The Dos and Don’ts of Self-Publishing A Book…

What a great article, written by Lorna Sixsmith. I found it on The Story Reading Ape’s blog which makes it easier for me to re-blog. It’s very informative and important to me, being a new author and still in the middle of a learning process.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

by Lorna Sixsmith  on the Write on Track site:

Self-publishing a book is hugely exciting and a great achievement.

While much of it is straightforward, it can be a scary prospect particularly if you are investing in printed copies in significant numbers.

Having just self-published my second book aimed at a farming readership, I found that I am still learning and yes, it is easy to make mistakes.

Here’s my list of things you should do and things you should either avoid or consider very carefully.

Find out more at:

The Dos and Don’ts

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Why You Should Still Be Going To Bookstores

Author Charlotte Harter published a great post about bookstores. Honestly: I’ve never been in a bookstore I didn’t like. How about you?

 

Ah, yes. Bookstores. Remember those? They were great. But does anyone actually go to them anymore? In an age where everything is digital, it’s hard to keep the bookstores alive. But guess what? We have to. And here’s why.

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Anatomy of a Bad Review

Author Don Massenzio provides us with the analysis of a bad review written for one of his books. In my opinion he gives us a great example on how to handle bad reviews in general. But I figure I will find out for sure once one of my own books is published. Thanks for this post, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

online-reviewers Thumb up and down buttons

I’ve been blessed. I’ve written a number of books. I’ve been very fortunate. Readers that I don’t know have given my work reviews that have, in the vast majority, earned four or five stars.

That’s why, when I receive a bad review, I like to study it and figure out if there is something I can learn to improve my work.

Let Me Be Frank - CoverWhen I signed onto the Amazon author’s site, I saw this review for my second book, Let Me Be Frank:

bad review

I’ve redacted the name in this review. I didn’t want to make this post about the person who submitted the review, I wanted to make it a teaching moment.

First, I looked at the review. It’s titled ‘Boring’ and starts out with the words ‘too slow’. This is valid criticism for a book and sometimes, in a detective novel, the pacing can be…

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Why Support my Thunderclap?

Yecheilyah Ysrayl provides us with an informative information about Thunderclap. Quite useful tool, I would say. Thank you EC!

Pearls Before Swine

Thunderclap is a pretty new platform, launching April 28, 2009. The platform is just starting to gain momentum and is still a challenge to work with for many. For that, I thought I’d talk a little bit about what it is, how it works and why I use it.

Thunderclap is easy to set up and offers both free and paid options. The program, allows individuals and companies to rally people together to spread a single message at the same time. It works by collecting social media pledges of the message and publishing that message to the social media pages of those who pledge on the same day and at the same time. The more people who support the campaign, the greater the social reach.

Here’s what Thunderclap has to say:

A tool that lets a message be heard when you and your friends say it together. Think of it…

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Author Spotlight – Mackenzie Flohr

authorphotoWelcome!

 

Please introduce yourself. 

Thank you for the invitation! I’m happy to be here. My name is Mackenzie Flohr and I am a fantasy author through BHC Press.

 

  1. When did you start writing? 

I have always dreamed of writing a book and being an author, but seeing it actually get published? That part I wasn’t sure would ever happen. It’s one thing to start a book, but it’s another thing to actually finish it!

My parents nurtured a love for the creative arts from a very young age. From the time I could hold a pencil, I was already creating pictorial interpretations of classic stories, and by the age of nine, a childhood friend and I were authors and reviewers of our own picture books.

 

  1. What motivates you to write? 

What motivates me is being told I won’t succeed. I know that sounds odd, but I’ll elaborate. Back in 2006, I was at the airport in Orlando waiting for the plane to arrive to take my Dad and I back to Cleveland, OH. I was working on a scene, which happens in a later book in the series. There was a young girl who looked about my age with her Dad sitting across from us. They asked what I was writing about, so I mentioned a little bit about it. Afterward, my Dad smiled and told them that I was writing a fantasy series, and that I would never finish it. I was shocked, embarrassed and hurt by the outburst. Even as I am recalling that moment now, it still angers me! But that’s where he went wrong. Not only did I write it, not only did I finish it, I found a company to PUBLISH it!

 

  1. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre? 

Fantasy. I admit I have a strong fascination, or maybe even obsession, with swords and sword fighting. I also admire the elaborate fashion from that time. And of course, who doesn’t like a wee bit of magic?

 

  1. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you? 

I really hope someday The Rite of Wands will become popular enough to either inspire a movie trilogy or a television series by the BBC. In particular, I’d like to see Matt Smith in the role of Mierta McKinnon and David Tennant in the role of Orlynd O’Brien.

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it? 

As author Rachel Caine said during a writing panel at Wizard World Chicago in 2015, there is no such thing as writer’s block. There is nothing preventing you from writing, YOU are preventing yourself from writing by allowing this ‘block’ become an excuse.

