3 Questions Wednesday with Sarah Rowan

sarah rowanToday’s 3 Questions Wednesday guest is author Sarah Rowan.

Welcome to the Writing Prompts blog, Sarah. Let’s start out with your reading interests.

Which author would you never get tired of, and why?

Sarah:   The author I would never get tired of reading would be Ravi Zacharias. He is a Christian Apologetic. He preaches and teaches people how to defend their Biblical Worldview in today’s culture. I have seen him speak 7 times in person and read countless of his books. His books are deep so you can always learn more each time you read them.  I love his writings because they make you think.

I love authors that make me think. Second question:

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Sarah: I’m not sure if I have a favorite fictional villain, but the one that I remember most when I was young that gave me nightmares and made me scared to go to sleep was Freddy Krueger! The movies scared me to death, yet I remember waiting for the next one to come out so  Freddy could scare me to death again!  This fictional villain still scares me and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t sit through a movie now with him in it!

Scary. I couldn’t sit through one of those movies either. Now, about yourself. 

What project are you currently working on?

Sarah:   I am currently working on Unspeakable Joy:  Devotions for the Slumbering Believer.  This will be my second book. I am naturally drawn to write devotionals. They are little life lessons from the Lord that relate to the real world. Writing my devotionals helps put some of my emotions and perspectives in their proper place. They help me keep God as my central focus.

Sounds like a great book. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by, Sarah. If you’d like a chance to win a paperback copy of Sarah’s first book, Authentic Happiness: Devotions for the Slumbering Believer, please leave a comment below.

sarah rowan bookAuthentic Happiness: Devotions for the Slumbering Believer

Could you be a slumbering believer in Christ and not even know it? Is it possible that you are physically awake but sleepwalking spiritually? Do you have the deep and growing Christian life God intended, or are you sleeping through it? The Lord tells believers to wake up several times in the Scriptures. What makes believers go to sleep in the first place? Once awake, how can believers stay awake? Authentic Happiness is a collection of personal journals of one slumbering believer’s journey of awakening. While the answers to some of these questions were less than desirable to hear, the truth that was revealed changed a life forever. Every believer should ask these same questions and seek the answers for themselves. This devotional encourages all believers to look at their own Christian lives a little closer to see how awake they really are in Christ. It may surprise you.

Sarah Rowan is a Speech Therapist by profession. She works in an inpatient rehab facility in Albany, GA. She started writing personal journals about 3 years ago, sending them out to friends and family. From there she was encouraged to join her journals together in a book. Those journals  became her first book titled Authentic Happiness  Devotionals for the Slumbering Believer. She enjoys teaching youth in her church, along with reading and writing.

Find Sarah at  www.sarahrowan.com and Facebook. Her email is srowanslp@yahoo.com.

Daughters of the Heart by Caryl McAdoo

carylToday, we welcome Christian hybrid author, Caryl McAdoo, on the blog to showcase her latest release, Daughters of the Heart.

Hi, Caryl, So glad you could join us. First question:

Have you always wanted to be an author?

Caryl: Funny you should ask! J In the seventh grade—that would be 1962—Mis’ess Bell assigned an essay on what we’d be doing in the year 2000. I wrote of the joys of being an intergalactic famous author jetting from planet to planet signing books for all my fans! What can I say? The space program let me down! Isn’t that fun? I have always loved writing and reading. My favorite grandfather wrote a book as did my mother (neither were ever published) so I guess it’s in my genes. 🙂

What’s your favorite method for keeping a story’s middle from sagging?

Caryl: Oh, the middle is my favorite part, and I have ever thought about it sagging 🙂 After the first ‘act’ when all your characters have been introduced and your story goal established, then you just start throwing obstacles in the way of your hero and heroine to keep them from accomplishing the goal. One after another after another because isn’t that how life goes? When it rains, it pours. This is a true idiom. So after act one, depending on how long I want the story to be, I just keep throwing rocks at my dear characters. Being a ‘skirter’, (I don’t wear pants, so can’t rightly be called a pantser) I don’t plan ahead and write to an end.  I just write and see what troubles my characters get into and how God can get them out of them.  🙂

Do you write every day?

