Indie publishing

So I have been getting a lot of people asking me to tell them how to do indie publishing of a book. It is actually not as hard as one would think.

First thing is you have to write the book. It is the hard part. Seriously.

Another question in this vein… How many poems equal a book of poetry? To be honest I am not able to give you a set number. I have seen poetry volumes of twelve poems. Most chapbooks tend towards 30. I personally always have 70 poems at least. (There have been a couple of volumes that I put smaller poems in so I added a few to the amount to feel less like I was cheating my readers.)

Most novels have a word count… But even that is flexible. Within reason. The numbers as given by this article are as follows.

Now notice that each genre has a range. That gives you an idea of what you need.

I highly recommend that you have a professional editor look at the manuscript. That way you are sure that it is up to snuff. Some will do a sample edit. The manuscript when sent to an editor should be double spaced and in a basic font. (Most have a preference like times new Roman.)

I personally recommend Kelly @ xterraweb or Deedra Nichole as I have worked with both. Although, please if you are one that offers indie authors services, comment your link.

Ok. You have your book and it is edited, now what. Look into getting you some beta readers. Beta readers are people who read your book and give you constructive feedback. This is not as easy as it sounds. Finding good betas is something that all authors struggle with. Often writing groups on Facebook are a good place to look. Offer a trade of reading.

There are two sites that publish. Both are no upfront cost. If there is an upfront cost, honestly you should look closer at the company. There are some small publishing companies that can do the work for you… But they will take a cut of the payment. If that is the way you want to go, message me. I will steer you in the right direction.

Now, layout. Yuck. I despise layout. There is a program in windows by amazon called Kindle Create. It helps to simplify the process for Amazon. Currently Amazon is the only one that does paperback edition among the sites I am recommending. Though I think that Draft2Digital has a beta version that is working on paperback distribution.

The best format for Amazon is the Mobi. Kindle create helps you to make that. The best for D2d is Docx.

Your document should have a title page, a copyright page, the manuscript, an about the author page. If you are uncertain about how to write any of these let me know. I may make a Friday post about it.

Amazon pays every 60 days. Draft2digital pays when you reach $20.that doesn’t seem like a lot, but it depends on you. How good are you at marketing yourself? You are the sales team.

Now there’s one more thing that you need. A cover. Kdp has a cover creator that you can use for a truly basic cover. You can use Canva to create covers. (Though be careful there, they do have multiple types of licence for their picture files.) Or you can buy a cover. Covers tend to be anywhere from $30 – $250 USD.

You will need for the ebooks a jpg file and for the paperback a pdf. Here is an example. This is the cover I made in Canva for one of my yet to come books.

I am not going into branding in this post. I think that I will leave that for next Friday.

Both of the websites above have newbie friendly directions. However I am willing to answer questions. This is a fairly decent guide on YouTube. Ask other indie authors on social media for advice. Most remember the beginning and are willing to at least suggest places to find the information. Or if nothing else… Google it.

I can probably do a post on marketing, but it is the one area of the indie publishing that I really am not good at.

Whew. I have rambled here. If you have questions ask me in the comments. I will try to answer them.

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Whispering titles and cover change

Whispers of the Muse

So, I posted previously that my next poetry volume is titled Whispers of the Muse…And I posted the cover design that I had done for it. Well to be honest I was less than impressed with my own design there. I liked some of the elements. I just felt like I had missed the calling with some of the cover. It had the whisper, but not the muse. So I adjusted. Art is supposed to evolve. This is the final adjustment and my official cover reveal.

There is parts of being a artist that drive me even farther crazy at times, but I really do enjoy when I see something work. I would love input? Do you like it? Hate it? and why?

Choices.

So… I am 3 poems from finishing the writing of Spilled Verse. I am often in a crunch on the last five or the first five of any volume. Not that I should be, but it always has my anxiety going nuts in that ten poem stretch. Self doubt is the highest during those.

I have other issues that require attention at the beginning and end of a volume. Layout, editing, cover design and choosing a new title. That is where I am now. I have a list of “possibles” that I keep just for my poetry volumes. These are ones that I use to pick from.

My current list is nine long. It helps me to have options. I will likely be doing the cover reveal for my teaser Tuesday on my next volume.

Teaser Tuesday

So I was given permission from some of the authors in this anthology to give you a sneak peek into it. I will only be listing the ones who gave me permission.

Of course I am a part of it. (I did the cover and am helping to organize it.)

Author – website – title of story – and teaser blurb if they had it ready.

Keep it in mind that they are mostly still writing it. We are expecting a summer release. This is not in any order other than the order of my personal notes.

1.) Jess Reece – Author – Scrydan Woods –

An ancient forest.
A cursed object.
A ghastly offering.

Do you dare to enter the Scrydan Woods?

2.) Serena Mossgraves – Author – Rowan –

Can a tree really end the world? Faeries fighting for the world against the darkness and themselves.

3.)Cyn A Snow – Author

4.) Tish Macwebber – Author (under construction) – Sweet Nothings – Clara spent her days working in a bakery, as a cashier. One day, she decided to go to her local craft store to buy some supplies for a new project. It was soon apparent that she was dabbling in something that was turning out to be a little more than she expected.The next time you try a new craft or hobby, Clara recommends for you to do all the proper research to make sure there are no strings attached…

5.) Micheal Walters – Author – Fey Food Fight

6.) D. Gabrielle Jensen – Author

7.) Deedra Nicole – Author & Editing – Mermaid Pearls

8.) Herschel Pilcher III

9.) Finn O’Malley – Author – Hidden Shadows – No one belonged in the Realm of Hidden Shadows, least of all the King of Air Faeries. Aeolus must retrieve the Air element to fulfill a magical destiny 100 years in the future, but at what cost? The King faces a daunting task of destroying a friendship and crossing murky lines of Dark magic to save what might be lost forever.

We may be considering new stories for it, I am not sure.

So far the stories look like they are going to be an amazing read. Please show these amazing artists some love and visit their pages. I will definitely be keeping you updated as we get closer to release.

Tech Tuesday

I adjusted the schedule for to give myself options. Thursday reviews from now on will be books only. I have two options for each day and I may adjust further.

Today I am going to talk about the Canva app. The website is wonderful, but this is one occasion when I truly prefer the app. Available for android here. To be honest I don’t know if it is available for Apple as I don’t like the way Apple products work. (But those of you who like Apple, check the appstore and let us know)

It has the base social media image templates. It also has cover design templates. Options for adding graphics, text, or multiple pictures. There are free use pictures, subscription pictures (a monthly fee opens up the use of), and pay for use pictures. The app itself is free.

This is how I have been doing the graphics for my poems and my book cover designs. I enjoy the creative options that Canva offers. I highly recommend it for any graphic design needs. Anything from a flyer or brochure to a book or cd cover. It is loaded with options.