Word Choice And Why It Matters

Wannabe Pride welcomes guest blogger Jocelyn Crawley! Jocelyn is a 30-year-old writer. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading subversive literature and drinking coffee. In addition to winning several regional and school-sponsored writing competitions, she self-published her first novel, Erudition, in April of 2007. She is currently completing the manuscript for her second novel.  

There’s something pleasantly unsettling about stumbling upon unfamiliar words when you read a web article or literary work–for me, anyway. Each time I run into a term that’s never crossed my path before, a somewhat disconcerting curiosity dominates my psyche until the word is thoroughly defined and understood.

Although you may have found the previous paragraph interesting, you could also be asking yourself an important question: “How is any of that relevant to you as a writer?” I love these types of pragmatic interrogations, so I’ll try to provide an advantageous answer in the following sentence as well as the paragraphs to come. Learning new words is important and ideal for everyone–and perhaps writers especially. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that writers have a tendency to utilize the same words over and over again. Once you develop a loyal fan base that is eager to read your new works and make note of your intellectual progress, they will likely be disappointed to find the same $50 words emerging over and over again. I certainly would be. In fact, I find myself irritated with my own writing when the same damn words (generally precipitate and indigenous) resurface. The repetition and redundancy engender an ineffable irritation that is perhaps best described in terms of flabbergasted shame. I know there are other words out there, and yet my feeble mind keeps wandering back to the terms with which it is most familiar.

As a self-published author, I am aware of some of the challenges that people who don’t take the traditional publishing route can experience as they attempt to build their brand. In my humble opinion, one of the greatest challenges is the attempt to prove that one’s work is credible. And while there are a plethora of things self-published writers can do in order to build and increase credibility, using learned language is oftentimes particularly effective. In addition to showing your readership and prospective publishers that you take the time to find the most apposite words to express a character’s thought or the color of the carpet, building your vocabulary can preclude you from one of the most disappointing and mentally stagnating experiences known to the writer: boredom with one’s work.

When I decided to publish my first novel (Erudition), I was unaware that the title would be a relatively obscure term that many would have to look up in order to grasp the overarching theme of the book. Yet as I began to synthesize the plot and give the characters shape and substance, I realized that this title was arrantly appropriate for many reasons. First, the two main characters of the novel were both very well-read individuals who had extensive knowledge about the literary world. In fact, one of the two is an English professor. And in addition to giving the book the type of learned structure and stature that comes from placing two exceptionally intelligent people on center stage, the acquisition of knowledge (both abstract and experiential) is a prevalent motif within the work. Clearly then, Erudition was an ideal title. It was only after I published the work that I realized the somewhat academic term I’d chosen for the title had a specific, dualistic power. Although some people found the title and scholarly words within the book stimulating and intellectually uplifting, others deemed it all a bit “too much.”  Irrespective of whether the language was deemed appropriate or over the top, the use of scholarly language generated substantive buzz.

These days, I’m thrilled to be running a blog that is dedicated to helping people (the public generally and writers specifically) increase their vocabularies in order to write more effectively. Lately, words such as “gimlet” and “anhedonic” have been subjected to a careful overview as I seek to provide my readers with a thorough explanation of their meaning and implications. Much care is given to seeking out all of the synonyms and antonyms that expand the reader’s understanding of the term’s signification so people will know how to effectively contextualize the words they opt to use. I have always felt-and still believe-that words have power. And when we use them with strategic precision, they acquire an insuperable efficacy that enables our readers to gain a better understanding of the concepts we’re attempting to convey.

Several days ago, I had a brief yet meaningful conversation with a gentleman on the train regarding how sad it is to see so many people embracing a monocultural mode of being and knowing when the 21st century has given rise to such a pleasantly postmodern multiculturalism that makes it safe and common for people of all backgrounds to interact with one another in equitable ways. In describing the modality of individuals who have chosen the former (and very limited) form of existence, I used the term myopic. But then-in recognizing that this word was not fully accurate in articulating the idea I was attempting to express-I stated that the term wasn’t quite right. Now, in reflecting on the actions and attitudes of people who prefer to surround themselves with individuals who are exactly like them rather than embracing the beauty indigenous to diversity and pluralism, I realize that the more fitting term would have been parochial. Indeed, these types of individuals have a narrow view of both external reality and their own subjective existence. And in being able to prove the aforementioned term out of my word bank, I’m much more effective in describing the paucity of their worldview.

