Category: Independent -  L.A. Tripp
 
What would you do if you had a choice?

If you could work the rest of your life for someone else or if you could work the rest of your life for yourself, which way  would you choose?

Working for yourself, your job is never secure. No matter what your occupation, what field you're in, how in-demand you are, how high in the company you are, it doesn't matter. Your job is never secure. You can always be replaced by the next college graduate or the next big thing in your chosen profession. That paycheck that you count on can disappear overnight, literally.

When you work for yourself, you're also not guaranteed income. It's all sales and your ability to sell yourself and your product. The minute you stop selling yourself and your product or products, your income will stop.

So, which is better?

Well, to me, working for someone else is letting them determine how much I'm allowed to make (by what they are willing to pay me out of their pocket), allowing them to determine what kind of good or bad schedule I have each week, only being allowed to move up the ladder when they feel they are ready to let me do so, and it's handing my future to them in regards to my job security because they will only keep me on their payroll as long as it's beneficial to them to do so.

Make no mistake. As a business owner, a company will only keep you on their payroll as long as it's beneficial for that company to do so.

Working for myself, yes it's a sacrifice. I have to devote countless hours to building a career of my own up, on my own, when I could be playing games with the family, spending more quality time with the family, watching that movie or TV show I've been dying to see, just sitting around doing nothing but reading or listening to music, working on stereos (which I love doing), or countless other things which are fun for me. I have to sacrifice some of all of that in order to push forward with my dreams. However, I do this because the hope is that one day I can afford to hire a full-time sitter, maybe a full-time housekeeper, be able to put in 4 or 8 hours a day and spend the rest of the time spending time with my loved ones, have the money to not only take care of bills, but also car repairs, home repairs, extended family needs, etc. I have the dream that one day I can open my financial resources to people whom I don't know that truly need help. Such as wounded warriors. Or people who have lost their homes and jobs through some natural tragedy. Things like that.

Working for myself, I can actually create jobs by hiring a publicist, hiring a full-time editor (Laura Clark, eat your heart out baby :P ), hiring a full-time cover designer (Katie Jennings, beware of your time if I ever get rich :P ), hiring a personal assistant to keep track of any scheduling for me and the other authors I work with.

Working for myself, I can contribute more to my local and national economy. It's economics 101. Working for someone else, I'm extremely limited in what I can do in this area. Working for myself, the bigger the company gets (the more I can write and sell), the more people I can hire for different tasks. Working for myself, I can prosper more.

It's Free Enterprise, baby.

My choice, my dream, is to work full-time for myself. Yes, it's a HUGE sacrifice at first. But, in the end, I hope that the rewards pay off much more than the sacrifice is right now.

Which way would you choose to go?

One last note. Working for yourself doesn't just mean being an author. You can be a successful musician (I know several), successful brick and mortar store owner, successful network marketer with a company such as Amway (note: I HAVE been in Amway before and it's a great company...I DID make money with it...see Josh Luck if you're interested). You can work for yourself as an independent locksmith, personal trainer (I've worked with one, my wife currently does), mechanic (mechanics independent of a shop have their advantages...I work with a local one at times myself), trash man, attorney (see Lisa Michelle Watson if you need one), and the list goes on and on.

Disclaimer: I am making absolutely nothing for mentioning any names in the above paragraphs. These are just people I'm connected with on or off facebook. I'm just doing what I can to support other entrepreneurs. I hope you will as well.
 
For a VERY interesting perspective on the current dynamics of going indie, open those ears wide for a quick listen to our guest today, Dino:

MY VIEWS ON SELF PUBLISHING
By Dino Simonetti

Author Consider this-when a writer asks you to buy a book, they’re asking you to
trust them. They’re asking you to part with hard-earned dollar(Well unless its an E-book). When a reader buys the book, we’re hopeful they’ll love it enough to tell their friends etc to buy/read it as well.

My topic today will be about independent publishing and my experiences with it. I will also discuss my choice of publish-on-demand services. Here’s the typical writing scenario we all dream about: We sit down to write our monumental best-selling novel. We dream of the day a big publisher will pick up the manuscript and say "Eureka-I think you've got it!"

