Indie Writer Professionalism….

I’m amazed all the time at how little some writers know about the writing business. It’s one thing to miss out on a social networking site or something like that. But when people don’t even know where they are distributing their books, or if they actually need an editor or not, those are significant issues that need addressed.
We live in the age of information. Literally, we have every answer we will ever need at our fingertips. There are pages and pages of instructional information on how to do everything, including write and publish books. There should be no excuse for a writer not to be completely informed of their BUSINESS.
And that’s how you have to look at it. As a business.  If you are actively pursuing publication, actively submitting to publishing houses or individuals, actively promoting your own work, you are running a business. The idea of publishing your books is to reach customers and create revenue. Business.
If you scribble notes here and there, but have never actually completed anything, or submitted to any publishing houses, writing is probably a hobby for you. If you throw a few things together, it sounds good and you create your own cover- with no input from anybody- you are a hobbyist writer who shouldn’t be putting their work out. I don’t want to be harsh, but there are absolutely people who have put books out that shouldn’t have.
If you submit and are accepted to a publishing house, you will be edited until you are sick of it, then you will be edited some more. You will have a professionally designed cover created specifically for your story. Your story will be formatted to correctly fit any e-reader device. It will be ready for the public to read.
Why would you not take the time to make your book look and BE as professional as possible? 
-Be your own critic, and be realistic. Not everything you create is wonderful and beautiful. Honestly, until it goes through several revisions, it’s probably barely readable.
-Join some kind of critique or writing group, and use them. An honest opinion from a person that is not emotionally invested in you is precious. In other words, use somebody other than relatives and friends to criticize your work. Whether they realize it or not, they will never give you the truth because they want to spare your feelings.
-Take the steps necessary to represent yourself and your work to the best of your ability. Hire people to help you with things you are unfamiliar with. Do everything you can to DISPROVE the stigma that all indie writers carry. PROVE that you are a writer of worth, and have pride in your work. Enough pride that you have done everything you can to present a perfect product to the public.
I apologize if I sound a little preachy, but it’s hard to overcome the stigma that all indie writers put out crap, especially when some of those same writers are perpetuating the stereotype.

Back To the Grind

content225RT was a blast, of course. You need to check out my blog for more in-depth info and recaps. I learned a lot, met a lot of people, signed a lot of cards, laughed and ate too much good food. If you ever have a chance to go, I strongly suggest you do. I took an RT Virgin with me, and she had a blast as well. There is something there that will appeal to every reader, writer, book seller, publisher, beginner. Wherever you are in your career, RT probably has something for you.

Next year it’s in Kansas City. We’re already making plans.

But my nose is back to the grindstone now. If I could narrow down the most important piece of information I took from RT, it would be to write more good books. The best promotion is to have another good book. I just finished a longer contemporary I’m going to submit to Ellora’s Cave, I’m working on a short for Decadent. Book 2 of the Awakening Society is underway (No, I’m not telling you which way!) and the disabled veteran romantic suspense series is still cooking too. Theoretically, I’d like to get 4 books out this year, at least. With a couple of little short stories added into the mix as well.

Damn. That’s a lot. I need to get to work.

Formatters For Hire

Continuing on with the Author Helps section on my website, I created a list of people or companies who format. Some of the names will look familiar, because they tend to do things in a similar vein. Meaning, if they edit, they may format as well.
SO, here’s my list, and of course, if you can recommend someone or do it yourself, absolutely let us know in the comments section.

 

http://ironhorseformatting.com/pricing/ – I’ve heard from friends that Lee is fantastic!
LK Campbell           
http://kindleformatting.com/book/files/KindleHTMLtags.pdf- If you’re interested in trying to format yourself, this has a huge amount of info in it. 
http://www.bellamediamanagement.com/   Carol Webb- also does covers
Steena Holmes at the www.theauthorsredroom.com. Also, on the right hand side are more listings for service providers.
Ted Risk- Dellaster Design
JimandZetta.com Ebook
Conversion & Publishing Services

jimandzetta.com He does CS formatting and conversion for $1 per 1,000 words.