Caryl: No, I do not. Most days, but not every day. Being a hybrid author (traditionally and independently published) I wear many hats besides that of the writer. I edit, line up other editors and proofreaders for each manuscript. I format and design the interior. I consign my historical covers to the best in the business as far as I’m concerned, Kirk DouPonce, the Biblical fiction series’ covers are original art, but I have to make the cover from it, and the contemporary and mid-grade series still get my own cover designs, so I have that to do. There’s the actual publishing, then the marketing! BookBubs and Blog Tours, and Parties! Oh, my!

How will you market your book?

Caryl: I’ll discuss DAUGHTERS OF THE HEART’s marketing since that’s this month’s release. I started months ago setting up dates to visit blogs such as Writers’ Prompts! As the date draws closer, a couple of months before its launch, I begin with a cover reveal while I’m getting it ready for Kindle’s ‘Pre-Order’ program. So the next thing is to upload the cover and interior, proof and click publish, then start advertising the novel’s availability.

I almost always host an online Virtual Launch Party either by myself or with an author friend, and sometimes with many other authors. My review crew (what some authors call their ‘street teams’) need to get the manuscript ahead of time so I take care of getting it to everyone, I have a wonderful group of ladies I call my eVALUaters who are my first readers. I make lots of memes—pictures to promote the book, usually the cover combined with text, sometimes blurbs or reviews. And I post those around and the eVALUaters share those with their friends. More blog visits and parties continue through its Release Month. For DAUGHTERS, I set up a blog tour with CelebrateLit, and Sandy there lined it up for three full weeks of reviews on about twenty+ blogs.

I also set up a BookBub promo to start offering the previous book in the series for FREE. It’s pricey—like $210 to advertise your title FREE for one day—but the return on the investment is immeasurable! Book four, SINS OF THE MOTHERS had right at FORTY THOUSAND downloads, these have resulted in sales that are still rolling in on ALL the books in the series, including DAUGHTERS!

I keep it up…parties, blogs, memes, posting in Facebook Groups, face to face book signings, at least one a month, usually more. Try to keep the excitement high until the next book’s turn. In 2015, my goal was to release eleven new titles, and I’m on target to meet that goal with only October and November to go. October’s is down to the cover and formatting and I’m still writing November’s. This was not an easy feat, but with God, all things are possible!

Have you ever had a funny experience connected with being an author?

Caryl: Last month, maybe even in July, I began working on October’s cover. It was to be STARFISH PRIME book one of THE KING’S HIGHWAY Trilogy, for mid-grade readers. I tried this and that and eventually came up with a design I really loved, so when the manuscript was ready, I posted in The eVALUaters Facebook group and showed them the cover first. One astute lady looked it up on Amazon to find there was a book with the SAME NAME and practically the very SAME COVER! An orange with silhouette people! He had soldiers where I had three kids wearing backpacks with a dog, but SO SIMILAR!
SO I went to work to change up the cover, but I’d been so happy with the first, none of the new renditions pleased me as much. Yesterday my husband suggested changing the title, so now it will be THE KING’S HIGHWAY, book one of the Days of Dread Trilogy! Problem solved! Original design restored, never the twain to meet! 🙂

Thank you so much for inviting me to Writing Prompts! It’s been my pleasure!

Glad you dropped by!

01 Front - DaughtersDaughters of the Heart

God’s perfect plan is sometimes so hard to determine.
Gwendolyn, Cecelia, and the youngest, Bonnie, make a pact never to break their father’s heart like their big sister did. Then their determination is sorely tried when suitors show up, and he gets so pigheaded with his rules.
Will Henry survive his daughters coming of age? Will they endure and keep their promises to each other?
From one man asking to court her—who Daddy sends packing—Gwen goes to three! How can she ever decide? Cecelia knows exactly who she wants, but she’s still a year away from Daddy’s acceptable courting age. What if her beau doesn’t know or won’t wait? And Bonnie hates being the baby and wants to be grown-up more than just about anything…except her man. She is for sure and for certain in love.
In his life, Henry Buckmeyer has never been so beside himself. His little girls are so young, just babies, too young. He hates the whole idea of men coming to take them away and is inclined to shoot every one of them, but praise God for a level-headed, loving wife and step-mother! She helps keep him sane amidst the female chaos. Packed with fun, romance, deception, action, heartbreak and tears, this delightful Christian novel keeps the twists and turns coming.
Will the Buckmeyer home ever be settled and peaceful again? Will any of his daughters find true love…a man he’ll approve and to whom he can give his blessing?