Has that happened to you yet? Yes at least twice----right?

Well the dream, once you get to know what color the lining truly is, can be fraught with all sorts of trip-ups-unless you have a high-paid savvy lawyer reading your agreement. As always, it’s about money. 

Well it seems there are as many Indi-publishers as there are writers. It has become a lucrative business for some indie-publishers that offer book set up, artwork, reviews and ghost writing etc. The average poor Joe, such as myself, cannot and will not fall for it. Why? Let me share a little horror from days gone by.

I was in the music industry for over twelve years and spent tons of money on fancy equipment and web sites with streaming music--and tons of publishing. I also got sucked into the promoter game where they supposedly promote you nationally for five-hundred dollars a month(then dollars). I analyzed what I was doing I realized that I could do exactly what they do, for free and by only adding twenty hours a week to my already hectic work/family life. Truly-promotion is a full time job if you’re trying to make market share. The energy I expended did pay off to some degree; gosh I spent a ton on stamps and fax paper. I ended up producing thirteen disks of music of various types. The musical got rave reviews from the critics. Did you know if you buy advertising space and schmooze enough you can get a 5-star review? Well, I did make a pretty good splash and was noticed by lots of larger labels that I was hoping to license with.

They have marginal budgets too(inside tip) as well and the only ones who make any money are the owners unless you’re an absolute wonder. I rubbed elbows with a few luminaries and one was kind enough to tell me “the world isn’t ready for you yet-give it about 10 years. I guess that’s why I’m a visionary. I also managed to flooded the college radio market and made many play lists and a bit of notoriety; I was invited in for several interviews. .

Three years after leaving the game, I still received a play list from a Canadian radio station that played at least one of my tracks every night. The lesson learned? How incestuous the industry is and how record deals are actually run and all the pitfalls of getting wrapped up with the big guys. How does this equate to the literary world-we try to keep it tight but there is a certain percentage of ‘stuff’ going on.

One day I was sharing with a dear friend back east how I thought it was finally time to release my series of not-so-short stories. I explained to him the style of my writings and how five books will end up being over three-thousand pages when all is said and done. He was happy to share how he had self-published 11 books, short stories about monsters and such. He expounded on how he used Create Space dot com. He further explained that it's free and they do a good job.

I contacted them-they really are a nice bunch and are tied in with Amazon. Since joining them about three-years ago, they’ve grown to a 24/7 operation. They answer all of your questions whether on the phone or e-mail. If you don't understand something-they will explain it so that even me, Roger Rabbit, can understand-no I don't smoke marijuana. I recall having a book cover issue and after a phone call they accepted my cover. Most book publishers that offer cover services want bleed around the edges etc. I got them to understand the black edges where my pictures fade out are designed to flow off the edge of the page. I do my own covers and even Createspace say they're unique and wonderfully wild-that's a subtle marketing hint.

Createspace offer all sorts of templates and services and if you're patient you CAN do the entire thing yourself without enlisting their pro’s which requires a fee. It took me no time to figure out how to make it all work. I called and they gave me the math formula to figure binding width etc-it's really easy once you have the page thickness.

Some of the nice things they evolved was the 3-D version of the book, you can get a complete view of what it will look like when it hits the stands. Also, you can now digitally proof your book with their handy tool-you get a screen shot of your manuscript and it will show if you're outside the margins etc(coloring outside the box). 

It used to be, you'd send the manuscript via PDF and all the set up, they'd okay it, you'd order a copy and sometimes it would be right, sometimes not. I tend to be anal so it was never right and it would cost me 2-3 books-now its none.

They will issue you a unique ISBN number, both 10 and 13 digit if you like.

You can do your own sales-copy on the site because you access to do your own web space. Mine is createspace.com/3599541. I created the entire thing in an hour or so.