Whether you’re simply seeking to prevent yourself from growing bored when drafting your next manuscript or want prospective publishers to know you mean business, utilizing a learned vocabulary is oftentimes the best way to accomplish your objective. If you’re ever interested in seeing old words used in new ways or simply want to add new terms to your already impressive word bank, be sure to visit my blog at www.wordhelps.com. Can’t wait to see you.

Best,

Jocelyn Crawley

www.wordhelps.com

Follow Jocelyn On Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jocelyn_Crawley

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Writers: You Don’t Have to Be Good at EVERYTHING

Wannabe Pride welcomes guest blogger KENDALL BAILEY!

I was born and raised in northeastern Vermont. I now live in southwest Minnesota with his wife and son. I’d been interested in writing for a decade or so and finally took the leap (wrote my first novel) the beginning of this year. I’m enjoying my experience as an independent author and am currently working on the second draft of my second novel.

Most writers can’t be everything. There are so many steps in the publishing process that a single person can not possibly be great at every one of them. There’s the writing, story editing, line editing, document formatting, printing, advertising, and selling – that’s the process in broad strokes.

If you’re reading this blog you are probably an author and know that the writing process is comprised of many smaller, quite intricate, tasks. From word selection, to sentence structure, to paragraph building, to scene construction, to overall flow, character creation, believable dialogue, etc. As someone who has self-published and marketed a novel I promise you the other jobs in the publishing process are every bit as involved as the creation of the story. Each step in the process is an art unto itself.

It has been an interesting experience, being a self-published author. In some things (storytelling, dialogue, and flow) I feel like Ali; in others (line editing, formatting, and promotion) I feel like a neurosurgeon whose only tool is a hammer. I have a tendency, when I read my own work, to let minor misspellings or wrong but similar words pass me by. For example, “Brennan knew is dad wouldn’t approve,” when what I meant to say is, “Brennan knew his dad wouldn’t approve.” It’s a small error and most readers would know what I meant but it’s those little mistakes that can distract a reader and take them out of the story.

I thought I was the master of editing when I wrote my second draft. That was until about three people read it and gave me three different, though overlapping, sets of corrections. The point I want to make is, there’s nothing wrong with not being good at everything. As a writer your first job is to be able to clearly communicate an idea. If it’s fiction you need to be a storyteller, guiding the reader along on whatever adventure you have in store for them. If it’s non-fiction, you need to get the facts across clearly and in an entertaining manner so as to keep the reader’s attention. That is our primary function.

 So what now? We’ve written gold, albeit sloppy gold, and we know it. That other people can’t see this fact is their problem, right? Wrong! It’s our problem. Being an author with no readers is the ultimate act of masturbation.

“Oh yeah! My ideas are so good, so cutting-edge and amazing,” the unread author says to the empty room. Insert whatever mental image you want to go along with that one.

I’m an independent author and can not do all of the work alone. As many folks know, the first step in solving a problem is admitting there is one. Knowing that you probably can not do all of the necessary work yourself is a tough admission for an independent author. It was an admission I didn’t make until I’d already uploaded my novel to lulu.com and had some copies sell. There are 33 copies of that original, and quite ugly, version. I own one and the rest were purchased by family and friends.

 We’ve all read commercially published books, probably a great many of them. It’s not difficult to see the differences in our work and commercially published work; at least it wasn’t difficult for me. If I had found someone to format my novel prior to upload I would have saved myself hours of agony trying to get the document just right. I’ve been told my punctuation is a little loose and I don’t doubt it. I simply do not have the right kind of eyes to recognize that myself. What I need is a line editor to give my manuscript a good once-over, make the small corrections, and I would have a pretty kick-ass book on my hands. A book I would feel comfortable shopping around to agents and publishers (After the agonizing querying process – which I haven’t gone through yet. ***SPOILER ALERT*** If I ever do there will be a blog about it.)

 I know I’ve written mostly about myself here and that’s because I know exactly what the problems with my book are. I don’t know you and I don’t know your work. However, some lessons are universal and this is one of them: there is no shame in shoring up your weak points.

