Tag Archives: self-publishing

Article on Self-Publishing to Appear in InD’Tale Magazine

An article I wrote called “Self-Publish or Perish” will appear in the September issue of InD’Tale Magazine. The article chronicles my journey from small press author to whatever it is I am now. I discuss writing “epiphanies” I had along the way, critique my goals as a writer, and recalibrate my expectations going forward.

If you’re looking to promote a book, or if you have something to say about the craft of writing, consider sending InD’Tale Magazine an article. I’ve copied and pasted the magazine’s submission guidelines below, if you’re interested, or you can click here to go ahead and submit a piece.

InD’Tale Magazine Submissions

Articles:

InD’tale welcomes all article submissions and happily compensates all contributors with a short bio and picture plus a free full page advertisement (a $90.00 value) upon publication.  If you are interested in having your article published in a monthly issue of InD’tale, please read the following guidelines and information:

  • All articles must be between 850 – 1500 words (concrete on the low end, flexible on the high end.)
  • Articles must be written in an informative and/or entertaining way that includes all readers (rather than a “diary” type that concentrates only on the author.) Personal experiences are accepted and often encouraged but must tie in directly to a larger message that is clearly explained.
  • We do not accept articles that are submitted for advertisement purposes only.
  • Articles must take into consideration our readership ranges from Adolescent to Old!  All content must be PG-13 rated or lower and contain content appropriate for mainstream audiences only.
  • Subject matter diversity is encouraged as long as it is educational and/or entertaining.
  • Original work ONLY!  We do not accept articles that have been posted or published in other magazine, websites or blogs.  Basic content is allowed but the article must have fresh information, new content, ideas, etc.

Max Everhart’s latest book is a collection of short stories called All the Different Ways Love Can Feel.  It is available on his Createspace storeand Amazon. His novel Unlove Me is available for free on Wattpad.  Find him on Facebook and twitter.

Books & and the Bear: Social Media Promotion

A new one for me: I spent a few bucks (a very few) and ordered a one day social media promotion through Books & the Bear. I’d read and heard good things about their editing and marketing services, so I thought I’d give it a go.

Here’s what I know so far. First, their website looks great and is very easy to navigate, which is a big plus in my book. Second, they have a range of marketing services from blog tours on the high end of the price scale, to book promotion packages and social media promotions on the lower end of the spectrum. Being cheap by nature (and wanting to do an audition, of sorts), I bought the social media promotion, which was only $5. For that, you get a one-day social media blast. I’m not expecting miracles, but Books & the Bear has a very strong social media presence (about 221K on twitter), and they even provide stats for the social media promotion: reach an audience of 210,00+ with an average of 458+ clicks. Whether this will translate into any sales, who knows? But it should, I hope, provide some exposure for ALL THE DIFFERENT WAYS LOVE CAN FEEL.

Max Everhart’s latest book is a collection of short stories called All the Different Ways Love Can Feel.  It is available on his Createspace storeand Amazon. Find him on Facebook and twitter.

 

Self-Publishing: 3 Things I’ve Learned Using Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing

Now that the paperback and Kindle versions of All the Different Ways Love Can Feel are available for purchase, I thought I’d make a quick list of tips for potential self-publishers out there. These are based on my experiences using Createspace for my paperback and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for my eBook.

  1. Make sure to set up your paperback and eBook for pre-order. Doing this allows you to set-up a comprehensive marketing plan before your book’s official release. To set up your paperback for pre-order on Createspace, something I failed to do, you will need to use Amazon Advantage; from there, it is a fairly long and drawn out process. Click on this link for step-by-step instructions on how to utilize Amazon Advantage.  Setting up your eBook for pre-orders on KDP is a much simpler process, and, fortunately for me, I did manage to make All the Different Ways Love Can Feel available for pre-orders (click here). On KDP, there is a “Make my book available for pre-order” option. Click here for the step-by-step instructions. 
  2. Making your manuscript Kindle-ready IS A PAIN! In Microsoft Word, you will need to set up your book according to very specific formatting guidelines. I did that. I took my time to do it, carefully following KDP’s instructions on the subject. My manuscript still didn’t look right on the digital proof. So I got a recommendation from Shamus Award winner M. Ruth Myers, who self-publishes the excellent Maggie Sullivan series.  She suggested I use Karen Perkins, an author and editor who works in publishing, to do my Kindle conversion, which I did. It cost me $70 and was totally worth it. Karen was friendly, professional, and quick. Based out of England, Karen emailed  me a little worksheet about my book, I filled it out, and two days later she sent back my book, Kindle-ready.  If you’re interested, here is her contact information. I give her my highest recommendation.
  3. Edit carefully. Yes, this is an obvious one, but so necessary. Just before I published my book, I went back and proofread/edited it one more time. And I’m glad I did. I found about three typos per story, which I was able to correct before sending my book out into the world.