Now here’s the rub. If you use the web space, you can make decent royalties. Example, take a 458-page book, and price it at 12.95, you can make almost four-dollars. If you use Amazon, they take forty-percent and still make over two-dollars. The pros and cons are this: 
A) You can drive people to your web-space, make lots of money but it will tak a while before people will know who you are. B) you can use the Amazon channel not make as much, but you have the opportunity to be noticed in the rankings. It’s best to use both.

You can also use the expanded distribution system feature, such as libraries, book re-sellers. The only caveat is you must price the book out of sight to make a few cents-some where in the neighbor hood of sixteen-dollars. I myself plan to use my own marketing and agency to get wholesalers to buy my books at much less than the aforementioned process. I can sell them for less and we both make money. Yes it’s a bit labor intensive to buy your own books and have them dropped shipped but worth every buck if you have a book that is moving already.

They now offer Kindle set-up for $69.00 and they will take your PDF and convert it-or you can go to the Amazon site and do it your self-(Yup, I'm a terminal DIY'er). Same with B&N Nook, they have a site to do it yourself.

There are challenges to all of this but if you really want to make money, pull out a few hairs and figure it out.

A sidebar here, I want to use a portion of the royalty paid per book to raise ten-thousand dollars by years end to donate to the Autism Foundation to assist in researching this affliction; it afflicts my youngest boy Connor If you'd like to know more, just write me at by_noble_hands@yahoo.com.

I have other links I’d like you to visit as well.
http://www.facebook.com/Witches.N.Demons.of.Salem
http://dinosimonettiwriter.blogspot.com/
http://www.authorsden.com/dinopsimonetti
and of course
createspace.com/3599541

Shape-shifters and Succubae
An unusual way to deliver a Thriller? What makes this thriller different than all the rest? First of all, it’s a book that can be used as a screenplay to a movie that would be simply awesome. There’s more-take a blend of toe curling murders, horrifying gore and people disappearing (and reappearing not quite the same). Add steamy erotica only a well-mannered succubae would partake of-nice combo; that’s not all take our central character Jade, having nightmares and hearing voices-possibly from the other side is that you Hecate? Graveyard rituals performed by young witches that ought not be performing and-well-what happens when an esbat is disrupted? Combine a bloodthirsty demons with that sex starved succubae and.... had enough?

Now take a disturbed young female with only one thing on her mind-Billy’s heart and soul. So when you’re at the beach reading this summer, stick your toes in the sand and settle back with a copy-your toes will curl under the sand. Nothing like a dark and macabre book-you'll love it! Shape-shifters and Succubae is now available on Amazon or Createspace.com/3599541 grab a copy for yourself and a friend or loved one.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dino Simonetti hails from Winthrop, Massachusetts, a small town east of Boston. Simonetti lived his first 28 years in this historical town and can recall stories told by Edward Roe Snow, a neighbor at the time. He also took a liking to Poe's works as well. He credits much of his influence to King, Koontz and Barkers works. He stated some of the light, breezy prose is influenced by Janet Evanovich as well.

Mr. Simonetti has a sense of humor that lends to his charismatic demeanor and you will find him quite easy to talk to. One thing I did notice is he listens intently and takes a great interest in you and he will ask you questions about you and not speak of himself unless asked. He is always quick with a joke and quite witty.

Mr. Simonetti stated he was a pharmacist for over twenty-years and has just recently embarked on a career in massage therapy. He is a father to four children, all fully grown and living in Salem MA. He himself resides in Utah for the time being.

Simonetti can spin a yarn that will definitely scare you. The pieces described to me were certainly teasers to read his book-I was delighted to read it. He states that to make a scene really scary or gory, he has to imagine what would gross him out or scare the life out of him-he claims to have a high threshold to horror and gore. The style of writing he credits to an idea his son gave him. The manuscript can be likened to a screenplay and is written from the point of view of a twenty-something recounting a movie in exquisite detail. The book is peppered with the cleanest and most inoffensive erotica I've ever read and it is placed strategically within the story line. The vernacular of the characters is precisely what you would expect from young adults who have spent a great deal of time on the streets; I found it quite entertaining at times.