Kendall Bailey

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Twitter – @KBaileyWriter
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PUBLISH AND BE DAMNED!

Wannabe Pride welcomes Guest Blogger Sara Bain!

Sara published her debut novel, The Sleeping Warrior, in 2013 under her imprint Ivy Moon Press. She is a freelance journalist, photographer, graphic artist and author living in South West Scotland.

“I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable people who know the rules of grammar and of logic, and who will seek beneath the footsteps of my commas the lice of my thought in the head of my style.”

Louis Aragon

There was once a time when the book review was called a “literary criticism” and involved lengthy scholarly theories that focused on analysis, description and interpretation of literary works, expounded in a critical essay. Sometimes constructive, often destructive, and occasionally even deconstructive, authors and publishers would hold their breaths while they waited for that important evaluation that would make or break a lifetime’s hard slog.

Daphne du Maurier’s critics hated her: they called her a second rank “romantic novelist.” Adolph Huxley’s Brave New World and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies were immediate commercial disasters after they received a harsh press from their critics.

Moreover, there were, and still are, a few mischievous columnists who would use a book review as an opportunity to showcase their own writing aptitude or expertise on literary theories to the detriment of the author’s finest efforts. Also, with any form of arts critique there is always a danger of over-analysis by attempting to get into the writer’s mind.

Whether we authors like it or not, criticism is unavoidable. Sometimes a novelist will use a plot device or sentence structure because he or she ‘just did’. There is not always a reason for placing every individual word in a certain series or introducing a particular character half way through the storyline. It just happens that way and, if the reader doesn’t like it, you just have to take the blow of their disappointment on the chin.

As DH Lawrence said, “the touchstone [of literary criticism] is emotion, not reason” and, thanks to the internet, the judgment of the literary critic holds little sway against the might of public opinion.

Emerging from the World Wide Web is a new breed of literary critic whose opinion counts for everything: the book reviewer. Today’s reviewers tend to be book lovers who wish to spread their enthusiasm through dialogue on social media sites. They give up their time to read your work and make the effort to tell others about their experience. Their opinions are as varied as the stories they read and they stand as representatives of the diversity of individual taste.

Sometimes waiting for a book to come back from the reviewer feels like standing in the gladiatorial arena, with one eye locked on the teeth of the lion and the other on the thumbs of the crowd. Will my efforts get that row of shining stars or will it be struck with one?

No author wants a bad rating but, at the same time, must realise that you can’t please everyone. The one star rating is inevitable. Some reviewers will complain about the story; some can’t invest any emotion in the characters; some don’t like the colour of the cover; and some are cross because the book didn’t arrive on time.

Taking a look on Amazon at the reviewers’ comments on a selection of the top-selling books of all time was a stark reminder that individual readers will applaud or jeer you for what they get out of your book, which is not necessarily what you, as the author, intended them to experience. Here’s a small sample of what some reviewers said about the world’s most successful books:

  • Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities (top-selling book of all time): “last 100 [pages] could have been taken out and, substituted for something a little less dull” – 2 stars
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five: “OK, I read it, but I literally have no idea  what this is about” – 1 star
  • Virginia Wolf, To the Lighthouse: “Slow and monotonous” – 1 star
  • Robin Jenkins, The Cone Gatherers: “Awful, depressing and cruel” – 1 star
  • J D Salinger, Catcher in the Rye: “very annoying and extremely boring” – 1 star
  • Laurie Lee, Cider with Rosie: “What a load of rubbish!” – 1 star
  • Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None: “one of the most boring and, at times frankly irritating, murder mysteries I’ve ever read.” – 1 star
  • Herman Melville, Moby Dick: “too nautical for me” – (that one made me laugh) 1 star
  • Jack Reacher, Personal (Waterstones’ top seller 2014): “Unbelievably bad” – 1 Star
  • Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code: “foetid mess of a book spewed by accident from the substandard brain” – 1 star
  • Jeffrey Archer, Be Careful What You Wish For: “Boring and repetitive. Requires no brain!” – 1 star.
  • E L James, 50 Shades of Grey: 2,145 – 1 star.

Up until today, when I made the above list for this blog post, I was always afraid of that dreaded one star which would negate my efforts to publicise my precious work as an “excellent” read. My five-star majority ratings gave me a sense of pride and self-worth as I felt it somehow validated me as an author of good fiction.

