alright, now you need a cover. Do you plan on having paperbacks, e-books or both? Most authors do both. Look up cover designers, they vary in price. This will cost you, but find someone whose work that you like, that you can envision doing your cover.

This will also take some research. Heck, maybe you are creative enough to do your own.

I think my first book cost me, guessing maybe $25 if that! And still I don’t pay a lot for my books. It’s all about trial and error, finding the right people and making connections with other authors, bloggers and readers.

So after all that, now you have to figure out where to publish your book. You can go to Amazon exclusively or go for ALL the platforms like Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iBooks as well as others.

Then you need to price your book accordingly. See what other books like yours are being priced at and go from there. Again, experiment.

And please DO NOT copy another authors work and pass it off as yours. There are copyright laws that you need to follow.

Okay you have it published now what? Reach out to bloggers to see if they are willing to share your release, send them your buy links and voila.

This concludes my advice on what to do and what not to do. I hope that maybe you learned a thing or two. Best of luck!!! I’m author Renea Porter, and I’m out. J.