The story started out on a single premise and became more and more twisted and convoluted, until he put together a tale that will run into several parts and top the 3000 page mark. This first installment, Shape-shifters and Succubae, lays the groundwork for the mystery, the horror, and the suspense all rabid horror enthusiasts will enjoy following, in the end, hopefully leaving them breathless.

Mr. Simonetti currently lives in Midvale Utah; contact him there by e-mail for readings, signings and tours.

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.

 
I've been in a conversation with a couple of fellow indie authors about this issue.

They are wondering, and maybe even scared, to use their free promo days that Amazon gives to us for participating in their Select program.

So, why would these authors be afraid to use something a book GIANT is giving to us?

The sad reality is, they feel like we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. Why? Because there are a ton of fellow indie authors that will tear you to shreds because you want to give a copy of your book away for promotional reasons.

Here's a dose of reality that those NEGATIVE indie authors either miss or choose not to see. Free promos work in EVERY field. I don't care if a laundromat gives away one load of laundry to lure people in, a supermarket gives away some small item to lure business in, or a car dealer gives away a free detail job or some service to lure people in. The end result is the same, regardless of the industry. The business GIVES AWAY something to HOPE FOR DOLLARS in return.

And you know what else? It...WORKS. If freebies didn't work, brick and mortar businesses would not continue doing it. Hell, even internet based businesses do it. David DeAngelo, who works in the dating and seduction field, or pick up artist field, frequently gives away great tidbits. You know what else? He makes more than anyone else in that field. To the tune of $20 million dollars each year. So again, bottom line, freebies WORK.

Now, many indie authors will tear you to shreds if they so much as HEAR that you want to run a free day promo. They will preach to you that you're devaluing all of our collective works. If that doesn't convince you not to do a free day, then you're just scum who can't write a lick to save your life.

Seriously, this is what we call SUPPORTING each other? I think not.

Who cares if you personally HATE the free days. You know what, the other author is not giving YOUR book away. Unless of course you have asked them to. They are trying to promote THEIR book. So lay off and learn how to actually show another human being some honest-to-God support.

Drop the jealousy you're feeling and show a fellow indie true support.

Here's another reality check. I've talked before about Pixel of Ink and ENT and how they are currently the only viable venues to really get your book noticed on a free day. Well...that's not exactly true. It is, but it isn't. The reality is, there are enough authors within the indie community that SAY they will do ANYTHING to support their fellow indies. Well, if all of these indie authors would put their mouse where their mouth is, we'd see a lot more ACTUAL support.

What do I mean? I don't mean you have to go out and spend your hard earned dollars, buying every book that your fellow authors publish. Not at all. And some of you just ignored that last line. You have no idea what I said.

Ok, listen up. WITHOUT SPENDING A PENNY YOU CAN SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW INDIES SO EACH OF US CAN ACTUALLY MAKE REAL CASH.

Got it?

Let's try this again.

When a fellow indie author has a free promo day, there are enough of us indie authors in all of our communities that we can raise up each indie author on their particular free promo day. That means you simply DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY. Is that REALLY so hard?

I don't care if you only have a PC, a Mac, don't have a Kindle, do have a Kindle, only have a Nook, what ever. It doesn't matter. Period. If you have a PC, download the app for Kindle for PC. If you have a Mac, same thing. If you only have a Nook...I'm sure you have a computer as well. SURELY you see where I'm going without me spelling out EVERY detail.

Ok, now that we're on the same page there...here's the next step.

When a fellow indie has their book up for a free promo day....DOWNLOAD a FREE copy! 

"But I already have it" you say.

Awesome for your support! Now....DELETE IT AND DOWNLOAD ANOTHER.

Or, if Kindle won't let you do that, download it to a different device, like a different computer. In other words, there is SOME way that you can download another FREE copy. We're just too damn lazy to help others, it seems.

"But I don't download what I won't read. Period."

Well, that tells me and the rest of the community that you DON'T truly support your fellow indies. I personally do download TONS of books I probably won't ever read. Seriously, what does it COST ME? Nothing, other than a few seconds to make a click.

