Category: Publishing -  L.A. Tripp
 
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.

 
We now have 28 different titles on this website and two of those come from two awesome authors' debut novels.

I believe they have both broke new ground with their stories...but then again, I'm bias, lol.

Claire Simons with Falling From Grace and Heather Whetstine with Twilight's Last Gleaming. In fact, I'll leave you with two reviews from Twilight's Last Gleaming:

Awesome, thought provoking, it could be tomorrow’s news. Twilight's Last Gleaming by Heather Whetstine, takes you on an emotional thrill-ride as Clare, an ordinary college teenager with a passion for truth in journalism is witness to the best America has to offer and the worst it had become. As I traveled alongside Clare, her compelling story caused me to think, and then I became angry, at what I knew to be the truth. Next I wanted to jump up, raise my right hand and scream, YES. 

This Book is a must-read for any person that loves their country. Although it takes place in America, it is a wakeup call for anyone who believes in freedom. I am reluctant to give five-star ratings because I am a realist, but I truly wish I had a sixth star at my disposal for Twilight’s Last Gleaming.

Enjoy this book, as I know you will.
Douglas Nelson (PopATop).
5 Stars *****


The corruption and remake of the structure of America is not a new idea, but the author, writing from the view of a naive youth is the catalyst needed to make one continue reading. Well written, quick pace, very good flow between past and present. It was also hard hitting, depressing and frightening with the knowledge all in the book is possible. Whether or not it could all happen in such a small amount of time is a matter worth thinking about. The only part I found a little hilarious is the belief Texas would be a 'safe' place in such a scenario. If you like diaspora this is definitely a book to read.

By Ey Wade

Disclaimer: I'm the publisher for both of the above books. So yes, I make a smidgen on each sale of these two books, however, I believe these books are awesome and should be picked up and read by everyone! So please patronize these authors and help them to build their writing career. They will be eternally grateful ;)
 

I asked this special author..."Where do you start?" Then she proceeds to pull her hair out. Just kidding. It's a question some authors are likely asked a lot. So I had to return the favor ;) Anyway, Ms Byrd gave us a fantastic response, so I wanted to share:

Katrina Renee Byrd

Where Do I Start?

I hear this question a lot. It is one question that packs a real punch. When people ask this one questions they are usually asking three things.

1. How do I get my ideas on paper?

2. Where do I find time to write?

3.. Where does the piece of work need to begin?

Where do I start? How do I get my ideas on paper?

I can think of some great ideas but when I try to write them, there’s nothing there.”

Honey, there’s something there,” I say as I fluff my boa. “You just have to know how to access it.”

One of the most common mistakes about getting ideas on paper is that we try to edit before we write. We hear the ideas in our head but we work diligently to erase them and we don’t even know it. Here let me show you. Take out a sheet of paper or open your word processor. Write the following:

sorry” she said but that wasn’t good enough for the teacher. She still said that she’d call her mother That scared Ellen. She walked slowly from her bus stop thinking… When she reached the front steps her mother stood on the porch. “Get into this house right now,” her mother said.

Look at what you’ve just written. Is it punctuated properly? Is it coherent? Is it something you want to share with your English teacher? Of course not but you have gotten the idea on paper. Take a minute to do some editing. Then take a look at my edits.

“Sorry,” Ella said. She stared at Mrs. Johnson, her second grade teacher behind thick glasses. Ella said it again, but sorry wasn’t good enough for Old Lady Johnson.

“I’m calling your mother this afternoon, young lady,” Mrs. Johnson said shaking a finger at Ella then turning her back to Ella and addressing the rest of the class.

Where do I start? Where do I find time to write?

I am too busy. I just don’t have time to write?

Busy doing what, honey?” I ask.

That’s the real question. We are all busy but what are we busy doing? If you want to be a writer you must write. I was shocked when I realized this concept. So walking around town advertising myself as a writer is not the same as being a writer? Sadly it is not. Neither is cleaning your house, nursing your boa flouncing career or being at every writers’ group meeting. So when I really embraced this concept I found some fun ways to write small pieces AND get feedback!! Dare I say it out loud? FACEBOOK, blogging, twitter… All of these entities give you the opportunity to come up with creative, short pieces in a short period of time. Another way to jump start your writing life is to carve out small periods of time for your writing. At this point it’s not the number of minutes or hours that you write but rather that you honor the time that you’ve set for yourself. If you say you are going to write from 3:00 pm – 3:02 pm then have your butt in chair, keyboard in hand and sit there for two, uninterrupted minutes of writing.

Where do I start? Where does the piece of work begin?

This question is a bit difficult to answer because so many of us write differently. Some use an outline, some fly by the seat of their pants and some do both. For me, I have come to realize that where I begin writing the story is not necessarily where the reader begins reading it. So when I sit down to begin writing a story I may begin writing “…and they lived happily ever after.” Where as once the story reaches the hands of the reader the first line he sees may be “Once upon a time.”