Pre-Oder Now

Simon & Schuster, Christian hybrid author, Caryl McAdoo is currently writing  three series: her historical Christian Texas Romances; the contemporary Red River Romances; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

All Books-http://tinyurl.com/CarylsAmazonPage

3 Questions Wednesday with Jackie Castle

Jackie CastleToday we welcome Indie author Jackie Castle to Writing Prompts.

Hi, Jackie! Let’s get started by finding out which author would you never get tired of, and why?

Jackie: I’ve read so many books, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. Authors I’ve read several times over are J.K. Rowling, Cassandra Clare, Tolkien, and Lewis. Some authors who I found that started off or are still currently independent authors are Amanda Hocking and Rachel Morgan. There’s more, but those are the ones that come immediately to mind.

I found Morgan on Wattpad – which is a great place to find new writers – and I simply adore her Creepy Hollow series.

What I love most about these authors is their uncanny ability to create striking worlds that jump off the page and live on in my imagination, even after the last page is turned. The ability to do that is truly a gift. They’ve each created a world I want to return to again and again and again.

I, too, love it when an author can make an imaginary world so real. In the world of fictional villains, who is your favorite?

Jackie: This is an even harder question to answer. The villians I’ve found most interesting are Gollum from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The Smeagol/Gollum duel personality – which was shown more in the movies than the books, I think–but I found it fascinating. Gollum’s desire to be free of the ring, yet entrapped by its power, made him a terrifying foe because we were never sure which side would win out in the end.

My other villain would be Snape from Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I didn’t care how despicable she created him because I kept thinking there was something deep down that would redeem him in the end, and that things weren’t quite what they seemed.

I like both heroes and villains that aren’t simple cardboard cut-outs with only one side, while the other is blank. No human is all good or all bad. I like characters that are a mixture of a little of both. It’s that battle of good and evil in everyone that influences the choices we make.

Good choices! I agree, the battle of good versus evil creates believable characters. Can you tell us what project are you currently working on?

Jackie: I’m still working on my White Road Chronicles series and will soon be starting the fifth book. I’m debating on the title at the moment. However, I’ve begun a new series aimed for younger readers called The Sentinel Archives. The first book,Through the Portal, will be released on the first of October. Right now, chapters are going on up on Wattpad for those who would like to check it out here: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JackieCastle


 

Welcome to the kingdom of Alburnium  If the Wizard of Oz swept you away and Narnia enchanted you, then follow the White Road Chronicles for a new kind of adventure.  Illuminated: Book One- begins with a girl in search of the truth.  Alyra, mockingly known as Princess, was captured at an early age by the evil ruler, Darnel, and brought up in the dark land of Racah. Now, at the age of seventeen, she considers herself nothing special. She has no recollection of who she is or where she came from. Her hope of ever finding freedom dims.  Until the messenger arrives. Until he brings to light the meaning behind the medallion she’s kept hidden. Until she accepts the blinding truth.  Now she flees for her life.  Alyra’s journey leads her down a narrow road with strange traveling companions. Together, they encounter a kingdom where nothing is what it first seems.  Illuminated is the first book of The White Road Chronicles followed by:  Luminosity: Book Two; Emanate: Book Three; Radiance: Book Four.

www.jackiecastle.com (author website)

www.jackiecastlebooks.blogspot.com (The White Road Chronicle series site)

http://thesentinelarchives.blogspot.com/ (The Sentinel Archives – still under construction, but there is information about the books available.)