Then, there are other authors who simply hate the guts of some fellow indies. Yeah, that's really supporting your community too. GROW UP.

Look, here's the bottom line. The reason why Pixel and ENT are SO effective is simply their reach. They have the ability to reach THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of people, individual readers. It takes THOUSANDS of downloads for each book to pop the number one spot in your particular genre.

Thing is, if your book does NOT hit the number one spot, it won't stay afloat as long after the free day. If it doesn't at least crack the Top 10, your free day was wasted.

Here's another part of this reality check. There are enough authors in our communities as a whole to get each individual fellow indie author SEVERAL thousand downloads on EACH of our free days.

So, to recap, drop your hatred, grow up, click a book even if you don't like it (just hit delete), and help that fellow author to hit that coveted number one spot. It hasn't cost you a single penny to show support. Yet, by that author hitting number one, THEY will now have the opportunity to have TONS of new, fresh eyes seeing their work. IF their work has merit, it may hold the Top 10 for a while, while gaining actual paid sales that YOU are paying nothing for. You simply clicked your mouse. If their book does not have merit, it will soon vanish into the ether, therefore not hurting you or your book anyway.

So again...WHY is it SO hard to show TRUE support to your fellow indie author???

C'mon. AS A COMMUNITY WE ARE STRONG. Divided, we fall.
 
Are you top notch or are you egotistical?

As a writer and as a reader?

Are you the absolute best at what you do and no one, anywhere, anytime, in any manner is qualified to give you advice of any type?

Are you open to hearing advice because any little tidbit can help you grow and improve?

This sprung into my mind because I've been seeing a trend lately. A bad trend. We've always had a few writers in our community that have the elitist mentality. They believe they are better than everyone else, period. And, although there's a ton of trash in our community, which hurts our community overall, the elitist mentality does NOT help our cause, either.

Some countries actually very much discourage this type of thinking, and we can all learn a bit from that. There's nothing wrong with being humble. Nothing at all. Who knows, you may actually make another friend or two if you're a bit more humble. 

There's also nothing wrong with having pride in your work...but then there's pride and there's ego. Two different things. No matter what country you're in, from Australia to Japan to Russia to Europe to South America to Canada to the U.S.A., ego is the same everywhere. And ego is not a good thing.

I admit, this does not just affect indie writers. Some of the biggest branded big names have big egos as well. However, that affects them. That affects the major companies. Indie authors have enough going against them as it is. Why add an over-inflated ego to that equation?

So, are you top notch or are you egotistical?
 
It hit me today. Yes, I'm becoming more "independent" with my work, in that it's getting out there more. My writing is in more hands. More eyes are reading what I've written.

Yet, that independence leads to dependence. Sort of.

I realized that around 10,000 people have a copy of one book. I then realized that those people could be riding a bus or a train, sitting in a doctor's office, sitting in a corner shutting the world out, killing time while waiting for a loved one to come home, or sitting on a beach somewhere...while reading my book. People all over the country have a copy of my book on their ereader.

This actually leads to more dependence, while giving the writer more independence. It's in the business side of things. If a person is simply a writer and not a business person, that person can simply write whatever they want and not care. They won't care if anyone ever reads their work. They won't care if their work is shared. They won't care if their work is bought. They won't care if their work is popular. They simply write to write. Period.

However, for the write that's also a business person, the independence and dependence are actually tied together. In order for us to be independent, we must also realize that we are dependent. We are dependent on the reader to actually enjoy what we write. After all, if the reader doesn't enjoy it, the work will never go far.

So yes, I have around 10,000 people with a copy of one of my books. Now I wonder how many of those are enjoying with they are reading. I'm sure at least some are, because I've had great reviews. I'm also sure some are, because they've bought the first sequel. I'm also sure some are, because they've bought the short story prequel.

In the end, yes, I'm dependent on these readers to be happy. To spread word-of-mouth. To help me build my brand and my series, to please their reading tastes.

So, in this case, being dependent to be independent feels so good.