Basic Smashwords
formatting blog- http://ddalglish.com/wp/?page_id=15

http://www.reneeromance.com/#!formatting   She does covers, editing and formatting.
Formats for $12 per version.
Also, check out the Women’s Lit Cafe at http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/  and go to the forums area. Service providers list themselves there.
This should at least get you started. Happy writing!!!

Gearing Up for RT Madness

content225I’m still writing, but I find myself getting more and more distracted by thoughts of RT. For those of you that have never been, it’s basically a big author party, with informational workshops jammed into it. I had a fantastic time last year meeting all my fellow authors from Decadent Publishing, and I look forward to meeting new ones at this year’s event in Chicago. 2 ladies from KYRW will be going as well, one pubbed and one not. Both are RT virgins, so it will be fascinating watching them take it all in.

Almost done with the first book of the Coming Home series. The second is about halfway finished, but I find myself adding in more and more twists and details to get tangled in. I’ve had to modify book 1 a dozen times just to get the details to flow correctly in the following books.

Working on book 2 of the Awakening Series, and I have to say the poll answers have been surprising. Not what I expected at all. I made the mistake of assuming the direction of book 2, and had it mostly written, when I realized that that wasn’t the direction the readers wanted. So, I’m writing the new book 2, and no, I’m not going to tell you right now which you chose. It’s a secret. Right now, I’m looking at mid-May for release of book 2.

I thank you for your patience! Happy reading!!

List of Editors for Hire for Indie Writers

When you self-publish, it is vitally important to present a well-crafted piece of work to the public. Self-pubbing has a negative connotation, thanks to all of the crap that’s filtering onto the net that hasn’t been refined or controlled in any way. If you are proud of the work, you need to take the time to make it the best it can be. Even if you are a good editor, you still need people to go over your work to spot mistakes. Below is a list of editing professionals I’ve compiled over the past couple of years. If you visit my website here, I have compiled a huge list with cover artists, formatters and editors.

My editors at one of my e-pubs, Kate Richards and Valerie Mann, have created an editing service called Wizards in Publishing. I can say honestly that they have made me a much better writer. And I’m so tickled they are offering this service now. They also format and upload if you need help that way.
I also have experience with The Authors Red Room. Literally, for the price I paid, 2 separate editors went over my work, and I was very pleased with the result. They had my ms turned around within just a few days.

Bev Harrison- 
bevharro@bigpond.net.au   1 cent per word with $75.00 minimum fee.
Although she runs specials.
Anne Victory-
Cathy Donaldson 
www.cathydonaldson.net
-edits
Bev Rosenbaum 
www.bevkatzrosenbaum.com  does critiques
Eliza Knight  http://elizaknight.com/      
Wendy Ely-  http://creativemanuscripts.blogspot.com/
also a multi-pubbed author.
Caro Carson www.carocarson.com/
The Midnight Line editor   Has edited for
Catherin Kean, Kresley Cole, Susan Grant
Blair Bancroft- editsbybff@aol.com
New as of 03-25-12
Found these on Women’s Lit Café: http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/forum/24
Huge list of editors.
http://www.kristenweber.com/faq.html
– on the expensive side, but Big 6 experience.
This is not a comprehensive list, of course. These are just names that I’ve run across or heard people using. Be sure to investigate any service provider as thoroughly as you can.
If you have a suggestion, please please leave a comment with your recommendation.

The Awakening Society is FREE Today and Tomorrow Only!!!!

My book The Awakening Society is FREE today and tomorrow only! And it’s the last time it will be free.
This is a unique book, because reader participation determines the direction of Book 2. At the end of the Amazon Select contract, I will tally up votes on the poll on the front page of my website, and Book 2 will be released. Thank you so much for taking part in this! I’m actually very excited, because the responses I’ve been receiving have not been what I expected.

Blurb:

Tonya Hughes is bittersweet about her last
appointment for the Awakening Society. For twenty years she’s done her part to
shape the young men of Savannah into lovers any Southern woman would want. But
her time has come to an end. Unable to continue the line, she plans to ‘retire’
from the society, after one last Awakening.

To Harrison Walker, the appointment with
the statuesque brunette is everything he could ever hope for. A hot woman is
going to instruct him in the art of making love, and she promises to teach him
anything he wants. But when his emotions get involved, will he be able to walk
away the next day? And will she be able to let him?
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