That being said, I usually look for what inspires me to help rejuvenate my muse. When I writing the first book of The Rite of Wands, for example, I would often play the video game Bloodborne because my series kind of has a bit of that same hopeless atmosphere minus the beasts. I would also watch something with actor Matt Smith in it because my MC was written for him. That particular habit has become so effective that people often joke and say Matt Smith IS my muse.

 

  1. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors? 

Writing is A LOT harder than it looks. If someone tells you that writing is easy, don’t believe them. It’s one thing to write a story, it’s another thing to actually finish it. There are so many people out there who falsely believe they will write the next bestseller on the first try. But don’t let that discourage you. Don’t give up, keep pressing on, and if someone tells you can’t do something, don’t believe it. As one of my dear friends has said, sometimes in order for something to happen, you have to give to the universe, and the universe in turn, gives back.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

The Rite of Wands is the first in a new YA fantasy series, coming out on March 10th in both paperback and eBook through BHC Press/Indigo. It will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and even Doctor Who (specifically fans of the Eleventh Doctor).

 

Here’s a little teaser: 

One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever 

And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during his Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s. 

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves. 

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust.

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Keep in touch with Mackenzie Flohr:

 

Website: http://www.mackenzieflohr.com

WordPress: https://mackenzieflohrblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MackenzieFlohrAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mackenzieflohr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16247559.Mackenzie_Flohr

 


Mackenzie Flohr’s publisher’s page and book:

 

bhc_press_final_blue_small_no_tm

 

 

 

 

riteofwandscoverPublisher’s Page:

http://www.bhcauthors.com/Author_Mackenzie_Flohr.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Author Spotlight – Mick Canning

portraitWelcome! 

Please introduce yourself. 

Hi Aurora. I’m Mick Canning, an English writer living in England, who writes and blogs especially about India.

 

  1. When did you start writing? 

During my childhood I used to write short stories and poems that I would read aloud to my parents, and then submit to my junior school magazine. They were kind enough to publish a few of these, possibly to keep me quiet. And then I never stopped.

 

  1. What motivates you to write? 

As the cliché goes, I write because I have to! There are so many stories and ideas milling around in my head that I want to share with other people. And now that I finally have a novel published, and can therefore claim to be an author, this urge seems to have increased rather than diminished.

 

  1. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre? 

I tend to write what is usually called ‘literature’, which sounds awfully grand and pompous, but really means no more than that it does not fit into any of the usual categories of fantasy or crime or what-have-you. It is probably due more than a little to my reading habits, which are frequently also ‘literature’. Not that I don’t read plenty of other genres, of course. Some crime, some fantasy, horror, humour, and plenty of non-fiction; mainly travel and history. I will write short stories in these other genres occasionally, too, but I feel my best work is usually ‘literature’. This probably sounds dreadfully pretentious!

 

  1. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you? 

My goal? Always to finish the current work in progress, and to make as good a job of it as I am able. I have no particular wish to publish dozens of books, but I’d like the few that I do publish to be good! My dreams, well, if my writing can take me to India or Nepal, that would be good! I suspect that is not quite what the question means, though.

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it? 

Oh, yes. I‘m sure every writer does. My method is to go for a walk, preferably on my own, in the countryside. Whatever the problem I have with my writing, be it not knowing where the plot is going, or how my characters will act in a situation, or even something about the geography or history of the setting, a walk will infallibly enable me to sort it out.

 

  1. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors? 

Write! Write! Write! And read! Read! Read! The more you read, and the more widely, the more you learn how writing works. And the more you write, the better you get at it. It really helps to get feedback from someone you trust, too.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

So far, I have one self-published novel, ‘Making Friends with the Crocodile’. The title comes from an Indian proverb, and the story deals with the attitudes to and treatment of women in society, in this case specifically Rural India. It is told through the relationship between a mother and her daughter-in-law, and how a violent incident impacts upon them and the rest of the family. I wrote it in the first person, through the eyes of the older woman. And if that is not a real cheek coming from a western male writer, I don’t know what is! The book has been well received, though, even by Indian female reviewers, so perhaps I’ve succeeded in what I set out to do.

Otherwise, I have a large number of finished short stories, quite a few of them set in India, and am working on a couple of novels – one set in an Indian hill station, the other a rather over-ambitious one set in a time-scale of some four hundred years up until late Victorian times, and in England, India and Persia. I must be mad.

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!! 

It’s been my pleasure to be here, Aurora. Thank you very much for having me!

 

__________________________________________________________________

 Contact Mick:

 

My blog is www.mickcanning.co

 


making-friends-with-the__-crocodileMick Canning Book:

 

My author’s link:  http://author.to/mickclink

 

The book is available as Kindle and Print-On-Demand Paperback on Amazon (the link takes you to the author page there), and also on Kobo as well as, in India, Pothi and Flipkart

Author Spotlight – Mikhaeyla Kopievsky

profile-picAbout the Author:

Mikhaeyla Kopievsky is an Australian indie writer and the debut author of “Resistance (Divided Elements #1)”, a dark dystopian tale set in post-apocalyptic Paris.