 

Jackie Castle graduated from UT Southwestern Medical Center of Dallas. She lives in Texas with her husband, children, and dog, Ginger (aka ginger-roonie).  Her favorite pastime, besides reading, is traipsing through the worlds of Alburnium or Fay in search of another story. She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences. Find out more about her shenanigans over at Jackie Castle’s Story World: http://www.jackiecastle.com

 

Tech Talk with Brian Knack

home-office-336377__180During the month of August, we’ll be posting interviews during our popular Saturday segment, Tech Talk. We’ll speak with editors, photographers, and other people who help writers become the best they can be in their chosen field. 

Stay tuned each Saturday for a new interview!

Today, we’re talking with Brian Knack about self-publishing. Brian recently launched Authorpreneur University  to help other authors successfully realize their publishing dreams. I’ll let him tell you about it:

Why did you start helping authors?

They asked me. When I started self-publishing, I had to learn everything for myself. I’d look online and read and watch whatever resource I could find. About 4 years ago, a friend asked me about writing a book. I told him what I knew and he asked me to help him publish one. I helped him through the process and within a few months, he self-published his first book.

Since then I have helped several other people self-publish their books and have recently started Authorpreneur University separate from my personal author blog, to get the word out and help as many as I possibly can.

You said, “My mission is to help you take your idea and turn it into a business, a book or both, and to be successful at it.”–How do you accomplish that?,

Most authors think that once they publish, that’s it. It’s not. Your book is a business and like every other business, you need a business plan before you do anything else. One thing I’m stressing is for authors to see their books as a business and start to create a business plan before they publish. Part of that business plan is understanding your target market and knowing who they are. It’s a little more in-depth than just saying people who read.

The second thing I am stressing is building a following (a platform) with an author blog before you publish. This way, once you have your business plan fleshed out and your book is ready to launch, you have a large list of people who are already willing to buy it. Not only does this help your pocket book but it will also help your book move up the Amazon list and help your confidence.

I also know that there are authors who still want that traditional publishing deal. With that in mind, I have written a number of blog posts on helping authors find, approach and land a literary agent. It’s not as in-depth as I’d like and I plan on doing more in this area.

I notice you blog. What topics do your blog posts cover?

Well, I have recently separated my personal author blog BrianKnack.com from Authorpreneur University. There were just too many things I wanted to talk about personally (Faith, Family, Politics, Love, Relationships and whatever else comes to mind) that can tend to be controversial. I thought it best to create a separate business site.

On Authorpreneur University, I try to stick to 4 main topics; Publishing, Writing, Marketing and Platform Building. Starting early next year I’ll be posting regularly once or twice a month. There will also be a podcast to go along with the blog post. Everything I talk about will fit into one of those 4 main topics.

Share three pieces of wisdom with a new author.

There is no such thing as writers block. It’s nothing more than an excuse not to write. Just write even if it’s merely random thoughts… WRITE! Some of my best stuff has come from a slew of weird gibberish.

DO NOT OBSESS OVER OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS. They are merely their opinions based on their personal preferences. Critics don’t matter and neither do publishers or editors. The only opinions that matter are yours and those of your readers. That’s it.

If you want to sell books build real, genuine relationships with your readers. Be you and connect with them as you, not so and so the “Published Author.”

Where can we contact you?

The easiest way to contact me is through my e-mail (brian@brianknack.com) or by the contact form on my blog.

You can also find me on Twitter – @brianlknack, on my Facebook page at Brian Knack and on Goodreads

Brian’s Bio:

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was born and raised in a small Hamlet in upstate NY called White Sulphur Springs. I was raised by my paternal grandparents from 18 months on and grew up on a dairy farm. My wife and I recently moved into a beautiful house in Simpsonville, SC.

I am the author of I’m Born Again, Now What? A New Believer’s Guide to Walking with Christ [Paperback] & [Kindle Edition], W.A.R. Devotional and Study Guide and most recently, the sci-fi adventure, Destiny – Book 1 of The Legacy Series [Kindle Edition]. I have been blogging since 2010.

