Publishing and writing and stuff

I am glad that I am able to say that I have been writing and publishing recently and that is why I haven’t posted lately which is much better than the alternative of being a lazy fuck. No – I have actually done a few things recently and I can honestly say I’m pretty happy about it.

Because of my passion to write, publish, help others with that and basically have fun with anything having to do with books whether they be digital or something I press to my nose and smell that lovely scent of paper and ink…sorry got lost in the moment there. Um. Right okay, so as I was saying because of that passion, I started Witching Hour Publishing a while back. It started out as a way to publish the anthologies that my writers group, the Ink Slingers Guild (ISG), decided to make in 2012. Then we did another book last year and this year we have two already lined up. One is our third anthology coming out in November and the other is a super fun book called ‘The Death of Jimmy’. It is a book of really short stories and in every story there is a guy named Jimmy and he dies. You can read more about it here if you like. That one will come out in 2-3 weeks.

I also published my first book in the Gargoyles Den series called The Guardians. I love the characters and have a ball writing them so that was of course a ton of fun and book two is halfway there.

Three of my friends from the ISG and I have started a round robin story where we each write a paragraph or five minutes worth and pass it on to the next person who has a week to do the same and pass it on etc. So far it’s pretty fun so I am expecting something epic as an end result there.

I have also started a fantasy novel collaboration with my good friend Rhiannon and we have had a ball setting the stage for it. The first book is mostly set on Earth but part of it is on another, more advanced world and a good chunk of book two will likely end up there too. The characters are coming together nicely and the first chapter that Rhiannon laid down is awesome. Sooooo having fun with this one.

I also have been working on another friend’s book release, designing her book covers and helping to figure out her online presence. Nicole DragonBeck will be coming out with her first published novel pretty soon here and look out because NO ONE at my writers group wants to read their stuff after Nicole. She’s really talented and I am really looking forward to helping others find that out too.

So there you go! That’s been my world for the last many weeks. Somehow I have managed to fit the reading of quite a few books in there as well and I am long overdue for some well deserved kudos so that too is coming soon.

To a wonderful 2014! <clink>

That said,

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How to Create an Amazon Author Page (or add a book)

Here’s the quick skinny on how to set up an Author Page for yourself on Amazon:

For those that do not have an Amazon Author Page:

  1. Go here: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/landing?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0
  2. Click on “Join Now”
  3. Sign in (or create new login).
  4. Follow instructions!

For those that already have an Amazon Author Page:

1)     Go to Amazon.com and sign in.

2)     Go to your author page.

3)     Scroll down about halfway and you will see a blue box with “Feedback” as the heading.

4)     Find where it says “Are you are author? Visit Author Central”. Click on “Visit Author Central”.

5)     Log in.

6) Find where it says “Update your Author Page”. Below that is a line that says “View and edit our list of your books:. Click that link.

7) Find the yellow button that says “Add more books” and click on it.

8) A search box will pop up. Type in the name of your book and your author name. Click Go. You should see your book pop up or be able to scroll though books to find yours. Once you find it, click on the “Add book” beneath the image of your book.

9) It will tell you that the book will show up on your author page within 5 days, Hang tight and it will be there soon!

 

How to put your book on Amazon – Part 2

Okay, so part 1 of this process can be found over here.

Starting with the last bit of instructions on there, here’s the continuance of getting your book up on Amazon!

  1. All right, now you’re at the stage where you have everything you need. For those of you that are eager to roll, get yourself over to Amazon and get started!
  2. I kind of jumped the gun on that ‘run over to amazon’ prompt. You are going to have to go to kdp amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing) to get started but it might help you to know what you need to have decided a couple of things before you finish setting everything up.
  3. That and you need to have your book formatted and ready to go.  For both my writing and my eBook formatting I use a software called Scrivener. If nothing else, it has a cool name. No really, I love it for my writing. Plus they have a nice 30 day trial and if you decide to buy, it’s only $40. It does a ton of stuff (a lot that I don’t even use) and it will format in all kinds of different file types. For amazon, I have my story (and all it’s accompaniments) compiled into a ‘.mobi’ file. To upload to Amazon you can also use a ‘.pdf’ of your book. I haven’t tried that so I don’t know how that comes out BUT the ‘mobi’ file comes out beautifully. I imagine it will also take ‘ePub’. I can only tell you what I did but I am sure there are many ways to skin this dinosaur.
  4. As I mentioned earlier, get yourself over to amazon and log in or sign yourself up. While you’re doing that, you might want to be listening to ShutEmDown by Celldweller, you know some crazy loud music to go along with your crazy loud plan for world domination, one book at a time. Or not. Your choice.
  5. Once you’re logged in, you will see, at the top of the page: Bookshelf, Reports, Community and KDP Select.  The bookshelf is where you end up once you’ve logged in too. This is where your list of books will be once you have them in there!
  6. At this point, you might find that your brain has grown in proportion to your understanding of this website and you see that you can move along this thing without my help. If so – by all means, carry on quickly and get that book published. If not, I’ll help explain the parts and walk you through the quick version. But that will be another day.

Cheers!

How to put your book on Amazon – Part 1

I imagine there are a zillion places out there (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little) that will tell you how to put your book on Amazon for some fee or another. The truth is, if you go to Amazon, they walk you through it for the most part and you can actually get through the other side relatively unscathed. Now that’s kind of easy for me to say. For more years than I am willing to share my full time, professional job has been as an administrator. Sometimes it was as a secretary, sometimes an assistant and yet other times running several divisions of a company. Now top that with some back ground in design and I had it “easy”.

