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Today Only “The Sea Goddess” Short Story FREE on Amazon

The Sea Goddess

For today only, I’m going to be giving away my short story “The Sea Goddess” on Amazon. As with all my experiences, I’ll write a blog about this later and let all of you know if it was successful or not. I’ve already had a giveaway for my novel, but I’m curious whether or not a short story will “sell” better or worse than a novel. And I wonder if, because it takes less time to read, I’ll have a better chance at getting more reviews.

Either way, feel free to check it out! Here’s the link: The Sea Goddess on Amazon

Indie or Not?

The publishing market today is in a constant state of flux. Things are changing fast, and it can be difficult to keep up.

I recently attended a panel discussion, at the Desert Rose Romance Writers’ Conference, on the different options with publishing. There were six different authors and six different opinions. I thought I would share some of the pros and cons each author mentioned to help others, like myself, navigate this intricate world of publishing.

 

Virginia Nelson

She traditionally published in the past, and with three contracts in her hand decided to self publish.

Advantages: She wanted control over her product.

Disadvantages: She had a lot of research to do on self publishing. She had to initially pay out for her covers, editing and formatting, and self promotion was all on her shoulders.

Vijaya Schartz

She has published several books with small press.

Advantages: They will pay for your editors and bookcovers. Bigger royalties than larger publishing firms.

Disadvantes: No promotion or marketing. No advances.

Advice: Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Small publishers may close their doors. Do not put all your books with one publisher. (Those with a larger publishing firms agreed with this as well.)

Shelly Coriell

Shelly is an award winning author who published her young adult series with Amulet (a bigger New York publisher). She also has an adult suspense series with a different large publishing company.

Advantages: Book advances. Book tours (for her personally, not everyone). They cover all promotion. Great cover art. Three to five different editors to help perfect manuscript.

Disadvantages: No control of tour schedules. Smaller royalties because of advances. Not as much of control of book.

Advice: She was a big proponent of traditional publishing. But she does have a more personal novel that she plans to self publish so that she can have more control.

Erin Quinn

Traditional publishing for over twenty years with some independent publishing as well.

Advantages: Simon and Schuster is her publisher, and she loves their quality editing. Large publishing houses have great marketing as well.

Advice: She does publish novellas independently to supplement her other income.

Jennifer Ashley

She is a New York Times Best Selling author who has been traditionally published since 2002 and began self publishing as well in 2011. Berkley is her current publisher.

Advantages: One of the biggest advantages she discussed was that large publishing houses are able to make the back end deals no one else can. If you want your books in Costco, Walmart, Target, etc. You have to have a large publishing house to sell your books.

Disadvantages: You don’t have as much control of your book with a larger publishing company.

Advice: “Nothing sells your book like your next book” and “Your newsletter is gold.”

 

One piece of advice that several of them gave, was if you choose to go the indie route make your book the best you can. You may want to submit to agents to get feedback even if publishing yourself. Overall, self promotion and lack of professional editors seemed to be the biggest challenge to self publishing. While, lack of control was the biggest disadvantage to tradition publishing.

I hope this helps some of the newer writers out there, or those thinking of making a switch. We have of variety of publishing methods at the swamp and often discuss upcoming trends and issues. Whatever route you choose, do your research and keep asking questions.

I’m Finished My Book, Now What?

I went back and forth about whether to go a more traditional publishing route or to self-publish. Just recently, I finally decided what to do… self-publish.

This book is so important to me that I really want to make the right decisions. I honestly dream about having readers who “just can’t wait for my next book.” Maybe that’s silly, but it’s true. And when I weighed all my options, I realized that self-publishing would give me the most control over my book. I won’t just be sending my work out there to maybe get read by an agent or publisher, someday. It will be up to me when my book is available to the world.

But with that control, comes a lot of work. A list of things I needed to do slowly started forming in my head, then got typed up on a paper. I went from feeling like, yay, I’m done, to IT has begun.

These are some of the things I’m working on:

  • Writing my Blurb
  • Getting my Cover Designed
  • Finding a Line Editor
  • Figuring out CreateSpace
  • Figuring out Kindle Direct Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Book Formatting

These things might not seem that complicated, but believe me, they are!

I’ve got this perfectionist inside of me, who has been tied up and gagged for years, because if I let her out, I’ll go nuts. But with something as precious as my book, she’s struggling to assert herself. Just this weekend, I spent two hours looking at the headers and footers for various books, and messing around with my own.

Maybe no one will care whether my page numbers end up on the top of my pages, or the bottom, nor whether my name or the book’s name is included in the headers, but I care!

And that’s just the beginning. Formatting may be the death of me! I swear figuring out my “gutters,” as well as, the indents for lines, pages, and paragraphs is crazy. What seemed perfectly fine when I was typing it, is not the right format for a book being put in actual print. And guess what? The formatting is different for an Ebook! Who could’ve guessed?

But with all this said, this next step of being a writer is so neat… and scary. Just a couple years ago, being almost ready to put a book out there was little more than a dream. Now, it’s almost reality. No matter how stressed I get, I can’t lose sight of that.

When is Enough Enough?

I’m trying to do the final read-through on my novel, but I’m constantly stopping to fix things. But when I do, I read the lines again and can’t tell if they are better than before, or just different. The truth is, I love this story. I’ve edited and re-edited it so many times that I think it might truly be done.

But how do I know when enough is enough?

Some writers spend a lifetime on the same novel. Sometimes at the end, they’ve created a masterpiece, while other books might be tucked away, never to see the light of day.

Other authors publish great books every six-months and keep on going. But how do they stop themselves and move onto the next piece?

I’m on the cusp of something exciting and new… and, truth be told, a little frightening. Every book I’ve “finished” up until this point didn’t survive all these edits, without being put down. This book I’ve managed to stick with. To fall down, to get discouraged, but to get back up again. This book is so ready to be sent out into the world, thinking of it sitting in my computer keeps me up at night.

But so do the questions.

What if there are still mistakes? What if I missed some terrible flaw? What if I put it out there, and people hate it?

I want it to be flawless and well-received. But the truth is, I can only do the best that I can do. After that, I guess I just have to take a deep breath and be prepared for whatever response I get, good or bad. I can’t just edit forever, too afraid that someone, somewhere, won’t like what I created.

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