I offer Cover Design, Formatting and Book Video Trailer Services through Authorpreneur University.

Readers – Purchase a service from Brian and mention you saw this interview on Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My! and he will give you a 25% discount.

3 Questions Wednesday with Caryl McAdoo

bestTylerToday’s 3 Questions Wednesday guest is Christian hybrid author, Caryl McAdoo.
Glad you could join us, Caryl. First question: Which author would you never get tired of, and why?

Caryl: I’m going to choose Bodie Thoene. I’ve been reading her books so long that I can hardly remember how I found out about her, but I’ve read and re-read her books and love them all. Mostly because of the setting in the early ones. Jerusalem ~ Israel, the only place in the whole world I long to go. I know I’ll get to one day for it is a true desire of my heart. I love her characters and so I just know I’d love her, too, when I meet her in person.

I heard good things about her also. A great book usually has a great villain. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Caryl: AH 🙂 Let’s see now…favorite bad guy l love to hate, huh? I’m stallin’. I’m stallin…Okay, in August Rush the pregnant heroine’s in a car wreck and when she wakes up, her father tells her that her baby died. He did it so that she’d keep playing the cello – she played exquisitely. This also kept her from looking for the baby’s daddy or the baby who’s been growing up in an orphanage. I loved to hate that father. Bless God, in the end, he called for her and told her the truth before he died.

Sounds like a really wicked character who is redeemed. Now more about you. What project are you currently working on?

Caryl: This changes almost weekly with my plans of putting out ten titles in 2015, maybe eleven. HOPE REBORN came in January and THE PREACHER’S FAITH in February already…SO, I’m:

(1) publishing THEN THE DELUGE COMES, volume 2 in The Generations Biblical fiction series that debuts March 6th

(2) making proof changes on SING A NEW SONG, book 2 in contemporary Christian Red River Romance series as well as putting final touches on cover

(3) editing SINS OF THE MOTHERS, book four of my historical Christian Texas Romance series and my May debut

(4) writing (on Chapter Twelve of sixteen or so) on TOKEN OF THE COVENANT, volume 3 of The Generations scheduled for June release

(5) editing on ONE AND DONE,  contemporary Christian romance with a Texas Ranger Baseball backdrop planned to release in July

(6) writing on STORY AND STYLE, a non-fiction to explain Point of View, Hooks, Characterization, Scene and Sequel to new writers or old writers who still need help 🙂 It will be my August release if I have one, AND

(7) writing (on chapter twelve of thirty or so) DAUGHTERS OF THE HEART, book five in my historical Texas Romance series scheduled to debut in September. All my planning and scheduling is ‘if God wills’!

(8) October’s novel is ACQUIRING A WIFE, book 4 of contemporary Christian Red River Romances (about eight chapters written),

(9) and November’s debut is CHILDREN OF EBER, volume 4 of The Generations in November. What a Year! What an awesome year!

Wow! Unbelievable amount of work and blessings ahead for you. Thanks so much for dropping by, Caryl! If you ‘d like a chance to win a free ebook of THEN THE DELUGE COMES, please leave a comment below.

THEN THE DELUGE COMES00Front Deluge art

Obedience assures the preservation of life. By Adam’s death, evil overtakes the sons of Cain filling the earth with lasciviousness and violence. God declares He will not contend forever with man. But, Noah, the only one of the tenth generation to walk perfect before the Lord, hears His word.

MAKE THEE AN ARK OF GOPHER WOOD;  ROOMS SHALT THOU MAKE IN THE ARK, AND SHALT PITCH IT WITHIN AND WITHOUT WITH PITCH

With the help of his father Lamech, and Grandfather Methuselah—whose name foretells when the deluge will come—Noah and his three sons embark on the massive task of building the giant boat with no idea why except that God said.