That said, I also write a really good “How-to”. I’m going to tell you, in bite size pieces, how to get your book up on Amazon and available for all to purchase. This does not mean anyone will purchase it, I am not teaching marketing right now. But putting it there, yeah, I can do that.

So here are the first very basic steps:

  1. Prepare to spend some money. Yes, you can do this on the cheap. And some of you may have people you know to cut out some or a lot of expense but don’t cut yourself short. How much you need depends on a few things. Read the list below and go from there.
  2. Write story. (Hard to believe, I know, but extremely important)
  3. Get story edited by an editor. I do not mean your mother’s sister’s best friend who loves to read and won the spelling contest of 1984. Unless she’s an editor and then yeah, that’s cool. And that’s all I’m going to say on that.
  4. Get the story proofread. Yes, after the editor has their way with you (which if it’s a good editor, it really doesn’t hurt) make sure you get a final proofread.
  5. Get a book cover. I was lucky. I could design my own cover. Somebody, somewhere will find fault with it but I love my cover so they can kiss my arse. There are many places online doing book covers, some expensive and some cheap. Make sure you look at the reviews or go by referral or maybe you’re lucky and have a friend who designs.  You’re going to have to do some research and find the right designer for you. Make this happen. Do not let it scare you away. You wrote a friggin novel (or story or whatever the heck you did) and you deserve to share it. Just make sure the cover doesn’t scare people away from it.
  6. Go buy an ISBN. International Standard Book Number. You can get them assigned by Amazon or Createspace or from elsewhere else but then someone else owns it and it can be a pain for your future marketing/ownership and well who knows what else.  Just bite the bullet and buy it. (When I last checked they were $125 each or $250 for 10, I bought 10…)
  7. There are a few things you need to write in addition to your story, if you want to that is, that you should go ahead and do now: Dedication, About the Author, “Book Blurb” (What does it say ‘on the back of your book’?), Acknowledgments.
  8. All right, now you’re at the stage where you have everything you need. I’m going to walk you through the process on Amazon but I have to give my daughter a spelling test so I’ll have to get back to you on that. For those of you that are eager to roll, get yourself over to Amazon and get started!

Author-Publisher

I follow writer Chuck Wendig’s blog as a recommendation from another writer friend. A silent recommendation mind you, they were following him on twitter. and I noticed something and well, one thing led to another and now I catch his posts every so often. One of his posts was on “Why I like the term: Author-Publisher”. I love this replacement term for “Self-Publishing”. I imagine it will catch on and fly through the industry. At least I hope so.

Next time someone asks you what you do…tell them you’re an Author-Publisher. How cool is that?

Coming Soon: The Guardians Book One

It’s coming…and I’m super exited.  It will be available in the next few weeks!!

The Guardians

The Guardians by Lisa Barry

Self-Published aka Indie Writers

There seems to be a lot of debate as to whether or not self-publishing is a good thing or not. I attended the Writer’s Digest Conference in January and heard info on it. I’ve read some blogs, some tweets, and reviews. I am certainly not an expert in publishing but I am a constant reader.

I got a little beefed, honestly, at one agents stab at self-publishers who call themselves “Indie” authors. Read: Independent Author. It means they took on the writing, the editing, the publishing, the marketing all on their lonesome.  That is not only hard work but a lot of it. The time that goes into creating, editing and getting the end result of a complete novel is amazing on its own. Now add the rest; the book cover, the social media, the meetings with book stores, working your ass off trying to get it known, not to mention the money spent on it. And I read a few people nitpicking about the content.

Okay,  now I do agree that before you throw your book up on Amazon or wherever, kindly have someone proof it. Even then there may still be things missed. I’ve had several people read my book and everyone found issues but not all the same ones! In a book that I find enjoyable, I can handle a few typos here and there and it really doesn’t phase me. Am I concerned about the comma or apostrophe being in the right place? Not particularly. The things that throw me off are the inconsistencies. For example, found an INDIE author I liked. Read his 3 book series. In book two his war horse dies. In book three he is riding that same war horse.  Kinda bummed me out that he missed that fine detail but I still enjoyed the book.

Are there books out there that I think suck? Hells yea. But there may be ten thousand or a million people out there who love it. It maybe just like it okay. Or maybe only 100 people like it. That’s that many people who feel richer for having read it. And at least they’re reading and not spending fucking insane amounts of hours in front a box that sucks the life and imagination out of you.

Differences: That’s one of the things that makes us wonderful and intriguing. We all have opinions and they’re not the same. What a relief too, otherwise this would be one boring planet.

Wow, I am sure getting a ramble on here. Like I said, I got a bit beefed. I support self-published authors. I may be one someday. I haven’t decided which way I want to go yet honestly. I am sending out query letters now. If I don’t get a bite before, say, 50-100 rejections come my way than maybe I will self-publish. Either way, I will be published and that is happy making.

** CORRECTION: I’d like to think that when I hear a word, I know what it means. But that isn’t always the case. I’ve come to the realization, with a bit more research, that there is more to this word “Indie” than one might think at an initial glance. I get the idea, though it’s no where near confirmed, that Indie also refers to a type of publisher. From what I’ve seen so far, they are not looked upon with great joy in the writer’s world. However, that also is not confirmed. This whole business is one heck of a learning process. After more research and clarification in this matter, I will issue another post soon letting you know what I find.  Cheers until then!