I now understand there is a certain amount of freedom of expression for the self-published author. With the coming of the online book reviewer, who is more interested in a good story than a missing semi-colon, the once mighty literary critics are no longer the watchdog of readers’ tastes. I would advise any author, therefore, to write what you would like to read. Some readers will hate it, others will love it, and a few will completely miss the point. The number of stars don’t necessarily increase sales but the opinion of the reviewer is important. Even if those views don’t agree with yours or whether you feel they have got it wrong – everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and you’ll never get it completely right.

– Sara Bain

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Blog
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Should I Register My Self-Published Book with the Library of Congress?

 

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It’s only necessarily to register your book with the Library of Congress if you plan for your physical book to appear in libraries. However, it is free to obtain the number so you may want to go ahead and get one just in case.

I confess that I wanted one for my book because it makes it look more official….

The Library of Congress is the National Library of the United States. It is actually the world’s largest library. The Library of Congress does not house every single book published in the United States, but it has an awful lot of them. According to their website, they add over 12,000 new items per day and have 838 miles of shelves! You can take a tour of the three buildings that comprise the Library of Congress and you can look at the books while there but you are not permitted to check out any materials.

The Library of Congress website states it priorities as follows:

First, to make knowledge and creativity available to the U.S. Congress on a continuing basis. Second, to acquire, organize, preserve, secure and sustain for the present and future use of Congress and the nation a comprehensive record of American history and creativity and a universal collection of human knowledge. The library’s third priority is to make its collections maximally accessible to Congress, the government and the public through such means as its website. Its fourth priority is to add interpretive and educational value to the basic resources of the library to highlight the importance of the library to the nation’s well-being and future progress.

The Library of Congress catalog number (LCCN) is the unique identification number that the Library of Congress assigns to the catalog record created for each book its collection. Technically, the number is for the bibliographic record and not the actual book. Librarians use the number to locate a specific Library of Congress catalog record in the national databases and to order catalog cards from the Library of Congress or from other suppliers. There are two different types of control numbers: Cataloging in Publication (CIP) and Preassigned Control Number (PCN). The PCN is simply a LCCN that is assigned pre-publication. The CIP is for books that expected to be widely purchased by and circulated in libraries throughout the nation. The CIP and PCN programs are mutually exclusive. You cannot have both, and most self-published books will fall under the PCN category. Self-published authors and publishing companies who have published fewer than three authors are not eligible for the CIP.

You can apply for one at http://www.loc.gov/publish/pcn/.your book must be at least 50 pages long to qualify, so many children’s books may not be applicable. The application itself is a two-step process. First, you fill out the online form with the publisher name, contact information, and your ISBN. Second, they will email you a username and password so you can complete the application. It usually takes about 1-2 weeks for the process, depending on their current workload. There is no charge for an LCCN, but you must submit a physical copy of the finished work once it is published. Failure to do so may result in suspension from the program. The books will not be returned.

Send a copy of the book for which a Preassigned Control Number (PCN) to:

Library of Congress
US & Publisher Liaison Division
Cataloging in Publication Program
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C.20540-4283

It is important to note that a Library of Congress catalog number is not a copyright. The U.S. Copyright Office is located on the fourth floor of the Madison Building of the Library of Congress, but obtaining an LCCN does not mean your work has been copyrighted. The copyright can be used as proof of ownership. The LCCN is simply a number assigned to a work that may be included in the collection of books at the library of congress. In order to obtain a copyright, you must contact the copyright office, fill out the appropriate paperwork, and pay the fee.

Inclusion in the Library of Congress Catalog is not automatic following submission, and the library does not provide status updates. However, you can view the database at http://catalog.loc.gov most PCNs are processed within 1-2 weeks.

– Linda Fausnet

Helpful links:

What is a Library of Congress catalog number?

Library of Congress preassigned control number program

What is a Library of Congress Control Number FAQ

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In What Formats Should I Publish My Book? An E-Publishing Writer Survey

 

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I recently conducted a short survey of five self-published authors to find out where they chose to publish their books and what they experienced with each format. I hope you find their information helpful. I certainly did!