Some writers write linear and some don’t. Even with an outline I may choose to write chapter five first then go back and write chapter two. I really think the import thing is to know yourself and feel brave enough and free enough to begin writing wherever you’d like.

 So to answer the question where do I start? I say, “WRITE!”

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.

 

Ever had a good head-bashing from an editor? Take your medicine. You'll be glad you did. Whether you're a writer or a reader, this will interest you. A word from editor extraordinaire, Laura Clark:


I’ve been doing a lot of proofreading and editing lately for indie authors. It’s something I’m good at, and it gives me a valid reason to stay up all night reading novels. For the most part, I enjoy proofreading and editing, but there are times when it makes me want to slam my head into the nearest hard surface. This happens when I see a good or great story buried under a pile of errors. There are a lot of variables that factor into a writer’s ability to properly use the nuts and bolts of his trade, and I don’t intend to go into those here. Instead, I mean to give writers – both established and aspiring–a few tips on how to use some of those nuts and bolts.

There have been many, many, books written on grammar, style, and punctuation. Some are incomplete, and some are hard to follow, but any of them can be useful--if a writer has one and takes the time to study it. These books have a much larger scope than this blog post. I highly recommend finding such a book and becoming friends with it.

So now, on with the show: a few tips to keep your editor and/or publisher from going stark-raving mad and/or strangling you. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but it should help a little.

Semi-colons

The semi-colon only has two purposes: to separate list items that contain commas, and to connect two closely related independent clauses (sentences) without a conjunction.

I went to the store; I needed milk.

I wrote a long letter full of gossip: the latest news about Uncle Joe, Aunt Patty, and their thirteen kids; chit-chat about my job, school, and my friends; and the big scandal over at Colony High.

Commas

There are specific rules for the use of commas. They should not be placed anywhere you feel there should be a pause. Find a book about punctuation and learn the basic rules for comma usage. You'll be glad you did.

Dialogue Attribution

Dialogue attribution tells the reader who is speaking. Take care when using words or phrases other than "said" or "asked". Do NOT include adverbs in dialogue attribution.

Bad

"I love you," Jane said sadly.

Better

"I love you," Jane said, her voice cracking as tears spilled down her cheeks.

Ellipsis

An ellipsis is that little string of dots that denotes hesitation or missing words. There should be only three dots in an ellipsis. If the ellipsis falls at the end of a sentence, then it should be followed by proper punctuation.

"I...I don't know what to do," June said.

"What...what do I do?" June asked.

"But I.... You know what, never mind," June said.

Direct Address

Direct address is when one of your characters calls another character by his or her name, a nickname, or a title. Anytime one character directly addresses another, the name should be set off by a comma.

"Jane, please look at me," Joe said.

"Please look at me, Jane," Joe said.

"Ma'am, look at me, please," Joe said.

"Please look at me, ma'am," Joe said.

Run-on sentences

Run-on sentences are a very bad idea because they are hard to understand and can make the reader lose track of what you are trying to say in a sentence and this can make them want to stop reading. See what I mean?

Song Lyrics

Do NOT use song lyrics in your work unless you have a written agreement allowing you to use them. ASCAP or the rights-holder will find out about it sooner or later and come after you. They will take your house, your car, your wife, your dog, and your neighbor’s dog and then bludgeon you to death with your own foot.

Loose/Lose

There is no reason why folks should confuse these two words. They do not look alike nor sound alike, and they have different meanings.

Loose – Adjective meaning "not tight."

Her hair came loose from its tie.

Lose – Verb meaning "misplace."

I often lose my keys.

Homophones

Homophones are words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings and usages. Learn them!

To/Too/Two

To – Preposition meaning such things as "toward", "until", or "as far as".

I want to go to bed.

Too – Adverb meaning "also", "excessively", or "very."

I am too tired; my eyes won't stay open.

Two – A number that is one more than one.

There are two wheels on a bicycle.

Their/There/They’re

Their – Possessive pronoun meaning "belonging to them."

That is their truck, not mine.

There – Adverb meaning "that place." Also used as an introductory element.

There is a big stack of pancakes on his plate.

Let's go over there now.

They're – Contraction of "they are."

They're coming to dinner tomorrow.

It’s/Its

It's – Contraction of "it is."

It's time to go to bed.

Its – Possessive preposition meaning "belonging to it."

The cat licked its whiskers.

Your/You're

Your – Possessive preposition belonging to you.

It is your turn.

You're – Contraction of "you are."

You're going to be late for work if you don't get up soon.


She's available, and affordable, for those aspiring or established authors looking for help. Don't be afraid to contact her. lbclark75@gmail.com Or if you just have a college class or employment project and want to make a GREAT impression ;)