Evil, too, heard the word of the Lord. Lucifer and his angels war in the second heaven to steal, kill, and utterly destroy the earth’s inhabitants. With each child passed through the fire, their battle songs grow stronger, but the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Simon & Schuster, Christian hybrid author, Caryl McAdoo is currently writing  three series: her historical Christian Texas Romances; the contemporary Red River Romances; and The Generations,her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

All Books-http://tinyurl.com/CarylsAmazonPage

Then the Deluge Comes http://tinyURL.com/DelugeComes

Tech Talk with Debi Warford

Debi Warford Design

ladyofthehavenDebi Warford is a graphic artist who specializes in making authors look good. As you can see by the example here, her book covers capture the heart of the story. Click on the picture to enlarge. Notice the detail? The model was not visiting this castle. Debi set the model’s photograph against the background. The result is seamless. Also notice how she blends the colors and uses tone. She put the light in the window of the castle and stuck a couple of stars in the night sky. The reader’s eye is drawn to detail and they will want to pick it up and look inside. That’s what writers want. Debi’s covers sell books.

So why hire a professional? Why not do it yourself? I asked Debi those questions and more.

Tell our readers three things about yourself.

1. I’m a graphic designer who decided later in life to start a new career.

2. I’m also a jewelry designer with an Etsy site. I specialize in Victorian and Elizabethan style jewelry and rosaries. You can see my pieces at https://www.etsy.com/shop/debiwarforddesigns

3. I’ve been a strong Christian since 1991 and am very involved in my church. I do quite a bit of pro bono design work for various ministries.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in this field? I was in my mid-forties and feeling very stagnated in my job. I decided to try to reconnect with the things that have always inspired me: creating beautiful things, calligraphy and drawing, and my love of books.

Why do people find it so hard to pay someone else to professionally design a book cover? I think a lot of people don’t understand what professional designers bring to the table. It’s more than the ability to use Photoshop. We are trained in the same artistic principles as fine artists, and we bring those principles to every cover we design. We are also trained in marketing principles and the psychological effects of color and object placement to make the reader want to pick up the book.

cover-back_9781939603203_2700What makes a good book cover attract attention to the viewer? Good use of color, the right typography for the subject matter, and placement of images to create the mood of the book are all important.

What are the advantages of hiring someone to help, compared to do-it-yourself templates? The biggest advantage is giving the author more time and energy to do the thing that they do best—write. Knowing that you don’t have to worry about marketing your book, that your team of editor, cover artist, formatter, etc, are all doing what they do best, frees you to write the very best book possible.

What services do you provide for your client, in addition to the artwork? I also design everything that is associated with a graphic designer: business cards, logos, swag, brochures, websites, anything you can think of that’s printed or on a professional website, has been (or should have been) touched by a graphic designer.

Anything else you’d like to say regarding your field? Being able to do what I love is a great gift, for which I give thanks to God. It is my pleasure to bring a book to life by bringing its cover to life. I have met so many wonderful people through this career, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

It is indeed a gift to be able to do what you love and when you do it well, everyone is blessed by the fruit of your labor. Thank so much for sharing your knowledge with us today.

Readers, I hope you will visit Debi Warford’s Facebook page and also her Etsy shop. DebiWarfordIf you decide to use Debi’s graphic skills for your book cover, mention her interview here. The first three customers to mention Writing Prompts and Thoughts and Ideas…Oh My, will receive 10% off the cost of her services. Contact Debi via her Facebook page, or leave a comment below.

Debi Warford graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing. Debi is quite adept with employing the most modern technology to the most fundamental artisan methods to create her visual messages. In addition to publishing industry specific designs, Debi also works with commercial arts, graphics, and signage work. She is also a disciplined calligrapher and her illuminated scripture manuscripts hang in many homes. Her hobbies include designing jewelry and firing timeless pottery.

Self Publishing Revolution: Minnows are Making Waves

20140428_144615By Cari Schaeffer Conversations with Cari

Self Publishing – that term causes a lot of confusion, angst, and strong emotions in The Industry. I doubt my two cents – worth half a penny when adjusted for inflation – will cause a cataclysmic shift, but I hope to give you some food for thought.