In which formats did you publish your e-book? (Amazon (Kindle) Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iPod, iPad), Kobo, etc)

Initially, in Kindle, Nook, and Kobo, through CreateSpace, Smashwords, and Lulu. Now, I’m Kindle only. I’ve found the income from Kindle Select borrows exceeds the others combined. – Wayne Stinnett

Amazon Kindle. – Carol Hedges

I published in every format I could! .mobi (Amazon/Kindle), .epub (B&N and Apple), .pdf, .html. However you want my book, it’s available. – Aria Glazki

Amazon (and also used CreateSpace for paperback). – Olga Montes and John Vamvas

I self-published for Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Sony eReader (which is now part of Kobo I believe), and also in paperback which is available online at Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. – Jessica Gollub

I used a doc. file to publish in Amazon. – Lorraine Koh

Amazon, because I wanted to use the free book facility as a promotion tool for Back to Creative Writing School, and you can only do that if you are only available on Amazon. I did a 24 hour giveaway about three weeks after it was launched and that resulted in about 1300 downloads, mainly in the UK and the US. I don’t know how that compares with other ebook campaigns but it exceeded my expectations as I didn’t have an ebook track record. As a British author, it would be very interesting to know if I could have accessed a wider market using other formats. – Bridget Whelan

I published my book, Read All About It, on Amazon (Kindle). This was mainly due to the fact that I was also publishing it as a paperback through Amazon’s CreateSpace platform, and it seems to be logical to do the ebook through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), particularly given that CreateSpace offered the option to transfer the finished file to KDP. It seemed like they were doing the work for me! – Paul Cuddihy

Describe your experience with uploading/publishing your book. Were certain formats more difficult than others?

CreateSpace was a breeze. Easy step by step directions. Smashwords was troublesome, as was Lulu. – Wayne Stinnett

I did it jointly with the graphic designer who designed the cover. I am a total novice. We downloaded the advice package Amazon provides and followed that. It was still very complicated as the blog I wrote on it describes.  – Carol Hedges

My favorite by far from a user perspective was Barnes & Noble, because after uploading the document, if there are any issues with spacing or the like, you can edit it right through their system, rather than changing the original file, re-uploading, and hoping it fixed the problem without introducing a new one. That being said, Smashwords has a very user-friendly guide for formatting that is free, and I used that, then used that file for Amazon as well. So Barnes & Noble was the easiest, but the others weren’t particularly difficult either. – Aria Glazki

It is VERY easy to upload your e-book on Amazon. We did not have to convert our Word file into anything, we only had to compress the author pics and other pics we included in the back. (This was a little difficult to figure out – the pictures just weren’t coming out. After some on-line research, we read that all we had to do was compress the pics. That’s it. The command is found in the Picture Tool menu.) HOWEVER, when we use the view tool, it seems the novel looks great in all devices expect in Kindle Fire(s). Strange…

(And if you’re curious about CreateSpace : It’s super easy too! If you’re designing your own front and back cover—like we did—, it may take a little longer to come up with something you’re happy with, but they have great templates you can choose from if you prefer. Moreover, their customer service is great and the finished product is gorgeous.) – Olga Montes and John Vamvas

I found most of the uploading services were fairly straightforward and easy to use, the trickiest thing was figuring out how to get the broadest exposure. The easiest ones were Kindle and Kobo, since both provided direct publishing straight from their sites, for all the other ones I needed to use an aggregator service (partially because I am in Canada and I think while Nook has the ability to publish directly, I wasn’t able to make use of it) – Jessica Gollub

[Amazon] is a good format to use when your manuscript is mostly text. I don’t think it will translate as well if you have images in your doc. file. Overall it was easy to format. Just be aware of placing page breaks after each chapter and also providing a linkable table of contents (TOC). You can do everything on Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. After you format your doc. file, you can just upload it on Amazon and preview it first before publishing. It may take a few hours for it to be live.  – Lorraine Koh

As I explained, I chose only one format. Fellow ebook authors told me that the publishing process is simple but I didn’t feel ready to take it on – instead I engaged the services of a professional to format it for me and for a small additional fee  he also uploaded it to Amazon and did a bit of virtual hand holding.-  Bridget Whelan

In terms of KDP, what I found was that a pdf was uploaded from CreateSpace. This was fine for the cover, but I found it didn’t work so well for the text. For one thing, the pdf was formatted for a paperback, and it didn’t look great in a Kindle format. So what I did was to keep the uploaded cover but then create a completely new Word Document for the text, format that and then upload that file to KDP, which worked much better, and meant that I was able to ensure things such as page breaks, chapter breaks etc… were properly formatted. – Paul Cuddihy

Did you use an aggregator service, such as Smashwords or Lulu? If so, what was your experience like with the service?