Mikhaeyla loves writing about complex and flawed characters in stories that explore philosophy, sociology and politics. She holds degrees in International Relations, Journalism, and Environmental Science.

She is currently working on Book 2 of the Divided Elements series and looking forward to the online launch of Resistance, which takes place this weekend at https://resistancedividedelementsbooklaunch.wordpress.com/

Readers can catch up on the events of the launch and add to the ongoing discussions at  https://resistancedividedelementsbooklaunch.wordpress.com/


Welcome!

When did you start writing?

I started writing my debut novel in late 2013. I was gearing up to participate in my first NaNaWriMo (a cataclysmic failure which I went on to blog about) and was excited about finally committing to starting AND finishing a novel. Looking back at that post brings back a lot of memories and feelings. I am so proud of how much I have learned in the years since, how much I have persevered, and how much I have grown as a writer and author!

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

Originally, I was motivated by the burning desire to read a *good* story. I had hit a rough patch of reading, where everything was leaving me unsatisfied. Books I started failed to live up to expectations or failed to ignite my imagination or failed to challenge and inspire me. I wanted to write *those* kinds of stories. Since immersing myself more in the writing and literary world, I have been blessed to find a whole cavalcade of great books – which constantly motivate me to write better, to craft more interesting stories and to provide my readers with an unparalleled reading experience.

 

Now, I’m motivated by the tiny seeds of story ideas that are constantly bugging me to be planted! I have at least ten ideas for new books and series that will have to wait until the Divided Elements series is complete before they get their day in the sun. But the desire to explore these ideas and worlds and characters is incredibly tempting, so I am always pushing myself to finish the current project so that I can start on the next.

 

  1. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I tend to write in dystopian, post-apocalyptic and urban scifi/fantasy. I love stories set in gritty environments that challenge both the characters and the readers to reimagine the word they live in and confront complex sociological, political and philosophical ideas.

 

  1. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Like most authors, my dream is to be able to write full-time – to spend my days dreaming up new stories and wrestling with words to craft the perfect novel! Obviously, there are the pipe-dreams – to win acclaim and prestigious awards, to have a major Hollywood studio offer me a movie deal, to see gazillions of copies and never work again – but really, the major goal (and dream) is to connect with readers. Awards and movie deals and sales are nice, but there is something very special in reading a review of your book or getting an email from a reader and seeing how much they have been touched by something you have created.

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Not so much writer’s block, but I’ve definitely found myself at points in the story where I needed an elegant and complex solution to a plot problem and twisted my mind inside-out for days (and weeks) trying to find it. I also usually baulk at writing difficult scenes – especially those that require a lot of emotional vulnerability. I typically leave these scenes unwritten for the first draft and come back to write them when I am well-rested and ready to really unleash the next level of myself into the book.

 

  1. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Learn your craft! There are great websites and books and blogs out there that give excellent advice and support to new writers. My favorites are:

 

Books:

“Save the Cat” Blake Snyder

“Story Engineering” Larry Brooks

“Plot and Structure” James Scott Bell

“Hooked” Les Edgerton

 

Websites:

Fiction University – http://blog.janicehardy.com/

Helping Writers Become Authors – https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/

Stand Out Books – https://www.standoutbooks.com/blog/

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

“Resistance” is the first book in my new dystopian series Divided Elements. Readers have described it as a “whirlwind cross between Fahrenheit 451 and Divergent” and as a “thought-provoking and subversive” addition to the dystopian genre.

 

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic Paris and follows Anaiya 234, a Peacekeeper in the Fire Element. When forbidden murals start appearing on crumbling infrastructure around the city, Anaiya is selected to undergo a radical procedure to change her identity and go undercover in the unpredictable Air Element. Tasked with uncovering and dismantling this new Resistance, Anaiya must first overcome the internal conflict of her divided identity. But, when notions of self and truth become fluid, and concepts of obedience and loyalty shatter, will her new alignment bring success to the mission or place it in dire jeopardy?

 

This book will appeal to readers of classical dystopias like Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and George Orwell’s “1984” as well as to fans of YA dystopian novels like Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” and Pierce Brown’s “Red Rising” who are looking for more challenging ideas and mature content.

 

See what other readers are saying about Resistance (Divided Elements #1) on its Goodreads page.

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

__________________________________________________________________

Contact Mikhaeyla:

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32719178-resistance

Website: http://www.kyrija.com/mikhaeyla-kopievsky

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MikhaeylaKopievsky/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikhaeylaK

 


Mikhaeyla Kopievsky Book Launch of Resistance:

 

resistance-kindleAmazon: http://mybook.to/DE1Resistance

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/resistance-45

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1168636508

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/resistance-mikhaeyla-kopievsky/1124987737

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Resistance-Mikhaeyl-Kopievsky/9780995421851

 

 

Also:

The official online launch for Resistance takes place on Saturday 4 February. There will be excerpt readings, an author Q&A, and special guests to talk about the development of the book’s cover art and discuss the themes of the book. I would love to invite your readers to attend – they can RSVP here (it’s an open invitation, so feel free to share with friends and family!)