I want to clear up what Self Publishing is and what it is not. Currently, there are three ways for an author to get their work into the hands of readers:

•    Traditional Publishing
•    Self Publishing 1 – Vanity or Subsidy
•    Self Publishing 2 – Indie

Note that Vanity/Subsidy and Indie Publishing are separated under the umbrella term Self Publishing. I want to be very clear – they are not one and the same. Bundling those terms has unfortunately caused a stigma to arise against Self Publishing in any form.

The definition of Self Publishing, per Wikipedia, is the publication of any book or other media by the author of the work, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. The author is responsible and in control of the entire process including the design of the cover and interior, formats, price, distribution, marketing and public relations.

That is where the similarity between Vanity/Subsidy and Indie Publishing end. The key distinguishing characteristic that defines true Self Publishing is that the author has decided to publish his or her work independent of a publishing house, whether Vanity or Traditional; thus the term Indie.

A number of years ago, in order to publish one’s work apart from a traditional publishing house, authors had to spend considerable amounts of money to do so. Vanity Publishers are those that will accept any work, no matter the quality, and publish it for thousands of dollars. They also require the author to purchase hundreds of copies of their own books to sell first before they see any return for their investment.

Current technology allows authors to publish, market, and sell directly to readers without requiring middlemen of any kind. The biggest leap forward for Indie authors is the availability of Print on Demand (POD); no longer is it necessary to print hundreds of copies of one book in order to make it available. Now, as one book is ordered, one book is printed. As for e-books – well, that is an amazing technological wonder all on its own. Readers can download books to any electronic device they want to, no publishing house required. The Indie Publishing revolution grows more each year.

Arguments against Self Publishing

One of the primary arguments against Self Publishing is that an author’s work isn’t considered legitimate by The Industry if it is Self Published. Well, as a consumer, is your food or clothing less legitimate if you purchase them from a wholesaler or a retailer? No. The end product is either quality, or it isn’t. Let the market decide. It’s also often more economical to go wholesale because middlemen require payment. Indie authors make a whole lot more in royalties per unit sold than Traditionally Published authors do and infinitely more than Vanity Published authors.

Another common argument is the lack of marketing afforded to Self Published authors. The myth is if an author is picked up by a traditional publisher, that publishing house will spend money to market their work for them. When I was exhaustively researching my publishing options, I saw the trend in all of the traditional publishing houses to require every inquiring author to have an established marketing plan and social media promotional platform. As a debut author, they are unwilling to invest in marketing my work. That is, should they ever decide to pick it up at all. I would have to do that myself. If that’s the case, then why not choose to do it all myself and keep the royalties, too?

A third common argument against Self Publishing is the work isn’t polished or professionally edited. It is true that there has been a lack of polish and professional editing in some books that have been Self Published. Please refer back to Vanity Publishing. However, there are also a number of books that have gone through traditional publishing houses that have also lacked polish even with professional editing. There are typos and errors found in best selling works from traditional houses. As an author and an avid reader, I can attest to that fact. I haven’t read one single book that is one hundred percent error free. Editors are people and will make mistakes regardless of who signs their paycheck – the author or a traditional publishing house. One cannot blanket judge any genre or publishing method based on one bad work, or even several bad works. A science fiction book that is filled with typos and has a poorly developed plot would not cause a judgment to be rendered against every science fiction book. That’s ludicrous. A blanket judgment against Self Publishing should not be rendered by this method, either.

Exciting Horizons

Did you know that in 2008, for the first time in history, more books were Self Published than were Traditionally Published? In 2009, 76% of all books released were Self Published, while traditional publishing houses as a whole reduced the number of books they produced. Their funnel is getting ever narrower. That was six years ago. I find that to be both amazing and exhilarating. I am so grateful to be a ripple producing minnow in the publishing sea that is creating a tidal wave to change the landscape of literature.

Currently, I have one work Indie Published (with five more works in progress) and available for sale in the marketplace. Faith, Hope, Love, and Chocolate was released in May, 2014. With the royalties I have made and already been paid, I was able to replace my husband’s wedding ring which was recently stolen. That tragedy was turned into triumph because God has blessed my Indie Publishing efforts and I thank Him for it. Onward and upward!