Deleted my accounts with Smashwords and only offer hardback through Lulu. I do everything through CreateSpace now. – Wayne Stinnett

No, I didn’t explore these. – Carol Hedges

I just gave this away, but I did use Smashwords, which was very straightforward and on the whole provides some good resources for writers just starting out, with their formatting guide and marketing guide. They also distribute to Kobo, Apple, etc. for you, putting managing all those sales in one place — but they leave the decision of which to include in your hands, which I think is lovely. The writer stays in control. – Aria Glazki

No. – Olga Montes and John Vamvas

I did use both Smashwords and Lulu. Lulu was the method I chose to get my book to Nook and iBooks, and I used Smashwords mainly to get to Sony eReader. They both also provided access to other areas like Scribd, Oyster and Ingram catalogues (plus many others). I found that they took a while to upload to the different sites, but overall my experience was relatively easy. – Jessica Gollub

No I didn’t because I work mainly with Amazon. I believe if I want to distribute my books to other websites like Kobo, Barnes & Noble, I will probably use Smashwords. – Lorraine Koh

I am familiar with Lulu and Smashwords, but I’m not entirely sure how they compare to Amazon and CreatSpace or, indeed, what aggregator services means. Your question flags up that I still have so much to learn and, while I may always buy in a number of services, I want to become familiar with the process so I can make informed choices. – Bridget Whelan

I didn’t use any of these services. Paul Cuddihy

Which format earned you the most book sales?

January, I had 1236 ebook sales and 31 borrows through Amazon/Kindle and a total of 6 sales through Nook and Kobo. – Wayne Stinnett

In the end, I only sold through Amazon Kindle, UK and US sites. – Carol Hedges

Amazon (I’m not calling it “kindle” as the .mobi format is also available through Smashwords).  As far as I can tell, people are reluctant to create yet another user account / login, even though on Smashwords, you pay once and can get every format available, whereas on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, you pay (usually) the same price for only one format. – Aria Glazki

Book sales on Amazon are steady but I think it’s thanks to all the tweeting and marketing we do. –Olga Montes and John Vamvas

My book is fairly new at this point, but so far I’ve sold the most on Kindle. – Jessica Gollub

At the moment, I am working mainly with Amazon, only because of the KDP Program. The KDP Program is where Amazon will provide a 5 days promotional time frame (within every 90 days) where your e-book will be made free or at a discounted price. During these 5 days, your book will be promoted quite extensively on the Amazon website. However in order to be eligible for the KDP Program, your e-book needs to be exclusive to Amazon. I think it’s quite a good program for new writers. – Lorraine Koh

Amazon – the only one I used. – Bridget Whelan

The sales have been slightly better for the Kindle version than the paperback version to date, but it was only at the beginning of February that I published the book, so I’ve got a few months of promotion ahead of me to try and increase sales. – Paul Cuddihy

What would you (or did you) do differently with a subsequent book? Would you use the same services?

Never hesitated with my third book. CreateSpace exclusively and Kindle Select exclusively. – Wayne Stinnett

If I ever uploaded an ebook again, I’d definitely use Smashwords and explore other available formats.I’d also get some advice on ‘tagging’. I have now had a book published by an Independent publisher, and their expertise in dealing with all aspects of e-publishing are waaay ahead of mine. I think that, for the ‘ordinary writer’ e-publishing is not something to be entered into lightly. To do it professionally – and what’s the point of doing it any other way, you need the services of people who know what they are doing! – Carol Hedges

If I self-publish again, I will definitely publish on all three of these sites, as the more the book is out there, the higher the chances of people seeing it. I may add other distributors, like Kobo, directly instead of relying on Smashwords, to see how each one works. I may also publish with Amazon first, to see how the Kindle Select program works. It’s all about a learning curve, and unfortunately even if you do your research, you can’t know quite how it’ll go until you try it.  So I’m interested in testing out the various options to see which will work best. – Aria Glazki