Please leave me comment. Let me know what self-publishing tips (or thoughts) you have.

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Max Everhart’s latest book is a collection of short stories called All the Different Ways Love Can Feel.  It is available on his Createspace store and Amazon. Find him on Facebook and twitter.

Advice to Unpublished Novelists

writer

Dear Unpublished Novelist,

Stop what you’re doing. Immediately. Paying attention? Good.

Now read the following letter (in its entirety) before you decide what to do with that first manuscript you spent so much time on your posterior writing. Trust me, it’ll only help. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

A Writer’s Goals

So you wrote a book, eh? Good for you. A major accomplishment. You should be proud as punch. After all, there aren’t enough novels in the world.  I kid. Congrats, for sooth.  Now, an important question: should you send your book (your precious baby that you slaved away on) to an agent, a small press, or self-publish?

My answer: depends on what your goals are as a writer. Here’s a breakdown of my thoughts on the subject. Bare in mind these are just my humble opinions based on my experiences in the biz.

Agents/Big Publishers

There are exceptions, of course, but if you want to earn anything even close to a living, then you definitely need an agent and a big New York publisher. Agents and big publishers have the resources to get your book into bookstores and libraries around the country; they can get your book reviewed in a variety of influential publications; they can set up book tours (although those are becoming less and less frequent unless your name is James Patterson or Nora Roberts). And agents, the good ones anyway, are advocates who help your career in ways that you on your own would never be able to do.  Do you know anything about contract law? Do you read and understand legalese? Do you have experience negotiating? No? Me neither. Those are just some of the many reasons you need an agent in your corner.  Bottom line, if you want to make some money writing, your best shot is with an agent and a big publisher. Period.

Small Presses

If your goal is to experience the thrill of having your work in “print,” then a small press is great. Nowadays, there are TONS of small presses out there, and some of them put out excellent books at reasonable prices.  Another advantage: small presses will take manuscripts directly from an author, whereas big publishers will only read manuscripts sent to them by literary agents. That’s the good stuff. Now, the bad: if you sign with a small press, chances are you will make little to no money (most DO NOT give advances on royalties), and you will be responsible for a majority of the promotions. Also, unless you happen to live near the publisher, or you are willing to travel (at your own expense) to their offices, you will never meet them in person, which, for some writers, could be a major problem.  (I’m not particularly fussed about that as I’m a borderline recluse and love to travel . . .all around MY HOUSE.) Most likely your communication with a small press will be through emails, and perhaps a phone call here and there, if that. I know of some small press writers who have never spoken to their publishers, at all.

I’d compare the experience of working with a small press to taking college courses online: sure, it is convenient and you’re still getting a decent education, but you have very limited access to actual human beings, and, as we all know, things can get lost in translation via email and phone.

My opinion: small presses do their best, but their resources (and time) are limited, so go into the whole process with your eyes open. . . and perhaps most importantly, manage your expectations.

Self-Publishing

As for self-publishing. . .well, I get tired just thinking about it.  Advantages: you do get to keep more of the money you earn, and you’re in total control, which, as a control freak, is attractive to me and more important than the money aspect even. However, it’s expensive because you’re responsible for everything.  Literally everything.  Writing, editing, book cover, promotions. . .the whole shooting match.  It’s a ton of work, and frankly, there are SO MANY self-published books out there that it will be very, very, very, very difficult to get yours noticed. It can be done. I know at least two successful self-published authors out there, but both of them had agents and big publishers at one time, which helped them build up a readership that enabled them, in my opinion, to be successful on their own. Plus, those authors hustle, man; they work their butts off, which a lot of us writers, myself included, aren’t willing to do. My take, the self-publishing route is a long shot, but hey, writing is a long shot, so do what you feel!

So there you go, Unpublished Novelist. My two cents worth. Remember to take all of my advice with a grain of Margarita salt.

Yours in wisdom (which is just a synonym for regret),

Obscure Mystery Novelist

drink

Hybrid Authors: Advantages and Disadvantages?

As of this writing, I have two publishers: 280 Steps and Camel Press. Camel Press publishes my Eli Sharpe mystery series, and 280 Steps publishes my crime thrillers featuring The Rook. Honestly, I’m lucky to have both, and I’m delighted that my work is getting “out there.” However, I also enjoy writing (or attempting to write) “literary fiction,” and thus far I’ve been unable to find a suitable outlet for those stories (I’ve tried the agent route.  .  .no luck). Yes, I’ve published seven or eight stories in lit mags, and that was cool, but ultimately, I’d like to make a buck or two on writing. So here’s what I’ve been mulling over: self-publishing. I’ve heard about “hybrid writers,” which, if I understand the term, means writers who have traditional publishers, and they self-publish as well. The idea intrigues me, especially the part about having total control of the finished product, and if anyone out there has some experience in this realm, please drop me a comment and tell me about your experiences.

Cheers.

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