We were part of KDP Select – that’s why we only sold our book on Amazon. Money earned has not been significant enough to stay with the program. Now that we are done with them, we will be uploading our book elsewhere too. – Olga Montes and John Vamvas

I think I would use the same services, I found that I could get my book onto every platform available and broad exposure = more sales.  It would likely be a bit easier the second time around, since I’d be able to plan it out a bit better, but overall I was pleased with how it worked out. – Jessica Gollub

I guess in the end, you need to do a lot of your own marketing (social media, garnering book reviews…etc). That may be more important than what format you choose to use. I will still be housing my future books in Amazon for maybe one more year. Once I manage to build a more stable readership base, I may end up publishing my books on all available platforms. – Lorraine Koh

On the whole it has been a very positive experience. Financially it’s been worthwhile and I think one of the things I did right was to hire a talented ebook designer. The cover looks good and it does what it is supposed to do – attract attention for the right reasons. I haven’t done the sums but I would guest that sales in the first 20 days paid the designer’s fee, not bad when you think that I was launching from a standing start.  – Bridget Whelan

I would definitely use the same Amazon services again, particularly since they make it so easy to publish. However, I might be tempted to look into publishing a future ebook across a wider range of platforms This has been my first foray into self-publishing and I have to admit that I have found the whole experience an exhilarating one.I had previously written a trilogy of historical novels, which had all been released through traditional publishers in Scotland. There was, of course, the thrill of publication, which, as every writer will tell you, can never be under-estimated. However, it was also a frustrating experience at times – the absence (real or perceived) of any promotion, marketing or advertising of the books, the lack of control throughout the process.On one occasion I couldn’t agree with the publisher over the cover of the book, the debate eventually brought to a conclusion when I was told ‘Well, I’m paying for the design, so we’re going with the one I like!’ (I still hate the cover chosen, incidentally). With Read All About It, I have had none of these frustrations. The cover, for example, was designed by a friend and so was done in a spirit of co-operation and partnership. The end result was, in my humble opinion, superb. It’s been an easy and enjoyable process, and a self-confessed lover of the physical book, I have to confess that the finished product from CreateSpace is very impressive, although I know that, ultimately, readers will judge the book by the content. – Paul Cuddihy

 The Authors:

Wayne Stinnett

Author of the Jesse McDermitt series
Website: http://www.waynestinnett.com/
Twitter – @WayneStinnett_

Carol Hedges

Email: martynhedges@compuserve.com
Twitter – @carolJhedges
Website:http://carolhedges.blogspot.co.uk
Jigsaw Pieces (ebook):
Amazon Author page:

Aria Glazki

Email: aria.glazki@gmail.com
Blog: AriaGlazki.blogspot.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/Aria.Glazki
Twitter: @AriaGlazki
Goodreads:
Book: Life Under Examination
—Available on
Amazon:
Smashwords:
Barnes & Noble:

Olga Montes and John Vamvas

Authors of WHEREWOLVES
Link to book trailer, author bios, book excerpt (first two chapters), synopsis, and reviews: www.wherewolvestheblog.com
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/WHEREWOLVES-ebook/dp/B00BHIPYQY
Twitter: @WHEREWOLVESfilm https://twitter.com/WHEREWOLVESfilm
Facebook:
Goodreads:

Jessica Gollub

The Mark of the Hummingbird
Twitter: @GollubJessica
Facebook:
Amazon:

Lorraine Koh

My latest book Pop Rock Love is out in both Ebook and Print. Here’s the kindle link,
It’s a Young Adult romance novel. Here’s a synopsis:
Before she had a whirlwind affair with a mysterious Japanese breakdancer named Yuki, Mimi was contented with belting out rock tunes at a pub on the island city of Singapore. When Yuki suddenly disappears, Mimi goes to Tokyo in search of him and discovers that he actually belongs to a sugary-pop, manufactured boy band called the Fire Boys. Mimi and Yuki belong to different worlds. Is their love strong enough to triumph over all?

Bridget Whelan

BACK TO CREATIVE WRITING SCHOOL
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Facebook: Back to Creative Writing School
Blog for writers and readers.

Paul Cuddihy

Read All About It: My Year of Falling In Love With Literature Again by Paul Cuddihy
(Available as a paperback and ebook on Amazon)

**Writers:

Join my WRITERS email list for Writing Tips and Book Recommendations!

**Readers:

Join my READERS email list to receive just the Book Recommendations!

 

 

Why Writers MUST Have an Email List

 

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I have recently developed an email list of readers and writers for Wannabe Pride. If you’re running any kind of business, and self-publishing is a business, it’s vital to have an email list of your customers. Sure, Twitter and Facebook are the big social networking tools now, but anybody remember MySpace? The next big thing for today may be gone tomorrow, taking with it most of your customer base. Having an email list ensures that you are able to stay in contact with your readers for as long as they still want to hear from you. They can unsubscribe at any time, but if they still want to know about you and your upcoming books, you want to be able to contact them.

My target audience consists of both readers and writers, so I send out book recommendations and writing tips and articles – in that order. The top half of a typical email is book recommendations for books of various genres and the bottom half consists of articles and other information and advice on the craft of writing. That way, readers can simply read the top half and skip the rest if they aren’t interested in writing techniques.

After all, there’s only so much to say about my own books week after week. Um, yeah. QUEEN HENRY is available for purchase. That’s…yeah…that’s all I have to say right now….Nothing more to report…you know….stay tuned…. In order for any email list to be successful, you have to offer something of value to the people who subscribe. I inform readers of newly released books, as well as ones that are discounted or even free. For writers, I hope to provide them with helpful writing information and an opportunity to promote their books.

I hope you will sign up for my list!

– Linda Fausnet

**Writers:

Join my WRITERS email list for Writing Tips and Book Recommendations!

**Readers:

Join my READERS email list to receive just the Book Recommendations!

Empowering Wannabes and Those Who Love Them

 

books

Today, please welcome Guest Blogger Rick Karlsruher. Rick has over thirty years of international marketing and management experience. Over the years, he has also delved into writing several times. His comedy writing was supported by legends like Laugh-In’s Dick Martin and National Lampoon’s Matty Simmons. A few years ago he wrote a book called A Story Almost Told . His experiences in trying to get it published led him to create Noveltunity® to help others have a better chance to have their voices heard.  

Everyone is a Wannabe at something, sometime in their lives. If you haven’t been a Wannabe, you aren’t trying hard enough.

Like I’ve told kids I’ve coached in basketball, “You never make a shot you don’t take.”

I want to start out by thanking Linda for having the courage, foresight and willingness to have fun to create Wannabe Pride! It was a long time coming.

Let’s get to why I’m here.

Some think this is the best time ever to be a writer. Anyone can start a blog. Anyone can write an ebook. Anyone can sell anything on the internet. Anyone can post a book on Smashwords, Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon, etc.

Everything but the first sentence is true. But because of the rest being true, this is one of the hardest times to be a writer. Everyone who has ever written a poem to a fourth grade crush now thinks they are Hemmingway or Aaron Sorkin or John Legend.

Can this be fixed?

We can’t fix it all. With your help, we will fix some of it.

I’ve created Noveltunity® (take a look here for more info ) to fix part of it. We’re going to help dozens of Wannabes get a better shot each year. We are going to empower readers to help the writers.

What is Noveltunity®? We will be the world’s first ebook/audio book club that exclusively features new/undiscovered (Wannabes) authors.

After the first few months, we will empower our members to vote on and choose the selections.

Our writers and readers/members will directly interact with each other. They will get to know each other and support one another.

As we grow, writers, readers and media will come to our local national and international events.

The way to get power is to take it. We can take the power by working together to help Wannabe writers reach their goals.

We would love to hear from you. Tell us what you think. Tell us how to make things better. It would be greatly appreciated if you could share our story with your friends and social media.

Over the past month, I’ve started a slow rollout. The response has been remarkably positive. People from over twenty-five countries on every continent except Antarctica have written, tweeted or called to express their interest in helping Wannabes.

We’re about to launch a crowd funding campaign on www.rockethub.com. The perks will be fun and you’ll be empowering us all.

Noveltunity® will only work with your help. We can make some dreams come true and make social media truly social. You can create new stars and make new friends around the world.

Contact me directly with any questions, suggestions or just to say “Hi”. My email is rick@noveltunity.com or follow me on Twitter @Noveltunity.

Thanks! Let’s make Wannabes rule together!